Italy bans German rescue ship with 100 migrants

August 27, 2019 - 6:48 am

MILAN (AP) — Italy's hard-line interior minister, Matteo Salvini, has banned a German humanitarian ship carrying migrants rescued off Libya from entering Italian territorial waters.

Decrees such as the one signed Tuesday have become routine in Salvini's bid to prevent humanitarian rescue ships from bringing migrants to Italy.

This one targets a vessel operated by the German group Lifeline that picked up about 100 people Monday in a rubber lifeboat some 50 kilometers (31 miles) off the Libyan coast. Lifeline has urged the German government to help identify a safe harbor.

While Italy and Malta are the closest European ports, Italy has constructed a policy to exclude humanitarian rescue ships. Malta generally has accepted migrants rescued in its area of responsibility. The positions have led to numerous standoffs.

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