• No man’s land : three people seeking asylum stuck in Cyprus’s #buffer_zone

    The Cameroonians, who had ‘no idea’ they had jumped into the demilitarised area, have been trapped for almost two months

    A few months after Grace Ngo flew into Turkish-occupied northern Cyprus from her native Cameroon, she decided to head “for the west”. Smugglers pointed the student in the direction of the Venetian walls that cut through the heart of Nicosia, Europe’s last divided capital.

    A little before midnight on 24 May, Ngo leapt from the breakaway Turkish Cypriot republic into what she hoped would be the war-divided island’s internationally recognised Greek south.

    “I just said ‘God protect me,’” the 24-year-old recalled, describing the jump that instead landed her in the UN-patrolled buffer zone, where she has been stranded ever since. “The walls were so high. I hurt my leg quite badly but I was desperate for the west.”

    Daniel Djibrilla and Emil Etoundi, two other asylum seekers from Cameroon’s English-speaking minority, were at the same spot that night, equally drawn by the bright lights of the European metropolis beyond. Like Ngo, who says she would not have made the journey had she not been the victim of abuse, both cited Cameroon’s civil war as their reason for leaving home.

    “We jumped from over there,” says Etoundi, a former soldier, pointing across the ceasefire line that has partitioned the ethnically split island since Turkey invaded in 1974 after a coup aimed at uniting Cyprus with Greece. “We had no idea this was no man’s land. I can’t believe it.”

    After the refusal of President Nicos Anastasiades’ government to allow them to apply for asylum, the three Cameroonians remain trapped in the buffer zone, protected by the UN refugee agency, UNHCR, but living in tents and at the mercy of others’ goodwill.

    At the height of the 2015 Syrian refugee crisis, Cyprus remained relatively unvisited by displaced people, as the majority headed through Turkey and the Aegean islands en route to Europe.

    That changed in 2018, when smugglers began to see the EU’s easternmost state as an easy drop-off.

    On 21 May, Anastasiades’ administration declared a state of emergency, with officials saying the Mediterranean island faced insurmountable pressures from continuing arrivals. It came after Cyprus was censured by a human rights watchdog amid allegations of illegal pushbacks of migrants at sea.

    In late 2020, close to 20,000 asylum applications were pending, according to the Greek Cypriot authorities. A record 13,648 people requested protection in 2019. In the first six months of 2021, more than 5,000 claims had been made, more than half the total in 2020.

    Cyprus has the highest per capita number of first-time asylum seekers in the EU, according to the EU’s statistics agency, Eurostat.

    “We are in a critical situation,” the interior minister, Nicos Nouris told the Guardian ahead of a EU summit in Slovenia on Thursday. “All the [reception] centres are full and we simply don’t have the capacity to receive more. If we want to talk about solidarity and responsibility, we have to stand by frontline member states like Cyprus, which is the top-receiving country in asylum seekers.”

    The majority of migrants entering the Greek south are smuggled illegally through Turkey and areas of Cyprus over which the republic has no control, according to Nouris.

    With smuggling networks taking advantage of partition, Nouris said there were genuine fears of a new front being opened on an island where migrants arrive both by boat and along the whole 110 mile (180km) ceasefire line.

    “We have to be very careful not to open a new passage,” he says. “It’s not a matter of three people – that would be ridiculous when so many are coming. But if I accept these three people, then [such crossings] will be the next common practice. They’ll be coming by the thousands … Turkey will put them on buses and send them to the checkpoints.”

    The Cameroonians’ plight has illuminated the tough stance of a government that, like Greece, feels abandoned by Europe on migration.

    “They have the right to have their asylum claims examined,” says the UN refugee agency’s spokeswoman, Emilia Strovolidou, explaining that the trio were returned to no man’s land after approaching a UN patrol unit and going to the nearest Greek Cypriot checkpoint.

    “This is a clearcut case of people asking for international protection, and we have made a number of interventions with the competent authorities in an effort to allow them to access the procedure.”

    Cyprus is “obliged under international, EU and national law” to process asylum requests and give people access to dignified conditions in reception centres, Strovolidou says, adding: “Their living conditions – right now, in tents, in the sweltering heat – are totally unsuitable.”

    Asylum seekers have been stranded in the buffer zone before but none for so long. The near two-month saga has led human rights organisations to accuse the government of inflating the number of arrivals and generating a climate of fear based on xenophobia and anti-immigration hysteria fuelled by the rise of the far-right Elam party.

    On an island reliant on low-skilled labour, aid organisations contend that it is often foreigners already in Cyprus on student or work visas who apply for asylum in an attempt to prolong their stays legally.

    Corina Drousiotou, at the Cyprus Refugee Council, says migrants keep the agriculture sector alive. “Despite the fact that Cyprus’s economy heavily depends on low-skilled foreigners, the vast majority of whom work in harsh conditions with low salaries and next to zero rights, there is no political willingness to properly address those issues,” she says.

    “A complete overhaul of the [asylum] system is required to ensure dignity and equal rights for all, which in turn will have multiple benefits for many industries and the local society.”

    For Ngo, Djibrilla and Etoundi, the prospect of any job would be welcome. But as temperatures exceed 40C (104F), the Cameroonians are left anxiously awaiting news under the shade of a strip of trees planted along a thin gravel strip barely a metre wide.

    “I’m 33. I [deserted] the military after 10 years,” says Etoundi, as Djibrilla plays a gruesome video on his mobile phone showing decapitations in his country’s conflict. “I do not support the [Cameroonian] separatists’ fight, but I had to leave because I did not agree with what the military were asking us to do. If I go back, I will face death.”

    Cyprus’s interior minister says the case could be resolved if the EU agreed to include the island in a reallocation programme.

    “I have written to the European Commission, saying we are prepared to transfer them to other member states, but have not heard back,” says Nouris. “If that were to happen, this could so easily be solved.”

    https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2021/jul/17/no-mans-land-three-people-seeking-asylum-stuck-in-cypruss-buffer-zone

    #limbe #no_man's_land #Chypre #asile #migrations #réfugiés #frontières #Chypre_du_Nord #Turquie #bande_frontalière

    –-

    ajouté à la métaliste sur les #zone_frontalière :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/795053

    • Helping Asylum Seekers in Northern Cyprus

      Asylum seekers will continue making their way to Turkish-controlled Northern Cyprus, regardless of whether they are aware of its unrecognized status. The United Nations Refugee Agency and the European Union, in particular, must take concrete steps to offer them meaningful protection.

