• Australia signs deal with Nauru to keep asylum seeker detention centre open indefinitely

    Australia will continue its policy of offshore processing of asylum seekers indefinitely, with the home affairs minister signing a new agreement with Nauru to maintain “an enduring form” of offshore processing on the island state.Since 2012 – in the second iteration of the policy – all asylum seekers who arrive in Australia by boat seeking protection have faced mandatory indefinite detention and processing offshore.

    There are currently about 108 people held by Australia on Nauru as part of its offshore processing regime. Most have been there more than eight years. About 125 people are still held in Papua New Guinea. No one has been sent offshore since 2014.

    However, Nauru is Australia’s only remaining offshore detention centre.PNG’s Manus Island centre was forced to shut down after it was found to be unconstitutional by the PNG supreme court in 2016. Australia was forced to compensate those who had been illegally detained there, and they were forcibly moved out, mostly to Port Moresby.

    But the Nauru detention facility will remain indefinitely.

    In a statement on Friday, home affairs minister #Karen_Andrews said a new #memorandum_of_understanding with Nauru was a “significant step forwards” for both countries.

    “Australia’s strong and successful border protection policies under #Operation_Sovereign_Borders remain and there is zero chance of settlement in Australia for anyone who arrives illegally by boat,” she said.“Anyone who attempts an illegal maritime journey to Australia will be turned back, or taken to Nauru for processing. They will never settle in Australia.”Nauru president, #Lionel_Aingimea, said the new agreement created an “enduring form” of offshore processing.

    “This takes the regional processing to a new milestone.

    “It is enduring in nature, as such the mechanisms are ready to deal with illegal migrants immediately upon their arrival in Nauru from Australia.”Australia’s offshore processing policy and practices have been consistently criticised by the United Nations, human rights groups, and by refugees themselves.

    The UN has said Australia’s system violates the convention against tortureand the international criminal court’s prosecutor said indefinite detention offshore was “cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment” and unlawful under international law.

    At least 12 people have died in the camps, including being murdered by guards, through medical neglect and by suicide. Psychiatrists sent to work in the camps have described the conditions as “inherently toxic” and akin to “torture”.In 2016, the Nauru files, published by the Guardian, exposed the Nauru detention centre’s own internal reports of systemic violence, rape, sexual abuse, self-harm and child abuse in offshore detention.

    The decision to extend offshore processing indefinitely has been met with opprobrium from those who were detained there, and refugee advocates who say it is deliberately damaging to those held.

    Myo Win, a human rights activist and Rohingyan refugee from Myanmar, who was formerly detained on Nauru and released in March 2021, said those who remain held within Australia’s regime on Nauru “are just so tired, separated from family, having politics played with their lives, it just makes me so upset”.

    “I am out now and I still cannot live my life on a bridging visa and in lockdown, but it is 10 times better than Nauru. They should not be extending anything, they should be stopping offshore processing now. I am really worried about everyone on Nauru right now, they need to be released.

    ”Jana Favero from the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre said the new memorandum of understanding only extended a “failed system”.“An ‘enduring regional processing capability’ in Nauru means: enduring suffering, enduring family separation, enduring uncertainty, enduring harm and Australia’s enduring shame.

    “The #Morrison government must give the men, women and children impacted by the brutality of #offshore processing a safe and permanent home. Prolonging the failure of #offshore_processing on Nauru and #PNG is not only wrong and inhumane but dangerous.”

    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2021/sep/24/australia-signs-deal-with-nauru-to-keep-asylum-seeker-detention-centre-

    #Australie #Pacific_solution #asile #migrations #réfugiés #Nauru #externalisation #île #détention #emprisonnement

    • Multibillion-dollar strategy with no end in sight: Australia’s ‘enduring’ offshore processing deal with Nauru

      Late last month, Home Affairs Minister #Karen_Andrews and the president of Nauru, #Lionel_Aingimea, quietly announced they had signed a new agreement to establish an “enduring form” of offshore processing for asylum seekers taken to the Pacific island.

      The text of the new agreement has not been made public. This is unsurprising.

      All the publicly available information indicates Australia’s offshore processing strategy is an ongoing human rights — not to mention financial — disaster.

      The deliberate opaqueness is intended to make it difficult to hold the government to account for these human and other costs. This is, of course, all the more reason to subject the new deal with Nauru to intense scrutiny.
      Policies 20 years in the making

      In order to fully understand the new deal — and the ramifications of it — it is necessary to briefly recount 20 years of history.

      In late August 2001, the Howard government impulsively refused to allow asylum seekers rescued at sea by the Tampa freighter to disembark on Australian soil. This began policy-making on the run and led to the Pacific Solution Mark I.

      The governments of Nauru and Papua New Guinea were persuaded to enter into agreements allowing people attempting to reach Australia by boat to be detained in facilities on their territory while their protection claims were considered by Australian officials.

      By the 2007 election, boat arrivals to Australia had dwindled substantially.

      In February 2008, the newly elected Labor government closed down the facilities in Nauru and PNG. Within a year, boat arrivals had increased dramatically, causing the government to rethink its policy.

      After a couple of false starts, it signed new deals with Nauru and PNG in late 2012. An expert panel had described the new arrangements as a “necessary circuit breaker to the current surge in irregular migration to Australia”.

      This was the Pacific Solution Mark II. In contrast to the first iteration, it provided for boat arrivals taken to Nauru and PNG to have protection claims considered under the laws and procedures of the host country.

      Moreover, the processing facilities were supposedly run by the host countries, though in reality, the Australian government outsourced this to private companies.

      Despite the new arrangements, the boat arrivals continued. And on July 19, 2013, the Rudd government took a hardline stance, announcing any boat arrivals after that date would have “have no chance of being settled in Australia as refugees”.
      New draconian changes to the system

      The 1,056 individuals who had been transferred to Nauru or PNG before July 19, 2013 were brought to Australia to be processed.

      PNG agreed that asylum seekers arriving after this date could resettle there, if they were recognised as refugees.

      Nauru made a more equivocal commitment and has thus far only granted 20-year visas to those it recognises as refugees.

      The Coalition then won the September 2013 federal election and implemented the military-led Operation Sovereign Borders policy. This involves turning back boat arrivals to transit countries (like Indonesia), or to their countries of origin.

      The cumulative count of interceptions since then stands at 38 boats carrying 873 people. The most recent interception was in January 2020.

      It should be noted these figures do not include the large number of interceptions undertaken at Australia’s request by transit countries and countries of origin.

      What this means is the mere existence of the offshore processing system — even in the more draconian form in place after July 2013 — has not deterred people from attempting to reach Australia by boat.

      Rather, the attempts have continued, but the interception activities of Australia and other countries have prevented them from succeeding.

      No new asylum seekers in Nauru or PNG since 2014

      Australia acknowledges it has obligations under the UN Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees — and other human rights treaties — to refrain from returning people to places where they face the risk of serious harm.

      As a result, those intercepted at sea are given on-water screening interviews for the purpose of identifying those with prima facie protection claims.

      Those individuals are supposed to be taken to Nauru or PNG instead of being turned back or handed back. Concerningly, of the 873 people intercepted since 2013, only two have passed these screenings: both in 2014.

      This means no asylum seekers have been taken to either Nauru or PNG since 2014. Since then, Australia has spent years trying to find resettlement options in third countries for recognised refugees in Nauru and PNG, such as in Cambodia and the US.

      As of April 30, 131 asylum seekers were still in PNG and 109 were in Nauru.

      A boon to the Nauruan government

      Australia has spent billions on Pacific Solution Mark II with no end in sight.

      As well as underwriting all the infrastructure and operational costs of the processing facilities, Australia made it worthwhile for Nauru and PNG to participate in the arrangements.

      For one thing, it promised to ensure spillover benefits for the local economies by, for example, requiring contractors to hire local staff. In fact, in 2019–20, the processing facility in Nauru employed 15% of the country’s entire workforce.

      And from the beginning, Nauru has required every transferee to hold a regional processing centre visa. This is a temporary visa which must be renewed every three months by the Australian government.

      The visa fee each time is A$3,000, so that’s A$12,000 per transferee per year that Australia is required to pay the Nauruan government.

      Where a transferee is found to be a person in need of protection, that visa converts automatically into a temporary settlement visa, which must be renewed every six months. The temporary settlement visa fee is A$3,000 per month — again paid by the Australian government.

      In 2019-20, direct and indirect revenue from the processing facility made up 58% of total Nauruan government revenue. It is no wonder Nauru is on board with making an “enduring form” of offshore processing available to Australia.

      ‘Not to use it, but to be willing to use it’

      In 2016, the PNG Supreme Court ruled the detention of asylum seekers in the offshore processing facility was unconstitutional. Australia and PNG then agreed to close the PNG facility in late 2017 and residents were moved to alternative accommodation. Australia is underwriting the costs.

      Australia decided, however, to maintain a processing facility in Nauru. Senator Jim Molan asked Home Affairs Secretary Michael Pezzullo about this in Senate Estimates in February 2018, saying:

      So it’s more appropriate to say that we are not maintaining Nauru as an offshore processing centre; we are maintaining a relationship with the Nauru government.

      Pezzullo responded,

      the whole purpose is, as you would well recall, in fact not to have to use those facilities. But, as in all deterrents, you need to have an asset that is credible so that you are deterring future eventualities. So the whole point of it is actually not to use it but to be willing to use it.

      This is how we ended up where we are now, with a new deal with the Nauru government for an “enduring” — that is indefinitely maintained — offshore processing capability, at great cost to the Australian people.

      Little has been made public about this new arrangement. We do know in December 2020, the incoming minister for immigration, Alex Hawke, was told the government was undertaking “a major procurement” for “enduring capability services”.

      We also know a budget of A$731.2 million has been appropriated for regional processing in 2021-22.

      Of this, $187 million is for service provider fees and host government costs in PNG. Almost all of the remainder goes to Nauru, to ensure that, beyond hosting its current population of 109 transferees, it “stands ready to receive new arrivals”.

      https://theconversation.com/multibillion-dollar-strategy-with-no-end-in-sight-australias-enduri
      #new_deal

  • UK plans #offshore_asylum_centres in other countries for Afghans

    Defence secretary says processing #hubs will be used for those Britain has ‘an obligation to’.

    Britain plans to establish offshore asylum centres for Afghan refugees in countries such as Pakistan and Turkey, as ministers admit that the UK will not be able to rescue those eligible for resettlement before troops leave Kabul.

