De-Confiscation of all Rescue Ships NOW!

In light of today’s meeting in Malta where five EU interior ministers convene to discuss a relocation quota for migrants rescued in the Mediterranean, we issue this collective statement to demand the immediate release of all NGO rescue ships:

The EU border regime blocks all safe legal passages and forces refugees and migrants to move on hidden routes and travel on unseaworthy boats. Shame on you.

The EU is unwilling to organise a proper sea-rescue program for those affected by their policies. Instead, illegal push/pull-back collaboration between aerial assets of the EU and Libyan forces is a daily practice. Shame on you.

When individuals and organisations from the civil society intervene to rescue lives at sea, the EU and its member states criminalise them. While people are dying and drowning, the EU and its member states keep life-saving rescue ships confiscated. Shame on you.

We demand:

— Immediate de-confiscation of all civil rescue ships in Italy!

— Immediate end to the EU collaboration with Libyan forces!

— No continued efforts to criminalise sea rescue!

— Open harbours in Italy and Malta, immediate disembarkation after rescue!

— Quick relocation and distribution of refugees and migrants according to their wished destination countries and particularly in collaboration with solidarity and sanctuary cities all over Europe!

Sea Watch, Mediterranea Saving Humans, Welcome to Europe-Italy, Borderline-Europe, INURA, Ajuntament de Barcelona-Global Justice Department and WatchTheMed Alarm Phone

Signatory Actors