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BirdLife Malta and CABS condemn FKNK


Unmoderated xenophobic posts on hunters' website forum

Maltese hunter: The FKNK is the largest hunting federation on MaltaMaltese hunter: The FKNK is the largest hunting federation on MaltaBirdLife Malta and the Committee Against BirdLife Slaughter (CABS), currently running two separate bird protection and observation camps in Malta, today strongly condemned the FKNK for allowing xenophobic posts targeting CABS’ German members on its website forum.

The thread on the FKNK website titled “A mass grave found by CABS” referring to the discovery of over 200 dead protected birds in Mizieb include two photos of mass graves from World War II Germany posted by a user nicknamed ‘Mario’ on 21 September. The photos are accompanied by the text “The graves in their countries”.

In the same thread, a user named ‘Gemiem’ wrote the next day “I don’t know how these people aren’t ashamed… have they forgotten how many Jews they killed?? Then what should the rest of Europe, America and the Russians do to the Germans!! Tit for tat would make sense… who is the idiot who shits were its going to be smelt (sic) … and all those birds… it’s strange.”

The same day another FKNK member congratulating Mario who posted the mass grave photos from WW II, wrote “Well done Mario!!!! that’s what CABS should see, the people that they killed in masses !! that’s a real mass grave, full of people!!! How aren’t they ashamed to come to Malta.”

These tasteless, cheap and xenophobic sentiments are an insult to all CABS camp members, in particular those like myself and my Israeli team colleague Shai Agmon, who both lost members of their families in the Holocaust. It appears that some of the FKNK forum members are running out of logical arguments and descending to personal and racist attacks” commented CABS Press Officer Axel Hirschfeld.

Both organisations stated that the fact that the FKNK allowed such posts to be present on its forum, violates the provisions relating to the Electronic Communications Act, the Criminal Code and the Press Act.

This is not the first time we have these kind of statements allowed on the FKNK website forum. The responsibility for the messages posted on the FKNK website forum lies with the FKNK which is accountable through its moderators. But over and over again we see the FKNK website forum being used as a platform where hatred against birdwatchers and xenophobic sentiments are expressed.” said Tolga Temuge, Executive Director of BirdLife Malta.

CABS volunteers on MaltaCABS volunteers on MaltaBirdLife had sent a report to the Police Commissioner on 15 February 2007, quoting various posts on the FKNK forum and alerting the Police to these statements which were in breach of national legislation. BirdLife had also sent another request to the Commissioner of Police a year later asking for his immediate action with regards to the ever increasing threats that were posted on the FKNK website forum against members, staff and officials of BirdLife Malta and its conservation project sites.

BirdLife and CABS demands that the police take immediate action to remove these posts from the FKNK website forum and to prefer charges against the moderators of the FKNK website for continuing to allow such statements to be posted. The thread has been read by over 1500 readers as at noon today.

On September 20th and 21st, CABS and BirdLife volunteers found 201 dead protected birds concealed under stones and rubbish in the Mizieb woodland. Some of the birds discovered had been recently killed, while others were the remains of birds killed months earlier.

To date the police has neither secured the area nor launched a thorough search of the wildlife crime zone to reveal the true scale of the wild life crimes committed, as only one third of the crime scene could be searched by the volunteers from both organisations. BirdLife Malta President wrote to the Attorney General requesting his intervention to ensure a serious inquiry was held into why the crime was not being treated with the seriousness it deserved.