“Did we have to wait for someone to die to re-think detention?”, our Director on One News

This morning our Director, Neil Falzon, was on One News together with UNHCR Malta, to discuss the recent death of a migrant whilst in detention.  The discussion gave us the opportunity to highlight some of our major human rights concerns with the way Malta automatically detains migrants found to be in an irregular situation.

“We’ve been expressing these concerns for years now, but it had to be someone’s death to shake the country out of this horrible impasse”, commented Neil.  We focused our intervention on the national shock that’s currently being experienced.

“When you talk of migrants in terms of numbers, using words such as ‘burden’, ‘expense’ and ‘unwanted’ you inevitably eat away at the person’s humanity, at his very dignity.  The recent violent beating was merely the climax of something that’s been brewing for years.”

We also reiterated that the European Court of Human Rights, together with other human rights agencies and institutions, has condemned Malta’s detention policy as clearly violating the European Human Rights Convention.

Later today, together with the other 9 NGOs endorsing the statement, we’ll be meeting the Prime-Minister to discuss the way ahead…fingers crossed!