The Malta Independent 22 October 2020, Thursday

27 migrants accused of starting Safi riots, remanded in custody

Saturday, 19 September 2020, 15:14 Last update: about 2 months ago

27 migrants were remanded in custody after being accused of starting riots at the Safi Open Centre on Friday.

The migrants were arraigned at 11am, and were taken to court via a police bus through Republic Street in Valletta.

They are accused of being involved in a riot in the Safi Open Centre which resulted in the escape of a number of migrants, who have since been caught, and the injury of seven police officers, two of whom were grievously injured.

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The migrants were arraigned in five separate groups before Magistrate Claire Stafrace Zammit.

The first group of seven migrants were accused of gathering in a group of over 10 people with the intention of causing damage, of disobeying orders from the authorities, of setting fire to a mattress, and of escaping the detention centre.

Two of the accused in this group are Ali Abdul Razak, 23-years-old from Sudan, Abrihema Giymay Mengisteab, 22-years-old from Eritrea, who were charged with injuring four policemen, two of them seriously.

The other accused are Abdulrahman Abdulla Hamja, 20-years-old from Somalia, Giddu Mahiok, 20-years-old from Sudan, Abrham Hinstab, 37-years-old from Eritrea, and two minors; a 17-year-old from Cameroon and a 15-year-old from Eritrea.

The second group arraigned were all accused of inciting a riot but not of escaping.  The group is made up of Ajak Ahmed Menjan, 24-years-old, Amawi Josef, 31-years-old, Mustafa Muhammed Noor, 20-years-old, Bedan Jossin, 25-years-old, and a minor of 16-years-old.

All five are from Sudan.

The remaining groups all faced the same charges.

Mohamed Hamid, 21-years-old from Chad, Haruun Madwi Haruun, 21-years-old from Sudan, and three minors – two 17-year olds from Sudan and a 15-year-old from Somalia – made up the third group.

The fourth group was made up of three men from Sudan – 35-year-old Mahmoud Suleiman Suleiman, 23-year-old Bashid Mahdi, and 28-year-old Mahmoud Ababaker Mustafa – and another two from Eritrea – 20-year-old Daniel Solomon Alazar, and 22-year-old Tesfalem Habeh Tasfalem.

The fifth and final group was made up of four men from Sudan – 22-year-old Kitu Adam, 24-year-old Baher Aden, 18-year-old Ali Nabil, and 25-year-old Radu Good Deng – and another man, 21-year-old Atshaha Atewarki, from Eritrea.

All 27 of the immigrants pleaded not guilty, and the court ordered for them to be remanded in custody and kept at the Corradino Correctional Facility and not the Safi detention centre, so another riot can be avoided.

In the case of the minors, the court recommended that they are kept at the YOURS youth centre.

Martin Fenech was legal aid for the migrants, while Inspector Janetta Grixti led the prosecution.

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