News (EN)

Mission 4/2019 is under way and the Mare Jonio is back in the heart of the Mediterranean!

On August 22nd, at sunset, the Mare Jonio left the port of Licata to return to the central Mediterranean to monitor and report human rights violations, and where there are people in danger, to save lives.

Our ship had been impounded for more than two months after saving 30 women, men and children this past May. Now back in our hands, the ship is returning to where it needs to be.  Reports continue to emerge of terrible shipwrecks of individuals fleeing war, bombs, and torture in Libyan detention camps. Currently, 350 survivors are on board the Ocean Viking waiting for a safe haven.

Aboard the Mare Jonio and an additional support boat are mission coordinator Luca Casarini and 22 crew members. They are doing everything in their power to guarantee a safe and successful mission. Among those aboard are Cecilia Strada and the writer Caterina Bonvicini.

The NGO Lifeline is out at sea with us, supporting this mission with their own sailboat. Ships of European civil society continue to defend international laws and human rights by opposing the arbitrary and violent policies of their government counterparts. This resistance is our beacon, the compass that guides our actions and that will guide our decisions in the days ahead.
We have experienced several challenging months, a long and difficult time in which the recently resigned Italian government has done anything it can to stop us. We have tirelessly persisted, by any means necessary, in order to rescue 59 war refugees stranded on a sail boat.

We have always brought those we rescued to the nearest safe harbor, which has legally coincided with the island of Lampedusa, a place that has become the final frontier of a sea at war. Lampedusa has maintained extraordinary dignity and we are thankful for the island and its citizens.

The hope, the humanity, the peace of mind of being on the right side of history, have brought us here, together. You are all on board with us!

Fair Winds, Mare Jonio!

News (EN)

To get back out to sea, we need you.

Mediterranea has to go back to sea as soon as possible, with our ship: Mare Jonio. We need to set sail to be where we are most needed, to witness and to condemn what is happening and, if necessary, to help anyone in distress in the central Mediterranean, as dictated by international law.

The purpose

Mediterranea is almost ready to sail: more than two months after being seized and held by the government, the ship Mare Jonio is free. Now it’s the time to fill the tank, supply the galleys, purchase the essential rescue equipment, and gather a new crew.
To return to sea, to do it immediately, we need everyone. All according to their own means, their own capabilities can contribute and get on board, carrying out a sacred and fundamental act: to save lives.

For this mission, the seventh mission of Mediterranea, we need 150.000€.

Who we are

Mediterranea is a civil society platform operating in the central Mediterranean to monitor, witness, and condemn the conditions in which women, men, and children constantly face enormous dangers in the absence of organized relief operations, people suffering in silence, while the Italian and European governments remain indifferent, complicit.
Mediterranea is composed of individuals and organized groups, open to the voices from different worlds, secular and religious, social and cultural, trade union and political, who want to share the goals of this project to restore hope, rebuild humanity, and defend the law and human rights.
Mediterranea has been made possible also thanks to Banca Etica, which granted the loan to start our mission. Banca Etica also supports crowdfunding activities and has carried out tutoring activities for the economic aspects of the entire operation.

What we do

Mediterranea started as a big dream, but now, thanks to you, it’s a reality: six missions, hundreds of lives saved and thousands of supporters all over the world.
Together we bought a ship, we learned to navigate the waters and we never stopped sailing, at sea and on land.
You are the fuel that powers the ship, you are our mooring crew, you are the saved lives.
You are every single action aimed at saving hundreds of lives in that stretch of sea that has been, for too long, a graveyard.
They tried to stop us with fines, trials, seizing our boat, and unjust and inhuman laws. But solidarity can’t be stopped. We don’t want to stop, and we can’t stop now.
While the war in Libya is filling the sea with migrants and refugees, these inhuman laws are preventing rescue and aid.
Mediterranea once again needs your help, to return to that stretch of sea where, every day, people die in silence. Everyone’s rights and future are at stake.

Because it is by saving others that we will also save ourselves.

To get back out to sea, we need you

Alima was two years old when we saved her from a rubber boat in distress, in the Mediterranean Sea. Now, she is in France with her family, toward a better future.

To go back to see, we need your help. To save Alima, Fatima and hundreds of people. In order to do that, we need 150.000€.

All according to their own means, their own capabilities can contribute and get on board, carrying out a sacred and fundamental act: to save lives.

News (EN)

Thanks to you, no law decree will stop Mediterranea.

