89 migrants allowed to disembark migrant ship in Italy as others remain stranded

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By Euronews  with AP
Protests have erupted on the Humanity 1 ship after some 35 men were not allowed to disembark.
Protests have erupted on the Humanity 1 ship after some 35 men were not allowed to disembark.   -   Copyright  screenshot video

A German humanitarian group said it docked its ship in southern Italy early Tuesday and disembarked 89 people rescued at sea, ending one migrant rescue saga as others continue under Italy's new hard-right government.

Mission Lifeline posted videos on social media of the 25-metre 'Rise Above' freighter docking in Reggio Calabria. It said the “odyssey of 89 passengers and nine crew members on board seems to be over.” 

The group had waited at sea for days for Italy to assign it a port after it entered Italian waters over the weekend without consent because of rough seas. Six of the original 95 people were evacuated at sea for medical reasons.

Italy has refused to assign migrant rescue ships with a port of safety as the new far-right-led government of Giorgia Meloni takes a hardline with immigration. Authorities insist the boats must be returned to international waters with those not deemed vulnerable, and that the countries whose flags the ships fly take the migrants in.

Two NGO-run boats are currently docked in Catania, in Sicily. One with 35 people that Italy won’t allow to disembark, and the other with 214 people. Both ships are refusing to leave, saying that under international law all people rescued at sea are vulnerable and entitled to a safe port. Protests have erupted on board.

"This is chickenpox. We can't bathe her, it's been 10 days since we last bathed her," Moussa said while holding his child. 

"She can't eat, she only cries. Have mercy on this baby."

The Geo Barents ship, carrying 572 migrants, arrived at the port on Sunday, but only families and those with medical problems were allowed to leave.