Government abdicating its responsibility by keeping asylum seekers offshore – AD

The Government has abdicated from its obligations to protect human rights, Alternattiva Demokratika – The Green Party said on Wednesday, in reference to the asylum seekers being held offshore on tourists boats chartered by the government.

Alternattiva Demokratika has appealed to the government to reopen the ports and disembark the asylum seekers. Some groups have been for over a month at sea.

In a statement on Wednesday, the party’s Deputy Chairperson Mario Mallia said that while this time was being described as a ‘victory’ for the people in Malta having ‘won’ against the coronavirus, the government has held asylum seekers on floating prisons.

“Human dignity has fallen victim in the ‘war’ which the country has supposedly won,” he highlighted.

The party insisted that it was not acceptable for the government to say that it was doing its duty by providing food and boats to people who fled Libya in order to seek asylum in Europe.

“A sense of dignity and compassion demands otherwise. While Alternattiva Demokratika reiterates its support for Government in its efforts for responsibility for immigration to be shared by all EU member states, and is itself committed to putting pressure on the European Parliament through the Green Group MEPs in the EP such that all EU member countries shoulder their responsibility, the Maltese Government cannot shirk its responsibilities.”

Mallia highlighted that the lack of solidarity from other countries could not be used by the government as an excuse to abdicate its responsibility. “The very fact that people are kept imprisoned on tourist boats for weeks is an abdication of the obligations enshrined in international conventions of which Malta is a signatory.”

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