EU complicit in criminalising search and rescue in the Mediterranean

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Carola Rackete, captain of the Sea-Watch 3, was arrested on June 29 for docking the search and rescue vessel in Italy without permission. This is the latest confrontation in a longer battle launched by the Italian government against non-governmental organisations who rescue people in distress in the central Mediterranean.

While it may seem that far-right politicians in Italy are driving the criminalisation of people on the move along with those seeking to support them, the problem is actually more far-reaching. It is not only in Italy where activists are being criminalised, but also in Greece and elsewhere, as hostile policy environments impede civil society groups from providing support to those seeking peace and safety. It is a 2002 EU council directive that provides a legal framework for prosecuting those who facilitate the unauthorised entry, transit and residence of people travelling to the EU.

Read full article written by Vicki Squire.

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