• Nigeria-UK Migration Agreement : Smugglers, illegal migrants to face maximum sentence, deportation

    THE United Kingdom government has signed a new migration agreement with Nigeria that will deter illegal migration, the Home Office announced Friday.

    Under the agreement, both countries will issue emergency travel certificates or temporary passports within five days in order to speed up removal of people with no right to be in the UK.“Our new landmark agreement with Nigeria will increase the deportation of dangerous foreign criminals to make our streets and country safer.

    “The deal will mean that operational teams in both countries will share their expertise to take the fight to criminal people smugglers who are responsible for a wider range of criminality and put profit before people while undermining the security of our two countries,” Home Secretary and member of the UK Parliament for Witham Priti Patel said.

    On Thursday, 21 people (13 Nigerians and eight Ghanaians) with no right to be in the country, including those with combined sentences of more than 64 years, for crimes such as rape and sexual offences against children, were deported.

    The UK is also working closely with the governments of Belgium, France and Rwanda to do everything possible to stop illegal migrants before they reach the UK.

    While thousands of illegal migrants are ferried into the UK by small boats from bordering countries, some people who enter the UK on regular routes can still become irregular migrants.

    According to the UK government, illegal migrants include persons who entered the UK without authority, entered with false documents and individuals who have overstayed their visas.

    It also includes people who work or study on a tourist visa or non-immigrant visa waiver, enter into forced or fraudulent marriages or had their marriages terminated or annulled.

    The agreement will compliment UK’s newly approved Borders Act which prescribes increased maximum sentence for illegally entering the UK or overstaying a visa and a maximum sentence of life imprisonment for people smugglers and small boat pilots.

    In addition, the act puts into law that those who could have claimed asylum in another safe country but arrive illegally in the UK, can be considered as ‘inadmissible’ to the UK asylum system.

    UK Guardian reported that the deal with Rwanda, which will reportedly cost an initial £120 million, follows three years of promises by Patel to outsource asylum processing to third countries and failures to strike deals with Albania and Ghana.

    Under the arrangement which has faced heavy criticism, migrants will have their asylum claims processed in the East African country and be encouraged to settle there.

    “We will now work tirelessly to deliver these reforms to ensure we have an immigration system that protects those in genuine need while cracking down on abuse of the system and evil people-smuggling gangs,” Patel assured.

    In 2021, French and UK authorities prevented more than 23,000 attempts to travel illegally to the UK.

    Over 6,000 crossings have been prevented so far in 2022, more than twice as many as at this point last year.

    https://www.icirnigeria.org/nigeria-uk-migration-agreement-smugglers-illegal-migrants-to-face-maxim

    #UK #Angleterre #Nigeria #accord #accord_bilatéral #accords_bilatéraux #asile #migrations #renvois #expulsions #déboutés #passeport_temporaire #certificat_de_voyage_d'urgence #sans-papiers #criminels #criminels_étrangers #passeurs #mariage_blanc #Borders_Act

    ping @isskein @karine4

  • #Canada : Données sur le cancer retirées par le Dr Arruda : « Les révélations sont très graves » Jean-Michel Cotnoir - Jean-Marc Belzile

    Les trois principaux groupes d’opposition à Québec ont réagi fortement lundi aux révélations de Radio-Canada https://ici.radio-canada.ca/nouvelle/1891907/qualite-air-sante-arsenic-biosurveillance selon lesquelles des données portant sur les cas de cancer du poumon à Rouyn-Noranda ont été retirées à la dernière minute d’un rapport, à la demande du directeur national de la santé publique de l’époque, le docteur Horacio Arruda.

    Selon ce que Radio-Canada a appris, la santé publique régionale savait, dès septembre 2019, que le taux de mortalité lié au cancer du poumon était plus élevé à Rouyn-Noranda et souhaitait en aviser la population.


    Selon ce que Radio-Canada a appris, la santé publique régionale savait, dès septembre 2019, que le taux de mortalité lié au cancer du poumon était plus élevé à Rouyn-Noranda et souhaitait en aviser la population. L’annexe 6 du rapport sur l’étude de biosurveillance du quartier Notre-Dame faisait état de ces préoccupations, mais à la demande du Dr Arruda, celle-ci n’a pas été publiée. (Archives) - Photo : Radio-Canada / Mélanie Picard

    Pour le porte-parole du Parti québécois en matière de santé, Joël Arseneau, ces révélations sont consternantes.

    “Les révélations de ce matin (lundi) sont graves, sont très graves. C’est une nouvelle qui est consternante. Quand on connaît le rôle et la confiance qu’on doit avoir envers la direction nationale de la santé publique pour protéger la santé, la sécurité et la vie des gens et qu’il y a une information aussi capitale sur des possibles liens entre les émanations d’arsenic d’une fonderie et la communauté environnante de Rouyn-Noranda [...], que cette information soit soustraite au public de façon volontaire, je ne comprends pas cette décision-là”, mentionne-t-il.

    La porte-parole du Parti libéral du Québec en matière d’environnement, Isabelle Melançon, abonde dans le même sens.

    « Je suis excessivement choquée. Choquée parce que comme pour les citoyens du Québec, les législateurs que nous sommes à l’Assemblée nationale n’avons pas eu en main toute l’information en lien avec la situation cancérologique en Abitibi-Témiscamingue. »
    Une citation de Isabelle Melançon, porte-parole du PLQ en environnement

    Mme Melançon fait le lien entre le dossier de l’arsenic et celui du nickel, ce métal pour lequel le gouvernement du Québec a récemment autorisé une hausse https://ici.radio-canada.ca/nouvelle/1874252/hausse-nickel-limoilou-quebec-benoit-charrette-environnement des émissions dans l’atmosphère.

    “Ça me ramène un dossier en tête, celui de la hausse du taux de nickel dans l’air. Est-ce qu’on a eu toute l’information ? Je ne suis pas certaine, j’ai un doute. Je dois vous dire que la confiance est mise à mal aujourd’hui, quand on voit qu’on s’est fait cacher de l’information. Je ne pense pas que c’est Dr Arruda qui ait voulu, lui, qu’on retire l’annexe 6. Moi, ce que je pense, c’est qu’il y a eu de la manipulation politique”, estime la députée de Verdun.

    Isabelle Melançon avance que les révélations concernant Rouyn-Noranda sèment un doute quant aux informations qui ont été transmises au public afin de justifier les hausses des taux de Nickel permis dans l’air.

    “Si on s’est fait cacher de l’information en 2019, je pense qu’on peut continuer à nous cacher de l’information en 2022”, soutient-elle.
    . . . . . . .
    La suite : https://ici.radio-canada.ca/nouvelle/1892601/sante-rouyn-noranda-cancer-arsenic

    #cancer #arsenic #nickel #glencore #santé #toxicité #santé_publique #camouflage #pollution #profits #capitalisme #mortalité

    • Les élèves de plus de 14 ans des écoles secondaires publiques canadiennes seront désormais formés pour intervenir en cas de surdose d’opioïdes. « Administrer la naloxone n’est pas un geste complexe », affirme le Dr Jocelyn Barriault, directeur médical régional de la Corporation d’urgences-santé et directeur médical de la Fondation ACT. Il ajoute que la formation permettra aussi de sensibiliser les jeunes aux dangers de ce type de drogue.

      Le Dr Barriault mentionne que 339 personnes sont mortes en raison d’une surdose d’opioïdes à Montréal en 2021. Il précise que la population touchée est surtout âgée de 14 à 24 ans et que 94 % des morts surviennent accidentellement.

      La formation pour administrer le médicament sera intégrée aux cours de réanimation cardiorespiratoire (RCR) et de défibrillation externe automatisée (DEA), déjà offerts gratuitement dans les écoles secondaires partout au pays par la Fondation ACT.

      Source : https://ici.radio-canada.ca/ohdio/premiere/emissions/tout-un-matin/segments/entrevue/405304/formation-ecole-secondaire-naloxone-antidote-opioides
      #drogue #école #élèves #opioïdes

  • #MeToo politique : mettons fin à l’impunité et à l’omerta
    https://www.blast-info.fr/emissions/2022/metoo-politique-mettons-fin-a-limpunite-et-a-lomerta-erLlupyLQsmiLatmE37q

    Il aura fallu 4 ans, 4 ans après le début du mouvement #Metoo en octobre 2017, pour que le milieu politique soit touché. Une preuve supplémentaire, s’il en fallait encore, de l’omerta immense qui y règne. Si le mouvement #Metoo politique commence en…

    #Damien_Abad #Darmanin #Nicolas_Hulot
    https://static.blast-info.fr/stories/2022/thumb_story_list-metoo-politique-mettons-fin-a-limpunite-et-a-lome

  • #MeToo politique : mettons fin à l’impunité et à l’omerta
    https://www.blast-info.fr/articles/2022/metoo-politique-mettons-fin-a-limpunite-et-a-lomerta-erLlupyLQsmiLatmE37q

    Il aura fallu 4 ans, 4 ans après le début du mouvement #Metoo en octobre 2017, pour que le milieu politique soit touché. Une preuve supplémentaire, s’il en fallait encore, de l’omerta immense qui y règne. Si le mouvement #Metoo politique commence en…

    #Damien_Abad #Darmanin #Nicolas_Hulot
    https://static.blast-info.fr/stories/2022/thumb_story_list-metoo-politique-mettons-fin-a-limpunite-et-a-lome

  • Les arrestations de passeurs au #Niger : une criminalisation des pratiques d’entraide en situation de migration
    https://metropolitiques.eu/Les-arrestations-de-passeurs-au-Niger-une-criminalisation-des-pratiq

    Du point de vue des États du Nord, les #migrations internationales venues du Sud ont désormais leurs responsables tout désignés, les réseaux de « passeurs », qu’il s’agirait de démanteler. À partir d’une enquête ethnographique conduite au Niger, l’autrice montre la labilité de ce rôle et les effets pervers d’une répression aveugle de l’entraide. Longtemps ignoré des politiques migratoires européennes, le Niger émerge dans les discours officiels comme un pays de transit des populations ouest-africaines vers #Terrains

    / Niger, #migrants, migrations, #Afrique, #frontière, #droit

    https://metropolitiques.eu/IMG/pdf/met_dauchy.pdf

  • Nicolas Bonanni, Que défaire ?, 2022 – Et vous n’avez encore rien vu…
    https://sniadecki.wordpress.com/2022/05/29/bonanni-que-defaire

    Nicolas Bonanni a publié un petit ouvrage intitulé Que défaire ? pour retrouver des perspectives révolutionnaires aux éditions Le Monde à l’envers en mars 2022 (100 pages, 6 euros). Voici quelques extraits de l’introduction.

    http://www.lemondealenvers.lautre.net/livres/que_defaire.html

    Les luttes contemporaines sont souvent cantonnées à des résistances contre le libéralisme triomphant et l’extrême-droite carnassière, avec une efficacité pour le moins relative.
    Pour contribuer à sortir de cette position défensive, pour retrouver des perspectives, ce petit livre s’attaque à deux totems de la gauche : la fascination pour la technologie et la centralité de l’État et des élections.
    Appuyé tant sur des exemples actuels que sur l’histoire et les théories du mouvement révolutionnaire, il invite les anticapitalistes à questionner une partie de leur héritage, et à cette fin convoque tour à tour les pensées de Günther Anders, Simone Weil, Cornelius Castoriadis, Ivan Illich, Gustav Landauer, John Holloway, Matthew B. Crawford...

    L’auteur
    Nicolas Bonanni a publié Des moutons et des hommes. Contre l’identification électronique des animaux et des humains (2007), L’amour à trois. Alain Soral, Eric Zemmour, Alain de Benoist (Le monde à l’envers, 2016), Liberté des libéraux et liberté des anarchistes (2020) et Grenoble Calling. Une histoire orale du punk dans une ville de province (avec Margaux Capelier, Le monde à l’envers, 2021). Il collabore occasionnellement à la presse alternative.

    Aussi recensé
    https://bibliothequefahrenheit.blogspot.com/2022/05/que-defaire.html

    #gauche #politique #progressisme #défaire #émancipation #Nicolas_Bonanni

  • Georgia, direttore tv in carcere
    https://www.balcanicaucaso.org/aree/Georgia/Georgia-direttore-tv-in-carcere-218327

    La scorsa settimana Nikolos Gvaramia, direttore e co-proprietario della tv Mtavari Arkhi, principale canale di opposizione, è stato arrestato e condannato a 3 anni e mezzo di reclusione a causa di ammanchi aziendali. Per l’Ombudsperson e per diverse ong si tratta di un processo politico

  • Crypto Company Turns Games It Doesn’t Own into NFTs, Quickly Deletes Them
    https://www.vice.com/en/article/n7nxxb/crypto-company-turns-games-it-doesnt-own-into-nfts-quickly-deletes-them

    As recently as last week, the Retro Arcade Collection was dubbed a set of NFTs meant for “preserving abandonware games on [the blockchain].” In practice, that meant playable demos for games like Blizzard’s Blackthorne and Remedy’s Death Rally had been embedded into NFTs without any authorization by those games’ rights holders. A week later, following inquiries from Waypoint, the NFTs were removed after “some NFTs got reported.”

    #jeu_vidéo #jeux_vidéo #nft #jeton_non_fongible #cryptoactifs #retro_arcade_collection #préservation #droit_d_auteur #blizzard #jeu_vidéo_blackthorne #remedy #jeu_vidéo_death_rally #abandonware #piratage #rashin_mansoor #metagravity_studio #jeu_vidéo_total_carnage #dmca #copyright #david_hoppe #gamma_law #droit #jeu_vidéo_alan_wake #epic_games #tim_sweeney #zachary_strebeck #nightdive_studios #jeu_vidéo_powerslave #jeu_vidéo_larry_kuperman #jeu_vidéo_edge_of_chaos #jeu_vidéo_warcraft

  • Nintendo hit with National Labor Relations Board complaint
    https://www.axios.com/2022/04/19/nintendo-nlrb-complaint

    An unnamed worker is alleging that Nintendo, and a firm it uses for hiring contractors, violated their legally protected right to unionize, according to a new filing with the National Labor Relations Board.

