NGO migrant-rescue ship stays impounded

Jugend Rettet's appeal to free Iuventa rejected by supreme court

(ANSA) - Rome, April 24 - Jugend Rettet on Tuesday failed in a bid to get Italy's supreme Court of Cassation to release the Iuventa, a ship the German-based NGO uses for migrant search-and-rescue operations in the Mediterranean.
    The vessel was impounded in August 2017 in the Sicilian port of Trapani in relation to a probe into the alleged aiding of illegal migration via cooperation with human traffickers.
    "We are devastated by the Court's ruling of today," Jugend Rettet said via Twitter: "The IUVENTA will not be free! But we will fight for the right to rescue of people in distress at sea".
    Medical-aid NGO Doctors Without Borders (MSF) also expressed "dismay".
    "This sends a worrying signal to #humanitarian organisations preventing #refugees and #migrants from drowning in #Mediterranean," MSF said. "Saving lives is not a crime!".


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