The Malta Independent 30 November 2022, Wednesday
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Open letter to Attorney General calls for charges against the El Hiblu 3 to be dropped

Wednesday, 28 September 2022, 18:49 Last update: about 2 months ago

An open letter addressed to Attorney General Victoria Buttigieg has called for charges against the El Hiblu 3 to be dropped.

The “El Hiblu 3”, the name given to Amara, Kader and Abdalla who arrived in Malta over three years ago and were arrested, accused of having committed multiple crimes, including acts of terrorism, threatening a crew, and hijacking a ship.

The statement was released by the “Free the El Hiblu 3” campaign, which called for the AG, who will decide on which charges will be brought against the three men, to dismiss the trial entirely and drop all accusations.

The open letter includes a list of signatories which includes more than 900 individuals and over 100 groups and organizations. Over 1,000 signatures were collected.

Signatories include President Emeritus Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca, political activist Yana Mintoff (Association for Justice, Equality and Peace), over 10 members of the European Parliament, prominent members from the Catholic Church in Malta, as well as a range of other individuals.

The letter received support from a wide range of organisations in Malta and internationally, including Amnesty International and the European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE).

The letter will be delivered to Buttigieg’s office in Valletta on Thursday, 29 September at 11am by representatives from Maltese civil society. They will meet on the corner of South Street and Triq ir-Repubblika at 11am and walk to the AG’s office at Admiralty House, 53 South Street.

“The signatories are convinced that the imprisonment and prosecution of the El Hiblu 3 constitute a deep injustice. We call on the Attorney General to end the uncertainty of the three young men. It is high time to drop the charges. Free the El Hiblu 3!”, the statement read.

In the days prior to their arrival in Malta, the El Hiblu 3 had helped to defuse a volatile situation at sea where they acted as translators and mediators to the rescued scared passengers and crew of an oil tanker who refused to return to Libya after fleeing, the open letter stated.

The open letter also says that Maltese prosecution took two years to ask if any of the rescued witnesses to testify, and that these testimonies were critical in confirming that Abdalla, Amara and Kader did not commit any crimes.

It said that all charges should be dropped and called for the trial to be dismissed immediately.

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