Germany: SPD rewards ‘Lifeline’ captain with Europe prize

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SPD Bayern chairperson Natascha Kohnen and Head of SPD Bavarian faction Markus Rinderspacher awarded ‘Lifeline’ ship captain Claus-Peter Reisch with their party’s Europe Award in Munich on Friday.

The NGO ‘Lifeline’ has been engaged in operations to help asylum-seekers attempting to reach Europe by sea.

Reisch was accused of not possessing valid documents for his ship. However, he believes that saving seafarers in distress should not be criminalised, and claims that his documents are valid and will expire only in 2019.

Reisch pointed out: “We had to present these documents a lot of times, which means that the documents are also well known to them. When we, for example, needed to get the diesel fuel tax-free or to leave the haven, we had to present these documents. And now, suddenly, they are no longer valid. It cannot be.”

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