Activists call for AG to dimiss ‘deeply unjust’ El Hiblu 3 prosecution

The Humanitarian activist organisation, El Hiblu 3 Freedom Commission has called for Attorney General Victoria Buttigieg to dismiss all charges against three young men who in 2019 were accused of acts of terrorism and hijacking a ship on which they were immigrating to Malta.

“The prosecution of the El Hiblu 3 constitutes a deep injustice. We call on Malta’s Attorney General to end this injustice, legal limbo, and terrible uncertainty.  Dismiss all the charges!” said the Freedom Commission in a press release on Saturday.

They said, “testimonies heard in court confirm that the three teenagers were merely acting as translators and mediators between the ship’s crew and the rescued people.”

They denounced the “outrageous injustice in this case,” expressing their “concerns about the unfair accusations, ongoing delays and pending indictments against the three young men, Abdalla, Amara and Kader.”

The three then-teenaged migrants were charged four years ago in Malta after intervening when they and their fellow 105 passengers saw they were being returned to Libya. They instead eventually made port in Malta on 28 March 2019.

The Freedom Commission said, “for over four years and four months, the three young men who study and work in Malta, their families and friends have lived in terrible uncertainty, scared that they will be remanded back into custody.”

The Commission said, “Despite their own fears, Abdalla, Amara, and Kader heroically helped to resolve a tense situation when the crew of the El Hiblu 1 tanker attempted an illegal push-back to Libya of the over 100 people they had rescued,” describing their actions as “examples of integrity and courage”.

Last year, The Shift reported how a UN Libya mission had uncovered horrendous conditions faced by people pushed back to Libyan detainment camps, with detainees subjected to ill-treatment, sexual violence, torture or coercive sexual practices in exchange for water, food or essential items.

The Maltese government has adopted a more hostile approach toward irregular migration, often ignoring people in distress at sea and coordinating pushbacks with the Libyan government.

The press release from the El Hiblu 3 Freedom Commission was signed by members Allison West, Berenice Böhlo, Carola Rackete,  Forsten Moritz, Enrica Rigo, Jean Zeigler, Judith Sunderland, Lorenzo Pezzani, Maria Pisani, Nils Muiznieks, Ramona Lenz, Regine Psaila, Anton D’Amato, Sandro Mezzadra, Wolfgang Koleck and Yana Mintoff Bland.

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Emmanuel Cilia Debono
Emmanuel Cilia Debono
23 days ago

There is ample evidence to confirm that the three young men are not smugglers. While the smugglers themselves are allowed to operate outside the pale of law, the three young men who resisted them are left to languish in detention for too long, By obstinately refusing to drop charges against them the AG is being seen as supporting the real smugglers in their illicit operations and showing lack of respect for human dignity and internationally recognised human rights.

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