- Title: Migrants rescue ship captain Rackete calls for policy change on refugees
- Date: 3rd October 2019
- Summary: BRUSSELS, BELGIUM (OCTOBER 3, 2019) (REUTERS) CAPTAIN OF MIGRANTS RESCUE SHIP THE "SEA WATCH 3", CAROLA RACKETE, TAKING PART IN A PROTEST OUTSIDE EU PARLIAMENT AGAINST THE 'CRIMINALISATION OF SOLIDARITY' RACKETE ADDRESSING PROTESTERS AND JOURNALISTS RACKETE SPEAKING PROTEST IN PROGRESS PROTESTERS HOLDING PLACARDS, READING: "Journalist criminalized in Sweden." WOMAN HOLDING PLACARD, READING: "Journalist criminalized in Sweden." RACKETE ARRIVING FOR NEWS CONFERENCE FOLLOWING HER ADDRESS TO MEMBERS OF THE EU PARLIAMENT (MEP) PHOTOGRAPHER (SOUNDBITE) (English) MIGRANTS RESCUE SHIP CAPTAIN, CAROLA RACKETE, SAYING: "After my short arrest in June (2019 in Lampedusa by Italian police), there was a perceived shift of attention on this issue, on what is happening at our common European borders. But I hope that this interest will translate into some real changes in policy. So I think it's very important that civil society overall keeps paying attention to that issue and not only at the sea border but also at the land borders and what is happening to refugees within Europe once they have arrived."
- Embargoed: 17th October 2019 14:46
- Keywords: Vessel Press conference Sea Watch 3 Migrant Lampedusa EU Crisis Rescue Boat European Union Demonstration Refugees Policy Carola Rackete Protest
- Location: BRUSSELS, BELGIUM / AT SEA, OFF COAST OF LAMPEDUSA AND LAMPEDUSA, ITALY
- City: BRUSSELS, BELGIUM / AT SEA, OFF COAST OF LAMPEDUSA AND LAMPEDUSA, ITALY
- Country: Belgium
- Topics: Asylum/Immigration/Refugees,Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA001AZJMYPZ
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:Migrants rescue ship captain Carola Rackete on Thursday (October 3) called on an overhaul of the way the European Union deals with the inflow of migrants.
Addressing reporters after a hearing at the European Parliament, the German mariner said EU members should show more solidarity towards one another and 'come to a better agreement (on) the distribution of refugees.'
Rackete was arrested by Italian police on June 29 after docking her ship, the Sea Watch 3, at the island port of Lampedusa after remaining at sea for more than two weeks with 40 rescued Africans on board.
After waiting in international waters for an invitation from Italy or an EU state to accept the ship, Rackete had decided to sail for Lampedusa but was blocked by Italian government vessels.
She was been arrested for "resisting a war ship", a charge which, according to media reports, carries a penalty of up to 10 years in prison.
Rackete expressed no regrets for her decision. "Would I do it again? Yes, of course," she said.
The 31-year-old later joined a protest against the 'criminalization of solidarity' that was held outside the EU parliamentary body.
Taking part in the action, Advocacy officer Marta Gionco called for a new definition of 'migrant smuggling', while activist Mehdi Kassou said the European Union should 'criminalise those who try to criminalise solidarity rather than people expressing solidarity.'
Kassou's organization, the Brussels-based Citizen Support Platform For Refugees, was one of the nine organizations behind the demonstration.
Belgian NGO CIRE, also a co-organizer, wrote in a statement that 158 people are currently being prosecuted across the European Union for helping migrants.
(Production Clement Rossignol, Bart Biesemans, Jorrit Donner-Wittkopf)
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