Migrants Ordered To Disembark From Charity Ship In Italy

Channels Television  
Updated August 20, 2019
This grab from a video taken by Local Team shows migrants rescued for days by NGO Proactiva Open Arms charity ship, being rescued by a Spanish patrol boat after throwing themselves in the water to try and swim to the nearby Italian island of Lampedusa in a desperate move after days stuck on board, on August 20, 2019. LOCALTEAM / AFP


An Italian prosecutor on Tuesday ordered the more than 80 remaining migrants on the Open Arms charity vessel to disembark in Lampedusa after it was stuck for days off the island.

Sicily prosecutor Luigi Patronaggio also ordered the vessel preventatively seized after inspecting the boat on which some of the migrants have spent 19 days and “given the difficult situation on board”, a judicial source said.

The ship has been stranded off Lampedusa for six days, with Open Arms saying the situation on board was “untenable”.

Patronaggio ordered the ship seized as part of his probe into alleged kidnapping and refusing to obey orders targeting far-right Interior Minister Matteo Salvini

“If anybody thinks they can scare me with the umpteenth complaint and wants a trial, they’re mistaken,” Salvini said on Facebook.

Many rescued migrants have jumped in the sea in a bid to swim to land as the latest standoff between a charity vessel and Salvini continued.

Meanwhile, a Spanish navy patrol boat set sail on Madrid government orders Tuesday evening on a three-day voyage across the Mediterranean to pick up the migrants on the Open Arms.