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Charlie Andreasson

Human Right Defender

I VÄNTAN PÅ ATT JAG ÅTERIGEN ÄR AKTIV MED ATT RÄDDA FLYENDE MÄNNISKOR PÅ MEDELHAVET KOMMER JAG ATT LÄGGA UPP LÄNKAR TILL ARTIKLAR OM VAD SOM SKER I ÄMNET. VAD SOM BEHÖVER KOMMA TILL ALLMÄNHETENS KÄNNEDOM ÄR DELS ATT MÄNNISKOR FORTFARANDE FÖRSÖKER KROSSA HAVET I SIN FLYKT UNDAN KRIG, TERROR, GLOBALA ORÄTTVISOR OCH ÖVERGREPP PÅ DE MÄNSKLIGA RÄTTIGHETERNA.

19/4-19

Den politiska kontexten samt räddningsorganisationer och deras fartyg:

 

A petition was filed by The Global Action Network (GLAN) a group of lawyers, yesterday to the European Court of Human Rights, against Greece for the arrest in 2016 of a man accused of human smuggling for his rescue work in the Aegean Sea. According to the network’s press release, the petition opens up a new legal front in the fight of human rights advocates and NGOs helping in rescues at sea and EU authorities and governments criminalising them. “The Strasbourg court has now the opportunity to condemn the growing trend in Greece and Europe of criminalising solidarity,” said Violeta Moreno-Lax, a senior law lecturer at Queen Mary University of London and GLAN adviser. She added that rescuing people in distress at sea is not a crime but “a binding duty under international law.

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18/4-19

Den politiska kontexten samt räddningsorganisationer och deras fartyg:

 

According to an Italian media outlet – Il Manifesto, the Italian government has been advocating to the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) to make changes to the “place of safety”. The IMO also confirmed the difficulties of coordination of rescues by the Libyan JRCC to the media outlet, but also said there is no way to control what is going on in Libya and their coordination centre.
* Article needs paid registration online to be read. 

 

Two media outlets, Repubblica and Avvenire, published audio conversations between the Italian MRCC and the Libyan and an Italian navy ship in Tripoli helping the Libyan coast guard, on the coordination of Mediterranea mission’s rescue of 50 people in March. The captain and head of mission of Mediterranea are under investigation by the prosecution of Agrigento on miss-conduct/not following orders allegations during that rescue. The conversations show once again the Libyan’s not speaking English and being inefficient/incapable of coordinating the rescue.

 

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17/4-19

Den politiska kontexten samt räddningsorganisationer och deras fartyg:

 

Spanish NGO ship Proactiva Open Arms, that has been blocked by Spanish authorities in the port of Barcelona for over 100d days and prevented to continue its SAR activities in the central Mediterranean, was given permission to sail to the Greek islands of Lesbos and Samos to deliver humanitarian aid to refugees stranded there. The NGO still denounces the non-authorization to proceed with SAR operations in the central Mediterranean SAR region.

 

Aita Mari ship was yesterday also finally given authorization from the Spanish authorities to sail from Mallorca, where it was recently docked, to the Greek islands of Lesbos and Chios, in order to deliver humanitarian aid to the refugees stranded there.

 

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16/4-19

Den politiska kontexten samt räddningsorganisationer och deras fartyg:

Nu bär inte längre Sea-Eye med sitt fartyg Alan Kurdi ensamt bördan som räddningsenhet i Medelhavet mellan Libyen och Europa. Mediterranea med sitt fartyg Mare Jonio är nu väg till området. Mer om det nedan.

Mare Jonio ship of Mediterranea mission, left this morning from Lampedusa and it’s sailing towards the SAR region of the central Mediterranean Sea.

Italian Minister of Interior, Salvini, Italian Prime Minister Conte, and 3 other senior members of the government are under investigation by prosecutors in Sicily, for false imprisonment over the detention of 47 migrants who were prevented from disembarking the Sea-Watch 3 ship and were in stand-off for more than a week.

 

Yesterday, the SOS MEDITERRANEE network launched a video-animation part of the EU elections push to call on new EU members of Parliament to take action on rescues at sea and to respect the law. The videos also narrate what happened from 2014, in the last 5 years in the erosion of tacking the issues and rescues in the central Mediterranean. A video for this “EU election push” will be published each Tuesday for 4 consecutive weeks, while approaching the EU elections on the end of May, in all of the networks social media and websites in all the languages.

 

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15/4-19

Den politiska kontexten samt räddningsorganisationer och deras fartyg

 

The 62-rescued people by Alan Kurdi ship of Sea-Eye NGO, were finally able to disembark on Saturday 13 April following more than 10 days of stand-off, and 2 people that were medically evacuated in the previous days. Four EU countries, Germany, France, Luxembourg and Portugal agreed on taking the migrants once they disembarked in Valletta – Malta. The people were transferred from the Alan Kurdi to Maltese army boats that brought them to land. However, the authorities of Malta did not allow the ship to enter the port of Valletta and the crew to disembark, thus the ship started its sail back to Mallorca- Spain.
SAR NGOs and civil organisations/networks: Sea-Eye, Mediterranea, Sea-Watch, Open Arms, Jugend Rettet, Alarm Phone and Seebrücke released yesterday a joint statement regarding the Alan Kurdi case – “Joint Statement –The case of Alan Kurdi”.  

