Sea Watch at sea for six days in face of EU indifference

Five countries refuse port for NGO ship with 32 people aboard

27 December, 14:28


    The NGO Sea Watch on Thursday said it is "still blocked at sea in yet another political limbo, in the indifference of Europe, which seems to not want to interrupt its vicious anti-migrant policy".

    The NGO's ship has been searching for six days in the Central Mediterranean for a port to land, following the rescue last Saturday of 32 migrants off the coast of Libya.

    It said five European countries have denied it permission to dock at their ports: Malta, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, and Germany.

    It said it had turned to Germany in recent days not only because the rescue ship flies a German flag, but also because more than 30 cities and various federal states said they are willing to take in the migrants, which include four women, four unaccompanied minors, and three young children.

    "We have been denied, for six days now, a safe port," said Philip Hahn, head of mission on the Sea-Watch 3.

    "We are well-equipped, but the winter in the Mediterranean is taking its toll on the already weakened people. Europe must take responsibility now, and Germany should set a good example," Hahn said.

    Sea Watch Italy spokesperson, Giorgia Linardi, said: "Just days after the UN report that revealed 'unspeakable horrors in Libya', European governments continue undeterred in supporting a system that provides for the forced reentry into Libya of those rescued". 

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