Mediterranea started operating as a grassroots sea rescue organisation in 2018 after most NGOs, criminalised by new laws, were forced to abandon their humanitarian work in the Mediterranean. Mediterranea, originally a "non-governmental action" brought together organisations and individuals of a heterogeneous nature from far left squats to Christian groups. They were not spared from controversy: like other organizations in the sector, they were accused of aiding illegal immigration. The magistrates of Agrigento asked for the complete acquittal of all charges for Captain Napolitano and the shipowner Caccia stating that the Mare Ionio ship had "fulfilled its duty to rescue people whose lives were in danger at sea". These are the stories behind the rescue operations, the disputes, the challenges and those who have chosen, between geopolitical tensions and humanitarian necessities, to voluntarily perform this vital task and fill a void left by Europe’s institutions.
Participant: Tomás Sheridan