Migrants, the theses of the Meloni government to block NGO ships

Migrants, the theses of the Meloni government to block NGO ships


The closed ports policy is already back in force, less than 24 hours after the first trust obtained by the government led by Prime Minister, Giorgia Meloni. To inaugurate his first day of work as Interior Minister, Matteo Piantedosi decided to ban two NGO ships from docking in Italy, carrying over 300 migrants rescued between Libya and Malta. According to the minister, the boats would be outlawed and not in line with "the spirit of European and Italian rules on border security and control and the fight against illegal immigration".

Despite the coronavirus pandemic, the beginning of the energy crisis triggered by the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the environmental crisis, the rise in inflation and the impending economic recession, the priorities of the new executive seem to be the same as those of the Conte I government of 2018. Surely Piantedosi has the same priorities as the Minister of the Interior of four years ago, of whom he was head of the cabinet, so much so that he followed a 2019 directive issued by Matteo Salvini, to prevent the docking in Italian ports of humanitarian ships flying foreign flags.

Government ministers by Giorgia Meloni Gallery 26 Images by Kevin Carboni

View gallery

Laws of the sea

The two NGO ships that the minister wants to block are Ocean Viking and Humanity One, respectively flying the German and Norwegian flags, currently sailing in the Strait of Sicily. Piantedosi issued its first directive against the two boats, arguing that their operations would not be "in line with the spirit of European and Italian rules on border security and control and combating illegal immigration" and evaluating "the prohibition of entry into territorial waters ".

To justify the ban, the minister referred to Article 19 of the United Nations International Convention on the Law of the Sea. According to the Convention, “ships of all states, coastal or non-shoreline, enjoy the right of harmless passage across the territorial sea”. And it is on the term "harmless" that the prohibition of Piantedosi moves, because, according to article 19, the passage is considered harmless "as long as it does not prejudice the peace, good order and security of the coastal State".

These latter conditions may occur if the ship in question is engaged in certain activities such as "the loading or unloading of materials, currency or persons in violation of the customs, tax, health or immigration laws and regulations in force in the State coastal ". A justification already used by Salvini, but which then turned out to be bankrupt and cost the former Minister of the Interior the process for kidnapping for the ban on landing imposed on the Spanish Open Arms in 2019.

What are the proposals of the parties on immigration The center-left massively proposes the abolition of the Bossi-Fini law and the introduction of a European system for the management of migratory flows. The right-wing parties, on the other hand, maintain an emergency interpretation of the phenomenon

The theses of the minister

But Piantedosi knows the precedents well and, therefore, is trying to justify the alleged illegality of the operations of the two ships, arguing that "the rescue operations were carried out in full autonomy and systematically in the Sar area (the international sea area in which searches and rescue are carried out) without receiving information from the state authorities responsible for that Sar area, namely Libya and Malta, which were only informed after transactions have taken place ". Furthermore, according to the head of the dicastery, Italy too would have been "informed only of operations carried out" and Germany and Norway should be responsible for the migrants, because they were rescued by ships flying their flag.

Therefore, according to Piantedosi, the two ships would have violated the immigration rules by not communicating, while they were being carried out, the rescue operations at sea, guaranteed and protected by international law both through the Convention on the law of the sea, both from the International Convention on Maritime Search and Rescue, and from the International Convention for the Protection of Human Life at Sea and also from the Convention relating to the Status of Refugees.

In response to the directive of Piantedosi, the German NGO Sos Humanity , which manages the Humanity One ship, has made it known that "he has not received any direct communication from the Italian authorities" and that "as a search and rescue organization we follow the international law of the sea, saving people in distress". The aforementioned rules, in fact, require every ship to render assistance to anyone found at sea in danger of life and to disembark people in a safe place as soon as possible.

Powered by Blogger.