We’ve just uploaded our key cases to our Publications page. Under the heading ‘Our cases’, you’ll now find the documents relating to the prominent cases we’ve brought before various tribunals and Courts. We’ve only uploaded finalised cases, meaning for now you won’t find anything relating to, for example, the Captain Morgan case.
In the section you’ll find key cases where we represented children challenging their detention before the Immigration Appeals Board, as well as habeas corpus decisions taken by the Court of Magistrates. Under Maltese law, a habeas corpus application may be filed by any persons who wishes to question the legality of their arrest and/or detention. This is an extremely urgent procedure, as it understands the mere potential of a person being detained in violation of the law. We’ve brought several such applications, mostly successful, against Malta’s terrible detention regime.
Yesterday, yet again, we filed an emergency application for the release of two clients who had been held in detention illegally in Ħal Far & Safi Barracks for over 40 days. The Court of Magistrates, during yesterday’s sitting, ordered the immediate release of Awais Mohammed and Hasan Ali, after hearing the arguments put forward by both parties and ruling that indeed the detention was not based on any ground at law and was thus illegal. This was yet another successful habeas corpus filed by aditus foundation for illegally-detained persons.
The story of two LGBTIQ+ clients: Ali & Ashraf
Ali and Ashraf* are two vulnerable LGBTIQ+ individuals, who faced sexual violence in their countries of origin as well as during their journey to Europe. They were referred to us by their social workers and doctors who they grew to trust over the course of a few months. Both Ali and Ashraf came from what are deemed to be “safe countries“** of origin.
On arrival in Malta they applied for asylum and were passed through a fast-tracked procedure due to the fact that they came from “safe countries”. The procedure was carried out when both, although extremely vulnerable, were being detained in Safi Detention Centre. They were not given any information prior to the asylum interview. Consequently, they did not mention that they are LGBTIQ+ individuals in fear of the consequences of making such statements, being unware of Malta’s position on the matter, and also in fear that they could be at risk of harassment or violence should the other detainees find out.
Minors being hosted in the Dar Il-Liedna open shelter for unaccompanied children now live in fear of being arrested and detained at any moment following the arbitrary arrest of two Bangladeshi minors by the Principal Immigration Officer (PIO), based on controversial evidence that they were allegedly adults.
The two teenagers had been rescued at sea by the Armed Forces of Malta (AFM) and were disembarked in Malta on the 26th of May 2022. They were directly taken to detention in the so-called “China House” detention centre in Ħal Far and declared that they are minors at a later stage. They were released on the 21st of June 2022 after being confirmed as minors following an interview with social workers from the Agency for the Welfare of Asylum Seekers (AWAS) which is the Agency responsible for carrying out such assessments for unaccompanied minors (UMAS).
Malta Refugee Council Statement on World Refugee Day 2022
Malta in 2022 offers an extremely hostile environment to refugees reaching our shores. The Government refuses to explain why they are abandoned out at sea, either not rescued or not allowed to safely disembark. Hundreds are detained in squalid conditions and on dubious legal grounds in what international human rights bodies described as “institutional mass neglect”. New detention rules dramatically limit their possibility of receiving needed information and support. Measures adopted by the Government in eagerness to speed up an under-resourced asylum procedure limit the opportunity for persons to fully explain why they are in need of protection, whilst the care provided to the most vulnerable is – at most – basic. Dialogue between the Government and civil society, including refugee-led groups, has been effectively closed.
Never before has refugee protection been so challenging.
On World Refugee Day 2022 the Malta Refugee Council appeals to Malta to be place of shelter for those men, women and children forced to flee their homes. Whether fleeing the war in Ukraine, discriminatory laws in Nigeria or ethnic conflict in South Sudan, all refugees share the same need for safety, protection and dignity.