Law professors object to Italy seizing migrant rescue boat Open Arms

A group of 29 leading international law academics in Europe are calling today for Italy to cease its policy of promoting, directing and enforcing returns to Libya with immediate effect after Italian authorities recent seizure of the Spanish NGO rescue boat ‘Open Arms’. The academics are also calling on Italy to cease prosecuting actors who deliver people rescued at sea to a place of safety.

The statement is an initiative of Thomas Spijkerboer (Professor of Migration Law, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam; Raoul Wallenberg Visiting Professor of Human Rights & Humanitarian Law, Lund University, tel +31 6 5498 7002) and Martin Scheinin (Professor of International Law and Human Rights, European University Institute,, supported by Yussef Al Tamimi (PhD Candidate, European University Institute).

The statement has been communicated earlier today to the Italian authorities; the representations of the Member States of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg; the Public Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court in The Hague; and the chair as well as the African members of the UN Security Council.

The full statement can be found here.