#CrimesOfMalta: A Maltese aircraft guides the so-called Libyan Coast Guard to a distress case. Later a pull-back to Libya is reported. Was the illegal return coordinated by Malta? It would not be the first time…
14 July 2020:
Our Moonbird crew overhears an aircraft repeatedly contacting the patrol boat “Ras Jadar” of the so-called Libyan Coast Guard. Judging by the accent and use of language, it is a Maltese aircraft that first instructs the so-called Libyan Coast Guard to head north. With “follow, follow”, “go, go” and the indication of the distance, the patrol boat is urgently stressed to head to the distress case. Upon request of the Libyan ship, the Maltese aircraft confirms to continue to stay with it.Later, UNHCR and IOM report on a return to Libya, others confirm that the Coast Guard ship “Ras Jadar” pulled back the people.This cooperation of a Maltese aircraft with the so-called Libyan Coast Guard for the coordination of an illegal pull-back represents another human rights violation in the Mediterranean, which would have remained unobserved without our reconnaissance aircraft Moonbird.
In the series #CrimesOfMalta, we reconstruct 10 human rights violations in 10 weeks, which were also witnessed by our grounded airplane Moonbird.