The captain of the Sea-Watch 3 charity rescue vessel threatened Tuesday to enter Italian waters illegally to bring 42 migrants to shore after they spent 13 days in limbo at sea.
Interior Minister Matteo Salvini has banned the Dutch-flagged vessel from approaching under a “closed ports” policy, which has seen migrants repeatedly stranded at sea.
“I will enter Italian waters and bring them to safety on Lampedusa,” Carola Rackete said in an interview with La Repubblica daily, in reference to Italy’s southernmost island.
The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in Strasbourg on Tuesday declined to intervene but called on Italy to “continue to provide all necessary assistance” to vulnerable migrants.
The German NGO Sea-Watch had asked the ECHR to impose “interim measures” on Italy, saying the court could ask Rome to take urgent steps to resolve the standoff in order to “prevent serious and irremediable violations of human rights”.
Salvini said Tuesday the charity vessel could “stay there until Christmas and New Year” but would never be allowed in.
Of the 53 migrants initially rescued by the Sea-Watch 3 off Libya on June 12, Italy took in 11 vulnerable people.
“That’s enough! Whatever Strasbourg tells us, with great serenity we will maintain our position,” Salvini said.
“Imagine if a country like Italy — the second-largest industrial power in Europe — let an NGO dictate immigration rules,” he said.
On Lampedusa, where Salvini’s far-right League won 45 percent in May’s European elections, a priest has camped in the street to demand those on board — including three minors — be allowed to disembark.
Dozens of German cities have said they are ready to welcome them, and the Bishop of Turin, Cesare Noviglia, said Monday his diocese would be willing to take them in.
“We can’t hold on any longer. It’s like we’re in a prison because we are deprived of everything. Help us, think of us,” one migrant from the Ivory Coast said in a video broadcast by Sea-Watch.
In January, 32 migrants rescued by the vessel were stranded on board for 18 days before they were allowed to disembark in Malta thanks to a distribution deal made between several European countries.
Babies born near oil and gas wells are up to 70% more likely to have congenital heart defects, new study shows
Researchers at the University of Colorado studied pregnant women who are among the 17 million Americans living within a mile from an active oil or gas well
Proximity to oil and gas sites makes pregnant mothers up to 70 percent more likely to give birth to a baby with congenital heart defects, according to a new study.
Led by Dr. Lisa McKenzie at the University of Colorado, researchers found that the chemicals released from oil and gas wells can have serious and potentially fatal effects on babies born to mothers who live within a mile of an active well site—as about 17 million Americans do.
Mueller testimony ‘is going to be a devastating day for the president’: former White House lawyer
The eyes of the nation will be on Capitol Hill on Wednesday when former special counsel Robert Mueller publicly testifies before Congress.
Mueller, who was a federal prosecutor, top DOJ official, and director of the FBI before serving as special counsel, is scheduled to testify before the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday morning and the House Intelligence Committee on Wednesday afternoon.
"As Democrats prepare for the arrival of special counsel Robert Mueller on Capitol Hill next week, their plans for his day of wall-to-wall testimony is becoming clearer: if Donald Trump were anyone but the president, he would be charged with the crimes Mueller uncovered," MSNBC anchor Nicolle Wallace reported on Friday.
WATCH: Trump blurts out a massive lie about Dem congresswomen — after being asked about Melania
President Donald Trump on Friday falsely accused Democratic congresswomen of using the phrase "evil Jews."
Trump ignited a firestorm over the weekend after saying that the congresswomen of color should "go back" to their countries of origin. At a rally on Wednesday, his supporters chanted "send her back" after Trump attacked one of them, Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN).
But on Friday, Trump insisted the congresswomen were the real racists.
"You know what is racist to me? When somebody goes out and says the horrible things about our country, the people of our country, that are anti-Semitic, that hate everybody, that speak with scorn and hate -- that to me is really a very dangerous thing," Trump said.