Italy: Prosecutors to Charge Another Migrant Transport NGO

In this Friday, Dec. 21, 2018, photo, migrants sit in a rubber dinghy after Proactiva Open
AP Photo/Olmo Calvo

Italian prosecutors have requested an indictment against members of the migrant transport NGO Proactiva Open Arms, arguing that two senior members of the group are involved in aiding illegal migration.

Prosecutor Fabio D’Anna and the deputy Santo Fornasier have requested indictments against Marc Reig Creus and the head of the NGO’s mission Ana Isabel Mier on the grounds that they aided illegal immigration in March last year, Il Giornale reports.

The NGO is accused of ignoring orders to proceed to Malta and docking at an Italian port instead. The prosecutor alleged that as a result of their actions, the Italian state had become a victim of aggression aimed at “promoting illegal migration”.

Recordings made with GoPro cameras also showed crew members shouting “Let’s go to Italy!” and “We are going to Italy” when they reached the migrant vessel and welcomed migrants aboard their ship.

The Spanish NGO is not the only migrant transport group facing charges of aiding illegal immigration. On Thursday, Sea-Watch captain Carola Rackete appeared in court in Sicily where she is also facing charges.

The 31-year-old German national was questioned for around an hour by prosecutors.

“We have thousands of refugees in a civil war country, which should be urgently evacuated,” Rackete said, and added that she wanted to see action from the European Commission. Earlier this week she insisted that Europe take in all Libya’s migrants, an estimated half a million or more people.

Rackete’s lawyer Alessandro Gamberini also took the opportunity to slam Italian populist interior minister Matteo Salvini, accusing him of promoting an atmosphere of hatred.

Salvini has routinely denounced Rackete, particularly for ramming an Italian patrol boat while she stormed into Italian territorial waters before her initial arrest. As a result, Rackete has promised to launch a defamation lawsuit against Salvini with the aim of taking away his platform on social media.

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


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