As the EU transformed the Mediterranean sea into the deadliest border in the world, the rescue ship Iuventa, operated in a joint effort by more than 200 volunteers at sea, and supported by thousands onshore, started search and rescue operations in the central Mediterranean in July 2016, supporting people on the move forced to cross the sea. During one year, the Iuventa saved over 14,000 lives.
Their lifesaving efforts were forcibly stopped when, on the 2nd of August 2017, the ship was seized by the Italian prosecutor and several crew members were put under investigation.
More than three years after the seizure of the rescue ship Iuventa by Italian authorities, the Prosecutor of Trapani has declared the investigation against the Iuventa crew closed, and officially charged the Iuventa crew of aiding and abetting illegal immigration. Those who stand accused are facing up to 20 years in prison.
The EU is denying refuge and protection where it is desperately needed, paying militias to bring people back to places of abuse, and transforming the Mediterranean into a mass grave for Europe’s undesirables. The crew of the Iuventa acknowledged the injustice of Europe’s borders, and has acted.
This is a declaration of intent to criminalise solidarity, and it has a deadly consequence: people die, when they could be saved.
You can support the Iuventa crew by continuing to stand with them and with those who are, on a daily basis, subject to violence and humiliation by European borders and authorities; those whose suffering has long become part of an accepted border regime, those whose entire existence is considered illegal.
Although crew stands accused, it’s European authorities that must be accused of refusing safe passage and of letting people drown.
This is a political trial. Join us and defend solidarity now.