      NORTH NICOSIA – On May 24, 2021, three Cameroonian asylum seekers left the north of Cyprus in an attempt to reach the south. They were denied protection, triggering widespread international condemnation, and were stranded in no man’s land for nearly seven months after the Cypriot authorities refused to recognize their asylum request.

      Their predicament stemmed partly from the island’s de facto division since 1974. Crossing the United Nations-controlled Green Line separating the internationally recognized Republic of Cyprus (RoC) and the Turkish-controlled Northern Cyprus (recognized only by Turkey) is considered illegal if not authorized, even for those seeking asylum. The RoC authorities argued that granting the three Cameroonians asylum would encourage others to cross the Green Line, and have accused Turkey of encouraging an influx of refugees from Syria and Sub-Saharan Africa. But the reality is more complex. Since 2018, Cyprus has become a major destination for refugees. As routes into the European Union via Greece close and refugees’ living conditions in countries like Turkey and Lebanon worsen, traffickers are instead offering Syrian refugees a risky crossing to Cyprus. Many arriving on the island live in dire conditions in overcrowded reception centers, while government ministers stoke anti-refugee sentiment. Some land in Northern Cyprus and mistake it for the RoC. The increase in the number of asylum seekers in Northern Cyprus reflects both new arrivals by boat and the “university island” model. A recent study by the student group VOIS Cyprus shows a correlation between the growing number of university students in the north and the increase in asylum seekers, with 4.5% of the 763 respondents (mostly third-country nationals) citing war or conflict in their home country as their reason for studying there. There are currently 21 universities in Northern Cyprus, with students from some 100 countries. For the 2021-22 academic year, there were 14,000 Turkish Cypriot students, 43,000 from Turkey, and 51,000 from third countries. Unfortunately for most of the refugees from the Middle East and Sub-Saharan Africa, the government in Northern Cyprus has not assumed responsibility for providing asylum to persons in need of protection. This is despite the fact that international human-rights instruments such as the UN’s 1951 Refugee Convention, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and the Convention Against Torture are part of the north’s domestic legal framework.

      In fact, there is no specific domestic legislation regarding refugee protection, and no differentiation between persons in need of protection and other migrant groups. Refugees arriving in Northern Cyprus by boat are often detained and deported. It is a similar story for students who are unable to regularize their stay due to financial difficulties and then, fearing persecution and/or war in their home countries, seek asylum. Responsibility for offering protection should lie with the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR). But the UNHCR’s mandate in Northern Cyprus has diminished since 2014, because the lack of established rules with the local authorities have left the agency unable to offer refugees meaningful protection. The UNHCR’s mandate previously allowed for determination of refugee status in the north to be part of the procedure for deciding whether a person needed protection. Its current mandate, however, enables it to provide asylum seekers only with protection letters recognizing them as “persons of concern” (PoCs). In theory, this document prevents PoCs from being deported, and gives them access to the labor market, health care, and (in the case of children) education. But the absence of a comprehensive mechanism to offer even basic protection to refugees in Northern Cyprus is a concern. In fact, there is no official agreement between the Refugee Rights Association (RRA, which acts as the implementing partner on the UNHCR’s behalf) and the Turkish Cypriot authorities, and hence no legal basis for the UNHCR protection letters. It is simply an informal arrangement that the authorities can rescind at any time, which explains why they have made no concerted efforts to offer PoCs meaningful protection. Some therefore regard crossing the Green Line to the RoC as their only option, despite the RoC’s poor track record with refugees. Being recognized internationally as refugees would at least be preferable to the limbo they experience in the north. It is difficult to know who exactly is to blame for asylum seekers’ plight in Northern Cyprus. But desperate people will continue making their way to Northern Cyprus, regardless of whether they are aware of its unrecognized status. International actors, particularly the UNHCR and the EU, must therefore take concrete steps to offer them meaningful protection. Far too often, the UNHCR has claimed that it is unable to establish relations with Northern Cyprus because it is a territory under occupation. But for many asylum seekers languishing in undignified conditions, the question of effective control does not matter. To offer them meaningful protection, the UNHCR must seek innovative ways of communicating with the authorities in the north. Giving the RRA more money and manpower to do this would be a good start. The EU, meanwhile, should push the RoC government to re-establish and recognize claims of protection for those who cross the Green Line and to collaborate with the authorities in the north. In addition, it should investigate the RoC’s increased and reportedly inhumane border policing, increase its support to the RRA, and encourage the Turkish authorities to pressure their Turkish Cypriot counterparts to uphold their human-rights commitments.
      More importantly, other EU member states must acknowledge their role in this debacle. The fact that asylum seekers are now opting for Cypriot shores is a direct result of violent pushbacks against refugees at these countries’ borders. The EU can – and should – provide asylum seekers safer humanitarian corridors, visas, and resettlement packages. Desperate people must not suffer more than they already have for the prospect of a better future.

      https://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/northern-cyprus-asylum-seekers-unhcr-eu-protection-by-emmanuel-ac

  • THE DARK SIDE OF EUROPEANISATION. Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and the European Border Regime

    While the external borders of the European Union have remained largely closed for people on the move since 2016, the two neighbouring states, Serbia, and Bosnia & Herzegovina, have become the main transit countries in Southeast Europe, with migrations taking place in a clandestine manner, often back and forth and exposed to brutal border pushbacks. Examining migration movements, policies, public discourses and struggles in the Balkans between the summer of migration in 2015 and the pandemic crisis in 2020, this study provides an analysis of the impact of the EUropean border and migration regime in the region, which has become a #buffer_zone for people on the move. Tracing the complex interplay of EU, state and local institutions, it offers insight into how policies of the securitisation and militarisation of the EU’s external borders are intertwined with the region’s EU accession process.

    https://www.rosalux.rs/en/dark-side-europeanisation
    #rapport #border_regime #Bosnie #Balkans #Serbie #migrations #asile #réfugiés #frontières #frontières_extérieures #transit #Europe #EU #UE #militarisation #sécurisation #militarisation_des_frontières

    ping @luciebacon @isskein

  • #métaliste autour de la Création de zones frontalières (au lieu de lignes de frontière) en vue de refoulements

    Je viens de lire dans un compte-rendu de réunion qui a eu lieu à Milan en juin 2019, ce commentaire, sur la situation à la #frontière italo-slovène :

    Gianfranco Schiavone :

    «Quello che sicuramente dovrebbe diventare una questione delicata é l’annunciato avvio delle pattuglie italo slovene in frontiera con l’obiettivo dichiarato alla stampa di bloccare gli arrivi. Con riammissione senza formalita’ delle persone irregolari intercettate nella fascia dei 5 km dalla frontiera . Queste sono le dichiarazioni pubbliche di questi giorni»

    Une #zone_frontalière de #5_km dans laquelle ont lieu des #refoulements directs.

