In the summer of 2019, after rescuing 147 people trying to cross the sea, the rescue ship Open Arms wanted to call the port on the Italian island of Lampedusa. The then government of Italy, of which Salvini was interior minister, did not allow them to do so, after which the ship floated uncertainly on shore for several weeks.
During this time, the country sought to push for more immigrants from several Mediterranean countries, as Italy gained the majority of those who had crossed the sea for many years. Salvini also said that “protecting the nation” is his “sacred duty”.
After a three-week hiatus, prosecutors decided to seize the open arms and evacuate its passengers after the situation on board was described as a humanitarian emergency.
Matteo Salvini’s decision is considered an illegal loss of liberty and a court in Sicilian Palermo has ruled that a trial will take place from September 15.
The lawmaker risks a number of similar allegations. Last week, prosecutors took a step back, allowing hundreds of migrants to stay aboard the Italian coast guard ship Bruno Gregori for several days without a chance to go ashore. No trial is expected there.