position:captain

  • GBC - Gibraltar News - GBC TV and Radio Gibraltar
    https://www.gbc.gi/news/gib-authorities-and-royal-marines-board-and-detain-supertanker-en-route-syria

    Gibraltar Port and Law Enforcement agencies, assisted by a detachmentof Royal Marines, boarded and detained a super tanker carrying crude oil to Syria in the early hours of Thursday morning.

    This followed information giving the Gibraltar Government reasonable grounds to believe that the vessel, the Grace 1, was acting in breach of European Union sanctions against Syria.

    The operation took place overnight as the giant vessel sailed into Gibraltar waters.

    The Government says it has reason to believe that the Grace 1 was carrying its shipment of crude oil to the Banyas Refinery in Syria.The refinery is the property of an entity subject to European Union sanctions against Syria.

    #piraterie #gibraltar reste un atout géopolitique

    en arabe : https://www.raialyoum.com/index.php/%d8%b3%d9%84%d8%b7%d8%a7%d8%aa-%d8%ac%d8%a8%d9%84-%d8%b7%d8%a7%d8%b1%d9%8
    où il est précisé que le navire est sous pavillon de Panama et que le pétrole serait iranien.

    • https://www.lorientlejour.com/article/1177558/lambassadeur-britannique-en-iran-convoque-apres-la-saisie-dun-petroli

      Dans un communiqué, le gouvernement de Gibraltar, territoire britannique situé à la pointe sud de l’Espagne, dit avoir de bonnes raisons de croire que les cuves du Grace 1 contiennent du pétrole destiné à la raffinerie syrienne de Banyas. Le gouvernement syrien est la cible de sanctions de l’Union européenne depuis mai 2011, date du début de la répression sanglante des manifestations pour la démocratie par le régime de Bachar el-Assad.

      D’après l’outil de données cartographiques Refinitiv Eikon mapping, le Grace 1 a chargé du brut iranien le 17 avril dernier, ce qui constituerait une violation des sanctions américaines sur les exportations de pétrole iranien rétablies l’an dernier après la décision de Donald Trump de retirer les Etats-Unis de l’accord de 2015 sur le nucléaire iranien.

    • https://lloydslist.maritimeintelligence.informa.com/LL1128207/Gibraltar-tanker-seizure-triggers-IranUK-diplomatic-row

      (...)

      The incident triggered debate over the lawfulness of the tanker seizure and detention which will be tested in Gibraltar’s Supreme Court in coming days.

      Local maritime and admiralty lawyers have been instructed for the Captain of the Port, financial secretary and the attorney general, Lloyd’s List understands, ahead of what is expected to be protracted legal debate.

      The acting foreign minister of Spain — which claims the waters as its own and does not recognise British sovereignty — said Britain acted at the behest of the US and the country was assessing the detention’s legal implications.

      The US has not shown the same vigilance for Iran-China crude flows, which have been taking place without action. Iranian- and Chinese-owned or controlled ships have been loading cargoes since the May 1 ending of waivers allowing some countries limited imports. About five cargoes have been discharged in Syria.

      Lloyd’s List understands that the owner of the very large crude carrier is Russian Titan Shipping, a subsidiary of Dubai-based oil and energy shipping company TNC Gulf, which has clear Iranian links.

      While Grace 1 has a complex ownership chain that is not unusual for many internationally trading vessels, its executives listed on LinkedIn have Iranian university and technical qualifications, or list their names in Farsi, the Iranian language.

      The ship’s current class and insurance is unknown according to databases. Lloyd’s Register withdrew class in January, 2019, as did former P&I insurers Swedish Club, at the same time as the vessel arrived to spend a month at the Bandar-e Taheri single buoy mooring area in Iranian waters, according to Lloyd’s List Intelligence data.

      The ship’s opaque ownership and operating chain is complicated further by company websites linked to the tanker not operating. The European Commission-operated Equasis website lists the shipmanager as Singapore-based Iships Management. However, the website is under construction and its telephone number is not in service. Websites for Russian Titan Shipping and TNC Gulf are also not working. LinkedIn lists Captain Asadpour as the executive managing director, saying he has also been president of the Georgia-based Russian Shipping Lines for 11 years.

  • To Evade Sanctions on Iran, Ships Vanish in Plain Sight - The New York Times
    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/07/02/world/middleeast/china-oil-iran-sanctions.html

    A week ago, a small tanker ship approached the Persian Gulf after a 19-day voyage from China. The captain, as required by international rules, reported the ship’s position, course, speed and another key detail: It was riding high in the water, meaning it was probably empty.

    Then the Chinese-owned ship, the Sino Energy 1, went silent and essentially vanished from the grid.

    It reported in again on Sunday, near the spot where it had vanished six days earlier, only now it was heading east, away from the Strait of Hormuz near Iran. If past patterns hold, the captain will soon report that it is riding low in the water, meaning its tanks are most likely full.

    @simplicissimus

  • Salvage crews ready to lift boat sunk in Danube - Reuters
    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-hungary-accident/salvage-crews-aim-to-lift-boat-sunk-in-danube-with-28-dead-idUSKCN1TB1J4


    A giant floating crane stays in his final position near a bridge on the Danube River in Budapest, Hungary, June 10, 2019 ready to lift boat sunk in last week killing 26 South Korean tourists and two Hungarian crew.
    REUTERS/Tamas Kaszas

    Hungarian salvage crews prepared on Monday to raise the wreck of a pleasure boat that capsized on the Danube river in Budapest, killing 26 South Korean tourists and two local crew.

    The Mermaid sank after a large Swiss-owned cruise liner struck it from behind on May 29 as both vessels passed under a 19th century bridge in the Hungarian capital during heavy rain.

    It was the worst disaster in half a century on Europe’s longest river, which has become an increasingly popular route for big hotel cruisers.

    The bodies of all but eight of the victims have been recovered.
    […]
    The Viking Sigyn cruise liner’s captain, a 64-year-old Ukrainian man identified by police as C. Yuriy, is being held as a suspect. His lawyers said he was upset but did nothing wrong.

    Seven South Koreans were saved and 20 of the victims’ bodies have been recovered. On a nearby embankment, people have placed flowers, candles and teddy bears.

  • Italie : La capitaine Pia Klemp menacée de 20 ans de prison - Secours Rouge
    https://secoursrouge.org/Italie-La-capitaine-Pia-Klemp-menacee-de-20-ans-de-prison


    Pia Klemp

    Pia Klemp a participé au sauvetage de réfugiés dans la méditerranée avec l’association Sea-Watch. Elle est maintenant accusée par la justice italienne d’aide à l’immigration illégale. Le parquet exige une peine de prison de 20 ans. Pour ses investigations, le parquet a eu recourt à des écoutes téléphoniques et à des agents infiltrés. Dans le cadre de ses six missions en tant que capitaine des bateaux de sauvetage Sea-Watch 3 et Iuventa, Pia Klemp dit avoir pu sauver les vies de 5000 personnes.

    • German boat captain Pia Klemp faces prison in Italy for migrant rescues

      Pia Klemp stands accused of aiding illegal immigration after she saved people from drowning in the Mediterranean. The Bonn native has accused Italian authorities of organizing “a show trial.”

      Nearly 60,000 people had signed a petition by Saturday afternoon demanding that Italy drop criminal proceedings against German boat captain Pia Klemp and other crew members who have rescued thousands of migrants in the Mediterranean Sea.

      In an interview with the Basler Zeitung daily on Friday, Klemp said that a trial against her was due to begin soon after she and some of her compatriots were charged in Sicily with assisting in illegal immigration.

      She said that she was told by her Italian lawyer that she could be looking at “up to 20 years in prison and horrendous fines.”

      Klemp added, however, that she intended to fight the case up to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, France, if she had to.

      The 35-year-old Bonn native has been under investigation in Italy since her ship, the Iuventa, was impounded in the summer of 2017, and the government has moved to ban her from sailing around the Italian coast. According to German public broadcaster WDR, through the work on that ship and the Sea-Watch 3, Klemp has personally assisted in the rescue of more than 1,000 people at risk of drowning in unsafe dinghies as they attempted to cross to Europe in search of a better life.

      Read more: Italy’s Matteo Salvini wants hefty fines for migrant rescue vessels

      Salvini’s crackdown

      An already immigrant-unfriendly government in Rome became even more so in June 2018, when newly appointed Interior Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini of the far-right League party promised a crackdown the likes of which modern Italy had never seen.

      Since assuming office, Salvini has sought to put a stop to migrant rescue ships docking on Italian shores and allowing refugees to disembark. In January, the nationalist leader made headlines with the forced evacuation of hundreds of asylum-seekers from Italy’s second-largest refugee center and his refusal to clarify where the people, many of whom had lived in Castelnuovo di Porto for years and become integrated into town life, were being taken.

      Shortly thereafter, Sicilian prosecutors ruled that Salvini could be charged with kidnapping more than 177 migrants left stranded on a ship he had ordered impounded.

      ’A yearslong show trial’

      What frustrates Klemp the most, she told the Basler Zeitung, is that the costs — amounting to hundreds of thousands of euros — that she has had to prepare to cover from her own savings and some new donations “for what is likely to be a yearslong show trial” require money that could have been spent on rescue missions.

      “But the worst has already come to pass,” she said. “Sea rescue missions have been criminalized.”

      For this, the captain blames not only the Italian government but what she sees as a failure of the European Union “to remember its avowed values: human rights, the right to life, to apply for asylum, and the duty of seafarers to rescue those in danger at sea.”

      Klemp added that “demagogues” such as Salvini, former Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz and German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer were effectively allowing thousands to perish in the Mediterranean each year.

      She pushed back at criticism that rescue missions encouraged more people to attempt the highly dangerous crossing. “There are scientific studies that disprove the idea that sea rescues are a so-called pull factor,” she said. “The people come because, unfortunately, there are so many reasons to flee.” And if countries close their borders, “they come via the Mediterranean because there is no legal way to get here,” she added.

      To cover her potentially exorbitant legal costs, a bar in Bonn has announced a fundraising campaign to help Klemp. Cafe Bla has announced that for every patron who orders the “Pia beer,” 50 euro cents will be donated to their former waitress.


      https://www.dw.com/en/german-boat-captain-pia-klemp-faces-prison-in-italy-for-migrant-rescues/a-49112348?maca=en-Twitter-sharing

    • Mobilisation pour la capitaine d’un navire humanitaire

      L’ancienne capitaine du « #Iuventa », immobilisé depuis 2017, encourt vingt ans de prison en Italie. Accusée de complicité avec les passeurs, elle affirme n’avoir fait que respecter le droit international, qui impose de porter secours à toute personne en détresse.

      https://www.liberation.fr/planete/2019/06/11/mobilisation-pour-la-capitaine-d-un-navire-humanitaire_1732973

    • I Helped Save Thousands of Migrants from Drowning. Now I’m Facing 20 Years in Jail | Opinion

      In today’s Europe, people can be sentenced to prison for saving a migrant’s life. In the summer of 2017, I was the captain of the rescue ship Iuventa. I steered our ship through international waters along the Libyan coastline, where thousands of migrants drifted in overcrowded, unseaworthy dinghies, having risked their lives in search of safety. The Iuventa crew rescued over 14,000 people. Today, I and nine other members of the crew face up to twenty years in prison for having rescued those people and brought them to Europe. We are not alone. The criminalization of solidarity across Europe, at sea and on land, has demonstrated the lengths to which the European Union will go to make migrants’ lives expendable.

      Two years ago, Europe made renewed efforts to seal the Mediterranean migrant route by draining it of its own rescue assets and outsourcing migration control to the so-called “Libyan Coast Guard”, comprised of former militia members equipped by the EU and instructed to intercept and return all migrants braving the crossing to Europe. NGO ships like the Iuventa provided one of the last remaining lifelines for migrants seeking safety in Europe by sea. For European authorities, we were a critical hurdle to be overcome in their war against migration.

      In August 2017, the Iuventa was seized by the Italian authorities and the crew was investigated for “aiding and abetting illegal immigration.” Thus began an ongoing spate of judicial investigations into the operation of search and rescue vessels. Sailors like myself, who had rallied to the civil fleet when it seemed no European authority cared people were drowning at sea, were branded as criminals. The ensuing media and political campaign against us has gradually succeeded in removing almost all NGOs from the central Mediterranean, leaving migrants braving the sea crossing with little chance of survival.

      We sea-rescuers have been criminalized not only for what we do but for what we have witnessed. We have seen people jump overboard their frail dinghies on sighting the so-called Libyan Coast Guard, preferring death at sea over return to the slavery, torture, rape and starvation that awaits them in EU-funded Libyan detention centers. We have also seen what becomes of those who are found too late. For days, I steered our ship through international waters with a dead two-year-old boy in the freezer. No European country had wanted to save him when they had the chance. His mother lived, and after days of drifting in wait of an open port, our ship brought her to Europe—when it no longer mattered to her. We rescuers know that those who drown at Europe’s doorstep are not unlucky casualties of the elements. The transformation of the Mediterranean into a mass grave for migrants is a European political project.

      Over the past year, Italy’s interior minister Matteo Salvini has provided a useful alibi for centrist European political forces–those avowedly committed to “European values” of human rights. His persistent targeting of rescue NGOs and his decision to seal Italian ports to ships carrying rescued migrants has seen him cast as the “rotten egg” of an otherwise largely liberal European Union. But Matteo Salvini is neither the architect of Fortress Europe, nor its sole gatekeeper.

      Alongside Italy’s ostentatious prosecution of sea rescuers, other European nations have adopted shrewder, subtler tactics, revoking their flags or miring ships’ crews in unnecessary and lengthy bureaucratic procedures. When Salvini sealed Italian ports, other member states expressed righteous indignation—but not one of them offered its own ports as havens for later rescues. One of two remaining rescue ships, Sea-Watch 3, has since spent weeks motoring along the European coast line with hundreds of refugees on board, pleading for an open port, only to find that their “cargo” was not wanted anywhere in Europe.

      In the coming months, as the conflict in Libya intensifies, thousands more will be forced to brave the sea crossing. I know from experience that without rescue, the majority of them will die. Common sense tells me that with humanitarian vessels barred from saving lives and European commercial and military and Coast Guard ships instructed to avoid migrant routes, their chances of rescue are shrinking. I suspect European leaders share my common sense.

      Meanwhile, we sea rescuers are not alone in facing charges for “crimes of solidarity.” On land across Europe, hundreds of men and women stand trial for having offered food, shelter or clothing to migrants. Among us are countless migrants criminalized for having helped other migrants in need, whose faces will likely not appear in esteemed publications.

      None of us has been prosecuted for helping white Europeans. The simple truth is that in intimidating and punishing those of us who have offered their solidarity to migrants, Europe has worked systematically and with precision to segregate, humiliate and isolate its weakest members—if not based on race and ethnicity de jure, then certainly de facto.

      None of us facing charges for solidarity is a villain, but neither are we heroes. If it is alarming that acts of basic human decency are now criminalized, it is no less telling that we have sometimes been lauded by well-intentioned supporters as saints. But those of us who have stood in solidarity with migrants have not acted out of some exceptional reserve of bravery or selfless compassion for others. We acted in the knowledge that the way our rulers treat migrants offers a clue about how they would treat the rest of us if they thought they could get away with it. Politicians who target, scapegoat and exploit migrants, do so to shore up a violent, unequal world—a world in which we, too, have to live and by which we, too, may be disempowered.

      The criminalization of solidarity today is not only about stripping Europe’s most precarious of their means of survival. It is also an effort at foreclosing the forms of political organization that alliances between Europeans and migrants might engender; of barring the realization that in today’s Europe of rising xenophobia, racism, homophobia and austerity, the things that migrants seek—safety, comfort, dignity—are increasingly foreclosed to us Europeans as well.

      And in hounding migrants and those standing in solidarity with them, Europe is not only waging a brutal battle of suppression. It is also belying its fear of what might happen if we Europeans and migrants made common cause against Fortress Europe, and expose it for what it is: a system that would pick us off one by one, European and migrant alike, robbing each of us in turn of our freedoms, security and rights. We should show them that they are right to be afraid.

      Captain Pia Klemp is a vegan nature-lover, animal-rights and human-rights activist. Before joining search and rescue missions, Captain Pia Klemp was an activist for maritime conservation with Sea-Shepherd. Chloe Haralambous, a researcher and fellow rescue crew member, contributed to this op-ed.

      The views expressed in this article are the author’s own.​​​​​

      https://www.newsweek.com/refugees-mediterranean-sea-rescue-criminalization-solidarity-1444618

  • Superyacht MY SONG Lost from Cargo Ship During Transport – gCaptain
    https://gcaptain.com/superyacht-my-song-lost-during-transport


    MY Song. Photo : Baltic Yachts

    The big story from over the weekend was without question the loss of the 40-meter sailing yacht MY Song in the Mediterranean Sea after the superyacht fell from the deck of the cargo ship that was transporting it.

    The award-winning yacht, owned by Italian billionaire Pier Luigi Loro Piana, was being transported aboard the general cargo ship MV Brattinsborg when the incident occurred early Saturday morning.

    Yacht transport company Peters & May confirmed some of the details of the incident in a statement from its CEO, David Holley, on Tuesday. Holley said the company was informed of the incident early on Saturday, 26 May.

    Upon receipt of the news Peters & May instructed the captain of the MV Brattinsborg to attempt salvage whilst 3rd party salvors were appointed,” Holley said in the statement.

    The vessel maintained visual contact with My Song until the air and sea search was initiated. As of 0900hr BST on 28th May 2019 the salvage attempts are still ongoing,” Holley said.

    Photos leaked to the media show the yacht partially sunk:
    https://twitter.com/giornalevela/status/1133365401612693504/photo/1

    The MV Brattinsborg has since been instructed to continue its voyage to Genoa, Italy with remaining yachts still on board.

    Holley’s statement also shed some light on the possible cause of the incident, blaming the loss on a failure of the yacht’s cradle that was provided by, warrantied, and assembled by the yacht’s owner and crew.

    A full investigation into the cause of the incident has been launched, however the primary assessment is that the yacht’s cradle (owned and provided by the yacht, warrantied by the yacht for sea transport and assembled by the yacht’s crew) collapsed during the voyage from Palma to Genoa and subsequently resulted in the loss of MY SONG overboard. I will add that this is the initial assessment and is subject to confirmation in due course,” Holley said.

    The MY Song was built by Baltic Yachts in 2016. The company describes the yacht as a high-performance, all-carbon yacht built for both cruising and racing:

    The Baltic 130 My Song is a state of the art, multi-role custom superyacht combining performance and light displacement with a stunning contemporary interior providing an immensely comfortable cruising platform. Since the delivery in 2016 My Song has won several awards and was judged best yacht at World Superyacht Awards.

    Naval architects Reichel/Pugh used the latest design programs to produce a seriously high-performance sailing yacht while Nauta Design was responsible for the overall styling, deck and interior design. My Song took 22 months to build and was launched on time despite design changes, modifications and the installation of a new propulsion system.

    This all carbon yacht features interchangeable mainsails for cruising or racing and Baltic’s latest retractable propulsion system which rotates though 180 degrees to double as a stern thruster and a keel fin more akin to maxi raceboat design. The Baltic 130 custom’s plumb bow and wide transom exploit the speed benefits of a long waterline and powerful stern sections to meet the owner’s demands for a really effective race boat.

    The interior accommodation is for six to eight guests including the owner, the focal point being a spectacular deck saloon with hull and superstructure ports, plus skylights providing panoramic outboard views.

    The MY Song was headed from the Caribbean to Italy where it was due to compete in the Loro Piana Superyacht Regatta next week, in which it was the returning champion.

    • En français,

      Naufrage de My Song. Peters & May apporte des clarifications sur l’accident - Course au Large
      http://www.courseaularge.com/naufrage-de-my-song-peters-may-apporte-clarifications-laccident.html


      Brattingsborg vessel

      Les images du naufrage du Maxi My Song ont fait le tour du monde au-delà de la presse nautique. Le transporteur de bateaux Peters & May se serait bien passé de cette publicité et a tenu a apporter des explications sur les faits qui ont occasionné la perte du Baltic de 130 pieds My Song tombé du cargo en Méditerranée dimanche matin, le 26 mai. Le bateau d’une valeur de 35 millions d’euros a été mis à l’eau en 2016.

      Le Maxi de 39,6 mètres était arrimé à bord du navire de transport Brattingsborg de 138 mètres avant de couler en Méditerranée non loin des îles Baléares. David Holley, directeur général de Peters & May, a publié une déclaration sur l’incident afin de “clarifier” les événements et corriger les fausses informations qui ont pu circuler. Il a ainsi révélé que Peters & May avait été informé de l’incident vers 4h du matin le 26 mai, et avait demandé au capitaine du MV Brattingsborg de tenter de sauver le bateau. L’équipage du cargo a gardé un contact visuel avec My Song jusqu’à ce que des tentatives de sauvetage aérien et maritime soient entreprises. Les tentatives de sauvetage étaient toujours en cours à compter du mardi matin (28 mai).

      David Holley a révélé que le berceau de My Song s’était “effondré”, faisant tomber le bateau du cargo. Il a souligné que le berceau était ”la propriété et fourni par My Song, garanti par le maxi pour le transport maritime et assemblé par l’équipage de My Song”. Cependant, il a ajouté qu’il s’agissait “de l’évaluation initiale” qui est “sous réserve de confirmation en temps utile”. À la suite de l’incident, Peters & May ont demandé au cargo Brattinsborg de poursuivre sa route vers sa destination d’origine, Gênes, où il devait accoster le 27 mai. Il avait précédemment quitté l’île de St John dans les Caraïbes le 7 mai.

      Nous ne faisons normalement aucun commentaire sur les incidents de cargaison, mais compte tenu de la nature très médiatisée de ce bateau et de l’intérêt des médias, nous estimons nécessaire de donner des éclaircissements formels. Plusieurs personnes se sont prononcées sur ce qui a pu se produire ou non et nous allons tenter de clarifier les choses, bien qu’à un stade précoce de l’enquête, cela soit difficile. Notre réputation est en jeu et nous ne le laisserons pas la ternir par des individus non qualifiés qui jugeront sans avoir les faits en mains. J’ajouterai que je suis déçu que des photographies confidentielles aient été transmises aux médias."

  • How much was pilot error a factor in the #Boeing #737_MAX crashes? | The Seattle Times
    https://www.seattletimes.com/business/boeing-aerospace/how-much-was-pilot-error-a-factor-in-the-boeing-737-max-crashes

    “Pilots trained in the United States would have successfully been able to handle” the emergencies on both jets, said Rep. Sam Graves of Missouri, ranking member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. He added that preliminary reports about the accident “compound my concerns about quality training standards in other countries.”

    Graves was repeating the main points in a report written by two pilots at a major U.S. airline that pointed to pilot error as “the most consequential factor” in both crashes. Their report was commissioned and paid for by institutional investors with large holdings in Boeing stock.

    That case for pilot error as the major cause of the crashes seems close to a surrogate for what Boeing has only hinted at, and may be a key part of the manufacturer’s legal defense in liability lawsuits.

    Yet two flight-simulator sessions replicating the conditions on the doomed flights contradict Graves’ contention that better trained pilots would have escaped disaster. And some Western-trained pilots criticize the report as based on unverified assumptions and minimizing the intense stress Boeing’s runaway flight-control system imposed on the two flight crews.

    “I’m disappointed with those who sit in their lofty chairs of judgment and say this wouldn’t have happened to U.S. pilots,” said a veteran captain with a major U.S. airline, who asked not to be named to avoid involving his employer.

    #conflit_d'intérêt #intérêts_privés #sans_vergogne #états-unis

  • Inside the Close Naval Encounters in the South China Sea - Bloomberg

    On notera que la seule chose que confient les officiers interrogés sur ce navire amiral est que le comportement des navires qui les ont pistés à de multiples reprises à toujours été extrêmement sûr. Ils ne disent pas a toujours été extrêmement professionnel, car cela contredirait trop ouvertement les déclarations officielles.

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-05-13/south-china-sea-naval-encounters


    The U.S. Navy’s USS Blue Ridge in Singapore on May 9.
    Photographer : Bryan van der Beek/Bloomberg

    The voice on the radio in the middle of the South China Sea follows a familiar script for Captain Eric Anduze, who helms the USS Blue Ridge. It’s China on the phone.

    They’ll contact us and they’ll go — ‘U.S. government vessel, this is Chinese Navy vessel’ number whatever — ‘we will maintain five miles from you and escort you as you make your transit,”’ Anduze said, describing the English-speaking voice from a rival Chinese warship.

    The U.S. response is short: “Chinese vessel, this is government vessel 1 9, copy, out.” From there on, silence, as the vessels of the world’s rival powers steam onward together.

    The ship-to-ship interactions are a regular potential flash point for the world’s two biggest militaries in contested waters. In September, a Chinese destroyer sailed within a football field’s distance of the USS Decatur in what the U.S. said was an “unsafe and unprofessional” maneuver. That hasn’t deterred future sailings — the U.S. sent two guided-missile destroyers within 12 nautical miles of disputed islands earlier this month.