    The defence secretary, Ben Wallace, said in a newspaper article on Sunday that the UK planned to establish a series of #processing_hubs across the region outside Afghanistan, for Afghans it had “an obligation to”.

    At least 1,429 Afghans have been evacuated from Kabul since last Friday, as part of the #Arap_relocation_scheme designed to help interpreters and others who have helped the British during their 20 years in Afghanistan.

    But it is estimated that a similar number – or more – remain in the country. The emergency airlift was continuing on Sunday, with RAF flights operating despite a crush at the airport gates as desperate Afghans try to flee.

    Nato believes 20 people have died around the airport in the last week, but Britain’s armed forces minister, James Heappey, said the flow outside the airport had improved because the Taliban were “marshalling people into separate queues for the US evacuation and the UK evacuation”.

    A total of 1,721 people – Britons, Afghans and people from allied countries – had been evacuated from Kabul on eight flights in the past 24 hours, Heappey said, with the RAF receiving help from its Australian counterpart in getting people to safety.

    But British officials already acknowledge that it is virtually impossible to evacuate people coming from outside Kabul, although Afghans with a claim have told charity workers they would risk crossing the country if they knew they had a flight.

    The new proposal was born out of the emergency, Wallace said, in an article in the Mail on Sunday. “The [Arap] scheme is not time-limited. We shall stand by our obligations and are investigating now how to process people from third countries and refugee camps,” he wrote.

    However, there were signs that the asylum plan had not been very far developed on Sunday night, when Turkey said it had not been approached and would reject any approach that was made.

    The names of countries had been briefed out by UK officials as examples of where processing centres might be established.

    A scheme to establish an offshore immigration centre was included as part of the Home Office’s nationality and borders bill, published in the early summer, before the western-backed government in Afghanistan collapsed.

    It was controversial because the intention was to allow the UK to send people to a third country to allow their claims to be processed. Officials had begun talks with Denmark about creating a processing centre in Africa – but how it will link together to the emergency centres is unclear.

    Britain has also agreed to take 20,000 Afghan refugees in a separate scheme announced on Tuesday, 5,000 of which will be in the first year. Priority will be given to groups who are most at risk of human rights abuses, such as women, girls and those from religious minorities.

    Ministers are also debating how to respond to the Taliban, with the home secretary, Priti Patel, understood to be exploring with security officials whether they should be proscribed as a terrorist organisation alongside the likes of Isis.

    But the prime minister, Boris Johnson, and other government departments have been holding out the possibility of recognising the Taliban government in Kabul, arguing the regime should be judged by “actions not words”.

    https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2021/aug/22/uk-plans-offshore-asylum-centres-in-pakistan-and-turkey-for-afghans

    #réfugiés_afghans #asile #migrations #réfugiés #externalisation #UK #Angleterre #Pakistan #Turquie #procédure_d'asile #réinstallation #interprètes #interprètes_afghans #évacuation

    Comme dit l’article :

    A scheme to establish an offshore immigration centre was included as part of the Home Office’s nationality and borders bill, published in the early summer, before the western-backed government in Afghanistan collapsed.

    –-> voir ici le fil de discussion sur ce sujet (qui concerne le Royaume-Uni et le Danemark) :
    #Priti_Patel ’opens talks with Denmark to open new centre in AFRICA to process asylum seekers who want to come to UK’
    https://seenthis.net/messages/918427

    –—

    Pour rappel, les #USA ont apparemment signé un accord avec 4 pays pour un accueil temporaire (?) des réfugiés afghans, en attente d’un visa états-uniens : #Albanie, #Kosovo, #Macédoine_du_Nord et #Ouganda :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/926161

    ping @isskein @karine4 @_kg_

  • Albania, Kosovo say ready to temporarily house Afghan refugees

    Albania and Kosovohave accepted a U.S. request to temporarily take in Afghan refugees seeking visas to enter the United States, the country two countries said on Sunday.

    In Tirana, Prime Minister Edi Rama Rama said U.S. President Joe Biden’s administration had asked fellow NATO member Albania to assess whether it could serve as a transit country for a number of Afghan refugees whose final destination is the United States.

    “We will not say ’No’, not just because our great allies ask us to, but because we are Albania,” Rama said on Facebook.

    Sources had told Reuters that Biden’s administration had held discussions with such countries as Kosovo and Albania about protecting U.S.-affiliated Afghans from Taliban reprisals until they completed the process of approval of their U.S. visas.

    In Kosovo, President Vjosa Osmani said the government had been in contact with the U.S. authorities about housing Afghan refugees since mid-July.

    “Without any hesitation and ... conditioning I gave my consent to that humanitarian operation,” Osmani said on her Facebook account.

    Osmani said Afghan refugees would be vetted by the U.S. security authorities, and added they would stay in Kosovo until their documentation for U.S. immigration visas was arranged.

    Hundreds of U.S. troops are still stationed in Kosovo as peacekeepers more than two decades after the 1998-99 war with the then-Yugoslav security forces.

    https://www.reuters.com/world/albania-ready-temporarily-house-afghan-refugees-pm-rama-says-2021-08-15

    #Albanie #Kosovo #réfugiés_afghans #anti-chambre #asile #migrations #réfugiés #réinstallation #dans_l'attente_d'un_visa (qui probablement n’arrivera pas?) #externalisation #USA #Etats-Unis #transit

    ping @isskein @karine4

    • Prime Minister Rama Confirms Albania Will Accept Afghan Refugees

      Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama announced that Albania will accept Afghan refugees fleeing Taliban rule.

      Rama made the announcement this morning, confirming reports that the American government had asked Albania to host Afghan refugees waiting for their US visas.

      He expects Albania to become a transition destination, as Afghan refugees wait to settle in the US.

      He also said that he didn’t know if Kosovo’s government had been asked to do the same. Nevertheless, he expressed his hopes that if approached, Kosovo would also accept the US’s request.

      In his post, Rama mentioned that Albania had already agreed to host several hundreds high risk refugees, such as intellectual figures and women, at the request of various institutions. Rama did not name the institutions in question.

      Earlier this week, Reuters wrote that the US government had been conducting secret talks with Kosovo and Albania to temporarily house Afghan refugees who had worked for the US government.

      https://exit.al/en/2021/08/15/prime-minister-rama-confirms-albania-will-accept-afghan-refugees

    • HEBRENJTË, AFGANËT, SHQIPËRIA

      Nuk e ka shqiptaria një histori më të lavdishme për botën, se sa marrja në mbrojtje e hebrenjve gjatë Luftës së Dytë Botërore. Askush s’ua kërkoi gjyshërve tanë ta rrezikonin jetën e tyre për të shpëtuar hebrenjtë, siç pakkush bëri në Europën e përpirë nga flama naziste. Ata e bënë. Pa dallim krahine e feje. Disa syresh e paguan me jetën e tyre, po asnjë hebre për be nuk e dorëzuan tek nazistët. Falë nderit të tyre shqiptar, Shqipëria u bë vendi i vetëm i Europës që pati më shumë hebrenj pas Luftës së Dytë se sa para nisjes së saj.
      Përpara disa vitesh, ne strehuam në Shqipëri mbi dymijë njerëz që përndiqen nga regjimi i ajatollahëve të Iranit. U shpëtuam jetën, duke i tërhequr nga i quajturi, Camp Liberty, në Irak, ku sulmoheshin prej shërbimit sekret iranian e thereshin të gjallë. Dhe e vërteta, ndryshe nga ç’jashtënxorri çisterna e mexhelisit të korruptuar mediatik të Tiranës, është se askush nuk na e vuri litarin në fyt, përkundrazi.
      Qeveria e mëparshme kishte marrë mbi njëqind syresh prej tyre, me kërkesë të qeverisë amerikane dhe nder i kishte bërë vetes e këtij vendi. Më pas ne morëm afro treqind të tjerë. Mirëpo përtej moralit në vetvete të kësaj fabule njerëzore, ca shqipo mendjefikur e harrojnë se ne jemi kahera aleatë të Shteteve të Bashkuara, jo vetëm kur na duhen për hallet tona, siç na u deshën bombat e tyre për t’u mbrojtur nga spastrimi etnik i Sllobodan Millosheviçit ; siç na u desh zëri i tyre i superfuqishëm për ta hapur rrugën e pavarësisë së Kosovës apo për ta anëtarësuar Shqipërinë në NATO ; siç na duhet gjithnjë mbështetja e tyre për të forcuar pozitat tona kombëtare e shtetërore, po edhe kur ne u duhemi atyre ndonjëherë, jo për t’i shpëtuar ata siç ata na kanë shpëtuar ne në kthesa historike, por për t’u gjendur në krah të tyre kur edhe ata, ja që ndodh, kanë nevojë për diçka të vogël prej nesh.
      Por ata qindra iranianë të ardhur me kërkesë të aleatëve amerikanë, u bënë mbi dymijë jo me insistimin amerikan, po me kërkesën tonë drejtuar miqve tanë të mëdhenj ! Po po, e lexuat tamam, pjesën e madhe të iranianëve në rrezik për jetën të mbetur në mëshirë të fatit e kërkuam ne, pas një masakre të llahtarshme atje në Camp Liberty, ku u vranë me dhjetra, mes të cilëve plot gra e fëmijë.
      Dhe për ta mbyllur këtë pjesë, pyetja ime është : Çfarë problemi u kanë krijuar sharësve e mallkuesve pa din e as iman të rrjeteve sociale, ata njerëz të shkretë, që rrinë mbyllur dhe jetojnë me hallin e tyre e me paratë e tyre, në zonën e banuar të ndërtuar po me fondet e tyre diku në periferi të Tiranës ?
      Zero probleme.
      Tani le të vijmë tek lajmi i parmbrëmshëm se Amerika kërkon të sjellë përkohësisht në Shqipëri e në Kosovë, afganë të shkretë që vetëm pse u rreshtuan me NATO-n e ndihmuan ushtarët tanë në misionin e tyre paqeruajtës, rrezikojnë të theren si kafshë nga talebanët. Menjëherë pas daljes së lajmit, qysh dje në mëngjes, ka nisur të hidhet përpjetë llumi njerëzor i rrjeteve sociale, me sharjet e mallkimet e shqipes së vet bazike me 100 fjalë - edhe ato të shkruara për ibret - me të cilat mbron me zjarrin e padijes detin nga greku, dheun nga serbi, ajrin nga armiku imagjinar i radhës, duke shpërfaqur krejt egërsinë e injorancës, në emër të një kinse patriotizmi mu si ai i talebanëve, të cilët tjetrin, të ndryshmin e këdo mendon si ai, e konsiderojnë një armik që duhet asgjësuar, sakatuar e poshtëruar, vetëm pse as nuk është i verbër si ata, as nuk friket nga helmi i kafshimit të tyre.
      Nuk e di nëse amerikanët i kanë kërkuar edhe Kosovës të strehojë afganët që u ekspozuan si miq dhe mbështetës të ushtrive aleate ; uroj që në rast se po, qeveria e Kosovës të përgjigjet pozitivisht, për nderin e saj e të Kosovës sigurisht. Por bëj me dije se në Samitin e NATO-s isha unë që e ngrita këtë shqetësim, për jetët e bashkëpunëtorëve afganë të Aleancës pas tërheqjes së saj nga Afganistani. Madje iu referova si shembull eksperiencës tragjike të kundërshtarëve të regjimit komunist në vendin tonë, që vrau, burgosi, torturoi, shkatërroi çdo armik të brendshëm pasi triumfoi mbi armiqtë e jashtëm dhe mbylli totalisht Shqipërinë, siç do të bëjnë së shpejti tanimë, talebanët me Afganistanin.
      Thashë në samit se pas tërheqjes së ushtrive të saj, bashkësia e qytetërimit demokratik të NATO-s nuk mund t’i lerë në mëshirën e barbarëve triumfatorë, njerëzit e ekspozuar si mbështetës të afërt të misioneve paqeruajtëse atje. Dhe nënvizova me gojën plot, se Shqipëria ishte e gatshme të merrte pjesën e saj të barrës, të cilën të gjitha vendet e NATO-s duhet ta ndajnë mes tyre. Kjo është bindja ime, jo vetëm si njeri i një populli që ka shpëtuar hebrenjtë nga nazistët e shekullit të XX, po edhe si kryeministër i një vendi që i njeh mirë të dyja anët e medaljes, qoftë kur të lënë vetëm në duart e një regjimi xhelatësh në atdheun tënd, qoftë kur kërkon një jetë të re si i huaj në vendet e të tjerëve.
      Eshtë e vërtetë po, se ditët e fundit qeveria amerikane i ka kërkuar Shqipërisë të vlerësojë nëse mund të shërbejë si një vend tranzit, për një numër të caktuar emigrantësh politikë afganë, të cilët destinacion fundor kanë Shtetet e Bashkuara. Dhe padiskutim që ne nuk do të themi jo, e jo thjesht pse na e kërkojnë aleatët tanë të mëdhenj, po sepse ne jemi Shqipëria ! Shqipëria është shtëpia e shqiptarit që as me Kanun, as me Zakon, e as me Moral po të doni, nuk ua përplas derën në fytyrë të panjohurve që trokasin për mbrojtje. Ne nuk jemi të pasur, por s’jemi as pa kujtesë, as pa zakone, as pa moral dhe është në nderin tonë t’u gjendemi të tjerëve, siç të tjerë na janë gjendur ne, po sidomos të mos u kthejmë kurrizin hallexhinjve të huaj, siç shpesh na e kthyen ne dikur, kur ishim të huaj hallexhinj. Kjo është arsyeja morale pse ende pa ardhur kërkesa e qeverisë amerikane, ne kemi mikpritur dy kërkesa prej dy institucionesh shoqërore shumë të respektueshme përtej oqeanit, për të vlerësuar strehimin e përkohshëm në Shqipëri të disa qindra personave, nga rrethet intelektuale dhe të grave aktiviste afgane, të cilët janë nga të parët në listat e ekzekutimeve të barbarëve të Afganistanit.
      Kujt nuk është dakord me gjithë sa thashë për këtë lajm, i them me keqardhje se kjo nuk e ndryshon qëndrimin tim e të shumicës qeverisëse në emër të Shqipërisë. Shqipëria nuk është e salltanetit të atyre që hidhen për të në flakën e ndezur nga egërsia dhe padija e kinse patriotizmit, por është e amanetit shekullor të mikpritjes së të panjohurve në rrezik🇦🇱

