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Rescued refugees reach dry land after authorities send them on a two-day detour

‘No-one in the governments of Europe seem to even think about respecting human rights any more,’ Sea Eye chairman says

EUROPE’S commitment to human rights was called into question again today as an NGO ship was finally allowed to disembark 400 rescued refugees today after it was forced to take a two-day detour.

The Sea-Eye 4 rescue ship saved the lives of over 400 people in just 48 hours in the central Mediterranean last weekend, without any help from the Libyan, Maltese or Italian authorities.

On Tuesday Leoluca Orlando, the mayor of the Italian city of Palermo, announced on social media that the ship could disembark the rescued in his city after Malta refused to do so.

The next day, as the ship drew nearer to Palermo, the Italian authorities broke their silence and assigned the Sea-Eye 4 a port in Pozzallo, another two days’ journey from their position.

Refugees on board the Sea-Eye 4 look at Italy’s shores [Pic: Guillaume Duez/Sea-Eye]

Following the disembarkation today, Sea-Eye chairman Gorden Isler said: “The last seven days of our rescue mission have once more very clearly demonstrated the failure of the EU states.

“People regularly drown as they flee and thousands are forcibly returned to the civil war hell of Libya. No-one in the governments of Europe seem to even think about respecting human rights any more.”

Lamenting on what the rescued had been put through and the mass refugee pushbacks carried out by the Spanish military in Cueta this past week, Mr Isler warned that “if the EU continues to tilt in this direction, then we can write off the 1951 Refugee Convention for good.”

Top image shows a Sea-Eye 4 crew member embracing a rescued refugee before disembarking in Pozzallo, Italy [Pic: Guillaume Duez/Sea-Eye]

Published by The Civil Fleet

A news blog and podcast focused on the activist-led refugee rescue and support missions across Fortress Europe

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