WDI's message to the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture.

Women’s Declaration International has sent a message to the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, highlighting the plight of Maltese incarcerated women who, since the introduction of Self-ID, are imprisoned with men claiming to be women . The text of the message can be found below. We encourage you to support this initiative by messaging the CoE Committee for the Prevention of Torture here.

Good morning,

We are writing on behalf of Women's Declaration International (WDI), a group of women worldwide dedicated to protecting women's sex-based rights.

More information about WDI can be found here

We note your upcoming visit to Malta and would like to express our concern about the wellbeing and safety of female prisoners who are currently being incarcerated with male prisoners who claim to have a ‘female identity.’

As you are probably aware, abortion is completely illegal in Malta and even with the upcoming amendments to the abortion law, if a female prisoner were to be raped or even to have consensual sex while in prison, she would be forced to carry any resulting pregnancy to term unless the fetus is not viable.

Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights states that: ‘No one shall be subjected to torture or to inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment’. International legislation such as the Geneva convention also indicates that male and female prisoners should be housed in different sections and that ideally, prison guards should be the same sex as the prisoners. The Maltese state has a duty and an obligation to ensure to guarantee that prisoners are kept safe from sexual violence.

During your visit, would you please ask the Maltese government and the newly appointed director of the Corradino Correction Facility, Christopher Siegersma what is being done to safeguard the privacy, dignity and safety of female prisoners and especially to protect female prisoners from becoming pregnant while incarcerated?

The risk of rape and the psychological trauma of having to share a confined space with males should not be part of a woman’s prison sentence.

Thank you in anticipation.

Women’s Declaration International