Police should be allowed aboard migrant NGO ships-Prosecutor

Balance btwn saving lives and catching traffickers says Roberti

01 June, 10:55

    A Doctors without Borders rescue operation A Doctors without Borders rescue operation

    ROME - Italian police should be allowed on board NGO ships rescuing migrants in the Mediterranean, National Anti-Mafia and Anti-Terror Prosecutor Franco Roberti told the parliamentary Schengen committee Wednesday. Without hindering rescues, he said, a police officer "could do typical police work: we need a balance between saving threatened lives and ascertaining the responsibilities of traffickers". Italian prosecutors have said they have heard of NGOs having links to traffickers but they said they had no evidence of this.

    Roberti said: "now the dinghies leave Libyan coasts (and the Libyans have never set the limit of their territorial waters, 12 or 16 miles) and they immediately find the NGOs ships that offload them.

    "The problem is that the humanitarian ships carry out a function filling in for government ships.

    "Objectively, beyond possible connivance with traffickers, they do a much-needed job. "The point is supplying the NGOs with our code of conduct under the UN, they should agree to comply with the guidelines which we have published".

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