The Aquarius requests a port to disembark 141 immigrants rescued in the Mediterranean

The marine rescue ship ‘Aquarius’, managed by Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) and SOS Mediterranée, has sent a message to European governments so that they can disembark “in the nearest safe place” and as soon as possible to the 141 immigrants and refugees They were rescued on Friday when they were traveling aboard two boats. The two NGOs have appealed to the obligations included in International Maritime Law to request the disembarkation of the 141 people located in international waters. The vast majority come from Eritrea and Somalia and 73 children travel in the group, 67 of them without an adult companion. “Although the medical status of those rescued is stable for now, many are extremely weak and malnourished, many say they have been held in inhuman conditions in Libya,” MSF said in a statement released Sunday. The ‘Aquarius’ contacted during the two rescue operations carried out on Friday with “all the competent authorities”, including those of Italy, Malta, Tunisia and even Libya. The Libyan authorities summoned the ship to dock elsewhere, although NGOs have reminded that the North African country “is not recognized as a safe place” and, therefore, will not return the migrants there. The ‘Aquarius’ now navigates to the north in order to request the landing. The rescue coordinator of SOS Mediterranée, Nick Romaniuk, has considered “of the utmost importance” that “the survivors are taken as soon as possible to a safe place where they can cover their basic needs and be protected from abuse.”
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MSF Press

The #Aquarius requests European governments a safe place to land the rescued people. He has 141 people rescued on Friday in his first rescue operations since June.#Comunicado and media materials

12:13 – Aug 12 2018
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For his part, the coordinator of projects of MSF Aloys Vimard, on board of the ‘Aquarius’, has assured that the actions of Friday of manifest put in question the “capacity” of the Center of Coordination of Rescues of Libya to “coordinate completely” the assistance to boats in danger. “A rescue is not complete until the landing in a safe place, the Libyan Center told us clearly that they could not give it to us, and they did not inform the ‘Aquarius’ that they knew there were boats in danger, even though we were close and We offered our help, “lamented Vimard, who wanted to remember how European governments” have devoted all their efforts to support “the Libyan coastguard during these years. WITHOUT AID The immigrants and refugees rescued by the ‘Aquarius’ have also told the staff of the NGOs that met in the Mediterranean with up to five boats that refused to help them, which according to Vimard shows that, in addition to hundreds of lives, “The principle of giving assistance to people in danger at sea is at stake.” The MSF spokesman has acknowledged that this reluctance of civilian ships may be due to the fear of being trapped in a legal and political limbo if they can not get any country to provide them with a safe harbor in which to disembark.“Policies designed to prevent people from reaching Europe at any cost are causing more suffering and forcing those who are already vulnerable to start even more risky journeys in search of safety,” he warned. In fact, this is the first time that the ‘Aquarius’ has left the Mediterranean since the conflict generated last June, when Italy and Malta refused to receive the ship and the 630 rescued migrants who were on board. Finally it had to dock in Valencia, although since then Italy and Malta keep their ports closed to NGOs.

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