Migrants, MEP Koester: “The Italian government is racist and inhumane”

The SPD MEP: “Immediately disembark people still on board ships”

With the management of NGO ships loaded with migrants rescued at sea “the new Italian government is showing its ugly face of racism and inhumanity”. To tell Adnkronos it is German MEP Dietmar Koester, member of the Human Rights Committee of the European Parliament, of the S&D group. “According to the law of the sea – he recalls – it is the duty of coastal states to assign a safe harbor for people rescued at sea. Both Italy and Malta are responsible coastal states, based on maritime law”.

“They should be supported by other EU countries – continues Koester – but the responsibility for coordinating search and rescue operations and assigning a safe harbor for people rescued at sea falls on them. The Italian government is now trying, by all means. , to evade its legal obligation to provide a safe harbor. It is a scandal that the Humanity 1 ship of the Sos Humanity was subject to an ordinance by the Italian state. The ordinance provides that all survivors who remain on board must be rejected in international waters. The refoulement of survivors remaining outside national territorial waters would constitute a form of collective refoulement, which therefore violates both the European Convention on Human Rights and the principle of non-refoulement of the Geneva Convention on refugees ” .

“I therefore urge the government to allow the 35 people still aboard Humanity 1 to disembark immediately. In addition, I urge them to comply immediately with their legal obligation and to assign a safe haven for the immediate disembarkation of the approximately 535 people who are still in board the other rescue vessels in the area, notably the Geo Barents, the Rise Above and the Ocean Viking, ”concludes Koester.