Open Arms ship ordered to be released from seizure

Spanish NGO ship still stuck in port after compliance issue

30 August, 14:23

    Open Arms rescue ship in the port of Porto Empedocle Open Arms rescue ship in the port of Porto Empedocle

    ROME - Sources from the Open Arms migrant rescue ship said that the Agrigento judge Stefano Zammuto had ordered that the vessel be released from seizure. They added that the judge had found sufficient evidence to proceed with an investigation into abuse of office and kidnapping in relation to the case. The seizure had been ordered by Agrigento prosecutor Luigi Patronaggio ''after the people onboard our ship, all in precarious physical and psychological condition, had been forced to wait 19 days before being authorised to land in a port'', the NGO responsible for the ship noted.

    The Spanish NGO rescue ship however is not able to leave the port of Porto Empedocle in Sicily.

    Since August 22 - two days after the penal seizure ordered by the Agrigento prosecutor's office - it has been blocked by an administrative order on the sidelines of the inspection by the Coast Guard. At that time, serious issues were found concerning compliance with regulations regarding navigational safety, environmental protection, and training of the crew on emergency procedures. The Spanish vessel will remain in port until these issues are resolved.

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