The Malta Independent 16 August 2022, Tuesday

Ħal Far Peace Laboratory Remembers migrants lost at sea

Malta Independent Sunday, 24 June 2012, 00:00 Last update: about 9 years ago

Marking this week’s World Refugee Day, the Ħal Far Peace held a ceremony to remember migrants lost at sea. Following is the Peace Lab’s statement:

“Statistics published by UNHCR show that last year 1,500 African immigrants lost their lives during clandestine crossings in the Mediterranean Sea between North Africa and Europe. Certainly, this figure does not reflect the reality of the situation. It is a very limited figure derived from accounts of survivors of these perilous trips who live on to tell the story.

The truth is that the vast majority of those who lose their lives during these crossings are never known and never mentioned. The Mediterranean seabed is a huge gravesite where thousands of African immigrants of all ages, who die during these crossings, lay to rest.

Forced to make hard choices due to an impossible situation in their countries of origin, these immigrants take the plunge and embark on a dangerous journey from the Sahara desert to Europe. Packed like sardines in small unseaworthy boats they cross the Mediterranean in a journey full of risk, hardship and tension sustained only by the promise of a better future for themselves and their families.

The darkness, silence and the deep waters of the Mediterranean Sea separate the victims of this human tragedy from our lives. We only hear about their fate on TV from the comfort of our homes.

The depth, the silence and the darkness of the seabed shall never relieve our conscience. Their memory shall never be forgotten. Their hope for peace and a better life shall never be extinguished.

It is for these reasons that the Peacelab organises this ceremony. We feel duty-bound to honour the memory of these immigrants while at the same time we take this opportunity to renew our commitment to pursue with our work towards the promotion of peace and social justice in the world.

The sacrifice of these immigrants reinvigorates our will to pursue our struggle against injustice, racism and discrimination. Their memory is a constant reminder of our duty to leave a better world for our children.”

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