Mass immigration to Europe. NGO boats

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Ariel
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Mass immigration to Europe. NGO boats

Post by Ariel »

A New Calais? Migrant "Jungle" Forms On Serbia-Croatia Border
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After the Serbian government shut down an official migrant center in this town on the Croatian border, an informal camp arose next to the train station. Locals were quick to start calling it “the Jungle,” a reference to the sprawling makeshift camp in Calais, France that had long been a decrepit home to thousands of migrants seeking to cross the English Channel.

More than 100 people have been stuck here since the border was closed in the autumn of 2016, taking shelter in the railway tracks and an abandoned factory nearby. In the last few weeks, many have left on a new route to the European Union through Bosnia-Herzegovina.

“That route is simpler because the border with Bosnia is longer, and there are drones patrolling the Croatian border now,” says an Afghan migrant named Yamal.

Officials are discouraging migrants from traveling through Bosnia. “There’s only one center there,” says Marc Pratllusà of the Spanish NGO No Name Kitchen. “We went there a few days ago, and the situation still needs to stabilize.”

For the migrants stuck in Šid, their informal leader is Komando, an Afghan man fluent in English who earned his nickname fighting in a militia group. After suffering an injury that left him in the hospital for four months, he traveled across several countries and gained an intimate knowledge of border issues along the way.

While Komando sits under the shade eating corn served by No Name Kitchen, other members of the camp’s Afghan community and Spanish volunteers play a game with dice and bottle caps. Seated just a few feet away in the brush near the railway tracks is 24-year-old Lucky, one of the few Pakistanis in Šid. Impeccably dressed in a vest over a red polo, he tells his story of fleeing the Taliban by paying smugglers more than $5,000 to travel to Turkey and onto Europe.

“I’ve been here for five months and ten days, but I want to go to Croatia because the smugglers say it’s better than Bosnia,” he says. “I’m here with my cousin but this could be our last night here, God willing.”

An engineer with a perfect English accent, he is convinced he’ll find work and a better future in Italy. “No one goes alone, we all have someone to help us cross the border,” he says. “In Italy they don’t deport you, and there are more job opportunities there.”

Everyone in the Šid camp has been pushed back from the border at least once. Some try to cross into Croatia once a week, and many have been here for more than a year. Others, like Yamal and his cousin Jamil, use it as a pitstop before leaving as soon as possible. After spending one day in Šid, the two 17-year-olds with hopeful eyes will leave for Bosnia with a larger group. “We slept here in a tent amid the ruins, but tomorrow we will leave,” says one.

A large faded sign overhanging the decrepit buildings marks the entrance to the camp. Graffiti in different languages is scrawled on the walls and a small swing hangs from metal tubes. Any shaded spot in sight is taken up by a tent, and a single large water tank serves the entire community.

Volunteers from No Name Kitchen help fill the tank and bring more to provide bathing water. “There were many more organizations here in the winter, when it was very cold and there were a hundred people here,” says Pratllusà. “Now we’re the only ones left.”

The spotlight of the migrant crisis has shifted elsewhere.
In the last few months, the media attention that came with the spotlight of the European migrant crisis has shifted elsewhere as politicians tout the closing of the so-called “Balkan route.” Locals in Šid aren’t buying it.

“The data tells us that the number of people entering Serbia isn’t decreasing, with 456 arriving in April and 250 in the first two weeks of May,” says Sara Ristić of Info Park, a local organization that provides migrants arriving in Belgrade with essential information to navigate the city. “The outflow towards Bosnia is a new phenomenon, as well as the arrival of more Iranians overstaying their tourist visas and other migrants expelled here from Bulgaria, Hungary, and Croatia.”

While numbers aren’t falling, they don’t seem to be rising either. According to an April 2018 report by the Belgrade-based NGO Refugees Aid Serbia, 33% of migrants who tried to enter Croatia were pushed back, compared to 31% for those seeking to cross into Hungary.

“Border police often commit acts of violence against these people,” says Stephanie Moissaing of Doctors Without Borders, which operates in Serbia. “They cause psychological and physical injuries which could make the victims more aggressive.”

The Bosnian Ministry of Defense reported that 2,280 migrants have been found attempting to illegally enter the country so far in 2018, with 1,967 of them apprehended at the border. The number of arrivals is rising but the country remains unprepared for the influx. Serbia operates at least five government-run migrant centers, but almost all those arriving in Bosnia flock to the northwestern town of Bihac on the border with Croatia.

Bosnian authorities and the local press have condemned the growing inflow of people but have proposed little in the way of solutions. NGOs warn of an imminent emergency if migrants begin to cross into Bosnia by traversing the river Drina, which marks a long stretch of the border with Serbia.

