An Italian court has ordered the seized sailboat Alex Mediterranea to be released. The ship of the NGO Mediterranea Saving Humans was confiscated last July after it had rescued 59 people in the Mediterranean.
The NGO Mediterranea Saving Humans announced that Italian authorities have released its sailboat, the Alex Mediterranea.
The sailboat was confiscated for seven months after its crew had saved 59 people from the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of the Italian island of Lampedusa in July 2019, including four newborns, 11 minors and four pregnant women.
Similar to the case of the Mare Jonio, the court of Palermo recognized that the seizure was illegitimate.
Rescue vessel back at sea 'very soon'
"Our sailboat, overcrowded and facing critical health and hygiene conditions, was held for over two days outside of the port of Lampedusa and then subjected to an administrative seizure for hate and the political will of the then-interior minister [Matteo Salvini]," said Alessandra Sciurba, president of Mediterranea Saving Humans.
Sciurba added that the seizure was also a result of the so-called Salvini decree. She further said "another piece of justice has been taken back" with the sailboat's release and the court ruling from January that former Sea-Watch captain Carola Rackete did her duty in landing rescued migrants at Lampedusa last summer.
"But that decree ... is still in effect, while the Mediterranean remains a graveyard, a desert of humanity, and a place of very serious violence and violations," Sciurba said.
The president of Mediterranea Saving Humans also announced that the Alex Mediterranea will be back at sea "very soon."