Communist Party of Australia

We acknowledge the Sovereignty of the First Nations’ Peoples.

Home


The Guardian

Current Issue

PDF Archive

Web Archive

Subscribe

Press Fund


CPA

About Us

Why you should ...

CPA introduction

CPA Policies

CPA statements

Contact Us

facebook, twitter


Major Issues

Indigenous

Unions

Health

Housing

Climate Change

Peace

Solidarity/Other


What's On

Resources

AMR

Links


Shop@CPA

Books,
T-shirts,
CDs/DVDs,
Badges,
Misc


 

Issue #1914      May 11, 2020

“I WILL LEAVE YOU TO DIE IN THE WATER” MALTESE SOLDIER TOLD 66 REFUGEES, ACCORDING TO TESTIMONY

A Maltese soldier told a boatload of refugees last month that he would leave them to die in the water after sabotaging their engine, according to testimony about the incident published by refugee-rights activists today.

Alarm Phone, a transnational network which operates a hotline for people in distress in the Mediterranean, was contacted on 8th April by a group of sixty-six refugees in waters close to Malta’s search-and-rescue zone.

Alarm Phone said that it had contacted the Maltese authorities forty-two times over the following two days before the refugees were finally disembarked in Malta.

The group published a detailed account of the case today, including the events on 9th April when it received a call from the boat saying: “We need your help. We have emergency.

“The Malta military is coming and cut the cable of electricity for the motor. And the Malta military knows that the water is in the boat.

“He says [nobody will] come to Malta. And when he moved, he said: ‘I leave you, I leave you [to] die in the water’.”

Alarm Phone received another call from the boat roughly an hour later. Below is an abridged version of the transcript:

Person on boat: “Hello, hello, sir, please take this number. The military of Malta want to take my phone.”

Alarm Phone: “They want to take your phone?”

Person on boat: “Please help us, please help us. I call you one more time. Please help us, please help us. We will die, we will die in the water. Hello?”

Alarm Phone: “Can you tell me the number of the ship that you see. Is it P51?”

Person on boat: “OK, the Malta military is [near] us. The number P52. Please. We will die, we will die.”

Alarm Phone: “Your engine is no longer running, right?”

Person on boat: “OK, OK, the cable of motor, the Malta military cut the cable. Now we have five days in the water and water in the boat right now. Please, some of you help us. Please.”

Alarm Phone: “One more question: How far away is the military from you? How far away is the military boat?”

Person on boat: “I don’t know but I see … two ships, two ships military of Malta. P52 and I don’t know the number of the other one.”

Person on boat: “OK, send anything. Please. Please help us, please help us.”

Alarm Phone: “We will try. We already alerted the Malta coastguard. OK.”

Person on boat: “You can say that. The military of Malta steals us, OK?”

Malta’s Prime Minister Robert Abela and other government and military officials are currently being investigated after a Maltese charity filed a criminal complaint over their involvement in the case above and forcible return of fifty-one other refugees to Libya at Easter.

The seventy-eight people rescued off the coast of Malta today remain on board Antigua & Barbudan-registered cargo ship the Marina.

At the time this story was published, the ship had not been provided with a port of safety.

A government spokesperson told the Times of Malta this afternoon that the Marina was waiting on instructions from Italy to enter Lampedusa despite the fact the boat is in Maltese waters.

Morning Star

Back to index page

Go to What's On Go to Shop at CPA Go to Australian Marxist Review Go to Join the CPA Go to Subscribe to the Guardian Go to the CPA Maritime Branch website Go to the Resources section of our web site Go to the PDF of the Hot Earth booklet go to the World Federation of Trade Unions web site go to the Solidnet  web site Go to Find out more about the CPA