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Migration: Ms Rackete (SeaWatch3) to EU Parliament, “where were you when we were asking for help?”

(Brussels) “Where were you when we were asking for help?”: Carola Rackete, captain of the SeaWatch3, had a hearing before the Committee on Civil Liberties of the European Parliament in Brussels today. She pointed the finger at the European institutions and the governments of EU Member States and was greeted with prolonged applause – with many MEPs, although not all, standing up to clap their hands. “It was shameful. No country took responsibility for receiving 53 migrants” after the ship was stuck at sea for 17 days, with the ports closed by the Italian Government. “The only answer I got was from Tripoli, where I certainly could not go”. Ms Rackete stressed: “In Europe, the so-called nest of human rights, no one wanted 53 migrants”. “I was attacked by institutions. I was alone with my crew”, “facing and imaginary wall built by the Governments”. “I was received as if I was driving a ship carrying the pest”.

“My decision to enter” the port after 17 days at sea “was not an act of provocation, as was first depicted by many, but an act of necessity”. I did not feel it was safe any more” to remain at sea and “feared what could have happened”. “Our case, as well as the one of other NGOs, calls loudly for shared responsibility at EU level”. Then a political appeal: “A reform of the Dublin Regulation is long overdue”, but the solution is “the creation of legal and safe” migration routes “to Europe”.

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