Closing investigation into Luca Casarini and Pietro Marrone: only the perverse logic of some politicians has transformed sea rescue into a potential crime.

“Mare Jonio” case on March 2019, Prosecutor’s office asks to close the investigation, dismissing all charges against HoM Casarini and Cpt. Marrone.

Deputy public prosecutor in Agrigento (Sicily) dr. Salvatore Vella and Adjunct public prosecutor dr. Cecilia Baravelli finally asked the Judge for Preliminary Investigations to clear of all charges against mr. Luca Casarini and mr. Pietro Marrone, respectively Head of Mission and Master of “Mare Jonio”, MEDITERRANEA Saving Humans’ ship. The two were under investigation for aiding and abetting illegal immigration and for disobeying an order given by a military ship.

In fact, after the rescue of 50 shipwrecked persons operated in International waters off Libyan shores on 18th March 2019, mr. Marrone, the Mare Jonio’s Master, didn’t turn off ship’s engines when ordered to do so by the Guardia di Finanza patrol vessel “Paolini”, which tryed to stop the ship off Italian territorial waters 13 miles from the coasts of Lampedusa. And both mr. Casarini and Marrone decided instead to enter into island’s port to disembark safely all people on board.

 “Only the perverse logic of some politicians has transformed sea rescue into a potential crime. But we continue to believe that it is those who let women, men and children die at sea or in Libyan camps who are committing crimes against humanity”,

Luca Casarini and Pietro Marrone commented on the request for their acquittal by the Prosecutor of Agrigento, and added: “We welcome the news with satisfaction, although we had no doubt it would come. In last months we have continued to accomplish our duties as Master and Head of mission in the sea rescue operations of MEDITERRANEA and we are now confidently waiting for the full acquittal of the other two commanders and heads of mission of our organisation, who are still under investigation for the same reason in two different cases.”

“Now we are just waiting to be allowed back at sea, to do what’s right. Our ships are still under confiscation, and we need to put an end to this shameful situation” – concluded mr. Casarini and Marrone.

Licata, 28th January 2020