Blogpost by Marica Micallef
A number of news portals published the news that now, the police have the authority to enter our homes and inspect any area in our homes. This authorization was given to them by the Superintendent of Public Health Profs Gauci.
Excuse me? Since when does Profs Gauci have the authority to allow the police to step on our basic human rights? Police do not and never had the authority to enter private residences as they usually need a warrant! Only in a state of emergency, do they exercise such a power.
So, how come now we have such an unethical practice? I wish to remind the readers that according to law, the superintendent is only vested with such an authority only if she decrees a state of emergency in Malta. To my knowledge, such a state of emergency has never been decreed by the superintendent of public health.
But irrespective of this legal argument, which I will leave to the lawyers, this is a blatant invasion of our privacy. Such a decree is putting people in a state of great tension. This is a demeaning action that is going to have severe psychological effects on honest and law-abiding citizens. In my opinion, this is tantamount to an abuse of power!
And what if we have a single young lady, living by herself, having a group of male policemen inside her home? Isn’t this intimidating? And why are homes to be inspected but then buses and offices, within their limited spaces, are being allowed to have individuals coming from different households?
The Malta Independent tried to “get a legal perspective from a number of lawyers but was unable to get any comments”. Where are the lawyers? Why aren’t they speaking up? Haven’t they studied the Declaration of Human Rights? Is everyone afraid to speak in this country?
Article 12 states that “No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks”.
So, what do the authorities have to say about this? What power and authority do they have to step on the fundamental human rights of people? Is the superintendent breaking the law when she decreed such an order without first decreeing that Malta is under a state of emergency?