In Sicily, migrants desperate to disembark jump into the water

the geobarentsA humanitarian ship, docked on Sunday night and Italian authorities allowed 357 people, including children, to disembark while denying entry to another 215.

At the end of their tragic odyssey, the migrants stranded in the port of Catania aboard one of the humanitarian ships authorized to dock in Sicily by the far-right government of Giorgia Meloni threw themselves into the water on Monday, desperate to disembark. . The leader of the post-fascist Fratelli d’Italia party has pledged to “defend the borders” of Italy by preventing NGO boats operating in the Mediterranean from entering Italian ports to disembark the thousands of migrants they rescue every year. On Sunday, his government finally authorized the landing only of minors and people with medical problems. Two ships were able to dock in Catania, another two were rejected, transporting a total of a thousand people.

“Tense” situation on board

Caught in the face-off between the NGOs and the new Italian executive, three immigrants jumped from the geobarents, a ship managed by Doctors Without Borders (MSF) that was docked. The three men were quickly recovered, according to MSF. Shortly after, a dozen more migrants on the ship’s deck chanted “Help us”, pointed out an AFP journalist. At the same time, more than 500 people, previously reported in danger by the NGO Alarm Phone, were rescued by the Italian authorities and landed in Sicily, the Siracusa prefect told AFP.. “First they undergo a medical examination, then they are identified by the police before being distributed in the reception structures”, Giuseppa Scaduto explained.

“We behave humanely but we stand firm on our principles”said Interior Minister Matteo Piantedosi at night in Rome. He pointed out that the migrants have been received in other ports, and assured that those who were still on board were “under constant surveillance by the authorities”. According to the Italian Ministry of the Interior, more than 88,000 people have arrived from African shores since January 1. Democratic senator Antonio Nicita, who visited the humanitarian ships anchored off the port of Catania, estimated that “the situation is tense” on board. “Nervousness reigns on the ships, the humanitarians calm things down. Many migrants undressed in front of us to show us infections in their private parts.he testified, referring to cases of scabies.

“Emergency situation”

the geobarents docked on Sunday night and Italian authorities allowed 357 people to disembark, including children, and denied entry to another 215. One of the migrants was later evacuated by ambulance after complaining of severe abdominal pain, MSF said on Monday, emphasizing that others were increasingly vulnerable. “His situation, his level of psychological stress is very, very high”says Riccardo Gatti, head of search and rescue for MSF. “The ship has its limits in terms of medical assistance,” he has said. In the port is the ship under the German flag humanity 1, operated by the SOS Humanity charity, which landed 144 people on Sunday. On board are still 35 adult male migrants.

An Italian government decree issued on Friday states that the ship was only allowed to dock long enough to identify passengers at “emergency situation”. The ship’s captain, Joachim Ebeling, defied the order to leave port and insisted on Monday that “every person rescued has the right to disembark in a safe port”. “I’m not going anywhere with these people on board”he told reporters. Italy’s new government, the most right-wing since World War II, has vowed to take a hard line on immigrants. And Interior Minister Matteo Piantedosi said migrants rescued at sea were the responsibility of the state under whose flag the ships sailed, in this case Norwegians and Germans.

Matteo Salvini, the former interior minister whose party, the League, is part of the ruling coalition, stressed that arrivals must be “stopped”. “They are organized trips, increasingly dangerous, that finance weapons and drugs”said the current deputy prime minister on Twitter. Appeals were filed in courts in Rome and Catania on Monday, SOS Humanity said. Amnesty International, for its part, believes that Italy “does not comply with its international obligations”. In a statement, the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) “continue to urge European governments to quickly provide a safe haven and allow the immediate disembarkation of the nearly 600 people remaining on the NGO boats.”

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