On August 27, Tuesday, Italian authorities refused docking permit to the rescue ship Eleonore, which has over a hundred migrants on board. The rescue ship, run by German charity organization Lifeline, had rescued the migrants from a sinking vessel in the Mediterranean Sea near the Libyan Coast on Monday.
Meanwhile, Claus-Peter Reisch, the captain of the ship, posted on Facebook on Tuesday that Malta had refused their request to supply water and food for the migrants. The rescue ship is presently stranded outside Maltese territorial waters, waiting to disembark at a safe port.
Reports also said that Italy had ordered grounding of two rescue planes used by the NGOs Pilotes Volontaires and Sea-Watch, effectively blocking them from using aircraft for Mediterranean rescues.
The humanitarian crisis in the Mediterranean has worsened due to the anti-immigrant policies pursued by the far-right Italian interior minister Matteo Salvini. He had ordered the closure of Italian ports to rescue ships and refugee boats. He also penalized several rescue ships for disembarking migrants in Italian ports. An Open Arms rescue ship with 83 migrants on board was given permission to disembark migrants in an Italian port on August 20, after remaining stranded for 19 days at sea.