When witnesses won’t be silenced: citizens’ solidarity and criminalisation

When witnesses won’t be silenced: citizens’ solidarity and criminalisation is a free downloadable briefing paper that looks at the dramatic increase in prosecutions from European states on humanitarian activists for their acts of solidarity with and assistance of displaced people.

 Chronicling 17 cases involving 99 people in 2018 and the first months of 2019, this second report [1] on the criminalisation of humanitarian actors, shows the expansion and escalation of states’ prosecutions during the ‘migrant crisis’. For example, 2018 saw charges include:

  • Membership of a criminal network or gang as well as, in the Stansted 15 case, terrorism-related offences
  • In some cases, individuals and organisations have had phones tapped and bank accounts frozen
  • In the case of search and rescue NGOs investigation and/or prosecution has been accompanied by ‘smear campaigns’ which seem to be spearheaded by the Italian government to delegitimize, slander and obstruct aid associations

Related links

Download When witnesses won’t be silenced: citizens’ solidarity and criminalisation here

Read a press release on the report here

Read our letter to the EU Commissioner here


[1] The Institute of Race Relations published Humanitarianism: the unacceptable face of solidarity in Nov 2017, which followed 26 cases involving 45 people between 2015 and 2017