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Arkiveringsdatum 211210:

CPT 21-12-03:

Kroatien/ Council of Europe anti-torture Committee publishes report on ad hoc visit till sidans topp

In a report on Croatia published today, the CPT urges the Croatian authorities to take determined action to stop migrants being ill-treated by police officers and to ensure that cases of alleged ill-treatment are investigated effectively.

The Committee carried out a rapid reaction visit to Croatia from 10 to 14 August 2020, and in particular along the border area to Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), to examine the treatment and safeguards afforded to migrants deprived of their liberty by the Croatian police. The CPT's delegation also looked into the procedures applied to migrants in the context of their removal from Croatia as well as the effectiveness of oversight and accountability mechanisms in cases of alleged police misconduct during such operations. A visit to the Je?evo Reception Centre for Foreigners was also carried out.

The report highlights that, for the first time since the CPT started visiting Croatia in 1998, there were manifest difficulties of cooperation. The CPT's delegation was provided with incomplete information about places where migrants may be deprived of their liberty and it was obstructed by police officers in accessing documentation necessary for the delegation to carry out the Committee's mandate.

In addition to visiting police stations in Croatia, the CPT's delegation also carried out many interviews across the Croatian border in the Una-Sana Canton of BiH, where it received numerous credible and concordant allegations of physical ill-treatment of migrants by Croatian police officers (notably members of the intervention police). The alleged ill-treatment consisted of slaps, kicks, blows with truncheons and other hard objects (e.g. butts/barrels of firearms, wooden sticks or tree branches) to various parts of the body. The alleged ill-treatment had been purportedly inflicted either at the time of the migrants' "interception" and de facto deprivation of liberty inside Croatian territory (ranging from several to fifty kilometres or more from the border) and/or at the moment of their push-back across the border with BiH.

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Oxfam / Reliefweb 21-11-27:

Grekland/ Detention as the default - Generalizing administrative detention of migrants till sidans topp

Detention of migrants in Greece has increased considerably in recent years. Until 2020,

Greek law stated that detention could be used only as a last resort. However, as of July 2021, 3,000 migrants were in administrative detention, meaning that they were detained without any criminal charges against them.1 Of these, nearly half (46%) had been detained for more than six months.

Greece recently passed legislation making it possible for the authorities to detain people seeking asylum. This was followed by a change to the law to give the authorities the power to put non-asylum-seeking migrants into detention without examining alternative measures. Both legislative changes undermine the right to freedom of movement and threaten access to asylum procedures.

These measures brought in by the Greek government are making detention the rule rather than the exception.

This paper determines seven distinct categories of people who are being detained unfairly:

+ People seeking asylum while already in detention.

+ People with no papers.

+ Asylum seekers who violate the geographical restrictions imposed on them.

+ All asylum seekers arriving on the island of Kos.

+ Migrants and refugees being detained before allegedly being pushed back.

+ People seeking asylum while not in detention.

+ Asylum seekers whose asylum applications have been impossible due to administrative deficiencies.

(...)

Hämta rapporten (Extern länk)

Equal Rights Beyond Borders 21-11-01: Report on Systematic Detention of Migrants on Kos (Extern länk)

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Arkiveringsdatum 211122:

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.

(...)

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

Sveriges Radio Ekot 21-11-18: Åtal mot flyktingaktivister får hård kritik (Extern länk)

TT / AB 21-11-18: Anklagade flyktingvolontärer i domstol (Extern länk)

Sveriges Radio Studio Ett 21-11-28: Volontärer inför rätta (Extern länk)

ECRE News 21-11-19: International outcry over farce trial of rescuers (Extern länk)

Sveriges Radio P1-morgon 21-12-08: Intervju med en av de åtalade männen, irländaren Sean Binder (Extern länk)

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Free The #Samos2 / Statewatch news 21-11-11:

Grekland/ New campaign against criminalization of migration - Free The #Samos2 till sidans topp

After shipwreck, survivor faces more than 230 years for "boat driving" and father charged with the death of his 6-year-old child

Press release: New campaign against criminalization of migration - Free The #Samos2

As the first asylum seeker ever, N., a young father, is charged with the drowning of his 6-year-old son during a shipwreck. He will be on trial together with his co-passenger Hasan, who is facing life imprisonment for steering the boat - a common practice at Europe's external borders. They will stand trial on May, 18, 2022 in Samos, Greece.

On Monday, November 8, a solidarity network launches a new campaign against the criminalization and incarceration of migrants in Greece. All information can be found on the website: www.freethesamostwo.com

November 5, 2021 - 70 groups and organizations across Europe launch a new campaign to report on the unbelievable peculiarities of this case. In addition, the campaign aims at raising attention on the increasing attempt to criminalize migrants for "boat driving" - a phenomenon that is happening throughout Europe, for example in Greece, Italy, Malta or Spain.

One year ago, N. and Hasan tried to reach Greece from Turkey on a rubber boat together with their families. They had fled Afghanistan and were seeking safety in Europe. Off the Greek island of Samos, the boat got in distress, hit against the cliffs and capsized. All passengers went overboard. Although the Greek Coast Guard was notified about the emergency, it took them several hours to arrive at the scene and then they didn't even carry out a rescue operation. The lifeless body of N.'s son was found ashore the next morning.

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Human Rights Watch 21-11-11: Life-Saving on Trial, Stop criminalizing humanitarian rescuers (Extern länk)

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Arkiveringsdatum 211104:

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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Läs eller hämta hela rapporten (Extern länk)

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Human Rights Watch 21-11-03:

Frankrike/ France should end abusive policies toward migrants till sidans topp

Three weeks after French Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin dismissed a Human Rights Watch report on police abuse against migrants in northern France as "lies," national officials are beginning to change their tone. Didier Leschi, head of the French immigration and integration office, acknowledged this week that authorities' policy toward migrants has been "incoherent" and problematic.

As part of an ineffectual policy aimed at deterring long-term migrant encampments, authorities routinely subject migrant adults and children in Calais and nearby Grande-Synthe to degrading treatment, including evictions and near-daily police harassment, and restrict their access to food, water, and other essentials.

The accounts we heard from some 60 migrant children and adults are consistent with the findings of groups working in these encampments, including Human Rights Observers and Utopia 56. Two national human rights institutions, the French ombudsperson and the National Consultative Commission on Human Rights, have also condemned police practices and official policy toward migrants in the region.

Darmanin's denial of our detailed findings last month lacked credibility from the start. An essay by 19 nongovernmental groups demolished his claim that no member of the police or the gendarmerie had ever been convicted of abuses against migrants in northern France. In reality, at least five officers have been convicted on such charges in the last six years, most recently in September. Many other complaints to internal police investigative bodies and the courts have not resulted in prosecution.

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Arkiveringsdatum 211006:

ASGI 21-09-23:

Italien/ Black book on Pre-Removal Detention Centre (CPR): when EU denies the human till sidans topp

This black book was written after the suicide of Moussa Balde, a 22-year-old boy who was attacked on 9 May 2021 in the streets of Ventimiglia by three unknown men. After being briefly hospitalized, the young man was taken to the Head of Police of Imperia, which ordered his confinement at the CPR of Turin in order to deport him. At the CPR he was placed in solitary confinement and was found dead on 23 May 2021.

The testimonies of the ordinary ferocity that pollutes the structure describe a dehumanizing context, where serious deficiencies in services, illegitimate use of isolation, humiliation, use of psychotropic drugs "by the liter" and self-harm are the order of the day. Asylum seekers, victims of trafficking, people with physical and intellectual disabilities, potential minors, drug addicts are imprisoned in overcrowded and distressing spaces, even with subjects considered socially dangerous, in a condition of precarity.

The control over the daily life of the detainees is all-encompassing: personal telephones are withdrawn at the entrance and the right to communicate with the outside is only theoretical. The rooms lack the light switch, operated centrally by the staff; the right to have meals seated at a table is not guaranteed; each room has a bathroom but between the beds and services there is no door or any element that ensures a minimum of intimacy.

Health care is severely deficient, the degradation of the services attached to the clinic poses a serious risk of the spread of contagious diseases.

For these reasons, the places of isolation and the so-called security cells, not even declared to the National Guarantor of the rights of detainees, must be put out of use indefinitely. And if the CPR of Turin cannot be brought to a state of decency and legality, we strongly ask for its immediate closure.

Hämta boken - Fleeing misery, seeking refuge in Italy, being destroyed by the state: when Europe denies the human (Extern länk)

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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.

Hämta rapporten (Extern länk)

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Arkiveringsdatum 210808:

Elena legal update 21-07-23:

Frankrike/ ECtHR finds detention of mother and baby to violate Article 3 and 5 till sidans topp

On 22 July 2021, the European Court of Human Rights published a judgment in M.D. and A.D. v France (application no. 57035/18).

The first applicant fled Mali via Italy, due to a risk of FGM and forced marriage. She subsequently arrived in France where she gave birth to her daughter. In June 2018, it was deemed that Italy was responsible for examining the applicant's asylum claim and an order for transfer, pursuant to the Dublin III Regulation (604/2013), was issued. Subsequently, the French authorities placed the applicant and her daughter into administrative detention. The applicant, accompanied by her daughter, later refused to board the flight to Italy. As a result, the authorities were granted their request to extend the applicant's detention period by 28 days. After eleven days in detention, the ECtHR granted interim measures under Rule 39 and asked the French authorities to end the applicants' detention.

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OEE / Statewatch 21-08-03:

Frankrike/ Revolts in detention centres: the government throws oil on the fire till sidans topp

The Observatory on Detention of Foreigners (Observatoire de l'enfermement des étrangers, OEE) has condemned the French government's ongoing use of administrative detention for non-citizens, in the wake of revolts that broke out in the Mesnil Amelot detention centre last week. Forced PCR tests - which are contrary to the law - have made a tense situation even worse, says the group.

/Pressmeddelande översatt från franska:/

The revolt that broke out in recent days at the Mesnil Amelot administrative detention centre (CRA) once again highlights the disastrous conditions in which foreigners, who are accused only of not having residence documents, are locked up in these places of deprivation of freedom. Conditions that have worsened with the health crisis, especially since autumn 2020. The only response to the legitimate revolt of these people has been violent repression by the police.

Tensions have been further aggravated by the fact that the administration is forcing people awaiting deportation to undergo a PCR test so that they can be deported to countries that require a negative test for entry. Those who refuse are taken into custody at the end of the detention period and often sentenced to long prison terms for impeding their own deportation. After serving their sentence, they are sent back to the CRA and a vicious cycle of CRA/prison/CRA/... begins for many of them. However, these sentences are contrary to the law.

Indeed, as the associations gathered in the Observatoire de l'enfermement des étrangers (OEE) pointed out in September 2020, "refusing to be tested does not fall within the definition of the offence described and sanctioned by the Code de l'entrée et du séjour des étrangers (Ceseda)" and the Civil Code and the Code de la santé publique prohibit "a medical procedure, a fortiori invasive as is the case of Covid tests, to be carried out without the person's consent. [1]

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Uttalandet på franska (Extern länk)

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Arkiveringsdatum 210720:

Bail for Immigration Detainees 21-07-08:

Storbritannien/ Research: "Every day is like torture": Solitary confinement & detention till sidans topp

New research published today by Bail for Immigration Detainees (BID) and Medical Justice documents the devastating impact upon immigration detainees in prisons of conditions amounting to indefinite solitary confinement.

People held for immigration reasons (including torture survivors and those with serious vulnerabilities) are locked in their cells for over 22 hours a day, most often 23.5, with people sometimes being held in their cells for days at a time and unable to take a shower. Some are self-harming, attempting suicide and unable to sleep or eat. They report existing in a state of endless despair. Physical symptoms include involuntary shaking, memory loss and physical pain. As one man told us:

"I didn't enter prison with mental health problems but I'm not the same person I was. My mind is not the same. I'm not sure if what has happened to be can be repaired."

Another said:

"It just feels illegal because of what it's doing to my mind and body. If this isn't breaching my rights, then what will? It's as though I've fallen into a crack that the Home Office opened and I can't get out."

The research released today is based on interviews with 5 immigration detainees and on medico-legal reports produced by doctors, as well as reviews of case files that argue for the release of people held in prolonged confinement - either solitarily or with a cell-mate.

Key findings:

Five disturbing statements describe people being pushed to the limit of what a human being can be expected to endure. Two people described the experience as torture. Their statements are distressing to read but they have been included in this report.

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Asylnytt 21-07-00:

Cypern/ Europadomstolen prickar Cypern för ett utdraget förvarstagande till sidans topp

En person som blivit utvisad från Cypern återkom och greps vid en rutinkontroll och togs i förvar den 10 februari 2013. Därefter följde en lång räcka av förvar i olika inrättningar, tvister om skador, läkarbesök och andra incidenter fram till att mannens utvisning till Egypten verkställdes den 8 augusti 2014. När förvarstagandet överskridit fem månader lämnade mannen in en skrivelse om "habeas corpus" dvs ett krav på granskning av om han hållits inlåst lagligt. Den 30 juli 2013 beordrade en domstol att han skulle släppas fri, men han greps omedelbart igen med motivering att om domstolen hade fått tillräcklig information om hur mannen vägrat medverka till att få ut en passhandling, så skulle utfallet blivit annorlunda. Mannens andra försök att olagligförklara förvarstagandet misslyckades. Europadomstolen gör en detaljerad genomgång av förhållandena i de olika inrättningarna och den behandling mannen anser sig ha blivit utsatt för. På en punkt ger Europadomstolen honom rätt, nämligen att förhållandena i förvaret Menoyia bryter mot Europakonventionens artikel 3, främst genom att de intagna bor för trångt. Vidare bröt förvarstagandet i sig mot artikel 5 då domstolsbeslutet om att han skulle släppas fri inte hade följts.

Application no. 37139/13, case of Monir Lotfy v. Cyprus (Extern länk)

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Arkiveringsdatum 210520:

Asylnytt 21-05-20:

Ungern/ Oacceptabel behandling av barnfamlij i transitzon enligt Europadomstolen till sidans topp

Europadomstolen har tidigare inte ansett att förhållandena i Ungerns transitzon vid gränsen till Serbien nådde upp till brott mot Europakonventionens artikel 3 (förbud mot tortyr och förnedrande behandling mm). I det här fallet gör familjens utsatta situation med flera småbarn och att mamman var gravid och behövde vård att den gränsen har passerats. Familjen var i zonen nästan fyra månader, dels i en container utsatt för hetta från solen utan ventilation, dels under en period isolerade på grund av hepatitis i en container där de inte hade någon kontakt med andra människor och barnen bara hade sand att leka med. Kvinnan hade fått viss vård, men med svårigheter att kommunicera och under övervakning av uniformerade vakter även under gynekologisk undersökning. Mannen hade ett eget ärende och hade på grund av att han sökt asyl på nytt inte fått någon egen matranson, vilket enligt domstolen i sig bröt mot konventionen. Domstolen betraktar vistelsen i transitzonen som förvarstagande eftersom det endast är möjligt att lämna området genom att passera gränsen till Serbien.