    Based in Japan, the Blue Ridge is a frequent traveler through the South China Sea, which Beijing considers its waters against an international community increasingly concerned by its encroachment. The area is home to key shipping lanes and fisheries that have sparked dispute between China and its neighbors.
    […]
    The U.S. Navy allowed media outlets, including Bloomberg, an inside look at the sort of ship it’s using to sail through the disputed waters. The oldest operational warship in the American Navy, the Blue Ridge is the flagship of the 7th Fleet, and docked in Singapore as part of a tour of southeast Asian port cities.

    The Blue Ridge is billed as one of the most technologically advanced ships in the world. It operates as a central information node for a fleet whose range stretches from the Indian-Pakistan border to the International Date Line in the Pacific Ocean. Through its several computers flow a database the Navy says gives it a “complete tactical picture of air, surface and subsurface contacts.” That’s what it does: it sails and it knows things.

    The ship is a small floating town of more than 1,000 sailors at any given time. There are beds and cafeterias, fitness centers and a post office. A miniature hospital has sick beds and an operating room, along with a dentist who can fill a cavity or pull a tooth — unless the waves get too rough. Up on deck, sailors can jog around a makeshift track around the ship, at about seven laps to a mile.

    Since February, Captain Anduze said the Blue Ridge has been escorted by Chinese vessels about six times in an almost unremarkable and now routine manner.

    In Washington, the view is that China uses “coercive tactics” including its naval and paramilitary vessels to enforce claims in the South China Sea, the Pentagon said last week in its annual report on China’s military power. Those are targeted “in ways calculated to be below the threshold of provoking conflict,” though have escalated into near-misses with U.S. warships.

    Naval officials on the Blue Ridge declined to comment in detail on those more aggressive encounters, except to say nothing similar had happened with them as they passed through the South China Sea’s shipping lanes.

    We have had ships that come about three to four miles away and then just navigate with us throughout the area,” Anduze said. Those interactions have been “very safe.

  • Refugee, volunteer, prisoner: #Sarah_Mardini and Europe’s hardening line on migration

    Early last August, Sarah Mardini sat on a balcony on the Greek island of Lesvos. As the sun started to fade, a summer breeze rose off the Aegean Sea. She leaned back in her chair and relaxed, while the Turkish coastline, only 16 kilometres away, formed a silhouette behind her.

    Three years before, Mardini had arrived on this island from Syria – a dramatic journey that made international headlines. Now she was volunteering her time helping other refugees. She didn’t know it yet, but in a few weeks that work would land her in prison.

    Mardini had crossed the narrow stretch of water from Turkey in August 2015, landing on Lesvos after fleeing her home in Damascus to escape the Syrian civil war. On the way, she almost drowned when the engine of the inflatable dinghy she was travelling in broke down.

    More than 800,000 people followed a similar route from the Turkish coast to the Greek Islands that year. Almost 800 of them are now dead or missing.

    As the boat Mardini was in pitched and spun, she slipped overboard and struggled to hold it steady in the violent waves. Her sister, Yusra, three years younger, soon joined. Both girls were swimmers, and their act of heroism likely saved the 18 other people on board. They eventually made it to Germany and received asylum. Yusra went on to compete in the 2016 Olympics for the first ever Refugee Olympic Team. Sarah, held back from swimming by an injury, returned to Lesvos to help other refugees.

    On the balcony, Mardini, 23, was enjoying a rare moment of respite from long days spent working in the squalid Moria refugee camp. For the first time in a long time, she was looking forward to the future. After years spent between Lesvos and Berlin, she had decided to return to her university studies in Germany.

    But when she went to the airport to leave, shortly after The New Humanitarian visited her, Mardini was arrested. Along with several other volunteers from Emergency Response Centre International, or ERCI, the Greek non-profit where she volunteered, Mardini was charged with belonging to a criminal organisation, people smuggling, money laundering, and espionage.

    According to watchdog groups, the case against Mardini is not an isolated incident. Amnesty International says it is part of a broader trend of European governments taking a harder line on immigration and using anti-smuggling laws to de-legitimise humanitarian assistance to refugees and migrants.

    Far-right Italian Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini recently pushed through legislation that ends humanitarian protection for migrants and asylum seekers, while Italy and Greece have ramped up pressure on maritime search and rescue NGOs, forcing them to shutter operations. At the end of March, the EU ended naval patrols in the Mediterranean that had saved the lives of thousands of migrants.

    In 2016, five other international volunteers were arrested on Lesvos on similar charges to Mardini. They were eventually acquitted, but dozens of other cases across Europe fit a similar pattern: from Denmark to France, people have been arrested, charged, and sometimes successfully prosecuted under anti-smuggling regulations based on actions they took to assist migrants.

    Late last month, Salam Kamal-Aldeen, a Danish national who founded the rescue non-governmental organisation Team Humanity, filed an application with the European Court of Human Rights, challenging what he says is a Greek crackdown on lifesaving activities.

    According to Maria Serrano, senior campaigner on migration at Amnesty International, collectively the cases have done tremendous damage in terms of public perception of humanitarian work in Europe. “The atmosphere… is very hostile for anyone that is trying to help, and this [has a] chilling effect on other people that want to help,” she said.

    As for the case against Mardini and the other ERCI volunteers, Human Rights Watch concluded that the accusations are baseless. “It seems like a bad joke, and a scary one as well because of what the implications are for humanitarian activists and NGOs just trying to save people’s lives,” said Bill Van Esveld, who researched the case for HRW.

    While the Lesvos prosecutor could not be reached for comment, the Greek police said in a statement after Mardini’s arrest that she and other aid workers were “active in the systematic facilitation of illegal entrance of foreigners” – a violation of the country’s Migration Code.

    Mardini spent 108 days in pre-trial detention before being released on bail at the beginning of December. The case against her is still open. Her lawyer expects news on what will happen next in June or July. If convicted, Mardini could be sentenced to up to 25 years in prison.

    “It seems like a bad joke, and a scary one as well because of what the implications are for humanitarian activists and NGOs just trying to save people’s lives.”

    Return to Lesvos

    The arrest and pending trial are the latest in a series of events, starting with the beginning of the Syrian war in 2011, that have disrupted any sense of normalcy in Mardini’s life.

    Even after making it to Germany in 2015, Mardini never really settled in. She was 20 years old and in an unfamiliar city. The secure world she grew up in had been destroyed, and the future felt like a blank and confusing canvas. “I missed Syria and Damascus and just this warmness in everything,” she said.

    While wading through these emotions, Mardini received a Facebook message in 2016 from an ERCI volunteer. The swimming sisters from Syria who saved a boat full of refugees were an inspiration. Volunteers on Lesvos told their story to children on the island to give them hope for the future, the volunteer said, inviting Mardini to visit. “It totally touched my heart,” Mardini recalled. “Somebody saw me as a hope… and there is somebody asking for my help.”

    So Mardini flew back to Lesvos in August 2016. Just one year earlier she had nearly died trying to reach the island, before enduring a journey across the Balkans that involved hiding from police officers in forests, narrowly escaping being kidnapped, sneaking across tightly controlled borders, and spending a night in police custody in a barn. Now, all it took was a flight to retrace the route.

    Her first day on the island, Mardini was trained to help refugees disembark safely when their boats reached the shores. By nighttime, she was sitting on the beach watching for approaching vessels. It was past midnight, and the sea was calm. Lights from the Turkish coastline twinkled serenely across the water. After about half an hour, a walkie talkie crackled. The Greek Coast Guard had spotted a boat.

    Volunteers switched on the headlights of their cars, giving the refugees something to aim for. Thin lines of silver from the reflective strips on the refugees’ life jackets glinted in the darkness, and the rumble of a motor and chatter of voices drifted across the water. As the boat came into view, volunteers yelled: “You are in Greece. You are safe. Turn the engine off.”

    Mardini was in the water again, holding the boat steady, helping people disembark. When the rush of activity ended, a feeling of guilt washed over her. “I felt it was unfair that they were on a refugee boat and I’m a rescuer,” she said.

    But Mardini was hooked. She spent the next two weeks assisting with boat landings and teaching swimming lessons to the kids who idolised her and her sister. Even after returning to Germany, she couldn’t stop thinking about Lesvos. “I decided to come back for one month,” she said, “and I never left.”
    Moria camp

    The island became the centre of Mardini’s life. She put her studies at Bard College Berlin on hold to spend more time in Greece. “I found what I love,” she explained.

    Meanwhile, the situation on the Greek islands was changing. In 2017, just under 30,000 people crossed the Aegean Sea to Greece, compared to some 850,000 in 2015. There were fewer arrivals, but those who did come were spending more time in camps with dismal conditions.

    “You have people who are dying and living in a four-metre tent with seven relatives. They have limited access to water. Hygiene is zero. Privacy is zero. Security: zero. Children’s rights: zero. Human rights: zero… You feel useless. You feel very useless.”

    The volunteer response shifted accordingly, towards the camps, and when TNH visited Mardini she moved around the island with a sense of purpose and familiarity, joking with other volunteers and greeting refugees she knew from her work in the streets.

    Much of her time was spent as a translator for ERCI’s medical team in Moria. The camp, the main one on Lesvos, was built to accommodate around 3,000 people, but by 2018 housed close to 9,000. Streams of sewage ran between tents. People were forced to stand in line for hours for food. The wait to see a doctor could take months, and conditions were causing intense psychological strain. Self-harm and suicide attempts were increasing, especially among children, and sexual and gender-based violence were commonplace.

    Mardini was on the front lines. “What we do in Moria is fighting the fire,” she said. “You have people who are dying and living in a four-metre tent with seven relatives. They have limited access to water. Hygiene is zero. Privacy is zero. Security: zero. Children’s rights: zero. Human rights: zero… You feel useless. You feel very useless.”

    By then, Mardini had been on Lesvos almost continuously for nine months, and it was taking a toll. She seemed to be weighed down, slipping into long moments of silence. “I’m taking in. I’m taking in. I’m taking in. But it’s going to come out at some point,” she said.

    It was time for a break. Mardini had decided to return to Berlin at the end of the month to resume her studies and make an effort to invest in her life there. But she planned to remain connected to Lesvos. “I love this island… the sad thing is that it’s not nice for everybody. Others see it as just a jail.”
    Investigation and Arrest

    The airport on Lesvos is on the shoreline close to where Mardini helped with the boat landing her first night as a volunteer. On 21 August, when she went to check in for her flight to Berlin, she was surrounded by five Greek police officers. “They kind of circled around me, and they said that I should come with [them],” Mardini recalled.

    Mardini knew that the police on Lesvos had been investigating her and some of the other volunteers from ERCI, but at first she still didn’t realise what was happening. Seven months earlier, in February 2018, she was briefly detained with a volunteer named Sean Binder, a German national. They had been driving one of ERCI’s 4X4s when police stopped them, searched the vehicle, and found Greek military license plates hidden under the civilian plates.

    When Mardini was arrested at the airport, Binder turned himself in too, and the police released a statement saying they were investigating 30 people – six Greeks and 24 foreigners – for involvement in “organised migrant trafficking rings”. Two Greek nationals, including ERCI’s founder, were also arrested at the time.

    While it is still not clear what the plates were doing on the vehicle, according Van Esveld from HRW, “it does seem clear… neither Sarah or Sean had any idea that these plates were [there]”.

    The felony charges against Mardini and Binder were ultimately unconnected to the plates, and HRW’s Van Esveld said the police work appears to either have been appallingly shoddy or done in bad faith. HRW took the unusual step of commenting on the ongoing case because it appeared authorities were “literally just [taking] a humanitarian activity and labelling it as a crime”, he added.
    Detention

    After two weeks in a cell on Lesvos, Mardini was sent to a prison in Athens. On the ferry ride to the mainland, her hands were shackled. That’s when it sank in: “Ok, it’s official,” she thought. “They’re transferring me to jail.”

    In prison, Mardini was locked in a cell with eight other women from 8pm to 8am. During the day, she would go to Greek classes and art classes, drink coffee with other prisoners, and watch the news.

    She was able to make phone calls, and her mother, who was also granted asylum in Germany, came to visit a number of times. “The first time we saw each other we just broke down in tears,” Mardini recalled. It had been months since they’d seen each other, and now they could only speak for 20 minutes, separated by a plastic barrier.

    Most of the time, Mardini just read, finishing more than 40 books, including Nelson Mandela’s autobiography, which helped her come to terms with her situation. “I decided this is my life right now, and I need to get something out of it,” she explained. “I just accepted what’s going on.”

    People can be held in pre-trial detention for up to 18 months in Greece. But at the beginning of December, a judge accepted Mardini’s lawyer’s request for bail. Binder was released the same day.
    Lingering fear

    On Lesvos, where everyone in the volunteer community knows each other, the case came as a shock. “People started to be... scared,” said Claudia Drost, a 23-year-old from the Netherlands and close friend of Mardini’s who started volunteering on the island in 2016. “There was a feeling of fear that if the police… put [Mardini] in prison, they can put anyone in prison.”

    “We are standing [up] for what we are doing because we are saving people and we are helping people.”

    That feeling was heightened by the knowledge that humanitarians across Europe were being charged with crimes for helping refugees and migrants.

    During the height of the migration crisis in Europe, between the fall of 2015 and winter 2016, some 300 people were arrested in Denmark on charges related to helping refugees. In August 2016, French farmer Cédric Herrou was arrested for helping migrants and asylum seekers cross the French-Italian border. In October 2017, 12 people were charged with facilitating illegal migration in Belgium for letting asylum seekers stay in their homes and use their cellphones. And last June, the captain of a search and rescue boat belonging to the German NGO Mission Lifeline was arrested in Malta and charged with operating the vessel without proper registration or license.

    Drost said that after Mardini was released the fear faded a bit, but still lingers. There is also a sense of defiance. “We are standing [up] for what we are doing because we are saving people and we are helping people,” Drost said.

    As for Mardini, the charges have forced her to disengage from humanitarian work on Lesvos, at least until the case is over. She is back in Berlin and has started university again. “I think because I’m not in Lesvos anymore I’m just finding it very good to be here,” she said. “I’m kind of in a stable moment just to reflect about my life and what I want to do.”

    But she also knows the stability could very well be fleeting. With the prospect of more time in prison hanging over her, the future is still a blank canvas. People often ask if she is optimistic about the case. “No,” she said. “In the first place, they put me in… jail.”

    https://www.thenewhumanitarian.org/feature/2019/05/02/refugee-volunteer-prisoner-sarah-mardini-and-europe-s-hardening-
    #criminalisation #délit_de_solidarité #asile #migrations #solidarité #réfugiés #Grèce #Lesbos #Moria #camps_de_réfugiés #Europe

    Avec une frise chronologique:

    ping @reka

  • BBC - Capital - Why airlines make flights longer on purpose
    http://www.bbc.com/capital/story/20190405-the-secret-about-delays-airlines-dont-want-you-to-know

    Ils appellent ça le #padding : même si l’avion ne part pas l’heure, il arrive à temps, parce que la ponctualité (quant à l’arrivée) compte plus que le « bilan carbone »

    Ever wondered why flight times seem to be getting longer? It’s called “padding”, a phenomenon that helps airlines arrive on time – but at a cost.

    Le comble est que même comme ça, l’objectif (inavoué) n’est pas toujours atteint,

    “On average, over 30% of all flights arrive more than 15 minutes late every day despite padding,” says Captain Michael Baiada, president of aviation consultancy ATH Group citing the US Department of Transportation’s Air Travel Consumer Report. The figure used to be 40% but padding – not operational improvements – boosted on-time arrival rates. “By padding, airlines are gaming the system to fool you.”

    #avion #vol

  • Premier équipage entièrement féminin sur un remorqueur portuaire. C’est à Saint-Domingue, en République Dominicaine.

    Svitzer Employs First All-Female Crew in Dominican Republic – gCaptain
    https://gcaptain.com/svitzer-employs-first-all-female-crew-in-dominican-republic


    The team on board Svitzer Monte Cristi is led by Captain Maria de los Santos, accompanied by Chief Engineer Marysabel Moreno and supported by sailors, Paloma Montero, Loreanni Torres and Juana Custodio.
    Photo courtesy Svitzer

    Global towage operator Svitzer has hired the first 100% female crew for one of its tugs in the Dominican Republic.

    The vessel, the 70-ton bollard pull Svitzer Monte Cristi, provides harbor towage services for ships in the port Santo Domingo.

    Svitzer says the all-female crew in an industry typically dominated by men is part of a gender inclusion initiative and marks a milestone for gender diversity in the Latin American maritime industry.
    […]
    The General Manager of Svitzer Caribbean, Captain Dickson Rivas, and others at the company spent two years pursuing the project, focusing the team’s energy on training.

    These women have become local icons for others and have proven to be an efficient and hardworking team,” said Captain Eduard Medina.

    Svitzer says it hopes the gender-inclusive initiative will help buck the historical predominantly male trend in the maritime industry. According to The International Transport Worker’s Federation, it is estimated that only 2% of the maritime workforce is made up of women, most of them employed on cruises and ferries.

  • Ivre, le commandant se fait tout petit pour passer le pont Gwangan à Pusan,… sans succès !

    Watch : Russian Cargo Ship Hits Bridge in Korea – gCaptain
    https://gcaptain.com/watch-russian-cargo-ship-hits-bridge-in-korea
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4UQdDP5LcNU

    The Korean Coast Guard is investigation the allision of a Russian cargo ship with a bridge in southeastern Korea.

    The Coast Guard said the 5,998-ton Seagrand sailed into the side of the Gwangan Bridge at around 4:20 p.m. before turning back to head in the opposite direction, The Korea Herald reported.

    Authorities boarded the ship and discovered that the captain had a blood alcohol content of more than twice the legal limit. An official said it wasn’t yet clear if the Russian captain had been at the helm of the vessel at the time of the accident and therefore the captain has not been arrested.

    According to reports, Seagrand had also hit a moored cruise ship about 40 minutes before hitting the bridge.

    No major damage or pollution has been reported.

  • Robotics and AI, Your Place in This World
    https://hackernoon.com/robotics-and-ai-your-place-in-this-world-5bcb5aa1151?source=rss----3a814

    Looks Like An Alien Robot.You should see the Avengers 2019 spoiler, Tony Stark’s suit is human now! You got to believe and its replacing captain America just as how artificial general intelligence is going to replace humans.Let’s be honest with ourselves, we clamoured for a means to do things better and faster, admittedly, we are lazy and we needed something or someone to perform those hectic tasks for us―both in our workplace and our daily lives.However, the solution to this problem is right here and right now, and the average human seems to now identify it as a threat. Efficient means of production, accurate data analysis, automation and many more is what we perceive a threat ― fascinating. We are being delusional and carried away by the buzzword of how #robots and AI will be the end of (...)

    #technology #agi #artificial-intelligence

  • Le crabe EST une espèce sédentaire, et donc une ressource naturelle. Il est donc protégé par l’exclusivité de la #ZEE.

    Intéressant débat juridique, avec conséquences sur la maîtrise par la Norvège de ses ressources d’hydrocarbures.

    À noter, l’absence de position sur le traité du #Svalbard

    Abide by the claw : Norway’s Arctic snow crab ruling boosts claim to oil | Reuters
    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-norway-eu-snowcrab-idUSKCN1Q3115


    A fisherman holds a snow crab in Kjoellefjord, Norway, November 1, 2017.
    NTB Scanpix/Terje Bendiksby via REUTERS

    A court delivered a painful nip to European Union fishermen on Thursday by tightening Norway’s grip on snow crab catches in the Arctic, a ruling that may also let Oslo claw more control of oil and gas from other nations.

    Fishermen from the European Union must ask permission from Oslo to catch snow crab — whose meat is a delicacy for gourmets from Canada to Japan — in Arctic waters north of Norway, the Norwegian Supreme Court said in a unanimous ruling.

    The court dismissed an appeal by a Latvian fishing firm and its Russian captain against fines imposed by a lower court for catching snow crab around the remote Svalbard Islands in 2017 with only an EU license.

    Latvia’s Foreign Ministry said it would review the decision at a government meeting.

    Norway is tightening its grip,” in the Arctic, said Oeystein Jensen, a researcher in international law at the independent Fridtjof Nansen Institute in Oslo.

    The court clarifies that if you are going to fish, or search for oil and gas, you need permission from the Norwegian authorities,” he told Reuters.

    At issue was whether the snow crab was a sedentary species living on the seabed or moves around like fish, and who gets to control the stocks.

    The court agreed with non-EU member Norway that snow crabs are sedentary, like corals or oysters, and that as such under the U.N. Law of the Sea they are a resource belonging to the continental shelf of Norway extending hundreds of miles (kms) offshore.

    Had Norway lost the case, the EU could have staked a claim over the snow crab and it could have been harder for Oslo to regulate access to potential oil and gas resources beneath the Arctic seabed.

    For the Norwegian coastguard this is a big relief - they can arrest any ships fishing illegally in the Svalbard area,” chief public prosecutor Lars Fause told Reuters.

    The Latvian firm, SIA North Star, argued that the crabs are not sedentary because they scurry around and so should be regulated under regional fisheries accords signed by parties including the European Union, Norway and Russia.

    It argued that it had a valid EU permit.

    We’re very disappointed,” defense lawyer Hallvard Oestgaard told Reuters. He said that his client would consider whether to try to appeal to international tribunals.

    And SIA North Star argued that Norway is obliged under an international 1920 treaty to allow other nations access to the waters around Svalbard.

    That treaty grants sovereignty to Norway but gives other signatories rights to engage in commercial activities on and around Svalbard. Russia, for instance, runs a coal mine on Svalbard.

    But Oslo says rights to exploit resources around Svalbard extend only to a narrow band of just 12 nautical miles offshore. The court ruled that the Latvian catches were illegal under Norwegian law, irrespective of the Svalbard Treaty.

  • Pan Am Flight 103 : Robert Mueller’s 30-Year Search for Justice | WIRED
    https://www.wired.com/story/robert-muellers-search-for-justice-for-pan-am-103

    Cet article décrit le rôle de Robert Mueller dans l’enquête historique qui a permis de dissimuler ou de justifier la plupart des batailles de la guerre non déclarée des États Unis contre l’OLP et les pays arabes qui soutenaient la lutte pour un état palestinien.

    Aux États-Unis, en Allemagne et en France le grand public ignore les actes de guerre commis par les États Unis dans cette guerre. Vu dans ce contexte on ne peut que classer le récit de cet article dans la catégorie idéologie et propagande même si les intentions et faits qu’on y apprend sont bien documentés et plausibles.

    Cette perspective transforme le contenu de cet article d’une variation sur un thème connu dans un reportage sur l’état d’âme des dirigeants étatsuniens moins fanatiques que l’équipe du président actuel.

    THIRTY YEARS AGO last Friday, on the darkest day of the year, 31,000 feet above one of the most remote parts of Europe, America suffered its first major terror attack.

    TEN YEARS AGO last Friday, then FBI director Robert Mueller bundled himself in his tan trench coat against the cold December air in Washington, his scarf wrapped tightly around his neck. Sitting on a small stage at Arlington National Cemetery, he scanned the faces arrayed before him—the victims he’d come to know over years, relatives and friends of husbands and wives who would never grow old, college students who would never graduate, business travelers and flight attendants who would never come home.

    Burned into Mueller’s memory were the small items those victims had left behind, items that he’d seen on the shelves of a small wooden warehouse outside Lockerbie, Scotland, a visit he would never forget: A teenager’s single white sneaker, an unworn Syracuse University sweatshirt, the wrapped Christmas gifts that would never be opened, a lonely teddy bear.

    A decade before the attacks of 9/11—attacks that came during Mueller’s second week as FBI director, and that awoke the rest of America to the threats of terrorism—the bombing of Pan Am 103 had impressed upon Mueller a new global threat.

    It had taught him the complexity of responding to international terror attacks, how unprepared the government was to respond to the needs of victims’ families, and how on the global stage justice would always be intertwined with geopolitics. In the intervening years, he had never lost sight of the Lockerbie bombing—known to the FBI by the codename Scotbom—and he had watched the orphaned children from the bombing grow up over the years.

    Nearby in the cemetery stood a memorial cairn made of pink sandstone—a single brick representing each of the victims, the stone mined from a Scottish quarry that the doomed flight passed over just seconds before the bomb ripped its baggage hold apart. The crowd that day had gathered near the cairn in the cold to mark the 20th anniversary of the bombing.

    For a man with an affinity for speaking in prose, not poetry, a man whose staff was accustomed to orders given in crisp sentences as if they were Marines on the battlefield or under cross-examination from a prosecutor in a courtroom, Mueller’s remarks that day soared in a way unlike almost any other speech he’d deliver.

    “There are those who say that time heals all wounds. But you know that not to be true. At its best, time may dull the deepest wounds; it cannot make them disappear,” Mueller told the assembled mourners. “Yet out of the darkness of this day comes a ray of light. The light of unity, of friendship, and of comfort from those who once were strangers and who are now bonded together by a terrible moment in time. The light of shared memories that bring smiles instead of sadness. And the light of hope for better days to come.”

    He talked of Robert Frost’s poem “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” and of inspiration drawn from Lockerbie’s town crest, with its simple motto, “Forward.” He spoke of what was then a two-decade-long quest for justice, of how on windswept Scottish mores and frigid lochs a generation of FBI agents, investigators, and prosecutors had redoubled their dedication to fighting terrorism.

