The seizure of the vessel last year came amid a protracted media war against NGOs that formed the cornerstone of election campaigns run by the Italian right wing. Recent notice of the official investigation from 21.06.2018 comes shortly after the election of those parties to office and following an executive decision to shut off Italian ports to ships carrying rescued migrants. The newly instated Minister of Interior, Matteo Salvini of the far-right Lega, has repeatedly called for the seizure of all NGO rescue vessels and the arrest of their crews. Meanwhile, as three other NGO rescue ships remain frozen indefinitely in the Maltese port of Valletta and two reconnaissance aircrafts are denied permission to launch, the death toll of migrants braving the crossing from Libya has risen dramatically.

 

Trapani ten Hendrik – Rescue Crew – RIB Team