On 30th September, Domenico “Mimmo” Lucano, the former mayor of Riace, was sentenced to 13 years and 2 months in prison for “criminal conspiracy to assist illegal immigration, fraud, embezzlement and abuse of office“. Like him, too many citizens and local authorities are facing prosecution and sentences, in several EU member states, for acting in solidarity with those seeking refuge in the EU. In this context, three MEPs from progressive groups, committed to a welcoming EU asylum policy, based on solidarity and humanity, want to send strong signals. They will travel to Riace beginning of June to show their support and speak out in an event organised with Mimmo Lucano. Please find the agenda below
This two-day mission in Riace is coorganised by MEPs Rosa d’Amato and Damien Carême (Greens/EFA) and Cornelia Ernst (The Left).
In January 2022, I decided to travel once again to the Croatian-Bosnian border region. The last time I was there was in 2019, right before the pandemic to look into the situation of migrants and refugees trying to seek protection in the EU and to investigate the violent pushback-practices by the Croatian border police. In 2019, our findings were shocking: extreme violence and torture against people trying to cross the border to Croatia, blatant human rights violations by the Croatian border police who was pushing people back on a daily basis. In all our conversations back then, we did not meet a single refugee who had been spared from police violence. No one who had not experienced it first hand. Not just once, but six times, 13 times, 100 times. We were able to speak with people who had just been pushed back, their belongings including food and water were taken away by the Croatian border police every single time.
Now, more than 2 years later, I decided to come back to see if the situation of people trying to seek asylum at the Croatian-Bosnian border has changed. I also decided to look more closely at two specific issues. The first issue I wanted to investigate was the ongoing criminalisation of human rights defenders in Croatia and Bosnia. The civil society who work tirelessly to help people being pushed back and to get accountability for the human rights violations happening every day are more and more criminalized and face severe problems. This is happening all over EU member states, where the space for civil society and solidarity is shrinking and solidarity is instead criminalized. The second issue I decided to look at is the Croatian so-called “independent border monitoring-mechanism” set up by the Croatian government with support of the European … Weiterlesen
Crew members from the “Iuventa” search and rescue ship, and people working for organisations Save the Children and Médecins sans Frontières, are among 21 people up in court this Saturday in Sicily, accused of “aiding and abetting unauthorised entry into Italy”.
Facing up to 20-years in prison and a fine of €15,000 per person that was rescued, the activists have contributed to rescuing thousands of people from drowning in the Mediterranean. Left MEPs are joining calls from all over Europe for solidarity with the accused and for all charges against the human rights defenders to be dropped.
“The crew of the Iuventa saved many lives. Civil Search and Rescue organisations step in where the European Union shamefully fails to act”, says MEP Cornelia Ernst (Die Linke, Germany). “Then, they are criminalised for fulfilling their duty to rescue at sea. The criminalization of many people on the move and the ones supporting them is spreading and intensifying all over Europe. Solidarity is not a crime, neither is fleeing your country. All charges need to be dropped immediately.”
Since August 2017 the Iuventa ship has been impounded in the port of Trapani, Sicily while the criminal investigation continues.
“Criminalising search and rescue organisations and also migrants is outrageous. This is a black week for any person concerned with basic and human rights” Miguel Urban (Anticapitalistas, Spain). We have had the Samos trial, with two migrants who survived a boat trip being accused of smuggling. And now we have the Trapani trial where the Iuventa crew will be also judged! We demand the immediate decriminalisation and withdrawal of charges for migrants and NGOs supporting them.”
Am 3. März 2022 wurde in Brüssel durch die EU-Mitgliedsstaaten zum ersten Mal die Anwendung der Richtlinie 2001/55/EG über temporären Schutz beschlossen. So bekommen Menschen, die aus der Ukraine fliehen, pauschal vorübergehend Schutzstatus in der EU für mindestens ein Jahr, vorbehaltlich bis zu drei Jahren, ohne dass sie Asylanträge stellen müssen. Das ist ein historischer, wichtiger und richtiger Schritt. Die aktuelle Situation des Umgangs mit Menschen, die aus der Ukraine fliehen, zeigt deutlich, dass es geht, dass Europäische Union und ihre Mitgliedstaaten Menschen aufnehmen können, wenn sie es nur wollen. Die EU ist handlungsfähig. Ein solcher Geist muss die gesamte EU-Migrationspolitik prägen und zwar gegenüber allen Menschen, die aufgrund von Krieg und Diskriminierung fliehen müssen.