Sea rescue: Paris honors Carola Rackete and Pia Klemp

Lifeboat captains are honored by the French capital for their commitment to human rights. Italian Interior Minister Salvini reacts with ridicule.


Paris gives Captain Caroline Rackete and Pia Klemp the highest medal in the city. The award recognizes solidarity and commitment to respect for human rights, City Hall announced. In addition to the awarding of the Médaille Grand Vermeil de la Ville de Paris to Rackete and Klemp, the French maritime rescue organization SOS Méditerranée will receive 100,000 euros in emergency aid for a new rescue mission.

Rackete had driven a ship with several migrants to the German aid organization Sea-Watch without permission to Italy. Klemp was known as captain of the organization Jugend Rettet in the summer of 2017, when the ship Iuventa in Italy was seized. Both accused of illegal immigration. Organizations such as Sea-Watch or SOS Méditerranée pointed out that one must counteract the sluggishness of European governments, said the town hall. Rackete and Klemp stood for this fight.

The medal is awarded since 1911 by the French capital in different high categories. The supporters include the Swedish footballer Zlatan Ibrahimovic, US actress Jane Fonda and the Turkish journalist Can Dündar.

Racket sues Salvini

Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini scoffed at the price of racketeers. The city of Paris has nothing better to do than to honor "such subjects". Sea Watch captain Carola Rackete had previously announced a lawsuit seeking to block Salvini's Facebook and Twitter accounts. In the complaint, which is to be submitted to the public prosecutor in Rome, she accuses him to incite people in social media to hatred.

"In Matteo Salvini's words, there are abysmal feelings of hatred, denigration, delegitimization, and even bodily dehumanization," it says. However, the complaint was not yet filed because of problems with the post, said Rackete defender Alessandro Gamberini.

ref: zeit