Demonstration on May 21th, 12 pm at the Bundestag

Hundreds of volunteers are supporting people who fled the war in Ukraine everyday at Berlin central station. German authorities are celebrating this commitment and are content with this. Meanwhile, on March 21, 2022, yet another trial against civilian sea rescuers starts. Instead of applause, they might face up to 20 years in prison, because they rescued people from drowning in the Mediterranean Sea and supported their flight.

We are outraged and want to state clearly: Every flight is legitimate.

Nonetheless, European governments have a different view. Every year, thousands of people die in the Mediterranean Sea, pursued by the so-called “Libyan coast guard” on one side and Frontex on the other. The EU is not only disregarding their own responsibility to sea rescue – they are actively blocking and criminalizing organized civilian efforts.

Once again, there will be people on the stand in Italy. The preliminary hearing against 21 sea rescuers of the Iuventa-Crew and other organizations starts in Trapani on May 21st after five years of criminal investigation. The accusation: “support of irregular entry”. If the conviction succeeds, they may face 20 years prison and a fee of 15.000€ for each person rescued.

Sadly, these are not the only cases under investigation by European agencies. The majority of people accused of “support of irregular entry” are in search of asylum themselves. Since 2013, over 2500 people that are accused of this have been arrested in Italy. Oftentimes, this happens without recognition by the public and is just another part of the European isolationist politics and systematic criminalization of people on the move. On May 5, 2022 Kheiraldin, Abdallah and Mohamed, who survived the catastrophic shipwreck on Christmas Eve 2021, have been sentenced to 439 years in prison in total. A few days before the start of the preliminary hearing against the 21 sea rescuers, the trial against the father N. will begin, who is being made responsible for the death of one of his children during their flight. N. is being accused next to Hasan, who is facing 230 years in prison because he was steering the boat.

We stand in solidarity with Kheiraldin, Abdallah, Mohamed, N., Hasan, the 21 sea rescuers and everyone being criminalized for their flight. Flight is a human right, sea rescue is mandatory!

Join us in the streets on May 21st , 2022.

Solidarity with all people on the move!

Free Samos 2!
Free Paros 3!
Free El Hiblu 3!

Stop the prosecution of sea rescuers!

Mare Liberum e.V.

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