335 academics call on EU Member States to open ports

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

335 academics have signed a statement calling on European Member States to open their ports and assume shared responsibility for refugees and migrants rescued at sea.

The signatories said that while they appreciate the particular challenges that the individual European states are facing during these challenging times, the situation did not justify or excuse the violation of human rights.

“The decision to close ports is unlawful,” the statement reads.

Italy followed by Malta have closed their ports amid the coronavirus pandemic. Malta declared that it could guarantee rescue at sea while it banned NGO boats from disembarking any rescuees.

“The absence of solidarity between the Member States in meeting their collective moral and legal obligations is reprehensible.”

The academics have called on the European Union and its Member States to immediately open their ports and allow safe disembarkation. They urged for shared responsibility to avoid the unnecessary loss of life.

Among the academics that endorsed the statement are resident academics from the University of Malta, University of London, Maastricht University, University of Bari, London School of Economics, Sorbonne Université, Trinity College Dublin, and others.