In the picture, from left, Alessandro Porro, SOS Mediterranee rescuer, Nicola Stalla, coordinator of the rescue operations on board the Aquarius, Frederic Penard, director of operations SOS Mediterranee, Claudia Lodesani, president of Doctors without Borders Italia, during the press conference 'Aquarius goes back to sea' at the headquarters of the Foreign Press in Rome Photo/ANSA/Angelo Carconi
In the picture, from left, Alessandro Porro, SOS Mediterranee rescuer, Nicola Stalla, coordinator of the rescue operations on board the Aquarius, Frederic Penard, director of operations SOS Mediterranee, Claudia Lodesani, president of Doctors without Borders Italia, during the press conference 'Aquarius goes back to sea' at the headquarters of the Foreign Press in Rome Photo/ANSA/Angelo Carconi

The president of the Italian chapter of Doctors without Borders (MSF) Claudia Lodesani, has warned that "people rescued at sea have different problems from burns caused by fuel and salt water to problems after their detention in Libya." Lodesani told a press conference that many bear signs of abuse and "torture" including scratches from spikes.

''Libya is not a safe port'', she said. ''We ask Europe to guarantee safe legal pathways so as not to force these people to undertake such risky journeys''. Lodesani said MSF at the start of June asked in vain for a meeting with Interior Minister Matteo Salvini. ''We are not interested in political games, we want to save lives,'' she added. ''We were at sea in 2015 when there were 1,500 deaths and we are back today because of the ongoing humanitarian emergency'.' 


Aquarius says it will not take people back to Libya

Two years and a half after leaving for its first migrant-rescue mission from the port of Marseille, the Aquarius ship operated by SOS Mediterranee in partnership with MSF once again left Marseille for the search-and-rescue (SAR) zone to continue its mission.''The Aquarius is back at sea, we will continue to save lives,'' said Nicola Stalla, the coordinator of rescue missions aboard the Aquarius. ''If we will have rescued people on board, we will wait for the authorities in charge to tell us where to land. But we will not offload people in Libya because it would go against the rights of those rescued at sea." Stalla went on to say that ''if we are asked to delay rescue operations at sea, if other rescuers are not ready to intervene, Aquarius will not leave,'' he told the press conference

Speaking before the Aquarius reaches the SAR zone, the vessel's representative clarified the organizations' guidelines ahead of new rescue missions: no rescued migrant will be taken back to Libya; the ship will not intervene only if there are other rescuers at the scene and there is no risk that migrants are taken back to Libya; any order issued by a maritime authority forcing a ship to sail to Tripoli will not be respected.''Our objective remains the same - saving lives, taking them to a safe port and preventing people from drowning,'' Lodesani said. 
 

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