Malta cancels migrant deportation to Libya

Malta has cancelled flights it had booked to return migrants to Libya, after an emergency intervention by the European Court of Human Rights. The government had planned to send back people who had arrived by boat,

Malta has cancelled flights it had booked to return migrants to Libya, after an emergency intervention by the European Court of Human Rights.

The government had planned to send back people who had arrived by boat, but said it would abide by the ECHR order.

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said more than 400 migrants had arrived in the past week.

Malta last week called for assistance from the European Union to help cope with the influx.

Some 291 people were rescued from a single drifting boat last week. It is thought they had departed from Libya but many of them came originally from Eritrea.

Another 68 people were brought in by Maltese patrol boats on Wednesday.

Mr Muscat said the Maltese authorities were also monitoring further boats in the Mediterranean.

The summer months often see a stream of boats carrying migrants from Africa. Many arrive in Malta or the Italian island of Lampedusa, hoping to gain access to other parts of the European Union.

‘Not pushovers’

On Monday Pope Francis visited Lampedusa, where he met migrants and said Mass for them, and condemned the “global indifference” to their plight.

The European Court issued its order on Tuesday after an emergency request by non-governmental organisations concerned by reports that the Maltese government was preparing to deport the migrants.

The NGOs said this was the same policy of “push back” that was declared illegal by the court last year after it was used by Italy in 2009.

Mr Muscat confirmed the government had been discussing the return of migrants with Libya, but said this was not “push back”.

“This is not push back, it is a message that we are not pushovers,” he told the Times of Malta website.

But on Tuesday the EU’s Home Affairs Commissioner Cecilia Malmstroem expressed concern about the plan to return migrants, saying: “All people arriving in EU territory are entitled to file an asylum request and to have a proper assessment of their situation.”

Source: BBC

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6 COMMENTS
  • g.tesfay July 11, 2013

    Merietu ztef O hzbi koynina malet d u ???????

  • Semhar July 12, 2013

    As long as the mad dog Isayas wedi Medhin Berad and his blind followers are alive the misery will continue.

    We must get reed of these killers and liberate our land and our people!

    SERAWIT ERITREA!
    HIZBI ERITREA!
    bret ab idka demegnaka Isayas wedi MEDHIN BERAD ab meretka!
    Hizbika adhin!!!!!!

  • Kiflom July 12, 2013

    Thank you the European Court of Human Rights. To patch up migrants who flee to save lives is to send them back to death. I would implore the Authorities of Malta to be patient and to attempt to communicate with other states for burden sharing. Our Humanity in this single world demands SHARING AND CARING.

  • Mike July 12, 2013

    Destruction of a nation. Everyone that I know of and their cats and dogs wants to leave Eritrea. How sad! We speak on how we feel sorry for those who died for Eritrea – those are the one, I have come to say, lucky not to see the mess unfolding in Eritrea. To those who suffered battle field injuries – it is a double whammy! Physically hurt and seeing it over and over again as they see their life just passing by like a “still movie”. For those who are in the leadership ” any kind” and their rue believers time will come and you will be feeling the same pain. Thanks to the European Union effort to save, yet, another group of Eritreans.

    • Semhar July 12, 2013

      Our martyrs fought two enemies
      1) Ethiopia military in the front
      2) The mad dog Isayas and his blind followers in the back.

      They killed our people
      They took down our liberation flag and replaced it by their own flag.
      They terrorized and ruled us.

      We should all focus on the mad dog Isayas wedi medhin Berad the ድያብሎስ Isayas and his blind followers HIGDEF and stop them by any mines from destroying our land and our people.

      Down to the mad dog, the tyrant dictator and his followers!
      Victory to our people!

  • Semhar July 12, 2013

    Our martyrs fought two enemies
    1) Ethiopia military in the front
    2) The mad dog Isayas and his blind followers in the back.

    They killed and terrorized our people.
    They took down our liberation flag (1962 was replaced by Ethiopia flag; and 2003 was replaced by the mad dog Isayas wedi Medhin Berad’s flag).

    We should all focus on the mad dog Isayas wedi medhin Berad the ድያብሎስ Isayas and his blind followers HIGDEF and stop them by any mines from destroying our land and our people.

    Down to the mad dog, the tyrant dictator and his followers!

    We will raise our Liberation Flag, the flag of our martyrs!

    Victory to our people!

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