 

Mare Jonio ship of Italian Mediterranea mission left the port of Marsala (Sicily) on Sunday. The ship has now arrived in the port of Lampedusa and it is waiting for weather conditions to improve to be able to sail in the SAR region of the central Mediterranean Sea soon. 

 

Aita Mari ship of Maydayterraneo and Salvamento Maritimo Humanitario NGO was allowed to sail from Spain to Lisbon. However, the plan of Aita Mari was to sail to the Aegean Greek islands of Lesbos and Chios to deliver humanitarian aid and medicines to the people of refugees’ camps there, but was blocked once again by the Spanish government, while at the same time they had a green light from the Portuguese authorities. The NGO condemned the Spanish government in a press release for blocking them once again from sailing.

 

Today the SOS MEDITERRANEE network launch a campaign to call on the members of the EU parliament that will be elected to respect the law of the sea. 4 short animated video will be released on the network’s social media in all 4 languages, 1 video each week. Follow the campaign on the different websites and social media!

 

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12/4-19

Den politiska kontaxten samt räddningsorganisationer och deras fartyg:

 

A young pregnant woman was medically evacuated to Malta from the Alan Kurdi ship of Sea-Eye NGO last night. The Alan Kurdi ship has rescued 64 people more than a week ago (Wednesday 3 rd April) and has still not be assigned a place of safety to disembark the survivors, while conditions are deteriorating onboard.

 

The boat in distress with 20 people on board that was alerted by Moonbird aircraft asset of Sea-Watch and Alarm Phone NGO yesterday, was intercepted last night by the Libyan coast guard and people were returned to war-torn Libya according to Alarm Phone. Tweet by SOS Med Intl.

 

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11/4-19

Den politiska kontexten samt räddningsorganisationer och ders farrtyg:

 

The Alan Kurdi ship of Sea-Eye is still waiting to be assigned a port to be disembark the 62 rescued people. Today is the 9 th day of standby and conditions onboard are deteriorating. Last night a pregnant woman was medically evacuated to Malta following an epileptic seizure. Two days ago NGO MOAS from Malta provided the ship with food and NFIs (Non-Food Items). The president of Sea-Eye stated today “We must put an end to this. It is unacceptable that one person after another has to fall ill to be able to finally get off the ship,” @seaeyeorg president Gorden Isler.

 

French Minister of Interior, Christophe Castaner, said today that France is ready to take 20 of the rescued people currently stranded on the Alan Kurdi ship. Also Germany stated to be ready to take people from the Alan Kurdi to Germany once they are able to disembark. French minister of interior also stated to the Prime Minister of Malta that France and Germany are ready to go on site to facilitate the transfer of the 20 people in need of protection if they are firstly allowed to disembark in Malta.

 

Late last night, 70 rescued people disembarked escorted by Italian coast guard and Guardia di Finanza, in the Italian island of Lampedusa. According to media reports they were understood to be Libyans fleeing the country after the renewed clashes. Sources said to Italian newsagency ANSA that the boat was intercepted by Italian authorities and then escorted to Lampedusa by the Italian coast guard. Minister of Interior, Salvini, stated that they are working to expel them in the following hours and send them back to their countries of origin.

 

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10/4-19

Den politiska kontexten samt räddningsorganisationer och deras fartyg:

 

Alarm Phone NGO, had an alert of a boat in distress off the Libyan Coast this morning. According to the NGO the boat had no engine was taking in water and 8 people out of 20 were missing in the water. According to Sea-Watch NGO, Moonbirb aircraft asset, spotted the boat in distress and sent a mayday call to all assets in the area, following that an unidentified military aircraft responded by dropping a life raft and asked Sea-Watch to contact the Tunisian coast guard. In the afternoon, Moonbird said they alerted 2 private ships about the distress boat but got no answer. UNHCR Libya also tweeted on the case and called for an increase in search and rescue capacity, while also reminding that Libya is not a place of safety.  

 

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Reliefweb: Report: Turning a blind eye? The rescue of migrants in the Mediterranean

9/4-19

Den politiska kontexten samt räddningsorganisationwer och deras fartyg:

Today, a 24-year-old woman was medically evacuated to Malta from the Alan Kurdi ship of Sea-Eye NGO. The rest of the 64 rescued people are still waiting a safe place to be disembarked while they are ending their 6 th day on the ship. Press-release of Sea-Eye today.

SOS MEDITERRANEE France, published an open letter to French Minister of Interior, Christophe Castaner, today, in response to his statements last week which openly stated that “NGOs are accomplices of smugglers and there are proofs that verify that [...]”.  

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8/4-19

Den politiska kontexten samt räddningsorganisationer och deras fartyg:

 

The Alan Kurdi ship of Sea-Eye, is still waiting for a place to safely disembark the 64 people it rescued in the central Mediterranean last Wednesday. The NGO appealed to the government of Malta, but no official response yet. Press Release -  PR from Sea-Eye.

