|foto di Matthew Mirabelli|
Intanto il quotidiano online Tripoli Post dà notizia di una imbarcazione con 420 passeggeri tra eritrei, ivoriani, ghanesi e nigeriani, salpata da Tripoli per Lampedusa e intercettata dalla marina libica a sole 16 miglia dalla capitale lunedì scorso. Il destino dei 420 respinti è oscuro, probabilmente potrebbero essere detenuti.
Incrociando le due notizie, è facile ipotizzare che le due imbarcazioni siano partite insieme. Segno che il network delle traversate si sta riorganizzando? E che conseguentemente la macchina dei respingimenti si sta rimettendo in piedi?
Ancora è decisamente presto per dirlo. Quel che è certo è che se non si apriranno canali legali di mobilità, dalla Libia o da altre sponde, i giovani della riva sud del Mediterraneo continueranno a partire. E ahimè ad allungare con i loro nomi la lista delle vittime della frontiera, ormai 18.000 negli ultimi vent'anni. Di seguito il dettaglio della notizia sulla stampa maltese.
Two die as 44 migrants are rescued
from Times of Malta
A group of migrants were brought to Malta yesterday after being rescued at sea from a drifting seven-metre dinghy by an Armed Forces of Malta boat. It was the first such arrival since the end of the Libyan war. A UNHCR spokesperson confirmed that the 44 migrants left Libya last Saturday, and migrants informed troops that two people had died at sea during the voyage.
Although their nationality has not yet been determined, initial indications are that they are Somali.
Wearing fluorescent orange AFM lifejackets, visibly shivering and with many barefoot, the 31 men, 10 women and three children were helped off the rescue vessel by military personnel.
It was all too much for one woman, who stiffened with cramp as she was walking down the vessel’s stairs and had to be helped ashore.
The migrants were found by the AFM at approximately 5 a.m. yesterday, 75 nautical miles south of Malta, although they had been adrift at sea since Sunday.
They had first sent out a distress call on Sunday through a satellite phone. At the time, the boat was within Libya’s search and rescue waters, although it was Italian authorities who first picked up the mayday.
The dinghy subsequently drifted into Malta’s search and rescue zone and within the reach of an AFM boat that was at sea. It was immediately dispatched and rescued the migrants, in accordance with Malta’s obligations under international law.
As the 44 took their first steps on European soil, police officials sat them down in three rows. From there, they were due to be taken to the police depot and registered.
If, as is expected, the migrants apply for asylum, they will enter Malta’s asylum system and be processed accordingly.
Under the Maltese system, anyone applying for asylum is automatically placed in detention until their asylum application is processed.
Asylum seekers may be detained for up to 18 months. If after 12 months their application is still pending, they are released. Those whose application is refused are either deported or kept in detention for the full 18-month period before being released.
Migrants considered to be vulnerable, including minors, pregnant women, the elderly and the sick, are exempted from detention.
Malta’s detention policy has been criticised by a number of international bodies and organisations, including the United Nations, Council of Europe and European Commission.
For its part, the government argues that it cannot do away with detention given Malta’s small size and its need to ascertain the identity of asylum seekers.
Darts of rain pelted the seated migrants as they reached Hay Wharf, Pietà, yesterday morning. But it wasn’t enough to dampen one man’s spirits. He smiled and waved weakly as AFM troops secured the boat and prepared to help them all ashore.