With an email at 11.28 this morning we have once again asked the Italian MCC for a Place of Safety and a port to disembark, detailing again the extremely vulnerable psychological and physical conditions of the people on board, who had traumatic experiences both in their countries of origin and in Libya. Their conditions were then worsened by witnessing the death of six of their traveling companions, as well as by the uncertainty of their current situation, and by the “inhumane and degrading treatment” they are suffering at the moment, in their state of suspended rights.
In our email, we have reminded the authorities of the very recent decision taken by the judge for preliminary investigations of Agrigento in relation to the episode involving the Open Arms vessel. In that decision, the judge reiterated that: “on the basis of the UNCLOS, SOLAS, and SAR international conventions, from which the detailed IMO guidelines were derived“, and subsequently collectively grouped into the directive SOP 009/2015, the coordination of rescue operations is the responsibility “of the first State that is notified of the presence of people in danger at sea until the moment the RCC responsible for that area assumes responsibility” (penal proceeding n. 3609/19 RGGIP).
In our case, this is Italy.
We have also reminded the authorities that “the obligation to rescue lives at sea constitutes a duty for all States and it supercedes any norms and bilateral agreements created to fight illegal immigration“. Our Constitution clearly states that international law prevails over the Security Decree that is currently keeping us out of the Italian national waters.
Judiciary authorities have already opened penal proceedings in relation to the Open Arms case, which was denied a safe port to disembark.
Once again, we strongly demand that the Italian authorities stop violating laws and human rights, and that, after months of illegal and gratuitously cruel actions, they grant people and rights the respect they are due, obeying the law. Should this not happen, we are ready to report this to the relevant authorities.
And now, let them disembark.