Manuel Blanco, Enrique Rodríguez and Julio Latorre are Spanish firemen. Over a year ago, they moved to the Greek island of Lesbos to become volunteers for NGO PROEMAID (Professional Emergency Aid) and put their professional lifesaving experience to a noble cause: saving children, women, and men, escaping war and poverty from drowning.
They could now face 10 years in jail. Their trial is ongoing.
These men risked their lives to help thousands of people, but their lifesaving actions were seen by the Greek government as human smuggling. And now, highly respected NGOs like Doctors Without Borders (MSF) and Save the Children are being accused of “encouraging human traffickers” with their life-saving search and rescue work in the Mediterranean sea.
EU leaders will be meeting to talk about migration today and in the coming weeks. We have the chance to let them know that the legislation which allowed for Julio, Manuel and Enrique to be arrested for human smuggling needs to be changed. More than 130,000 WeMove.EU members have signed a petition demanding that humanitarian workers be free from criminal charges for the work they do. Let's help them reach 150,000 signatures, so they can deliver our voices in a highly visible public action in Brussels!
Add my name in defense of Julio, Manuel, Enrique and other rescue workers doing lifesaving work.
Currently, if you help a drowning child out of the sea without the proper documents, you could be facing criminal charges for human smuggling. This is exactly what happened to Julio, Manuel and Enrique. These everyday firefighters are now in the middle of a legal battle where they risk being put in prison for 10 years for their lifesaving efforts.
WeMove.EU campaigns for a European Union committed to social and economic justice, environmental sustainability and citizen-led democracy. They're leading this campaign together with Social Platform and PROEMAID. Make no mistake -- the EU's false "security" approach to the migration crisis is a gift to the corporations who profit from building fortress Europe's policing, surveillance and detention infrastructure. We're campaigning on that too. But right now, let's stand with these other NGOs and movements to oppose the EU criminalising rescue workers and volunteers.
Please sign and share this important petition.