Killing someone by omission is still a murder. If a nurse is responsible for giving medications to a patient and as a consequence of her failure to do so he dies, that’s murder. If a prison guard fails to ask for medical assistance for an inmate who has shown the need, and as a result of that the latter dies, that’s murder. At best, if there was no intention to kill and the deaths were the result of negligence, that’s manslaughter.

Thus when 63 out of the 72 Sub-Saharan migrants on a rickety boat died of dehydration and starvation while Malta, Italy and NATO were bickering on who had to take responsibility for rescuing them, that is at best manslaughter. There’s no way to go around it. Especially when one considers the fact that a distress signal had been sent and received. Even more so when the surviving migrants reported that a military helicopter hovered over the boat and gave them water and biscuits and indicated it would come back.

Not knowing was definitely not an excuse.

What happened is more than clear. This isn’t the first time the Maltese and Italian authorities left people on the open sea while they were playing who blinks first to impress the public back home (ara kemm ahna taff mal-klandestini!). On other occasions, either someone blinked before people had died, or there happened to be no survivors to recount the story.

This is unacceptable. The blame is simply on “Malta”, “Italy” or “NATO” as noted in the press. It is on the individuals responsible who shrugged off their duties so that they could appear tough.

If the prison guards remain playing Monopoly, forget to feed the inmates and the latter die they will be charged with murder or manslaughter. These 63 human beings have died because our so holy politicians were having fun playing “who blinks first”.

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