- Title: Migrant rescue ship heads towards Malta to avoid standoff with Italy
- Date: 1st September 2019
- Summary: AT SEA (SEPTEMBER 1, 2019) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF GERMAN NGO SEA-EYE'S HEAD OF MISSION, JAN RIBBECK, SPEAKING WITH MIGRANT ON DECK OF RESCUE SHIP 'ALAN KURDI' MIGRANTS LISTENING TO RIBBECK RIBBECK SPEAKING WITH MIGRANT MIGRANT SLEEPING RIBBECK SPEAKING WITH MIGRANTS / MIGRANT TRANSLATING FROM FRENCH TO ARABIC (SOUNDBITE) (English) GERMAN NGO SEA-EYE'S HEAD OF MISSION, JAN RIBBECK, SAYING: "Last night (August 31) we received the decree from the Italian Ministry of Interior Affairs and that's why we don't want to stay or have a standoff before Lampedusa, and that's why we are sailing towards Malta. The reason is especially from that we saw and visited the (Italian rescue ship) Mare Jonio ship and they have much problems with water and sanitary and humanitarian things, so we don't want to increase their situation." MIGRANTS SEATED ON DECK (SOUNDBITE) (French) 27-YEAR-OLD TUNISIAN MIGRANT, NIZAR BOUALLAGUI, SAYING: "The reason why I left Tunisia... I graduated in electronic engineering with a specialization in industrial electronics and I also have a professional master's degree. I don't have work in Tunisia, so I left my country for this very reason, to work and to earn money." 'ALAN KURDI' RESCUE SHIP SAILING AT SEA
- Embargoed: 15th September 2019 14:21
- Keywords: Mediterranean Sea Italy Europe Mediterranea Saving Humans Malta rescue ship Alan Kurdi League leader Matteo Salvini German NGO Sea-Eye rescue ship Mare Jonio migrants
- Location: AT SEA
- City: AT SEA
- Country: At Sea
- Topics: Asylum/Immigration/Refugees,Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA001AUTTMPV
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:Rescue ship Alan Kurdi, operated by the German NGO Sea-Eye, was heading towards Malta on Sunday (September 1) after Rome denied the permission to enter Italian territorial waters.
"We received the decree from the Italian Ministry of Interior Affairs and that's why we don't want to stay or have a standoff," Sea-Eye's Head of Mission Jan Ribbeck told Reuters.
On Saturday (August 31) evening the Alan Kurdi vessel was opposite the Italian rescue ship Mare Jonio, operated by Italian charity 'Mediterranea Saving Humans', outside Italian territorial waters close to the Sicilian island of Lampedusa.
"We saw and visited the (Italian rescue ship) Mare Jonio ship and they have much problems with water and sanitary and humanitarian things so we don't want to increase their situation," Ribbeck added.
On Saturday the Alan Kurdi rescued 13 migrants from a small wooden craft in the Mediterranean, 34 nautical miles southwest of Lampedusa. The migrants, all young men in good health, said they were from Tunisia.
One of them, 27-year-old Nizar Bouallagui, said he spent two days at sea before being rescued, adding that he chose to leave his country to earn money.
Earlier this week Rome agreed to allow women, children and sick people on board the Mare Jonio to disembark through a transfer operated by coastguards but refused to lift its ban on the ship entering Italian waters.
Italian authorities are banning non-governmental organisations from bringing migrants ashore, after Italy's outgoing interior minister Matteo Salvini imposed a closed ports policy in the last year to stem illegal immigration from North Africa, calling for other European countries to share responsibility for refugees' shelter.
(Production: Darrin Zammit Lupi, Fabiano Franchitti)
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