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Aita Mari’s 105 rescued refugees finally allowed to come ashore

Italy allows the ship to port in Sicily after Malta forces it to sail through stormy seas

THE Aita Mari was finally granted a port today after it was forced to sail through stormy seas last night.

The ship rescued 105 people within Malta’s search-and-rescue (SAR) zone on Tuesday but was left with nowhere to go after Italy, Malta and the EU ignored its repeated calls for a port.

Then, yesterday, as a storm came in and the waves grew higher, Malta ordered the Aita Mari to stay out of its waters, where the weather was calmer.

“It is incredible that a group of states prolong the mistratment of people [who have endured] inhuman conditions, for no reason,” the Aita Mari’s operators Humanitarian Maritime Rescue (SMH) said on Saturday.

After a rough night, SMH announced this afternoon that it had received notice from Rome’s rescue coordination centre to head to the port of Trapani on the Italian island of Sicily.

“During the days on board, these people have told us about the torture, extortion and mistreatment of those who were victims in Libya,” SMH said in a statement this afternoon.

“The EU migration policy of containment and collaboration with third states such as Libya for the return of human beings to these conditions is cruel, inhuman and illegal.

“We thank all individuals, institutions, associations and political parties for their concern for the condition of the people on board and for their expressions of support.”

Top image shows the rescued aboard the Aita Mari last night [Pic: SMH]

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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