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Arkiveringsdatum 220324:

AYS 22-03-20:

Grekland/ AYS Special from Greece: 6 problems with the EU-Turkey Deal till sidans topp

It is 6 years since the EU Turkey deal came into effect, and for a brief moment in March 2016 arrivals stopped completely. Since that time, however, thousands of people have arrived in Greece and have been subject to the restrictive conditions imposed by the deal, wreaking havoc with people's lives. As Europe has suddenly collectively realised, people fleeing war have already survived enough, they should not be subject to further trauma at the hands of the state from which they ask for protection, and yet this is exactly what happens. Here are 6 of the main problems with it.

It's Racist

ARTICLE 3 NON-DISCRIMINATION: The Contracting States shall apply the provisions of this Convention to refugees without discrimination as to race, religion or country of origin.

The deal was only ever directed at people of colour from the global south. As soon as Europeans needed refuge, alternative provisions were made, and the Temporary Protection Directive was activated. When people from non European countries are returned to Turkey they cannot receive refugee status. Turkey only grants refugee status to Europeans. This creates a two tier immigration system based on your country of origin and the colour of your skin.

It's Illegal

the refugee deal was made based on extremely limited and hasty legal analysis, the substance of which was not and has not been made public. The implications of this for the substance of the legal advice is clear: if the analysis confirmed that the agreement was legally sound, then the Commission would have had no problem in allowing its disclosure. - European Law Blog

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Arkiveringsdatum 220215:

Mare Liberum 2022:

Medelhavet/ Pushback Report 2021 till sidans topp

This publication highlights reports of affected refugees and eyewitnesses and denounces institutionalized violence against people on the move.

Pushback is a term that refers to the violent forcing back of people seeking protection across a border. This practice violates international law and deprives people of their right to asylum.

The Pushback Report 2021 first provides a brief overview of the history of European border violence and illustrates different ways of dealing with different migratory movements of the European border regime.

In the main part of the publication, it becomes clear that illegal pushbacks have become a regular practice of human rights violations against people on the move. These are neither isolated cases nor a "side effect" of so-called border protection. Rather, different testimonies reveal impressively that (physical) violence, humiliation and torture are used as strategic means to prevent fleeing people from reaching EU territory, also by illegal methods. Also, the current developments in the Aegean Sea from 2021 on the shifting of flight routes, number of fatalities and missing people as well as arrivals of people on the Greek islands, are put into context with the established practice of pushbacks.

The report shows that the executive organs of the Hellenic Coast Guard and Frontex face no real consequences. Instead of prosecuting these crimes, there is a growing effort by several EU member states to legalize pushbacks. Finally, the publications takes a look back at the monitoring missions in the Aegean in 2017 and 2021, which make clear the repressive way in which human rights monitoring is being countered.

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Medecins Sans Frontieres 22-02-02:

Italien/ Five years of EU-sponsored abuse in Libya and the central Mediterranean till sidans topp

Nine-hundred dollars meant the difference between imprisonment and freedom for 23-year-old Kouassi*, who fled his home in Côte d'Ivoire only to be sold to human traffickers in Libya. After being rescued from an unseaworthy boat drifting in the central Mediterranean by MSF's search and rescue ship Geo Barents, Kouassi told the team on board that he had been detained in Libya for three months in 2020 after crossing the border from Algeria.

"They [the guards] put shackles on our ankles and wrists," says Kouassi. "I have many scars on my ankles. I spent three months in shackles. They beat us - they hit us with wooden and metal sticks. I still have scars from cuts with knives on my back," he says.

"It was a prison in the desert, a house that wasn't finished. There were around 10 of us in one room and there were several rooms. They removed everything we had on us and asked for half a million CFA francs [US$900] from our parents for our release," says Kouassi.

Like Kouassi, thousands of women, children and men are trafficked, exploited, arbitrarily detained, tortured and have money extorted from them in Libya simply because they are migrants. On arrival in the country, many migrants are kidnapped and kept captive by militias or other armed groups, or used by traffickers and smugglers as currency. Migrants living in cities are discriminated against, persecuted and face the constant threat of mass arrests and arbitrary incarceration.

"Catastrophic, that's how I'd describe the current situation in Libya," says Mustafa*, a migrant from Mali who has lived in Libya for several years. "A foreigner is like a blood diamond - they can be kidnapped to make money out of them.

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Statewatch 22-02-02: 170 organisations and individuals: Appeal for the immediate withdrawal of the Italy-Libya Memorandum (Extern länk)

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Arkiveringsdatum 211122:

Human Rights Watch 21-11-11:

Grekland/ Life-Saving on Trial till sidans topp

Stop criminalizing humanitarian rescuers

Two humanitarian activists who provided life-saving aid to migrants and asylum seekers trying to reach Greece will face charges in a trial scheduled for November 18, 2021, Human Rights Watch said today. The trial at the Mytilene Misdemeanor Court on the Greek island of Lesbos is related to humanitarian activities that are protected under international human rights law and Greek law.

Human Rights Watch analyzed the case against the two, Sarah Mardini and Sean Binder, who also face a related felony investigation. They are among 24 defendants on trial for their alleged affiliations with Emergency Response Center International (ERCI), a nonprofit search-and-rescue group that operated on Lesbos and in Greek waters from 2016 to 2018. The prosecution and investigation has been described in a European Parliament report as "currently the largest case of criminalization of solidarity in Europe." Prosecutors should request their acquittal.

"The Greek authorities' misuse of the criminal justice system to harass these humanitarian rescuers seems designed to deter future rescue efforts, which will only put lives at risk," said Bill Van Esveld, associate children's rights director at Human Rights Watch. "The slipshod investigation and absurd charges, including espionage, against people engaged in life-saving work reeks of politically motivated prosecution."

Human Rights Watch analysis concluded that the charges perversely misrepresent the group's search-and-rescue operations as a smuggling crime ring, even though the law they allegedly violated (Law 4251 of 2014) explicitly provides that the offense does not cover helping asylum seekers. Legitimate fundraising activities by the nonprofit organization are mischaracterized as money laundering. The search-and-rescue group was registered as a nongovernmental organization and regularly cooperated with the relevant Greek authorities on rescue missions.

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Ordfront 21-11-18:

Grekland/ Ordfrontpristagare inför rätta i Grekland till sidans topp

Ordfronts demokratipristagare hotas av långa fängelsestraff när Grekland gör allvar av sina hot att sätta dit flyktinghjälpare.

Idag startar huvudförhandlingen i målet mot Ordfronts båda Demokratipristagare Séan Binder och Sara Mardini. De ställs inför rätta anklagade för allt från spioneri till människosmuggling. Deras brott? De räddade människor från att drunkna i Medelhavet. Men Sara får inte ens närvara vid rättegången - hon prövas i sin frånvaro. Det är helt absurda anklagelser och en skam för såväl Grekland som EU, säger Anna Wigenmark, Generalsekreterare och människorättsjurist på Föreningen Ordfront.

"Vi hade verkligen hoppats och trott att förundersökningen skulle läggas ned, men Séan och Sara blir, liksom de flyktingar som uppenbarligen hellre ska lämnas åt sitt öde, EU:s offer för den flyktingpolitik som förs. Jag hittar inte ord för hur exceptionellt bekymmersamt det här är."

Sara Mardini är själv flykting från Syrien och skapade rubriker 2015 när hon och hennes syster tillsammans med ytterligare ett par flyktingar hoppade ur en sjunkande flotte och simmande drog den och dess övriga passagerare i land på ön Lesbos. Sara har sedan dess fått uppehållstillstånd i Tyskland där hon studerar.

Sara var tillsammans med sin syster en simmare i världsklass, van vid just havssimningar. 2018 valde hon att resa tillbaka till Lesbos, trots det trauma hennes resa innebar, för att hjälpa andra i samma situation. Séan Binder är studerande från Irland och utbildad dykare. Hans samvete tog honom ner till Lesbos för att hjälpa till att rädda liv.

Séan och Sara anslöt sig till en grekisk organisation som bevakade vattnet runt Lesbos med syfte att kunna ingripa om en båt förliste. Arbetet handlade mest om att värma, trösta och ta hand om stelfrusna människor som tagit sig i land på ön.

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Hela pressmeddelandet med länk till samtal med Séan Binder och Sara Mardini och artikel i Ordfront Magasin (Extern länk)

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Arkiveringsdatum 211104:

Human Rights Watch 21-10-15:

Turkiet/ Turkey: Soldiers beat, push Afghan asylum seekers back to Iran till sidans topp

Authorities deny Afghans right to seek asylum

Turkish authorities are summarily pushing Afghan asylum seekers crossing into the country from Iran back to Iran, in violation of international law, Human Rights Watch said today.

Six Afghans, five of whom were pushed back, told Human Rights Watch that the Turkish army beat them and their fellow travelers - some to the point of breaking their bones - and collectively expelled them in groups of 50 to 300 people as they tried to cross the border to seek safety in Turkey. Some families were separated in the process.

"Turkish authorities are denying Afghans trying to flee to safety the right to seek asylum," said Belkis Wille, senior crisis and conflict researcher at Human Rights Watch. "Turkish soldiers are also brutally mistreating the Afghans while unlawfully pushing them back."

Chancellor Angela Merkel is scheduled to visit Turkey on October 16, 2021 to meet with President Recep Tayyip Erdo?an. Merkel should push the Turkish government to end its summary expulsions of Afghans; investigate allegations of collective expulsions, rejections at the border, and the denial of the right to seek asylum; and remedy such instances.

From September 25 to October 11, Human Rights Watch remotely interviewed six Afghans, five of them in hiding in Turkey to avoid being expelled to Iran, and one who had been forcibly returned to Iran for a third time. All had fled Afghanistan shortly before or after August 15, when the Taliban took control of Kabul.

They said they had traveled through Pakistan and Iran, and that Iranian smugglers took them to the mountainous border with Turkey in the middle of the night and told them to run across. Turkish soldiers started firing above their heads. and two said that the soldiers brutally beat them.

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Alarm Phone and ARCI Porco Rosso 21-10-15:

Italien/ From sea to prison - The Criminalization of Boat Drivers in Italy till sidans topp

Freedom of movement is a right, not a crime. But over the past decade, Italy has arrested thousands of people in connection with driving migrant boats across the Mediterranean Sea. Our report describes their journeys from sea to prison, examining and taking a stand against the criminalization of migration.

Italy has spent decades pursuing people who have done nothing other than drive a boat of migrants towards its shores, utilizing criminal law, undercover police operations and emergency anti-Mafia powers to re-enforce Europe's border regime.

We have spoken to hundreds of people involved - persons accused of boat driving, ex-prisoners, lawyers, researchers, activists, judges and members of the police and Coast Guard - and studied dozens of court sentences to reveal the full extent of Italy's process of criminalizing migration.

Life sentences

The prison sentences that have been issued range from 2 years to 20 years - and sometimes even more. Of the nearly 1,000 cases we have discovered through a systematic media review, we have found 24 people with prison sentences of over 10 years, and 6 people who have received life sentences.

Imprisoning refugees

Boat drivers come from many countries, and are often migrants and refugees too. In 2018 and 2019, the police arrested around one person for every hundred migrants who arrived.

From a review of nearly one thousand cases, we estimate that over a third of the arrestees are from North Africa, 20% from Eastern Europe and 20% from West Africa. Many of the West and North African citizens arrested and imprisoned in Italy were forced to drive boats from Libya, a country they were fleeing from. In the case of the Eastern European boat drivers, many recount that they were tricked into people smuggling.

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Arkiveringsdatum 211018:

Frontex 21-10-15:

Medelhavet/ Increase on the Central Mediterranean and Western Balkan routes till sidans topp

The number of illegal border crossings at EU's external borders in the first nine months of 2021 rose 68% to 133 900*, according to preliminary calculations. This is 47% more than in 2019 before the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic when the number of illegal border crossings amounted to 91 000.

In September, there were 23 630 illegal border crossings on Europe's main migratory routes, 40% more than in 2020 when pandemic-related border restrictions were in place. It is also an increase of 17% compared with September 2019.

The most significant increase was reported on the Central Mediterranean and Western Balkan routes.

Eastern Borders

At EU's Eastern borders, the numbers of illegal border crossings reached almost 6200 between January and September.

The border between Lithuania and Belarus continues to be the most affected with 4170 crossings. The figures started to decrease after reaching a historic high in July (2900 monthly arrivals). In September, Lithuanian authorities registered 20 irregular arrivals.

Most migrants detected on this border section came from Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria.

Poland saw 1380 illegal crossings at its border with Belarus from January until September this year, with most migrants coming from Iraq, Afghanistan and Russia. In September, Polish authorities registered 28 illegal border crossings.

Western Balkans

In the first three quarters of 2021, there were about 40 200 illegal border crossings on the Western Balkan route, or 117% more compared to the same period of last year. In September alone, the route saw 10 400 illegal crossings, a 112% increase compared with a September 2020.

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Arkiveringsdatum 210904:

Amnesty International 21-08-05:

Italien/ A slippery slope for human rights: The Iuventa case till sidans topp

Since the end of 2016, Italy, along with other EU countries and with the backing of EU institutions, has created a hostile environment for human rights defenders and civil society organizations conducting rescue missions at sea, with the aim to reduce the number of people reaching Europe in search of protection or a better life. The criminal prosecution of the crew of the Iuventa - the ship of German rescue NGO Jugend Rettet - is increasingly becoming a litmus test of the ability and willingness of Italian authorities to stop the misuse of criminal law to deter human rights defenders from assisting refugees and migrants at sea.

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Arkiveringsdatum 210808:

Amnesty International 21-07-15:

Medelhavet/ Horrific violations in detention highlight Europe's shameful role in returns till sidans topp

Fresh evidence of harrowing violations, including sexual violence, against men, women and children intercepted while crossing the Mediterranean Sea and forcibly returned to detention centres in Libya, highlights the horrifying consequences of Europe's ongoing cooperation with Libya on migration and border control, said Amnesty International in a report published today.

'No one will look for you': Forcibly returned from sea to abusive detention in Libya documents how decade-long violations against refugees and migrants continued unabated in Libyan detention centres during the first six months of 2021 despite repeated promises to address them.

The report also found that since late 2020 Libya's Directorate for Combatting Illegal Migration (DCIM), a department of the interior ministry, had legitimized abuse by integrating two new detention centres under its structure where hundreds of refugees and migrants had been forcibly disappeared in previous years by militias. At one recently rebranded centre, survivors said guards raped women and subjected them to sexual violence including by coercing them into sex in exchange for food or their freedom.

"The report also highlights the ongoing complicity of European states that have shamefully continued to enable and assist Libyan coastguards in capturing people at sea and forcibly returning them to the hellscape of detention in Libya, despite knowing full well the horrors they will endure."

Amnesty International is calling on European states to suspend cooperation on migration and border control with Libya. This week Italy's parliament will debate the continuation of their provision of military support and resources to Libyan coastguards.

The report details the experiences of 53 refugees and migrants previously detained in centres nominally under the control of DCIM, 49 of whom were detained directly following their interceptions at sea.

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SOS Mediterranee 21-07-23:

Medelhavet/ The care team, a crucial link with rescued people onboard Ocean Viking till sidans topp

Since April 2020 and the announcement of the end of our partnership with Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), SOS MEDITERRANEE has been exploring the possibility of partnering with another experienced humanitarian organisation for the provision of care, protection and medical activities complementing our core operation, the search and rescue of people in distress at sea. In the meantime, our team on board the Ocean Viking has included professional staff who have been ensuring comprehensive care of the survivors on board.

On July 19, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and SOS MEDITERRANEE announced that the IFRC was launching an emergency appeal to join our teams onboard the Ocean Viking as of August 2021. In the framework of this upcoming partnership, the IFRC will provide post-rescue support, such as medical care, psychological support, protection activities as well as basic necessities to the people who have been safely brought onboard the Ocean Viking. The team will include at least a medical doctor, a nurse, a midwife and professionals who can provide psychological support and assist those who are particularly vulnerable and in need of extra protection, such as unaccompanied minors and victims of human trafficking. A care and a medical SOS MEDITERRANEE team members will be part of this team.

Before this new partnership starts, we look back at the experience and knowledge gathered by our crew on the provision of care onboard our rescue ship over this past year. Read this interview of Riad, our care team leader currently onboard.

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Arkiveringsdatum 210720:

Frontex 21-07-13:

Situation at EU borders in June - detections rise in Central Med till sidans topp

The number of illegal border crossings at Europe's external borders in the first six months of 2021 reached over 61 000, 59% more than the total from a year ago, according to preliminary calculations.

In June, Frontex has recorded 11 150 illegal border crossings at EU's external borders, 69% more than in the same month of last year.

This significant increase can be attributed to the fact that a year ago countries had put in place various COVID-related movement restrictions. The highest increase occurred on the Central Mediterranean route, where smuggling networks resumed their activities in Libya and Tunisia.

Central Mediterranean

The number of migrants crossing the Central Mediterranean in June amounted to 4 700, double the figure from a year ago. Nationals from Tunisia and Bangladesh were the two main nationalities on this route so far this year.

Western Mediterranean

On the route towards Spain, Frontex recorded 870 detections in June, in line with the number last year. With the sharp increase in May, the total number of crossings in the first six months of this year amounted to 5800, 27% higher than during the same period last year.

Algerian nationals represented over 60% of all arrivals on this route, followed by Moroccans.

Eastern Mediterranean

On the Eastern Mediterranean route in June, there were nearly 1100 detections of illegal border crossings bringing the total for the first half of the year to 7340, 40% lower than last year.

Nationals of Syria and Turkey accounted for the largest number of detected migrants

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Arkiveringsdatum 210701:

UNHCR 21-06-16:

Medelhavet/ IOM and UNHCR condemn the return of migrants and refugees to Libya till sidans topp

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) and UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, can confirm that over 270 migrants and refugees were handed over to the Libyan Coast Guard by the ship "Vos Triton", sailing under the flag of Gibraltar.

"Vos Triton" had rescued the group in international waters during their attempt to reach Europe on 14 June. On 15 June, the Libyan Coast Guard returned them to the main port of Tripoli, from where they were taken into detention by the Libyan authorities.