    Mueller closed with a promise: “Today, as we stand here together on this, the darkest of days, we renew that bond. We remember the light these individuals brought to each of you here today. We renew our efforts to bring justice down on those who seek to harm us. We renew our efforts to keep our people safe, and to rid the world of terrorism. We will continue to move forward. But we will never forget.”

    Hand bells tolled for each of the victims as their names were read aloud, 270 names, 270 sets of bells.

    The investigation, though, was not yet closed. Mueller, although he didn’t know it then, wasn’t done with Pan Am 103. Just months after that speech, the case would test his innate sense of justice and morality in a way that few other cases in his career ever have.

    ROBERT S. MUELLER III had returned from a combat tour in Vietnam in the late 1960s and eventually headed to law school at the University of Virginia, part of a path that he hoped would lead him to being an FBI agent. Unable after graduation to get a job in government, he entered private practice in San Francisco, where he found he loved being a lawyer—just not a defense attorney.

    Then—as his wife Ann, a teacher, recounted to me years ago—one morning at their small home, while the two of them made the bed, Mueller complained, “Don’t I deserve to be doing something that makes me happy?” He finally landed a job as an assistant US attorney in San Francisco and stood, for the first time, in court and announced, “Good morning your Honor, I am Robert Mueller appearing on behalf of the United States of America.” It is a moment that young prosecutors often practice beforehand, and for Mueller those words carried enormous weight. He had found the thing that made him happy.

    His family remembers that time in San Francisco as some of their happiest years; the Muellers’ two daughters were young, they loved the Bay Area—and have returned there on annual vacations almost every year since relocating to the East Coast—and Mueller found himself at home as a prosecutor.

    On Friday nights, their routine was that Ann and the two girls would pick Mueller up at Harrington’s Bar & Grill, the city’s oldest Irish pub, not far from the Ferry Building in the Financial District, where he hung out each week with a group of prosecutors, defense attorneys, cops, and agents. (One Christmas, his daughter Cynthia gave him a model of the bar made out of Popsicle sticks.) He balanced that family time against weekends and trainings with the Marines Corps Reserves, where he served for more than a decade, until 1980, eventually rising to be a captain.

    Over the next 15 years, he rose through the ranks of the San Francisco US attorney’s office—an office he would return to lead during the Clinton administration—and then decamped to Massachusetts to work for US attorney William Weld in the 1980s. There, too, he shined and eventually became acting US attorney when Weld departed at the end of the Reagan administration. “You cannot get the words straight arrow out of your head,” Weld told me, speaking of Mueller a decade ago. “The agencies loved him because he knew his stuff. He didn’t try to be elegant or fancy, he just put the cards on the table.”

    In 1989, an old high school classmate, Robert Ross, who was chief of staff to then attorney general Richard Thornburgh, asked Mueller to come down to Washington to help advise Thornburgh. The offer intrigued Mueller. Ann protested the move—their younger daughter Melissa wanted to finish high school in Massachusetts. Ann told her husband, “We can’t possibly do this.” He replied, his eyes twinkling, “You’re right, it’s a terrible time. Well, why don’t we just go down and look at a few houses?” As she told me, “When he wants to do something, he just revisits it again and again.”

    For his first two years at so-called Main Justice in Washington, working under President George H.W. Bush, the family commuted back and forth from Boston to Washington, alternating weekends in each city, to allow Melissa to finish school.

    Washington gave Mueller his first exposure to national politics and cases with geopolitical implications; in September 1990, President Bush nominated him to be assistant attorney general, overseeing the Justice Department’s entire criminal division, which at that time handled all the nation’s terrorism cases as well. Mueller would oversee the prosecution of Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega, mob boss John Gotti, and the controversial investigation into a vast money laundering scheme run through the Bank of Credit and Commerce International, known as the Bank of Crooks and Criminals

    None of his cases in Washington, though, would affect him as much as the bombing of Pan Am 103.

    THE TIME ON the clocks in Lockerbie, Scotland, read 7:04 pm, on December 21, 1988, when the first emergency call came into the local fire brigade, reporting what sounded like a massive boiler explosion. It was technically early evening, but it had been dark for hours already; that far north, on the shortest day of the year, daylight barely stretched to eight hours.

    Soon it became clear something much worse than a boiler explosion had unfolded: Fiery debris pounded the landscape, plunging from the sky and killing 11 Lockerbie residents. As Mike Carnahan told a local TV reporter, “The whole sky was lit up with flames. It was actually raining, liquid fire. You could see several houses on the skyline with the roofs totally off and all you could see was flaming timbers.”

    At 8:45 pm, a farmer found in his field the cockpit of Pan Am 103, a Boeing 747 known as Clipper Maid of the Seas, lying on its side, 15 of its crew dead inside, just some of the 259 passengers and crew killed when a bomb had exploded inside the plane’s cargo hold. The scheduled London to New York flight never even made it out of the UK.

    It had taken just three seconds for the plane to disintegrate in the air, though the wreckage took three long minutes to fall the five miles from the sky to the earth; court testimony later would examine how passengers had still been alive as they fell. Nearly 200 of the passengers were American, including 35 students from Syracuse University returning home from a semester abroad. The attack horrified America, which until then had seen terror touch its shores only occasionally as a hijacking went awry; while the US had weathered the 1983 bombing of the Marine barracks in Beirut, attacks almost never targeted civilians.

    The Pan Am 103 bombing seemed squarely aimed at the US, hitting one of its most iconic brands. Pan Am then represented America’s global reach in a way few companies did; the world’s most powerful airline shuttled 19 million passengers a year to more than 160 countries and had ferried the Beatles to their US tour and James Bond around the globe on his cinematic missions. In a moment of hubris a generation before Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos, the airline had even opened a “waiting list” for the first tourists to travel to outer space. Its New York headquarters, the Pan Am building, was the world’s largest commercial building and its terminal at JFK Airport the biggest in the world.

    The investigation into the bombing of Pan Am 103 began immediately, as police and investigators streamed north from London by the hundreds; chief constable John Boyd, the head of the local police, arrived at the Lockerbie police station by 8:15 pm, and within an hour the first victim had been brought in: A farmer arrived in town with the body of a baby girl who had fallen from the sky. He’d carefully placed her in the front seat of his pickup truck.

    An FBI agent posted in London had raced north too, with the US ambassador, aboard a special US Air Force flight, and at 2 am, when Boyd convened his first senior leadership meeting, he announced, “The FBI is here, and they are fully operational.” By that point, FBI explosives experts were already en route to Scotland aboard an FAA plane; agents would install special secure communications equipment in Lockerbie and remain on site for months.

    Although it quickly became clear that a bomb had targeted Pan Am 103—wreckage showed signs of an explosion and tested positive for PETN and RDX, two key ingredients of the explosive Semtex—the investigation proceeded with frustrating slowness. Pan Am’s records were incomplete, and it took days to even determine the full list of passengers. At the same time, it was the largest crime scene ever investigated—a fact that remains true today.

    Investigators walked 845 square miles, an area 12 times the size of Washington, DC, and searched so thoroughly that they recovered more than 70 packages of airline crackers and ultimately could reconstruct about 85 percent of the fuselage. (Today, the wreckage remains in an English scrapyard.) Constable Boyd, at his first press conference, told the media, “This is a mammoth inquiry.”

    On Christmas Eve, a searcher found a piece of a luggage pallet with signs of obvious scorching, which would indicate the bomb had been in the luggage compartment below the passenger cabin. The evidence was rushed to a special British military lab—one originally created to investigate the Guy Fawkes’ Gunpowder Plot to blow up Parliament and kill King James I in 1605.

    When the explosive tests came back a day later, the British government called the State Department’s ambassador-at-large for combating terrorism, L. Paul Bremer III (who would go on to be President George W. Bush’s viceroy in Baghdad after the 2003 invasion of Iraq), and officially delivered the news that everyone had anticipated: Pan Am 103 had been downed by a bomb.

    Meanwhile, FBI agents fanned out across the country. In New York, special agent Neil Herman—who would later lead the FBI’s counterterrorism office in New York in the run up to 9/11—was tasked with interviewing some of the victims’ families; many of the Syracuse students on board had been from the New York region. One of the mothers he interviewed hadn’t heard from the government in the 10 days since the attack. “It really struck me how ill-equipped we were to deal with this,” Herman told me, years later. “Multiply her by 270 victims and families.” The bombing underscored that the FBI and the US government had a lot to learn in responding and aiding victims in a terror attack.

    INVESTIGATORS MOVED TOWARD piecing together how a bomb could have been placed on board; years before the 9/11 attack, they discounted the idea of a suicide bomber aboard—there had never been a suicide attack on civil aviation at that point—and so focused on one of two theories: The possibility of a “mule,” an innocent passenger duped into carrying a bomb aboard, or an “inside man,” a trusted airport or airline employee who had smuggled the fatal cargo aboard. The initial suspect list stretched to 1,200 names.

    Yet even reconstructing what was on board took an eternity: Evidence pointed to a Japanese manufactured Toshiba cassette recorder as the likely delivery device for the bomb, and then, by the end of January, investigators located pieces of the suitcase that had held the bomb. After determining that it was a Samsonite bag, police and the FBI flew to the company’s headquarters in the United States and narrowed the search further: The bag, they found, was a System 4 Silhouette 4000 model, color “antique-copper,” a case and color made for only three years, 1985 to 1988, and sold only in the Middle East. There were a total of 3,500 such suitcases in circulation.

    By late spring, investigators had identified 14 pieces of luggage inside the target cargo container, known as AVE4041; each bore tell-tale signs of the explosion. Through careful retracing of how luggage moved through the London airport, investigators determined that the bags on the container’s bottom row came from passengers transferring in London. The bags on the second and third row of AVE4041 had been the last bags loaded onto the leg of the flight that began in Frankfurt, before the plane took off for London. None of the baggage had been X-rayed or matched with passengers on board.

    The British lab traced clothing fragments from the wreckage that bore signs of the explosion and thus likely originated in the bomb-carrying suitcase. It was an odd mix: Two herring-bone skirts, men’s pajamas, tartan trousers, and so on. The most promising fragment was a blue infant’s onesie that, after fiber analysis, was conclusively determined to have been inside the explosive case, and had a label saying “Malta Trading Company.” In March, two detectives took off for Malta, where the manufacturer told them that 500 such articles of clothing had been made and most sent to Ireland, while the rest went locally to Maltese outlets and others to continental Europe.

    As they dug deeper, they focused on bag B8849, which appeared to have come off Air Malta Flight 180—Malta to Frankfurt—on December 21, even though there was no record of one of that flight’s 47 passengers transferring to Pan Am 103.

    Investigators located the store in Malta where the suspect clothing had been sold; the British inspector later recorded in his statement, “[Store owner] Anthony Gauci interjected and stated that he could recall selling a pair of the checked trousers, size 34, and three pairs of the pajamas to a male person.” The investigators snapped to attention—after nine months did they finally have a suspect in their sights? “[Gauci] informed me that the man had also purchased the following items: one imitation Harris Tweed jacket; one woolen cardigan; one black umbrella; one blue colored ‘Baby Gro’ with a motif described by the witness as a ‘sheep’s face’ on the front; and one pair of gents’ brown herring-bone material trousers, size 36.”

    Game, set, match. Gauci had perfectly described the clothing fragments found by RARDE technicians to contain traces of explosive. The purchase, Gauci went on to explain, stood out in his mind because the customer—whom Gauci tellingly identified as speaking the “Libyan language”—had entered the store on November 23, 1988, and gathered items without seeming to care about the size, gender, or color of any of it.

    As the investigation painstakingly proceeded into 1989 and 1990, Robert Mueller arrived at Main Justice; the final objects of the Lockerbie search wouldn’t be found until the spring of 1990, just months before Mueller took over as assistant attorney general of the criminal division in September.

    The Justice Department that year was undergoing a series of leadership changes; the deputy attorney general, William Barr, became acting attorney general midyear as Richard Thornburgh stepped down to run for Senate back in his native Pennsylvania. President Bush then nominated Barr to take over as attorney general officially. (Earlier this month Barr was nominated by President Trump to become attorney general once again.)

    The bombing soon became one of the top cases on Mueller’s desk. He met regularly with Richard Marquise, the FBI special agent heading Scotbom. For Mueller, the case became personal; he met with victims’ families and toured the Lockerbie crash site and the investigation’s headquarters. He traveled repeatedly to the United Kingdom for meetings and walked the fields of Lockerbie himself. “The Scots just did a phenomenal job with the crime scene,” he told me, years ago.

    Mueller pushed the investigators forward constantly, getting involved in the investigation at a level that a high-ranking Justice Department official almost never does. Marquise turned to him in one meeting, after yet another set of directions, and sighed, “Geez, if I didn’t know better, I’d think you want to be FBI director.”

    The investigation gradually, carefully, zeroed in on Libya. Agents traced a circuit board used in the bomb to a similar device seized in Africa a couple of years earlier used by Libyan intelligence. An FBI-created database of Maltese immigration records even showed that a man using the same alias as one of those Libyan intelligence officers had departed from Malta on October 19, 1988—just two months before the bombing.

    The circuit board also helped makes sense of an important aspect of the bombing: It controlled a timer, meaning that the bomb was not set off by a barometric trigger that registers altitude. This, in turn, explained why the explosive baggage had lain peacefully in the jet’s hold as it took off and landed repeatedly.

    Tiny letters on the suspect timer said “MEBO.” What was MEBO? In the days before Google, searching for something called “Mebo” required going country to country, company to company. There were no shortcuts. The FBI, MI5, and CIA were, after months of work, able to trace MEBO back to a Swiss company, Meister et Bollier, adding a fifth country to the ever-expanding investigative circle.

    From Meister et Bollier, they learned that the company had provided 20 prototype timers to the Libyan government and the company helped ID their contact as a Libyan intelligence officer, Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al Megrahi, who looked like the sketch of the Maltese clothing shopper. Then, when the FBI looked at its database of Maltese immigration records, they found that Al Megrahi had been present in Malta the day the clothing was purchased.

    Marquise sat down with Robert Mueller and the rest of the prosecutorial team and laid out the latest evidence. Mueller’s orders were clear—he wanted specific suspects and he wanted to bring charges. As he said, “Proceed toward indictment.” Let’s get this case moving.

    IN NOVEMBER 1990, Marquise was placed in charge of all aspects of the investigation and assigned on special duty to the Washington Field Office and moved to a new Scotbom task force. The field offce was located far from the Hoover building, in a run-down neighborhood known by the thoroughly unromantic moniker of Buzzard Point.

    The Scotbom task force had been allotted three tiny windowless rooms with dark wood paneling, which were soon covered floor-to-ceiling with 747 diagrams, crime scene photographs, maps, and other clues. By the door of the office, the team kept two photographs to remind themselves of the stakes: One, a tiny baby shoe recovered from the fields of Lockerbie; the other, a picture of the American flag on the tail of Pan Am 103. This was the first major attack on the US and its civilians. Whoever was responsible couldn’t be allowed to get away with it.

    With representatives from a half-dozen countries—the US, Britain, Scotland, Sweden, Germany, France, and Malta—now sitting around the table, putting together a case that met everyone’s evidentiary standards was difficult. “We talked through everything, and everything was always done to the higher standard,” Marquise says. In the US, for instance, the legal standard for a photo array was six photos; in Scotland, though, it was 12. So every photo array in the investigation had 12 photos to ensure that the IDs could be used in a British court.

    The trail of evidence so far was pretty clear, and it all pointed toward Libya. Yet there was still much work to do prior to an indictment. A solid hunch was one thing. Having evidence that would stand up in court and under cross-examination was something else entirely.

    As the case neared an indictment, the international investigators and prosecutors found themselves focusing at their gatherings on the fine print of their respective legal code and engaging in deep, philosophical-seeming debates: “What does murder mean in your statute? Huh? I know what murder means: I kill you. Well, then you start going through the details and the standards are just a little different. It may entail five factors in one country, three in another. Was Megrahi guilty of murder? Depends on the country.”

    At every meeting, the international team danced around the question of where a prosecution would ultimately take place. “Jurisdiction was an eggshell problem,” Marquise says. “It was always there, but no one wanted to talk about it. It was always the elephant in the room.”

    Mueller tried to deflect the debate for as long as possible, arguing there was more investigation to do first. Eventually, though, he argued forcefully that the case should be tried in the US. “I recognize that Scotland has significant equities which support trial of the case in your country,” he said in one meeting. “However, the primary target of this act of terrorism was the United States. The majority of the victims were Americans, and the Pan American aircraft was targeted precisely because it was of United States registry.”

    After one meeting, where the Scots and Americans debated jurisdiction for more than two hours, the group migrated over to the Peasant, a restaurant near the Justice Department, where, in an attempt to foster good spirits, it paid for the visiting Scots. Mueller and the other American officials each had to pay for their own meals.

    Mueller was getting ready to move forward; the federal grand jury would begin work in early September. Prosecutors and other investigators were already preparing background, readying evidence, and piecing together information like the names and nationalities of all the Lockerbie victims so that they could be included in the forthcoming indictment.

    There had never been any doubt in the US that the Pan Am 103 bombing would be handled as a criminal matter, but the case was still closely monitored by the White House and the National Security Council.

    The Reagan administration had been surprised in February 1988 by the indictment on drug charges of its close ally Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega, and a rule of thumb had been developed: Give the White House a heads up anytime you’re going to indict a foreign agent. “If you tag Libya with Pan Am 103, that’s fair to say it’s going to disrupt our relationship with Libya,” Mueller deadpans. So Mueller would head up to the Cabinet Room at the White House, charts and pictures in hand, to explain to President Bush and his team what Justice had in mind.

    To Mueller, the investigation underscored why such complex investigations needed a law enforcement eye. A few months after the attack, he sat through a CIA briefing pointing toward Syria as the culprit behind the attack. “That’s always struck with me as a lesson in the difference between intelligence and evidence. I always try to remember that,” he told me, back when he was FBI director. “It’s a very good object lesson about hasty action based on intelligence. What if we had gone and attacked Syria based on that initial intelligence? Then, after the attack, it came out that Libya had been behind it? What could we have done?”

    Marquise was the last witness for the federal grand jury on Friday, November 8, 1991. Only in the days leading up to that testimony had prosecutors zeroed in on Megrahi and another Libyan officer, Al Amin Khalifa Fhimah; as late as the week of the testimony, they had hoped to pursue additional indictments, yet the evidence wasn’t there to get to a conviction.

    Mueller traveled to London to meet with the Peter Fraser, the lord advocate—Scotland’s top prosecutor—and they agreed to announce indictments simultaneously on November 15, 1991. Who got their hands on the suspects first, well, that was a question for later. The joint indictment, Mueller believed, would benefit both countries. “It adds credibility to both our investigations,” he says.

    That coordinated joint, multi-nation statement and indictment would become a model that the US would deploy more regularly in the years to come, as the US and other western nations have tried to coordinate cyber investigations and indictments against hackers from countries like North Korea, Russia, and Iran.

    To make the stunning announcement against Libya, Mueller joined FBI director William Sessions, DC US attorney Jay Stephens, and attorney general William Barr.

    “We charge that two Libyan officials, acting as operatives of the Libyan intelligence agency, along with other co-conspirators, planted and detonated the bomb that destroyed Pan Am 103,” Barr said. “I have just telephoned some of the families of those murdered on Pan Am 103 to inform them and the organizations of the survivors that this indictment has been returned. Their loss has been ever present in our minds.”

    At the same time, in Scotland, investigators there were announcing the same indictments.

    At the press conference, Barr listed a long set of names to thank—the first one he singled out was Mueller’s. Then, he continued, “This investigation is by no means over. It continues unabated. We will not rest until all those responsible are brought to justice. We have no higher priority.”

    From there, the case would drag on for years. ABC News interviewed the two suspects in Libya later that month; both denied any responsibility for the bombing. Marquise was reassigned within six months; the other investigators moved along too.

    Mueller himself left the administration when Bill Clinton became president, spending an unhappy year in private practice before rejoining the Justice Department to work as a junior homicide prosecutor in DC under then US attorney Eric Holder; Mueller, who had led the nation’s entire criminal division was now working side by side with prosecutors just a few years out of law school, the equivalent of a three-star military general retiring and reenlisting as a second lieutenant. Clinton eventually named Mueller the US attorney in San Francisco, the office where he’d worked as a young attorney in the 1970s.

    THE 10TH ANNIVERSARY of the bombing came and went without any justice. Then, in April 1999, prolonged international negotiations led to Libyan dictator Muammar Qaddafi turning over the two suspects; the international economic sanctions imposed on Libya in the wake of the bombing were taking a toll on his country, and the leader wanted to put the incident behind him.

    The final negotiated agreement said that the two men would be tried by a Scottish court, under Scottish law, in The Hague in the Netherlands. Distinct from the international court there, the three-judge Scottish court would ensure that the men faced justice under the laws of the country where their accused crime had been committed.

    Allowing the Scots to move forward meant some concessions by the US. The big one was taking the death penalty, prohibited in Scotland, off the table. Mueller badly wanted the death penalty. Mueller, like many prosecutors and law enforcement officials, is a strong proponent of capital punishment, but he believes it should be reserved for only egregious crimes. “It has to be especially heinous, and you have to be 100 percent sure he’s guilty,” he says. This case met that criteria. “There’s never closure. If there can’t be closure, there should be justice—both for the victims as well as the society at large,” he says.

    An old US military facility, Kamp Van Zeist, was converted to an elaborate jail and courtroom in The Hague, and the Dutch formally surrendered the two Libyans to Scottish police. The trial began in May 2000. For nine months, the court heard testimony from around the world. In what many observers saw as a political verdict, Al Megrahi was found guilty and Fhimah was found not guilty.

    With barely 24 hours notice, Marquise and victim family members raced from the United States to be in the courtroom to hear the verdict. The morning of the verdict in 2001, Mueller was just days into his tenure as acting deputy US attorney general—filling in for the start of the George W. Bush administration in the department’s No. 2 role as attorney general John Ashcroft got himself situated.

    That day, Mueller awoke early and joined with victims’ families and other officials in Washington, who watched the verdict announcement via a satellite hookup. To him, it was a chance for some closure—but the investigation would go on. As he told the media, “The United States remains vigilant in its pursuit to bring to justice any other individuals who may have been involved in the conspiracy to bring down Pan Am Flight 103.”

    The Scotbom case would leave a deep imprint on Mueller; one of his first actions as FBI director was to recruit Kathryn Turman, who had served as the liaison to the Pan Am 103 victim families during the trial, to head the FBI’s Victim Services Division, helping to elevate the role and responsibility of the FBI in dealing with crime victims.

    JUST MONTHS AFTER that 20th anniversary ceremony with Mueller at Arlington National Cemetery, in the summer of 2009, Scotland released a terminally ill Megrahi from prison after a lengthy appeals process, and sent him back to Libya. The decision was made, the Scottish minister of justice reported, on “compassionate grounds.” Few involved on the US side believed the terrorist deserved compassion. Megrahi was greeted as a hero on the tarmac in Libya—rose petals, cheering crowds. The US consensus remained that he should rot in prison.

    The idea that Megrahi could walk out of prison on “compassionate” ground made a mockery of everything that Mueller had dedicated his life to fighting and doing. Amid a series of tepid official condemnations—President Obama labeled it “highly objectionable”—Mueller fired off a letter to Scottish minister Kenny MacAskill that stood out for its raw pain, anger, and deep sorrow.

    “Over the years I have been a prosecutor, and recently as the Director of the FBI, I have made it a practice not to comment on the actions of other prosecutors, since only the prosecutor handling the case has all the facts and the law before him in reaching the appropriate decision,” Mueller began. “Your decision to release Megrahi causes me to abandon that practice in this case. I do so because I am familiar with the facts, and the law, having been the Assistant Attorney General in charge of the investigation and indictment of Megrahi in 1991. And I do so because I am outraged at your decision, blithely defended on the grounds of ‘compassion.’”

    That nine months after the 20th anniversary of the bombing, the only person behind bars for the bombing would walk back onto Libyan soil a free man and be greeted with rose petals left Mueller seething.

    “Your action in releasing Megrahi is as inexplicable as it is detrimental to the cause of justice. Indeed your action makes a mockery of the rule of law. Your action gives comfort to terrorists around the world,” Mueller wrote. “You could not have spent much time with the families, certainly not as much time as others involved in the investigation and prosecution. You could not have visited the small wooden warehouse where the personal items of those who perished were gathered for identification—the single sneaker belonging to a teenager; the Syracuse sweatshirt never again to be worn by a college student returning home for the holidays; the toys in a suitcase of a businessman looking forward to spending Christmas with his wife and children.”

    For Mueller, walking the fields of Lockerbie had been walking on hallowed ground. The Scottish decision pained him especially deeply, because of the mission and dedication he and his Scottish counterparts had shared 20 years before. “If all civilized nations join together to apply the rules of law to international terrorists, certainly we will be successful in ridding the world of the scourge of terrorism,” he had written in a perhaps too hopeful private note to the Scottish Lord Advocate in 1990.

    Some 20 years later, in an era when counterterrorism would be a massive, multibillion dollar industry and a buzzword for politicians everywhere, Mueller—betrayed—concluded his letter with a decidedly un-Mueller-like plea, shouted plaintively and hopelessly across the Atlantic: “Where, I ask, is the justice?”

