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First photos of migrants held on Malta tourist boats

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Rene Rossignaud, freelance photographer, and Frances D’Emilio, Rome correspondent, captured Malta’s controversial practice of using harbor cruise ships as floating detention centers for migrants rescued at sea. No one had made photos of the ships, which were bobbing in the Mediterranean some 23 kilometers (14 miles) off the island nation, until Rossignaud traveled to the area in his own motorboat. His images, accompanied by D’Emilio’s story, created a stir in Europe and beyond, putting pressure on Malta to let the migrants disembark.

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Rescued migrants aboard a tourist boat some 23 kilometers from Malta, June 2, 2020. More than 400 migrants, rescued at sea from traffickers, were being held on the vessels in the sea off Malta. – AP Photo / Rene Rossignaud
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