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).
We are thrilled to announce a new cooperation that will strengthen our fight against illegal detention in Malta. Throughout 2023, we will be cooperating with the German NGO PRO ASYL in all our detention activities. This cooperation will boost our #ThereAreAlternatives campaign, pushing for Malta to bring its practices in line with fundamental human rights law.
In particular, PRO ASYL is providing us with financial support that will allow our lawyers to be more present in the detention centres to meet detained persons and see to their legal needs. This cooperation is also ensuring that our lawyers are able to visit our clients with much-needed interpreters, and to provide the people we meet with Fact Sheets about their legal situation.
In yet another critique of Malta’s detention regime, yesterday the European Court of Human Rights ordered Malta to release seven children from a detention centre. In its ruling, the Court indicated that Malta should “ensure that the applicants’ conditions are compatible with Article 3 of the Convention and with their status as unaccompanied minors.”.
This decision, ordering Malta to release the children from detention, confirms that Malta is indeed detaining persons who are in most need of care and protection. It also underlines that this approach is simply unacceptable.
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.
What does detention mean? What is freedom?
This is how we approached the project ‘Detained Narratives’. We wanted to give a voice to those people Malta chooses to lock up in squalid living conditions, in a system that in many cases is illegal.
Three young men agreed to talk about their experiences. Many others were too traumatised. Most were afraid.
Their voices expose Malta’s immigration detention regime. Concise yet powerful, the three clips we are disseminating provide a glimpse into the lived experiences of young men detained in Safi Barracks under a policy widely condemned by international, European and Maltese human rights bodies.
We are sharing the videos on our FB, Twitter and Insta pages. They may also be viewed on our YouTube Channel as also our advocacy page #ThereAreAlternatives.
Do not hesitate to contact us for further information.