44 migrants rescued by Open Arms in Mediterranean disembark in Malta

Badalona-based NGO handed migrants over to Maltese armed forces patrol vessel who took them to shore

Migrants on board of the Proactiva Open Arms rescue ship (by Reuters)
Migrants on board of the Proactiva Open Arms rescue ship (by Reuters) / ACN

ACN | Barcelona

October 28, 2019 05:43 PM

The Badalona-based NGO headed by renowned humanitarian Òscar Camps, Open Arms, rescued 44 migrants early Sunday morning in the Mediterranean's international waters.

Open Arms handed the migrants over to the Maltese authorities, who have since taken them to shore.

Among those the Catalan NGO rescued, there were 13 minors and 2 women, one of whom was pregnant.   

On Monday, after having transferred them onto a Maltese vessel, Camps tweeted that "hopefully Europe will respect their rights."

Unlike other times in the recent past, this Open Arms rescue operation was carried out relatively smoothly as Malta offered to take the migrants in less than 24 hours after they first picked up at sea.

Open Arms was temporarily impounded in the Italian island of Lampedusa in August, where it disembarked over 160 migrants after an ordeal that lasted 19 days while it awaited permission to dock.

The stand-off in August between the ship loaded with the migrants it had picked up off the coast of Libya and the Mediterranean powers reluctant to grant the vessel a safe port sparked a debate on migration to Europe in the international media.