Doctors Without Borders (MSF), an independent, medical humanitarian organization, has announced a freeze on its rescue operations for migrants in the Mediterranean Sea.

According to the head of the Italian section of the organization, Lauris de Felipe, the suspension came after threats by the Libyan Coast Guard and the policies adopted by the Italian government that impeded the function of the mission.

He added that the Libyan authorities have called on the staff of international relief organizations to keep a distance of hundreds of kilometres away from the coast despite that earlier activists were allowed to carry out search and rescue operations at 11 miles from the coast.