Fifty asylum seekers have filed a lawsuit against the Maltese authorities for breaching their human rights. The migrants claim they were forcibly returned to Libya last April, according to Times of Malta.
The case was filed against the Maltese Prime Minister, the Interior Minister, and the Commander of the Armed Forces. The NGO Repubblika, said it is supporting the migrants, and paying the legal fees.
In April, AlarmPhone alerted the Maltese authorities about a migrant ship heading into a Maltese search and rescue area (SAR). Once taken on board, they stated they were abandoned by the crew. They were ordered to stay on the deck, without being able to take cover from the cold or rain.
The fifty asylum seekers, together with two siblings of two other migrants who died in the operation, are claiming that it was the state’s failure to observe international, European, and local laws that resulted in them suffering inhuman, and degrading treatment.
All are claiming various breaches of human rights under the Constitution, the European Convention, and the EU Charter of human rights. These include breaches to the right to life, inhuman and degrading treatment, collective expulsion, the violation of their right to seek asylum and to contest refoulement.
After being ‘pushed back’ to Libya, they were placed in a detention centre, where they suffered further inhuman and degrading treatment.