Skip to Content

Jeroen van Wijngaarden. Photo supplied

Picking up migrants at sea should be crime, says Dutch party

The Dutch registered Sea Watch 3 vessel has been the focus of much controversy recently. A Dutch party has denounced NGO's for picking up migrants at sea.

Published: July 7, 2019, 12:23 pm

    The Hague

    Dutch Coalition party the VVD has proposed to make it a crime to pick up migrants at sea, despite international treaties maintaining that it should be an obligation under any circumstances.

    The plan has a working majority in parliament, thanks to the support of cabinet partner the Christian Democrats (CDA) and the opposition PVV, FvD and SGP, according to Dutch daily the NRC.

    However, the two smaller coalition parties, D66 and the ChristenUnie, are strongly opposed to the move.

    The issue has become a bone of contention in the Netherlands because of the Dutch-registered vessel Sea Watch 3’s role in picking up migrants from human traffickers off the coast of Libya. The migrants try to cross the Mediterranean from North Africa with the help of smugglers.

    This week the German captain of the Sea Watch 3, Carola Rackete, was cleared by an Italian judge of assisting illegal migration despite her illegal actions. She was arrested after landing in Sicily with a group of migrants, but the judge said she was fulfilling her “duty to save human lives”.

    The 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea established a duty for vessels to offer assistance to people and other ships in distress on the high seas. However, VVD MP Jeroen van Wijngaarden said he wanted the law to ensure that rescue missions were not used to facilitate human trafficking.

    Sea-Watch3 skipper Carola Rackete meanwhile has accused Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini of breaching human rights with his policy of closing ports to NGO run migrant rescue ships. Her accusations were leveled in an interview published on Saturday by German weekly Der Spiegel.

    “Salvini’s policy violated human rights: his way of expressing himself is disrespectful, it is not appropriate for a high-level politician,” she said after the minister branded her a rich Communist “scamp”.

    The crew of the Sea-Watch3, she added, sent daily medical reports on the condition of the 42 rescued migrants, also to the Italian rescue centre in Rome, “but no one listened, no one responded”.

    Rackete’s lawyer said on Friday the German NGO captain was set to sue Salvini for instigating crimes after he called her release “disgraceful”.

    [mashshare]

    Keep ​your language polite​. Readers from many different countries visit and contribute to Free West Media and we must therefore obey the rules in​,​ for example​, ​Germany. Illegal content will be deleted.

    If you have been approved to post comments without preview from FWM, you are responsible for violation​s​ of​ any​ law. This means that FWM may be forced to cooperate with authorities in a possible crime investigation.

    If your comments are subject to preview ​by FWM, please be patient. We continually review comments but depending on the time of day it can take up to several hours before your comment is reviewed.

    We reserve the right to del​ete​ comments that are offensive, contain slander or foul language, or are irrelevant to the discussion.

    Europe

    French Senator wants to ban Algerian flags on French soil

    MarseilleA French Senator has deplored the many Algerian flags seen in the streets of France after Algeria's victory in the CAN semi-final as well as the absence of the French flag.

    Macron loudly booed at Bastille Day parade

    ParisDuring the the Bastille Day military parade in France, President Emmanuel Macron was loudly booed as he was coming down the Champs-Élysées aboard a military command car.

    Génération Identitaire members risk imprisonment

    GapThree members of the movement were summoned by the French criminal court of Gap, Thursday, July 11, after an anti-immigrantion action organised in the spring of 2018, on the Franco-Italian border.

    German intel classify Identitarians as ‘right-wing extremist’

    The German domestic intelligence service, known as the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, has classified the Identitarian Movement (IB) as "right-wing extremist".

    Number of British Christians at a record low

    LondonA survey to gauge British Social Attitudes (BSA) has revealed that the number of Christian believers in the country are at a record low.

    Hungary highlights weight of Visegrad and Baltic voters against immigration

    BudapestHungarian cabinet chief Antal Rogan told public radio on Sunday that the European Commission needs a leader who respected countries in Central Europe. Rogan was interviewed on Kossuth Radio.

    French police station attacked by youths shouting ‘Allah Akbar’

    A police station in the Eure was attacked by youths shouting "Allah Akbar".

    French aid workers refuse to hand over list of people in emergency accommodation

    Forty French aid associations called on the government to "give up" the measure requiring homeless shelters to send lists of refugees and asylum seekers to the authorities.

    Trouble in Tbilisi

    TsibilisiSince June 20, protests have swept Georgia. The unannounced start of the protests was done as a provocation. The consequences however, are utterly painful, especially for the average citizen of Georgia.

    Dutch parliament adopts motion against ‘racially-based land expropriation in South Africa’

    The Dutch parliament or Tweede Kamer at The Hague, has become the first elected body in Europe to express its opposition to the policy of "expropriation without compensation" adopted by South Africa's ANC regime against white Afrikaner farmers.

    Go to archive