Open-Arms a Spanish charity operating a migrant rescue boat stranded off the coast of Italy has rejected Spain’s offer to dock in the port of Algeciras saying the 107 people on the boat are faced with a “humanitarian emergency”
Its spokeswoman Laura Lanuza on Sunday said delaying disembarkation by another six days it would take to reach the port in southern Spain may put the safety of the migrants and the crew at risk.
“We are in a state of extreme humanitarian emergency. What they need is to be disembarked now,” Lanuza said. “It is unthinkable to navigate for six days; that is what it would take for us to arrive at Algeciras.”
The migrants, most of whom are African, were picked up by the Open Arms vessel off the coast of Libya in the past two weeks and have been waiting to disembark on the southern Italian island of Lampedusa.
The rescue group’s decision continues the standoff with Italy’s far-right Interior Minister Matteo Salvini, who had ordered his officials not to allow the vessel entry in Italian waters.