Statement by the Medinetze on the arrest of Captain Carola Rackete of the “Sea Watch 3”

Over the past four and a half years, over 18,000 people have drowned while fleeing the Mediterranean Sea. The situation is aggravated by the prevention of a civilian sea rescue. The political decisions of the EU and its member states make the Mediterranean a mass grave. Italy and Malta are closing their harbors for civilian rescuers, confiscating their ships, criminalizing the rescuers and bringing them to justice. Germany, and especially Interior Minister Horst Seehofer, is pushing ahead with the establishment of inhuman anchorage centers, the repudiation of refugees at the border and deportations to war and crisis areas.

The EU tries to get rid of the problem by relying on foreclosure, camps in third countries and cooperation with the so-called Libyan Coast Guard. It thus no longer lives up to its responsibilities, leaving the refugees to the arbitrariness of criminal militias and exposing refugees to severe maltreatment and death by drowning. A political discourse does not take place in a factual context, but is dominated by inhuman and racist utterances. The human right to life and international law to asylum are deliberately undermined and in fact suspended.

We, Medinetze and Medibüros are non-governmental organizations that volunteer to provide healthcare to people without adequate health insurance. We strongly oppose an obviously politically wanted and instrumentalized criminalization of civilian sea rescue, namely currently against the temporary fixing of the captain Carola Rackete of the “Sea Watch 3”. Such a procedure is embarrassing for a group of states which, in particular through the Schengen Agreement of 1985, also signaled the claim to a community of values ​​and committed themselves to liberal values ​​such as freedom of the press, observance of human rights, democracy, etc. The captain, like her colleague Pia Klemp, acted on humanitarian and not criminal grounds and saved people from drowning. It is a disgrace for Europe that a founding member state of the EU in the heart of Europe has temporarily placed this model of humanity under house arrest. We call for an immediate return to a policy based on human and international law. We demand a decriminalization of the rescue of the sea.

The right to life is unbreakable!

We express our solidarity with Carola Rackete, Pia Klemp and the entire civilian rescue team.