Monday May 20, 2024

German sea rescue ship detained by Italian authorities

Published : 04 Dec 2023, 21:34

  DF News Desk
A rescued refugee looks out to sea from a porthole on the German sea rescue ship "Humanity 1". File Photo: Max Cavallari/SOS Humanity/dpa.

Italian authorities have detained a German aid group's humanitarian sea rescue ship Humanity 1 in the southern Italian port city of Crotone, the aid group SOS Humanity said, reported dpa.

The ship was ordered out of service following an operation in the central Mediterranean Sea on Saturday evening in which the crew rescued about 200 migrants from a boat in distress and brought them ashore in Calabria, the group announced on Monday.

SOS Humanity said the Italian authorities ordered the ship to remain in port for 20 days and also imposed a fine. The Italian coast guard did not immediately comment on the incident.

According to the aid group, the Italian authorities have accused the organization of having previously ignored the instructions of the Libyan coast guard to leave the area during a rescue operation.

According to the German aid organization, 46 people who were already in the water were rescued during the operation. The Italian authorities, on the other hand, claim that the crew led the migrants to flee the Libyan coast guard and jump into the water.

SOS Humanity denies the allegations and has announced that it intends to take legal action.

Italy's far-right prime minister, Giorgia Meloni, has taken a tough stance against humanitarian migrant rescue groups, accusing them of helping bring migrants to the country. She has tightened laws restricting the operation of humanitarian ships and threatened fines and other penalties.

Aid organizations have criticized the Italian government's actions, arguing they prevent them from rescuing people in distress at sea.