#CrimesOfMalta: A boat in distress is intercepted by the so-called Libyan Coast Guard in the Maltese Search and Rescue Zone – illegally. Rightfully, Malta would be responsible for the rescue.
28 August 2020:
Our Moonbird spots a completely overloaded wooden boat in the Maltese Search and Rescue Zone. Close by, she also sights a ship of the so-called Libyan Coast Guard. The aircraft crew informs the Maltese authorities about the distress case and about the fear of an imminent illegal pull-back. On the phone, the Maltese Rescue Coordination Center, however, once again claims to be too busy and, despite several notifications and pressure from our crew, does nothing to initiate a rescue. In the end, the wooden boat is intercepted by the so-called Libyan Coast Guard and the approximately 30 people are pulled back to Libya. The fact that again the rescue of people in distress is delegated to the so-called Libyan Coast Guard proves once more the failure of the Maltese authorities to take responsibility for distress cases in their own search and rescue zone.
In the series #CrimesOfMalta, we reconstruct 10 human rights violations in 10 weeks, which were also witnessed by our grounded airplane Moonbird. The case reconstructions will be collected on our website.