Geneva, 28 January 2019 – The following can be attributed to Francesco Rocca, the President of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies:
“Even during war – when hate and division are part of the daily fabric of political discourse – castaways are protected, thanks to the Geneva Conventions. There is no war today in the Mediterranean Sea: the European Union is at peace. And yet no one is protecting the lives of people escaping torture and rape in Libya.
“How is it possible that 47 people can pose such a threat to the entire European Union? Saving lives must be the priority of all governments. We call on European governments to find a durable solution that prevents further deaths in the Mediterranean. We call on the Italian government to let the Sea-Watch vessel dock, and to allow the people on board to disembark and access the help they need. They are human beings, not numbers.”