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Italian Police Arrest Captain of Migrant Ship After She Rescues 53 Refugees

HeadlineJul 01, 2019

In Italy, police arrested Carola Rackete, the 31-year-old German captain of a refugee rescue ship, Saturday after her vessel collided with an Italian border police boat as she attempted to dock at Lampedusa port. Rackete and 53 refugees were caught in limbo at sea for over two weeks, in need of medical care and food, as authorities refused to let the Sea-Watch 3 dock and passengers disembark. This is Rackete speaking from aboard the ship the day before she was arrested.

Carola Rackete: “The concerns about these people have really kept me busy day and night, I can assure you, especially also this very frustrating communications with governments which haven’t taken responsibility. Then I have 22 crew total, so 21 apart from me, which are also my responsibility and who have been working very much, who are definitely fatigued, tired, frustrated and also suffer psychologically from the situation. So I have these over 60 people to take care of, and Mr. Salvini might just get in line.”

Carola Rackete was referring there to Italy’s anti-immigrant Interior Minister Matteo Salvini, who refused to let Rackete dock her ship and called her actions an “act of war.” German officials and human rights groups have praised the Sea-Watch 3’s mission and condemned the Italian government for criminalizing humanitarian aid.

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