Over 40 migrants allowed off rescue boat in Italy despite ban

Migrants on a rescue boat that docked in the Italian island of Lampedusa has defied a ban on docking in the country.

Humanitarian group Mediterranea Saving Humans said in a tweet that over 40 migrants on board were ‘finally allowed to disembark to receive assistance’.

It sailed to the port on Saturday because of ‘intolerable hygienic conditions’.

According to RAI public TV, the vessel named Alex ran out of water and pictures reveal it was overcrowded.

The group confirmed that the vessel has been seized by police and its captain put under investigation for aiding illegal immigration.

The vessel had been banned from docking in Italy with a ministerial decree by Italy’s hard-line interior minister Matteo Salvini.

Salvani has previously vowed he would not allow migrants to disembark.

He has previously said: ‘I saw that the German government wrote me a letter today asking to reopen the ports and to let all the migrants disembark. No, no, no, absolutely not.’

Mediterranea Saving Humans said in a tweet earlier: ‘In view of the intolerable hygiene conditions aboard, the Alex has declared a state of emergency and is sailing towards Lampedusa, the only possible safe port for landing.’

The vessel has a legal capacity of 18 people, but was currently hosting nearly 60 people, including 41 migrants, Mediterranea said in a statement.

‘The rescued migrants now have to be immediately disembarked and given medical assistance. Let them off,’ Mediterranea tweeted.

This comes Italy banned a migrant boat with three heavily pregnant women from entering its waters.

The Italian charity Mediterranea rescued dozens of people including pregnant women and four children off the coast of Libya on Thursday.

On Saturday evening the German non-profit Sea-eye said its ship Alan Kurdi, which was heading to Lampedusa with 65 migrants onboard, changed its course to Malta.

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