 

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6/3-19

Den politiska kontexten samt räddningsorganisationer och deras fartyg:

Återigen ett uttalande inte ens värdig en brännvinsadvokat, den här gången av den franske inrikesministern Christophe Castaner som under ett G7-möte hävdade att frivilligorganisationer som räddar människor till sjöss gör sig skyldig till människosmuggling. Som tyngd för påståendet hävdar han att där finns bevis för att några av dessa räddningsorganisationer har varit i telefonkontakt med smugglare. Vi lär få dröja med att se dessa bevis men i denna tidevarv med falska nyheter kanske inte det behövs, det räcker med att påstå att där finns bevis. Den första länken nedan leder till en artikel på franska om saken.

Today, French Minister of Interior, Christophe Castaner, in a meeting of G7 ministers of interior stated that “NGOs rescuing people at sea could be accomplices of smugglers”, referring also that “It was observed that some NGOs were in contact with smugglers by phone, which in this case are able to be accomplices of smugglers”.

Alan Kurdi ship of Sea-Eye SAR NGO, has still not been assigned a place of safety to disembark the 64 rescued people, that rescued in the central Mediterranean SAR region last Wednesday. They have medically evacuated to children and their mothers to the Italian island of Lampedusa, today. The German government stated that it was ready to welcome some of the rescued people, but they call on other European governments to also participate.

On Thursday, UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, stated his shock on the level of suffering of migrants at detention centre in Tripoli which he visited during his visit to Libya. “This is, of course, not only a responsibility for Libya, it’s a responsibility for the whole of the international community,” the UN chief added. Guterres also said that “in the present circumstances that we are living, it would be very difficult to argue that disembarkation in Libya is disembarkation in a safety situation”. He appealed to the international community "to understand the need for international refugee law to be fully respected, and the need to address the migration problem in a way that is compatible with the defence of the interests of the state but also the human rights of the migrants".

Human Rights at Sea NGO based in the UK published the first version of the inaugural ‘Geneva Declaration on Human Rights at Sea’, following the initial drafting session in Switzerland 20-21 March 2019. The principal aim of the Declaration as HRAS states, is to raise global awareness of the abuse of human rights at sea and to mobilise a concerted international effort to put an end to it.

 

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4/4-19

Den politiska kontexten samt räddningsorganisationer och deras fartyg:

According to Sea-Eye SAR NGO, their Alan Kurdi ship that rescued 64 people from a boat in distress yesterday, is currently between Malta and Lampedusa while the weather conditions are deteriorating. No place of safety assigned yet.
Italian Deputy Prime Minister, Matteo Salvini, states that “Human traffickers are more aggressive and NGOs create problems . The Libyan coast guard, is considered trustworthy by the European Commission, launching alarm and asking for help. For the smugglers our ports remain closed”.

 

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3/4-19

Den politiska kontexten samt räddningsorganisationer och deras fartyg

Alan Kurdi ship of Sea-Eye rescued a boat in distress with 64 people near Zuwarah Libya this afternoon. Alarm Phone NGO had sent the alert and the GPS position, following a call to authorities that as the NGO says, could not be reached. All of the rescued people are safe onboard the Alan Kurdi, including 10 women and 6 children.

Today, over 250 civil society organisations sent a joint open letter to the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, appealing for an emergency plan to rescue migrants in the Mediterranean. Organisations that signed included MSF, Amnesty International, Sea Watch, the German Confederation of Trade Unions, Pro Asyl, and SOS MEDITERRANEE Germany.

 

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2/4-19

Politisk kontext samt räddningsorganisationer och deras fartyg:

Nederländerna och Spanien försvårar nu än mer för räddningsorganisationer att rädda människor i nöd i Medelhavet med de mest märkliga argument som omkullkastar allt vad logiskt tänkande innebär. I Nederländernas del försöker de hävda att de är oroliga för säkerheten för de undsatta ombord på räddningsfartyget, detta samtidigt som 50 personer, däribland kvinnor och barn, är rapporterade saknade i just det området där dessa organisationen brukar operera i. Mer om detta i länkarna nedan.

Sea-Watch announced in a PR today that the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management, has put in force a new measure that will imply severe consequences to SAR NGOs under the Dutch flag. The measure was provided by the Freedom of Information Act in The Netherlands which is the transparent internal communications of ministries. Johannes Bayers, president of Sea-Watch, says that as they were ready to return to the SAR zone in the central Mediterranean, they are now blocked due to this new measure put in force by the Dutch government. According to Sea-Watch the Dutch ministry has ‘worries on security’ of the people that the ship rescues and come onboard the ship, until they are assigned a place of disembarkation.

Open Arms announced that they will start looking for a change of a new flag/country registry for their ship which is currently under Spanish flag, since the Spanish government is still blocking their ship and the Aita Mari ship to depart from Spain.

Since last night, there is a boat with 50 persons including women and children, missing in the central Mediterranean according to an alert sent by NGO Alarm Phone. The NGO tried to contact the Libyan JRCC on different contacts but since there was no answer they contacted the Italian MRCC that was only limited to give another contact number of the Libyan JRCC who did also not answer. Today the Alan Kurdi ship of Sea-Eye NGO, is heading towards the last distress position of the boat, that was sent last night at 10pm to Alarm Phone.

 

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30/3-19

Den politiska kontexten samt räddningsorganisationer och deras fartyg

Först om räddningsbåtar.

