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"Sea-Watch 3" with 360 migrants off Sicily: Germany should ensure admission


BERLIN / ROME. The German refugee aid organization Sea-Watch has asked the federal government to ensure the reception of several hundred Mediterranean migrants. It must also comply with the demands of more than 230 German municipalities who want to house immigrants who came to Europe via the Mediterranean Sea on their own through the "Seebrücke" initiative.

The Sea-Watch 3 had taken in more than 360 migrants from other boats in the past few days after a forced break of several months during patrol trips in front of the Libyan 24 nautical mile zone. The crew has been calling for a safe haven in Europe since Monday.

On Tuesday, the Federal Ministry of the Interior announced in response to a request from Junge Freiheit that it was examining “within the framework of a European procedure in each individual case, possible commitments to take over responsibility for the implementation of asylum procedures for some of the people rescued from distress at sea”. However, the EU Commission has not yet sent a request to this effect in this case.

So far no "request for redistribution"
A spokesman for the Brussels authority told Junge Freiheit that the Sea-Watch 3 is currently off Sicily and is waiting to be assigned a port of arrival. So far, however, no “request for redistribution” has been received from Italy.

In the past, Germany almost always took part when the EU Commission coordinated the distribution of Mediterranean migrants from Malta or Italy. The Federal Ministry of the Interior praised “the commitment of many countries, municipalities and aid organizations for refugees in need of protection”. However, after a certain period of time, asylum seekers were able to move freely throughout Germany "and the decision to accept refugees therefore never only affects a single country or a single municipality".

Sea-Watch 4 released again
Meanwhile, the ship Sea-Watch 4 , which is largely financed by the Evangelical Church, has to be released again by Italian authorities, as the Palermo Administrative Court ruled on Tuesday. The coast guard had arrested the ship in September due to safety deficiencies . Now it should go to the central Mediterranean as soon as possible, "to save those who drowned the EU," said Sea-Watch.

In the coming weeks, two more ships are to cross from Germany into the Mediterranean and take in migrants. Then is the Mare Jonio 2. This should have space for a thousand immigrants and have drones, night vision devices and hot air balloons. That would make it the largest migrant aid ship in the Mediterranean.

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