The Ocean Viking | Photo: SOS Mediterranee
The Ocean Viking | Photo: SOS Mediterranee

The Ocean Viking has reportedly rescued 104 migrants from a rubber dinghy off the coast of Libya. Among them are 40 minors, ten women and two babies, according to MSF, which operates the migrant rescue ship.

The two organizations that jointly run the Ocean Viking ship, Doctors Without Borders (MSF) and SOS Mediterranee, released a statement on Twitter on Friday afternoon. They announced that they had just rescued another 104 migrants about 50 nautical miles off the Libyan coast. 

Earlier this week on Wednesday, the Ocean Viking had disembarked 176 migrants in Taranto, southern Italy, who had been rescued in two operations over the weekend. After the second rescue, the Ocean Viking had to wait for about 30 hours until the Italian government assigned them a safe port to land.

New government, new approach to rescue ships

Since the change in government in Italy in August, the country's ports are no longer blocking entry to civilian rescue ships. Under the former interior minister Matteo Salvini, there had been several prolonged stand-offs between migrant rescue ships and the Italian government. New interior minister Luciana Lamorgese seems to be taking a more conciliatory approach. 

Sea-Eye sets sail

The Ocean Viking is not the only rescue ship patrolling in the Mediterranean. The organization Sea-Eye announced that its ship Alan Kurdi was resuming its operations on the night between Thursday and Friday. 

MSF denounces migrant internment in Libya

Meanwhile, on Thursday MSF also denounced the transfer of more than 100 refugees and migrants in Libya from the Misrata detention camp to two other camps. The organization said the conditions in Libyan detention camps were dangerous and inhumane; with people having no prospect to be released.

MSF criticized that authorities were transferring people to yet another detention camp, instead of releasing them. 

Misrata camp, which has been throughly criticized by many migrant and refugee advocates, has reportedly been closed down. 

The United Nations and human rights organizations have long criticized how refugees and migrants are treated in Libya. Many are not only detained, but also physically abused 

With material from dpa and epd


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