Hero or criminal? German boat captain threatened with prison for aiding illegal migrants

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Hero or criminal? German boat captain threatened with prison for aiding illegal migrants

Boat captain Pia Klemp is taking heat from Italy for rescuing migrants stranded in the Mediterranean Sea. Rome has accused the German national of aiding human traffickers – charges that have sparked fierce debate.

Klemp and her crew are credited with rescuing more than 1,000 North African migrants who tried to sail – or float – to Europe. Her boat, however, was seized by Italian authorities in 2017, and she was later charged with colluding with human smugglers to help ferry illegal migrants into Europe.

Nearly 80,000 people have signed a petition calling on Rome to drop all charges. If found guilty, Klemp could face 20 years in prison.




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Rome’s hardline stance on illegal immigration is a reactionary policy resulting from Brussels’ own inaction, Paolo Raffone, a political analyst and founder of the Brussels-based think tank CIPI Foundation, told RT.

“Italy cannot become just the container of all asylum seekers waiting for resettlement in other European countries,” he said, adding that the bloc must adopt clear guidelines about how to process and resettle migrants.

Watch the full RT report below.

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