Malta and Italy urged to save 1.350 migrants in distress
LA VALLETTA (MALTA) (ITALPRESS/MNA) – The international NGO Alarm Phone declared that around 1,350 migrants are in distress in Malta and Italy’s search and rescue zone.
In a tweet, the NGO said that “people in danger reported that 12 people have died or are unconscious and many suffer from dehydration. Both boats could sink at any moment”.
Alarm Phone added “we spoke to persons on the boats who are scared of drowning. We alerted authorities over 15 hours ago, why have rescue operations not yet taken place?!”.
All migrants fled from Libya on two wooden boats and it is being reported that the boats engines stopped working. The NGO urged the Maltese and the Italian authorities to embark on a rescue operation to save the two groups of migrants; 700 and 650 respectively.
According to the International Office for Migration, at least 1,269 people have drowned or went missing so far this year while crossing the Central Mediterranean to reach Europe.
Last week, the Maltese government was once again accused of violating maritime and international law by giving orders to a merchant ship to take 23 migrants to Egypt rather than to closer ports in Europe. Alarm Phone, Mediterranea Saving Humans, Mèdecins Sans Frontières (MSF) and Sea-Watch accused Malta “with blatant violations of maritime and international law” and demanded “an end to these serious human rights violations in the central Mediterranean”.
credit photo agenziafotogramma.it