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  • ‘Run philosophy’: the Chinese citizens seeking to leave amid Covid uncertainty | China | The Guardian
    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/jul/20/run-philosophy-the-chinese-citizens-seeking-to-leave-amid-covid-uncerta
    https://i.guim.co.uk/img/media/fec277c7d980588b1fa1f45cab82b38cc94dad6a/0_274_8192_4916/master/8192.jpg?width=1200&height=630&quality=85&auto=format&fit=crop&overlay-ali

    The Guardian - China ‘Run philosophy’: the Chinese citizens seeking to leave amid Covid uncertainty
    With Beijing’s zero Covid policy set to continue, many disillusioned citizens have begun planning to leave the country. Last modified on Wed 20 Jul 2022 05.42 BST
    When Wendy Luo*, a 29-year-old Chinese woman, handed over her passport to a border control officer in Shanghai airport last month, her heart began to beat fast. “I felt like my fate would be determined at that moment. Leave or stay, all at the officer’s mercy.”
    After enduring months of lockdowns and weeks of food shortages, Luo had begun to look for an exit strategy from China. She was lucky, she said, because she quickly managed to find a job in Paris, having spent six years studying and working in France and being in possession of a resident visa.
    “The border control officer in Shanghai asked many questions,” Luo said. “They included why I was leaving China, what did I do in Shanghai in the last couple of years, and what I was going to do in France. Most importantly, whether I plan to return to China any time soon. I pretended to be calm when giving my answers, but I was actually extremely nervous.”
    Until last year, China’s zero-Covid policy had won much support from its citizens. When western countries such as the US and the UK recorded hundreds of thousands of deaths and millions of infections, the ruling Communist party used the opportunity to emphasise the virtues of its system of government.Yet when strict lockdowns began to be enforced across many cities in China, including Shanghai, from the start of 2022, doubts and criticisms began to rise. China’s economy was hit hard, and young graduates complained about not being able to find work. The economy showed signs of rebound in June, but since the more transmissible Omicron subvariant, BA.5, was discovered this month, many have begun to speculate again whether renewed lockdowns in cities such as Shanghai are on the way.
    Many disillusioned urban Chinese citizens have started planning to leave the country. Online, “run philosophy”, or “run xue” – a coded way of talking about emigrating – has become a buzzword. On Zhihu, a post explaining the phenomenon has been read more than 9m times since January.
    Elsewhere on Chinese language social media, forums have been set up to exchange tips about how to maximise the chances of being admitted to overseas academic programmes. Immigration agencies reported the number of business inquiries had shot up too over the past few months.
    Mark Li*, a 24-year-old history teacher in the southern province of Hainan, jokingly calls himself a member of the “run philosophy club”. After spending four years as an undergraduate student in the US, Li came back to China in the summer of 2020 to build a career in teaching.“Initially, the idea of leaving China started with the frustration of censorship that began to build in my day-to-day job. And when lockdowns in Shanghai began, I started to think harder about it: people’s rights can be so easily taken away, even in the most outward-looking city like Shanghai,” he told the Guardian.
    The last straw, according to Li, was the recent announcement in Beijing that it would “unremittingly grasp the normalisation of epidemic prevention and control in the next five years”. The line caught the eyes of China’s Covid-fatigued citizens. After an outcry online, the reference to “five years” was removed from Chinese media, and a related hashtag on Weibo was deleted.
    Yet Li was determined. He saw all of this as a sign of deeper changes that are taking place in China today. “When I came back to China two years ago I was planning on a life and career in the country. I was very optimistic … But Covid seemed to have revealed the rotten core of Chinese politics and turned the country upside down – in a short span of two years.”It is difficult to know how many of those who pondered leaving did leave in the end. Official emigration figures for this year are not immediately available. According to the United Nations population fund (UNFPA), there was only a total Chinese emigration of 6.9 million over the years from 2000 to 2021. And measured as a share of China’s total population, the UNFPA said, it is “negligible”. In May, Beijing said it would “strictly limit” unnecessary travel outside the country by Chinese citizens.Rachel Murphy, a professor of Chinese development and society at Oxford University, said the rise of the run philosophy “sits alongside other sentiments that have in recent years become popular in China’s social media, such as ‘lying flat’” – taking an extended break from relentless work. The popularity of run philosophy, she said, indicated that people want to opt out of a social order that has become hyper-competitive, exhausting and unpredictable.
    “The recent lockdown in Shanghai also increased the visibility of unchecked party-state power on individuals,” she said. “Yet, the costs of using their voice to try to change things are too high for Chinese citizens. So that leaves them with dreams of exit.”But Murphy said that this was not to say that these young people were not loyal to China and their nationalistic sentiments were very strong. “Right now, though, some people feel they want to escape the present circumstances of their lives.”The sense of uncertainty was shared in China’s expatriate community across different industries, too. While Chinese citizens face tough hurdles to leave, foreign residents find it tough to stay. This pains Andrea Caballé, a Spanish lawyer who has called Beijing home for the past decade.
    Last month, after she began the process of preparing to move back to Barcelona, her home town, Caballé broke into tears in her Hutong apartment in downtown Beijing. “I spent a decade of my life in China. I have loved this country, but now I feel that I have no choice but to go back home,” she said.Caballé, who turned 37 this year, began her career as an intern in 2012 in the Chinese capital. Over the past decade, she has thrived professionally. She now works for the European Union in Beijing, facilitating legal exchanges between Europe and China.But since Covid struck, Caballé said the sudden lockdowns brought her constant stress and were demoralising. “I don’t want to be told one day that I couldn’t leave due to Covid when I really have to, for example, visit my elderly parents in Spain,” she said.Luo, now finally settled in Paris after months of distress, said she will stay in France for as long as she can. “I don’t know when I’ll be back in China next,” she said. “Rumour has it that ‘zero Covid’ probably won’t end until 2025. So I’ll have to find a way to stay in France until then, at least.”

    #Covid-19#migrant#migration#chine#sante#emigration#exit#confinement#frontiere#europe#france#shanghai#runphilosophy

  • ‘The way it’s playing out is unexpected’: UK faces up to changing waves of Covid | Coronavirus | The Guardian
    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/jul/17/unexpected-changing-waves-covid-seasonal

    🇺🇦 Meaghan Kall sur Twitter : https://twitter.com/kallmemeg/status/1548946888057131008

    I disagree. Right now, resurgences in COVID-19 infections are variant driven. We have known this for 18 months. We have been able to detect new variants months before they spread to the UK.

    It may be unwanted, but it is not unexpected.

  • Macau shuts all casinos in bid to contain worsening Covid outbreak | Macau | The Guardian
    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/jul/11/macau-shuts-all-casinos-in-bid-to-contain-worsening-covid-outbreak
    https://i.guim.co.uk/img/media/c9369f062f6b3f90b473e461e89b92180605d409/0_70_3500_2101/master/3500.jpg?width=1200&height=630&quality=85&auto=format&fit=crop&overlay-ali

    Macau shuts all casinos in bid to contain worsening Covid outbreak
    More than 30 closed for a week – with extension thought likely – and dozens of city zones locked down in gambling hub. Macau has shut all its casinos for the first time in more than two years as authorities struggle to contain the worst coronavirus outbreak yet in the world’s biggest gambling hub.The city’s 30-plus casinos, along with other non-essential businesses, will shut for one week from Monday and people have been ordered to stay at home. Police would monitor flows of people outside, the government said, and stringent punishments would be imposed for those who disobeyed.Hospitals, pharmacies, supermarkets and fresh food markets are some of the essential services that can remain open.More than 30 zones in the city that have been deemed high risk are now under lockdown, meaning no one is allowed to enter or exit for at least five days. While the government said it was not imposing a citywide lockdown, the stringent measures mean Macau is effectively closed.Macau adheres to China’s “zero-Covid” policy that aims to stamp out all outbreaks, running counter to a global trend of trying to coexist with the virus.Casinos were last shut in Macau in February 2020 for 15 days.The government had previously been hesitant to close casinos due to its mandate to protect jobs. The industry employs most of the population directly or indirectly and accounts for more than 80% of government revenues.Casinos owned by Sands China, Wynn Macau, SJM Holdings, Galaxy Entertainment, Melco Resorts and MGM Resorts have been effectively shut for the past few weeks, with no gamblers and minimal staffing as per government requirements for people to work from home.Analysts said it was likely that the suspension could be extended by another few weeks, with a recovery in gaming revenue unlikely until the end of the third or fourth quarter.“Even if the outbreak in Macau gets under control, it will likely be another few weeks before Macau-Zhuhai can remove quarantine requirements,” said Terry Ng, an analyst at Daiwa Capital Markets in Hong Kong.Frustration is mounting at the government’s handling of the outbreak. Some residents have got into fights at testing centres while others have had to queue for more than 20 hours to access healthcare facilities.Residents will be required to take part in mass Covid tests four times this week as the government attempts to cut transmission chains.Residents have already been tested six times since mid June and are expected to do rapid antigen tests daily.More than 90% of Macau’s 600,000 residents are fully vaccinated against Covid but this is the first time the city has had to grapple with the fast-spreading Omicron variant.Authorities have added two hotels in popular casino resorts to be used as Covid medical facilities as they try to increase capacity to handle the surge of infections.