Case of R.R. and Others v. Hungary, application no. 36037/17 (Extern länk)

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CPT 21-05-05:

Finland/ The CPT publishes report on Finland till sidans topp

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 periodic visit to Finland, which took place from 7 to 18 September 2020.

The main objective of the visit was to review the treatment of persons deprived of their liberty by the police and in immigration detention, as well as the situation of prisoners. The delegation further carried out visits to two State Residential Schools and to the psychiatric units of Helsinki University Hospital at Kellokoski.

/Utdrag:/

Foreign nationals deprived of their liberty under aliens legislation

The CPT welcomes that in practice, detention of unaccompanied minors is extremely rare in Finland, and that pursuant to amendments to the Aliens Act, unaccompanied minors younger than 15 can never be detained.

The delegation heard no allegations of ill-treatmentof foreign nationals by staff at the Metsälä Detention Unit for Foreign Nationals.

Further, the Unit's staff-who were well trained and who possessed appropriate multi-cultural and linguistic competences -displayed a generally positive attitude vis-ā-vis the detained foreign nationals. The material conditionswere generally adequate. That said, the ongoing absence of organised activitieswas a problem, especially for those detainees who spent lengthy periods (up to several months) at the establishment.

As regards health care, it is an improvement that the Unit now employed two full-timenurses. Nevertheless, the CPT invites the Finnish authorities to make efforts to ensure ready access to a nurse also on Sundays; further, someone competent to provide first aid should always be present at the Unit at night.

(...)

Hämta rapporten (Extern länk)

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Arkiveringsdatum 210504:

Amnesty International 21-04-16:

Frankrike/ Deportation of Chechen asylum seeker to Russia despite risk of torture till sidans topp

Chechen police abducted Magomed Gadaev, an asylum seeker from Chechnya, in the Russian Federation, and a key witness in a high-profile torture investigation against Chechnya's authorities, two days after he was wrongfully deported from France to Russia on 9 April. Chechen police continue to hold him in custody. Twelve Russian and international human rights organizations said that Gadaev is at high risk of torture, as a result of the actions by the French, Russian and Chechen authorities which violated international human rights law.

Hämta Amnestys rapport (Extern länk)

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Amnesty International 21-04-26:

Danmark/ Hundreds of refugees must not be illegally forced back to Syrian warzone till sidans topp

Hundreds of Syrian refugees whose residency permits have been revoked by the Danish authorities could face torture, enforced disappearance and arbitrary detention if forced back, said Amnesty International.

At least 380 refugees, including children, have been informed by the Danish Immigration Service that they will have to return to Syria after Denmark deemed Damascus and its surrounding area safe for return. Their temporary protection status, and therefore residence permits, have been revoked. Many of them are still waiting for their case to be finally decided in appeal.

Amnesty International understands that 39 people have received a final decision on their case and are at risk of being deported as soon as Denmark re-establishes diplomatic ties with the Syrian regime.

"Having escaped a warzone, at least 39 refugees who have had their final decision, are now facing the stark prospect of 'voluntarily' returning to Syria or being taken to return centres to await deportation. The destiny of hundreds more is still unknown," said Amnesty International's Europe Director, Nils Mui?nieks.

"It beggars belief that Danish authorities could deem certain parts of Syria - a country where people are routinely detained, disappeared and tortured - safe for return."

Between 1 January 2020 and 1 April 2021, Denmark stripped at least 380 Syrian refugees of their residency permits or did not renew their residency permit at the Danish Immigration Service. They were asked to return to so called "safe zones" in Syria.

Deportations are not happening at the moment due to lack of diplomatic ties. Those affected are supposed to stay in the return centres until deportations resume - or until they decide to return to Syria "voluntarily".

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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 210314:

Picum 21-03-10:

Europa/ detention in Europe: what safeguards for people with vulnerabilities? till sidans topp

Every year, more than 100,000 people are put in immigration detention in Europe.

In immigration detention, people are uprooted from their communities, and they often don't know whether and when they will be released or if they will be deported. Often, people in immigration detention don't have access to adequate information and interpreters, legal aid and medical care. This has a severe impact on mental health. Studies indicate higher incidence of anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder than among the rest of the population, and an average of very high levels of depression in four out of every five detainees. In 2020, 51% of the immigration detainees in the Brook House centre (UK) were considered at risk of suicide.

Detention is always a harmful practice, which often has long-lasting consequences on peoples' lives and self-perception. Sometimes, this harm adds to pre-existing situations of vulnerability, like poor physical or mental health, disabilities, past experiences of trauma, or age.

States have an obligation to protect people in situations of vulnerability. As detention severely exacerbates vulnerabilities, and creates new ones, people in situations of vulnerability should never be detained. In the EU, the 2008 Return Directive requires Member States to pay "particular attention" to these groups of people. But as of today, only few countries have mechanisms in place to assess people's vulnerabilities before they are put in detention. Even when some mechanism is in place, like in Belgium and in the UK, people who are identified as vulnerable are frequently still detained as migration control purposes trump other considerations.

This lack of attention means that states regularly detain pregnant women, LGBTI people, people with mental health issues and even children.

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Jesuit Refugee Service 21-03- 13:

Europa/ Covid-19 and Immigration Detention: Lessons (Not) Learned till sidans topp

For a while, at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, JRS Europe hoped it might have the positive side effect of forcing policymakers to think about a migration system without detention. From our perspective, as returns were virtually impossible due to international travel restrictions, detention had become unlawful and migrants were supposed to be released. Unfortunately this is not what happened.

One year later, despite international travel still being highly discouraged, people remain in detention, their isolation has increased due to limitations on visits, and periods of detention have often become longer due to flight scarcity. Moreover, there has been no significant new effort to develop alternatives to detention in Europe, despite their enhanced relevance in a context in which the preparation of removal processes might take longer than in regular times. Lessons not learned.

Detention policies during the pandemic: unlawful, unclear and unfair

Together with its partners, JRS Europe mapped the impact of Covid-19 in seven EU Member States (Belgium, Germany, Italy, Malta, Portugal, Romania and Spain). What we found is that, despite the EU Return Directive stating detention is unlawful when there is no reasonable prospect for return, only one country - Spain - released detainees during lockdown in spring 2020.

In Belgium and Germany many detainees were released in practice, both during the lockdown and in the ensuing period. However, this was done on a case-by-case basis and often - though not necessarily officially - with the aim of reducing crowding in detention centres and facilitating physical distancing, rather than the impossibility of return. Releases also happened in Italy, but the circumstances and reasons for release varied strongly from one centre to another and from the responsible national courts. In Malta, Portugal and Romania, no releases took place even when return was impossible. Eventually, Spain also resumed detention from September 2020 on.

(...)

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CPT 21-03-10:

Malta/ Anti-torture Committee calls on Malta to improve treatment of detained migrants till sidans topp

In a report published today on a rapid reaction ad hoc visit to Malta in September 2020, the Council of Europe's anti-torture committee (CPT) urges the Maltese authorities to change their approach towards immigration detention and to ensure that migrants deprived of their liberty are treated with both 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 Malta focussing on immigration detention, which took place from 17 to 22 September 2020, together with the response of the Maltese authorities.

In the report, the CPT acknowledged the significant challenges posed to the Maltese authorities by the arrival of increasing numbers of migrants, exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic. Nonetheless, this situation cannot absolve Malta from its human rights obligations and the duty of care owed to all migrants deprived of their liberty by the Maltese authorities.

Overall, the CPT found an immigration system that was struggling to cope: a system that purely "contained" migrants who had essentially been forgotten, within poor conditions of detention and regimes which verged on institutional mass neglect by the authorities. Indeed, the living conditions, regimes, lack of due process safeguards, treatment of vulnerable groups and some specific Covid-19 measures were found to be so problematic that they may well amount to inhuman and degrading treatment contrary to Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

(...)

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Arkiveringsdatum 201218:

ECRE 20-12-11:

Frankrike/ Deal to Facilitate Deportations to Morocco till sidans topp

France and Morocco have signed an agreement facilitating the forced return of Moroccan unaccompanied children. Crackdown on migrants in Calais continues.

On 7 December, the French Minister of Justice, Eric Dupond-Moretti, and his Moroccan counterpart, Mohamed Ben Abdelkader, signed an agreement to pave the way for returning Moroccan unaccompanied children from France. During his visit in Rabat, Dupond-Moretti emphasised that the agreement aimed at putting in place "concrete tools" for the care of Moroccan unaccompanied children "in the interest" of the concerned. Based on information AFP obtained at site, the legal agreement would in the long run allow French judges to order returns on the basis of placement decisions issued by Moroccan youth magistrates. The agreement itself remains undisclosed. According to estimates by the French government and NGO's, there are currently up to 40,000 unaccompanied minors in France. The agreement was reached only shortly after EU Home Affairs Commissioner, Ylva Johansson, had travelled to Morocco to discuss migration management, including readmission. A recently published ECRE working paper analyses EU-Morocco cooperation on return, readmission and reintegration, and provides recommendations for the future of EU-Morocco relations from a civil society perspective.

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Arkiveringsdatum 201207:

CPT 20-11- 30:

Europa/ Council of Europe anti-torture Committee announces visits to ten countries till sidans topp

The European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) has announced today its 2021 programme of periodic visits.

The Committee intends to examine the treatment of persons deprived of their liberty in the following countries:

Austria

Bulgaria

Latvia

Lithuania

Russian Federation

Serbia*

Sweden*

Switzerland

Turkey

United Kingdom.

* visit postponed from 2020

Persons and organisations in possession of relevant information concerning the situation of persons deprived of their liberty in any of these countries are invited to bring it to the attention of the Committee.

In 2021, the CPT will also continue to organise ad hoc visits to various countries, and, depending on the circumstances, it may decide to postpone one or more periodic visits to 2022.

(...)

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Migreurop 20-12-02:

Europa/ Locked up and excluded till sidans topp

Informal and illegal detention in Spain, Greece, Italy and Germany

The report of Migreurop "Locked up and excluded": Informal and illegal detention in Spain, Greece, Italy and Germany" looks back at how four EU member states practiced the administrative detention of non- nationals in 2019. The report shows how, in both first arrival countries such as Italy, Greece and Spain and in a presumed destination country, Germany, the detention of non-nationals is evolving, taking new forms and based on new grounds. In particular, this report argues that, in 2019, administrative detention was increasingly happening outside or at the margins of existing legal frameworks. We consider that locking migrants up without respecting or by bending existing legislations amounted to a generalization of ad hoc and informal detention and that it led to the further precarisation and deterioration of detention conditions.

The recent release of the New Pact on Migration and Asylum has triggered debates about whether this proposal by the European Commission will improve the situation of migrants and asylum seekers and the way migration is governed in the EU. This report shows that many of the practices proposed in the Pact are in fact already been taking place in member states and that they are harmful for migrants and asylum seekers.

The way detention is evolving in different member states is not homogenous across EU territory. The form, modalities and grounds taken by administrative detention depend on national contexts and on the geographic position of each member state in the EU border regime. The Migreurop network has long argued that the EU has developed a regime of migration and border governance that is premised on an unequal sharing of control duties within and outside the EU territory, with peripheral member states tasked to filter unwanted mobilities on behalf of their northern and western counterparts. Within this system, the twin practices of detention and deportation have been playing a key role.

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CPT 20-11-24:

Irland/ Council of Europe anti-torture Committee publishes 7th periodic visit report till sidans topp

In a report on Ireland published today, the Council of Europe's anti-torture committee (CPT) acknowledges the progress made in the treatment and living conditions of prisoners since 2014 while stating that considerable challenges remain. In particular, the CPT is critical of the care afforded to vulnerable prisoners, notably those with a mental illness. The CPT also reiterates that prison is a totally unsuitable environment for placing immigration detainees.

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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.

(...)

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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Asylnytt 20-11-24:

Belgien/ Europadomstolen prickar Belgien för snabb utvisning till Sudan till sidans topp

Målet rör en sudanes som tagit sig via Italien till Belgien, med avsikt att fortsätta till Storbritannien. Liksom många andra sudaneser sommaren 2017 sov han i en park i Bryssel. Han greps av polisen och togs till ett förvar vid flygplatsen. Han berättade för en tjänsteman att han var förföljd och lämnade in en asylansökan, men tog tillbaka den sedan han läst att belgiska myndigheter skulle samarbeta med de sudanesiska. Ambassadtjänstemän från Sudan besökte förvaret och utfärdade resedokument. Mannen fick kontakt med en advokat och överklagade förvarstagandet. Domstolen avgjorde att utvisningen inte fick verkställas förrän saken var avgjord men trots det togs mannen till planet där han hotades med hårdare åtgärder och medicinering om han inte samarbetade. Han skrev då under och flögs till Sudan. Europadomstolen påpekar att mr-sitationen i Sudan var allvarlig och att mannen flera gånger framfört sin rädsla. Den enda intervjun skedde utan föregående varning i samband med förvarstagandet, utan tolk och utan att relevanta frågor om riskerna ställdes. Att utvisningen sedan genomfördes trots att en domstol inhiberat den innebär att mannen inte fick en effektiv möjlighet att överklaga. Belgien har enligt domstolen brutit mot Europakonventionen, artiklarna 3 och 13.

Dom i målet 19656/18, endast på franska (Extern länk)

Pressmeddelande på engelska (Extern länk)

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Arkiveringsdatum 201111:

Border Violence Monitoring Network 20-11- 05:

Europa/ Shrinking Space: Report on criminalisation of solidarity in the Western Balkans till sidans topp

Today activists from BVMN, with support from network member Centre for Peace Studies, are releasing a new publication about contemporary pressures on solidarity work on the Balkan Route.

This report documents the trend to de-legitimise, stigmatise and criminalise acts of humanity and solidarity with people on the move. It seeks to provide an overview, including some selected cases from Serbia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia as well as analysis of particular key events. For this purpose semi-structured interviews with different grassroots actors who were impacted by forms of criminalisation of solidarity were conducted between January and November of 2019.

The report seeks to contextualise different tropes within criminalisation, including:

Formal Criminalisation

Policing, Repression and Informal Criminalisation

Scrutiny

Obstruction of Individuals and Organisations

Arbitrary and Informal Acts of Policing

Verbal Violence

Physical Violence

While this is by no means a complete inventory of the repression civil society actors and people on the move face in the region, we hope to raise awareness of this threat to freedom and solidarity.Taking this report as a starting point we will continue to document cases of repression and criminalisation in the region and urge others to do the same. This dynamic of repression, especially targeting local solidarity actors and people on the move, is of concern now more than ever because of the changes taking place in the region during Covid-19.

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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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OHCHR 20-11-05:

Bosnien/ UN experts: Bosnia must investigate attacks against woman aiding migrants till sidans topp

UN human rights experts today called on the Bosnian government to investigate a smear campaign and death threats against a woman human rights defender working for the rights of refugees and migrants.

"Instead of criminalizing migration and human rights defenders who help migrants, the government of Bosnia and Herzegovina must guarantee the human rights of all individuals, without regard for their nationality or immigration status," said Mary Lawlor, the UN special rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders.

