Published: 04 August 2017 Friday, 10:14 AM
Bonn, 4 August (deutschenews24.de/dpa)- A German aid organization on Wednesday called media reports that its ship in the Mediterranean Sea had been "intercepted" by Italian authorities and forced to return to shore were nonsense.
Jugend Rettet (Youth Rescues) spokeswoman Pauline Schmidt said Wednesday that the organization`s ship, the Iuventa, had been subjected to a routine inspection that all migrant aid ships in the area must undergo.
"The Iuventa was not confiscated. Our crew was not arrested. It was standard procedure. We are awaiting more information," the organization wrote on Twitter.
Italian media had reported that the coastguard had stopped the Iuventa near Lampedusa and then escorted it back to shore.
Jugend Rettet is one of several aid organizations, inclduing most notably Doctors Without Borders (MSF), that have refused to agree on a code of conduct with Italy looking to regulate the transport of migrants.
Italy is seeking to regulate NGO work, with EU support, after EU border agency Frontex and Italian prosecutors accused charities of encouraging migrant departures and supporting smuggling operations by carrying out sea rescues closer and closer to the Libyan shore and transporting the migrants to Europe.