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Home / World / Italy's Deputy Prime Minister investigates after migrants stay on board for 6 days: NPR

Italy's Deputy Prime Minister investigates after migrants stay on board for 6 days: NPR



An officer in a protective suit shows the migrants on the deck of Italian coastal watchman Ubaldo Diciotti in the Sicilian port of Catania as they disembark after a rescue operation at sea.

GIOVANNI ISOLINO / AFP / Getty Images


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GIOVANNI ISOLINO / AFP / Getty Images

An officer wearing a protective suit shows the migrants on the deck of the Italian coast guard ship Ubaldo Diciotti in the Sicilian port of Catania as they wait for a rescue operation at sea.

GIOVANNI ISOLINO / AFP / Getty Images

After six days, 134 migrants were allowed to leave an Italian coastal wax boat docked in Sicily

Italian Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini refused to let the migrants out of the boat until he assisted some of the other European nations Migrants

Salvini, who is also the country's interior minister and leader of the far-right league, is currently being investigated for his role in detention.

The ship Ubaldo Diciotti originally picked up 190 people from a crowded boat in the Mediterranean near the Italian island of Lampedusa on 15 August. Thirteen people were evacuated for emergency medical treatment. Most migrants come from Eritrea, the BBC reports.

When the boat docked in the Sicilian port of Catania last Monday, Salvini initially allowed 27 unaccompanied children to leave the ship, and then 16 others who felt it was necessary for doctors to take medical care. The remaining migrants were released only when Salvini was promised that they would "go elsewhere," the Guardian said.

After announcing the formal investigation of his role in the stalemate, Salvini granted permission for the remaining migrants to boat on Saturday.

The Italian church is reported to receive the majority of migrants, while Albania has offered to accept 20 migrants Ireland said it needed 20-25 migrants

The resolution came when the UN called on EU members to "urgently" provide relocation places for migrants.

The UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi called on European states to "do the right thing" and offer asylum to people "who were rescued from the Mediterranean in their need."

"It is time to end the back and forth that countries have seen in a race for world power down, who can take the least responsibility for people at sea," Grandi said in a statement.

"It is dangerous and immoral to endanger the lives of refugees and asylum seekers while states engage in political tug-of-war for long-term solutions," he said.

People have to apply for asylum at the place where they arrive, but Italy has begun to prevent boats from docking.

Danny Eberhardt of the BBC told NPR that Salvini is being investigated for alleged illegal dismissal and abuse of power, but that Salvini shows no signs of turning back

"I think it will be hard to stop us," Salvini said Saturday in a room full of supporters. "Because they can investigate, they can arrest me, but they can not arrest the desire to change 60 million Italians."

"The next ship can turn back and go back to where it came from because our limit has been reached," Salvini said.

Maddalena Richards of NPR contributed to this report.


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