By the Coalition for the El Hiblu 3

The Attorney General of Malta has issued a Bill of Indictment against Abdalla, Amara, and Kader, also known as the El Hiblu 3. They have been wrongly charged with a long list of serious crimes which could carry life imprisonment. We are aggrieved and angry that the Attorney General has ignored the testimonies heard during the compilation of evidence over the last four and a half years, which demonstrate the indisputable innocence of the El Hiblu 3. Instead, the Attorney General holds the three young men responsible for the general tension on board during and after rescue by the vessel El HIBLU 1. The Attorney General retained all the initial, unfounded charges, including the unsubstantiated charge of terrorism.

Let us not forget that Abdalla, Amara, and Kader helped calm a highly charged situation on board the ship. Let us not forget that, thanks to them, lives were saved. Thanks to them, people did not jump overboard. Thanks to them, no one was hurt. Thanks to them, any misunderstandings with the crew were addressed.

We are convinced that the El Hiblu 3 did the right thing: they helped diffuse a tense situation at sea and helped prevent an illegal pushback to Libya. Abdalla, Amara, and Kader are heroes, not criminals! In charging the three young men, the Maltese authorities have missed an opportunity to rectify a grave injustice that has unfolded over nearly five years. Their actions should be celebrated, instead of being criminalized. With widespread support nationally and internationally, we will continue to stand in solidarity with Abdalla, Amara, and Kader until they are acquitted.

ECHOES Issue 10, January 2024 – English