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The Open Arms asks for asylum for 31 children rescued from the Spanish embassy in Malta


The captain of the Spanish Open Arms ship, Marc Reig, has requested this Monday to the Spanish embassy in Malta to give asylum to the 31 minors rescued at sea and designate a port

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The captain of the Spanish Open Arms , Marc Reig , on Monday asked the Spanish embassy in Malta to give asylum to the 31 minors rescued at sea and designate a port for their transfer.

Reig has asked the embassy to process the asylum procedure urgently, "given the situation of uncertainty in which the Open Arms ship is located, which remains sine die in international waters."

The captain has assured in his letter addressed to the embassy, ​​to which EFE has had access, that the 31 minors "meet the conditions to be recognized as refugees" and has indicated that this situation has already been brought to the attention of the Juvenile Court and the Procuraduría de Minores de Palermo de Palermo without obtaining an answer.

In the request, he has requested that the Embassy transfer this situation to the Government so that it admits its competence as a flag state of the ship and "in response to the special circumstances that concur in the case, order the corresponding authority to organize its urgent processing, including the transfer of minors "to the place authorized for it.

This morning, the professor of maritime law of the Polytechnic University of Catalonia and legal coordinator of the NGO Open Arms, Jaime Rodrigo de Larrucea , advanced to Efe the intention of the ship to request asylum for rescued children.

"We shuffled to request the right of asylum to the Spanish embassy in Malta or in Italy for minors," said the expert.

The Open Arms is on the high seas with 151 immigrants - 31 of them minors - rescued in three different operations in recent days waiting to receive authorization to disembark in a safe harbor, something that Italy and Malta refuse to do.

Rodrigo de Larrucea recalled that Italy - and also Spain - has signed and ratified both the Convention of the Law of the Sea and the International Convention on Maritime Search and Rescue, which impose on the ship captain the obligation to save the shipwrecked.

In addition, the Convention establishes that these shipwrecked persons must be left in a safe place. However, it has continued, Italy uses its own law recently approved that prevents ships with migrants from docking at their ports, a "contradiction with international conventions", according to the professor of the Polytechnic University of Catalonia.

For its part, "Spain relies on the community regulation that says the landing will be made in the nearest safe harbor and says that it is Italy. The ball Spain and Italy are thrown. Politicians go to their political interest in the short term," Rodrigo de Larrucea has declared, who points out that the term migrant does not exist on the high seas, but that of the castaway.

Regarding Italy's attitude towards the alleged breach of international agreements, the Open Arms legal coordinator has stated that the NGO would like to go to the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, but needs the authorization of the Spanish State.

If the blockade on the high seas continues, said Rodrigo de Larrucea, the ship shuffles "to be interned" in Italy, as the Seawatch did : "We would end up in jail or wherever, knowing that the Italian judges will release us because the legality it is ours, not that of the States, "he said.

According to the criteria of The Trust Project

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