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Friday, May 28, 2004

Malta on Amnesty International 'baddies' list

A couple of days ago Amnesty International published its annual report for 2004. Among other things, the report condemns terrorist assaults by groups such as Al Qaeda, saying they posed a threat to security around the world. It also criticizes the response of the U.S.-led "coalition of the willing," saying its powerful governments were ignoring international laws by sacrificing human rights in the "blind pursuit" of security.

Amnesty says that the U.S.-led war on terror continues to be waged using indiscriminate and disproportionate means. Hundreds of foreign nationals remain in indefinite detention without charge or trial in U.S. custody. It also details alleged unlawful killings of civilians by coalition troops in Iraq and allegations of abuse of Iraqi prisoners by U.S. soldiers.

The Amnesty International report also criticized several European nations, including Malta. The small island nation, which has just joined the EU, was scorned by Amnesty for tough new policies on asylum seekers.

The automatic and excessively lengthy detention of asylum-seekers in Malta has been criticized by national and international bodies. The conditions of detention in facilities in Malta holding asylum-seekers and migrants fall short of international standards.

Amnesty International says that new information has emerged reinforcing concern that a number of individuals among a group of some 220 Eritreans deported from Malta to Eritrea in 2002 were detained and tortured on return. An inquiry is presently being run in Malta about this.

Since the Maltese government is currently giving sway to proclamations from the Roman Catholic church, let's hope that more human compassion is also extended to asylum-seekers than has been offered to them in the last few years.

Anonymous mike vella said...

Malta is also the country which recieves the highest influx per capita of illegal immigrants in all of europe, has one of the highest refugee status acceptance rates in Europe and is not a rich country.
I'm no right winger but these considerations should be taken into account. 

8:53 AM, April 02, 2005

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