Letters: 13 March 2016

Paceville bouncers acted appropriately

Reference is made to the article of 26 February, 2016 (“French youth ‘suffers violent and racist attack’ by Paceville bouncers”).

My clients – Joseph Carabott and Omar Bonello, are categorically denying the allegations being made against them therein.

For the sake of clarity, the incident started inside the establishment in question and it involved Kevin Prince Argelier and another man. The security personnel intervened promptly, as is their duty, to separate the two men and to control the situation. They asked both men involved in the scuffle to leave the premises, however Kevin Prince Argelier remained very agitated and was refusing to leave the premises as requested.

At that moment Joseph Carabott was positioned next to one of the main entrances of the establishment. Through his earpiece, Carabott received his colleagues’ request for assistance and so proceeded upstairs to assist his colleagues. Once there, Carabott and another security guard were asked by their colleagues to escort Kevin Prince Argelier out of the premises as the latter was still refusing to leave. However, Argelier kept resisting and insisting that he did not want to leave, so much so that the two security staff were having trouble controlling him.

At one moment Argelier even grasped the railings of the staircase tightly and would not let go. Thus, a third security guard, Omar Bonello, had to assist his colleagues in escorting Argelier down the stairs and out of the premises. Eventually Argelier was escorted outside and he was immediately handed over to the executive police officers on duty who by then were already outside of the mentioned establishment.

The events as reported in your article raise many doubts as to Argelier’s credibility and as to the exact details of what occurred on that night. For the time being, suffice it to say that Argelier was very economical with the truth, apart from the fact that his version of events is somewhat biased as throughout all the article he points the blame at all and sundry, except, of course – himself.

The very nature of my clients’ occupation requires them to stop any fight or scuffle which might, and inevitably, does, break out inside the establishment and to get all those involved out of the premises – irrespectively of their skin colour. The main priority is to defuse an argument quickly and to protect the other patrons. In reality, Argelier was not treated “differently” but rather, he reacted “differently” by becoming increasingly violent and resisting at all costs being removed from the premises.

Carabott and Bonello are denying in the most absolute manner the serious allegations made against them to the effect that they repeatedly punched and kicked Argelier since, as stated above, once out of the establishment Argelier was immediately handed over to the police officers.

Finally, my clients are also denying in the most absolute manner that they ever used any of the racially-motivated slur reported in your article against Argelier and if such derogatory terms were in fact used to address Argelier, they were most definitely not used by Carabott or Bonello. In this regard my clients are reserving every right at law and are considering the best course of action to address the serious accusations levelled against them by Kevin Prince Argelier.

Dr Francois Dalli, Valletta

Asylum seekers denied minimum wage

The African Community in Malta will hold a peaceful, respectful protest on Wednesday 16 March when it walks from the Phoenicia Hotel Valletta and towards the Malta parliament in Republic Street, Europe House and the Prime Minister’s office, to bring awareness to the government and to the European Union about our main problems in Malta: documents and discrimination.

We are all grateful that Malta gave us sanctuary after our long and dangerous journeys. However we ask the parliament to address the main problems we have here. In over 12 years we believe that fewer than 5% of African asylum seekers were granted refugee status.

This means the majority (subsidiary protection status and other categories) when they are able to find work pay social security payments and taxes but cannot access the same benefits as other working citizens who contribute to taxes and social security. In particular they are not accumulating any pension rights, which is creating a problem for the future.

Secondly asylum seekers who have had their claims rejected once or twice (rejects and double rejects) are permitted to remain in Malta but are not even permitted to register for work with ETC. Some have been living in Malta for more than ten years, in poverty and in limbo, and unable to return or move to a country where they can have an opportunity to work and contribute to the economy of their host country. 

Finally Africans in Malta suffer from daily discrimination in Malta because of our skin color and religion (even Christians). We regularly receive verbal abuse, and receive hate speech from the minority of Maltese people who feel threatened by our presence, and who take advantage of us whether by openly overcharging us in shops, or paying us less than the legal minimum wage. Unfortunately the mass migration of non-Africans into Europe over the last few months has created more resentment towards all migrants.

We ask you to be there to broadcast our complaint to address these matters please, so as to do good integration and create opportunity to use our skills to contribute to the economy and diversity of Malta.

Ahmed Nuur Ibrahim 

African Media Association Malta