18 September 2018
Yesterday, Jean Lambert – London’s Green MEP and the Green Party’s migration spokesperson – visited the Sea-Watch search and rescue team in Malta. Their vessel should be at sea preventing people from drowning in the Mediterranean. Instead, it’s being unlawfully detained in Malta, while the Government decides whether to allow the team to get back to work.
Jean signed a joint letter to the Prime Minister of Malta, Dr. Joseph Muscat, alongside cross-party MEPs Martina Anderson (GUE/NDL) and Pieter Niedermuller (S&D). Together they urged the Prime Minister to end the unlawful detention in Malta of search and rescue boats, and give them clearance to leave the harbour. A humanitarian act such as rescue at sea is not a crime and should never be criminalised.
Read the full letter below, or in PDF format here.
Dear Prime Minister,
We, the undersigned MEPs, met last night with the crew of Seawatch and Lifeline to get an insight into the current situation of Search and Rescue (SAR) NGOs boats and aircraft that are being impounded in Malta.
It is with great concern that we call on you, as Prime Minister, to end the unlawful detention in Malta of SAR boats and the Moonbird aircraft and give them clearance to leave the harbour. A humanitarian act such as rescue at sea is not a crime and should never be criminalised. While we are witnessing an increased number of deaths at sea and a deteriorating security situation in Libya, saving lives at sea should remain the priority.
As members of the European Parliament who supported the European Parliament Position for a reform of the Dublin regulation that has at its core solidarity and responsibility-sharing, we will continue to stand with you for a fair distribution between EU Member States of the people rescued at sea. You can be assured that in the meantime, while we wait on the Council to adopt its position, we will use all the means at our disposal to convince Member States to relocate people that will be disembarked in Malta.
Jean Lambert, MEP, Greens/EFA
Martina Anderson, MEP, GUE/NGL
Peter Niedermüller, MEP, S&D