Borderline Sicilia and the Catania Anti-Racist Network, in collaboration with the lawyers Paola Ottaviano and Nello Papandrea, have lodged an official complaint with the public prosecutor of the court of Catania relating to the events surrounding Italian Coast Guard vessel the 'Diciotti', which for the past nine days has had 150 migrants on board, previously rescued at sea.
The accusations of possible crimes include the illegal detention of persons, abuse of office and torture. The presidents of the two organisations have reported that a prolonged period on board a vessel without the capacity to host such a large number of people – and furthermore, in horrendous psycho-physical conditions, including a serious situation of malnutrition, effects of scabies and, in some cases, clear signs of torture suffered in prison in Libya – qualifies as an entirely unjustified act of cruelty and has directly resulted in prolonging and aggravating the suffering of the shipwreck survivors.
International legal regulations oblige rescuers to land migrants in a place of safety in the shortest period of time possible. In the case of the Diciotti, this period has been illegitimately prolonged, with no other aim than to allow a form of blackmailing negotiation in relation to other Europe states, in the process keeping people hostage, removing both their ability to exercise fundamental human rights and access to necessary medical care. The two organisations request an immediate intervention by juridical authorities in order to bring to an end the suffering of the 150 migrants illegitimately detained on board the Diciotti, in order to return to a state of law and identify those responsible for these heinous crimes.