#CrimesOfMalta: The Armed Forces Malta provisionally fix the engine of a boat in distress in order to induce the people to continue their passage to Lampedusa and shuffle off the obligation to provide assistance to Italy.
11 to 12 August 2020:
On August 11, Moonbird spots a wooden boat drifting in the Maltese Search and Rescue Zone. No one on board is wearing a life vest. One day later, our crew sights the boat again, some people are now wearing life vests. A cargo vessel is instructed by Malta to wait nearby. Also a patrol boat of the Armed Forces Malta is in vicinity and launches a speedboat.
Later, Moonbird is on site again and sees the Maltese ship leaving the scene heading north. At the third sighting that day, however, the speedboat of the Armed Forces Malta returns to the wooden boat whose passengers are now all wearing life vests.
An Italian Coast Guard aircraft and our Moonbird crew witness how the Armed Forces Malta tamper with the engine of the small wooden boat. The boat can then continue its passage towards Lampedusa and in the evening is rescued by the Italian Coast Guard and brought to the island.
In the series #CrimesOfMalta, we reconstruct 10 human rights violations in 10 weeks, which were also witnessed by our grounded airplane Moonbird.