    Nintendo Of America Workers Speak Up After Years Of Silence
    https://kotaku.com/nintendo-america-switch-employee-treatment-unionize-nlr-1848828975

    A union-busting complaint recently filed with the National Labor Relations Board accused Nintendo of America and contract worker agency Aston Carter of surveillance, retaliation, and other unfair labor practices. According to four sources familiar with the incident, that complaint, first reported by Axios, comes after a part-time employee spoke about unions in a business meeting and was later fired mid-contract. In an unprecedented move, others are now speaking up about feeling disrespected and exploited at the notoriously secretive Mario maker.

    Nintendo contractors say company unfairly exploits temporary workers
    https://www.axios.com/2022/05/12/nintendo-contractors-investigation

    Driving the news: Current and former Nintendo contractors have been speaking up over the past three weeks, since Axios first reported a complaint filed with the National Labor Relations Board against Nintendo and a contracting firm.

    #jeu_vidéo #jeux_vidéo #nintendo #nintendo_of_america #noa #business #ressources_humaines #syndicalisme #aston_carter #national_labor_relations_board #activision_blizzard #raven_software #licenciement #confidentialité #secret_des_affaires #jeu_vidéo_mario #jeu_vidéo_zelda #travail_temporaire #précarité #jeu_vidéo_call_of_duty_warzone #amazon #starbucks #jelena_džamonja #parker_staffing #assurance_qualité #console_nes #nintendo_seal_of_quality #jeu_vidéo_super_mario #shigeru_miyamoto #reggie_fils-aimé #travail_précaire #assurance_santé #heures_supplémentaires #mario_time #don_james #jeu_vidéo_the_legend_of_zelda #console_wii_u #micromanagement #elisabeth_pring #microsoft_teams #aston_carter #console_switch #console_nintendo_switch

  • Démission de Leggeri à la tête de Frontex

    BREAKING OVERNIGHT: Frontex Director Fabrice Leggeri is quitting, POLITICO hears. The head of the EU border agency has tendered his resignation, several people in the know told us, with further details expected today. Frontex did not respond to a request for comment. Leggeri has led the agency, which has come under scrutiny for its alleged role in so-called pushbacks of migrants, since 2015. The development comes as the EU’s anti-fraud watchdog, #OLAF, is poised to present the full findings of its long-running probe into Frontex.

    https://www.politico.eu/newsletter/brussels-playbook/trouble-at-frontex-ruble-roulette-jeppes-replacement
    #Leggeri #Fabrice_Leggeri #Frontex #démission #frontières #migrations #réfugiés

    • Démission du Directeur de Frontex : une occasion à prendre pour une réorientation radicale

      Suite aux nombreuses enquêtes et rapports émanant de la société civile et d’institutions officielles européennes, tel le tout récent et explosif rapport de l’Office européen de la lutte anti-fraude (OLAF), qui mettent en cause l’agence Frontex pour ses agissements complices en matière de refoulements et de violences en vers 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 »), le directeur de Frontex, s’est vu dans l’obligation de donner sa démission le 28 avril 2022. Cette démission a été acceptée ce 29 avril par le CA de l’agence.


      https://twitter.com/g_christides/status/1519967913066782720

      Ce 4 mai, tirant les leçons de cet épisode, le CNCD-11.11.11 encourage les membres du Parlement européen à refuser à Frontex la décharge de ses comptes pour l’exercice 2020 lors du vote en séance plénière. En effet, bloquer la décharge budgétaire est un bon levier pour exiger la réforme en profondeur de l’orientation et du fonctionnement de Frontex pour plus de transparence, de contrôle démocratique et de responsabilisation en cas de non-respect des droits humains. Les faits ayant amené à la démission du directeur doivent maintenant être analysés posément et des engagements formels pris pour garantir le respect des lois et des traités internationaux. C’est pourquoi il importe de reporter la décharge jusqu’à la démonstration de la mise en œuvre effective de mesures correctrices. Plus globalement, ce vote est l’occasion d’un signal fort pour exiger une réorientation radicale du pacte européen pour l’asile et la migration vers le respect des droits humains, la mobilité et la solidarité (pour plus de détails, lire notre récente étude « Migration et asile : analyse du pacte européen » : https://www.cncd.be/point-sud-22-migration-asile-pacte-europeen).

      https://www.cncd.be/Demission-du-Directeur-de-Frontex

    • Frontex | Faire sauter la tête ne suffira pas

      L’annonce de la démission du directeur de Frontex, Fabrizio Leggeri, vendredi 29 avril, ne représente que la première fissure dans l’édifice opaque qui s’est constitué depuis la création de l’Agence européenne des garde-frontières. Mais suffira-t-elle ? Semaine après semaine, les révélations se succèdent. D’autres membres du Conseil d’administration seraient impliqués dans la falsification de preuves de refoulements illégaux de personnes exilées. Des refoulements qui auraient conduit à la noyade de personnes migrantes, documentée par une équipe de journalistes. [1]

      Il faut rappeler que la Suisse a deux représentant·es au sein de ce conseil d’administration. L’un ou l’autre étaient-ils impliqués dans les faits reprochés à Leggeri ? Qu’en savaient-ils et qu’ont-ils communiqué au Conseil fédéral ? Alors que la Suisse est en pleine campagne de votation sur un arrêté fédéral visant à octroyer davantage de moyens financiers et de personnel à cette agence, les conseillers fédéraux concerné·es Karin Keller-Sutter et Ueli Maurer devraient répondre à cette question avant le jour du scrutin. C’est ce que demande depuis fin mars 2022 une Lettre ouverte publiée par Frontex-leaks.ch et relayée sur le site asile.ch. Une exigence de transparence légitime dans le cadre du débat démocratique.

      Au lieu de cela, c’est une crispation voire une censure que cherchent à imposer les autorités fédérales aux journalistes qui tentent de faire leur travail d’information. La RTS s’en est fait écho le 28 avril [2], évoquant même la possible intervention de Frontex dans cette interférence, alors que Le Temps dénonçait 4 jours plus tôt une censure de la part de l’Administration fédérale des douanes. Son vice-directeur Marco Benz est justement membre du conseil d’administration de Frontex.

      L’information est un outil essentiel de notre démocratie. Ce n’est que grâce au travail acharné de journalistes et d’ONG que les actes de Frontex commencent à voir le jour. L’agence a tenté par tous les moyens -y compris par des poursuites financières- d’empêcher leurs investigations. Celles-ci ont contribué au lancement de certaines enquêtes par des organes européens, notamment celle de l’Organe de lutte antifraude de l’Union européenne, dont le rapport a conduit à la démission de Leggeri. Pas plus tard que le 28 avril, l’enquête conjuguée du Monde, SRF, Republik, en collaboration avec Lighthouse report, a montré combien les refoulements illégaux pratiqués par l’agence sont « normalisés ». La question de savoir si les pushback font partie de l’ADN de Frontex reste entière.

      La justice internationale est également en train d’être activée par des ONG. Une autre façon de demander des comptes sur les pratiques de l’Agence et des États européens à leurs frontières extérieures. La dernière en date a été déposée par Sea-Watch, suite au refoulement d’un bateau vers la Libye, pays où, selon l’ONU, « ils seront placés dans des centres de détention inhumains et seront exposés à la famine, aux abus sexuels et à la torture. » [3]

      Est-ce cela que nous voulons ? Refuser aux personnes fuyant les guerres et la persécution le droit de déposer une demande de protection internationale ? Veut-on tripler les moyens financiers d’une agence qui renvoie vers la mort et la torture plusieurs milliers de personnes, ceci sans demander de comptes ?

      Refuser le 15 mai l’arrêté fédéral proposé par le Conseil fédéral et le Parlement ne met de loin pas en danger notre démocratie. Celle-ci a besoin de contre-pouvoirs forts.

      Un refus ne mettra pas davantage en danger notre participation à Schengen. Cet argument est de la poudre aux yeux. [4] Un rejet permettra de relégiférer, à la lumière des éléments qui se font jour aujourd’hui. D’ajouter des mesures d’accompagnement humanitaires qui avaient initialement été proposées lors des travaux parlementaires, pour assurer la sécurité des personnes qui sont elles-mêmes en danger et doivent être protégées.

      Le 15 mai, nous avons l’occasion de refuser d’adouber des pratiques antidémocratiques et illégales qui foulent au pied les valeurs que l’Europe essaie aujourd’hui de défendre face à la Russie de Poutine. Et de renforcer les voix européennes qui demandent un monitoring véritablement indépendant des pratiques de Frontex.

      https://asile.ch/2022/04/29/frontex-faire-sauter-la-tete-ne-suffira-pas

    • Le patron de Frontex Fabrice Leggeri démissionne sur fond d’accusations

      Le patron de Frontex, le Français Fabrice Leggeri, a présenté jeudi sa démission. Son départ fait suite à une enquête sur sa gestion de l’agence européenne de garde-côtes et de gardes-frontières.

      Directeur exécutif de Frontex depuis 2015, Fabrice Leggeri a été visé par un rapport de l’Office européen de lutte antifraude (Olaf) qui, selon Le Point, lui reproche en substance de « ne pas avoir respecté les procédures, s’être démontré déloyal vis-à-vis de l’Union européenne et un mauvais management personnel ».

      Cette enquête intervient sur fond d’accusations régulières, notamment de la part d’ONG ces dernières années, de pratiques de refoulements illégaux de migrants (dits « pushbacks ») et de complaisance envers les autorités grecques, par exemple, sur des renvois brutaux vers la Turquie.

      Mercredi encore, une enquête publiée par le quotidien Le Monde et Lighthouse Reports a démontré qu’entre mars 2020 et septembre 2021, Frontex a répertorié des renvois illégaux de migrants, parvenus dans les eaux grecques, comme de simples « opérations de prévention au départ, menées dans les eaux turques ».

      Enquête internationale

      En sept ans à la tête de Frontex, qui doit surveiller les frontières extérieures de l’UE, Fabrice Leggeri a accompagné le renforcement de l’agence qui a été considérablement musclée et dont les effectifs doivent atteindre 10’000 garde-côtes et gardes-frontières d’ici 2027 (voir encadré).

      Dans le courrier où il annonce remettre son mandat au comité de gestion de l’agence, Fabrice Leggeri affirme que depuis son élection et sa reconduction en 2019, le mandat de Frontex a été modifié « tacitement mais effectivement », ce qu’a réfuté la Commission européenne.

      La gauche du Parlement européen, en particulier, réclamait la démission de Fabrice Leggeri depuis l’automne 2020, à la suite d’une enquête journalistique internationale qui impliquait Frontex dans plusieurs refoulements en mer Egée.

      https://www.rts.ch/info/monde/13056010-le-patron-de-frontex-fabrice-leggeri-demissionne-sur-fond-daccusations.

    • Commission statement on the resignation of Fabrice Leggeri

      The Commission takes note of the resignation with immediate effect of the Executive Director of the European Border and Coastguard Agency (Frontex), Fabrice Leggeri.

      As the most senior Deputy Executive Director of Frontex, Aija Kalnaja will deputise and assume the lead of the Agency with immediate effect. To ensure full continuity of the agency, the Commission will proceed quickly with recruitment and appointment of a new Executive Director.

      It is a priority for the Commission to have in place a strong, effective, and well-functioning European Border and Coast Guard.

      Frontex fulfils a critically important task to support Member States manage common European Union external borders, and to uphold fundamental rights in doing so. For that purpose, Frontex must be a robust and well-functioning agency. The Commission will continue to fully support Frontex in this mission.

      Over the past year, the Commission has stepped up significantly its support and advice to Frontex to ensure the full implementation of its mandate. To this end, the Commission initiated several extraordinary Management Board meetings dedicated to governance issues and fundamental rights. The Commission is committed to the continuous improvement of the agency.

      https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/statement_22_2751

    • Refoulement de migrants aux frontières : Fabrice Leggeri, directeur de Frontex, démissionne

      Les accusations de renvois illégaux de migrants aux frontières de l’Union européenne se succèdent depuis plusieurs années à l’égard de l’agence européenne de gardes-côtes. La teneur d’une enquête de l’Office européen de lutte anti-fraude, pas encore rendue publique, a poussé Fabrice Leggeri, directeur controversé de l’institution, à démissionner.

      Fabrice Leggeri, directeur exécutif de l’agence de gardes-frontières et de gardes-côtes Frontex, a finalement jeté l’éponge. La pression qui s’exerce sur ses épaules n’a cessé de croître à mesure que les allégations de refoulements de demandeurs d’asile, couverts ou effectués par Frontex, se sont multipliées ces dernières années.

      Dernier scandale en date, révélé le 27 avril par Lighthouse Report, Der Spiegel et Le Monde : Frontex aurait volontairement « maquillé » des renvois illégaux de migrants vers la Turquie, à partir de la Grèce, les privant ainsi de leur droit à demander l’asile.

      Les nombreux rapports compilant les violations de droits fondamentaux de migrants aux frontières de l’Europe ont toujours été reçus par le silence ou les dénégations de Fabrice Leggeri, dont les arrières ont été protégés au Conseil d’administration de Frontex, composé de représentants des États membres.

      Les manquements organisationnels de Frontex – l’inefficacité des mécanismes de plaintes, de rapport d’incidents et de contrôle interne des violations des droits fondamentaux – sont pourtant dans le collimateur de nombreuses institutions. La médiatrice européenne et le Parlement ont publié des rapports pointant des #dysfonctionnements_majeurs. Même la Commission européenne s’y est mise. Le 18 décembre 2020, Monique Pariat, directrice générale chargée des migrations et des affaires intérieures pointait, dans une lettre envoyée à Fabrice Leggeri, la manière « trompeuse » dont le directeur de Frontex présentait les faits au Parlement européen.

