JRS Malta gravely concerned about return of Somalis to Libya

JRS Malta gravely concerned about return of Somalis to Libya

Verżjoni bil-Malti iktar ’l isfel

STATEMENT – issued by the Jesuit Refugee Service Malta, on 21st July 2010


JRS Malta is gravely concerned about the return of the 27 Somali asylum seekers, rescued on Saturday
night from a vessel in distress within Malta’s SAR, to Libya.

Given the numerous credible reports highlighting the harsh treatment of migrants caught trying to
leave Libya illegally and the impossibility of obtaining effective protection there, we cannot but
question whether Libya can legitimately be considered ‘safe’.

Although the facts surrounding the search and rescue operation are far from clear, from initial
reports it appears that the migrants who boarded the Libyan vessel were led to believe that they
would be going to Italy.

Moreover, it seems that the 55 migrants on board the dinghy were arbitrarily divided between the
two boats, without any assessment of their personal situation or protection needs. This led to families
being separated, with one member of the family in Malta and the other in Libya.

In the circumstances we find it hard to accept without questioning, the AFM’s assertion that half the
migrants on board the dinghy meekly volunteered to go back to Libya, the country they had risked
everything to leave.

While it is clear that irregular immigration poses particular challenges for Malta, JRS believes that
attempts to limit the number of irregular arrivals should never be at the cost of human rights.

We therefore call upon the government to ensure that from now on, all asylum seekers within Malta’s
effective jurisdiction are not sent to Libya, where they cannot obtain the protection they require and
where they risk suffering serious violations of their fundamental human rights.



STQARRIJA


Is-Servizz tal-Ġiżwiti mar-Refuġjati – Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) Malta – juri tħassib serju dwar irritorn
lejn il-Libja ta’ 27 persuna mis-Somalja, li kienu qed ifittxu l-ażil u li ġew salvati s-Sibt billejl minn
biċċa tal-baħar fil-periklu fiz-zona ta’ tfittxija u salvataġġ ta’ Malta.

Minħabba l-ħafna rapporti ta’ min joqgħod fuqhom dwar it-trattament aħrax tal-immigranti li
jinqabdu jitilqu mil-Libja b’mod illegali u l-impossibilita li jiksbu protezzjoni effettiva f’dak il-pajjiż, ma
nistgħux ma nistaqsux jekk il-Libja tistax bir-raġun titqies bħala pajjiż ‘sigur’.

Għalkemm il-fatti dwar l-operazzjoni ta’ tfittxija u salvataġġ xejn m’huma ċari, minn rapporti inizjali1
jidher li l-immigranti li telgħu fuq il-bastiment Libjan ngħataw x’jifhmu li kienu sejrin l-Italja.

Barra minn hekk, jidher li l-55 immigrant fuq id-dingi tqassmu arbitrarjament bejn żewġ bastimenti,
mingħajr ebda stħarriġ tas-sitwazzjoni personali tagħhom jew tal-ħtiġiet ta’ protezzjoni. Dan wassal
biex xi familji ġew mifruda, b’membru tal-familja jispiċċa Malta u l-oħra l-Libja.

F’dawn iċ-ċirkostanzi nsibuha bi tqila li nemmnu mingħajr ma niddubitaw il-verżjoni tal-Forzi Armati
ta’ Malta li nofs l-immigranti fuq id-dingi kemm qabdu u offrew li jmorru lura l-Libja, il-pajjiż li kienu
rriskjaw kollox biex jitilqu minnu.

Filwaqt li huwa ċar li l-immigrazzjoni irregolari ġġib magħha sfidi partikolari għal Malta, il-JRS jemmen
li l-ebda tentattiv biex jitnaqqas in-numru ta’ wasliet irregolari m’għandu jkun a skapitu tad-drittijiet
tal-bniedem.

Għalhekk nitolbu lill-gvern li jiżgura li minn issa ’l quddiem, il-persuni kollha li jfittxu ażil filġuriżdizzjoni
effettiva ta’ Malta ma jintbagħtux il-Libja, fejn ma jistgħux jiksbu l-protezzjoni li jeħtieġu u fejn jistgħu jġarrbu vjolazzjonijiet serji tad-drittijiet fondamentali umani tagħhom

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