We call for the immediate release of the six fishermen arrested in Italy

Italy, Migration and Asylum, Press Release, Tunisia

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Press Release

Brussels, 21 September 2018

EuroMed Rights joins the petition of its member, the Forum Tunisien pour les droits Economiques et Sociales (FTDES), asking for the immediate release of the six Tunisian fishermen arrested in Italy on smuggling charges, which could cost them up to 15 years in jail, for giving aid to a boat in distress in the Mediterranean.

The six fishermen are internationally well-known for their engagement in rescue at sea and in promoting safe mobility paths away from smuggling rings, above all with local youth. Their long-term engagement has been saluted by their nomination for the Nobel Peace prize 2018 and long-standing partnerships with international organisations.

Ahead of the first hearing at the Tribunal of Palermo on 21 September, EuroMed Rights joins the international requests to:

  • stop the criminalisation of rescue activities at sea by the governments of the Member States of the European Union and the EU and to fully comply with their international rescue duties.
  • Ask the Italian justice to take all the elements into account to release the captain Chamseddine Bourassine and his crew as soon as possible