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The Civil Fleet Podcast

Mar 23, 2023

In today's episode we speak with Jelka and Amara.

Amara was one of 108 people who were rescued by an oil tanker, called the El Hiblu 1, in March 2019 after escaping Libya.

The European authorities ordered the El Hiblu 1's crew to wait for the Libyan coastguards to come and take the rescued back to the war-torn country. 

But, the rescued convinced the crew to sail north instead. Amara, along with fellow teenagers Abdalla and Kadar, acted as translators between the refugees and the crew.

The Maltese special forces eventually raided the ship, in full tactical gear, when it got close to the island nation. 

Amara, Abdalla and Kadar were arrested and accused of terrorism, piracy and worse for what is essentially an extraordinary act of humanitarianism. 

They have been stuck in a bureaucratic legal nightmare for four years while the Maltese prosecutors try to figure out what crime to charge them with. 

We're going to hear from Amara briefly about halfway through today's episode. With the pretrial in Malta still ongoing, he is unable to tell us too much about what happened. 

And so, we'll mainly be speaking with Jalka from the Free the El Hiblu 3 campaign. 

She's going to tell us more about what happened to Amara, Abdalla and Kader and the campaign to free them.

---Get in touch---
Twitter: @FleetCivil


---Show Notes---

For more on the El Hiblu 3 and the Free the El Hiblu 3 campaign, see here:

Follow Free the El Hiblu 3 on Twitter on: @ElHiblu3, and on Instagram here:

If you'd like to read the El Hiblu 3 e-book, then go here:

You can read more about Amara's story here:

Read Kader's here:

And Abdalla's here:

Ben mentions an exclusive story he worked on about the rising numbers of deaths at UK Home Office asylum-seeker accommodation. You can read that here: 

Ben and Jelka mention EUNAVFOR MED, which stands for European Union Naval Force Mediterranean. You can read more about that here:, here:, and here:

Ben and Jelka briefly mention the campaign group Refugees In Libya and one of its organisers David Yambio. He appears on episode 29 of The Civil Fleet podcast. 

Here's a link to the Times of Malta documentary on the El Hiblu 3 with English subtitles:

Ben briefly mentions Derbyshire Refugee Solidarity. You can find more about them here: