European Court blocks deportation of migrants - NGOs protest outside police HQ - PM to make statement

Video: Mark Zammit Cordina

The European Court of Human Rights has blocked the deportation of migrants from Malta to Libya following an urgent request for an interim measure by NGOs.

The decision was announced to the members of the NGOs protesting outside Police headquarters by lawyer Michael Camilleri.

UNHCR's Jon Hoiseater was also at the Police Headquarters to request access but this has not yet been granted.

It is the latest twist to an hours-long saga in which the government set wheels in motion to take back the migrants who landed this morning back to Libya.

Humanitarian organisations said the government would be breaking various international conventions if it forged ahead since Libya was not considered a safe country.

The NGO volunteers held placards protesting against the 'push back' of migrants.  They said they intend blocking buses carrying migrants from leaving. Two Air Malta aircraft were believed to be waiting on standby to take the migrants to Libya early tomorrow.

The prime minister is expected to make a statement in parliament later this evening.

Earlier this afternoon 11 NGOs issued a strong statement against push-backs. Brussels has also warned Malta that pushbacks are illegal (see separate stories).

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