    #Italie #Slovénie #frontière_sud-alpine #migrations #réfugiés #asile #frontière_mobile #bande_frontalière #frontières_mobiles #zone_frontalière #zones_frontalières #zone-frontière

    Ceci me rappelle d’autres cas, en Europe et ailleurs, dans lesquels des procédures semblables (la frontière n’est plus une #ligne, mais une #zone) ont été mises en place, j’essaie de les mettre sur ce fil de discussion.
    Si quelqu’un a d’autres cas à signaler, les contributions sont bienvenues...

    ping @reka @simplicissimus @karine4 @isskein

    • A la frontière entre franco-italienne :

      Dans un amendement, l’élu a proposé « une zone limitée aux communes limitrophes ou une bande de 10 kms par rapport à la frontière. » Le gouvernement en a accepté le principe, mais « le délimitera de manière précise par décret pour coller à la réalité du terrain. »

      http://alpesdusud.alpes1.com/news/locales/67705/alpes-du-sud-refus-d-entree-pour-les-migrants-vers-une-evolution-
      #France #Italie #frontière_sud-alpine

    • L’article 10 de la loi renforçant la sécurité intérieure et la lutte contre le terrorisme modifie l’article 78-2 du Code de procédure pénale relatif aux contrôles d’identités. Il permet ainsi des contrôles aux frontières pour une durée de douze heures consécutives (contre six auparavant). Il les élargit « aux abords » de 373 gares et dans un rayon de dix kilomètres des ports et aéroports au nombre des points de passage frontaliers. Bien au-delà des simples frontières de l’Hexagone, c’est une partie importante du territoire français qui est ainsi couvert, dont des villes entières comme Paris, Lyon, Toulouse, Marseille, etc.

      source, p.25 : https://www.lacimade.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/La_Cimade_Schengen_Frontieres.pdf
      #France

    • Frontière entre #Italie et #Slovénie :

      This month saw the introduction of joint Slovenian and Italian police patrols on their mutual border, raising concerns about the retrenchment of national boundaries contra the Schengen Agreement. The collaboration between authorities, due to be implemented until the end of September, mobilises four joint operations per week, with respective police forces able to enter 10km into the territory of their neighboring state in order to apprehend migrants. Mixed operations by member states signifies a growing trend towards the securitization of the EU’s internal borders, and in this case a tightening of controls on the departure point from the West Balkan route.

      The patrols aim at stemming the transit of migrants from the western Slovenian regions of #Goriška and #Obalno-kraška, into the eastern region of Friuli Venezia Giulia, Italy. Given the extensive pushback apparatus being employed by Slovenian and Croatian officials, arrival in Italy has often been the first place where persons-in-transit can apply for international protection without the threat of summary removal. However, these developments in cross border patrols highlight a growing effort on the part of the Italian government to prevent people seeking sanctuary on its territory.

      (p.15-16)

      https://www.borderviolence.eu/wp-content/uploads/July-2019-Final-Report.pdf

      –—

      While the exact number of persons arriving via the Slovenian-Italian border is unknown, there has been a sharp rise since April (http://www.regioni.it/dalleregioni/2020/11/09/friuli-venezia-giulia-immigrazione-fedriga-ripensare-politiche-di-controllo-) of people entering Italy from the Balkan route. Not only in Trieste, but also around the province of #Udine, arrivals have increased compared to last year. In Udine, around 100 people (https://www.ansa.it/friuliveneziagiulia/notizie/2020/11/30/migranti-oltre-cento-persone-rintracciate-nelludinese_9fdae48d-8174-4ea1-b221-8) were identified in one day. This has been met with a huge rise in chain pushbacks, initiated by Italian authorities via readmissions to Slovenia. From January to October 2020, 1321 people (https://www.rainews.it/tgr/fvg/articoli/2020/11/fvg-massimiliano-fedriga-migranti-arrivi-emergenza-98da1880-455e-4c59-9dc9-6) have been returned via the informal readmissions agreement , representing a fivefold increase when compared with the statistics from 2019.

      But instead of dealing with this deficit in adherence to international asylum law, in recent months Italian authorities have only sought to adapt border controls to apprehend more people. Border checks are now focusing on trucks, cars and smaller border crossings (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fu4es3xXVc8&feature=youtu.be

      ), rather than focusing solely on the military patrols of the forested area. This fits into a strategy of heightened control, pioneered by the Governor of the Friuli Venezia Giulia Region Massimiliano Fedriga who hopes to deploy more detection equipment at the border. The aim is to choke off any onward transit beyond the first 10km of Italian territory, and therefore apply the fast tracked process of readmission to the maximum number of new arrivals.

      https://seenthis.net/messages/892914

      #10_km

    • Kuster Backs Bill To Reduce 100-Mile Zone for Border Patrol Checkpoints

      Congresswoman Ann McLane Kuster is cosponsoring legislation to reduce border zones from 100 to 25 miles from the border (https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/house-bill/3852?q=%7B%22search%22%3A%5B%22border+zone%22%5D%7D&s=1&r=1), within which U.S. Customs and Border Patrol can set up immigration checkpoints.

      Congressman Peter Welch of Vermont is the prime sponsor of the legislation.

      Kuster was stopped at one such immigration checkpoint in June of this year. The checkpoint, on I-93 in Woodstock, around 90 miles from the border, resulted in 29 tickets for alleged immigration violations.

