NGO-run ship Mare Jonio seized

epa07449077 49 migrants on board of the Italian-flagged NGO rescue ship Mare Ionio prior to disembark on the orders of Guardia di Finanza tax police at Lampedusa's port, Italy, 19 March 2019. Italy's Interior Minister Matteo Salvini had previously refused to allow Mediterranea Saving Humans to moor in a port. EPA-EFE/ELIO DESIDERIO

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Italian Finance police seized the NGO run ship ‘Mare Jonio’ on Friday after the search-and-rescue ship picked up 30 migrants in the Mediterranean.

The finance police boarded the ship to carry out a check on Friday after the Mare Jonio entered Italian waters. The ship was then allowed to enter the port of the Italian island of Lampedusa to be put under sequester.

Deputy Premier and Interior Minister Matteo Salvini had reaffirmed his policy of closing Italy’s ports to NGO-run migrant-rescue ships when commenting on the Mare Jonio’s latest operation on Thursday.

On Friday he said the latest development had not undermined that policy.

“From what I know, the Jonio is not entering Lampedusa as a free ship,” he said. The sequester is linked to accusations against the crew of alleged aiding of illegal immigration.

The NGO, Mediterranea Saving Humans, said five minors, including a one-year-old child, and two pregnant women were among the people rescued on Thursday some 40 miles from Libyan coast.


Via Rai News

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