A solidarity walk is being organised this afternoon at 5pm as part of a support campaign for migrants living in Malta facing the threat of deportation. The campaign follows the case of the nine migrants currently being kept in detention before paperwork is processed for their deportation to Mali.
“We need to have as many people as possible to show that we are truly concerned with the recent events which are causing much anxiety and fear among the migrant community in Malta,” the organisers said.
Colin Calleja, speaking on behalf of the delegation from the Solidarity with Migrants group said that the walk follows appeals made to the Prime Minister and the Minister for Home Affairs and National Security to reconsider their decision to deport the group of immigrants made by various individuals and organisations.
President Marie Louise Coleiro Preca spoke out against the plans for deportation in her Republic Day speech last year:
“As the guardian of the Constitution, I believe Malta should continue hosting with love and respect all the people who live among us and visit us. Morally we should not punish those who have spent years helping in the prosperity of our country and being part of our society by sending them back rather than appreciating them. We should continue living our vocation as an international bridge for intercultural dialogue and peace”.
This week the President met with two migrants at San Anton palace as part of a discussion with NGOs and academics. Ali Konate and Innocent Lokri – both living and working in Malta – begged Coleiro Preca to intervene with the removal of the The Temporary Humanitarian Protection – New Status for rejected asylum seekers, known as THPn, which will be halted as from this November.
The President expressed her solidarity and was moved by the pleas made by the men, who said that their children shouldn’t have to pay for the fact that they came to Malta illegally.
“I cannot reassure you of anything, but what I can reassure you is that my solidarity and support will be completely there, now and in the future,” Coleiro Preca said.
“The walk is meant not merely to invite government to reconsider its decision, but also to celebrate and affirm the values of inclusion, solidarity and respect of diversity, which values were rightly highlighted by the President during the Republic Day Speech,” Calleja said on behalf of the organisers. “Members of parliament have therefore been invited to take part in the event”.
Anyone participating in today’s solidarity walk is invited to create placards with positive slogans. Stay away from anything political or insulting though, as those kinds of messages won’t be allowed. You should also bring a candle or torch with you.
“The walk is to celebrate and affirm the values of inclusion, solidarity and respect of diversity”
The walk will begin at 5pm at the LOVE sign in Spinola, St Julians and will carry onto Balluta Bay. For more information please visit the event’s official event page.