    #Covid-19#migrant#migration#chine#sante#macau#confinement#zerocovid#omicron#depistage#vaccination#quarantaine#hongkong#mobilite#frontiere#casino#economie

  • Priti Patel’s plan to end Channel crossings in disarray as navy threatens to ‘walk away’

    Official figures reveal that number of refugees crossing in small boats has doubled since military brought in

    The Royal Navy is threatening to “walk away” from Boris Johnson and Priti Patel’s plan to stem the number of boats carrying asylum seekers across the Channel as official data shows how spectacularly the policy has backfired.

    Defence chiefs are said to be fed up with trying to enact the prime minister and home secretary’s rapidly imploding plan of using the military to control small boats in the Channel.

    Ministry of Defence data shows crossings have close to doubled since the military was given “primacy” over the issue from mid-April compared with the first three months of this year.

    Patel and Johnson were warned that deploying the Royal Navy would be likely to increase the number of crossings but ignored expert advice because, according to internal sources, they wanted to appear tough.

    One former defence minister told the Observer that their miscalculation had guaranteed the navy was effectively providing an “efficient taxi service” for asylum seekers.

    Meanwhile, senior Home Office sources have admitted the UK could receive up to 60,000 people by small boat this year – double last year’s record – with another 20,000 arriving by different routes, undermining the credibility of Patel, who has made reducing crossings her priority.

    Patel will be grilled by the home affairs select committee this Wednesday on Channel crossings, the lack of safe, legal passage to the UK and her Rwanda asylum plan. The government has spent significant sums trying to remove asylum seekers to east Africa, but has yet to deport a single person.

    Defence chiefs hope Johnson’s resignation is an opportunity to scrap the Channel initiative as it also ties up resources at a time of escalating international security threats. Tobias Ellwood, Conservative chair of the influential defence committee, which has completed a damning inquiry into the use of the military in the Channel, said: “I know the MoD really wants to walk away from this, wants this to conclude. There’ll be less political pressure now. The prime minister is going.”

    The former soldier added: “From my personal perspective, I can say this is a complete waste of naval time. The navy is already overstretched.”

    John Spellar, the Labour vice-chair of the defence committee and a former defence minister, said the scheme had effectively reduced the navy to a “taxi service”.

    Spellar added: “As is now demonstrated, it is not achieving any significant improvement in the situation, but it’s embroiling the military in a task for which they are not suited and which is potentially reputationally damaging.”

    Their committee has heard evidence from naval commanders that the use of navy assets would, far from being a deterrent, make the crossing safer and therefore more attractive to small boats.

    This Tuesday, the armed forces minister James Heappey will be questioned by the committee over the operation’s predicted and actual lack of operational effectiveness.

    His appearance comes after ministers and officials from the Ministry of Defence and the Home Office refused to give evidence to the defence committee’s inquiry. When the Home Office and MoD were asked by the Observer to explain the legal basis for the military’s involvement in the Channel under so-called Operation Isotrope, neither would answer.

    It is also understood that the national security council, the main forum for collective discussion of the government’s objectives for national security, was not consulted before Isotrope was announced.

    MoD data shows a clear increase in migrants crossing in small boats.

    In May, 2,871 migrants were apprehended crossing the Channel by small boat compared with 1,627 in May 2021, a 75% increase. Similarly, during the first three months of 2022, 4,540 people were detected arriving by small boats compared with 7,432 during the last half of April, May and June after the MoD took over.

    Enver Solomon, chief executive of the Refugee Council, said the use of the navy had been proved to be futile. He said: “It is also expensive and demonstrates how the government is obsessed with control over both compassion and competence.

    “Prime ministers since Churchill have always given people fleeing persecution and bloodshed a fair hearing on UK soil. Using the military to repel them and seeking to expel them to Rwanda is a nasty and brutish response.”

    The MoD said: “As part of the government’s efforts to tackle illegal migration, the Ministry of Defence took primacy for the operational response to small-boat migration in the Channel in April.

    “The armed forces are supplementing Border Force assets, expertise and experience and providing operational oversight and coordination of maritime operations. This arrangement is likely to remain in place until early 2023.”

    A Home Office spokesperson said: “The government is united in tackling illegal migration and saving lives, to suggest otherwise is misleading and incorrect.

    “No one should be putting their lives at risk in the hands of people-smuggling gangs by getting into a small boat to cross the dangerous Channel.

    “The government’s new plan for immigration is the most comprehensive reform of the asylum system and will ensure we support those in genuine need while preventing abuse and deterring illegal entry to the UK.”

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/jul/09/priti-patels-plan-to-end-channel-crossings-in-disarray-as-navy-threaten

    #Manche #UK #Angleterre #frontières #asile #migrations #réfugiés #armée #Royal_Navy #résistance #inefficacité #chiffres #statistiques #traversées

  • #Sri_Lanka protests: thousands storm president’s residence in Colombo | Sri Lanka | The Guardian
    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/jul/09/sri-lanka-protests-thousands-storm-presidents-residence-colombo

    “I have never experienced such a widespread people’s uprising,” said Fernando. “There was such a sense of achievement when people entered the president’s house, and his secretariat. These are all places maintained in luxury by people’s money at a time when the government claims that there isn’t enough money to give medicine, to give food, to give fuel. So it’s very politically significant they have been reclaimed by the public.”

  • Maître Pandaï sur Twitter
    https://twitter.com/Panda31808732/status/1543699883512811520
    https://www.jpost.com/health-and-wellness/article-711033

    Les scientifiques surveillent BA.2.75, détecté pour la première fois en Inde début juin (9 mutations sur S).

    « Depuis, le variant a été trouvé en Australie, au Canada, au Japon, en Allemagne, en Nouvelle Zélande, au Royaume-Uni et aux États-Unis »

    https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/pune/3-new-ba-2-variants-found-may-have-role-in-ongoing-surge-experts/articleshow/92640918.cms

    D’après un scientifique de l’INSACOG en Inde, BA.2.74, BA.2.75 et BA.2.76 sont plus compétitifs que BA.5.

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/jul/03/uk-health-chiefs-brace-for-bumpy-ride-amid-fears-over-covid-wave

    En Angleterre, on s’attend à un pic BA.5 supérieur aux pics BA.1 et BA.2.

    • Il y a de quoi souhaiter un vaccin polyvalent, un vaccin nasal. Pour ce que j’ai vu sur des comptes touiteure attentifs et informés, dans les deux cas, il n’y a pas d’essai annoncé avant fin 2022. Une bonne surprise peut-elle arriver ? no sé.

      quant au « refus d’agir », il est manifeste et pour réussir à rater, on casse du thermomètre (qui se souvient des prélèvements d’eaux usées comme outil de mesure de la prévalence ?), et on refuse d’en fabriquer

      Covid-19 : pourquoi le pic de contamination de la septième vague est si difficile à prévoir
      https://www.francetvinfo.fr/sante/maladie/coronavirus/covid-19-pourquoi-le-pic-de-contamination-de-la-septieme-vague-est-si-d

      il n’existe pas de projections pour cette vague

      Samuel Alizon, directeur de recherche au CNRS, rappelle à franceinfo que "personne ne peut prévoir le futur" et que les spécialistes ne peuvent qu’élaborer "des scénarios pour capturer le champ des possibles". Il souligne que cela a été fait avec succès, en France, pour la vague liée au sous-variant BA.2, qui a sévi en mars. Mais en réalité, aucun scénario n’aurait encore été établi à ce jour pour la nouvelle montée épidémique liée aux nouveaux variants BA.4 et BA.5, explique à franceinfo l’épidémiologiste Mircea Sofonea, qui travaille avec Samuel Alizon au sein de l’équipe ETE, à Montpellier.

      "Il s’agit de la première vague en France pour laquelle nous n’avons pas de projection."

      Mircea Sofonea, épidémiologiste à franceinfo
      Cette équipe est l’un des centres de recherche français les plus en pointe depuis le début de la pandémie. Jusqu’à encore récemment, ETE publiait régulièrement des modélisations à partir des données hospitalières afin d’anticiper la date et la hauteur des pics épidémiques de Sars-CoV-2 en France. Mais ce travail n’a pas été effectué pour cette septième vague. Les chercheurs regrettent un manque de moyens. "Je passe une partie importante de mon temps à répondre à des appels à projets pour obtenir simplement les moyens de faire de la recherche", regrette Mircea Sofonea, qui affirme avoir essuyé plusieurs refus ces derniers mois auprès d’organismes comme l’Agence nationale de la recherche, qui finance les recherches publiques en France.

      Samuel Alizon juge lui aussi que "la principale difficulté actuelle" concernant les projections de la septième vague réside dans "le manque de soutien matériel pour nos équipes et le désintérêt des autorités". "Seule la Région Occitanie et l’université de Montpellier ont soutenu notre travail constant de projection des besoins hospitaliers", précise Mircea Sofonea.

