The year in review: most important for Sea-Watch in 2018

January
EU Interior Ministers Meeting on asylum policy – result: Strengthening border security

February
EU summit in Malta. Decision: promotion and training of the so-called Libyan Coast Guard with a budget of 200 million euros

March
Eight civilian SAR-organizations release a joint statement in which they reproach the accusation of cooperation with smugglers by Italian prosecutor and Frontex

April
Sea-Watch launches air reconnaissance flights with Moonbird +++ During the waster weekend, 7.000 people in distress are rescued by private organizations

May
A patrol boat of the so-called Libyan Coast Guard endangers the lives of the crew of the Sea-Watch with a ruthless maneuver and forces all people on a wooden boat back to Tripoli +++ Members of the so-called Libyan Coast Guard fire shots at a refugee boat during a rescue within international waters

June
The international Criminal Court of Justice in The Hague considers investigations against the so-called Libyan Coast Guard after incidents +++ “Blaming the Rescuers”: The numbers in a study published by the Goldsmith University of London draw a clear picture: More rescues mean less deaths and don’t make for a pull factor

July
Italy calls for a “code of conduct” for SAR-organizations, but not for the so-called Libyan
Coast Guard which regularly breaks international law.

August
Libya announces an extension of their sovereign waters +++ The ship of the German organization “Jugend Rettet” is still confiscated by the Italian prosecution.
Protests are forming under the slogan #FreeIuventa +++ Italy investigates priest Mussie Zerai
for possible cooperation to smuggling. Two years ago he was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for his commitment.

September
The Scientific Service of the Bundestag concludes in a report that the so-called Libyan Coast Guard violates the law of the sea and hinders the work of rescue organizations

October
At a conference in London, Sea-Watch advises EU representatives on setting up an independent Mediterranean Observatory +++ Sea-Watch wins the Politiken Freedom Prize

November
At least five people die during a rescue operation after the so-called Libyan Coast Guard intervenes irresponsibly and without coordination with Sea-Watch and the French Navy. +++ A video clip by CNN stirs a lot of attention. At the EU-Africa-Summit, stronger measures against migration are adopted

December
We will not be stopped and continue to demand an end to the support of the so-called Libyan Coast Guard: sea-watch.org/petition