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Open Arms seeks asylum for 31 minors as choppy waters loom for rescue ship

Catalan NGO warns of 2.5-meter waves threatening crew and 151 migrants saved in the Mediterranean

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13 August 2019 03:18 PM

by

ACN | Barcelona

Open Arms is seeking asylum for 31 minors rescued from drowning in the Mediterranean as European countries continue to refuse offering a safe harbor to the Catalan NGO’s ship.

With its ship stranded for twelve days in the central Mediterranean with 151 people on board, Open Arms has stated that "every day is more difficult" and criticizes "Europe’s infamous silence". 

“We’re expecting a big storm for Wednesday, with waves as high as 2.5 meters. We asked Italy and Malta for protection but they turned down our petition,” said Mar Sabé, a spokesperson for the NGO who joined a 300-strong demonstration in Barcelona calling Europe and Spain for action.

The United Nations Refugee Agency, the UNHCR, issued a statement on Tuesday calling on European governments to allow the “immediate disembarkation" of 507 people saved by Open Arms and other NGOs and currently stranded in the Mediterranean.

“A port of safety should be immediately provided and responsibility shared amongst States for hosting them after they have disembarked,” read the statement.

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  • A migrant rescued by NGO Open Arms embraces Head Mission, Riccardo Gatti, after arriving at the port of Algeciras in San Roque (by REUTERS/Juan Medina)

  • A migrant rescued by NGO Open Arms embraces Head Mission, Riccardo Gatti, after arriving at the port of Algeciras in San Roque (by REUTERS/Juan Medina)