“The camps are overflowing because there are too many people housed in them,” says Moissaing. “But for the people arriving in Bosnia, it’s an important psychological victory. They’ve taken a step forward, even though the next one will be even more difficult.”
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Re: Mass immigration to Europe

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Viktor Orban: There is no document that says EU countries must accept migrants

A compromise cannot be made in the dispute over migration, Prime Minister Viktor Orban said on Saturday, and added that “there is no need for such a compromise”.

Orban addressed a conference marking the first anniversary of the death of German Chancellor Helmut Kohl, and said we know of no such document that says “if you join the European Union, you must become a country for migrants”.

Orban also said that “Hungary is aware of its strength, weight and responsibilities in the EU and does not seek to assume a political role at the European level”. “We are a proud people, which knows itself and assesses the situation realistically.

Where we do have definite ambitions is Central Europe and the Visegrad Four,” he insisted. He added that Hungary wants to be one of the region’s “strong and closely cooperating countries which help and encourage each other”. He noted that Hungary has “serious disputes with Brussels and with some EU members” and said it was “tempting to believe” that Hungary could influence European policies. He added, however, that “we must resist that temptation and concentrate on our national interests instead”.

Hungary acknowledges Poland’s leading role in central Europe and “Hungary, with its own strength, is working to build cooperation between states of central Europe”, Orban said. Hungary also seeks to promote the European integration of the Western Balkans, with special regard to Serbia, he added.

The prime minister said that building a strong Europe requires strong nation states. Concerning the EU, he said that the community was “still rich but weakening” and insisted that the future of Europe was conditional on its ability to protect its external borders. Once those borders are protected, he said, the migrants already in Europe “will not need to be distributed but returned home”.

Orban said that Hungary could help common European policies in several areas such as “offering a good example in economic reforms or assistance in returning migrants back home”. “Assistance needs to be exported rather than importing problems,” he added.

He also said that, apart from its readiness to help and advise Europe, Hungary will continue to stick to its position and “will not be forced to do something we do not want”. He said that if members of the community “cannot accept or at least tolerate each other’s standpoint concerning migration or the EU budget, they should wait for voters to express their wish at the European Parliamentary elections in 2019”. “Then come what may,” he added. He said that the European Commission had become “a tool in the hands of the large states against small states” and insisted that “this commission will have to go in 2019”.

Concerning the EU budget draft, Orban said it was “pro-migration … just like the European Commission”. The draft, he insisted, was aimed at channelling “the money of European citizens” to migrants and NGOs. “It is as if George Soros had drafted it,” Orban argued.

In another development, Orban said that although leaders of the European People’s Party “had made mistakes to our detriment” Hungary’s ruling Fidesz will “stick to the EPP and Helmut Kohl’s ideals: rather than deserting we will undertake the more difficult task of renewing the EPP and help it find its way back to its Christian Democratic roots”.

Orban said that the EPP had been “slowly but continuously” losing its strength during the past 15 years because it had “created an anti-populist people’s front” as against the emerging new parties. He added, however, that this tendency should be replaced by a “Christian Democratic renaissance”.
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Re: Mass immigration to Europe

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Watch: 200 Migrants Attempt to Storm Croatian Border Yelling ‘Allahu Akbar

A mob of 200 migrants attempted to storm the Croatian border at Maljevac shouting “Allahu Akbar” as they fought with police who deployed tear gas against them.
The clip, which was released over the weekend, shows the group of migrants attempting to cross a small canal and push through the line of police wearing protective gear. The incident occurred at the Croatian town of Maljevac, which lies on the border with Bosnia, Kronen Zeitung reports.

The attempted forced border crossing comes only a month after the Croatian government warned that the Balkan route was seeing tens of thousands of migrants wanting to find a new way to reach Western Europe.

According to the Croatian Interior Ministry, at least 60,000 migrants are currently making their way through Greece, then Albania, Montenegro, Bosnia, and finally attempting to cross into Croatia.

“If they find a weakness here, they will be in trouble,” a source from the Interior Ministry said.

While the new populist Italian government coalition has made steps to curb illegal migration, with Interior Minister Matteo Salvini banning migrant transport NGO ships from Italian ports, other members of the European Union such as Greece and Spain are seeing a rise in migrant numbers.

In Greece, Dimitris Mavrides, mayor of the town of Orestiada, situated along the Turkish border, said his town was being overwhelmed with illegal migrants and asylum seekers. “Our reception facilities are overwhelmed and things are on the verge of spinning out of control. Far more are coming than are actually being registered,” he said.

Over the weekend, leaders from 16 EU member states gathered for an informal summit to discuss the migration issue. The meeting was important for German Chancellor Angela Merkel whose coalition allies have given her two weeks to find a “European solution” to the problem or face the possible break-up of the current government.

