Urgent press release from MEDITERRANEA Saving Humans
For several hours now, the ship Sea Watch 3 is close to the coast of Eastern Sicily, forced to shelter there from bad weather and sea conditions which will worsen markedly in the coming hours.
On board, now for five days, are 47 people, including at least eight unaccompanied minors, who Sea Watch has saved from a shipwreck, thereby preventing them from being captured by the so-called Libyan Coast Guard and returned to the detention camps of that country, exposed to abuse and violence, rape and torture of all kinds.
MEDITERRANEAN Saving Humans asks that, in strict compliance with International law (starting with the Hamburg Convention on SAR), the Italian Government immediately assigns Sea Watch 3 a safe port (Place of Safety – POS) where they can seek shelter from the bad weather and are able to disembark the people on board.
MEDITERRANEA Saving Humans appeals to the Italian civil society, and in particular to the mayors of solidarity and welcoming cities which, over the recent months, had expressed their willingness to invite Sea Watch 3 in their ports, and to prepare everything necessary for their reception.
MEDITERRANEA Saving Humans immediately declares that it is ready, with its own assets at sea and with its own mobilization on land, to intervene in support of Sea Watch 3 by any possible means.
Yesterday in Ancona, Admiral Pettorino, Commander Inspector General of the Coast Guard and the Harbour Offices, recalled that “the Italian ports are open.”
MEDITERRANEAN Saving Humans therefore warns any Authority against taking decisions or unlawful steps that violate maritime and international law and the rules of the Code of Navigation. And it is prepared to take all necessary legal measures to protect Sea Watch 3 and the people on board.
Rome/Palermo, 24th January 2019.13:00h