Montag, 5. Oktober 2009

Rescue is a Human right! court decision in Italy on the 7/Oktober

The German Captain Stefan Schmidt and his first mate, Elias Bierdel,
were navigating their ship, the Cap Anamur, towards Basra, Iraq, in
2004 with a load of humanitarian supplies when they spotted a group
of 37 refugees lost at sea in an inflatable raft.

The Cap Anamur is equipped with an on-board hospital and has spent 30
years running humanitarian missions around the world.

After bringing the refugees on board, the Captain and his crew
directed the ship to land in a Sicilian port. This was denied by
Italian authorities.

After ten days at sea, the Cap Anamur landed in Italy and both,
Schmidt and Bierdel were arrested. The ship was impounded and the
refugees were deported.

The Italian government is currently prosecuting both Schmidt and
Bierdel and is asking for a four-year prison (4 years!) sentence and
400,000 EUR fine.

The trial, the threat of a possible conviction and the prospect of
further legal proceedings have been a heavy burdens for the accused
for three years now.

Their livelihood and reputation are at risk.
The International League for Human Rights nominated Captain Schmidt
for the decoration by the Carl von Ossietzky Medal 2009 for his
courage and outstanding contribution to the defense, implementation
and further development of the universal human rights including the
universal right to asylum.
The celebration will take place on 13 December 2009 in the central
hall of the House of World Cultures in Berlin.

Please take action.
The wearing trial against the Cap Anamur enters its decisive stage

The Italian court in the region of Agrigento (Sicily) intends to
pronounce the judgmenton 07 October 2009.

The International League for Human Rights raises a sharp protest
against the attempt of the Italian government to criminalize the
humanitarian aid of Captain Schmidt and Elias Bierdel.
We call for an EU-wide solidarity with the accused.

We demand to drop all charges against them and to fully restore their
reputation and will not accept any other judgement!
Please distribute the attached PR (French, Italian, Spanish, German)
widely. Please do develop your own solidarity activities in your
country and additionally EU-wide.The widespread deaths in the
Mediteranian sea has to be stopped. All EU member nations have to
initiate a change of thinking concerning asylum seekers and
immigration.It is hight time to take committed responsibility for the
universal human rights and elementary humanitarian obligations in the
territories of the EU!

Please let the media and authorities in your country know:

The real scandal is the loss of life at the gates of Europe.
Aid and rescue at sea are no crime but a humanitarian imperative!
Berlin, October 2009
The Board
Prof. Dr. Fanny-Michaela Reisin (President)
International League for Human Rights - FIDH/AEDH Germany
Internationale Liga für Menschenrechte (ILMR)
Haus der Demokratie und der Menschenrechte>
Greifswalder Str. 4>
Fon: ++49+30 396 2122
Fax: 2147