The two organizations reiterate that no one should be returned to Libya after being rescued at sea. Under international maritime law, rescued individuals should be disembarked at a place of safety.

IOM and UNHCR staff are in Libya, providing life-saving humanitarian assistance. However, the agencies reiterate that the basic preconditions to ensure the safety and protection of rescued migrants and refugees post-disembarkation are lacking; therefore, Libya cannot be considered a safe place.

In the absence of predictable disembarkation mechanisms, maritime actors should not be obliged to return refugees and migrants to unsafe places. IOM and UNHCR call on States to coordinate so that merchant vessels rescuing people in distress are granted swift permission for disembarkation in a place of safety, to avoid lives being placed at risk.

The Libyan Coast Guard has returned more than 13,000 people to Libya this year, already surpassing the number of people intercepted or rescued and disembarked in all of 2020. Hundreds of others have perished at sea.

The continuing departures from Libya highlight the need for a predictable rescue and disembarkation mechanism along the Central Mediterranean route, with immediate effect and in full compliance with international human rights principles and standards.

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Se även:

Annick Pijnenburg in EU Migration Law Blog 21-07-16: Socio-economic Rights and Migration deals: Obligations and Responsibility of EU Member States (Extern länk)

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Human Rights Watch, Amnesty international and ECRE 21-06-16:

Medelhavet/ Plan of action: Twenty steps to protect people on the move till sidans topp

ACTION 1: Ensure proactive search and rescue operations in the Mediterranean

The central Mediterranean has been long recognized as one of the most dangerous migration routes in the world. In the last 10 years, around 20,000 people have lost their lives attempting to get to the European Union (EU), on flimsy and overcrowded boats and dinghies. Although the overall number of crossings has decreased since 2017, hundreds of people still drown every year. Many lives could be saved if EU member states ensured and enabled robust search and rescue (SAR) operations in the central Mediterranean, rather than refusing to deploy ships and hampering the work of non-governmental rescue organizations (NGOs). There is no evidence that SAR operations encourage people to embark. Indeed, the absence of rescue ships does not seem to affect the willingness of people to leave from Libya or from other points of departure such as Tunisia. Yet the European Commission has undermined the legitimacy of SAR organizations while member states have used a variety of means to prevent or delay civilian SAR activities.

Amnesty International, ECRE and Human Rights Watch recommend that EU institutions and member states:

1 Deploy an adequate number of vessels, including some with SAR as their primary purpose, along the routes taken by boats carrying refugees, asylum seekers and migrants, including through Frontex operations and EU missions. Re-instating state-led, proactive SAR operations, including under the auspices of the EU, should be a priority.

2 Refrain from penalizing shipmasters and crews for assisting people in distress at sea and attempting to disembark them in a place of safety and assist any shipmasters in such situation to complete the operations safely and promptly.

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Läs alla 20 stegen och hämta hela planen i pdf-format (Extern länk)

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FRA 21-06-18:

Medelhavet/ Migrant search and rescue in the Mediterranean - state of play till sidans topp

So far this year, almost five people per day on average died crossing the Mediterranean Sea to reach Europe, estimates the International Organization for Migration. Ahead of World Refugee Day 2021, the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights points to ongoing difficulties facing civil society rescue efforts in the Mediterranean, complicated by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Since 2018, authorities in some EU Member States have been restricting civil society rescues of migrants in distress at sea - as a fresh report from the United Nations Human Rights Office (link is external) also points out.

Often smugglers and traffickers send migrants to sea in overcrowded or unseaworthy boats.

The latest FRA update shows overall rescue capacity remains hampered. Of the 19 NGO-deployed boats and planes carrying out search and rescue, only six are operational.

There are now two additional rescue boats and one reconnaissance aircraft supporting civil society efforts since 2020. However, one was seized and remains docked.

The update also points to around eight new administrative and criminal proceedings by EU Member States against crew members or vessels since December 2020. This brings the total number of legal proceedings to 58 since 2016.

In some cases, EU Member States seized vessels. In other, they blocked rescue vessels in harbours due to flag or technical issues.

The pandemic further restricted search and rescue work. Rescued people were quarantined on board before landing or in ports after disembarkation to prevent any potential spread of Covid-19. Crew members also had to quarantine for two weeks after rescued migrants disembarked.

This latest update provides a snapshot of developments, including open and closed legal proceedings, since 2016 up until 15 June 2021.

It also contains an overview of vessels that were not immediately allowed to disembark migrants and had to wait at sea for a safe port for over one day in 2020.

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Läs sammanfattning från ECRE 21-06-25: (Extern länk)

TT / AB 21-06-27: 178 migranter räddade av Tunisiens flotta (Extern länk)

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Frontex 21-06-22:

Spanien/ Frontex expands its support in Spain for the summer till sidans topp

Frontex and the Spanish National Police have launched Minerva, an annual operation that takes place in three Spanish ports during the busy summer holiday season.

Every year, Frontex provides additional border guard officers to Spain at the ports of Algeciras, Tarifa and Ceuta to assist with checking the people arriving from Morocco. The agency also deploys forged document experts and border guards trained to detect stolen cars. The information collected during the operation is important for the fight against criminal organisations and future investigations.

This summer, nearly 100 standing corps officers from 18 countries will be there to help speed up processing of passengers, while handling any possible illegal activities. During the peak summer days, border guards need to check as many as 10,000 cars and lorries arriving by ferries in the Spanish ports, along with thousands of documents.

The operation will run until September.

Se video om Minerva (Extern länk)

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Arkiveringsdatum 210616:

EU-parlamentet 21-06-10:

Spanien/ Human rights breaches at the Spanish/Moroccan border till sidans topp

+ Morocco must end the use of unaccompanied minors to pressure Spain

+ Russia must release Andrei Pivovarov and halt reprisals against political opponents

+ Sri Lanka must repeal controversial Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA)

On Thursday, Parliament adopted three resolutions on the human rights situation at the Spanish/Moroccan border, in Russia, and in Sri Lanka.

The breach of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and the use of minors by the Moroccan authorities in the migratory crisis in Ceuta

Parliament rejects Morocco's use of border control and migration, and unaccompanied minors in particular, as political pressure against Spain. MEPs particularly deplore the participation of children, unaccompanied minors and families in the recent mass crossings of the border from Morocco to the Spanish city of Ceuta, putting their lives and safety in clear danger.

From 17 May 2021, an unprecedented surge in crossings to Spanish territory have occurred. Around 9 000 people have entered, swimming or walking into the autonomous city of Ceuta after Moroccan police temporarily eased border controls, opened the gates of their border fence and took no action to stop illegal entry.

The resolution states this crisis was triggered by Morocco because of diplomatic tensions between the North African country and Spain, and is not actually related to migration, but rather to Spain having welcomed and admitted to hospital Brahim Ghali, the leader of the Polisario Front (Sahrawi national liberation movement).

The text calls on Spain and Morocco to work closely to allow for the repatriation of the Moroccan children to their families, which must be guided by the best interests of the child and carried out in compliance with national and international law, in particular the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

The text was adopted by 397 votes in favour, 85 against and 196 abstentions.

Hela referatet (Extern länk)

Resolutionen i helhet (Extern länk)

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Arkiveringsdatum 210520:

Human Rights Watch 21-05-05:

Frankrike/ Police expelling migrant children till sidans topp

French police summarily expel dozens of unaccompanied children to Italy each month in violation of French and international law, Human Rights Watch said today.

To enable the returns, the police frequently record on official documents different ages or birth dates than the children declared. The authorities have also summarily returned adults, including families with young children, without telling them they had a right to seek asylum in France.

"The French border police have no legal authority to decide who is and who is not under 18," said Bénédicte Jeannerod, France director at Human Rights Watch. "Instead of making snap judgments based on appearance or caprice, border police should refer young people to child protection authorities for appropriate care."

In late November 2020, Human Rights Watch interviewed six unaccompanied children pushed back to Italy who said they had told French police they were under 18. In every case, even though the children stated their age and in some cases offered documentary evidence, the French authorities had recorded birth dates to suggest they were adults. Human Rights Watch also spoke with 27 adults who had been summarily expelled from France. None of the children or adults interviewed were told by French authorities that they could seek asylum in France.

Human Rights Watch also conducted in-person and remote interviews between November 2020 and April 2021 with volunteers and staff of aid groups, lawyers, and others working on both sides of the French-Italian border.

Many of these returns take place at the border crossing between Menton, a French town about 30 kilometers from Nice, and the Italian town of Ventimiglia, on the Mediterranean coast. Police take children and adults found to have entered France irregularly to the French border post at the Saint-Louis Bridge and direct them to walk across to the Italian border post.

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Arkiveringsdatum 210504:

IOM 21-04- 24:

Medelhavet/ Mounting death toll in the central mediterranean calls for urgent action till sidans topp

UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) are deeply disturbed by reports of a tragic shipwreck off the coast of Libya. Fears are that this latest incident could have claimed the lives of up to 130 people.

The rubber boat, which reportedly embarked from the Al Khoms area east of Tripoli, is said to have capsized due to bad weather and stormy seas.

The NGO SOS Méditerranée reported that the first distress call was received by authorities on Wednesday morning. SOS Méditerranée and commercial vessels searched the area on Thursday only to discover several bodies floating around the deflated rubber dinghy but no survivors.

This would be the largest loss of life recorded in the Central Mediterranean since the beginning of the year. So far in 2021 alone, at least 300 other people have drowned or gone missing in the Central Mediterranean. This is a significant increase compared to the same period last year, when some 150 people drowned or went missing along the same route.

IOM and UNHCR warn that more migrants and refugees may attempt this dangerous crossing as weather and sea conditions improve and living conditions in Libya deteriorate.

In Libya, migrants and refugees continue to be subjected to arbitrary detention, ill-treatment, exploitation and violence, conditions that push them to take risky journeys, especially sea crossings that may end up with fatal consequences. Legal pathways to safety, though, are limited and often fraught with challenges.

(...)

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Light House Reports April 2021:

Medelhavet/ Frontex in the Central Mediterranean till sidans topp

The EU borders agency plays a direct role in the Libyan coast guard's interception operations contrary to previous denials

Europe stands accused of creating a proxy force in the waters off Libya to do what its own member states and agencies cannot do themselves without openly violating international laws: intercept unwanted migrants and return them to Libya. The EU and its border agency Frontex have long denied this accusation even as resources are channeled to the Libyan coast guard which has intercepted tens of thousands of people trying to reach Europe across the Central Mediterranean.

There is a confusion of actors at sea with a Frontex mission, an EU naval mission, member states' maritime rescue centres and national coast guards, non-governmental organizations operating rescue vessels, as well as two separate Libyan authorities acting as coast guards. What role are Frontex and associated European air surveillance assets playing in the interception and return of asylum seekers by Libyan forces?

Two starkly different visions of what is happening in Libya's waters have been put forward. The first claims that Europe is investing in Libya's capacity to manage its own waters and perform search and rescue operations as any other country would. In this version of events the material support from the EU and Italy is capacity building for humanitarian and counter-smuggling purposes. Libya has asserted its own search and rescue zone to maritime authorities and is being assisted to set up a rescue coordination centre and equip a functioning coast guard equivalent to those of Italy or Malta.

The darker version of events, supported by independent experts and humanitarian NGOs, declares that the capacity building is a fiction, serving as a thin layer of deniability over Frontex and Italian command and control over a Libyan interception force. In this version, the withdrawal of European vessels and the investment in aerial surveillance is about directing the interception operations.

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Arkiveringsdatum 210416:

ECRE 21-04- 02:

Grekland/ Millions of euros for fenced structures, pushbacks dismissed as "fake news" till sidans topp

European Commissioner for Home Affairs Ylva Johansson toured the eastern Aegean and announced over 250 million euro of EU funds for reception structures on five Greek islands. The Commissioner and Greek Minister of Migration and Asylum Notis Mitarachi said new structures on Lesvos and Samos will be fenced and have controlled entry and exit. Journalists criticised lack of access to the so-called Moria 2.0 camp. Two deadly incidents took place in Greek detention centres; the Greek Refugee Council called for an end to detention. Mitarachi dismissed reports of pushbacks as "fake news", while the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) urged Greece to investigate "hundreds of pushbacks." A relocation flight for recognised refugees took off from Lesvos to Germany, amid calls for more solidarity.

On the occasion of her visit to the eastern Aegean islands Samos and Lesvos, European Commissioner for Home Affairs Ylva Johansson announced that the EU would provide ¤155 million to the Greek authorities for the construction of new reception centres on the islands Lesvos and Chios. With ¤121 million awarded in November 2020 for structures in Samos, Kos and Leros, the financial support for reception in the eastern Aegean totals a quarter of a billion euro. During a joint press conference in Lesvos, Greek Minister of Migration and Asylum Notis Mitarachi said the construction process currently underway on Samos, Kos and Leros will be finalised in three months. In regard to the planned structures in Lesvos and Samos he pointed out that they will be fenced all around with areas for separating vulnerable groups inside the main structure, and that entry and exit to the camp will be controlled and possible only at set hours. No date was specified for when the structures will be operational, but both Johansson and Mitarachi stressed that no-one should spend the next winter in the current facilities. A statement issued by Johansson ahead of the visit read: "Winter hardship in 2020-2021 was unfortunate. Winter hardship in 2021-2022 must be avoided."

(...)

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Arkiveringsdatum 210402:

Europarådet 21-03- 18:

Cypern/ Authorities should investigate allegations of pushbacks and ill-treatment till sidans topp

In a letter addressed to the Minister of Interior of Cyprus the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Dunja Mijatovic urges the Cypriot authorities to ensure that independent and effective investigations are carried out into allegations of pushbacks and of ill-treatment of arriving migrants, including persons who may be in need of international protection, by members of security forces.

Commissioner Mijatovic also calls on the Cypriot authorities to bring the conditions in reception facilities for asylum seekers and migrants in line with applicable human rights standards and ensure that they enjoy effective access to all necessary services.

Hämta brevet och svaret från Cyperns inrikesminister (Extern länk)

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Arkiveringsdatum 210314:

Europarådet 21-03-09:

Medelhavet/ European countries must change policies endangering refugees till sidans topp

"European countries are failing to protect refugees and migrants trying to reach Europe via the Mediterranean. Backsliding in the protection of the lives and rights of refugees and migrants is worsening and causing thousands of avoidable deaths each year", says Dunja Mijatovic, the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, who has released a report entitled "A distress call for human rights. The widening gap in migrant protection in the Mediterranean".

The report takes stock of member states' implementation of the Commissioner's 2019 Recommendation on rescuing migrants at sea and provides a set of actionable measures to be urgently taken by European states to ensure a human rights compliant approach to sea crossings. It covers developments from July 2019 until December 2020 in five key areas: effective search and rescue; timely and safe disembarkation of rescued persons; co-operation with non-governmental organisations; co-operation with third countries; and safe and legal routes; and focuses mainly on developments on the Central Mediterranean route. However, many of the required actions set out in this document are applicable to all other major migration routes in the Mediterranean region and on the Atlantic route from West Africa to Spain.

This report stresses that, despite some limited progress, the human rights situation in the Mediterranean remains deplorable. Shipwrecks continue to be worryingly recurrent, with more than 2,400 registered deaths in the period under consideration, a number which may well under-represent the real tally of deadly incidents.

(...)

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UNHCR 21-03-10: IOM, UNHCR: Latest tragedy underscores need for search and rescue (Extern länk)

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ASILE February 2021:

Grekland/ Pushbacks and lack of accountability at the Greek-Turkish borders till sidans topp

Publication by Roberto CORTINOVIS

Amid escalating geopolitical tension with Turkey, in March 2020 the Greek authorities announced a hardline approach towards asylum seekers attempting to cross its land and sea borders with Turkey. The framing of cross-border movements as a 'threat' to the country's national security served to justify a derogation from the human rights standards and procedural guarantees that are granted to people seeking protection under EU law. Since then, a pattern of systematic pushbacks at the border and informal returns represents the most visible expression of this hardening of border policies at the EU's south-eastern borders.

This paper analyses the negative impact of this heavily securitised approach on asylum seekers' fundamental rights, in particular its implications for the right to asylum that underpins the Common European Asylum System (CEAS).

The paper also reflects on the limits and ambiguities that have characterised the EU's response to the situation at the Greek-Turkish borders, focusing on the role and responsibilities of the Frontex Agency. It underlines the need for the EU to remedy the shortcomings in existing accountability mechanisms, to guarantee effective remedies for victims of fundamental rights violations at the border. Establishing a sustainable human- rights-compliant management of migration in the eastern Mediterranean also requires that the EU move away from its focus on containing and restricting asylum seekers' mobility - a focus that has characterised cooperation on migration and asylum with Turkey within the framework of the 2016 EU-Turkey Statement.

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Arkiveringsdatum 210226:

Mare Liberum 21-02-11:

Grekland/ De facto suspension of human rights for refugees in the Aegean till sidans topp

A new report by the organization Mare Liberum shows an unprecedented escalation of human rights violations in the Aegean during the last year, both at sea and on land. Mare Liberum documented that from March to December alone, over 9,000 people on the move were violently pushed back to Turkey and thus deprived of their right to asylum. In addition, the report highlights that besides the Greek Coast Guard as the main actor, the European border agency Frontex and ships under NATO command are also involved in these systematic and illegal expulsions.

Mare Liberum's new report shows an escalation of violence against refugees in Greece over the past year. By reconstructing pushback cases, for example through testimonies of survivors, Mare Liberum documented 321 incidents in which 9,798 people were illegally pushed back from March to December 2020. In most cases, the inflatable boats of people seeking protection are destroyed and the people inside, including children, are deliberately subjected to physical and psychological violence. In some cases, refugees were even pushed back after they had already reached Greek soil.

"These pushbacks are not isolated or extreme instances of European deterrence, but rather the current and everyday "modus operandi" at the EU's external border. Pushbacks can only be understood as part of an inhumane and deadly policy of deterrence that is visible far beyond the borders of the Aegean Sea. We live in a Europe where people are abandoned at sea in tiny life rafts, instead of legally accepting people seeking protection", said Paul Hanewinkel of Mare Liberum, one of the authors of the report.

