German sea rescue ship detained in southern Italy

Italian authorities have banned the “Sea-Watch 3” from leaving the port of Reggio Calabria. Marine rescuers are fighters.

Italy seizes German maritime rescue ship “Sea-Watch 3”. The ship was blocked in the port of the southern Italian city of Reggio Calabria after bringing 427 migrants ashore last weekend, aid agency Sea-Watch announced on Friday. The Berlin association cannot estimate when the ship will be free again, as spokeswoman Mattia Wiehe said at the request. He spoke of a political move. A blockade of the port is expected to last for weeks or months.

Civilian sea rescuers regularly complain that authorities in Rome often detain their ships for frivolous reasons. The European Court of Justice announced a ruling in August that this must be limited. According to Sea-Watch, Italy accused the NGO of bringing too many refugees and migrants on boats during the latest rescue operation.

“From the absurd argument that so many people have been saved, it follows that people should be allowed to drown,” the association wrote in a statement. Sea-Watch is now trying to expedite the arrest with the help of their lawyers.

Aid agencies are worried about parliamentary elections

Sea Watch board member Johannes Baer said, “Just before the parliamentary elections, the Italian authorities are increasing the criminalization of immigration and civilian sea rescues. They are once again trying to prevent us all from exercising their right to safety and life in an unreasonable manner.” . “But they will not succeed because we will continue our work and fight harder than ever.”

Voluntary organizations are concerned about Sunday’s election in Italy. According to polls, right-wing parties are expected to celebrate a clear victory. They want strong action against sea rescuers. During the election campaign, both a naval blockade off the African coast and the reactivation of a law banning foreign rescue ships from entering Italian ports were called for to crack down on migrants.


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