Milan: An Italian humanitarian group barred from docking in Lampedusa said Friday that it is refusing to bring 54 migrants rescued at sea to Malta because of the distance and psychological conditions of those on board one of its ships.
Mediterranea Saving Humans tweeted that its ship was off Italy's southernmost island of Lampedusa, just outside Italian territorial waters, and that it has been banned from entering Italian jurisdiction by ministerial decree. The migrants were rescued from a rubber dinghy Thursday off Libya.
The NGO said the decree is illegitimate because it can't be applied to a ship carrying people rescued at sea, and because Italy can't ban an Italian-flagged ship from entering its waters. Malta says it will take the migrants in a deal with Italy to take an equal number already in Malta.