#CrimesOfMalta: 52 people had to wait several days on a merchant vessel under inhuman and degrading conditions, while neither Italy nor Malta offered a port for safe landing and refused entry into their territorial waters.
03.07. – 07.07.2020:
After 52 people had already spent two days at sea, they called the Watch the Med – Alarm Phone in the Maltese Search and Rescue Zone (SAR) on 03.07. The crew of the Seabird flew to the given coordinates and discovered the boat drifting in the Maltese SAR.
In the evening due to bad weather, the Maltese RCC ordered Talia to rescue the people and promised to transfer the people to a ship of the Maltese Armed Forces. Because this did not happen, the Talia then went to Lampedusa. The Italian authorities refused the Talia entry into Italian territorial waters and ordered the ship to travel to Malta. Later, the Maltese RCC initially refused the ship entry into the Maltese territorial waters, but finally allowed the Talia to anchor in their territorial waters on 04.07., so that they could seek shelter from high waves.
Neither the Italian authorities nor the Maltese RCC accepted to declare themselves as “responsible authorities” for this rescue operation. Only after they had to spent 5 days on the merchant vessel in inhuman and degrading conditions, and only with the support of civil society and many other actors, the rescued persons were finally transferred to a maltese patrol boat and brought ashore in Malta on the evening of 07.07.
In the series #CrimesOfMalta, we reconstruct 10 human rights violations in 10 weeks, which were also witnessed by our airplane Moonbird. The case reconstructions will be collected on our website and accompanied politically and philosophically on taz blogs.