She spoke out after an online hate campaign intensified against Ms Zehida Bihorac, an elementary school teacher and woman human rights defender. She works in the northwest of the country, in Una-Sana Canton bordering EU member Croatia.

Authorities trying to stop the flow have ordered refugees, migrants and asylum-seekers to camps, where there are few services. Since 2018, Ms Bihorac has given them medicine, clothes, food and sleeping bags and has documented their situation.

"As a result of her activities, this brave woman human rights defender has been subjected to a concerted campaign by a Facebook group who have issued death threats against her and have branded her an 'immoral woman' and 'unfit to teach children'," said Lawlor.

"Women human rights defenders taking an active role against injustice often pay with personal attacks against themselves, their profession, their families or their decisions," Lawlor said, while adding that "These defamatory messages portray those who defend the human rights of migrants as criminals instead of recognizing their legitimate work."

Ms. Bihorac has also been filmed, followed and verbally assaulted while performing her legitimate human rights work. She filed a complaint with the local police, but no action has been taken.

(...)

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Arkiveringsdatum 200913:

Frontex 20-09-04:

Europa/ Frontex assists in first joint voluntary return with a charter flight till sidans topp

This week, Frontex, the European Border and Coast Guard Agency, supported Germany, Belgium, France and the Netherlands in voluntary return of 50 people to Iraq. Germany was the organising country.

This was the first time Frontex has assisted in a joint voluntary return via charter flights and the largest recent activity to Iraq.

"The charter flight from Germany was organised under the COVID-19 conditions, which proves that Frontex stands ready to support member states even in the most challenging times," said Frontex Executive Director Fabrice Leggeri.

"We were glad to see member states cooperating together and with Frontex, in order to accomplish this activity to a challenging destination. With our enhanced mandate, we are happy we can support national authorities in this area as well," he added.

Frontex has been providing technical assistance to national authorities in voluntary returns since December 2019, when Frontex's expanded mandate entered into force.

Frontex can charter planes or cover the costs for chartering planes for this purpose and can also support the acquisition of travel documents for persons who are being returned. In the future, the agency will also help in the post-return phase.

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Statewatch 20-09-11:

Europa/ UN Special Rapporteur: Ending immigration detention of children till sidans topp

The UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants, Felipe González Morales, has produced a report in which he "concludes that the immigration detention of children is effectively avoidable," and that states should focus on "human rights-based alternative care and reception for all migrant children and their families."

"In the report, the Special Rapporteur examines the international legal framework protecting the human rights of migrant children. He reviews the impact of immigration detention on children and existing alternative care and reception solutions. On the basis of information and analysis provided by States, civil society, national human rights institutions and other stakeholders, the Special Rapporteur identifies good practices and concludes that the immigration detention of children is effectively avoidable. The Special Rapporteur recommends that Member States shift away from a focus on enforcement and coercion towards providing human rights-based alternative care and reception for all migrant children and their families."

Notisen hos Statewatch (Extern länk)

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Corporate Watch 20-08-29:

Storbritannien/ Cast away: the UK's rushed charter flights to deport Channel crossers till sidans topp

Warning: this document contains accounts of violence, attempted suicides and self harm.

The British government has vowed to clamp down on migrants crossing the Channel in small boats, responding as ever to a tabloid media panic. One part of its strategy is a new wave of mass deportations: charter flights, specifically targeting channel-crossers, to France, Germany and Spain.

There have been two flights so far, on the 12 and 26 August. The next one is planned for 3 September. The two recent flights stopped in both Germany (Duesseldorf) and France (Toulouse on the 12, Clermont-Ferrand on the 26). Another flight was planned to Spain on 27 August - but this was cancelled after lawyers managed to get everyone off the flight.

Carried out in a rush by a panicked Home Office, these mass deportations have been particularly brutal, and may have involved serious legal irregularities. This report summarises what we know so far after talking to a number of the people deported and from other sources. It covers:

+ The context: Calais boat crossings and the UK-France deal to stop them.

+ In the UK: Yarl's Wood repurposed as Channel-crosser processing centre; Britannia Hotels; Brook House detention centre as brutal as ever.

+ The flights: detailed timeline of the 26 August charter to Dusseldorf and Clermont-Ferrand.

+ Who's on the flight: refugees including underage minors and torture survivors.

+ Dumped on arrival: people arriving in Germany and France given no opportunity to claim asylum, served with immediate expulsion papers.

+ The legalities: use of the Dublin III regulation to evade responsibility for refugees.

+ Is it illegal?: rushed process leads to numerous irregularities.

"that night, eight people cut themselves"

(...)

Ta del av rapporten (Extern länk)

ECRE News 20-09-04: UK: Transfers under Dublin turn increasingly violent as legal assistance and representation is branded as activism (Extern länk)

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Arkiveringsdatum 200805:

Frontex 20-07-24:

Europa/ Frontex assists in first voluntary returns on chartered flights till sidans topp

This week, Frontex, the European Border and Coast Guard Agency, supported France with two charter flights for migrants who wanted to return to their country voluntarily.

This was the first time the agency assisted in a voluntary return via chartered flights. As a result, 209 persons were safely flown from France to Albania, respecting all necessary social distancing and sanitary measures.

Frontex had its first voluntary return operation on scheduled flight organised from Cyprus to Georgia in June.

"The charter flights from France were organised under the COVID-19 conditions, which proves that Frontex stands ready to support member states even in the most challenging times," said Frontex Executive Director Fabrice Leggeri.

"Voluntary returns promote a humane and dignified type of return. With our enhanced mandate, we are happy we can support national authorities in this area as well," he added.

The agency has been able to provide technical assistance to national authorities in voluntary returns since December 2019 when Frontex's expanded mandate entered into force.

Frontex can charter planes for this purpose and can also support acquisition of travel documents for persons who are being returned. In the future, the agency will also help in the post-return phase.

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Arkiveringsdatum 200715:

FRA 20-07-02:

Europa/ Effective forced return monitoring overview updated till sidans topp

The overview compares developments in EU Member States since 2014. It reflects on such trends as staffing, training, reporting and the monitoring of return operations in its various phases.

It shows that although all EU Member States monitor returns, gaps remain. For example in some countries, a close working relationship between the monitoring organisation and the return operations, makes it ineffective.

In others, few operations are monitored or monitoring does not cover all steps in the process.

In addition, in some Member States monitoring is temporary or dependent on project funding. When funding ends so does the monitoring.

The overview does not cover the pool of forced return monitors under the European Border and Coast Guard Agency, Frontex.

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Elena legal update 20-06-26:

Frankrike/ Violations in the collective expulsion of unaccompanied children till sidans topp

On 25 June 2020, the European Court of Human Rights published its judgment in Moustahi v France (Application No. 9347/14) concerning the detention and collective expulsion of two unaccompanied children.

The applicants, Mr. Moustahi and his two children, are Comorian nationals, now living in Mayotte after successfully applying for family reunification in 2014. He entered Mayotte in 1993 with a temporary residence permit while his wife, with irregular status, was issued a removal order to the Comoros in 2011 together with their children. In 2013, the children travelled to Mayotte by boat, and were intercepted by the French authorities. They were detained, together with other adults, before their immediate removal. During this time, the children were incorrectly associated with another adult and were connected to his removal order. The applicant children complain that their detention was contrary to Article 3 ECHR, Article 5(1), and 5(4) ECHR. They also complain that they were subject to a collective expulsion contrary to Article Protocol No. 4. All three applicants complain, inter alia, that detention and separation of the family throughout the proceedings was contrary to Article 8 ECHR.

(...)

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Arkiveringsdatum 200624:

ECRE 20-06-05:

Europa/ ECRE Policy Note: Return as "Non-Essential Travel" in the Time of Pandemic till sidans topp

The ECRE Policy Note 'Return as "non-essential travel" in the time of pandemic' discusses the European Commission's guidance on implementing EU rules on asylum and return procedures and on resettlement and expresses ECRE position on how return-related measures established in the Return Directive should be applied in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Borrowing from the Commission's communication 'Temporary restriction on non-essential travel to the EU', ECRE argues that return and pre-removal detention are non-essential measures in the context of the pandemic and its aftermath. Given the scale of the public health emergency hitting both host and destination countries, return of migrants cannot be considered a policy area that should absorb resources, especially as it risks putting individuals and communities at risk. Although most restrictions in the EU, including on intra-EU travels, may be lifted in the near future, in other parts of the world the pandemic is still at its height and economic fallout will be difficult to contain.

Since travel bans have been imposed, returns became impossible in most cases. Even when travel restrictions will be lifted, the social distancing rules and other adaptation measures will render return procedures cumbersome. Indeed, several countries carry out no or very few returns in practice. However, in almost none of them, did the government adopt a policy to officially halt returns. Instead of tacitly postponing removals and keeping people in limbo, states should take a principled stance and place a moratorium on removals. An official policy to suspend returns would reflect both principles underlying EU return policy, namely effectiveness and fundamental rights, and would show solidarity with third countries.

(...)

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Amnesty International 20-06-11:

Frankrike/ Prosecution of police who assaulted Calais camp volunteer sends message till sidans topp

Responding to the decision by French authorities to prosecute the three police officers, one of whom assaulted a British human rights defender, Tom Ciotkowski, while he was documenting police abuse against refugees in Calais in 2018, Nicolas Krameyer, Amnesty International France's Programme Manager, said:

"With police abuses and the lack of justice for these currently in the spotlight, the news that these three policemen will face prosecution is both timely and welcome.

"Before his acquittal, Tom's case was emblematic of the attacks by police on migrants and refugees and the human rights defenders who support them. Now it will become a test case for how far the authorities are prepared to go to end abuses against human rights defenders.

"This prosecution is the exception, not the rule and was only made possible by the determination of [Tom and] a small group of campaigners who were able to put out video evidence of the assault. With our screens currently filled with graphic images of excessive force used by police in France and around the world, this decision is a timely reminder that filming police abuses can be one of the strongest ways to finally help end the impunity that so many have taken for granted for so long."

BACKGROUND

Volunteer Tom Ciotkowski was pushed violently by police in 2018, charged with contempt and assault after he recorded a French police officer reportedly pushing another volunteer in Calais in 2018. Instead of being treated as a victim of police violence, he was dragged through the courts on trumped up charges until he was finally acquitted last year.

His original prosecution reflected a wider European trend of criminalizing acts of solidarity, as a way of discouraging people from standing up in defense of the rights of migrants and refugees.

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Arkiveringsdatum 200523:

Asylnytt 20-05-23:

Ungern/ EU-domstolen definierar Ungerns transitzon mot Serbien som förvar till sidans topp

Målet gäller två iranier och två afghaner som sökte asyl i Ungern. De hölls kvar i transitzonen vid gränsen och fick beslut att återvända till Serbien som "säkert transitland". Serbien vägrade ta tillbaka dem eftersom de inte passerat gränsen illegalt. Ungern beslutade då utan asylprövning att ändra avvisningsbesluten till att gälla de asylsökandes respektive hemländer. Personerna överklagade, trots att det inte fanns någon formell rätt till detta. Den ungerska domstolen bad EU-domstolen om förhandsavgörande med frågorna om kvarhållandet i Röszke transitzon var ett förvarstagande och om Ungern borde ha prövat ansökningarna i sak. EU-domstolen konstaterar att förläggningarna i transitzonen måste definieras som förvar eftersom de som hålls där inte kan lämna området lagligt. För att ta någon i förvar krävs ett motiverat beslut. Kvarhållande i transitzon får bara ske i fyra veckor. Om en domstol prövat saken och funnit förvarstagandet olagligt så borde de ha behandlats i enlighet med mottagandedirektivet. Vidare slår EU-domstolen fast att när avvisningsbesluten ändrades till att gälla hemländerna var det en substantiell ändring som borde lett till rätt att överklaga. EU-domstolen påminner om att "säkert transitland" inte är ett skäl att neka sakprövning enligt asylprocedurdirektivet.

Förhandsavgörandet har senare publicerats med ett referat av Migrationsverket.

Läs referat och hämta domen från Migrationsverkets databas Lifos (Extern länk)

Läs förhandsavgörandet på franska i målen C-924/19 och C-925/19 (Extern länk)

Pressmeddelande på engelska (Extern länk till pdf-fil)

Amnesty International 20-05-14: European Court declares authorities broke EU law by detaining asylum-seekers in transit zone (Extern länk)

ECRE 20-05-15: CJEU classifies accommodation of asylum seekers in Hungarian transit zone as detention (Extern länk)

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Statewatch 20-05-06:

Grekland/ Documented Pushbacks from Centres on the Greek Mainland till sidans topp

In response to the recent spike in pushbacks from Greece to Turkey, the Border Violence Monitoring Network, with members Mobile Info Team and Wave Thessaloniki , are releasing first hand testimony and photographic evidence indicating the existence of violent collective expulsions. In the space of six weeks, the teams received reports of 194 people removed and pushed back into Turkey from the refugee camp in Diavata and the Drama Paranesti Pre-removal Detention Centre.

In the case of Diavata, respondents report being removed from this accomodation centre by police with the information that they would be issued a document to temporarily regularise their stay (informally known as a "Khartia" ). Instead they shared experiences of being beaten, robbed and detained before being driven to the border area where military personnel used boats to return them to Turkey across the Evros river. Meanwhile, another large group was taken from detention in Drama Paranesti and expelled with the same means. Though the pushbacks seem to be a regular occurence from Greece to Turkey, rarely have groups been removed from inner city camps halfway across the territory or at such a scale from inland detention spaces. Within the existing closure of the Greek asylum office and restriction measures due to COVID-19, the repression of asylum seekers and wider transit community looks to have reached a zenith in these cases.

Artikeln med länkar till fallstudier och dokumentation från Border Violence Monitoring, Wave Thessaloniki and Mobile Info Team (Extern länk)

ECRE 20-05-08: Greece: Deadly shot fired from Greece, continued push-backs, transfers to mainland met with attacks, parliament votes on new controversial bill (Extern länk)

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Amnesty International 20-05-13:

Frankrike/ Acquittal of farmer who helped asylum seekers - solidarity is not a crime till sidans topp

Responding to the final decision of the Appeal Court of Lyon to acquit Cédric Herrou, a farmer charged with "facilitation of irregular entry" just for helping and hosting asylum seekers in France, Rym Khadhraoui Amnesty International's Researcher, said:

"The case against Cédric Herrou is emblematic of how acts of solidarity have become criminalized across Europe, therefore the significance of today's decision will be felt far beyond this courtroom.

"It is not only a victory for justice but also for common sense. Cédric Herrou did nothing wrong, acted in solidarity with people abandoned in dire conditions by European states.

"Whilst it is a relief that Cédric Herrou's ordeal is now over, he should never have been charged in the first place.

"In the wake of today's decision and 2018's ruling by France's Constitutional Council that humanitarian activities should not be criminalized, French law should be amended to ensure only smuggling, which entails a material benefit, is regarded as an offence."