      L’absence de données fiables, locales et actualisées est également mise en cause. “La dernière étude que nous avons en France sur les lieux et les circonstances de contamination, menée par l’équipe d’Arnaud Fontanet à l’Institut Pasteur, date d’août 2021. Or depuis, le contexte sanitaire – variants, mesures et comportements – a changé", s’alarme Mircea Sofonea.

      De son côté, l’Ecole des hautes études en santé publique (EHESP) explique à franceinfo "qu’aucune projection ayant vocation à être rendue publique n’est réalisée pour le moment" par ses épidémiologistes. A l’Inserm, "on continue à y travailler mais à ce stade la situation ne nous permet pas d’avoir des projections", reconnaît la directrice de recherche Vittoria Colliza auprès de franceinfo. Enfin, à l’institut Pasteur, "des analyses sont en cours" mais "elles ne sont pas encore publiées".

      #vaccin #covid-19

  • Growing numbers of young Africans want to move abroad, survey suggests | Africa | The Guardian
    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/jun/13/young-africans-want-to-move-abroad-survey-suggests
    https://i.guim.co.uk/img/media/feb0ab5767dd60d89a0216a08817b74e2f802853/0_25_4000_2400/master/4000.jpg?width=1200&height=630&quality=85&auto=format&fit=crop&overlay-ali

    Growing numbers of young Africans want to move abroad, survey suggests
    Covid, climate, stability and violence contributing to young people feeling pessimistic about future, survey of 15 countries suggests
    Kaamil Ahmed
    Mon 13 Jun 2022 07.00 BST
    African youth have lost confidence in their own countries and the continent as a whole to meet their aspirations and a rising number are considering moving abroad, according to a survey of young people from 15 countries.
    The pandemic, climate crisis, political instability and violence have all contributed to making young people “jittery” about their futures since the Covid pandemic began, according to the African Youth Survey published on Monday.Only 32% of the 4,500 young people interviewed, aged 18-24, were optimistic about Africa’s prospects, according to the survey – a drop of 11% since the last survey of its kind published in early 2020.Many of them had their schooling suspended and they or their families had lost incomes because of the pandemic, said Ivor Ichikowitz, whose South African family foundation commissioned the report.“In many countries in Africa, it’s an election year or a year just before elections, and it’s kind of logical that people will see instability as a concern,” said Ichikowitz.“But marry that with lack of access to water, marry that with a major concern around terrorism, and you’ve now got a demographic a group of people that are very jittery about the future of the continent,” he said.“And the real bombshell out of the survey is that a very high percentage of the people in the response group are thinking about migration.”About 60% of Africa’s population is younger than 25, and more than a third is aged between 15–34 years old. By 2100, Africa will have the world’s youngest population with a median age of 35.

    #Covid-19#migrant#migration#afrique#sante#pandemie#jeunesse#emigration#education

  • Ukraine’s high casualty rate could bring war to tipping point | Ukraine | The Guardian
    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/jun/10/ukraine-casualty-rate-russia-war-tipping-point

    Analysis: Kyiv’s fighting strength is stretched, yet Russia could now benefit from a pause in fighting

    Any way you count it, the figures are stark: Ukrainian casualties are running at a rate of somewhere between 6oo and 1,000 a day. One presidential adviser, Oleksiy Arestovych, told the Guardian this week it was 150 killed and 800 wounded daily; another, Mykhaylo Podolyak, told the BBC that 100 to 200 Ukrainian troops a day were being killed.

    It represents an extraordinary loss of human life and capacity for the defenders, embroiled in a defence of the eastern city of Sievierodonetsk that this week turned into a losing battle. Yet the city was also arguably a place that Ukraine could have retreated from to the more defensible Lysychansk, across the Siverski Donets River, the sort of defensive situation that Ukraine has fared far better in.

  • Huge scale and impact of Israeli incursions over Lebanon skies revealed | Lebanon | The Guardian
    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/jun/09/huge-scale-and-impact-of-israeli-incursions-over-lebanon-skies-revealed
    https://i.guim.co.uk/img/media/401f82c696b169575b6a60d550e7d3021e5a0d8b/516_11_2783_1671/master/2783.jpg?width=1200&height=630&quality=85&auto=format&fit=crop&overlay-ali

    Perhaps less understood is the psychological effect of foreign warplanes dominating the skies above a civilian population. They often fly at low altitudes that cause alarm and panic.

    #Liban

  • #Rwanda accused of stalking, harassing and threatening exiles in US

    African state that signed deal with UK to host asylum seekers perpetrates ‘transnational repression’, Freedom House report says

    Rwanda has been accused of being among the worst perpetrators of “transnational repression” in the US, stalking, harassing and threatening exiles there, according to a new report.

    The report by the Freedom House advocacy group in Washington names Rwanda as well as China, Russia, Iran and Egypt as the principal offenders in seeking to extend the reach of their repressive regimes into the US.

    Isabel Linzer, one of the report’s authors, said the findings raise further questions about the UK government’s agreement with Kigali to deport asylum seekers to Rwanda. The first deportation flight is due on 14 June.

    “People often focus on Saudi Arabia, Iran, China, Russia, but Rwanda is one of the most prolific perpetrators of transnational repression in the world,” Linzer said. “And it certainly has not received the same level of scrutiny as some of those other countries.

    “The asylum deal between the UK and Rwanda is quite shocking given how frequently the Rwandan government has gone after Rwandans in the UK and the British government is well aware of that,” she added.

    The Freedom House report, Unsafe in America: Transnational Repression in the United States, notes that attacks on exiles have taken place since the cold war, but adds “operations by foreign intelligence agents have significantly intensified in recent years”.

    “Autocrats cast a long shadow onto America’s soil,” it says. “The governments of Iran, China, Egypt, Russia, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, and other states are increasingly and more aggressively disregarding US laws to threaten, harass, surveil, stalk, and even plot to physically harm people across the country.”

    One of those targeted was Paul Rusesabagina, the former Kigali hotel manager whose efforts to save people in the 1994 genocide is told the film Hotel Rwanda.

    Rusesabagina, a US permanent resident and prominent dissident, was abducted while travelling in the Middle East in August 2020 and tricked into boarding a private airplane that took him to Rwanda, where he was sentenced to 25 years in prison. Last month the US state department formally declared him to be “wrongfully detained”.

    Rusesabagina’s daughter, Carine, and other Rwandan dissidents have been found to have been the targets of surveillance using Pegasus spyware made by the Israel security firm NSO Group.

    The Rwandan government has denied using the spyware but did not respond to a request to comment on the Freedom House report.

    Rwandan opposition figures in the US speak of constant surveillance, harassment and threats.

    “You come to understand that it is part of your life,” said Theogene Rudasingwa, a former chief of staff to President Paul Kagame who was once Rwanda’s ambassador to the US, and is now a staunch critic of Kagame’s rule. “My wife is constantly in fear. My children are constantly in fear, especially for me. Every time I step out of the house, they are on edge. I have determined that I can’t be paralysed and live in fear 24/7, but the feeling of being a hunted person is around me 24/7,” Rudasingwa told the Guardian.

    Three months ago he said he came out of his local bank to be told by a passerby that they had seen someone go under his car. Rudasingwa called the police who carried out a three-hour search but found nothing, possibly because the intruder had been disturbed.

    Rudasingwa was the target of an assassination plot in Belgium in 2015, which failed when he put off a planned trip there. After the murder of his fellow opposition leader, former Rwandan intelligence chief Patrick Karegeya, in South Africa in 2013 – a killing widely believed to have been ordered in Kigali – the state department advised Rudasingwa to take extra precautions.

    “They told me that they had reached out to Kigali to warn them not to try to do that kind of thing here in the United States,” he told the Guardian.

    In March this year, the FBI launched a website on transnational repression giving advice on how to report incidents, part of a broad campaign by the administration to confront the growing threat.

    “Transnational repression is used not only to harm or threaten individual dissidents, journalists, activists, and diaspora members, but to silence entire communities,” a spokesperson for the National Security Council said.

    “Our intention is to use the full suite of tools and resources at our disposal to protect and build support for individuals and communities who are being targeted, and to hold perpetrators accountable for their actions.”

    However, Claude Gatebuke, another Rwandan activist who has received repeated anonymous threats, said many in the diaspora do not report harassment because of the close diplomatic ties between Washington and Kigali.

    “Part of the reason why people won’t speak up is because they know the government of Rwanda has a very tight relationship with the US government, and sharing information, they think they’re telling on themselves,” Gatebuke told the Freedom House authors.

    Senior members of Congress have also voiced unease at Washington’s embrace of Kagame. After the head of US Africa Command, Gen Stephen Townsend, posted pictures of him posing with the Rwandan president, the top Republican on the Senate foreign relations committee, James Risch, warned that the bilateral relationship “faces serious complications”.

    “Portraying the opposite is counterproductive and undermines [state department] messages on other top diplomatic concerns,” Risch wrote on Twitter.

