Italy: Two migrants saved by Ocean Viking detained in Ancona

Rome: Two migrants who had been expelled multiple times from Italy were on board the migrant rescue vessel Ocean Viking, which arrived on March 18 in the Marches port of Ancona with 336 people rescued in the Mediterranean. Both men have been detained.

After medical checkups were carried out on passengers and identification procedures were completed in the morning of March 19 at Ancona’s Palaindoor center following the ship’s arrival the previous day, police arrested a 27-year-old Tunisian and a 36-year-old Pakistani for violating an expulsion measure.

Both men had been previously denied asylum by Italian authorities and had been repatriated by plane in 2021.

The two arrests were confirmed by the tribunal of Ancona and the judge ordered both men to report to authorities until the completion of the procedure.

The Pakistani citizen was ordered to report to the Carabinieri police of Morrovalle, near Macerata, and the Tunisian to the immigration office of Ancona’s police headquarters.

The pair’s attorneys have requested a fast-track trial, a request granted with a hearing scheduled on April 23 for the 27-year-old and another one set on May 7 for the 36-year-old.

The judge, Carlo Cimini, also gave permission for another expulsion.

Lawyer Riccardo Somma, who defends the 27-year-old, said the man had attempted to reach Italy again because he wanted to join a relative in Morrovalle. The 36-year-old instead claimed through his lawyer that he believed the expulsion measure was valid only for a limited period of time.

The two migrants had previously reached Italy by boat. The Pakistani citizen, a baker, allegedly entered Italy without authorization 11 times between 2010 and 2024.

In 2021 he was handed an expulsion order issued by the prefecture of Udine, in northeastern Italy.

The Ocean Viking vessel run by NGO Sos Mediterranée rescued him with 25 others who were on board a rubber dinghy that had departed from Libya and later sank in the Mediterranean. He survived the shipwreck in which at least 60 passengers died. He had also been previously expelled from Italy by the prefecture of Macerata.

The Tunisian citizen, instead, had entered the country irregularly twice before: in the first instance he had been apprehended in Melfi (Potenza) and the second time in Lampedusa (Agrigento). The prefect of Potenza, in Basilicata, had ordered his last expulsion.