Italian admiral Nicola De Felice has asked the German government shut down operations of the German-based migrant transport NGO Sea-Watch.
The open letter, which refers to the NGO’s vessel Sea-Watch 3 as a “slave ship”, asks for intervention from the German state as the ship flies the German flag.
“I ask you to take all the necessary measures to stop all Sea-Watch 3 activities related to the landing of illegal immigrants in Italy,” De Felice wrote in the letter to Germany’s ambassador to Italy.
The letter, sections of which were published by Italian newspaper Il Giornale on Monday, goes on to accuse the captain of the vessel of breaking several maritime rules and committing “international crimes”.
“These acts do not honour his nation and its flag, placing Germany and the most Christian German Evangelical Church in a position of ‘unconscious’ collaboration with human traffickers,” De Felice said.