      L’enquête de l’Olaf et la « gravité des faits »

      C’est surtout l’enquête menée par l’Office européen de lutte anti-fraude (Olaf) qui a fait vaciller Fabrice Leggeri et l’a poussé à la démission.

      Cela fait plus d’un an que l’Olaf scrute les agissements de la direction de Frontex. Deux enquêtes sont menées en parallèle et touchent trois personnalités de haut rang, dont le directeur exécutif. La première enquête, clôturée le 15 février dernier, porte sur les allégations de refoulement aux frontières extérieures de l’Union européenne et de violations des droits fondamentaux, notamment à la frontière gréco-turque.

      Frontex a-t-elle couvert des actions illégales de la part des gardes-côtes grecs ? Dans quelle mesure Frontex est-elle impliquée dans ces refoulements ? Comment l’agence et ses dirigeants ont-ils réagi face aux incidents qui leur étaient rapportés ? La seconde enquête, dont les conclusions sont attendues avant l’été, devrait faire la lumière sur des cas supposés de #harcèlement de travailleurs de l’agence.

      Ces enquêtes sont encore confidentielles. Mais quelques députés de la commission du contrôle budgétaire du Parlement européen ont pu prendre connaissance de leurs grandes lignes, lors d’une audition à huis clos du directeur général de l’Olaf, en mars dernier. Ils ont été convaincus, le 31 mars, « au vu de la gravité des faits », de suspendre la décharge budgétaire de Frontex. « Entre le rapport de l’Olaf et les dernières allégations de refoulement, la position de Fabrice Leggeri devenait intenable. Il était jusqu’à présent protégé par des États membres, dont la France, mais l’image de Frontex devenait trop abîmée », commente Tineke Strik, eurodéputée écologiste néerlandaise membre du groupe de contrôle de Frontex au Parlement européen. Pour la députée, le départ de Fabrice Leggeri est « un premier pas. L’organisation, la structure, la culture de Frontex devront changer ». Dans sa lettre de démission, Fabrice Leggeri, amer, regrettait que le mandat de Frontex ait « silencieusement, mais effectivement changé ».

      https://www.mediapart.fr/journal/international/290422/refoulement-de-migrants-aux-frontieres-fabrice-leggeri-directeur-de-fronte

    • Leggeri est parti, mais c’est Frontex qu’il faut renvoyer !

      Le directeur exécutif de l’Agence européenne de garde-frontières et de garde-côtes vient de démissionner suite à des accusations de refoulements illégaux. Il est temps d’en finir avec l’approche restrictive et militarisée de l’UE envers les migrants.

      Fabrice Leggeri vient de présenter sa démission en tant que directeur exécutif de Frontex, l’agence européenne de garde-frontières et de garde-côtes. Cette démission survient après des mois de révélations successives concernant l’implication de Frontex dans les violations des droits humains, en particulier dans le cadre de ses opérations aux frontières de l’Europe de l’Est et en Grèce. Ayant focalisé mes recherches sur la Méditerranée centrale pendant plus de dix ans, ces révélations ne me surprennent absolument pas. Dans le cadre d’une des enquêtes que j’ai menées au sein du projet Forensic Oceanography (Death by Rescue, 2016), j’ai démontré qu’au cours de l’été 2014 Frontex a mené une véritable campagne pour que l’opération militaire et humanitaire italienne Mare Nostrum soit stoppée. Alors que l’opération déployée en 2013-2014 avait permis de secourir de manière proactive un grand nombre de migrant·e·s fuyant la Libye dans des conditions dramatiques, Frontex l’a accusée de constituer un « appel d’air » menant à plus de traversées.

      Dans le but de dissuader les migrant·e·s de rejoindre le continent européen, l’agence a mis tout en œuvre pour que soit mis fin à l’opération Mare Nostrum et que celle-ci soit remplacée par une opération de Frontex, Triton, bien plus éloignée des côtes libyennes, et dont l’objectif était le contrôle des frontières et non le secours en mer. Ce changement opérationnel a été mis en place malgré l’unanimité des acteurs défendant les droits des migrant·e·s, et même des évaluations internes à Frontex qui prévoyaient que la fin de Mare Nostrum ne mènerait pas à moins de traversées mais à plus de morts en mer.

      C’est bien cette réalité qui s’est tragiquement matérialisée, notamment avec le naufrage du 18 avril 2015, le plus meurtrier de l’histoire récente de la Méditerranée avec plus de 950 morts. A la suite de cette catastrophe, le président de la Commission européenne, Jean-Claude Juncker, a admis que « cela a été une sérieuse erreur que de mettre fin à Mare Nostrum. Cela a coûté des vies » (1). On aurait pu s’attendre à ce qu’à la suite de cette reconnaissance, Frontex soit sanctionnée pour son rôle dans ce changement opérationnel meurtrier. Il n’en a rien été : l’opération de Frontex fut renforcée et son budget augmenté. Et le vide de secours mortel laissé par la fin de Mare Nostrum n’a jamais été comblé.

      Du dédain à l’#impunité

      Tout cela peut sembler lointain. Mais aujourd’hui, des avions et drones de Frontex informent les garde-côtes libyens de la présence de migrant·e·s pour qu’ils et elles soient intercepté·e·s et ramené·e·s en Libye, et ce malgré tout ce que nous savons des conditions inhumaines qui leur sont réservées. Pourtant, cet épisode plus ancien mérite d’être rappelé car il démontre clairement le rôle de Frontex dans la construction des migrant·e·s comme une menace, la mise en place d’opérations de contrôle des frontières toujours plus coûteuses et militarisées, le dédain pour les vies et des droits des migrant·e·s qui anime l’agence, et l’impunité qui a été organisée autour de ses activités. Malgré la pression publique et politique dont Frontex fait aujourd’hui l’objet, cet état de fait n’est pas fondamentalement remis en cause, et le départ de Fabrice Leggeri ne changera pas significativement la donne.

      Mais il y a plus. L’Union européenne applique depuis deux mois une politique d’ouverture sélective face aux migrant·e·s fuyant l’Ukraine. Pour un groupe de personnes (trop) limité, un changement de paradigme a été opéré : celui de permettre la mobilité des personnes en quête de refuge et de reconnaître leurs droits plutôt que de chercher à les bloquer à tout prix. Cette brèche ouverte rend aujourd’hui évident pour le plus grand nombre ce qui l’a été depuis longtemps pour nombre de chercheurs, chercheuses, acteurs et actrices de la société civile : l’approche restrictive et militarisée de l’UE n’est pas une fatalité, une politique plus ouverte et respectueuse des droits est possible, et celle-ci rendrait des acteurs comme Frontex superflus.

      Le 15 mai, les citoyen·ne·s suisses se prononceront concernant le financement de Frontex. Ce référendum donne une opportunité à la population suisse de cesser d’être complice d’une agence dont les activités de plus en plus coûteuses n’ont jamais mis fin à la « menace migratoire » que Frontex a contribué à construire, et qui se soldent par la violation des droits des migrant·e·s et des milliers de morts en toute impunité. Un « non » des Suisse·sse·s au financement de Frontex pourrait avoir une résonance européenne et contribuer non seulement à une remise en cause de l’agence mais à une réorientation fondamentale des politiques migratoires européennes.

      (1) European Commission, « Speech by President Jean-Claude Juncker at the debate in the European Parliament on the conclusions of the Special European Council on 23 April : Tackling the migration crisis », 29 avril 2015, http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_SPEECH-15-4896_en.htm (dernier accès le 12 April 2016).

      https://www.liberation.fr/idees-et-debats/tribunes/leggeri-est-parti-mais-cest-frontex-quil-faut-renvoyer-20220503_P4AJ6XWWU

    • Frontex’s evolution from the undisputable to the untenable EU border agency

      Fabrice Leggeri, the Executive Director of the European Union border agency “Frontex”, resigned on 29th April 2022 following the release of the initial findings of an anti-fraud investigation. Last February the EU anti-fraud watchdog “OLAF” closed a year-long probe into Leggeri’s management over allegations of harassment, misconduct and migrant pushbacks. The investigation reveals how the agency’s own reporting system is used to cover-up pushbacks in the Aegean and its direct involvement. The resignations came after constant scrutiny by NGOs, journalists and the European Parliament in 2020 and 2021, claiming that the massive expansion of the EU border agency had not been matched by a corresponding increase in transparency and accountability. At the end of 2019, Leggeri, a 51-year-old French official who hails from the Alsace region, declared that his organization would not face the same troubles as the European Asylum Support Office (EASO). In June 2018, EASO’s executive director had resigned after an investigation by the same OLAF over alleged misconduct in procurement procedures, irregularities in management of human resources and possible breaches of data protection. 17 years after its foundation, Frontex faced the same process. How did it come to this?

      Frontex and the accountability problem

      The European Agency for the Management of Operational Cooperation at the External Borders of the Member States of the European Union (from the french Frontières extérieures, Frontex) was established by Council Regulation (EC) 2007/2004 in 2004, expanded with Regulation (EU) No 1168/2011. In September 2016, the founding regulation was amended and expanded by Regulation 2016/1624/EU creating the ‘European Border and Coast Guard Agency’. Less than two years after, the fourth revision of Frontex regulation was launched, and the new Regulation 2019/1896 entered into force on 4 December 2019. The new Frontex mandate stipulated that the number of EU border guards should double from 1,500 to 3,000 following an evaluation in 2024. Together with the forces of the Member States, Frontex is to reach its full strength of 10,000 border guards by 2027 (Bossong 2019). At the same time, Frontex has experienced a particularly significant growth in its budget, which has risen from merely 6.2 million euros (2005) to 395.6 million euros (2020) (Loschi, Slominski 2022).

      The Regulation 2019/1896 and all the narratives that led to its approval granted Frontex the power of resorting to crisis and securitisation narrative to justify the lack of transparency in its work. Since 2015, crises and security rationales have been often exploited by Frontex Executive Director to hamper access to documents, personnel and premises. Often, addressing requests of access by members of the European Parliament during the hearings, Frontex avoided commitments and cooperation, or, if put under pressure, it released documents that were extensively redacted on the ground of exceptions permitted on the basis of public security concerns.

      While according to Regulation 2019/1896 Frontex would be subjected to more oversight and legal obligations to uphold fundamental rights, holding Frontex accountable, in particular on grounds of fundamental rights, is the actual issue at stake. While European Member States can be held accountable before their own national courts and before international courts, in particular the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), this does not apply with Frontex. As an EU body, neither of these options is viable. It can be brought before the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) to account for the conformity of its conduct with EU law (Fink 2020). The nature of Frontex’s activities, however, poses a particular challenge. The operational support in border management provided by the Agency occurs in the form of “factual” conduct, coordination, and under formal request by Member States, which are the first responsible and does not entail the adoption of legally binding texts. In other terms, legal responsibility is often shared between several member states as well as Frontex, which makes it difficult for individuals to lodge a complaint before a court. Hence, until 2021, cases that have been handled by the Court of Justice of the EU do not deal with Frontex operations but with refusals of access to documents or procurement actions and public services. Academics, in particular legal scholars, as well as members of the European parliament have advocated for the establishment of stronger accountability mechanisms, for example specific mechanism that allows individuals to hold Frontex to account (Fink 2020; Gkliati 2021).

      Frontex: from undisputable to untenable border agency

      Frontex’s expansion of financial and operational resources over the years and especially the increasing operational profile introduced with Regulations 2016/1624 and 2019/1896 set the clock in motion for a long tug of war between Frontex on one side and European parliament, NGOs, and watchdogs on the other side, leading to Leggeri’s resignation. Especially after the 2015 so-called migration crisis, the operational profile of the agency has been under strict scrutiny by humanitarian organizations and in particular from members of the European Parliament’s Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE).

      In 2015, against increasing migrations flows at the EU external borders and the reinstitution of border checks by member states throughout 2015 (Guild et alii), Frontex became the main instrument of the European Commission to avoid the collapse of the entire Schengen acquis. Frontex missions already deployed in Italy and Greece were expanded in both mandates and resources. As a leading agency of hotspots operations established with the European agenda in migration in 2015, Frontex monitored that frontline member states authorities were adequately implementing EURODAC regulation and fingerprinting third-country nationals, to ensure compliance with the Dublin regime and avoid uncontrolled secondary movements (Loschi, Slominski 2022). In this frame, the agency served not only as an operational device but also as the legal instrument through which introducing sensitive reform in national administrative and police procedures at the borders. The EU Commission included the legal definition of hotspots in Frontex Regulation 2016/1624, an act that allowed the European Commission to avoid parliamentary scrutiny on the establishment of hotspot operations. However, this strict cooperation and indirect protection from Commission to the agency had an expiration date.

      Indeed, Leggeri’s resignation comes after a series of important processes toward Frontex accountability. Especially after Regulation 2019/1896, Frontex has been under intense and constant scrutiny. Back in 2016, several human rights groups as well as the internal body of Frontex the Consultative Forum for human rights, flagged the risks and unclear support by Frontex at the Hungarian Serbian border. Hungary passed new border control measures in 2016 which, amongst others, obliged officers to return migrants apprehended within 8 km of the border back to the fence with Serbia. The new restrictive border measures along with Hungarian asylum laws passed on 2015 deterring access to asylum, raised several concerns with regard to the compatibility of Frontex operations with international and European law on fundamental rights. Frontex, despite increasing requests to revise and suspend activities to avoid complicity, decided to continue with operational support. It suspended its activities only in 2021, in the context of strong criticism emerging against the agency. Moreover, the first lawsuit against Frontex brought in 2018 by two activists to the Court of Justice of the EU did not deal with Frontex operations but with refusals of access to documents related to Search and Rescue operations in the Mediterranean, and was not successful (Case T-31/88 Izuzquiza and Semsrott v. Frontex). Frontex indeed claimed that “disclosure of details related to technical equipment deployed in the current and ongoing operations would undermine public security”.

