The German captain of the rescue ship, Sea-Watch 3, which defied the Italian government ban and docked at Lampedusa, has said she regrets any alarm caused when the ship trapped a police boat against the quay.
Carola Rakete was arrested on Saturday when she docked after spending two weeks in international waters with dozens of rescued African migrants on-board.
The boat has been impounded and is liable for a fine of up to €50,000 euros.
Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini called the incident “a criminal act, an act of war”.
Rebel without a choice?
“Carola was left without a choice. She was left completely alone by the authority of the many countries that she contacted," said Sea-Watch spokesperson Giorgina Linardi.
"For 17 days she received no support at all by any authority, and the only indication that she got was to disembark the people in Libya, a country at war and the very same country from where the people that we rescued were where escaping. Carole did also not expect that level of resistance by the authorities," added Linardi.
"It is absolutely true that Carola did not respect the order to stop when she entered the port. But was it really necessary to oppose in that way the manoeuvre? Was it really such a huge threat to have a rescue ship with 40 rescuees on board since 17 days just mooring in the closest port? Every day we have what we call ghost disembarkations, and ghost ships, full of desperate people and migrants coming to our coast," Lindardi said.
Forty-two migrants disembarked in the early hours on Saturday and are being processed.
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