Friday, September 21, 2007
Over 400 have died in the last year crossing the canal of Sicily. Even worse is that anyone helping them is being thrown in jail. France is right behind with Sarkozy wanting to deport over 20,000 migrants by Christmas.-----Switzerland is also in the game. Its a global disease and I'm not talking about migration, I'm talking about xenophobia.
Tunisian fishermen face 15 years' jail in Italy for saving migrants from rough seas
By Peter Pophamin Rome
Published: 20 September 2007
Seven Tunisian fishermen go on trial in Sicily today for the crime of rescuing 44 migrants from certain death in the sea. They are accused of aiding and abetting illegal immigration. If convicted, they face between one and 15 years in jail.
The men were arrested on 8 August after bringing the migrants ashore in Lampedusa, Italy's southernmost island. They were remanded in custody and remained in jail until 10 September, when five were released on bail and the two officers of the boat were put under house arrest.
On the morning of 7 August, Abdelkarim Bayoudh and his crew had dropped anchor on a shelf 30 miles south of the island of Lampedusa. They had just turned in for a few hours' sleep when they were woken by screams for help.
Coming out on deck they saw a rubber boat crammed with people wallowing in the rough sea, taking in water and on the point of sinking. Among them were two children and 11 women – two of them pregnant and one elderly and badly ill. In the crush to get aboard the fishing boat, two of the migrants went in the water. Two of the Tunisian crew dived in and rescued them.
Captain Bayoudh then headed for the nearest harbour. Their home port of Monastir was 90 miles away, Lampedusa only 30 miles. The best destination was obvious. Yet on arrival in Lampedusa, the seven Tunisians were arrested and thrown in jail. Experts say the charge of aiding illegal immigration is absurd...
For complete article click title to this post
photo: UNHCR. http://www.eumap.org/journal/features/2004/migration/pt2/child