Migrants, Casarini: “1,300 saved by the Coast Guard and NGOs, now no discrimination”

“From December 1st to today, the Coast Guard and NGOs have saved 1,300 people in the central Mediterranean. It is a great source of pride for our country and proof that the humanitarian tragedy of deaths at sea must be tackled with every means to protect the people’s lives. Unfortunately, the joint efforts of institutional and civil aid were unable to prevent the death of at least 14 people, including children. This is a source of pain for everyone”. This was told to Adnkronos by Luca Casarini, head of mission of Mediterranea Saving Humans, after the rescue operations that have involved the Coast Guard and the Finance Police in the south-east of Sicily in the last few days.

In Pozzallo, Augusta, Catania and Messina, Italian patrol boats have landed 788 migrants since 2 December, rescued from overloaded and adrift boats. Numbers to which are added the 548 people now on board the three humanitarian ships – Humanity 1 (261), Geo Barents (255 with little Ali born this morning) and Louise Michel (33) – returned to the search and rescue area of ​​the Mediterranean central. Over a thousand, however, have landed in Lampedusa, where the units of the Port Authority and Fiamme Gialle have resumed their commute from the Favaloro pier. Survivors, but not only because the largest of the Pelagie has returned to deal with new victims and missing.

“The Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni says that ‘smugglers cannot decide who enters Europe’ – underlines Casarini -. ‘patrol boats and guards are not the solution'”. For the head of mission of Mediterranea Saving Humans, it is necessary “to stop financing the illegal system of rejections and detentions in Libyan concentration camps and concentrate on safe and legal entry”. “Libya needs hospitals, schools, infrastructure for the civilian population – he says -. We cannot continue to finance its mafias disguised as ‘coast guards’, which are directly linked to the smugglers. And just like the smugglers, they cannot decide who enters in Europe, no government can assume the right to decide who can live and who must die at sea. Everyone must be saved, they are human lives not numbers”.

The civilian fleet is back in the central Mediterranean. After the tug of war of the past few weeks with NGO ships waiting for days for the assignment of a safe port, the fear is that that script could repeat itself once again. “The women, men and children rescued by our Coast Guard are exactly the same as the women, men and children rescued by the ships of the civil fleet – concludes Casarini -. They were in the same sea, in the same conditions of need. Now I expect that do not make absurd discrimination between shipwrecked people. May our country be remembered for those who saved, and not for those who caused death or suffering”.