The United Nations criticized Italy on Monday for its hostility towards refugee rescue ships. The comments came amid raised tensions between Berlin and Rome regarding the detention of German Sea Watch captain Carola Rackete, ONA reports citing The DW.
The UN's Stephane Dujarric said in a daily press briefing that "no vessel or ship master should be at risk of being fined for coming to the aid of boats in distress, where loss of life is imminent."
"Sea rescue is a longstanding humanitarian imperative. It's also an obligation under international law."
The captain of the Sea-Watch 3 was put under house arrest at the weekend after she forced her vessel into the Italian port of Lampedusa, citing the welfare of a number of refugees she had rescued.