Merkel came away from the summit without a deal but has another chance on Thursday when a further summit on the issue will be held.
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Re: Mass immigration to Europe

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The EU has provided 2 million migrants with unlawful cash cards worth 1.55 billion euros in an effort to legalise illegal migration

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Over two million migrants have received anonymous debit cards at a cost of €1.55 billion, according to the Hungarian government.

“Over two million migrants have received anonymous debit cards. The equivalent of 500 billion forints (1.55 bn euros) has been spent in this manner”, Chief Security Advisor to the Prime Minister György Bakondi said on Hungarian M1 television.

Mr. Bakondi said that the cards are unlawful, because European citizens cannot own anonymous banking cards, they cannot be monitored, and no public procurement procedure was launched for their issuing.

“This solution, which has not been thought through and is unlawful, and other efforts on the part of the European Union to legalise illegal migration such as the migrant visa and the establishment of legal channels for immigration, represent a security risk with healthcare, economic and cultural consequences for Hungarian and European citizens”, he stated.

In the Chief Security Advisor’s opinion, the EU doesn’t want to stop migration, but legalise it.

“Hungary, however, does not agree with this. Hungary’s opinion is that the problem must not be brought into Europe, but that instead, assistance must be provided to enable problems to be solved on site”, he added.

Mr. Bakondi also mentioned that the good weather has led to an increase in the number of migrants on the Balkan migration route.
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Re: Mass immigration to Europe

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NGO Doctors Without Border calls on Germany to take in thousands of migrants from Libya

The NGO ‘Doctors Without Borders’ has urged the German government to take in thousands of asylum seekers currently being held in facilities in Libya who they say are at risk because of military conflict in the region.

In a press release, the NGO urged Germany to take in a total of 3.800 migrants who the group described as being in ‘acute danger’ in detention facilities near the Tripoli – the country’s capital – since some are located close to military installations.

The CEO of the German Branch of Doctors Without Borders, Florian Westphal, claimed that the German government is responsible for the circumstance because of the EU’s continued support for the Libyan coastguard which returns migrants attempting to cross the Mediterranean Sea back to the country.

Westphal claimed that the transfer of migrants to Germany “has to be done immediately before the next airstrike takes place”.

According to the NGO, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Libya is currently holding 5,695 migrants. The group argues that living conditions in the various detention facilities “were completely unacceptable even before the fighting, and now they have continued to deteriorate”.

Doctors Without Borders, who in the past has carried out migrant collection operations off the Libyan coast, has discontinued their missions after Italy’s interior minister Matteo Salvini closed the country’s ports to migrant transport ships last year.

The Aquarius, a ship owned and operated by Doctors Without Borders, is estimated to have brought almost 30,000 migrants into Italy during the span of their operations which first began in February of 2016.

Although Doctors Without Borders may have abandoned their mission to bring tens of thousands of migrants into Europe for the time being, the German-based NGO Sea-Watch hasn’t.

Two of the NGO’s captains, Carola Rackete and Pia Klemp, are currently under investigation by the Italian government for aiding in human trafficking.

Rackete, who risked the lives of coast guard members when she rammed the Sea Watch 3 into a coast guard vessel while attempting to illegally dock at a port in Italy, has called on the German government to take in all of the migrants from Libya which are estimated to be between half a million and a million people.
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Re: Mass immigration to Europe

Post by Fernando »

That is clearly untrue - it's not the fault of the people who won't let then go North, it's the fault of the people who moved them up from the South in the first place - e.g. smugglers - or encouraged them to move up, e.g. Merkel. Or did both - e.g. Soros.
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Re: Mass immigration to Europe

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Germany to Italy: “Open your ports to the 3rd world!”

Germany’s interior minister Horst Seehofer has called on his counterpart in Italy, Matteo Salvini, to reopen the country’s ports to migrant transport vessels as NGOs increase their people-trafficking operations off the Libyan coast.

Seehofer, an open borders politician, has asked Italy’s national populist interior minister why he has closed his country’s ports when most of the migrants eventually end up docking and disembarking regardless, Il Giornale reports.

“I want to avoid the same pattern being repeated every time, with a ship with migrants waiting for eight or 14 days in front of Italy’s coasts and Salvini who does not want them to go ashore. But it always ends up docking anyway, either because migrants collapse, get sick, or there are pregnant women,” the German interior minister said.

Seehofer’s comments come on the heels of an agreement that was reached between the EU and Italy on Wednesday which allowed migrants on board of an Italian coastguard vessel to disembark at an Italian port so long as they would be relocated to other EU member states.

