For eighteen Sicilian fishermen, a day’s work meant fishing for the coveted red prawns off the coast of Libya. But in September 2020, they were taken into custody by Libyan authorities who claimed that they had trespassed into their territorial waters. The fishermen’s families have been holding vigils in front of the parliament in Rome to demand their release, while experts have criticized Libya’s actions as a clear violation of international law.
As tensions continue to rise, the Italian navy, which is responsible for patrolling international waters off Libya’s coast, is increasingly withdrawing its presence. Some say it’s because of the increasing number of refugees getting into trouble on the open sea. But as the navy’s presence fades away, the captive fishermen are left to fend for themselves. Third person explores the human side of this political conflict, giving a voice to those who have been silenced in the name of sovereignty.