    “I’m always sensitive to the fact that there is that level of interaction at the intelligence level, at the level of the FBI, of senior officials always going to Kigali like it’s their Mecca,” Rudasingwa said. “How could I possibly say I’m safe, sharing sensitive information with them? So sometimes you just keep it to yourself.

    “Nobody ever calls Kagame out. Nobody seeks accountability from him,” he added. “They give these occasional slaps on the wrist, but then you see the United Kingdom is sending refugees there. So where would you get the guts to call him out when he is doing you a favour?”

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/jun/02/rwanda-exiles-stalking-harassing-threatening-us-freedom-house-report-ed

    #réfugiés_rwandais #répression #répression_internationale #asile #migrations #réfugiés

  • Japan to reopen to foreign tourists after two-year pandemic closure | Japan | The Guardian
    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/may/27/japan-to-reopen-to-foreign-tourists-after-two-year-pandemic-closure
    https://i.guim.co.uk/img/media/888cb8f738988e79f918af974dab020b5fa2069d/506_78_5248_3149/master/5248.jpg?width=1200&height=630&quality=85&auto=format&fit=crop&overlay-ali

    Japan to reopen to foreign tourists after two-year pandemic closure
    Government to allow in tourists from 98 countries and regions next month – but only as part of tour groups
    Agence France-Presse
    Fri 27 May 2022 04.20 BST
    Japan has announced it will end a two-year pandemic closure and reopen to tourists from 98 countries and regions next month, but travellers will only be allowed in as part of tour groups.The decision comes after the government last week said it would test allowing small group tours with visitors from the US, Australia, Thailand and Singapore from this month.
    On Thursday, the government revised border controls to resume accepting package tours from the 98 countries and regions – including Britain, the US, France, Spain, Canada and Malaysia – starting on 10 June.Japan will also expand the number of airports that accept international flights to seven, adding Naha in its southern Okinawa prefecture and New Chitose near Sapporo in northern Hokkaido.
    Japanese tourists at the entrance to Kiyomizu-dera temple in Kyoto
    Covid robbed Kyoto of foreign tourists – now it is not sure it wants them back. For most of the pandemic Japan has barred all tourists and allowed only citizens and foreign residents entry, though even the latter have periodically been shut out.All arrivals have to test negative to Covid before travel to Japan and many must be tested again on arrival, though triple-vaccinated people coming from certain countries can skip the additional test as well as a three-day quarantine required for others.Tour groups are expected to take responsibility for ensuring visitors respect Japan’s near-universal mask-wearing and other measures that have helped keep the toll from Covid comparatively low.Just how many people will be able to take advantage of the careful reopening is unclear as Japan is planning to double a daily entry cap, but only to 20,000.The prime minister, Fumio Kishida, has said he wants to ease border control measures, but moves are expected to proceed slowly, with strong public support for the current restrictions.Japan welcomed a record 31.9 million foreign visitors in 2019 and had been on track to achieve its goal of 40 million in 2020 before the pandemic hit.

    #Covid-19#migrant#migration#japon#sante#pandemie#tourisme#frontiere#economie#circulation

  • Priti Patel’s Rwanda plan for UK asylum seekers faces its first legal challenge

    Home secretary is violating international law, the UN refugee convention and data protection rules, say lawyers

    The first legal action has been launched against Priti Patel’s plan to send asylum seekers to Rwanda as the UN’s refugee agency raised concerns that the UK is “inviting” other European countries to adopt the same divisive immigration policy.

    Lodged last Tuesday, the legal challenge states that the home secretary’s proposals run contrary to international law and the UN refugee convention, as well as breaching British data protection law.

    Lawyers believe that the Rwanda plans are a “publicity stunt” to discourage people crossing the Channel in small boats. Patel is refusing to disclose key framework documents explaining which migrants may be eligible to be removed.

    Larry Bottinick, acting UNHCR representative to Britain, told the Observer: “We are worried that they [the British] are inviting all their European counterparts to do the same. I can understand from their perspective why they would do that – it would give such deals more perceived legitimacy if others do the same.” Denmark has already signalled an interest in outsourcing elements of its asylum system to Rwanda.

    Bottinick added that Britain would welcome other countries following suit because it would mean even fewer refugees made it to northern France. He warned: “This would increase the pressures on those states neighbouring conflict areas which are already hosting the great majority of those seeking refuge.”

    The action has been launched by the law firm InstaLaw. The Home Office has three weeks to respond and the process could lead to Patel being challenged in the high court. Stuart Luke, partner at InstaLaw, said their case was based on an Iranian asylum seeker who believes he would face an extremely difficult time if sent to Rwanda. “He could be the only Iranian in the country, there’s no network there, no community, no one who speaks the language. How’s he going to manage, survive? How’s he going to find a job, get educated?” said Luke.

    Initially the Home Office had given assurances that it would not deport him before 10 May – but on Friday the department backed down and said it was not looking to deport him.

    Bottinick said that the UNHCR had “serious concerns” over how the Home Office and Rwanda intended to integrate non-African asylum seekers who formed the vast majority of arrivals in the UK.

    “There will be issues as basic as interpretation for Vietnamese and Albanian speakers. The main arrivals to the UK also include Iranians, Iraqis and Syrians. We have serious concerns about Rwanda’s capacity to integrate these groups.”

    The legal move came as activists accused Patel of “racist” and “inhumane” policies over the Rwanda plan during her appearance at a Conservative party dinner. The home secretary was speaking at a dinner organised by the Bassetlaw Conservatives in Nottinghamshire on Friday when several activists stood on their chairs and denounced her for the policy.

    Footage published on social media shows a woman stand up and tell Patel: “Priti Patel, your racist policies are killing people. Your plans to send people seeking asylum to Rwanda are inhumane and are going to ruin people’s lives.” The woman was booed before being led away. A number of other activists then stood up and made statements.

    A Home Office spokesperson said the agreement with Rwanda would “overhaul our broken asylum system.”

    They added: “It means those arriving dangerously, illegally or unnecessarily can be relocated to have their asylum claims considered and, if recognised as refugees, build their lives there.

    “Our partnership with Rwanda fully complies with international and national law. We will defend any legal challenge robustly.”

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/may/07/priti-patels-rwanda-plan-for-uk-asylum-seekers-faces-its-first-legal-ch

    #justice #résistance
    #Angleterre #UK #asile #migrations #réfugiés
    #offshore_asylum_processing #externalisation #Rwanda #procédure_d'asile #pays_tiers

    –---

    Sur cet accord, voir ce fil de discussion :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/957141

    et ajouté à la métaliste sur la mise en place de l’#externalisation des #procédures_d'asile au #Rwanda par l’#Angleterre (2022) :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/900122

    • Rwanda asylum flight cancelled after 11th-hour ECHR intervention

      First flight to Rwanda grounded after lawyers make successful emergency application

      Boris Johnson’s plan to send an inaugural flight of asylum seekers to Rwanda has been abandoned after a dramatic 11th-hour ruling by the European court of human rights.

      Up to seven people who had come to the UK seeking refuge had been expected to be removed to the east African country an hour and a half before the flight was due to take off.

      But a ruling by the ECHR on one of the seven cases allowed lawyers for the other six to make successful last-minute applications.

      The decision is a significant and embarrassing blow for Boris Johnson and his home secretary, Priti Patel, who had promised to start sending thousands of asylum seekers 4,000 miles to the east African country in May.

      It comes hours after the prime minister threatened to take the UK out of the ECHR and accused lawyers of aiding criminals exploiting refugees in the Channel.

      The legality of the Rwanda policy will be tested in a full court hearing next month.

      Responding to the decision, Patel said she was “disappointed” by the legal challenge, made pointed criticisms of the ECHR ruling and said that the policy will continue.

      “We will not be deterred from doing the right thing and delivering our plans to control our nation’s borders,” she said. “Our legal team are reviewing every decision made on this flight and preparation for the next flight begins now.”

      Yvette Cooper, the shadow home secretary, said that the government must take responsibility for the failed flight, and indicated that the government does not mind clashing with lawyers and the European courts.

      “Ministers are pursuing a policy they know isn’t workable and that won’t tackle criminal gangs,” she wrote on Twitter last night. “But they still paid Rwanda £120m and hired a jet that hasn’t taken off because they just want a row and someone else to blame.”

      The Rwandan government said on Wednesday it was still committed to taking in asylum seekers sent by the UK. “We are not deterred by these developments. Rwanda remains fully committed to making this partnership work,” government spokeswoman Yolande Makolo told AFP.

      “The current situation of people making dangerous journeys cannot continue as it is causing untold suffering to so many. Rwanda stands ready to receive the migrants when they do arrive and offer them safety and opportunity in our country.”

      The flight, which cost an estimated £500,000, had already been paid for from the public purse, a government source confirmed. The UK government has paid £120m as a downpayment on the Rwanda deal. The government has declined to say how much it has paid in legal costs, and has not said how much it expects to pay for future flights, accommodation and living costs for everyone sent to Rwanda.

      The ECHR examined the case of a 54-year-old Iraqi asylum seeker who crossed the Channel in a boat.