In response to his German counterpart’s words, Matteo Salvini said, “We are not opening anything, the ports remain closed,” adding “We are not the refugee camp in Europe.”

Salvini’s defiant words echo statements he made while responding to French President Emmanuel Macron after Macron condemned him for not showing up to a conference on migration Paris.

“Italy will not be your refugee camp… There is the port of Marseille, don’t come and put pressure on us. If you expect us to sign a document where ships arrive in Italy, you are wrong. Italians are no longer going to be anyone’s slaves,” Salvini retorted.

Recently, NGOs operating migrant transport vessels in the Mediterranean have ramped up their efforts.

French NGO SOS Mediterranee’s new ship announced that it had resumed its collection and transportation of migrants into Europe.

The German NGO Sea-Eye’s “Alan Kurdi” ship announced that it too had resumed its migrant collection and transportation service as well.

Earlier in the week, a spokesperson for Sea-Eye Gordon Isler announced that it had picked up 40 migrants while mentioning that the closest safe port was the Italian port of Lampedusa.

In a statement directed at NGOs who claim have migrant’s best interests at heart, Salvini said: “If the NGO really cares about the health of immigrants, it can set a course for Tunisia: if instead, they think of coming to Italy as if nothing had happened, they have the wrong minister.”
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Re: Mass immigration to Europe

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Authorities catch 76 invaders in two days in North Macedonia


SKOPJE, North Macedonia (AP) — A border patrol in North Macedonia has detained 40 migrants found crammed into a van near a central town, and arrested the driver on suspicion of trafficking them, police said Thursday.

Police said the 36 Afghans and four Pakistanis were discovered late on Wednesday in a van near the town of Stip, some 90 kilometers (56 miles) south of North Macedonia’s capital Skopje.

The migrants are believed to have entered North Macedonia illegally from Greece. They were transferred to a detention center in the border town of Gevgelija pending deportation back to Greece.

North Macedonia was part of what became known as the “Balkan route” for migrants and refugees seeking to make their way to more prosperous countries of the European Union. Although that route has been shut for years, thousands still pay large sums to smugglers to help them through Balkan borders.

According to the latest data available, in the first three weeks of January, a total of 1,365 migrants have been detained after entering North Macedonia illegally.
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Re: Mass immigration to Europe

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NGO resumes migrant pick-ups in Mediterranean amid global pandemic


The Alan Kurdi migrant rescue boat is heading back out into the Mediterranean after a two-month break despite the coronavirus pandemic, according to the German organisation that operates it.

The boat has already left port in Spain where it had been undergoing repairs and is expected to reach waters off the coast of Libya this weekend, NGO Sea Eye said in a statement on Monday evening.

Led by German captain Baerbel Beuse, the Alan Kurdi will be the only rescue boat operating in the area, the NGO said.

Due to the spread of COVID-19, Sea Eye is taking extra security precautions and has established an “outbreak management plan”, according to mission manager Jan Ribbeck.
“We have sufficient personal protective equipment for our crew on board,” he said.

Sea rescue operations currently face great difficulties finding a safe harbour, according to Sea Eye.

Italy, the most common destination for rescue boats, has been ravaged more than any other country by the coronavirus, with more than 100,000 confirmed cases and 11,000 deaths.

Border closures have also prevented other NGOs from mobilising staff from across Europe for rescue missions, Sea Eye said.

“It is a miracle that we were able to put together a crew, train them and prepare them for the special circumstances,” said Gordon Isler, chairman of Sea Eye.

Two other rescue boats, the Ocean Viking run by the NGO SOS Mediterranee and the Spanish Open Arms vessel, are currently still in port.

In 2019, the International Organization for Migration recorded 1,283 deaths in the Mediterranean, with the route between North Africa and Italy the deadliest.

At least 19,164 migrants are estimated to have died at sea in the last five years.
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Re: Mass immigration to Europe

Post by pr126 »

These “dogooders” must be paid well by Soros to carry on it this Covid-19 pandemic.
They should be jailed for endangering lives in the Europe.
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Re: Mass immigration to Europe. NGO boats

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Alan Kurdi still looking for safe harbor as Germany issues appeal to halt rescues

The global coronavirus pandemic is also affecting sea rescue operations. While the Alan Kurdi rescue vessel continues to look for safe harbor in the Mediterranean, the German interior ministry launched an appeal saying that private rescue missions should halt their activities for the time being during the COVID-19 crisis.

With 150 migrants on board, the "Alan Kurdi" rescue vessel, which is run by the German NGO Sea-Eye, continues to seek a harbor to set its sails to, as Italy refuses to open any of its ports to the boat amid the COVID-19 crisis.