Last year clearly showed that pushbacks are not carried out by the Greek authorities alone, but rather in cooperation with the European border protection agency Frontex. Mare Liberum's report also documents the involvement of the German federal police (Bundespolizei) in human rights violations against refugees.

(...)

Läs mer och hämta rapporten (Extern länk)

Statewatch 21-02-18: Joint statement on push backs in Greece from civil society organisations: Ongoing impunity for rights violations at the borders is "inhuman" (Extern länk)

AYS 21-02-09: 'CommemorAction' for 91 people lost in Central Med last year (Extern länk)

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Arkiveringsdatum 210208:

UN Human Rights Commissioner 21-01-27:

Italien/ Italy failed to rescue more than 200 migrants, UN Committee finds till sidans topp

Italy failed to protect the right to life of more than 200 migrants who were on board a vessel that sank in the Mediterranean Sea in 2013, the UN Human Rights Committee has found.

In a decision published today, the Human Rights Committee said that Italy had failed to respond promptly to various distress calls from the sinking boat, which was carrying more than 400 adults and children. The State party also failed to explain the delay in dispatching its navy ship, ITS Libra, which was located only about an hour away from the scene.

The Committee's decision responds to a joint complaint lodged by three Syrians and a Palestine national, who survived the accident but lost their families. On 10 October 2013, they arrived in Zuwarah, a fishing port in Libya, and joined a large group of people mostly escaping from Syria. They boarded a fishing vessel and set to sea around 1:00am. A few hours later, water was flooding in after the vessel was shot by a boat flying a Berber flag in international waters, 113 km south of the Italian island of Lampedusa and 218 km south of Malta.

One of those on board called the Italian number for emergencies at sea, saying they were sinking and forwarding the boat's coordinates. He rang several times again in the following hours, only to be told after 1pm that as they were in the Maltese search and rescue zone and thus the Italian authorities had forwarded their distress call to the Maltese authority. In spite of the emergency, the Italian operator only passed on to them the phone number of Malta's Rescue Coordination Centre.

(...)

Hela pressmeddelandet (Extern länk)

Hämta dokumentet, CCPR/C/130/DR/3042/2017 (Extern länk)

ECRE 21-02-19: Fight for justice over pushback case amid continuing deaths, rescues, and pullbacks to Libya (Extern länk)

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Arkiveringsdatum 210125:

UNHCR 21-01-20:

Medelhavet/ Shipwreck off Libya claims over 40 Lives till sidans topp

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) and UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency are deeply saddened by a tragic shipwreck off the Libyan coast yesterday (19 January), the first of 2021 in the Central Mediterranean, which claimed the lives of at least 43 people. According to IOM and the International Rescue Committee (IRC), UNHCR's partner on the ground, 10 survivors were rescued and brought to shore by Coastal Security in Zwara.

The boat, which embarked in the early hours of Tuesday from the city of Zawiya, reportedly capsized due to bad sea conditions when its engine stopped, just a few hours after departure. Survivors, mainly from Cote d'Ivoire, Nigeria, Ghana, and The Gambia, reported that those who perished were all men from West African countries.

IOM staff and UNHCR's partner, IRC, provided them with emergency assistance, including food, water and medical screenings, before they were released from the port.

Hundreds of people lost their lives last year attempting to cross the Central Mediterranean, where the highest number of fatalities along a single migration journey worldwide occurred. IOM and UNHCR fear that due to the limited ability to monitor routes, the actual number of people who perished in the Central Mediterranean during 2020, could be much higher.

This loss of life highlights once more the need for re-activation of State-led search and rescue operations, a gap NGO and commercial vessels are trying to fill despite their limited resources.

IOM and UNHCR reiterate their call on the international community for an urgent and measurable shift in the approach to the situation in the Mediterranean. This includes ending returns to unsafe ports, establishing a safe and predictable disembarkation mechanism followed by a tangible show of solidarity from European states with countries receiving high numbers of arrivals.

(...)

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Arkiveringsdatum 210111:

ELENA Legal Update 20-12-18:

Spanien/ Constitutional Court deems regime at its Moroccan border constitutional till sidans topp

On 19 November 2020, the Spanish Constitutional Court rejected a constitutional complaint regarding the 'hot returns' from Ceuta and Melilla.

In 2015, over a hundred members of the Spanish parliament lodged a constitutional complaint ('recurso de inconstitutionalidad') against, inter alia, the first final Article of the Organic Law 4/2015 on the protection of the citizens' security, which incorporates a specific asylum procedures regime for Ceuta and Melilla, the Spanish enclaves in Morocco. The applicants claimed that the contested Article is contrary to, inter alia, Arts. 15, 24 and 106 of the Spanish Constitution because it backs a singular administrative act consisting of the massive or collective and undifferentiated return, without administrative procedure, of TCNs, including minors, intercepted at the border of Ceuta or Melilla and outside of the posts that authorize their entry into Spanish territory.

The Court underlined that TCNs, including the ones who unlawfully reside on Spanish territory, also derive rights from the Constitution. In order to benefit from these rights, the TCNs, inter alia, have to be subject to the control that the State exercises through one of its agents (see Hirsi Jaama), which is the case when the Spanish Security Forces and Bodies ('Fuerzas y Cuerpos de Seguridad españoles') undertake the 'rejections'.

Thereafter, the Court explained that the 'rejections' constitute a governmental measure that counters the disturbance of the legal order and which constitute a measure of migratory flow control. Furthermore, it considered that the establishment of a specific regime for Ceuta and Melilla was justified because of their unique geographical location. In this context, the Court reiterated that the ECtHR had considered these unique features in N.D. and N.T. (§201 and 210) and had held that States may refuse entrance to the territory to persons who have failed, without cogent reasons, to use the genuine and effective means of legal entry and chose to cross the border at a different location, especially when they are taking advantage of large numbers and the use of force.

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Arkiveringsdatum 201124:

CPT 20-11-19:

Grekland/ Anti-torture Committee calls on Greece to reform detention, stop pushbacks till sidans topp

In a report published today on a rapid reaction ad hoc visit to Greece in March 2020, the Council of Europe's anti-torture committee (CPT) once again urges the Greek authorities to change their approach towards immigration detention and to ensure that migrants deprived of their liberty are treated both with dignity and humanity.

The Council of Europe's Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) has published today the report on its ad hoc visit to Greece, which took place from 13 to 17 March 2020, together with the response of the Greek authorities.

In the report, the CPT acknowledges the significant challenges faced by the Greek authorities in dealing with large numbers of migrants entering the country and that it requires a coordinated European approach. However, this cannot absolve the Greek State from their human rights obligations and the duty of care owed to all migrants that the Greek authorities detain.

The CPT found that the conditions of detention in which migrants were held in certain facilities in the Evros region and on the island of Samos could amount to inhuman and degrading treatment. The report again underlines the structural deficiencies in Greece's immigration detention policy. Migrants continue to be held in detention centres composed of large barred cells crammed with beds, with poor lighting and ventilation, dilapidated and broken toilets and washrooms, insufficient personal hygiene products and cleaning materials, inadequate food and no access to outdoor daily exercise. The situation was further aggravated by extreme overcrowding in several of the facilities. In addition, migrants were not provided with clear information about their situation.

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Läs mer och hämta rapporten och Greklands svar (Extern länk)

Statewatcj 20-11-20: Addicted to denial: Greek government dismisses official report documenting pushbacks to Turkey (Extern länk)

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ECRE 20-11-13:

Italien/ Italy considers patrols off Tunisia to halt sea arrivals till sidans topp

Italy is considering patrols off Tunisian territorial waters to reduce sea arrivals. Human rights advocates, including Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights Dunja Mijatovi?, condemn the use of quarantine ships as the approach would raise human rights concerns.

Italy is considering to deploy ships and planes off Tunisian territorial waters to monitor migratory movements, said Italian Interior Minister Luciana Lamorgese during a press conference with her French counterpart Gerald Darmanin. The plan aims at strengthening information channels between Italy and Tunisia for the sake of reducing migratory movement across the Mediterranean Sea. "We would give an alert to Tunisian authorities to make it easier to track down the boats that leave from those territories to come to Italian shores," she said.

More than 11,000 Tunisian nationals have reached Italy by sea in 2020, but most receive removal decisions. Based on an agreement between the two countries, up to eighty people are deported to Tunisia on a weekly basis. The new plan on increasing surveillance capacity in the Mediterranean Sea follows the non-disclosure of an agreement reached in August that, according to media reports, includes financial support of 11 million euro for the strengthening of border control systems and training of security forces aimed at both preventing the departure of migrants and intercepting vessels in Tunisian territorial waters.

High numbers in arrivals at Italian shores continued in November, with 2,430 people who disembarked in Lampedusa within six days. After health checks and identity screening, 650 people were transferred from the island's overcrowded hotspot to the Rhapsody quarantine ship and more than 200 people boarded the Suprema quarantine ship.

(...)

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Arkiveringsdatum 201111:

Bellingcat 20-10-23:

Grekland/ Frontex at Fault: European border force complicit in 'illegal' pushbacks till sidans topp

Vessels from the European Border and Coast Guard Agency, Frontex, have been complicit in maritime "pushback" operations to drive away refugees and migrants attempting to enter the European Union via Greek waters, a joint investigation by Bellingcat, Lighthouse Reports, Der Spiegel, ARD and TV Asahi has found.

Open source data suggests Frontex assets were actively involved in one pushback incident at the Greek-Turkish maritime border in the Aegean Sea, were present at another and have been in the vicinity of four more since March.

Although Frontex assets were not at the immediate scene of those latter four incidents, the signature of a pushback is distinctive, and would likely have been visible on radar, with visual tools common on such vessels or to the naked eye.

The Greek Coast Guard (HCG) has long been accused of illegal pushbacks.

These are described by the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR), a legal and educational non-profit, as incidents where refugees and migrants are forced back over a border without consideration of individual circumstances and without any possibility to apply for asylum or to put forward arguments against the measures taken.

In the Aegean Sea, pushbacks generally occur in two ways. The first type is the most common: Dinghies travelling from Turkey to Greece are blocked from landing on Greek soil by the HCG. This could mean either physically blocking the dinghy until it runs out of fuel, or disabling the engine. After the engine no longer works the dinghy can then either be pushed back into Turkish territorial water with waves, or towed if the wind is not favourable.

The second type of pushback is employed when people have managed to land on Greek soil. In this case they are detained, placed in a liferaft with no means of propulsion, towed into the middle of the Aegean Sea and then abandoned.

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Hela artikeln (Extern länk)

Frontex 20-10-27: Frontex launches internal inquiry into incidents recently reported by media (Extern länk)

Statewatch News 20-11-05: Pullback to Turkey organised by Greek official on German boat as part of Frontex operation (Extern länk)

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HumanRights360 / Statewatch 20-10-23:

Grekland/ Defending human rights in times of border militarization till sidans topp

HumanRights360 presents its latest report on its work at the border of Evros, for the period May-September 2020.

"The new legal asylum framework in Greece, in fully harmony with the EU's proposal on the new pact on Asylum and Migration, have already raised concerns and have mobilized humanitarian organizations. Fast track procedures without relevant safeguards procedures for a fair and effective examination of applications of international protection have led to a non - individualized and reliable assessment of international protection's claims. Furthermore, the crisis in Evros region and its management by the European and Greek political leadership have raised human rights protection issues and concerns.

The militarization of borders at national level, the purchase of grenades and weapons "to combat migratory flows", the strengthening of FRONTEX, the constant and steady practice of illegal pushbacks create a pollical environment according to which the refugee-the immigrant is considered "unwelcomed", if not an "enemy"...

Unfortunately, human rights protection in the near future appears bleak. In HumanRights360, we are concerned that the restrictive measures imposed in all RICs in Greece including RIC of Fylakio, Orestiada due to the Covid-19 outbreak, in the police stations and in the border guards, have been imposed not only in the view of protection of asylum seekers' health, but, also in order to facilitate the implementation of a scheme which gradually would turn all reception and identification centers into closed ones. Furthermore, the limited access of humanitarian organizations in the RIC of Fylakio, Orestiada, during the prolonged lockdown, raises concerns about the possible consolidation and generalization of such a policy in the RICs." (emphasis added)

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Deportation Monitoring Aegean 20-10-30:

Grekland/ Sentenced to 50 years in prison - Freedom for Amir & Razuli till sidans topp

When Amir and Razuli tried to reach Greece on a rubber boat in March 2020, they were attacked by the Greek coast guard who tried to push them back to Turkey by force. The attack caused the boat to sink and the coast guard had to take them on board. Amir and Razuli were arbitrarily charged with "facilitating illegal entry" and "provoking a shipwreck", in addition to their own entry. On the 8th of September 2020 they were sentenced to 50 years in prison.

Amir and Razuli, 25 and 23, fled from Afghanistan trying to reach Europe in search of a life in safety. With Europe's ever-increasing closure of borders and the lack of safe and legal ways to enter Europe and claim asylum, they were forced to embark on the dangerous journey on a rubber boat across the Aegean Sea. Amongst the other people in the boat was also Amir's young daughter and his heavily pregnant wife.*

They made their journey in March 2020, the month in which the Greek government announced the suspension of one of the most fundamental human rights - the right to apply for asylum -, and consequently charged people seeking protection with their own "illegal entry", blatantly contradicting EU law and the Geneva Convention.

The Greek coast guard attacked the boat as soon as they had entered Greek waters and tried to push it back into Turkish waters using metal poles. In doing so, they punctured the boat, causing water to enter and putting the life of the people onboard at risk.

As the boat was about to sink, the coast guard eventually took them on board.

Following this deeply traumatizing experience, the coast guard proceeded with heavily beating up Amir and Razuli, arbitrarily accusing the two of being the smugglers. According to Amir's wife who had to witness all of this together with her daughter, they only stopped when she held up their young child in front of her husband begging the men to stop.

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EU-kommissionen 20-11-11:

Grekland/ Extraordinary meeting of Frontex Board on the alleged push backs till sidans topp

At the Commission's request, the Management Board of the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex) held an extraordinary meeting on 10 November 2020 to discuss the allegations of pushbacks of migrants in the Aegean Sea recently reported in the media, and a number of fundamental rights related points.

In addition to the Management Board's members and Frontex Executive Director, the meeting was attended by Frontex's Fundamental Rights Officer ad interim, the Executive Director of the Fundamental Rights Agency, and an expert representing the European Parliament LIBE Secretariat.

The main discussion focused on the allegations of pushbacks recently reported in the media. The conclusions of the Chairperson of the Management Board on these discussions are available here below. The Management Board in particular concluded that urgent action is needed in order to investigate all aspects related to the matter. It decided to set up a sub-group to the Management Board to further consider these aspects, in line with the distribution of responsibilities under the EBCG Regulation. The concrete mandate of this sub-group will be elaborated in view of the discussion at the next Management Board meeting on 25/26 November 2020.

The Commission will submit a number of questions to the Executive Director to provide further clarifications in writing regarding Frontex's internal inquiry and the incidents, and on any follow up actions by the Agency's staff or Executive Director.

Conclusions of the Chairperson of the Management Board

The Management Board of the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex) met today at the request of the Commission in an extraordinary session to discuss the Rapid Border Intervention ongoing in the Eastern Mediterranean, and in particular, the allegations of socalled pushbacks recently reported in the media.

(...)

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Frontex 20-11-12: Conclusions of the Chairperson of the Frontex Management Board (Extern länk)

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Arkiveringsdatum 201023:

Frontex 20-10-13:

Medelhavet/ Frontex responds to Amnesty International organisation's report till sidans topp

Today, Frontex Executive Director Fabrice Leggeri sent a letter to Amnesty International in response to the organisation's report and questions submitted to Frontex.

In his letter, Frontex's Director explained the role of the agency in providing assistance with search and rescue activities and clarified how the agency's multipurpose aerial surveillance works.

Rescuing people in distress at sea remains Frontex top priority and a part of every surveillance activity of Frontex. Thanks to its surveillance activities, Frontex helped in the rescue of 19.651 people in 350 Search and Rescue actions in the Central Mediterranean since 2017.

Ladda ner brevet här (Extern länk)

Amnestyrapporterna har anmälts i tidigare Asylnytt. Här direktlänkar:

Amnesty 20-09-07: Waves of impunity. Malta's human rights violations and Europe's responsibilities in the central Mediterranean (Extern länk)

Amnesty International 20-09-28: 'Between life and death' Refugees and migrants trapped in Libya's cycle of abuse (Extern länk)

Se även:

Amnesty International 20-10-05: Oral Statement at the UN Human Rights Council on Libya (Extern länk)

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Human Rights Watch 20-10-06:

Grekland/ Investigate pushbacks, violence at borders till sidans topp

Groups press parliament to open inquiry

Members of Greece's parliament should urgently establish an inquiry into all allegations of unlawful returns of migrants to Turkey by law enforcement officers and others, 29 human rights and humanitarian aid organizations said in an open letter released today. These returns are carried out mainly through pushbacks and collective expulsions and are often accompanied by violence.

Parliament should exercise its oversight authority to investigate the allegations of these illegal acts by state agents and proxies on Greece's sea and land borders with Turkey. The parliament's inquiry should examine whether any illegal acts identified are part of a de facto government policy at odds with international, European, and Greek law.

Over the years, nongovernmental groups and media outlets have consistently reported the unlawful return, including through pushbacks, of groups and individuals from Greece to Turkey by Greek law enforcement officers or unidentified masked men, who appear to be working in tandem with border enforcement officials.

Reports from 2020 recorded multiple incidents in which Greek Coast Guard personnel, sometimes accompanied by armed masked men in dark clothing, unlawfully abandoned migrants - including those who had reached Greek territory. They abandoned the migrants at sea, on inflatable vessels without motors; towed migrant boats to Turkish waters; or intercepted, attacked, and disabled boats carrying migrants.

Nongovernmental organizations and the media have also reported persistent allegations that Greek border guards have engaged in collective expulsions and pushbacks of asylum seekers through the Evros land border with Turkey.

(...)