      However, since 2020, a number of investigations and accountability actions had created the background for OLAF probe and Leggeri’s quitting. Here follows a list of most the relevant steps of this process.

      In March 2020, attention has particularly been focused on the modus operandi of the Greek authorities. According to reports related to Greece, pushbacks, sometimes undertaken by unidentified forces wearing uniforms and masks and carrying weapons, have expanded to migrants after arrival on the islands or the mainland. However, direct participation by Frontex in these alleged actions could not be proven. In late 2020, a joint investigation by Bellingcat, Lighthouse Reports, Der Spiegel, ARD and TV Asahi (also known as the Bellingcat report) stated that Frontex planes were near the maritime Greek-Turkish border where alleged pushback operations were ongoing. The reporters claimed to have found evidence that Frontex had knowledge of the pushbacks, did nothing to ensure compliance with legal obligations, and in some cases even cooperated with the authorities carrying out the illegal pushbacks and collective expulsions.

      In December 2020, the watchdog Border Violence Monitoring Network (BVMN) compiled a 1,500-page “black book” documenting hundreds of illegal pushbacks by authorities on Europe’s external borders. The same month, the Court of Justice of the European Union ruled that Hungary’s legislation on the rules and practice in the transit zones situated at the Serbian-Hungarian border was contrary to EU law. And that the procedure for granting international protection in so far as third-country nationals […] were in practice confronted with the virtual impossibility of making their application” (Case C-808/18, Commission v Hungary).

      Against this context, in late 2020 the Parliament’s Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) decided to investigate the allegations and in January 2021 established the Frontex Scrutiny Working Group (FSWG) to monitor all aspects of the functioning of the agency, including compliance with fundamental rights and accountability towards Parliament. In its first hearing on 4 March, the Working Group questioned Commissioner for Home Affairs Johansson and Leggeri about the implementation of the fundamental rights provisions included in the Regulation 2019/1896 (among which the obligations to appoint fundamental rights monitors); the investigation related to the agency’s activities in the Aegean Sea; the interpretation of applicable rules for the surveillance of the external sea borders and inquired about the political scrutiny role of the European Commission over the agency. According to the Working Group, Commissioner Johansson appeared eager to listen to the scrutiny activity and criticized the ‘reluctance of compliance’ with the fundamental rights mandate from Leggeri. A preliminary report flagged out that five push-back incidents have not been clarified due to unclear data provided by Frontex, and stressed the general unsatisfactory attitude and documents provided by the Agency. On Wednesday 28 April 2021, the European Parliament decided to postpone the discharge to the 2019 budget of Frontex, as long as the OLAF investigation and the parliamentary inquiry were still ongoing.

      Meanwhile, other investigations were pending or concluded. In April 2021, der Spiegel claimed that Frontex was coordinating with the Libyan Coast Guard to engage in illegal pullbacks. Albeit ED Leggeri claimed during EP hearings Frontex does not work with the Libyan Coast Guard and only informs sea rescue control centres about sea rescue cases, a joint investigation by Lighthouse-Report, Der Spiegel, Libération, and ARD claimed the contrary. Drawing on a variety of data, including available sources from flight and vessel trackers, data from international and NGOs, eyewitness accounts and testimonies from survivors, the reporting parties concluded that Frontex plays a crucial role in the interceptions and return of people fleeing Libya by the Libyan coastguard. The report identified a number of cases in which Frontex planes were present in the vicinity, and likely aware, of boats in distress that were later incepted by Libyan patrol boats, despite data showing that commercial or NGO vessels were present in the area.

      Establishment of first accountability procedures against Frontex

      Under an administrative accountability action, in November 2020, the European Ombudsman started an own-initiative inquiry on the functioning of the complaint mechanism, which was released on 15 June 2021 and which recommended the creation of an independent mechanism for handling complaints about Frontex operations, while the system established with Regulation (EU) 2016/1624 is an internal mechanism (European Ombudsman, Case OI/5/2020/MHZ). On 7 June 2021, the European Court of Auditors, released its report on the limited effectiveness of Frontex’s support to external border management.

      The agency reacted by trying to dissimulate cooperation. To address investigations by journalists regarding the alleged involvement of Frontex with pushbacks in the Eastern Mediterranean, in November 2020, Frontex Management Board established a Working Group on Fundamental Rights and Legal Operational Aspects of Operations (WG FRaLO). In its final report of 1 March 2021, the Management Board concluded that out of the 13 incidents put forward by the Bellingcat report, eight cases had not caused a violation of the Frontex Regulation, and five examined incidents were not yet, or could not yet be clarified. At its extraordinary meeting in May 2021, the Management Board concluded that “the strong belief that the presented facts support an allegation of possible violation of fundamental rights or international protection obligations such as the principle of non-refoulement, and that it cannot be excluded that the incident has characteristics of a case of unprocessed return and violation of the principle of non-refoulement”.

      At the level of legal accountability, in May 2021, a relevant change occurred. In the first human rights case against Frontex, two applicants brought an action against the agency to the European Court of Justice (CJEU), on the grounds that the agency had ’failed to act’ in accordance with Article 265 TFEU (Case T-282/21). This represented a legal precedent with relevant implications. The action is supported by three pleas in law. The first is about ‘serious or persisting violations of fundamental rights and international protection obligations in the Aegean Sea Region’, which resulted in a ‘policy of systematic and widespread attack directed against civilian populations seeking asylum in the EU’. The second is about the agency’s failure to fulfil ‘its positive obligations under the Charter of Fundamental Rights’ or take any action to prevent fundamental rights violations in the context of its operation. The third involves the applicants’ claim of having been directly and individually affected by Frontex operations, which resulted in ‘unlawful refoulement, collective expulsion, and prevention of access to asylum’ (EPRS Study 2021). The case is still under evaluation.

      At the level of political accountability, in July 2021, the Frontex Scrutiny Working Group (FSWG) of the European Parliament’s LIBE Committee delivered its final report with recommendations. These were focusing mainly on ED responsibilities; division of responsibilities between the Agency and Member States in relation to fundamental rights; the importance of strengthening internal mechanisms already existing, namely the Fundamental Rights Officer and the Consultative Forum for fundamental rights; the role of the Management board which has been weak supporter of fundamental rights protection in agency’s activities; and finally recommending to the European Commission to engage more proactively to ensure adequate compliance with fundamental rights principles, vis-à-vis the management board, member states, and to apply conditional financial support on bases of humanitarian principles compliance. The report allows for the comprehensive steps for the judicial and non-judicial accountability of the agency and set the framework for the definition of agency’s responsility. This responsibility can be indirect, through assisting Greece or Hungary in the commission of violations, either actively (e.g., technical and financial support) or by omission due to the agency’s positive obligations (e.g., failure to suspend or terminate an operation).

      All these processes, together with the OLAF probe, created the conditions for Fabrice Leggeri’s resignation and the formal and informal condemnation of his management.

      What’s next?
      In a press release on 29th April, Frontex confirmed Leggeri’s departure, adding that since he had already stepped down, it “is not necessary anymore” to launch further disciplinary procedures. Aija Kalnaja, Deputy Executive Director for Standing Corps Management will lead the Agency until the Frontex Management Board appoints the Executive Director ad interim in June 2022. However, the question emerging now is: what happens next? Frontex is still under scrutiny, but the Ukrainian crisis will keep the attention of the European Commission and the Parliament elsewhere than a new legislative initiative to reorganize Frontex profile. At the same time, Leggeri’s resignation comes not only after OLAF probe ended, but also during the French presidency of the European Union (ending on 30th June) and Macron re-election last 22nd April. Beginning of February, Macron, shortly before the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the reformulation of the international political agenda, was advancing the idea of a more operational “Schengen Council” which would evaluate how the border-free area was working but would also take joint decisions and facilitate coordination in times of crisis. One may speculate on the forthcoming political destiny of Leggeri, which could also be considered by the French administration. Leggeri comes from France’s ministry of the interior where he has been heading the division on irregular migration. At the same time, Macron has a history of grandiose statements in denial of reality, from being a supporter of Libyan political reconciliation while violating the UN arms embargo, to peace talks with Putin right before the latter launched the invasion of Ukraine. It would be wise to wait before advancing any speculation. However, French representatives in Brussels do not hide their aspiration for a practical and operational solution to long-standing issues in European Justice and Home Affairs, including the creation of external border buffer zones that should allow for ’third-country nationals processing’ without being paralyzed by NGOs or civil society actors (phone interview with French representative of Justice and Home Affairs, Vienna, March 2019). Leggeri himself declared to Die Welt in 2017 that ’By rescuing migrants off the North African coasts, non-governmental organisations are playing into the hands of human traffickers’.

      The first comprehensive steps for the judicial and non-judicial accountability of the agency have been taken. Frontex cannot ignore new and unprecedented legal, political and administrative accountability procedures now set in motion. The risk for their repeal and weakening may come from new and urgent needs and rationales linked to the war in Ukraine.

      https://securitypraxis.eu/frontex-evolution-from-the-undisputable-to-the-untenable-border-agenc

    • Frontex, la chute d’une « affaire française »

      D’après une note du ministère de l’intérieur, récupérée par « Le Monde » et le média collaboratif « Lighthouse Reports », un rapport accuse le directeur de Frontex, le Français Fabrice Leggeri, d’avoir « fermé les yeux » sur des refoulements illégaux de migrants en mer Egée, de s’être entendu avec les autorités grecques pour fournir une version concordante à la Commission européenne et d’avoir « commis un parjure » devant le Parlement européen.

      Dans les couloirs du Parlement européen, à Strasbourg, Fabrice Leggeri est venu prendre un café, mercredi 4 mai. Certains croient savoir qu’il se trouvait dans la région pour des raisons personnelles, lui qui est natif de Mulhouse (Haut-Rhin). Celui qui a dirigé l’Agence européenne de garde-frontières et de garde-côtes, Frontex, jusqu’au 29 avril aurait saisi l’occasion pour échanger avec des eurodéputés, notamment les anciens ministres de Nicolas Sarkozy, Nadine Morano et Brice Hortefeux (Les Républicains), mais aussi le porte-parole de Reconquête ! et transfuge du Rassemblement national (RN), Nicolas Bay. Des figures parmi celles qui l’ont publiquement soutenu depuis qu’il a été poussé à la démission, après sept ans à la tête de la plus riche agence européenne.

      « Il a un raisonnement assez solide même s’il n’est pas très satisfait d’être contraint à la démission », rapporte #Brice_Hortefeux. « Je l’ai croisé rapidement dans les couloirs », témoigne, à son tour, #Nicolas_Bay, qui se dit convaincu que M. Leggeri est « l’objet d’une cabale très politique ». Le patron de Frontex est « persécuté », avait aussi twitté, le 29 avril, l’eurodéputé et président par intérim du RN, #Jordan_Bardella. « Cette crise doit être l’occasion de lever certaines ambiguïtés sur le rôle de Frontex, ajoute M. Hortefeux. Est-ce que son rôle est de protéger les frontières ou ceux qui veulent venir ? »

      Tous reprennent à leur compte la défense de M. Leggeri, détaillée dans un courrier adressé à ses équipes, le 29 avril : « Au cours des deux dernières années, discrètement mais efficacement, une narration a pris le dessus [selon laquelle] Frontex devrait être transformée en une sorte d’organisme de défense des droits fondamentaux contrôlant ce que les Etats membres font à leurs frontières extérieures (…). Ma vision est et a toujours été que Frontex est, au travers de son corps opérationnel de gardes-frontières, une agence qui soutient les Etats membres. (…) Cette vision n’est plus soutenue au niveau politique. C’est pourquoi j’ai pris hier la décision de démissionner. »

      Un récit qui heurte certains observateurs. « M. Leggeri présente les choses comme une espèce de lutte philosophique sur le rôle de l’agence et on peut difficilement l’entendre », estime une source gouvernementale française. « A Frontex, on ne peut choisir entre les droits fondamentaux et la protection des frontières », affirme, de son côté, Anna Garphult, représentante suédoise au conseil d’administration de l’agence.

      « Manque de loyauté »

      Cela fait déjà de nombreux mois que des enquêtes journalistiques ou des ONG, et même la gauche parlementaire européenne, accusent le patron de Frontex de fermer les yeux sur des refoulements illégaux de migrants aux frontières de l’Union européenne (UE), voire d’en être complice. Pas de quoi entamer jusque-là le soutien de Paris, qui estimait qu’« il n’y avait pas de responsabilité avérée de l’agence ».

      La bascule aurait eu lieu à l’issue d’une enquête de l’Office européen de lutte antifraude (OLAF), lancée en novembre 2020. Pendant plus d’un an, ses agents ont entendu près d’une vingtaine de personnes, perquisitionné les bureaux de Fabrice Leggeri et de son directeur de cabinet, le 7 décembre 2020, saisi des téléphones et des ordinateurs… Un premier rapport est clôturé le 15 février 2022. Communiqué aussitôt au conseil d’administration de Frontex et à la Commission européenne, il « porte sur la façon dont la direction exécutive a géré [en mer Egée, à la frontière gréco-turque] les “pushbacks” [les refoulements illégaux de migrants], indique la source gouvernementale française. Il évoque notamment le manque de loyauté et de transparence vis-à-vis de la Commission et du Parlement, un style de management opaque et le manquement à certaines procédures de signalement sur les droits fondamentaux ».