Sea-Eye spokesman Gordon Isler told the epd news agency that the vessel had never carried this many passengers on board before, stressing that the current situation could no longer be tenable, and that the level of morale among its migrant passengers was low and the mood slowly getting aggressive. Among the rescued is a pregnant woman, according to the AFP news agency.

The organization said on Twitter that many of the rescued migrants on board were exhausted and needed a safe harbor.

The Alan Kurdi had picked up the migrants off the Libyan coast earlier in the week. Sea-Eye said that the rescued migrants had originally hoped to reach the Italian coast on two crammed wooden vessels with no rescue vests on board at all.

German government 'lets people drown'

The German government said that it was engaged in talks with all parties involved to bring the current situation to an agreeable solution for all. But it also attracted considerable criticism, as the German interior ministry made a controversial announcement directed at private sea rescue organizations.

It said that rescue missions should be suspended during the coronavirus pandemic after both Italy and Malta had announced they wouldn't be accepting any rescue boats amid the ongoing crisis situation. The German interior ministry said specifically that in the absence of other options, rescue missions should therefore stop operating in the Mediterranean and recall their boats.

There were strong reactions among sea rescue organizations to the appeal by the German government. Ruben Neugebauer, spokesman of the German sea rescue organization Sea-Watch said the recommendation issued by the ministry was equal to an appeal to let people drown. The NGO took to Twitter to share its views on the ongoing crisis at sea.

Neugebauer also suggested that migrants stranded in Mediterranean waters — like those currently aboard the Alan Kurdi — could theoretically and under the extraordinary circumstances of the present be transferred to EU vessels operating as part of Mission Irini, which is in charge of ensuring the weapons embargo against Libya. "But no such efforts are being made whatsoever," he added.

Against international law?

There were also some harsh words by SOS Mediteranee, which along with Doctors Without Borders (MSF) runs the "Ocean Viking" rescue mission. The organization said that the appeal by the German interior ministry amounted to an infringement on international law.

"People continue to escape on boats that aren't seaworthy. When harbors close, more people are left to drown," SOS Mediterranee said in a statement. Various sea rescue operators have meanwhile also said that they expect the number of people trying to flee to Europe to rise if the novel coronavirus continues to spread in Libya, which is where the vast majority of migrants depart from.

Italy under lockdown

According to Italian government information, nearly 3,000 migrants rescued at sea have been brought to Italian shores so far this year. While more than 1,200 migrants arrived in Italy in February 2020, the number fell considerably in March to 241 landings and 177 in the first week of April.

Italy has been under a nationwide coronavirus lockdown since March 10, 2020, and is one of the worst-hit countries globally with a current death toll of more than 17,000 people.
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Re: Mass immigration to Europe. NGO boats

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Italy evacuates 3 migrants from ship for medical reasons

Italy evacuated three migrants for medical reasons from an NGO-run ship in the Mediterranean on Wednesday, despite the government’s continuing insistence that it will not accept migrants due to the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Captain Bärbel Beuse of the Alan Kurdi, a ship which is operated by the pro-migrant Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) Sea-Eye, requested the evacuation of three migrants from his vessel due to medical emergencies, according to a report by Malta Today. The Italian Coast Guard sent one of their ships in response.

Sea-Eye claimed in a tweet that one of the three migrants, a 24-year-old man, had made a suicide attempt. According to the ship’s doctor, the migrant was in a state of severe anxiety due to his earlier experiences in a Libyan prison.

The Alan Kurdi is carrying 149 migrants, and has been waiting for permission to disembark its passengers since April 6. The Italian government, however, is refusing to take any more migrants. The Italians insist that due to the ongoing coronavirus crisis, their medical resources are already overtaxed, making it impossible to care for migrants as well, as previously reported by Voice of Europe.


Captain Beuse has accused both Italy and Malta, which is also refusing to accept migrants, of using the pandemic as a pretext to deny migrants the right to enter Italy as refugees.

Jan Ribbeck, Sea-Eye’s Manager of Operations, said that the migrants on the Alan Kurdi are so desperate that they became extremely agitated when the Coast Guard vessel approached, and that some of the migrants had considered jumping into the water in an attempt to reach it.

On Wednesday, Sea-Eye also claimed in a tweet that another migrant had jumped overboard out of desperation, hoping to reach European shores.

In the meantime, the Italian government has suggested evacuating the remaining passengers aboard the Alan Kurdi to another, larger vessel so that they can be quarantined.

The International Organisation of Migration reported on Wednesday that a boat carrying 51 migrants had been rescued by a commercial vessel in the Mediterranean and returned to Libya. They alleged that 5 migrants had died and another 7 were missing.

