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

    Dutch government report: Nothing can be done about immigration

    The HagueCan anything be done about immigration policy in the Netherlands? The answer to this question was found in the policy directive sent on July 3 from the ministry to the Tweede Kamer.

    Erdogan turns Christian landmark Hagia Sophia into mosque

    IstanbulThe first call to Muslim prayer from inside Hagia Sophia will once again be heard after over eight decades.  The historic house of worship located in Istanbul, has served as a Greek Orthodox Christian patriarchal cathedral, a Roman Catholic cathedral, an Ottoman mosque, and a secular museum. As of July 2020 the site has been reclassified as a mosque by the President of Turkey.

    Migrant sexually assaults a leftist political icon in Cologne

    CologneIt happened in broad daylight, in the middle of "colourful", cosmopolitan, multi-cultural Cologne. Cologne’s assistant mayor Elfi Scho-Antwerpes (67) was confronted with the harsh reality of a society that lacks universally accepted values. The well-known politician from Cologne quickly called... the police.

    Immigrants suspected of deadly assault on bus driver in France

    BayonneFour "youths" that boarded a bus in Bayonne, France, without tickets and without masks violently attacked a bus driver on Sunday. The driver was left brain dead. Yet another sad story totally ignored by the system media that illustrates the impoverishment of French society as a result of "diversity".

    New French Justice Minister wants Le Pen’s party banned

    ParisThe big surprise of the new French administration after a reshuffle, is the appointment of the very mediatic lawyer at the Ministry of Justice, Éric Dupond-Moretti.

    Turkey’s intervention in Libya: Erdogan sends ministers, lobbies for murderers

    TripoliThese days Turkey is vying for the title of top thug in both Europe and Northern Africa. Apart from the “spy scandal” with France, Turkey has been meddling directly in the Libyan conflict in a profoundly comprehensive and controversial way, deepening existing tensions.

    US intensifies pressure on Germany over Nord Stream 2

    BerlinThe US is disrupting free trade and has imposed extraterritorial sanctions to try to stop the flow of energy on the world market, says Dr. Bruno Bandulet, former editor at German daily Die Welt.

    Germany’s female leaders disband elite special forces unit

    BerlinThe German government - Chancellor Angela Merkel, Defense Minister Kramp-Karrenbauer and Agnieszka Brugger, a Green MP on the Parliament’s Defense Committee - has moved to disband an elite soldier unit.

    Polish presidential elections: ‘We don’t like either…’

    WarsawJanusz Korwin-Mikke is one of the most controversial elder statesman, former member of the European Parliament and a politician in Poland. FWM spoke with him exclusively about the presidential elections being held in his country.

    Vox party rally to defend Colombus statue in Barcelona

    BarcelonaSome 150 Vox party supporters gathered on Saturday to protect the statue of Christopher Columbus in Barcelona.

    Go to archive