BACKGROUND

Cédric Herrou was first convicted in 2017 by the lower criminal court of Nice for facilitating the irregular circulation, stay and entry of refugees and migrants in Valley Roya, at the French-Italian border.

His case triggered a change in French law, following a review by the Constitutional Council of the offence of facilitation in 2018. Although the law now includes a humanitarian exemption, this exemption does not apply to cases of "facilitation of irregular entry" and does not require material benefit for prosecution. Solidarity acts are still criminalized and French legislation is still at odds with international law, as it punishes acts of solidarity.

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Arkiveringsdatum 200426:

Human Rights Watch 20-04-16:

Ryssland/ As pandemic grows, migration detention deadlock till sidans topp

With risk of spreading Covid-19, government should find alternatives

Update: On April 18, President Vladimir Putin signed a decree regulating the legal status of foreigners during the lockdown in the country due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The decree extends through June 15 the validity of migration documents and lifts work permit requirements. It also imposed a moratorium, for the same duration, on issuing decisions on deportation and expulsion. However, it does not address the situation of the thousands of people currently in migration detention.

(Moscow) - Thousands are stuck in migration detention indefinitely in Russia because the travel restrictions under the Covid-19 epidemic mean that their removal is not imminent, Human Rights Watch said today.

Russian authorities should provide safe and dignified alternatives to migration detention for people facing deportation or court-mandated expulsion. They should also improve access to healthcare and ensure social distancing and other measures to prevent the spread of Covid-19 in Russia's migration detention centers.

"The huge global challenge that the Covid-19 pandemic poses does not absolve Russia, nor any government, from living up to its human rights obligations," said Rachel Denber, deputy Europe and Central Asia director at Human Rights Watch. "To stop the spread of Covid-19 inside and outside of Russia's migration detention facilities, the Russian government should immediately offer alternatives to migration detention, especially given that many migrants cannot be deported or removed at this time."

More than 8,000 people, including families with children, are effectively being held in indefinite detention across Russia because of the near-total shutdown in international travel. In some instances, children have been separated from their parents, held in different detention centers, and placed in separate removal proceedings.

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Arkiveringsdatum 200410:

CPT 20-03- 24:

Frankrike/ Council of Europe anti-torture Committee publishes report on France till sidans topp

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 France, which took place from 23 to 30 November 2018, together with the response of the French authorities.

The main objective of the visit was to examine the treatment and conditions of detention of persons deprived of their liberty under immigration and asylum law.

The main conclusions of the CPT are set out in the executive summary of the report.

In their response, the French authorities provide information on the measures taken to implement the recommendations made in the CPT's report.

The CPT report and the response of the authorities have been made public at the request of the French Government.

Hämta rapporten och Frankrikes svar, endast på franska (Extern länk)

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Europarådets mr-kommissionär 20-03- 26:

Europa/ Commissioner calls for release of immigration detainees during Covid-19 crisis till sidans topp

Statement by Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Dunja Mijatovi?

"I call on all Council of Europe member states to review the situation of rejected asylum seekers and irregular migrants in immigration detention, and to release them to the maximum extent possible.

In the face of the global Covid-19 pandemic, many member states have had to suspend forced returns of persons no longer authorised to stay on their territories, including so-called Dublin returns, and it is unclear when these might be resumed. Under human rights law, immigration detention for the purpose of such returns can only be lawful as long as it is feasible that return can indeed take place. This prospect is clearly not in sight in many cases at the moment. Furthermore, immigration detention facilities generally provide poor opportunities for social distancing and other measures to protect against Covid-19 infection for migrants and staff.

Releases have been reported in several member states, including Belgium, Spain, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom, with the latter country having just announced a review of the situation of all those in immigration detention. It is now important that this process continues and that other member states follow suit. The release of the most vulnerable should be prioritised. Since the immigration detention of children, whether unaccompanied or with their families, is never in their best interest, they should be released immediately. The authorities of member states should also refrain from issuing new detention orders to persons who are unlikely to be removed in the near future.

Member states should also ensure that those released from detention are given appropriate access to accommodation and basic services, including health care. This is necessary to safeguard their dignity and also to protect public health in member states.

The release of immigration detainees is only one measure member states can take during the Covid-19 pandemic to protect the rights of persons deprived of their liberty more generally, as well as those of asylum seekers and migrants".

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Se även:

Europarådet 20-03-23: Anti-torture Committee issues statement of principles relating to the treatment of persons deprived of their liberty (Extern länk)

Human Rights Watch 20-03-27: Europe: Curb immigration detention amid pandemic (Extern länk)

Human Rights Watch 20-03-31: Greece: Nearly 2,000 new arrivals detained in overcrowded, mainland camps (Extern länk)

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ECRE 20-03-26:

Tyskland/ Temporary suspension of Dublin returns due to COVID-19 till sidans topp

The German Ministry of Interior confirms the temporary suspension of transfers under the Dublin Regulation to and from all EU Member States due to the Coronavirus. The European Commission and EU Member States will be informed about this decision - an obligation under the Dublin Regulation. Returns to third-countries can still take place.

In practice, the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF), which is responsible for asylum procedures in Germany, already stopped Dublin transfers last week because of travel restrictions across Europe. The agency clarified that the temporary suspension does not mean that EU Member States are not willing or obliged to implement Dublin transfers but that they are currently not possible. In addition, the temporary suspension does not lead to the expiry of the six months' time limit for the transfer. The regular six months' time limit, after which the responsibility of the asylum procedure would pass to Germany, is only on hold.

Ulla Jelpke, German Member of Parliament from the Left party Die Linke, and German NGO PRO ASYL call for a general stop of any returns due to the Coronavirus. PRO ASYL also demands a continuation of the six months' time limit for Dublin transfers as otherwise the affected asylum-seekers remain in a limbo.

Germany returned 22.097 persons in 2019, thereof 8423 under the Dublin Regulation. Main destinations for returns to third-countries were Albania, Georgia and Serbia. Under the Dublin Regulation, the main destinations for asylum seekers transferred by Germany were Italy and France.

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Arkiveringsdatum 200324:

CPT 20-03-17:

Grekland/ Anti-torture Committee undertake visit to examine treatment of migrants till sidans topp

The Council of Europe's European Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT) has just completed a five-day rapid reaction visit to Greece to examine the way in which persons attempting to enter the country and apprehended by the Hellenic Police or Coast Guard have been treated, notably since 1 March 2020, when inter alia the processing of asylum requests was suspended. The visit took place between 13 and 17 March 2020.

During the visit, the CPT's delegation looked into the conditions of detention of migrants, including pregnant women and families with young children and infants. It visited police and border guard stations and other long-term facilities in the Evros region. It also visited certain quasi-official places of detention and examined allegations of push backs across the Evros River by certain Greek forces. In addition, the new detention camp at Malakasa (Attica) was visited on the day it entered into service in order to speak with a large number of persons who had been detained aboard a vessel for two weeks in Mytilini Harbour. Lastly, the delegation visited 93 persons held in two cells under the authority of the Hellenic Police on the Coastguard Premises in Samos.

The preliminary findings of the visit will be communicated to the Greek authorities in writing shortly, including as regards the immediate measures required to improve the situation. A full report on the visit will be transmitted to the Greek authorities in due course. The CPT will continue to engage constructively with the Greek authorities to ensure that all persons deprived of their liberty are treated in accordance with the CPT's minimum standards, including as regards material conditions of detention and fundamental safeguards against ill-treatment.

The visit was carried out by Mark Kelly, 1st Vice President of the CPT, Julia Kozma, Djordje Alempjevic and Alan Mitchell. They were supported by Hugh Chetwynd and Natacha De Roeck of the CPT's Secretariat.

List of places visited

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ECRE 20-03-19:

Spanien/ Spain to release unreturnable detainees - NGOs urges UK to do the same till sidans topp

On 16 March 2020, the Spanish police released eight people from the Centros de Internamiento de Extranjeros (CIE) in Valencia, recognizing that operating returns is not possible due to the movement restrictions put in place across the globe due to the COVID-19 emergency.

The decision was taken after the Spanish authorities failed to return a Colombian citizen who, just before the departure at the airport, was refused entrance to Colombia from Spain, one of the most affected European countries by COVID-19. According to the Valencian newspaper Levante, it's a matter of days before this policy will be implemented at the national level and unreturnable people will be released from immigration detention centres without awaiting the expiration of the detention period (60 days).

The UK Home Office policy is called into question by ten British organization engaged in the promotion of migrants' human rights in the UK. In a letter, the activists demanded the Home Office to release detained migrants (currently between 1500 -2000), expressing concerns that "if the government does not act now detainees will continue to be held in close proximity in a high-risk environment, leading to a preventable spread of the virus and losses of life". To urge the authorities, a legal challenge will be issued to suspend new detentions and release those with an increased risk of serious illness in case of infection.

The Home Office's spokesperson stated that contingency plans will be put in place if it is necessary but the authorities "remain committed to removing foreign national offenders or those who violate our immigration rules".

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Arkiveringsdatum 200306:

International Detention Coalition 20-02-06:

Europa/ Practical guidance on alternatives to detention: Fostering Effective Results till sidans topp

The Council of Europe has published a new handbook outlining key principles and processes to implement alternatives to detention (ATD) in the context of migration. What does it add for civil society working to reduce immigration detention through alternatives?

From theory to practice

The Practical Guidance on Alternatives to Immigration Detention: Fostering Effective Results is based on the Council of Europe's in-depth Analysis of legal and practical aspects of effective alternatives to detention in the context of migration, adopted in 2018. But its central focus is practical implementation. The handbook aims to help fill the implementation gap in relation to ATD by providing "concise and visual" user-friendly guidance to governments on how to develop alternatives that allow states to manage migration without over-reliance on detention.

A focus on process

Within this practical focus, a key innovation of the new guidance is that it looks at processes for developing alternatives to detention. Recognising the need for context-specific actions and tailor-made approaches, it sets out key questions and steps that are at the heart of a developing successful ATD. This includes questions for scoping national contexts and practical steps for governments to plan and test new programmes - manageable steps that governments could take to start moving away from detention. This is a welcome shift from the common focus on 'examples' of ATD, given that there are no one size fits all transferable models in this field.

Reinforcing need for trust and support

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Amnesty International 20-03-03:

Europa/ People helping refugees risk jail as authorities misuse anti smuggling laws till sidans topp

Across Europe people are being prosecuted and harassed for acts of solidarity towards refugees, asylum-seekers and migrants, including handing out warm clothes, offering shelter, and saving lives at sea, Amnesty International said today.

In a new report, 'Punishing compassion: solidarity on trial in Fortress Europe', the organization documents how police and prosecutors are misusing already flawed anti-smuggling laws and counter-terrorism measures to target human rights defenders who help refugees, asylum-seekers and migrants.

"The increased focus on limiting and deterring arrivals in Europe has meant that making refugees or migrants feel safer or welcomed is seen as a threat," said Elisa De Pieri, Regional Researcher at Amnesty International.

"The failure of European states to fulfil the basic needs of refugees and migrants means it is often left to ordinary people to provide essential services and support. By punishing the people who step up to fill the gaps, European governments are putting people on the move at even greater risk."

The report examines cases of human rights defenders facing spurious charges between 2017 and 2019, in Croatia, France, Greece, Italy, Malta, Spain, Switzerland, and the UK. It shows how police time, judicial resources, and laws intended to prosecute criminal smuggling networks, are being unfairly used against people who help refugees, migrants and asylum seekers.

Criminalized for offering warm clothes and shelter

Many of the cases in Amnesty's report focus on the charge of "facilitating irregular entry", which has been used to target individuals and NGOs for a wide range of humanitarian and solidarity actions.

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CPT 20-03-03:

Danmark/ Response of the Danish authorities to the CPT report on the 2019 visit till sidans topp

The Council of Europe's Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) has published today the response of the Danish authorities to paragraph 117 of the report on the Committee's visit to Denmark, which took place in April 2019.

The response concerns the CPT's comments and recommendations on the Ellebæk Centre for Foreigners and Nykøbing Falster Holding Centre.

The Danish Government has made this response public.

A full response by the Danish authorities is due in May 2020.

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Arkiveringsdatum 200125:

Europarådet 20-01- 07:

Danmark/ Denmark needs to improve conditions in migration detention centres till sidans topp

A report from the Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT) has called on Denmark to improve conditions in two centres where migrants are detained. It also recommended improvements in two prisons, as well as better procedures for prolonged restraint of psychiatric patients, and more access to lawyers for detainees in police stations.

Regarding visits to two migration detention centres, the CPT considered it unacceptable that living conditions and rules for detainees in both centres were prison-like, bearing in mind that detainees were generally neither suspected nor convicted of criminal offences. It called for major refurbishment of both centres, with freer access to mobile phones for detainees.

Concerning prison conditions, the Committee found that despite repeated recommendations, there was still no systematic and prompt medical screening of newly-arrived prisoners in the prisons visited, nor was there a proper system for doctors to record and report injuries. Staff shortages were acknowledged to be a major challenge for the Danish prison system, which is operating slightly above full capacity. The CPT recommended improved staffing levels in the prisons visited.

Concerning police establishments, material conditions were generally satisfactory for short stays, and the treatment of the detainees were reportedly correct. Nevertheless, there were some allegations of excessive use of force and of threatening behaviour by police officers. The Committee repeated previous recommendations, not yet implemented, on the right of all detainees to be granted effective access to a lawyer at the very outset of their deprivation of liberty. In addition, detainees should be given clear information in a language they can understand about their rights in police custody.

(...)

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Hämta rapporten och sammanfattning (Extern länk)

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Arkiveringsdatum 200107:

Enough 14 19-12-14:

Grekland/ Danish emergency worker Salam Aldeen has been arrested in #Greece till sidans topp

Press release from Team Humanity Denmark

It's happened again! Danish emergency worker Salam Aldeen has been arrested in Greece on charges of "public threat" because he works as a humanitarian emergency worker in Lesbos, where there is currently 20,000 refugees. Salam Aldeen has been detained and will be imprisoned until he is deported from Greece.

"Being imprisoned for being a relief worker in a European country is one of the most insane things I have heard," said Team Humanity President Helle Blak, and continues, "The new government in Greece still needs help dealing with the massive challenges and it does not prevent refugees from arriving that the police are harassing and deporting humanitarian relief workers. "

Salam Aldeen has previously been charged with humantrafficking while working as a lifeguard in Lesbos. In May 2018, he was acquitted of all charges in a Greek court, but has since the release experienced repeated attempts by the authorities to have him quit his job as a relief worker.

At present, Salam Aldeen is being detained by police. The Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs is notified.

