Italy to penalise NGOs for migrant rescues at sea under proposed ruling

Italy to penalise NGOs for migrant rescues at sea under proposed ruling Image: Federico Scoppa/AFP/Getty Images

The Guardian reports that Italy’s government is planning to issue a decree that will impose stiff penalties on NGO rescue boat operators who bring migrants to the country’s shores.

The ruling, which is still subject to parliamentary approval, states that NGOs could be fined up to €5,500 (US$6,162) for each migrant it disembarks onto Italian soil while more serious violations would warrant up to 12 months’ suspension of an operator’s licence to transfer people on board its vessels.

Interior minister Matteo Salvini, who had proposed the ruling, hopes that the measure will bring an end to NGO rescues bringing migrants to Italy.

Various aid groups have denounced Mr Salvini’s proposal, which Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) Italy president Claudia Lodesani said was comparable to “fining ambulances for carrying patients to the hospital.”

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