Refugees at the Safi detention center in Malta | Photo: EPA/Lino Arrigo Azzopardi
Refugees at the Safi detention center in Malta | Photo: EPA/Lino Arrigo Azzopardi

Asylum seekers detained at a migrant center in Malta on Monday staged a protest, demanding to be released. It was the second demonstration in a week.

On Monday, dozens of asylum seekers detained at the Safi migrant center in the southern area of Malta close to the airport protested as they demanded to be released.

Screaming "freedom," groups of migrants gathered in the center's courtyard, which is surrounded by a barbed wire fence. They also hung a sheet on a wall with the same message - "freedom".

It was the second protest held at the center in a week.

Detained for 'medical screening'

Refugees in Malta are officially detained for medical screenings before they are resettled to European countries that have committed to host them. This has happened each time Malta has opened its ports to NGO-run rescue ships.

According to local media reports quoting a former detainee at the facility, living conditions at the center are poor. What's more, migrants are often not told for months by authorities for how long they will be detained.
Planned meeting on immigration

European diplomatic sources in Brussels said a mini summit has been scheduled on September 23 in Valletta to discuss the immigration dossier. The report has not yet been officially confirmed.

The interior ministers of France, Germany, Italy, Malta and Finland, which has the rotating presidency of the EU Council, as well as the European Commission (EC), are expected to participate, according to the same sources.

Meanwhile, a technical meeting has been scheduled on Friday to prepare for the summit.

According to the sources, a document is on the agenda at the gathering, although decisions will be made at a political level. Moreover, a temporary mechanism to manage migrant landings in the central Mediterranean will be discussed of the mini summit ahead of progress on a reform of the Dublin Regulation.

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