Aid groups warn the move will put even more lives at risk, echoing earlier pleas that a lack of coherent strategy by Europe to deal with the migrant crisis is growing deadlier.
Italy deployed a naval patrol boat to Libya Wednesday in a move to stem the flow of migrants traveling across the Mediterranean. Jugend Rettet has said it will appeal against the seizure of the ship and documents and computers aboard. "Our crew is not arrested. We have evidence of encounters between traffickers, who escorted illegal immigrants to the Iuventa, and members of the boat's crew", Cartosio added, as police photo evidence of the alleged incidents was published in the Italian media. Lampedusa, a tiny Italian island near North Africa, has struggled to house boatloads of migrants in recent years.
"If NGOs do not sign up (to a new code of conduct), it is hard to see how they can continue operating", Interior Minister Marco Minniti said in an interview with Turin daily newspaper La Stampa.
But MSF and Jugend Rettet object to the requirement for armed police to board their ships and for rescuers to stop transferring migrants from one ship to another.
An NGO providing aid to migrants should, in principle, to the future to bring them up to a port, involving longer trips, the costs of rescue increased and a lesser presence near Libya. "People get out of Libya because it's unbearable, because people are killed and tortured and sexually abused".
Italy maintains that it sent the mission upon request by the "UN-backed government" in Tripoli.
On Twitter on Thursday they said their crew were interviewed by officials "as part of the standard procedure" and they had received no information about an investigation.
In Brussels, European Commission spokeswoman Natasha Bertaud also said that if the groups "adhere to some principles and operational standards, in line with worldwide law, then they will have the assurance that they can access Italian ports".
On the same day, the Italian Parliament gave its green light to the sending of military vessels to Libya, and a first boat, a patrol boat, made his entrance in the afternoon in the territorial waters of libya.
But he stressed investigators had found no evidence of any "prearranged plan" between Libyan people traffickers and the NGO.
The U.N. migration agency reported in August that the number of migrants and refugees travelling via the Mediterranean exceeded 114,000 since the beginning of 2017 until July 30, with nearly 85 percent arriving in Italy. More than 2,370 have died trying to reach Italy. Luigi di Maio, from the populist 5 Star Movement, likened aid-group's rescue ships to a migrant "sea taxi" around the same time in April when a Sicilian court suggested NGO's colluded with Libyan smugglers. So far this year they have handled 35% of the rescues, Italy's Coast Guard says.
Human Rights Watch says country's new vote could interfere in the rights of migrants seeking asylum in Europe.