Läs mer (Extern länk)

AYS 20-10-06: Torturous attacks at port of Patras (Extern länk)

Statewatch 20-10-07: Greek police recruited undocumented migrants in operation against NGOs (Extern länk)

AYS 20-10-19: Further militarisation at the Evros border (Extern länk)

AYS 20-10-20. Evros: New fence and new pushback investigation (Extern länk)

Statewatch 20-10-20: Greece draws up requirements for member state militaries' role in border control (Extern länk)

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Frontex 20-10-13:

Malta/ Frontex responds to Amnesty International organisation's report till sidans topp

Today, Frontex Executive Director Fabrice Leggeri sent a letter to Amnesty International in response to the organisation's report and questions submitted to Frontex.

In his letter, Frontex's Director explained the role of the agency in providing assistance with search and rescue activities and clarified how the agency's multipurpose aerial surveillance works.

Rescuing people in distress at sea remains Frontex top priority and a part of every surveillance activity of Frontex. Thanks to its surveillance activities, Frontex helped in the rescue of 19.651 people in 350 Search and Rescue actions in the Central Mediterranean since 2017.

Ladda ner brevet här (Extern länk)

Amnestyrapporterna har anmälts i tidigare Asylnytt. Här direktlänkar:

Amnesty 20-09-07: Waves of impunity. Malta's human rights violations and Europe's responsibilities in the central Mediterranean (Extern länk)

Amnesty International 20-09-28: 'Between life and death' Refugees and migrants trapped in Libya's cycle of abuse (Extern länk)

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Arkiveringsdatum 201002:

Human Rights Watch 20-09-29:

Cypern/ Cyprus: asylum seekers summarily returned till sidans topp

Pushbacks against surge of arrivals by boat from Lebanon

Cypriot coast guard forces summarily pushed back, abandoned, expelled, or returned more than 200 migrants, refugees, and asylum seekers coming from Lebanon during the first week of September 2020 without giving them the opportunity to lodge asylum claims, Human Rights Watch said today.

People reported being threatened by Greek and Turkish Cypriot coast guards. They said that Greek Cypriot coast guard vessels circled them at high speeds, swamping their boats, and in at least one case abandoning them at sea without fuel and food. They said that their asylum claims were ignored and that in some cases Greek Cypriot marine police officers beat them.

"That Lebanese nationals are now joining Syrian refugees on boats to flee Lebanon and seek asylum in the European Union is a mark of the severity of the crisis facing that country," said Bill Frelick, refugee and migrant rights director at Human Rights Watch. "Cyprus should consider their claims for protection fully and fairly and treat them safely and with dignity instead of disregarding the obligations to rescue boats in distress and not to engage in collective expulsions."

Human Rights Watch interviewed 15 Lebanese and Syrian nationals who embarked from Tripoli, Lebanon and entered or attempted to enter Cyprus or its territorial waters on one of seven boats between August 29 and September 7, along with a survivor from another boat that left Lebanon on September 7 that did not encounter Cypriot authorities. United Nations peacekeepers in Lebanon rescued them on September 14, after at least 13 people on that boat had died or been lost at sea.

(...)

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Arkiveringsdatum 200913:

Rädda Barnen 20-09-02:

Medelhavet/ Rapport om barn på flykt sedan 2015: Mer än 700 barn har mist sina liv till sidans topp

Fem år efter Alan Kurdis tragiska död, slår Rädda Barnen larm om att Europa har misslyckats med att hjälpa barn som befinner sig på flykt.

Den 2 september 2015 drunknade treåriga Alan Kurdi utanför Turkiets kust. Sedan dess har mer än 700 barn mist sina liv när de försökt ta sig med båt över Medelhavet.

För de som överlevt väntar en osäker och farlig resa för att nå trygghet. Många av dessa barn befinner sig fortfarande på flykt. Varje dag sedan augusti 2019 har i genomsnitt 10 000 barn strandsatts på de grekiska öarna utan att lyckas ta sig därifrån. 60 procent av dem är under 12 år.

-Vissa av EU-länderna har valt att ta hand om barn som anlänt till Grekland, men många länder har avstått. Det betyder att barn fortsätter att leva i stor utsatthet i de grekiska lägren. Det ser vi på Rädda Barnen som ett stort politiskt misslyckande , säger Helena Thybell, generalsekreterare på Rädda Barnen.

Ahmed, 15 år från Syrien, befinner sig just nu i Belgrad. Han säger:

"När vi försökte ta oss över gränsen blev vi misshandlade av gränspolisen. Jag tror de ville skrämma oss så att vi inte försökte ta oss över igen. Jag har inte sett min familj på länge nu. Jag lämnade Syrien för att åka till Europa eftersom det inte fanns någon framtid för mig i landet. "

Alan Kurdis död förväntades bli en väckarklocka för att skydda barn på flykt. Men rapporten visar att det istället blev tvärtom. Många av barnen upplever en ännu värre situation. Många europeiska länder reagerade mot flyktvågen genom att stänga sina gränser, minska möjligheterna för barn att återförenas med sina föräldrar samt ta fler barn i förvar. Rapporten visar att barn som sätts i förvar mår psykiskt dåligt efter bara några timmar. De kan inte röra sig fritt, har ingen möjlighet till lek eller att gå i skolan, och vet ofta inte hur länge de kommer att behöva stanna.

Helena Thybell menar att det finns mycket länderna kan göra.

(...)

Hela pressmeddelandet (Extern länk)

Hämta rapporten (Extern länk)

Intervju i SvT Utrikes 20-09-02: Fem år sedan bilden på Alan Kurdis kropp spreds (Extern länk)

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Amnesty International 20-09-08:

Malta/ Illegal tactics mar another year of suffering in central Mediterranean till sidans topp

The Maltese government has resorted to dangerous and illegal measures for dealing with the arrivals of refugees and migrants at sea, which are exposing countless people to appalling suffering and risking their lives, Amnesty International revealed today in a report "Waves of impunity: Malta's human rights violations Europe's responsibilities in the Central Mediterranean". As Amnesty is launching this new report, despair is growing aboard the Maersk Etienne, which has been denied a port to disembark for over a month, after rescuing 27 people on a request from Maltese authorities.

The Maltese government's change in approach to arrivals in the central Mediterranean in 2020 has seen them take unlawful, and sometimes unprecedented, measures to avoid assisting refugees and migrants. This escalation of tactics included arranging unlawful pushbacks to Libya, diverting boats towards Italy rather than rescuing people in distress, illegally detaining hundreds of people on ill-equipped ferries off Malta's waters, and signing a new agreement with Libya to prevent people from reaching Malta.

"Malta is stooping to ever more despicable and illegal tactics to shirk their responsibilities to people in need. Shamefully, the EU and Italy have normalized cooperation with Libya on border control, but sending people back to danger in Libya is anything but normal," said Elisa De Pieri, Regional Researcher at Amnesty International.

"EU member states must stop assisting in the return of people to a country where they face unspeakable horrors."

Some of the actions taken by the Maltese authorities may have involved criminal acts being committed, resulting in avoidable deaths, prolonged arbitrary detention, and illegal returns to war-torn Libya. The authorities also used the COVID-19 pandemic as a pretext to declare that Malta was not a safe place to disembark - to discourage people from seeking safety and a decent life in Europe.

(...)

Läs mer (Extern länk)

UNHCR 20-09-08: Medelhavet/ ICS, UNHCR and IOM call on States to end crisis onboard ship (Extern länk)

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UNHCR September 2020:

Medelhavet/ Libya as a safe third country and as a place of safety for disembarkation till sidans topp

UNHCR position on the designations of Libya as a safe third country and as a place of safety for the purpose of disembarkation following rescue at sea

/Utdrag:/

Designation of Libya as a place of safety for the purpose of disembarkation following rescue at sea

33. In the context of rescue at sea and in line with international maritime law, disembarkation is to occur in a predictable manner in a place of safety and in conditions that uphold respect for the human rights of those who are rescued, including adherence to the principle of non-refoulement. When persons are rescued at sea, including by military and commercial vessels, "the need to avoid disembarkation in territories where [their] lives and freedoms (...) would be threatened" is relevant in determining what constitutes a place of safety. In light of the volatile security situation in general and the particular protection risks for foreign nationals (including arbitrary and unlawful detention in substandard conditions in State-run detention centres, and reports of serious violations and abuses against asylum- seekers, refugees and migrants by, among others, militias, traffickers and smugglers), UNHCR does not consider that Libya meets the criteria for being designated as a place of safety for the purpose of disembarkation following rescue at sea.

(...)

Läs eller hämta dokumentet (Extern länk)

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Frontex 20-09-11:

Medelhavet/ Frontex to launch maritime surveillance by aerostat pilot project till sidans topp

Frontex, the European Border and Coast Guard Agency, is planning to launch a pilot project for maritime surveillance by aerostat later this year. Earlier tests carried out in Greece in cooperation with the Hellenic Coast Guard proved that aerostats can be successfully used to support EU Member States in maritime border surveillance for law enforcement purposes.

The aim of the pilot will be to assess the capacity and cost efficiency of aerostat platforms for maritime surveillance, as well as to modify and optimise the equipment used based on the lessons learnt from last year's tests. The activity will also help define optimal platform dimensions, payload and capacities for maritime surveillance.

Please monitor our website for upcoming announcements on the launch of the procurement procedure.

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Amnesty International 20-09-08:

Malta/ Illegal tactics mar another year of suffering in central Mediterranean till sidans topp

The Maltese government has resorted to dangerous and illegal measures for dealing with the arrivals of refugees and migrants at sea, which are exposing countless people to appalling suffering and risking their lives, Amnesty International revealed today in a report "Waves of impunity: Malta's human rights violations Europe's responsibilities in the Central Mediterranean". As Amnesty is launching this new report, despair is growing aboard the Maersk Etienne, which has been denied a port to disembark for over a month, after rescuing 27 people on a request from Maltese authorities.

The Maltese government's change in approach to arrivals in the central Mediterranean in 2020 has seen them take unlawful, and sometimes unprecedented, measures to avoid assisting refugees and migrants. This escalation of tactics included arranging unlawful pushbacks to Libya, diverting boats towards Italy rather than rescuing people in distress, illegally detaining hundreds of people on ill-equipped ferries off Malta's waters, and signing a new agreement with Libya to prevent people from reaching Malta.

"Malta is stooping to ever more despicable and illegal tactics to shirk their responsibilities to people in need. Shamefully, the EU and Italy have normalized cooperation with Libya on border control, but sending people back to danger in Libya is anything but normal," said Elisa De Pieri, Regional Researcher at Amnesty International.

"EU member states must stop assisting in the return of people to a country where they face unspeakable horrors."

Some of the actions taken by the Maltese authorities may have involved criminal acts being committed, resulting in avoidable deaths, prolonged arbitrary detention, and illegal returns to war-torn Libya. The authorities also used the COVID-19 pandemic as a pretext to declare that Malta was not a safe place to disembark - to discourage people from seeking safety and a decent life in Europe.

(...)

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Arkiveringsdatum 200831:

Roya Citoyenne / Statewatch 20-08-19:

Frankrike/ Appeal for the respect of the rights of exiles at the Italian and other borders till sidans topp

Translation of an appeal circulated by Roya Citoyenne on 17 August 2020, concerning the violation of peoples' rights at the Franco-Italian border through denial of access to the asylum procedure, refoulements, lack of proper accommodation and no access to health care.

Roya Citoyenne is calling for more signatories to the appeal and can be contacted via roya-citoyenne [at] riseup.net.

Appeal for the respect of the fundamental rights of exiles at the Franco-Italian and other borders

On 31 July, Interior Minister Darmanin announced from Rome the creation of a special Franco-Italian brigade to be placed under a single command in the Ventimiglia-la Roya-Menton border region, officially to track down smugglers' networks.

Don't believe a word of it: what human rights associations have been denouncing for years was confirmed on 8 July 2020 by the Council of State: "France is violating the right to the French-Italian border".

For years, French law enforcement agencies have refused to register any asylum applications in this territory, and illegal practices multiply on a daily basis (refoulements, failure to take into account minorities, etc.).

Moreover, France was severely condemned by the European Court of Human Rights on 2 July 2020 for "inhuman and degrading treatment" of asylum seekers. In the name of "humanity and firmness", France increasingly favours repression.

On 1 August, the Italian government closed the "Campo Roia" transit reception camp run by the Italian Red Cross, which is under the authority of the Ministry of the Interior. At the beginning of August, nearly 200 people were already sleeping outside, in deplorable sanitary conditions, without access to drinking water and with very limited access to health care.

(...)

Hela uttalandet med länkar (Extern länk)

Original appeal in French (Extern länk till pdf-fil)

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UNHCR 20-08-07:

Spanien/ IOM, UNHCR mourn death of 27 people off West African coast till sidans topp

The International Organization for Migration (IOM), and UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, are deeply saddened at the tragic death of 27 people off the West African coast between the Mauritanian city of Nouadhibou and Dakhla, Western Sahara. A lone survivor has been brought to the city of Nouadhibou following a rescue operation by the Mauritanian coastguard on Thursday.

IOM, UNHCR and partners are providing humanitarian assistance such as medical and psychological support.

"Despite COVID 19 mobility restrictions, migrants are still compelled to undertake risky journeys", says IOM Mauritania Chief of Mission Laura Lungarotti.

"While we continue to provide humanitarian assistance hand in hand with the Government of Mauritania and civil society, the need for predictable rescue and assistance procedures remains. This is all the more important whilst public health measures are still in place".

"These deaths are preventable, and they are avoidable," Vincent Cochetel, UNHCR Special Envoy for the Central Mediterranean. "We must take action to target the smugglers and traffickers who offer false promises to migrants and refugees of safe passage to Europe. At the same time, we need to offer effective protection and services to people in countries of asylum and transit to strengthen their socio-economic inclusion and integration with host communities so they don't feel the desperation that drives them to risk their lives on these desperate journeys."

The boat is understood to have left Dakhla, Western Sahara, some days ago and was heading for the Canary Islands before having engine trouble. Those on board were left stranded at sea and began suffering from extreme dehydration. The passengers were mostly from sub-Saharan Africa and included Guineans.

(...)

Läs mer (Extern länk)

TT / AB 20-08-06: Många migranter befaras döda i Atlanten (Extern länk)

Sveriges Radio Ekot 20-08-25: Migrationen ökar över Atlanten (Extern länk)

Sveriges Radio P1-morgon 20-08-25: Farlig migrantväg via Kanarieöarna (Extern länk)

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Arkiveringsdatum 200805:

Legal Centre Lesvos 20-07-13:

Grekland/ Legal Centre Lesvos report details collective expulsions in the Aegean Sea till sidans topp

Greek authorities are unlawfully expelling migrants who have arrived in Greece, and abandoning them at sea on motorless, inflatable vessels. In a report released today by Legal Centre Lesvos, testimonies from 30 survivors detail the systematic, unlawful and inherently violent nature of these collective expulsions.

Since the Greek authorities' one month suspension of the right to seek asylum on 1 March 2020, the Greek government has adopted various unlawful practices that are openly geared towards the deterrence and violent disruption of migrant crossings, with little regard for its obligations deriving from international law and specifically from the non refoulement principle - and even less for the lives of those seeking sanctuary.

While collective expulsions from Greece to Turkey are not new, in recent months Greek authorities have been using rescue equipment - namely inflatable, motorless life rafts - in a new type of dystopic expulsion. Migrants are violently transferred from Greek islands, or from the dinghy upon which they are travelling, to such rafts, which are then left adrift in open water.

In addition to the well-documented practice of non-assistance to migrant dinghies, the Greek authorities have damaged the motor or gasoline tank of migrant dinghies before returning the vessel - and the people on board - to open waters, where they are subsequently abandoned.

These collective expulsions, happening in the Aegean region, are not isolated events. Direct testimonies from survivors, collected by the Legal Centre Lesvos, demonstrate that they are part of a widespread and systematic practice, with a clear modus operandi implemented across various locations in the Aegean Sea and on the Eastern Aegean islands.

(...)

Läs mer (Extern länk)

ECRE 20-07-17: No accountability for deadly shooting, Continued push-backs and evictions, Critique of crack-down on NGOs, German states willing to relocate (Extern länk)

AYS 20-07-16: Spotted, ignored and left for dead: The story of 60 people stranded at sea (Extern länk)

ECRE News 20-07-17: Med: 65 Lives at Risk, Inaction Continues, Evidence Culminates, NGOs Blocked (Extern länk)

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Legal Centre Lesvos 20-07-13:

Grekland/ Legal Centre Lesvos report details collective expulsions in the Aegean Sea till sidans topp

Greek authorities are unlawfully expelling migrants who have arrived in Greece, and abandoning them at sea on motorless, inflatable vessels. In a report released today by Legal Centre Lesvos, testimonies from 30 survivors detail the systematic, unlawful and inherently violent nature of these collective expulsions.

Since the Greek authorities' one month suspension of the right to seek asylum on 1 March 2020, the Greek government has adopted various unlawful practices that are openly geared towards the deterrence and violent disruption of migrant crossings, with little regard for its obligations deriving from international law and specifically from the non refoulement principle - and even less for the lives of those seeking sanctuary.

While collective expulsions from Greece to Turkey are not new, in recent months Greek authorities have been using rescue equipment - namely inflatable, motorless life rafts - in a new type of dystopic expulsion. Migrants are violently transferred from Greek islands, or from the dinghy upon which they are travelling, to such rafts, which are then left adrift in open water.

In addition to the well-documented practice of non-assistance to migrant dinghies, the Greek authorities have damaged the motor or gasoline tank of migrant dinghies before returning the vessel - and the people on board - to open waters, where they are subsequently abandoned.

These collective expulsions, happening in the Aegean region, are not isolated events. Direct testimonies from survivors, collected by the Legal Centre Lesvos, demonstrate that they are part of a widespread and systematic practice, with a clear modus operandi implemented across various locations in the Aegean Sea and on the Eastern Aegean islands.

(...)

Läs mer (Extern länk)

ECRE 20-07-17: No accountability for deadly shooting, Continued push-backs and evictions, Critique of crack-down on NGOs, German states willing to relocate (Extern länk)

AYS 20-07-16: Spotted, ignored and left for dead: The story of 60 people stranded at sea (Extern länk)

ECRE News 20-07-17: Med: 65 Lives at Risk, Inaction Continues, Evidence Culminates, NGOs Blocked (Extern länk)

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ECRE 20-07-17:

Frankrike/ Ministry of the interior responsible for violation of the right to seek asylum till sidans topp

On 8 July 2020, the French Council of State found the Ministry of Interior responsible for the violation of the right to access the asylum procedure at the border between France and Italy.