 

Today, Italian deputy PM, Salvini, has modified his last week’s directive on the control of maritime borders, stating that Libya is a safe port, based on an affirmation of the EU legitimising the JRCC in Libya and its SAR zone of responsibility since it has ratified the 1979 Hamburg convention and was registered in the International Maritime Organisation. Immediate responses from UNHCR condemned this decision, saying Libya cannot be considered a place of safety just because there is a presence of the UN agencies there. The European Commission, also denied this clearly stating that “The EU Commission does not consider the Libyan ports as safe ports”.

The Council of the EU has officially published a press release today on the temporary suspension of naval assets from Operation Sophia in the central Mediterranean Sea and the extension of the operation for a further 6 months. “The Council today extended the mandate of EUNAVFOR MED Operation Sophia until 30 September 2019. The Operation Commander has been instructed to suspend temporarily the deployment of the Operation's naval assets for the duration of this extension for operational reasons. EU member states will continue to work in the appropriate fora on a solution on disembarkation as part of the follow-up to the June 2018 European Council conclusions.  The Operation will continue to implement its mandate accordingly,  strengthening surveillance by air assets  as well as  reinforcing support to the Libyan Coastguard and Navy  in law enforcement tasks at sea through enhanced monitoring, including ashore, and continuation of training.”

The Mare Jonio of Mediterranea mission ship has been un-seized, following all checks by the prosecution of Agrigento in Sicily. The captain and the head of mission, Beppe Caccia, are still under investigation for allegations of illegal migrant-trafficking. As the ship is now free, Mediterranea mission announced that they will be returning at sea, central Mediterranean soon.

European news agencies ANSA (Italy), AFP (France), DPA (Germany) and AGERPRES (Romania) have launched a data news service focusing on key issues facing the EU elections. The site is called “ednHUB”.

 

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28/3-19

Räddningsorganisationer samt deras fartyg:

 

Cargo ship that was de-routed from Libya to Malta, by rescued people onboard. The 108 people were all disembarked in the port of Valletta, Malta, escorted by the Maltese armed forces. Five people were arrested, while the rest of rescued people have been medically examined and taken to reception centres. The ship rescued the migrants off Libya and was returning them to a Libyan port on Wednesday when the bridge was taken over some six miles off the Libyan coast. The crew were then ordered to set course towards Malta. The Maltese authorities established contact with the captain of the tanker  ElHiblu 1 when it was about 30 nautical miles away. The captain repeatedly said he was not in control of the vessel and that he and his crew were being forced and threatened by a number of migrants to proceed to Malta, the army said.

 

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27/3-19

Räddningsorganisationer samt deras fartyg:

 

According to UNHCR-Libya, last night, 117 people were rescued/intercepted at sea by the Libyan Coast Guard and were brought back to Tripoli (Libya). According to UNCHR they were provided humanitarian and medical assistance by them and IMC.

In the last 2 days a boat of 16 people and one of 23 arrived and were disembarked in the Italian port of Lampedusa. While Italian authorities are not fully reporting on the arrivals in Italy since the beginning of the year, and the hard-liner of the Minister of Interior, Matteo Salvini, insisting that the ports are closed, the mayor of Lampedusa says “As you can see, ports are not closed, and people still arrive by boat”, he also adds that “I am not being informed with official figures of the arrivals; the only information I get are from the fisherman in the port”.

According to internal sources from the EU, obtained by Reuters, the EU’s anti-smuggling Operation Sophia will no longer deploy naval ships in a decision aimed at resolving a dispute with Italy over where rescued asylum-seekers disembark. Negotiations in Brussels resulted in prolonging the mission (Sophia) for another 6 months without the navy ships, but with a strengthened air surveillance instead. The training of the Libyan coast guard will continue under the scaled-down program. For the moment nothing has been officially confirmed by the competent EU institutions.

A merchant ship that rescued people and was returning them to Tripoli, Libya, has apparently changed route due to pressures to both captain and crew, by the rescued people, and is now sailing towards Malta or Lampedusa. Salvini, said that this would be a case of piracy if they force their entry into Italian territorial waters.
We are following developments on the situation.

In regard with the Sea-Watch case of possible governments/authorities involvement in “kidnapping of people” due to the delayed disembarkation (waiting 12 days in front of the port) of the 49 rescued people in January, the prosecutions of Rome have found that there are elements to further investigate the alleged case of kidnapping. Thus, the prosecution of Rome sent the file’s case to the prosecution of Siracusa that will now have to check if there were misdoings that are under the competency of the Minister’s court of Catania. This is a similar case to the “Diciotti case” in August 2018.

 

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25/3-19

Räddningsorganisationer samt deras fartyg:

  • On Saturday, Mediterranea published a Navtex dispatch the Mare Jonio had received while docked in Lampedusa, alerting ships of a rubber boat in distress with 41 people, reported to have departed from Sabratha, Libya. The message was sent out by Malta radio “on behalf of MRCC Rome”, asking to “report any information to JRCC Libya”. We do not have more information as to what has happened with this distress case since.

 

  • On Friday, Luca Casarini, Head of mission of Mediterranea, has been placed under investigation for the part he took in the rescue by the Mare Jonio last week.

According to ANSA (22/03): “Casarini has been accused of complicity in suspected crimes already posited against the ship's commander. The captain was placed under investigation for favouring illegal immigration and refusing to obey an order from a warship. Captain Pietro Marrone is accused of disobeying a command not to bring the migrants into Italian territorial waters”.

