Updated with Sea-Eye statement
The civil search and rescue NGO Sea-Eye released a statement following a political solution to end the rescuees’ odyssey on board its vessel Alan Kurdi.
Sea-Eye chairman Gordon Isler said that it was not explainable why it was necessary for people to stay on board while negotiations among states went on.
The NGO further stated that they were not aware that the Italian Coast Guard or the Maltese Armed Forces have ever brought people rescued from distress at sea to Tunisia. It is understood that from the correspondence with the Maltese rescue centre, it appears that the NGO should have disembarked the rescued asylum seekers in Tunisia. The NGO reiterated that its actions are derived from obligations of international law, mainly the SOLAS convention and human rights convention.
Asylum seekers rescued by Alan Kurdi will be relocated to 4 EU Member States
All asylum seekers onboard the NGO vessel Alan Kurdi will be redistributed among four EU member states however the vessel will not be allowed to disembark in Malta, the Government said on Saturday.
Sources told Newsbook.com.mt that details are still scant as the weather needs to be assessed on when the migrants will be transferred and brought in.
The Office of the Prime Minister in a statement said that Germany, France, Portugal and Luxembourg will take the rescuees. However the vessel will not be allowed to disembark in Malta.
The European Commission has been requested to coordinate the relocation process and initiated intensive contacts last week. On Friday a spokesperson for the Commission told Newsbook.com.mt that it was still making contact with the various EU member states to participate yet another ad hoc agreement. The French Home Affairs Minister announced on Twitter that the country was ready to take the asylum seekers along with other member states.
The Office of the Prime Minister said that none of the 64 asylum seekers will remain in Malta while the vessel will not be allowed to enter Malta.
Last night crewman “Ecki” was evacuated from the vessel, the third medical evacuation over a number of days. The crew has been on board for some 24 days. In a statement the organisation said that this was no Ecki’s first mission who is second engineer. The search and rescue NGO said that its crew members were suffering from increasing exhaustion and sever circulatory problems. The medical evacuation on Friday night led to the ship being seen by two instead of three engineers.
‘Malta put under unnecessary pressure’
The OPM in a statement argued that the smallest member in the bloc was put under ‘unnecessary pressure’ since the case was neither Malta’s responsibility or remit, the Government argued.