On 28 August 2019, in the early hours of dawn, 70 miles from Misurata, the “Mediterranea” organization - thanks to its ship Mare Jonio - saved 98 shipwreckers of which 22 children under 10 years, 6 unaccompanied minors and 8 pregnant women.
Most of them have suffered torture and harassment slavery in the Libyan ghettos.
The migrants travelled for two nights and reported engine problems. When the rubber dinghy started to deflate, 6 people lost their lives.
This case occurred in the middle of the crisis of the first Conte government.
The former Minister of the Interior Matteo Salvini, according to the “security decree bis”, refused to allow the rescue ship to enter Italian waters, leaving for days the Mare Jonio ship 15 miles from Lampedusa, in very bad weather conditions.
On 29 August the Coast Guard transhipped 64 people, mostly pregnant women and children. The transhipment was carried out in the open sea, at night with high waves and the risk of falling into the sea, which is why it has already been renamed “the transhipment of shame”.
The Mare Jonio vessel spent 6 days with 34 other migrants on board, in poor sanitary conditions, without running water for days.
“Brothers and sisters, on a gagné”.
After more than 6 days, these are the words spoken by Luca Casarini, head of mission of this rescue, which break the silence and the expectation. Now even the last 34 people left on board the Mare Jonio can go down.
The authorities have never assigned a Place of Safety.
Once arrived in Lampedusa, the Mare Jonio has suffered the seizure of the ship and a fine of 300.000€.