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Italy: A slippery slope for human rights: The Iuventa case

Index Number: EUR 30/4475/2021

Since the end of 2016, Italy, along with other EU countries and with the backing of EU institutions, has created a hostile environment for human rights defenders and civil society organizations conducting rescue missions at sea, with the aim to reduce the number of people reaching Europe in search of protection or a better life. The criminal prosecution of the crew of the Iuventa – the ship of German rescue NGO Jugend Rettet – is increasingly becoming a litmus test of the ability and willingness of Italian authorities to stop the misuse of criminal law to deter human rights defenders from assisting refugees and migrants at sea.

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