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Pushbacks suspended as European Court demands explanation from Malta

Government has until 30 July to inform European Court whether it considered all claims for protection from migrants.

Miriam Dalli
9 July 2013, 12:00am


The Maltese government has until 30 July to inform the European Court of Human Rights whether it considered the claims of some 45 migrants who were scheduled to be deported to Libya without taking their request for asylum.

In a temporary measure taken by the Strasbourg court, the government was stopped in its tracks from flying two planeloads of Somali asylum seekers to Mitiga airport, Libya, tonight after they had been rescued and brought to shore by the Armed Forces of Malta.

The court, which has already declared pushbacks of asylum seekers to be illegal, gave Malta until the end of the month to state whether the government considered each applicant's claim that they will be exposed to inhuman treatment if returned to Libya, and what measures it will be taking to ensure each applicant's assessment and access to proceedings before the European Court.

The European Court's stop to the controversial pushback, which prime minister Joseph Muscat stood by in an address to the House of Representatives, came on an application by two lawyers who filed an application under Article 34 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

In response, the Court accepted the request, under Rule 39 of the Rules of the Court, to stop the expulsion of the asylum seekers to Libya for the duration of the proceedings before the Court.

102 persons were intercepted by an AFM patrol boat at 3:08am on 9 July, but around 49 single men were held at the police general headquarters were they were scheduled for deportation on two Air Malta flights to Mitiga.

NGOs were refused access to the police depot to give the migrants information about their rights.

Due to the fact that none of the migrants were being given any legal assistance, the Jesuit Refugee Service and the People for Change Foundation requested interim measures against the government, as a contracting state to the European Convention of Human Rights.

The two groups said the removal of the migrants would be breach in of the Convention, citing the principles of the case Hirsi Jamaa verses Italy, of 23 February 2013, in which the Court concluded that the return of the applicants to Libya amounted to a violation of the Convention.
Miriam Dalli graduated in communications studies from the University of ...
charles philip zammit
it appears that we have to live up with these people kirkop is full up, hal far is full up, marsa is full up so may i suggest the government raises up tents and in the heart of sliema, say amery street or dingli circus. then in no time sliema will be taghna lkoll
david_lexicon
Maybe we can send these illegal immigrants to Brussels and can occupy the main administration building and see how Borroso will react.
L-Imqareb .
The Jesuit Mission is to go and turn these people into Christian. Christ never said to his disciples live comfortably, but give everything and follow ne. They help they need is in their country and no encourage them to invade other places where its people can barely make ends meet. Some of these illegal emigrate do better than myself driving around in cars and with expensive mobiles, and we call them illegal poor emigrants, imagine they were Legal?
Alex Grech
Why do we need a Goverment when all our laws are made in Brussels.Thank's to Simon Buzullotti,Iam sure that many Maltese in SLIEMA WILL CELEBRATE the increased diversity in their neigborthoods.
L-Imqareb .
In 1964 the Nationalist Party is said to have obtain “Independence”. In 1974 Malta became a “Republic” and on 31st March of each year we celebrate “Freedom Day”. What are these documents worth? They are worth nothing since in 2004 we became brothers and sisters with those who turned our Country into a Bomb Dump, with those who stole our riches and history ( I remember La Vallett), with those who killed our Maltese brothers (Sette Gunio), with those whom we had to give our hard earned money to help them solve their financial problems. We gave away our currency which for the euro. What are we left with now? We can’t even rule ourselves and decide for our selves. Once again we are being colonized by the BIG and Might ones, this time under that Flag with worthless stars. Today I appreciate more the Late Dom Mintoff who fought against ALL odds to make this country a Neutral, Independent and a Genuine FREE Republic for the benefit of all Maltese. Mintoff had the Balls to do whatever needed to be done.
Joseph Galea
EU trid tkompli tbellalna l-kanen.
xewka xewkina
Dak li hadna mill-EU. Jigu jikkmandaw pajjizna.
J. Borg
Vanni Bonello must feel utterly humiliated by this government's actions. Then again, we all are!....
lupus
Kemm nixtieq li kont immigrant illegali halli kulhadd jaqbez ghalija...Imma x'taghmel? jien Malti!
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