The Address | Benghazi – Libya
The German NGO Sea-Watch announced that its ship Sea-Watch 3 was released by Italian authorities Saturday after being impounded nearly three weeks ago.
A tweet by the organization read: “The Sea-Watch 3 is free! We just received the official news that our ship is no longer confiscated and can return to deployment.”
🔴 Die Sea-Watch 3 ist frei!
Gerade haben wir die offizielle Nachricht erhalten, dass unser Schiff nicht länger konfisziert ist und in den Einsatz zurückkehren kann.
— Sea-Watch (@seawatchcrew) June 1, 2019
The ship was initially prohibited from docking in Italy after rescuing 65 migrants off the coast of Libya in mid-May. Its request to dock in Lampedusa was blocked by Italy’s far-right interior minister, Matteo Salvini, but his decision was eventually overturned by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), which said Salvini’s actions violated international law.
Salvini claimed the captain of the ship, Arturo Centore, had entered Italian waters illegally, and Sea-Watch countered that he only did so after several of those rescued threatened to kill themselves if they were not allowed to disembark in Italy.