05. August 2013 · Kommentare deaktiviert für Malta blockiert Tanker mit Flüchtlingen – Kollektivabschiebung nach Libyen droht · Kategorien: Italien, Libyen, Malta · Tags:

Bellow update 5, with statement by coalition of NGOS:
Nine NGOs urged Italy and Malta to ensure that all decisions involving the fate of the migrants gave topmost priority to the preservation of their lives.
Aditus, JRS, the Migrants’ Network for Equality, SOS Malta, the Emigrants’ Commission, Kopin, Integra Foundation, the Foundation for Shelter and Support to Migrants and the Organisation for Friendship in Diversity said:
„We remind Italy and Malta that the rescue operation should result in the migrants being disembarked at a safe port. We subscribe to, and strongly urge an interpretation of safe that is not limited to immediate physical safety but which also looks at the human rights situation the rescued persons would be exposed to.
„Will any rescued asylum-seekers have the opportunity to present their asylum claims in Libya, or will they be forcibly returned to their countries of origin? Will they be locked up in detention centres that violate their human dignity? Will they be exposed to risks of torture, rape, assault and other forms of physical and psychological violence? Will vulnerable individuals be provided with the necessary support?“
The NGOs applauded the „courage and commitment“ shown by the Salamis’ captain and crew, and urged coastal states to take due consideration of the human and commercial strain such incidents placed on private vessels.
„Italy and Malta need to ensure that all the rescued persons are not returned to a territory where they would be exposed to severe human rights violations.
„Furthermore, we also urge the European Union to contribute to the prevention of these incidents by exploring means of supporting the search and rescue efforts of Italy and Malta.
„We also urge the Italian and Maltese authorities to publish an incident report,“ they said

Monday 5 August 2013 – 10:07

Update 2 | Opposition supports ‘blockade’ to tanker carrying migrants

Italian authorities had ordered tanker to rescue and take migrants to Tripoli port, having been the nearest port of call.

A Liberian-flagged tanker carrying some 102 irregular migrants has been stopped from entering Maltese territorial waters, MaltaToday has learnt.
The sea vessel has now stopped at 24 nautical miles off Malta, exactly outside Malta’s territorial waters with the Armed Forces of Malta monitoring the vessel to ensure the ship does not cross into Malta’s waters.
The situation developed late on Sunday night when the Maltese government was informed of the vessel’s decision to head towards the island despite instructions to take the migrants to Tripoli.
Having had just left the port of Khoms in Libya, Italian authorities instructed MV Salamis to rescue migrants on board a dinghy and take them to the safest port of call. Found at 45 miles off the Libyan coast, the nearest port was Khoms.
MaltaToday is informed that instead of returning to the Libyan port after having rescued the migrants, MV Salamis continued with its planned route and headed towards Malta.
The Maltese government has since been in contact with the captain of MV Salamis informing him that access to enter Maltese waters was being denied.
The government insisted that once the migrants were rescued and out of danger, and it had been obliged to enter the closest port of call, the tanker could not enter Maltese territorial waters.
In a reaction, the Nationalist Party declared that the action was in accordance with international law.
„The government is taking the same position as that of the PN administration in identical circumstances, as per international law. In these identical situations, ships that had not taken migrants to the nearest, safest port of call were refused entry into Malta when these tried to enter Maltese waters… the Opposition hopes this action will have a positive outcome.“
This development came within hours of the arrival of 111 irregular migrants who landed in Delimara on Sunday evening. The group included 86 men, 15 women, nine children and a baby. The group landed unescorted on board a dinghy in Delimara shortly after 7pm. Members of the Rapid Intervention Unit were dispatched to the area.
An unconfirmed number of migrants were taken to Mater Dei Hospital.

Salamis case 4-5.08.2013

Monday, August 5, 2013, 06:13
Updated: Tanker carrying migrants stopped from entering Maltese waters – Government

A tanker that picked up migrants near Libya and was ordered by Italian authorities to turn back and take them to the safest port of call has been stopped from entering Maltese international waters.
A government spokesman said this morning the tanker was stopped by the Armed Forces of Malta, 24 nautical miles off the island.
The Liberian-registered tanker, had previously been informed it would not be allowed in Maltese territorial waters.
Maltese soldiers are currently in the area to assist and make sure the tanker does not enter Maltese waters, the spokesman said.
The government said early this morning that the MV Salamis picked up 102 migrants some 45 nautical off the Libyan coast after it was requested to do so by the Italian authorities.
The Italian authorities instructed the tanker to turn back and take the migrants to the closest safe port of call, which was Libya.
But the tanker ignored the instructions it was given and continued on its way to Malta.
It had picked up the migrants soon after leaving Khoms in Libya.
The Maltese Government informed the captain that as the migrants were saved and were not in danger, it would not be allowed in territorial waters as it had been obliged to enter the closest port of call.
More than 100 migrants arrived in Delimara on a raft yesterday evening, the first group to land on the island this month.
In April 2009, a tanker which had rescued 140 migrants off Lampedusa was refused entry by both Italy and Malta for three days.
The Maltese government had insisted that the MV Pinar was obliged to take the migrants it had rescued to the nearest harbour, which was Lampedusa. The migrants were eventually taken by Lampedusa.
The Opposition then had supported the stance taken by the government.

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