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Italy: Sea-Watch Captain Carola Rackete cleared by court, free to return home

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The charges against German captain Carola Rackete of aiding illegal immigration after forcibly docking the rescue vessel Sea-Watch 3 in the Italian port of Lampedusa, has been overturned by a court in the Sicilian town of Agrigento on Thursday, and she is now free to return to her home country of Germany.

Looking relieved at the judgement, Rackete stepped out of the court and addressed the waiting media urging the European Commission to solve the current migrant crisis, saying “we have thousands of refugees in a country, which is at war from where they should urgently be evacuated and I expect especially from the European commission that they quickly agree how these boat refugees will be distributed in Europe.”

Rackete, who captained the migrant rescue ship Sea-Watch 3, was detained in Italy after refusing to comply with a ban on entering Italy’s territorial waters. The vessel was carrying more than 40 migrants and after weeks at sea, Rackete decided to port in Lampedusa on June 29, ramming a police boat in the process.

Later, an Italian judge freed Rackete, saying she had not broken the law and that she had been carrying out her duty to protect human life.

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