      https://www.facebook.com/edirama.al/posts/10158954065891523

    • L’Albanie et le Kosovo vont accueillir « plusieurs milliers » de réfugiés d’Afghanistan

      L’Albanie et le Kosovo ont confirmé mener des négociations secrètes avec les États-Unis pour accueillir « plusieurs milliers » de ressortissants d’Afghanistan qui ont collaboré avec les forces américaines, le temps que soit examinée leur demande d’asile.

      (Avec Radio Slobodna Evropa et Top Chanel TV) - Le gouvernement du Kosovo a confirmé qu’il travaillait « depuis la mi-juillet » avec les autorités américaines pour élaborer un plan permettant d’accueillir des Afghans qui ont collaboré avec les États-Unis. Luan Dalipi, chef de cabinet du Premier ministre Albin Kurti, a confirmé à Radio Free Europe (RFE) que les pourparlers « se concluaient positivement ». « Il faut régler beaucoup de questions logistiques, techniques, sécuritaires et sociales. Nous agissons avec prudence. Les États-Unis sont notre allié et partenaire stratégique. »

      La Présidente du Kosovo, Vjosa Osmani, a également confirmé qu’elle avait été contactée par l’ambassadeur américain à Pristina, Philip Kosnett, qui lui a fait part de la demande du Président Joe Biden que le Kosovo puisse accueillir temporairement des civils afghans. Elle a expliqué que le Kosovo avait accepté cette « sans aucune hésitation et sans aucune condition ». « Les ressortissants afghans devront passer par un processus d’évaluation sécuritaire, ils ne resteront que temporairement au Kosovo, jusqu’à ce que leurs documents d’immigration aux États-Unis soient établis », a précisé Vjosa Osmani.

      Le 13 août, l’agence Reuters avait annoncé que le gouvernement américain menait des négociations secrètes avec l’Albanie et le Kosovo pour trouver un hébergement temporaire pour des Afghans qui ont coopéré avec les forces américaines en Afghanistan. Les sources de Reuters assurent que les États-Unis offriraient au Kosovo des avantages économiques et politiques en contrepartie de l’accueil de plusieurs milliers d’Afghans. Cependant, des diplomates américains auraient exprimé des inquiétudes quant aux capacités du Kosovo à mener à bien cette mission.
      Le précédent des Moudjahidines du peuple en Albanie

      Alors que les talibans sont rapidement en train de reprendre le contrôle de tout l’Afghanistan, de nombreux Afghans qui ont coopéré avec les forces internationales craignent des représailles. Le département d’État américain a annoncé un programme qui permettra à des milliers d’Afghans de s’installer aux États-Unis en tant que réfugiés. Cependant, ils doivent d’abord être placés dans un pays tiers, où ils séjourneront pendant « douze à quatorze mois », le temps de l’analyse de leur demande de visa américain.

      Le Premier ministre d’Albanie Edi Rama a également confirmé dimanche 15 août qu’elle avait répondu positivement à la demande des États-Unis, et que son pays allait accueillir « quelques centaines » de réfugiés afghans. L’Albanie accueille déjà plusieurs milliers de moudjahidines du peuple d’Iran, évacués depuis leurs bases situées en Irak. Ils sont arrivés en Albanie en 2013 et 2014. Le camp d’Ashraf-3, situé près de Durrës, accueille plus de 3000 membres de l’organisation.

      https://www.courrierdesbalkans.fr/Albanie-Kosovo-vont-accueillir-refugies-d-afghanistan

    • Balkan Countries Offer Refuge to Afghans After Taliban Takeover

      After Taliban forces swept to power in Afghanistan, governments in Albania, Kosovo and North Macedonia have accepted a US request to offer temporary refuge to some political refugees who are fleeing the country in fear of retaliation.

      Albania, Kosovo and North Macedonia have expressed readiness to temporarily host an undefined number of Afghans fleeing their country after Taliban forces seized control over the weekend as the United States pulled out.

      “It is true that in recent days, US government has asked Albania to assess if we could serve as a transit country for a certain number of Afghan political migrants, which have US as the final destination. And undoubtedly we will not say no, not only because our allies are asking this, but because we are Albania,” Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama said in a statement on Facebook on Sunday.

      The final destination for the refugees, who fear retaliation from the Taliban because they cooperated with NATO forces in Afghanistan, is the US. Their number is so far unknown.

      Kosovo President Vjosa Osmani also confirmed that her country agreed to the request to give temporary safe haven refugees “without any hesitation”.

      “Kosovo respects the international right and obligation to not close the door to refugees,” Osmani said.

      The Kosovo government said that discussions with the US government over hosting the refugees started in mid-July.

      Luan Dalipi, chief of staff of Kosovo’s Prime Minister Albin Kurti, told BIRN that since then, the government has been in “constant communication and cooperation” with the US authorities.

      “There are many logistical, technical, security and social issues we are carefully addressing. The US is our main ally and our strategic partner,” Dalipi said.

      North Macedonia’s Prime Minister Zoran Zaev told media on Sunday that his country will accept civilians from Afghanistan who need evacuation and that they will be allowed to stay in the country until a more permanent solution is found for them.

      “With the aim of saving the lives of the local population [in Afghanistan], we have informed the US that we are ready to accept civilians from Afghanistan who over the past 20 years have been working for peace in that country, who were the local support for the allied NATO troops, including our forces, including activists from the humanitarian and human rights organisations,” Zaev said.

      He said that North Macedonia could accommodate the refugees in hotels and resorts, and that the financial cost for this accommodation, until a more permanent solution is found, will be covered by the US.

      “We are a country of solidarity. Our people and our society have always given support and help, the same way we have been receiving help during major catastrophes,” Zaev said.

      Washington wants to evacuate thousands of people from Afghanistan and has been seeking other countries to host them temporarily while their papers for entering the US are finalised.

      Adrian Shtuni, a Washington-based foreign policy and security specialist, told BIRN that Tirana and Pristina’s move to shelter Afghans was “as much a sign of moral leadership and humanitarian compassion as it is a confirmation that Albanians are reliable partners of the United States”.

      “The main concerns associated with refugee relocations are often related to potential security risks and financial costs. From a security perspective, there’s no reason to believe the contingent of Afghan refugees would present a risk. These are interpreters and contractors (as well as family members) employed by the US Military, waiting to be issued Special Immigration Visas by the US State Department. They are not former fighters or militants,” Shtuni said.

