Four years on and still no justice for Lassana Cisse

On the four-year anniversary of Lassane Cisse's murder, 44 organisations have condemned the racialised violence suffered by migrants and asylum-seekers

Today marks the four-year anniversary of the murder of Lassana Cisse, a 42-year-old man from the Ivory Coast who was shot and killed in Birżebbuġa, Malta, along with two other victims who were left for dead.

The two suspects were identified as off-duty Armed Forces of Malta (AFM) soldiers, who allegedly targeted the victims because of their skin colour.

On the anniversary of his death, 44 organisations have released a joint statement condemning the institutional neglect and racialized violence suffered by migrants and asylum-seekers.

The statement highlights that the murder of Lassana Cisse was intended to terrorize and instill fear within the black migrant community, and that the self-confidence of the two suspects was fueled by years of political rhetoric and inhumane immigration policies that suggested that migrants of color and black migrants may be treated as inferior people.

Four years have passed, and Lassana's family and the other three victims are still waiting for justice while the suspects are out on bail. The organisations involved in the statement are calling on the government to demonstrate its commitment to ensuring that justice is served and that such acts of racial violence will not go unpunished.

The statement also calls for a transparent review of all structures, policies, and social norms, and a concerted effort to address systemic racism at its roots. The launch of the anti-racism strategy is acknowledged as a step in the right direction, but the organisations stress that real change requires action, not just words.

Aditus foundation compiled a timeline of known instances of institutional neglect and racialized violence, which records Malta's long and shameful history in its treatment of migrants and asylum-seekers since 2002.

The joint statement concludes with a message of solidarity with the family and friends of Lassana, the other three victims, and all those who have been affected by racial violence.

The statement was signed by: aditus foundation, African Media Association Malta, Alleanza Kontra l-Faqar, Allied Rainbow Communities, Anti-Poverty Forum, Black Lives Matter Malta, Blue Door English, Caritas Malta, Dance Beyond Borders, Daphne Caruana Galizia Foundation, Dar Hosea, Dar tal-Providenza, Good Shepherd Sisters - Dar Merhba Bik Foundation, Humanists Malta, Integra Foundation, JRS Malta, Kopin, Kummissjoni Ġustizzja u Paċi, Kunsill Nazzjonali taż-Żgħażagħ, Malta House of Prayer Foundation, Malta LGBTIQ Rights Movement, Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca (Former President of Malta), Men against Violence, Migrant Women Association Malta, Migrants Commission, Millenium Chapel, Moviment Graffitti, OASI Foundation, Office of the Dean Faculty for Social Wellbeing, Office of the Dean Faculty of Education, Paulo Freire Institute Foundation, PEN Malta, People for Change Foundation, Repubblika, SAR Malta Network, SKOP, Social Assistance Secretariat, SOS Malta, The Critical Institute, The Maltese Association of Social Workers (MASW), Victim Support Malta, Women’s Rights Foundation, YMCA, Young Progressive Beings.