The President of the European Parliament, David Sassoli, has urged the Italian government to allow the Open Arms migrant ship to dock on the island of Lampedusa and allow the more than 100 illegal migrants to disembark.

“My office was in contact with the captain of the Open Arms mission who described conditions on board as scarcely tolerable. The situation has become dramatic,” said Sassoli, adding, “The immigrants have been blocked on the vessel 14 days just one kilometre off the port of Lampedusa.” He added: “They are now giving up and are inflicting acts of self-harm, while they lose sense of reality. The hygiene conditions on board are worse than ever and it is necessary to allow for an immediate disembarkation of those on board.”

Italy’s Interior Minister Matteo Salvini responded to Sassoli by agreeing to let 27 unaccompanied teenagers leave the vessel, which is operated by its namesake Spain-based NGO.