NGOs demand end to Captain Morgan detentions

Updated 09:30 AM

Twenty-eight NGOs have joined forces to demand an immediate end to the detention of asylum seekers on Captain Morgan boats, calling for the detainees to be allowed entry.

Representatives of the NGOs, who issued a joint statement to make their appeal, held a “socially distant demonstration” outside the Auberge de Castille on Wednesday evening.

Socially distant demonstration outside Castille, asking the Prime Minister to do the right thing and protect the dignity of the men detained on a ship outside our waters.#DontLetThemDrown

Posted by aditus on Wednesday, May 20, 2020

In their statement, the organisations said that they were “disgusted” by the situation, through which Malta was denying over 160 men “basic human rights, dignity and voice.”

“The human body and the human spirit can only endure so much. These young men have been exposed to too much trauma, we fear their physical and mental wellbeing will deteriorate fast,” they said, stating that Malta was ultimately responsible for the conditions they are forced to endure.

“We remind the authorities that these are compounded by the psychological distress that they would have been forced to endure in the past weeks and months throughout their journey, including the violence that they would have been exposed to in Libya,” they added.

Hunger strikes ‘only course of action available’

NGO Alarm Phone, which runs a support hotline for migrants seeking to reach Europe from Libya, reported that some detainees had started hunger strikes, and suicide attempts were also recorded.

The organisations noted that a hunger strike was an act of desperation, but also the only course of action available to the detainees.

“They are using their bodies, the only resource they have limited control over, to convey a message. To remind the politicians of their legal and moral responsibilities and perhaps also to speak to their conscience. To convey a message to Malta, as a nation, in the hope that we might remember their very presence, recognize and acknowledge their plight, and be the voice that they have been denied,” they said.

The government should respond by ending their ill-treatment, provide them with the medical and psychological care they need and allow them entry into Malta, they said. However, they also urged EU institutions to assist Malta, noting their duty to act in solidarity with member states and refugees alike.

The appeal was signed by the following organisations:

  1. aditus foundation
  2. African Media Association Malta
  3. Anti-Poverty Forum Malta
  4. Association for Justice, Equality and Peace
  5. Blue Door English
  6. Catholic Voices Malta
  7. The Critical Institute
  8. The Daphne Caruana Galizia Foundation
  9. Dar Hosea
  10. Dar tal-Providenza
  11. Integra Foundation
  12. Jesuit Refugee Service Malta
  13. Justice and Peace Commission
  14. KOPIN
  15. Malta Emigrants’ Commission
  16. MGRM
  17. Migrant Women Association Malta
  18. Moviment Graffitti
  19. Office of the Dean – Faculty for Social Wellbeing
  20. Repubblika
  21. Salesjani Dar Osanna Pia
  22. Segretarjat Assistanza Soċjali tal-Azzjoni Kattolika Maltija
  23. Society of St. Vincent de Paul – Malta
  24. SOS Malta
  25. St. Jeanne Antide Foundation
  26. Spark15
  27. Women’s Rights Foundation
  28. Youth Alive Foundation