The German aid ship Mare*Go said today it had defied disembarkation rules immigrants which her right-wing government decided Italian of Prime Minister Georgia Meloni in the context of the crackdown on NGO sea rescue activities.

Mare*Go said it disobeyed instructions to take 36 migrants it rescued on Thursday at the port of Trapani in Sicily, transferring them to the island of Lampedusa, saving hours of sea travel.

Noting that Trapani was 32 hours away from the ship’s location, the NGO said on Twitter: “We have made it clear to the authorities that the Mare*Go is not equipped to care for rescuers in transit for this period of time.”

Earlier this year, Italy’s parliament passed a law requiring ships chartering humanitarian NGOs to head to a port immediately after a rescue, preventing them from conducting multiple operations at sea.

Italian authorities also began the practice of directing ships to more distant ports, not only in Sicily, but also further north on the Italian peninsula, hundreds of kilometers away in some cases.

Organizations that do not comply with the rules risk fines and restriction of their vessel.

In March, a humanitarian rescue ship funded by British street artist Banksy was seized in Lampedusa after Italy’s coast guard said it disobeyed orders to head to Sicily and went to look for more migrants in distress.

Meloni said in December that a crackdown on humanitarian rescue ships was needed to stop them acting as “ferries” for migrants, “going back and forth with people smugglers to take people from one country to another.”

Her government’s new rules, however, have failed to curb inflows of migrants by sea. About 50,400 landfalls have been recorded so far this year, compared to about 19,700 in the same period in 2022.