An online poll on Malta Today shows that some 67% of respondents agree with Joseph Muscat’s proposed push-back policy. It’s just a poll, not a scientific study, however it’s indicative of public sentiment. For the sake of this article, let’s assume that 67% of the Maltese agree with such policy.

One might argue that if the majority is behind Muscat, implementing push back (on which he himself is now backing off indicating he was only using it to threaten the EU) would be democratic.

Thankfully it doesn’t work that way. A majority, even confirmed by elections does not in itself make a democracy. For instance both Putin in Russia and Erdogan in Turkey, were elected with a majority yet both cannot claim to be democratic. The rampant breaches of human rights, especially the persecution of political opponents and journalists make any of these leaders’ claims to be democratic nothing more than a joke, even though they got a majority in the polls.

I remember reading a quote (unfortunately I forgot its author’s name) that depicts all this in a single sentence:

“Would it still be a democracy if 51% of the population voted for the right to kill the other 49% with impunity?”

I think the answer is pretty obvious.

This may sound extreme and hopefully no country will ever arrive in such a dire situation. However it makes a point very clear: Having the support of the majority is still undemocratic if the basic rights of minorities are not respected.

This argument holds true for push-back. For a simple reason. What Muscat proposed was not the deportation of failed asylum seekers (which is completely legitimate) but a deportation that would have been carried out before they even had a right to file for asylum. And asking for asylum is a fundamental human right.

And while I do find the majority on the issue as worrying, I also find them irrelevant. They could have been 90% and still, implementing push back before one even had the chance to ask for asylum would be not only illegal but undemocratic.

It would, among other things, have turned the Maltese government into a very serious human rights abuser that wouldn’t mind breaking my own rights if it’s politically convenient.

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Before I start writing this I want to make it amply clear that I neither know the officers who allegedly killed Mamadi Kamara not knew Mr Kamara himself. The only information on the killing I’ve got is what I read on the media and the content of this blog is about the reaction to the killing and not the killing itself. I believe that everyone is innocent until proved guilty and what’s written here has nothing to do with the guilt or otherwise of the accused.

It is a natural thing that when someone enters in police/army custody alive and gets out dead, there is a sense of shock in the community. Except for people with some particular partisan agenda, most of the population is mainly interested in one thing: The Truth.

I must admit that what shocked me most in the killing of Mr Kamara is not the fact that he was killed (voluntarily or not). Sure, that is shocking in itself, but considering Malta’s irrational long-term mandatory detention policy, Detention Service was just an accident waiting to happen.

What really shocked me was the reaction on the online media by certain sectors who have no interest in knowing what really happened and want to show “Solidarity with the AFM” on the case.

Solidarity on what exactly? Murder?

Yes, there are people amongst us who are not interested in knowing the truth but absolve the alleged murderers on the basis that what they did, whatever the circumstances, was justified. Some started repeating the usual urban legends such as “the immigrants spit on the officers….”, “the officers have a tough job….” so on and so forth. Others, though they sugar coated their words were practically saying “What’s the big deal? There are so many blacks, one black less”.

Who are these people?

Most of them are neo-Nazis loyal to Norman Lowell and active members of Imperium Evropa. I use the term neo-Nazi here not for the dramatic effect of the word but because this is not the typical far right party like those of Marine Le Pen or Geert Wilders but pure undiluted Nazism. Holocaust denial, hatred for Jews (rodents, grieden tad-drenagg), biological racism, mass deportations and the execution of traitors. You name it, you got it. (Which makes me wonder what they really deny about the Holocaust considering that all the elements are there, except maybe, for the gas chambers)
They are the lunatic fringe, no? So why are you worried?

I don’t find the fact that they exist worrying. Every country, society, race or religion has its fair share of freaks.

What I do find worrying is the fact that they’re crawling out of the website where they post anonymously (www.vivamalta.org – where they repeatedly stated I should be arrested and hanged for stating my opinion) and filter into more mainstream media. Sure, their comments are many times sugarcoated and start with something like “Everyone should have the right to life, but….”

What is really worrying is the fact that some people in the mainstream are starting to think they have a point.

And yes, this is extremely shocking. Some, because of their anti-immigrant sentiment, naively think this is no big deal. A man is killed in custody, why investigate?

Yes, unless this is taken seriously this will snowball and has the potential of escalating to horrors that those who think the Nazis have a point, can’t even start to imagine.

Killing someone with impunity doesn’t only go against his human rights. It goes against the rule of law and the basic fundamentals of democracy.

This is not a football game (mal-Inglizi jew mat-Taljani). This is a question of individual responsibility. If these people are found guilty it doesn’t mean our officers are evil or racist. It means that there are 3 rotten apples amongst them and that the 3 rotten apples must be held accountable for their actions.