Reacting to a 420-page inquiry published earlier today which cleared Prime Minister Robert Abela, an AFM Brigardier and the crew of a patrol boat of homicide charges in the case of the deaths of migrants at sea, civil society NGO Repubblika has said it’s satisfied with having done its duty.
“Repubblika will examine this report in detail, and if the need arises, will make further comments,” the NGO said in a statement published some time after the inquiry itself.
Stressing the fact that denunciation does not equate to an allegation of guilt, Repubblika said it only filed the initial police complaints because the government refused to give further information on the two separate incidents for a full 10 days.
“The government’s silence needed to be questioned and investigated, because in those incidents, 12 people died after a week at sea.”
Going on to say that it was merely performing its civic duty, Repubblika said “it should be normal that, when people die in context of an action by the Maltese state, these deaths are investigated”.
“As long as the government fails in this duty, Repubblika will continue insisting that the deaths of people when the government reacts – or doesn’t – to protect their lives is investigated.”
“Everyone – the police, government, army, judiciary, parliament and civil society – has a legal and moral obligation of solidarity to protect life, no matter where it’s coming from.”
In a Tweet published last night, Repubblika seemed to have also commented on the impressively short time it took for such an inquiry to be concluded.
The 420-page inquiry was published earlier today, just over a month after Repubblika raised its concerns with police.
“Some inquiries are still open after a year… or even three, others concluded in record time,” the NGO said yesterday, sharing updates on another magisterial inquiry which has been open for a year. “We wonder why.”
???? Some inquiries are still open after a year…or even three, others concluded in record time. We wonder why ????Help us out. Replies below ????https://t.co/kRvw34ryTa
— repubblika ???????? (@repubblikaMT) May 30, 2020
Repubblika finished by saying that, after all, it seemed like the investigation had actually led to lives being saved instead of being lost in the weeks that followed.
“After the pressure we made thanks to our denunciation, the government ceased the methods which we think led to the deaths and illegal pushback of 57 people back to Libya,” the statement reads.
“The indefinite arrest of migrants aboard the Captain Morgan ships is illegal and evil, but it’s definitely better than drowning,” the statement finishes. “We are satisfied that our action saved the lives of other people who came after the 12 who died.”