Libya: Maltese Jesuits Call for International Response

Jesuits in Malta are calling for an international response to protect civilians in Libya and to assist in the evacuation of sub-Saharan nationals whose governments have been unable or unwilling to remove their citizens from dangerous conditions amid the chaos in Libya.

Responding to the use of deadly force against unarmed protestors in Tripoli, in a statement released Feb. 28, Maltese Jesuits said: "The international community must now act justly to stop the massacres and to assist the Libyan people in safeguarding their fundamental human rights." The Jesuits wrote: "When Jesus was on his way to Calvary, Simon, a man from modern-day Libya, was ordered by the Roman soldiers to carry His cross. Today we are witnessing the Calvary of people in Libya who are paying with their lives to exercise their fundamental human rights."


The United States and European powers have made dramatic efforts to remove their nationals from the danger zone in recent days and are attempting to return thousands of desperate workers to Egypt. But the plight of sub-Saharan Africans who are also attempting to escape the violence remains for the most part unaddressed. Many of these seeking refuge are especially concerned about their vulnerability. They fear being mistaken for or associated with the sub-Saharan mercenaries that have been deployed to brutal effect against anti-Gadhafi forces throughout Libya.

“Unable to obtain the protection of their government, asylum seekers are stuck in Libya, where they are extremely vulnerable to attacks,” said Jesuit Father Joseph Cassar, J.R.S. Malta director. “In the past days we have heard reports of innocent sub-Saharan Africans being beaten, stabbed and even killed, as they are wrongly suspected of being mercenaries hired by Gaddafi to kill the Libyan people.”

JRS Malta therefore "earnestly appeals to EU Member States, including Malta, and the rest of the international community to take immediate and concrete action to provide protection to this very vulnerable population by providing resettlement opportunities for them.

While commending Malta’s immediate and effective response to the crisis, JRS Malta appealed to Maltese authorities to make an "extraordinary humanitarian gesture" and offer safe transit to asylum seekers so Malta could become a site of temporary refuge.

“It is clear that urgent, multi-lateral action is needed, as Malta cannot do this alone,” Father Cassar added.


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8 years ago
I haven't read a ton on this or listened to many pundits but what I have is saying that the Europeans and the US should keep their hands off.  It will be portrayed as a Western intervention to preserve oil for itself.  There are all sorts of rumors flying around including the Soviets being involved and that oil company executives telling governments to back off or Libyan oil will not be available for European use.

In normal times $75 million dollars flows into Gaddafi's hands every day and he uses it to keep himself entrenched and to bribe the right people to see things his way.  The Libyan people get screwed in the process.  You might ask why there are sub Saharian and Egyptian workers in a country with 40% unemployment.
Stephen Real
8 years ago
Father Joseph Cassar is morally right
about to the plight of the Libyan civilian.

The US Military has heard the call of Father Joseph Cassar of Malta,
 (and friends), and they are currently on their way to provide humanitarian relief to the Libyan, and foreign, civilians who have made their exodus from the violence into Tunisia and Egypt.

The West Wing of the White House, and the Pentagon, is listening
 and they are taking the Father's words very seriously at this time.

Stay strong Malta.
Do not give up.
You are not alone.

david power
8 years ago
What a load of nonsense! It is like Obama and the Pope pleading for peace knowing that it has no chance of happening. Get real people,till the bombs drop Kosovo style the victims will mount day by day. Now the President of the US OF A can go gung ho and put the firepower behind the hands of freedom or else keep his mouth shut. Enough of all this moral posturing.Time to make your decisions people. It is a beheaded Gaddafi (like Saddam) or else thousands of innocent Libyans mired in blood.Stop with the ridiculous calls for a stop to bloodshed!! Choose whose blood is to be shed.  
8 years ago
I applaud the Jesuits of Malta for their courageous stand on this issue.  There has been simmering racial tensions in Malta over the past several years toward northern African immigrants.  The Jesuits have spoken out for their rights and have paid the price as several of their community cars were destroyed by fire.  To be a voice for the refugee is to be Christ present in the world.
david power
8 years ago
These Jesuits are probably like the Irish colmbanians I met and ate with in Chile.High on their own moral superiority and never went without a good meal in their life.Santi Subito?I think not.It is the Maltese who probably pay for the extra layer of lard around the Jesuits stomach.Put these great and holy Jesuits in a factory for a month and see how christlike they are. I have met great Jesuits(peru) but have seen the charlatans too, and I know them when they beat their own chest in moral indignation.     
Gabriel Marcella
8 years ago
According to the website there are 100 Jesuits in Malta, which has a population of some 400,000. Pretty remarkable for such a small place! According to the same proportion, there would be over 75,000 Jesuits in the U.S., which has about 2,900. What does this say about Malta?

Kudos to Fr. Fambrini Fenech. The world community cannot stand by and allow the massacre of defenseless innocents. Let's not have another Srebrenica.


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