From the Times of Malta: “Two Somali men have been awarded compensation of €10,000 each after the Constitutional Court found that they were forcibly repatriated to Libya from Malta and had not been given the opportunity for asylum. … [After fleeing Libya by boat t]heir boat was intercepted by a Maltese patrol boat and they were brought to Malta. Upon their arrival they were taken to the Police Headquarters. Neither of them was given the opportunity to apply for asylum in Malta nor were they assisted by an interpreter. Twenty days later the two men, together with four other illegal immigrants were taken, handcuffed, to the airport and were forcibly sent back to Libya. Both men asked to speak to the UNHCR representative in Malta but their request was refused. Upon their arrival in Libya they were arrested, beaten and tortured while they were kept in prison for a week. They were transferred to another prison and, three months later, they were taken to court where they were tried without an interpreter. The men were sentenced to one year’s imprisonment. During their time in prison they were again beaten and tortured. … The case was instituted by Abdul Hakim Hassan Abdulle and Kasin Ibrahim Nur after they managed to endure torture in a Libyan jail and abandonment in the Sahara Desert before returning to Malta…. In their constitutional application the men claimed that their right to freedom from inhuman and degrading treatment had been violated by the fact that they had been forcibly repatriated to a country which was known to practise torture. They further claimed that their fundamental human right to an effective remedy had been violated as Malta had not allowed them to apply for asylum. Mr Justice Pace pointed out that in terms of law, an immigrant had to be informed of his right to seek asylum in Malta in a language he understood. This had not been done in this case….”
Thanks to Dr Neil Fazon (Aditus.org.mt) for pointing this out and for providing a copy of the Court’s decision.
Click here for article.
Click on this link Abdul Hakim et vs MJHA et for decision (Maltese).