      He claimed asylum in the UK last month citing danger to his life in Iraq. Five days later, he was served with a notice of intent indicating that the Home Office was considering deeming his asylum claim inadmissible and relocating him to Rwanda.

      A doctor at the detention centre issued a report saying that he may have been a victim of torture, it is understood. He was then served with removal directions to Rwanda for 14 June 2022. A letter from the court said that the asylum seeker should not be removed on Tuesday evening.

      The ECHR said it took particular account of evidence that asylum seekers transferred from the UK to Rwanda will not have access to fair and efficient procedures for the determination.

      The decision also cited the ruling by Mr Justice Swift, who on Friday dismissed a request for an urgent injunction temporarily halting the flight.

      A statement from the ECHR said an urgent interim measure was granted in the case of KN, “an asylum seeker facing imminent removal to Rwanda”, v the UK.

      “The European Court has indicated to the UK government that the applicant should not be removed to Rwanda until three weeks after the delivery of the final domestic decision in his ongoing judicial review proceedings,” it said.

      Earlier, the prime minister hinted again that the UK could leave the European convention on human rights to make it easier to remove illegal migrants from the UK.

      Asked whether it was time for the UK to withdraw from the ECHR after the government’s difficulty in implementing its Rwanda policy, the prime minister said: “Will it be necessary to change some laws to help us as we go along? It may very well be.”

      In April, at the launch of the Rwanda policy, Johnson had said that thousands of asylum seekers would be sent away, and that the first flight would leave in May.

      The scheme has been beset with “teething problems”, Johnson has admitted. The number of asylum seekers expected to be sent to Rwanda fell from 130 at the start of last week, to 31 on Friday, to just seven on Tuesday.

      Most successfully lodged appeals claiming that sending those seeking sanctuary in the UK to an east African state with a poor human rights record breaches their human rights or that they have been victims of modern slavery.

      At a Cabinet meeting on Tuesday, Johnson also implied that lawyers representing asylum seekers are aiding human traffickers who charge thousands for journeys in dangerous boats across the Channel.

      “They are, I’m afraid, undermining everything that we’re trying to do to support safe and legal routes for people to come to the UK and to oppose the illegal and dangerous routes,” he said.

      He said what the “criminal gangs are doing and what … those who effectively are abetting the work of the criminal gangs are doing, is undermining people’s confidence in the safe and legal system, undermining people’s general acceptance of immigration”.

      Campaigners for refugee rights welcomed the decision and warned that the policy is still being pursued.

      Enver Solomon, CEO of Refugee Council, said the government should have a grown-up conversation with France and the EU about dealing with refugees, particularly in the Channel.

      “Those threatened with removal are people who have escaped war, persecution, torture, and violence – many of whom have only been prevented from flying due to individual legal interventions declaring it a clear breach of their human rights to do so. The Refugee Council has also had to directly intervene to stop young people being removed to Rwanda because they were falsely assessed as adults.

      “Government claims that this deal would act as a deterrent to end the model of people-traffickers, have already been disproven with the numbers of people travelling across the channel almost doubling on the same time last year. We always knew these measures would do little to stop desperate people making dangerous journeys to the UK, because they do absolutely nothing to address the reasons people come.”

      Mark Serwotka, general secretary of the Public and Commercial Services union, said: “We’re pleased the courts have ruled to stop this flight. It’s time for the government to stop this inhumane policy which is the basest of gesture politics and start to engage seriously with sorting out the asylum system so those who come to our country seeking refuge are treated fairly and according to the law.”

      Makolo, the Rwandan government spokesperson, told a press conference in Kigali on Tuesday that there were “misconceptions” about what Rwanda was like and “some of this is perpetuated by the media”.

      “When the first flights land here in Kigali the new arrivals will be welcomed and looked after and supported to make new lives here. We will provide support with their asylum applications, including legal support, translation services and we will provide decent accommodation.”

      Downing Street justified the estimated £500,000 expense of the flight, saying that immigration costs the UK taxpayer £1.5bn every year already, with almost £5m a day on accommodating asylum seekers in hotels.

      On Monday, 138 people reached the UK in three boats, while more than 200 arrived on Tuesday, with more than 10,000 migrants recorded as making the journey so far this year.

      https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2022/jun/14/european-court-humam-right-makes-11th-hour-intervention-in-rwanda-asylu

      #CEDH #CourEDH #justice

  • The international community must prevent the forcible transfer of Masafer Yatta communities, approved by Israel’s High court of Justice
    05 mai 2022 | B’Tselem
    http://www.btselem.org/press_release/20220505_international_community_must_prevent_the_forcible_transfer_of_masa
    https://www.btselem.org/sites/default/files/styles/1200x440/public/2022-05/khirbat_al_markaz.jpg?itok=uKhOKYgi.jpg

    After more than 20 years of legal proceedings, Israel’s High Court of Justice ruled yesterday (May 4) that the forcible transfer of hundreds of Palestinians from their homes and the destruction of their communities – for the clear purpose of taking over their lands in the service of Jewish interests – is legal. The justices have thus proved once again that the occupied cannot expect justice from the occupier’s court.

    The decision, weaving baseless legal interpretation with decontextualized facts, makes it clear that there is no crime which the high court justices will not find a way to legitimize. Employing sugarcoated language, hypocrisy, and lies, the justices once again fulfilled their role in Israel’s regime of Jewish supremacy and paved the way for the crime of forcible transfer to be committed, while reversing reality: the ruling cast Palestinian victims as the “unlawful” offenders, while portraying the apartheid regime as the victim.

    The international community must prevent Israel from forcibly transferring the Masafer Yatta communities and make sure, should this crime be committed, that those responsible for it – including government ministers, the military top echelons, and the supreme court justices – will be held accountable.

    #colonialisme_de_peuplement

    • Israeli court paves way for eviction of 1,000 Palestinians from West Bank area | Palestinian territories
      Bethan McKernan in Jerusalem | Thu 5 May 2022| The Guardian
      https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/may/05/israeli-court-evict-1000-palestinians-west-bank-area
      https://i.guim.co.uk/img/media/7245e63f1d05567cc1b6412e1fa97a9588603088/0_233_5904_3543/master/5904.jpg?width=1200&height=630&quality=85&auto=format&fit=crop&overlay-ali

      After a two-decade legal battle, Israel’s high court has ruled that about 1,000 Palestinians can be evicted from an area of the West Bank and the land repurposed for Israeli military use, in one of the single biggest expulsion decisions since the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories began in 1967.

      About 3,000 hectares of Masafer Yatta, a rural area of the south Hebron hills under full Israeli control and home to several small Palestinian villages, was designated as a “firing zone” by the Israeli state in the 1980s, to be used for military exercises, in which the presence of civilians is prohibited.

      According to the Geneva conventions pertaining to humanitarian treatment in war, it is illegal to expropriate occupied land for purposes that do not benefit the people living there, or to forcibly transfer the local population. (...)

    • La justice israélienne donne le feu vert pour l’expulsion d’environ 1000 Palestiniens
      RFI - 5 mai 2022 - Avec notre correspondante à Ramallah, Alice Froussard
      https://www.rfi.fr/fr/moyen-orient/20220505-la-justice-isra%C3%A9lienne-donne-le-feu-vert-pour-l-expulsion-d-enviro

      Une délégation de l’Union européenne en visite avec l’ONG Breaking the Silence à Masafer Yatta, en octobre 2020. AFP - HAZEM BADER

      À Masafer Yatta, au sud de la Cisjordanie occupée, dans les collines à proximité d’Hébron, une douzaine de villages palestiniens et environ un millier de personnes peuvent être expulsés à tout moment, pour que les terres soient réservées à l’entraînement de l’armée israélienne. La Cour suprême l’a approuvé dans la nuit de mercredi au jeudi 5 mai, après vingt-trois ans de bataille judiciaire entre l’État hébreu et les habitants palestiniens.

      Pour les habitants, des bergers ou des agriculteurs palestiniens pour la plupart, c’est une zone rurale, pauvre, aride, de 3 000 hectares, avec des airs de paysages lunaires. Mais pour l’armée israélienne, cette étendue de terre a un autre nom : la zone de tir 918.

      Souvent, les soldats viennent s’entraîner, parcourent les champs en blindés et leurs hélicoptères volent tout près des maisons. Parfois, certaines d’entre elles sont détruites, au détriment de la communauté locale. La bataille judiciaire a duré vingt-trois ans. Dans la nuit de mercredi à jeudi, la Cour suprême a rendu sa décision, donnant le feu vert à l’expulsion et au transfert forcé d’environ 1 000 Palestiniens. Il s’agit d’une des plus importantes décisions d’expulsions depuis l’occupation israélienne des territoires palestiniens en 1967. (...)

  • Décharge budgétaire de #Frontex bloquée : un pas symbolique de plus vers le respect des droits humains

    Ce 4 mai, le #Parlement_européen a voté contre la #décharge_budgétaire (2020) de l’agence Frontex, suivant de ce fait, l’avis adopté par sa #commission_de_contrôle_budgétaire (#CONT) il y a un mois. Cela signifie que le parlement affirme que l’agence Frontex doit réformer de toute urgence et de façon radicale son orientation et son fonctionnement interne.

