There seems to be a calm situation on the vessel which has 57 immigrants on board who were rescued last week, as TVM observed when cameraman Charles Ahar and journalist Liam Carter approached the boat for en exclusive report.
The immigrants have been on Captain Morgan’s vessel, Europa 2, for the past four days after being rescued in an operation coordinated by Malta while they were in difficulty in Malta’s search and rescue area.
The irregular migrants appeared to be in a good mood on the Europa 2 when a TVM crew approached the vessel to film the first footage of this situation that evolved after the Maltese Government made it clear that it will not permit the disembarkation of migrants in Malta, even due to the closure of ports in the wake of the pandemic.
“Hello, hello love you Europa, Robert Abela Robert Abela Robert Abela, love you love you.”
While the atmosphere on board appeared to be calm, in certain moments we noticed African immigrants playing with a ball on the bow’s limited space.
Although facing uncertainty, the immigrants appeared in good health and were overjoyed when they saw the television camera.
An Armed Forces patrol boat carries out patrols in the area, while TVM is informed that the Government also leased the service of private boats who are delivering supplies to the immigrants.
“We are seeing that they are given food, drinks and medical necessities. We are speaking here of human beings,”
Prime Minister Robert Abela stated.
The Prime Minister reiterated that the immigrants on Captain Morgan’s vessel will not enter shore until there is agreement with the European Commission on their relocation.
“I stand by our position. It wasn’t a satisfying position because, as happened in the past, we know what will happen if they enter and a solution is not found. Therefore, the solution should be the contrary – a solution is found and then the relocation is carried out to member states”.
The Captain Morgan vessel with immigrants on board is situated some 13 miles off Malta’s coast, exactly just outside the Maltese territorial waters. We understand they are being kept in international waters so that the Dublin agreement is not applied, with which the EU obliges member countries to remain responsible for the immigrants who are in their territory.
During this unique mission, the Captain Morgan vessel which has also private security officers on board closely approached various big vessels which are anchored on ‘Herd’s Bank.
Despite that Malta, similar to countries worldwide, is combating the Covid-19 pandemic, the immigration challenge did not slow down as various boats sailed from western Libya in the past weeks with the aim of reaching Malta or Lampedusa. However, the Maltese Government reiterates its position and continues to stand by it and will not permit more disembarkation of immigrants until it continues with its fight against Covid-19.
Another group of 90 immigrants, the majority from Bangladesh, were rescued by the “Marina” merchant vessel in an operation coordinated from Malta. The vessel is now near Lampedusa.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Robert Abela testified in the inquiry led by Magistrate Joe Mifsud on another case of immigrants transfer after Repubblika organisation requested an investigation into the homicide of immigrants.
The Government said in a statement that Dr Abela strongly denied that any decision was ever taken by the government to stop and suspend or disrupt the rescue coordination. He stated that this obligation emerges not only through international laws, but also from the fact that we are human beings and we have to care for everyone’s humanity.
Migrants won’t be brought to Malta until agreement is reached – PM