Migrants: Mare Jonio vessel seized, interior ministry

Mediterranea, '300,000 euro fine, inhumane'

03 September, 14:37

    (ANSAmed) - ROME, SEPTEMBER 3 - The finance guard on Tuesday seized the Mare Jonio NGO run migrant rescue ship off Lampedusa, interior ministry sources said.

    The decision was denounced by Italian NGO Mediterranea Saving Humans which recalled that ''at 8:40 PM yesterday, just a few hours after the disembarkment of the last 31 survivors still aboard the Mare Jonio, our ship entered territorial waters with the authorization of the maritime authorities in charge, starting procedures to dock at the port of Lampedusa.

    Paradoxically, on the same night, our skipper and our ship owner were notified about the administrative seizure of the Mare Jonio together with a fine of 300,000 euros'' for breaching a security decree's ban on entering territorial waters, the NGO said.

    The NGO denounced the ''last ditch effort by those who were unable to accept that a story of humanity and justice could finally end, maintaining its beauty intact''. ''We will go back to where we must be, as we have always done'', the organization said. ''Those who have decided to stop once again the Mare Jonio remain with the weight of the responsibility, among others, of keeping yet another ship far away, for days or weeks, from the possibility of rescuing those who at this very moment are risking to drown'', concluded Mediterranea.(ANSAmed).

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