Group of 38 rescued and brought to Malta

Monique Agius

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

38 people are being brought to safety in Malta after being rescued while on distress in Malta’s search-and-rescue area, a Home Affairs Ministry spokesperson has confirmed with Newsbook.com.mt.

The group had contacted NGO Alarm Phone after leaving Libya, and the NGO had expressed concerns that Malta was planning an illegal push-back to Libya.

The Armed Forces of Malta was reported to be towing their vessels, and with the AFM-run Rescue Coordination Centre Malta not replying to its calls, Alarm Phone expressed concern about the group’s, whilst insisting that they should be disembarked in a safe harbour in Europe.

But the ministry spokesperson confirmed that the group had been brought to Malta. She observed that all appeared to be Moroccan nationals, emphasising that since Morocco was considered a safe country, their odds of securing asylum in Europe was particularly low.

She added that the authorities would seek to process their asylum requests as soon as possible, with the aim of repatriating those deemed not in need of asylum as soon as possible.