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Search and rescue: A message to Europe

23 Nov 20

Search and rescue: A message to Europe

Souleman was rescued from a rubber boat in distress, along with his wife Layla and two-year-old son Cillian, during the maiden voyage of the Sea-Watch 4.

On his first night spent safely on deck of the rescue ship, he requested a pen and paper, to write a letter. He said he had a message for Europe.

The letter he wrote, and the interview he subsequently gave, are a direct call to European governments from his perspective.

Souleman is not a talking head for Médecins Sans Frontières / Doctors Without Borders (MSF). He speaks for himself, communicating the issue from his perspective.

Search and rescue capacity is desperately needed at the world’s deadliest sea border, yet European governments are blocking NGO rescue ships from saving lives.

The Sea-Watch 4 has now been prevented from resuming lifesaving activities since the last rotation disembarked 353 rescued people to a quarantine ship in Sicily on 2 September.

It has been officially blocked in port by Italian authorities since 19 September.

Samar is 3 years old. She came with her father to the MSF medical point to receive wound care. Samar was going with her father out of their building on the day of the explosion and the steal gate caused her facial injuries and burns. She already had reconstructive plastic surgery. MSF has established a fixed point in the Mar Mikhael and Karantina neighborhoods in Beirut, two of the areas most impacted by the blast, to provide medical support to the people affected by the explosion. The team provides wound care (dressings), rapid consultations for people with non-communicable diseases, as well as psychological first aid.

Medical care where it's needed most