Sunday, 11 August 2013

Malta Today: LGBT consultative council condemns threats against human rights
Consultative council on gay rights says human rights are universal, voices opposition to threats against migrants.
Friday 12 July 2013 - 09:37 by Miriam Dalli

LGBT council chairman Cyrus Engerer

The consultative council set up by the government to tackle LGBT rights has condemned threats to fundamental human rights, including those enjoyed by migrants.

The council was reacting to a pushback attempt carried out by the government on Tuesday this week.

In a statement, the council said such threats undermine the role being carried out by the consultative council, even though the council specifically tackles LGBT rights.

"The council is against all threats which undermine fundamental human rights. Such rights pertain to every individual, irrespective of who they are," the council, which is chaired by Cyrus Engerer, said. Engerer is a Labour candidate for the European Parliament.

The council's declaration comes days after Aditus Foundation, a human rights organisation, resigned from the council with immediate effect. Yesterday morning, Catholic group for LGBT rights Drachma resigned as well.

Aditus took this decision following Tuesday's developments where the Maltese Government was planning to send back to Libya 45 migrants, only to be stopped by the European Court of Human Rights.

"We believe that all human rights are universal. We refuse to endorse this Government's clear preference of some rights over others, of some groups of persons over others, particularly when motives seem to be exclusively based on increasing national political mileage," an Aditus spokesperson said.

The government has since denied that any "final" decision on the pushbacks had been taken, with Prime Minister Joseph Muscat refusing the suggestion that his plan had been botched.

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