    En effet, en mars 2022, la #commission_CONT a bloqué la décharge du #budget de Frontex suite « à l’incapacité de l’agence à remplir les conditions prévues dans le précédent rapport de décharge du Parlement, mais aussi aux conclusions de l’#Office_européen_de_la_lutte_anti-fraude (#OLAF) au sujet d’actes de #harcèlement, de #mauvaise_conduite et de #refoulements de migrants impliquant Frontex ». Les députés de la commission CONT ont estimé « que rien n’a été fait concernant les rapports faisant état de transgressions des #droits_fondamentaux en Grèce et que les opérations de renvoi de migrants par la Hongrie ont continué en 2020, malgré un arrêt de la Cour de justice de l’UE les jugeant incompatibles avec le droit européen. »

    Pour rappel, de nombreuses enquêtes et rapports récents émanant de la société civile et d’institutions officielles européennes mettent en cause l’agence pour ses agissements complices en matière de refoulements et de #violences envers des personnes exilées ainsi que pour sa mauvaise gestion interne [pour plus de détails, lire la récente Note politique #28 du CNCD-11.11.11 « Frontex : droits humains en danger » : https://www.cncd.be/Frontex-Droits-humains-en-danger). Ces accusations de connivence voir de complicité de l’agence dans ces violations, ont entrainé, ce 29 avril, la démission de son Directeur, François Leggeri.

    « C’est un nouveau signal encourageant lancé par une haute institution européenne ! » se réjouit le CNCD-11.11.11. Frontex sait dorénavant que ses activités sont sous surveillance vis-à-vis du respect des droits fondamentaux. Elle va devoir se plier aux exigences de #transparence, de mise en #responsabilité et de #contrôle_démocratique pour continuer d’exister.

    Alors que les refoulements sont devenus pratiques courantes pour nombreux Etats européens (Chypre, Malte, Grèce, Lituanie, Pologne, Espagne…), cette décision participe à la lutte contre les violations des droits fondamentaux des personnes migrantes, générées par la politique répressive de l’Union européenne en matière migratoire. A l’heure actuelle, une réorientation du Pacte européen pour la migration et l’asile vers le respect des droits humains, la mobilité et la solidarité est plus que nécessaire [pour plus de détails, lire la récente étude « Migration et asile : analyse du pacte européen »].

    La démission du directeur de l’agence et le vote positif du Parlement européen ce 4 mai doivent donc être l’occasion d’une remise en question plus fondamentale du mandat de l’agence et de la manière dont elle remplit ce dernier. Des réformes structurelles doivent être mises en place au plus vite pour garantir la transparence et le respect des droits humains. La Belgique, qui siège au Conseil d’administration de Frontex, doit utiliser ce levier de manière à obtenir ces réformes.

    https://www.cncd.be/Decharge-budgetaire-de-Frontex

    #migrations #asile #réfugiés #frontières #contrôles_frontaliers

    –—

    Sur la démission de Fabrice Leggeri :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/958737

    Et sur les derniers épisodes autour du budget de Frontex et de son blocage, voir cette métaliste :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/959313

    • EU censures border agency after reports of human rights abuses in Greece

      MEPs refuse to sign off Frontex’s accounts and call for access to inquiry into alleged harassment and misconduct

      The European parliament has refused to sign off the EU border agency’s accounts, saying it had failed to investigate alleged human rights violations of asylum seekers in Greece.

      The vote on the agency, Frontex, came after the resignation last week of its director, Fabrice Leggeri, who left after an investigation by Olaf, the EU’s anti-fraud body.

      The parliament’s decision was based on a report drafted largely before Leggeri resigned, and reflected continuing concern that Frontex was failing to protect asylum seekers’ human rights and uphold EU law.

      MEPs, meeting in Strasbourg, voted to postpone approving the Frontex accounts for 2020, during a session where they approved the budgets of dozens of other EU agencies that spend European taxpayers’ money.

      The Belgian Green MEP Saskia Bricmont, who sits on the European parliament’s civil liberties, justice and home affairs committee, tweeted: “The resignation of [Frontex] director last week does not address structural problems, nor the agency’s contribution to the Fortress Europe policy.”

      Frontex, the European border and coastguard agency, based in Warsaw, received a big increase in funds in response to the migration crisis of 2015-16, when 1.3 million people applied for asylum. Now one of the EU’s best-funded agencies, it had an annual budget of €364m (£307m) in 2020, up 10% on the previous year. There are plans to expand it further, to 10,000 border and coastguards by 2027.

      The delay in approving its accounts has no financial consequences for the agency, but is a form of political censure that empowers MEPs to issue recommendations to its new director. The European parliament delayed approval of Frontex’s accounts in 2021 and rebuked the agency for failing to respond to its previous recommendations.

      In a report giving the reasons for the latest delay, the European parliament’s budgetary control committee referred to problems in two EU member states. In Greece, Frontex “did not evaluate its activities”, despite official reports from national authorities, the Council of Europe and the UN that the agency was operating in areas where “fundamental rights violations” were taking place, it said.

      Frontex was also criticised for not suspending its operations in Hungary, despite a 2020 ruling by the European court of justice that Budapest was failing to implement EU law to protect asylum seekers. After the court judgment, another committee of MEPs called on Frontex to withdraw from Hungary. However, the agency continued working with the Budapest government on a case-by-case basis, including helping to return people denied asylum to their country of origin.

      MEPs also criticised the lopsided gender balance at Frontex, voicing “concern” that three-quarters of senior managers were men. It urged the agency to hold people accountable for 17 cases of harassment, although it did not provide details.

      MEPs also implicitly rebuked EU authorities for not giving them access to the findings of the EU anti-fraud agency, which opened an investigation in 2019 into alleged harassment, misconduct and illegal pushbacks of asylum seekers by Frontex. The Guardian understands that Olaf recommended disciplinary action against Leggeri and two other staff members; Olaf has declined to comment.

      Tomáš Zdechovský, a Czech centre-right MEP responsible for overseeing the Frontex accounts, said it was impossible to approve the accounts without knowing the results of the Olaf investigation. He was “looking forward to a more open dialogue” with the agency after Leggeri’s resignation, he said.

      The resolution criticising Frontex passed with 492 votes, with the centre-right, centre-left, liberals, green and radical left groups agreeing. Opposing the report were 145 MEPs from conservative nationalist parties and the far right.

      https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/may/04/eu-censures-border-agency-after-reports-of-human-rights-abuses-in-greec

  • Songs, tears and reunions: New Zealand welcomes back visitors as border reopens after two years | New Zealand | The Guardian
    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/may/02/songs-tears-and-reunions-new-zealand-welcomes-back-tourists-as-border-r
    https://i.guim.co.uk/img/media/9afee430ab09d0e72c4d2519ce6367e877a10d1a/116_58_4741_2845/master/4741.jpg?width=1200&height=630&quality=85&auto=format&fit=crop&overlay-ali

    Songs, tears and reunions: New Zealand welcomes back visitors as border reopens after two years
    Vaccinated people from about 60 visa-waiver countries now able to enter as part of pandemic reopening plan
    Eva Corlett in Wellington
    @evacorlett
    Mon 2 May 2022 01.46 BST
    Last modified on Mon 2 May 2022 04.09 BST
    Māori songs, tearful embraces and a beloved New Zealand chocolate bar awaited international visitors arriving in New Zealand on Monday – the first foreign guests, other than Australians, to set foot in Aotearoa in more than two years.Since March 2020, the arrival terminals at New Zealand’s international airports have been desolate as the country swiftly closed the border to prevent the arrival of Covid-19.On Monday morning, the border reopened to vaccinated visitors from about 60 visa-waiver countries as part of the government’s phased reopening plan.The first travellers and returning New Zealanders touched down just after 6am at Auckland international airport from Los Angeles, with another flight from San Francisco arriving shortly after.
    (...) Vaccinated international visitors can enter New Zealand if they have had a negative pre-departure Covid test. On arrival, they must self-test for coronavirus, and unless it comes back positive there is no requirement quarantine or self-isolate. All other international visitors will be allowed to enter New Zealand from October, unless the government decides it is safe to do so earlier.
    The tourism minister, Stuart Nash, who greeted arrivals at the gate with a Whittaker’s Peanut Slab chocolate bar, told 1News the reunions “almost bring a tear to the eye”.“People haven’t seen each other for a long, long time – family and friends,” he said. “We have also, of course, got international business people [who] are able to reconnect and they are coming back.”Nash said that while the country is not yet quite back to normal, the reopening was another step towards it.“This has been a long time [coming] – this sends a signal we are now open for business … it is fantastic to see,” Nash said.“Today marks a milestone for visitors from our key northern hemisphere markets in the USA, UK, Germany, South Korea, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, Canada and others, who can now jump on a plane to come here.”More than 30,000 people are arriving into the country each week – an increase on numbers throughout the pandemic, but well below pre-Covid levels, which were close to 25,000 people each day.
    Nash said international flight searches to New Zealand were running 19% higher than in pre-Covid times.Auckland airport’s chief executive Carrie Hurihanganui said 9,000 passengers would be arriving and departing on 43 international flights on Monday – three times the number in March. The airport has boosted its staff by 40 people, and will continue to do so in the coming months, she said.Hurihanganui said the reunions were giving her “goosebump moments”.“It’s been a pleasure to be here today, and the fact we can play a role in welcoming people back to Aotearoa is fantastic,” she told 1News outside the arrivals gate.