Besides the Alan Kurdi, another ship, the Spanish vessel Aita Mari, is also waiting off the coast of Lampedusa to deliver its passengers. It is carrying 43 migrants.

Sea-Eye’s representatives are accusing the European Union member states of “increased brutality” and a “new ruthlessness” towards the migrants and the pro-migrant organizations, claiming that they are allowing tragedies to happen as a deterrent to dissuade more migrants from attempting to cross the Mediterranean.
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Re: Mass immigration to Europe. NGO boats

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Those guys are better protected against the corona virus than the nurses in the nursing homes in Holland.

ITALIAN PORTS REOPENED:
180 illegal boat migrants to be redistributed across EU amid pandemic

Image

Some 180 migrants rescued at sea will be held in isolation on an Italian ferry off the coast of Sicily, the coast guard said Sunday.

Italy has refused to take in saved migrants due to the coronavirus epidemic, saying the outbreak, which has killed over 23,000 people, meant it could no longer be considered a port of safety.

Thirty-four people pulled to safety by Spanish NGO rescue vessel Aita Mari were being transferred Sunday to the Rubattino ferry, which is anchored outside the port of Palermo and staffed by 22 Red Cross volunteers.

They join 146 migrants who were transferred to the ferry on Friday from the The Alan Kurdi rescue vessel, run by the German NGO Sea Eye.

They will be tested for the virus and redistributed among EU countries once the 14-day isolation period is up, according to Italian media reports.

The 180-metre long Tirrenia ferry can carry 1,471 passengers, and has 289 cabins, a medical center, restaurant, bars, and a children’s play area.

It was not clear whether the migrants would be confined to individual cabins.
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Re: Mass immigration to Europe. NGO boats

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Italy: 56 illegal boat migrants land in Lampedusa amid pandemic

Italian authorities brought 59 illegal boat migrants to shore in Lampedusa on Saturday night, despite claiming to have closed Italy’s ports to migrants earlier this month.

After spotting a wooden boat a mile from the coast of the Pelagie Islands, the Italian Coast Guard and the Guardia di Finanza intercepted the 59 illegal migrants and escorted them back to Favaloro Pier in Lampedusa where the migrants were immediately disembarked, Italian newspaper La Stampa reports.

The group of migrants, who claim to be from Cameroon, Guinea, Côte d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast), and Tunisia, are believed to have set sail from Tunisia. Two-thirds of the migrants onboard the boat were men. Because the migrant facility in Imbriacola already hosts 116 migrants, all of whom are under quarantine at present, the group of newly arrived migrants is expected to be transferred to Sicily on Sunday.

According to information provided to European Union officials by Italy’s Ministry of the Interior, a so-called “quarantine boat” is expected to be anchored somewhere in the stretch of sea which lies between Sicily and Lampedusa to welcome new migrants who come to Italy illegally.

At the beginning of April, Italy announced that it had “closed” its ports to NGO migrant transport ships, at least until July 31st, citing that the country could no longer be classified as a ‘place of safety’ due to the health crisis that’s resulted from the spread of the Chinese COVID-19 virus, as Voice of Europe reported. Despite their tough talk, the ruling Leftist coalition has continued to allow NGOs transport ships to disembark migrants at Italian ports.
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Re: Mass immigration to Europe. NGO boats

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Migrants rescued at sea to be allowed off Italy's quarantine ferry

Around 180 migrants rescued at sea and held in isolation on an Italian ferry off the coast of Sicily will be disembarked in Palermo on Monday, the Avvenire daily said.

The migrants had been pulled to safety in two separate operations by NGO rescue vessels and placed on the Rubattino ferry after Italy closed its ports due to the coronavirus epidemic.

All tested negative for the virus.

The Avvenire said holding them longer than the 14-day isolation period would leave Italy open to accusations of illegally detaining the migrants -- something of which it is very wary.

Far-right leader Matteo Salvini is to stand trial accused of just that after he blocked migrants from disembarking from a coast guard boat while he was interior minister last year.

He had insisted they not be allowed off until a deal was made with the EU over who had duty of care for them.

It was not yet known whether the 183 people disembarking on Monday, including two women and 44 unaccompanied minors, would be sent to other EU countries.

Nearby Malta is currently refusing to allow 57 migrants who were rescued from a dingy this week to disembark until there is an EU agreement on their future placement.

They are being held just outside Malta's territorial waters on a private vessel that is normally used for tour cruises, the Mediterranean island nation's government said.

It remains unclear whether Italy will re-open its ports as the country gradually lifts its two-month lockdown from Monday.
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Ariel
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Re: Mass immigration to Europe. NGO boats

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Italy: Migrants quarantined aboard ferry cost taxpayers 4,000 euros a month each

By ARTHUR LYONS

Italian taxpayers are paying more than 4,000 euros per month to quarantine each one of the 250 illegal migrants set to board the Moby Zaza ferry.

