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Providing hope in the dark

5 min

Highlights of an inspiring interview I did with Miguel Duarte, the migrants rights activist who helped save 14,000 people... and faced 20 years in prison for it.

This week I interviewed Miguel Duarte, a young migrants rights activist who helped save 14,000 people – and faced 20 years in prison for it.

2016 saw the peak of the EU migration crisis. Tens of thousands of migrants from Syria, Afghanistan, Somalia and other countries became stranded in the Mediterranean Sea, trying to reach Europe on small vessels unfit for purpose.

Working with a German NGO on a converted fishing boat, Miguel and his team saved 14,000 desperate people. But his mission came to a halt when the Italian government charged him and his crew with aiding illegal immigration. They each faced up to 20 years in prison.

Italy under fire over charges against migrant rescue volunteer
Portugal’s parliament has protested an Italian decision to charge a Portuguese student with aiding illegal immigration, a move condemned by officials, who argue he was saving lives of migrants stranded in the Mediterranean.

Miguel had a fascinating story, with many insights for activist citizens that are worth hearing. It was a privilege to chat to him.

The full interview will be out next week. It'll be the first in a rebooted series called Frontline for DiEM25, and it'll be released on video and podcast. Subscribe to DiEM25's YouTube channel to get notified when it's out.

For now, here are a few edited extracts of the interview, for subscribers of this newsletter. I hope you'll enjoy them.

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