Statement of the German group Cars of Hope Wuppertal: Solidarity with Life-Savers at Sea, Other Supporters and Refugees!
Image: Solidarity action in Ancona, Italy. Banner says: “Rescuing lifes is not a crime. Free the Iucenta.” Image by Twitter account: @MeltingPotEU
Published by Enough is Enough.
Solidarity with Life-Savers at Sea, Other Supporters and Refugees!
On Wednesday the second of August 2017, the rescue boat Iuventa of the organisation Jugend Rettet e.V. was seized by Italian authorities. Various media published alleged proof for cooperation between people on board of the Iuventa and Libyan human trafficers. But the audiotapes that were released by Italian authorities actually don’t proof anything.
The seizure of the Iuventa is another attempt in the criminalisation campaign against life-savers that has been going on for months now. German interior minister Thomas de Mazière is taking part in this campaign. Again and again it’s suggested that life-savers work together with human trafficers. But these claims are unproven. However there are strong indications that the Libyan coastguard, which is supported by the EU, are working together with human trafficers.
The seizure of the Iuventa followed shortly after various sea rescue organisations refused to sign the so-called “Code of Conduct”. The Italian government demanded the organisations to sign a contract that violates international law, which was documented in a report of the German Bundestag. If the organisations had signed this contract, they would have been able to rescue considerably fewer lifes.
Supporters from across the world try to do something against the mass drownings in the Mediterranean sea. They have to do this because the European governments fail to open safe routes for refugees. Among other things the sea rescue missions are a possibility to support desperate people who are being left alone. Because of the criminalisation of these organisations and the seizure of their ships even more refugees will die! This criminalisation is also an attempt to lower the willingness to donate. The authorities know that the rescue missions at sea are financed by donations.
The repression against refugees and supporters is increasing everywhere in Europe. More and more people who are seeking refuge are imprisoned, subject to police violence and deported. Partly people are deported illegally by so-called “push-backs”. We were even threatened with arrest because we were daring to distribute food to refugees. One of the consequences was that we distributed food in the middle of the night in Serbia. Of course we also support people in need when state authorities don’t like it.
We demand: Release the Iuventa! No obstruction of life-savers! Support the commitment on land and at sea! Stop the repression against refugees and supporters! Safe passage for all people!
Cars of Hope Wuppertal, 04. August 2017
Some people of the Enough is Enough team will join Cars of Hope on their mission in Greece later this month. Support refugees in Greece! Crowdfunding campaign: Click at the banner (at the left) to donate.