      Adrian Shtuni said that both Albania and Kosovo will not be burdened by hosting the Afghans because “the refugee contingent will be a few hundred people and nor Albania neither Kosovo are intended as their final destination the financial costs will be contained”.

      The chairman of the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Bob Menendez, welcomed Albania’s decision to give temporary safe haven to the Afghans.

      “The people of Albania are once again showing the world what ‘BESA’ [‘word of honour’ in Albanian] means. You have our respect and thanks,” Menendez wrote on Twitter on Sunday.

      https://balkaninsight.com/2021/08/16/balkan-countries-offer-refuge-to-afghans-after-taliban-takeover

      #Macédoine_du_Nord

    • Les premiers Afghans exfiltrés par les États-Unis sont arrivés en Albanie et au Kosovo

      Un premier groupe de 111 réfugiés afghans exfiltrés par les États-Unis est arrivé dimanche soir au Kosovo. Un autre groupe de 121 réfugiés était arrivé vendredi matin en Albanie. Ils doivent séjourner temporairement dans ces pays jusqu’à ce qu’ils obtiennent leur visa américain.

      (#paywall)

      https://www.courrierdesbalkans.fr/Les-premiers-Afghans-exfiltres-par-les-Etats-Unis-arrivent-en-Alb

    • Quand l’Afghanistan était une manne financière pour les Kosovars

      Les États-Unis ont demandé au Kosovo d’abriter des Afghans devant quitter leur pays pour des raisons de sécurité. Pristina a aussitôt accepté. Les Kosovars connaissent en effet bien l’Afghanistan : depuis 2001, des milliers d’entre eux ont travaillé pour des #contractants américains dans la reconstruction du pays.

      Traduit par Belgzim Kamberi (article original : https://www.koha.net/veshtrime/284704/kur-afganistani-ishte-parajse-financiare-per-kosovaret). Depuis la prise du pouvoir par les talibans en Afghanistan, le Kosovo est l’un des rares pays à qui les États-Unis ont demandé d’abriter un certain nombre d’Afghans devant quitter le pays pour des raisons de sécurité. Pristina a accepté. Même si l’on ne sait pas encore combien de personne cela représente, la nouvelle semble avoir été bien accueillie par l’opinion publique.

      Cela n’est pas une surprise. Depuis 2001, les Kosovars ont développé des liens avec l’Afghanistan. Ils sont notamment des milliers à avoir travaillé à la reconstruction du pays, recevant pendant des années des salaires de différents contractants américains. Selon un rapport de l’Institut GAP publié en novembre 2011, 7000 à 8000 Kosovars ont été engagés entre 2001 et 2011 sur différents chantiers en tant que chauffeurs, mécaniciens, ou occupaient d’autres emplois physiques...

      Les Kosovars ont été principalement engagés par les entreprises américaines #Fluor_Group, #Dyncorp_International et #Kellogg_Brown & Root, les même qui étaient chargées de la construction de la #base_militaire américaine #Bondsteel, près de #Ferizaj, au Kosovo. Cette base employait entre 2000 et 2500 Kosovars au début des années 2000. Il n’est donc pas étonnant que ces contractants aient fait appel aux services des Kosovars pour leurs missions en Afghanistan.

      Des millions d’euros pour l’#économie kosovare

      En Afghanistan, le salaire de base annuel pour les ressortissants des pays en développement, dont font partie les pays des Balkans, se situait en effet entre 14 800 et 29 700 dollars. Pour l’économie kosovare, cela a représenté 50 à 55 millions d’euros de rentrées annuelles, soit plus d’un demi-milliard d’euros sur la période 2001-2011. La plus grande partie des #travailleurs_kosovars en Afghanistan provenait de la région de Ferizaj (56%), de Pristina (21%) et Gjilan (19%).

      Les revenus depuis l’Afghanistan n’étaient pas considérés comme des rémittences (les fonds envoyés au pays par les émigrés) par la Banque centrale du Kosovo. Mais si on les compare avec les rémittences envoyées d’autres pays, l’Afghanistan se rangeait tout de suite après l’Allemagne et la Suisse.

      Le travail là-bas n’était pourtant pas sans danger. De 2001 à 2011, 78 595 travailleurs employés par des contractants américains ont été blessés sur leur lieu de travail et 2871 y ont perdu la vie. Les Kosovars n’ont pas été épargnés. En octobre 2004, Shqipe Hebibi, qui travaillait pour le bureau des Nations-Unies en Afghanistan, a été kidnappée, avant d’être libérée un mois plus tard. En octobre 2011, une employée originaire de Ferizaj a perdu la vie. On ne connaît pas le nombre de travailleurs kosovars blessés en Afghanistan ces dernières années. Selon les informations de Pristina, seuls trois Kosovars étaient présents en Afghanistan quand le pays est tombé aux mains des talibans. Deux d’entre aux auraient réussi de sortir du pays.

      https://www.courrierdesbalkans.fr/Quand-l-Afghanistan-etait-un-paradis-financier-pour-les-kosovares

    • Afghanistan : les témoignages des premiers évacués transférés en Albanie

      Ils sont arrivés à Tirana dans la nuit de vendredi à samedi. Les premiers 121 réfugiés afghans ont été provisoirement installés dans les bâtiments de la Cité universitaire. En quittant Kaboul, ils ne savaient pas qu’ils partaient pour l’Albanie...

      Témoignages.

      Je travaillais pour le ministère de l’Agriculture dans le cadre d’un projet financé par USAID. J’étais responsable de la communication. J’ai un master de la Khazak American Free University et plus de treize ans d’expérience, mais je ne sais pas si mon diplôme sera encore reconnu quelque part. J’avais un bon travail, un bon salaire, tout se passait bien. Maintenant, je ne sais pas si je vais devoir travailler comme serveur quelque part, ou bien comme chauffeur Uber. Ma vie a été bouleversée », raconte Ahmad [Tous les noms ont été modifiés, NDLR], l’un de ces premiers réfugiés afghans arrivés en Albanie. « J’avais encore de l’espoir. Je pense que la jeunesse avait le devoir d’aider l’Afghanistan à se développer, mais nous n’avions plus d’autre choix que de partir ». La fuite n’a pourtant pas été facile. Ahmad et sa famille, comme beaucoup d’autres, ont dû attendre des heures, voire des jours, pour pénétrer dans l’aéroport de Kaboul, où des milliers de personnes se pressaient pour s’échapper.

      39 de ces premiers Afghans venus en Albanie sont d’anciens employés du ministère de l’Agriculture, qui travaillaient sur un projet américain mené en partenariat avec l’Université du Michigan. Leur évacuation a été bien organisée. « Il était difficile d’embarquer à bord d’un avion même avec un visa valide », raconte toutefois Ali, la quarantaine. « Mais nos amis et nos collègues américains nous ont aidés. Une fois dans l’avion, la vie semblait à nouveau simple. »

      Avant de partir, ils ne savaient pas qu’ils allaient venir en Albanie. La destination leur a été communiquée deux ou trois heures avant le décollage. De toute façon, leur but était de monter dans un avion, quelle qu’en soit la destination. « Quand je suis parti, ma dignité ne comptait plus. À l’aéroport, nous dormions au milieu des poubelles. Cela n’aurait pas dû se passer comme cela, nous sommes tous des êtres humains… On a des sentiments », confie Ahmad, au bord des larmes.

      Les réfugiés arrivés samedi 28 août ont été accueillis par la ministre des Affaires étrangères, Olta Xhaçka, et par l’ambassadrice des États-Unis en Albanie. De l’aéroport, ils ont été immédiatement amenés dans les bâtiments 11 et 12 de la Cité universitaire de Tirana. C’est là qu’ils seront logés jusqu’à nouvel ordre.

      “Parmi les choses déconseillée : parler aux journalistes. Et la recommandation ne valait pas seulement pour les Afghans.”

      « Même dans mon propre pays, je n’avais pas cette possibilité d’atterrir à l’aéroport, de monter directement dans un bus et de m’en aller », explique Ali. L’enregistrement des documents s’est déroulé durant la matinée de samedi. Des employés municipaux ont accompagnés les réfugiés pendant presque toute la journée, leur montrant où aller et leur donnant des indications sur ce qu’ils devaient faire. Parmi les choses déconseillée : parler aux journalistes. Et la recommandation ne valait pas seulement pour les Afghans, la direction de la Cité universitaire et la municipalité n’étant pas plus ouvertes à la communication.

      L’enregistrement à la police était plutôt simple, ne durant souvent pas plus d’une demi-heure. Les gens qui ne possédaient pas de passeport du tout, un passeport périmé ou bien juste le tazkira, la pièce d’identité afghane, ont été mis en relation avec la police. « Je n’ai pas d’informations particulières, mais si l’on croit les rumeurs qui courent parmi les évacués, les pays tiers comme l’Albanie facilitent les visites à l’ambassade afghane pour pouvoir récupérer nos passeports et recevoir le visa américain », explique Ahmad. Ses enfants n’ont pas de documents d’identité. Ahmad espère recevoir le précieux visa américain dans les vingt prochains jours. En général, les réfugiés afghans ne veulent pas rester en Albanie, mais partir pour les États-Unis ou vers d’autres pays européens.

      Obligés de ne prendre qu’un petit sac à main à leur embarquement à Kaboul, les réfugiés n’ont presque pas de vêtements de rechange et, le plus souvent, pas un sou dans les poches. En collaboration avec les États-Unis, le gouvernement albanais va aider ces personnes à satisfaire leurs besoins fondamentaux. Vers 15h, une liste de tout ce dont les réfugiés avaient besoin a été dressée. « On a rempli des formulaires, mais ils n’ont pas pris nos mesures... Je ne sais pas quel genre de vêtements ils vont m’apporter », plaisante Ahmad.

