Amnesty International has denounced the “dangerous and illegal” measures used by the Maltese government to cope with the arrival of refugees and migrants by sea. In her view, this behavior “subjects countless people to terrible suffering and puts their lives at risk”.
In its report “Waves of Impunity: Malta’s Violations of Refugee and Migrant Rights in the Mediterranean”, the NGO ensured that the focus of the Maltese government in 2020 on migrants arriving across the central Mediterranean changed led to “illegal and sometimes unprecedented measures” to avoid helping refugees and migrants.
According to Amnesty International, this “escalation” of tactics included approving “illegal returns to Libya”, diverting boats to Italy instead of rescuing people in need, “illegally detaining hundreds of people in ill-prepared ferries” off Maltese waters and sign a new agreement with Libya to prevent people from entering Malta.
“Malta is using even more despicable and illegal tactics to evade its responsibilities to people in need. It is shameful that the EU and Italy have normalized cooperation with Libya on border control, but put people back in danger Libya is nothing. Normal, “said Elisa De Pieri, regional researcher at Amnesty International.