European Court of Human Rights rejects migrant rescue ship appeal

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) on Tuesday rejected a request, presented by migrant search-and-rescue vessel Sea Watch 3, to implement interim measures and to ask Italy to allow the ship to disembark migrants. At the same time the court ordered Italy to provide necessary assistance to the migrants on board the Dutch-flagged, German NGO run rescue vessel.

ECHR said it expected Italy to assist "persons on board in situations of vulnerability because of their age or state of health". Italian Deputy Premier and Interior Minister Matteo Salvini said the Strasbourg-based court ''has confirmed Italy's choice of order, common sense, legality and justice: ports closed to human traffickers and their accomplices''. Sea Watch 3 has been stuck in international waters south of Lampedusa since 12 June, when it performed a rescue operation off the coast of Libya. It currently has 43 migrants aboard. Salvini said the charity vessel could "stay there until Christmas and New Year" but would never be allowed in.


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