Malta Refugee Council demands and official inquiry into the death of a young girl
At the end of August, Loujin, a four-year old Syrian girl, boarded a wooden fishing vessel on Lebanon’s coast with her mother and one year old sister, Mira, and set out across the sea with over sixty other people from Syria, Palestine and Lebanon.
Running out of basic provisions and taking on water, they began sending out distress signals on 2 September, 2022. Those distress signals were immediately relayed to the Maltese authorities.Joint Press Statement on the vigil for Loujin held on 16 September 2022
Publicly available information on Loujin’s tragic death is conflicting. One version claims Malta was alerted to the distress situation on 3 September and that no concrete action was taken to secure the lives of the persons aboard the fishing boat. Another version claims that Malta was informed on 6 September and every step was taken to protect all lives, including that of Loujin.
The version everyone must agree on is that Loujin did not survive the ordeal, dying of thirst in her mother’s arms.
We find ourselves extremely troubled over a series of recent cases that were reported to us, which have, in turn, forced us to issue this statement.
For those of you who are not aware, PEP or (post-exposure prophylaxis) is a medicine given to prevent HIV after a possible exposure. This medication is to be taken right away and is only effective for a 72-hour window. It is a vital medicine.
This medicine used to be stocked at the Mater Dei Pharmacy for use by the Accident and Emergency Department at Mater Dei and would be given to patients who desired it at a cost. However, it has recently come to our attention that Mater Dei Pharmacy is no longer stocking it – this is extremely worrying, to say the least.
NGOs, academics ask for the reinstatement of access to corradino
On Saturday 14 November we participated in a vigil in remembrance of the prisoners who lost their lives at Corradino Correctional Facility (CCF). Our Director delivered a brief speech, emphasising the need for truth and justice in order to clarify who caused or prevented the deaths.
“The reign of terror instituted by former prison director Alex Dalli is a clear factor leading to this loss of life,” the group said. “His resignation, and far less his self-suspension, will not bring these victims back,” the groups stated.
“We remain in the dark about the facts which led to these deaths, despite the internal inquiries that have been launched. Colonel Dalli had also restricted access to journalists and activists, turning Corradino into his own fortress.
Without access to Corradino, it became easier for Dalli to run the prisons without any oversight whatsoever.”
Activists are also asking new prison director Robert Brincau to reinstate access to the prisons to both NGOs and media. “Not only will this serve to make the prison administration more transparent, but it would mark a clear departure from Dalli’s horrific methods.”
The coalition of NGOs has also called for a safe and humane environment for prisoners. “We want to see a prison that truly rehabilitates people, not tortures them. Above all, we want to see an end to the system of abuse that was created under Dalli, and prevent any further deaths.”
The groups also noted the start of an inquiry by the independent Ombudsman, and expects Home Affairs Minister Byron Camilleri to shoulder political responsibility for the findings of this report. “Besides the inquiry led by handpicked personnel, Minister Camilleri should also consider the results of an independent inquiry which the Ombudsman is holding out of his own initiative, following numerous reports of maladministration.”
This event is endorsed by:
- Moviment Graffitti
- The Department of Inclusion and Access to Learning (University of Malta)
- Studenti Ħarsien Soċjali
- Prof. Andrew Azzopardi
- Integra Foundation
- SOS Malta
- aditus foundation
- Alleanza Kontra l-Faqar
- Office of the Dean of the Faculty of Education
Help us identify, prioritise and tackle institutional obstacles that stand between individuals and their enjoyment of fundamental rights within the local justice system by filling out this short survey. We wish to collect data to access to justice for marginalised and vulnerable, including migrants, victims of crime, disabled and LGBTIQ individuals groups in Malta.
As European NGOs working on asylum and migration and Afghan Diaspora organisations in Europe, we are alarmed about the situation in Afghanistan and concerned above all about the security of the people of Afghanistan, both those within the country and those displaced and seeking protection in the region and beyond.
The vast majority of displaced Afghans will likely be hosted in the neighbouring countries, as has been the case over decades of displacement from Afghanistan. For reference, since 2015, over six years, 570,000 Afghans sought protection in the EU and associated countries. The majority received a protection status. In contrast, by July 2021, Iran hosted 800,000 registered refugees and up to 3 million other displaced Afghans. In Pakistan, there were 1.4 million registered refugees and up to 2 million other displaced Afghans. These figures have been increasing by the day. In addition, there are close to 5.5 million IDPs in the country.