HUMANITARIAN groups have urged the Italian government to allow 177 migrants aboard an Italian coast guard ship docked at the Sicilian port of Catania to be permitted to disembark.
Doctors Without Borders, the U.N. refugee agency and Save the Children Tuesday appealed to the government to let the migrants off the ship for humanitarian and medical reasons.
The Italian coast guard ship Diciotto arrived in Catania late Monday, but the Italian government won’t let them off the ship until it has pledges from other European countries to take them.
The migrants rescued last week have been on the boat about six days.
Doctors Without Borders said its team is standing by to offer psychological assistance to the migrants, urged Italy “to allow disembarkation so that rapid treatment can be given.”
Officials say many of the migrants aboard the ship had been detained in Libya for months before the passage on overcrowded smugglers’ ships and were traumatized. Twenty-eight are unaccompanied minors.
Italy has asked the EU to work out a solution and follows a threat by Interior Minister Matteo Salvini to send them back to Libya.