The Malta Independent 9 December 2023, Saturday
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Lawyers file claim against Malta on behalf of daughter of immigrant who died in detention centre

Monday, 22 May 2023, 14:38 Last update: about 8 months ago
Photo: MaltaToday
Photo: MaltaToday

A constitutional case alleging a human rights breach in the case of an immigrant who died at Malta’s Detention Centre after he was allegedly beaten by Armed Forces of Malta soldiers in 2012 has been filed.

Public Interest Litigation Network (PILN) lawyers, Dr. Eve Borg Costanzi and Dr. David Edward Zammit filed a constitutional case on Monday claiming violation of Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights and Article 33 of the Constitution of Malta, which protect the right to life.


The case against the Maltese State was filed on behalf of the minor daughter of Mamadou Kamara, who died, aged 32, in 2012 while in the custody of Detention Services and Armed Forces of Malta personnel.

In 2012, Sergeant Mark Anthony Dimech and Gunner Clive Cuschieri were charged with the murder of Mamadou Kamara. Over a decade later, the criminal proceedings against them are still ongoing.

An independent inquiry, published in 2014, concluded that the AFM personnel had used excessive force that led to the untimely death of Mamadou Kamara. Meanwhile, Dimech and Cuschieri are out on bail and both remained on the AFM payroll after being charged: Dimech retired from the Forces in 2018, after 25 years of service, while Cuschieri remains employed, as Lance Bombardier, by the AFM.

“The death of Mamadou Kamara, which happened under the responsibility of the State, and as a result of action by State agents, could have been avoided. Mamadou Kamara’s family has not been kept informed on the investigation into his death and, eleven years after his killing, there have been no repercussions for the killers,” the PILN said in a statement.

Dr. Eve Borg Costanzi said: “I was still a law student when Mamadou Kamara’s killing took place. At the time I thought, this is such a blatant breach, I hope the family are in touch with a human rights lawyer so that the authorities are held to account and they can achieve some form of justice. I never imagined that, 12 years later, I would be filing that case myself. The violation - still blatant - is now aggravated by time."

The PILN is a network of lawyers focussed on cases of human rights violation and other matters of public interest, exploring national, supranational, and international legal mechanisms to ensure State and individual accountability, address abuses of power, and engage civil society and the legal community to advance social change. It is currently made up of twenty members covering a wide range of legal expertise with years of experience in human rights, media, environmental and planning, constitutional, commercial, and civil law.

Five members form the Governance Committee which oversees the function of the network and selects cases for onward referral to its members.

The PILN was launched by the Daphne Caruana Galizia Foundation in September 2021, but functions autonomously. It is currently funded by Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway through the EEA Grants Active Citizens Fund, which is operated in Malta by the NGO, SOS Malta.

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