Italy to start fining NGOs that rescue migrants at sea

epa06294598 The Commander of the Portuguese Navy vessel signals to a boat carrying 48 migrants as it nears the Portuguese Navy Viana do Castelo Oceanic Patrol Ship, off the coast of Pozzallo, Sicily, Italy, 27 October 2017, (issued 28 October 2017). Reports state that 48 migrants were rescued on 27 October 2017 by the Portuguese Navy in the Mediterranean landed in Pozzallo on 28 October 2017 and were handed over to the Italian authorities 19 hours after being picked up from a vessel at risk of fire. EPA-EFE/JOSE SENA GOULAO

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A decree adopted by the Italian government would force non-governmental organizations to pay between €10,000 and €50,000 for transporting rescued migrants to Italian ports.

Apart from that, the decree authorizes the requisition of the vessels of rescuers who repeatedly dock without authorization. The fines would be payable by the captain, the operator and the owner of the rescue ship.

The decree allows police to investigate possible migrant trafficking operations by going undercover. It also makes it easier to eavesdrop electronically on suspected people smugglers. Other sections of the decree impose stricter punishments on rioters and violent football fans.

The decree has already been criticized by the United Nations and the office of the Italian president.


Via DW


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