Concern grows for welfare of refugees on board Open Arms vessel near Lampedusa


Proactiva's Open Arms Rescue Vessel, 1 km off the coast of Lampedusa (IT)
Proactiva's Open Arms Rescue Vessel, 1 km off the coast of Lampedusa (IT)

Several more migrants have been taken from the rescue vessel Open Arms for medical reasons to the Italian island of Lampedusa, the Spanish charity which operates the boat said Friday (Aug 16).

Three people who suffered "medical complications which require specialized care" and an escort were brought ashore late on Thursday, Proactiva Open Arms, which is waiting for permission from Rome to dock in Lampedusa, said on Twitter.

They were taken to Lampedusa with the aid of the Italian coastguard, leaving 134 migrants on board the Open Arms, a Proactiva Open Arms spokeswoman said.

Read more here

Meanwhile the President of the European Parliament, David Sassoli MEP has issued a statement calling on the Italian authorities to allow the vessel to enter the port of Lampedusa and for the immediate disembarkation of all on board.

In a statement, David Sassoli MEP said:

"Today, my office was in contact with the captain of the Open Arms mission who described conditions on board as scarcely tolerable. The situation has become dramatic,” said David Sassoli, the President of the European Parliament.

“The immigrants have been blocked on the vessel for already 14 days just one kilometer off the port of Lampedusa.”

“They are now giving up and are inflicting acts of self-harm, while they lose sense of reality.

The hygiene conditions on board are worse than ever and it is necessary to allow an immediate disembarkation of those on board.

I hope that the Italian authorities understand the gravity of the humanitarian emergency on board the vessel and agree to let them enter the port today,.” 

 

 

New Europeans fully supports President Sassoli's statement and join him in calling on the Italian authorities to allow for the immediate disembarkation of all those aboard the Open Arms.

We thank Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, for offering to allow the Open Arms to dock at Algercidas in Spain.

 

Follow the crisis on Twitter  #OpenArms

 


 

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