We are shocked and saddened beyond words by the confirmation that the drive-by shooting on April 6th which left Lassana Cisse dead and two other men seriously injured was an act of racial hatred.
That the two men
suspected of committing this heinous crime are members of the Armed Forces of
Malta – a state institution that is there to protect us – makes it even more
It would be tempting to disassociate ourselves from this crime, to dismiss it as a random act, perpetrated by one or two deranged individuals. But we know that it is not, because we daily come in contact with people who are treated as less than human, by individuals and institutions, because of their religion or the colour of their skin.
We call on the authorities in Malta to reconsider the terrorism charges laid against three teenagers who were arrested on 28 March following the docking of the El Hiblu I commercial vessel in the country.
The charges relate to an incident that occurred at the end of March, when some 100 migrants attempting to flee Libya were rescued in international waters by a commercial vessel that was en route to Libya. The vessel reportedly rescued the migrants and initially informed them that they would be taken to Europe but then turned around to head back to Libya. The migrants protested in desperation and the ship was steered again toward Malta. The accused, aged 15, 16 and 19, have been charged under Maltese laws for allegedly hijacking the ship and forcing it to go to Malta. Some of the charges are punishable by life imprisonment. We understand that the three are due to appear in court on 20 May.