An inquiry into claims of officers mishandling and humiliating migrants involved in the Hal Far riots must be launched, NGOs have demanded.
This came after sources speaking to The Times of Malta claimed that migrants were stripped and hosed down “like animals” upon their arrival to the Corradino Correctional Facility, adding that they were crammed in smalls cells barefoot, with minimal water and food.
The Correctional facility has vehemently denied the allegations, explaining:
“The 107 migrants who were admitted this week were all registered, showered, clothed with clean clothes, visited by the medical doctor and fed – that is the same treatment [as] all other inmates. They are now carrying out a normal prison routine until their sentence is terminated or they are released by court order. No use of force other than the minimum required to control and restraint.”
However, Home Affairs Minister Michael Farrugia has said that “like any other claim there will be an investigation. I will not rely on a report or just denial.”
Over 60 people, including the eight men charged with being ring leaders, have appeared in court. Some have already pleaded guilty to charges of disturbing the peace and disobeying police orders and were sentenced to six weeks in prison.
The eight ring leaders are facing more severe charges, which include violently resisting the police, arson, voluntary damage, and injuring a police officer.
The riot, which kicked off after three drunk migrants were not allowed entry, saw the Ħal Far open centre get ransacked, with cars burnt, offices sacked and documents destroyed.