President Emeritus Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca has called out a recent judgement which sentenced two young Turkish mothers to prison over forged documents, ripping them apart from their toddlers in the process.
“In our law, the best interest of children is a fundamental principle, so whenever there’s an issue in the courts which involves children, the best interest of the children should be upheld,” Coleiro Preca said in a Facebook video.
“How are we safeguarding this principle?”
Besides the case of the Turkish mothers, Coleiro Preca also referred to a recent case involving a 27-year-old Ethiopian man who wasn’t allowed to leave Malta because he didn’t have the necessary travel documents.
The man damaged an airport monitor in anger, was remanded in custody, and denied bail, even though the courts were informed that his son, who lives in Germany, required surgery and the authorities needed his father’s signature to go ahead.
Coleiro Preca also referred to how two teenage girls were hauled to court and handed suspended sentences for stealing sweets from vending machines at their care home.
“What’s wrong is wrong but the principle of what is the best interest of the child remains fundamental. In my belief, while those who carry out wrongdoing should suffer the consequences, it shouldn’t be at the expense of the best interest of children.”
Tomorrow, MovimentMoviment Graffitti, the Malta Association of Social Workers and aditus Foundation will hold a symbolic protest outside the law courts to condemn the judgement involving the Turkish mothers, warning their children have been left “orphaned by the system”.
Do you think the two Turkish mothers should be released from jail?