      Malgré la présence de soignants, la seule assistance médicale reçue jusqu’à présent a été le test de dépistage de la Covid-19. Les réfugiés n’ont pas encore été invités à consulter une cellule d’aide psychologique. Mal renseignés sur ce qu’il leur ait ou non permis de faire, ces derniers essaient de ne pas s’éloigner de la petite rue qui relie les bâtiments où ils sont logés au bureau de la police. Ils ne veulent pas créer de problèmes et tiennent à faire bonne impression aux Albanais. Préoccupés par le sort de la famille qu’ils ont laissée derrière eux et de la situation en Afghanistan, où ils aimeraient revenir un jour, leur but est dans l’immédiat de savoir où ils vont pouvoir s’installer pour commencer une nouvelle vie.

      https://www.courrierdesbalkans.fr/Afghanistan-temoignages-premiers-evacues-Albanie

    • The fact that the Afghan refugees who were evacuated by NATO and who are currently in Kosovo, have been in detention since their arrival, speaks of the fact that the human rights of refugees from Afghanistan are constantly being violated. Namely, the refugees are housed inside two camps, Camp Bechtel and Camp Lyia, and according to a spokesman for the US Embassy in Kosovo, the refugees were not allowed to move freely outside the camps to protect the safety of them and other Kosovo citizens. It should be noted that these are not the first Afghan refugees in Kosovo. Refugees who go through the so-called Balkan route also come to Kosovo and meantime have the right to move freely. What is even more worrying is the kind of limbo in which the evacuated refugees currently are. It is still unclear how visas will be granted, or what types of visas will be obtained. If the rule of restriction of movement is maintained until people are granted visas, the question arises as to how will they access services, health care, education, especially bearing in mind that the duration of this process is unknown.

      Reçu via la mailing-list Inicijativa Dobrodosli, du 24.09.2021

    • Afghan evacuees in Kosovo de facto detained

      The first group of Afghan evacuees landed in Kosovo on August 29 following a chaotic airport evacuation in the wake of the United States’ abrupt exit from Afghanistan after 20 years of war. These Afghans’ futures are unclear, as is their present situation. But one thing is clear: they aren’t being granted the right to move freely.

      In fact, it is easier for an Afghan asylum seeker who arrived in Kosovo through the difficult Balkan route to move about the country. Once in Kosovo such an asylum seeker can request asylum, with or without identification. They will be offered basic amenities, an identification card, and, notably, the freedom to move in and out of the asylum housing complex.

      But this is not the case for the approximately 1,000 Afghans brought by NATO into Kosovo as part of an international effort to offer safe haven to thousands who fear persecution after the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan.

      On August 16 Kosovo’s government approved a decision offering Afghan evacuees — largely U.S. visa applicants, former NATO contractors and their families — temporary protection, a form of immediate protection different from the refugee status recognized in the Law on Asylum. Persons under temporary protection enjoy clearly defined rights, such as the right to schooling, healthcare and freedom of movement.

      The government’s decision specifies that freedom of movement may be restricted if considered necessary, and that a verification process will be put in place for issues of national security.

      Since arriving, the evacuees have been housed at two camps referred to as Camp Bechtel and Camp Liya, located on the premises of the Bechtel Enka company and inside the U.S. military base Bondsteel. NATO’s international command is running Camp Bechtel and the U.S. is running Camp Liya inside Bondsteel.

      As of yet, there has been no public information provided about the living conditions of these Afghan evacuees, a contrast to other countries, including some in the region, where journalists have been granted access to speak directly to arriving refugees.

      The Ministry of Internal Affairs has declined to answer K2.0’s questions on the matter, while the minister of Internal Affairs, Xhelal Sveçla, gave few details during a recent press conference. When asked about the evacuees’ freedom of movement, Sveçla said that movement outside the camp would be organized only if necessary, noting apparent security concerns.

      Neither NATO nor the Ministry of Internal Affairs have granted media access to the Afghan evacuees’ living conditions, while the government of Kosovo has not formally asked international organizations working in this field to assist.

      The government insists that the U.S. and NATO have promised a quick operation with Kosovo only functioning as a transit country. NATO spokesperson Jason Salata said that “Camp Bechtel is a temporary lodging until they identify follow-on resettlement options.”

      A first group of 117 NATO-affiliated Afghan evacuees departed Camp Bechtel for the UK on September 16.

      Government spokesperson Perparim Kryeziu told K2.0 that Kosovo’s legal framework guarantees freedom of movement, but he noted it also foresees specific cases where restrictions are allowed.

      “At the moment, we are in the process of providing Afghan citizens with all necessary documents,” said Kryeziu. “Due to this and also taking into consideration their own safety for the moment they are free to move within their hosting facilities. However, we expect them to have the opportunity to move freely outside these facilities in the near future following the finalization of documents and other needed administrative procedures.”

      The law on asylum specifies cases in which freedom of movement can be restricted for persons under international protection. It also says that each individual must be given the right to complain about their restriction of movement, and in the case of children, it also states that detention should be only a last measure.

      A spokesperson for the U.S. Embassy in Kosovo agreed to respond to K2.0’s questions on the issue only after specifically designated “U.S.-affiliated” evacuees arrived on September 13.

      The embassy spokesperson said that “to ensure the health and safety of both Afghan guests and Kosovan hosts, the Government of Kosovo has stated that Afghans being temporarily hosted at Camp Liya must remain within the boundaries of the facility while U.S. interagency teams work to complete processing for their eventual admission to the United States or resettlement in a third country.”

      The spokesperson also said that U.S. law enforcement members arrived in Kosovo to screen and vet all U.S.-affiliated Afghan “travelers” before they are allowed into the United States.

      According to the embassy spokesperson, who referred to the Afghans as travelers, all Afghans currently hosted at Camp Liya have already transited through other third countries since leaving Afghanistan, where they received initial biometric and medical screenings.

      Who’s in charge?

      Human rights experts are having difficulty accessing knowledge about the condition of Afghan evacuees in Kosovo.

      Jelena Sesar, Amnesty International’s researcher for the Balkans and the EU, said that the lack of information about the status of the facilities or the management of the camps makes it hard to monitor any potential human rights violations.

      “Under normal circumstances, the temporary protection status would guarantee people full freedom of movement on the territory of Kosovo, food, clothes, access to health and education, and a range of other support services,” said Sesar. “This does not seem to be the case here. Afghan nationals in Bechtel-Enka and Bondsteel are not allowed to go out and media and humanitarian organizations do not seem to have access to the camps.”

      While the government of Kosovo created the legal framework for temporary protection, the outsized role of NATO and the U.S. in the management of camps and processing of Afghans makes it unclear what role, if any, the government of Kosovo has in activities occurring within its own borders.

      “If these Afghan families are to remain in Kosovo until their Special Immigrant Visas are processed, which can take a very long time for some applicants, it is essential that Kosovo’s authorities assume full responsibility for the management of the camps and ensure that the protection needs of the people there are fully met, as required by law,” Sesar said.

      “This entails full freedom of movement and access to health, education and other support, as well as access to asylum procedures in Kosovo,” she said. “If the current approach doesn’t change, these people would be subjected to an indefinite confinement and a de-facto detention, which would be contrary to Kosovo’s and international law.”

      Unanswered questions

      In early September the Associated Press, citing an anonymous U.S. government source, reported that Kosovo has agreed to take in Afghans who fail to clear initial rounds of screening and host them for up to a year, raising questions about potential reasons behind restrictions on evacuees’ freedom of movement.

      The temporary protection provided by Kosovo has a limit of one year with the possibility of extension, according to the Law on Asylum.

      The AP’s reporting shows the conditions established at other transit sites like in Germany or Italy, where the authorities are given a two week deadline to complete the verification and processing of evacuees.

      According to the government source the AP spoke to, transferring Afghans to Kosovo who do not pass the initial screening is a response to potential gaps in security that may have occurred during the chaotic evacuation from Afghanistan.

      There is a rising use of transit countries in the asylum process. Countries like the United Kingdom and Denmark proposed legislation to send asylum seekers to third countries while their applications are processed, something that human rights advocates and international organizations like the United Nations have criticized.

      The evacuations out of the Kabul airport were chaotic and deadly, leaving the world with terrible images, such as the footage of bodies plummeting from the sky after people attempted to cling to the exterior of a U.S. military plane. In the chaos of the last days of the evacuation, two suicide bombers and gunmen at the airport led to the deaths of 60 Afghans and 13 U.S. troops.

      The people who made it onto the planes in the midst of this chaos are considered the lucky ones. But many of those who were evacuated were already in the process of migrating to the U.S.

      The Afghan evacuees awaiting entry into the U.S. and other affiliated countries are largely people who had already started the Special Immigrant Visa process as well as applicants for a special U.S. refugee program. They are former contractors who worked with international governments as well as in vulnerable professions such as journalists, as well as these peoples’ families.

      Neither NATO nor the government of Kosovo have responded to K2.0’s questions submitted about the AP’s report.

      The U.S. Embassy in Kosovo published a statement saying that such reports may leave people with the “incorrect impression” that the U.S. is sending to Kosovo individuals they deem inadmissible. The statement insists, “this is not the case,” and says that American officials in Kosovo are assisting in the processing of applicants who may require additional paperwork in order to clarify “an applicant’s identity, employment history or other ties to the United States.”

      “Afghan travelers being temporarily hosted at Camp Liya are in the process of having their paperwork and eligibilities confirmed for eventual admission to the United States or resettlement to a third country,” a U.S. embassy spokesperson told K2.0. “None have been deemed inadmissible to the United States because their cases are still being processed.”

      On the matter of how long the process may take, the spokesperson said that “under the agreement with the Government of Kosovo, U.S.-affiliated Afghan travelers may shelter at Camp Liya for up to a year while their cases are being processed for eventual admission to the United States or resettlement in a third country. However, individuals may be approved for travel to the United States sooner, as soon as their processing is complete.”

      On September 10, the minister of Internal Affairs met with representatives of international organizations who could provide assistance, but the UN High Commissioner for Refugees and the International Organization for Migration have not yet received a formal request to assist in the operation.

      The IOM and UNHCR in Kosovo could only tell K2.0 that they are monitoring the situation closely. Sources from these organizations said that they have little information about the Afghan evacuees and remain on standby awaiting a request for assistance from the government.

      According to Amnesty International’s Sesar, “the inaccessibility of the camps to independent and public scrutiny raises concerns about the conditions in these facilities as well as the commitment to genuinely assist Afghans who had to flee their country.”

      The situation is no clearer for Jeff Crisp, international migration expert from the Refugee Studies Centre at Oxford University. “The rapid evacuation from Kabul has certainly left many questions unanswered,” said Crisp via email to K2.0, who offered a number of questions that can be used to hold institutions accountable.

      “How were decisions made with respect to the temporary locations to which they have been sent? What will happen to any refugees who are ‘screened out’ by the U.S., is there a risk that they could become stateless, or be sent back to Afghanistan?”

      Millions displaced

      The long war in Afghanistan has displaced an enormous number of people. It is estimated by UNHCR that only in the first half of 2021 more than half a million people were newly displaced in Afghanistan, while 3 million were displaced in 2020.

