“All persons in distress within Malta’s SAR zone should be rescued and their safety should always be guaranteed,” Archbishop Scicluna tweeted out yesterday evening, following the government’s decision to close the island’s ports and declare them unsafe for any further arrivals… including those of migrants in distress.
“Saving lives and ensuring their disembarkation at a safe place is a fundamental legal obligation and also a moral imperative that can in no way be negotiated or renounced,” Scicluna finished.
All persons in distress within Malta’s SAR zone should be rescued & their safety should always be guaranteed. Saving lives & ensuring their disembarkation at a safe place is a fundamental legal obligation and also a moral imperative that can in no way be negotiated or renounced. pic.twitter.com/gIhbLplFDU
— Bishop CJ Scicluna (@BishopScicluna) April 12, 2020
The Archbishop’s comments – ironically on Easter Sunday – came as at least three migrant boats were spotted out in Maltese waters… with a fourth already feared capsized.
Late last night, Alarm Phone – an emergency hotline for migrants crossing the Mediterranean – released audio footage which appeared to show a pregnant woman stuck on a boat in Maltese waters begging for help.
“Can someone help us? We are not okay, we are not okay,” the audio, published on Twitter by Alarm Phone goes. “I am pregnant, I am not okay. The child is very sick, the child is sick. We don’t have food or water, there is nothing. I am pregnant, she is seven years old. They said they would come but we cannot see them. Two people now died here.”
Alarm Phone said the woman is currently on a boat of 47 people in Maltese waters. Three other migrant boats have been spotted in the Mediterranean sea, with two of them – carrying 55 and 71 people each – also spotted in Maltese waters.