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Italy/Malta: Forcing Aquarius to Valencia undermines search and rescue system and sets deadly precedent

    June 12, 2018

    As the SOS Mediterranee rescue ship, MV Aquarius, heads to the Spanish port of Valencia, Elisa De Pieri, Amnesty International’s Italy Researcher said:

    “By closing their ports the Italian and Maltese governments are trampling the principle of rescue at sea and undermining the entire search and rescue system. If allowed to go unchallenged, it will discourage and compromise the lifesaving work of NGO’s leaving thousands of migrants and refugees adrift in the Mediterranean.

    “Whilst the offer by the Spanish government to welcome the Aquarius is a moving example of solidarity, it also highlights the calculated callousness of the Italian and Maltese authorities. This sets a precedent that will inevitably cost lives.”

    For more information, please contact Elizabeth Berton-Hunter, Media Relations 416-363-9933 ext 332 bberton-hunter@amnesty.ca

    Background

    The next European Council at the end of June will offer an opportunity for Italy to challenge the current rules of the European asylum system. https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/campaigns/2018/05/eu-dublin-iii-regulation-asylum-system-reform/

    Amnesty International issued this statement yesterday https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2018/06/italy-malta-stranded-refugees-and-migrants-must-be-immediately-allowed-to-dock/

     

     

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