Refugees reach Sardinia after France refuses to dock rescue ship | France


A ship with 125 refugees and migrants rescued on board reached the Italian island of Sardinia on Thursday, humanitarian organization Sea-Eye said, adding that the fate of its survivors remains uncertain.Alan Kurdi docked at the port of Arbatax in the east of the island after being “instructed by the port authorities to drop anchor and await further instructions,” Sea-Eye said, who charters the boat.

However, the NGO said it was not clear whether Arbatax would be a “safe port” in which rescued survivors could disembark.

Italian authorities made contact on Wednesday evening to discuss “continued coordination” and to ensure the vessel is protected from the elements, five days after Sea-Eye asked for help, he said. on Twitter.

According to the Italian news agency ANSA, the ship was allowed to take shelter from the rough seas off Sardinia and would be granted permission to dock if conditions worsened.

The ship asked to enter Arbatax and take shelter in the natural port, ”Italian Interior Minister Luciana told a parliamentary committee.

“We granted shelter and spoke to other European countries, who said they were ready to take all but 25, who would remain in Italy.

“The port is closed … but if the sea conditions worsen, they will be allowed to disembark, on the understanding that, even if they have to do 14 days of quarantine, they will be immediately relocated elsewhere.”

The ship – named Alan Kurdi after the Syrian boy who made global headlines when his drowned body washed up on a Turkish beach in 2015 – saved 133 people, including 62 children, from three different boats in off the Libyan coast.

Eight people, including a five-month-old baby, were evacuated by the Italian coast guard. More than 50 minors are still on board, including young children, the NGO said.

The ship was initially heading for Marseilles in southern France before French authorities successfully asked Italy to allow it to dock in the Mediterranean, Sea-Eye chief Gorden Isler said in a tweet.

“We hope that the 125 rescued will be able to disembark in Sardinia so that they can be properly treated there,” added Isler.

French government spokesman Gabriel Attal said on Wednesday that the Sea-Eye ship should “be received in the nearest safe port”, with France implicitly denying any possibility of allowing the ship to dock in Marseille.

The principle of disembarking survivors in the nearest “safe port”, enshrined in international maritime law, generally means that Italy or Malta should welcome survivors rescued from Mediterranean crossings.

More than 600 refugees and migrants perished this year attempting to cross the Mediterranean, the deadliest route for those hoping for a better life in Europe.

Nearly 50,000 people have made the trip so far this year, according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM).


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