Pia Klemp Wiki
Pia Klemp is 35-year-old from Bonn hail. She is a German boat captain could face 20 years in prison for her Mediterranean rescue work after allegedly co-operating with smugglers to traffic migrants to Italy. She faces trial in Italy for assisting illegal immigration after her boat was impounded in 2017.
Supporters of the 35-year-old from Bonn hail her as a humanitarian who has been personally responsible for hundreds of rescue missions.
But Italian authorities allege that she colluded with smugglers to collect migrants at Mediterranean rendezvous points and stage rescues at sea.
Pia Klemp, a German biologist & boat captain faces 20 yrs in prison for rescuing 1,000+ migrants at risk of drowning whilst crossing the Mediterranean. Seeking asylum is a human right. Only 1 in 100 sea captains are female. This woman is a humanitarian, not a criminal. #FreePia pic.twitter.com/VPgacPUfco
— Vivian Angrisani (@VivianAngrisani) June 8, 2019
But she insisted she was ready to fight her prosecution all the way to the European Court of Human Rights if necessary.
She also has the backing of 80,000 people who have signed a petition urging Italy to drop the charges.
The author of the petition said that charging Klemp and fellow members of private rescue ships would signal the ‘unconditional surrender of humanity in Europe.’
Pia Klemp Is a Biologist
Pia Klemp trained as a biologist. She has said that she fell in love with the ocean after working as a dive instructor around coral reefs. That’s also when she came to realize, she says, that the oceans are at risk because of pollution and over-fishing. Klemp says that she decided to go into ocean conservation after witnessing the destruction of the ocean.
She joined the Sea Shepherd, an international marine wildlife conservation organization, because she wanted to protect the ocean against what she sees as humanity’s greed and destructiveness. Sea Shepherd uses what it calls “innovative direct-action tactics” to combat illegal activities on the high seas. Here’s how Klemp explained her decision to join Sea Shepherd:
Pia Klemp spent the last seven years onboard various NGO vessels and oceans, fighting against illegal whale hunt & fishing. She captained Search & Rescue vessels in the Mediterranean Sea to help refugees & migrants in maritime distress on their dangerous route to safety in Europe pic.twitter.com/cWWiGnPVGx
— TEDxBerlin (@TEDxBerlin1) June 3, 2019
“The complexity and beauty of life, plant or animal, deeply fascinates me. I worked as a dive instructor around some of the most amazing reefs, loving the ocean more with every dive. At the same time it became evident to me how pollution is destroying the underwater habitats, how many marine species are endangered, how blinded by greed we are: fishing, trawling, killing until extinction; how much coral is dying and how little is happening to stop this mass destruction. The more I’ve seen and learned the greater my urge to protect the seas has become. After some conservation projects in Germany, Thailand and Indonesia, I joined the Sea Shepherd ships 1.5 years ago.”
Pia Klemp Rescuing Drowning People
Klemp faces up to 20 years in prison on charges of aiding illegal immigration; the Italian government charges that she was personally involved in the rescue of a thousand would-be migrants who were trying to cross into Italy. Klemp is accused of carrying out the rescues in the Mediterranean while she was sailing on the Sea Watch III and on the Iuventa
Klemp gave an interview for Sea Watch after carrying out a rescue mission off the Libyan coast. She said that she believed that saving drowning people is a duty: “For every captain this is the duty,” she told Sea Watch. “Apart from that it should be self understandable for overprivileged Europeans like us.”
Thank you all for your support and solidarity! An interview with full time activist #PiaKlemp conducted by @bazonline is an excellent resource for learning more about Pia’s position and the charges she and the crew of the Iuventa are facing in Italy. https://t.co/cRqs7PI2x6
— Vivian Angrisani (@VivianAngrisani) June 10, 2019
Authorities impounded Klemp’s ship, the Iuventa, and have moved to bar her from sailing around Italian waters. For her part, Klemp has vowed to fight all the way to the Euopean Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, France if she is convicted of helping illegal immigration.She Runs an Organization Called Aquascope Which Aims to Stop Illegal Fishing
Klemp is the executive director of Aquascope, an organization that works to combat illegal fishing. The group argues that illegal, unregulated, and unreported fishing is one of the greatest threats to the ocean, because of its impact on fish populations and on marine ecosystems. The group says that illegal fishing also has a devastating impact on human populations, harming coastal communities and their socio-economic development.
Aquascope aims to improve monitoring and surveillance of fishing, using both technology and ship-based surveillance to spot illegal fishing activities. The organization says that it brings together activists, conservation groups, scientists, and governments to work together in the fight against illegal fishing.
Klemp became the executive director of Aquascope in 2015. She has also worked with Sea Shepherd, an international marine conservation society. She is a biologist who says that she fell deeply in love with the ocean while working as a dive instructor.
Pia Klemp a Germon Boat Captain
Klemp got involved in the Sea Shepherd organization after earning a degree in biology. She was concerned about the damage to the ocean caused by pollution and by human activities and, she says, she wanted to take action. She says that when she joined the Sea Shepherd, she was taken on as a deckhand. But she worked her way up steadily until she “did the Master of Yachts,” and at that point, she says, she was allowed to drive private vessels.
It’s unusual for a woman to be a boat captain. According to Sea Shepherd, only one percent of the boats in the world are captained by women. Klemp also has noted that most of the crew members on Sea Shepherd ships are not trained as sailors until they join Sea Shepherd. They are volunteers — doctors and other professionals who are using their vacation time to help the cause. She explained that part of her job involves training her own crew:
“Sea rescue missions have been criminalized”
German captain, Pia Klemp, on trial in #Italy, decries #EU failure “to remember its avowed values: human rights, the right to life, to apply for asylum & the duty of seafarers to rescue those in danger at sea” https://t.co/YWS1mSKUQQ
— Lotte Leicht (@LotteLeicht1) June 8, 2019
“Our crew members have a lot of passion and are professionals in their respective field. Many doctors take their annual leave to work aboard our ship. We make them seaworthy with training, for example for fire protection or knotting. That’s how the team grows together. But it can also be really exhausting if you’ve never been on a ship before.”
She Says If She’s Convicted She’ll Fight the Verdict All the Way to the European Court of Human Rights
Klemp and her supporters say that her rescues of drowning migrants were not illegal at all. In fact, they say, the rescues were in keeping with the United Nations’ policy on sea rescues. They were also in line with the basic responsibilities of a boat captain. Klemp says that, if convicted, she has vowed that she will fight the verdict all the way to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, France.
“We have only followed international law, especially the law of the sea, where the highest priority is to save people from distress,” Klemp said in an interview with Swiss newspaper Basler Zeitung.
Klemp studied biology at the University of Bonn. According to her LinkedIn profile, she speaks three languages: German, English, and Bahasa Indonesia. She has worked as a dive instructor at reefs around the world and has been involved in conservation projects in Thailand, Indonesia, and Germany.
She joined Sea Shepherd, an international marine conservation group, because she said she wanted to protect the ocean from pollution and from what she sees as human “greed.” She also works as the executive director of a group called Aquascope which works to combat illegal fishing in waters around the world.
Klemp is now facing trial for her work rescuing migrants from the Mediterranean. Italian authorities are charging that she helped to save about a thousand people who were trying to reach Europe, and she has been charged with assisting illegal immigration.
Fast Facts You Need to Know
- Pia Klemp has been under investigation since her boat was impounded in 2017
- Italian authorities allege that she was colluding with Mediterranean smugglers
- They have also moved to stop her from sailing around Italian coasts altogether
- In an interview with a Swiss newspaper, she said her trial is about to begin
- Klemp says she will take the fight all the way to the European Court of Human Rights