    #USA #Libye #impérialisme #terrorisme #histoire #CIA #idéologie #propagande

  • UK sending Syrians back to countries where they were beaten and abused

    Refugees tell of being held in cages and even tortured in European countries including Hungary and Romania

    Britain is using EU rules to send asylum seekers from Syria and other countries back to eastern European states where they were beaten, incarcerated and abused, the Guardian has learned.

    Migrant rights groups and lawyers say the Home Office is using the rules to send people back to “police brutality, detention and beatings” in several European countries.

    The Guardian has spoken to refugees who were subjected to assaults as they travelled through Europe. The men tell of being held in “cages” in Hungary, waterboarded and handcuffed to beds by detention centre guards in Romania and beaten in Bulgaria.
    Britain is one of worst places in western Europe for asylum seekers
    Read more

    They now face being returned to those countries as, under the so-called Dublin law, asylum seekers are supposed to apply in their first EU country of entry.

    In 2015 more than 80,000 requests were made by EU countries for another government to take back an asylum seeker. The UK made 3,500 of these requests to countries around Europe, including Bulgaria, Romania, Italy and Hungary.

    The Home Office claims it should be entitled to assume that any EU country will treat asylum seekers properly.

    The charity Migrant Voice has collected testimony from several refugees who are fighting removal from the UK to other European countries. Nazek Ramadan, the director of the charity, said the men had been left traumatised by their journey and their subsequent treatment in the UK.

    “We know there are hundreds of Syrians in the UK who have fingerprints in other European countries,” said Ramadan. “Many no longer report to the Home Office because they are afraid of being detained and deported away from their family in the UK. Those who have been forcibly removed often end up destitute.

    “These are people who were abused in their home country, sometimes jailed by the regime there. Then they were imprisoned again in Europe. They feel that they are still living in a war zone, moving from one arrest and detention to another.”

    The law firm Duncan Lewis recently won a key case preventing forced removals back to Hungary because of the risk that people might be forced from there back to their country of origin.

    The firm is also challenging removals to Bulgaria because of what the UN refugee agency has described as “substandard” conditions there. A test case on whether Bulgaria is a safe country to send people back to is due to be heard by the court of appeal in November.

    The situation could get even more complex as an EU ban on sending asylum seekers back to Greece is due to be lifted on Wednesday after a six-year moratorium.

    Krisha Prathepan, of Duncan Lewis, said: “We intend to challenge any resumption of returns to Greece, as that country’s asylum system remains dysfunctional and the risk of refugees being returned from Greece to the very countries in which they faced persecution remains as high as ever.”

    The Home Office says it has no immediate plans to send refugees back to Greece, but is following European guidelines.

    “We have no current plans to resume Dublin returns to Greece,” a spokesperson said, citing among other reasons “the reception conditions in the country”.

    She added: “In April 2016, the high court ruled that transfer to Bulgaria under the Dublin regulation would not breach the European Convention on Human Rights. If there is evidence that Bulgaria is responsible for an asylum application, we will seek to transfer the application.”

    Mohammad Nadi Ismail, 32, Syrian

    Mohammad Nadi Ismail, a former Syrian navy captain, entered Europe via Bulgaria and Hungary, hoping to join his uncle and brother in Britain.

    In Bulgaria he was detained, beaten and humiliated. “They stripped us and made us stand in a row all naked. We had to bend over in a long line. Then they hit us on our private parts with truncheons.

    “They would wake us at night after they had been playing cards and drinking. Then they would come and hit us or kick us with their boots or truncheons.”

    One day he was released and took his chance to leave, walking for days to reach Hungary.

    But in Hungary he was locked up again. “They took us to a courtyard of a big building where there were five or six cages, about 8ft [2.4 metres] square. Most of the people were African. Some of them had been in there for four or five days. Luckily we Syrians were allowed out after one night and I headed for the UK.”

    In the UK Ismail met up with the family he hadn’t seen for three years and applied for asylum immediately.

    Then a letter came, saying his fingerprints had been found in Bulgaria and he would be returned. After a month in detention he now reports every two weeks, waiting and hoping that the UK will let him stay.

    “I will not go back to Bulgaria. I still have hope that I can stay here legally and rebuild my life with my family who have always supported me,” he said.

    ‘Dawoud’, 34, Iranian

    Dawoud (not his real name) was 28 when he fled Iran after his political activities had made him an enemy of the government. His brother and parents made it to the UK and were given refugee status.

    When he was told by border guards that he was in Romania he had no idea what that meant. “I had never even heard of this country,” he said. He was put in a camp where “water dripped through the electrics – we were electrocuted often. Children and families screamed. We lived in fear of the wild dogs who circled the camp, attacking and biting us. We were given no food; we had to go through bins in the town nearby for scraps.”

    He escaped once, to the Netherlands, but was sent back.

    “I experienced several beatings, on all parts of the body. There were people covered in blood and they were refused medical help. They even waterboarded me. I thought I would die.”

    Finally he managed to reach his mother, father and brother in the UK. For two years he has lived in hiding, too scared to apply for asylum for fear of being sent back to Romania. But a few months ago he finally reported to the Home Office. A letter informed him that a request had been made to Romania to take him back.

    Dawoud shakes as he talks about his fear of removal, saying: “When I hear people speak Romanian in the street it brings back my trauma. I once fell to the ground shaking just hearing someone speak. I will kill myself rather than go back.”

    Wael al-Awadi, 36, Syrian

    Wael travelled by sea to Italy and was detained on arrival in Sicily. “They hit us with their fists and sticks in order to make us give our fingerprints. Then they let us go. They gave us nothing, no accommodation, just told us: ‘Go where you like.’ So many Syrians were sleeping in the streets.”

    When he reached the UK he was detained for two months before friends helped him get bail. A year and a half later, when reporting at the Home Office, he was detained again and booked on to a plane to Italy.

    He refused to go and a solicitor got him out on bail. His appeal is due to be heard later this year. “I left Syria to avoid jail and detention and here I have been locked up twice,” he said. “I can’t understand it. Why can’t they look at me with some humanity? I am mentally so tired. My children call me from Syria but I can’t speak to them any more. It is too painful.”

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/mar/12/the-refugees-uk-wants-to-send-back-to-countries-where-they-were-abused?
    #réfugiés_syriens #UK #Angleterre #Dublin #asile #migrations #réfugiés #Bulgarie #Roumanie #Hongrie #Italie #renvois #expulsions #renvois_Dublin

  • Spain’s Supreme Court Upholds 1.6 Billion Euro Prestige Oil Spill Ruling – gCaptain
    https://gcaptain.com/spains-supreme-court-upholds-1-6-billion-euro-prestige-oil-spill-rulingspa


    The bow of the Prestige oil tanker floats above water moments before sinking in waters off northwestern Spain in this November 19, 2002 file photo. A Spanish court on November 13, 2013 found the crew and the government not guilty of responsibility in Spain’s Prestige disaster, a 2002 accident caused by a leaking tanker which coated the northwestern coastline with thousands of tonnes of oil.
    REUTERS/Paul Hanna (SPAIN – Tags: ENVIRONMENT DISASTER

    Spain’s Supreme Court upheld Thursday a lower court’s ruling that Spain is to be paid 1.6 billion euros in damages over the 2002 #Prestige oil spill.

    The definitive ruling confirms an earlier ruling handed down by a lower court in La Coruna, Galicia, where the oil spill occurred, in November 2017. France will also be awarded 61 million euros as its coastline was also impacted by the oil spill.

    The single-hulled oil tanker Prestige broke in half and sank off the northwestern coast of Spain after being denied a port of refuge after one of its tank was damaged in a storm.

    The wreck is estimated to have spilled some 63,000 tonnes of oil, which severely impacted Spain’s Galicia coast and closed some of the country’s richest fisheries. The oil spill is considered one of Europe’s worst-ever environmental disasters.

    Prestige’s captain, Apostolos Mangouras, was initially clear of criminal wrongdoing, but Spain’s Supreme Court in 2016 overruled and convicted Mangouras of recklessness resulting in catastrophic environmental damage. Mangouras was sentenced to two years in prison, and the ruling opened the door to damage claims against him and the insurer.

    #marée_noire

  • Caught in Russia-Ukraine storm: a cargo ship and tonnes of grain | Reuters
    https://ca.reuters.com/article/topNews/idCAKBN1O4128-OCATP


    Cranes and ships are seen in the Azov Sea port of Berdyansk, Ukraine November 30, 2018. Picture taken November 30, 2018.
    REUTERS/Gleb Garanich

    When the Island Bay cargo ship arrived from Beirut at the Kerch Strait, gateway to the Azov Sea, it sailed into a perfect storm of geopolitics and bad weather.

    The following day, Russia opened fire on three Ukrainian naval ships, impounded them and detained their sailors, some of them wounded. It then blocked the strait by putting a tanker underneath a new bridge it has built linking the Russian mainland to the Crimean peninsula it annexed from Ukraine in 2014.

    While the world digested the implications of the Nov. 25 incident, the most explosive clash in recent years, Russia said it had reopened the channel to the Azov Sea, which is shared by Russia and Ukraine.

    But Island Bay remained at anchor outside the strait, lashed by gale force winds and sleet, its hull icing over while cargo ships amassed on either side.

    On Monday, a week on, the captain reported seeing 20 vessels awaiting clearance to cross. Refinitiv data that day also showed 20 Ukraine-bound vessels held up at the strait since Nov. 25, with two others allowed through.

    Meanwhile, Island Bay’s cargo of 5,500 tonnes of wheat, destined for flour mills in Libya, waited in the Ukrainian port of Berdyansk.
    […]
    In Berdyansk’s port, where icy winds had recently ripped off the roof of a nearby shed, staff of stevedore company Ascet Shipping were reading the daily reports from the Island Bay with growing concern.

    Ascet loads almost a million tonnes of Ukrainian grain a year onto cargo ships in Berdyansk and was waiting to load the Island Bay; its size means each day of waiting time costs around $2,000-$2,500, Ascet’s chief executive, Denis Rusin, said.

    This has made Berdyansk an unpopular port in recent months.

    Ship owners do not want to go to Berdyansk,” said Rusin, whose clients include U.S. firm Cargill [CARG.UL], one of the world’s largest dry bulk and tank shipping companies. “Buyers are refusing to bet on passage.

  • Who writes history? The fight to commemorate a massacre by the Texas #rangers

    In 1918, a state-sanctioned vigilante force killed 15 unarmed Mexicans in #Porvenir. When their descendants applied for a historical marker a century later, they learned that not everyone wants to remember one of Texas’ darkest days.

    The name of the town was Porvenir, or “future.” In the early morning hours of January 28, 1918, 15 unarmed Mexicans and Mexican Americans were awakened by a state-sanctioned vigilante force of Texas Rangers, U.S. Army cavalry and local ranchers. The men and boys ranged in age from 16 to 72. They were taken from their homes, led to a bluff over the Rio Grande and shot from 3 feet away by a firing squad. The remaining residents of the isolated farm and ranch community fled across the river to Mexico, where they buried the dead in a mass grave. Days later, the cavalry returned to burn the abandoned village to the ground.

    These, historians broadly agree, are the facts of what happened at Porvenir. But 100 years later, the meaning of those facts remains fiercely contested. In 2015, as the centennial of the massacre approached, a group of historians and Porvenir descendants applied for and was granted a Texas Historical Commission (THC) marker. After a three-year review process, the THC approved the final text in July. A rush order was sent to the foundry so that the marker would be ready in time for a Labor Day weekend dedication ceremony planned by descendants. Then, on August 3, Presidio County Historical Commission Chair Mona Blocker Garcia sent an email to the THC that upended everything. Though THC records show that the Presidio commission had been consulted throughout the marker approval process, Garcia claimed to be “shocked” that the text was approved. She further asserted, without basis, that “the militant Hispanics have turned this marker request into a political rally and want reparations from the federal government for a 100-year-old-plus tragic event.”

    Four days later, Presidio County Attorney Rod Ponton sent a follow-up letter. Without identifying specific errors in the marker text, he demanded that the dedication ceremony be canceled and the marker’s production halted until new language could be agreed upon. Ponton speculated, falsely, that the event was planned as a “major political rally” for Beto O’Rourke with the participation of La Raza Unida founding member José Ángel Gutiérrez, neither of whom was involved. Nonetheless, THC History Programs Director Charles Sadnick sent an email to agency staff the same day: “After getting some more context about where the marker sponsor may be coming from, we’re halting production on the marker.”

    The American Historical Association quickly condemned the THC’s decision, as did the office of state Senator José Rodríguez, a Democrat whose district includes both Presidio County and El Paso, where the ceremony was to be held. Historians across the country also spoke out against the decision. Sarah Zenaida Gould, director of the Museo del Westside in San Antonio and cofounder of Latinos in Heritage Conservation, responded in an email to the agency that encapsulates the views of many of the historians I interviewed: “Halting the marker process to address this statement as though it were a valid concern instead of a dog whistle is insulting to all people of color who have personally or through family history experienced state violence.”

    How did a last-gasp effort, characterized by factual errors and inflammatory language, manage to convince the state agency for historic preservation to reverse course on a marker three years in the making and sponsored by a young Latina historian with an Ivy League pedigree and Texas-Mexico border roots? An Observer investigation, involving dozens of interviews and hundreds of emails obtained through an open records request, reveals a county still struggling to move on from a racist and violent past, far-right amateur historians sowing disinformation and a state agency that acted against its own best judgment.

    The Porvenir massacre controversy is about more than just the fate of a single marker destined for a lonely part of West Texas. It’s about who gets to tell history, and the continuing relevance of the border’s contested, violent and racist past to events today.

    Several rooms in Benita Albarado’s home in Uvalde are almost overwhelmed by filing cabinets and stacks of clipboards, the ever-growing archive of her research into what happened at Porvenir. For most of her life, Benita, 74, knew nothing about the massacre. What she did know was that her father, Juan Flores, had terrible nightmares, and that in 1950 he checked himself in to a state mental hospital for symptoms that today would be recognized as PTSD. When she asked her mother what was wrong with him, she always received the same vague response: “You don’t understand what he’s been through.”

    In 1998, Benita and her husband, Buddy, began tracing their family trees. Benita was perplexed that she couldn’t find any documentation about her grandfather, Longino Flores. Then she came across the archival papers of Harry Warren, a schoolteacher, lawyer and son-in-law of Tiburcio Jáquez, one of the men who was murdered. Warren had made a list of the victims, and Longino’s name was among them. Warren also described how one of his students from Porvenir had come to his house the next morning to tell him what happened, and then traveled with him to the massacre site to identify the bodies, many of which were so mutilated as to be virtually unrecognizable. Benita immediately saw the possible connection. Her father, 12 at the time, matched Warren’s description of the student.

    Benita and Buddy drove from Uvalde to Odessa, where her father lived, with her photocopied papers. “Is that you?” she asked. He said yes. Then, for the first time in 80 years, he began to tell the story of how he was kidnapped with the men, but then sent home because of his age; he was told that the others were only going to be questioned. To Benita and Buddy’s amazement, he remembered the names of 12 of the men who had been murdered. They were the same as those in Harry Warren’s papers. He also remembered the names of the ranchers who had shown up at his door. Some of those, including the ancestors of prominent families still in Presidio County, had never been found in any document.

    Talking about the massacre proved healing for Flores. His nightmares stopped. In 2000, at age 96, he decided that he wanted to return to Porvenir. Buddy drove them down an old mine road in a four-wheel-drive truck. Flores pointed out where his old neighbors used to live, even though the buildings were gone. He guided Buddy to the bluff where the men were killed — a different location than the one commonly believed by local ranchers to be the massacre site. His memory proved to be uncanny: At the bluff, the family discovered a pre-1918 military bullet casing, still lying on the Chihuahuan desert ground.

    Benita and Buddy began advocating for a historical marker in 2000, soon after their trip to Porvenir. “A lot of people say that this was a lie,” Buddy told me. “But if you’ve got a historical marker, the state has to acknowledge what happened.” Their efforts were met by resistance from powerful ranching families, who held sway over the local historical commission. The Albarados had already given up when they met Monica Muñoz Martinez, a Yale graduate student from Uvalde, who interviewed them for her dissertation. In 2013, Martinez, by then an assistant professor at Brown University, co-founded Refusing to Forget, a group of historians aiming to create broader public awareness of border violence, including Porvenir and other extrajudicial killings of Mexicans by Texas Rangers during the same period. The most horrific of these was La Matanza, in which dozens of Mexicans and Mexican Americans were murdered in the Rio Grande Valley in 1915.

    In 2006, the THC created the Undertold Markers program, which seemed tailor-made for Porvenir. According to its website, the program is designed to “address historical gaps, promote diversity of topics, and proactively document significant underrepresented subjects or untold stories.” Unlike the agency’s other marker programs, anyone can apply for an undertold marker, not just county historical commissions. Martinez’s application for a Porvenir massacre marker was accepted in 2015.

    Though the approval process for the Porvenir marker took longer than usual, by the summer of 2018 everything appeared to be falling into place. On June 1, Presidio County Historical Commission chair Garcia approved the final text. (Garcia told me that she thought she was approving a different text. Her confusion is difficult to understand, since the text was attached to the digital form she submitted approving it.) Martinez began coordinating with the THC and Arlinda Valencia, a descendant of one of the victims, to organize a dedication ceremony in El Paso.
    “They weren’t just simple farmers. I seriously doubt that they were just killed for no reason.”

    In mid-June, Valencia invited other descendants to the event and posted it on Facebook. She began planning a program to include a priest’s benediction, a mariachi performance and brief remarks by Martinez, Senator Rodríguez and a representative from the THC. The event’s climax would be the unveiling of the plaque with the names of the 15 victims.

    Then the backlash began.

    “Why do you call it a massacre?” is the first thing Jim White III said over the phone when I told him I was researching the Porvenir massacre. White is the trustee of the Brite Ranch, the site of a cross-border raid by Mexicans on Christmas Day 1917, about a month before the Porvenir massacre. When I explained that the state-sanctioned extrajudicial execution of 15 men and boys met all the criteria I could think of for a massacre, he shot back, “It sounds like you already have your opinion.”

    For generations, ranching families like the Brites have dominated the social, economic and political life of Presidio County. In a visit to the Marfa & Presidio County Museum, I was told that there were almost no Hispanic surnames in any of the exhibits, though 84 percent of the county is Hispanic. The Brite family name, however, was everywhere.

    White and others in Presidio County subscribe to an alternative history of the Porvenir massacre, centering on the notion that the Porvenir residents were involved in the bloody Christmas Day raid.

    “They weren’t just simple farmers,” White told me, referring to the victims. “I seriously doubt that they were just killed for no reason.” Once he’d heard about the historical marker, he said, he’d talked to everyone he knew about it, including former Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson and Mona Blocker Garcia.

    I visited Garcia at her Marfa home, an 1886 adobe that’s the same age as the venerable Marfa County Courthouse down the street. Garcia, 82, is Anglo, and married to a former oil executive whose ancestry, she explained, is Spanish and French Basque. A Houston native, she retired in the 1990s to Marfa, where she befriended the Brite family and became involved in local history. She told me that she had shared a draft text of the marker with the Brites, and they had agreed that it was factually inaccurate.

    Garcia cited a story a Brite descendant had told her about a young goat herder from Porvenir who purportedly witnessed the Christmas Day raid, told authorities about the perpetrators from his community and then disappeared without a trace into a witness protection program in Oklahoma. When I asked if there was any evidence that the boy actually existed, she acknowledged the story was “folklore.” Still, she said, “the story has lasted 100 years. Why would anybody make something like that up?”

    The actual history is quite clear. In the days after the massacre, the Texas Rangers commander, Captain J.M. Fox, initially reported that Porvenir residents had fired on the Rangers. Later, he claimed that residents had participated in the Christmas Day raid. Subsequent investigations by the Mexican consulate, the U.S. Army and state Representative J.T. Canales concluded that the murdered men were unarmed and innocent, targeted solely because of their ethnicity by a vigilante force organized at the Brite Ranch. As a result, in June 1918, five Rangers were dismissed, Fox was forced to resign and Company B of the Texas Rangers was disbanded.

    But justice remained elusive. In the coming years, Fox re-enlisted as captain of Company A, while three of the dismissed lawmen found new employment. One re-enlisted as a Ranger, a second became a U.S. customs inspector and the third was hired by the Brite Ranch. No one was ever prosecuted. As time passed, the historical records of the massacre, including Harry Warren’s papers, affidavits from widows and other relatives and witness testimony from the various investigations, were largely forgotten. In their place came texts like Walter Prescott Webb’s The Texas Rangers: A Century of Frontier Defense, which played an outsize role in the creation of the heroic myth of the Texas Rangers. Relying entirely on interviews with the murderers themselves, Webb accepted at face value Fox’s discredited version of events. For more than 50 years, Webb’s account was considered the definitive one of the massacre — though, unsurprisingly, he didn’t use that word.

    An Observer review of hundreds of emails shows that the state commission was aware of potential controversy over the marker from the very beginning. In an email from 2015, Executive Director Mark Wolfe gave John Nau, the chair of the THC’s executive committee, a heads-up that while the marker was supported by historical scholarship, “the [Presidio County Historical Commission] opposes the marker.” The emails also demonstrate that the agency viewed the claims of historical inaccuracies in the marker text made by Mona Blocker Garcia and the county commission as minor issues of wording.

    On August 6, the day before the decision to halt the marker, Charles Sadnick, the history programs director, wrote Wolfe to say that the “bigger problem” was the ceremony, where he worried there might be disagreements among Presidio County residents, and which he described as “involving some politics which we don’t want a part of.”

    What were the politics that the commission was worried about, and where were these concerns coming from? Garcia’s last-minute letter may have been a factor, but it wasn’t the only one. For the entire summer, Glenn Justice, a right-wing amateur historian who lives in a rural gated community an hour outside San Angelo, had been the driving force behind a whisper campaign to discredit Martinez and scuttle the dedication ceremony.

    “There are radicals in the ‘brown power’ movement that only want the story told of Rangers and [the] Army and gringos killing innocent Mexicans,” Justice told me when we met in his garage, which doubles as the office for Rimrock Press, a publishing company whose catalog consists entirely of Justice’s own work. He was referring to Refusing to Forget and in particular Martinez, the marker’s sponsor.

    Justice has been researching the Porvenir massacre for more than 30 years, starting when he first visited the Big Bend as a graduate student. He claims to be, and probably is, the first person since schoolteacher Harry Warren to call Porvenir a “massacre” in print, in a master’s thesis published by the University of Texas at El Paso in 1991. Unlike White and Garcia, Justice doesn’t question the innocence of the Porvenir victims. But he believes that additional “context” is necessary to understand the reasons for the massacre, which he views as an aberration, rather than a representatively violent part of a long history of racism. “There have never been any problems between the races to speak of [in Presidio County],” he told me.

    In 2015, Justice teamed up with former Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson and Sul Ross State University archaeologist David Keller on a privately funded excavation at the massacre site. He is working on a new book about the bullets and bullet casings they found — which he believes implicate the U.S. Army cavalry in the shooting — and also partnered with Patterson to produce a documentary. But they’d run out of money, and the film was taken over by noted Austin filmmaker Andrew Shapter, who pitched the project to PBS and Netflix. In the transition, Justice was demoted to the role of one of 12 consulting historians. Meanwhile, Martinez was given a prominent role on camera.

    Justice was disgruntled when he learned that the dedication ceremony would take place in El Paso. He complained to organizer Arlinda Valencia and local historical commission members before contacting Ponton, the county attorney, and Amanda Shields, a descendant of massacre victim Manuel Moralez.

    “I didn’t want to take my father to a mob scene,” Shields told me over the phone, by way of explaining her opposition to the dedication ceremony. She believed the rumor that O’Rourke and Gutiérrez would be involved.

    In August, Shields called Valencia to demand details about the program for the ceremony. At the time, she expressed particular concern about a potential Q&A event with Martinez that would focus on parallels between border politics and violence in 1918 and today.

    “This is not a political issue,” Shields told me. “It’s a historical issue. With everything that was going on, we didn’t want the ugliness of politics involved in it.” By “everything,” she explained, she was referring primarily to the issue of family separation. Benita and Buddy Albarado told me that Shields’ views represent a small minority of descendants.

    Martinez said that the idea of ignoring the connections between past and present went against her reasons for fighting to get a marker in the first place. “I’m a historian,” she said. “It’s hard to commemorate such a period of violence, in the midst of another ongoing humanitarian crisis, when this period of violence shaped the institutions of policing that we have today. And that cannot be relegated to the past.”

    After communicating with Justice and Shields, Ponton phoned THC Commissioner Gilbert “Pete” Peterson, who is a bank investment officer in Alpine. That call set in motion the sequence of events that would ultimately derail the marker. Peterson immediately emailed Wolfe, the state commission’s executive director, to say that the marker was becoming “a major political issue.” Initially, though, Wolfe defended the agency’s handling of the marker. “Frankly,” Wolfe wrote in his reply, “this might just be one where the [Presidio County Historical Commission] isn’t going to be happy, and that’s why these stories have been untold for so long.” Peterson wrote back to say that he had been in touch with members of the THC executive committee, which consists of 15 members appointed by either former Governor Rick Perry or Governor Greg Abbott, and that an email about the controversy had been forwarded to THC chair John Nau. Two days later, Peterson added, “This whole thing is a burning football that will be thrown to the media.”

