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NGO ship comes ashore after being hounded by far-right mobs for eight days

THE crew of an NGO migrant-rescue ship in Greece finally came ashore today after fascists blocked their attempts to dock for eight days.

The Mare Liberum, a German ship which monitors the human rights of refugees in the Aegean, had left port at Skala Loutron, Lesbos, after it was attacked by a far-right mob on March 2.

The crew filmed the men pouring petrol on the deck of the ship before it escaped to deeper waters to anchor offshore.

The crew said on Twitter that they had then made several unsuccessful attempts to dock in other ports but “were blocked by gathering mobs and the authorities, [which claimed] they couldn‘t guarantee our security” due to the “generally unsafe situation on the island and the high presence of local and international fascists.”

“In this current climate it is more important than ever that independent monitoring, documentation and reporting is taking place.

“We are here to do that, for the rights of people on the move and in support of the [volunteers] on the island — we will not leave the island to the fascists.”

After docking in Lesbos’s capital Mytilene today, the Mare Liberum’s mission coordinator Flo Strass told the Morning Star that the crew are hoping to return to sea within the next few days.

“Now we’ve finally come ashore, we hope the authorities will guarantee the safety of other humanitarian NGOs.

“We hope that the island will stay safe, but you never know.

“What we have seen is a result of a larger set of problems caused the EU’s border policies, by global power games and by the right-wing government in Greece.

“The situation on Lesbos can only improve through international action.”

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