The decision referred to an incident at the border last May, when a woman and her five-year old son were pushed back to Italy, despite their request to apply for asylum in France after having crossed the border. Council of State condemned the push-back, recalling how it represents a "serious and illegal threat to the people's fundamental right to asylum".

According to Amnesty International, the practice of push-backs at the French border by the authorities has been going on for years. Between 6 and 7 July 2020 alone, 83 people were pushed back from France to Italy without their requests of asylum being registered at the border.

Amnesty International, together with the partner organizations Anafé, La Cimade, Médecins du Monde, MSF and Secours catholique, urges the new Interior Minister, Gerald Darmanin, to introduce new directions for the border police in order to guarantee people's access to the asylum procedure in France and to make these new guidelines public.

Läs mer (Extern länk)

SvT Nyheter 20-07-30: Salvini kan åtalas för att ha hindrat migranter gå i land (Extern länk)

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Arkiveringsdatum 200715:

Frontex 20-06-23:

Medelhavet/ After the money: Prices for people smuggling on Mediterranean routes till sidans topp

Over the last three years, people smugglers have pocketed more than EUR 330 million from their criminal operations on the Western and Central Mediterranean migratory routes. And, with the shift in patterns of migration across the Mediterranean, we have also noticed a change in how these criminal groups are reaping their profits from the misery of migrants seeking to cross the sea.

For a good part of the decade, it was the Central Mediterranean where criminal groups were seeing massive earnings. In 2017 alone, criminal networks smuggling migrants to Italy by boat generated nearly EUR 135 million in 2017, charging EUR 1 300 per person. In mid-2018, the smuggling fees increased to EUR 1 800 per person, while the overall income of the smuggling networks decreased to just over EUR 24 million in 2018, and to over EUR 12 million in 2019 due to a drop in the number of migrants.

Meanwhile, smuggling networks operating the Western Mediterranean route saw their profits surge. While before migrants paid from EUR 500 to EUR 1000 to be smuggled from Algeria to Spain, and EUR 1000 to EUR 2000 from Morocco to Spain, from mid-2018 the fees reached EUR 3000 per person. This was in large part due to the fact that Sub-Saharan migrants, who usually pay larger amounts of money to smugglers, saw the Western Mediterranean as an alternative to the Central Mediterranean route. Those from West Africa started travelling to Algeria and Morocco, via Mali and Mauritania, and then further to Spain by boat.

We estimate that while in 2017 people smuggling networks operating in Morocco took in nearly EUR 35 million, the following year they enjoyed a windfall of roughly EUR 105 million. As the number of people crossing the Western Mediterranean dropped in 2019 with fewer sub-Saharan migrants, criminal groups saw their income drop again to EUR 19 million.

(...)

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Alarm Phone 20-07-06:

Medelhavet/ Also in the Central Mediterranean Sea: Black Lives Matter! till sidans topp

Alarm Phone Central Mediterranean Regional Analysis, 1 January - 30 June 2020

Over the past six months, January to June 2020, the Central Mediterranean Sea has continued to be a zone of violence, human rights abuses, disappearances and deaths, as well as a stage of struggles for freedom of movement, both by people fleeing Libya and by the Civil Fleet. The ongoing conflicts in Libya and attempts to further close European harbours to migrants have exacerbated the already dire conditions of people who are trying to escape torture camps and to reach Europe. Most recently, using the excuse of having to 'protect' from the Covid-19 virus, European authorities have reinforced its repressive border control industry through EU air surveillance, by engaging merchant vessels or ghost fleets in illegal push-backs, and by providing money and resources to strengthen the illegal operations of the so-called Libyan coastguards. Despite European attempts to militarise external borders, to deter people's movement and to facilitate the capture and detention of those crossing the sea, thousands of people have bravely managed to evade capture and to reach Europe, either autonomously or through the support of the Civil Fleet.

(...)

This analysis is organised into five sections:

+ A chronology of Alarm Phone experiences and important developments in the Central Mediterranean region over the past six months

+ An account of Malta's escalating border violence in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic, focusing on Maltese 'ghost vessels' and 'offshore prisons'

+ A brief assessment of the newly launched Eunavfor operation IRINI

+ Case studies of rescues and push-backs by merchant vessels

+ An analysis of the situation in Tunisia which is often overlooked in discussions around the Central Mediterranean border struggles.

Läs rapporten i dess helhet (Extern länk)

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AIDA 20-06-23:

Grekland/ Country Report update: 2019 till sidans topp

The updated AIDA Country Report on Greece tracks numerous legislative, policy and practice-related developments relating to the asylum procedure, reception conditions, detention of asylum seekers, and content of international protection. While it mainly covers the year 2019, it also contains information on the first five months of 2020 as well as COVID-19 related measures.

48 % increase of arrivals in 2019

In 2019, 74,613 persons arrived in Greece. This is an increase of 48% compared to 2018. Out of those a total of 59,726 persons arrived in Greece by sea in 2019, compared to 32,494 in 2018. The majority originated from Afghanistan (40%), Syria (27.4%) and DRC (6.7%). More than half of the population were women (23%) and children (36%), while 41% were adult men.

The average processing time at first instance also increased in 2019, reaching about 10.3 months, compared to 8.5 months in 2018. Out of the total of 87,461 applications pending by the end of 2019, in 81.6% of the cases the personal interview had not yet taken place and in 67% of the cases the interview is scheduled for the second semester of 2020 or even after 2020. In certain cases, interviews have been scheduled as late as 2023 and even 2024.

Pushbacks and suspension of the asylum procedure

The increase in the number of alleged pushbacks at the Greek-Turkish border of Evros continued during 2019. The United Nations Committee Against Torture expressed serious concerns as regards the principle of non-refoulement. Incidents of pushbacks are also reported at the Aegean Sea since 2020, as pointed out by the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights in early March 2020.

(...)

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EU-parlamentet 20-07-06:

Grekland/ Investigate alleged pushbacks at the Greek-Turkish border, MEPs demand till sidans topp

Greek and EU authorities must investigate recurrent reports of violent pushbacks at the border with Turkey, which if true would mean Greece is not ensuring the right to asylum.

On Monday, MEPs in the Civil Liberties Committee asked the Greek Government to clarify their position regarding several media and civil society reports which indicate that the country's police and border guards systematically prevent migrants from entering Greece, using violence and even shooting at them, both at the land and sea borders.

Greek Ministers for Citizen Protection, Michalis Chrisochoidis, and for Migration and Asylum, Notis Mitarachi, dismissed the accusations, describing them as "fake news", and underlined the key role that Greece plays in "keeping EU borders safe, always respecting fundamental rights". They also warned that a repetition of the events that took place in March, when President Erdo?an announced that he was opening the Turkish borders, cannot be ruled out.

A majority of MEPs called on the European Commission to make sure the Greek authorities comply with EU legislation on asylum, urging it to condemn the use of violence and impose sanctions if the breaches are confirmed. Commissioner Ylva Johansson agreed that allegations of violence against asylum-seekers must be investigated, not only in Greece, but all across the EU. "We cannot protect our borders by violating people's rights", she said.

Some MEPs commended Greece for guarding the EU's borders from Turkey. Commissioner Johansson also pointed to the progress made in the last few months and stressed that, despite a very challenging situation, the Greek authorities have avoided the spread of COVID-19 within the refugee camps.

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Arkiveringsdatum 200624:

ECRE 20-05-29:

Medelhavet/ Continued violations topped with dodgy deals till sidans topp

As hundreds of people fleeing Libya are intercepted and returned to detention and conflict Malta has signed a memorandum with Libya's Government of National Accord to intensify cooperation and has come under heavy criticism for detaining now 450 rescued people in tourist vessels off the Maltese shore.

During a visit to Libya on Thursday, Maltese Prime Minister Robert Abela and the head of Libya's Government of National Accord, Fayez al-Sarraj signed a memorandum of understanding agreeing to set up a coordination unit in each country to "assist in operations against illegal migration". The agreement also stipulates that Malta supports Libya when it comes to financial assistance through the EU's upcoming Multiannual Financial Framework.

Today, Alarm Phone reports that over the last two days they received distress calls from some 260 people on four boats in the Central Mediterranean, of which 75 people were rescued to Malta and 187 people reached Lampedusa. Over 200 were intercepted and returned to Libya on Thursday alone.

IOM confirmed that a German commercial ship under a Portuguese flag returned 98 people to Misrata, Libya. Upon the request of Maltese authorities, the vessel MS Anne reportedly rescued the group on Sunday night and returned them into the hands of the Libyan navy on Wednesday.

In the beginning of the week, the UN refugee agency in Libya said two of 315 people intercepted and returned to Tripoli early on Monday died while according to IOM over 400 refugees and asylum seekers were taken to the al-Nasser detention facility in the town of Zawya, west of Tripoli.

One person has been found dead and six people remain missing after a boat from Tunisia carrying migrants bound for Italy capsized on Saturday off the coast of Thyna near the port of Sfax.

(...)

Artikeln med länkar och källor (Extern länk)

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Alarmphone 20-06-17:

Medelhavet/ Collaboration between the EU and Libya facilitates mass interceptions till sidans topp

Alliance of NGOs and activists release an exclusive report documenting how aerial collaboration between the EU and Libya facilitates mass interceptions of migrants in the Central Mediterranean Sea.

Alarm Phone, borderline-europe, Mediterranea and Sea-Watch have directly witnessed and documented illegal push- and pull-backs to Libya coordinated by European authorities, such as Frontex and EUNAVFOR Med, and implemented by the so-called Libyan Coast Guard, an EU-funded and trained group of militias with a track record of blatant human rights violations and collaboration with people smugglers.

Today, we are releasing our report "Remote control: the EU-Libya collaboration in mass interceptions of migrants in the Central Mediterranean" that outlines and describes actions taken by EU aerial surveillance units in mass interceptions off the coast of Libya. The report contains the reconstruction of three specific search and rescue (SAR) events which ended in interceptions and returns to Libya by the so-called Libyan Coast Guard. It provides the legal background of the violations incurred and an analysis of how the collaboration between the EU and the so-called Libyan Coast Guard works operationally, with a focus on aerial coordination. The reconstructions are based on first-hand observations at sea, and include overheard radio communications between different actors, such as European authorities and their Libyan proxies as well as calls for help from people in distress at sea.

The EU is responsible for remote controlling push-backs to Libya through aerial surveillance and coordination.

(...)

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Ladda ned rapporten (Extern länk)

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FRA 20-06-19:

Medelhavet/ Mediterranean migrant search and rescue- latest update till sidans topp

Five people per day on average died crossing the Mediterranean Sea to reach Europe in 2019, estimates the International Organization for Migration. Ahead of World Refugee Day, the EU's Fundamental Rights Agency points to ongoing difficulties facing civil society rescue efforts in the Mediterranean, worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Since 2018, authorities in some EU Member States have put restrictive measures in place regarding civil society rescue vessels.

Civil society tries to help save migrants in distress at sea. Often smugglers and traffickers sent these migrants to sea in overcrowded or unseaworthy boats.

The latest FRA update identifies three additional rescue vessels and one reconnaissance aircraft supporting civil society efforts over the last year. However, overall rescue capacity has significantly reduced for various reasons.

The update also points to around 10 new administrative and criminal proceedings by EU Member States against crew members or vessels since June 2019. This brings the total number of legal proceedings since 2017 to over 40.

In some cases, EU Member States seized vessels. In other, they blocked rescue vessels in harbours due to flag or technical issues.

The pandemic further restricted search and rescue work. Italian and Maltese ports closed to stop the virus' spread. As NGO vessels could not sail, state vessels and commercial ships intervened in rescue activities.

Recently, some EU Member States quarantined migrants on tourist ships over a month, longer than the required 14 days.

Since the start of June 2020, as COVID-19 restrictions ease, out of 15 boats and 2 reconnaissance planes, 3 are sailing again. The rest remain in ports.

This latest update provides a snapshot of developments, including open and closed legal proceedings, since 2017 up until 15 June 2020.

FRA will keep following further developments and reporting on this in its quarterly bulletins on migration-related fundamental rights concerns. The bulletins cover 17 EU Member States plus Serbia and North Macedonia.

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Just Security 20-05-22:

Grekland/ Tents at Sea: How officials use rescue equipment for illegal deportations till sidans topp

Back in 2013, Australia introduced strange new machinery in its campaign against unauthorized migration: a dozen bright-orange and windowless life vessels, shaped like missiles. These were equipped with navigational systems, air conditioning, and an engine. Each vessel, asylum seekers said, was given "just enough fuel" to reach Indonesia. When they washed ashore in February 2014, Indonesian locals were initially unsure what they were looking at. It was a piece of new deportation infrastructure, designed to launch migrants intercepted at sea back to where they had come from.

In the shadow of the coronavirus pandemic, Greek authorities have put in place comparable deportation machinery. In at least 11 incidents since March 23, migrants have been found drifting in orange, tent-like inflatable life rafts without motors or propellants and that cannot be steered. Members of the Turkish Coast Guard reported these apparitions, but Greek authorities neither explained nor documented them. Images of these life rafts, fluorescent triangular structures afloat between black sea and dark sky, looked strange enough to seem superimposed. Relying on testimony and footage we obtained from multiple sources, including asylum seekers in the area, our investigation verifies this latest show of violence at the Greek-Turkish maritime border.

Far from Australia's flashier orange vessels from five years back, these are more modest structures. Importantly, the Greek life rafts have appeared in a very different maritime environment: compared to the oceans surrounding Australia, the Aegean Sea is a relatively placid and narrow body of water. Yet like the Australian vessels, these too have been put in place by State authorities, in an organized way, violating fundamental rules of international law. The two sets of deportation craft share visible similarities and are each used in dangerous ways, shedding light on the legal and moral risks that states are now willing to take, just to keep out unwanted populations.

Maximum Deterrence

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The New Humanitarian 20-05-26: In the news: Greece reportedly using floating tents to deport asylum seekers (Extern länk)

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Refugee Legal Support 20-05-19:

Cypern/ Join statement: "Syrian refugees in Cyprus pushed back to Turkey" till sidans topp

On 15 May 2020, the administration of the self-declared Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) forcibly sent 100 Syrian refugees, including unaccompanied children, to Mersin, Turkey. They have been transferred to Kilis, near the Syrian border, where they are now. Most of the 100 Syrian refugees - 56 - are children and women and girls are in the majority.

On 24 April 2020, the TRNC had already forcibly sent 75 Syrian refugees, including unaccompanied children, to Mersin, Turkey, from where they have been reportedly moved to a camp in the province of Kahramanmara?. All 175 Syrian refugees have expressed their intent to apply for asylum and find protection in an EU member state. Syrians forcibly returned to Turkey face a risk of onward refoulement to Syria.

This group of 175 refugees arrived by boat on 20 March and were pushed back to the sea by the coastguard of the republic of Cyprus as the boat was approaching the southern part of the island, which is under the jurisdiction and control of the government of the Republic of Cyprus. Many of these refugees were trying to join their families already settled in the Republic of Cyprus, which is a member of the European Union. The boat went north, capsized and the refugees were rescued by the "Turkish Cypriot administration" which has effective control over the northern part of the island. The refugees were housed in an apartment complex for a 14-day quarantine period due to the COVID-19 pandemic. At the end of the quarantine period, they continued to be detained - this time arbitrarily, in violation of the law of the "Turkish Cypriot administration" which authorises the detention of irregular migrants for eight days extendable only by a court order.

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Arkiveringsdatum 200523:

AIDA 20-04-23:

Malta/ AIDA 2019 update till sidans topp

The updated Country Report on Malta provides a detailed overview of the main developments in the area of asylum procedures, reception conditions, detention of asylum seekers and content of international protection in 2019.

2019 saw an increase in sea arrivals to Malta due to the ending of an informal agreement between Malta and Italy where Italy had agreed for migrants rescued in Maltese territorial waters to be disembarked in Italy. As a result of the rise in arrivals and the saturation of the reception system, the Maltese authorities in 2019 decided to detain each and every person arriving irregularly to the country under national health regulations. Such systematic detention is applicable to unaccompanied children, families and vulnerable persons and it has been implemented on the ground that there is a reasonable suspicion that new arrivals might spread contagious diseases. The health regulations allow the authorities to restrict a person's movements for up to four weeks - with a possible extension of up to ten weeks - on suspicion that a disease may be spread. In practice, no form of assessment is conducted, and applicants are only provided with a simple document stating the duration of detention. In addition, despite the limitation on the duration of detention as provided by the health regulations, it has been observed that applicants would not be released even after they were medically screened and cleared. Instead, individuals would only be released when a place is made available in open centres. This is also the case for children and vulnerable persons.

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Arkiveringsdatum 200521:

Refugee Rights Europe April 2020:

Medelhavet/ For refugees at sea, COVID-19 is another border to safety and asylum till sidans topp

By Pat Rubio Bertran, Program Lead for Refugee Rescue,

As we are confined in our homes during this unprecedented pandemic, people in flimsy dinghies continue risking their lives on the Mediterranean Sea, seeking a place of safety. COVID-19 has erected yet another border in between them and the right to seek asylum, and it's wider than the 2-meter recommended distance.

When the pandemic forced European countries to close borders to control the spread of the virus, Greece was already in its third week of being praised as the "shield of Europe" as it continued to illegally push back asylum seekers attempting to enter the EU from Turkey.

During that same time, in the Central Mediterranean, civil rescue boats with hundreds of survivors on board were unable to disembark in Sicily for over a week because of stand-offs with authorities, delaying the necessary 15-day health quarantine.

And that week, the International Organization of Migration (IOM) released the number of people dead and missing in the Mediterranean in 2019: 1,885 human lives. Put simply: Europe had closed borders for people seeking refuge well before COVID-19 appeared on the continent. This pandemic is shrinking the lifelines for migrants at sea to survive.

