Year after year, thousands of refugees cross the Mediterranean Sea, hoping to escape poverty, famine, and violence back home and build a life for themselves and their families. Year after year, thousands perish without even getting the chance to try. Many of these refugees are African.
Sea-Watch is an organization that is working to ensure that migrants crossing the Mediterranean Sea can gain safe passage. They provide emergency relief capacities, demand for rescue operations by European institutions, and stand up publicly for legal escape routes. Learn more here: https://sea-watch.org/en/
On June 12, 2019, Sea-Watch 3 captain Carola Rackete, and her crew, rescued 53 migrants from an inflatable raft off the coast of Libya. In the two weeks they remained at sea, the crew was denied entry to ports in Malta and Italy and were facing a health crisis among the overheated migrants on-board.
Sea-Watch 3 entered the port at Lampedusa on June 29th, 2019, and Carola was immediately arrested by Italian officials and charged with “resistance and violence against war ships.” The Sea-Watch 3 has been seized by Italian authorities and Italian interior minister Matteo Salvini has promised “a maximum fine” for the Sea-Watch organization, which could reach up to €50,000.
Carola has been freed, but our work has not ended.
On July 6th, ACT joins the European Trade Union Confederation and activists across the globe in calling upon the Italian government to drop all charges against the crew of the Sea-Watch 3 and to release the vessel without delay. Please wear orange to symbolize our solidarity both with rescue organizations working in the Mediterranean and with migrants across the world who risk their lives to seek better lives for themselves and their families.
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Migration is not a crime, solidarity is not a crime, and humanitarian aid must never be criminalized.