The Malta Independent 20 June 2019, Thursday

Malta among five countries refusing to grant port of safety to 32 rescued migrants – NGO

Thursday, 27 December 2018, 10:50 Last update: about 7 months ago

Malta is among five countries refusing to grant a port of safety to 32 rescued migrants onboard the Sea-Watch 3, the same Sea-Watch said in a statement on Thursday.

“Five countries of the so-called Christian West have denied the rescue ship Sea-Watch 3, its crew of 22, and their 32 rescued guests any help in finding a port of safety over the Christmas holidays. The ship remains stranded at sea – in yet another political limbo, proving the EU’s blatant reluctance to make even the smallest humanitarian concession to its deadly anti-migration policy”, the NGO said in its statement.

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The five countries mentioned by the NGO are Malta, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands and Germany. The Sea-Watch 3 crew saved 32 people from drowning, including four women, three unaccompanied minors, two young children and a baby, last Saturday, the NGO said.

Philip Hahn, Head of Mission on the vessel said that they had been denied a port of safety for six days now, and that while the boat is well-equipped, treacherous weather is “taking its toll on the already weakened people”.

He called for Europe to take responsibility and for Germany to set an example, noting that more than 30 German cities and several federal states have declared themselves to be “safe havens” and willing to accept those rescued from distress at sea.

Therefore, Hahn said, Sea-Watch demands that the German Federal Government and the Minister of the Interior, Horst Seehofer, “make use of §23 of the Residence Act, providing those who fled war, torture and death in Libya with a solution that does justice to human rights, the Geneva Convention on Refugees and the alleged European values.”

“It is an act of shame and inhumanity that Germany and Europe not only push away their responsibility, but also reject the offer of solidarity cities to accept the rescued,” Hahn said.

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