An Italian Court has accepted the Barcelona City Council, led by Ada Colau, as a criminal indictment in the trial against the former Minister of the Interior of Italy Matteo Salvini for blocking the Open Arms in the country in 2019
The Court has made the decision during the preliminary hearing of the trial , held this Saturday in Palermo (Italy), according to sources from the consistory.
In 2019, the Open Arms ship, with more than 130 people on board rescued at sea, was blocked for 20 days without being able to disembark, until the Agrigento (Sicily) prosecutor allowed it. It was because of the so-called “closed ports policy” of the former Italian minister, which prevented the landing of rescue ships in the country.
The Councilor for Citizenship Rights and Participation of Barcelona, Marc Serra, has remarked in a tweet that the Catalan capital is part of the accusation “because saving lives is not a crime. Letting people die in the sea, yes.”
“We appear in this legal case because if they attack Open Arms we feel that they are attacking the entire city of Barcelona , a city committed to peace, human rights, democracy and the defense of life above any other consideration” declared the mayor of Barcelona, Ada Colau, on January 27.
Colau charged Salvini accusing him of endangering human lives and the very activity of the NGO, “which is doing what the European states should be doing, which is saving lives in the Mediterranean .”
Appearing in the cause, the City Council wants to “denounce the obstruction of Salvini to the humanitarian task of maritime rescue”, as well as claim economic and moral damages , since at that time the consistory and the rescue organization had an agreement to finance the expedition humanitarian.
This agreement included that the City Council contributed almost half a million euros to the NGO , an amount that meant 35% of the total salvage project, so the council can claim property damage caused by the blockade of the ship, with the consequent increase costs and the slowdown of the mission and activity object of municipal financing.
The City Council also wants to claim the possible damages to values and the image of Barcelona for the different “false accusations directed by Salvini against the city” during the blockade of the Open Arms