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Eritrean priest faces charges in Italy for helping illegal immigrants

August 10, 2017

A priest from Eritrea has been charged by an Italian prosecutor with promoting illegal immigration: a charge that the priest denies.

Father Mussie Zerai heads an organization called Habeshia, which works to save migrants who are in danger. He explains that he has frequently received distress calls from vessels carrying migrants across the Mediterranean. Father Zerai insists that his organization always alerts the proper authorities, relaying mesages to international relief agencies and to the Italian coast guard. His work, he says, “has always been for humanitarian purposes.” For that work he was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2015.


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