      Afghans have often taken the long refugee journey far into Europe, across the Balkans. Despite not being a key country on the Balkan refugee route, Kosovo registered 31 Afghan asylum seekers in the first half of 2021, while many others pass through unnoticed and uncounted, continuing their journey to seek asylum further on in other European countries.

      After the U.S. exit from Afghanistan and the Taliban takeover, the Council of Europe Human Rights Commissioner Dunja Mijatovic published an advisory, asking members and cooperative third countries to stop any forced returns for Afghans who saw their asylum requests rejected and had not yet been deported, and asked states to offer asylum to Afghans forced to flee and to cooperate in protecting their rights.

      https://kosovotwopointzero.com/en/afghan-evacuees-in-kosovo-de-facto-detained


    • https://twitter.com/CdBalkans/status/1444193687144120322

      Kosovo : #camps_fermés pour les Afghans évacués

      Le 16 août dernier, alors que Kaboul venait de tomber entre les mains des Talibans, le Kosovo a accepté d’accueillir sur son sol 2000 Afghans nécessitant d’être évacués. Aujourd’hui, personne ne sait combien sont réellement arrivés. Selon les informations disponibles, environ un millier seraient aujourd’hui hébergés au Kosovo.

      Les autorités de Pristina se sont engagées à leur offrir une « protection temporaire », différente du statut de réfugié, mais censée leur donner un accès à la scolarisation et aux soins, et leur garantir la liberté de mouvement. Or, il semble qu’aucun de ces droits ne soit respecté. Les informations restent confidentielles et les journalistes ne sont pas autorisés à visiter les deux camps d’accueil, l’un se trouvant sur un site appartenant au conglomérat turco-américain Bechtel-Enka, l’autre dans la controversée base américaine de Bondsteel. Les travailleurs humanitaires n’ont pas de permis pour opérer auprès de ces Afghans et ni le Haut Commissariat des Nations unies pour les réfugiés (UNHCR), ni l’Organisation internationale pour les migrations (OIM) ne sont impliqués dans la gestion de leur situation.

      Pour justifier un tel isolement, le gouvernement d’Albin Kurti met en avant des questions de « sécurité nationale » et souligne que la liberté de mouvement des personnes bénéficiant de la protection temporaire peut être restreinte si nécessaire. Le ministre de l’Intérieur Xhelal Sveçla a tenu une conférence de presse, mais s’est montré avare en détails. C’est tout juste s’il a reconnu que les déplacements à l’extérieur des camps ne seraient organisés qu’en cas d’extrême nécessité. Un processus de vérification, des identités notamment, a été mis en place pour des questions de sécurité nationale, a-t-il indiqué.

      Le Kosovo n’est « qu’un pays de transit » pour ces Afghans avant qu’ils ne soient accueillis dans un pays tiers, insistent les autorités. « Le camp Bechtel est un hébergement temporaire jusqu’à ce que soient identifiées des options de réinstallation ultérieures », a confirmé le porte-parole de l’Otan, Jason Salata. Le 16 septembre, 117 Afghans ayant travaillé pour l’Otan ont ainsi pris la route du Royaume-Uni.

      Du côté de l’Ambassade des États-Unis, on explique que des policiers sont arrivés au Kosovo pour des opérations de contrôle des Afghans évacués afin de s’assurer qu’ils offrent toutes les garanties pour obtenir l’autorisation d’entrer sur le territoire américain.

      « Si l’approche actuelle ne change pas, ces personnes seraient soumises à un confinement indéfini et à une détention de facto, ce qui serait contraire au droit du Kosovo et au droit international », souligne Jelena Sesar, analyste à Amnesty International, interrogée par Kosovo 2.0. La protection temporaire fournie par le Kosovo est limitée à un an, avec possibilité de prolongation, conformément à la loi sur l’asile. Une durée particulièrement longue comparée à d’autres pays de transit, comme l’Allemagne ou l’Italie, où les autorités ne disposent que d’un délai de quinze jours pour opérer les vérifications nécessaires. Rappelons que la plupart des Afghans évacués aujourd’hui en transit avaient déjà entamé la procédure d’obtention de visas spéciaux en tant qu’anciens contractants pour des gouvernements étrangers ou des organisations internationales.

      « L’inaccessibilité des camps à un examen indépendant et public soulève des inquiétudes quant aux conditions de vie dans ces installations, de même qu’à l’engagement à aider véritablement les Afghans qui ont dû fuir leur pays », déplore Jelena Sesar.
      Dans des hôtels au bord de l’Adriatique

      Lorsque les premiers vols transportant des réfugiés afghans sont arrivés en Albanie, à la mi-août, le Premier ministre albanais avait été catégorique : aucun ne serait placé dans un camp de réfugiés, des installations qualifiées de « déshumanisantes » par Edi Rama. Sur Twitter, il avait alors publié deux images accolées, l’une montrant des centaines d’Afghans entassés dans un avion militaire américain à l’aéroport de Kaboul, l’autre des milliers d’Albanais prenant d’assaut un cargo, en 1991, après la chute du régime communiste.

      Très critiqué pour sa dérive autoritaire, Edi Rama a ici trouvé un moyen de se racheter une bonne image auprès des Occidentaux. À bon compte : personne ne sait combien Tirana a reçu d’aide de la part des États-Unis pour prendre en charge ces réfugiés. « Nous devons nous préparer aussi à ce que le financement des organisations américaines prenne fin », s’est contenté de dire le Premier ministre albanais, interrogé par Le Monde.

      Aujourd’hui, 700 Afghans sont hébergés dans des hôtels de la côte adriatique, surtout au nord de Tirana, entre Lezhe et Shëngjin. Des colis de bienvenue contenant des produits de première nécessité ont été préparés pour les nouveaux arrivants, des équipes de travailleurs humanitaires offrant une aide médicale et psychologique étaient sur place et, très vite, certains journalistes autorisés ont pu constater que les réfugiés étaient libres de se mêler aux clients habituels sur les plages et au bord des piscines des hôtels.

      Les Afghans vivant en Albanie ont obtenu le statut de « protection temporaire » pour un an, avec la possibilité d’une prolongation si nécessaire. Si leurs droits, notamment la liberté de mouvement, sont garantis par la loi albanaise sur l’asile, les autorités se sont toutefois réservé le droit de restreindre la liberté de mouvement de certaines personnes « si cela est jugé nécessaire, sur la base de l’évaluation individuelle de chaque cas ».

      Cet accueil n’est pas une première pour l’Albanie : depuis 2014, déjà à la demande de Washington, le pays accueille 3000 moudjahidines du peuple iranien, arrivés après le retrait des forces américaines d’Irak, où ces opposants radicaux au régime de Téhéran avaient été regroupés, ainsi que cinq Ouïgours sortis de Guantanamo en 2006.

      En Macédoine du Nord, les 200 Afghans arrivés à Skopje ont été logés dans plusieurs hôtels réquisitionnés autour de la capitale et un jeune homme homosexuel a même reçu l’autorisation d’être accueilli dans un refuge destiné aux personnes LGBT+. Si les médias ne peuvent pas accéder à ces sites, les ONG de défense des droits humains qui s’y sont rendues assurent qu’aucun signe de violations de leurs libertés individuelles n’est à déplorer.

      « Jusqu’à présent, nous n’avons pas reçu de plaintes suggérant que les droits de l’homme des réfugiés sont menacés », raconté à Balkan Insight Uranija Pirovska, la responsable du Comité Helsinki pour les droits de l’homme de Macédoine du Nord. « Nous avons pu visiter l’hôtel Bellevue [près de Skopje] et nous allons continuer à surveiller leur statut pendant leur séjour ici. » La présence policière est visible autour des centres d’accueil, mais la liberté de mouvement des Afghans n’est pas restreinte.

      https://www.courrierdesbalkans.fr/Afghans-evacues-en-camps-fermes-au-Kosovo-a-l-hotel-en-Albanie-et

      #hôtels

  • UK to block #visas for countries refusing to take back asylum seekers

    Bill would give home secretary power to take action against citizens of countries deemed not to be cooperating.

    The UK will block visas for visitors from countries the home secretary believes are refusing to cooperate in taking back rejected asylum seekers or offenders.

    In proposed legislation published on Tuesday, #Priti_Patel and future home secretaries would have the power to suspend or delay the processing of applications from countries that do no “cooperate with the UK government in relation to the removal from the United Kingdom of nationals of that country who require leave to enter or remain in the United Kingdom but do not have it”.

    The clause in the nationality and borders bill also allows for the home secretary to impose additional financial requirements for visa applications – that is, an increase in fees – if countries do not cooperate.

    The proposals mirror US legislation that allows officials to withdraw visa routes from countries that refuse to take back undocumented migrants. It is understood that countries such as Iraq, Iran, Eritrea and Sudan are reluctant to cooperate with the UK on such matters.

    The change is one of many in the bill, described as “the biggest overhaul of the UK’s asylum system in decades” by Patel, which includes measures such as:

    - Asylum seekers deemed to have arrived in the UK illegally will no longer have the same entitlements as those who arrive in the country via legal routes. Even if their claim is successful, they will be granted temporary refugee status and face the prospect of being indefinitely liable for removal.

    - Asylum seekers will be able to be removed from the UK while their asylum claim or appeal is pending, which opens the door to offshore asylum processing.

    - For those deemed to have arrived illegally, access to benefits and family reunion rights could be limited.

    – The appeals and judicial process will be changed to speed up the removal of those whose claims are refused.

    - The home secretary will be able to offer protection to vulnerable people in “immediate danger and at risk in their home country” in exceptional circumstances. It is thought this will be used to help a small number of people.

    – The system will be made “much harder for people to be granted refugee status based on unsubstantiated claims” and will include “rigorous age assessments” to stop adults pretending to be children. The government is considering the use of bone scanners to determine age.

    - Life sentences will be brought in as a maximum penalty for people-smugglers.

    - Foreign criminals who breach deportation orders and return to the UK could be jailed for up to five years instead of the current six months.

    – A new one-stop legal process is proposed so that asylum, human rights claims and any other protection matters are made and considered together before appeal hearings.

    Campaigners have dubbed the proposed legislation the “anti-refugee bill”, claiming it will penalise those who need help the most.

    Analysis of Home Office data by the Refugee Council suggests 9,000 people who would be accepted as refugees under current rules – those confirmed to have fled war or persecution following official checks – may no longer be given safety in the UK due to their means of arrival under the changes.