      « Fabrice Leggeri a voulu de façon notable concentrer entre ses mains le pouvoir de décision », selon Gil Arias-Fernandez, directeur adjoint de Frontex

      Le 28 février, lors d’une présentation orale de l’enquête devant des parlementaires européens, le patron de l’OLAF, le Finlandais Ville Itälä prévient : « Nous avons beaucoup de preuves. » « Il était évident pour tout le monde que Fabrice Leggeri ne pouvait pas rester », avance un ancien membre du conseil d’administration. La France estime qu’« il n’y a plus de confiance ». La Commission européenne adopte la même ligne.

      Une note du ministère de l’intérieur français, datée du 29 avril, que Le Monde et ses partenaires – le média à but non lucratif Lighthouse Reports et l’hebdomadaire allemand Der Spiegel – ont pu consulter, rapporte que l’OLAF reproche au directeur « d’avoir fermé les yeux sur des “pushbacks” commis par les gardes-frontières grecs en 2019 sur les îles de Samos et Lesbos » et de « s’être accordé avec les autorités grecques, dont le représentant au conseil d’administration de l’agence, pour rendre les mêmes conclusions sur les demandes d’explication de la Commission européenne ». M. Leggeri aurait même « commis un parjure lors de son audition devant le Parlement européen en niant les accusations de manière formelle ». Interrogé à ce sujet, ce dernier n’a pas répondu à nos questions.

      Deux autres volets d’investigation sont toujours ouverts, indiquent des sources concordantes au sein du conseil d’administration de l’agence et au ministère de l’intérieur français. L’une porterait sur des faits de harcèlement moral visant la direction de Frontex et le cabinet du directeur exécutif, l’autre sur des irrégularités financières.

      « Il ne rendait de compte à personne »

      Malgré cela, M. Leggeri aurait « tout fait pour éviter la démission », rapporte la source gouvernementale française. Le 28 avril, au cours d’une audition organisée par le conseil d’administration de l’agence, une heure durant, il tente de défendre son bilan face aux représentants des Etats membres, mais sa stratégie n’opère pas. Il se résout à présenter sa démission dans la foulée, afin d’éviter l’ouverture d’une procédure disciplinaire à son encontre. Son directeur de cabinet, Thibauld de la Haye Jousselin, l’a précédé dans cette démarche dès le 22 avril.

      C’est ainsi que s’achèvent sept années pendant lesquelles Frontex a été considérée aux yeux de beaucoup comme une « affaire française ». En obtenant la nomination de M. Leggeri à la tête de l’institution, dont le siège se situe à Varsovie, fin 2014, la France décroche un poste stratégique au sein des institutions européennes à un moment où son influence décroît. Polyglotte, normalien, énarque, rattaché au ministère de l’intérieur tout en étant passé par celui de la défense, puis détaché à la Commission européenne, M. Leggeri « remplissait toutes les cases » : « C’est un type brillant », estime un haut fonctionnaire à l’époque en poste au cabinet de Manuel Valls, alors ministre de l’intérieur.

      M. Leggeri arrive à Frontex avec un mandat : renforcer les pouvoirs de l’agence. « Face à la crise des réfugiés, il y avait une pression politique élevée, de la Commission, du Conseil et du Parlement, pour donner à l’agence beaucoup d’argent et de moyens humains », se souvient l’Espagnol Gil Arias-Fernandez, directeur adjoint de Frontex entre 2014 et 2015.

      Le budget explose, 10 000 gardes-frontières doivent être recrutés. Frontex est sommée de se transformer en machine à protéger les frontières extérieures de l’UE. Nombreux sont ceux qui estiment que la montée en puissance a été trop rapide. Même la Cour des comptes européenne s’étonne, dans un rapport de juin 2021, que le budget soit planifié à 900 millions d’euros par an « sans même chercher à déterminer les besoins de Frontex » et « sans aucune évaluation de son impact sur les Etats membres ».

      « En externe, [M. Leggeri] pouvait donner l’impression que Frontex était une agence indépendante de la Commission. Il ne rendait compte à personne, négociait en bilatéral avec les Etats membres », dit un haut fonctionnaire français qui a beaucoup œuvré au sein des institutions européennes.

      Voix dissonantes ignorées

      « Il a voulu de façon notable concentrer entre ses mains le pouvoir de décision, ajoute Gil Arias-Fernandez. Par exemple, les compétences qui m’avaient été déléguées par son prédécesseur, comme l’évaluation des directeurs, m’ont été retirées. » Il s’appuie sur une équipe restreinte, composée en grande partie de francophones, dont son directeur de cabinet Thibauld de la Haye Jousselin. Ce dernier est membre de la préfectorale, passé notamment par le cabinet de Brice Hortefeux, place Beauvau, et officier de réserve. « Il est travailleur, organisé et il a le sens de l’autorité, ajoute l’ancien ministre sarkozyste. Il est clair que ce n’est pas un écolo-libertaire ».

      En 2019, malgré des réticences au sein de la Commission, le mandat de M. Leggeri est renouvelé. Les voix dissonantes auraient été ignorées. Inmaculada Arnaez Fernandez, la responsable des droits fondamentaux de l’époque, censée contrôler l’action de l’agence et son respect des traités, en fait l’amère expérience. Gil Arias-Fernandez se souvient de la « marginalisation » de cette avocate espagnole, arrivée en 2012. « Dès le début, Fabrice Leggeri n’a pas considéré ses tâches comme importantes, dit-il. Nombre de ses rapports sur des violations potentielles des droits fondamentaux n’ont pas été pris en compte. »

      En 2019, à la suite d’un congé maladie de Mme Arnaez, le directeur annonce l’ouverture de son poste et tente de la remplacer, en vain. La même année, le recrutement de quarante observateurs des droits de l’homme prend du retard, au point que, fin 2021, il n’a toujours pas été finalisé.

      M. Leggeri quitte l’agence dans une crise profonde, politique mais aussi opérationnelle. C’est la Lettone Aija Kalnaja, directrice adjointe avec le plus d’ancienneté, qui a été nommée à la tête de l’agence jusqu’au conseil d’administration des 7 et 8 juin, à Paris. Affable, pratiquant un anglais parfait, cette ancienne fonctionnaire de police présente un profil idoine. « [Sa] désignation n’est pas forcément très réjouissante », estime pourtant une note diplomatique française du jour de son arrivée.

      Le document épingle notamment sa gestion d’une « situation dramatique » dans laquelle des dizaines d’agents de Frontex déployés aux frontières se trouvent actuellement. Certains ont dû avancer plusieurs milliers d’euros pour leurs frais de déplacement et d’hébergement. Sur ce dossier, Mme Kalnaja « n’a pris aucune décision forte », poursuit la note. A Varsovie, le temps des tempêtes n’est pas encore passé. Mercredi 4 mai, le Parlement européen a décidé de suspendre le vote du budget de l’agence, « jusqu’à la publication complète du rapport d’enquête de l’OLAF ».

      https://www.lemonde.fr/international/article/2022/05/06/frontex-la-chute-d-une-affaire-francaise_6125052_3210.html

    • Il ne suffit pas de changer le Directeur, c’est Frontex qu’il faut supprimer !

      L’UE et ses Etats membres doivent sanctionner les pratiques illégales de Frontex et mettre fin à l’#impunité !

      Le 29 avril 2022, Le Directeur exécutif de l’agence de garde-côtes et garde-frontières européens Frontex, Fabrice Leggeri (en poste depuis 2015) a remis sa démission.

      Depuis octobre 2020 [1], Frontex fait face à de nombreuses accusations de complaisance ou de complicité dans des opérations de refoulements en mer Egée et en Europe de l’Est, mais aussi de graves #dysfonctionnements et de #mauvaise_gouvernance. Au point que de nombreuses enquêtes ont été menées par les institutions européennes (Parlement européen, médiatrice européenne, Cour des comptes de l’UE, Office européen anti-fraude OLAF), et que la décharge budgétaire de Frontex pour l’année 2020 a été bloquée par le Parlement européen, le 4 mai 2022, signe évident de défiance [2] . Les conclusions du rapport de l’OLAF [3], et les dernières révélations de refoulements maquillés en « préventions au départ » en mer Egée dans les rapports de Frontex [4], ont sans doute accéléré la chute de son Directeur, qui paraissait jusqu’ici intouchable.

      Mais Leggeri n’a pas été licencié, il a démissionné. Non pas car il assume sa responsabilité dans les violations avérées des droits commises ou couvertes par Frontex aux frontières [5], mais car le rôle de l’agence prend selon lui une orientation qu’il désapprouve. Son mandat et la vision politique des institutions auraient ainsi « silencieusement mais effectivement été modifiés » durant les deux dernières années, et il existerait selon lui une contradiction manifeste entre le mandat de contrôle et de protection des frontières européennes qui lui a été confié en 2015, et le respect des droits des personnes tentant d’atteindre ces frontières, les deux n’étant pas compatibles. Il démissionne donc car « il ne peut rester pour mettre en œuvre ce qui n’est pas le mandat de l’Agence » [6]. Dans son communiqué du 29 avril, le Conseil d’administration de Frontex a, lui, balayé tout dilemme en affirmant au contraire « qu’un contrôle efficace des frontières et la protection des droits fondamentaux sont pleinement compatibles » … Ce que la société civile réfute, documents à l’appui, depuis plus de dix ans [7].

      Et de fait, Leggeri évincé, rien ne change. Ni l’incompatibilité effective du mandat et des activités de Frontex avec le respect des droits fondamentaux, ni l’impunité structurelle dont elle jouit. Car il ne s’agit pas de la responsabilité d’un (seul) homme, mais bien de celle d’un système à l’échelle européenne qui a permis depuis des décennies la multiplication en toute impunité des violations des droits des personnes exilées aux frontières maritimes et terrestres de l’Europe.

      Car le mandat de Frontex et ses activités, tout comme la politique sécuritaire et mortifère de lutte contre l’immigration de l’Union, demeurent. Frontex continuera de « sécuriser » les frontières européennes, avec violence et au mépris des droits et de la vie des personnes [8], en procédant à des vols collectifs d’expulsion [9], en entravant le droit d’asile, en prévenant les pseudo garde-côtes libyens (qu’elle forme par ailleurs) de venir intercepter les bateaux d’exilé.e.s avant qu’ils ne franchissement les eaux territoriales européennes [10], et continuera d’ériger les personnes désireuses de rejoindre le territoire européens en « menaces » dont il faudrait se protéger. En somme, Frontex continuera d’entraver les mobilités - en violation du droit international [11] -, et à contraindre les personnes à emprunter des voies de passages risquées et mortelles, car tel est bien son mandat, et ce quel que soit le nom de son Directeur.

      Et tandis que la société civile n’a eu de cesse depuis une décennie de documenter et dénoncer ces dérives, Frontex n’a jamais été sanctionnée pour ses agissements attentatoires aux droits. En 2014, Migreurop évoquait déjà des refoulements entre la Grèce et la Turquie, dans le cadre de l’opération Poséidon de Frontex, ayant été rapportés à la chargée des droits fondamentaux de l’agence, sans qu’il n’y soit donné suite [12]. En décembre 2020, son Directeur avait déjà admis devant le Parlement européen que l’agence procédait à des « opérations de prévention au départ », assimilables à des refoulements [13]. Malgré cela, aucune décision officielle n’a jamais été prise pour faire cesser les opérations de l’agence dans cette zone, aucun de ses agents n’a été mis en cause, et il n’a pas été mis un terme aux responsabilités de son Directeur, qui n’a jamais été sanctionné, et qui est démissionnaire.

      Lorsque les accusations ne peuvent plus être dissimulées et que les pratiques illégales de l’agence Frontex ne peuvent plus être ignorées ni remises en cause, l’unique conséquence semblerait donc être la démission (et non le licenciement) d’un Directeur, qui ne fera par ailleurs l’objet d’aucune sanction disciplinaire ou judiciaire. Face à l’accumulation de preuves, lorsque les institutions de contrôle démocratique ne peuvent plus se taire, elles ne sont donc capables que de produire des changements cosmétiques.

      Frontex s’est vue renforcée à chaque révision de mandat (2011, 2016, 2019) malgré les « rapports d’incidents » internes, les rapports d’ONG et les enquêtes médiatiques, et est de plus en plus rétive à rendre des comptes, tant aux institutions qu’aux citoyen.ne.s [14]. Quel que soit son Directeur, l’agence a, en de trop nombreuses occasions, prouvé qu’elle pouvait en toute impunité s’affranchir du droit européen pour satisfaire une politique sécuritaire de lutte contre l’immigration, qui a démontré ne pouvoir être respectueuse des droits.

      En acceptant le départ volontaire de Leggeri, les institutions européennes lui font indirectement porter la responsabilité des dérives de l’agence, une façon également de faire silence sur celles-ci et de ne pas remettre en cause les fondements mêmes de Frontex, tout en prétendant reprendre les choses en main et « assainir » une entité « abîmée ». Mais les bases sur lesquelles s’appuie Frontex n’ont pas changé d’un iota, et Frontex est irrécupérable.

      Remplacer le Directeur ne modifiera pas le mandat ni les activités de Frontex. Il ne s’agit plus désormais d’apporter des changements cosmétiques, mais de supprimer enfin l’agence Frontex pour faire cesser les violations des droits aux frontières, perpétrées impunément au nom de leur protection.

      https://migreurop.org/article3102.html

    • Inside the Final Days of the Frontex Chief

      Radical views, internal resistance, merciless investigators: Why Frontex chief Fabrice Leggeri had to go – and what his resignation means for the future of the EU border agency.

      In the end, once it was all over, it looked as though Fabrice Leggeri wanted to sneak out through the back door. Close advisers urged the Frontex chief to address his staff one last time after his resignation. “You were these people’s boss for many years. They’ve earned the right to know what is going on,” his advisers argued. But Leggeri refused to budge. It was a sad thing to watch, says one of those who had worked with Leggeri for many years.