Facebook Video made by Salam Aldeen shortly after he was arrested on Tuesday: " Getting arrested and they told me I am going to be deported out from Greece this is insane I need all the help right now I can get "

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Läs mer (Extern länk)

Enough 14 19-12-31: Salam Aldeen released from prison - Forced to leave Greece (Extern länk)

Amnesty International 19-12-20: Amnesty calls on Greece to urgently disclose the evidence for the proposed deportation of human rights defender (Extern länk)

AYS 20-01-01: On trial for saving lives - Criminalization of solidarity around Europe (Extern länk)

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Arkiveringsdatum 191214:

Asylnytt 19-12-14:

Ryssland/ Ryssland fälls av Europadomstolen för årslångt kvarhållande i transithall till sidans topp

Europadomstolen har fattat slutgiltigt beslut i sin stora kammare om Rysslands förvarstagande av fyra personer på flygplatsen i Moskva. Det första beslutet togs i juni 2017 mot en reservation. Målet rör fyra personer från Irak, Palestina, Somalia och Syrien med olika flykthistorier. De hade hamnat på flygplatsen Sheremetyevo i Moskva efter att ha nekats inresa i de länder de var på väg till. Två av dem hade sänts tillbaka för att de mellanlandat i Moskva, medan två hade utgångna ryska visum. Alla fyra ansökte om asyl i Ryssland, vilket nekades efter långa procedurer. Två av dem återsändes till hemländerna, medan två vidarebosattes med hjälp av UNHCR. Under hela asylproceduren, som varade mellan fem och 22 månader, nekades de att lämna flygplatsens transitzon, där de inte hade tillgång till utevistelse eller sjukvård. De hade svårt att nå ombud. Flygplatspersonalen talade bara ryska. De sov på madrasser på golvet i den bullriga hallen. Ryssland hävdade att de var fria att lämna landet och inte var genuina asylsökande. UNHCR intervenerade med kritik av att systemet inte gav asylsökande tillgång till sina rättigheter, medan Ungern kom med ett yttrande om att det inte finns någon rätt till "asylshopping". Europadomstolen håller fast vid att Ryssland hade ansvaret och att männen var de facto frihetsberövade i strid med konventionen. Dessutom var förhållandena i transithallen sådana att behandlingen uppgick till förnedrande behandling. Domstolens stora kammare var enig.

Case of Z.A. and Others v. Russia, applications nos. 61411/15, 61420/15, 61427/15 and 3028/16 (Extern länk)

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ECRE 19-11-29:

Storbritannien/ Pre-removal detention of asylum seekers confirmed unlawful till sidans topp

On 27 November the Supreme Court unanimously rejected an appeal by the UK Home Office to overturn a landmark ruling from the the Court of Appeal declaring the detention of asylum seekers while their cases were being assessed in the Dublin Procedure unlawful.

The case concerns the pre-removal detention of five Iraqi and Afghan nationals during the Dublin procedure. Under the Dublin III regulation only people considered at "significant risk of absconding" can be detained and none of the five people in question were categorized as such by the UK Home Office admission.

The ruling could potentially affect thousands of people unlawfully detained during the period between January 2014 when the Dublin III regulation came into force and March 2017 when the UK regulations were changed.

Krisha Prathepan from Duncan Lewis Solicitors, which represented the detainees stated that the practice of detention has "caused untold misery for so many people - including many vulnerable victims of torture and trafficking, and people suffering from PTSD and other mental health conditions who never should have been detained in the first place," and called on the Home Office to conduct an urgent review of all cases of unlawful detention in the period. According to a spokesperson the Home Office acknowledges the ruling and considers next steps.

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Arkiveringsdatum 191129:

Oxford University Border Criminologies Blog 19-11-22:

Grekland/ Detention in Kos and Monitoring Practices till sidans topp

Post by Hindpal Bhui. Hindpal is Inspection Team Leader at HM Inspectorate of Prisons, UK and a Visiting Professor at the Centre for Criminology, University of Oxford. He has undertaken several hundred inspections and visits to prisons and immigration detention facilities, and has advised and trained prison monitors across the world.

In September 2019, we accompanied the Greek National Preventive Mechanism (NPM) on monitoring visits to detention facilities on Kos, comprising the pre-removal detention centre, the police detention facility and the prison. The visit provided an opportunity to contrast monitoring of immigration detention with prison and police custody, which both held large numbers of foreign nationals. We met with the director of the reception and identification centre (RIC) which adjoins the removal centre, but the NPM did not undertake a monitoring visit of the camp. This post briefly describes the detention sites, the NPM's monitoring practices, and a subsequent training workshop. The training focused on prevention of suicide and self-harm and managing the risk of sanctions and reprisals. All visits were announced in advance by the Greek NPM to ensure access for the research team and other visitors who were also observing the NPM's work.

(...)

Hela artikeln (Extern länk)

Se även:

Monitoring immigration detention at the borders of Europe - Report on Turkey and Greece, 2018 (Extern länk)

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Amnesty International 19-11-21:

Frankrike/ Man who gave tea to migrants acquitted of baseless charges till sidans topp

Reacting to the decision of the Grenoble appeal court to acquit Pierre Mumber, a mountain guide who offered hot tea and warm clothes to four West African asylum seekers in the Alps and was then convicted of "facilitating irregular entry", Rym Khadhraoui, Research Fellow at Amnesty International, said:

"We are delighted that Pierre Mumber has been acquitted today - this is a victory for common sense, and for a good man who did absolutely nothing wrong.

"Pierre is unfortunately one of many people facing harassment, intimidation and attacks at the hands of authorities for supporting migrants and refugees. However, it is heartening to see the courts are calling out this misapplication of the law. We hope that after this decision others criminalized for acts of solidarity at the French-Italian border will be celebrated instead of being punished."

Background

Pierre Mumber was sentenced to a three-month suspended sentence for conviction for facilitating illegal entry. This has now been overturned on appeal.

Dr Scott Warren, a humanitarian volunteer who had also faced charges for his humanitarianism was yesterday found not guilty of the charges against him in Arizona.

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Arkiveringsdatum 191120:

IOM 19-11-15:

Tyskland/ Virtual counselling helps migrants learn more about return options till sidans topp

Making the decision on whether to leave one's country of origin is rarely one migrants take lightly. Deciding whether to go back home can be equally challenging. A project called Virtual Counselling, recently introduced in Germany, can help address migrants' concerns.

Migrants in Germany considering a return to their countries of origin can now contact IOM staff in several African and Asian countries to learn about return and reintegration options.

Migrants can call and message IOM staff in nine countries of origin to speak in their native language about what reintegration is going to look like in their individual case. Those countries are Armenia, Bangladesh, Ghana, Guinea, Ethiopia, Iraq, Nigeria, The Gambia and Pakistan.

Via social media and online messaging services, IOM staff inform callers about all available reintegration options in each country. This can include, for example, financial assistance for a business start-up, support for housing or medical needs, psychosocial counselling or job counselling.

This pilot project is financed by the German Federal Office for Migration and Refugees. Since the start of the project, more than 250 virtual counselling sessions have taken place.

Kobby Benjie is a Ghanaian returnee, who was supported by IOM. "The possibility to talk to a fellow countryman on WhatsApp and ask questions about returning home, is a great help for Ghanaians in Germany," he explained.

One reintegration officer at IOM Nigeria, Jude Okoye Jonathan, added: "We get calls from migrants in Germany who had just started to consider a voluntary return and would like to get a first idea of their options. Migrants also ask concrete questions about reintegration support in their countries."

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Amnesty International 19-10-23:

Malta/ Three teenagers in the dock for daring to oppose their return to suffering in Libya till sidans topp

Amnesty International is deeply concerned about the criminal prosecution brought against the three youths currently detained in Malta in connection with the El Hiblu 1 incident. The organization considers that the charges brought against them appear to be disproportionate to any acts imputed to the defendants, and recommends that the Attorney General's Office duly considers the context in which they took place.

Hämta rapporten (Extern länk)

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Arkiveringsdatum 191025:

ECRE 19-10-18:

Ungern/ Commission takes next step regarding non-provision of food in transit zones till sidans topp

On 10 October 2019, the European Commission issued a reasoned opinion to Hungary concerning the failure to provide food for individuals held in transit zones at the Hungarian-Serbian border. This next step of the infringement procedure comes after the European Court of Human Rights had to issue interim measures in numerous cases.

The Commission notes that failure to provide food to persons held in transit zones is in direct contradiction to Hungary's obligations under European law. The persons affected are primarily those who have had applications for international protection rejected and are therefore waiting to be returned to their country of origin. Indeed, the statement adds that compelling persons to stay in the transit zones while they await orders to be returned to their country of origin is effectively equal to detention.

The Commission has encouraged the Hungarian authorities to promptly comply with European law, setting a one month deadline for the State to respond. If this deadline is not met, the Commission may refer the issue to the Court of Justice, where a similar case concerning the detention of asylum seekers in Hungarian transit zones is currently pending. Moreover, the Commission notes that the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) has intervened in several cases obliging Hungarian authorities to provide food for those detained and awaits a response from the Hungarian authorities on this matter.

ECRE member the Hungarian Helsinki Committee (HHC) has challenged the practices of the Hungarian Immigration and Asylum Office (IAO) on a case by case basis at the ECtHR to stop the starvation of detainees. Since August 2018, the ECtHR issued 16 cases of interim measures under Rule 39 to the Government of Hungary, to ensure that people detained in the Hungarian transit zones are not deprived of food, according to HHC.

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Arkiveringsdatum 191002:

CPT 19-09-17:

Albanien/ Council of Europe anti-torture Committee publishes report on Albania till sidans topp

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 most recent visit to Albania carried out in November 2018.

/Utdrag:/

For the first time, the delegation visited the country's sole detention centre for foreigners in Karreį. The Centre is located in the vicinity of Durres and was opened in 2010. With an official capacity of 125 places, it comprised three detention units (Nos. 1 and 3 for single males and No. 2 for families and single females). Since its opening, the actual number of detainees had usually been relatively low (with an exceptionally high number of more than 80 detainees in the autumn of 2018). At the time of the visit, it was accommodating a total of twelve detainees (ten single men,19 one married couple,20 no minors), most of whom had been held in the Centre for several months.

(...)

As regards material conditions, it is positive that communal spaces and detention rooms were spacious (30 m2, including annexe with toilet and shower, with four beds) and well lit. The CPT acknowledges that furnishings and equipment had recently been damaged to some extent by detainees during a violent protest. Further, many of the sanitary facilities were found to be in a very poor state of repair as well as in appalling hygienic conditions. Moreover, many complaints were received about insufficient heating and the shortage of personal hygiene products. Several foreign nationals claimed that up to four persons had to share one bar of soap and one toothbrush.

Hämta rapporten och Albaniens svar (Extern länk)

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Arkiveringsdatum 190826:

Frontex 19-08-07:

Frontex condemns any form of inhumane treatment and violence till sidans topp

Frontex, the European Border and Coast Guard Agency condemns any form of inhumane treatment and violence and adheres to the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union.

Fundamental rights are at the core of all the agency's activities. They are integrated into the Frontex Codes of Conduct, the Common Core Curricula for border guards, specialised training for border surveillance officers or officers conducting forced return operations.

The Code of Conduct obliges every officer who has a reason to believe fundamental rights of any person were violated, either by witnessing such violation directly, or by hearing about it, to report this immediately to Frontex in form of a Serious Incident Report.

All reports related to potential violation of fundamental rights are immediately passed on to the agency and Fundamental Rights Office, an independent body established to advise the agency and monitor compliance with fundamental rights in all its activities.

Frontex officers did write such reports in the past and the agency immediately contacted the authorities of the countries concerned and informed the European Commission. It should be noted however that while the agency can suspend an officer deployed by Frontex, it does not have the authority over the national border police forces nor does it have the power to conduct investigations in the EU Member States.

All those measures - specific guidelines for officers, training, monitoring by independent experts, the Fundamental Rights Office and Consultative Forum (an independent advisory body on fundamental rights comprised of European and international organisations and NGOs) are intended to make sure the appropriate checks and balances are in place.

Another such measure is the complaints mechanism which allows anyone who believes their rights have been violated by a Frontex deployed officer to lodge a complaint.

(...)

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UK Parliament 19-07-31:

Storbritannien/ Home Office rejects Committee's call for a time limit to detention till sidans topp

The Home Office has rejected the UK Parliament Human Rights Committee's recommendation to introduce a time limit on immigration detention, despite the overwhelming cross-party support.

Government Responses

1. Immigration detention: time limit proposal rejected

The Committee's original report called for a 28 day time limit on immigration detention. It said:

"Indefinite detention causes distress and anxiety and can trigger mental illness and exacerbate mental health conditions where they already exist.

Moreover, the lack of a time limit on immigration detention reduces the incentive for the Home Office to progress cases promptly which would reduce both the impact on detainees, and detention costs."

The Home Office has wholly rejected the Committee's central proposal that a limit be introduced.

The Chair of the Committee, Harriet Harman responded:

"Home Office immigration detention is arbitrary, unfair and breaches human rights. Repeated detention and release, which characterises the system, shows that it must be reformed.

Parliament will have the opportunity to consider changing the law to protect people from arbitrary detention when the Immigration Bill is brought back.

I'm hopeful that with the strong cross party backing for the proposals from our committee and the Home Affairs Committee it will do so."

2. Good character test: no explanation given

(...)

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Arkiveringsdatum 190801:

FRA 19-07-30:

Europa/ Removals continue: the reality of migration policies across Member States till sidans topp

Food deprivation, removals with no prior notice and the arrest of humanitarian workers carrying out search and rescue operations at sea are some of the fundamental rights concerns FRA identifies in its latest migration quarterly. It reports on some of the fallout in EU Member States as they continue to harden their migration policies and laws. It also highlights longstanding problems resulting from overcrowding and asylum processing.

The report throws a spotlight on events from April to June 2019. It reveals the impact of the tough line some EU Member States are taking towards asylum seekers and migrants.

For example, authorities in Hungary are denying food to rejected asylum seekers waiting in transit zones. In France, authorities are removing irregular migrants without giving them prior notice, contrary to the law. In Croatia, the media reported on incidents of pushbacks and included testimonies from children of police threats and violence at the border with Bosnia and Herzegovina. In Greece, changes in who receives housing assistance has led to refugee evictions.

The Italian government's hardline position on preventing NGO ships from disembarking migrants rescued at sea has led to the seizure of ships, and arrests of the crew and captain for docking with migrants in Italy. Italian courts later acquitted the captain citing UN maritime law.

Migrants crossing the sea to reach Spain also remains a concern. NGOs estimate that between 2018 and April 2019, around 70 ships carrying 1,020 migrants sank on their way to Spain, with over 1000 people either dead or disappeared.

(...)

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Arkiveringsdatum 190721:

Frontex 19-07-15:

Europa/ 26 people smugglers arrested in 10 days in a Frontex-led operation till sidans topp

On 28 June-8 July, Frontex, the European Border and Coast Guard Agency, led an international operation against serious and organised cross-border crime in Central and South Eastern Europe.

The operation, known as Joint Action Day (JAD) Danube 4 focused on combatting the smuggling of migrants and document fraud. It was co-led by Austria, where a coordination centre was put in place to support the exchange of intelligence among the participants. Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Hungary, the Netherlands, Romania, Slovenia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, North Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia also took part in the action. EU agencies and international organisations, such as Europol and Interpol provided the opportunity for real-time operational information exchange between the countries.