      The violations were for legal visitors who did not have appropriate paperwork on them, according to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

      According to a map from CityLabs, the entire state of New Hampshire falls within a border zone (which includes coastal borders).

      “I think it has a chilling effect,” says Kuster. “It’s not the free and open America that we know.”

      Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy introduced a similar bill to the Senate.

      https://www.nhpr.org/post/kuster-backs-bill-reduce-100-mile-zone-border-patrol-checkpoints#stream/0
      #USA #Etats-Unis

    • Inside the Massive U.S. ’Border Zone’

      All of Michigan, D.C., and a large chunk of Pennsylvania are part of the area where Border Patrol has expanded search and seizure rights. Here’s what it means to live or travel there.

      https://cdn.citylab.com/media/img/citylab/2018/05/03_Esri_Map/940.png?mod=1548686763

      https://www.citylab.com/equity/2018/05/who-lives-in-border-patrols-100-mile-zone-probably-you-mapped/558275
      #cartographie #visualisation
      #100-Mile_Zone

      déjà signalé sur seenthis par @reka en 2018 :
      https://seenthis.net/messages/727225

    • En #Hongrie, les pushbacks, largement pratiqués depuis des années, ont été légalisés en mars 2017 par de nouvelles dispositions permettant aux forces de l’ordre de refouler automatiquement toute personne interpellée sur le territoire hongrois et considérée en situation irrégulière. Ces personnes sont ramenées jusqu’à la clôture et renvoyées de l’autre côté. Si elles manifestent leur volonté de demander l’asile, on leur signifie qu’elles doivent repartir en Serbie et passer par les zones de transit. Pourtant, se trouvant géographiquement et juridiquement en Hongrie (le mur étant situé à 1,5 mètre à l’intérieur du tracé officiel de la frontière), les autorités ont l’obligation de prendre en compte ces demandes d’asile en vertu des conventions européennes et des textes internationaux dont la Hongrie est signataire.

      Tiré du rapport de La Cimade (2018), pp.37-38 :
      https://www.lacimade.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/La_Cimade_Schengen_Frontieres.pdf

    • Le zone di transito e di frontiera – commento dell’ASGI al decreto del Ministero dell’Interno del 5 agosto 2019

      Il 7 settembre 2009 sulla Gazzetta Ufficiale n. 210 (https://www.gazzettaufficiale.it/eli/id/2019/09/07/19A05525/sg) è stato pubblicato il decreto del Ministero dell’Interno del 5 agosto 2019 che individua le zone di transito e di frontiera dove potrà trovare applicazione la procedura accelerata per l’esame nel merito delle domande di protezione internazionale e istituisce due nuove sezioni delle Commissioni territoriali , come previsto dall’art. 28 bis co. 1 quater del D.lgs. n. 25/2008, introdotto dal d.l. n. 113/2018.

      Le zone di frontiera o di transito sono individuate in quelle esistenti nelle seguenti province:

      –Trieste e Gorizia;

      –Crotone, Cosenza, Matera, Taranto, Lecce e Brindisi;

      –Caltanissetta, Ragusa, Siracusa, Catania, Messina;

      –Trapani, Agrigento;

      –Città metropolitana di Cagliari e Sud Sardegna.

      Il decreto ministeriale istituisce altresì due nuove sezioni , Matera e Ragusa, le quali operano rispettivamente nella commissione territoriale per il riconoscimento dello status di rifugiato di Bari, per la zona di frontiera di Matera, e nella commissione territoriale di Siracusa, per la zona di frontiera di Ragusa.

      Nel commento qui pubblicato ASGI sottolinea come le nuove disposizioni paiono contrastare con le norme dell’Unione Europea perché si riferiscono in modo assolutamente generico alle “zone di transito o di frontiera individuate in quelle esistenti nelle province” e non ad aree delimitate, quali ad esempio i porti o le aree aeroportuali o altri luoghi coincidenti con frontiere fisiche con Paesi terzi non appartenenti all’Unione europea.

      ASGI evidenzia come “l’applicazione delle procedure accelerate alle domande presentate nelle zone individuate nel decreto ministeriale comporta una restrizione dell’effettivo esercizio dei diritti di cui ogni straniero è titolare allorché manifesta la volontà di presentare la domanda di asilo e una conseguente contrazione del diritto di difesa, in ragione del dimezzamento dei termini di impugnazione e dell’assenza di un effetto sospensivo automatico derivante dalla proposizione del ricorso previsti, in modo differente per le varie ipotesi specifiche, dall’art. 35 bis D. Lgs. 25/08”.

      A tal fine ASGI ricorda che:

      – ai cittadini di Paesi terzi o apolidi tenuti in centri di trattenimento o presenti ai valichi di frontiera, comprese le zone di transito alla frontiere esterne, che desiderino presentare una domanda di protezione internazionale, gli Stati membri devono garantire l’informazione, anche sull’accesso procedura per il riconoscimento della protezione internazionale, adeguati servizi di interpretariato,
      nonché l’effettivo accesso a tali aree alle organizzazioni e alle persone che prestano consulenza e assistenza ai richiedenti asilo (art. 8 Direttiva 2013/32/UE);

      – gli Stati membri devono provvedere affinché l’avvocato o altro consulente legale che assiste o rappresenta un richiedente possa accedere alle aree chiuse, quali i centri di trattenimento e le zone di transito (art. 23 par. 2) e analoga possibilità deve essere garantita all’UNHCR (art. 29, par. 1);

      – ai sensi dell’art. 46 par. 1 il richiedente ha diritto a un ricorso effettivo dinanzi a un giudice anche nel caso in cui la decisione sulla domanda di protezione internazionale venga presa in frontiera o nelle zone di transito.

      E’ evidente, conclude ASGI nel commento al Decreto, che vi sia il rischio che lo straniero espulso o respinto e che abbia presentato domanda di protezione internazionale dopo l’espulsione o il respingimento in una zona di frontiera tra quelle indicate nel nuovo decreto ministeriale si veda esaminata la sua domanda in modo sommario mentre è trattenuto in condizioni e luoghi imprecisati e inaccessibili di fatto a difensori e organizzazioni di tutela dei diritti.

