Malta must take concrete steps to bring its detention regime in line with human rights standards. The European Court of Human Rights has said this in no unclear teams in a judgement we are celebrating as a victory for human rights in Malta!
Today, the Court delivered judgement in A.D. v. Malta. Together with JRS Malta, we had brought this case in March 2022 whilst AD was in detention and in collaboration with Advancing Child Right Strategic Litigation, ACRiSL.
The Court found a violation of Article 3 (prohibition of inhuman and degrading treatment), Article 5 (right to liberty) and Article 13 in conjunction with Article 3 (right to an effective remedy).
aditus foundation recently filed another application against Malta before the European Court of Human Rights. The applicant is alleging violations of Article 3 (inhuman and degrading treatment) and Article 5 (arbitrary detention). In an earlier case, our client is alleging that Malta’s asylum procedure did not give him the opportunity to validly present his claim.
The applicant is an asylum-seeking minor suffering from a medical condition. He has been detained since his arrival in Malta in November 2021.
In the application to the Strasbourg Court, he complains that his current detention is arbitrary and based solely on his nationality. He claims that his detention is based on the fact that he is from a country Malta deems to be safe, and to which removals from Malta are being carried out. He also complains of the unlawfulness of his previous periods of detention on health grounds and of his conditions of detention in the so called ‘China House detention centre and the Safi Detention Centre where he is still detained today.
Following several cases filed by aditus foundation before the Immigration Appeals Board challenging the detention of individuals under a removal order, Malta has started to comply with its obligations under European and Maltese law. We are happy to welcome this development, whereby Malta is now implementing procedural safeguards in return procedures.
In the EU, the situation of rejected asylum seekers is governed by the Return Directive 2008/115/EC, adopted by the European Union in 2008. This Directive establishes a common European legal framework of the minimum standards which are to be applied during the procedure for the return of people who are illegally staying on the territory of its Member States. In 2011, Malta duly transposed these obligations in its national legislation and provided for the same standards applicable in all the Member States in Subsidiary Legislation 217.12, entitled: ‘Common Standards and Procedures for Returning Illegally Staying Third-Country National’.