Hey all! Hope you are ok and enjoying yourselves…despite the precautions. This week I am going to challenge myself and write on a topic that I am not to familiar with. It’s a topic I find very interesting and important. I am writing about aditus foundation’s ‘Right to Marry Campaign’.
To do so I decided to talk to our Assistant Director, Dr. Carla Camilleri.
first Off, What does this campaign consist of?
The (Ir)Regular Love – Right to Marry campaign is a 2019/2020 project that focuses on raising awareness and advocating for the right to marry for persons who are in an irregular situation in Malta. The project consisted of two strands consisting of:
- Desk-research which resulted in the publication of the (Ir)Regular Love report.
- Awareness raising, consisting of the production of a short information video and a campaign on social media and 3 major news portals.
Brussels, 26 July 2019
The criminalisation of solidarity in Europe is soaring. Researchers and civil society have identified at least 49 ongoing cases of investigation and criminal prosecution in 11 Member States involving a total of 158 people in a recent study by the European research platform ReSOMA. The number of individuals criminalised for humanitarian activities has grown tenfold, from 10 people in 2015 to 104 in 2018.
targets include volunteers, activists, NGOs, crew members of rescue ships,
migrants’ family members, and also journalists, mayors and priests. The recent arrest of the Sea Watch 3 captain, Carola Rackete, is just the
latest example of how people are being blamed for saving migrants’ lives and
providing the humanitarian assistance which Member States are unwilling or
unable to provide, despite being obliged to according to international and EU
Independent judges have found no sound evidence for convictions in most of these cases. This suggests that prosecutions are often being politically used to deter solidarity and create a hostile environment for migrants. Policing solidarity further involves suspicion, intimidation, harassment and disciplining against civil society, with long-term consequences for the rule of law, democratic accountability, social cohesion, freedom of association and fundamental rights in the EU. These misguided investigations fuel the negative image of migrants as criminals and perpetuate the perception of chaos at Europe’s borders.
Taken from the OHCHR website, 7 May 2019.
We call on the authorities in Malta to reconsider the terrorism charges laid against three teenagers who were arrested on 28 March following the docking of the El Hiblu I commercial vessel in the country.
The charges relate to an incident that occurred at the end of March, when some 100 migrants attempting to flee Libya were rescued in international waters by a commercial vessel that was en route to Libya. The vessel reportedly rescued the migrants and initially informed them that they would be taken to Europe but then turned around to head back to Libya. The migrants protested in desperation and the ship was steered again toward Malta. The accused, aged 15, 16 and 19, have been charged under Maltese laws for allegedly hijacking the ship and forcing it to go to Malta. Some of the charges are punishable by life imprisonment. We understand that the three are due to appear in court on 20 May.
Joint NGO appeal to the Prime Minister to resolve the Alan Kurdi standoff
We strongly urge Malta to allow the disembarkation of the over 60 people rescued over nine days ago by the Alan Kurdi. In doing so, Malta will ensure a humane end to this incident that prioritises the preservation of lives over political and legal considerations. Whilst we appreciate that these considerations are of course central to the determination of responsibilities and obligations, these should not override or ignore the need to ensure the safety of all rescued persons and of the rescuing crew.
We remind Malta and the European Union
that Libya cannot be considered a safe port of disembarkation. Countless
reports have been revealing the appalling human rights violations suffered by
migrants in Libya. Furthermore, the recent escalation of violence in the
country highlights the increased lack of security for Libyans and migrants
alike. Forcibly returning migrants, as also Libyan nationals, to Libya would
expose them to torture, sexual violence, arbitrary detention, discrimination
and – in some cases – death.
NGO Statement on the murder of Lassibe Souleymane
We are deeply saddened by news of the death of Lassibe Souleymane, brutally shot in Ħal Far over the weekend. We also wish all the very best to the two other victims of the shooting, and hope they recover without permanent or serious damage. Whatever the actual reasons for this terrible incident, it affects not only the three victims but the entire migrant community in creating a sense of fear, lack of security and isolation. It also affects us all, a nation jolted by an appalling act of violence.
As we eagerly await the outcome of the investigations, we urge Malta’s highest authorities to unequivocally condemn all forms of violence – whatever their motivation. We caution that, should it emerge that this was in fact a racially-motivated incident, Malta would be called upon to face far more than an act of assault, but far graver crime aimed at instilling terror in entire communities.
Secondly, we expect the Malta Police Force to step up: commit all necessary resources to bring the perpetrators to justice; ensure the survivors are treated as victims of crime and guaranteed all the support and protection they need.
Importantly we underline the need to comfort and express solidarity with all residents of Ħal Far, assuring that all will be done to restore good order and security for the locality’s communities.
Statement endorsed by the following organisations:
- aditus foundation
- African Media Association Malta
- Allied Rainbow Communities (arc)
- Blue Door English
- The Critical Institute
- Department for Inclusion and Access to Learning, University of Malta
- Drachma LGBTI
- Drachma Parents
- Foundation for Shelter and Support to Migrants
- Integra Foundation
- International Association for Refugees
- Isles of the Left
- Jesuit Refugee Service (Malta)
- LGBTI Plus Gozo
- Malta Emigrants’ Commission
- Malta Humanist Association
- Malta LGBTIQ Rights Movement
- Men Against Violence
- Moviment Graffitti
- National Foster Care Association Malta
- Richmond Foundation
- Solidarity with Migrants
- SOS Malta
- Sudanese Community Malta
- Victim Support Malta
- Women’s Rights Foundation