      Occorre invece ribadire che la presentazione della domanda di protezione internazionale in frontiera riguarderà spesso persone rese ulteriormente vulnerabili dalle condizioni traumatiche del viaggio ed alle quali andrà perciò in ogni caso garantito un esame adeguato della domanda di protezione internazionale e l’applicazione delle garanzie e dei diritti previsti a tutela dei richiedenti protezione internazionale dalle disposizioni nazionali e dell’Unione Europea.

      https://www.asgi.it/asilo-e-protezione-internazionale/asilo-zone-transito-frontiera

    • La loi renforçant la lutte contre le terrorisme étend à nouveau les contrôles d’identités frontaliers

      Avant l’entrée en vigueur de la loi du 30 octobre 2017, les #contrôles_frontaliers étaient autorisés dans les espaces publics des #gares, #ports et #aéroports ouverts au trafic international (désignés par un arrêté ministériel) et dans une zone située entre la frontière terrestre et une ligne tracée de 20 kilomètres en deçà. Le législateur avait étendu les zones frontalières, notamment dans les territoires ultra-marins (où la convention de Schengen n’est pourtant pas applicable).

      https://www.editions-legislatives.fr/actualite/la-loi-renforcant-la-lutte-contre-le-terrorisme-etend-a-nouvea
      #France #20_km #20_kilomètres #espace_public #gares_internationales

    • The Grand Chamber Judgment in Ilias and Ahmed v Hungary: Immigration Detention and how the Ground beneath our Feet Continues to Erode

      The ECtHR has been for a long time criticized for its approach to immigration detention that diverts from the generally applicable principles to deprivation of liberty in other contexts. As Cathryn Costello has observed in her article Immigration Detention: The Ground beneath our Feet, a major weakness in the Court’s approach has been the failure to scrutinize the necessity of immigration detention under Article 5(1)(f) of the ECHR. The Grand Chamber judgment in Ilias and Ahmed v Hungary delivered on 21 November 2019 has further eroded the protection extended to asylum-seekers under the Convention to the point that restrictions imposed upon asylum-seekers might not even be qualified as deprivation of liberty worthy of the protection of Article 5. The Grand Chamber overruled on this point the unanimously adopted Chamber judgment that found that the holding of asylum-seekers in the ‘transit zone’ between Hungary and Serbia actually amounts to deprivation of liberty.

      In this blog, I will briefly describe the facts of the case, the findings of the Grand Chamber under Article 3 ECHR that was also invoked by the applicants and then I will focus on the reasoning as to the applicability of Article 5.

      The case concerned two Bangladeshi nationals who transited through Greece, the Republic of Northern Macedonia (as it is now known) and Serbia before reaching Hungary, where they immediately applied for asylum. They found themselves in the transit zone on the land border between Hungary and Serbia, where they were held for 23 days pending the examination of their asylum applications. The applications were rejected on the same day on the ground that the applicants had transited through Serbia that, according to Hungary, was a safe third country. The rejections were confirmed on appeal, an order for their expulsion was issued, the applicants were escorted out of the transit zone and they crossed back into Serbia.

      Procedural Breach of Article 3 ECHR

      The Grand Chamber established that Hungary ‘failed to discharge its procedural obligation under Article 3 of the Convention to assess the risks of treatment contrary to that provision before removing the applicants from Hungary’ to Serbia (para 163). No finding was made on the issue as to whether Hungary was substantively in breach of the right not to be subjected to refoulement given the conditions in Serbia and the deficiencies in the Serbian asylum procedures that might lead to chain refoulement. This omission follows a trend in the Court’s reasoning that can be described as a procedural turn: focus on the quality of the national decision making processes rather than on the substantive accuracy of the decisions taken at national level.[1] This omission, however, had important consequences for the application of Article 5 to the applicants’ case, the most controversial aspect in the Grand Chamber’s reasoning.

      The Chamber’s reasoning under Article 5 ECHR

      On this aspect, the Grand Chamber departed from the Chamber’s conclusion that the applicants were deprived of their liberty. The fundamental question here is whether ‘the stay’ (Hungary used the term ‘accommodation’) of asylum-seekers in the ‘transit zone’ with an exit door open to Serbia, but closed to Hungary, amounts to deprivation of liberty (i.e. detention) in the sense of Article 5 ECHR. Asylum seekers in the transit zone were denied access to the Hungarian territory,[2] but they could leave to Serbia. This creates a complex intertwinement between deprivation of liberty (Article 5(1)(f)) normally understood as not allowing somebody to leave a place, on the one hand, and not allowing somebody to enter a place. Entering a State can be very relevant from the perspective of the obligation upon this State not to refoule, which necessitates a procedure for determining whether there is a risk of refoulement.

      In its judgment from 14 March 2017 the Chamber unanimously answered in positive: by holding them in the transit zone, Hungary deprived the applicants from their liberty, which was in violation of Article 5(1)(f) since this measures had no legal basis in the national law. The Chamber clarified that‘[t]he mere fact that it was possible for them to leave voluntarily returning to Serbia which never consented to their readmission cannot rule out an infringement of the right to liberty.’ (para 55). In this way the Chamber reaffirmed the reasoning in Amuur v France where the Court observed ‘[…] this possibility [to leave voluntary the country] becomes theoretical if no other country offering protection comparable to the protection they expect to find in the country where they are seeking asylum is inclined or prepared to take them in.’ (para 48) It follows that although the transit zone at the French airport was, as France argued, “open to the outside”, the applicants were still considered as having been detained since this ‘outside’ did not offer a level of protection comparable to the one in France.

