[WATCH] 'Refugees Welcome' vigil held in Sliema

Candlelight gathering held in Sliema to send message that refugees are welcome in Malta

Candles were lit around banners saying 'Refugees Welcome' in Sliema (Photos by Chris Mangion)
Candles were lit around banners saying 'Refugees Welcome' in Sliema (Photos by Chris Mangion)
Refugees Welcoime gathering in Sliema • Video by Chris Mangion

Malta joined the rest of Europe when a candlelight gathering was held at Exiles beach in Sliema on Sunday in support of refugees.

Candles were lit around a poster reading “Refugees are Welcome” and the organisers said that the event was held in conjunction with similar events in 27 European countries, the United States and Australia.

“This is not a demonstration but a peaceful action from people demanding that no more lives are lost.We stand in solidarity with our brothers and sisters around the world, all refugees and migrants. We call upon the EU Member States to live up to their international obligations and to provide legal, safe and dignified ways of seeking refuge,” the organisers said.

Yesterday, Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said that Malta was prepared to receive refugees to send a message to Europe and ensure that Malta is not abondoned by other EU member states if it is faced by a future influx of asylum seekers.

Sunday's event was held to raise awareness on the tragic events unfolding in and outside Europe and the organisers said “our message is that refugees and migrants are welcome in Malta, and we wish to foster a situation in which they can find peace and the opportunity to live in a context of solidarity, equality and cooperation instead of the current fatal exclusions within a system of inequality and competition.”

On Saturday, tens of thousands of protesters gathered in London and Copenhagen to protest against their government's position on the refugee crisis, while other demonstrations were held in Germany, Spain, France and other European capitals.