    At a meeting of the Presidio County Historical Commission on August 17, Peterson suggested that the executive board played a major role in the decision to pause production of the marker. “I stopped the marker after talking to Rod [Ponton],” Peterson said. “I’ve spent quite a bit of time talking with the chairman and vice-chairman [of the THC]. What we have said, fairly emphatically, is that there will not be a dedication in El Paso.” Through a spokesperson, Wolfe said that the executive committee is routinely consulted and the decision was ultimately his.

    The spokesperson said, “The big reason that the marker was delayed was to be certain about its accuracy. We want these markers to stand for generations and to be as accurate as possible.”

    With no marker to unveil, Valencia still organized a small commemoration. Many descendants, including Benita and Buddy Albarado, chose not to attend. Still, the event was described by Jeff Davis, a THC representative in attendance, as “a near perfect event” whose tone was “somber and respectful but hopeful.”

    Most of THC’s executive committee members are not historians. The chair, John Nau, is CEO of the nation’s largest Anheuser-Busch distributor and a major Republican party donor. His involvement in the Porvenir controversy was not limited to temporarily halting the marker. In August, he also instructed THC staff to ask the Presidio historical commission to submit applications for markers commemorating raids by Mexicans on white ranches during the Mexican Revolution, which Nau described as “a significant but largely forgotten incident in the state’s history.”

    Garcia confirmed that she had been approached by THC staff. She added that the THC had suggested two specific topics: the Christmas Day raid and a subsequent raid at the Neville Ranch.

    The idea of additional plaques to provide so-called context that could be interpreted as justifying the massacre — or at the very least setting up a false moral equivalence — appears to have mollified critics like White, Garcia and Justice. The work on a revised Porvenir massacre text proceeded quickly, with few points of contention, once it began in mid-September. The marker was sent to the foundry on September 18.
    “It’s hard to commemorate such a period of violence, in the midst of another ongoing humanitarian crisis, when this period of violence shaped the institutions of policing that we have today.”

    In the end, the Porvenir descendants will get their marker — but it may come at a cost. Martinez called the idea of multiple markers “deeply unsettling” and not appropriate for the Undertold Marker program. “Events like the Brite Ranch raid and the Neville raid have been documented by historians for over a century,” she said. “These are not undertold histories. My concern with having a series of markers is that, again, it casts suspicion on the victims of these historical events. It creates the logic that these raids caused this massacre, that it was retribution for these men and boys participating.”

    In early November, the THC unexpectedly announced a dedication ceremony for Friday, November 30. The date was one of just a few on which Martinez, who was still planning on organizing several public history events in conjunction with the unveiling, had told the agency months prior that she had a schedule conflict. In an email to Martinez, Sadnick said that it was the only date Nau could attend this year, and that it was impossible for agency officials to make “secure travel plans” once the legislative session began in January.

    A handful of descendants, including Shields and the Albarados, still plan to attend. “This is about families having closure,” Shields told me. “Now, this can finally be put to rest.”

    The Albarados are livid that the THC chose a date that, in their view, prioritized the convenience of state and county officials over the attendance of descendants — including their own daughters, who feared they wouldn’t be able to get off work. They also hope to organize a second, unofficial gathering at the marker site next year, with the participation of more descendants and the Refusing to Forget historians. “We want people to know the truth of what really happened [at Porvenir],” Buddy told me, “and to know who it was that got this historical marker put there.”

    Others, like Arlinda Valencia, planned to stay home. “Over 100 years ago, our ancestors were massacred, and the reason they were massacred was because of lies that people were stating as facts,” she told me in El Paso. “They called them ‘bandits,’ when all they were doing was working and trying to make a living. And now, it’s happening again.”

    #mémoire #histoire #Texas #USA #massacre #assassinat #méxicains #violence #migrations #commémoration #historicisation #frontières #violence_aux_frontières #violent_borders #Mexique

  • Norwegian frigate collides with oil tanker off country’s coast, 8 injured (VIDEO) — RT World News
    https://www.rt.com/news/443399-tanker-frigate-incident-norway


    The Norwegian Navy frigate “KNM Helge Ingstad” after a collision with a tanker.
    ©NTB Scanpix- Marit Hommedal via REUTERS

    A Norwegian Navy frigate returning from a NATO exercise collided with an oil tanker off Norway’s coast. Eight people received light injuries in the incident while the warship started slowly sinking.
    The early morning collision, which involved the frigate KNM Helge Ingstad and the tanker Sola TS, happened off Norway’s western coast near an island chain on which the municipality of Øygarden is located.

    Unlike the warship, the tanker, which carries around 625,000 barrels of crude, was mostly undamaged in the incident and no signs of an oil spill were reported. The ship was still ordered to return to port for inspection.

    The frigate, which reportedly received a long tear in the hull’s starboard side, started to take on water and listed dangerously. A tank of helicopter fuel was damaged and leaked some of its content, local media say. The crew of 137 was ordered to abandon ship, which was moved closer to land to prevent it from capsizing.

    The incident also triggered the shut-down of several oil industry sites in the vicinity, including a North Sea crude export terminal, Norway’s largest gas processing plant and several offshore fields.

    • Pas d’infos précises,…

      Cette après-midi, la BBC sort des fuites sur les communications entre les deux navires avant la collision qui ont été enregistrées. Pas glorieux, semble-t-il pour la marine norvégienne. En tous cas, les dégâts sont impressionnants et l’échouage volontaire a très certainement évité un chavirage rapide que l’on voit se profiler sur la première vidéo, alors que le navire est déjà à la côte.

      Norway warship Helge Ingstad ’warned’ before collision - BBC News
      https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-46150048


      Chris Cavas — @CavasShips — 8 nov.
      Images of the damage caused to Norwegian frigate HELGE INGSTAD F313 from collision with tanker SOLA TS. Views are obviously before the ship partially sank. The below-water damage to the ship was more extensive than the photos can show.

      The tanker, which was heading northbound, contacted the frigate, heading southbound, to ask if they had a plan to safely pass them as they seemed to be on a collision course,” Kjetil Stormark, the editor of AldriMer.no told the BBC.
      Citing what he called key sources, he said: “The response was:We have everything under control.’”
      Lucky vessels
      The incident is undergoing investigation, both by the police and by the Accident Investigation Board Norway, officials told the BBC.
      Mr Stomark says that because the tanker was “slow, heavy and much larger”, it was the warship’s responsibility to move around it.

    • Version française, sans les informations sur les échanges radio.

      Frégate norvégienne : le point sur l’accident | Mer et Marine
      https://www.meretmarine.com/fr/content/fregate-norvegienne-le-point-sur-laccident


      Capture d’écran d’un direct de la télévision publique norvégienne
      © NRK

      C’est un accident spectaculaire qui risque bien de sceller le sort de la frégate norvégienne Helge Ingstad. À 3 heures 55 du matin, le pétrolier Sola TS a quitté le terminal pétrolier de Sture, près de Bergen, en direction du nord. Il était alors suivi du remorqueur Tenax. Huit minutes plus tard, le tanker entrait en collision avec le bâtiment de combat norvégien qui faisait route inverse. À 4 heures 50, la Marine norvégienne commençait l’évacuation des 137 membres d’équipage se trouvant à bord de la frégate, devenue incontrôlable.
       
      Heureusement, il n’y pas de victimes à déplorer pour les deux navires. Seuls huit marins de l’Helge Ingstad ont été légèrement blessés et c’est un miracle à la vue des images diffusées par les autorités. L’abordage a eu lieu sur tribord. Le pétrolier, probablement lourdement chargé de pétrole, a vu son écubier littéralement déchirer la coque de la frégate sur la moitié de sa longueur au niveau de la ligne de flottaison. Une importante voie d’eau n’a pas pu être maîtrisée. Sur les photos de la télévision publique norvégienne NRK1, on peut observer que le tanker a été très faiblement endommagé au niveau du bordé et de l’écubier tribord. Ce dernier est très proéminent sur ce bateau et est probablement renforcé pour soutenir son ancre et sa chaîne.

    • ça se confirme ; le centre de contrôle du trafic maritime avait également prévenu…

      Wrecked Norwegian Frigate Was Warned Prior to Collision
      https://www.maritime-executive.com/article/wrecked-norwegian-frigate-was-warned-prior-to-collision

      Prior to her collision with the Suezmax tanker Sola TS on Thursday, the Norwegian frigate KNM Helge Ingstad was repeatedly called over VHF, both by the approaching vessel and by the nearby Fedje VTS center, according to a new report. However, the bridge team on the frigate allegedly responded that they had the situation under control. The Ingstad and the Sola TS collided shortly thereafter. 

      Norwegian defense outlet Aldrimer first reported the radio exchange in an update Friday, citing “five sources” with independent knowledge of the accident.

      According to the report, the Sola TS spotted the Helge Ingstad visually shortly after departing the Sture petroleum terminal outside Bergen. The Ingstad was inbound, heading for the Haakonsvern Naval Base at Mathopen. The Sola’s bridge team called the Ingstad to determine her intentions. The Fedje VTS center also noted the situation and called the Ingstad repeatedly to warn that she was on a collision course. 

      Shortly after 0400 on Thursday, the two vessels collided. The impact tore a large hole in the Ingstad’s starboard side, spilling fuel, injuring eight crewmembers and rendering her unable to maneuver. Aldrimer’s sources reported that the Ingstad’s crew turned on her AIS transponder after the collision so that she could be easily located by rescuers, thereby corroborating the sudden appearance of her AIS signal on commercial tracking services shortly after the collision. 

      On Friday, Fedje Maritime Transport Center confirmed that it had played a role in a VHF exchange with the Ingstad. The Norwegian military declined requests for comment, citing an ongoing investigation.

    • Communiqué officiel de l’OTAN, le 8/11/18

      Allied Maritime Command - SNMG1 ship accident at sea
      https://mc.nato.int/media-centre/news/2018/snmg1-ship-accident-at-sea.aspx

      NORTHWOOD, United Kingdom (November 08, 2018) HNoMS Helge Ingstad was involved in a collision with the Maltese oil tanker Sola TS in Norwegian waters around 0400 this morning (8 Nov) while sailing inner Fjords for navigation training.

      Due to the damage to the frigate it was moved to a safe place and the crew was evacuated in a professional manner. There are no reports of damages or leaks from the oil tanker and no report of serious injuries, though eight crewmembers are being treated for minor injuries.

      The Norwegian Armed Forces are working with the Norwegian Coastal Authority to address the situation. The Norwegian frigate HNoMS Helge Ingstad is part of the Standing NATO Maritime Group One (SNMG1). The group was sailing in and around the Fjords, following their participation in exercise Trident Juncture 2018 which concluded on November 7th.
       
      The rest of SNMG1’s ships are positioned nearby at sea in the event that further assistance is required. The Norwegian Armed Forces Press Office has lead for further information, contact at +47 40 43 80 83, info@njhq.no.

    • Plan de situation, histoire de ne pas perdre la main ;-)
      https://drive.google.com/open?id=1t_JjDMYnt3uLCIBt3wotJxemMltL87uI

      On remarquera que le lieu de l’échouage est à un jet de caillou du terminal d’Equinor (ex-Statoil)

      source de la localisation de l’échouage :
      We Have Located The Precise Spot Where Norway’s Half Sunken Frigate Lies (Updated) - The Drive
      http://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/24795/we-have-located-the-precise-spot-where-norways-half-sunken-frigate-lies

    • Ça n’a pas trainé ! VesselTracker (l’autre site, celui que je n’utilise quasiment pas,…) a sorti l’animation basée sur les enregistrements AIS. La collision a lieu, sans doute, vers 0:18-0:19, le Helge Ingstad active son transpondeur AIS juste après. Le Vestbris manœuvre en catastrophe pour éviter le Solas TS

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=izbXbQ1Shmk

      EDIT : pour mémoire, les sources indiquent un délai de 8 minutes de temps réel entre l’appareillage du Solas et l’abordage.

    • À l’instant, l’intégralité des échanges en VHF entre Fedje, Sola et Helge Ingstad avec visualisation des positions de tous les bâtiments (y compris après la collision). En norvégien,…

      Le locuteur en norvégien du Sola TS, navire de l’armement grec Tsakos, sous pavillon maltais et dont l’équipage est certainement cosmopolite a de grandes chances d’être le pilote, basé justement au centre de contrôle du trafic de Fedje qui assure (de tous temps, dit WP) le service de pilotes pour le fjord de Bergen.

      VGTV - Hør samtalen mellom skipene

      https://www.vgtv.no/video/167055/hoer-samtalen-mellom-skipene

    • Les fuites quant aux échanges radio étaient fausses :
      – dès la prise de contact (laborieuse…) le pétrolier demande une manœuvre,
      – ce que la frégate annonce accepter, apparemment, sans qu’il se passe grand chose,
      – presque tout de suite après, le Solas TS réclame, fermement !, tourne ! sinon, c’est la collision.
      – le Helge Ingstad n’a jamais indiqué contrôler la situation. En fait, il ne dit rien… Après la collision, il dit qu’il essaye de contrôler la situation.

      Hør samtalen mellom skipene

      Fedje VTS, det er Sola TS,

      Sola TS, hør

      Ja, jeg hørte ikke navnet. Vet du hvilken båt som kommer mot oss her ?
      jeg har den litt på babord

      (10 secondes)

      Nei, det er en en… Jeg har ikke fått noen opplysninger on den.
      Den har ikke rapportert til meg.
      Jeg ser bare den dukker opp på skjermen her.
      Ingen opplysninger om den, nei, nei.
      Nei, okey.
      Nei (?)

      (43 secondes)

      Sola til VTS ?

      Ja

      Det er mulig det er « Helge Ingstad »
      Han kom inn nordfra en stund tilbake. Det er mulig det er han som kommer her.

      Helge Ingstad, hører du Sola TS ?

      Helge Ingstad

      Er det du som kommer her nå ?

      Ja det stemmer.
      Ta styrbord med en gang.
      Da går vi for nærme blokkene.

      Svinge styrbord, hvis det er du som kommer.
      Altså, du har…

      (7 secondes)

      Jeg har et par grader styrbord nå vi har passert eh…
      Passert eh…
      (?) styrbord

      Helge Hingstad, du må gjøre noe. Du begynner å nærme deg veldig.
      Helge Hingstad, drei !
      Det blir en kollisjon her da.
      (15 secondes)
      Det kan være en krigskip. Jeg traff den.

      Det er mottatt.

      (16 secondes)

      Det er tauebåten. Over.

      Ja, tauebåten er her, ja.

      Jeg tror vi bare må kalle ut de…
      De andre tauebåtene.
      Får se på skadene her.

      Heldigvis er det et sett med de da. Vi må jo se…

      (?)

      (25 secondes)

      Fedje VTS til Sola TS ?

      Sola TS hører.

      Har du kontakt med vår DD krigskip ?
      Ingen kontakt ?

      Hei, dette er Helge Ingstad.

      Hei, Helge Ingstad. Dette er VTS.
      Hører du meg ?

      Ja, så godt jeg klarer.
      (on entend l’alarme en fond…)
      Vi ligger da… like ved… nord for…
      Nord for Vetlefjorden.
      Har slått alarm. Prøver å få kontroll på situasjonen.

      Ja, er det du som har vært i kollisjonen der ved Sture ?

      Ja, det er korrekt.

      OK.
      Hvor mange personer har du ombord ?

      Vi har 134 personer ombord.

      OK.
      Gi meg status om situasjonen så snart som mulig, da.

      Ja, jeg skal gjøre det.

      Etter kollisjonen går Helge Ingstad inn mot land i rund 5 knop.

      Fedje VTS til Sola TS ?

      Sola TS svarer.

      Hvor mange personer har du ombord totalt ?

      (10 secondes)

      23

      Hvor mange passasjerer ?

      23

      23, ok, 2, 3

      Få en status av deg når du vet litt mer.

      Kan du gjenta ?

      Vi må få høre hvordan det går med deg etter hvert som du får litt mer oversikt.

      Det er ikke noe spesielt her.
      Vi går fram og sjekker på bauen, da. Så stoppet vi her.
      Forelopig så ser det bra ut, men vi må frem og se, vi vet jo ikke skadene der fremme.

      Ja, ok.

      Helge Ingstad til VTS ?
      (30 secondes)
      Helge Ingstad til VTS ?

      Ferje TS, KNM Helge Ingstad.

      Helge Ingstad til VTS ?

      Vi har en situasjon.
      Vi har gått på et ukjent objekt.
      Vi har ikke fremdrift.

      Helge Ingstad har ikke fremdrift ?

      De har vært i en kollisjon med Sola TS, forstår jeg.
      De driver inn mot land uten fremdrift.
      Har du gått på grunn ?

      Det er foreløpig litt løst fra min side, men vi trenger umiddelbar assistanse.

      Trenger umiddelbar assistanse.

      (?) rett fram.

      Vi skal se om vi kan få tak i en tauebåt.

      (?)

      Ajax, Ajax til VTS ?

      Trauebåten Ajax blir sendt fra terminalen med en gang.

      Ajax, Ajax, jeg gjentar.

      Ja Ferdje VTS til Ajax.

      (?) Helge Ingstad. Han ligger like nord for deres.
      Han ligger uten framdrift.

      (?)

      Helge Ingstad til VTS ?

      Helge Ingstad.

      Tauebåten Ajax fikk beskjed. Den er på vei.

      (?)

      Den (?) om mer enn tre minutter.

      Ajax, Ajax, KNM Ingstad K16.

      Ajax til VTS ?

      Helge Ingstad, Ajax.

      Ajax, KNM Helge Ingstad K16. Vi er på vei.

      Vi har ingen framdrift, vi går på noe anker.
      Vi trenger assistanse fra taeubåt.

      note (quelques à peu près de gg:translate) :
      • tauebåt, ce n’est pas « bateau-feu » mais remorqueur (tugboat)
      • framdrift / uten framdrift, ce n’est pas « progrès / sans progrès », mais propulsion / sans propulsion

    • Article de Defense News quelques heures après la diffusion des échanges. La présentation de ceux-ci souffrent toujours des à peu près des commentaires initiaux.

      Warnings and confusion preceded Norwegian frigate disaster : here’s what we know
      https://www.defensenews.com/naval/2018/11/11/warnings-and-confusion-preceded-norwegian-frigate-disaster-heres-what-w

      The Royal Norwegian Navy was dealt a devastating blow in the early morning hours of November 10 when one of its five capital Nansen-class frigates collided with a fully loaded oil tanker more than 10 times its size while returning NATO’s Trident Juncture exercise.

      The frigate Helge Ingstad lost steering and drifted at five knots onto the rocky shore near Norwegian port of Sture, north of Bergen, saving the ship from sinking in the Fjord, according to media reports. The crew of 137 was forced to abandon ship. Ingstad is now resting on its side on three points while crews move to secure it.

      The disaster has far-reaching consequences for the Norwegian Navy, which is facing the loss of one of its premier warfighting assets,

      This is a huge blow to the Norwegian navy,” said Sebastian Bruns, who heads the Center for Maritime Strategy and Security at the University of Kiel in northern Germany. The loss of the $400 million ship, which appeared likely, leaves the Norwegian Navy with a 20 percent cut to its most advanced class of ship, Burns said.

      The situation is made all the more painful as evidence mounts that Ingstad was repeatedly warned to alter course before the collision and failed to take corrective action to avoid the collision.

      Local media reported that the Maltese-flagged tanker Sola TS identified Ingstad and tried to avoid the disaster. The reports also revealed details that show that Ingstad did not have a firm grasp of the surface picture it was sailing into.

      The disaster developed quickly, with Ingstad transiting the channel inbound at 17 knots and Sola TS traveling outbound at 7 knots.

      Sola TS raised the Ingstad multiple times and was discussing the emerging danger with shore-based Central Station, according to the Norwegian paper Verdens Gang. The responses from Ingstad appear confused, at one point saying that if they altered the course it would take them too close to the shoals, which prompted Sola TS to respond that they had to do something or a collision would be unavoidable.

      Contributing to the confusion, the Ingstad appears to have been transiting with its Automatic Identification System switched off. That seems to have delayed recognition by central control and the other ships in the area that Ingstad was inbound and heading into danger, the account in VG seems to indicate.

    • Mon interprétation, au vu des échanges – et des dégâts provoqués par la collision (la capture de la visualisation de l’écran radar n’est pas vraiment lisible) : il semblerait que le Helge Ingstad après avoir accepté d’infléchir sa trajectoire vers la droite (à tribord) ait, en fait, viré vers sa gauche, d’où l’impact à tribord, au deux tiers de sa flottaison.

      On voit la déchirure provoquée par l’écubier, il n’est pas possible de savoir si le bulbe du pétrolier a entrainé des dégâts sous la flottaison. Sans doute, non puisque le Solas TS a pu reprendre sa route sans trop de problème et à vitesse normale.

      Sous le choc (17 noeuds entrant vs 7 noeuds sortant, presque 45 km/h de vitesse relative) le Helge Ingstad a pivoté sur sa droite est s’est retrouvé, désemparé, sans propulsion, ni gouvernail, à dériver vers la côte à 5 noeuds ; la manœuvre n’a pas du tout été délibérée, mais entièrement subie.

    • Il y a 3 jours, Le Figaro reprenait les éléments de langage de l’armée norvégienne, rien depuis. Quant au Monde, aucun signe de l’affaire ; la dernière mention de la frégate norvégienne est de janvier 2014, où elle opérait à Chypre dans le cadre du contrôle des livraisons d’armes chimiques en Syrie…

      Norvège : une frégate menace de couler après une collision
      http://www.lefigaro.fr/flash-actu/2018/11/08/97001-20181108FILWWW00059-norvege-7-blesses-legers-dans-une-collision-entre

      « La KNM Helge Ingstad a subi des dégâts au-dessus et en dessous de la ligne de flottaison. Les dégâts étaient tels que la frégate n’était plus stable et n’avait plus assez de capacité de flottaison », a déclaré Sigurd Smith, officier de la Marine norvégienne, lors d’une conférence de presse. « Il a par conséquent été décidé de l’échouer énergiquement sur le rivage », a-t-il expliqué. La Marine a refusé de se prononcer à ce stade sur les causes de la collision.

    • en Norvège, tout finit par des chansons,
      sur NRK, (vidéo sur FB, uniquement)
      https://www.facebook.com/NRK/videos/582039188932786

      Vi hadde en gang en båt,
      en feiende flott fregatt
      men plutsellig så gikk det galt en november-nat.

      å grøss og gru
      å grøss og gru
      Hva skjedde nu ?
      Jeg bare undres :
      Hva skjedde nu ?

      Fregatten Helge Ingstad så stolt og kry.
      Hal toppseil my boys, hit hoy,
      Kosta to milliarder da den var ny
      Hal toppseil my boys, hit hoy.

      Nå var hun på øvelse smekker og grå
      sonarer og radarer passet godt på
      men tankern med olje kom ut av det blå.
      Hal toppseil my boys, hit hoy,

      Hør skipsklokkens, klang
      noe galt er på gang
      men vi holder kursen som vi alt satt
      for dette er den norske marinen fregatt !
      Hal toppseil my boys, hit hoy,

    • Une version officieuse qui circule en défense de la marine norvégienne : le Sola TS n’était pas sur le rail du trafic sortant, il est plus à l’ouest. À quoi, il est répondu :
      • il venait d’appareiller, sa vitesse n’était que de 5 noeuds, alors que le flux sortant était à 10 noeuds,
      • pour appareiller, vu la situation, il a besoin de l’autorisation du centre de contrôle du trafic (Fedje VTS)

      … qui lui a, sans doute, été accordée (ce n’est pas dit). Et c’est là, que l’absence d’information AIS prend toute son importance. L’écho radar était visible, mais pas l’identification, ni la vitesse (17 noeuds, ce qui n’est pas rien dans un détroit (un fjord, en fait,…) Le centre de contrôle ne devait certainement pas suivre manuellement (à l’ancienne !…) l’écho radar, se reposant sur les informations visualisées.

      Sjøoffiser mener at tankskipet « Sola TS » hadde feil kurs før ulykken – NRK Norge – Oversikt over nyheter fra ulike deler av landet
      https://www.nrk.no/norge/sjooffiser-mener-at-tankskipet-_sola-ts_-hadde-feil-kurs-for-ulykken-1.14290245

      Hvorfor « Sola TS » ikke legger seg på samme linje som den andre trafikken, er ikke klart. Det er noe som besetningen om bord og losen sannsynligvis kan forklare.
      […]
      Den andre trafikken var skip som hadde større hastighet enn « Sola TS ». Ut fra AIS-data så er det klart at disse måtte vike dersom tankskipet hadde fortsatt mer mot øst før det tok svingen mot nord.

      […]

      – Tankskip som skal forlate en terminal kaller opp trafikksentralen med informasjon om at de er klar for avgang, og angir seilingsrute. Deretter blir det gitt seilingsklarering dersom det ikke er noe hinder for dette, skriver regiondirektør John Erik Hagen i Kystverket i en generell kommentar til NRK.

    • DN : Berging av fregatten « Helge Ingstad » kan koste opptil 300.000 kroner per dag - Forsvaret - Næringsliv - E24
      http://e24.no/naeringsliv/forsvaret/dn-berging-av-fregatten-helge-ingstad-kan-koste-opptil-300-000-kroner-per-dag/24490783

      Trondheim-selskapet Boa Management har fått oppdraget å løfte havarerte KNM «Helge Ingstad» på lekter og frakte båten til verft. Det melder Dagens Næringsliv.

