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Migrants Aboard Italian Coast Guard Ship Begin Hunger Strike

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“’They can do whatever they believe,’ Interior Minister Matteo Salvini tweeted, shrugging off the development that migrants were refusing meals aboard the Italian coast guard vessel Diciotti.”

If Europe has a shot, it will be the result of the new wave of politicians elected on the promise of defense of human freedom.

One of the foremost of those is the new Italian Interior Minister, Matteo Salvini, who has rightly pointed out that Italy has been left largely alone to cope with the Muslim migrant influx since 2015.  He wants other EU nations to take these migrants rather than Italy being forced to take still more. And he is right: it’s the Northern European EU nations that have brought about this inundation of migrants. Let those nations take them.

“Migrants Aboard Italian Coast Guard Ship Begin Hunger Strike,” Associated Press, August 24, 2018 (thanks to Todd):

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ROME (AP) — Many of the 150 migrants stranded aboard a coast guard ship for a ninth day began a hunger strike Friday out of frustration that Italy won’t let them disembark in Sicily unless fellow European Union nations first pledge to take them, authorities said, in the latest standoff provoked by Italy’s anti-migrant interior minister.

“They can do whatever they believe,” Interior Minister Matteo Salvini tweeted, shrugging off the development that migrants were refusing meals aboard the Italian coast guard vessel Diciotti. The ship rescued them on Aug. 16 from a foundering human trafficker’s boat in the central Mediterranean, and for days now has been docked in the port of Catania, Sicily.

An opposition lawmaker, Sen. Davide Faraone said that on Friday Catania port officials told him “there’s tension” on the ship and that migrants have stopped eating.

Thirteen young children and ailing adults were evacuated from the Diciotti early in the drama. On Wednesday, 27 minors, all teenagers, were allowed to disembark in Catania. Salvini has been adamant that Italy’s populist government won’t allow any of the 150 adults still aboard the vessel disembark unless other EU nations commit to taking the asylum-seekers.

All but about 18 of those aboard are Eritrean; the others are from Somalia, Syria and Sudan. They have told authorities they suffered months and even years of inhumane treatment in detention in Libya, while waiting to leave that lawless country aboard smugglers’ boats.

Another opposition lawmaker who went aboard on Thursday expressed particular concern about 11 women, some as young as 19 or 20, still there.

Appealing to Salvini, Laura Boldrini said: “As a father, they could be your daughter. At least let the young women off” the Diciotti.

Sky TG24 TV said some women aboard ate lunch Friday but the men refused the meal.

But Salvini was staying tough, as was fellow deputy premier, Luigi Di Maio, who heads the senior coalition partner, the euro-skeptic 5-Star Movement.

Di Maio threatened that Italy could withhold some of its yearly 20 billion euro ($23 billion) contribution to the bloc if EU nations didn’t make good on promises earlier this year for more solidarity toward the Italians, who have seen more than 600,000 rescued migrants brought to Italian shores in recent years.

If the European Commission meeting doesn’t “decide anything about the Diciotti ship and the re-distribution of the migrants, I and all the 5-Star Movement are no longer willing to give 20 billion to the European Union,” Di Maio said….</blockquote<

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