News World Malta forced to allow detained migrants to land after revolt

Malta forced to allow detained migrants to land after revolt


Malta reluctantly allowed 425 migrants held offshore for more than a month to disembark on Sunday after a group of them threatened to kidnap the crew of the chartered boats where they were being held, authorities said.

Prime Minister Robert Abela said the government had been forced to act after the crew of one of the boats called him directly for help.

“They gave us half an hour to act or they would kidnap the crew,” he said in a televised interview.

He said authorities decided against boarding the vessel by force and subduing the migrants after the military warned of the risk of injury to migrants and service personnel.

State-broadcaster TVM said migrants took over parts of the vessel, leaving crew and security officers holed up on the bridge. The vessel was later escorted to Valletta harbour escorted by two army patrol boats.

Malta’s government started putting rescued migrants on chartered tourist boats at the end of April after insisting that Malta’s harbours were closed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

It also said the island’s reception centres were full and complained that European Union member states had not kept earlier promises to take migrants from Malta.

Renewed tensions in Libya, where Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj’s internationally recognised government has been battling forces of eastern commander Khalifa Haftar, has reawakened concerns in Europe about a new wave of migrant arrivals following a sharp slowdown during the coronavirus lockdown.

Abela reiterated Malta’s longstanding complaint that the European Union has ignored the plight of the migrants, leaving countries that took in refugee boats to deal with them alone.


Top Stories

Schools close only if we say so, Prodromou notes

  Five hundred pupils have missed classes due to the Covid-19 pandemic, said education minister Prodromos Prodromou, making clear that there was no need for...

Famagusta hospital Covid patients rise to 24, four in increased care

  The number of Covid 19 patients being treated at the Famagusta General, the referral hospital for coronavirus, remained at 24, (22 yesterday) four of...

Turkish VP Octay illegally visits fenced off city of Varosha

  Turkish Vice President Fuat Octay walked along the beachfront of the fenced off city of Varosha today, part of which was illegally opened earlier...

18 people given preferential citizenships in casino resort, says Auditor General

  The Auditor General's Office has accused the government of bending the rules on the citizenships for investment programme, by granting passports outside the framework...

Kakoratzia state forest fire put out before spreading

  A fast forest fire service response prevented a potentially destructive fire from spreading this morning. It broke out at the Falkonopetra area of the Kakoratzia...


Squash soup

Ingredients: 1 kg pumpkin, cut into small cubes, approximately 5 cups 2 medium (400g) sweet potatoes, cut into cubes, approximately 2 ½ cups 1 chopped leek, only...


No visit to Cyprus is complete without enjoying the traditional meal of many small dishes known as ‘meze’. This large feast, which has been a...

Prawns with fried cheese, barley shaped pasta

Put the barley shaped pasta into a small pan with salted water, bring to a boil and when tender, drain. Peal the prawns leaving...

Salmon and shrimp sheftalies

Mix all ingredients for tabbouli in a bowl and keep to one side so flavours can combine. Prepare the sheftalies: wash and soak the casing...