Desperate migrants stranded on humanitarian boats off the coast of Sicily threw themselves into the sea on Monday.
Three migrants who were rescued by the NGO Médecins Sans Frontières, jumped from Geo Barents but were recovered shortly afterwards.
Shortly after, a dozen other migrants on the deck of the boat chanted “Help us”, according to an AFP journalist.
Italy’s far-right Prime Minister, Giorgia Meloni, vowed to crack down on small boat arrivals when she was elected in October.
According to the Italian Interior Ministry, more than 88,000 people have arrived by sea in Italy since 1 January.
Several boats have been waiting for days to dock in Sicily, trapped in a standoff with the Italian executive who have been preventing them from entering ports.
The Geo Barents docked in Catania on Sunday evening and Italian authorities allowed 357 people to disembark, including children, while refusing entry to 215 others – in violation of international law, claim MSF.
Amnesty Italia reinforced this point on Twitter: “the law of the seas is clear: a rescue only finishes when all the rescued people are allowed to disembark in a safe place.
“It’s urgent that the Italian authorities allow people rescued from the sea to disembark in Catania.”
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Source: Italy: Desperate migrants throw themselves off blocked rescue boats off Sicily