Rescued Migrants Brought To Sicily, Amid Escalating Row Over NGO Ships

Rescued Migrants Brought To Sicily, Amid Escalating Row Over NGO Ships

A rescue ship from the non-governmental organization (NGO) Save the Children brought more than 320 migrants and the bodies of eight people who died in the Mediterranean this week to the Sicilian port of Augusta on Thursday (August 4), amid an escalating row over the role of charities in the rescues.

The migrants, many from Eritrea, included about 50 unaccompanied minors and many pregnant women, Govan Di Benedetto, a spokeswoman from Save the Children, said. Some of the migrants bore signs of violence and torture.

Italian coastguards seized a migrant rescue boat, the Iuventa, suspected of aiding illegal immigration from Libya.

Italian media reported the investigation had used footage collected by under-cover police on board Save The Children's VSO Haste.

Di Benedetto said the people named by the press belonged "to the security personnel of a company contracted by the owner of the ship" rather than Save the Children.

The Iuventa was operated by a German aid group in the Mediterranean, Jurgen Rettet, which describes itself as an organization of young Europeans.