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EU ‘putting human lives at risk’ again as 34 refugees continue to wait for assistance

Malta, Italy and Germany dodge responsibility to answer the Nadir’s calls for help

EUROPE’S failure to assist refugees in distress at sea came into focus again today as 34 people on board an NGO rescue ship continue to wait for the authorities to come to their aid.

Last night, the Nadir, a sailing ship on a human-rights monitoring mission in the central Mediterranean, discovered the refugees adrift on two overcrowded boats inside Malta’s search-and-rescue (SAR) zone — waters that the island nation is supposed to be responsible for.

ResQship, the NGO that operates the Nadir, said last night that its crew had carried out first aid on the rescued and tried “in vain to get assistance from the responsible authorities.”

In an update this afternoon, ResQship said the Nadir was still waiting on Malta to come to its aid.

“The behaviour of the authorities is irresponsible and absurd,” the organisation said.

“The MRCCs [Maritime Coordination Centres] in Valletta, Rome and Bremen are only pointing to each other instead of simply sending a ship.

“Yet help is urgently needed. People are in a vulnerable state, 16 of them being small infants. Among their parents is a pregnant women in her eight month.

“Further, [the] weather is getting worse [and the] winds [are] increasing. With its inaction the EU is once again putting human lives at risk!”

Alarm Phone, an activist-run refugee distress hotline organisation, urged Malta and Italy to stop ignoring the Nadir and to come to the 34’s aid.

“State actors failed not only to conduct a rescue operation when we alerted them about the people in distress yesterday, they also fail to assist the civil rescuers,” Alarm Phone said this afternoon.

“We are fed up with these systematic forms of European non-assistance.”

Top image shows the rescued onboard the Naidr [Pic: ResQship]

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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