Italian gov’t arrest rescue ship captain
The Dutch-flagged Sea-Watch 3, operated by German charity Sea-Watch, has been at sea for more than two weeks with 40 rescued Africans on board. The Africans were allowed to disembark and were taken to a reception center on the island.
ITALIAN LAW AGAINST MIGRANT-RESCUE SHIPS
After waiting in international waters for an invitation from Italy or an EU state to accept the ship, captain Carola Rackete decided this week to sail for the southern Italian island of Lampedusa but was blocked by Italian government vessels. But in the early hours of Saturday morning, Rackete entered the port where the ship docked amid a heavy police presence.
Live television video showed the 31-year old German being taken off Sea-Watch 3 by tax police and driven away amid applause and barracking from bystanders gathered at the port.
She has been arrested for “resisting a war ship”, a charge which, according to media reports, carries a penalty of up to 10 years in prison.
Italy’s right-wing interior minister, Matteo Salvini, who is taking a tough line against migrant rescue ships, previously said he would only allow Rackete to dock when other European Union states agree to immediately take the migrants.