UPDATE: The person whose car was burnt – along with other workers whose property was damaged in the riot – have reportedly been promised due compensation.
A Ħal Far worker whose car was burnt in the riot Sunday evening has been left wondering what will happen next after he and his colleagues said they were nearly killed.
“So you go to make some money and you nearly end up dead with your friends from work, fighting for our lives as 1,300 people try to kill us and burning our cars,” the worker said.
Over 300 migrants are believed to have been involved in a riot that saw the Ħal Far open centre getting ransacked, as cars were burnt, offices sacked and documents destroyed. Around 100 of them are expected to be charged in connection with the rebellion, with some of the migrants having already been charged.
The riot is believed to have started after three migrants were not allowed back into the centre at night as officers believed they were drunk. The refusal to let the three young migrants in – a Nigerian, a Chadian, and a Sudanese – escalated until a full-blown riot had started, involving hundreds of people.
The worker explained in detail what he experienced Sunday night in a very emotional status.
“We needed to abandon our place, as well as the police, because if they kill or hurt us it’s not important,” he continued. “But the police, who come from all over Malta to help us, do not get the ‘Go Ahead’ from the government to open the centre and do their work because of these NGOs, because then it’s racism.”
“And then after all of this you’ll have a car that you’ve been working for years to pay it off and it ends up burnt, and then today the police call you to get a tow truck and remove your car and see what you’re going to do with it as those are the orders after the trauma like that as if you have any mood to remove your car.”
The worker then spoke about the lack of contact from any authorities directly after the riot.
“The best part is the respect for the workers who were working that night,” he said. “No one from the government reached out to contact any of us to see if all was well and at least help those whose cars were burnt because that’s where I really got hit due to the fact that insurance doesn’t cover riots.”
“Can we know from someone from the government what’s going to happen after we risked our lives?” he asked.
The government has since announced that it will be helping the workers cover the costs of their burned cars, to which the worker responded to positively
“Now they’ve just announced that the government will help us. Thank you, that’s how things should be,” he ended.