Malta denies the ‘Open Arms’ the landing of 278 refugees

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The Spanish NGO Open Arms has denounced that Malta has denied its homonymous ship, with 278 migrants rescued six days ago, a port to disembark, but also urgent evacuations of people with serious burns or pregnant or shelter before the strong storm. This was explained to Efe by the founder of the NGO, Oscar Camps, when describing the situation of the ship ‘Open Arms’ that after three rescues has 278 migrants on board, including pregnant women, children and up to 50 unaccompanied minors.

The latest rescue occurred during the afternoon of last Friday when they were alerted by a merchant about a boat in danger and which the Maltese authorities prohibited from providing assistance, Camps explained on Twitter. It was a barge whose occupants had been without water for three days, Without food. “It seems incredible that this continues to occur in waters of European responsibility,” added Camps.

“Of the 278 people on board, all of them need to disembark and immediate assistance, some for the violence suffered, others for rape, for burns and we also have 50 unaccompanied minors. All of them also need psychological assistance for the torture they have suffered in Libya, “he said.

And he denounced: “We have repeatedly asked Malta to take responsibility for these people and we have received repeated refusals and they have even rejected the evacuation of some seriously burned and pregnant women. “

Immediate port

He has also explained that the possibility of approaching the island has been rejected to find shelter before the strong storm that hits the area. Camps has added that now they will ask Italy for an immediate port or shelter to protect themselves from bad weather.

The ship ‘Open Arms’ was since last February in the Burriana dry dock where it underwent a deep and meticulous remodeling, and set sail for the Central Mediterranean after being equipped with devices to detect the coronavirus and with members of the Italian health organization Emergency on board.

Last weekend Italy allowed the 27 migrants to disembark that they had spent 39 days on board a Danish tanker after Malta’s refusal, after they were transferred to the Mare Jonio ship of the NGO Mediterranea Saving Human.



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