Press Releases

22th February 2024

Italy’s obstruction of search and rescue activities is endangering people’s lives.

Joint statement by non-governmental organisations (NGOs) involved in search and rescue activities in the Central Mediterranean.

20th December 2023

The New Pact on Migration ends the individual right to asylum in the EU and will cost more lives at sea.

The outcome of the final trilogue negotiations on the New Pact on Migration is a turning point and one of the most blatant displays of disrespect to human rights and the suffering along European borders. With the agreement on the Common European Asylum System (CEAS), the EU has decided to formalize a status quo where violence, neglect, torture, and leaving people to die are every day practice. Recent years have shown a wide range of cruel practices towards people arriving in Europe: cramming them into camps like Moria, separating children from their parents, preventing boats from arriving to a safe shore in the Aegean Sea, beating people unconscious along the Croatian border or letting them freeze to death at the Polish border. With the agreement that has now been reached, all of this will continue and, indeed, become formalized.

13th September 2023

Rescue ship Louise Michel disembarks 68 people in 24th Rescue Operation this year, after being ordered to abandon search for a boat in distress

Italian Authorities ordered the crew to abandon the search for a boat in distress with 44 people aboard, who had been in contact with the Emergency hotline, Alarmphone. After the crew of the Louise Michel brought 124 people safely to Trapani last week, another 68 people could finally disembark in the Sicilian city on the 7th of September. In the 23rd and 24th rescue operations this year, the crew of the Louise Michel responded to two distress cases during the 4th of September. Following the first rescue in the morning, of 24 people from a wooden boat which had been reported by the emergency hotline Alarmphone, the crew was informed of another distress case, a rubber boat with 44 people on board.

28th August 2023

Urgent warning: Increased deaths at sea, NGO vessels detained – European states must stop obstructing civilian search and rescue efforts in the Central Mediterranean

Up to 600 people lost their lives in another avoidable shipwreck off the Greek coast in June 2023. As civil society, we are horrified by the preventable deaths in the Central Mediterranean sea which happen year in, year out. Search and rescue ships are urgently needed to prevent further loss of life on the deadliest migration route in the world, yet EU member states – most prominently Italy – are actively obstructing civilian search and rescue efforts.

17th August 2023

The rescue vessel Louise Michel funded by Banksy, attends 2 boats in distress that departed from Tunisia and calls for an end to the European Union's Tunisian deal

MV Louise Michel finished its 3rd Rotation this year. In the last week, our crew operated in the Central Mediterranean carrying out search and rescue on the deadly route where increasing numbers of shipwrecks are happening on a daily basis. During the operation, we were involved in 2 rescues of boats in distress, both of which had departed Tunisia. In the past few months, departures from Tunisia, in self-constructed metal boats, have increased drastically, as have the number of shipwrecks between Lampedusa and Tunisia.

18th May 2023

Rescue Vessel Louise Michel back in operation after 20 days detention: 71 People brought safely to Trapani after rescue from overcrowded rubber boat

Trapani, Italy, 18th May, 2023: 71 People have disembarked in Trapani. After a 20 day detention last month, the Rescue Vessel Louise Michel returned to Operations at the beginning of the week. 71 people were rescued on the 17th of May after an alert about a potential distress case by the civil aircraft Colibri 2.

6th April 2023

Rescue vessel Louise Michel submits appeal against detention order

The lawyers of the rescue ship MV Louise Michel have submitted an appeal against the 20 day detention of the vessel. “We are confident because we didn’t do anything wrong, we followed our duty to render assistance to those in distress. If that is illegal, this continent has a different problem. We will not stop fighting until everyone's basic human rights are respected.” - Representative of the Louise Michel in Rome

27th March, 2023

MV Louise Michel detained for 20 days after disembarkation of 180 people safely in the Port of Lampedusa

After carrying out four rescue Operations on Friday the 24th of March, 2023, we were officially informed yesterday afternoon that the ship is being detained for 20 days. We are accused of acting against a new Italian decree law, in place since the beginning of 2023 and widely criticised, not only by NGOs, as a prevention of rescue capacities at sea, putting people in distress in the Mediterranean Sea at further risk.

25th March, 2023

Rescue ship Louise Michel detained on the Island of Lampedusa after the rescue of 180 people. MRCC pressured the crew not to rescue people in danger

Just two days ago the private rescue vessel Louise Michel returned to the central Mediterranean. After supporting the rescue of 190 people onto the rescue ship Geo Barents operated by Doctors without Borders on Thursday night, the crew carried out four additional rescue operations yesterday, and entered the Port of Lampedusa in the early morning. During the disembarkation of the 180 survivors, Louise Michel was informed about the detention due to violation of the new Italian decree, in place since the beginning of the year.