See Mediterranea’s reaction here (“Luca Casarini's inscription to the register of suspects does not surprise us, yet another occasion to shed light on our work and on what is happening in the central Mediterranean).

 

  • Sea Eye has announced that the Seefuchs (Sea Eye’s rescue ship in the past) was donated to the Spanish rescue organization Proem Aid and would be used as a SAR training ship based in Seville, Spain, in the future. The ship used to sail under a Dutch fag, which was revoked, and was then provided with a German flag. It seems (even though it is not clearly mentioned as such in the press release) that German authorities did not allow for the 60-year-old ship to pursue its SAR mission for administrative reasons -the press release says the German authorities considered the ship “too old” and thus not suitable for conducting rescues. The ship is now sailing under a Spanish flag and will be renamed “LIFE” (Sea Eye’s press release).

 

  • “On Friday, Sea-Eye founder Michael Buschheuer announced the launch of a new charity called "Space-Eye," which is to start reconnaissance and documentation work on the maritime zone off the Libyan coast "in the coming weeks." Space-Eye entered into a contract with Planet, a private US Earth-imaging company and satellite operator, whose goal is to image the entirety of the planet daily to "make global change visible, accessible, and actionable." A Space-Eye spokesperson told InfoMigrants that Planet will monitor and analyze an area of up to 4,500 square kilometers off the Libyan coast to indicators for refugee movements”, from Infomigrants.

 

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22/3-19

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Following Tuesday’s shipwreck:

-        Dozens of migrants missing after boat capsizes off Libya, AP

About the people rescued by the Mare Jonio:

-        Migrants saved by rescue vessel report violence in Libya, Infomigrants

“One of the migrants saved by the Mare Jonio rescue ship had previously crossed the Strait of Sicily and was sent back to Libya five times. The man's body has marks of torture on it, allegedly suffered in Libyan detention centers. Many of those onboard the ship tell similar stories of violence and torture.”

 

Extramaterial:

-        UN: Horrors Await Migrants in Libyan Detention Centers, VOA

« U.N. Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights Andrew Gilmour is calling for an end to restrictions that prohibit nonprofit groups from rescuing the migrants at sea. He also urges the European Union to end its support of the Libyan Coast Guard.”

-        UN Rights Council Should Establish Libya Mechanism, HRW

-        'Someone has to pay': Italy reeling after school bus hijack, The Local

-        Roger, Ivorian migrant in Libya: "I helped, alone, in the dark, my wife to give birth", Infomigrants (Fr)
-         The dead tell more than the living: identifying the victims of shipwrecks in the Mediterranean, Infomigrants (Fr)

-        Brest: A simulator unique in Europe helps to train rescue at sea, 20 minutes (Fr)

21/3-19

Räddningsorganisationer samt deras fartyg:

 

MSF released a report today on “Alarming rates of malnutrition and inhumane conditions in Tripoli detention centre”. The report, states the rates of malnutrition in the Sabaa detention centre in Libya where MSF did an assessment. MSF calls on Libyan authorities and international community to urgently address the inhumane and dangerous conditions in Libyan detention centres. “The fact that Europe, too, is contributing to this suffering through policies that enable people rescued at sea to be forcibly returned to inhumane detention conditions in Libya is utterly unconscionable” said Karline Kleijer – MSF’s head of emergencies.

Alan Kurdi ship by SAR NGO Sea-Eye has announced its departure today from the port of Palma de Mallorca to the SAR region in the central Mediterranean Sea.

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20/3-19

Räddningsorganisationer samt deras fartyg:

Last night Mare Jonio ship of Italian SAR NGO Mediterranea disembarked in the port of Lampedusa 48 (1 was medically evacuated before) rescued people. The prosecution of Agrigento opened an investigation against the ship and the ship has now seized. Today the captain and crew of Mare Jonio ship went through interrogations for the aforementioned allegations. The NGO said that they acted in all legality and that they will appeal to the decision of the seizure. For the moment the investigations from the prosecutions of Agrigento are against the captain of Mare Jonio ship, Pietro Marrone, for the allegations of favoring illegal migration.

Today, the Italian Senate voted on Minister’s of Interior “Diciotti” case on whether to confirm his parliamentary immunity or not and thus proceed with a legal prosecution against him with accuses of “withholding individuals’ freedom” when he prohibited the disembarkation of 177 rescued people from the Italian military ship Diciotti in August 2018. The senate voted against the continuation of prosecution of Salvini.

 

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19/3-19

Räddningsorganisationer samt deras fartyg:

- Yesterday evening, Mare Jonio ship from Mediterranea mission, rescued 49 people from a boat in distress in the central Mediterranean SAR zone. The rescue was not coordinated by the Italian MRCC but they were notified, according to Mediterranea. They asked for a place of safety to disembark the 49 rescued people, but had no answer. Concurrently the ship started sailing towards Lampedusa due to bad weather conditions so to get shelter from bad weather. The Lampedusa port authority told them to stop the engines and not to enter Italian territorial waters. Nonetheless, the captain of Mare Jonio entered Italian territorial waters saying that “the passengers’ lives were at risk” facing 3m high waves and 7knots. Then the port authority indicated them a stand-by point 1 mile from the islands port.
They have still not been assigned a place of safety to disembark the rescued people. We are monitoring for developments. 