    #Covid-19#migrant#migration#nouvellezelande#frontiere#sante#ouverture#pandemie#vaccination#tourisme

  • "Friends no longer, Ukraine removes Russian statues and street names

    The Guardian, Thu 28 Apr 2022
    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/apr/28/friends-no-longer-ukraine-removes-russian-statues-and-street-names
    Lorenzo Tondo and Isobel Koshiw in Kyiv

    https://i.guim.co.uk/img/media/b943ced71bdf9e9b763415100afef017b85a7995/0_185_6720_4032/master/6720.jpg?width=620&quality=45&auto=format&fit=max&dpr=2&s=c2f023bbe029f4b7
    The head of a Russian worker, accidentally decapitated while the monument to friendship was pulled down in Kyiv on Tuesday. Photograph: Alessio Mamo/The Guardia n

    At 5.36 pm on Tuesday in the historic Kyiv district of Pecherskyi, an imposing Soviet-era bronze monument symbolising the friendship between Russia and Ukraine was accidentally decapitated and then deliberately dismantled to the applause of hundreds of people.

    As local officials explained, when one country invades and bombs another, killing its people, their friendship is over.

    The 40-year-old statue, depicting a Ukrainian and a Russian worker on a plinth, was pulled down on the order of local authorities in Kyiv. It is one of the first steps of a plan to demolish about 60 monuments and to rename dozens of streets associated with the Soviet Union, Russia and Russian figures, including the writers Tolstoy, Dostoevsky and Pushkin, as a result of the war between the two countries.

    Serhii Myrhorodskyi, 86, an architect from Kyiv, watched excitedly as the head of the Russian worker accidentally broke off from its body and tumbled to the ground during the removal. He did not appear bothered, despite the fact it was he who had designed the monument, erected in 1982 as a gift from the Soviet regime to the Ukrainian government.

    “It is the right thing to do,” he told the Guardian. “There is no friendship with Russia and there will not be any friendship for a long time while Putin and his gang are in this world. After they drop dead, maybe in 30 years, something will change.

    https://i.guim.co.uk/img/media/4366bbcd773dbe1e4088bac487e5e4ddef7e7d68/0_352_6720_4032/master/6720.jpg?width=620&quality=45&auto=format&fit=max&dpr=2&s=22ef27d033e70720
    The dismantling of the Soviet-era bronze monument
    A woman cheers as the Soviet-era monument in Kyiv symbolising the former friendship between Russia and Ukraine is dismantled. Photograph: Alessio Mamo/The Guardian

    “The presence of the monument that represents a friendship with Russia is a sin. Removing it is the only right decision. And we could use that bronze of which the monument is made. We could melt it down and sculpt a new monument dedicated to Ukraine the motherland, which would symbolise the unity of all Ukrainian lands.”

    “As for my emotions,” he added, “I am just happy to see that people are glad this whole thing is being taken away.”

    As the monument began to fall, the crowd chanted: “Glory to Ukraine, glory to the heroes, glory to the nation of Ukraine.”

    The mayor of Kyiv, Vitali Klitschko, who presided over the dismantling, said the removal of Russian symbols from the city was now under way. “You don’t kill your brother. You don’t rape your sister. You don’t destroy your friend’s country. That’s why, today, we have dismantled this monument, once created as a sign of friendship between Ukraine and Russia,” he said.

    Other cities in Ukraine have in recent days begun to rename streets associated with Russian figures or to dismantle monuments related to the Soviet Union.

    Memorial plaques for Soviet cities replaced with the names of Ukrainian cities
    https://i.guim.co.uk/img/media/6425d68f27a2373c04d056471e66dafcdd359eec/0_399_6720_4032/master/6720.jpg?width=620&quality=45&auto=format&fit=max&dpr=2&s=390ab3b0aa45bc86 plaques for Soviet ‘hero cities’ that resisted the Nazis have been replaced with the names of Ukrainian cities under Russian occupation or attack. Photograph: Alessio Mamo/The Guardian

    The city of Ternopil, in western Ukraine, has renamed a street dedicated to the Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin, the first man in space, and removed a Soviet tank and aircraft. The aircraft is to be replaced with a “heroes of Ukraine” monument.

    Fontanka, a village near Odesa, decided to turn a street dedicated to the poet Vladimir Mayakovsky into Boris Johnson Street, after the UK promised to send a £100m weapons package to Ukraine.
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    And the mayor of Dnipro, Borys Filatov, said streets named after Russian towns would be rededicated to Ukrainian cities and symbols: Abkhazia Street became Irpin, while the street of the 30th Irkutsk Division is now called Ukrainian Soldiers.

    Officials in Kyiv are to approve a law to rename 60 streets, meaning Russian writers and Ukrainians who wrote in Russian – or even assumed a Russian identity – are among those who may be written out of public life in the city. A metro station named after Tolstoy is on the list.

    The entrance to Leo Tolstoy Square metro station in central Kyiv
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    The entrance to Leo Tolstoy Square metro station in central Kyiv. Photograph: Alessio Mamo/The Guardian

    “The war changed everything and things have accelerated the times,” Alina Mykhailova, one of the two Kyiv city deputies who put forward the law, wrote on Facebook. “Finally, there is an understanding that [our] colonial heritage must be destroyed.”
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    Mykhailova and her colleague Ksenia Semenova campaigned for the removal of the People’s Friendship monument that was dismantled on Tuesday. There had been plans to remove the statue under Ukraine’s decommunisation laws passed in 2015, but at the time they received pushback from other members of the Kyiv city council, Mykhailova wrote.

    The Ukrainian language and Ukrainian national identity were suppressed by tsarist Russia and its Soviet successor. Russian was considered the language of high culture and official business, and many Ukrainians, particularly peasants who moved to the big cities after the second world war, adopted Russian to distance themselves from their rural origins.

    Perhaps more controversially, the de-Russification list includes Ukrainian-born writers such as Mikhail – or Mykhailo, in Ukrainian – Bulgakov, who was born in Ukraine, wrote about Kyiv, but had derogatory views about the Ukrainian language and Ukrainian national identity. His statue sits next to his former house on one of Kyiv’s most famous streets, which is now the Bulgakov Museum and is popular with tourists.

    “Only idiots could do this because Leo Tolstoy is a world-famous writer, not just Russian or Ukrainian,” said Ihor Serhiivych, a Kyiv resident, inside Leo Tolstoy Square metro station.

    “There are lots of [ethnic] Russians who live in Kyiv and they are probably doing more right now to protect Ukraine than those western Ukrainians who think of themselves as the elite,” Serhiivych said. He said there was a gulf in understanding between those Ukrainians who lived for a significant period under Soviet and tsarist rule and those in western Ukraine who did not.

    “If it was a Putin statue I would understand, but you have to differentiate between enemies and world-famous literature.”
    A Soviet monument to the tank divisions that fought against Nazi Germany is adorned with a Ukrainian flag
    https://i.guim.co.uk/img/media/50410a1b3a1b5d094ffca715a89e8b31b4b0a96d/0_381_6720_4032/master/6720.jpg?width=620&quality=45&auto=format&fit=max&dpr=2&s=eb30be57f704533c
    A Soviet monument to the tank divisions that fought against Nazi Germany is adorned with a Ukrainian flag. Photograph: Alessio Mamo/The Guardian

    Another person at the station, Valetyna Hryhoryvycha, said: “I think people need to think about it a bit more. I don’t see how they relate to what’s happening now. It is part of our history.”

    Ivan Andreiev, who works near Bulgakov Museum, said: “I’m for the removal of the friendship monument because there can’t be friendship between enemies. But I think it’s a fake that they’re planning on taking down Bulgakov’s monument. What Russian or Ukrainian would vote for such a thing? It’s just history.”

    While Ukrainian authorities are working hard to disassemble the Russian monuments in their country, Moscow is doing the opposite in Ukrainian territories it has occupied, restoring statues and symbols of the Soviet era.

    Two weeks ago in the seaside town of Henichesk, in the Kherson region, which is occupied by the Russian troops, a familiar figure returned to the main square. A statue of the Bolshevik leader Vladimir Lenin, sporting his familiar goatee and moustache, was back on his pedestal, erected by Russian soldiers."

    #Contestedmonuments #Ukraine #Russie #Stalin #Marx #monuments #statue #soviet

  • Private equity executive sought to undermine #NSO critics, data suggests
    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/apr/28/private-equity-executive-sought-to-undermine-nso-critics-data-suggests

    Ron Deibert, the longtime director of the Canadian research group, is one of the world’s leading experts on identifying digital threats against civil society.

