El Hiblu Case: Terrorism charge for three young persons is excessive |  Moviment Graffitti Malta.
24/10/2019

El Hiblu Case: Terrorism charge for three young persons is excessive

Joint NGO and Stakeholders Statement


The authorities’ decision to charge three young migrants with terrorism is excessive and inhumane. As a group of NGOs and stakeholders, we call on them to withdraw these charges and release these three young persons, whose only role aboard the El Hiblu I vessel was that of translators and mediators. They acted in this manner to save their own lives and that of other migrants aboard the vessel which arrived in Malta on the 28th of March of this year.

 

The accused were 15,16 and 19 years old at the time of arrest. Two of them are still under age, and the third one barely an adult. Whilst trying to flee Libya, the group was rescued from a deflating dinghy by the commercial vessel El Hiblu 1, which was en route from Istanbul to the port of Tripoli in Libya. After promising to get the migrants to safety in Europe, the captain of the El Hiblu 1 locked himself in the cabin during the night, and changed route towards Libya. As the migrants realised what was happening, they protested, with some threatening to commit suicide to avoid going back to Libya. The captain of El Hiblu 1 then decided to steer the vessel North again, towards Europe. As a sign of trust, he asked the three young migrants to stay with him in the cabin to make sure they were going North and thus, calm the other migrants who were desperately protesting outside the cabin. The three young migrants did not threaten or injure the captain, nor commit any act of terrorism, and no crew members were hurt. 


International and EU laws prohibit the forced return of migrants to places where they can be persecuted and Libyan ports are not deemed as safe ports. In particular, these ports are known for the atrocities that take place including the rape, exploitation, starvation, murder and trafficking of such migrants.


These three young migrants have saved the lives of 105 abused men, women and children. The Maltese authorities are accusing them of acts of terrorism and terrorist activities, an offence which carries a potential life sentence, instead of acknowledging this as a legitimate and desperate act of defence. 


We therefore urge the authorities to drop these charges and ensure the well-being of these three youngsters by transferring them to Open Centres as soon as possible so that they will be able to start a new life in peace and safety.


NGOs and Stakeholders: African Media Association Malta, Alleanza Kontra l-Faqar, CCIF, Integra Foundation, Isles of the Left, JRS Malta, Kopin, Malta emigrants’ Commission, MGRM, Moviment Graffitti, Office of the Dean - Faculty of Education, Office of the Dean - Faculty for Social Wellbeing, SOS Malta, SPARK15, Studenti Ħarsien Soċjali.


References

https://magazine.atavist.com/the-rescue-mediterranean-migrants-malta-europe-crisis

https://www.ohchr.org/en/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=24569&LangID=E


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Stqarrija Konġunta minn Għaqdiet mhux Governattivi u Entitajiet Konċernati  


L-akkuża ta’ terroriżmu għal dawn iż-żgħażagħ hija eċċessiva


Id-deċiżjoni tal-awtoritajiet li jakkużaw lil tliet immiganti żgħażagħ b’terroriżmu hija eċċessiva u inumana. Bħala grupp ta’ NGOs u entitajiet oħra konċernati, qed nagħmlu sejħa biex dawn l-akkużi jiġu rtirati u biex dawn it-tliet żgħażagħ ikunu meħlusin. L-uniku rwol tagħhom fuq il-vapur El Hiblu kien ta’ tradutturi u medjaturi. Huma aġixxew b’dan il-mod biex isalvaw ħajjithom u dik ta’ migranti oħra fuq l-istess vapur li daħal Malta fit-28 ta’ Marzu ta’ din is-sena.

 

L-akkużati kellhom 15, 16 u 19-il sena rispettivament meta ġew arrestati. Tnejn minnhom għadhom taħt l-età u t-tielet wieħed bilkemm tista’ ssejjaħlu adult. Filwaqt li kienu qed jippruvaw jaħarbu mil-Libja, il-grupp ġie salvat minn fuq id-dinghy li kienu fuqu mill-vapur kummerċjali El Hiblu 1, li kien fi triqtu minn Istanbul għall-port ta’ Tripli fil-Libja. Wara li ġew imwiegħda li se jittieħdu għall-kenn fl-Ewropa, il-kaptan tal-El Hiblu inqafel ġewwa l-kabina tiegħu matul il-lejl u dawwar ir-rotta lejn il-Libja. Kif l-immigranti indunaw x’ġara, ipprotestaw, u xi wħud anke heddew li se jagħmlu suwiċidju biex ma jmorrux lura l-Libja.  Il-kaptan tal-El Hiblu 1 mbagħad iddeċieda li jerġa’ jdawwar il-vapur għal darb’oħra lejn it-tramuntana, u lejn l-Ewropa. Bħala sinjal ta’ fiduċja, staqsa lil dawn it-tliet immigranti żgħażagħ biex joqogħdu miegħu fil-kabina biex ikunu żguri li kienu sejrin lejn it-tramuntana u anki biex jikkalmaw lill-migranti l-oħrajn li kienu ddisprati jipprotestaw barra l-kabina. It-tliet migranti żgħażagħ la heddew jew weġġgħu lill-kaptan, u lanqas ma kkommettew xi att ta’ terroriżmu, u ħadd mill-membri tal-ekwipaġġ ma weġġa’. 


Il-liġijiet tal-UE u dawk internazzjonali jipprojbixxu ir-ritorn sfurzat ta’ migranti f’pajjiżi fejn jistgħu jiġu ppersegwitati, u l-portijiet Libjani mhumiex meqjusa bħala portijiet siguri. B’mod partikolari, dawn il-postijiet huma magħrufa għall-atroċitajiet li jsiru fihom inkluż stupru, sfruttament, nuqqas ta’ ikel, qtil u traffikar ta’ immigranti bħal dawn. 


Dawn it-tliet immigranti żgħażagħ salvaw il-ħajja ta’ 105 irġiel, nisa u tfal abbużati. L-awtoritajiet Maltin qed jakkużawhom b’atti ta’ terroriżmu u b’attivitajiet terroristiċi, offiża li hija marbuta ma’ sentenza ta’ għomor il-ħabs, minflok jammettu li dan kien att leġittimu u ddisprat ta’ difiża.


Għalhekk aħna qegħdin insejħu lill-awtoritajiet biex jirtiraw l-akkużi u li jħarsu l-benesseri ta’ dawn iż-żgħażagħ billi jittrasferuhom f’Centri Miftuħin kemm jista’ jkun malajr biex ikunu jistgħu jibdew ħajja ġdida fil-paċi u s-sigurtà.


NGOs u Entitajiet Konċernati: African Media Association Malta, Alleanza Kontra l-Faqar, CCIF, Integra Foundation, Isles of the Left, JRS Malta, Kopin, Malta Emigrants’ Commission, MGRM, Moviment Graffitti, Office of the Dean - Faculty of Education, Office of the Dean - Faculty for Social Wellbeing, SOS Malta, SPARK15, Studenti Ħarsien Soċjali.


Referenzi

https://magazine.atavist.com/the-rescue-mediterranean-migrants-malta-europe-crisis

https://www.ohchr.org/en/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=24569&LangID=E