The Bishops of Malta and Gozo this morning called for justice in the wake of the killing of an immigrant in a Detention Service van and asked whether this case should lead to a review of the detention policy.
Two soldiers have been accused of the murder of Mamadou Kamara early on Saturday.
Archbishop Paul Cremona and Bishop Mario Grech in a joint statement expressed their sorrow over the case and expressed their condolences to Mr Kamara's family and friends and the Malian community in Malta.
"The death of Mamadou Kamara again raises a number of very serious questions," the bishops said.
"What led to the death of this person while he was under the control of the forces of law and order? We expect justice to be served as quickly as possible both with regard to the persons involved and the responsible institutions, in order to reassure the Maltese people and the immigrant community," the bishops said.
"Another question is whether this is another opportunity to reflect on the detention policy. Are there alternatives to the different situations which the immigrants find themselves in? The fundamental guiding principle, in this case too, should be respect for the dignity of the person."
The bishops said this case should also lead society to reflect about its attitude to persons who sought asylum in Malta. Speeches, comments and behaviour of a racist nature or which showed contempt to the migrants were against the teachings of the Gospel.
The bishops expressed their praise and gratitude to all those who try to help the migrants in the detention centres including the members of the Detention Service, the police and the AFM, medical and para-medical personnel, social workers and others as well as the various NGOs and government departments and agencies.