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EU not taking responsibility for migrants: NGO

An aid ship belonging to a German humanitarian group, is still stranded in the Mediterranean and denied safe port from, the organization’s spokeswoman said on Thursday.

Denied docking rights from Malta, the Alan Kurdi — named after a young Syrian boy drowned while trying to make it to Europe — is still idling in international waters to the east of the island country, Carlotta Weibl, spokeswoman of Sea-Eye, told reporters.

“The situation on board is really tough. We still have 62 people on board plus 17 crew members and the boat is really not made for so many people,” said Weibl, adding that two women had been evacuated due to medical reasons.

The Migrant Offshore Aid Station — a non-governmental organization — brought blankets and other apparel to the vessel’s passengers, who were allowed to restock the ship with water and food, Weibl said.

While negotiations are ongoing between Germany and the rest of the EU to evenly distribute migrants across the bloc, Sea-Eye was not aware on the current state of the process, she added.

“We are very upset about the fact we are in the right and still we are treated as criminals.

“These people are denied their human rights by politicians who are always so proud of our European values and human rights,” said Weibl.

– ‘EU should not block and criminalize civil search and rescue’

EU countries need to establish legal escape routes and humanitarian visas for migrants and refugees so they would not need to enter the “dangerous rubber boats in the first place.”

“But as long as that is not the case, they [EU states] should either adhere to their responsibility and do search and rescue in the Mediterranean and not source everything out to criminals and warlords in Libya,” she added.

Stressing that it was illegal according to International Law to take migrants back to Libya, Weibl blasted EU members for “blocking and criminalizing” civil search and rescue

“Currently they are not taking responsibility at all,” she said.

Yeni Safak

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