BARI, Italy: Around 200 migrants including people from Pakistan were rescued from a wooden boat approximately 20 hours after they departed from Zawiya in Libya.
Some 190 migrants were rescued by Doctors Without Borders (MSF) off the coast of Libya early on Friday (March 24).
The migrants also included people from Bangladesh, Egypt, Eritrea, Syria and Palestine who were rescued from a wooden boat approximately 20 hours after they departed from Zawiya in Libya.
They arrived at the southern Italian port of Bari on Sunday evening (March 26) aboard the MSF vessel Geo Barents. Many sang songs and listened to music during navigation, as they waited to reach a safe port in Italy.
A migrant from Pakistan, Toseef, who used to sing at weddings, sang a love song and dedicated it to his wife who was still in Pakistan. Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni’s government is forcing migrant rescue ships to dock further and further north along Italy’s coastline, meaning long journeys that raise their operating costs and strain their ability to continue saving lives.
Forcing NGO ships to reach ever-more distant ports increases costs at a time when budgets are stretched by inflation and higher fuel costs following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The new docking destinations policy adds to a December decree, which forces NGO ships to request and head to a port “without delay” after each rescue, rather than continue looking for boats in distress.