MEP João Pimenta (PCP, Portugal) has concluded a solidarity visit to the rescue ship Lifeline, currently stranded in the Mediterranean, and barred from docking by Italy and Malta.

The visit aimed at bringing attention to the unfolding crisis in the Mediterranean ahead of the crucial Council meeting on Thursday, where EU leaders will once again discuss the EU’s response to migration.

There are 234 people on board of the Dutch-flagged and German-operated humanitarian ship, among them 14 women and 4 children, rescued from the Mediterranean while fleeing violence and conflict for the safety of Europe. No other European country has given the ship permission to dock.

Pimenta was overnight in the ship where he witnessed the deteriorating conditions on board, received a briefing from the humanitarian workers and expressed his solidarity with the rescued people. Conditions at sea are expected to worsen in the coming hours, putting at risk the lives of those on board and making urgent the permission to dock in the closest safe harbour.

Another 113 people are stranded in a second ship, operated by Danish transportation company Maersk, also denied a port of safety by European governments. So far there has been an estimated 960 deaths in the Mediterranean this year, according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM).

GUE/NGL denounces the inhumanity of the EU’s migration policy and calls for an urgent solution to the situation of the stranded boats, allowing them to dock for safety. We call for safe and legal pathways to Europe for migrants, in line with the EU's obligations under international law.

MEP João Pimenta will be available to speak to journalists tomorrow (26/6), midday at the European Parliament in Brussels, in the passerelle, next to the VOXBOX.

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