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Pregnant woman airlifted from overcrowded migrant rescue ship in the Mediterranean

A GERMAN humanitarian aid group says a pregnant woman has been airlifted from its overcrowded and under-stocked rescue ship in the Mediterranean.

Sea-Eye said this morning a 23-year-old Nigerian woman had suffered an epileptic seizure and was evacuated to Malta from its ship the Alan Kurdi, named after the three-year-old Kurdish Syrian refugee who was pictured lying dead on a Turkish beach in 2015.

“Her husband stays worried with us on the #AlanKurdi,” Sea-Eye tweeted. “He was not allowed to accompany her.”

Sea-Eye rescued 64 people from a sinking dinghy off the Libyan coast on April 3 and since then has been denied a port by both Italy and Malta. Another young woman was airlifted from the boat on April 9. 

Since the European Union decided to scrap its Mediterranean rescue patrols last month, individuals and civil society groups have been left to do it themselves. 

However, Sea-Eye said  the Alan Kurdi “urgently needs a quick political, but above all humanitarian solution for another 62 refugees and 17 crew members.”

Sea-Eye spokeswoman Carlotta Weibl said last week that the number of people on board the Alan Kurdi exceeds the ship’s capacity. “However, anyone is safer on our ship than on a sinking dinghy.”

“Food and water supplies will run out soon and the medical situation may deteriorate rapidly once the forecast storm arrives. We therefore urge the European member states to act on behalf of humanity and with respect for human rights.”

Sea-Eye posted an interview on its social media feeds with Benjamin, a 30-year-old Nigerian refugee who says he was twice sold as a slave in Libya. 



“I came to Libya in 2015,” Benjamin says. “Libya is the most terrible country that I have seen since I was born. 

“Libya is not civilised. They use we blacks for slaves. They sell human beings. They have sold me twice for 500 dinar (£274).”

Italy, backed by the EU, signed a deal with Libya in 2017 to give €5 million to the Libyan coast guard to halt migrant boats in its shores. 


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