After Weeks Stranded at Sea, Asylum Seekers Granted Access to Malta

HeadlineJan 10, 2019

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.

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