Accusation of trafficking against NGOs: Italy’s Committee of Bishops outraged

The accusations are driven by a disgraceful attitude, the bishops say.

Rome – Italy’s Committee of Bishops  (CEI) has called the accusations against the human rights organisations that are rescuing refugees in the Mediterranean “disgraceful.” “These accusations are driven by a disgraceful attitude held by those who do not want to rescue people who are escaping across the Mediterranean,” said Bishop Giancarlo Perego, the Director of the Migrant Foundation, which is part of the CEI.

Perego urgently called for the creation of humanitarian corridors for the safe immigration of refugees to Europe. Only thus one could fight human trafficking, which financed fundamentalist terrorism. “To turn away from the refugee tragedy and to accuse the humanitarian organisations who rescue people in the Mediterranean is reprehensible. One should explain to the Europeans that humanitarian corridors must be guaranteed,” Perego said.

The organisation “Doctors without Borders” said they were “outraged” about the “cynical attacks” against the commitment of human rights organisations in the Mediterranean. They threatened to take legal action for libel.

Catania prosecutor Carmelo Zuccaro had told the Italian daily “La Stampa” on Sunday that he had “proof” that “there are direct contacts between some NGOs and traffickers in Libya.” At this point in time, at least ten NGOs are in the Mediterranean off Libya, including Jugend rettet, Sea Watch, Sea-Eye, LifeBoat, SOS Méditerrannée and Mission Lifeline from Germany.
Source: Tiroler Tageszeitung, Innsbruck, Austria


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