Thirty-two people rescued from drowning and their 22 rescuers have spent Christmas bobbing in the Mediterranean. Malta, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands and Germany shut their doors to them too busy basting their turkeys.

This is a statement issued today by Sea-Watch hoping the rescued migrants can see in the new year on land.

Five countries of the so-called Christian West have denied the rescue ship Sea-Watch 3, its crew of 22, and their 32 rescued guests any help in finding a port of safety over the Christmas holidays. The ship remains stranded at sea – in yet another political limbo, proving the EU’s blatant reluctance to make even the smallest humanitarian concession to its deadly anti-migration policy.

Already on Saturday, the crew of the Sea-Watch 3 has saved 32 people from drowning, including including four women, three unaccompanied minors, two young children and a baby. Five countries (Italy, Malta, Spain, Netherlands, Germany) refused to take responsibility and grant the rescued a port of safety for Christmas. 

Phillip Hahn, Head of Mission on Sea-Watch 3: “We’ve been denied a port of safety for six days now. We are well equipped but the winter in the Mediterranean, with its treacherous weather, is taking its toll on the already weakened people. Europe must take responsibility now, and Germany should set a good example.”

In Germany only, more than 30 cities and several federal states have declared themselves to be safe havens and are willing to accept those rescued from distress at sea. Sea-Watch, therefore, demands, that the German Federal Government and the Minister of the Interior, Horst Seehofer, make use of §23 of the Residence Act, providing those who fled war, torture and death in Libya with a solution that does justice to human rights, the Geneva Convention on Refugees and the alleged European values.

“It is an act of shame and inhumanity that Germany and Europe not only push away their responsibility, but also reject the offer of solidarity cities to accept the rescued.” says Hahn.