The ferry, which in the coming days is expected to park itself a couple of miles off the coast of Porto Empedocle, will be used to quarantine boat migrants who arrived illegally Lampedusa and Agrigento, Italian newspaper Il Giornale reports.

Despite lockdown measures, the last month saw hundreds of illegal boat migrants from North Africa land on the Sicilian coast. Since there aren’t any other housing facilities in the area with adequate space to properly quarantine the illegal migrants, the Moby Zara has been brought into the picture following repeated requests from the mayor of Lampedusa Salvatore Martello.

Alessandro Pagano, a lawmaker for Matteo Salvini’s populist League party, has revealed that company Moby Line received between close to a million euros from Italy’s leftist government in order to make the ferry available to serve as a migrant quarantine facility.

“The Moby Line company will receive between the €900,000 and €1.2 million: the sum of €4,210 per month for illegal immigrants embarked,” Pagano said.

“We are not talking about a third-hand dinghy, but of a ship equipped with a self-service restaurant, pizzeria, ice cream parlour, pub with special wine assortment, play area and video room, double or quadruple cabins with services and even luxury suites. All this while Italian families and businesses are on their knees due to the serious economic crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic,” he added.

In recent weeks, in addition to the uptick in illegal migrant boat landings that has been seen in Italy, there’s also been an increase in migrants arriving by land from the West Balkans.

In the past few weeks, illegal migrants have also started to pour into Italy from Slovenia. In a one-week period in late April and early May, the government of the northeastern region of Fruili-Venezia Giulia reported a substantial uptick in migrant traffic, noting that over 150 migrants had arrived to the region’s capital, Trieste.
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Re: Mass immigration to Europe. NGO boats

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Italy: NGO Sea-Eye starts petition to get their migrant transports back

The German pro-migrant Non-Governmental Organisation Sea-Eye has started a petition to get their migrant transport, the Alan Kurdi, back from the Italian authorities after it was seized earlier this month. They are also demanding the release of the Aita Mari, another migrant transport.

The Alan Kurdi delivered approximately 150 illegal migrants to the port at Palermo, Sicily on April 6, as previously reported by Voice of Europe. They did this despite being asked to cease operations by the German Ministry of Foreigners due to the risk of spreading the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19). The crew did not respond and proceeded with their activities in the Mediterranean.

The crew and its passengers were placed under quarantine upon arrival. Shortly after it docked, Italy closed its ports to migrants due to the danger of spreading the infection. Then, on May 5, the Italian Coast Guard impounded the vessel, claiming that it has irregularities that need to be repaired or else it would put the boat and its passengers in danger.

As the ship sails under a German flag, however, it is the German authorities who must determine if it complies with safety regulations or not, and the Germans claim that there are no violations. Thus, pro-migrant groups have been complaining that the Italians fabricated the accusation as a pretext to seize the vessel.

The same week, the Italian authorities also impounded the Aita Mari, another migrant transport operated by a Spanish NGO that had delivered migrants to Palermo.

The Alan Kurdi has been in the news frequently in recent years as it has been responsible for transporting many of the illegal migrants who cross the Mediterranean from Libya to European ports. Sea-Eye claims that the vessel has transported 688 migrants to date.

Many have questioned the Alan Kurdi’s activities, claiming that the line between carrying out supposed “rescue missions” and aiding human traffickers is unclear. They have been accused of picking up migrants in the Mediterranean who were brought there by smugglers and carrying them the rest of the way, thus aiding the criminal gangs.

Sea-Eye is now circulating a petition at Change.org to compel the Italian authorities to return the boat, as well as the Aita Mari, another ship operated by a pro-migrant NGO that is currently being held by them. They claim that their next mission, which is scheduled for June, is of vital importance as there are currently no “rescue ships” operating in the central Mediterranean.

The petition additionally demands that Italy and Malta reopen their ports to migrants in spite of the ongoing lockdown due to the pandemic, and says that all European Union member states must take in migrants, not only those on the Mediterranean coast.

The petition has nearly 1,500 signatures as of this writing.
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Re: Mass immigration to Europe. NGO boats

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650,000 migrants ready to leave Libya for Europe, UN report reveals

Around 650,000 migrants in Libya are currently waiting to immigrate to Europe via the Mediterranean Sea, a report from the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC) has revealed.

According to the report, the coronavirus pandemic is likely to influence migration flows into Europe considerably. However, the global crisis that has resulted from the coronavirus has made forecasting migration flows difficult.