- The Italian Minister of Interior, Matteo Salvini, released a directive yesterday evening, addressed to heads of law enforcement agencies and port authorities /military navy. The directive asks the addressed authorities to “prevent the illegal entry of immigrants on national territory in order to protect the order and public security of the Italian State”.
The decree in brief says that this would conflict with national security and national migration laws: bringing irregular migration into European and national territory creates a risk to public order and national security.
Then it refers to the specific rescue by Mare Jonio ship of Mediterranea mission yesterday, saying that it conducted a rescue without the coordination of the Italian MRCC thus, when they asked for a place of safety, Italy was not obliged to assign one, also because the rescue was done in a place of no competency of Italy (“Libyan SAR zone”).
Nonetheless, “the captain directed the ship towards the Italian coast” while being aware of all the aforementioned. Amongst other things the directive concludes that this rescue had as an objective to transfer irregular migrants to Italian territory and that “the passage of the rescue ship in Italian territorial waters is harming for the good public order and security of the Italian state, due to the aim of introducing irregular migrants and so violating immigration laws”. It also says that this is not “an occasional instance, but a “modus operandi” since 2016, that concretely favours illegal entrance of migrants in European territory”.
Tweet from Amnesty International researcher Matteo de Bellis on first thoughts in regard with the directive.

- According to Libyan sources reported by MSF and also by Alarm phone, a boat carrying at least 44 people has sunk off the coast of Sabratha-Libya. According to IOM Libya 15 people were rushed to the hospital but there is still no estimate on how many migrants were on board.   A body of a baby was found according to the Libian navy’s spokesperson.

 

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18/3-19

Situationen för räddningsorganisationer samt deras fartyg:

Mare Jonio ship of Mediterranea left the port of Palermo (Sicily) on Saturday and is directed to the search and rescue zone of the central Mediterranean.

Today, SAR NGOs finalists of the Sakharov prize, including representatives of SOS MEDITERRANEE, participated in a discussion about their work to the MEPs of the Civil Liberties Committee and Human Rights Subcommittee , in the EU Parliament in Brussels. Closing of European ports and temporary relocation mechanisms, SAR operations and political implications of criminalizing NGOs as well as solidarity cities and civil society support are the main topics that were discussed.

Italian prosecutor of minors in Catania, Caterina Ajello, had repeatedly asked the ministry of Interior and the ministry of infrastructure in regard with her concerns on the delay of the disembarkation of the 15 minors that were rescued by Sea-Watch 3 in January and only allowed them to disembark 2 weeks later. This fact adds to the ongoing investigation by 2 prosecutions against the Italian government on the delay of disembarkation and change of place of safety, in the Sea Watch case, January 2019.  

 

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15/3-19

 
 
Situationen för räddningsorganisationer och deras fartyg:
 
 Open Arms – I Barcelona utan tillstånd att få lämna kaj 
 
Alan Kurdi - Tillbaka i Palma de Mallorca för tillfället 
 
Sea-Watch 3 – I Marseille för att komma tillrätta med tekniska problem 
 
Aita Mari – Santander 
 
Lifeline - Satta i blockad på Malta 
 
Mare Jonio – I Palermo för arbete med fartyget
 
Detta betyder att det för tillfället inte finns några räddningsfartyg från frivilligorganisationer i området.

 

According to Spanish rights activist, Helena Maleno, 45 people were reported dead in the Alboran sea in the Western Mediterranean Sea between Morocco and Spain. According to Moroccan authorities 21 people were rescued by the Morocco Royal Marines from the same shipwreck, 1 body was recovered but the were unaware of the total number of dead. Apparently the boat went missing yesterday and it finally capsized.

 

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14/3-19

Search and rescue aircraft Moonbird of Sea Watch has terminated maintenance work and it’s on its way to the SAR zone in the central Mediterranean, “to spot distress cases in time and to document human rights violations”

Italian Minister of Interior, Matteo Salvini, made a pledge yesterday in response to interrogations in Parliament that asked to suspend agreements with Libya. The pledges consisted of putting all possible efforts to ensure that human rights are respected in centres for migrants in Libya managed by the government and with humanitarian aid organisations working inside them. Amongst other comments he also said that “Italy is working to ensure that Libya fully respects human rights” and that “is supporting programs for voluntary repatriation”.

Human Rights Watch France’s Director, Bénédicte Jeannerod issued an article today about the “exposure of France’s cynical and callous attitude on migration” in regard to the government gifting 6 boats to the Libyan coast guard. The article talks about the initiation of the material provision and technical support to the Libyan Coast Guard (LCG) by Italy and that is now being followed by France. It accuses this act as “deeply hypocritical” by French President Macron who during different occasions he publicly condemned the abuse of migrants in Libya as “crimes against humanity”.

 

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13/3-19

A team from UNHCR in Libya accompanied the Dutch Minister of Migration and a delegation from The Netherlands, to Tripoli’s naval base where according to their statement “Most refugees and migrant are disembarked by Libyan Coast Guards”. Officials explained their work and life-saving activities humanitarians do at disembarkation points.

According to the spokesperson of IOM in Libya 23 people were returned to Libya after having spent 6 days at sea. The same spokesperson state in a tweet “The question on why it took so long to rescue them remains.” Doctors are providing urgent medical assistance to the people.

