Press Release- Monday, March 1, 2021

This morning at dawn, a major police operation against Mediterranea Saving Humans was carried out. Ragusa’s public prosecutor’s office executed search warrants involving dozens of agents throughout Italy: in homes, in social centers, and on the ship, Mare Jonio. The charges are serious but the real target is the civil rescue operation at sea that Mediterranea has carried out since 2018 through its shipping company, Idra social shippping, which provides the association with the search and rescue ship and manages its crews and equipment.

Ragusa’s public prosecutor has made public his personal crusade against ONGs many times having declared that “it is necessary to not allow for the idea that removing migrants from the hands of the Libyans is acceptable.” What happened today is a true and real “judiciary theorem” in which the activities of search and rescue are assumed to be prearranged as profit-making schemes. This hypothesis so contrived that the primary and true objective of this operation is obvious: to create “a mud slinging machine” as we have often seen in action in our country- from the case of Mimmo Lucano to present-day investigations of anyone involved in supporting migrants who travel the Baltic route, and the shooting point blank of anyone, who like us, does not resign themselves to the already hundreds of deaths of women, men and children left to die in the Mediterranean since the beginning of the year or to the already thousands captured at sea and deported to the Libyan concentration camps that are financed with the money of the European Union and Italy. The searches are meant to find “evidence” because the charges, despite thousands of hours of phone taps and surveillance, are, in reality, founded on speculation that will melt like snow under the sun.

The rescue of 27 shipwrecked people by the Maersk Etienne who were abandonned at sea in betwen Malta and Lampedusa for 38 days on board a container ship which brough them to safety is the event under examination. This event was named “the shame of Europe,” this inhumane abandonment, the longest standoff in memory involving shipwrecked people who in theory, according to International Conventions, have the right to reach a safe port “promptly.” Idra social shipping has never been involved in anything illegal and will prove this in the appropriate venue. And, Mediterranea will not stop because of this sad and predictable attack. Mediterranea will continue to be at sea- there where crimes of slaughter, torture, rape and persecution are carried out.