After more than two weeks carrying 40 people on a refugee rescue ship, the captain of the Sea-Watch 3 Carola Rackete docked on the Italian island Lampedusa. She is accused for resisting a warship order, of and hitting a police boat while forcing her way in the port. She was placed directly under house arrest and the ship got confiscated.
Sea-Watch writes: “In the end it was captain Carola Rackete who was both forced and willing to take responsibility and who brought the people to safety against all adversities. Without permission she entered Italian waters and later the port of Lampedusa. She enforced the rights of the rescued people to be disembarked to a place of safety.”
More than 600 people have already died this year in the Mediterranean Sea and without people like Carola Rackete it would have been even more. Yet she is facing repression and she is not the only one. In August 2017 the Iuventa, another rescue ship was also confiscated. This happened during the election in Italy following a hate campaign of the right-wing against refugees and NGOs. Pia Klemp, captain of the ship Iuventa and her crew are prosecuted and risk up to 20 years imprisonment.
This is criminalising sea rescue and solidarity, while European states are working hand in hand with the state of Libya and financing torture detention centres. It is easy to understand the intention to ban all witnesses from this European “blot on the landscape” and the dirty deals to stop migration. With the logic “what we do not see, does not exist” and at all costs.
This has to stop. Free Carola Rackete. Solidarity with everyone fighting against Europeans brutal policies.