Italy allows 2nd aid group’s migrant rescue boat to dock

Dec 8, 2022, 4:06 PM | Updated: Dec 9, 2022, 10:38 am
A MSF, Doctors Without Borders, humanitarian organization rescue team approaches a rubber boat with...

A MSF, Doctors Without Borders, humanitarian organization rescue team approaches a rubber boat with 74 migrants on board to transfer them to their rescue ship Geo Barents, in the Mediterranean Sea, Sunday, Dec. 4, 2022. MSF in one of two aid groups that rescued more than 500 people from the Mediterranean in the last days and are seeking a port where they can disembark their passengers, posing a new challenge to the Italian government which has vowed to crack down on migrant smuggling operations in north Africa. (Candida Lobes/MSF Via AP)

(Candida Lobes/MSF Via AP)

ROME (AP) — Italy on Friday gave permission for a second humanitarian group’s ship to disembark its passengers at an Italian port, seemingly softening its hard line against European-flagged vessels that rescue migrants in the Mediterranean Sea.

Italian authorities told the crew of the Geo Berents, chartered by the French group Doctors Without Borders, to head toward Salerno, near Naples, with its 248 migrant passengers. Already, a mother who gave birth to a baby on board Wednesday, the baby and three siblings had been evacuated, the group said.

Doctors Without Borders said it would take around 24 hours in rough seas to arrive but that the designation of a port was “a relief for the children, women and men who went through harrowing experiences since leaving their countries of origin.”

Earlier Friday, Italy allowed the German-flagged Louise Michel, which is funded and decorated by the street artist Banksy, to disembark its 33 passengers in Lampedusa, Sicily. In a tweet, the Louise Michel said the passengers had been rescued from a small wooden boat two days earlier.

“We wish them all the best for the future, and hope they will be better welcomed by civil society than by Europe’s violent border regime,” it said.

Soon after coming to power in September, Italy’s right-wing government of Premier Giorgia Meloni had argued that the flag countries of rescue ships are responsible for taking in the migrants and that Italy would no longer be the de facto port of automatic entry. Rome said it would only allow migrants deemed “vulnerable” to disembark.

That policy drove a diplomatic standoff with France last month over the fate of the Ocean Viking and its 234 migrants. Italy refused the rescue ship port for weeks, forcing France to take it in. Paris retaliated by suspending its participation in a European Union solidarity pact to accept 3,000 relocated migrants this year from Italy and reinforced its southern border crossings.

The aid groups and legal experts had argued the Italian policy contradicted international law and maritime conventions, which require rescued people to be disembarked as quickly as possible in the nearest port of safety.

A third ship is currently off Sicily awaiting port — the Humanity 1, operated by the German aid group SOS Humanity, with some 261 people on board.

“No place of safety has yet been allocated despite multiple requests. Meanwhile, the weather is worsening,” the group said in a statement.

___

Follow AP’s global migration coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/migration

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Protesters gather in front of police headquarters while marching Saturday, Jan. 28, 2023, in Memphi...
Associated Press

Memphis police disband unit that fatally beat Tyre Nichols

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — The Memphis police chief disbanded the city’s so-called Scorpion unit on Saturday, citing a “cloud of dishonor” from newly released video that showed some of its officers beating Tyre Nichols to death after stopping the Black motorist. Police Director Cerelyn “CJ” Davis acted a day after the harrowing video emerged, saying […]
1 day ago
FILE - The Chinese Embassy is pictured in Tokyo on Jan. 11, 2023. China announced it was resuming i...
Associated Press

China announces resumption of visas for Japanese

TOKYO (AP) — China announced it was resuming issuing visas for Japanese travelers beginning Sunday, ending its nearly three-week suspension in an apparent protest of Tokyo’s tougher COVID-19 entry requirements for tourists from China. The decision was announced in a statement posted on the Chinese Embassy’s website. China stopped issuing new visas in Japan on […]
1 day ago
FILE - Conservative Party chairman Nadhim Zahawi leaves the Conservative Party head office in Westm...
Associated Press

UK leader fires party chairman over tax bill allegations

LONDON (AP) — British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak fired the chairman of his ruling Conservative Party Sunday over a “serious breach” of the ministerial code. Pressure had been building on Nadhim Zahawi amid allegations he settled a multimillion-dollar unpaid tax bill while he was in charge of the country’s Treasury. In a letter to Zahawi, […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

Turkey issues travel warning to Europe following protests

ISTANBUL (AP) — Turkey issued a travel warning late Saturday for its citizens living in or planning on going to European countries, citing Islamophobia and anti-Turkish demonstrations. The warning comes after last weekend’s protests in Sweden where an anti-Islam activist burned the Quran and pro-Kurdish groups protested against Turkey. The Turkish foreign ministry urged its […]
1 day ago
Oleksandra Hryhoryna inspects her house which was damaged by shelling last fall in Kalynivske, Ukra...
Associated Press

Russians gone from Ukraine village, fear and hardship remain

KALYNIVSKE, Ukraine (AP) — When night falls in Tatiana Trofimenko’s village in southern Ukraine, she pours sunflower oil that aid groups gave her into a jar and seals it with a wick-fitted lid. A flick of a match, and the make-do candle is lit. “This is our electricity,” Trofimenko, 68, says. It has been over […]
1 day ago
Rescue workers collect remains from the burnt wreckage of a bus accident in Bela, an area of Lasbel...
Associated Press

Passenger bus in Pakistan crashes, catches fire killing 40

QUETTA, Pakistan (AP) — A passenger bus crashed into a pillar and fell off a bridge, catching fire and killing 40 people in southern Pakistan on Sunday, a government official said. The bus was carrying 44 passengers from Quetta in Balochistan province to Karachi in neighboring Sindh province. The accident was near the town of […]
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

safety from crime...

As crime increases, our safety measures must too

It's easy to be accused of fearmongering regarding crime, but Seattle residents might have good reason to be concerned for their safety.
Comcast Ready for Business Fund...
Ilona Lohrey | President and CEO, GSBA

GSBA is closing the disparity gap with Ready for Business Fund

GSBA, Comcast, and other partners are working to address disparities in access to financial resources with the Ready for Business fund.
SHIBA WA...

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Lake Washington Windows...

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Italy allows 2nd aid group’s migrant rescue boat to dock