Politicians and NGOs are calling for a review of the judicial system after two boys were forced into state care after their mothers were jailed for six months for travelling with forged documents.
Rabia Yavuz and Muzekka Deneri were apprehended at Malta Airport after presenting forged documents on their way from Greece to Belgium via Malta.
They were charged in court while the children, aged two and four, both of whom neither speak Maltese or English, were dragged off into state care.
The sentence has been labelled as “inhumane and unjust” by NGO Moviment Graffitti which drew attention to the fact that community-based sanctions, such as conditional discharge or probation order, could have been used instead of such harsh punitive measures that have left “innocent children ‘orphaned’ by the system”.
“This discriminatory use of sentencing towards migrants and asylum seekers demonstrates that the criminal courts are being deliberately over punitive towards the most vulnerable,” Moviment Graffitti said.
The NGO called for a more humane and just application of punishment by the criminal justice system.
Similarly, MEP Roberta Metsola also called for a rebuild of the judicial system, which she claims imposes crushing penalties on migrants but uses “kids’ gloves against career criminals, shadow bankers, dodgy architects, corrupt politicians, revenge pornographers, organised crime and money launderers, is a system that is broken”.
“The system is shattered. It is weak with the strong and strong with the weak. It throws the book at foreign mothers using fake ID cards, terrorises youths caught with a half-a-joint, and threatens journalists seeking the truth.
“It forces teenagers to grow up under the spectre of a jail sentence as they wait 12 years for a judgment. It leaves parents waiting years to see their children as cases drag on and on,” she said.
According to Times of Malta, the children have been placed in alternative care with the consent of the two mothers with discussions being held to make visit arrangements at Corradino Correctional Facility.
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