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BirdLife International appalled by new act of violence against conservationist in Malta

Date

15 Apr 2009

Sections

Climate & Environment
EU Priorities 2020
Health & Consumers

Appeal to Maltese Prime Minister reiterated after yesterday’s attack

Brussels, April 15th 2009 – BirdLife International [1] strongly condemned yesterday’s attack against a nature reserve ranger in Malta. In the early morning of April 14th, Ray Vella, working for the “Foresta 2000” afforestation project was shot on the head and his right ear by an aggressor when inspecting the project area in Mellieha [2]. Foresta 2000 is a partnership of BirdLife Malta, the Parks Department of the Maltese Ministry for Resources and Rural Affairs and Din l-Art Helwa – the National Trust of Malta.

Dr. Clairie Papazoglou, Regional Director of BirdLife for Europe at BirdLife International stated: “We strongly condemn this criminal act. The international Partnership of BirdLife expresses its full solidarity and support to BirdLife Malta and to all others who work for nature conservation in a non-violent and legal way.”

BirdLife is alarmed by the lack of action from the side of the government: “Over the last two and a half years BirdLife Malta conservation sites, volunteers and staff have been seriously targeted over 20 times. In all these cases no one has been brought to justice.” said Joseph Mangion, BirdLife Malta President.

“Last October the Maltese Prime Minister, Mr Lawrence Gonzi, assured BirdLife International in a letter that all perpetrators are brought to justice” continued Dr Papazoglou. “We finally want to see this happen. The government must live up to its responsibility to enforce the law and ensure the security of citizens and visitors.”

ENDS

More information
BirdLife International, European Division, website: http://europe.birdlife.org
BirdLife Malta, website: www.birdlifemalta.org

Contact

Konstantin Kreiser, EU Policy Manager, BirdLife European Division, Brussels, Konstantin.Kreiser@birdlife.org Tel: +32 2 280 08 30

Herlinde Herpoel, Media & Communication Manager BirdLife European Division, Brussels,
Herlinde.herpoel@birdlife.org Tel: +32 494 542 844

Notes for the editor

[1] BirdLife International is a global alliance of conservation organisations working in more than 100 countries and territories that, together, are the leading authority on the status of birds, their habitats and the issues and problems affecting them. http://europe.birdlife.org

[2] See BirdLife Malta press release with more details at http://www.birdlifemalta.org/view.aspx?id=170

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