17th October 2019
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Italian court lets ‘Open Arms’ rescue ship enter territorial waters

The Open Arms rescue ship is on its way to Lampedusa with 147 people on board after an Italian court accepted the Catalan NGO’s appeal against a de facto ban on sea rescue organisations.

After spending 13 days stranded in the central Mediterranean Sea, the tribunal has ruled that the Open Arms vessel can enter Italian waters to ‘aid people on board’ over a ‘serious’ and ‘exceptionally urgent’ situation.

Open Arms
The refugee rescue ship of the Catalan NGO Proactiva Open Arms (by Proactiva Open Arms)

ALSO READ: Richard Gere joins migrant rescue ship, EU president calls for ‘urgent action’

‘Italy’s administrative court has accepted the appeal against [interior minister Matteo] Salvini’s security decree which forbids humanitarian ships entering territorial waters without authorisation, risking €1 million fines,’ said Open Arms founder Òscar Camps via Twitter. ‘The decree is now suspended.’

ALSO READ: UN Refugee Agency calls for ‘immediate disembarkation’ of 507 people

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