Photos Show Tramp Steamer Full of Immigrants Headed from Libya to Italy-Fiction!
Summary of eRumor:
Forwarded emails show photos of a tramp steamer ship packed full of immigrants that are reportedly headed from Libya to Italy.
These photos don’t show a tramp steamer ship bound from Libya to Italy.
The photos actually date back to 1991. They show what’s become known as the “Albania Vlora incident” when a mass exodus of Albanian migrants washed ashore in Italy.
Italian officials aboard boats tried to head off ships packed with immigrants from Albania, one with as many as 10,000 people. The Vlora, a type of ship known as a steam tramp, ran past the Italian blockade and hundreds of men dove into the water and swam ashore, the New York Times reported in August 1991:
Most of the Albanians were taken to a local soccer stadium, where they tried to break free Thursday night while being kept under police guard. Nervous security forces said they had opened fire after some of the Albanians threw rocks at them. Early reports said two or three Albanians had been taken to a hospital with gunshot wounds.
The circumstances of the shootings were not clear early today. The authorities in Bari claimed that at least two of the wounded had been shot by other Albanians inside the stadium before the broader disturbance began. Help of Army Is Asked
Saying that nearly a dozen of their own officers were hurt, some with head injuries, the police reinforced their patrols at the stadium and asked for help from the army.
The Albanians arrived on a rusty freighter called the Vlora, young men for the most part who said they were looking for work and who filled every inch of available space from deck to mast.
Italian officials said many of the Albanian migrants were denied because they had been seeking economic advancement, not political refuge.
The Migration Policy Institute reports that about 1 million Albanians fled the country during the 1990s because of its poor economic and living conditions:
By the present day, approximately 25 percent of the total population, or over 35 percent of the labor force, has emigrated. The country has approximately 900,000 emigrants, now residing mainly in Greece (600,000), Italy (200,000), and most of the remainder in other Western European countries, the U.S., and Canada. Albania’s migration flow has, since the early 1990s, been five times higher than the average migration flow in developing countries.
Photos of the Albania Vlora incident went viral in forwarded emails in October 2015 as Europe’s struggle to deal with hundreds of thousands of migrants from Syria fueled debate over immigration policies. A caption included with the photos claimed that the tramp steamer packed full of migrants was headed from Libya to Italy:
One of the tramp steamers leaving for Italy from Libya……. And everyone is taken in by the loving Europeans……………. Those kind loving socialists that are soon going to be overrun.
But we know that the photos actually show Albanian immigrants headed to Italy during the 1990s, so that claim is false.