This is a series of reports by Bakarat, an asylum seeker detained in Malta
4th January 2014
A phone call – 30th December 2013
On 30 December 2013, a Palestinian immigrant in our detention camp received a call from his home-town and was informed that his whole family (counting fourteen) had been killed by a bomb placed in a building. it was total and shared sadness, and tears flowed from every immigrant’s eyes in our cage.
New Year’s Eve
New year’s eve was normal here in the camp. The Christian minority heard mass and then we thanked God for His protection at sea and asked for grace upon us for the new year. some of our brothers are starving themselves to death to protest against the conditions we’re in. But we try to persuade them to eat. I know there’s more to life after detention. Today a surprise incident happened because all Sudanese detainees were released from the cage and I realised that this is because of the civil war in Sudan. Will the authorities only free us when they see my country in west Africa in turmoil? God forbid. We pray for peace to prevail in Africa. We are in detention with no education, no positive thinking, no future. The biggest question we ask ourselves is what crime have we committed to be detained in a camp like animals. Do the refugee commissioner and the authorities want to see us killing our brothers and sisters on TV/radio in our own country before they decide that we are freedom-material.
“Among the most humiliating ways to punish a human is to deprive him from freedom”
This is an un-Godly act. It is humanity before human not before God. We are in distress. We are not terrorist nor criminals. A lot of us have good potentials, gifted, talented and aiming for a bright future for us and our families. Detention is killing our future. We are in the dark side of the world. We ran for protection and a better life in Europe but not to be kept in detention camps. Among the most humiliating ways to punish a human is to deprive him from freedom.
No War = No Asylum – a deadly equation
We do not automatically qualify for asylum because we are not killing ourselves in war back home. A question: who would risk his/her life crossing dangerous territories and sailing on a dodgy boat to get somewhere safer, with no real reason? We all have critical and threatening problems and that’s why we made this dangerous journey to Europe, for a better and more secure life. Our knees are on the ground, we also deserve freedom.