Forty migrants rescued by German charity ship arrive in Malta

Forty migrants rescued by German charity ship arrive in Malta
Copyright Reuters/Juan Medina
Copyright Reuters/Juan Medina
By Lauren Chadwick
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A group of migrants were rescued by Sea Eye's Alan Kurdi ship. The ship arrived in Malta after being banned from Italy.


A group of 40 migrants were allowed to enter a port in Malta after their German rescue ship, the Alan Kurdi, appealed to Malta's Prime Minister Joseph Muscat to intervene.

Italy had referred the ship to Maltese authorities even though the vessel was right near Lampedusa, Sea-Eye said on Thursday (August 1).

Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat announced on Saturday evening that the ship would arrive in a Maltese port but he specified that "no migrant will remain in Malta."

The vessel's arrival in Malta comes following a request from Germany and an arrangement by the European Commission for the migrants to be transferred to other EU member states, Muscat said.

The charity Sea-Eye had rescued 40 migrants from an overcrowded dinghy on Wednesday (July 31). Among them were a baby and two toddlers, the charity organisation said. Two survivors of a bombing at a Libyan detention camp were also on board.

The bombing at the detention centre killed roughly 50 people three weeks ago. Sea Eye said it would not bring people back to Libya.

"We will obey international law and will not bring anyone back to a civil war country. Libya is not safe!" the charity tweeted.

Another charity rescue ship stranded

A Spanish charity rescue ship remains stranded in the Mediterranean after Italy threatened to seize the vessel and issue a €50,000 fine if it enters Italian waters.

The non-profit organisation Open Arms tweeted on Sunday that they still did not have "authorisation to disembark the 121 people" on board.

"Their life stories are devastating. No one should have to go through that. It is an urgent priority to find safe harbour," the Barcelona-based organisation tweeted.

On Saturday, the NGO shared photos of the Italian Coastguard evacuating two pregnant women off the rescue ship.

The migrants were picked up from two rafts on Thursday.

Italy’s interior minister Matteo Salvini has hit out at Europe, saying they are treating Italy as their refugee camp. The far-right politician has continuously refused to allow charity vessels to disembark in the country.

Watch an earlier report about the two vessels and the coastguard's evacuation of two pregnant women in the video player above.

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