JRS Malta calls on Maltese Government not to push back migrants to Libya
05 July 2013

A boat carrying asylum seekers and migrants in the Mediterranean Sea. (UNHCR/L.Boldrini)
The judgement of the European Court of Human Rights in Hirsi v. Italy, stresses that a government cannot send people to a country where there is a real risk that they will face serious harm and rights abuses.
JRS Malta and partner NGOs call on Maltese Government to commit to ensuring respect for human life 


Brussels, 5 July 2013 – JRS Malta and partner NGOs released a statement in response to the threat by the Maltese Prime Minister, Joseph Muscat, to push back migrants to Libya if no further support came from other European countries or from the EU.
 
On Wednesday, 290 migrants arrived by sea to Malta. The Maltese PM asserts that the EU and the member states must assist Malta in dealing with this "burden". As an alternative, the PM says that he does not exclude pushing the migrants back to Libya if it was "necessary to safeguard Maltese interests". 


The NGO statement emphasizes last week's decision by the Malta Court of Appeals which ruled that the forced return of two Somali nationals to Libya had violated their rights. This judgement along with the judgement of the European Court of Human Rights in Hirsi v. Italy, stresses that a government cannot send people to a country where there is a real risk that they will face serious harm and rights abuses.


Furthermore, a new report by Amnesty International reveals the atrocious conditions that migrants, asylum seekers and refugees currently face in Libya.


#ENDS#


Background information: 
On the conditions of migrants in Libya you may also read the FIDH report available here


The European Court of Human Rights judgment in the case of Hirsi v Italy, decided on 23/02/2012, is available here.


Contact information:
 
JRS Malta
Katrine Camilleri
Country Director
Tel: (+356) 79 85 8099 
 
JRS Europe, Brussels
Philip Amaral
Advocacy & Communications Officer
Tel: +32 2 250 32 23
Mobile: +32 485 173 766
Email: europe.advocacy@jrs.net


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Press Contact Information
Philip Amaral
europe.advocacy@jrs.net
+32 2 250 3223