We just published two documents that show how Malta continues to fail LGBTIQ+ refugees. As part of the #Safe4All campaign, we are urging Malta to revise it’s asylum laws because the current regime simply does not offer protection to people fleeing because of their LGBTIQ+ identities and/or behaviour.
For Malta Pride 2022, and as part of our activities building up towards EuroPride 2023 (hosted in Malta), we launched a campaign that focuses on LGBTIQ+ refugees in Malta. The campaign flags that Malta designates as ‘safe’ a list of countries that criminalise in their laws LGBTIQ+ identities and/or behaviour. This is unacceptable, as Malta should not be considering these countries as safe.
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.
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.
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.
For days, the Maltese Authorities ignored the distress signals. They also ignored NGO calls for help. For days Loujin, her family, and their fellow travelers drifted in the eastern part of Malta’s search and rescue region (SAR). Commercial vessels passed within eyesight multiple times. The Maltese Authorities shamefully instructed none of them to intervene.
On 10 September we launched the #Safe4All Legal Initiative. The #Safe4 All Legal Initiative is a campaign urging Malta to better protect LGBTIQ+ refugees. It asks Malta to stop declaring as ‘safe’ those countries that currently criminalise LGBTIQ+ identities and/or behaviour.
The campaign, including a Bill to amend Malta’s asylum legislation, was presented to the Equality Parliament Secretary. It will be maintained throughout the coming months as Malta seeks to crown its rainbow glory by hosting EuroPride Valletta 2023.
Visit the campaign’s page for further info, including a touching story of two of our clients.