Miércoles, 17 de abril, 2024

Ahead of the expected decision (19 April) in the final preliminary hearing of the Iuventa trial, Elisa De Pieri, Amnesty International’s Regional Researcher, said:

“The court’s upcoming decision will have momentous consequences for future search and rescue operations, and on the lives of the Iuventa ship’s crew members and the other NGO crews that face charges. The crew of the Iuventa saved 14,000 lives, including children. Despite this, they have been shamefully dragged through the Italian courts for years.

“The prosecutor has already recognized that charges against the Iuventa ship’s crew members and other crews should be dropped. This is an opportunity to put right an astronomical wrong, and to recognize the fearless actions of the crew members, who put their own lives at risk to save others. Without them, many more people may die in the dangerous waters of the Mediterranean.

“The work of the Iuventa crew, and others that carry out search and rescue at sea, should never be criminalized. It is high time to end the prosecution of members of the Iuventa crew, and the other human rights defenders who have served on the rescue ships operated by Médecins Sans Frontières and Save the Children, as well as legal action and against the NGOs themselves.”


On 19 April, the last session of the preliminary hearing is expected to take place at 12:00 CET in Trapani. A trial observer from Amnesty International Italy will be in attendance.

In 2017, Italian authorities opened investigations into crew members of an NGO ship named the Iuventa involved in search and rescue in the Mediterranean. They were charged with facilitating immigration to Italy from Libya – effectively colluding with smugglers and face up to 20 years in prison.

In 2020, Amnesty International launched a worldwide solidarity campaign calling on the Italian Prosecutor to drop the investigation against Iuventa crew members.