Human rights violations in the Mediterranean continue, but it is harder to keep authorities accountable. We often only hear about migrants at sea when it's framed as a "threat" or an "invasion" to Europe. But since the world and Europe, announced to be "at war with a virus", the daily tragedy in the Mediterranean seems to have fallen through the cracks.

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UNHCR 20-05-01: News comment on search and rescue in the Central Mediterranean by Gillian Triggs, Assistant High Commissioner for Protection at UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency (Extern länk)

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Statewatch May 2020:

Medelhavet/ EU states use the coronavirus pandemic to declare themselves unsafe till sidans topp

Mediterranean: As the fiction of a Libyan search and rescue zone begins to crumble, EU states use the coronavirus pandemic to declare themselves unsafe

Statewatch Analysis by Yasha Maccanico

Introduction

The search and rescue zone assigned to Libya in the central Mediterranean has been obvious since its inception as a fiction that was useful to assert EU efforts to reduce the number of arrivals by sea. Shortly after a submission to the International Maritime Organization (IMO) was filed in late March 2020, calling for it to be scrapped for not fulfilling the relevant requirements, attempted sea crossings from Libya resumed. EU states responded by opportunistically declaring themselves unsafe due to the Covid-19 emergency.

Frontex aircraft were monitoring events from the sky, and over the Easter weekend (11-12 April) one vessel which seemed to have disappeared was returned to Libya, with five dead people on board and seven reported as having drowned at sea. At least one Maltese official has confirmed a personal role in coordinating refoulements such as these, on the orders of the prime minister's office, for the last three years.

In a separate operation, the NGO rescue vessel Alan Kurdi rescued people who were in danger at sea before being denied permission to disembark for over ten days, with over 150 people on board. The Council of Europe's Commissioner for Human Rights, Dunja Mijatovi?, responded by declaring that:

"Despite the unprecedented challenges European countries face due to COVID-19, saving lives at sea and disembarking survivors in a safe port must continue".

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Arkiveringsdatum 200426:

ECRE 20-04-10:

Italien/ 150 stranded at sea as Malta and Italy declare ports "unsafe" till sidans topp

150 people are awaiting a safe port for disembarkation. Italy and Malta close ports to rescued people due to health risks. Conceding loss of control, the Libyan government declares Tripoli port unsafe.

On Monday, the rescue vessel Alan Kurdi, operated by the NGO Sea Eye, rescued a total of 150 people in two operations in international waters off the Libyan coast after being alerted by the NGO Alarm Phone. A Libyan militia hindered the first operation firing shots and causing people to jump into the water. In the second operation, an Italian supply ship already present at the location did not undertake efforts to conduct a rescue operation.

The Italian and Maltese governments have told the German foreign ministry that due to the coronavirus pandemic they will not allow the disembarkation of 150 people, even if other member states agreed to relocate them. According to Sea-Eye, the German government has advised the NGO not to conduct any further rescues and to call back its already deployed ships.

On Tuesday, the Italian government issued a decree declaring its seaports "unsafe" for the disembarkation of people rescued from boats flying a foreign flag for the duration of the health emergency due to the coronavirus pandemic. It states that Italy is currently not able to guarantee an absence of any threat to the lives of rescued people after landing in Italy. After Maltese Armed Forces rescued a group of 66 people in their Search and Rescue (SAR) zone on Thursday, Malta published a similar declaration also sent to the European Commission. Sea Eye expresses understanding for the difficult situation in Italy and is asking the German government to arrange for the immediate transfer of all persons to Germany by plane.

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Hela artikeln (Extern länk)

Human Rights Watch 20-04-09: EU/Italy: Port closures cut migrant and refugee lifeline (Extern länk)

IOM 20-04-09: Libya considers its ports unsafe for the disembarkation of migrants (Extern länk)

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ECRE 20-04-10:

Spanien/ 55 Jump Fence to Melilla till sidans topp

On early morning of 6 April, 55 people of a group of around 260 managed to jump the fence between Morocco and the Spanish enclave Melilla. 20 were injured. Rights organisation call for their right to request international protection and hygienic measures against Covid-19 to be put in place.

Out of 260 people who attempted to cross the border fence, 38 were rejected and returned to the Moroccan authorities, 55 crossed into Spain and the rest stayed on the Moroccan side, according to Spanish authorities. Around 20 were injured and treated by the Red Cross outside of the immigrant centre (CETI) which is under quarantine due to the coronavirus pandemic. Four of them were taken to the hospital for bone fractures and a head injury, the Red Cross reported. The Moroccan Human Rights Association reports that many of those left on the Morrocon side were wounded but returned to the nearby forests without treatment. Two Spanish officers were injured according to the Guardia Civil. Those who crossed will be transferred to an area close to V Pino, where they will undergo sanitary control, Spanish authorities said.

Spain's Interior Minister, Fernando Grande-Marlaska, announced that the "usual procedures" would be put in place, but clarified that returns were not possible as the border with Morocco remained closed. He also assured that the necessary measures will be taken to guarantee the health of citizens and immigrants.

Amnesty International stresses that their right to request international protection, adequate reception conditions and hygienic measures must be guaranteed.

The Spanish Commission for Refugee Support (CEAR) sent a letter asking the Spanish President to authorize urgent transfer and relocation of people seeking international protection and migrants in the CETI of the autonomous Spanish enclaves.

The incidence is the first major crossing of the fence since a controversial ruling by the European Court of Human Rights that found that the immediate return to Morocco of two people who crossed to Melilla did not breach the European Convention of Human Rights.

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Asylnytt 20-04-26:

Spanien/ Snabbavvisning till Marocko tillåten enligt Europadomstolens Grand Chamber till sidans topp

Målet (som refererades på engelska från ELENA legal update i Asylnytt utgåva 25 januari) gäller två personer från Mali och Elfenbenskusten. Båda ingick i en grupp om ca 600 personer som attackerade gränsstängslet mellan Marocko och Spanien. De två var bland dem som lyckades ta sig över men de lämnades omedelbart över till marockanska myndigheter av den spanska gränspolisen. De hade inte tillfrågats om sina skäl eller ens identifierat sig. De hävdar att det var fråga om en otillåten kollektiv utvisning, utan möjlighet att överklaga. Europadomstolen har i sin första dom fällt Spanien på båda punkterna. Men i den stora kammaren blir utgången att Spanien får rätt. Domstolen anser att personerna hade en möjlighet att söka asyl eller visum vid gränsstationen. Genom att istället ta sig in illegalt hade de försatt sig själva i en olaglig situation. Detta ledde också till att de inte fick en rättslig prövning. Domen som kom den 13 februari har väckt en del internationell debatt.

Case of N.D. and N.T. v. Spain, Applications nos. 8675/15 and 8697/15 (Extern länk)

Den föregående domen, från oktober 2017 (Extern länk)

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Arkiveringsdatum 200410:

ECRE 20-04-02:

Medelhavet/ IRINI ships will not search but rescue - Civilian vessel back at sea till sidans topp

While the main mandate of the EUNAVFOR Med IRINI operation is to uphold the UN arms embargo on Libya its ships will comply with their obligations under international law and rescue people at sea. Sea-Eye, an association for the rescue of fleeing people in the central Med, stated that its search and rescue vessel Alan Kurdi is off on its first mission in eight weeks after receiving green light to cast off from Spanish authorities on March 30.

Speaking on the mandate of the EUNAVFOR Med IRINI operation, High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell underlined that: "These ships are not patrolling the sea looking for people to be rescued..." However, Borell went on to say: "Anyone in the sea has to be rescued. That is international law" and that: "there is an agreement among the Member States that will participate in the mission how to proceed, where to disembark and how to share the burden." The IRINI mandate includes as secondary tasks capacity building and training of the so-called Libyan Coast Guard and Navy and to contribute to the disruption of the business model of human smuggling and trafficking networks. WatchTheMed Alarm Phone commented on those elements of the new operation: "Irini's operational area is much further east in order to avoid migrant boats. But as before it will support the so-called Libyan Coastguard in intercepting people fleeing from war."

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Statewatch 20-03-30:

Grekland/ MEPs, migration policy experts call for urgent action to uphold refugee rights till sidans topp

Over 100 MEPs from four political groups in the European Parliament have called on the European Commission to take action so that "fundamental rights and the right to asylum" are upheld in Greece. Their calls have been echoed by dozens of migration policy experts working on EU-funded projects.

The MEPs' letter, sent on 25 March and signed by MEPs from the Greens/EFA, GUE/NGL, Socialists & Democrats and Renew Europe groups, highlights "serious concerns regarding the use of COVID 19 epidemic to justify denial of the right to seek international protection at our borders, detention of asylum-seekers and forced returns to situations of danger."

The letter from EU-funded researchers, who have worked on numerous collaborative research projects examining how to improve EU migration policy, expresses "paramount concern regarding the violent course of action that is taken by the EU and individual member states in these testing times," and notes that the EU's actions are "doubly disturbing" - firstly, because expert advice and knowledge has been totally disregarded; and secondly, because the policies being promoted and implemented on the ground "fail to meet minimal human rights standards".

The MEPs also urge the Commission "to act regarding the serious deficiencies that have started in Greece before the COVID-19 outbreak and keep deteriorating," in particular with regard to the Greek government's decision to suspend access to the asylum procedure for a month.

"This is not to be understood as a "monthly delay" in the possibility to lodge an application but, literally, as banning access to all asylum procedures for the people who enter the country irregularly in seek of international protection, whilst there are no legal entry possibilities provided," says the letter.

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Arkiveringsdatum 200324:

Human Rights Watch 20-03-10:

Grekland/ Allow new arrivals to claim asylum - More than 450 held on navy boat till sidans topp

Greece's decision to detain more than 450 people on a naval vessel and refuse to allow them to lodge asylum claims flagrantly violates international and European law, Human Rights Watch said today. The action may amount to an arbitrary deprivation of liberty.

"The refusal to allow people in its custody to seek asylum and the open threat to send them back to their persecutors flies in the face of the legal obligations Greece has agreed to and the values and principles it claims to represent," said Bill Frelick, refugee and migrants rights director at Human Rights Watch. "Greece should immediately reverse this draconian policy, properly receive these people in safe and decent conditions, and allow them to lodge asylum claims."

People interdicted by the Greek Coast Guard since March 1, 2020 have been held on the ship docked in the Mytilene Harbor in Lesbos. Local authorities refused Human Rights Watch requests to enter the dock area where the women, men, and children are being detained during the day or to board the naval vessel where they stay at night. Human Rights Watch spoke by phone with one of the detainees, a Syrian asylum seeker who declined to give his real name or age for fear of retribution.

The man said that 451 people were detained, according to the food lists that he had seen, many of whom are children and women. He said that he and others had asked the Greek authorities to let them lodge asylum claims but were told that they would not be allowed to do so.

A video and photos that the Syrian man sent to Human Rights Watch show women, men, and children on the floor with blankets and mats in the hull of the navy boat.

He said that the first people were detained on the boat on March 1 but that the authorities did not allow them to recharge their mobile phones until March 7, so many were unable to communicate with relatives or others.

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Bill Frelick, Human Rights Watch 20-03-16: Greek vessel takes Syrians, Afghans to closed camp (Extern länk)

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Arkiveringsdatum 200306:

ECRE 20-02-21:

Medelhavet/ Study: Outsourcing does not exempt EU from responsibility till sidans topp

The study "Places of Safety in the Mediterranean: The EU's Policy of Outsourcing Responsibility" assesses the legal implications of disembarkation of migrants and refugees in North African countries by EU state and Frontex vessels.

The study, commissioned by the EU office of the Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung, includes an evaluation of Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco and Tunisia as "Places of Safety" for rescued persons. Taking stock of the recent trend of outsourcing responsibility for refugees and migrants to non-EU actors, the study concludes that the EU and its Member States cannot escape international responsibility by seeking to avoid direct contact with migrants when they actively contribute to violations of the international law of the sea, international refugee law, and essential human rights guarantees.

The study stresses the obligation under international law to provide assistance to persons in distress at sea and to deliver them to a "place of safety", that is a place where the survivors' life is not under threat, where their basic needs are covered, and where they are safe from persecution and chain refoulement. It finds that Libya can under no circumstances be considered a place of safety given the volatile security situation, human rights abuses and return to detention of people intercepted at sea. Detention, torture and persistent reports of refoulement of refugees also raise concerns regarding returns to Algeria, Egypt, Morocco, and Tunisia. Particularly for vulnerable groups these countries do not constitute "places of safety" and screening for protection needs aboard a private vessel is hardly feasible, the study points out.

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Forensic Architecture / AYS 20-02-23:

Medelhavet/ Shipwreck at the Threshold of Europe, Lesvos, Aegean Sea till sidans topp

/beskrivningen nedan from Are You Syrious:/

On 28 October 2015, a migrant boat left the coast of Western Turkey heading to the closest European coast-the Greek island of Lesvos. The sea was rough, and the boat was old and overcrowded with more than 300 passengers. It sank 280m beyond the maritime border into Greece, in EU territorial waters, resulting in the death of at least 43 people. It was the deadliest incident in a period known as the 'long summer of migration', when over a million refugees and migrants attempted to reach EU shores by sea.

The incident was widely reported in international media. That reporting credited Frontex, the EU's border agency, and the Greek coastguard, as having carried out of a successful and competent rescue operation. Our analysis disputes this, however, and opens up possibilities for civil society groups to call for accountability for lives lost in the Mediterranean.

One of the survivors, the artist Amel Alzakout recorded the journey and the shipwreck on a waterproof camera attached to her wrist. This footage provides a unique situated perspective of this tragic event at the threshold of Europe.

Video från skeppsbrottet, sammanställd från flera källor (Extern länk)

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UNHCR 20-03-02:

Grekland/ UNHCR statement on the situation at the Turkey-EU border till sidans topp

UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, is appealing for calm and an easing of tensions on Turkey's borders with the European Union in light of the present increased movements of people there - including refugees and asylum-seekers.

UNHCR is monitoring developments in Turkey and in Greece and is offering its support. As in all such situations it is important that the authorities refrain from any measures that might increase the suffering of vulnerable people.

All States have a right to control their borders and manage irregular movements, but at the same time should refrain from the use of excessive or disproportionate force and maintain systems for handling asylum requests in an orderly manner.

Neither the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees nor EU refugee law provides any legal basis for the suspension of the reception of asylum applications. Article 78(3) of the Treaty of the Functioning of the EU (TFEU) has been evoked by the Greek Government in this regard, however this provision allows for provisional measures to be adopted by the Council, on a proposal from the Commission and in consultation with the European Parliament, in the event that one or more Member States are confronted by an emergency situation characterised by a sudden inflow of third country nationals while it cannot suspend the internationally recognized right to seek asylum and the principle of non-refoulement that are also emphasized in EU law. Persons entering irregularly on the territory of a State should also not be punished if they present themselves without delay to the authorities to seek asylum.

On the borders between Turkey and the EU, UNHCR is working with national partners, Turkish Red Crescent, IOM and Unicef, assessing the situation and providing humanitarian assistance where needed. Groups there have included Syrians, Afghans, Iranians, Sudanese and other nationalities - including women, children and families, arriving in precarious conditions.

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IOM 20-03-05: IOM urges restraint, calls for a humane response on EU-Turkey border (Extern länk)

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Arkiveringsdatum 200208:

Amnesty International 20-01-30:

Italien/ Renewal of migration deal confirms complicity in torture of migrants till sidans topp

The decision by the Italian government to ignore the horrific abuses being inflicted on tens of thousands of people in Libya, and renew the Italy-Libya deal that traps them in the war-ravaged country, is a shameful display of how far EU governments are prepared to go to keep refugees and migrants from Europe's shores, said Amnesty International.

On 2 February, exactly three years after it was first signed, the Memorandum of Understanding on Migration between Italy and Libya will be extended for a further three years with no amendments. Under the deal, Italy helps Libyan maritime authorities to stop boats at sea and return people to detention centres in Libya where they are unlawfully detained and face serious abuse, including rape and torture.

"During the three years since original deal was struck, at least 40,000 people, including thousands of children, have been intercepted at sea, returned to Libya and exposed to unimaginable suffering. These include 947 people intercepted this month alone," said Marie Struthers, Amnesty International's Europe Director.

"It defies comprehension that, despite the evidence of suffering inflicted as a direct result of this abhorrent deal, and despite the escalation of the conflict in Libya, Italy is prepared to renew it. Italy should demand that Libya release all the refugees and migrants currently held in its detention centres, and that it close those centres once and for all."

Migrants and asylum seekers held in detention centers remain subject to abhorrent conditions of detention, and face serious abuses including torture and rape, as well as overcrowding. Further, their lives remain at risk due to the escalation of the ongoing conflict. On 30 January, UNHCR announced that it is suspending its operations at the Gathering and Departure Facility (GDF), a transit centre inaugurated just over a year ago in Tripoli, fearing for the safety and protection of people at the facility, its staff and partners.

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Hela uttalandet (Extern länk)

Human Rights Watch 20-02-12: Italy: Halt abusive migration cooperation with Libya (Extern länk)

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Arkiveringsdatum 200125:

IOM 20-01-14:

Grekland/ Heartbreak as women and children perish in migrant shipwreck till sidans topp

"I saw some light of hope in people's eyes hoping that their children or wives were alive but I had to give them the terrible news that some of their family members had died. Then I saw the deepest level of helplessness and desperation in their eyes. I had to inform a recently wed man that his wife and baby had died. I cannot find words to express how he hugged his deceased wife and child as a last farewell.''

The words of Mehmet Emin Ayhan, a member of the IOM Turkey Mediterranean Response Team describing the scenes as survivors and the dead came ashore in Çesme, Western Turkey at the weekend.

Eleven people including eight children lost their lives in the shipwreck on Saturday (11/01) when their small boat carrying 19 migrants capsized 250 metres after launching, on the short journey to the nearby Greek islands.

The eleven deceased - all Syrian nationals - were recovered by the Turkish coast guard at around 20:30 Turkish time. Among the eight survivors are four men, three women and one child. IOM Turkey's Mediterranean Response Team was called to the disembarkation point and provided assistance in the form of blankets, hot drinks, first aid and comfort to the shocked survivors.