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11/3-19

A file has been open by 2 prosecutions on the Sea Watch case in Sicily, regarding the initial stop of disembarkation of rescued people in the port of Siracusa and their final transfer/disembarkation in the port of Catania last month. According to the law the 15 unaccompanied minors had to be disembarked immediately once the ship of Sea Watch 3 arrived in Italy.
The file has now been transferred from the prosecutor of Siracusa to the one of Catania (Carmelo Zuccaro) where the investigations will continue on how the facts evolved during the change of port of disembarkation. According to the prosecutor of Siracusa, the prefect and port authority of Siracusa got orders from Rome to proceed with disembarkation in Catania.
At first, when the official documents were requested by Sea Watch legal representatives , both government and the ministry of infrastructure denied them stating that they were retained “top-secret” state documents.

 

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Info Migrants: If you want good migration policies, ask the migrants

8/3-19

Läget för räddningsorganisationer och deras fartyg:
 
Open Arms – Befinner sig i Barcelona utan tillstånd att få lämna kaj 
 
Alan Kurdi - Tillbaka i Palma de Mallorca efter att ha sökt av en del av havet i dåligt väder under flera dagar utan att finna något 
 
Sea-Watch 3 – I Marseille för arbete 
 
Aita Mari – Befinner sig i San Sebastian utan tillstånd att få lämna kaj 
 
Lifeline - Hålls i blockad på Malta 
 
Mare Jonio – I Palermo för arbete 

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6/3-19

An Armed Forces of Malta (AFM) patrol boat, rescued 87 people off the Italian island of Lampedusa last night, and brought them to Malta this morning. The AMF was informed by Rome’s MRCC, after an Italian naval asset operating under Frontex was dispatched but could not provide any assistance due to technical faults.

EU Commissioner on Migration, Dimitris Avramopoulos, said today that lessons should be drawn from the ad hoc solutions of disembarkation of rescued migrants in the summer of 2018 and the latest rescues in January 2019. The EU commissioner also added that the EU member states’ ministers of Interior will meet in Brussels tomorrow and upon other topics will discuss the topic of a temporary system of managing disembarkation of migrants

Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International published a letter today to Carmen Daniela Dan, Minister of Internal Affairs – Presidency of the Council of the European Union – with a 20 steps recommendations for a “Plan of Action: Twenty steps for a fair and predictable rescue system in the Mediterranean Sea”. The action plan proposes collective and workable solutions to save human lives and set up a fair system to share responsibility for examining and processing claims of people seeking protection disembarked in European ports.

According to Mediterranea mission, their ship Mare Jonio that is currently in Palermo Sicily, will be ready to depart for the central Mediterranean Search & Rescue area on March 13. The departure will be following 2 last planned inspections from the port authorities.

Alan Kurdi ship of Sea-Eye arrived in Palma de Mallorca port, following 20 days at sea in the central Mediterranean SAR area and not being able to do a single rescue due to stormy weather, according to Germany’s Green party MP Berivan Aymaz.

 

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5/3-19

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4/3-19

On Sunday , dozens of migrants scrambled aboard a docked cross-Channel ferry in Calais (France), breaking into a highly protected area using ladders to climb on the ship. People were trying to get to the UK before the 29 March when Britain is set to leave the EU. Dozens were detained by the French police, while 12 of them are due to appear in court.

 

Saturday’s anti-racist and anti-right wing government protest in Milan exceeded 250,000 participants, including more than 1000 NGOs, networks, municipalities and civil society organisations. Demonstrators marched under the slogan "People First", with organisers issuing a mission statement saying diversity is a cultural treasure. "We want Italy and Europe to change their policies, to put people at the centre with their difficulties," one man told Italian broadcaster Rai TV. Search and Rescue NGOs also participated.
Euronews: Video extract

 

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1/3-19

Tomorrow, March 2, 2019, a big citizens’ mobilisation will take place in Milan at 14h00 with the slogan “People - Humans first”. This national antiracist protest/march is against any kind of discrimination and against the governments “Italians first” policies. It is already counting more than 1,000 associations participating with an open call from the mayor of Milano, Giuseppe Sala and a full participation of the council of Milan amongst others. The people joining the march are expected to be tens of thousands.

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28/2-19

News outlet “Politico EU” published an article today in which it states that internal documents and reports from the European External Action Service (EEAS) on the European Sophia Operation in the central Mediterranean Sea, were leaked. These “leaked” documents refer to amongst others “leadership of the operation requesting to stop search and rescue activities to focus more on the anti-trafficking/smuggling mandate of the operation”, officials acknowledging internally that some members of the Libyan coast guard that the EU funds, equips and trains are collaborating with smuggling networks.", admitting that the operation was limited by its own mandate and showing that the EU is aware that many of these policies have made the sea crossing more dangerous for migrants but nonetheless chose to continue to pursue those strategies.

 

While this article with the links to the leaked reports has been broadly shared by different human rights organisations, it is important to remain careful regarding the validity and veracity of these leaked documents until further verifications.

 

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The Guardian: More than half of 2.6bln dollars aid to Yemen pledged by countries involved in war

27/2-19

Sea-Watch 3 har nu anlänt till Marseille för ett planerat varvsbesök. Frågan är dock om det kommer att beveka myndigheterna i Nederländerna som fortfarande inte tillåter dem att utföra räddningsoperationer i centrala Medelhavet.