Within less than two weeks, the international cooperation led to:

+ Arrest of 26 suspected people smugglers

+ Detection of 2 760 irregular migrants

+ Detection of 92 fraudulent documents

+ Seizure of EUR 403 850 in smuggled cash

+ Seizure of 200 000 cigarettes

+ Detection of three firearms and 88 pieces of ammunition.

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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CPT 19-07-11:

Bulgarien/ The CPT publishes report on Bulgaria till sidans topp

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 December 2018 ad hoc visit to Bulgaria, together with the response of the Bulgarian Government.

The objective of the visit was to examine the treatment and conditions of detention of foreign nationals detained under aliens legislation.

The main conclusions of the CPT are set out in the executive summary of the report.

In their response, the Bulgarian authorities provide information on the measures taken to implement the recommendations made in the CPT's report.

The CPT's report and the response of the Bulgarian authorities have been made public under an automatic publication procedure introduced by the Bulgarian authorities in 2015.

/Asylnytt: En del har förbättrats men det finns stora brister till exempel i tillgång till vård/

Läs rapporten i sin helhet (Extern länk till pdf-fil)

Executive Summary (Extern länk)

Bulgariens svar (Extern länk)

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Asylnytt 19-07-21:

Bosnien/ Europadomstolen kritiserar Bosniens förvarstagande av syrier i åtta år till sidans topp

En man från Syrien som bott i Bosnien sedan början av 80-talet blev under kriget 1992-95 medlem av Mujahedin, då en del av armén för republiken Bosnien & Hercegovina. Efter fredsavtalet 1994 avväpnades Mujahedin och medlemmarna uppmanades lämna landet. Mannen blev dock kvar och fungerade som ledare för en salafistisk grupp. År 2007 fråntogs han sitt medborgarskap i Bosnien. 2008 placerades han i förvar som säkerhetsrisk, anklagad på en rad punkter, och vände sig redan då till Europadomstolen. År 2011 fick han beslut om utvisning. Europadomstolen förbjöd Bosnien att utvisa mannen till Syrien och slog fast att de första åren i förvar utan utvisningsbeslut bröt mot konventionen. Mannen hölls dock kvar. Upprepade överklaganden avslogs, medan bosniska myndigheter vartefter ställde frågan till mer än 50 länder, inklusive Syrien, om att ta emot honom. År 2016 släpptes han och ställdes under uppsikt, på grund av att en lagändring gjorde verkställighetsförvar mer än 18 månader olagligt. Det aktuella målet i Europadomstolen gäller förvarstagandet efter 2012. En del av denna tid fördömer domstolen åter som brott mot Europakonventionens artikel 5. Mannen hävdade också att han inte fått möjlighet att försvara sig mot säkerhetspolisens anklagelser, men detta håller domstolen inte med om.

Application no. 10112/16, case of Al Husin v. Bosnia and Herzegovina (no. 2) (Extern länk)

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Arkiveringsdatum 190703:

FRA 19-06-28:

Europa/ Overview of effective forced return monitoring in Member States updated till sidans topp

FRA has just updated its annual overview of effective forced return monitoring systems across the EU.

The overview compares developments in EU Member States over the past five years. It reflects trends on staffing, qualifications of staff and the monitoring of return operations in its various phases.

It shows that 10 EU Member States lacked effective operational return monitoring systems in 2014. By 2018, this dropped to three. Two of them aim to have systems in place by 2019.

However, in Member States with a monitoring mechanism, project funding and other factors may limit the effectiveness of monitoring.

The overview does not cover the pool of forced return monitors under the European Border and Coast Guard Agency, Frontex.

The EU Return Directive (2008/115/EC) in Article 8 (6) introduced an important fundamental rights safeguard for third-country nationals ordered to leave the EU because they do not or no longer fulfil the conditions for entry and/or stay. According to the directive, Member States must provide for an effective forced-return monitoring system.

(...)

In Germany, Slovakia and Sweden, the monitoring body appointed by law is an agency/entity belonging to the branch of government responsible for returns. Thus, FRA considers that it is not sufficiently independent to qualify as 'effective' under Article 8 (6) of the Return Directive.

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Arkiveringsdatum 190620:

Amnesty International 19-06-17:

Norge/ Norway: 'Callous decision' to deport family to Afghanistan must be reversed till sidans topp

Taibeh Abbasi, a 20-year-old whose case ignited huge protests, deported on Saturday

The Norwegian government must immediately halt the dangerous deportation of Taibeh Abbasi and her family back to Afghanistan, Amnesty International said today.

Taibeh (20) and her brothers Eshan (16) and Yasin (22) were flown from Norway to Istanbul on Saturday together with their mother. Due to a health condition, their mother is expected to be returned to Norway, but the children are at imminent risk of being flown to Kabul.

Ten Norwegian immigration police in Istanbul are reportedly escorting the siblings to Kabul. The Norwegian government has justified the family's deportation by claiming that Afghanistan is safe for returns. This claim is contradicted by the record-high levels of violence documented across Afghanistan.

The whereabouts of the family in Istanbul remain unknown, but it is believed that they have had no access to information or contact with the outside world since they were put on a plane early on Saturday.

Massimo Moratti, Amnesty International's Deputy Europe Director, said:

"Uprooting these three young siblings from the communities where they have lived for more than seven years and deporting them alone to a warzone is an unconscionable abuse of power.

"Afghanistan is not a safe country for returns. If this heartless and unnecessary deportation is completed it will split the family, endanger these three young people's live and rob them of their futures.

"This deportation is emblematic of the cruel and dehumanising policies of many European governments, who are turning a blind eye to the reality of life in Afghanistan in order to increase the number of returns.

(...)

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Adresseavisen 19-06-16: Sender Ehsan Abbasi (16) og søsknene til Afghanistan uten moren - med flera artiklar (Extern länk)

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Arkiveringsdatum 190610:

Refugee Rights UK 19-05-09:

Storbritannien/ "Slow, unfair and expensive to run. . ." The crisis of detention till sidans topp

Immigration detention is not a legal term. It refers instead to policy and practice, and occurs when someone is deprived of their liberty or confined in a place where they cannot leave at will, such as a detention centre, holding facility or even prison.

Within the UK, an asylum seeker or anyone found to be in breach of immigration rules may be detained at any time under the current immigration framework, with no maximum time-limit imposed upon immigration detention. The UK holds one of the largest detention estates in Europe, having held over 27,000 people during 2017, with an estimated 3,000 people potentially facing detention at any given time.

Unaccountable and arbitrary?

There is a clear lack of independent decision-making surrounding immigration detention, which is an administrative, Home Office procedure. As such, decisions to deprive individuals of their liberty are taken by Home Office representatives, with no need for judicial or other independent authorisation. This has been highlighted across the political spectrum, with the Home Affairs Committee recently having reported a catalogue of failings across the system. It concluded that the Home Office has failed to manage a system of safe and humane detention, with policies sometimes not followed and even the wrongful detention of vulnerable individuals.

Likewise, a major overhaul of current practices was recently recommended by the Joint Select Committee on Human Rights. The Immigration Detention Inquiry Report describes the present system as "slow, unfair and expensive to run,[viii] and highlights the need for reform, putting forward a number of recommendations. These include ensuring a comparable level of safeguarding to the criminal justice system, with decisions taken independently and not by the Home Office. For unplanned detentions, the report recommends that independent judicial authorisation should be required for periods exceeding 72 hours, to allow time to obtain legal advice.

(...)

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Amnesty International 19-06-05:

Frankrike/ Police harassing and even using violence against people helping refugees till sidans topp

French authorities have harassed, intimidated and even violently assaulted people offering humanitarian aid and other support to migrants, asylum seekers and refugees in northern France in a deliberate attempt to curtail acts of solidarity, a new report by Amnesty International has found.

"Targeting solidarity: Criminalization and harassment of people defending migrant and refugee rights in northern France" reveals how people helping refugees and migrants in Calais and Grand-Synthe are targeted by the police and the court system.

"Providing food to the hungry and warmth to the homeless have become increasingly risky activities in northern France, as the authorities regularly target people offering help to migrants and refugees," said Lisa Maracani, Amnesty International's Human Rights Defenders Researcher.

"Migrants and refugees did not simply disappear with the demolition of the 'Jungle' camp in 2016 and more than a thousand men, women and children are still living precarious lives in the area. The role of human rights defenders who offer them support is crucial."

Two-and-a-half years after the destruction of the so-called 'Jungle' camp, more than 1,200 refugees and migrants, including unaccompanied children, are living in tents and informal camps around Calais and Grande-Synthe. They have no regular access to food, water, sanitation, shelter or legal assistance and are subject to evictions, harassment, and violence at the hands of the police.

One Afghan man told Amnesty International that he was beaten on his back with a baton by police during a forced eviction, and another described how a police officer had urinated on his tent. An Iranian man told Amnesty International: "I left my country looking for safety, but here I face police abuse...The police come every day to take my tent and clothes."

(...)

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Alexander Nabert, Claudia Torrisi, Nandini Archer mfl i Open Democracy 19-05-18: Hundreds of Europeans 'criminalised' for helping migrants - as far right aims to win big (Extern länk)

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Arkiveringsdatum 190517:

Europarådets mr-kommissionär 19-05-09:

Europa/ Ethnic profiling: a persisting practice in Europe till sidans topp

"Racial or ethnic profiling in policing has been defined as "the use by the police, with no objective and reasonable justification, of grounds such as race, colour, languages, religion, nationality or national or ethnic origin in control, surveillance or investigation activities". Though by no means new, this phenomenon is still widespread across the Council of Europe area, despite a growing awareness of the need to confront it supported by an evolving body of case-law", says Dunja Mijatovi?, Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, in her Human Rights Comment published today.

"There are several areas in which ethnic profiling may manifest itself more prominently. Government policies may provide excessive discretionary powers to law enforcement authorities, who then use that discretion to target groups or individuals based on their skin colour or the language they speak."

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UNHCR 19-05-08:

Ungern/ Hungary's coerced removal of Afghan families deeply shocking till sidans topp

Hungary's actions overnight to force two asylum-seeking Afghan families to leave the country under duress is deeply shocking and a flagrant violation of international and EU law, the UN Refugee Agency said today.

The two families, four adults and seven children, who had been detained since January in a transit zone on the Hungarian-Serbian border, were escorted to a border gate with Serbia at night on 7 May. They were presented with a choice of entering Serbia or being flown back to Afghanistan on a flight organized by Frontex, the European Border and Coast Guard Agency.

"The treatment of these families, including their removal from Hungarian territory with no serious effort to look at their claims to refugee status, is deeply regrettable" said Filippo Grandi, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.

"Their case highlights our deep concerns about what is happening in Hungary, where asylum-seekers are rejected not on the merits of their claim, but because under Hungary's legislation, their claims are automatically considered inadmissible."

Under this legislation, Hungary rejects without the safeguards required under EU law any asylum seeker who has previously been in a country that Hungary deems safe - in the case of these families, Serbia.

The UN Refugee Agency, which initially learned that the families faced removal to Afghanistan, on 6 May appealed to the Hungarian authorities to prevent the return. UNHCR now reiterates its appeal to Hungary to refrain from any attempts to send people back to their country of origin or otherwise remove them from Hungarian territory without proper assessment of their claim to asylum.

UNHCR staff in Hungary, who do not have access to the pre-removal part of the transit zone where the families were being held, observed them crossing the border. They alerted colleagues in Serbia who in turn informed the Serbian authorities of the Afghans' arrival.

(...)

Hela uttalandet (Extern länk)

ECRE 19-05-10: Hungary gives Afghan families 'an offer you can't refuse' (Extern länk)

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CPT 19-05-09:

Tyskland/ CPT: Ensure better treatment of foreign nationals removed by air till sidans topp

The monitoring of a return flight of Afghan nationals from Munich to Kabul (Afghanistan) on 14 August 2018 is the subject of a new report published today by the Council of Europe's Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) (see the executive summary)

Along with the German government response, the report is based on a CPT visit to Germany from 13 to 15 August 2018 to assess the return flight of the Afghan nationals, carried out under the authority of the German Federal Police and in co-operation with the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex). In its fifth examination of a removal operation by air, the CPT delegation observed all stages of the operation, including preparations at Eichstätt Prison (Centre for detention pending deportation).

The CPT concludes that the operation was well prepared and generally carried out in a professional manner. Detained persons were treated correctly by escorting police officers, with one exception. The exception concerns the apparent ill-treatment of a returnee on board the aircraft who violently resisted his removal. The CPT recommends that techniques which impede a person's capacity to breath and/or inflict severe pain to gain compliance (i.e. squeezing a person's genitals) must not be applied by police escorts. Further, all escorting police officers should wear means of identification during removal operations and the overall number of trained escorts should be increased.

Read full press release (Extern länk)

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Arkiveringsdatum 190503:

IRR 19-04-25:

Europa/ IRR: European governments' targeting of migrant solidarity activists must stop till sidans topp

The Institute of Race Relations (IRR) publishes today a compelling new report on 'crimes of solidarity', drawing attention to a dramatic increase in prosecutions, restrictions and penalties, against a variety of civil society actors.

The online publication of When Witnesses Won't be Silenced: citizens' solidarity and criminalisation comes just days after the Global Legal Action Network petitioned the European Court of Human Rights arguing that the prosecution in January 2016 of Salam Kamal-Aldeen, the founder of Team Humanity, for his rescue work in the Aegean Sea constitutes a violation of human rights law.

The IRR's second report on 'crimes of solidarity' in eighteen months highlights the escalation in prosecution of migrant solidarity activists throughout Europe under aiding illegal immigration laws since the publication in November 2017 of our first report, documenting seventeen new cases involving ninety-nine people in 2018 and the first three months of 2019. (1)

Case studies reveal that people have been prosecuted for rescue at sea and on land, or for giving homeless people shelter, or halting deportations. Not only has there been a dramatic increase in prosecutions but, significantly, a step change in the type of charges being brought as well as greater restrictions on individuals once place under investigation. For instance:

+ Charges have included membership of a criminal network or gang as well as, in the Stansted 15 case, terrorism-related offences

+ In some cases, individuals and organisations have had phones tapped and bank accounts frozen

+ In the case of search and rescue NGOS investigation and/or prosecution has been accompanied by 'smear campaigns' which seem to be spearheaded by the Italian government to delegitimise, slander and obstruct aid associations

(...)

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Mare LIberum / Statewatch News 19-05-01:

Tyskland/ The human rights monitoring ship Mare Liberum prevented from leaving port till sidans topp

The Berlin based non-governmental organization (NGO) Mare Liberum e.V. conducts human rights monitoring in the Aegean Sea to draw attention to the deadly sea route between Turkey and Greece. The aim is to strengthen solidarity and promote fundamental human rights.

Germany's Federal Ministry of Transportation (Bundesverkehrsministeriums) sent an order of suspension for the ship Mare Liberum to the German association of traffic and transportation (Berufsgenossenschaft Verkehr)--which handles the registration, licenses and flags for ships--to further scrutinize civil rescue vessels in the Mediterranean Sea.

