“We Can’t Save Everyone”
November 13, 2018 6:45 AM   Subscribe

The Hopeless Mission Of The Only Ship Still Rescuing Refugees: Can the Aquarius continue saving people from drowning in the Mediterranean?

THE CENTRAL MEDITERRANEAN — “Leave the area immediately now,” the voice from the coast guard vessel al-Khifa said again. “I am the authority here. Leave the area immediately now.”

It was 4 a.m. when the threat to the Aquarius, rocking in international waters around 30 miles from Libya, came over the radio.

Not visible was a tiny wooden boat, crowded with the people the NGO ship was attempting to rescue. They had fled from Zuwara, Libya, the night before, wading out to the vessel they hoped would take them away from danger and into Europe. Now these men, women, and children (and one dog) had been unwittingly caught in a standoff between the Libyan coast guard and an international refugee search and rescue boat.

posted by poffin boffin (11 comments total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
It´s not just The Aquarius which is being hindered.
Hungary last June: On World Refugee Day, Hungary Makes It Illegal to Help Refugees and Migrants.
Greece: 23-year-old, who saved 18 refugees in 2015 by swimming their waterlogged dingy to the shores of Lesbos with her Olympian sister, is accused of people smuggling, espionage and membership of a criminal organisation – crimes allegedly committed since returning to work with an NGO on the island.
Italy: Pro-refugee Italian mayor arrested for 'aiding illegal migration'. Domenico Lucano, mayor of Riace, is praised by locals and migrant rights campaigners.
posted by adamvasco at 7:19 AM on November 13, 2018 [5 favorites]

This is such a terrible nightmare.
posted by ChuraChura at 7:32 AM on November 13, 2018 [3 favorites]

And the obvious thing, trying to improve conditions in the countries producing refugees without it being an excuse for military exercises or profit-grabbing by domestic rentiers, seems unthinkable. Or, at least, way less thinkable than “let them drown.”
posted by GenjiandProust at 7:44 AM on November 13, 2018 [3 favorites]

You can follow them on Twitter at @MSF_Sea
posted by vacapinta at 7:58 AM on November 13, 2018

I just feel like the post WWII agreements have disappeared, and with them an agreement to think of ourselves as human.
posted by PinkMoose at 8:53 AM on November 13, 2018 [8 favorites]

I didn't know Migrant Offshore Aid Station had stopped Mediterranean missions. Still doing good work, however.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 9:49 AM on November 13, 2018

I remember when we used to treat refugees as if people mattered.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 3:47 PM on November 13, 2018 [1 favorite]

Migrants who allegedly suffer savage beatings by state officials call it ‘the game’. But as shocking evidence suggests, attempting to cross the Bosnia-Croatia border is far from mere sport
posted by adamvasco at 7:07 AM on November 14, 2018

I just feel like the post WWII agreements have disappeared, and with them an agreement to think of ourselves as human.

same, it feels like an alarming number of people today in 2018 look at the thought of not committing heinous crimes against humanity as something silly and antiquated like the 4 humours theory of medicine.
posted by poffin boffin at 5:36 AM on November 15, 2018 [2 favorites]

Italian authorities order the siezure of the Aquarius and freezing of MSF assets.

Reason: supposed illegal waste dumping at Italian ports.
posted by vacapinta at 2:33 AM on November 20, 2018 [1 favorite]

This is so much bullshit from the Italian neo fascists.
Prosecutors allege garments on Aquarius should have been labelled as ‘toxic waste’.
posted by adamvasco at 10:42 AM on November 20, 2018 [2 favorites]

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