Thanks to you, no law decree will stop Mediterranea.

Thanks to you they are alive, thanks to you we are alive.
Thanks to you, in 10 months, we raised a million euro. Thanks to you, we exist.

Mediterranea started as just an idea. Now, thanks to you, it’s a reality. It’s 6 missions, hundreds of lives rescued, and thousands of supporters worldwide.

Thanks to you, we’ve bought a ship, we’ve learnt how to sail it and we haven’t stopped since, because it’s not by stopping a ship that humanity can be stopped.

You are the lives we saved, the petrol that fuels our ship, our crew and our mooring. You are the events you’ve organised, the posts you’ve responded to, the funds you’ve raised to pay for our fines, for our trials, and to fight against the seizures that tried to stop us.

You are every single action you came up with to save hundreds of lives in that part of the sea which is, by now, a cemetery of water.

You are the smiles of the children and the hope in the eyes of those who were fleeing torture. Above all, you are humanity. You are the proof that everyone can do something to fight hate, that by saving others we will save ourselves.

Mediterranea is here thanks to you, thanks to the thousands of you who stood up for us over the last few months, and helped us be where we needed to be.

Thanks to you, we made the unthinkable become a reality.

Thanks to you, we will continue to do so.

Mediterranea won’t stop: only with your help will we be able to keep sailing the world’s most dangerous border, where the fight over our own humanity is fought every day.

If you don’t stop, we won’t be stopped.

Thanks a million.

News (EN)

Mediterranea on Alex case: “in these conditions sailing to Malta would seriously endanger health and safety of people on board. Lampedusa is the only possible place of safety.“

After spending the night trying to coordinate with the Rescue Coordination Centres (RCCs) of Malta and Italy, it has become evident that sailing to La Valletta in current conditions would mean to put health and safety of people on board of ALEX in serious risk.  continua

News (EN)

We left the Port. Mediterranea is back at Sea

Mediterranea never stopped. You cannot stop Mediterranea by seizing a ship. 

Once again, we are back, at sea. 

continua

News (EN)

Alongside the 42 shipwrecked on board of Sea-Watch 3 with master Carola Rackete and her crew

For several days now, thousands of people are mobilizing throughout Italy in the squares of dozens of cities in support of Sea-Watch3, still in the waters of the island of Lampedusa without any authorisation to enter into port and to disembark the persons on board. The request is very simple: let them go ashore #fateliscendere. Here below we publish our call to mobilize as MEDITERRANEA Saving Humans, the Italian civil society platform for the protection of human rights and relief in the Central Mediterranean. 


continua

News (EN)

From Palermo and Barcelona to Naples: For the Right to Mobility and the Right to Rescue!

Humanitarian rescue NGOs, civil society organisations, and activist groups, including Sea-Watch, Alarm Phone, Mediterranea, Seebrücke, Aita Mari, Jugend Rettet, Borderline Europe, Inura, Open Arms, and Welcome to Europe, as well as representatives of several European cities and municipalities, including Naples and Barcelona, have come together to work toward a collective European and Mediterranean initiative. Our movement was born in Palermo in 2018 and in the spirit of the Charter of Palermo, with its central demand for the right of mobility. Our slogan is: “From the Sea to the Cities!”

continua

News (EN)

Mediterranea restarts for a new mission

This morning at 8:15, as soon as the weather conditions allowed it, the ship MARE JONIO gave up its moorings from the Lampedusa island port to continue her mission heading South. continua

News (EN)

BREAKING NEWS – From Mare Jonio, engaged in patrolling and monitoring operations in the Central Mediterranean

We denounce a capture and deportation in an area of war of 80 people onboard a white rubber boat 65 miles north of Al Khoms.

continua

News (EN)

The Mediterranean battlefield of migration

By OpenDemocracy, by Sandro Mezzadra and Maurice Stierl 


 

In the central Mediterranean it is doubtful whether the lines have ever been drawn with greater clarity: the lines between force and freedom that mark out the battlefield of migration. On the one side there are the migrant travellers, those who stubbornly move and move on in conditions of extreme hardship and violence, and there are those in solidarity with them: activists who listen to their pleas from the sea as calls toward a collective struggle, as well as humanitarians, including ‘accidental’ ones such as north African fishermen, who go out to sea to conduct vital rescue operations.

