help to distribute to further lists and websites.
> Von: Karl Kopp
> Dear colleagues, dear friends,
> The trial against the Cap Anamur enters its decisive stage. The
> prosecution of the Italian region Agrigento demands that Elias
> Bierdel and Captain Stefan Schmidt are to be convicted to four
> years of prison and a fine of 400.000 Euros. The judgment is to be
> pronounced on 20 May 2009.
> PRO ASYL and the German Ecumenical Committee on Church Asylum are
> thus initiating a campaign of solidarity with the defendants.
We would like to ask you for your support: please sign the attached
> appeal, it is available in German, English and Italian.
> The attempt to outlaw the salvation of refugees at sea has far
> reaching implications. Broad international support for Elias
> Bierdel and Stefan Schmidt is necessary. We have to send out a
> clear signal: the charges were not to be raised in the first place.
> The real scandal is the loss of life at the gates of Europe.
> Humanitarian aid and rescue at sea are no crime.
> The trial, the threat of a possible conviction and the prospect of
> further legal proceedings are severe burdens for our two friends
> and colleagues. Their livelihood and reputation are at risk.
> We ask you to send the signed appeal to firstname.lastname@example.org, to
> support the upcoming press work and advocacy efforts and to develop
> your own activities of solidarity.
> On Monday 18 May 2009 we will publish the appeal with the
> signatures of as many supporters as possible. Starting from 18 May
> it will also be possible to sign an online-petition to the Italian
> Ministry of Justice on our homepage www.proasyl.de.
> Kind regards
> Solidarity with Elias Bierdel and Captain Stefan Schmidt
> In June 2004, the German Vessel "Cap Anamur" rescued 37 persons
> from distress at sea. Because of this maritime salvage, Captain
> Stefan Schmidt and Elias Bierdel are facing trial in Italy. The two
> life-savers could be condemned to imprisonment, exorbitant fines or
> further arduous years awaiting trial on the next level of
> We are appalled by the attempt to outlaw the courageous action of
> Elias Bierdel and Stefan Schmidt and by the attempt to destroy
> their livelihoods. We demand to drop all charges against them and
> to fully restore their reputation. Humanitarian aid is never a crime.
Solidarität mit Elias Bierdel und Kapitän Stefan Schmidt
> Das deutsche Schiff Cap Anamur rettete im Juni 2004 37 Menschen aus
> Seenot. Für diese Rettungstat stehen Kapitän Stefan Schmidt und
> Elias Bierdel in Italien vor Gericht. Den beiden Lebensrettern
> drohen Haft, exorbitante Geldstrafen und weitere zermürbende Jahre
> in der nächsten Gerichtsinstanz.
> Wir sind empört über den Versuch, couragiertes Handeln zu
> kriminalisieren und die Existenz von Elias Bierdel und Stefan
> Schmidt zu zerstören Wir fordern ihre umfassende Rehabilitierung.
> Humanitäre Hilfe ist kein Verbrechen.
> Solidarietà a Elias Bierdel e al capitano Stefan Schmidt
> Nel giugno 2004 la nave tedesca Cap Anamur trasse in salvo 37
> naufraghi nel Canale di Sicilia. Per questo salvataggio, il
> comandante Stefan Schmidt e Elias Bierdel sono finiti sotto
> processo. Oggi rischiano il carcere, multe salatissime e altri anni
> snervanti per i ricorsi.
>Siamo indignati per il tentativo in atto di criminalizzare un gesto
> umanitario e coraggioso, e di cercare di distruggere la vita di
> Elias Bierdel e Stefan Schmidt.
> Esigiamo l'assoluzione completa. L'aiuto umanitario non è mai un