Arrested Migrant Ferry Captain to Sue Salvini for Slander

TOPSHOT - German captain of humanitarian ship Sea-Watch 3, Carola Rackete (Rear in car) looks on as she leaves in a car of the Italian Guardia di Finanza law enforcement agency on July 1, 2019 after appearing before a judge at the courthouse in Agrigento, Sicily. - The captain of …

Migrant transport NGO captain Carola Rackete has announced she will be filing a lawsuit against Italian interior minister Matteo Salvini over insults from the populist party leader.

The defamation suit was announced by Rackete’s lawyer Alessandro Gamberini, who told Italian media, “We have prepared the legal complaint against minister Salvini,” adding, “it’s not easy to make a complete list of all the insults Salvini has made these last weeks,” Kronen Zeitung reports.

Responding to the 31-year-old lawyer, Mr Salvini took to social media, writing, “She breaks laws and attacks Italian military vessels, and then she sues me. I’m not afraid of the Mafia, let alone a rich and spoiled communist!”

Rackete was initially arrested last weekend after storming into Italian territorial waters and ramming a patrol vessel to land migrants in Italian territory. Only days later, the German national was released from custody, but she still faces charges.

Despite risking serious prison time for her actions, Rakcete has seen a surge in support from leftists across Europe who have raised over a million euros in support.

One campaign, backed by left-wing German comedian Jan Boehmermann, who gained international attention for nearly being prosecuted for an insulting poem about Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan, took in 620,000 euros only a few days after Rackete’s arrest.

The actions of Rackete have inspired other migrant rescue NGOs including the Italy-based Mediterranea Saving Humans, who say they have collected 54 migrants off the coast of Libya this week and are looking to bring them to Italy.

According to statements from the NGO their vessel, the Alex, arrived shortly before the Libyan coast guard, stating, “We have saved 54 people at sea, thankfully before the initiation of the Libyan Coast Guard patrol boat, which ordered a halt.”

The vessel Alan Kurdi, operated by the German NGO Sea-Eye, picked up another 65 migrants on Friday, 37 miles from the Libyan coast. The Italian Interior Ministry warned that the ship would not be welcome in Italian waters, ordering the NGO to go to Tunisia or Germany instead.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)


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