Open Letter to Commission President Ursula von der Leyen: The European Commission must prioritise addressing police violence and structural racism in the EU

CC to: Vice-President Margaritis Schinas, Commissioner Helena Dalli

Dear Ms. von der Leyen,

As organisations working for an equal and inclusive Europe, we would like to raise our serious concerns regarding the lack of real reaction of EU leaders regarding police brutality against people of colour in Europe as well as institutional and structural racism, following the killing of George Floyd in the United States and ensuing solidarity protests in Europe and across the world. We were appalled by the statement by EU Commissioner Schinas which delegitimises the public outcry against police brutality and institutional racism in Europe.

On 3 June 2020, Commissioner Schinas was quoted in the Financial Times as saying that events such as the killing of African-American man George Floyd in Minneapolis, and the wave of demonstrations against it, were “not likely . . . to happen in Europe at this scale”. “I do not think that we have issues now in Europe that blatantly pertain to police brutality or issues of race transcending into our systems. But we do have an issue in Europe, which is the issue of inequalities and income distribution — making the best for everyone of what we have.”

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In Solidarity with the Stateless

An urgent call to states, donors and other stakeholders to promote and protect the rights of stateless persons in their COVID-19 responses

We joined 83 other human rights NGOs to make this urgent appeal to States, donors and other stakeholders…

As governments across the world confront the COVID-19 pandemic, facing deeply challenging decisions on protecting public health while averting starvation and warding off economic disaster, it is increasingly evident that in times of crisis, states are largely embracing a “citizens first” approach.

Denied nationality and deprived basic rights and welfare, the stateless were already marginalised before the crisis. They now face even greater, life-threatening marginalisation, with potentially disastrous consequences.

We, the undersigned 84 civil society actors, work on the right to nationality, non-discrimination, and statelessness around the world. We have been tracking and responding to the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and state responses to it, on those whose nationality and belonging is denied or under threat. We have observed that in democratic states, measures including border closures and movement restrictions, health assistance, emergency relief and economic stimulus packages, privilege citizens and their concerns. Migrants, refugees, populations at risk of statelessness and the stateless themselves are left behind.

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The ill-treatment aboard the Captain Morgan ships must be stopped at once!

We are disgusted at the situation of over 160 men detained on the Captain Morgan ships, some for more than three weeks. In detaining them out at sea, Malta is denying them basic human rights, dignity and voice. The human body and the human spirit can only endure so much. These young men have been exposed to too much trauma, we fear their physical and mental well-being will deteriorate fast. Malta is responsible for their ongoing detention out at sea and for the conditions they are forced to endure.

We remind the authorities that these are compounded by the psychological distress that they would have been forced to endure in the past weeks and months throughout their journey, including the violence that they would have been exposed to in Libya. 

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Being non-binary in Malta

#KeepingUpWithTheInterns

Hey all! Hope everyone is safe! This week I am going to talk about a topic close to my heart: human rights and the LGBTIQ+ community. I enjoy reading and informing myself regarding these topics, and since I am part of the community, I also have my personal experience to share. That is why I would like to share it with you all! Hope you enjoy it!

So first off…what does LGBTIQ+ stand for?

L is for lesbian, G is for gay, B is for bisexual, T is for Transgender, I is for Intersex, Q is for Queer or Questioning and the ‘+’ represents the rest of the community.

Around the world, the LGBTIQ+ community continues to face violence, legal discrimination and other human rights abuses on bases of their sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression and/or sex characteristics. Many LGBTIQ+ people cannot fully enjoy their universal human rights. They have a higher risk of becoming victims of hate crime, torture, killing and executions, arrests under unjust laws, unequal treatment, censorship, medical abuses, discrimination in health and jobs and housing, domestic violence, abuses against children, and denial of family rights and recognition. 76 countries in the world still have same-sex criminalization. Six countries still have the death penalty for same-sex relationships.

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