      On Friday afternoon, at 3:22 p.m., once everybody had learned of his resignation, Leggeri did ultimately send a farewell message to his staff. In the email, the outgoing Frontex chief thanked the employees for their efforts – and fired a last parting shot at his critics. Frontex, Leggeri wrote, has been accused of either being involved in pushbacks or of having covered them up. He, too, was personally targeted by such accusations, he wrote, claiming that such allegations were unjust. There is still, he claimed, no proof. “I could rebuke all of them,” he wrote. Just that, in the end, nobody believed him any longer.

      Fabrice Leggeri was the head of Frontex for seven years. During his tenure, he was able to transform a meaningless EU authority into one of the bloc’s largest agencies, with an annual budget of 750 million euros. Leggeri created a cabinet suited to his tastes, concentrating almost all the power in his own hands. In the end, he ran the agency like a monarch – until he was pushed off the throne.

      Leggeri’s resignation was not widely expected. Even many Frontex staff members didn’t think they would be getting a new boss any time soon. To be sure, he was faced with an entire catalogue of accusations: DER SPIEGEL, Lighthouse Reports and several other media outlets had clearly demonstrated
      over the past 18 months that Frontex was involved in legal violations committed by Greece. Frontex units would intercept rickety refugee vessels on the Aegean and turn the asylum-seekers over to the Greek coast guard, which would then abandon the men, women and children at sea – frequently on life rafts with no motor.

      Human rights activists call such operations “pushbacks,” and they are not legal under European law. According to its own codex, Frontex should have been doing all it could to stop such pushbacks. But instead, the agency helped out: It was involved in illegal pushbacks affecting hundreds of asylum-seekers.

      Leggeri, though, has consistently rejected all such accusations. And for quite some time, it looked as though EU member states were wiling to simply accept the situation, as though the assistance Frontex provided to the pushbacks was actually in their interest. There were demands that he resign, but they mostly came from left-wing and center-left European parliamentarians – and not from EU heads of state and government, who control Frontex via the Management Board.

      What, then, led to Leggeri’s resignation? What happened behind closed doors in those decisive moments? And what does it mean for the future of the border protection agency?

      A team of reporters from DER SPIEGEL, Lighthouse Reports and the French daily Le Monde spoke with more than a dozen Frontex employees and European officials for this article. Some of them worked closely with Leggeri, while others were responsible for oversight of his agency. Leggeri himself declined to be interviewed.

      Taken together, the comments from confidants and employees produce the image of a man whose views grew increasingly radical as time passed, and whose shortcomings ultimately became so conspicuous that EU member states no longer had much of an option other than pushing him out of office. Fabrice Leggeri didn’t lose his job because of pushbacks as such, but more because he had become a PR problem for the EU.
      The Oracle of Delphi

      When seeking to understand Leggeri’s downfall, Delphi is a good place to start. On a warm day in April, Leggeri found himself in a stuffy conference center in the small Greek town, which takes its name from the Oracle of Delphi, who once predicted the future for petitioners. “Know thyself” was thought to have been inscribed at the entrance to the temple.

      The trip to Delphi was to become one of Leggeri’s final official journeys. Next to him on the stage of the Delphi Economic Forum was Greek Minister of Migration Notis Mitarachi. A noted hardliner, nobody defends the Greek approach to cross-Aegean migration as passionately as he does. Indeed, between the lines, it frequently sounds as though he finds pushbacks to be not such a bad idea.

      Leggeri gets along well with Mitarachi, and recently even received a medal from the Greek minister for his service on the EU external border. For Frontex, Greece is more important than any other European country. One of the most important migration routes to Europe leads from Turkey to the Greek islands across the Aegean Sea, and nowhere does Frontex have as many agents stationed. Leggeri dreamed of an even larger agency, and without a significant presence in Greece, such a vision would have been impossible.

      On stage in Delphi, Leggeri said that he was proud that Frontex under his leadership had always stood at Greece’s side. Not everybody can be allowed in, he said, that’s just a fact. Rather astounding sentences coming from somebody accused of covering up for Greek legal violations.

      A close parsing of Leggeri’s comments in Delphi reveals the broader motifs with which he would seek to defend himself from his critics a short time later. Frontex, he said, is a law enforcement authority and not an immigration agency, not showing much empathy for the women and children that had been abandoned at sea in the Aegean. He wrote something similar in his email to Frontex staff following his resignation. Frontex, Leggeri contended, is to be transformed into a sort of fundamental rights body, with a narrative to that effect spreading “discretely, but efficiently.” Such sentiments make it sound as though Leggeri believes in some kind of large-scale conspiracy. Even in Delphi, many listeners found themselves wondering how long Leggeri would be able to last with his impertinent bluster.

      Leggeri didn’t always sound so extreme. When he took over the position of Frontex director in 2015, he was considered to be an able technocrat. The Frenchman’s fluent command of German and excellent English were the qualities that initially stuck out for many. He was reputed to be consistently meticulously prepared for his meetings.

      In 2016, shortly after the apex of the refugee crisis, Leggeri emphasized in an interview with the influential German weekly Die Zeit that Europe had the obligation to provide protection to asylum-seekers. “We don’t reject anybody and we aren’t allowed to do so,” he said.

      Since then, the use of force on the EU’s external borders has escalated. Some EU member states, with Greece leading the way, are now in favor of turning pushbacks into standard practice. Leggeri put himself at the front of that movement, becoming a mouthpiece of the most radical camp within the EU in the process – and assumed that the other member states would tolerate it.

      Leggeri’s transformation didn’t go unnoticed within Frontex. One staff member who worked with him for several years says that his boss became more and more uncompromising over time. He increasingly adopted a black-and-white view of the world with no gray areas apparent, the staff member says, adding that Leggeri completely lost any kind of balance. At some point, says an additional staff member, Leggeri would only speak to members of his innermost circle.

      Towards the end of his tenure, there was a significant amount of grumbling at Frontex. Support for Leggeri within the agency began eroding while leaks to the outside world increased. Staffers at the Frontex Situation Center, who saw on their computer screens what was going on in the Aegean every day, grew defiant. In at least one case in which a Frontex aircraft recorded video of a pushback from above, a staff member explicitly wrote of a suspected human rights violation. Leggeri, though, ignored it.
      Leggeri’s Final Battle

      When EU anti-corruption officials get involved, the situation for those concerned tends to grow serious. Investigators from the European Anti-Fraud Office, known as OLAF for short, operate independently and are charged with uncovering rules violations committed by EU officials. Very little about their investigations tends to make it into the press.

      On Dec. 7, 2020, a few weeks after DER SPIEGEL published the initial revelations, investigators searched Leggeri’s office in Warsaw along with that of his then chief-of-staff, Thibauld de la Haye Jousselin. The investigators apparently also confiscated their mobile phones. In early March 2022, they presented a more than 200-page investigative report, which still hasn’t been made available to the public.

      Essentially, the report works through what DER SPIEGEL and its media partners have already reported: Leggeri covered up the Greek pushbacks and thus violated the regulations of his own agency. He then lied to the European Parliament when confronted with specific questions. Furthermore, according to a summary of the OLAF report compiled by French officials, which DER SPIEGEL has acquired, he coordinated with the Greek government before responding to growing questions.

      The investigators documented each lapse. And they recommended that disciplinary measures be taken against Leggeri and two additional senior Frontex leaders. The report essentially forced the overseers of Frontex to take a stand. And with that, Leggeri was never able to shake the detailed accusations documented in the OLAF report.

      The Management Board of Frontex is primarily made up of representatives from Schengen member states. Border protection agents and senior officials from European interior ministries supervise the Frontex chief. Their meetings take place behind closed doors and leaks are rare. Even the brief meeting summaries are classified.

      On the morning of April 28, members came together virtually for the decisive meeting. The German Management Board chair Alexander Fritsch led the proceedings. Leggeri joined from France – together with his lawyer.

      It immediately became apparent that Leggeri had no intention of giving up. The Frontex chief had had two months to prepare his defense, and according to sources who took part in the meeting, he repeated what he had said in Delphi and what he would later write in his final email to staff: namely that he sees Frontex as a law enforcement agency and not as a pro-migration NGO. It’s not his fault, he says, that the agency’s mandate had been changed.

      Later in the meeting, the Management Board considered the situation without Leggeri’s participation. And it quickly became clear that there was a majority against the Frontex chief, with many apparently concerned that Leggeri could pull the agency into the abyss along with him. “Because of the OLAF report, we wanted to do something,” says one meeting participant. Now that EU investigators had also leveled accusations against Leggeri, says the participant, the situation had simply become untenable.

      Leggeri had long since lost the trust of European Commissioner for Home Affairs Ylva Johannson. Now, Leggeri’s supporters also realized that he had to go. Even the French government, shortly after the re-election of President Emmanuel Macron, distanced itself from the Frontex chief. The Greek representative on the Board was one of the few who continued to support Leggeri.

      That same evening, Leggeri gave in. He contacted Alexander Fritsch, the German chairman of the Management Board, and announced he was stepping down. The next day, a broad majority of the board voted to accept Leggeri’s resignation. The board decided not to implement disciplinary measures as OLAF had recommended, but only because Leggeri was no longer a Frontex employee. It is ultimately a compromise that allowed Leggeri to save face, but nothing more.

      In a press released, the Management Board made clear that border control and the protection of human rights are not mutually exclusive. The press release also clarified that the agency’s mandate, which Leggeri had claimed was being changed “discretely and efficiently,” is clearly described in Frontex documents. The statement essentially amounted to a final slap in the face for Leggeri, and the beginning of the effort to limit the amount of damage to the agency’s reputation.
      A New Beginning?

      The woman who is now to take over from Leggeri is named Aija Kalnaja. The Management Board installed the Latvian as interim chief on the day of Leggeri’s resignation. A career police officer, she had been deputy executive director of Frontex. In her very first email to agency staff, Kalnaja distanced herself from Leggeri. The rights of asylum-seekers, she wrote, must be protected, and Frontex must set an example.

      It is going to be a long road to becoming an exemplary EU agency. Leggeri left behind a fair amount of chaos, and Kalnaja, as deputy director, wasn’t entirely uninvolved. Currently, for example, Frontex officials must pay for their lodgings at the EU’s external border out of their own pockets because the agency isn’t able to arrange official trips. Frontex cancelled its contract with a travel agency because costs were skyrocketing, and a replacement hasn’t yet been found.

      Many in the agency believe that Kalnaja would like to remain in the top spot. In contrast to Leggeri, she is thought to have good relations with the European Commission. The final decision on her status will be made in early June, which is when the Management Board will gather to elect a new director.

      The German government is now stressing that Leggeri’s departure presents an opportunity for a new beginning. That, though, wouldn’t just require a new Frontex chief, but also a policy shift in the EU member states that Leggeri spent so long protecting. A first test is on the horizon: The Frontex Fundamental Rights Officer could soon recommend that the agency withdraw from the Aegean. And then, nobody could hide behind Fabrice Leggeri any longer.

      https://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/fabrice-leggeri-s-resignation-the-final-days-of-the-frontex-chief-a-a238224a

  • The DIY origins and design of Playdate puzzler Pick Pack Pup
    https://www.gamedeveloper.com/playdate-launch/the-diy-origins-and-design-of-playdate-puzzler-pick-pack-pup

    Pick Pack Pup is a ludicrously charming match-3 puzzler with a twist (or two) that will surely become a fan-favorite of Playdate owners. Its path from prototype to Playdate, however, was an unconventional one.

    During a lengthy chat with Game Developer earlier this year, co-creator Nicolas Magnier tells me how he became fascinated by the concept of Playdate after reading about the console in Edge a few years ago.

    For the veteran dev, who’s currently working as a senior game designer at Ubisoft Mainz, the prospect of a device full of constraints was a huge selling point. It reminded him of old-school Nintendo hardware, and he was particularly eager to try and squeeze every last drop of creative potential from the Playdate’s 400 × 240 black-and-white display.

    Making contact with Panic with a view to developing for the console, though, proved challenging.

    As you can imagine, the high-profile reveal sent devs scrambling to join what, at the time, must have felt like the most exclusive club in the games industry. So, with Panic still in closed development and slowly drowning in a sea of emails, Magnier did the only thing his could — he built his own Playdate and got to work.

    #jeu_vidéo #jeux_vidéo #développement #success_story #succès #postmortem #console_playdate #jeu_vidéo_pick_pack_pup #nicolas_magnier #ubisoft_mainz #console_nes #sdk #c #lua #puzzle #casse-tête #langage_c #langage_lua

  • SEK-Einsatz nach Streit um Fahrpreis: Taxifahrer mit Schusswaffe in Berlin-Niederschönhausen bedroht - Berlin - Tagesspiegel
    https://www.tagesspiegel.de/berlin/sek-einsatz-nach-streit-um-fahrpreis-taxifahrer-mit-schusswaffe-in-berlin-niederschoenhausen-bedroht/28259432.html

    18.4.2022 - Ein 63-Jähriger soll in Berlin-Niederschönhausen einen Taxifahrer mit einer Schusswaffe bedroht haben. Deshalb rückte das Spezialeinsatzkommando
    der Polizei an und durchsuchte dessen Wohnung, wie die Berliner Polizei am Montag mitteilte.

    Eine Verletzung am Finger, die sich der Verdächtige bei der Festnahme zuzog, wurde im Krankenhaus behandelt. Bei der Durchsuchung fanden die Beamten eine Softairwaffe, die sie beschlagnahmten.

    Den Angaben des Taxifahrers zufolge hatte er eine Frau am Sonntagabend von Berlin-Köpenick in die Waldstraße gefahren. Sie soll jedoch mit dem Fahrpreis nicht einverstanden gewesen sein und zwei Bekannte hinzugerufen haben, die sich drohend geäußert hätten.

    Einer von ihnen, der 63-Jähriger, soll dem Taxifahrer eine im Hosenbund steckende Schusswaffe gezeigt haben. Schließlich hätten die Männer den Fahrpreis bezahlt, hieß es.

