tv Interview - Human lives are the most important thing for me Deutsche Welle August 20, 2018 2:15am-2:31am CEST
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human rights displacement. the global and current local action. three thousand. stefan stefan schmidt as the german sea captain and the refugees commissioner for the state of slaves because i'm talking to him about death in the mediterranean sea rescue and migration fundable. you experienced it all first hand or you rescue ship wrecked africa with a german ship caught on a more in two thousand and four and in italy they arrested you as a human traffic are it's just that still pain you today it's hard to him on a. bush to has it's i need. no the fact that motivates me to carry on fighting
against the injustices in the world. it's not as if i'm especially angry with the italian groups have been vikas they were actually on my side we realized that in prison it was just the italian government that has gotten worse and the most of all . back then you wanted to help but you were charged with a serious and organized aiding and abetting of the illegal entry you were facing four years in prison when the trial lasted for five years how did you cope with that it can't have been easy to make a little money so large i know i can't say it was but it's made me what i am today it's good now i know exactly what i wants and i work with all the energy i have and like i'm a little bit older to find the injustice in this pack of lies that have been told. in the same continent if i save people's lives it's everyone already saying. well done you know i'm not claiming they're the same lies are being spread over the
captains of the ngos are going to come between the day and he also. he's on this ng you say you were against and just all of the africans you rescued were deported because they gave false information regarding their country of origin. did you think that was justified or unfair. as some are not as well the way that all the courts are what i was led to say we don't know why an exception was made as a scene but it doesn't matter why the captain rescues people in distress the scene he doesn't have to ask where they are from just whether they have a brown or green face he just has to bring them to safety and that's all he is obliged to do it with a fifty i understand you have to look it's justified if the italian saw this as illegal immigration or absolutely none that would be a different case and let me bring them to shore they first have to check where you really from do you have grounds for asylum where this was not checked which was a major mistake for every loan the booking you because that's. now many years later
the refugee crisis in the mediterranean has taken on an even larger dimension of this according to the u.n. eight hundred people have already drowned this year commitment in the meantime it looks like private sea rescue operations are the bane of many mediterranean countries. is that an accurate observation i think god is with you i'm afraid it is although a really lovely experience policies change somewhat because we have to do all we can to support spain on that we can't just say ok the problem to solve sustainable sort of that it's opening with on your map to show the german chancellor is just spoken for the spanish prime minister and we're one of the world's richest countries and we should be turning a blind eye considering ourselves safe because we're surrounded by safe third countries and. the cuban but the nuns and the first thing the german chancellor wanted to do it with other heads of government they saw the problem of the traffickers who are sending people to their lands in the is this the
right approach isn't acting on that not at all. let's imagine there was no trafficking being then you know for a while this was the message for. three hundred more refugees around the traffic. so what happens next. i'm being a bit provocative here but people would starve the beaches of north africa instead of it because i can't get out to see and. no one would help them out of this i would starve their on the north african beach phone i don't know what's worse starving or drowning we're not seeing the big picture on the fuss about it people think but there's another market and some say that all the five it rescue ships near the coasts are part of the traffic on business model. the austrian chancellor court sees it that way when this consular courts rule. he says nobody drowned off the coast of australia because the refugees know that they will get sent back how do you respond to that. well i would say mr kurtz needs to think
a little bit harder. we ought to study the world before he comes out with some dumb statements like that the. universities although the oxford years were best to get whether there is a little effect on the yacht a lot of. the old rescue workers rights motivated by that so it's their own studies show that this poll a fact is not existing and we agree let's get more do so we have these studies there are also fact based observation kind of work since the balkan route was closed no more refugees traveled this way isn't that a valid argument. of course we got very annoyed when the miss you said the refugee problem is have been solved because they put a fence. but we saw pictures of people on the other side is a fence trying to wash an ice cold water and nobody was helping them to the. border line you're a human rights with no borders when we drove there enough struggling to get food soup because no one else felt responsible kind of anything this is an acceptable
government so getting back to sea rescue there is another angle what does international maritime law say about emergency rescue it says that a captain is a bludgeon to help anyone who is in distress at sea and i bring him or her to safety that's all there is to it is this need the west including the traffickers exploit this law by using unseaworthy ships with no fuel on board to trigger a rescue knowing the rescuers are obliged to help. by this is the design call would see you feel used by them as a rescuer who does it and that's what i mean. this country and maybe that's the case but my primary concern is human life let alone as are being exploited as a second very important human life is what matters not borders that's the key issue for me how the n.g.o.s who are helping in the mediterranean might move if the button here does you are a strong advocate of this position and its mission you work on a voluntary basis and you turn down a paid position you are or aren't. you say that no one fleece without good reason.
