Spanish rescue ship Open Arms at sea with around 120 migrants after docking permission denied

AT SEA: Open Arms is waiting for permission to dock with its passengers (file photo). Credit: Shutterstock

THE Spanish Open Arms migrant rescue ship spent its fifth night at sea yesterday (Monday) with more than 120 on board after Italy and Malta refused it permission to dock.

The NGO which operates the boat said their passengers included one mother-of-two who was tortured and raped in Libya while trying to protect her children.

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Another 25-year-old was found with bullet wounds in his feet after being shot while trying to flee a Libyan detention centre.

Open Arms said it was told by Malta to call on Spain, as its flag state, to put in a request with the EU to resolve the situation.

EU member states are required to submit requests so migrants can be distributed in countries across the block.

The EU said it had not yet received a request from a member st.ate to resolve the situation.

Open Arms director Oscar Camp is thought to have asked Spanish officials to put in a request.

Spanish Development Minister Jose Luis Abalos said the EU needed a ‘common policy’ on migration.

“Spain cannot have the image of being the only safe harbour,” Abalos said.

Malta has twice refused to allow the boat to dock while Italy did not respond. The two countries offer the nearest safest ports and their refusal breaks international maritime rescue agreements.

Italy recently passed a law making any humanitarian ship which enters its waters liable for a €1,000,000 fine.


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