Italian justice drops charges against Captain Carola Rackete – RT en français
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The activist was prosecuted for having docked in Lampedusa with 42 migrants on board in June 2019. Rackete “acted in the fulfillment of the duty of rescue provided for by national and international law of the sea”, estimated the Italian justice.
The Italian justice finally dropped the proceedings against Carola Rackete, the German captain of the humanitarian ship Sea-Watch 3, which had disembarked migrants in Italy in 2019, relayed on December 23 the agency Belga and the specialized site InfoMigrants, based on on a judicial source.
The humanitarian activist “acted in the fulfillment of the duty of rescue provided for by national and international law of the sea,” said Micaela Raimondo, the judge in charge of the case at the court of Agrigento, Sicily. “A ship at sea cannot be considered a safe place: in addition to being at the mercy of adverse meteorological events, it does not allow respect for the fundamental rights of those rescued”, she added.
Carola Rackete was arrested at the end of June 2019 for having forcibly docked on the Italian island of Lampedusa to disembark 42 migrants who had been on the ship for more than two weeks after being rescued off Libya. The then Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini had prevented their disembarkation, as part of his policy of “closed ports” to migrants. The Italian justice notably accused the German captain of having attempted a dangerous maneuver against the customs boat which came to meet her to prevent her from dropping anchor. As a result, she faced up to ten years in prison for “resistance or violence against a warship”.
“Frontex is complicit in the forced return of thousands of victims of serious human rights violations in Libya”, accuses Rackete
For this accusation, in a previous judgment in May 2021, the Italian justice had first ruled in favor of Carola Rackete, believing that she had done her duty by saving human lives, because she could not moor at the port of Tripoli, in Libya, considered an insecure place. In the same case, she was also prosecuted for “resistance to public officers”, a charge that the Italian justice has therefore just dropped.
We must confront the authorities of democratic states
Carola Rackete spoke in a statement on December 23, criticizing the EU’s migration policy: “In our modern history, the most serious human rights violations have not been perpetrated by individuals but by states. […] In recent years, the EU and its member states have spent millions to militarize the border. The European border protection agency Frontex is complicit in the forced return of thousands of people who are victims of serious human rights violations in Libya. Illegal refoulements are perpetrated in Greece, Croatia and Poland […] Therefore, we must confront the authorities of democratic states, and hold them accountable when they commit crimes and injustices, ”she explained.
Here is my reaction to the final closure of investigations against me and @seawatch_intl
The biggest threat to human rights are the states and their authorities bc they hold so much power. We must watch them closely and challenge them whenever they commit injustices. pic.twitter.com/n8D4IJS6sw
– Carola Rackete (@CaroRackete) December 23, 2021
This court decision came as the German NGO Sea-Watch announced that it had recovered a total of more than 270 migrants in the central Mediterranean as part of three rescue operations carried out since December 24 by its ship, the Sea-Watch 3 The latter has been sailing off the Libyan coast since November 2017 and actively searches there for boats of migrants in distress, often in poor condition and likely to sink, which frequently head to Lampedusa due to its proximity to the coasts of Africa. North.
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