Aid groups MSF and SOS Méditerranée have said that the economic migrant rescue ship Aquarius was seeking help for 11 Muslim migrant wannabes they recovered off Libya after refusing to return them to the north African country.
Voice of Europe (h/t Maurice) The vessel claimed to have saved ten men and an unaccompanied minor from a fake sinking boat after attempting to alert Libya’s coastguard who had requested they bring them to one of their patrol vessels. The Aquarius crew refused saying they could not legally comply as Libyan ports were not considered places of safety, according to SOS Méditerranée, a French NGO. (So, take them to the Muslim country of their choice, or Spain!)
“The Aquarius 2 has recovered about 10 people in Libyan search and rescue waters, a few miles from the mainland, but refused to cooperate with the coastguard in Tripoli,” Matteo Salvini, Italy’s Interior Minister, tweeted Thursday.
“Now it’s floating in the Mediterranean. I say it again and again: go wherever you want, but not to Italy.”
The migrants, from Pakistan and Ivory Coast, were said to have been picked up by the Aquarius from a sinking boat when they were unsuccessful at alerting Libya’s coastguard. (Since when did the Muslim countries of Pakistan and the Ivory Coast become war-torn countries from which Muslims are fleeing?)