Migrants aboard the Lady Sham cargo ship are ‘severely traumatised and scared of disembarkation’, Alarm Phone is reporting.
The last communication the Independent group had with the around 150 migrants on board, was around 11PM Central European Time.
From their tweets throughout the evening, Alarm Phone reports that conversations with those rescued show that they were initially told they would be disembarked in Italy but that had been shifted to disembarkation in Libya.
The migrants on board the Sierra Leone registered Lady Sham cargo ship, were rescued on Sunday under the instruction of the Libyan Coast.
‘We believe the crew lied to the migrants by telling them they were going to Italy… We are worried about their physical and mental conditions’, Maurice Stierl, a volunteer with Alarm Phone told Corriere della Sera.
According to voices representing the migrants on board, there are serious concerns that there will be a repeat of the Nivin case, a situation last November when a cargo vessel returned 71 migrants to Misrata, Libya. The migrants refused to disembark and had to be forcibly removed from the vessel by the Libyan security forces.
On the cargo ship, Alarm Phone also reports that there are around 60 women on board, some of whom are pregnant. The atmosphere is also reported to be dire with people described as ‘screaming, crying and talking of suicide’, their Tweets portray.
We are still in contact with a group that calls us from the #LadySham, approx. 150 people, but they are from another boat we have not been in touch before 14.51h today.
They are still on #LadySham, severely traumatised and scared of disembarkation.
— Alarm Phone (@alarm_phone) January 21, 2019
Italian media states that those rescued originate from Ghana, Sudan and the Ivory Coast. In addition to the women, they are reported to be a dozen minors.
Although unable to verify details with MRCC Rome or the Libyan Coastguard, Alarm Phone reports that they had heard rumours of a previous disembarkation of around 106 that had occurred in Al-Khums Libya.
Newsbook.com.mt has reached out to Alarm Phone for updates on the situation facing the migrants on board.
This news also comes as the German NGO Sea Watch vessel, Sea Watch 3 seeks a safe harbour for 47 migrants (8 minors among them) they had rescued on Saturday 19th January