Responding to reports that Médecins Sans Frontiers have today that Italy has ordered the seizure of the search and rescue ship, Aquarius, for alleged illegal waste treatment, Steve Valdez-Symonds, Amnesty UK's Refugee and Migrant Rights Programme Director, said:
“This appears to be the latest effort to discredit the vital search-and-rescue operations by charities and volunteers in the central Mediterranean, in a shameless attempt to offer justification for the deliberate blocking of this life-saving work.
“The Aquarius has reportedly rescued more than 30,000 women, men and children over a period of more than two years. People’s lives are now being lost in greater numbers because governments have stopped the Aquarius, and other charitable organisations, operating at sea.”
For more information, or to arrange an interview, please contact:
Lucy Scholey, Amnesty International Canada (English)
W: 613-744-7667 ext. 236