Large Fire at a Migrant Centre in Malta
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As a result of denial and paralysis of vision and leadership on migration and integration policy a large fire broke out inside a receptoin center in Marsa, Malta. About 500 migrants were evacuated on Wednesday January 8th from the centre. The police have arrested 20 people, who they believe were behind the fire that engulfed a main dormitory at the Marsa initial reception centre.
The Marsa centre was previously used as an open centre which residents were free to enter and exit from. It is now used as an initial reception centre, where migrants who arrive in Malta by sea are housed while their asylum applications are assessed or they are relocated to other EU member states.
Tensions within migrant centres have risen in recent months, with people detained growing increasingly restless as they wait to discover their fate.
A total of 1,400 asylum seekers are being held at the Marsa center and another centres in Malta, some of them detained for five months, according to the outgoing UNHCR Malta representative.
The recent reintroduction of detention of asylum seekers has been described as the biggest setback in Kahin Ismail’s three-year term in Malta.
We are deeply saddened by this disaster as a result of denial and paralysis within the migration policy of the European Union. We are urging all governments in Europe to speed up the asylum process and the relocation of migrants to EU member states as promised.
The Wandering Tower is the title of a surrealist short story by Sergej Prokofiev from the times of vivid migration movements on the edge of the world wars.
The Festival was quoting the title as a metaphorical frame for Mahalla 2020/2021. The tower of Babel is connected as a motive to the search for the origin of language and the access to the divine.