      Skipsmeglere avisen har kontaktet anslår med noen forbehold at det kan koste 30.000-35.000 dollar per dag å leie inn taubåt og lekter som trengs for jobben. Altså mellom 250.000 og 300.000 kroner.

    • Le texte d’Aldrimer.no repris ci-dessus par la NRK.
      KNM Helge Ingstad fryktet å gå på grunn ‹ aldrimer.no
      https://www.aldrimer.no/knm-helge-ingstad-fryktet-a-ga-pa-grunn

      Il contient une vidéo d’animation des trajectoires AIS plus claire, avec un champ plus large.
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f6I1twpZVIY

      elle permet de suivre, p. ex. la trajectoire de l’Ajax qui a aidé à l’appareillage du Sola TS et qui repart immédiatement, comme on l’entend dans la transcription VHF, à la demande de Fedje VTS, dès l’abordage. Son trajet permet, en creux de suivre celui du KNM Helge Ingstad, sur laquelle viennent s’agglutiner les remorqueurs. Malgré la localisation AIS, du navire de guerre de l’OTAN, F313 qui apparaît brusquement (à 0’09"), après la collision, derrière le Sola pour ne plus bouger ensuite, la MàJ de la position ne se faisant plus.

    • RIP KNM Helge Ingstad !


      A shipwrecked Norwegian navy frigate “KNM Helge Ingstad” is seen in this Norwegian Coastal Administration handout picture in Oygarden, Norway, November 13, 2018.
      Jakob Ostheim/Norwegian Coastal Administration/Handout vis REUTERS

      Norwegian frigate now nearly submerged after collision
      https://www.reuters.com/article/us-norway-accident/norwegian-frigate-now-nearly-submerged-after-collision-idUSKCN1NI10Z


      A shipwrecked Norwegian navy frigate “KNM Helge Ingstad” is seen in this Norwegian Coastal Administration handout picture in Oygarden, Norway, November 13, 2018.
      Jakob Ostheim/Norwegian Coastal Administration/Handout vis REUTERS

      A Norwegian navy frigate that collided with an oil tanker last week was almost completely submerged on Tuesday despite efforts to salvage the sinking vessel, pictures taken by the Norwegian Coastal Administration showed.

      The ship’s plight off the Norwegian coast is, however, not disrupting the nearby Sture crude oil export terminal. “We are in normal operations,” said a spokeswoman for the plant’s operator, Equinor.

      The Norwegian military has been working since Thursday to salvage the ship by tethering it with several cables to the shore. Some of these had broken.

      The ship sunk a meter further and, as a result, two wires broke. They were replaced with two stronger ones. We worked until midnight on this. After midnight, we realized it was not safe for our staff to carry on the work further,” said Haavard Mathiesen, the head of the salvage operation for the Norwegian Defence Materiel Agency.

      Around 0600 (0500 GMT), more wires broke and the ship sank further. It is now in deep water and stable,” he told a news conference.

      The ship was stranded off Norway’s west coast early last Thursday after it collided with the tanker that had left the Sture terminal. The facility was shut for several hours as a result.

      Eight Navy staff, out of a total crew of 137, were slightly injured in the incident.

    • L’édito de gCaptain.
      Pas de piste, pas d’hypothèse, un appel à la vigilance.

      Who Sunk The Battleship ? – gCaptain
      https://gcaptain.com/who-sunk-the-battleship

      Again. There was a collision at sea again.
      […]
      Take the time to read up on this seemingly textbook collision. Think about the other maritime incidents that have happened recently. Don’t think that these accidents only happen to other people – it only takes one misstep between a near miss and a catastrophe.

      Take away what you’ve observed from this – discuss it with your colleagues. Find ways to ever be improving. Awareness, procedures, re-design from lessons learned.

      Fair winds and following seas – if not that a strong hull and a cautious mariner.

      Note : la première partie de la dernière phrase est traditionnelle, la suite moins.
      https://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/NHC/fairwinds.htm

    • L’amiral commandant les forces navales états-uniennes en Europe était à bord de la frégate. C’est lui qui était le responsable de l’exercice OTAN Trident Juncture

      Amerikansk offiser om bord da « Helge Ingstad » kolliderte - Bergens Tidende
      https://www.bt.no/article/bt-VRJjWV.html

      TOPPADMIRAL: Sjefen for de amerikanske marinestyrkene i Europa, admiral James G. Foggo III, var om bord på KNM «Helge Ingstad» fire dager før ulykken. Etter ulykken har Havarikommisjonen sendt en henvendelse til Foggos styrke. De vil ikke si hvorfor.
      FOTO: MARIUS VÅGENES VILLANGER / FORSVARET

      Amerikansk offiser om bord da Helge Ingstad kolliderte
      En amerikansk marineoffiser var om bord på KNM Helge Ingstad da det smalt, bekrefter Forsvarsdepartementet. Offiserens rolle blir nå etterforsket.

      James G. Foggo III - Wikipedia
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_G._Foggo_III

      James “Jamie” Gordon Foggo III (born September 2, 1959) is a United States Navy admiral who currently serves as commander of U.S. Naval Forces Europe while concurrently serving as the commander of U.S. Naval Forces Africa and commander of Allied Joint Force Command Naples.
      […]
      25 October to 7 November 2018, admiral Foggo is responsible for conducting the NATO exercise Trident Juncture.

    • De mauvais esprits font remarquer la très faible efficacité (!) des travaux entrepris tout de suite après l’échouage pour empêcher le naufrage de la frégate…

      La glissade au fond a englouti les composants à forte valeur qui étaient initialement récupérables (radar Aegis et système électronique hypersophistiqués, idem pour la propulsion par turbine)
      (on remarquera sur la photo ci-dessous qu’il en va à peu près de même pour le dispositif anti-pollution à en juger par les irisations de chaque côté des barrages flottants…)

      Lokale selskaper bak mislykket « Helge Ingstad »-sikring - VG
      https://www.vg.no/nyheter/innenriks/i/EoryO2/lokale-selskaper-bak-mislykket-helge-ingstad-sikring

      Ifølge Forsvaret ble den beste kompetansen i Norge hentet inn da bergingen av KNM « Helge Ingstad » ble satt i gang. Kritikere sier arbeidet fremstår uprofesjonelt. Nå står milliardfregatten under vann, og er i fare for å gli videre ut på dypet.

      Therese RidarMagnus NewthOda Leraan Skjetne
      Publisert:16.11.18 21:15

      Da KNM « Helge Ingstad » ble grunnstøtt etter kollisjonen forrige uke, ble fregatten sikret med ti stålvaiere festet til land. Sikringsjobben var ferdig lørdag morgen. Slik lå skipet fram til mandag kveld, da vaierne foran på skipet begynte å ryke. Tirsdag morgen hadde alle festepunktene foran på fartøyet røket, og « Helge Ingstad » sank nesten helt under vann.

      Den mislykkede sikringen av fregatten til en verdi av fire milliarder har fått hard kritikk i ettertid.

    • Voici donc mon #Thread concernant l’accident du #HelgeIngstad, cette frégate que la Norvège a perdu sans combattre il y a une semaine..

      François Narolles @FNarolles
      https://twitter.com/FNarolles/status/1063493033969287170

      signalé par @unagi, https://seenthis.net/messages/736408#message736413

      Mon analyse est très voisine, mais j’aurais tendance à augmenter la responsabilité du centre de contrôle du trafic.

      • la frégate va vite, très vite, trop vite : 17 noeuds, c’est pratiquement le double de la vitesse de l’ensemble des bateaux environnants, la vitesse de rapprochement est donc de 44 km/h, soit 11 m/s
      • son AIS est éteint, alors que le navire est en vue des côtes, dans un trafic dense, ça n’a pratiquement que des inconvénients (c’est une des conclusions des analyses des accidents des destroyers de la marine états-unienne l’année dernière). D’un autre côté, on comprend que l’état-major soit réticent à ce que tout le monde (y compris les méchants) puisse connaître en une connexion à MarineTraffic ou VesselFinder la position des navires de sa flotte, du moins ceux qui sont en eaux côtières

      • le centre de contrôle du trafic échoue totalement dans sa mission et commet une très lourde faute. Quand le pétrolier lui demande qui il a en face de lui, le VTS ne le sait pas d’emblée. C’est proprement ahurissant. Il est probable que cela vient du fait que le suivi des navires se fait uniquement sur la base de l’AIS ; position, cap et vitesse sont affichés automatiquement. Il n’y a probablement pas (ou alors pas au même endroit) de suivi manuel du navire sans AIS ; celui-ci mobilise une charge mentale intense, une grande concentration et génère un stress non négligeable (souvenirs précis de service militaire en Iroise,…)
      • d’après ce que j’ai lu, le VTS doit autoriser l’appareillage des navires du port pétrolier. Si c’est exact, alors il a donné un clear pour une situation qui ne l’était pas du tout et était hautement problématique. En demandant de retarder l’appareillage d’une demi-heure, ça laissait le temps à la frégate de défiler et de dégager le terrain

      • je ne vois pas trop ce que le Sola TS aurait pu faire d’autre, il est à 5 noeuds, en phase d’accélération pour atteindre les 10 noeuds qui lui permettront de s’injecter dans le rail sortant, ce qui fait qu’il est décalé vers l’ouest par rapport à ce rail, fermant une partie du passage pour le Helge Ingstad. Ses capacités de manoeuvre sont très limitées, c’est d’ailleurs pour ça qu’il a toujours un remorqueur au cul (le Tenax).
      • sans doute, lui aussi, pouvait (aurait pu…) maintenir une veille radar et suivre les échos, y compris sans AIS, – cf. supra – mais, il est possible que son radar ait été masqué par les structures du port et, donc, que la frégate n’ait pas été perçue au départ du quai (par ailleurs, elle était encore « loin ») et, surtout, c’est normalement le boulot du VTS.

      À mon sens, à partir du moment où le pétrolier a appareillé, la situation est plus que problématique et il aurait fallu un enchaînement exceptionnel pour éviter la catastrophe (perception ultra-rapide de la situation et de sa gravité, manoeuvre sans hésitation de la frégate dès la prise de contact radio).

    • Le rapport préliminaire d’enquête de la commission norvégienne d’enquête. On peut saluer la performance et la transparence : moins d’un mois après l’événement !

      Investigation of marine accident, collision outside the Sture Oil Terminal in Hjeltefjorden, Norway | aibn
      https://www.aibn.no/Marine/Investigations/18-968

      On the morning of Thursday 8 November 2018, the Accident Investigation Board Norway (AIBN) was informed of a collision between the frigate ’KNM Helge Ingstad’ and the Maltese registered tanker ’Sola TS’ in Hjeltefjorden, outside the Sture terminal in Øygarden Municipality in Hordaland County, Norway. The AIBN contacted the Defence Accident Investigation Board Norway (DAIBN) and it was decided to initiate a joint investigation into the accident, led by the AIBN. The AIBN then contacted the Marine Safety Investigation Unit of Malta (MSIU), which is also a participating party in the investigation; cf. Chapter 18 Section 474 of the Norwegian Maritime Code.

      29 November 2018 the AIBN publishes a preliminary report on the accident and two interim safety recommendations. This preliminary report is published to communicate the information obtained during the initial phase of the ongoing investigation. The purpose is to provide a brief update on how the investigation is progressing as well as a preliminary description of the sequence of events and disseminate safety-critical issues identified at this stage of the investigation. This preliminary report also identifies areas that need further investigation and describes lines of investigation that will be followed up.

      En lien, deux pdf
      • Preliminary report 29.11.201
      • Appendix : Interim safety recommendations 29.11.2018

    • De très utiles précisions :
      • le Sola TS avait laissé ses feux de ponts allumés le rendant difficile à distinguer des lumières du terminal pétrolier dont il s’éloignait doucement et ne permettant pas le repérage rapide de ses feux de navigation et donc la lecture de sa trajectoire
      • dans la version de la passerelle du KNM Helge Ingstad où venait de s’effectuer la passation de quart, cette masse lumineuse a été prise pour un obstacle fixe non identifié et c’est cette perception qui justifie l’absence de manoeuvre d’évitement vers la droite, justement pour éviter de percuter cet obstacle fixe

    • À noter surtout dans les recommandations préliminaires la mention d’un grave défaut de conception de ces frégates (et peut-être d’autres issues des chantiers espagnols Navantia.

      En effet, les dégâts provoqués par la collision ont noyé 3 compartiments étanches mettant en péril la stabilité du bâtiment mais lui permettant de se maintenir à flot, conclusion initiale à bord, conforme aux documents décrivant la stabilité du navire, ceux-ci mentionnant que l’envahissement d’un quatrième compartiment entrainait la perte du bâtiment.

      Or, l’eau s’est rapidement infiltré dans un quatrième compartiment en passant par les passages des arbres d’hélice, puis aux autres compartiments à travers les cloisons.

      To start with, flooding occurred in three watertight compartments on board KNM Helge Ingstad: the aft generator room, the orlob deck’s crew quarters and the stores room. There was some uncertainty as to whether the steering engine room, the aftmost compartment, was also filling up with water. Based on this damage, the crew, supported by the vessel’s stability documents, assessed the vessel as having ’poor stability’ status, but that it could be kept afloat. If more compartments were flooded, the status would be assessed as ’vessel lost’ on account of further loss of stability.

      Next, the crew found that water from the aft generator room was running into the gear room via the hollow propeller shafts and that the gear room was filling up fast. From the gear room, the water then ran into and was flooding the aft and fore engine rooms via the stuffing boxes in the bulkheads. This meant that the flooding became substantially more extensive than indicated by the original damage. Based on the flooding of the gear room, it was decided to prepare for evacuation.

      The AIBN considers the vessel’s lack of watertight integrity to be a safety issue relating to Nansen-class frigates and therefore issues the following two safety alerts.

    • Early report blames confused watchstanders, possible design flaws for Norway’s sunken frigate
      https://www.defensenews.com/naval/2018/11/29/early-report-blames-confused-watchstanders-possible-design-flaws-for-no

      In a statement to Defense News, Navantia spokesperson Esther Benito Lope stressed that the report is “very preliminary” and that the company has offered to work with Norway on the investigation.

      Navantia has offered, since the very beginning, its collaboration with the [Royal Norwegian Navy] in order to clarify the accident,” Benito Lope said. “Navantia will analyze all the possibilities, considering that some of the mentioned possibilities … are concluded from a very preliminary investigation.

      The statement went on to say that the company has not received any official notice or fielded any consultations about the cause of the accident.

      Navantia has not received any official communication, neither any consults about possible causes, nor participated in any action … in Norway,” Benito Lope wrote.

    • Navy divers arrive at KNM «Helge Ingstad» - Norway Today
      http://norwaytoday.info/news/navy-divers-arrive-at-knm-helge-ingstad

      The vessel is not lifted anytime soon. The vessel is filled with nearly 10,000 cubic meters of seawater, and a large part of this must be pumped out first, the Project Manager for the Salvage Operation, Commander Captain Arild Øydegard tells VG.

      We have great lifting capacity, but not to lift both a vessel of about 5,000 deadweight tonnes and another 10,000 metric ton of seawater. So this we have to get rid of underway – we have estimated that we might have 500 cubic metres left when we lift it up, he says.
      […]
      There is still no final decision as to whether the Frigate may be repaired. According to VG, two working groups have been established to assess that question; one who will try to salvage the material on board and one who is planning a possible repairing.

      Øydegard announces that the hull is relatively intact, except for the 45-metre tear that the Frigate sustained in the collision with «Sola TS».

      We have damage to the rudder and such, but this is a warship which hull has tolerated the stresses so far, Øydegard explains.

    • Grave problème d’étanchéité d’une frégate norvégienne construite par Navantia
      https://www.latribune.fr/entreprises-finance/industrie/aeronautique-defense/grave-probleme-d-etancheite-d-une-fregate-norvegienne-construite-par-navan

      Le Bureau d’enquête sur les accidents de la Norvège a identifié dans un rapport préliminaire des « problèmes de sécurité critiques », qui nécessitent une « attention immédiate ». Notamment des problèmes d’étanchéité entre les compartiments de la frégate KNM Helge Ingstad construite en 2009 par Navantia.

      Coup dur pour Navantia. Après la collision le 8 novembre entre une frégate norvégienne, un bâtiment moderne d’environ 5.000 tonnes construit par le chantier naval espagnol, et le pétrolier maltais Sola TV, le Bureau d’enquête sur les accidents de la Norvège (AIBN) a identifié dans un rapport préliminaire public daté du 29 novembre, des « problèmes de sécurité critiques », qui nécessitent une « attention immédiate ». L’AIBN a affirmé que le manque d’étanchéité entre les compartiments des frégates de la classe Nansen, est l’un de ces problèmes de sécurité. Il a déjà émis deux alertes de sécurité en attendant de poursuivre une enquête plus approfondie.

    • Frégate HNoMS Helge Ingstad : un rapport de la marine espagnole remet en cause la version norvégienne | Le portail des sous-marins
      https://www.corlobe.tk

      #C’était_à_prévoir : les critiques adressées au constructeur Navantia par le rapport préliminaire du bureau norvégien d’enquêtes sur les accidents maritimes ne passent pas en Espagne. La marine espagnole a rédigé son propre rapport qui dédouane complètement Navantia et conclut qu’une erreur humaine a été la cause principale de l’accident de la frégate Helge Ingstad.

      Ce rapport remet en cause la version des autorités norvégiennes : la semaine dernière, le bureau norvégien d’enquêtes sur les accidents maritimes avait pointé du doigt le chantier naval espagnol. Selon le rapport espagnol, « il existe des preuves claires que les dommages initiaux ont touché 4 compartiments étanches, et des indices que 5 aient été réellement endommagés dans la collision, ce qui dépasse les critères de survie fixés pour ce navire. »

      Le rapport interne de la marine espagnole explique que « la longueur de la déchirure visible sur les photos est de 15% de la longueur à la ligne de flottaison (18,2 m), soit 3 tranches contigües inondées. »

      Il ajoute aussi que l’avarie pourrait avoir aussi touché d’autres compartiments. « L’analyse des images indique que, probablement, sous la ligne de flottaison, un 4è compartiment étanche ait été éventré. »

      Pour la marine espagnole, une erreur humaine est la seule cause de l’accident. Une suite d’erreurs ont été commises : navigation à vitesse excessive (environ 17 nœuds), non-utilisation de l’AIS, non-respect du règlement international de prévention des abordages en mer, et non-prise en compte des avertissements du pétrolier.

      Le rapport conclut que « aucun navire ayant des caractéristiques similaires à la frégate n’aurait été capable de contrôler la voie d’eau et d’éviter le naufrage ».

      Remarque : que la cause de l’accident soit une erreur humaine ne fait guère de doute, ce qui est en cause est la suite, l’issue finale de l’accident : le naufrage…

    • Integrity of Nansen-class frigates questioned by Helge Ingstad investigation | Insurance Marine News
      https://insurancemarinenews.com/insurance-marine-news/integrity-of-nansen-class-frigates-questioned-by-helge-ingstad-

      Meanwhile, during the weekend of December 1st and 2nd, the Coastal Administration continued monitoring the Helge Ingstad with daily inspections of the oil spill equipment. Patrol boat Bergen and anti-pollution vessel Utvær were in the area and had collected about 50m3 of oil mixture by December 1st. In total, about 90m3 of diesel mixed with water had been recovered by the Utvær.

  • Bolsonaro’s victory and the debacle of Brazil’s Workers Party - World Socialist Web Site

    https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2018/10/31/pers-o31.html

    Bolsonaro’s victory and the debacle of Brazil’s Workers Party
    31 October 2018

    The election last Sunday of Jair Bolsonaro, the fascistic and buffoonish former army captain and seven-term federal legislator from Rio de Janeiro, poses a serious threat to the working class in Brazil and throughout Latin America.

    Having won 55 percent of the vote—compared to 44 percent for his opponent, Workers Party (Partido dos Trabalhadores–PT) candidate Fernando Haddad—Bolsonaro has already begun to assemble what will unquestionably be the most right-wing Brazilian government since the end of the two-decade-long military dictatorship that came to power in a US-backed coup in 1964.

    #brésil

  • Photos : Oil Spills After Tunisian Ferry T-Bones Anchored Containership in Mediterranean – gCaptain
    https://gcaptain.com/photos-oil-spills-after-tunisian-ferry-t-bones-anchored-containership-in-m


    photo : Préfecture maritime de la Méditerranée

    Authorities in France and Italy are responding to a major oil slick after a ferry collided with an anchored containership in the Mediterranean Sea off the island of Corsica.

    The collision occurred Sunday morning when the Tunisian roll-on/roll-off ferry Ulysses collided broadside with the Cypriot registered containership CLS Virginia approximately 17 miles (28 km) north of Cape Corsica. 

    The collision caused a breach of the containership’s hull measuring several meters and resulting in the release of bunker fuel.

    An oil slick measuring 20 km long by several hundred meters wide has been observed moving to the northwest, moving away from Corsica, according to France’s Maritime Prefecture for the Mediterranean.

    Photos show the bow of the ferry embedded in the starboard side of the containership, which is not loaded with any containers.

  • Vandalism forces New Zealand council to remove Captain Cook statue

    A year ahead of 250th anniversary of explorer’s arrival, monument will be replaced by ‘cultural designs’

    A statue of Captain Cook in New Zealand that has been repeatedly defaced and daubed with graffiti is to be removed by the council a year out from the 250-year anniversary of his arrival in the country.

    The statue of Cook in Gisborne has been repeatedly targeted by vandals amid a heated debate about the portrayal of the town’s complex colonial history.

    The Cook statue has had red paint smeared on its face and coat, and a bikini and a pair of thongs have also been painted on.

    With the 250th anniversary of Cook’s landing in New Zealand only a year away, tensions are high in the city which lies 350km south-east of Auckland.

    Many residents have posted on social media describing Cook as a “murderer” and “crooked Cook”.

    Cook and the crew of the Endeavour landed in Gisborne’s Poverty Bay in 1769 and the first significant meetings of Europeans and Māori took place nearby.

    Nick Tupara, spokesman for the #Ngati_Oneone tribe, said according to historical records, Cook’s crew shot nine #Maori men of his tribe, including Tupara’s ancestors. Six of the men are believed to have died.

    Ngati Oneone has long opposed having the controversial statue of Cook placed on the sacred mountain of #Titirangi, and on Monday the #Gisborne district council said it would be moved to the Tairawhiti Museum instead.

    The council said the mountain would now be adorned with “iwi [tribal] stories and cultural design elements can be shared from this significant location”.

    The council would also consult with the local community regarding the renaming of the Cook Plaza on top of Titirangi, as well as various walking tracks and sites on the mountain.

    Meredith Akuhata-Brown, a local councillor, told Maori Television the removal of the statue would allow a more nuanced and “honest” story about New Zealand’s history to emerge.

    Discussions are under way in the Gisborne region for Poverty Bay – so named by Cook in 1769 – to be replaced by its Māori name, or given a dual name.
    Advertisement

    Akuhata described the name of Poverty Bay as “horrendous” and said it was particularly painful as the region had numerous social and economical challenges it was working to overcome.

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/oct/02/vandalism-forces-new-zealand-council-to-remove-captain-cook-statue?CMP=
    #mémoire #Cook #Nouvelle_Zélande #post-colonialisme #vandalisme #histoire #colonialisme #James_Cook #musée #espace_public #toponymie (même si je ne sais pas si la place s’appelle Cook, mais c’est pour retrouver l’article) #peuples_autochtones
    ping @reka

    • Il faudrait que je retrouve le nom d’un film superbe (australien je crois) qui mets en scène aborigènes et communautés allochtones, et dans lequel une actrice aborigène lance l’insulte suprême « Tu n’es qu’un fils batard du capitaine Cook ! »

  • Israel’s forgotten hero: The assassination of Count Bernadotte - and the death of peace
    He was charged by the UN with bringing peace to Palestine– but died at the hands of Jewish assassins. Now, 60 years after his death, the memory of the Swedish aristocrat Folke Bernadotte is dividing Israel.
    Donald Macintyre | @indyvoices | Thursday 18 September 2008
    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/israels-forgotten-hero-the-assassination-of-count-bernadotte-and-the-
    https://static.independent.co.uk/s3fs-public/thumbnails/image/2008/09/17/20/54569.bin

    Sitting in the back seat, the blue-blooded Swedish aristocrat and the decorated French hero of two world wars had begun to relax from the tension of the journey as the big Chrysler, the last of a three-car convoy, started its final ascent up the narrow road through the now Jewish-occupied district of Katamon, towards Rehavia and the house of the Jerusalem military governor. No one in the first car, a DeSoto, least of all the Israeli captain assigned to escort the VIPs, showed much concern when a new-looking Israeli army jeep slewed across the road to bring the convoy to a halt: just another temporary checkpoint. As three soldiers in standard Israel Defence Forces khaki shorts, fingers on triggers, approached the DeSoto; the three young Swedes and a Belgian in the passenger seats, groped for their papers. “It’s OK boys,” the Israeli officer explained. “Let us pass. It’s the UN mediator.”

