Italy's interior minister, Matteo Salvini, said today that the authorities of the country and those of Malta have denied the boat of the Spanish NGO Proactiva Open Arms the permission to disembark in a port the more than three hundred people he helped yesterday in the Mediterranean.
"My answer is clear, the Italian ports are closed, for human traffickers, for those who help them," said Salvini, leader of the extreme right-wing Liga, in a note.
The minister and vice-president of the Italian Government stressed that the Maltese authorities have also refused to authorize a port on the island and have only allowed the transfer of a woman and a baby, who needed medical assistance.
The Open Arms on Friday rescued 313 people, including several children and pregnant women, on three rubber boats that sailed in the Mediterranean Sea a few miles off the coast of Libya.
The director of Proactiva Open Arms, Oscar Camps, reported on Friday of these rescues and also that among the saved there was a newborn baby that needed to be medically assisted and that was why the crew had asked Malta for their "urgent evacuation".
The NGO again faces the problem of where to disembark these people, as it has happened on previous occasions with other ships that have had to sail several days at sea, after the refusal of the Italian and Maltese authorities to welcome saved immigrants.