“The global crisis caused by the pandemic is unprecedented and it is difficult to predict its impact on human trafficking and migrant smuggling,” the report’s author writes, adding that economic fallout from the virus could cause the number of foreigners moving to find a job to surge.

Since January, a total of 3,366 migrants have landed in Italy, compared to 667 in the same period last year, Italian newspaper Il Giornale reports. That’s more than a 400 percent increase in just one year.

“This suggests that the travel and movement restrictions caused by COVID-19 are not stopping the movement of people fleeing conflict, violence and dangerous and inhuman conditions,” the report states, adding that migrants have no choice but to use the services of people smugglers.

“Information from Libya, where around 650,000 migrants and refugees are currently registered, suggests that the Covid-19 public health crisis has not discouraged people from trying to reach Europe.”

As Voice of Europe has reported, migrant boat landings in Italy have increased considerably in the past month. Last week, roughly 400 North Africans disembarked illegally on the beach of Palma di Montechiar in Sicily. A mass landing of that size hasn’t occurred in Italy for years.
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Re: Mass immigration to Europe. NGO boats

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425 illegal migrants disembark at Maltese port after threatening to blow up vessel

A total of 425 illegal migrants onboard four tourist boats were allowed to disembark at a Maltese port on Saturday after they threatened blow up one of the vessels, the government said.

According to a statement issued by the Maltese government on Saturday, the decision to permit the migrants to disembark was made because the circumstances onboard the vessels had worsened considerably due to “commotion”, Malta Today reports.

Today, Prime Minister Robert Abela stated that the decision was made after migrants onboard the Captain Morgan vessel Europa II stole knives from the kitchen and threatened to blow up the ship’s gas cylinders.

“Up until Saturday morning, we had no intention of allowing the vessels to dock, but the situation escalated. The security forces told us that some migrants had barged into the kitchen and stole knives. They were threatening the crew and saying they would set gas cylinders on fire,” Abela told Maltese media.

“We took a difficult decision. The easiest thing to do would have been to send the army on board, take over and resolve the situation. But I did not want to risk people’s lives,” Abela continued.

“We also kept in mind that some of these people had been at sea for over 40 days. We did our duty, saved them and gave them their basic needs. But a person cannot even spend 40 days on a luxury cruise.”

Abela has urged the European Union to show solidarity by immediately redistributing the newly arrived migrants throughout the bloc.

“The EU told us that they would help only once we reopened our ports. There are no more excuses now. The EU must act. I expect that the relocation concept takes a tangible form as from Monday,” Abela said.

To combat the unending flow of illegal migrants making their way to Malta, Robert Abela on May 28th signed an agreement with Libyan president Fayez al-Sarraj that will allow joint coordination units in the capitals of each country.

The centers will “offer the necessary support relating to combatting illegal immigration in Libya and the Mediterranean region”.
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Re: Mass immigration to Europe. NGO boats

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Italy: Migrants brought by Sea-Watch convicted of severe crimes

Three migrants were convicted in a Sicilian court recently for a long list of crimes, including torture, sexual violence, human trafficking, involvement with criminal organisations, and even murder. The three were all brought to Sicily last year by the infamous pro-migrant Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) Sea-Watch, which is based in Germany.

The three were each sentenced to 20 years’ imprisonment in a court in the Sicilian city of Messina, according to a report by Junge Freiheit. The migrants were a Guinean national, aged 22, and two Egyptians, aged 24 and 26 respectively.

The convicts were brought to Sicily after being picked up in the Mediterranean by the migrant transport Sea-Watch 3. They arrived in Sicily on September 16. The vessel is commanded by Captain Carola Rackete, a German national who has made headlines in her efforts to transport migrants to European shores.

In June last year, Rackete illegally dropped off migrants at Italy’s port at Lampedusa in spite of offers from Libya to take them, and despite the Italian port being closed to migrants at the time, as previously reported by Voice of Europe. She is still being investigated for this offence.

The Italian government has not commented on the migrants’ convictions, but Matteo Salvini, the leader of the populist Right-wing Lega party, did not hesitate to make his views known. “These are the beautiful ‘treasures’ being brought to Italy by the ship’s clerk, the idol of the Left,” he said in a statement.

Petr Bystron, the Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee for the Right-wing Alternative for Germany party, went even further in his accusations. “The case of Rackete clearly shows that you don’t need to ‘criminalise’ the smugglers because they are already criminals,” he said according to another report by Junge Freiheit. “Carola Rackete was rightly arrested by the Italian authorities last year when she illegally forced herself into the port of Lampedusa. Now we learn that she had convicted murderers and rapists on board and brought them illegally to Europe.”

“Everyone who once fashioned these common criminals as heroes must now reexamine their actions very critically,” Bystron added.
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