Rome impounds refugee rescue ship
In the dispute over rescue operations for refugees on the Mediterranean the Italian police has impounded a ship, the Iuventa, operated by the German NGO Jugend Rettet. It suspects the NGO of aiding the activities of people smugglers. Like the majority of NGOs engaging in the rescue missions, the German organisation has refused to sign a code of conduct for these operations. Italian media voice their outrage.
So much for humanitarian principles
Now it's clear why the German NGO hasn't signed the code of conduct and rejects the idea of police on board its boats, La Repubblica rails:
“Clearly it's not humanitarian principles that are stopping them from signing, but their dealings with people smugglers. It seems that the young Germans of this NGO see the latter as far more 'neutral' than the police of a country that, until the contrary is proven, doesn't put the migrants in concentration camps, rob them of the little they own or throw them overboard as fish food when they want to shed ballast. … Doctors Without Borders and all the other NGOs that haven't signed the protocol must take a stance and make clear whether they side with Jugend Rettet or with Save the Children, Moas and Proactiva Open Arms.”
EU partners must implement code of conduct
Corriere della Sera explains how it thinks the other EU member states should behave in the row over the NGOs' rescue operations:
“A piece of advice for the European partners who, regarding the refugees and the defence of common borders, are our reluctant and neglectful allies: After rejecting refugee quotas and refusing to allow migrants into their ports it would be good if at least a few, and above all the governments of the major states, would show solidarity in words and deeds. For example by adopting the code of conduct and compelling the NGOs to respect it. Must we remind you that Jugend Rettet is a German organisation?”