The murderous EU border regime never stopped killing…

By Hagen Kopp (Alarm Phone)

Together with survivors and relatives of the victims we will not stop denouncing the responsible politicians and authorities for the ongoing massacres. A medium to mourn, to remember, and to accuse in the same time are CommemorActions.
One more will take place for the anniversary of the shipwrecks in October 2023 in Lampedusa.

Two large, horrible shipwrecks took place ten years ago near Lampedusa. 368 people drowned on the 3rd of October 2013 close to the shores of the Italian island. Eight days later, after politicians’ crocodile tears in front of the hundreds of coffins had just dried, the authorities did not follow the desperate SOS calls of another boat about 70 nautical miles south off Lampedusa. 268 people died on the 11th of October 2013, because Italian and Maltese coast guards and navy refused assistance. An Italian naval vessel only 17 nautical miles away was deliberately ordered to NOT approach the scene by the Italian Maritime Rescue Operations Centre.

Against this background in December 2022, more than nine years after this crime, the Court of Rome ruled that the Italian coast guard and navy were guilty of manslaughter and negligence, resulting in failure to rescue and thus responsible for the death of the 268 refugees. The two Captains accused were finally not convicted because the case was time-barred, as the trial was brought beyond the limitations period. However, a landmark court ruling confirmed once again: people in distress at sea must always be rescued from drowning! But what have been the consequences?

Latest, since the 2017-deal between Italy and Libyan militias, a systematic push- and pull-back regime was established. Thus every day the lives of people, for whom safe passages remain blocked, are under additional risk. Non-assistance in the meanwhile became a daily practice of Maltese and Italian coast guards. Thousands of refugees and migrants have died or perished by drowning during the last years. A cruel determent policy was and is the norm and two more recent tragedies underline the continuity of the deathly “shield of Europe” (von der Leyen).              

On 26th of February 2023 at least 94 people drowned near Cutro at the coast of Calabria. On 14th of June 2023 more than 600 refugees and migrants disappeared at sea near the Greek island of Pylos. In both cases the respective authorities did not react in time or even – as stated by several Pylos survivors – directly caused the shipwreck by towing the vessel. It’s pure hypocrisy, when politicians appear dismayed after such massacres at sea. Every 3rd of October we still can follow the same pseudo show. The true faces of politicians like von der Leyen or Meloni come out when they try to buy a Tunisian president for the further brutalization of the border regime. Or when they threaten – whatever it should mean – with naval sea blockades.

CommemorAction in Palermo 2021. Photo: Alarm Phone

About the 11 October 2013 shipwreck

Article published in Echoes#8 – Struggles for Freedom of Movement