August 20, 2019 / 5:53 PM / a month ago

Italian prosecutor orders to seize Open Arms boat, migrants to disembark

PALERMO, Italy, Aug 20 (Reuters) - An Italian prosecutor ordered to seize the Open Arms ship that has been stranded at sea by the Italian island of Lampedusa for the past 19 days with almost 100 migrants aboard, the prosecutor’s office said on Tuesday.

The migrants are expected to be removed from the boat tonight, the prosecutor’s office said, but details were yet to be formalized.

The Spanish charity boat has repeatedly asked to bring the migrants ashore, but hasn’t been able to do so because of an Italian ban on private rescue ships.

Reporting by Wladimir Pantaleone; Writing by Juliette Jabkhiro; Editing by Pamela Barbaglia

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