Lifeline Captain will receive human rights award

REUTERS/Darrin Zammit Lupi

Lifeline Captain Claus-Peter Reisch will receive this year’s Human Rights Award. The Austrian League for Human Rights awarded the 2018 prize for the protection and preservation of human rights. Reisch is currently facing proceedings in Malta where he was charged over what the police claim is the ship’s irregular registration.

Reisch was the captain of the vessel MV Lifeline when 234 people were saved from drowning. After a standoff between Malta and Italy, the ship was allowed to dock in Malta. The disembarkation was only allowed after an agreement was reached among a number of states for them to be distributed.

Reisch said that the award honoured him and he accepted it on behalf of “Mission Lifeline” and his entire crew. He stressed that as a ship captain it was his duty to hurry to aid anyone who found themselves in distress at sea. Reisch said that he would not have to think about it albeit he was even legally obliged underlining that after all one could not let others drown at sea irrespective of their origin. This was second award that Reisch received this year after having received another award earlier from the Bavarian Social Democratic Party.

The Austrian League for Human Rights is committed to the implementation of human rights, with special attention to the situation in Austria and in the European Union.

Reisch will receive his award on 8 December during a ceremony which is part of the International Human Rights Film Festival “This Human World”.