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NGOS, to Amend the offence of abetment of irregular entry in order not to punish acts of solidarity
the ROME - european governments have adopted a range of restrictions and punitive measures and punishments against persons or groups who defend the rights of migrants and refugees, through policies on immigration and counter-terrorism that violate human rights. Between 2015 and 2018 have been investigated 158 persons for abetment of irregular entry into a state of the european Union (Eu) and 16 Ngos have undergone a criminal proceeding. Amnesty International, on the occasion of the presentation of the report “Punishing compassion: solidarity under process in Fortress Europe”, is calling on european leaders to stop the criminalization of those who defend human rights within the Eu and to undertake to respect a series of measures to ensure that they are transposed in all the directions of the United Nations in order to ensure a secure and sustainable.

Too much discretion to the member States. Amnesty International believes that the vagueness of the provisions contained within the so-called “Package favoreggiatori”, which was launched by the Eu to combat trafficking in human beings in 2002, leaving too much discretion to the member states. The implementation of this directive resulted in the start of criminal proceedings and the application of penalties to the detriment of those who fight for human rights and show solidarity with the people in the movement. The hope of Amnesty International, which had emerged from the press conference held today in contemporary Rome, Bern, Madrid and yesterday in Paris, is Europe to introduce guidelines aimed at promoting awareness of the protection that States are obliged to ensure respect of refugees and migrants, relying on the judiciary and forces of law and order. At the same time, it is necessary that rescue activities are carried out safely and that the conduct of the humanitarian operators is evaluated with coherence to ensure that the work is not weakened by sanctions or judicial proceedings.

The indictment for simple acts of solidarity. throughout Europe many people are indicted for simple acts of solidarity such as the distribution of clothing and hot meals, the offer of accommodation and the saving of lives at sea. Too often, the competent authority shall use the laws on the inputs of the illegal and anti-terrorist measures to strike those who help refugees, asylum seekers and migrants. The report examines several cases registered between 2017 and 2019, Croatia, France, Greece, Italy, Malta, Spain, United Kingdom and Switzerland, where the authorities have dealt with acts of humanity as a threat to national security and public order, obstructing the work of human rights defenders and forcing them to use their scarce resources and energies to defend themselves in court.

The NGOS targeted mainly in Italy. “The inability of european states to meet the basic needs of the refugees and migrants means that it is often left to the common people and providing services and support essential. Punishing the people that are mobilized to fill these gaps, the european governments are exposing the people in the movement to even greater risks,” said Elisa De Pieri, a researcher for Amnesty International for Europe. Ngos, in particular, were targeted, mainly in Italy and have suffered disparaging campaigns, as well as criminal investigations. By August 2017, the Italian authorities have seized ships of Ngos in several occasions, reducing the number of those available for relief operations even as the rate of mortality at sea has increased exponentially in 2018 and 2019.

The primacy of the right to life. “it Is essential that the Italian authorities give a clear signal, and to repeal and withdraw the provisions that restrict and hamper the work of Ngos involved in the activities of search and rescue aid, and by changing the legislation to ensure that irregular entry in the territory of the State will not be treated as a crime. The primacy of the right to life, the right to seek asylum, the right to live in dignity without discrimination, which rest all on the principle of solidarity between human beings, it should be reaffirmed in no uncertain terms,” said Ilaria Masinara, Migration and Discrimination Campaign Manager of Amnesty International Italy. Amnesty International reiterates the importance of change to the national laws and the Eu on facilitation of unauthorised entry, transit and residence irregular to prevent that they are used to punish acts of solidarity and humanity.

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