      The Chamber followed this reasoning from Amuur v France in Ilias and Ahmed v Hungary, which led to the recognition that ‘[…] the applicants could not have left the transit zone in the direction of Serbia without unwanted and grave consequences, that is, without forfeiting their asylum claims and running the risk of refoulement’ (para 55). The Chamber also added that ‘To hold otherwise would void the protection afforded by Article 5 of the Convention by compelling the applicants to choose between liberty and the pursuit of a procedure ultimately aimed to shelter them from the risk of exposure to treatment in breach of Article 3 of the Convention.’ (para 56)

      The ‘practical and realistic’ approach of the Grand Chamber under Article 5 ECHR

      The Grand Chamber in its reasoning broke precisely this linkage between the applicability of Article 5 (the qualification of a treatment as deprivation of liberty) and Article 3 (protection from refoulement). The Grand Chamber performed the following important moves to achieve this. First, it stated that ‘its approach should be practical and realistic, having regard to the present-day conditions and challenges’, which implied that States were not only entitled to control their borders, but also ‘to take measures against foreigners circumventing restrictions on immigration.’ (para 213). With Ilias and Ahmed v Hungary the Court has thus added another nuance to its well-established point of departure in cases dealing with migrants. This point of departure has been that States are entitled, subject to their treaty obligations, to control their borders. The new addition introduced with Ilias and Ahmed v Hungary and also repeated in Z.A. and Others v Russia, a Grand Chamber judgment issued on the same day, concerns States’ right to prevent ‘foreigners circumventing restrictions on immigration’. This addition, however, does not seem appropriate given that the applicants themselves in Ilias and Ahmed v Hungary never circumvented any immigration control restrictions. They applied immediately for asylum.

      This ‘practical and realistic approach’ also implied an endorsement of the representation of the situation as one of ‘crisis’:[3] ‘the Court observes that the Hungarian authorities were in conditions of a mass influx of asylum-seekers and migrants at the border, which necessitated rapidly putting in place measures to deal with what was clearly a crisis situation.’ (para 228) In the same paragraph, the Grand Chamber went on to almost praise Hungary for having processed the applicants’ claims so fast event though it was ‘a crisis’: ‘Despite the ensuring very significant difficulties, the applicants’ asylum claims and their judicial appeals were examined within three weeks and two days.’ It appears as if the Grand Chamber at this stage had already forgotten its findings made earlier in the judgment under Article 3 that the national procedure for examining the applicants’ claims was deficient. This ultimately gave the basis for the Grand Chamber to find a violation of Article 3.

      The distinction based on how asylum-seekers arrive and the type of border they find themselves at

      The second move performed by the Grand Chamber implied the introduction of a distinction between ‘staying at airport transit zones’ (para 214) and at reception centers located on islands (para 216), on the one hand, and a transit zone located on the land border between two Council of Europe Member States (para 219). This meant, as the Court reasoned, that the applicants did not have to take a plane to leave the zone, they could simply walk out of the zone. In other words, it was practically possible for them to do it on their own and they did not need anybody’s help. As the Court continued to reason in para 236, ‘Indeed, unlike the case of Amuur, where the French courts described the applicants’ confinement as an “arbitrary deprivation of liberty”, in the present case the Hungarian authorities were apparently convinced that the applicants could realistically leave in the direction of Serbia [emphasis added].’ This quotation also begs the comment as to why what the national authorities were or were not convinced about actually mattered. In addition, the reference in Ilias and Ahmed v Hungary as to how the national authorities had qualified the situation is also bizarre given that ‘deprivation of liberty’ is an autonomous concept under the Convention. On this point, the two dissenting judges, Judge Bianku and Judge Vućinić criticized the majority by highlighting that ‘the Court has reiterated on many occasions that it does not consider itself bound by the domestic courts’ legal conclusions as to the existence of a deprivation of liberty.’

      Narrowing down the importance of Amuur v France

      The third move performed by the Court is playing down the importance of and narrowing the relevance of Amuur v France. In Ilias and Ahmed v Hungary the Grand Chamber reiterated (para 239) the most significant pronouncement from Amuur: the possibility to leave the zone ‘becomes theoretical if no other country offering protection comparable to the protection they expect to find in the country where they are seeking asylum is included to take them in.’ It then noted that this reasoning ‘must be read in close relation to the factual and legal context in that case.’ This meant that in contrast to the situation in Ilias and Ahmed v Hungary, in Amuur the applicants could not leave ‘without authorization to board an airplane and without diplomatic assurance concerning their only possible destination, Syria, a country “not bound by the Geneva Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees.’ (para 240) On this point Ilias and Ahmed v Hungary can be also distinguished from Z.A. and Others v Russia, where the Grand Chamber observed that ‘[…] unlike in land border transit zones, in this particular case leaving the Sheremetyevo airport transit zone would have required planning, contacting aviation companies, purchasing tickets and possibly applying for a visa depending on the destination.’ (para 154) For the applicants in Ilias and Ahmed ‘it was practically possible […] to walk to the border and cross into Serbia, a country bound by the Geneva Convention.’ (para 241). The Grand Chamber acknowledged that the applicants feared of the deficiencies in the Serbian asylum procedure and the related risk of removal to the Republic of North Macedonia or Greece. (para 242) However, what seems to be crucial is that their fears were not related to ‘direct threat to their life or health’ (para 242). It follows that the possibility to leave for a place will not preclude the qualification of the situation as one of detention, only if this place poses a direct threat to life or health.

      As noted by the two dissenting judges, it did not seem to matter for the majority that the applicants could not enter Serbia lawfully. In this way, the majority’s reasoning under Article 5 appears to endorse a situation where people are just pushed out of the border without some formal procedures with elementary guarantees.

      Read as a whole the Grand Chamber judgment in Ilias and Ahmed v Hungary is inconsistent: it contains two findings that are difficult to square together. The Court concluded that since the applicants would not be exposed to a direct risk in Serbia, they were not detained in Hungary. At the same time, Hungary violated Article 3 of the Convention since it did not conduct a proper assessment of the risks that the applicants could face if they were to return to Serbia.