    The charity’s chief executive, Enver Solomon, said that for decades people had taken “extraordinary measures to flee oppression”, but had gone on to become “law-abiding citizens playing by the rules and paying their taxes as proud Britons”.

    Steve Valdez-Symonds, refugee and migrants rights programme director at Amnesty International UK, branded the bill “legislative vandalism”, claimed it could “fatally undermine the right to asylum” and accused Patel of a “shameful dereliction of duty”, adding: “This reckless and deeply unjust bill is set to bring shame on Britain’s international reputation.”

    Sonya Sceats, chief executive of Freedom from Torture, described the plans as “dripping with cruelty” and an “affront to the caring people in this country who want a kinder, fairer approach to refugees”.

    More than 250 organisations – including the Refugee Council, the British Red Cross, Freedom from Torture, Refugee Action and Asylum Matters – have joined to form the coalition Together with Refugees to call for a more effective, fair and humane approach to asylum in the UK.

    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2021/jul/06/uk-to-block-visas-from-countries-refusing-to-take-back-undocumented-mig

    #asile #migrations #réfugiés #chantage #visas #UK #Angleterre

    La loi comprend aussi une disposition concernant l’#externalisation des #procédures_d'asile :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/918427

    Une des dispositions rappelle la loi de l’#excision_territoriale (#Australie) :

    Asylum seekers deemed to have arrived in the UK illegally will no longer have the same entitlements as those who arrive in the country via legal routes. Even if their claim is successful, they will be granted temporary refugee status and face the prospect of being indefinitely liable for removal.

    voir :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/901628#message901630
    https://seenthis.net/messages/416996
    #modèle_australien

    #offshore_asylum_processing
    #Irak #Iran #Erythrée #Sudan #réfugiés_irakiens #réfugiés_iraniens #réfugiés_soudanais #réfugiés_érythréens #réfugiés_soudanais #regroupement_familial #aide_sociale #procédure_d'asile #recours #mineurs #âge #tests_osseux #criminels_étrangers #rétention #détention_administrative #anti-refugee_bill

    ping @isskein @karine4

  • Danish lawmakers approve plan to locate asylum center abroad

    Danish lawmakers voted Thursday in favor of Denmark establishing a refugee reception center in a third country that is likely to be in Africa, a move that could be a first step toward moving the country’s asylum screening process outside of Europe.

    Legislation approved on a 70-24 vote with no abstentions and 85 lawmakers absent authorizes the Danish government to, when a deal in in place, transfer asylum-seekers “to the third country in question for the purpose of substantive processing of asylum applications and any subsequent protection in compliance with Denmark’s international obligations.”

    The United Nations high commissioner for refugees, the European Union and and several international organizations have criticized the plan, saying it would undermine international cooperation and lacks details on how human rights would be protected.

    Immigration Minister Mattias Tesfaye has said the Danish government needed a legal framework for a new asylum system before details could be presented. The center-right opposition has been backing the Social Democratic minority government and voted in favor of the law approved Thursday.

    “This is insane, this is absurd,” Michala C. Bendixen, a spokesperson for advocacy and legal aid organization Refugees Welcome, told The Associated Press. “What it’s all about is that Denmark wants to get rid of refugees. The plan is to scare people away from seeking asylum in Denmark.”

    The European Union’s executive commission expressed concern about the vote and its implications, saying that any move to outsource asylum claims is not compatible with the laws of the 27-nation bloc. Denmark is an EU member.

    “External processing of asylum claims raises fundamental questions about both the access to asylum procedures and effective access to protection. It is not possible under existing EU rules,” European Commission spokesperson Adalbert Jahnz said.

    He said such an approach was not part of the commission’s proposals for reforming the EU’s asylum system, which was overwhelmed by the arrival into Europe of more than 1 million people in 2015, many of them from Syria.

    The Social Democrats have for a few years floated the idea of basing a refugee refugee center abroad. In January, Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen reiterated an election campaign vision of having “zero asylum-seekers.”

    The Social Democrats argue their approach would prevent people from attempting the dangerous journey across the Mediterranean Sea to reach Europe and undermine migrant traffickers who exploit desperate asylum-seekers. Since 2014, more than 20,000 migrants and refugees have died while trying to cross the sea.

    When people realize they will be sent out of Europe, “they will stop going to Denmark, and that will mean that they will stop putting themselves in a dangerous situation on the Mediterranean Sea and they will stop wasting a lot of money paying like they pay to these smugglers,” Rasmus Stoklund, a Social Democratic lawmaker and member of Parliament’s Immigration and Integration Committee, told The Associated Press.

    Bendixen of Refugees Welcome said the government’s argument is “nonsense” because asylum-seekers still would have to get to Denmark. Under the government’s plan, they would not be able to apply directly at a reception center outside the country since that only can be done at a Danish border. Instead, those who reach Denmark would be sent to a third country while their applications are processed.

    In April, the Danish government said it had signed a memorandum of understanding with Rwanda. The government has kept a low profile with the memorandum, which is not legally binding and sets the framework for future negotiations and cooperation between the two countries.

    Danish daily newspaper Jyllands-Posten reported that Denmark also has been in dialogue with Tunisia, Ethiopia and Egypt.

    Tesfaye has promised lawmakers that any agreement with another country will be presented to parliament before the government can “adopt a model or send someone to a reception center,” legislator Mads Fuglede of the opposition Liberal Party told Jyllands-Posten.

    The immigration stance of the Social Democratic government resembles the positions that right-wing nationalists took when mass migration to Europe peaked in 2015. Denmark recently made headlines for declaring parts of Syria “safe” and revoking the residency permits of some Syrian refugees.

    In 2016, the Social Democrats supported a law that allowed Danish authorities to seize jewelry and other assets from refugees to help finance their housing and other services. Human rights groups denounced the law, proposed by the center-right government leading Denmark at the time, though in practice it has been implemented only a handful of times.

    The Social Democrats also voted to put rejected asylum-seekers and foreigners convicted of crimes on a tiny island that formerly housed facilities for researching contagious animal diseases. That plan was eventually dropped.

    https://apnews.com/article/united-nations-africa-europe-migration-government-and-politics-a199bb4b99906

    #Danemark #asile #migrations #réfugiés #Afrique
    #offshore_asylum_processing
    –—
    voir métaliste sur l’#externalisation de la #procédure_d'asile dans des #pays_tiers :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/900122

    ping @isskein @karine4 @rhoumour @_kg_

    • #Priti_Patel ’opens talks with Denmark to open new centre in AFRICA to process asylum seekers who want to come to UK’

      - Priti Patel is working on legislation which could see migrants processed offshore
      - UK is in talks with Denmark to open immigration processing centre in #Rwanda
      - Plans form part of effort by the Home Office to curb soaring migrant numbers
      - In total, more than 5,300 asylum seekers have arrived in the UK so far this year

      The Home Secretary is working on laws which could see migrants sent to an offshore immigration centre, a report has revealed.

      The legislation would allow the country to build a processing centre of this kind for the first time as the total number of migrants arriving in the UK this year has reached 5,300.

      Priti Patel is in discussions with Denmark to share an immigration centre in Africa and is also set to unveil plans to crackdown on people smugglers.

      According to the Times, the plans will form part of the Nationality and Borders Bill and will see asylum seekers processed outside the UK in a bid to stop migrants making the dangerous journey across the English Channel.

      Denmark is said to be considering a site in Rwanda where two Danish ministers visited last month to sign off a memorandum on asylum and migration, according to the newspaper.

      A government source told The Times: ’The prime minister and home secretary are determined to look at anything that will make a difference on Channel crossings.’

      The Home Office has also studied the Australian system which bans the arrival of migrants travelling by sea and sends them to offshore immigration centres in neighbouring countries such as Papa New Guineau.

      Boris Johnson is reportedly unhappy with the growing number of Channel crossings facilitated by people-smugglers, and allegedly blasted Miss Patel for her mismanagement.

      Miss Patel is bringing forward new laws to try to crackdown on the journeys but ministers are apparently frustrated that Border Force officials are failing to enforce the existing rules.

      In total 5,300 asylum seekers have arrived in the UK this year so far despite Priti Patel’s announcement of an immigration crackdown in March.

      It also follows an agreement with the French authorities to crack down and effectively stop migrant crossings by last spring.

      Just last month, more than 1,600 arrived across the Channel - double last year’s total for May - and 500 were brought in over the final four days of last month alone.

      At present, most of the migrants who arrive in Kent are initially housed at a former army barracks in Folkestone which was set on fire in a riot over conditions in January amid a coronavirus outbreak.

      Asylum seekers are free to come and go from the camp, and adults have an initial interview before being sent to accommodation centres across Britain, paid for by UK taxpayers and provided by private contractors.

      The migrants are given £37.75 per week for essentials like food, clothes and toiletries while they wait for a decision on their asylum application. Kent County Council normally takes unaccompanied children into its care.

      Mrs Patel has vowed to make illegal immigration across the Channel ’unviable’ - but numbers are continuing to soar, and Dover’s Conservative MP Natalie Elphicke has called for ’urgent action’ to stop the crossings.

      Earlier this month, Denmark ratcheted up its tough anti-immigration laws by adopting new legislation enabling it to open asylum centres outside Europe where applicants would be sent to live.

      The latest move by Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen’s Social Democratic anti-immigration government is aimed at deterring migrants from coming to Denmark at all.

      Asylum seekers would now have to submit an application in person at the Danish border and then be flown to an asylum centre outside Europe while their application is being processed.

      If the application is approved and the person is granted refugee status, he or she would be given the right to live in the host country, but not in Denmark.

      The bill sailed through parliament, supported by a majority including the far-right, despite opposition from some left-wing parties.

      The European Commission said the Danish plan violates existing EU asylum rules.

      https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9731203/Priti-Patel-opens-talks-open-new-centre-AFRICA-process-asylum-seekers.h
      #UK #Angleterre

    • Home Office proposals due on sending asylum seekers abroad

      Legislation expected next week that could open way to moving asylum seekers offshore while claims pending

      The home secretary, Priti Patel, will publish proposed legislation next week that will open the door to sending asylum seekers overseas as they await the outcome of their application for protection in the UK.

      Ministers published the New Plan for Immigration in March, which included proposals to amend sections 77 and 78 of the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002 so that it would be possible to move asylum seekers from the UK while their asylum claim or an appeal is pending.

      Home Office sources confirmed that the legislation was expected to be published next week, but sought to play down reports that the government was in talks with Denmark over sharing a centre in Africa.

