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Panama Cancels Maritime Ship Registration For Aquarius 2, A Mediterranean Based Refugee Ship


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Panama cancels refugee ship regisration

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The registration of a refugee ship has been canceled  by the Panama maritime administration  for allegedly  ignoring international procedures regarding immigrants and refugees on the coasts of the Mediterranean Sea  

The ship “Aquarius 2”, ex “Aquarius”,  had Germany as its first registration and about a month ago it came to Panama under the Special Charter of Chartering, owned by the company MV Aquarius GMBH

The Panama Maritime Authority (AMP) reported that the main complaint comes from the Italian authorities, who have reported that the captain of the ship has refused to return the assisted immigrants and refugees to their place of origin.

A statement from the AMP says  that the investigations carried out by the Panamanian Registry of Vessels show  that the vessel was expelled from the Maritime Administration of Gibraltar, which did not give permission to the “Aquarius” to act as a rescue boat and that, In June and July of this year, it  formally requested that it “suspend operations” and return to its original registration status as “oceanographic vessel”.



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Humanitarian groups denounce Italian pressure on Panama

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TWO world-renowned humanitarian organizations have denounced “pressure” from the Italian Government on Panama to withdraw its license for a  refugee rescue vessel to operate under the Panama flag.

The NGOs SOS Méditerranée and  Doctors Without Borders  …Médicos sin Fronteras (MSF) jointly charter the German-owned vessel  Aquarius told Associated Press (AP)  on Sunday, September 23: “This revocation is the result of economic pressure and flagrant policy exercised by the Italian government and condemns hundreds of  fleeing men, women, and children to  sink into the marine cemetery  that the Mediterranean has become

, “MSF said: “It is a violent blow to the vital humanitarian mission of the Aquarius, the only   non-government search and rescue ship still present in the central Mediterranean “



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  • Moderator_02 changed the title to Panama Cancels Maritime Ship Registration For Aquarius 2, A Mediterranean Based Refugee Ship
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Panama will manage a "safe" port for migrants on board the Aquarius

Tue, 09/25/2018 - 17:51


The Panamanian Government announced today it will make "diplomatic efforts" to ensure that the 58 migrants on board the "Aquarius" vessel arrive at a "safe" port before the country’s maritime authorities withdraw the Panamanian flag that is on the ship.

"The Panamanian State will make the necessary diplomatic efforts so that the migrants who are on board the 'Aquarius 2', reach a safe harbor where their life and integrity are not in danger, before the registration cancellation process initiated by the Maritime Authority of Panama concludes," said the Foreign Ministry.

The ministry said in a statement that Panama is "a country that promotes safe, orderly and regular migration, we recognize and protect the human rights of migrants and in particular the right to life."

Panama, pointed out the official statement, "will always watch over the protection of every human being whose life or liberty is in danger", but "it is also respectful of the immigration legislation of other States and their procedures, as well as of the defined search and rescue zones of which the Mediterranean countries are responsible".

The Government of Malta reported on Tuesday that it would allow the 58 immigrants who travel on board the "Aquarius" to disembark provided they are "immediately" distributed among other EU Member States.

Spain, Portugal, Germany and France agreed on Tuesday to divide up and welcome the people who travel on the ship, including minors and pregnant women.

The Panamanian Foreign Ministry recalled that the "Aquarius" was registered in the Panamanian registry of ships on August 21 under the category of " charter of a special chart" and that the Maritime Authority of Panama (AMP) initiated procedures to remove the flag after checking that the ship performed other activities than those authorized.

"The AMP did not designate the ship 'Aquarius 2' as a Panamanian State rescue unit, nor do they have the authority to delegate or authorize a private vessel, repetitive or usual, to engage in search and rescue activities, that other states coordinate," the ministry explained.

The NGOs SOS Méditerranée and Doctors Without Borders, responsible for the ship, reported on Sunday that the Italian government was subjecting Panama to "brutal economic and political pressure" to revoke the registration.

The director of the Merchant Marine of the AMP, Fernando Solórzano, accused the boat on Monday of lying to him and hiding that its true intention was to save migrants in the Mediterranean, and denied in declarations to EFE any type of pressure on the part of Italy.

The Panamanian maritime registry, with more than 8,000 flag-bearers, is the largest in the world and in 2016 accounted for 16 percent of the world fleet.

The boat rescued 11 immigrants at sea on September 20 and rescued another 47 people three days later.

The Italian Minister of Internal Affairs, the ultra rightist Matteo Salvini, warned in recent days that the "Aquarius" was not going to dock in Italy and will report the boats that help immigrants in the Mediterranean because they "favor" illegal immigration and enhance the work of human traffickers.

Salvini already denied the authorization to the ship "Aquarius" in June and finally it had to dock in Valencia, in the southeast of Spain, with about 630 immigrants on board.



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Migrants from  Panama de-registered  ship get European refuge

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The 58 migrants rescued off the Libyan coast by the humanitarian rescue ship Aquarius which operated under the Panama flag until it was deregistered after pressure from Italy are in the port of  Valletta after a week waiting off the Maltese coast.

The rescued people, almost all of Libyan origin,  had been transferred from the Aquarius to a vessel of the Libyan coastguard.

When the migrants including  17 women and 18 minors have completed the necessary sanitary and legal controls, they will be transferred to several  European countries under an agreement reached on Tuesday.

The welcoming countries are: Spain and Germany, 15 people each, France 18, and Portugal  10 .



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