Migrants: Palermo-Montpellier mayors appeal for Ocean Viking

27 August, 17:04

    (ANSAmed) - PALERMO, AUGUST 27 - Palermo Mayor Leoluca Orlando and Montpellier Mayor Michaël Delafosse wrote an appeal for the release of the SOS Mediterranee ship Ocean Viking, which works in search-and-rescue at sea and has been subject to an administrative stop by Italian authorities in Porto Empedocle since the end of July.

    The stop, according to the Italian Coast Guard, was imposed because "the ship was transporting a number of people higher" than authorised. In Orlando and Delafosse's appeal, they said that "in recent years, civil rescue NGOs at sea have rescued tens of thousands of men, women, and children in danger of imminent death, bridging a gap left by the European states in the Mediterranean".

    "New shipwrecks and new deaths at Europe's doors can be prevented, nevertheless, rescuers are being prevented from their vital rescue mission. Is this the price to pay for the irresponsibility and the failure of the European states?" they said.

    "As mayors, Mediterranean citizens, and Europeans, we can't accept it and we denounce these harmful policies. We call on all citizens to sign the petition calling on Italian maritime authorities to release the ship: https://www.change.org/p/liberate-la-ocean-viking". (ANSA).

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