Malta accused of leaving migrants abandoned for weeks
The Maltese government is being accused by the humanitarian non-governmental organisation Alarm Phone for not saving 27 migrants, and keeping them as “prisoners” for four weeks on board the Danish registered cargo ship “Etienne”.
The NGO called on Malta to “provide everything necessary to ensure a safe and quick disembarkation of the 27 people.” However no rescue has been carried out by the Armed Forces of Malta, despite repeated alerts by Alarm Phone. No official comments were made from the Office of the Prime Minister and the Ministry of Home Affairs in Malta. The migrants are almost 16 nautical miles in the South of Malta, outside the Maltese territorial waters but within the Maltese search and rescue area.
On Twitter, Alarm Phone said that Malta has violated the right to freedom and asylum to this group of migrants. The NGO also said that these 27 migrants are suffering as they face uncertainty since they do not know if they will be brought to Europe or pushed back to Africa.
The 27 migrants were saved on the 5th of August who were in distress in the Mediterranean. Maersk Tankers said that the cargo vessel is running out of supplies. According to local reports, the migrants are threatening to jump from their rescue ship into the sea.
29 euro-parliamentarians from three political groups are urging the Maltese authorities to allow the oil tanker to bring the group of migrants to Malta.