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.
‘Belligerent from the get-go’: Dem senator gives blow-by-blow account of Trump’s meltdown on Pelosi
Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) gave a detailed account of the emotional meltdown that President Donald Trump had with congressional Democrats at the White House on Wednesday.
Appearing on CNN Thursday morning, Menendez broke down how Trump started raging at Democrats from the second he entered the room.
"The meeting started off with the president walking in and slamming down his files on the table," Menendez said. "It was belligerent from the get-go... you have the president of the United States, who is supposed to bring our country together, particularly in times of challenges, [calling] the Speaker a third-rate politician."
Grieving British parents react on CNN to seeing Trump’s defense of woman who killed their son
On CNN Thursday, grieving British parents Tim Dunn and Charlotte Charles were shown footage of how President Donald Trump reacted to the motor vehicle death of their teenage son Harry at the hands of American diplomatic wife Anne Sacoolas.
Trump has refused to waive diplomatic immunity for Sacoolas to face punishment for her actions — and tried to defuse the situation by arranging a surprise meeting between Sacoolas and the parents which fortunately never took place.
"Radd, as you watched all of that play out, describe the mood in the room and what you left feeling after that — after that surprise," said anchor Alisyn Camerota.
MSNBC conservative goes down in flames trying to separate Trump’s incompetence from his corruption
MSNBC conservative Noah Rothman met furious pushback when he dismissed poll numbers as insignificant showing a growing majority of Americans support the impeachment of President Donald Trump.
The "Morning Joe" contributor argued that those numbers reflected the president's approval rating and would not exert any pressure on congressional Republicans, but instead place greater pressure on Democrats to make their case for impeachment.
"It's incumbent on Democrats to make this case," Rothman said. "Right now they are presenting a united front because it's still primary season. Once we get into the general (election campaign) there will be more pressure on them to explain their position, but it's incumbent on Democrats to make the case."