The Malta Independent 22 June 2018, Friday

Constitutional appeal by Moroccan denied freedom of movement

Malta Independent Friday, 10 May 2013, 12:45 Last update: about 5 years ago

A Moroccan woman married to a Maltese man for the past 11 years, presented a Constitutional Appeal following a judgement in the First Hall of the Civil Court which declared that it was removing her right to freedom of movement, after she left her husband.

The court had said this was a marriage of convenience.

Saadia Chabab presented her case against the Attorney General, the Commissioner of Police and the Director of the Department of Citizenship and Expatriates.

The woman is appealing the case on the grounds that she had been married for more than five years and had applied for Maltese citizenship, but to her surprise this was not granted and a removal order was issued against hair.

Chabab said that such a decision goes against her private and family life, according to Article 32 of the Constitution of Malta, and Article 8 of the European Convention for Human Rights. She also said that such actions are rendering her inhuman treatment.

The woman is appealing to the Constitutional Court of Appeal to revoke the deportation order and respect her human rights. In its sentence, the First Hall of the Civil Court said that the woman stopped living with her husband and that she had left him because of a dog that was annoying her at their matrimonial residence.

It was also stated that Mario Farrugia, her husband, had told the police that she was not living with him any longer. In fact, when the police went to his house on July 16, 2010, he told him that his wife had left, and that three months had already passed, since she left home.

The court had also stated that the couple had married after a month of knowing each other, and they had no children. Later she had abandoned her matrimonial home. Consequently, Saadia Chabab was considered an irregular migrant again. The couple had married in 2002, with the woman saying that the court had made a mistake when it concluded that there never was a family life between the two. The woman said that her husband used to go out drinking and that this was the main problem between the two. Her husband is disabled and receives a pension from the Social Services Department while she earned money for the family.

The woman said that if she will be deported back to Morocco, she will not be able to see her husband again because it is difficult for him to travel and he needs a medical treatment in Malta. She also said that it is not fair that a married woman shall be forced to leave the island, after such a long time taking care for her husband.

This all would be a violation of human rights. Lawyers Yanika Bugeja, Annalisa Debono and Joseph Gatt filed the writ. 

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