      Overall weakening of the protection of Article 5 ECHR

      One final comment is due. In Ilias and Ahmed v Hungary, the Grand Chamber summarized the following factors for determining whether ‘confinement of foreigners in airport transit zones and reception centers’ can be defined as deprivation of liberty: ‘i) the applicants’ individual situation and their choices, ii) the applicable legal regime of the respective country and its purpose, iii) the relevant duration, especially in the light of the purpose and the procedural protection enjoyed by applicants pending the events, and iv) the nature and degree of the actual restrictions imposed on or experienced by the applicants.’ (para 217) (see also Z.A. and Others v Russia, para 145) Among these criteria particular attention needs to be directed to the applicable legal regime and the availability of procedural protection. In principle, Article 5, if found applicable, offers certain guarantees (e.g. statutory basis for the deprivation of liberty, access to proceedings for challenging the lawfulness of the detention). The Court seems to have inserted such considerations at the definitional stage of its analysis. For example, in Z.A. and Others v Russia, the Grand Chamber when it examined whether the confinement of the applicants in the airport transit zone amounted to deprivation of liberty, noted that they were left ‘in a legal limbo without any possibility of challenging the measure restricting their liberty’ (para 146). This played a role for the Grand Chamber to conclude that the applicants in Z.A. and Others v Russia were indeed deprived of liberty and Article 5 was thus found applicable. In contrast, the Grand Chamber in Ilias and Ahmed v Hungary observed that certain procedural guarantees applied to the applicants’ case (para 226), which also played a role for the final conclusion that Article 5 was not applicable. In sum, instead of scrutinizing the national legal regime and the access to procedural guarantees as part of the substantive analysis under Article 5, where a single deficiency leads to a finding of a violation (i.e. it is sufficient to find a violation of Article 5 if there is no strictly defined statutory basis for the applicants’ detention), the Court has muddled these criteria together with other factors and made them pertinent for the definitional analysis. This ultimately weakens the roles of these criteria and creates uncertainty.

      [1] See V Stoyanova, ‘How Exception must “Very Exceptional” Be? Non-refoulement, Socio-Economic Deprivation and Paposhvili v Belgium’ (2017) International Journal of Refugee Law 29(4) 580.

      [2] See B Nagy, ‘From Reluctance to Total Denial: Asylum Policy in Hungary 2015-2018’ in V Stoyanova and E Karageorgiou (eds) The New Asylum and Transit Countries in Europe during and in the Aftermath of the 2015/2016 Crisis (Brill 2019) 17.

      [3] Boldizsar Nagy has argued that this representation made by the Hungarian government is a lie. See B Nagy, Restricting access to asylum and contempt of courts: illiberals at work in Hungary, https://eumigrationlawblog.eu/restricting-access-to-asylum-and-contempt-of-courts-illiberals-at

      https://strasbourgobservers.com/2019/12/23/the-grand-chamber-judgment-in-ilias-and-ahmed-v-hungary-immigra
      #justice #CEDH #Hongrie #CourEDH

    • Entre la #Pologne et la #Biélorussie :

      Si cette famille a pu être aidée, c’est aussi parce qu’elle a réussi à dépasser la zone de l’état d’urgence : une bande de 3 km tracée par la Pologne tout du long de sa frontière avec la Biélorussie, formellement interdite d’accès aux organisations comme aux journalistes.
      Le long de la frontière, les migrants se retrouvent donc seuls entre les gardes-frontières polonais et biélorusses. Côté polonais, ils sont ramenés manu militari en Biélorussie… En Biélorussie, ils sont également refoulés : depuis octobre, le pays refuse de laisser entrer les migrants déjà passés côté européen. « La seule chance de sortir de la Pologne, c’est d’entrer en Biélorussie. La seule chance de sortir de la Biélorussie, c’est d’entrer en Pologne. C’est comme un ping-pong », confie Nelson (pseudonyme), un migrant originaire de la République démocratique du Congo qui a contacté notre rédaction.

      https://seenthis.net/messages/948199
      et plus précisément ici :
      https://seenthis.net/messages/948199#message948201

      –-

      Et l’article de Médiapart :
      Entre la Pologne et le Belarus, les migrants abandonnés dans une #zone_de_non-droit
      https://seenthis.net/messages/948199#message948202

    • « À titre de mesures compensatoires à l’entrée en vigueur de la convention de Schengen – qui, du reste, n’était pas encore applicable –, la loi du 10 août 1993 instaure les contrôles dits frontaliers : la police, la gendarmerie et la douane peuvent vérifier l’identité de toute personne, pour s’assurer qu’elle respecte les obligations liées à la détention d’un titre de circulation ou de séjour, dans la zone frontalière et dans les zones publiques des ports, aéroports et gares ouvertes au trafic international. La zone frontalière est une bande de terre, large de 20 km, longeant la frontière terrestre ; les ports, gares ou autres aérogares visés figurent sur une longue liste fixée par un arrêté ministériel. »

      (Ferré 2018 : 16)

      –-

      « Il suffit de passer quelques heures à la gare de Menton pour le constater. Pour les personnes présumées étrangères, la liberté d’aller et de venir dans les espaces placés sous surveillance est restreinte. Elle a encore été réduite avec la loi du 30 octobre 2017 renforçant la sécurité intérieure et la lutte contre le terrorisme qui modifie, une fois de plus, le texte de loi sur les contrôles d’identité en étendant les zones frontalières autour de certains ports et aéroports qui constituent des points de passage frontaliers au sens du code frontières Schengen, soit « tout point de passage autorisé par les autorités compétentes pour le franchissement des frontières extérieures ». Dans ces nouvelles zones, la police pourra procéder à des opérations de contrôle sans avoir besoin de motiver son intervention. La loi de 2017 a également prévu que les contrôles frontaliers puissent s’effectuer « aux abords des gares » et non plus seulement dans les zones publiques de ces lieux. La formulation souffre, c’est peu de le dire, d’un manque de précision qui donne plus de latitude encore aux forces de l’ordre. »

      (Ferré 2018 : 19)

      source : Nathalie Ferré, « La France s’enferme à double tour », Plein Droit, 2018, n°116.

      #20_km #20_kilomètres

    • #Pyrénées, frontière #Espagne-#France, témoignage d’une personne ayant acheté un terrain en zone frontalière :

      « En ce moment, on croise plein de voitures de forces de l’ordre, ce qui est étonnant en plein hiver car il n’y a personne. Il y a aussi des barrages de police réguliers car ils savent que des gens se font prendre sur la route », raconte Camille Rosa, cofondatrice d’une cantine solidaire à Perpignan. « On a acheté avec des copains un petit terrain vers Cerbère. Un jour, des gendarmes sont venus fouiller notre camion alors que mes enfants faisaient la sieste à l’intérieur. J’ai tenté de m’interposer, mais ils m’ont dit que sur la #zone_frontalière, ils avaient une #commission_rogatoire_permanente », poursuit-elle.

      https://seenthis.net/messages/950934

    • #France :

      Le contrôle d’identité « Schengen » permet de vérifier le respect des obligations liées aux titres et documents d’identité et de voyage. Il peut avoir lieu dans une zone située à moins de #20_kilomètres de la frontière terrestre séparant la France d’un pays limitrophe (Allemagne, Belgique, Espagne, Italie, Luxembourg et Suisse). Si le contrôle a lieu sur l’autoroute ou dans un train, la zone s’étend jusqu’au 1er péage ou l’arrêt après les 20 kilomètres. Le contrôle peut être effectué dans un port, un aéroport ou une gare et ses abords accessible au public et ouverte au trafic international. Le contrôle ne peut pas être pratiqué plus de 12 heures consécutives dans un même lieu et ne peut pas être systématique.

