NGOs accuse Malta of neglecting its obligations to save migrants

LA VALLETTA (MALTA) (ITALPRESS/MNA) – Three international NGOs accused Malta that once more neglected its legal obligations under the law of the sea and abandoned 14 migrants in distress at sea resulting into one death. Civil society groups Alarm Phone, Mèdecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) and Sea-Watch, all operating in the Central Mediterranean Sea, have documented blatant rights violations and are calling on Maltese authorities to put an end to Maltàs policy of systematically refusing to carry out rescue operations and deliberately putting lives at risk. The NGOs said that on the 22nd of June 2023, 14 people onboard a flimsy rubber boat sent a distress alert to the activist distress hotline Alarm Phone. They had left from Libya one day before and were adrift in the Maltese search and rescue region after having run out of fuel. “Malta – the responsible authority for that stretch of the sea – and Italy were immediately informed about the distress case,” said the NGOs, adding, “yet more than 36 hours passed between the first distress alert and the rescue of the boat by the MSF rescue vessel Geo Barents.” They stated that when the MSF ship arrived, people reported that one person had gone overboard and is believed to have drowned.

– Photo: Agenzia Fotogramma –

Source: medNews