Malta begins screening migrant arrivals as rescue ship docks
A German-run humanitarian rescue ship arrived at Valletta port after nearly a week at sea.
Screening has begun for migrants who arrived in Malta after nearly a week at sea to determine whether they are eligible for asylum and relocation to one of eight European Union nations.
The screening process for the 234 migrants, including five children, began on Thursday morning, after a humanitarian rescue vessel was finally allowed to dock in the Maltese capital Valletta.
The government said three babies and three adults are being treated at the national government hospital.
Malta’s prime minister Joseph Muscat opened the country’s main port to the ship, run by the German group Mission Lifeline, after other EU nations agreed to accept some of the refugees.
He said those deemed economic migrants will be sent back to their countries of origin.
Maltese officials seized the ship, citing irregularities in the rescue effort, and placed the captain under investigation.