Sunday 17 October 2021

Sea-Watch migrants land in Italy despite minister’s protests

Photo: Sea Watch, with permission

A group of 47 migrants rescued by the Sea-Watch 3 vessel have landed in Italy despite the vociferous protestations of the country’s deputy prime minister Matteo Salvini.

The German aid organisation, which sails under the Dutch flag, posted a message on Twitter on Sunday after police allowed the ship to dock. The vessel was seized by the authorities.

‘We are happy that the Italian constitution is more powerful than a minister who the UN says is breaking the law. Our thanks go to the Italian people,’ said Sea-Watch.

Salvini, leader of the right-wing nationalist Lega Nord party, banned the ship from entering Italian territorial waters on Saturday. The organisation ignored the instruction on the grounds that it was dealing with an emergency.

Eighteen of the 65 migrants were taken off the ship before it landed, mainly children with their parents and a man who was in poor health.

Salvini called for the migrants not to be allowed to land even if the vessel was impounded by police. ‘Anyone who has a different opinion will have to take responsibility for it,’ he said.

Thank you for donating to

The team would like to thank all the generous readers who have made a donation in recent weeks. Your financial support has helped us to expand our coverage of the coronavirus crisis into the evenings and weekends and make sure you are kept up to date with the latest developments. has been free for 14 years, but without the financial backing of our readers, we would not be able to provide you with fair and accurate news and features about all things Dutch. Your contributions make this possible.

If you have not yet made a donation, but would like to, you can do so via Ideal, credit card or Paypal.