"The ministry of transportation, led by the conservative Christian Social Union (CSU) politician Andreas Scheuer, apparently wants to perfidiously prevent any civil presence in the Mediterranean Sea to document human rights violations and the effects of the European Union's deadly border policy. We are urging for an accelerated response to repeal the decision," says Hanno Bruchmann, spokesperson for Mare Liberum e.V.

The suspension order presupposes that Mare Liberum is a rescue ship which should be classified in the same category as commercial freightliner and not, as hitherto customary, as a sport and leisure boat.

The crew on Mare Liberum observes--without pay and in their spare time--the human rights situation in the Aegean Sea. With Mare Liberum's presence on the water, authorities should be more inclined to rescue refugees and migrants and adhere to basic human rights standards while doing so. The ship Mare Liberum was never operated as a freightliner; nevertheless, the authorities incorrectly compare the 1917 built fishing boat which was converted to a houseboat in 1964 as a ship holding containers or tank vessels. The classification of Mare Liberum as a commercial vessel imposes equipment requirements that cannot be fulfilled by Mare Liberum.

"The claim that we operate a freightliner leaves us stunned. It is an insult to our volunteers that our dedication for human rights is not recognized," said Bruchmann.

contact: press [at] mare-liberum.org

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Global Legal Action Network 19-04-18:

Grekland/ Case filed in Strasbourg court over crackdown on organisations till sidans topp

Following a two-and-a-half-year legal ordeal in Greek courts, Salam Kamal-Aldeen, founder of the non-profit Team Humanity has filed an unprecedented application with the European Court of Human Rights challenging Greece's crackdown on NGOs rescuing refugees at sea. (More on Salam's show trail in Greece here.

The application filed with the Strasbourg court exposes the illegality of the Greek authorities' crackdown on human rights defenders working to render assistance to persons in distress at sea. It challenges Greek's abuse of power to arbitrarily prosecute and expose Mr Aldeen to a minimum ten years' imprisonment, only to suspend his life-saving activities. The best evidence for the political extraneous considerations in prosecuting Salam is of course his complete acquittal.

Salam's persecution, the brief submits, is part of an EU campaign to oust NGOs who are failing EU deterrence-based migration policies not to assist refugees at distress at sea. Such repressive measures, aimed ultimately at curbing unwanted maritime crossings, have been adopted as part of the implementation of the EU-Turkey "deal" of March 2016.

According to GLAN legal advisor Dr Violeta Moreno-Lax (Queen Mary University of London) "The Strasbourg Court has now the opportunity to condemn the growing trend in Greece and Europe of criminalising solidarity. Rescue is not a crime; it is a binding duty under international law. Humanitarian assistance of persons in distress at sea should never be prosecuted. Attacking civil society constitutes an assault on the main values of democracy. Rescuers should instead be celebrated and protected as selfless guarantors of the most basic human rights."

(...)

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Arkiveringsdatum 190415:

Europarådets parlament 19-04-03:

Europa/ Rapporteur expresses concern at reception conditions and 'pushback' denials till sidans topp

PACE rapporteur Tineke Strik (Netherlands, SOC), ending a two-day visit to the Balkans, has expressed extreme concern at the conditions in two reception centres for asylum-seekers which she visited in Bosnia and Herzegovina - and has questioned Croatian denials that "pushbacks" onto Bosnian territory are taking place.

"Basic humanitarian conditions are not ensured for the many hundreds of migrants stranded in the centres at Velika Kladu?a and Bihac, despite the efforts of international organisations and NGOs," said Ms Strik, following a two-country visit to Croatia and to Bosnia and Herzegovina on 27-28 March 2019. "More solidarity is needed from EU and Council of Europe member states to ensure human rights and dignity for these people."

Ms Strik was researching a case study on border policies and practices in the framework of a report for the Parliamentary Assembly on "Pushback action by Council of Europe member States".

Following a separate visit to one of two reception centres for asylum-seekers in the Croatian capital Zagreb, the rapporteur commented: "I thank the Croatian delegation to PACE for its support and for organising such informative meetings with the authorities, as well as this visit. I found the centre well-managed, but serious problems remain with the length of the asylum procedure and other procedural safeguards as well as the provision of specialist health care and psychological support."

Ms Strik said many of the migrants stuck in Bosnia and Herzegovina reported being violently pushed back by the Croatian authorities to Bosnian territory without the possibility of submitting an asylum claim. Due to deficiencies in asylum procedure in Bosnia and Herzegovina, their protection needs are not adequately assessed or addressed, she added.

(...)

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Amnesty International 19-04-10:

Schweiz/ Authorities must drop absurd charges against priest who showed compassion till sidans topp

Swiss authorities should drop charges against a pastor who offered shelter and money to a man whose request for asylum had been rejected, said Amnesty International ahead of tomorrow's decision by the Public Prosecutor on whether to indict him.

Pastor Norbert Valley, who was taken from his Sunday service by police for questioning, is charged with "facilitating the illegal stay" of a Togolese man. Following his refusal to pay a fine of 1,000 Swiss Francs, the Public Prosecutor will decide tomorrow whether to issue an indictment.

"By targeting Pastor Valley and criminalizing acts of compassion the authorities have demonstrated the extreme lengths to which they are prepared to go in order to curb the humanitarian activities of those who want to help refugees and asylum-seekers," said Julie Jeannet, Migration Campaigner for Amnesty International Switzerland.

"Norbert Valley has done nothing wrong. He simply showed kindness to someone in a difficult situation and he should be celebrated for it rather than fined."

Pastor Valley was questioned by police in February 2018 after they turned up at his church in Le Locle in the middle of the Sunday sermon.

He was charged, under Article 116 of the Swiss Foreigners and Integration Law, with 'the facilitation of the illegal stay of a citizen from Togo, through the provision of shelter and money. If indicted, Pastor Valley would have to face a criminal trial.

"Sadly, Pastor Valley's case is not an isolated one but merely the latest in a series of cases across Europe that have seen authorities using immigration and anti-smuggling laws to criminalise acts of solidarity," said Julie Jeannet.

(...)

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Asylnytt 19-04-15:

Cypern/ Europadomstolen prickar Cypern för olagligt förvar och omänsklig behandling till sidans topp

En man från Iran greps när han försökte ta sig till Storbritannien via Cypern. Målet gäller förvarstagandet sedan han sökt asyl efter två veckor. Under mer än 18 månader var mannen placerad i polishäkten som inte var avsedda för långvarig vistelse. Hans beskrivning av dålig hygien, trånga utrymmen, brist på naturligt ljus och frisk luft, mathållning etc bekräftas av andra rapporter. När förvarstagandet varat mer än sex månader, maximum enligt cypriotisk lag, lyckades han bli släppt av en högre domstol - bara för att gripas med ett nytt förvarsbeslut några minuter senare. När mannen släpptes efter 18 månader fick han ett slags arbetstillstånd men upplystes samtidigt om att han måste skaffa pass inom sex månader för att inte gripas på nytt. Han lämnade istället Cypern och befinner sig nu utan papper i Armenien. Europadomstolen deklarerade enhälligt att förhållandena i polishäkte utgjorde ett brott mot Europakonventionens artikel 3 (tortyr eller omänsklig eller förnedrande behandling). Dessutom utgjorde tiden i förvar efter sex månader ett brott mot artikel 5.1 om olagligt frihetsberövande. Mannen tilldöms 30.000 euro plus kostnadsersättning.

Europadomstolen underkände däremot anmälan från en man som hållits i förvar i Malta knappt två månader. Mannen ansåg att förvarstagandet var onödigt. Men han hade inte visat papper på sin status i Armenien varifrån han rest och bar dessutom på en biljett till Italien.

Application no. 47920/12, case of Haghilo v. Cyprus (Extern länk)

Application no. 62676/16, case of Aboya Boa Jean v. Malta (Extern länk)

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Arkiveringsdatum 190326:

Asylnytt 19-03-00:

Grekland/ Europadomstolen kritiserar att förvarstagna i Grekland inte kunde överklaga till sidans topp

Målet gäller fyra afghaner som den 21 mars 2016 togs i förvar i Vial-centret på Chios. Den 24 mars fick de beslut om utvisning och att stanna kvar i förvar. Besluten delgavs dem på grekiska. Den 4 april sökte de asyl. Den 21 april omvandlades förvaret till en halv-öppen anläggning där de enbart var tvungna att vistas nattetid. Strax därefter inhiberades utvisningarna och de registrerades som asylsökande med rätt att röra sig fritt. Europadomstolen prickar Grekland för att förvarsbeslutet delgavs på grekiska utan översättning och utan förklaring om hur de skulle överklaga. De fick ingen juridisk hjälp. Även om det fanns en procedur hade personerna ingen tillgång till den. Detta bryter mot Europakonventionens artikel 5 § 4. Männen hade också anfört att förvarstagandet var godtyckligt (brott mot artikel 5 § 1) vilket Europadomstolen inte höll med om. De hävdade också att förhållandena i förvar uppgick till omänsklig eller förnedrande behandling (artikel 3), men domstolen anser att förvarstagandet pågick så kort tid att den nivån inte uppnåtts.

Affaire O.S.A. Et Autres C. Grčce, Requęte no 39065/16, på franska (Extern länk)

Pressmeddelande på engelska mm (Extern länk)

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Arkiveringsdatum 190318:

ECRE 19-03-08:

Ungern/ Court fails to protect people working to protect the rights of asylum seekers till sidans topp

On March 5 the Constitutional Court of Hungary ruled on a complaint from Amnesty International Hungary, the Hungarian Helsinki Committee and the Open Society Foundations on the constitutionality of the so called 'Stop Soros' package. According to the Hungarian Helsinki Committee the ruling falls short of providing sufficient protection to individuals and organisations offering assistance to asylum seekers and disregards fundamental principles of the Venice Commission of the Council of Europe's opinion as well as EU and domestic legal norms.

In June 2018 the Venice Commission of the Council of Europe recommended the Hungarian amendments to the Criminal Code dubbed 'Stop Soros' should be repealed as: "the Hungarian provision goes far beyond what is allowed under Article 11 (freedom of assembly) of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), as it unfairly criminalises organisational activities not directly related to the materialisation of illegal migration." And in July the European Commission launched an infringement procedures for non-compliance of its asylum and return legislation with EU law.

According to the Hungarian Helsinki Committee: "Although the CC (Constitutional Court) concluded that it would be unacceptable if those who selflessly assist asylum seekers were penalised, it is still not sufficiently clear what is allowed and what is forbidden by the law. This lack of foreseeability does not prevent the authorities from taking arbitrary action against people and organisations that provide assistance to asylum seekers."

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ECRE 19-03-08:

Tyskland/ Germany supported return - Reports on disappearances raise concern till sidans topp

Reports on the disappearance of people who returned from Germany to Syria to reunite with relatives raise concern over Germany's policy on family reunification and voluntary return support scheme.

In a response to a parliamentary question, the German government stated that it financially supported the voluntary return of 437 people to Syria in 2018. The question was filed by Ulla Jelpke, MP of Die Linke, the German left party. It followed upon reports that two people, who had been granted asylum in Germany, had disappeared after their voluntary return to Syria. Relatives of the two individuals reportedly said, they decided to go back to Syria after their efforts to bring their partners to Germany had failed. Both individuals disappeared after being detained by the government, the reports say.

In mid-March 2016 Germany suspended family reunification for people with subsidiary protection. The legislative change coincided with a policy change. Most people fleeing the conflict in Syria have since been granted subsidiary protection instead of refugee protection, leaving them with little means to bring the family members they left behind. Under the new coalition deal signed in March 2018, family reunification for those with subsidiary protection were limited to 1000 family members admitted per month, in addition to hardship cases. In practice, hardship cases require a high threshold and the quota of 1000 family reunification per months has not been fulfilled in 2018. UNHCR urged Germany to allocate the 2.400 places of the quota that have not been exhausted last year.

To offer financial support to people who return voluntarily to a country they have fled the German government set up a scheme "Starthilfe" with a budget of 40 million Euros per year. In the response, the government refers to its decision in November that Syria is not safe for returns. Germany does not encourage returns to Syria and the support scheme respects the "autonomous and voluntary" decision of those wishing to return, the government stresses.

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Arkiveringsdatum 190302:

ECRE 19-02-22:

Tyskland/ Draft bill to expand detention and target civil society till sidans topp

The German interior minister has submitted a ministerial draft bill that proposes measures for more effective implementation of deportations. Refugee right organisations are concerned the law could expand the use of detention and restrict the rights of people seeking asylum. The proposal is discussed amid further deportations from Germany to Afghanistan.

The draft bill for the "Geordnete-Rückkehr-Gesetz" (Orderly Return Law) presents the second round of measures to facilitate deportations of people obliged to leave the country, following a law passed in 2017. The proposal expands the use of detention making it easier for the government to detain people seen in danger of absconding. It shifts the burden of proof and the government no longer has to establish reasons why a person may abscond. The person affected has to prove the non-existence of such reasons.

The draft proposal also broadens the interpretation of reasons that substantiate a risk of absconding. Those having travelled to Germany via another EU country or not attending return counselling can accordingly be seen at risk of absconding and be legitimately detained. Under the proposed legislation, pre-deportation detention could be merged with criminal detention (which is prohibited by European law). As long as there are not enough places in pre-deportation detention facilities, people obliged to leave can be detained in public prisons.

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Global detention project / ECRE 19-02-15:

Slovakien/ Global detention project: Punitive conditions paid for by the detainees till sidans topp

The Global Detention Project have released their 2019 updated report on the use of immigration detention in Slovakia, titled "Punitive Conditions Paid for by the Detainees". The report reveals that amid Slovakia's restrictive immigration policies and anti-migrant rhetoric, its detention practises have received widespread condemnation.

In 2015, Slovakia filed a lawsuit at the Court of Justice of the European Union challenging the EU's mandatory relocation scheme, claiming that the designation of 802 people to Slovakia, was "nonsensical and technically impossible". The report argues that the country's "hostile attitude towards refugees is belied by the fact that Slovakia has been largely shielded from migration pressures because it is not located on the main migration routes into Western Europe". Slovakia registered 160 asylum applications in 2017, the lowest number in the EU that year.

Four United Nations human rights treaty bodies have criticised Slovak immigration detention practices, on the grounds of the detention environments being similar to prison, that few alternatives to detention are implemented, that families with children are systematically detained, that detainees are required to pay for the costs of their own detention, and the fact that the presumption in favour of majority is applied to unaccompanied children.

While Slovakian law prohibits immigration detention of unaccompanied children, legislation (Article 127) enshrines the presumption of majority: that is that in cases of age disputes, applicants are considered adults and can be detained alongside other adults, until the results of an age assessment prove otherwise. These age determination procedures in Slovakia are based upon unreliable bone analysis, and the decisions cannot be appealed. Of approximately 200 unaccompanied children apprehended every year in Slovakia, 90 percent disappear from shelters.

