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Tunisian fisherman, arrested for saving migrants lives, freed in Italy

24 September 2018
PSI commends the judicial decision in Palermo, Italy, to free the six Tunisian Fishermen imprisoned since the beginning of September. The fishermen, described as ‘suspected smugglers’ by the EU Frontex agency, were detained after saving the lives of 14 migrants stranded on the mediterranean.

Their release follows protests in Italy, organised by the Anti-Racist Forum and CGIL, and Tunisia, organised by the Forum Tunisien de Droits Economic et Sociaux.

Rosa Pavanelli, PSI General Secretary said:

“As European leaders squabble over refugee numbers, Fishermen are forced to step in to stop the drowning in the Mediterranean. Instead of being lauded as heroes, they are locked in prison, their boats seized, their livelihoods at risk. Never has the brutality of Fortress Europe been so clear.”

Serena Sorrentino, General Secretary of PSI Italian affiliate CGIL Funzione Public said:
"FPCGIL appreciates the support of everyone who saves lives on the Mediterranean sea. We believe that these fishermen were doing the same work done by rescue NGOs'  boats, who also face unfair persecution from politicians. We trust our judicial authorities, who have made the correct decision, and we are sure that they won't be influenced by political pressures.”

FPCGIL and FSC CCOO, together with EPSU and with the participation of PSI, are organising a international meeting in Palermo this week on the role of public services in welcoming migrants. (Program here)


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