Captain of migrant rescue boat arrested in Italy after defying orders against docking amid heatwave


The young, dreadlocked captain has become a symbol of defiance and a leftwing hero in Italy for challenging Salvini’s “closed-ports” policy.

“We are proud of our captain, she did exactly the right thing. She upheld the law of the sea and brought people to safety,”Johannes Bayer, chairman of the German charity Sea-Watch, said on Twitter.

Salvini, the head of the far-right League party, has seen his popularity inch steadily upwards on his hardline anti-immigrant platform.

But migrants are continuing to arrive in Italy, even if not in the same numbers as during the period between 2014 and 2017.

Nearly 500 migrants have landed on the country’s coast over the past 16 days, according to the Italian interior ministry.

Meanwhile, the founder of Spanish migrant rescue charity Proactiva Open Arms said he was prepared to risk prison in order to save lives in the Mediterranean, following Sea-Watch’s example.

“If I have to pay the price through prison time or a fine in order to save the lives of some people, then I will do so,” the group’s founder Oscar Camps told AFP by telephone.

The Open Arms ship took to the waters off the Libyan coast on Thursday, a decision which could already cost it a fine of up to 900,000 euros ( $1,023,000) from the Spanish government, Camps said.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here