With more than 200 people on board, today is day 6 for the LIFELINE stucking at sea, with deteriorating weather conditions and an increasingly fragile health situation of the rescued people.
According to media reports, a solution to this deadlock was close as several EU states negotiated with Malta to open the ports and to distribute the people to different EU states. Several countries and communes offered to take people, in Germany after Berlin now Schleswig Holstein offered to welcome people rescued by the LIFELINE crew as well. But the German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer is blocking any solutions since, fighting the inner power play of his party on the back of people’s lives and safety.
Axel Steier, co-founder of Mission Lifeline, comments: if the situation on the ship will escalate in the next hours due to exhaustion and weakness of the people rescued and the overall worsening weather conditions, it is entirely the responsibility of Mr Seehofer to bare the consequences. He acts like a German version of his Italian colleague Mr. Salvini and makes the German government complicit to non-assistance to persons in danger.”
In the last days there has been a number of false accusations that LIFELINE ignores orders by different MRCCs, therefore it is important to underline that the only order the ship denied was to hand over people to the so-called Libyan Coastguard, as this would have been not in line with the Geneva Refugee Convention and therefore criminal. After request to the Libyan authorities which Port of Safety they could head to, the ship received the reply to disembark in Tripoli, which would have been a breach of the principle of non-refoulement, therefore it is important to state that LIFELINE obeyed all instructions received from different maritime authorities as long as it was in compliance with international law.
Source: Mission Lifeline / RedGlobe