lunes, 11 de mayo de 2009


Foto: Autor desconocido

The trial against the Cap Anamur enters its decisive stage. The prosecution of the Italian region Agrigento demands that Elias Bierdel and Captain Stefan Schmidt are to be convicted to four years of prison and a fine of 400.000 Euros. The judgment is to be pronounced on 20 May 2009. PRO ASYL and the German Ecumenical Committee on Church Asylum are thus initiating a campaign of solidarity with the defendants. We would like to ask you for your support: please sign the attached appeal, it is available in German, English and Italian. The attempt to outlaw the salvation of refugees at sea has far reaching implications. Broad international support for Elias Bierdel and Stefan Schmidt is necessary. We have to send out a clear signal: the charges were not to be raised in the first place. The real scandal is the loss of life at the gates of Europe. Humanitarian aid and rescue at sea are no crime. The trial, the threat of a possible conviction and the prospect of further legal proceedings are severe burdens for our two friends and colleagues. Their livelihood and reputation are at risk. We ask you to send the signed appeal to, to support the upcoming press work and advocacy efforts and to develop your own activities of solidarity. On Monday 18 May 2009 we will publish the appeal with the signatures of as many supporters as possible. Starting from 18 May it will also be possible to sign an online-petition to the Italian Ministry of Justice on our homepage Karl Kopp English: Solidarity with Elias Bierdel and Captain Stefan Schmidt In June 2004, the German Vessel "Cap Anamur" rescued 37 persons from distress at sea. Because of this maritime salvage, Captain Stefan Schmidt and Elias Bierdel are facing trial in Italy. The two life-savers could be condemned to imprisonment, exorbitant fines or further arduous years awaiting trial on the next level of jurisdiction. We are appalled by the attempt to outlaw the courageous action of Elias Bierdel and Stefan Schmidt and by the attempt to destroy their livelihoods. We demand to drop all charges against them and to fully restore their reputation. Humanitarian aid is never a crime.
Deutsch Solidarität mit Elias Bierdel und Kapitän Stefan Schmidt Das deutsche Schiff Cap Anamur rettete im Juni 2004 37 Menschen aus Seenot. Für diese Rettungstat stehen Kapitän Stefan Schmidt und Elias Bierdel in Italien vor Gericht. Den beiden Lebensrettern drohen Haft, exorbitante Geldstrafen und weitere zermürbende Jahre in der nächsten Gerichtsinstanz. Wir sind empört über den Versuch, couragiertes Handeln zu kriminalisieren und die Existenz von Elias Bierdel und Stefan Schmidt zu zerstören Wir fordern ihre umfassende Rehabilitierung. Humanitäre Hilfe ist kein Verbrechen. Italiano: Solidarietà a Elias Bierdel e al capitano Stefan Schmidt
Nel giugno 2004 la nave tedesca Cap Anamur trasse in salvo 37 naufraghi nel Canale di Sicilia. Per questo salvataggio, il comandante Stefan Schmidt e Elias Bierdel sono finiti sotto processo. Oggi rischiano il carcere, multe salatissime e altri anni snervanti per i ricorsi. Siamo indignati per il tentativo in atto di criminalizzare un gesto umanitario e coraggioso, e di cercare di distruggere la vita di Elias Bierdel e Stefan Schmidt. Esigiamo l'assoluzione completa. L'aiuto umanitario non è mai un crimine.