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Captain Arturo Centore has only minutes
to prepare his crew.
The Italian police have come to take him off his ship
and into custody.
He’s accused of human trafficking.
It’s the latest battle on the world’s deadliest
migration route.
And I wanted to know: Do these ships
encourage human smuggling or are they
the last remaining lifelines for migrants
who feel abandoned by the E.U.?
Just three years ago, Sea-Watch
was one of the many search-and-rescue NGOs
in the Mediterranean.
But as Europe shut its ports, most operations ceased.
On this day, it is the only rescue ship working in the area.
And there’s no louder opponent than Italy’s
far-right interior minister, Matteo Salvini.
He sends a message to the crew.
It was meant to be a day of practice drills.
But then, a call from a nearby surveillance plane.
We head toward the Libyan coast.
More than 18,000 migrants have died
trying to cross the Mediterranean since 2014.
I was prepared to see the worst,
but the scene today is different.
And some of the crew are trying
to build a case for the intervention.
And it seems as if the migrants
expected the ship’s arrival.
Migrants: “O.K.”
Thank you.
Sixty-five men, women and children
from West and Central Africa
come aboard after a night at sea.
Many migrants had left to escape poverty and violence.
Instead, they ended up stuck in Libya,
most in detention centers where many
were subjected to torture and extortion.
Despite Salvini’s repeated warnings,
the captain sets a course for Italy.
But he stops short of entering Italian waters and circles
for a day.
[baby crying]
And then a surprise move by the Italians:
an offer to allow migrants to disembark, but only
the families.
Captain Arturo and the head of mission,
Phil, wrestle with the idea of separating the migrants.
[baby crying]
With the boat still in international waters,
the Italian Coast Guard comes out
to take the families off the ship.
Captain Arturo is in a difficult position.
If he defies Salvini by pushing into Italian waters,
the remaining migrants could claim asylum,
but as captain he would be liable for illegally
crossing the border.
The ship is now in Italy, but the police order
Arturo to anchor before reaching the shoreline.
For the first time, the migrants
decide to speak out and appeal to the world
through social media.
But nobody will get to hear their messages.
The media effort is interrupted by a call.
It’s the Italian police.
They’re here to collect evidence.
A prosecutor has ordered the boat
to be seized for violating immigration laws.
The police question Captain Arturo on his role
in the mission.
Finally, the police order the migrants to disembark.
The standoff is over.
And these migrants are among the lucky few
to make it across the sea.
Their call for help was answered.


Lifesavers or Smugglers? How Sea-Watch and Italy Play Political Games With Migrants | The Dispatch

63 分類 收藏
林宜悉 發佈於 2020 年 3 月 26 日
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