Mer Nederländerna. Våra kollegor ombord på Golfo Azzurro kommer att kasta loss för att åter segla till Medelhavet. Förberedelser håller i detta nu på i Stellendam, Nederländerna. Datum är ännu inte satt.

 

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26/2-19

A new video report was published by Channel 4 yesterday, shading light to new evidence of torture and shocking conditions of people held in Libya. A pool of English lawyers as well as Amnesty international are interviewed in this video stating that they are collecting testimonies from people that arrived in Europe on torture-ransom tactics used by smugglers in Libya. Sally Hayden, Irish journalist, reports in the video with material sent to her by migrants held in these conditions in Libya. In the video report, Portuguese MEP, criticizes the cinisism and complicity of the EU of stating they want to save lives in Libya while their funding the Libyan Coast Guard to return people in these conditions.
Warning: Very graphic images in the video. Tweet by SOS MEDITERRANEE.

 

According to an ANSA (Italian National News Agency) article reported by Info Migrants, Italy announced sending a further 4 patrol boats to the Libyan Coast Guard in addition to the ones previously delivered, in an effort to strengthen collaboration in fighting illegal migration. Interestingly, the article states that 45 million euros are available for interventions – 10 million from EU and 35 million from the Visegrad group countries (Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic and Slovakia). The plans provide for Libyan authorities responsible for the borders, including the ones managing SAR operations.

 

Today, Adrià Budry Carbóm journalist that was on board the Aquarius with SOS MEDITERRANEE, received the ACANU prize in Geneva for his reportage in Le Temps (Switzerland) with photographer Camille Pagella on the Aquarius published on the 25 th of March 2018. More info on ACANU: Association of Accredited Correspondents at the United Nations.

 

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25/2

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22/2-19

Läget för räddningsorganisationer och deras fartyg

Open Arms - Fast i Barcelona utan tillstånd att få lämna

Alan Kurdi (Sea-Eye) - Enda fartyg i SAR-zon

Sea-Watch 3 - Har fått tillstånd att lämna Catania för att segla till Marseille för att komma tillrätta med det som behövs åtgärdas efter inspektioner av italienska och nederländska myndigheter

Aita Mari - Fast i San Sebastian utan tillstånd att få lämna

Lifeline -  fast på Malta/satt i blockad

Mare Jonia - I Palermo för arbete (?)

Frankrike kommer att skänka sex RHIB-båtar till den libyska kustbevakningen med början från maj. Detta har orsakat protester från flera franska människorättsorganisationer. Anledningen är att RHIB-båtarna kommer att användas till att föra tillbaka människor till de libyska lägren med våldtäckter, slaveri och tortyr, samma förhållanden som dessa EU-ledare har fördömt.

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Studi sulle questione criminale (Italian): “Mediterranean becomes a grave and dessert. But the civil society does not abandon the humanity route”, by Alessandra Sciurba (University of Palermo)

21/2-19

De 41 migranter som hölls kvar ombord det italienska krigsfartyget Diciotti under fem dagar fast det hade angjort hamn, efter ett beslut av italiens vice premiärminister Matteo Salvini och premiärminister Conte har nu via begärt skadestånd. En advokatbyrå har tagit saken till domstol för de 41 migranternas räkning.

Enligt Läkare utan Gränser, MSF, har en båt eller gummiflotte i nöd under ett och ett halv dygn i det centrala Medelhavet tvingats tillbaka till Khoms i Libyen. Ombord fanns 116 personer varav 21 kvinnor, 6 barn, en gravid kvinna samt ett 6 månder gammalt barn.

Sea-Eyes fartyg Alan Kurdi nådde idag fram till räddningszonen utanför Libyens territorialvatten. I ett pressmeddelande hävdar de att de hört en radiokomunikation angående en båt i nöd av den tunisiska kustbevakningen men trots att de erbjöd assistans fick de aldrig något svar från tunisierna.

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Ahram Online: The Arab world and irregular migration

19/2-19

Sea-Eye med sitt skepp Alan Kurdi, förövrigt den organisation och det skepp jag var med och färdigställde för sjöräddningsuppdrag i Rostock, har lämnat Mallorca och stävar nu mot zonen utanför Libyens territorialvattengräns där de flesta sjöräddningar sker. Det innebär att där äntligen finns en räddningsstyrka på plats igen efter flera veckors frånvaro. Italiens vice premiärminister Matteo Salvini har dock redan gått ut med att fartyget inte kommer att tillåtas in i italiensk hamn.

Sea-Watch med sitt fartyg Sea-Watch 3 är nu inne på sin 16:e dag i Catania efter att dess flaggstat Nederländerna förvägrat fartyget att lämna kaj efter den inspektion de nederländska myndigheterna utförde på fartyget den 11:e och 12:e februari.

Open Arms och Aita Mari är fortfarande fast i Spanien efter ett beslut av den spanska regeringen och varit så i en månad nu.

 

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18/2-19

Today, the Italian 5-Star Movement party will vote internally, on giving the authorization to proceed to the minister’s court prosecution of Matteo Salvini in regard with the Diciotti case, where the Italian minister of interior has been accused of people kidnapping and other violations while halting the disembarkation of rescued people for more than 10 days in August 2018.  

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15/2-19

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