Sea-Watch activists Chris Grodotzki, Marie Naas and Ruben Neugebauer holding a press conference in Berlin | PHOTO: EPA/Hayoung Jeon
Sea-Watch activists Chris Grodotzki, Marie Naas and Ruben Neugebauer holding a press conference in Berlin | PHOTO: EPA/Hayoung Jeon

German NGO Sea-Watch said it wants to share the donations it has collected for captain Carola Rackete with other migrant rescue organizations that operate in the Mediterranean. Sea-Watch 3 captain Rackete, who is hiding in Italy, said she doesn’t want to return to Germany for the time being.

German aid organization Sea-Watch said it wants to pool donations collected for Carola Rackete, the captain of one of its rescue ships. The German captain is facing criminal charges in Italy for saving migrants stranded at sea.

"A committee has been formed because we want to use the money as effectively as possible for rescues at sea, not only for Sea-Watch," spokesperson Ruben Neugebauer said on Tuesday. “We want to look together at where it is most needed.”

The committee includes representatives of aid organizations and the Seebrücke (“Bridge over the Sea”) movement, a network that campaigns for solidarity with migrants rescued at sea.

Part of the donations will be used to pay for the legal costs for Rackete, who has been greeted with a wave of solidarity after her arrest in Italy. Following a two-week standoff with Italian authorities, she ignored a government ban and brought her ship, the Sea-Watch 3, with dozens of rescued migrants on board into the port of Lampedusa on June 29.

A call by German television presenters Jan Böhmermann and Klaas Heufer-Umlauf alone has raised almost €1 million euros.

Rackete to remain in Italy

Although 31-year-old Rackete, who comes from the northern German state of Lower Saxony, has been freed, she remains under investigation and still faces the prospect of a trial in Italy on charges of abetting illegal immigration and defying public orders.

Sea-Watch spokesperson Neugebauer on Tuesday said Rackete would not return to Germany before the planned hearing at Italy’s public prosecutor’s office on July 18. However, he didn’t confirm Rackete would stay in Italy until then.

The hearing, which is about the accusation of assisting illegal migration, was originally planned for Tuesday. In parallel proceedings, Italy’s public prosecutor’s office is investigating against Rackete for resistance against both enforcement officers and a military vessel.

Rackete is currently in hiding after receiving numerous threats.

With material from dpa

 

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