Phase two in the Central Mediterranean: Italy shall respect and enforce human rights for everyone

Monday 4 May 2020

Mediterranea Saving Humans demands the Italian Government to disembark the 78 people aboard of the ship “Marina” and to give the answers that the island of Lampedusa has been waiting for too long.

In recent days, we have helped unravel the inhuman and illegal practices of deportation of women, men and children fleeing from the Libyan hell through the Mediterranean Sea. We helped to uncover the responsibilities of the Maltese government, and prevented hundreds of human beings from suffering the same fate of the 12 people who died on Easter, or the 51 people returned to the Libyan jailers. All that is also responsibility of Italy, who has been delaying the rescue operations with the alibi of the SAR areas of competence, when the requests for help came from just a few tens of miles from its shores. It is no longer acceptable for the Italian government to play the criminal game of formalities when it comes to save human lives.

Even if it means going in the international waters of the Maltese SAR area, Italy cannot stand by while crimes such as inaction to request of help or deportation to Libya are being committed. Italy and the whole European Union cannot be complicit in all that.

We ask that Italy will immediately accept the 78 people rescued by the merchant ship “Marina” that has been waiting for the assignment of a safe harbor for days now.

We ask that the Italian government will deal first with safeguarding human lives and then with eventual political-diplomatic litigation with Malta.

We loudly raise our voice to ask that Italy will focus on Human Rights, on the International Conventions about sea rescue and on the Right of Asylum, and that will be the first Country to practice that very same solidarity that is demanding to Europe for itself.

We ask that no negotiations on relocation will take place for anyone who flees from torture and war and who is saved from death at sea. Refugees shall not become political hostages. 

We ask that the difficult situation on the island of Lampedusa, with a small and overcrowded hotspot and tens of migrants forced to stay in unacceptable conditions on the dock, will be addressed and resolved with effective and rational solutions. Both the inhabitants of the island and the rescued people need to be offered dignity and measures to prevent and combat contagion.

We ask that Lampedusa will not be left alone, or transformed into a stage to show to the media, to then justify ports closed to all who have the right of law to be welcomed.

We ask all of that to the Italian government because, in order not to become inhuman like others, humanity must be practiced with concrete actions, not described in words and then denied by facts.