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Italy: 'Neither crew nor NGO formally accused of anything' - Iuventa refugee rescue ship activist

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Activist of the campaign 'Over the Fortress' Tommaso Gandini, who was on board the impounded refugee rescue ship Iuventa, stated that "neither the crew nor the NGO has been formally accused of anything," as footage released in Lampedusa on Thursday shows.SOT, Tommaso Gandini, Activist (Italian): "We immediately headed towards the area of rescue and assistance in the Mediterranean, keeping ourselves far from the limit of 12 miles [of the rescue area]. The mission didn't start then since there hadn't been any calls or sightings of boats in danger. In this period of time, only two events occurred - one was the meeting with the Libyan Coast Guard who pointed guns at us and requested we get away from international waters. Despite the fact that they didn't have the jurisdiction [to do so], we decided to go away."SOT, Tommaso Gandini, Activist (Italian): "The second event occurred when the Coast Guard of Rome called on us to board two migrants, who had previously been rescued by the same Coast Guard. After three days, the same Coast Guard requested to take the migrants to the coast of Lampedusa. Once docked in Lampedusa, the disembarkment took place normally; we already had two similar operations in April. After some routine checks, we were asked to stay for the night in order to be questioned in the morning. Again this was presented as a routine operation."SOT, Tommaso Gandini, Activist (Italian): "This interrogation started spontaneously, without the presence of any lawyer, only as witnesses. We discovered that the boat was being searched. At that stage, we decided to reach the boat and not to declare [our intentions] in front of the police any longer. This decision is still valid for the organisation 'Jugend Rettet', which decided not to release any press statements or interviews. I am here as a witness, and I am speaking on behalf of the campaign 'Over the Fortress.'"SOT, Tommaso Gandini, Activist (Italian): "After a long and meticulous search, we were let go but I want to stress that we were time free to leave at any time, and at this stage the direction of the investigation of Trapani's Prosecutor Office against aiding illegal migrants remains unknown. Neither the crew nor the NGO has been formally accused of anything."Video ID: 20170803 033Video on Demand: http://www.ruptly.tv Contact: [email protected]: http://twitter.com/Ruptly Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/Ruptly

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