Ten crew members of the German ship Iuventa are being sued in Italy for promoting or assisting illegal immigration. The ship belongs to the NGO Jugend Rettet. A total of 22 people are suspected of criminal activity, but for now 10 are being charged. The ship was impounded by Italian authorities almost a year ago, after footage had surfaced of the crew in friendly cooperation with human smugglers, as they took migrants on board who did not seem in distress or danger (a ‘detail’ that is omitted from the MSM articles I’ve read about this update in the case).
If convicted, the suspects could theoretically be sentenced to up to 15 years in prison. The head of the group, Kathrin Schmidt, has said: “If we have to appear in court for rescuing these people, that will be a moral and political lowpoint in Europe.” Jugend Rettet claims that it has “always operated in conjunction with the Coordination Center for Maritime Rescue, and within the boundaries of international and maritime law”.
One of the events at the foundation of the lawsuit appears to be from April 15 2017, when Iuventa’s crew picked up a large group of migrants at only 35 kilometers from the Libyan coast. Instead of returning them to Libya or nearby safe ports in Africa (like Tunisia), the migrants were carried hundreds of kilometers to Italy – a common practice for the NGO’s.
Italy’s new right-wing government is making long overdue serious work of curbing illegal immigration. Several NGO ships carrying migrants have been rejected from Italian harbors.