Sea Watch - tendency of Nov 15

Sea Watch

Information about Sea Watch

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On 19 May, the Italian police seized Sea-Watch 3 at Lampedusa, allowing the disembarking of the 47 migrants she had picked up on 15 May. Matteo Salvini, who opposed the landing of the migrants, was furious. In June 2019, the ship was again detained, with 53 migrants that had been rescued off the coast of Libya on 12 June. Italy allowed only 11 especially vulnerable people to disembark; on 25 June, the captain of Sea-Watch 3 threatened to land at Lampedusa in spite of the interdiction, eventually entering Italian territorial waters "not as a provocative act, but out of necessity and responsibility", according to the NGO. A column in the French Le Monde stated that Captain Carola Rackete was only "reminding us all of the existence of international conventions such as that stating rescue at sea is a duty for all". In an editorial, 700 celebrities supported the migrants and opposed Salvini. A poll by the Italian right-wing daily Il Giornale showed 61% of Italians were opposed to Sea-Watch 3 landing at Lampedusa. During the night of 28 to 29 June, the ship was seized and Carola Rackete was arrested for helping illegal immigration. Sea-Watch 3 collided with the 50 ton Class 800 patrol boat "808" of the Guardia di Finanza, which had tried to block the larger vessel from docking. The boat was pushed against the dock and slightly damaged. The Guardia di Finanza has Combatant-status while protecting waterways, so Italian media reported that Rackete could also be charged with attack on a warship, punishable with 3 to 10 years in prison. Two days later an Italian judge decided that no further incarceration was necessary and Rackete was released, while the criminal investigation continues.