On the other side there are the governments and institutions of ‘EUrope’ as well as their north African allies who continue to build up a veritable ‘refoulement industry’ at sea, a machinery based on the violation of rights and dignity, the breach of the law of the sea, international law, human rights law, and refugee conventions.

Normally, lines of political conflict are complex, blurred, not really line-like. When we look toward the situation in the central Mediterranean Sea, however, we see an erasure of complexity. Where once European military-humanitarian operations such as Mare Nostrum, and later, though certainly to a lesser degree, Triton or Eunavfor Med had blurred the dimensions of migrant rescue and migrant deterrence, migrant protection and border protection, there is an unprecedented duality in the enactment of force and freedom. Where we once spoke about a ‘humanitarianisation’ of the border, we now see viscerally the materiality and depth of inhumanity and a purity of violence that Europe is no longer able, or willing, to hide.

Off the Libyan coast

What plays out off the coast of Libya are forms of mass abduction that are not merely tolerated but strategically organised and orchestrated by European governments and its coastguards. When boats depart from Libya, the precarious passengers on board know that it is a race against time. They have to rapidly put a considerable distance between them and the war-torn country in order to stand any chance of escaping the so-called Libyan coastguards who – financed, trained, and equipped by Europe, and most notably by the Italian government – are likely to chase after them in high-speed vessels, keen to uphold the conditions of their lucrative deal.

The Libyan authorities are participants in the ‘smuggling business’ in Libya and beneficiaries of migrant capture at sea, a circuit of exploitation that involves practices of detaining, smuggling and trafficking, abducting at sea, and, again, detaining. Besides oil, it is the exploitation of migrants, many of whom have tried the sea crossing several times, that constitutes a main source of economic rent and profit in Libya, some of which also fuels the war economies of rivalling military factions.

Besides the escaping migrants themselves, currently, there are merely activists and humanitarians struggling against this machinery of capture and abuse. Sometimes, they come on time. When the rescue vessel Mare Jonio of the NGO Mediterranea sighted a migrant boat in mid-March, they raced to get to the scene before the Libyan forces could who were shooting north on a speed boat. 49 individuals were rescued and brought to Lampedusa, where they chanted ‘liberté, liberté!’ upon arrival. The Italian customs police placed Mare Jonio under ‘investigative seizure’ and the captain and head of mission under indictment, while the activists declared: “We rescued these migrants twice – from shipwreck and from the risk of being captured and taken back to suffer again the tortures and horrors from which they were fleeing.” Less than a month later, the NGO Sea-Eye’s rescue vessel Alan Kurdi rushed to the scene of another group in need who had shortly before reached out to the activists of the Alarm Phone, a transnational network running a hotline for people in distress at sea. These 64 lives were also rescued, though at the time of writing, they have to endure yet another stand-off at sea, with the Alan Kurdi disallowed from landing in European harbours.

At other times, activists and humanitarians come too late or are entirely absent, not least due to the vicious criminalisation campaigns of European governments. In mid-January, several migrant boats had made it relatively far but through Italian pressure exerted onto the Libyan allies from the highest political ranks, including the prime minister, those fleeing were captured and violently returned to gruesome detention centres, where the survivors reached out to activists and journalistsbut whose cries for freedom were silenced. Similarly, on April 10, a boat from Libya contacted Alarm Phone activists to amplify their calls for rescue. Their voice message sent from the boat was listened to thousands of times: “We are dying, in the war, in the ocean, in Tunisia or in Libya”.

Eventually, they were intercepted and returned to Libya where over the past few days, the military conflict between the two major factions of the country has further escalated, with dozens of casualties already reported. Alarm Phone activists decried: “MRCC Rome has now confirmed to us that the so-called Libyan Coastguard intercepted the boat. The 20ppl are being returned to an active war zone by a militia funded by the EU. Everyone was watching while this inhumane & illegal refoulement was carried out. Shame on you!”

What plays out in the Mediterranean Sea every day before our eyes is, indeed, a shameful and cynical spectacle, a systematic denial of rights, dignity and freedom. The gloves have come off and the illusion of the much-proclaimed ‘European values’ is vividly exposed. The lines between force and freedom on the Mediterranean battlefield are drawn with greater clarity than ever, and the only question that now remains is: which side are you on?

This is not a question that concerns merely migrants and their supporters. Rather, it is a question that fundamentally concerns the very future of the society we want to live in and build toward. The struggles fought out in the Mediterranean Sea both expose a Europe of violent borders and call upon all of us to work collectively toward a different Europe to come.

continua