    At that moment, one of the three men ran to the Chrysler, pushed the barrel of his German-made Schmeisser MP40 sub-machine gun through the open rear window, and pumped six bullets into the chest, throat and left arm of the aristocrat and another 18 into the body of the French colonel sitting on his left. Rushing out of the first car, the Israeli captain, Moshe Hillman, ran back to the Chrysler. Aghast at the sight of the copiously bleeding bodies he kept repeating: “My God, oh my God,” before jumping in beside the driver, a UN security man recruited from the FBI, and telling him to head straight for the Hadassah hospital. But Count Folke Bernadotte, the UN mediator officially charged with bringing peace to a Holy Land at war, and his chief UN observer Colonel Andre Serot, who had only swapped places with Hillman at the last minute so that he could personally thank the count for saving his wife from a Nazi concentration camp three years earlier, were dead on arrival.

    The assassination of Bernadotte by Jewish militants disguised as regular soldiers on 17 September 1948, was commemorated in a series of Swedish and UN ceremonies in Jerusalem, Stockholm and New York yesterday. But no blue Israeli plaque marks the spot, as it does for so many military and Jewish underground exploits of the period. (...)

  • Tunisian fishermen await trial after ’saving hundreds of migrants’

    Friends and colleagues have rallied to the defence of six Tunisian men awaiting trial in Italy on people smuggling charges, saying they are fishermen who have saved hundreds of migrants and refugees over the years who risked drowning in the Mediterranean.

    The men were arrested at sea at the weekend after their trawler released a small vessel it had been towing with 14 migrants onboard, 24 miles from the coast of the Italian island of Lampedusa.

    Italian authorities said an aeroplane crew from the European border agency Frontex had first located the trawler almost 80 nautical miles from Lampedusa and decided to monitor the situation.They alerted the Italian police after the migrant vessel was released, who then arrested all crew members at sea.

    According to their lawyers, the Tunisians maintain that they saw a migrant vessel in distress and a common decision was made to tow it to safety in Italian waters. They claim they called the Italian coastguard so it could intervene and take them to shore.

    Prosecutors have accused the men of illegally escorting the boat into Italian waters and say they have no evidence of an SOS sent by either the migrant boat or by the fishermen’s vessel.

    Among those arrested were 45-year-old Chamseddine Ben Alì Bourassine, who is known in his native city, Zarzis, which lies close to the Libyan border, for saving migrants and bringing human remains caught in his nets back to shore to give the often anonymous dead a dignified burial.

    Immediately following the arrests, hundreds of Tunisians gathered in Zarzis to protest and the Tunisian Fishermen Association of Zarzis sent a letter to the Italian embassy in Tunis in support of the men.

    “Captain Bourassine and his crew are hardworking fishermen whose human values exceed the risks they face every day,” it said. “When we meet boats in distress at sea, we do not think about their colour or their religion.”

    According to his colleagues in Zarzis, Bourassine is an advocate for dissuading young Tunisians from illegal migration. In 2015 he participated in a sea rescue drill organised by Médecins Sans Frontières (Msf) in Zarzis.

    Giulia Bertoluzzi, an Italian filmmaker and journalist who directed the documentary Strange Fish, about Bourassine, said the men were well known in their home town.

    “In Zarzis, Bourassine and his crew are known as anonymous heroes”, Bertoluzzi told the Guardian. “Some time ago a petition was circulated to nominate him for the Nobel peace prize. He saved thousands of lives since.”

    The six Tunisians who are now being held in prison in the Sicilian town of Agrigento pending their trial. If convicted, they could face up to 15 years in prison.

    The Italian police said in a statement: “We acted according to our protocol. After the fishing boat released the vessel, it returned south of the Pelagie Islands where other fishing boats were active in an attempt to shield itself.”

    It is not the first time that Italian authorities have arrested fishermen and charged them with aiding illegal immigration. On 8 August 2007, police arrested two Tunisian fishermen for having guided into Italian waters 44 migrants. The trial lasted four years and both men were acquitted of all criminal charges.

    Leonardo Marino, a lawyer in Agrigento who had defended dozens of Tunisian fishermen accused of enabling smuggling, told the Guardian: “The truth is that migrants are perceived as enemies and instead of welcoming them we have decided to fight with repressive laws anyone who is trying to help them.”


    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/sep/05/tunisian-fishermen-await-trial-after-saving-hundreds-of-migrants?CMP=sh
    #Tunisie #pêcheurs #solidarité #mourir_en_mer #sauvetage #asile #migrations #réfugiés #Méditerranée #pêcheurs_tunisiens #délit_de_solidarité
    Accusation: #smuggling #passeurs

    cc @_kg_

    • Commentaires de Charles Heller sur FB :

      Last year these Tunisian fishermen prevented the identitarian C-Star - chartered to prevent solidarity at sea - from docking in Zarzis. Now they have been arrested for exercising that solidarity.

      Back to the bad old days of criminalising Tunisian fishermen who rescue migrants at sea. Lets make some noise and express our support and solidarity in all imaginable ways!

    • Des pêcheurs tunisiens poursuivis pour avoir tracté des migrants jusqu’en Italie

      Surpris en train de tirer une embarcation de migrants vers l’Italie, des pêcheurs tunisiens -dont un militant connu localement- ont été écroués en Sicile. Une manifestation de soutien a eu lieu en Tunisie et une ONG essaie actuellement de leur venir en aide.

      Des citoyens tunisiens sont descendus dans la rue lundi 3 septembre à Zarzis, dans le sud du pays, pour protester contre l’arrestation, par les autorités italiennes, de six pêcheurs locaux. Ces derniers sont soupçonnés d’être des passeurs car ils ont été "surpris en train de tirer une barque avec 14 migrants à bord en direction de [l’île italienne de] Lampedusa", indique la police financière et douanière italienne.

      La contestation s’empare également des réseaux sociaux, notamment avec des messages publiés demandant la libération des six membres d’équipage parmi lesquels figurent Chamseddine Bourassine, président de l’association des pêcheurs de Zarzis. “Toute ma solidarité avec un militant et ami, le doyen des pêcheurs Chamseddine Bourassine. Nous appelons les autorités tunisiennes à intervenir immédiatement avec les autorités italiennes afin de le relâcher ainsi que son équipage”, a écrit lundi le jeune militant originaire de Zarzis Anis Belhiba sur Facebook. Une publication reprise et partagée par Chamesddine Marzoug, un pêcheur retraité et autre militant connu en Tunisie pour enterrer lui-même les corps des migrants rejetés par la mer.

      Sans nouvelles depuis quatre jours

      Un appel similaire a été lancé par le Forum tunisien pour les droits économiques et sociaux, par la voix de Romdhane Ben Amor, chargé de communication de cette ONG basée à Tunis. Contacté par InfoMigrants, il affirme n’avoir reçu aucune nouvelle des pêcheurs depuis près de quatre jours. “On ne sait pas comment ils vont. Tout ce que l’on sait c’est qu’ils sont encore incarcérés à Agrigente en Sicile. On essaie d’activer tous nos réseaux et de communiquer avec nos partenaires italiens pour leur fournir une assistance juridique”, explique-t-il.

      Les six pêcheurs ont été arrêtés le 29 août car leur bateau de pêche, qui tractait une embarcation de fortune avec 14 migrants à son bord, a été repéré -vidéo à l’appui- par un avion de Frontex, l’Agence européenne de garde-côtes et garde-frontières.

      Selon une source policière italienne citée par l’AFP, les pêcheurs ont été arrêtés pour “aide à l’immigration clandestine” et écroués. Le bateau a été repéré en train de tirer des migrants, puis de larguer la barque près des eaux italiennes, à moins de 24 milles de Lampedusa, indique la même source.

      Mais pour Romdhane Ben Amor, “la vidéo de Frontex ne prouve rien”. Et de poursuivre : “#Chamseddine_Bourassine, on le connaît bien. Il participe aux opérations de sauvetage en Méditerranée depuis 2008, il a aussi coordonné l’action contre le C-Star [navire anti-migrants affrété par des militant d’un groupe d’extrême droite]”. Selon Romdhane Ben Amor, il est fort probable que le pêcheur ait reçu l’appel de détresse des migrants, qu’il ait ensuite tenté de les convaincre de faire demi-tour et de regagner la Tunisie. N’y parvenant pas, le pêcheur aurait alors remorqué l’embarcation vers l’Italie, la météo se faisant de plus en plus menaçante.

      La Tunisie, pays d’origine le plus représenté en Italie

      Un nombre croissant de Tunisiens en quête d’emploi et de perspectives d’avenir tentent de se rendre illégalement en Italie via la Méditerranée. D’ailleurs, avec 3 300 migrants arrivés entre janvier et juillet 2018, la Tunisie est le pays d’origine le plus représenté en Italie, selon un rapport du Haut commissariat de l’ONU aux réfugiés (HCR) publié lundi.

      La Méditerranée a été "plus mortelle que jamais" début 2018, indique également le HCR, estimant qu’une personne sur 18 tentant la traversée meurt ou disparaît en mer.


      http://www.infomigrants.net/fr/post/11752/des-pecheurs-tunisiens-poursuivis-pour-avoir-tracte-des-migrants-jusqu

    • Lampedusa, in cella ad Agrigento il pescatore tunisino che salva i migranti

      Insieme al suo equipaggio #Chameseddine_Bourassine è accusato di favoreggiamento dell’immigrazione illegale. La Tunisia chiede il rilascio dei sei arrestati. L’appello per la liberazione del figlio di uno dei pescatori e del fratello di Bourassine

      Per la Tunisia Chameseddine Bourassine è il pescatore che salva i migranti. Protagonista anche del film documentario «Strange Fish» di Giulia Bertoluzzi. Dal 29 agosto Chameseddine e il suo equipaggio sono nel carcere di Agrigento, perchè filmati mentre trainavano un barchino con 14 migranti fino a 24 miglia da Lampedusa. Il peschereccio è stato sequestrato e rischiano molti anni di carcere per favoreggiamento aggravato dell’immigrazione illegale. Da Palermo alcuni parenti giunti da Parigi lanciano un appello per la loro liberazione.

      Ramzi Lihiba, figlio di uno dei pescatori arrestati: «Mio padre è scioccato perchè è la prima volta che ha guai con la giustizia. Mi ha detto che hanno incontrato una barca in pericolo e hanno fatto solo il loro dovere. Non è la prima volta. Chameseddine ha fatto centinaia di salvataggi, portando la gente verso la costa più vicina. Prima ha chiamato la guardia costiera di Lampedusa e di Malta senza avere risposta».

      Mohamed Bourassine, fratello di Chameseddine: «Chameseddine l’ha detto anche alla guardia costiera italiana, se trovassi altre persone in pericolo in mare, lo rifarei».
      La Tunisia ha chiesto il rilascio dei sei pescatori di Zarzis. Sit in per loro davanti alle ambasciate italiane di Tunisi e Parigi. Da anni i pescatori delle due sponde soccorrono migranti con molti rischi. Ramzi Lihiba: «Anche io ho fatto la traversata nel 2008 e sono stato salvato dai pescatori italiani, altrimenti non sarei qui oggi».

      https://www.rainews.it/tgr/sicilia/video/2018/09/sic-lampedusa-carcere-pescatore-tunisino-salva-migranti-8f4b62a7-b103-48c0-8

    • Posté par Charles Heller sur FB :

      Yesterday, people demonstrated in the streets of Zarzis in solidarity with the Tunisian fishermen arrested by Italian authorities for exercising their solidarity with migrants crossing the sea. Tomorrow, they will be heard in front of a court in Sicily. While rescue NGOs have done an extraordinary job, its important to underline that European citizens do not have the monopoly over solidarity with migrants, and neither are they the only ones being criminalised. The Tunisian fishermen deserve our full support.


      https://www.facebook.com/charles.heller.507/posts/2207659576116549

    • I pescatori, eroi di Zarzis, in galera

      Il 29 agosto 2018 sei pescatori tunisini sono stati arrestati ad Agrigento, accusati di favoreggiamento dell’immigrazione clandestina, reato punibile fino a quindici anni di carcere. Il loro racconto e quello dei migranti soccorsi parla invece di una barca in panne che prendeva acqua, del tentativo di contattare la Guardia Costiera italiana e infine - dopo una lunga attesa – del trasporto del barchino verso Lampedusa, per aiutare le autorità nelle operazioni di soccorso. Mentre le indagini preliminari sono in corso, vi raccontiamo chi sono questi pescatori. Lo facciamo con Giulia Bertoluzzi, che ha girato il film “Strange Fish” – vincitore al premio BNP e menzione speciale della giuria al festival Visioni dal Mondo - di cui Bourassine è il protagonista, e Valentina Zagaria, che ha vissuto oltre due anni a Zarzis per un dottorato in antropologia.

      Capitano, presidente, eroe. Ecco tre appellativi che potrebbero stare a pennello a Chamseddine Bourassine, presidente della Rete Nazionale della Pesca Artigianale nonché dell’associazione di Zarzis “Le Pêcheur” pour le Développement et l’Environnement, nominata al Premio Nobel per la Pace 2018 per il continuo impegno nel salvare vite nel Mediterraneo. I pescatori di Zarzis infatti, lavorando nel mare aperto tra la Libia e la Sicilia, si trovano da più di quindici anni in prima linea nei soccorsi a causa della graduale chiusura ermetica delle vie legali per l’Europa, che ha avuto come conseguenza l’inizio di traversate con mezzi sempre più di fortuna.
      I frutti della rivoluzione

      Sebbene la legge del mare abbia sempre prevalso per Chamseddine e i pescatori di Zarzis, prima della rivoluzione tunisina del 2011 i pescatori venivano continuamente minacciati dalla polizia del regime di Ben Ali, stretto collaboratore sia dell’Italia che dell’Unione europea in materia di controlli alle frontiere. “Ci dicevano di lasciarli in mare e che ci avrebbero messo tutti in prigione”, spiegava Bourassine, “ma un uomo in mare è un uomo morto, e alla polizia abbiamo sempre risposto che piuttosto saremmo andati in prigione”. In prigione finivano anche i cittadini tunisini che tentavano la traversata e che venivano duramente puniti dal loro stesso governo.

      Tutto è cambiato con la rivoluzione. Oltre 25.000 tunisini si erano imbarcati verso l’Italia, di cui tanti proprio dalle coste di Zarzis. “Non c’erano più né stato né polizia, era il caos assoluto” ricorda Anis Souei, segretario generale dell’Associazione. Alcuni pescatori non lasciavano le barche nemmeno di notte perché avevano paura che venissero rubate, i più indebitati invece tentavano di venderle, mentre alcuni abitanti di Zarzis, approfittando del vuoto di potere, si improvvisavano ‘agenti di viaggi’, cercando di fare affari sulle spalle degli harraga – parola nel dialetto arabo nord africano per le persone che ‘bruciano’ passaporti e frontiera attraversando il Mediterraneo. Chamseddine Bourassine e i suoi colleghi, invece, hanno stretto un patto morale, stabilendo di non vendere le proprie barche per la harga. Si sono rimboccati le maniche e hanno fondato un’associazione per migliorare le condizioni di lavoro del settore, per sensibilizzare sulla preservazione dell’ambiente – condizione imprescindibile per la pesca – e dare una possibilità di futuro ai giovani.

      E proprio verso i più giovani, quelli che più continuano a soffrire dell’alto tasso di disoccupazione, l’associazione ha dedicato diverse campagne di sensibilizzazione. “Andiamo nelle scuole per raccontare quello che vediamo e mostriamo ai ragazzi le foto dei corpi che troviamo in mare, perché si rendano conto del reale pericolo della traversata”, racconta Anis. Inoltre hanno organizzato formazioni di meccanica, riparazione delle reti e pesca subacquea, collaborando anche con diversi progetti internazionali, come NEMO, organizzato dal CIHEAM-Bari e finanziato dalla Cooperazione Italiana. Proprio all’interno di questo progetto è nato il museo di Zarzis della pesca artigianale, dove tra nodi e anforette per la pesca del polipo, c’è una mostra fotografica dei salvataggi in mare intitolata “Gli eroi anonimi di Zarzis”.

      La guerra civile libica

      Con l’inasprirsi della guerra civile libica e l’inizio di veri e propri traffici di esseri umani, le frontiere marittime si sono trasformate in zone al di fuori della legge.
      “I pescatori tunisini vengono regolarmente rapiti dalle milizie o dalle autorità libiche” diceva Bourassine. Queste, una volta sequestrata la barca e rubato il materiale tecnico, chiedevano alle autorità tunisine un riscatto per il rilascio, cosa peraltro successa anche a pescatori siciliani. Sebbene le acque di fronte alla Libia siano le più ricche, soprattutto per il gambero rosso, e per anni siano state zone di pesca per siciliani, tunisini, libici e anche egiziani, ad oggi i pescatori di Zarzis si sono visti obbligati a lasciare l’eldorado dei tonni rossi e dei gamberi rossi, per andare più a ovest.

      “Io pesco nelle zone della rotta delle migrazioni, quindi è possibile che veda migranti ogni volta che esco” diceva Bourassine, indicando sul monitor della sala comandi del suo peschereccio l’est di Lampedusa, durante le riprese del film.

      Con scarso sostegno delle guardie costiere tunisine, a cui non era permesso operare oltre le proprie acque territoriali, i pescatori per anni si sono barcamenati tra il lavoro e la responsabilità di soccorrere le persone in difficoltà che, con l’avanzare del conflitto in Libia, partivano su imbarcazioni sempre più pericolose.

      “Ma quando in mare vedi 100 o 120 persone cosa fai?” si chiede Slaheddine Mcharek, anche lui membro dell’Associazione, “pensi solo a salvare loro la vita, ma non è facile”. Chi ha visto un’operazione di soccorso in mare infatti può immaginare i pericoli di organizzare un trasbordo su un piccolo peschereccio che non metta a repentaglio la stabilità della barca, soprattutto quando ci sono persone che non sanno nuotare. Allo stesso tempo non pescare significa non lavorare e perdere soldi sia per il capitano che per l’equipaggio.
      ONG e salvataggio

      Quando nell’estate del 2015 le navi di ricerca e soccorso delle ONG hanno cominciato ad operare nel Mediterraneo, Chamseddine e tutti i pescatori si sono sentiti sollevati, perché le loro barche non erano attrezzate per centinaia di persone e le autorità tunisine post-rivoluzionarie non avevano i mezzi per aiutarli. Quell’estate, l’allora direttore di Medici Senza Frontiere Foued Gammoudi organizzò una formazione di primo soccorso in mare per sostenere i pescatori. Dopo questa formazione MSF fornì all’associazione kit di pronto soccorso, giubbotti e zattere di salvataggio per poter assistere meglio i rifugiati in mare. L’ONG ha anche dato ai pescatori le traduzioni in italiano e inglese dei messaggi di soccorso e di tutti i numeri collegati al Centro di coordinamento per il soccorso marittimo (MRCC) a Roma, che coordina i salvataggi tra le imbarcazioni nei paraggi pronte ad intervenire, fossero mercantili, navi delle ONG, imbarcazioni militari o della guardia costiera, e quelle dei pescatori di entrambe le sponde del mare. Da quel momento i pescatori potevano coordinarsi a livello internazionale e aspettare che le navi più grandi arrivassero, per poi riprendere il loro lavoro. Solo una settimana dopo la formazione, Gammoudi andò a congratularsi con Chamseddine al porto di Zarzis per aver collaborato con la nave Bourbon-Argos di MSF nel salvataggio di 550 persone.

      Oltre al primo soccorso, MSF ha offerto ai membri dell’associazione una formazione sulla gestione dei cadaveri, fornendo sacchi mortuari, disinfettanti e guanti. C’è stato un periodo durato vari mesi, prima dell’arrivo delle ONG, in cui i pescatori avevano quasi la certezza di vedere dei morti in mare. Nell’assenza di altre imbarcazioni in prossimità della Libia, pronte ad aiutare barche in difficoltà, i naufragi non facevano che aumentare. Proprio come sta succedendo in queste settimane, durante le quali il tasso di mortalità in proporzione agli arrivi in Italia è cresciuto del 5,6%. Dal 26 agosto, nessuna ONG ha operato in SAR libica, e questo a causa delle politiche anti-migranti di Salvini e dei suoi omologhi europei.

      Criminalizzazione della solidarietà

      La situazione però è peggiorata di nuovo nell’estate del 2017, quando l’allora ministro dell’Interno Marco Minniti stringeva accordi con le milizie e la guardia costiera libica per bloccare i rifugiati nei centri di detenzione in Libia, mentre approvava leggi che criminalizzano e limitano l’attività delle ONG in Italia.

      Le campagne di diffamazione contro atti di solidarietà e contro le ONG non hanno fatto altro che versare ancora più benzina sui sentimenti anti-immigrazione che infiammano l’Europa. Nel bel mezzo di questo clima, il 6 agosto 2017, i pescatori di Zarzis si erano trovati in un faccia a faccia con la nave noleggiata da Generazione Identitaria, la C-Star, che attraversava il Mediterraneo per ostacolare le operazioni di soccorso e riportare i migranti in Africa.

      Armati di pennarelli rossi, neri e blu, hanno appeso striscioni sulle barche in una mescolanza di arabo, italiano, francese e inglese: “No Racists!”, “Dégage!”, “C-Star: No gasolio? No acqua? No mangiaro?“.

      Chamseddine Bourassine, con pesanti occhiaie da cinque giorni di lavoro in mare, appena appresa la notizia ha organizzato un sit-in con tanto di media internazionali al porto di Zarzis. I loro sforzi erano stati incoraggiati dalle reti antirazziste in Sicilia, che a loro volta avevano impedito alla C-Star di attraccare nel porto di Catania solo un paio di giorni prima.
      La reazione tunisina dopo l’arresto di Bourassine

      Non c’è quindi da sorprendersi se dopo l’arresto di Chamseddine, Salem, Farhat, Lotfi, Ammar e Bachir l’associazione, le famiglie, gli amici e i colleghi hanno riempito tre pullman da Zarzis per protestare davanti all’ambasciata italiana di Tunisi. La Terre Pour Tous, associazione di famiglie di tunisini dispersi, e il Forum economico e sociale (FTDES) si sono uniti alla protesta per chiedere l’immediato rilascio dei pescatori. Una protesta gemella è stata organizzata anche dalla diaspora di Zarzis davanti all’ambasciata italiana a Parigi, mentre reti di pescatori provenienti dal Marocco e dalla Mauritania hanno rilasciato dichiarazioni di sostegno. Il Segretario di Stato tunisino per l’immigrazione, Adel Jarboui, ha esortato le autorità italiane a liberare i pescatori.

      Nel frattempo Bourassine racconta dalla prigione al fratello: “stavo solo aiutando delle persone in difficoltà in mare. Lo rifarei”.


      http://openmigration.org/analisi/i-pescatori-eroi-di-zarzis-in-galera

    • When rescue at sea becomes a crime: who the Tunisian fishermen arrested in Italy really are

      Fishermen networks from Morocco and Mauritania have released statements of support, and the Tunisian State Secretary for Immigration, Adel Jarboui, urged Italian authorities to release the fishermen, considered heroes in Tunisia.

      On the night of Wednesday, August 29, 2018, six Tunisian fishermen were arrested in Italy. Earlier that day, they had set off from their hometown of Zarzis, the last important Tunisian port before Libya, to cast their nets in the open sea between North Africa and Sicily. The fishermen then sighted a small vessel whose engine had broken, and that had started taking in water. After giving the fourteen passengers water, milk and bread – which the fishermen carry in abundance, knowing they might encounter refugee boats in distress – they tried making contact with the Italian coastguard.

      After hours of waiting for a response, though, the men decided to tow the smaller boat in the direction of Lampedusa – Italy’s southernmost island, to help Italian authorities in their rescue operations. At around 24 miles from Lampedusa, the Guardia di Finanza (customs police) took the fourteen people on board, and then proceeded to violently arrest the six fishermen. According to the precautionary custody order issued by the judge in Agrigento (Sicily), the men stand accused of smuggling, a crime that could get them up to fifteen years in jail if the case goes to trial. The fishermen have since been held in Agrigento prison, and their boat has been seized.

      This arrest comes after a summer of Italian politicians closing their ports to NGO rescue boats, and only a week after far-right Interior Minister Matteo Salvini[1] prevented for ten days the disembarkation of 177 Eritrean and Somali asylum seekers from the Italian coastguard ship Diciotti. It is yet another step towards dissuading anyone – be it Italian or Tunisian citizens, NGO or coastguard ships – from coming to the aid of refugee boats in danger at sea. Criminalising rescue, a process that has been pushed by different Italian governments since 2016, will continue to have tragic consequences for people on the move in the Mediterranean Sea.
      The fishermen of Zarzis

      Among those arrested is Chamseddine Bourassine, the president of the Association “Le Pêcheur” pour le Développement et l’Environnement, which was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize this year for the Zarzis fishermen’s continuous engagement in saving lives in the Mediterranean.

