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.
After 14 days spent waiting for some authority – Italian, European – to grant, as required by international laws and treaties, a safe haven to the shipwrecked people rescued by Sea Watch 3 in the Central Mediterranean, the commander of the ship Carola Rackete has decided to enter Italian waters and head to the port of Lampedusa. There was nothing else to do. And we fully support this decision.
Of course, there are interdictions from the Ministry of the Interior, but fundamental human rights, and a minimal sense of humanity, are superior to unjust laws and orders that cause further suffering to innocent people. It is unconscionable to continue in support of this spectacle of wickedness staged on the bodies of women, men, and children, while every day people fleeing Libya by sea in makeshift boats arrive in Lampedusa and on our coasts.
What did the victims of shipwreck saved by SW3 do wrong, to have to endure this torture?
Since the beginning of this absurd situation, the churchyard in front of the church of Lampedusa, at the behest of its parish priest, has become a symbolic landmark of protest against the ban imposed by the Italian government on the landfall of SW3 and its passengers. Protest – but also public testimony of how firmly we can stand with these rejected people, how firmly we can view them first of all as human beings, and not as packages, goods to be set aside. How strong, in short, the fundamental rights of all of us really are – rights which will be negated if we accept the abuses committed against the shipwreck victims of SW3. Thermal blankets, used to cover the tormented bodies of the rescuers at sea, have become the blankets of all those who remain in the churchyard at night until those on SW3 are allowed to disembark.
And now, speaking as Mediterranea, with our ship Mare Jonio still held in port because we “dared” to save people, including a two-year-old girl, and we “dared” disobey a minister who ordered us to bring them back to Libya, we suggest to absolutely everyone, of the land and of the sea: go tonight to a churchyard of your city, bringing thermal blankets, and say, we stand with SW3, with its cargo of humanity and hope that has been so violated in these 14 days. We embrace Master Carola, who decided, despite unjust laws and bans, to respect human rights. We do not yield in the face of the deaths at sea, nor the deaths in the Libyan detention centers, and we do not yield to the sequestration of the Mare Jonio, and of all the ships that rescue people at sea.
LET THEM DISEMBARK!
WE ARE ALL CAROLA!
An appeal from MEDITERRANEA Saving Humans, 25.06.2019