    [Wenn Sie aktuelle Nachrichten aus Berlin, Deutschland und der Welt live auf Ihr Handy haben wollen, empfehlen wir Ihnen unsere App, die Sie hier für Apple- und Android-Geräte herunterladen können.]

    Der 63-Jährige bestritt, dem Taxifahrer eine Schusswaffe gezeigt zu haben. Eine Atemalkoholmessung ergab bei ihm einen Wert von mehr als drei Promille. Gegen ihn wird wegen des Verdachts der Bedrohung mit Waffen ermittelt.

    #Berlin #Pankow #Niederschönhausen #Zahlungsstreit

  • The LEGO Group and Epic Games Team Up to Build a Place for Kids to Play in the Metaverse - Epic Games
    https://www.epicgames.com/site/en-US/news/the-lego-group-and-epic-games-team-up-to-build-a-place-for-kids-to-play-i

    The LEGO Group and Epic Games today announced they are entering a long-term partnership to shape the future of the metaverse to make it safe and fun for children and families. The two companies will team up to build an immersive, creatively inspiring and engaging digital experience for kids of all ages to enjoy together.

    The family-friendly digital experience will give kids access to tools that will empower them to become confident creators and deliver amazing play opportunities in a safe and positive space.

    #jeu_vidéo #jeux_vidéo #jouet #business #lego_group #epic_games #metavers #métavers #metaverse #enfant #enfance #adulte #niels_b_christiansen #tim_sweeney #superawesome #digital_child_safety_policy #unicef #vie_privée

  • Migrants, Asylum Seekers Locked Up in Ukraine

    Scores of migrants who had been arbitrarily detained in Ukraine remain locked up there and are at heightened risk amid the hostilities, including military activity in the vicinity, Human Rights Watch said today. Ukrainian authorities should immediately release migrants and asylum seekers detained due to their migration status and allow them to reach safety in Poland.

    “Migrants and asylum seekers are currently locked up in the middle of a war zone and justifiably terrified,” said Nadia Hardman, refugee and migrant rights researcher at Human Rights Watch. “There is no excuse, over a month into this conflict, for keeping civilians in immigration detention. They should be immediately released and allowed to seek refuge and safety like all other civilians.”

    In early March 2022, Human Rights Watch interviewed four men by telephone who are being held in the Zhuravychi Migrant Accommodation Center in Volyn’ oblast. The detention site is a former military barracks in a pine forest, one hour from Lutsk, a city in northwestern Ukraine. All interviewees said that they had been detained in the months prior to the Russian invasion for irregularly trying to cross the border into Poland.

    The men asked that their nationalities not be disclosed for security reasons but said that people of up to 15 nationalities were being held there, including people from Afghanistan, Algeria, Bangladesh, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, India, Nigeria, Pakistan, and Syria.

    Zhuravychi and two other migrant detention facilities in Ukraine are supported with EU funding. The Global Detention Project has confirmed that the center in Chernihiv has now been emptied but the center in Mykolaiv is operating. Human Rights Watch has been unable to verify whether anyone is still detained there. The men said that at the time of the interviews more than 100 men and an unknown number of women were detained at the Zhuravychi MAC. Some have since been able to negotiate their release, in some cases with help from their embassies. Lighthouse Reports, which is also investigating the issue, has estimated that up to 45 people remain there. It has not been possible to verify this figure or determine whether this includes men and women.

    Three of the men said they were in Ukraine on student visas that had expired. All four had tried to cross the border into Poland but were intercepted by Polish border guard forces and handed directly to Ukrainian border guards. The men said they were sentenced to between 6 and 18 months for crossing the border irregularly after summary court proceedings for which they were not provided legal counsel or given the right to claim asylum.

    Whatever the original basis for their detention, their continued detention at the center is arbitrary and places them at risk of harm from the hostilities, Human Rights Watch said.

    While interviewees said that conditions in the #Zhuravychi detention center were difficult prior to the conflict, the situation significantly deteriorated after February 24. In the days following the Russian invasion, they said, members of the Ukrainian military moved into the center. The detention center guards moved all migrant and asylum seekers into one of the two buildings in the complex, freeing the second building for Ukrainian soldiers.

    A video, verified and analyzed by Human Rights Watch, shows scores of Ukrainian soldiers standing in the courtyard of the Zhuravychi MAC, corroborating the accounts that the Ukrainian military is actively using the site. Another video, also verified by Human Rights Watch, shows a military vehicle slowly driving on the road outside the detention center. Recorded from the same location, a second video shows a group of approximately 30 men in camouflage uniforms walking on the same road and turning into the compound next door.

    On or around the date after the full-scale invasion, the people interviewed said a group of detainees gathered in the yard of the detention center near the gate to protest the conditions and asked to be allowed leave to go to the Polish border.

    The guards refused to open the gate and instead forcibly quelled the protest and beat the detainees with their batons, they said. Human Rights Watch analyzed a video that appears to show the aftermath of the protest: a group of men crowd around an unconscious man lying on the ground. People interviewed said that a guard had punched him. A group of guards are also visible in the video, in black uniforms standing near the gate.

    “We came out to peacefully protest,” one of those interviewed said. “We want to go. We are terrified.… We tried to walk towards the gate … and after we were marching towards the gate.… They beat us. It was terrible. Some of my friends were injured.”

    Interviewees said that guards said they could leave Zhuravychi if they joined the Ukrainian war effort and added they would all immediately be granted Ukrainian citizenship and documentation. They said that no one accepted the offer.

    On March 18, five men and one woman were released when officials from their embassy intervened and facilitated their evacuation and safe travel to the border with Poland. Ukraine should release all migrants and asylum seekers detained at the Zhuravychi detention center and facilitate their safe travel to the Polish border, Human Rights Watch said.

    The European Union (EU) has long funded Ukraine’s border control and migration management programs and funded the International Center for Migration Policy Development to construct the perimeter security systems at Zhuravychi MAC. The core of the EU’s strategy has been to stop the flow of migrants and asylum seekers into the EU by shifting the burden and responsibility for migrants and refugees to countries neighboring the EU, in this case Ukraine. Now that Ukraine has become a war zone, the EU should do all it can to secure the release and safe passage of people detained in Ukraine because of their migration status. United Nations agencies and other international actors should support this call to release civilians at Zhuravychi and any other operational migrant detention centers and provide assistance where relevant.

    “There is so much suffering in Ukraine right now and so many civilians who still need to reach safety and refuge,” Hardman said. “Efforts to help people flee Ukraine should include foreigners locked up in immigration detention centers.”

    https://www.hrw.org/news/2022/04/04/migrants-asylum-seekers-locked-ukraine
    #Ukraine #réfugiés #migrations #asile #détention_administrative #rétention #emprisonnement

    • Migrants trapped in Ukrainian detention center while war rages on

      Several dozen irregular migrants were reportedly trapped in a detention center in northwestern Ukraine weeks into the Russian invasion, an investigation by several media outlets found. An unconfirmed number of migrants appear to remain in the EU-funded facility, from where migrants are usually deported.

      Imagine you are detained without being accused of a crime and wait to be deported to somewhere while an invading army bombs the neighboring town. This horrific scenario has been the reality for scores of migrants in northwestern Ukraine for weeks.

      A joint investigation between Dutch non-profit Lighthouse Reports, which specializes on transnational investigations, Al Jazeera and German publication Der Spiegel found that over five weeks after the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Afghani, Pakistani, Indian, Sudanese and Bangladeshi migrants were still detained in a EU-funded detention center near the northwestern Ukrainian city of #Lutsk.

      Although several people were recently released with the support of their embassies, Der Spiegel reported there were still dozens of who remained there at the end of March.

      According to the wife of one detainee who was released last week, the detention center offered no air raid shelter. Moreover, guards “ran down the street when the siren sounded,” both Der Spiegel and Al Jazeera reported.

      “The guards took away the detainees’ phones,” the woman told reporters. She also said that power outlets in the cells were no longer working and the whole situation was extremely dangerous. In fact, the nearby city of Lutsk has repeatedly come under attack since March 12.

      According to the investigation, the Zhuravychi Migrant Accommodation Centre is located in a pine forest in the Volyn region, near the Belarusian border. Constructed in 1961 as an army barracks, the facility was converted into a migrant detention center in 2007 with EU funds, Al Jazeera reported.

      Reporters involved in the investigation spoke with recently released detainees’ relatives. They also analyzed photos and documents, which “verified the detainees’ presence in Ukraine before being placed in the center,” according to Al Jazeera.
      Calls for release of detainees

      Some detainees have been released since the beginning of the Russian invasion, including several Ethiopian citizens and an Afghan family, Al Jazeera reported. But politicians and NGOs have voice fear over those who remain in the Zhuravychi Migrant Accommodation Center.

      “It is extremely concerning that migrants and refugees are still locked up in detention centers in war zones, with the risk of being attacked without any possibility to flee,” Tineke Strik, a Dutch member of the European Parliament from the Greens/EFA Group told reporters involved in the investigation.

      Human Rights Watch (HRW) also decried the ongoing detention of migrants at the facility during the war. In a report published on Monday (April 4), HRW said its staff interviewed four men by telephone who are being held in that Zhuravychi in early March. According to HRW, all four men said they had been detained in the months prior to the Russian invasion for irregularly trying to cross the border into Poland.

      “Migrants and asylum seekers are currently locked up in the middle of a war zone and justifiably terrified,” said Nadia Hardman, a refugee and migrant rights researcher with HRW. “There is no excuse, over a month into this conflict, for keeping civilians in immigration detention. They should be immediately released and allowed to seek refuge and safety like all other civilians.”

      According to the four interviewees, people from Afghanistan, Algeria, Bangladesh, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, India, Nigeria, Pakistan, Syria and four other nationalities were being held at the facility.

      Michael Flynn from the Global Detention Project told Der Spiegel that the Geneva Conventions (not to be confused with the Geneva Refugee Convention) “obliges all warring parties to protect civilians under their control from the dangers of the conflict.” He stressed that the detainees needed to be released as soon as possible.
      The EU’s bouncer

      According to the investigation, the European Union has funded at least three detention centers in Ukraine “for years,” effectively making the non-EU country a gatekeeper. The facility in question near Lutsk that’s apparently still in operation received EU support “to confine asylum seekers, many of them pushed back from the EU,” according to Lighthouse Reports.

      Der Spiegel reported that up to 150 foreigners were detained in the facility last year. Most of them tried in vain to reach the European Union irregularly and have to stay in deportation detention for up to 18 months.

      Since the turn of the millennium, according to Der Spiegel, the EU has invested more than €30 million in three detention centers.

      At the facility in Zhuravychi, Der Spiegel reported, the EU provided €1.7 million for electronic door locks and protection elements on the windows. While the EU called it an “accommodation”, Der Spiegel said was a refugee prison in reality.

      The European Commission did not respond to a request for comment about the facility and the detained migrants, Al Jazeera said. Ukrainian authorities also did not answer any questions.

      In early March, InfoMigrants talked to several Bangladeshi migrants who had been given deportation orders and were stuck inside detention centers, including in said Zhuravychi Migrant Accommodation Centre. Around a hundred migrants were staying there back then, according to Bangladeshi and Indian citizens detained there. They were released a few days later.

      “Russia has been particularly bombing military bases. That’s why we have been living in constant fear of getting bombed,” Riadh Malik, a Bangladeshi migrant told InfoMigrants. According to the New York Times, the military airfield in Lutsk was bombed on March 11.

      https://www.infomigrants.net/en/post/39678/migrants-trapped-in-ukrainian-detention-center-while-war-rages-on

    • Immigration Detention amidst War: The Case of Ukraine’s Volyn Detention Centre

      A Global Detention Project Special Report

      In early March, shortly into Russia’s war on Ukraine, the Global Detention Project (GDP) began receiving email messages and videos from individuals claiming to know people who remained trapped in an immigration detention centre inside Ukraine, even as the war approached. We also received messages from a representative of the humanitarian group Alight based in Poland, who said that they too were receiving messages from detainees at Volyn, as well as identity documents, photos, and videos.

      The information we received indicated that there were several dozen detainees still at the Volyn detention centre (formally, “#Volyn_PTPI,” but also referred to as the “#Zhuravychi_Migrant_Accommodation_Centre”), including people from Pakistan, India, Eritrea, Sudan, Afghanistan, among other countries. They had grown particularly desperate after the start of the war and had held a demonstration to demand their release when the nearby town was shelled, which reportedly was violently broken up by detention centre guards.

      The GDP located a webpage on the official website of Ukraine’s State Secretariat of Migration that provided confirmation of the operational status of the Volyn facility as well as of two others. Although the official webpage was subsequently taken down, as of late March it continued to indicate that there were three operational migration-related detention centres in Ukraine, called Temporary Stay for Foreigners or #PTPI (Пункти тимчасового перебування іноземців та осіб без громадянства): Volyn PTPI (#Zhuravychi); #Chernihiv PTPI; and #Nikolaev PTPI (also referred to as the Mykolaiv detention centre).

      We learned that the Chernihiv PTPI, located north of Kyiv, was emptied shortly after the start of the war. However, as of the end of March 2022, it appeared that both the Volyn PTPI and Nikolaev PTPI remained operational and were holding detainees. We understood that the situation at the detention centres had been brought to the attention of relevant authorities in Ukraine and that the embassies of at least some of the detainees—including India—had begun arranging the removal of their nationals. Detainees from some countries, however, reportedly indicated that they did not want assistance from their embassies because they did not wish to return and were seeking asylum.

      In our communications and reporting on this situation, including on social media and through direct outreach to officials and media outlets, the GDP consistently called for the release of all migrants trapped in detention centres in Ukraine and for international efforts to assist migrants to seek safety. We highlighted important international legal standards that underscore the necessity of releasing detainees in administrative detention in situations of ongoing warfare. Important among these is Additional Protocol 1, Article 58C, of the Geneva Conventions, which requires all parties to a conflict to take necessary measures to protect civilians under their control from the effects of the war.