      Chamseddine, a fishing boat captain in his mid-40s, was one of the first people I met in Zarzis when, in the summer of 2015, I moved to this southern Tunisian town to start fieldwork for my PhD. On a sleepy late-August afternoon, my interview with Foued Gammoudi, the then Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) Head of Mission for Tunisia and Libya, was interrupted by an urgent phone call. “The fishermen have just returned, they saved 550 people, let’s go to the port to thank them.” Just a week earlier, Chamseddine Bourassine had been among the 116 fishermen from Zarzis to have received rescue at sea training with MSF. Gammoudi was proud that the fishermen had already started collaborating with the MSF Bourbon Argos ship to save hundreds of people. We hurried to the port to greet Chamseddine and his crew, as they returned from a three-day fishing expedition which involved, as it so often had done lately, a lives-saving operation.

      The fishermen of Zarzis have been on the frontline of rescue in the Central Mediterranean for over fifteen years. Their fishing grounds lying between Libya – the place from which most people making their way undocumented to Europe leave – and Sicily, they were often the first to come to the aid of refugee boats in distress. “The fishermen have never really had a choice: they work here, they encounter refugee boats regularly, so over the years they learnt to do rescue at sea”, explained Gammoudi. For years, fishermen from both sides of the Mediterranean were virtually alone in this endeavour.
      Rescue before and after the revolution

      Before the Tunisian revolution of 2011, Ben Ali threatened the fishermen with imprisonment for helping migrants in danger at sea – the regime having been a close collaborator of both Italy and the European Union in border control matters. During that time, Tunisian nationals attempting to do the harga – the North African Arabic dialect term for the crossing of the Sicilian Channel by boat – were also heavily sanctioned by their own government.

      Everything changed though with the revolution. “It was chaos here in 2011. You cannot imagine what the word chaos means if you didn’t live it”, recalled Anis Souei, the secretary general of the “Le Pêcheur” association. In the months following the revolution, hundreds of boats left from Zarzis taking Tunisians from all over the country to Lampedusa. Several members of the fishermen’s association remember having to sleep on their fishing boats at night to prevent them from being stolen for the harga. Other fishermen instead, especially those who were indebted, decided to sell their boats, while some inhabitants of Zarzis took advantage of the power vacuum left by the revolution and made considerable profit by organising harga crossings. “At that time there was no police, no state, and even more misery. If you wanted Lampedusa, you could have it”, rationalised another fisherman. But Chamseddine Bourassine and his colleagues saw no future in moving to Europe, and made a moral pact not to sell their boats for migration.

      They instead remained in Zarzis, and in 2013 founded their association to create a network of support to ameliorate the working conditions of small and artisanal fisheries. The priority when they started organising was to try and secure basic social security – something they are still struggling to sustain today. With time, though, the association also got involved in alerting the youth to the dangers of boat migration, as they regularly witnessed the risks involved and felt compelled to do something for younger generations hit hard by staggering unemployment rates. In this optic, they organised training for the local youth in boat mechanics, nets mending, and diving, and collaborated in different international projects, such as NEMO, organised by the CIHEAM-Bari and funded by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Directorate General for Cooperation Development. This project also helped the fishermen build a museum to explain traditional fishing methods, the first floor of which is dedicated to pictures and citations from the fishermen’s long-term voluntary involvement in coming to the rescue of refugees in danger at sea.

      This role was proving increasingly vital as the Libyan civil war dragged on, since refugees were being forced onto boats in Libya that were not fit for travel, making the journey even more hazardous. With little support from Tunisian coastguards, who were not allowed to operate beyond Tunisian waters, the fishermen juggled their responsibility to bring money home to their families and their commitment to rescuing people in distress at sea. Anis remembers that once in 2013, three fishermen boats were out and received an SOS from a vessel carrying roughly one hundred people. It was their first day out, and going back to Zarzis would have meant losing petrol money and precious days of work, which they simply couldn’t afford. After having ensured that nobody was ill, the three boats took twenty people on board each, and continued working for another two days, sharing food and water with their guests.

      Sometimes, though, the situation on board got tense with so many people, food wasn’t enough for everybody, and fights broke out. Some fishermen recall incidents during which they truly feared for their safety, when occasionally they came across boats with armed men from Libyan militias. It was hard for them to provide medical assistance as well. Once a woman gave birth on Chamseddine’s boat – that same boat that has now been seized in Italy – thankfully there had been no complications.
      NGO ships and the criminalisation of rescue

      During the summer of 2015, therefore, Chamseddine felt relieved that NGO search and rescue boats were starting to operate in the Mediterranean. The fishermen’s boats were not equipped to take hundreds of people on board, and the post-revolutionary Tunisian authorities didn’t have the means to support them. MSF had provided the association with first aid kits, life jackets, and rescue rafts to be able to better assist refugees at sea, and had given them a list of channels and numbers linked to the Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC) in Rome for when they encountered boats in distress.

      They also offered training in dead body management, and provided the association with body bags, disinfectant and gloves. “When we see people at sea we rescue them. It’s not only because we follow the laws of the sea or of religion: we do it because it’s human”, said Chamseddine. But sometimes rescue came too late, and bringing the dead back to shore was all the fishermen could do.[2] During 2015 the fishermen at least felt that with more ships in the Mediterranean doing rescue, the duty dear to all seafarers of helping people in need at sea didn’t only fall on their shoulders, and they could go back to their fishing.

      The situation deteriorated again though in the summer of 2017, as Italian Interior Minister Minniti struck deals with Libyan militias and coastguards to bring back and detain refugees in detention centres in Libya, while simultaneously passing laws criminalising and restricting the activity of NGO rescue boats in Italy.

      Media smear campaigns directed against acts of solidarity with migrants and refugees and against the work of rescue vessels in the Mediterranean poured even more fuel on already inflamed anti-immigration sentiments in Europe.

      In the midst of this, on 6 August 2017, the fishermen of Zarzis came face to face with a far-right vessel rented by Generazione Identitaria, the C-Star, cruising the Mediterranean allegedly on a “Defend Europe” mission to hamper rescue operations and bring migrants back to Africa. The C-Star was hovering in front of Zarzis port, and although it had not officially asked port authorities whether it could dock to refuel – which the port authorities assured locals it would refuse – the fishermen of Zarzis took the opportunity to let these alt-right groups know how they felt about their mission.

      Armed with red, black and blue felt tip pens, they wrote in a mixture of Arabic, Italian, French and English slogans such as “No Racists!”, “Dégage!” (Get our of here!), “C-Star: No gasoil? No acqua? No mangiato?” ?” (C-Star: No fuel? No water? Not eaten?), which they proceeded to hang on their boats, ready to take to sea were the C-Star to approach. Chamseddine Bourassine, who had returned just a couple of hours prior to the impending C-Star arrival from five days of work at sea, called other members of the fishermen association to come to the port and join in the peaceful protest.[3] He told the journalists present that the fishermen opposed wholeheartedly the racism propagated by the C-Star members, and that having seen the death of fellow Africans at sea, they couldn’t but condemn these politics. Their efforts were cheered on by anti-racist networks in Sicily, who had in turn prevented the C-Star from docking in Catania port just a couple of days earlier.

      It is members from these same networks in Sicily together with friends of the fishermen in Tunisia and internationally that are now engaged in finding lawyers for Chamseddine and his five colleagues.

      Their counterparts in Tunisia joined the fishermen’s families and friends on Thursday morning to protest in front of the Italian embassy in Tunis. Three busloads arrived from Zarzis after an 8-hour night-time journey for the occasion, and many others had come from other Tunisian towns to show their solidarity. Gathered there too were members of La Terre Pour Tous, an association of families of missing Tunisian migrants, who joined in to demand the immediate release of the fishermen. A sister protest was organised by the Zarzis diaspora in front of the Italian embassy in Paris on Saturday afternoon. Fishermen networks from Morocco and Mauritania also released statements of support, and the Tunisian State Secretary for Immigration Adel Jarboui urged Italian authorities to release the fishermen, who are considered heroes in Tunisia.

      The fishermen’s arrest is the latest in a chain of actions taken by the Italian Lega and Five Star government to further criminalise rescue in the Mediterranean Sea, and to dissuade people from all acts of solidarity and basic compliance with international norms. This has alarmingly resulted in the number of deaths in 2018 increasing exponentially despite a drop in arrivals to Italy’s southern shores. While Chamseddine’s lawyer hasn’t yet been able to visit him in prison, his brother and cousin managed to go see him on Saturday. As for telling them about what happened on August 29, Chamseddine simply says that he was assisting people in distress at sea: he’d do it again.

      https://www.opendemocracy.net/can-europe-make-it/valentina-zagaria/when-rescue-at-sea-becomes-crime-who-tunisian-fishermen-arrested-in-i

    • Les pêcheurs de Zarzis, ces héros que l’Italie préfère voir en prison

      Leurs noms ont été proposés pour le prix Nobel de la paix mais ils risquent jusqu’à quinze ans de prison : six pêcheurs tunisiens se retrouvent dans le collimateur des autorités italiennes pour avoir aidé des migrants en Méditerranée.

      https://www.middleeasteye.net/fr/reportages/les-p-cheurs-de-zarzis-ces-h-ros-que-l-italie-pr-f-re-voir-en-prison-

    • Les pêcheurs tunisiens incarcérés depuis fin août en Sicile sont libres

      Arrêtés après avoir tracté une embarcation de quatorze migrants jusqu’au large de Lampedusa, un capitaine tunisien et son équipage sont soupçonnés d’être des passeurs. Alors qu’en Tunisie, ils sont salués comme des sauveurs.

      Les six pêcheurs ont pu reprendre la mer afin de regagner Zarzis, dans le sud tunisien. Les familles n’ont pas caché leur soulagement. Un accueil triomphal, par des dizaines de bateaux au large du port, va être organisé, afin de saluer le courage de ces sauveteurs de migrants à la dérive.

      Et peu importe si l’acte est dénoncé par l’Italie. Leurs amis et collègues ne changeront pas leurs habitudes de secourir toute embarcation en danger.

      A l’image de Rya, la cinquantaine, marin pêcheur à Zarzis qui a déjà sauvé des migrants en perdition et ne s’arrêtera pas : « Il y a des immigrés, tous les jours il y en a. De Libye, de partout. Nous on est des pêcheurs, on essaie de sauver les gens. C’est tout, c’est très simple. Nous on ne va pas s’arrêter, on va sauver d’autres personnes. Ils vont nous mettre en prison, on est là, pas de problème. »

      Au-delà du soulagement de voir rentrer les marins au pays, des voix s’élèvent pour crier leur incompréhension. Pour Halima Aissa, présidente de l’Association de recherche des disparus tunisiens à l’étranger, l’action de ce capitaine de pêche ne souffre d’aucune légitimité : « C’est un pêcheur tunisien, mais en tant qu’humaniste, si on trouve des gens qui vont couler en mer, notre droit c’est de les sauver. C’est inhumain de voir des gens mourir et de ne pas les sauver, ça c’est criminel. »

      Ces arrestations, certes suivies de libérations, illustrent pourtant la politique du nouveau gouvernement italien, à en croire Romdhane Ben Amor, du Forum tunisien des droits économiques et sociaux qui s’inquiète de cette nouvelle orientation politique : « Ça a commencé par les ONG qui font des opérations de sauvetage dans la Méditerranée et maintenant ça va vers les pêcheurs. C’est un message pour tous ceux qui vont participer aux opérations de sauvetage. Donc on aura plus de danger dans la mer, plus de tragédie dans la mer. » Pendant ce temps, l’enquête devrait se poursuivre encore plusieurs semaines en Italie.

      ■ Dénoncés par Frontex

      Détenus dans une prison d’Agrigente depuis le 29 août, les six pêcheurs tunisiens qui étaient soupçonnés d’aide à l’immigration illégale ont retrouvé leur liberté grâce à la décision du tribunal de réexamen de Palerme. L’équivalent italien du juge des libertés dans le système français.

      Le commandant du bateau de pêche, Chamseddine Bourassine, président de l’association des pêcheurs de Zarzis, ville du sud de la Tunisie, avait été arrêté avec les 5 membres d’équipage pour avoir secouru au large de l’île de Lampedusa une embarcation transportant 14 migrants.

      C’est un #avion_de_reconnaissance, opérant pour l’agence européenne #Frontex, qui avait repéré leur bateau tractant une barque et averti les autorités italiennes, précise notre correspondante à Rome, Anne Le Nir.

      http://www.rfi.fr/afrique/20180923-pecheurs-tunisiens-incarceres-depuis-fin-aout-sicile-sont-libres

    • A Zarzis, les pêcheurs sauveurs de migrants menacés par l’Italie

      Après l’arrestation le 29 août de six pêcheurs tunisiens à Lampedusa, accusés d’être des passeurs alors qu’ils avaient secouru des migrants, les marins de la petite ville de Zarzis au sud de la Tunisie ont peur des conséquences du sauvetage en mer.

      https://www.mediapart.fr/journal/international/121118/zarzis-les-pecheurs-sauveurs-de-migrants-menaces-par-l-italie
      #pêcheurs_tunisiens

    • Migrants : quand les pêcheurs tunisiens deviennent sauveteurs

      En Méditerranée, le sauvetage des candidats à l’exil et les politiques européennes de protection des frontières ont un impact direct sur le village de pêcheurs de #Zarzis, dans le sud de la Tunisie. Dans le code de la mer, les pêcheurs tout comme les gardes nationaux ont l’obligation de sauver les personnes en détresse en mer. Aujourd’hui, ce devoir moral pousse les pêcheurs à prendre des risques, et à se confronter aux autorités européennes.

      Chemssedine Bourassine a été arrêté fin août 2018 avec son équipage par les autorités italiennes. Ce pêcheur était accusé d’avoir fait le passeur de migrants car il avait remorqué un canot de 14 personnes en détresse au large de Lampedusa. Lui arguait qu’il ne faisait que son devoir en les aidant, le canot étant à la dérive, en train de couler, lorsqu’il l’avait trouvé.

      Revenu à bon port après trois mois sans son navire, confisqué par les autorités italiennes, cet épisode pèse lourd sur lui et ses compères. Nos reporters Lilia Blaise et Hamdi Tlili sont allés à la rencontre de ces pêcheurs, pour qui la mer est devenue une source d’inquiétudes.

      https://www.france24.com/fr/20190306-focus-tunisie-migrants-mediterranee-mer-sauvetage-pecheurs

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vKpxQxiJCSc

    • Les pêcheurs tunisiens, sauveurs d’hommes en Méditerranée

      Lorsque Chamseddine Bourassine a vu l’embarcation de 69 migrants à la dérive au large de la Tunisie, il a appelé les secours et continué à pêcher. Mais deux jours plus tard, au moment de quitter la zone, il a bien fallu les embarquer.

      Les pêcheurs tunisiens se retrouvent de plus en plus seuls pour secourir les embarcations clandestines quittant la Libye voisine vers l’Italie, en raison des difficultés des ONG en Méditerranée orientale et du désengagement des navires militaires européens.

      Le 11 mai, les équipages de M. Bourassine et de trois autres pêcheurs ont ramené à terre les 69 migrants partis cinq jours plus tôt de Zouara dans l’ouest libyen.

      « La zone où nous pêchons est un point de passage » entre Zouara et l’île italienne de Lampedusa, souligne Badreddine Mecherek, un patron de pêche de Zarzis (sud), port voisin de la Libye plongée dans le chaos et plaque tournante pour les migrants d’Afrique, mais aussi d’Asie.

      Au fil des ans, la plupart des pêcheurs de Zarzis ont ramené des migrants, sauvant des centaines de vies.

      Avec la multiplication de départs après l’hiver, les pêcheurs croisent les doigts pour ne être confrontés à des tragédies.

      « On prévient d’abord les autorités, mais au final on les sauve nous-mêmes », soupire M. Mecherek, quinquagénaire bougonnant, en bricolant le Asil, son sardinier.

      La marine tunisienne, aux moyens limités, se charge surtout d’intercepter les embarcations clandestines dans ses seules eaux territoriales.

      Contactées par l’AFP pour commenter, les autorités tunisiennes n’ont pas souhaité s’exprimer. Celles-ci interdisent depuis le 31 mai le débarquement de 75 migrants sauvés de la noyade dans les eaux internationales, sans avancer de raisons.

      – « Comme un ange » -

      « Tout le monde s’est désengagé », déplore M. Mecherek.

      « Si nous trouvons des migrants au deuxième jour (de notre sortie en mer), nous avons pu travailler une nuit, mais si nous tombons sur eux dès la première nuit, il faut rentrer », ajoute-t-il. « C’est très compliqué de terminer le travail avec des gens à bord ».

      La situation est particulièrement complexe quand les pêcheurs tombent sur des migrants à proximité de l’Italie.

      M. Bourassine, qui a voulu rapprocher des côtes italiennes une embarcation en détresse mi-2018 au large de Lampedusa, a été emprisonné quatre semaines avec son équipage en Sicile et son bateau confisqué pendant de longs mois.

      Ces dernières années, les navires des ONG et ceux de l’opération antipasseurs européenne Sophia étaient intervenus pour secourir les migrants. Mais les opérations ont pâti en 2019 de la réduction du champ d’action de Sophia et des démarches contre les ONG des Etats européens cherchant à limiter l’arrivée des migrants.

      « Avec leurs moyens, c’était eux qui sauvaient les gens, on arrivait en deuxième ligne. Maintenant le plus souvent on est les premiers, et si on n’est pas là, les migrants meurent », affirme M. Mecherek.

      C’est ce qui est arrivé le 10 mai. Un chalutier a repêché de justesse 16 migrants ayant passé huit heures dans l’eau. Une soixantaine s’étaient noyés avant son arrivée.

      Ahmed Sijur, l’un des miraculés, se souvient de l’arrivée du bateau, comme « un ange ».

      « J’étais en train d’abandonner mais Dieu a envoyé des pêcheurs pour nous sauver. S’ils étaient arrivés dix minutes plus tard, je crois que j’aurais lâché », explique ce Bangladais de 30 ans.

      – « Pas des gens » ! -

      M. Mecherek est fier mais inquiet. « On aimerait ne plus voir tous ces cadavres. On va pêcher du poisson, pas des gens » !.

      « J’ai 20 marins à bord, il disent +qui va faire manger nos familles, les clandestins ?+ Et ils ont peur des maladies, parfois des migrants ont passé 15-20 jours en mer, ils ne se sont pas douchés, il y a des odeurs, c’est compliqué ». « Mais nos pêcheurs ne laisseront jamais des gens mourir ».

      Pour Mongi Slim, responsable du Croissant-Rouge tunisien, « les pêcheurs font pratiquement les gendarmes de la mer et peuvent alerter. Des migrants nous disent que certains gros bateaux passent » sans leur porter secours.

      Même les gros thoniers de Zarzis, sous pression pour pêcher leur quota en une sortie annuelle, reconnaissent éviter parfois d’embarquer les migrants mais assurent qu’ils ne les abandonnent pas sans secours.

      « On signale les migrants, mais on ne peut pas les ramener à terre : on n’a que quelques semaines pour pêcher notre quota », souligne un membre d’équipage.

      Double peine pour les sardiniers : les meilleurs coins de pêche au large de l’ouest libyen leur sont inaccessibles car les gardes-côtes et les groupes armés les tiennent à l’écart.

      « Ils sont armés et ils ne rigolent pas », explique M. Mecherek. « Des pêcheurs se sont fait arrêter », ajoute-t-il, « nous sommes des témoins gênants ».

      Pour M. Bourassine « l’été s’annonce difficile : avec la reprise des combats en Libye, les trafiquants sont de nouveau libres de travailler, il risque d’y avoir beaucoup de naufrages ».


      https://www.courrierinternational.com/depeche/les-pecheurs-tunisiens-sauveurs-dhommes-en-mediterranee.afp.c

    • Les pêcheurs tunisiens, désormais en première ligne pour sauver les migrants en Méditerranée

      Les embarcations en péril sont quasiment vouées à l’abandon avec le recul forcé des opérations de sauvetage des ONG et de la lutte contre les passeurs.

      Lorsque Chamseddine Bourassine a vu l’embarcation de 69 migrants à la dérive au large de la Tunisie, il a appelé les secours et continué à pêcher. Mais, deux jours plus tard, au moment de quitter la zone, il a bien fallu les embarquer puisque personne ne leur était venu en aide.

      Les pêcheurs tunisiens se retrouvent de plus en plus seuls pour secourir les embarcations clandestines quittant la Libye voisine vers l’Italie, en raison des difficultés des ONG en Méditerranée orientale et du désengagement des navires militaires européens.

      Le 11 mai, les équipages de M. Bourassine et de trois autres pêcheurs ont ramené à terre les 69 migrants partis cinq jours plus tôt de Zouara, dans l’Ouest libyen. « La zone où nous pêchons est un point de passage » entre Zouara et l’île italienne de Lampedusa, explique Badreddine Mecherek, un patron de pêche de Zarzis (sud). Le port est voisin de la Libye, plongée dans le chaos et plaque tournante pour les migrants d’Afrique, mais aussi d’Asie.
      « Tout le monde s’est désengagé »

      Au fil des ans, la plupart des pêcheurs de Zarzis ont ramené des migrants, sauvant des centaines de vies. Avec la multiplication de départs après l’hiver, les pêcheurs croisent les doigts pour ne pas être confrontés à des tragédies. « On prévient d’abord les autorités, mais au final on les sauve nous-mêmes », soupire M. Mecherek, quinquagénaire bougonnant, en bricolant le Asil, son sardinier.

      La marine tunisienne, aux moyens limités, se charge surtout d’intercepter les embarcations clandestines dans ses seules eaux territoriales. Contactées par l’AFP pour commenter, les autorités tunisiennes n’ont pas souhaité s’exprimer. Celles-ci interdisent depuis le 31 mai le débarquement de 75 migrants sauvés de la noyade dans les eaux internationales, sans avancer de raisons.

      « Tout le monde s’est désengagé, déplore M. Mecherek. Si nous trouvons des migrants au deuxième jour de notre sortie en mer, cela nous laisse le temps de travailler une nuit. Mais si nous tombons sur eux dès la première nuit, il faut rentrer. C’est très compliqué de terminer le travail avec des gens à bord. »

      La situation est particulièrement complexe quand les pêcheurs tombent sur des migrants à proximité de l’Italie. M. Bourassine, qui avait voulu rapprocher des côtes italiennes une embarcation en détresse mi-2018 au large de Lampedusa, a été emprisonné quatre semaines en Sicile avec son équipage et son bateau, confisqué pendant de longs mois.
      « Un ange »

      Ces dernières années, les navires des ONG et ceux de l’opération européenne antipasseurs Sophia intervenaient pour secourir les migrants. Mais ces manœuvres de sauvetage ont pâti en 2019 de la réduction du champ d’action de Sophia et des démarches engagées contre les ONG par des Etats européens qui cherchent à limiter l’arrivée des migrants.

      « Avec leurs moyens, c’était eux qui sauvaient les gens, on arrivait en deuxième ligne. Maintenant, le plus souvent, on est les premiers, et si on n’est pas là, les migrants meurent », affirme M. Mecherek.

      C’est ce qui est arrivé le 10 mai. Un chalutier a repêché de justesse 16 migrants ayant passé huit heures dans l’eau. Une soixantaine d’entre eux s’étaient noyés avant son arrivée.

      Ahmed Sijur, l’un des miraculés, se souvient de l’arrivée du bateau, comme d’« un ange ». « J’étais en train d’abandonner, mais Dieu a envoyé des pêcheurs pour nous sauver. S’ils étaient arrivés dix minutes plus tard, je crois que j’aurais lâché », explique ce Bangladais de 30 ans.

      M. Mecherek est fier mais inquiet : « On aimerait ne plus voir tous ces cadavres. On va pêcher du poisson, pas des gens ! ». « J’ai vingt marins à bord, explique-t-il encore. Ils disent “Qui va faire manger nos familles, les clandestins ?” Et ils ont peur des maladies, parfois des migrants ont passé quinze à vingt jours en mer, ils ne se sont pas douchés. C’est compliqué, mais nos pêcheurs ne laisseront jamais des gens mourir. » Les petits chalutiers ont donc pris l’habitude d’emporter de nombreux gilets de sauvetage avant leur départ en mer.
      « L’été s’annonce difficile »

      Pour Mongi Slim, responsable du Croissant-Rouge tunisien, « les pêcheurs sont devenus en pratique les gendarmes de la mer et peuvent alerter. Des migrants nous disent que certains gros bateaux passent » sans leur porter secours.

      Les gros thoniers de Zarzis, sous pression pour pêcher leur quota en une seule sortie annuelle, reconnaissent éviter parfois d’embarquer les migrants, mais assurent qu’ils ne les abandonnent pas sans secours. « On signale les migrants, mais on ne peut pas les ramener à terre : on n’a que quelques semaines pour pêcher notre quota », explique un membre d’équipage.

      Double peine pour les sardiniers : les meilleurs coins de pêche au large de l’Ouest libyen leur sont devenus inaccessibles, car les garde-côtes et les groupes armés les tiennent à l’écart. « Ils sont armés et ils ne rigolent pas, témoigne M. Mecherek. Des pêcheurs se sont fait arrêter. Nous sommes des témoins gênants. »

      Pour M. Bourassine, « l’été s’annonce difficile : avec la reprise des combats en Libye, les trafiquants sont de nouveau libres de travailler, il risque d’y avoir beaucoup de naufrages ».

      https://www.lemonde.fr/afrique/article/2019/06/17/les-pecheurs-tunisiens-desormais-en-premiere-ligne-pour-sauver-les-migrants-