For more than a week, 121 people have been waiting on the blockaded rescue ship "open arms" in the mediterranean sea – in their hope for a safe haven, they have now received support from hollywood star richard gere.
On friday, the 69-year-old visited the ship, which is located not far from the italian island of lampedusa.
Amnesty international says 30 children and two babies also on board. "Please support us here at open arms and help these people," he said in a short video posted to twitter by the spanish aid organization proactiva open arms on friday.
In photos, gere was seen carrying food aboard the rescue ship. The aid organization wrote: "finally some good news. Food arrives at the "open arms an and we have an aubergewohnliche crew colleague."
Italy and malta repeatedly refuse to allow rescue ships to enter their ports and insist that other EU states give prior assurances that they will accept all migrants on board the ships – as in the case of the "open arms". The community of states has not yet been able to agree on a fixed mechanism for the distribution of those rescued from distress at sea.
Most recently, the EU commission had mediated in such cases in order to find countries willing to take them in. However, coordination by the EU commission requires an EU state to ask the commission, whose tasks do not actually include this. So far, no country has called on the brussels authorities to do so, a spokeswoman said on friday.
A spokesman for the federal interior ministry said in response to a question that the federal government, under the auspices of the interior ministry, had so far declared itself ready to take on more than 300 rescued people. "Also in the case of migrants on the "open arms"" the following applies: the federal government, should it be asked for support, will not remain silent on a solution." However, the prerequisite is "the broadest possible participation of the EU member states and the assumption of coordination by the european commission". However, according to a spokesman, germany has not yet asked the commission to do so either.
The president of the european parliament, david maria sassoli, had previously written a letter to commission head jean-claude juncker urging solidarity among the eu countries. The situation requires immediate action, wrote sassoli. The commission announced a response within the next few days. Italy’s interior minister matteo salvini said his ministry had written to the spanish government to accept the migrants from the "open arms".
Meanwhile, more refugees were rescued from sea distress at and near the EU’s external borders on friday. A spanish rescue ship recovered 30 african boat migrants off the coast of the canary island gran canaria, as the news agency europa press reported with reference to the police. Among them are 14 women, ten men and six minors, including babies. They were taken to the port of arguineguin in the southwest of the island. There they should be registered after a first medical care.
Thirty migrants were also rescued from four small boats in the armel channel, according to the british home office in london. Among them was a kayak. The migrants coming from france claimed to be from iran and afghanistan. They were taken to the south english port city of dover.
Off the coast of libya, the norwegian-flagged "ocean viking" – the new rescue ship of the aid organizations SOS mediterranee and doctors without borders – took in boat refugees in the mediterranean for the first time. She had set sail from marseille on sunday evening. It was unclear where the rescued people would be taken to.
Salvini declared that the "ocean viking" is not allowed to call at italian ports. He spoke of 80 migrants on board. Arzte ohne grenzen said it was 85 people, including four children, who were rescued from a rubber dinghy.