In the Mediterranean, the government of Malta has allowed nearly 50 asylum seekers who had been stranded at sea for weeks to come ashore on two rescue vessels. The decision ended a 19-day standoff that saw other European Union members deny a port of entry to the migrants, in a move that’s been blasted by human rights groups as “shameful.” Aboard the Sea-Watch 3 vessel, run by a German humanitarian group, there were cheers Wednesday as news of an agreement to process the asylum seekers spread.
Kim Heaton-Heather: “Two hours. Two hours. Two hours. We have a safe port. We’re going in. C’est fini.”
An increasing number of asylum seekers are dying at sea, after Italy’s right-wing government moved last year to deny migrant rescue ships entry at Italian ports.