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El Hiblu 3 to face terrorism charges

Three teenagers took their fate into their own hands in 2019. Four and a half years later, they face the most drastic charges possible.

Amara Kromah, Abdul Kader, and Abdalla Bari took control of the oil tanker El Hiblu 1 when it became clear that the crew wanted to return them to Libya illegally. The lads, who were aged 15, 16 and 19 at the time, were arrested upon arrival in Malta and have been waiting ever since to hear what charges they will be tried for.

Amnesty International describes the decision to charge the young men from West Africa as “the worst possible decision”.

“The indictment fails to recognize that they were part of a group of more than 100 asylum-seekers faced with an illegal pushback to Libya which would have put their lives at risk. Yet, they are the ones who might now need to defend themselves against charges ranging from ‘acts of terrorism’ to ‘violence’.” Elisa De Pieri, Amnesty International’s Regional Researcher.

The terrorism charges could lead to a life sentence. The legal team, supported by the Aditus Foundation, will continue to support the group, although Kader has been missing since summer and is believed to have left the island of Malta.

The reaction of the NGO community has been strong, and Are You Syrious adds its voice to those denouncing the decision and calling for justice to be served. A petition has been started to gather support from around the world. You can find the petition here.

This article first appeared in Are You Syrious?

Image: Ting Chen / CC BY-SA 2.0 Deed

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