Skip to Content

Aquarius stripped of its Panama flag. Wikipedia

Migrant vessel stripped of Panama flag

Panama has revoked the registration of the NGO migrant-rescue ship Aquarius2, making it impossible for it to operate any longer in the Mediterranean. The move has dealt a "major blow" to migrant "rescue operations" off Libya's coast.

Published: September 25, 2018, 9:46 am

    Read more

    SOS Méditerranée and Doctors without Borders (MSF) said they were “reeling” from Saturday’s announcement by the Panama Maritime Authority.

    The NGOs have complained of “blatant economic and political pressure from the Italian government”, AFP reported. But the Italian government denies pressuring Panama to make the decision.

    Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini has denied turning the Aquarius2 into a “pirate” vessel.

    “It’s clear that no country wants to take the responsibility of being identified with a ship that hampers sea rescue operations, refuses coordination with the Libyan coast guard, attacks democratic governments like the Italian one, and expects to distribute clandestine migrants in Europe,” he said on Sunday night.

    Salvini said on Sunday that the ship would “never” dock in Italy. On Monday he called the Aquarius2 a “ghost ship”.

    Both NGOs have appealed to the European Union to intervene.

    But the vessel is just the latest in a string of NGO-operated migrant rescue ships Salvini has turned away from landing at Italian ports – although it is the first whose flag has been stripped by a foreign government.

    The Aquarius2 was heading for Marseille, where SOS Méditerranée has asked authorities to “exceptionally” authorise the disembarkation of the 58 migrants aboard, the NGO said later on Monday.

    SOS Méditeerranée director operations Frédéric Penard told a press conference in Paris that “the port of Marseille is the only one possible from which to set off again”.

    The vessel spent 19 days docked in the French port of Marseille after Gibraltar revoked its flag last month. It set sail again last week after having acquired Panamanian recognition. But Panama then launched “an official revocation procedure” before stripping the ship of its flag.

    Italian authorities noted on Friday that it was “floating in the Mediterranean” with migrants on board but that it was not welcome to dock in Italy.

    The two NGOs complained that “this measure condemns hundreds of men, women and children, in desperate search of safety, to drown at sea and inflicts a hard blow to the Aquarius’s humanitarian mission”.

    MSF said the Aquarius2 had saved 47 migrants including 17 minors and a pregnant woman of Libya.

    Consider donating to support our work

    Help us to produce more articles like this. FreeWestMedia is depending on donations from our readers to keep going. With your help, we expose the mainstream fake news agenda.

    Keep ​your language polite​. Readers from many different countries visit and contribute to Free West Media and we must therefore obey the rules in​,​ for example​, ​Germany. Illegal content will be deleted.

    If you have been approved to post comments without preview from FWM, you are responsible for violation​s​ of​ any​ law. This means that FWM may be forced to cooperate with authorities in a possible crime investigation.

    If your comments are subject to preview ​by FWM, please be patient. We continually review comments but depending on the time of day it can take up to several hours before your comment is reviewed.

    We reserve the right to del​ete​ comments that are offensive, contain slander or foul language, or are irrelevant to the discussion.

    Europe

    In Hungary there are more vaccines than people wanting them

    BudapestAt the end of April, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban announced that there were now more vaccines available than people wanting them. Hungary is the only such state in Europe.

    Another jihadist deemed ‘criminally irresponsible’ for professor’s murder

    ParisA former student, of Pakistani origin, had fatally stabbed this teacher in front of the Leonardo da Vinci university in the suburbs of the city of Paris in December 2018.

    Swiss town finds new solution against beggars

    BaselThe city of Basel offers a travel voucher to beggars who, in exchange, undertake not to return to the city for at least a certain period of time under penalty of permanent expulsion from the country.

    Rambouillet terrorist was regularized without any scrutiny

    RambouilletIn the wake of the murder of Samuel Paty, the Tunisian jihadist involved in the Rambouillet beheading wrote on Facebook: “O Muslims, now we will respond to the insults from France.” Two months later, he obtained his residence permit.

    Isaac Newton becomes the latest victim of ‘decolonisation’

    SheffieldSir Isaac Newton's historical legacy amounts to “colonial-era activity” and must be scrapped to “decolonise” the engineering curriculum at Sheffield University in the UK.

    Left-wing German politician exposed as possible link to hammer gang

    KasselWith its special edition “Antifa - The underground leftist power”, COMPACT, a conservative German magazine has stirred up a hornets' nest. A left-wing politician even wants to have journalistic research banned.

    Nigerian mafia groups have infiltrated Germany

    BerlinA confidential report by the German Federal Intelligence Service (BND), revealed how the Nigerian mafia has taken root to establish itself in Germany through the influx of migrants. There are now several different Mafia groups operating in Germany.

    Is Pfizer immune to competition?

    BrusselsWith the dominant position the EU has granted to Pfizer, in particular by ruling out the Russian Sputnik V vaccine, it is once again proving that its rules are of variable geometry because European treaties outlaw monopolies.

    The Sarah Halimi affair: Killing the victim twice

    ParisThe lack of commitment on the left in the Sarah Halimi affair in France, has deeply shocked many. The murderer of Sarah Halimi, Kobili Traoré, will not be tried for his crime, according to his judges. But the victim is also being killed for a second time by silence.

    Challenges for the Arctic

    MoscowThe Arctic region is facing demographic decline and climate challenges and beyond that, economic value creation through Arctic technologies and innovations which are dependent on a transforming geopolitical context.

    Go to archive