Refugee supporters to picket Italian embassy over the “Australian solution”

| July 9, 2019 | Reply

Refugee supporters will picket the Sydney Italian consulate office today (Tuesday 9 July) to call for an end of Italy’s ban on refugee boats.

The protest will be held Tuesday 9 July, 12.30pm, outside the Italian consulate, 44 Market Street, Sydney.

The Italian government has announced that a second rescue ship’s captain has been placed under investigation for “abetting illegal immigration” after the ship ignored Italian government orders not to land 40 asylum seekers rescued on the Mediterranean Sea.

The actions of the Italian NGO vessel, “Mediterranea”, follow those of the Sea Watch 3 on 29 June, when Carola Rackete, the German captain of the rescue ship defied the Italian government’s orders not to land 42 asylum seekers. Rackete was initially placed under house arrest, and although no longer under arrest, she still faces the prospect of a long trial on the charge of aiding illegal immigration.

The Italian judge responsible for freeing Rackete, also ruled that neither Libya nor Tunisia were safe countries for migrants. Yet, far right, Italian deputy Prime Minister, Matteo Salvini is urging that she be expelled from Italy because she is a “danger to national security”.

In August 2018, Salvini bragged about introducing Australia’s model of the Pacific Solution, to Italy.

The “Australian model” has resulted in increased drownings of asylum seekers attempting to cross the Mediterranean Sea. While others, are being forcibly detained in brutal camps in Libya after returned picked up at sea by cargo boats.

“The Australian solution is as big a disaster in the Mediterranean as it is in the Pacific. The asylum seekers in the camps in Libya are Europe’s version of Manus and Nauru. Boat turnbacks means more asylum seekers die,” said Ian Rintoul, spokesperson for the Refugee Action Coalition.

“We are demanding Italy drop all charges against Rackete and the captain of the Sea Watch 3. We are also demanding Italy revokes its decree forbidding rescue boats from entering Italian territorial waters.

“That Italy has adopted the “Australia Solution’ adds to the international shame of Australia’s anti-refugees policies. Australia and Italy should open their borders to asylum seekers.”

Rallies calling for the closure of Manus and Nauru and an end to offshore detention will be held across Australia on 20 July.

For more information contact Ian Rintoul 0417 275 713

Category: Press releases

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