A captain of an Italian flagship that has returned rescued migrants to Libya will be brought to trial in an Italian court.
This is evident from documents that the French news agency AFP has had access to. It is the first time that such a process takes place in Italy.
The ship “Asso 28” rescued a total of 101 migrants near an oil platform in international waters at the end of July 2018. Still, it subsequently returned the migrants to the port of Tripoli where they were handed over to the Coast Guard, according to the Naples Public Prosecutor’s Office.
The ship’s captain and company representative Augusta Offshore is accused of violating international law. It states that people should not be driven back to countries where their rights are threatened.
Among the rescued people, there were five minors and five pregnant women. Although the ship sailed under the Italian flag, no message was sent to the Italian rescue services.
Nicola Fratoianni, Member of Parliament and leader of a left-wing Italian party, told AFP that the rescue vessel “Open Arms” had reported to “Asso 28” that returning these migrants to Libya was “illegal”.
According to the Member of Parliament, this process will make it possible to “find out the truth about such things that are all too common in the Mediterranean.”