      We also pointed to relevant human rights standards pertaining to administrative detention. For example, the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, in their seminal Revised Deliberation No. 5 on the deprivation of liberty of migrants, conclude that in “instances when the obstacle for identifying or removal of persons in an irregular situation from the territory is not attributable to them … rendering expulsion impossible … the detainee must be released to avoid potentially indefinite detention from occurring, which would be arbitrary.” Similarly, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has repeatedly found that when the purpose of such detention is no longer possible, detainees must be released (see ECHR, “Guide on Article 5 of the European Convention on Human Rights: Right to Liberty and Security,” paragraph 149.).

      In April, a consortium of press outlets—including Lighthouse Reports, Al Jazeera English, and Der Spiegel—jointly undertook an investigation into migrants trapped in detention in Ukraine and published separate reports simultaneously on 4 April. Human Rights Watch (HRW) also published their own report on 4 April, which called on authorities to immediately release the detainees. All these reports cited information provided by the GDP and interviewed GDP staff.

      HRW reported that they had spoken to some of the detainees at Volyn (Zhuravychi) and were able to confirm numerous details, including that “people of up to 15 nationalities were being held there, including people from Afghanistan, Algeria, Bangladesh, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, India, Nigeria, Pakistan, and Syria.” According to HRW, the detainees claimed to have “been detained in the months prior to the Russian invasion for irregularly trying to cross the border into Poland.” They said that there were more than 100 men and women at the facility, though according to Lighthouse Reports only an estimated 45 people remained at the centre as of 21 March.

      The interviewees said that conditions at the detention centre deteriorated after 24 February when members of the Ukrainian military moved into the centre and guards relocated the detainees to one of the two buildings in the complex, freeing the second building for the soldiers. When detainees protested and demanded to be released, the guards refused, forcibly putting an end to the protest and beating detainees. Some detainees claimed to have been told that they could leave the centre if they agreed to fight alongside the Ukrainian military, which they refused.

      An issue addressed in many of these reports is the EU’s role in financing immigration detention centres in Ukraine, which the GDP had previously noted in a report about Ukraine in 2012. According to that report, “In 2011, 30 million Euros were allocated to build nine new detention centres in Ukraine. According to the EU delegation to Ukraine, this project will ‘enable’ the application of the EU-Ukraine readmission by providing detention space for ‘readmitted’ migrants sent back to Ukraine from EU countries.”

      In its report on the situation, Al Jazeera quoted Niamh Ní Bhriain of the Transnational Institute, who said that the EU had allocated 1.7 million euros ($1.8m) for the securitisation of the Volyn centre in 2009. She added, “The EU drove the policies and funded the infrastructure which sees up to 45 people being detained today inside this facility in Ukraine and therefore it must call on Ukraine to immediately release those being held and guarantee them the same protection inside the EU as others fleeing the same war.”

      Efforts to get clarity on EU financing from officials in Brussels were stymied by lack of responsiveness on the part of EU officials. According to Al Jazeera, “The European Commission did not answer questions from Al Jazeera regarding its operation and whether there were plans to help evacuate any remaining people. Ukrainian authorities also did not respond to a request for comment.” The Guardian also reported in mid-April they had “approached the Zhuravychi detention facility and the Ukrainian authorities for comment” but had yet to receive a response as of 12 April.

      However, on 5 April, two MEPs, Tineke Strik and Erik Marquardt, raised the issue during a joint session of the European Parliament’s Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice, and Home Affairs (LIBE) and the Committee on Development (DEVE). The MEPs urged the EU to take steps to assist the release of the detainees.

      In mid-April, reports emerged that some detainees who had been released from the Volyn PTPI in Zhuravychi were later re-detained in Poland. In its 14 April report, The Guardian reported that “some of those that were released from the centre in the first few days of the war are now being held in a detention centre in Poland, after they were arrested attempting to cross the Polish border, but these claims could not be verified.” On 22 April, Lighthouse Reports cited Tigrayan diaspora representatives as saying that two former detainees at the facility were refugees fleeing Ethiopia’s war in the region, where human rights groups report evidence of a campaign of ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity. Despite being provided documents by Ukraine stipulating that they were stateless persons and being promised safe passage, Polish border guards detained the pair, arguing that there was an “extreme probability of escape.”

      Separately, human rights campaigners following the case informed the GDP in late April that they had evidence of immigration detainees still being locked up in Ukraine’s detention centres, including in particular the Nikolaev (Mykolaiv) PTPI.

      The GDP continues to call for the release of all migrants detained in Ukraine during ongoing warfare and for international efforts to help detainees to find safety, in accordance with international humanitarian and human rights law. Recognizing the huge efforts Poland is making to assist refugees from Ukraine, we nevertheless call on the Polish government to treat all people fleeing Ukraine equally and without discrimination based on race, nationality, or ethnic origin. Everyone fleeing the conflict in Ukraine is entitled to international protection and assistance and no one should be detained on arrival in Poland.

      https://www.globaldetentionproject.org/immigration-detention-amidst-war-the-case-of-ukraines-volyn-

  • Iraq Building Syria Wall to Keep Out IS Fighters

    Iraq is building a concrete wall along part of its border with Syria to stop Islamic State group jihadists from infiltrating, an Iraqi military source said Sunday.

    In the “first stage” of construction, a wall around “a dozen kilometers (7 miles) long and 3.5 meters (11 feet) high was built in #Nineveh province,” in the #Sinjar area of northwest Iraq, a senior officer told AFP, requesting anonymity.

    Iraq, which shares a more than 600-kilometer-long border with Syria, seeks to “put a stop to the #infiltration of Islamic State members” into its territory, the source added, without specifying how long the wall would eventually run.

    Iraq in 2018 said it had begun building a fence along the Syrian border for the same reason.

    The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based war monitor, said the wall’s construction was carried out in an area facing the town of #Al-Shaddadi, in the south of Syria’s #Hasakeh province.

    In January in the Kurdish-controlled province, IS fighters attacked a prison to free fellow jihadists, sparking days of clashes that left hundreds dead.

    Many prisoners are thought to have escaped, with some crossing to neighboring Turkey or Turkish-held territory in Syria’s north, the Observatory said.

    IS overran large swathes of Iraq and Syria in 2014, declaring a “caliphate” before Baghdad proclaimed victory in late 2017 after a grinding campaign.

    But a low-level jihadist insurgency has persisted, flaring up particularly in rural and mountainous areas between Iraq’s autonomous Kurdistan region and northern outskirts of the capital.

    https://www.voanews.com/a/iraq-building-syria-wall-to-keep-out-is-fighters/6503811.html
    #Irak #murs #barrières_frontalières #frontières #Syrie #Etat_islamique #terrorisme #anti-terrorisme

    • SOHR: Iraq Building Syria Wall to Keep Out IS Fighters

      Iraq is building a concrete wall along part of its border with Syria to stop Islamic State group jihadists from infiltrating, an Iraqi military source said Sunday.

      In the ‘first stage’ of construction, a wall around ‘a dozen kilometers (7 miles) long and 3.5 meters (11 feet) high was built in Nineveh province,’ in the Sinjar area of northwest Iraq, a senior officer told AFP, requesting anonymity.

      Iraq, which shares a more than 600-kilometer-long border with Syria, seeks to ‘put a stop to the infiltration of Islamic State members’ into its territory, the source added, without specifying how long the wall would eventually run.

      Iraq in 2018 said it had begun building a fence along the Syrian border for the same reason.

      The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based war monitor, said the wall’s construction was carried out in an area facing the town of Al-Shaddadi, in the south of Syria’s Hasakeh province.

      In January in the Kurdish-controlled province, IS fighters attacked a prison to free fellow jihadists, sparking days of clashes that left hundreds dead.

      Many prisoners are thought to have escaped, with some crossing to neighboring Turkey or Turkish-held territory in Syria’s north, the Observatory said.

      IS overran large swathes of Iraq and Syria in 2014, declaring a ‘caliphate’ before Baghdad proclaimed victory in late 2017 after a grinding campaign.

      But a low-level jihadist insurgency has persisted, flaring up particularly in rural and mountainous areas between Iraq’s autonomous Kurdistan region and northern outskirts of the capital.

      https://www.syriahr.com/en/244765

  • Le progrès des sciences nous condamne-t-il à l’apocalypse ? ⚛️

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GuTgfnkILGs

    S’il y a des boules noires dans l’urne, ce n’est qu’une question de temps avant qu’on en tire une. Et non je ne parle pas de Motus.

    L’article de Nick Bostrom : https://www.nickbostrom.com/papers/vu...

    Dans le rôle du tireur de boules noires, vous aurez reconnu le joueur de Motus le plus célèbre du YouTube game @Sylvqin qui vient justement de sortir une vidéo ce même jour. Est-ce une coïncidence ? (Oui, totalement.) Merci pour sa participation involontaire.

    Sommaire

    0:00 - Intro
    0:25 - La découverte inattendue de la réaction nucléaire en chaîne
    5:04 - Uchronies : « Easy nukes »
    7:45 - L’hypothèse monde vulnérable : des boules noires dans l’urne de la créativité humaine.
    12:00 - Uchronie : « Pandemy DIY »
    12:59 - L’hypothèse monde vulnérable et la condition par défaut de semi-anarchie
    14:43 - Vulnérabilité de type 1
    15:39 - Vulnérabilité de type 2b
    18:27 - Principe de développement technologique différentiel
    24:31 - Réponse à une vulnérabilité de type 1
    26:33 - Conclusion et outro

    #Nick_Bostrom #vulnérabilité #recherche #risques

    • Monsieur Phi ferait bien de lire Jacques Ellul en regard de cette analogie : en réalité, nous dit Ellul, toute technologie n’est ni blanche, ni noire, ni même grise (au sens "cette grise apporterait un peu de bien et un peu de mal, mais « moyen »), mais bien ambivalente. C’est à dire que toute technologie apporte à la fois des trucs bien et mal, en proportions différentes suivant lesquelles, mais du coup une même technologie peut parfaitement apporter à la fois un truc visiblement qui a l’air très bien (très blanc) ET un truc horrible impossible à se dépétré (très noir). L’informatique, et plus encore l’informatique mobile, en est un bon exemple, mais avant ça la voiture aussi, le moteur à explosion.

  • Nicolas Trifon - Guerre en Ukraine

    Émission du 18 mars 2022, nous recevons Nicolas Trifon, qui intervient sur « Le Courrier des Balkans » et qui a participé à la revue d’Istok dans les années 80-90 (revu sur les dissidences dans les pays dans le giron de l’#URSS). On va revenir brièvement sur l’histoire de l’#Ukraine, et sur la guerre actuelle et ses conséquences sur les régions voisines.

    https://offensivesonore.blogspot.com/2022/03/nicolas-trifon-guerre-en-ukraine.html

  • Un livre pour balayer les idées reçues sur la #Gratuité_des_transports_en_commun
    http://carfree.fr/index.php/2022/03/22/un-livre-pour-balayer-les-idees-recues-sur-la-gratuite-des-transports-en-com

    L’Observatoire des villes du transport gratuit publie son tout premier ouvrage, consacré aux détricotage des idées reçues sur la gratuité des #transports_en_commun. Cosigné par plusieurs spécialistes du sujet, Lire la suite...

    #Alternatives_à_la_voiture #Livres #Transports_publics #aubagne #calais #châteauroux #compiègne #douai #dunkerque #montpellier #niort

  • Les « Industrial Workers of the World » face au mythe américain
    https://www.partage-noir.fr/les-industrial-workers-of-the-world-face-au-mythe-americain

    « Dieu n’a pas pendant un millénaire préparé les peuples teutoniques et de langue anglaise pour rien d’autre qu’une vaine et paresseuse admiration d’eux-mêmes. Il a fait de nous les maîtres organisateurs du monde pour que nous établissions l’ordre où régnait le chaos. Il nous a rendus aptes à gouverner pour que nous puissions administrer les peuples barbares et séniles. Sans une telle force, ce monde retomberait dans la barbarie et la nuit. Entre toutes les races, il a désigné le peuple américain comme la (...) #Partages_noirs #IWW #Syndicalisme #Sacco #Vanzetti

    / [Source : @narlivres], #IWW, #Etats-Unis, #Itinéraire_-_Une_vie,_une_pensée, #Nicola_Sacco, Bartolomeo (...)

    #[Source :_@narlivres] #Bartolomeo_Vanzetti
    https://www.partage-noir.fr/IMG/pdf/itineraire_saccovanzetti2.pdf

    • Propriétaires de parcelles, jardiniers amateurs et habitants s’étaient constitué en collectif, et avaient occupé les jardins pendant plusieurs semaines. En vain. En septembre 2021, les pelleteuses avaient commencé à détruire les cabanes et les récoltes. Après un an et demi de bataille juridique, la cour administrative d’appel de Paris a finalement ordonné, le 9 mars, l’arrêt des travaux [1]. Ce qui a conduit la mairie d’Aubervilliers et la communauté d’agglomérations Plaine commune à faire machine arrière.

      #NIMBY :-)

      Le titre n’est pas vraiment conforme à la réalité.

  • Hugo Torres Jiménez : héros de la lutte contre la dictature de Somoza (plus autres textes )

    Mónica Baltodano : Hugo Torres Jiménez : héros de la lutte contre la dictature de Somoza
    Nicaragua – Appel à la communauté universitaire à signer une déclaration de solidarité avec les universités nicaraguayennes
    Sergio Ramírez : Les procès de Managua et les purges staliniennes

    https://entreleslignesentrelesmots.blog/2022/02/22/hugo-torres-jimenez-heros-de-la-lutte-contre-la-dictatu

    #international #nicaragua