Germany’s foreign minister Heiko Maas has said that the captain of a migrant rescue ship in Italian custody should be released.

Maas said on Monday he’d been in contact with Italian authorities to press the case that it is “not acceptable” to criminalize the rescue of migrants in the Mediterranean, AP reports.

German citizen Carola Rackete has been in custody since Saturday, when she defied Italy’s anti-migrant Interior Minister Matteo Salvini and port authorities by steering her Sea-Watch 3 ship to Lampedusa’s dock so the 40 migrants the ship rescued on June 12 could disembark.

Maas said that “sea rescue is no crime, it is a humanitarian act.”

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