Migrant rescue ship heads to Italy after court overturns Salvini decision

UNITED STATES, WASHINGTON (VOP TODAY NEWS) — The Spanish rescue ship Open Arms headed to Lampedusa on Wednesday with 147 migrants on board after a judge in Rome suspended a decision by right-wing Interior Minister Matteo Salvini to ban immigrants from entering Italian waters.

The Spanish NGO Proactiva Open Arms, which operates the ship, said it would not attempt to forcibly enter the port of Lampedusa, as the rescue ship Sea Watch 3 did in June, prompting authorities to detain and arrest its captain.

In addition to the Ocean Viking ship of SOS Mediterranea and MSF, which is carrying more than 350 migrants rescued from the sea, the Spanish ship is seeking to reach a harbor that is spared by two and a half meters of waves.

But Italy and Malta refused to allow the ships to dock and land the passengers.

“We have won our appeal to an administrative court in Italy against the security decision,” Oscar Campus, founder of Proactiva Open Arms, told reporters in Madrid.

Salvini signed the resolution in early August, banning the ship from entering Italian waters under the pretext of protecting public order in the country.

Under the decision, the Spanish organization could be fined up to one million euros and the ship seized if it breaches the decision.

But Camps said the court also allowed immigrants on board to disembark in Italy.

Since taking office in June 2018, Salvini has repeatedly adopted a tough stance against immigrants.

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