This latest tragedy comes during an apparent spike in departures from the western coast of Turkey. In the past two weeks a boat carrying 15 migrants capsized and eight people died in the locality. A few days after that a vessel carrying 56 migrants capsized nearby leaving four migrants dead and one still missing. In a separate incident on Saturday, 20 people were rescued and twelve died when their boat capsized on an unusual route in the Ionian Sea near the Greek island of Paxos. Seventeen people are reported missing.

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Statewatch Analysis Januari 2020:

Italien/ guilty of refoulements in 2009 handover of Eritrean shipwreck survivors to Libya till sidans topp

Yasha Maccanico

An Italian court has ruled that the country's Cabinet presidency and defence ministry were responsible for the refoulement of 14 Eritrean nationals in July 2009, when a warship rescued some 80 people and took them back to Libya, ignoring requests for international protection.

On 14 November 2019, the first section of the Rome civil court ruled on a case brought by 14 Eritrean nationals against the interior, defence and foreign affairs ministries and the Cabinet presidency, for a collective refoulement at sea on 1 July 2009. The court, presided over by judge Monica Velletti, handed down a sentence upholding the claims made by the 14. The Italian state has been ordered to pay ¤15,000 in compensation to each individual and to permit them entry into Italy to apply for international protection.1

This sentence upholds several basic legal principles that are being actively undermined by current EU and Italian efforts to prevent sea crossings in cooperation with the so-called Libyan coastguard. In particular, the sentence clarifies that an act undertaken in accordance with an Italian ministerial decree against irregular migration and a bilateral treaty between Italy and Libya does not allow authorities to disregard the international, EU and national legal frameworks - the latter take precedence over the former.

The normative framework that applied at the time obliged Italian authorities to accept the submission of asylum claims and prohibited refoulements to unsafe territories. 2 This reasoning could be extended to the so-called "code of conduct" for NGOs3 that seeks to subordinate the law of the sea to instrumental measures aimed at obstructing rescues by civilians and to operative arrangements giving the so-called Libyan coastguard exclusive responsibility for maritime rescues in the central Mediterranean.

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ELENA Legal Update 20-01-14:

Spanien/ Grand Chamber: return of migrants to Morocco did not breach Convention till sidans topp

On 13 February 2020, the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights (GC) published its judgment in the case of N.D and N.T v Spain (Application Nos. 8675/15 and 8697/15) concerning the immediate return of two men to Morocco after attempting to cross the border of the Melilla enclave.

The applicants, nationals of Mali and Côte d'Ivoire, arrived in Morocco independently of one another after fleeing from their countries of origin. On 13 August 2014, a group of around 600 migrants attempted to cross the border fence. N.D and N.T, who succeeded in doing so, were helped down by the Spanish border guards and immediately handed over to Moroccan authorities. They allege that no identification procedures were carried out in Spanish territory and that they were not given the opportunity to explain their individual circumstances before being removed to Morocco. They complained that they were subject to a collective expulsion without an individual assessment of circumstances and legal assistance contrary to Article 4 of Protocol No. 4. They also complain under Article 13 in conjunction with Article 4 Protocol No. 4 that they had no access to an effective remedy with suspensive effect by which to challenge their immediate return. In its Chamber judgment, the Court had previously found violations in relation to both complaints.

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Hela artikeln (Extern länk)

Amnesty International 20-02-13: ECHR judgment a blow to refugee and migrant rights (Extern länk)

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Arkiveringsdatum 200107:

Cadmus december 2019:

Medelhavet/ Sea rescue NGOs: a pull factor of irregular migration? till sidans topp

Policy Briefs, 2019/22, Migration Policy Centre

Eugenio Cusumano, Matteo Villa

The argument that maritime Search and Rescue (SAR) operations act as a 'pull factor' of irregular seaborne migration has become commonplace during the Mediterranean 'refugee crisis'. This claim has frequently been used to criticize humanitarian non-governmental organizations (NGOs) conducting SAR off the coast of Libya, which are considered to provide "an incentive for human smugglers to arrange departures" (Italian Senate 2017: 9). In this policy brief, we scrutinise this argument by examining monthly migratory flows from Libya to Italy between 2014 and October 2019. We find no relationship between the presence of NGOs at sea and the number of migrants leaving Libyan shores. Although more data and further research are needed, the results of our analysis call into question the claim that non-governmental SAR operations are a pull factor of irregular migration across the Mediterranean sea.

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Global Legal Action Network 19-12-18:

Italien/ Complaint filed with UN body over Italy's role in privatised push-backs to Libya till sidans topp

Today (18/12/19), the Global Legal Action Network (GLAN) filed a complaint against Italy with the UN Human Rights Committee on behalf of an individual whose journey from Libya was intercepted in the high seas by the Panamanian merchant vessel, the Nivin. The complaint is the first to tackle the phenomenon of "privatized push-backs", whereby EU coastal States engage commercial ships to return refugees and other persons in need of protection back to unsafe locations in contravention of their human rights obligations.

In the afternoon of November 7, 2018, the Italian Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC) instructed the Nivin to rescue a distressed migrant boat and to liaise with the infamous Libyan Coast Guard (LYCG). The LYCG then directed the Nivin towards Libya, where the captured passengers staged a stand-off, resisting their illegal debarkation. Libyan security forces violently removed from the vessel after 10 days using tear gas and rubber as well as live bullets. The claimant was shot in the leg and was arbitrarily detained, interrogated, beaten, subjected to forced labour and denied treatment for months.

The legal submission made use of evidence in a report compiled by Forensic Oceanography, part of the Forensic Architecture agency based at Goldsmiths, University of London with Charles Heller as lead investigator. The report, published today, combined the analysis of multiple sources of evidence to offer a detailed reconstruction of the incident. It demonstrates that privatized push-backs have risen sharply since June 2018. The result is that seafarers are being used by states seeking to circumvent their obligations towards refugees.

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Arkiveringsdatum 191129:

European University Institute November 2019:

Medelhavet/ Sea rescue NGOs : a pull factor of irregular migration? till sidans topp

The argument that maritime Search and Rescue (SAR) operations act as a 'pull factor' of irregular seaborne migration has become commonplace during the Mediterranean 'refugee crisis'. This claim has frequently been used to criticize humanitarian non-governmental organizations (NGOs) conducting SAR off the coast of Libya, which are considered to provide "an incentive for human smugglers to arrange departures" (Italian Senate 2017: 9). In this policy brief, we scrutinise this argument by examining monthly migratory flows from Libya to Italy between 2014 and October 2019. We find no relationship between the presence of NGOs at sea and the number of migrants leaving Libyan shores. Although more data and further research are needed, the results of our analysis call into question the claim that non-governmental SAR operations are a pull factor of irregular migration across the Mediterranean sea.

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ECRE 19-11-22: New research demonstrates that Search and Rescue is not a pull factor (Extern länk)

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IOM 19-11-26:

Medelhavet/ Deaths rise on Central Mediterranean with latest Lampedusa tragedy till sidans topp

Twenty-one people lost their lives in a shipwreck off the coast of Lampedusa, Italy, on Saturday (23/11) when a boat, carrying 170 Europe-bound migrants, capsized 1.6km from the island as it was being escorted by the coast guard.

Five bodies have so far been recovered, and at least 16 others remain missing. Recovery efforts have now resumed after being hampered for several days by poor weather, IOM officials said today. The process of victim identification has begun.

Among the 149 survivors are 26 minors, some of whom lost their parents in Saturday's tragedy. They spoke to IOM staff about the dire conditions and abuse they experienced in Libya.

This tragedy comes during an apparent spike in departures from Libya. In the past week, at least 12 boats were either intercepted or rescued in the central Mediterranean. IOM Missing Migrants Project recorded 45 deaths in the central Mediterranean route on 22 and 23 November.

IOM provided assistance to the survivors, as well as 213 other people rescued by the NGO vessel Ocean Viking and brought to Messina, Sicily.

"Events of the past few days prove once more that crossing the Mediterranean is still extremely dangerous," said Laurence Hart, Director of the IOM Coordination Office for the Mediterranean.

"On the other hand, migrants' testimonies confirm that the situation in Libya is critical and that many are victims of abuse and violence. Saving lives at sea must still be the number one priority, and now more than ever, it is important to bring rescued migrants to a safe port."

The latest tragedy brings the total number of deaths recorded in the Mediterranean in 2019 to 1,136, including 740 in the central Mediterranean route alone, which remains the planet's deadliest sea crossing.

According to official figures provided by the Ministry of the Interior, 610 migrants arrived by sea to Italy in four days, between Thursday 21 to Sunday 24 November. The total number of arrivals by sea registered so far is 10,566.

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ECRE 19-11-29: Mounting death toll while NGOs struggle to keep up with rescues (Extern länk)

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Mobile Info Team 19-11-16:

Grekland/ Illegal pushbacks at the border: Denying refugees the right to claim asylum till sidans topp

"Pushback is the term used to describe the practice by authorities of preventing people from seeking protection on their territory by forcibly returning them to another country." - Oxfam International

Since August 2018, Mobile Info Team has been collecting first-hand testimonies of individuals who crossed the border into Greece and were forcibly pushed back to Turkey. Our expertise in asylum law and direct service to impacted communities makes us strategically poised to document and challenge these illegal and systematic expulsions. For this reason, Mobile Info Team is working with partners in Northern Greece to collect, document, and ultimately challenge these actions. Listening to the needs of asylum seekers and translating those concerns into targeted actions is at the core of our advocacy efforts.

Mobile Info Team is now launching the findings of these testimonies and research in our first report on illegal pushbacks. It solidifies previous research and outlines the specific stages of pushbacks which are systematically repeated, as are a multitude of abuses of key human rights and international law principles, including non-refoulement, the right to seek asylum, the ban of collective expulsions and the right to not be unlawfully detained and tortured.

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Arkiveringsdatum 191120:

Human Rights Watch 19-11- 13:

Italien/ Amnesty and HRW to court: Italy shares responsibility for Libya abuses till sidans topp

Third-party intervention filed at European Court of Human Rights

On 11 November 2019, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch submitted a joint third-party intervention to the European Court of Human Rights in a case involving Libya's abuses against migrants during operations at sea and upon return to the country in November 2017.

In the case of S.S. and others v Italy (no. 21660/18) applicants are seeking justice before the court, claiming that Italy breached its obligations under the European Convention on Human Rights by cooperating with Libya to enable its coast guard to intercept people at sea and take them back to Libya. The applicants have told the court that people returned to Libya are routinely exposed to torture and other abuses in Libya, including through their routine containment in detention centers, where they are held arbitrarily.

In 2012 the European Court of Human Rights, ruling in the case of Hirsi Jamaa and Others v. Italy (no. 27765/09), found that Italy's practice of intercepting migrants at sea and forcing them to return to Libya had violated the European Convention on Human Rights, including the prohibition on returning people to countries where they face risk of human rights abuses. Since then, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have consistently documented the ongoing human rights abuses against refugees, asylum seekers and migrants in Libya, and condemned the EU's, including specifically Italy's, cooperation with and support to Libya in ways that has led to the prolonged arbitrary detention and abuse of people in Libya.

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ICJ 19-11-11: ICJ and others intervene in search and rescue case before European Court (Extern länk)

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Arkiveringsdatum 191017:

Alarmphone 19-10- 05:

Medelhavet/ Central Mediterranean Regional Analysis till sidans topp

Alarm Phone, 1 July - 30 September 2019

Over the past three months, the period of time covered by this regional analysis of developments in the central Mediterranean, the Alarm Phone was alerted to 39 distress situations in that region, involving over 2,337 people. Never before has the Alarm Phone been alerted to so many boats crossing this area of the Mediterranean Sea in such short period of time. 14 of these boats were intercepted and returned to Libya. 17 boats were rescued and brought to a European harbour, including eight by NGO vessels. The fate of six boats remains unknown. Two boats capsized, and about 140 people lost their lives.

The past three months have seen important developments in the central Mediterranean region, not least the rupturing of the 'closed harbour policy' of Italy following the ousting of interior minister Salvini. Some of these developments were directly reflected in our own experiences. More than before, migrant boats were able to bridge quite long distances and made it into Maltese or Italian Search and Rescue (SAR) zones or even reached European territorial waters and coasts independently. Maltese and Italian coastguards, though often reluctant to cooperate with us in an adequate and professional manner, and despite delaying rescues several times, carried out several rescue operations after we had alerted them to distress cases, in particular over the past weeks. Between September 16-20 alone, about 289 individuals on five boats were rescued by European coastguards after we had informed them - four to Malta and one to Italy.[1] In terms of crossings, the month of September has been the busiest so far this year with about 2,400 individuals arriving either in Malta or Italy.

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Arkiveringsdatum 191002:

UNHCR 19-09-12:

Italien/ New UNHCR evacuation of refugees from Libya, as Tripoli fighting continues till sidans topp

A group of 98 vulnerable refugees have been today evacuated out of Libya to Italy, the third direct humanitarian evacuation to the country this year.

With Libya continuing to suffer under conflict, such evacuations are a lifeline for the most vulnerable refugees living in detention centres and urban areas, who are in dire need of safety and protection,

The evacuees are from Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia and Sudan, and include 52 unaccompanied children. The youngest is Yousef, a seven-month-old baby from Somalia, born in detention and traveling with his parents. Many of the refugees had been held in detention in Libya for long periods, some for more than eight months.

"Today we have taken 98 people to safety, but this is still only a small number of the thousands who need such help. There are still some 3,600 refugees in detention centres. We urgently need to find solutions for them, as well as thousands more vulnerable refugees living in urban areas," said Jean-Paul Cavalieri, UNHCR Chief of Mission for Libya.

UNHCR is grateful for the co-operation of the Libyan Ministry of Interior, and for the support of our partner LibAid, for their assistance with securing their release and transfer out of the detention centres.

"Today's evacuation is an example of solidarity, and we thank the Italian authorities for making this possible. We hope that other countries will heed this example and provide similar, life-saving humanitarian evacuations," said Roland Schilling, UNHCR Regional Representative for Southern Europe.

Prior to the evacuation, the refugees were being hosted in the Gathering and Departure Facility (GDF) in Tripoli, after UNHCR had secured their transfer from detention. In the GDF, they were provided with food, shelter, medical assistance including psycho-social support, as well as clothes and hygiene kits.

Following this evacuation, UNHCR has assisted 1,474 vulnerable refugees with leaving Libya in 2019, including 710 to Niger, 393 to Italy, and 371 who have been resettled to other countries in Europe and Canada.

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Arkiveringsdatum 190912:

UNHCR 19-08-27:

Medelhavet/ Scores dead off coast of Libya in latest Mediterranean shipwreck till sidans topp

At least 40 people are estimated to have drowned off the coast of Libya in the latest boat disaster on the Mediterranean. This shocking incident has prompted UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency to renew its urgent call for action to save lives.

Some 60 survivors have been rescued and brought to shore in the coastal town of Al-Khoms, around 100 kilometres east of Tripoli. A rescue operation, carried by the Libyan Coast Guard and local fisherman, has been underway since this morning and is ongoing.

"We must not simply accept these tragedies as inevitable," said Vincent Cochetel, UNHCR Special Envoy for the Central Mediterranean. "Sympathies must now become actions that prevent loss of life at sea, and prevent the loss of hope that motivates people to risk their lives in the first place."

UNHCR teams are providing the survivors with medical and humanitarian assistance. This latest incident follows just weeks after a shipwreck where some 150 lives are estimated to have been lost in the worst single incident on the Mediterranean this year.

Following today's tragedy, it is estimated that some 900 people have lost their lives attempting to cross the Mediterranean in 2019.

UNHCR is calling for renewed efforts to reduce the loss of life at sea, including a return of EU State search and rescue vessels. Legal and logistical restrictions on NGO search and rescue operations, both at sea and in the air, should be lifted. Coastal states should facilitate, not impede, efforts by volunteers to reduce deaths at sea.

These measures should go hand in hand with increased evacuation and resettlement places from States to move refugees in Libya out of harm's way.

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Human Rights Watch 19-09-05:

Frankrike/ Subject to Whim - The treatment of children in the French Hautes-Alpes till sidans topp

Joshua F. left his home in Cameroon with his younger sister in 2016, when he was 13, after their parents died in an accident. His father's family took the house and his father's workshop, turning the two children out. They left Douala and travelled to Yaoundé, where they lived on the streets for a time until a man offered Joshua a carpentry job in northern Cameroon. In fact, the man took them to Chad and forced them to work long hours without pay in his home.

Joshua and his sister were then abducted and taken to Libya. There, he told Human Rights Watch, they were held by smugglers. "I was the victim of slavery," he said, describing long days of forced labour in fields and on construction sites. The men who held him and his sister beat them and demanded that they contact their family to arrange a ransom payment. After he repeatedly told the men they had nobody they could call, one of the men killed his sister in front of him.

After he had been in Libya for about a year, once he had worked long enough that the men considered his ransom paid, they took him to the beach to join a large group boarding a Zodiac, a large inflatable boat. The men forced as many as possible onto the boat, at one point firing guns at the water near the group. After several days at sea, a ship rescued the group and took them to Italy.

Joshua had sustained injuries from the forced labour and beatings he endured in Libya, and when he arrived in Italy, he asked reception center staff to see a doctor. But he never received medical care while he was in Italy. He was also not able to attend school.

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ECRE 19-08-30:

Spanien/ Spain curbs last state-run rescue operation in EU till sidans topp

In the frame of increased cooperation with Morocco, Spain reduces rescue operations in the Med and pushes migrants and refugees to attempt more dangerous journeys.

In their efforts to half the number of irregular arrivals in Spain, Spanish authorities only rescue in national territorial waters, transferring responsibility for Moroccan SAR zone to the Moroccan Royal Navy, which takes the rescued migrants back to their departure. As another part of the policy change, maritime authorities no longer actively search for boats in distress but only leave from their bases if they have been alerted, which could lead to delayed assistance for migrants in distress.

