Alarm Phone loses contact with boats carrying people

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

Over 250 asylum seekers are at sea with two boats adrift in the Maltese search and rescue region. Migrant NGO Alarm Phone said that a boat carrying 47 people and another one carrying 71 are in Maltese SAR zone while a boat carrying 55 individuals were in international waters and another boat carrying 85 people were drifting in an unknown position.

In a tweet on Saturday, Alarm Phone said that it lost contact with the boats only to make contact with two of them on Sunday morning. The boats carrying 71 and 85 people could not be reached, Alarm Phone tweeted. The NGO pointed out that some EU air assets were monitoring some of the boats at sea from above.

Alarm Phone remarked that while many might be celebrating Easter Sunday, these people might lose their lives because Europe failed to act.

On the boat carrying 47 individuals, a woman begged that at least her child is saved. The boat is currently drifting in the Maltese search and rescue region.

Alarm Phone highlighted that the migrants required water and urged the Maltese government to act.

Over the past few days Malta declared its ports “unsafe” and stated it could not guarantee rescue due to the coronavirus pandemic. The unprecedented move came after Italy moved to declare its ports unsafe. Meanwhile Libya has stated that any people leaving the country will not be allowed to return.

The move was heavily criticised by non-governmental organisations which pointed out that Malta has its international obligations and could not suspend human rights by making use of the ongoing pandemic. The NGOs remarked that they feared Malta was exploiting the public health emergency to deprive migrants of their human dignity.