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Migrant families from Syria arrive in an inflatable dinghy on the Greek island of Kos after crossing a stretch of the Aegean Sea from Turkey in 2015. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

Courage

German boat captain faces possible prison term for saving migrants from drowning at sea

By WITW Staff on June 12, 2019

A German boat captain who rescues migrants in the Mediterranean Sea has been charged with assisting in illegal immigration in Italy, according to Germany’s public international broadcaster DW, and she could face a sentence of up to 20 years in prison.

Boat captain Pia Klemp, 35, has been under investigation in Italy since her ship, the Iuventa, was impounded in 2017, according to DW, and the government has moved to ban her from sailing around the Italian coast.

Through her work on that ship and another, Klemp has helped rescue more than 1,000 people at risk of drowning as they attempted to cross to Europe in dinghies in search of a better future, DW reported.

Klemp said she will fight the case up to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, France, if necessary.

At the Women in the World Summit in 2018, another ship captain who rescues refugees at sea, Madeleine Habib, spoke about the immense scale of the refugee crisis and how it feels to pull desperate, displaced people from the sea.

Watch highlights of her comments at the summit below.

Read the full story at DW.

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