MOSCOW (Sputnik) — On Wednesday, media reported that the Italian coastguard seized a migrant rescue boat run by the German NGO Jugend Rettet over allegations that the charity aided human smugglers in the Mediterranean.
"We are offended by these harsh rebukes. We have heard serious accusations over several months without any proof," Westphal told the Spiegel newspaper.
Westphal added that numerous political groups, as well as the prosecution, suspect the NGOs of direct cooperation with human traffickers. He called it an "unprecedented reproach," since the aid organizations are dealing with the direct consequences of human smuggling, saving the people survived in attempts to cross the Mediterranean, as well retrieving the dead bodies.
The code was signed by Save the Children, Migrant Offshore Aid Station and other groups.