Migrants aboard a docked Italian coast guard vessel have been ordered to remain on the boat until they have been properly investigated for possibly hijacking a cargo ship.
Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini has ordered that 67 migrants currently in port at Trapani aboard the Diciotti must not be allowed to come ashore.
“I am not giving permission to anyone to disembark from Diciotti: if anyone does so, they will take responsibility for it,” Salvini said.
“We are in no hurry to let them disembark. If it is shown that some of the migrants were violent, they will go to prison.”
The migrants on Diciotti were originally ‘rescued’ by the crew of Vos Thalassa, an Italian oil rig supply ship, who attempted to return them to Libya when their passengers allegedly staged a violent mutiny, threatening to kill the ship’s company if they didn’t sail for Europe.
Crew members say they locked themselves in a control room and radioed for help, and Diciotti was dispatched to mitigate the crisis and absorb the passenger load.
“If there was violence, the perpetrators will go to prison and if there was no violence, because someone lied, then (liars) will suffer the consequences,” Salvini said, while calling the purported attackers “pirates” and “criminals.”
Open borders activists chained themselves to the entrance of the Italian Ministry of Transport in Rome to protest the government’s policies towards migration earlier this week.
(PHOTO: ALESSANDRO FUCARINI/AFP/Getty Images)