does that mean in your view we should take in every refugee mr manhood including of . my most valued for every refugee is life has to be safe whatever happens whether they can stay permanently is another matter. we need to amend their asylum laws and see who has a genuine to have fled their country of who comes was told this is the fight of the views but let's not bother to rest and to move i don't want to model here by did we . get second after currently being made to create an asylum law and. immigration law so. are you optimistic that this will improve matters. as a woman doesn't if you combine this with. our state premier recently said that reason should be created to allow people to stay and if we need them we should cut out the red tape i think it's a great idea. that's when the. very thing you draw the line between those who are allowed to stay and those who have to leave. this is
a thorny issue people have come here from countries where officially there is no persecution but living conditions are very. good just wanting a better life give you the right to choose where you live. i think so. it's interior minister said my children were in this position i would receive playing somewhere where they can have a future in my view each individual patient carefully considered on the for me economic refugees don't exist. just like you nine years ago a german captain is now on trial in america klaus pay to save two hundred thirty lives with his german rescue ship lifeline. apparently it entered without proper registration. and in general can rescuers ignore the rules.
mr. rabbit begin to nice here but i'd say if it's a question of human life maybe violated. invasion which case. now we have to take on this case of the company who is in charge and also your clock. they had a formal entry of the torch register and they were registered with. the dutch dispute this with me in that i spoke to them on the phone myself here in berlin. they disputed we have the official papers and i have to say that you're backpedaling saying that no the rescue ship has nothing to do with the serious with them so that's it but nothing solved the new government. you also broke a law back then which made the whole cop on a more rescue mission very controversial in germany because you entered the syrian port without permission do you regret that today but once it does what you will not at all you go. into the ports there was
a very risky situation on board that people were all very agitated and exhausted. and you lot of on that they could have said we'll take over the ship with thirty seven young man on board but it wouldn't have been too hard on the like you just head for the beach. there was an imminent threats but as a. you have to think ahead and we didn't just answer the. dogs when we approached the voice i threw down the anchor and then everything took off its official power struggle from one portal to revive then the pilot. in the god. that i registered my arrival at an italian forces a german ship and first the authorities said yes that's it for seven days they wouldn't tell us when they had decided not to let us in here on target it's all politics just politics. let's put it like i was pretty. you say that rescuers can ignore. the german interior minister disagree if you wrote him
a letter and he replied what was that about who can ask the answer the first letter was politicians doing very vaguely but what did you want from him. i want to clarify things and support the n.g.o.s in the mediterranean and the criminal minds of the then one of us who are going secretaries i think it was mr vineberg i answered your fault there's no point telling me what he said as it was totally meaningless that's why the police didn't get picked up and i second that i sense that this letter will be made public that's why when the for the he didn't reply to that one that you're still waiting for a reply yes we are would like to speak to him personally so that could perhaps we can talk again when you get an answer. because we've reached the end of our interview mr schmidt and as always i'd like to ask you to complete three sentences against italy's judiciary called meet the human traffic or dampen but i see myself as. his helper. if i were in this situation again i
will fall back again immediately. by the same people don't stop dying in the mediterranean the first thing germany should do is the police support the rescuers . as minister many thanks for the interview you're welcome. what keeps us all safe what makes us sick and how soon. my name is dr. i talk to medical experts. watch them at work. and i discuss what you can do to improve your health. stay tuned and let's all try to stay. in shape next on the.
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