    John Scott-Railton, a senior researcher at #Citizen_Lab, is among a relatively small group of experts globally who can identify which iPhones and Android devices have been infected with #Pegasus, and which government clients are likely to have been responsible.

    It is unsurprising, then, that the pair were an intense focus at #Novalpina, the London-based private equity group which took over NSO Group in 2019, and quickly sought to stem its reputation for enabling repressive governments to commit widespread human rights abuses.
    Using UK data protection laws, Deibert and Scott-Railton last year sought the personal data held on them by Novalpina. The results of their so-called subject access requests, recently shared with the Guardian, contain snippets of hundreds of emails and attachments that included their names.

    #surveillance

  • Shanghai lockdown: some parents allowed to stay with Covid-positive children after backlash | China | The Guardian
    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/apr/07/shanghai-lockdown-some-parents-allowed-to-stay-with-covid-positive-chil
    https://i.guim.co.uk/img/media/afcacc667f64f6e84fb3a4e5381b268dd005f536/0_171_3851_2310/master/3851.jpg?width=1200&height=630&quality=85&auto=format&fit=crop&overlay-ali

    Shanghai lockdown: some parents allowed to stay with Covid-positive children after backlash
    Sanitation workers wearing PPE conduct disinfection work in Shanghai.
    Shanghai is allowing some parents to stay with their Covid-infected children during lockdown after a public backlash. Photograph: VCG/Getty Images
    Associated Press
    Shanghai is allowing at least some parents to stay with children infected with Covid-19, making an exception to a policy of isolating anyone who tests positive after a public outcry.The announcement came as China’s largest city remained in lockdown and conducted more mass testing on Wednesday following another jump in new cases.A top city health official said at a news conference that parents could apply to stay with children with “special needs” and accompany them if they fully comprehend the health risks and sign an agreement.
    The parents must wear masks, dine at a different time than their children, avoid sharing items with them and strictly follow all regulations, said Wu Qianyu of the Shanghai Municipal Health Commission. She did not define what qualified as “special needs.”Her announcement followed Chinese state media reports a day earlier that an isolation site set up at the Shanghai New International Expo Center was accepting children with parents. The city has opened sprawling isolation centres for tens of thousands of people to isolate the growing number of positive cases.Reports that parents were being separated from their infected children had sparked a wave of protest online last weekend, fuelled by photos showing several children in cots at a quarantine site with no parents in sight.Footage of a pet corgi being beaten to death on the streets of Shanghai over fears it may have the virus has also sparked outrage and frustration with China’s zero-Covid policy.
    “There is no humanity, and while the whole world is living a normal and orderly life, there are still ‘volunteers’ who have lost their humanity. Happening in China in 2022. Very sad,” one person wrote on Weibo.Last November, the death of another corgi – killed in its apartment while its owner was serving mandatory hotel quarantine in Jiangxi province – sparked a similar outcry.Shanghai reported 17,077 new cases detected over the previous day, all but 311 of them in people who showed no symptoms. Under China’s zero-Covid approach, the city requires all those who test positive to be held in designated locations for observation, along with their close contacts.The latest cases bring Shanghai’s total to about 90,000 in an outbreak that began last month. No deaths have been ascribed to the outbreak driven by the Omicron BA.2 variant, which is much more infectious but also less lethal than the previous Delta strain. Two deaths have been reported in another ongoing outbreak in Jilin province in China’s northeast.
    An official from the EU Chamber of Commerce in China joined a growing chorus of criticism of the Shanghai lockdown, which has disrupted daily life and commerce in a major financial and business centre.
    “Another really big fear is ending up in one of those mass central quarantine sites,” Schoen-Behanzin said in an online event for member companies and journalists.Others complained earlier about shortages of medical workers, volunteers and beds in the isolation wards. More than 38,000 health workers from 15 provinces have been sent to Shanghai to help with mass testing and other needs.Beijing is also tightening measures after 11 cases were detected in the Chinese capital in recent days. Authorities closed down a shopping and office centre in the busy Wangjing district and are requiring those arriving in the city to report to their place of work or residence within 12 hours and undergo a Covid-19 test within 72 hours. They must undergo another test within 48 hours of returning to their place of work.Despite growing public frustration and concerns about the economic effects, China says it is sticking to its hard-line “zero-tolerance” approach mandating lockdowns, mass testing and the compulsory isolation of all suspected cases and close contacts. While China’s vaccination rate hovers about 90%, its domestically produced inactivated virus vaccines are seen as weaker than the mRNA vaccines such as those produced by Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna that are used abroad, as well as in the Chinese territories of Hong Kong and Macau. Vaccination rates among elderly people are also much lower than the population at large, with only around half of those over 80 fully vaccinated.

    #Covid-19#migrant#migration#chine#shangai#sante#confinement#isolement#zerocovid#vaccination#restrictionsanitaire#hongkong#macau

  • Shanghai lockdown: some parents allowed to stay with Covid-positive children after backlash | China | The Guardian
    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/apr/07/shanghai-lockdown-some-parents-allowed-to-stay-with-covid-positive-chil
    https://i.guim.co.uk/img/media/afcacc667f64f6e84fb3a4e5381b268dd005f536/0_171_3851_2310/master/3851.jpg?width=1200&height=630&quality=85&auto=format&fit=crop&overlay-ali

    Shanghai lockdown: some parents allowed to stay with Covid-positive children after backlash
    Sanitation workers wearing PPE conduct disinfection work in Shanghai.
    Shanghai is allowing some parents to stay with their Covid-infected children during lockdown after a public backlash. Photograph: VCG/Getty Images
    Associated Press
    Shanghai is allowing at least some parents to stay with children infected with Covid-19, making an exception to a policy of isolating anyone who tests positive after a public outcry.The announcement came as China’s largest city remained in lockdown and conducted more mass testing on Wednesday following another jump in new cases.A top city health official said at a news conference that parents could apply to stay with children with “special needs” and accompany them if they fully comprehend the health risks and sign an agreement.
    The parents must wear masks, dine at a different time than their children, avoid sharing items with them and strictly follow all regulations, said Wu Qianyu of the Shanghai Municipal Health Commission. She did not define what qualified as “special needs.”Her announcement followed Chinese state media reports a day earlier that an isolation site set up at the Shanghai New International Expo Center was accepting children with parents. The city has opened sprawling isolation centres for tens of thousands of people to isolate the growing number of positive cases.Reports that parents were being separated from their infected children had sparked a wave of protest online last weekend, fuelled by photos showing several children in cots at a quarantine site with no parents in sight.Footage of a pet corgi being beaten to death on the streets of Shanghai over fears it may have the virus has also sparked outrage and frustration with China’s zero-Covid policy.
    “There is no humanity, and while the whole world is living a normal and orderly life, there are still ‘volunteers’ who have lost their humanity. Happening in China in 2022. Very sad,” one person wrote on Weibo.Last November, the death of another corgi – killed in its apartment while its owner was serving mandatory hotel quarantine in Jiangxi province – sparked a similar outcry.Shanghai reported 17,077 new cases detected over the previous day, all but 311 of them in people who showed no symptoms. Under China’s zero-Covid approach, the city requires all those who test positive to be held in designated locations for observation, along with their close contacts.The latest cases bring Shanghai’s total to about 90,000 in an outbreak that began last month. No deaths have been ascribed to the outbreak driven by the Omicron BA.2 variant, which is much more infectious but also less lethal than the previous Delta strain. Two deaths have been reported in another ongoing outbreak in Jilin province in China’s northeast.
    An official from the EU Chamber of Commerce in China joined a growing chorus of criticism of the Shanghai lockdown, which has disrupted daily life and commerce in a major financial and business centre.
    “Another really big fear is ending up in one of those mass central quarantine sites,” Schoen-Behanzin said in an online event for member companies and journalists.Others complained earlier about shortages of medical workers, volunteers and beds in the isolation wards. More than 38,000 health workers from 15 provinces have been sent to Shanghai to help with mass testing and other needs.Beijing is also tightening measures after 11 cases were detected in the Chinese capital in recent days. Authorities closed down a shopping and office centre in the busy Wangjing district and are requiring those arriving in the city to report to their place of work or residence within 12 hours and undergo a Covid-19 test within 72 hours. They must undergo another test within 48 hours of returning to their place of work.Despite growing public frustration and concerns about the economic effects, China says it is sticking to its hard-line “zero-tolerance” approach mandating lockdowns, mass testing and the compulsory isolation of all suspected cases and close contacts. While China’s vaccination rate hovers about 90%, its domestically produced inactivated virus vaccines are seen as weaker than the mRNA vaccines such as those produced by Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna that are used abroad, as well as in the Chinese territories of Hong Kong and Macau. Vaccination rates among elderly people are also much lower than the population at large, with only around half of those over 80 fully vaccinated.

    #Covid-19#migrant#migration#chine#shangai#sante#confinement#isolement#zerocovid#vaccination#restrictionsanitaire#hongkong#macau