Xandru Cassar, the young Maltese man who showed up outside Castille on Easter Sunday to protest the government’s decision to close its ports to migrants seeking asylum, is not backing down, and has even spent the night there.
The young Maltese man took to Valletta alongside fellow protestor Lara Mohnani on Easter Sunday, as a direct reply to the Maltese government declaring its ports unsafe for further boat arrivals amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Day 2; They’re still at sea, I’m still here,” Xandru wrote on Monday morning, after having spent the night on Castille’s steps.
In a photo sent to Lovin Malta, a tent set up overnight for Xandru to sleep in can be seen at the foot of Castille’s steps.
After garnering support from like-minded people online, the young man also received a couple of supportive visits late last night… all respecting social distancing rules, of course.
“You cannot let people die on Easter Sunday – or any day,” Xandru wrote on Facebook late last night.
“We’re here, on Easter Day, because Malta has condemned men, women, and children to death for the crime of escaping death in the first place,” he continued.
“We’ve been applauding nurses for these past weeks, but now our nation’s title of the ‘Nurse of the Mediterranean’ is called into question,” Xandru finished. “We herald our Catholic heritage and have received the Lord’s blessing. God sacrificed His Son so that we may be saved. To repay His blessing, will Malta condemn innocent souls to the slaughter?”
Shortly after launching a rescue mission for 66 migrants last Thursday, the Maltese government declared its ports unsafe for further arrivals as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Italy had closed its ports a day earlier, meaning migrants currently out at sea are now at serious risk of death.
Alarm Phone, an emergency hotline for migrants crossing the Mediterranean, reported on Saturday that four boats carrying 250 people in distress, including 118 in Malta’s search and rescue zone. It said it has lost contact with two of these boats, including one in Maltese waters.
On Easter Sunday, the hotline said it had received information that a boat capsized, leaving many people dead, although it is unsure whether this is one of the boats it has lost contact with.
“All EU authorities that watched without rescuing are responsible,” Alarm Phone said.