May 21, 1999
Meeting with the Hon. Dr Tonio Borg
Minister of Home Affairs
On the Conditions of the Arrested
Dar it-Tama, Cospicua
For this meeting, Mid-Dlam had invited the Prime Minister, Dr Edward Fenech Adami. However, the PM preferred that the meeting should take place with the Minister of Home Affairs, Dr Tonio Borg, since the prisons were under his direct responsibility.
The public meeting, incidentally, was very different from any other organised by Mid-Dlam ghad-Dawl. The main hall of Dar it-Tama, Cospicua, the centre from where Mid-Dlam ghad-Dawl co-ordinates all its work, was transformed into a large studio under the direction of the technicians of the national station Radio MaltaTwo. The meetings, in fact, in its entirity, was broadcasted live on this station and also on Radju Kottoner, the community radio station of Daritama.
The theme of the meeting was The Calvary of the Arrested. This very provocative and interesting subject was led by lawyer Dr Joseph Giglio on behalf of Mid-Dlam ghad-Dawl. The other participants were the Minister for Home Affairs, Dr Tonio Borg; the Shadow Minister for Home Affairs, Dr Angelo Farrugia; and the Shadow Minister for Justice, Dr Gavin Gulia. Though invited, the Minister for Justice, Dr Austin Gatt, could not attend. The discussion was directed by Dr Mark Montebello of Mid-Dlam ghad-Dawl. The public attended numerously, and participated enthusiastically.
The meeting was a great success. Its form, a new experience for Mid-Dlam ghad-Dawl, was originally suggested by Albano Grima, an ex-prisoner quite active in the organisation. Following the end of the broadcast, all participants were invited for a reception at Dar it-Tama itself.
The press followed and reported the occasion very generously. The Malta Independent even published it as a front-page leader.
In preparation for the occasion, the Tuesday before the meeting, that is on May 8, Dr Giglio personally met the prisoners during the weekly meeting of Mid-Dlam ghad-Dawl at the prisons. In such manner, Dr Giglio was well prepared both accademically and with suggestions and comments from the prisoners themselves.