Prior to 2019, Spain was known for its extensive lifesaving operations in the Mediterranean. Fulfilling its obligations under the Search and Rescue Convention, 50,000 people were rescued by Spanish maritime authorities, a third of which in the Moroccan SAR territory. After Italy closed its harbours in 2018, the migratory route through Morocco into Spain recorded 65,000 irregular arrivals. In response, the Spanish government of Pedro Sánchez changed their Search and Rescue (SAR) approach in the Mediterranean and increased cooperation with Morocco to curb irregular arrivals. Until August 2019 arrivals dropped by a 39% compared to the same period in 2018.

"The Spanish sea rescue was a flagship model for the whole of Europe," states the Spanish Commission for refugees (CEAR). According to CEAR, an increased death rate of migrants at sea shows that the new strategy is failing. In June, 22 people drowned along the western route.

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Arkiveringsdatum 190826:

EU-parlamentet 19-08-08:

Italien/ EP President calls for emergency assistance to migrants on Open Arms boat till sidans topp

Urgent assistance and fair distribution of Open Arms rescue boat migrants needed, says EP President David Sassoli in a letter to Commission President Juncker.

Dear President Juncker,

As has happened repeatedly since the decision was taken to ignore the European Parliament's call for the overhaul of the Dublin Regulation, the fate of wretched people rescued at sea is being exploited for political purposes by governments and is the subject of disagreements between them. Every time a vessel reaches European waters, the same scene is repeated and the same rhetoric is spouted. The latest case involves the Open Arms, a boat with 121 people on board, which has nowhere to go.

The work the Commission has done in coming to the assistance of the Member States in such cases in recent years has been admirable, and entirely in keeping with the values underpinning the Union and international agreements. This time, however, there is no suggestion that assistance will be forthcoming.

According to press reports, the people on board include 31 minors, among them Ethiopian twins only nine months old, and women whose bodies bear the indelible marks of violence and mistreatment.

If the European Union were to remain indifferent to their fate, it would be piling suffering on top of suffering, and I am sure that this is not what the guardians of the European Treaties believe in their hearts to be right. ln recent years, a lot has been asked of the Commission you lead and the commitment to human welfare it has repeatedly demonstrated has done much to restore our sense of identity as Europeans.

(...)

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EU-parlamentet 19-08-16 /detta uttalande riktat till italienska myndigheter/: Parliament president calls for immediate disembarkation of migrants (Extern länk)

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UNHCR 19-08-09:

Medelhavet/ UNHCR urges Europe to allow 507 rescued passengers to disembark till sidans topp

UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, is today calling on European governments to allow the immediate disembarkation of 507 people recently rescued on the Central Mediterranean who remain stranded at sea.

Many are reportedly survivors of appalling abuses in Libya and are from refugee-producing countries. They are in need of humanitarian assistance and some have already expressed an intention to seek international protection.

"This is a race against time," said Vincent Cochetel, UNHCR Special Envoy for the Central Mediterranean. "Storms are coming and conditions are only going to get worse. To leave people who have fled war and violence in Libya on the high seas in this weather would be to inflict suffering upon suffering. They must be immediately allowed to dock, and allowed to receive much-needed humanitarian aid."

151 people remain on board the Open Arms boat while 356 people more have been rescued in recent days by the Ocean Viking.

A port of safety should be immediately provided and responsibility shared amongst States for hosting them after they have disembarked.

Many Europeans leaders expressed their shock at the events last month when more than 50 people died in an airstrike on a detention centre in Tajoura, Libya, and as many as 150 others died in the largest Mediterranean shipwreck of 2019.

These sentiments must now be translated in to meaningful solidarity with people fleeing from Libya. This includes providing access to territory and asylum procedures to people seeking international protection.

Nearly 600 people have died or gone missing on the Central Mediterranean in 2019. In comparison to the Central Mediterranean, far more people are arriving, and far fewer people dying, on the Western and Eastern Mediterranean routes.

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Amnesty International 19-08-08: 121 people including babies and children stranded at sea in searing heat must be allowed to dock (Extern länk)

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Arkiveringsdatum 190801:

UNHCR 19-07-22:

Medelhavet/ UNHCR and IOM welcome consensus on need for action on Libya till sidans topp

Today's discussions in Paris with European States on addressing the situation on the Mediterranean Sea, and preventing loss of life in Libya, are welcome and much-needed. The violence in Tripoli in recent weeks has made the situation more desperate than ever, and the need for action critical.

We welcome the consensus at today's meeting on a need to end the arbitrary detention of refugees and migrants in Libya. There needs to be a process of orderly release of people in detention centres either to urban areas, or to open centres that allow reasonable freedom of movement, shelter, assistance and protection from harm, plus independent monitoring and regular unhindered access for humanitarian agencies. In light of the risks of abuse, maltreatment or death, no one should be returned to detention centres in Libya after being intercepted or rescued at sea.

The renewed commitment today from States to preventing loss of life on the Mediterranean Sea is also encouraging. The status quo, where search and rescue operations are often left to NGO or commercial vessels, cannot continue. An EU State search and rescue operation, similar to programmes we have seen in recent years, is needed.

The crucial role played by NGOs must be acknowledged. They should not be criminalised nor stigmatised for saving lives at sea. Commercial vessels, who are increasingly being relied upon to conduct rescue operations, must not be requested to transfer rescued people to the Libyan Coast Guard, nor directed to disembark them in Libya, which is not a port of safety.

Discussions on establishing a temporary, predictable arrangement for disembarking people after they have been rescued at sea, and sharing responsibility amongst States for hosting them afterwards, were promising. We encourage these talks to progress further. A joined-up approach to this situation is in everyone's interests.

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Arkiveringsdatum 190721:

UNHCR 19-07-04:

Medelhavet/ UNHCR saddened by large loss of life in Tunisia shipwreck till sidans topp

More than 80 people are feared drowned following a boat disaster off Tunisia. According to the two survivors, the incident occurred on Wednesday night (3 July). Passing Tunisian fisherman came to their rescue and were able to bring four people to shore and to hospital. However, one later passed away.

Two remaining survivors are receiving assistance at our shelter in Tunisia's Zarzis, while another remains in hospital receiving treatment.

"The status quo cannot continue," said Vincent Cochetel, UNHCR Special Envoy for the Mediterranean. "Nobody puts their lives and the lives of their families at risk on these desperate boat journeys unless they feel they have no other choice. We need to provide people with meaningful alternatives that stops them from needing to step foot on a boat in the first place."

Meanwhile, in Libya, UNHCR today relocated 29 refugees from the Gharyan detention centre, 90 km south of Tripoli. Living conditions were dire and detainees were increasingly at risk from encroaching clashes. The refugees from Eritrea and Somalia had been detained for months with very limited access to services, scarce food provisions, and poor sanitary conditions leading to outbreaks of diseases. They have been released to the community, where UNHCR will support them through its urban programme.

UNHCR welcomes the cooperation of the Ministry of Interior of Libya on securing their release from detention, and to our partners the Libyan Humanitarian Relief Agency (Libaid) and the International Medical Corps (IMC) for their commitment and continuous efforts.

UNHCR is continuing to work on efforts to relocate detainees out of Tajoura detention centre, which was hit by an airstrike on 2 July, leaving more than 50 dead and scores more injured.

(...)

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SvT Utrikes 19-07-10: Vägen över Medelhavet allt dödligare för migranter (Extern länk)

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Arkiveringsdatum 190703:

OHCHR 19-06-20:

Medelhavet/ UN Human Rights Office urges EU States to stop criminalizing solidarity till sidans topp

On World Refugee Day, the UN Human Rights Office in Brussels called on EU member States to prioritize saving the lives of refugees and migrants crossing the Mediterranean.

Between 2014 and June 2019, at least 9,241 deaths have been recorded, as estimated by the International Migration Organization, national authorities and media sources, while at the same time in recent years, NGO boats trying to save the lives of those in trouble at sea have been increasingly removed or rendered unable to operate, and hundreds of Europeans have been arrested, investigated, or threatened with prison or fines for trying to help migrants and refugees.

As of 1 June 2019, only seven out of the 24 humanitarian rescue ships operated by civil society organizations in the Mediterranean were still active, as recorded by the EU Fundamental Rights Agency.

The UN Human Rights Regional Office for Europe urged EU member States to urgently strengthen search and rescue operations and ensure rapid and safe disembarkation in a coordinated manner. States have a heightened duty to protect the right of everyone to seek and enjoy asylum from persecution, the right to leave any country and the right to life, as established by international human rights and humanitarian law. Individual human dignity should be at the centre of reforms of the European Common Asylum System, currently being considered by EU member States. These should include setting up effective EU-wide systems that enable swift support for those in vulnerable situations, including victims of violence and trafficking for purposes of sexual or labour exploitation.

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Frontex 19-06-24:

Medelhavet/ Frontex detects mother boat smuggling people till sidans topp

Last week, Frontex aircraft detected a suspicious fishing trawler towing a smaller boat. The boat was empty, but something caught the attention of the agency's experts. Frontex kept observing the boat for several hours, and all of a sudden people started to emerge from below the deck. A people smuggler jumped on the smaller boat encouraging a group of migrants to follow him.

When all 81 migrants boarded the smaller boat, the mother ship was detached and started sailing south while the small boat started going towards the Italian island of Lampedusa. This was a clear example of a "mother boat" used by criminals to carry a large group of migrants across the sea towards their destination before unloading them onto a smaller boat.

A Frontex plane and drone kept observing the fishing trawler and the boat with migrants over several hours, alerting Italian and Maltese authorities, as well as EUNAVFOR Med. The Italian National Coordination Centre initiated a complex operation that involved Italian Guardia di Finanza and Guardia Costiera. They caught up with the bigger vessel and arrested the suspected people smugglers. The Italian authorities arrested seven suspected smugglers and seized the fishing trawler.

Most of the migrants came from Bangladesh, Morocco and Libya. Most of them were not wearing life vests when they were left in the middle of the sea by the people smugglers.

The Italian authorities are investigating the case.

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UNHCR 19-06-26:

Medelhavet/ UNHCR calls for US$210 million to address deaths and abuses till sidans topp

UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, is today calling for US$210 million to assist and protect thousands of refugees and others travelling each year through North and Sub-Saharan Africa, many of whom fall prey to traffickers or smugglers and end up suffering appalling human rights abuses.

UNHCR's appeal is for a comprehensive programme of support that prevents people from falling in to the hands of smugglers and traffickers in the first place, provides meaningful alternatives to dangerous journeys in first countries of asylum, and offers increased humanitarian assistance and support to survivors of human rights violations and abuses.

At the same time, UNHCR is urging States to address a dangerous gap in sea rescue capacity on the Mediterranean, to do more to dismantle smuggling and trafficking networks, and to hold those responsible to account through all available legal mechanisms. Renewed efforts must be made to develop complementary pathways for refugees to find solutions, including through more effective access to family reunification reunion procedures.

"With more than 15 conflicts on the African continent, thousands of people will continue to move with often unrealistic and misinformed expectations," said Vincent Cochetel, UNHCR Special Envoy for the Central Mediterranean. "They face grave danger, and even death, in the hands of smugglers and traffickers. We must do more to prevent the rising numbers who fall prey to those who seek to profit from vulnerability and despair."

At least 507 people are estimated to have died or gone missing on the Central and Western Mediterranean Sea in 2019. The number of people who die on smuggling and trafficking routes before even reaching the sea is unknown, but is likely to be even higher.

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ECHR 19-06-25:

Italien/ No interim measure requiring that applicants to disembark from Sea-Watch 3 till sidans topp

The European Court of Human Rights has today decided not to indicate to the Italian Government the interim measure requested by the applicants in the case of Rackete and Others v. Italy (application no. 32969/19), which would have required that they be allowed to disembark in Italy from the ship Sea-Watch 3.

The Court also indicated to the Italian Government that it is relying on the Italian authorities to continue to provide all necessary assistance to those persons on board Sea-Watch 3 who are in a vulnerable situation on account of their age or state of health.

Under Rule 39 of the Rules of Court, the Court may indicate interim measures to any State Party to the European Convention on Human Rights. Interim measures are urgent measures which, according to the Court's well-established practice, apply only where there is an imminent risk of irreparable harm.

The applicants are Ms Rackete - captain of the ship Sea-Watch 3 - and about forty individuals who are nationals of Niger, Guinea, Cameron, Mali, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Burkina Faso and Guinea- Conakry.

On 21 June 2019 the applicants applied to the European Court of Human Rights under Rule 39 of its Rules of Court, requesting to be permitted to disembark from Sea-Watch 3.

The applicants have been on the ship Sea-Watch 3 since 12 June 2019, when they were rescued in international waters within the Libyan SAR (Search and Rescue Region).

The ship is currently outside Italian territorial waters.

Following a health inspection on board on 15 June 2019, ten persons were permitted to disembark, namely three families, underage children and pregnant women. Another individual was permitted to leave in the night of 21 to 22 June on health grounds.

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Arkiveringsdatum 190620:

Frontex 19-06-14:

Medelhavet/ Suspicious vessels, people and drug smugglers arrested till sidans topp

Nine suspicious vessels were seized and eight people smugglers were arrested as part of Joint Action Day (JAD) Adria, an international operation coordinated by Frontex and co-led by Greece, Croatia and Italy. It took place in the area of the Adriatic and Ionian Sea and on the land routes in the countries in the region.

In the course of JAD Adria:

+ 169 irregular migrants apprehended,

+ 166 persons refused entry and

+ 20 forged/falsified documents seized.

Law enforcement authorities taking part in JAD Adria also seized 27.4 kg of cannabis and arrested one drug smuggler.

France and Europol also supported JAD Adria, which provided the opportunity for real-time information exchange between all of the participants. The operation, which took place between 28 May and 4 June. A Coordination Centre was set up in Piraeus, Greece at the Hellenic Coastguard HQ.

The operation was coordinated under the umbrella of the European Multidisciplinary Platform against Criminal Threats (EMPACT) as part of the EU Policy Cycle, a 4-year plan for the fight against serious and organised crime. It brings together police and law enforcement authorities of EU Member States, European agencies and international organisations to jointly strengthen Europe's borders and internal security. The results and intelligence gathered will help in ongoing and future investigations.

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Jane's Defence 19-06-10: Germany withdraws from EUNAVFOR's Operation 'Sophia' in Mediterranean (Extern länk)

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FRA 19-06-19:

Medelhavet/ NGO search and rescue in the Mediterranean - state of play till sidans topp

Over six people per day on average died crossing the Mediterranean Sea to reach Europe in 2018. Tougher migration policies have been undermining civil society rescue efforts to save lives and bring migrants in distress at sea to safety, as recent FRA research shows.

Civil society tries to help save migrants fleeing war or persecution, or seeking a better life, whose lives have been put at risk by unscrupulous people, smugglers and traffickers.

EU Member States are cracking down on civil society rescue vessels by launching criminal and administrative proceedings against NGOs or other private entities involved in search and rescue operations (SAR) in the Mediterranean.

Member States seized vessels and arrested crew members, initiating legal procedures against them. In some cases, they blocked rescue vessels in harbours due to flag issues. This led most NGOs to stop their search and rescue operations, as FRA already noted in 2018.

Fresh research by FRA provides a snapshot on developments since August 2018 up until June 2019.

The update gives an overview of all NGOs and their vessels and reconnaissance aircrafts involved in Mediterranean search and rescue operations since 2016. It also indicates whether they have been subject to legal proceedings.

This reveals how only a few NGO rescue vessels were operational in June 2019 due to various reasons, including ship seizures or de-flagging ordered by Member States.

It also points to ongoing or closed investigations and administrative or criminal proceedings against private entities involved in search and rescue as of June 2019. This shows that although more Member States opened such legal cases compared to last year, many opened cases ended with an acquittal or were discontinued due to the lack of evidence; others are still pending at the time of this update.

(...)

Pressmeddelandet (Extern länk)

Statistiken: 2019 update - NGO ships involved in search and rescue in the Mediterranean and criminal investigations (Extern länk)

Se även:

ReSOMA Final Synthetic Report: Crackdown on NGOs and volunteers helping refugees and other migrants* (Extern länk till pdf-fil)

OpenDemocracy 19-06-18: Hundreds of Europeans 'criminalised' for helping migrants - as far right aims to win big in European elections (Extern länk)

Läkare Utan Gränser 19-06-12: Medelhavet: EU-politik fortsätter skörda liv (Extern länk)

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Arkiveringsdatum 190610:

Alarmphone 19-06-03:

Spanien/ Borders of violence till sidans topp

"When I resisted to enter the small dark room, they started beating me.."

Since August/September 2018, we have witnessed a constant exacerbation of the situation of travellers in transit on the Western Mediterranean route. Violence and the threat of detention is a constant reality for sub-saharan travellers. The title is taken from the testimony of an AP member who was arrested and beaten in Tanger. The assault was witnessed by another comrade (see below). Her experience is just one example of police violence and unlawful arbitrary repression in Morocco. It is not an unfortunate, if all to common blip but part of the violent structures imposed by the Moroccan state at the behest of the European Union. We will not stop making visible and denouncing this structural violence!

Not only do the raids and violent and arbitrary arrests of black people continue on a large scale, but the sea passage from Morocco to Spain has become more dangerous since new political sea rescue directives where put into practice by the Salvamento Maritimo, the Spanish rescue authority.

This report attempts to give an overview of the major developments in Morocco as both a transit country and country of origin. It also attempts to summarize the political developments of the border regime in the Western Mediterranean.

Läs mer (Extern länk)

ECRE News 19-05-17: 52 people jump fence into Melilla while 40 arrested (Extern länk)

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Källor: Informationen på denna sida är hämtad från följande källor (externa länkar): EU (kommissionen, ministerrådet, parlamentet och domstolen), Europarådet (mr-kommissionären, domstolen, kommittén mot tortyr), FN:s flyktingkommissariat UNHCR, FN:s kommitté mot tortyr m.fl. FN-organ, Sveriges Radio, SvT, andra svenska media via Nyhetsfilter och pressmeddelanden via Newsdesk, utländska media till exempel via Are You Syrious och Rights in Exile, internationella organisationer som Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, ECRE, Statewatch och Picum, organisationer i Sverige som Rädda Barnen, Asylrättscentrum, Svenska Amnesty, FARR och #vistårinteut samt myndigheter och politiska organ som Migrationsverket, Sveriges domstolar, JO, Justitiedepartementet m.fl. departement och Sveriges Riksdag.

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