The criminalization of Jugend Rettet

JUGEND RETTET is a network of young people who have organized themselves to fight against dying in the Mediterranean. We bought a ship, the IUVENTA, and have already saved more than 14,000 people from distress. In this way, we are countering the humanitarian catastrophe and collective European failure.
On the 1st of August, the Italian Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC) ordered the IUVENTA to Lampedusa. Subsequently, it was seized by Italian authorities. The day before, we refused to sign the so-called Code of Conduct of the Italian government, which would have forced us to break international maritime law.


The aim of European migration policy is to close the humanitarian corridor. In order to achieve this, the NGOs active in the Mediterranean will be kept from rescue operations. The situation escalated in a campaign of slander and criminalisation, which falsely accused us of co-operation with smugglers.
As a rescue organisation, we observe the instructions of the responsible authority, the Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre, in Italy. Our rescue missions are based on international maritime law and are based on internationally recognised humanitarian principles.
The Italian prosecutor’s office uses statements and accusations from right-wing circles with the intention of sealing off fortress Europe even more brutally at its external borders. Dubious evidence from the sphere of the right-wing extremist Identitarian movement is used in the politically motivated campaign against the NGOs.


In the Libyan civil war various militia are fighting for power. The so-called Libyan coast guard is part of a civil war division and is supported by European states. This Libyan coast guard, under threat of violence, prohibits the unauthorised travel on international waters, and disregards applicable and established sea and international law. People who are apprehended when crossing to Europe end up in detention camps with catastrophic conditions, are subjected to massive violence, and human rights violations. Last year more than five thousand people were been killed while trying to cross the Mediterranean Sea.


Europe does not accept any responsibility for the indescribable suffering at our external borders, and neither allows safe escape routes nor state rescue programs. Instead, the European states are now financing the people who were ruthless smugglers yesterday, so that they can stop those fleeing over the crossing today. Meanwhile, we are prevented from documenting the humanitarian catastrophe with our rescue missions and from saving human lives. However, we will not stop criticising the deadly logic of European migration policy. Now, more than ever, we are dependent on your support! Show your solidarity and raise your voice for us. You can help us through small actions: share our message! Get in touch with us – with a comment or a banner.
Only together can we make it possible for the IUVENTA to save lives.

#FreeIUVENTA – Sea Rescue is not a Crime


SYSTEMATIC WALLS-UP POLICY: Investigations against crew members of Jugend Rettet e.V.

Berlin, July 10th 2018: After the rescue ship IUVENTA of Jugend Rettet e.V. has been detained under the pretext of a preventive seizure last August, the Italian public prosecutor’s office is now expanding its investigations against individual crew members of the organization. The criminalization of search and rescue organizations with the aim of a complete isolation of Europe shows once again its cruel and deterrent face.

Press Kit #FreeIUVENTA