Mutinous migrants land in Italy after threatening to kill their rescuers

GETTYEU news Matteo Salvini teams up with Seehofer and Kickl to fight EU asylum laws

The Diciotti ship pulled into the port of Trapani after taking on board the migrants from an Italian-flagged oil rig supply tug that rescued them Sunday in off the coast of Libya.

France has taken in a much smaller share of migrants in recent years than neighboring Germany or Italy.

Italy's transport minister said some migrants made death threats against the crew.

Salvini - who has authority over Italian ports - initially refused to allow the Diciotti to dock in Italy, despite previously saying that ports would remain open for Italian naval and coastguard ships carrying migrants.

Migrants have threatened to kill the coast guard crews that rescued them if they take them back to Libya. "They encircled them, pushed them, making the gesture of cutting their throats".

Matteo Salvini, Italy's hardline interior minister, called the alleged aggressors "pirates" and "criminals" and said he wanted them led off the ship in handcuffs. "Until I have clarity, I personally as interior minister, as vice premier and as a father, won't let them get off".

"If there was violence (on board the Vos Thalassa), the perpetrators will go to prison and if there was no violence, because someone lied, then they (those who supposedly lied) will suffer the consequences", Salvini - who is also the leader of the far-right League party - said.

A group of charities, including Unicef and Save the Children, issued a joint statement Thursday calling for the "immediate" disembarkation of "refugees and migrants, including women and children, who have been at sea for four days".

On the docks, activists protested Italy's hard-line position. Many wore the red T-shirts that have become a symbol of those favoring a broader welcome for migrants, many of whom dress their children in red to make them easier to spot in cases of shipwreck.

Speaking in Innsbruck, where he was attending a meeting of European Union interior ministers, Mr Salvini said: "We are in no hurry to let them disembark".

Seehofer says the ministers, all hardliners on migration, are seeking European solutions, but "all three of us know that this is going to be a Herculean task".

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