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CPT / Europarådet 19-02-18:

Grekland/ Anti-torture committee criticises poor treatment of detained foreign nationals till sidans topp

The Council of Europe's European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) acknowledges significant on-going challenges that the Greek authorities face to deal with the high number of foreign nationals arriving in the country, but based on a visit in April last year, it received yet more credible allegations of physical ill-treatment by the police, including slaps, punches, kicks and baton blows.

In this new CPT report, published along with a Greek government response, the allegations related primarily to detention places in the Evros region (the Fylakio Pre-removal Centre, Fylakio Reception and Identification Centre (RIC) and Tychero Police and Border Guard Station) and on Lesvos (Moria Pre-removal Centre). The CPT recommends that Greece take "vigorous steps" to stamp out ill-treatment of foreign nationals deprived of their liberty by the police (see also the executive summary of the report).

Läs pressmeddelandet från CPT och hämta rapporten samt Greklands svar (Extern länk)

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Arkiveringsdatum 190219:

ECRE 19-02-08:

Europa/ Crossing a Red Line: EU countries expanding the use of detention upon entry till sidans topp

This week the Hungarian Helsinki Committee, in conjunction with ECRE and a number of European project partners, launched their report "Crossing a Red Line: How EU Countries Undermine the Right to Liberty by Expanding the Use of Detention of Asylum Seekers upon Entry." By examining four case studies; Bulgaria, Greece, Hungary and Italy, this research explores how asylum seekers' rights to liberty are undermined upon entry, with a specific focus on de facto detention.

"Crossing a Red Line" explains that while there has been a significant decrease in asylum applications in Bulgaria, Hungary and Italy, the use of detention upon entry has been increasing since 2015 and continues to do so. Practises of de facto detention- which indicates the deprivation of an individual's liberty without the requirement of a detention order- are widespread and specific to country context. Hot spots, transit zones, pre- removal centres, border zones at which migrants have been 'pushed- back' and boats- including search and rescue vessels- have all become spaces in which people can be detained. In other cases "protective detention" results in unaccompanied children having their freedom of movement restricted.

With no procedural guarantees and no opportunity to seek judicial review, the only possibility for release from de facto detention is to leave to another country.

The Hungarian Helsinki Committee argue that the increasing trend of using of detention measures for asylum seekers upon entry "is motivated by a range of different practical, political, and legal considerations". In some cases it has been advocated as a mechanism to deal with unprecedented pressure on processing systems, in others it has become an important means to gain political support for governments that frames migration as a security issue. In the case of Greece and Italy, the increased rate of detention of asylum seekers at the border has also been the product of EU- level policy, namely the need to meet the requirements of the EU-Turkey statement and Dublin system.

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Arkiveringsdatum 190209:

ECRE 19-01-25:

Spanien/ Spain Proposes Increase in Deportations and Detention till sidans topp

The Spanish government of Pedro Sanchez has announced plans to expel 9,000 irregular migrants in 2019. They also intend to create new foreigner detention centres (CIEs) in the Peninsula.

The country's budget proposal for 2019, still to be approved in April, was presented on January 11. According to the interior ministry's estimated figures, the government is preparing to expel 9,000 undocumented migrants. This figure nearly doubles the number of expulsions which last year, in the absence of definitive figures, amounted to an estimated 5,100. It also exceeds the estimated 4,000 expulsions provided for in the budget of the conservative government at the time.

The budget further indicated as a priority the construction of new detention centres (CIEs) in Madrid and in the cities of Malaga and Algeciras in Andalusia, which are the main arrival points for undocumented persons. This proposal confirms the tightening on irregular migration that began in recent months under the ministry led by former magistrate Fernando Grande-Marlasca.

Spanish NGOs have frequently called for closing of CIEs by recalling that no one should be detained for not having documentation; which is not a criminal offence but an administrative offence under Spanish legislation. They argue that the conditions and services provided in these centres are worse than the ones existing in the Spanish prisons. NGOs also call for full access to the asylum procedure to be available for the persons detained, in compliance with national and international law.

Spain has become Europe's main entry point for refugees and migrants, overtaking Greece and Italy. More than 55,000 migrants arrived in Spain by sea in 2018, according to the UN refugee agency.

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Arkiveringsdatum 190123:

ECRE 19-01-11:

Danmark/ DRC outline their guiding principles for engagement with return procedures till sidans topp

The Danish Refugee Council (DRC) have released a new report outlining a framework of organisational core positions and operational and advocacy priorities in relation to the return of refugees, internally displaced persons (IDPs) and rejected asylum seekers.

The positions have been defined against a back drop of unequal responsibility sharing and prospects for durable solutions for displaced populations across the globe, the consequence of which is a significant pressure on refugees, IDP's and asylum seekers to return to their places of origin. While DRC is obliged to engage with return processes, this comes with a number of humanitarian risks for both those needing to return and for DRC's integrity.

DRC outlines eight positions that form its framework for engaging with returns. They maintain that protection against refoulement, the safety of routes to return, respect for due national and international human rights standards, and the inclusion and dignity of all concerned individuals must always be at the forefront of decisions on return, with the use of force or detention avoided at all costs. They emphasise the right for refugees to be returned "all the way home" but if they so wish they should also be able to access housing services in other areas of their country of origin. In either case post-return monitoring or meaningful reintegration support should always accompany the process.

DRC's framework also focuses attention on the opportunities of refugees and IDPs to develop new skills and maximise their own capacities while in exile, to better enable them to lead sustainable and dignified livelihoods once in their country of origin. As the report explains, it is crucial that "displaced persons are not merely offered 'care & maintenance', but are offered opportunities to heal, transform, and become empowered to master a new reality". It maintains that return should not be seen in isolation; all durable solutions should be pursued regardless of a host-government's political agenda.

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Arkiveringsdatum 190111:

Quaker Council for European Affairs 18-10-15:

Europa/ Updated report on child immigration detention published till sidans topp

QCEA's ongoing research into the practice of child immigration detention in Europe continues to represent some of the most authoritative work on this matter of concern. In 2017, we published the most precise statistics available concerning the numbers of children held in detention for their migration status. After extensive consultation with governments across Europe, we're proud to be able to publish an updated version of our report, with statistics for 2018.

As our report shows, far too many children are still held in secure facilities across Europe, either with our without their parents. QCEA's report not only shines a light onto this little-discussed practice, but explores workable alternatives which are truer to Europe's humane values.

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Arkiveringsdatum 181231:

IOM 18-12-18:

Norge/ Norway supports voluntary return and reintegration of stranded migrants in Morocco till sidans topp

Merethe Nergaard, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Norway, and Ana Fonseca, Chief of Mission of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Morocco signed an agreement to award a grant of NOK 4,000,000 (approx. EUR 400,000) to IOM as a contribution to the 'RAISE' programme (Voluntary Return and Reintegration for Stranded Migrants in Morocco).

"We are pleased to continue our support to RAISE, contributing to IOM and Morocco's efforts to assist stranded migrants who wish to return to their home country," said Marianne Hagen, State Secretary at the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. She headed the Norwegian delegation to the intergovernmental conference to adopt the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM). Hagen, together with Antķnio Vitorino, Director General of IOM, attended the signing of the agreement.

Morocco has over the years become a key location on the perilous journey of thousands of migrants, mostly from sub-Saharan countries, to Europe. Migrants fleeing poverty, lack of opportunities or increasing violence continue to arrive in Morocco, making the North African country both a destination and transit country. However, many of these migrants end up being stranded in Morocco, leaving them vulnerable to becoming victims to abuse and exploitation at the hands of smugglers and traffickers.

Consequently, Morocco and IOM launched an Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration programme in 2005 to offer the possibility of a dignified return through provision of administrative, logistical, financial support - including reintegration assistance - to migrants unable or unwilling to remain in Morocco, and who decide to return to their country of origin.

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Arkiveringsdatum 181218:

Human Rights Watch 18-12-11:

Kroatien/ Migrants pushed back to Bosnia and Herzegovina till sidans topp

Croatian police are pushing migrants and asylum seekers back to Bosnia and Herzegovina, in some cases violently, and without giving them the possibility to seek asylum, Human Rights Watch said.

Human Rights Watch interviewed 20 people, including 11 heads of families and 1 unaccompanied boy, who said that Croatian police deported them to Bosnia and Herzegovina without due process after detaining them deep inside Croatian territory. Sixteen, including women and children, said police beat them with batons, kicked and punched them, stole their money, and either stole or destroyed their mobile phones.

"Croatia has an obligation to protect asylum seekers and migrants," said Lydia Gall, Balkans and Eastern EU researcher at Human Rights Watch. "Instead, the Croatian police viciously beat asylum seekers and pushed them back over the border."

All 20 interviewees gave detailed accounts of being detained by people who either identified themselves as Croatian police or wore uniforms matching those worn by Croatian police. Seventeen gave consistent descriptions of the police vans used to transport them to the border. One mother and daughter were transported in what they described as a police car. Two people said that police had fired shots in the air, and five said that the police were wearing masks.

These findings confirm mounting evidence of abuse at Croatia's external borders, Human Rights Watch said. In December 2016, Human Rights Watch documented similar abuses by Croatian police at Croatia's border with Serbia. The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) reported in August 2018 that it had received reports Croatia had summarily pushed back 2,500 migrants and asylum seekers to Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina since the beginning of the year, at times accompanied by violence and theft.

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Arkiveringsdatum 181204:

ECRE 18-11-23:

Ungern/ Suspension of UN- Hungary visit as detention experts are denied access till sidans topp

A team of United Nations experts have been denied access by the Hungarian government to visit two border 'transit zones' where refugees and migrants, including children, are being detained. According the Working Group the visit had been planned in response to "a number of credible reports concerning the lack of safeguards against arbitrary detention in these facilities".

The United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention had been invited by Hungary to conduct the visit from 12 to 16 November 2018 in order to follow up on its 2013 recommendations, while continuing its engagement with the Hungarian government on addressing issues regarding deprivation of liberty. During the mission, human rights experts Ms. Elina Steinerte and Mr. Sčtondji Roland Adjovi had planned to meet with the relevant authorities, civil society and other stakeholders, and visit detention centres across the country.

In an unprecedented step, they were obliged to suspend their visit after they were denied access to the Röszke and Tompa "transit zones" at the border with Serbia, on the basis that they would be unable to fulfil their mandate because under the terms of reference for these visits, governments are required to guarantee full freedom of inquiry, particularly with regards to "confidential and unsupervised contacts with persons deprived of their liberty".

The investigators stated "There can be no doubt that holding migrants in these 'transit zones' constitutes deprivation of liberty in accordance with international law."

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Arkiveringsdatum 181125:

ECRE 18-11-16:

Storbritannien/ NHS to Pull out of Data- Sharing Agreement with Home Office till sidans topp

/NHS = National Health Service, offentlig sjukvårdsmyndighet i Storbritannien/

This week the NHS pulled out of a data sharing deal with the Home Office which was used to track down patients who were believed to be breaching immigration rules. This puts a halt to this controversial component of the UK government's "hostile environment" policy which had led to seriously ill migrants feeling too scared to seek medical treatment in the UK.

In January, experts warned the UK Parliament health select committee that the data sharing systems in place between the NHS and the Home Office, which had allowed the Home Office to request access to non-clinical information including patients' last known address, had left many people too intimidated to see a doctor, leading to people dying from treatable illnesses and pregnant women missing out on vital care. Health and civil liberties organisations called the policy an "invasion of patient confidentiality" that "discriminated against non-British patients". Following this criticism, in May the government agreed to suspend most of the data-sharing arrangement that was originally made in November 2016, and limit its use to tracing those being considered for deportation because they had committed a serious crime.

The NHS has now confirmed it will completely withdraw from the data-sharing agreement that was made in November 2016. This move has been welcomed by human rights campaigners, with Rita Chadra, director of the Migrants Right Network stating; "We are delighted that the government is starting to dismantle the hostile environment by conceding that deterring people from accessing health services is cruel, inhumane and ultimately more costly."

Negotiations between the Home Office and the NHS are now under way to develop a new agreement.

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Arkiveringsdatum 181108:

Amnesty International 18-10-24:

Schweiz/ absurd charges against priest who showed compassion to asylum-seeker till sidans topp

Authorities must drop absurd charges against priest who showed compassion to asylum-seeker

Swiss authorities should drop charges against a pastor who offered food and shelter to someone whose request for asylum had been rejected, said Amnesty International ahead of tomorrow's decision by the Public Prosecutor on whether to press on with the case and indict him.

Pastor Norbert Valley, who was taken from his Sunday service by police for questioning, is charged with "facilitating the illegal stay" of a Togolese man. Following his refusal to pay a fine of 1,000 Swiss Francs, the Public Prosecutor will decide tomorrow whether to issue an indictment.

"To criminalize this compassionate act is not only absurd but shows the extreme lengths the authorities will go to in order to try and curb the humanitarian activities of those who want to help refugees and asylum-seekers," said Cyrielle Huguenot, migration campaigner for Amnesty International Switzerland.

"Norbert Valley has done nothing wrong. He simply showed kindness to someone in a difficult situation and he should be commended for it, not fined."

Pastor Valley was questioned by police in February when they turned up at his church in Le Locle in the middle of the Sunday sermon.

He was charged, under Article 116 of the Swiss Foreigners Law, with "the facilitation of the illegal stay of a citizen from Togo, through the repeated provision of shelter and food".

If indicted, Pastor Valley would have to face a criminal trial.

"Sadly, Pastor Valley's case is not an isolated one but just the latest in a series of cases across Europe that have seen authorities using immigration and anti-smuggling laws to criminalise acts of solidarity," said Cyrielle Huguenot.

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Human Rights Watch 18-11-05:

Grekland/ Rescuers at sea face baseless accusations till sidans topp

The criminal accusations brought by Greek prosecutors against activists for their efforts to rescue migrants and asylum seekers at sea appear entirely unfounded, Human Rights Watch said today. Human Rights Watch analyzed court records and other documents in the cases of two of the four activists currently in pretrial detention.

The two foreign volunteers Sarah Mardini, 23, and Sean Binder, 24, have been detained for more than two months. Two Greek nationals are also in pretrial detention, including Nassos Karakitsos, 37, who was arrested a week after Mardini and Binder. Their detention followed a police investigation and a prosecutor's accusations that misrepresent humanitarian search and rescue operations as people smuggling by an organized crime ring. Greek judicial authorities should drop the baseless accusations and release them from pretrial detention.

"Accusations of money laundering, people smuggling, and espionage appear no more than an effort to criminalize humanitarian activism on behalf of refugees and migrants in Greece," said Bill Van Esveld, senior children's rights researcher at Human Rights Watch. "These charges should be dropped, and the activists should be freed."

Mardini, a Syrian refugee, and Binder, a German national and the son of a Vietnamese refugee, began volunteering in search and rescue operations on the island of Lesbos in 2017 with a nonprofit organization, Emergency Response Center International (ERCI). Greek police arrested Mardini on August 21, 2018, in the airport on Lesbos as she was about to fly to Germany to begin her second year of undergraduate studies at Bard College Berlin. Upon hearing of Mardini's arrest, Binder went to visit her in police custody on Lesbos, where he was also arrested.

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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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