Together with the Border Violence Monitoring Network, Sea-Watch has submitted a joint report to the United Nations Human Rights Committee regarding Malta’s continued violation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
The report concludes that despite ratifying the ICCPR, the continued illegal pushback of refugees carried out by Maltese authorities or third parties contracted by the Maltese government is in contradiction to the obligations set out under international law.
Furthermore, we also assert that the continued cooperation between the Maltese government and the so-called Libyan coastguard, whereby the Libyan authorities are assisted in intercepting boats from the Maltese Search-and-Rescue zone to forcibly return them to war-torn Libya, is a clear breach Malta’s responsibilities under Article 6 and Article 7 of the ICCPR.
Drawing upon evidence collected by Sea-Watch, Watch The Med – Alarm Phone and other international organizations, we are ask the United Nations to clarify:
- If Libya is considered a ‘safe’ destination of return by the Maltese authorities.
- If the Maltese government has taken any steps to implement a full, effective and independent investigation into the allegations of refoulement, collective expulsions or illegal pushbacks.
- How the Maltese State protects the rights of all persons who enter the Maltese Search-and-Rescue zone.
Furthermore, we invite the United Nations Human Rights Committee to demand the Maltese government to clarify:
- The events of the alleged pushback and illicit return of 63 people from the Maltese Search-and-Rescue zone on April 12th, 2020 by boats allegedly commissioned by the Maltese government.
- The events of the alleged pushback and illicit return of 17 and 70 people from the Maltese Search-and-Rescue zone on January 30th, 2020 and on July 24th, 2020 by the so-called Libyan coastguard, specifically outlining to what extent was the Maltese State was involved in the coordination or facilitation of their return.
- The events of the alleged direct coordination between a Maltese aircraft and the so-called Libyan coastguard on July 14th, 2020, detailing to what extent does the Maltese government help facilitate the interception and return of people and boats to Libya.
Find the report here: Human Rights Committee Joint Report on Malta