This statement was released today by 44 local organisations:
People are more important
We are appalled beyond words that, after 18 days of negotiations, 49 men, women and children remain stuck on a boat within sight of the Maltese shore.
In spite of countless calls for solidarity, European Member States have not managed to find a diplomatic solution to the current impasse.
This is nothing short of tragic and shameful. It can only mean that we have completely lost our humanity — as a people and a union of states that supposedly upholds the values of solidarity, respect for human rights and human dignity.
We acknowledge the complex issues this situation raises, and agree that it is a European challenge requiring a European solution. However, this cannot be an excuse to abdicate our own responsibility, as individuals and as a nation, to save lives at any cost. The duty to save lives is not only a legal but also a moral imperative which can never be subjected to political conditions, such as the availability of concrete offers of relocation or the fear of creating a precedent.
At this point, the question we must answer is simple: what is more important, scoring political points, or saving lives?
For us, there can be only one answer: people are more important.
Today we are here to take a stand for life and dignity. We call on Malta to prioritise life and open its doors today.