Sea-Watch and Mediterranea, both part of the United4Med Alliance, leave Malta on the 4th of January with two boats to support the Sea-Watch 3. For 14 days, Sea-Watch 3 has been awaiting the assignment of a port of safety for the 32 women, men and children it rescued in the Central Mediterranean on 22 December 2018.
The aims of this joint mission are threefold. The first is to bring logistical and material support to the ship, to allow crew changes and to replenish supplies. The second is to let German parliamentarians and church representatives embark to witness for themselves the circumstances of the rescued people, for which the European states are accountable, in order for them to report on the fragile situation on board to the German government in Berlin. This government has not yet responded to the requests of dozens of German cities who have stated their willingness to welcome the rescued people. The third objective is to bring German and Italian journalists on board so that they can once again speak of the consequences of the violation of the rule of law in the Mediterranean Sea and thereby push European states to assign a port of safety to the 49 people rescued by the Sea-Watch 3 and Sea-Eye’s Professor Albrecht Penck, as the law of the sea mandates.
Above all, this initiative demonstrates that the ships that save lives at sea are not alone, and that a significant part of European civil society is not resigned to the inhumanity and violence of indifference. It shows that there is a bridge between sea and land, made up of unstoppable alliances and solidarity across borders. The Alliance is doing, once again, what European authorities and governments are still unwilling to do: helping those at sea who make every effort, and risk their lives doing so, to alleviate the suffering of people, including very young children, who are traumatised by the hell of Libyan prisons and arbitrary violence and now face the very real risk of death at sea. What we are doing is a direct response to European policies that actively close legal passage for those who are displaced and seek refuge. It is a direct response to a European society that tolerates the violation of fundamental human rights, which is endangering the societal values Europe is built upon.
We ask the Mayors and associations of the cities of Europe, and every single person who believes in a future of justice and humanity, to support these demands and continue to sail with us.
Sea-Watch and Mediterranea crews.