Mustafa AY – TDO – 14.08.2018 On Monday, Rome didn’t allow a humanitarian aid vessel called ‘Aquarius’ to anchor its safe harbors. Aquarius conducted a search and rescue operations off the Libyan coasts to save the asylum seekers from drowning. Since Italy didn’t let Aquarius anchor its own safe harbors, Aquarius with 141 asylum seekers has been waiting in international waters between Italy and Malta.
Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini closed all of ports to NGOs’ search-rescue vessel in June. In order to justify his decision, he put forward the remarks that Italy would not issue permission to human traffickers and their accomplices to perpetuate this crime. Therefore, Rome administration has recently rejected many NGOs’ humanitarian aid vessels such as French ‘Mediterranean and Doctors without Borders’ and Spanish ‘Proactiva Open Arms’ to anchor its own safe harbors.