      Depuis la loi n° 2017-1510 du 30 octobre 2017 renforçant la sécurité intérieure, des contrôles d’identité peuvent également être effectués dans un rayon de #10_kilomètres autour de certains #ports et #aéroports sur le territoire.

      C’est ce dernier contrôle qui concerne majoritairement les personnes se présentant à la frontière francoitalienne, mais certaines situations suivies par les militants locaux laissent penser que d’autres types de contrôles ont pu servir pour justifier les arrestations de personnes au-delà de la bande des 20 kilomètres ou des zones transfrontalières.

      Rapport de l’Anafé, Persona non grata, 2019 : http://www.anafe.org/spip.php?article520

      –—

      Rapport CNCDH 2018, p.7 :

      « la préfète des Hautes-Alpes a expliqué que la zone permettant de procéder à des refus d’entrée avait été définie par son prédécesseur mais qu’elle ne correspondait pas nécessairement à la bande des 20 kms14. Selon la PAF, les refus d’entrée peuvent être prononcés dès lors que l’étranger est contrôlé sur le territoire des communes de Montgenèvre et Nevache, et donc jusqu’à l’entrée de Briançon. »
      Il convient de rappeler que des contrôles aléatoires, hors du cadre dérogatoire prévu en cas de rétablissement des frontières, peuvent être opérés, conformément à l’article 78-2 du code de procédure pénale, dans une zone comprise entre la frontière terrestre de la France avec les Etats de l’espace et une ligne tracée à 20 kilomètres en deçà, ainsi que dans les zones accessibles au public des ports, aéroports et gares ferroviaires ou routières ouverts au trafic international et désignés par arrêté et aux abords de ces gares. Ces contrôles sont toutefois strictement encadrés, notamment par la jurisprudence de la Cour de justice de l’Union européenne. Les personnes interpellées sur ce fondement peuvent faire l’objet d’une procédure de réadmission. En revanche, lorsque les contrôles aux frontières intérieures sont rétablis, les autorités françaises peuvent refuser l’entrée aux étrangers ne remplissant pas les conditions d’entrée sur le territoire aux frontières terrestres et leur notifier une décision de non-admission. Ces étrangers sont considérés comme n’étant pas entrés sur le territoire

      https://www.cncdh.fr/fr/publications/avis-sur-la-situation-des-migrants-la-frontiere-franco-italienne

      #10_km #20_km

  • The creation of preconditions for Croatia’s entry into #Schengen is visible in the both on the field and diplomacy - while the Croatian border police continues to prevent the entry of refugees into the country and does not restrain from using violent methods, Minister #Božinović received praises from Bavarian Minister of Interior, Sports and Integration, #Joachim_Herrman, on the work of Croatian #police and protection of Croatian Borders (http://hr.n1info.com/Vijesti/a401099/Bavarski-ministar-unutarnjih-poslova-pohvalio-hrvatsku-granicnu-policiju.). The border area of the European Union seems to have become a mirror in which politics sees only itself and those who “pat it on the back”, while they refuse to face with the reality.

    #route_des_balkans #Allemagne #asile #migrations #réfugiés #frontières #Croatie #externalisation #contrôles_frontaliers #militarisation_des_frontières #buffer_zone #Balkans

    Une manière de contrôler la #frontière_sud-alpine

    Reçu via la mailing-list Inicijativa dobrodosli, le 15.05.2019

    ping @isskein

  • Kruger’s contested borderlands. Are #eco-cocoons the solution to poaching ?

    #Buffer_zones along the border of #Kruger_National_Park target wildlife poaching. Displaced communities say it’s a land grab by rich foreigners aided by corrupt politicians. Estacio Valoi investigates.

    About 2,000 families have been resettled in eight villages in the Eduardo Mondlane neighbourhood of Massingir, according to Anastácio Matável, executive director of the Forum of Non-governmental Organisations of Gaza (FONGA). Five communities, comprising 13,300 families, are still living inside the park and are awaiting resettlement.

    Matável described the resettlement as “a failed process. First 18 houses were built, then 50 houses. Then the local government tried to finance the project through the National Disaster Management Institute, but it failed.

    “There was no more money and the buildings were rejected by the communities. They also failed to take into consideration cultural aspects such as who should live together. Numbers of women and children all live one small hut.”


    https://pulitzercenter.storylab.africa/dominion
    #Mozambique #Afrique_du_sud #parc_national #frontières #rhinos #rhinocéros #zones_tampons #terres #accaparement_de_terres #écologie (les dérives de l’écologie) #géographie_culturelle (notamment pour ce qui est en lien avec la #représentation de la #nature, par exemple) #corruption #Cubo #Adolof_Bila #néo-colonialisme #Limpopo_National_Park #expulsion #tourisme #business #conservation_de_la_nature #braconnage #murs #barrières_frontalières #Nkanhine #riches #richesse #inégalités #écotourisme #twin_city #Twin_City_Development #Massingir #African_Wildlife_Foundation #Balule_Lodge #Zimbabwe #Gonarezhou_National_Park #canne_à_sucre #ProCana #industrie_du_sucre #éthanol #énergie #Bioenergy #Sable_Mining #Massingir_Agro_Industrial #eau #irrigation #Xonghile_Game_Park #Karangani_Game_Reserve #Singita #Luke_Bailes
    #Bedari_Foundation #Mangondzo_reserve #réserve_naturelle #Masintonto_Eco-Turismo #Sabie_Game_Park
    signalé par @fil sur twitter