      “We’re not opening talks with Denmark over the sharing of a centre,” a source told the Guardian. “Governments talk to other governments who are pursuing similar policy aims to see how they are getting on. It’s not a regular dialogue, it was a slightly long phone call [with the Danish government] to see what they were doing. We’ve both got a similar issue and believe a similar policy solution is one of the answers. But it’s a bit premature.”

      The Danish parliament voted on 3 June in favour of a proposal to process asylum seekers outside Europe, potentially the first step in setting up a refugee screening centre in a third country, most likely in Africa.

      No deals with third countries have yet been signed, however, and no negotiations are under way, although the Danish government has agreed a memorandum of understanding with Rwanda setting a framework for future talks, and is reportedly in contact with Tunisia, Ethiopia and Egypt.

      The plan, backed by 70 MPs, with 24 voting against, drew strong criticism from human rights groups, the UN and the European Commission, which said it would undermine international cooperation and lacked guarantees on human rights protection.

      The suggestion that the UK is seeking to emulate Denmark’s offshoring policy is the latest in a long line of reports on asylum proposals the Home Office is said to be considering. Ascension Island, disused ferries and abandoned oil rigs have all been mooted in leaked reports as potential destinations for people seeking asylum in the UK.

      Rossella Pagliuchi-Lor, the UN refugee agency’s representative to the UK, said the agency had no information on reports of a collaboration between Denmark and the UK but added she was “extremely concerned” and urged the UK to “refrain from externalising its asylum obligations”.

      “These cannot be outsourced or transferred without effective safeguards in place, both in law and practice,” she said. “As we have seen in several contexts, externalisation often results in the forced transfers of people to other countries with inadequate protection safeguards and resources, and therefore risks a breach of international refugee and human rights obligations.”

      https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2021/jun/28/home-office-proposals-due-on-sending-asylum-seekers-abroad

  • Swiss Life va payer 77 millions pour régler un litige aux Etats-Unis

    L’assureur-vie Swiss Life a conclu un accord avec les autorités américaines dans le cadre d’une affaire d’aide à l’évasion fiscale et va payer 77,3 millions de dollars au Trésor américain pour clore ce dossier.

    La justice américaine a estimé que plusieurs filiales de Swiss Life s’étaient rendu coupables d’avoir aidé des contribuables outre-Atlantique à dissimuler plus de 1,5 milliard de dollars (1,4 milliard de francs) d’assurances-vie au fisc des Etats-Unis (Internal Revenue Service, IRS), selon un communiqué publié vendredi. Les faits reprochés remontent à la période de 2005 à 2014.

    Quelque 1600 manteaux d’assurance ("wrapper") sont également concernés. Il s’agit de produits d’assurance par lesquels un assureur détient un dépôt auprès d’une banque dans le but de conserver les valeurs mobilières d’un client dans le cadre d’un contrat d’assurance-vie.

    Les entités concernées sont Swiss Life Holding AG, Swiss Life (Liechtenstein) AG, Swiss Life (Singapore) Pte Ltd et Swiss Life (Luxembourg).

    Une « opportunité »
    « Comme ils l’ont admis, Swiss Life et ses filiales ont cherché et proposé leurs services aux contribuables américains pour les aider à échapper au fisc des Etats-Unis », a précisé Audrey Strauss, procureure du district sud de New York.

    Selon cette dernière, l’assureur a perçu les efforts de lutte contre l’évasion fiscale comme une « opportunité » pour se présenter comme une « alternative aux banques suisses », elles-mêmes dans le collimateur de la justice américaine. Les établissements helvétiques ont payé ces dernières années de lourdes amendes pour solder les dossiers d’aide à l’évasion fiscale.

    Le procureur adjoint Stuart Goldberg a souligné que le groupe zurichois « est tenu pénalement responsable pour avoir créé et vendu des produits d’assurance spécialement destinés aux fraudeurs fiscaux américains cherchant de nouvelles opportunités pour cacher leurs actifs offshore ».

    Swiss Life va coopérer
    Outre l’amende, Swiss Life s’est engagé à coopérer avec les autorités américaines pour identifier les fraudeurs.

    Les juges américains ont néanmoins pris en compte que Swiss Life avait coopéré avec les autorités en fournissant notamment des données de sa clientèle et en menant une « solide enquête interne ».

    Swiss Life a précisé dans un communiqué que l’accord avec le Département de la justice américain (DOJ) prenait la forme d’un « Deferred Prosecution Agreement » (DPA), un accord de poursuites différées, sur trois ans. Dans le cadre d’un tel accord, l’accusé accepte de remplir les conditions exigées par l’accusation. Cette dernière abandonne les poursuites, si l’accusé s’est plié aux demandes au terme de la période donnée. Si par contre l’accusé contrevient aux dispositions, l’accusation relance les poursuites judiciaires.

    Source : https://www.rts.ch/info/economie/12199105-swiss-life-va-payer-77-millions-pour-regler-un-litige-aux-etatsunis.htm

    #optimisation_fiscale #domination_finaciére #Suisse #luxembourg #Liechtenstein #Singapour #usa #paradis_fiscaux #paradis_fiscal #évasion_fiscale #économie #fiscalité #economie #Swiss_Life #assurance_vie #offshore

  • #Birmanie : comment #Total finance les généraux à travers des comptes #offshore
    https://www.lemonde.fr/international/article/2021/05/04/birmanie-comment-total-finance-les-generaux-a-travers-des-comptes-offshore_6

    [...] le PDG de Total, Patrick Pouyanné [...] affirme simplement s’acquitter de ses obligations auprès de l’Etat birman.

    Des documents internes, auxquels Le Monde a eu accès, racontent une autre version de l’histoire. Ils mettent en lumière le montage financier autour du gazoduc sous-marin de 346 km qui relie le gisement de Yadana à la Thaïlande. Ce tuyau ne se contente pas de transporter du gaz : il est le cœur d’un système où des centaines de millions de dollars provenant des ventes du gaz sont détournées des caisses de l’Etat birman vers la Myanmar Oil and Gas Enterprise (MOGE), une entreprise publique à la gestion opaque, contrôlée par les #militaires.

    #paywall

  • #Entreprises_offshores : le transfert ponctuel de personnel, une alternative à l’expatriation

    Dans le contexte de #délocalisation, les difficultés de #transfert_de_connaissances proviennent non seulement de la #distance géographique et des problèmes de #communication, mais aussi de ceux reliés à la #culture et aux différences de #fuseaux_horaires qui rendent plus difficiles l’interaction des équipes onshores et offshores.

    Il existe de nombreuses façons différentes de gérer et de transférer les connaissances d’une organisation à une autre. Cependant, même avec de bons programmes de formation, des employés hautement qualifiés et expérimentés, les entreprises doivent développer des processus appropriés afin de transférer les connaissances entre les membres des deux partis.

    C’est pourquoi les entreprises comptent sur le transfert physique de #personnel, consistant soit à envoyer un expatrié vers son #centre_offshore, soit à envoyer du personnel offshore vers le siège.

    Dans ce contexte, nous avons exploré, dans une étude à paraître, comment une grande entreprise du secteur financier transférait ses connaissances, à travers le transfert physique de personnel. Nous avons mené une étude de cas approfondie d’une entreprise basée en Belgique, et ayant une implantation offshore en Pologne. Au total, 51 entretiens ont été menés sur les deux sites.

    Dès l’arrivée des nouveaux employés recrutés au sein du centre offshore, ceux-ci sont immédiatement envoyés au siège en Belgique. Ils y suivent un programme de formation intensif leur permettant d’acquérir toutes les connaissances nécessaires afin d’exécuter leurs tâches correctement une fois retournés dans le centre offshore en Pologne.

    « Sous un angle différent »

    Outre le transfert de connaissances sur le poste, le transfert de personnel vers le siège a également aidé ces derniers à développer des relations de travail plus étroites avec les employés du siège. Ce transfert de connaissances relationnelles donne une approche en termes de mentalité : comment faire les choses, comment collaborer, communiquer avec vos collègues en Belgique ?

    Comme en témoigne un employé dans notre étude :

    « Désormais, si les employés offshores ont une question, ils appelleront immédiatement quelqu’un en Belgique. Le comportement est différent, car maintenant ils connaissent personnellement les collègues belges. Ils savent aussi qui sait quoi en Belgique ».

    De plus, le fait de passer du temps avec les employés offshores au siège a aidé le personnel en Belgique à comprendre les habitudes et les valeurs de leurs homologues polonais. Un interviewé en témoigne :

    « La culture, les coutumes polonaises, la façon de travailler en Pologne… Je sensibilise mes collègues belges sur ces caractéristiques de façon plus directe ».

    Encore plus pertinent, les personnes interviewées pour cette étude ont également partagé avec nous le fait que :

    « Les employés offshore nous font réaliser des choses. […] Ils sont nouveaux, ils regardent les choses sous un angle différent. Nous (le personnel du siège) faisons les choses comme nous l’avons toujours fait ici en Belgique. […] Après un certain temps, ils (les employés offshores) sont encouragés à générer des idées sur la manière dont le processus peut être amélioré ou à proposer de nouvelles méthodes de travail ».

    Ce programme de transfert des employés offshores vers le siège a donc fortement encouragé les transferts de connaissances dans les deux sens, entre le siège et son centre offshore.

    Processus dynamique

    À la suite du programme, l’entreprise a lancé un autre programme de transfert physique de personnel au cours duquel un certain nombre d’employés du siège ont passé trois mois dans le centre offshore en Pologne en tant qu’expatriés à court terme, juste après le séjour de plusieurs mois des employés offshores au siège.

    Ces « #expatriés_à_court_terme » ont pu expliquer une fois de plus ce qui n’était pas entièrement compris par les employés offshores à leur retour en Pologne :

    « Nous (les expatriés) questionnons les employés offshores chaque jour. Face à un problème, je peux par exemple demander “peux-tu m’expliquer pourquoi tu fais comme ça”. Certains vont me répondre “parce qu’on m’a dit de le faire”. Et plus vous les poussez, mieux vous définissez les causes profondes du problème qui, une fois identifiées, permettent d’envisager de nouvelles solutions. C’est vraiment notre rôle (de l’expatrié à court terme) ».

    Les données recueillies montrent également que les expatriés à court terme sont essentiels pour transférer les connaissances de la Pologne vers le siège. Un interviewé en témoigne :

    « Il est vrai qu’en Belgique, si les gens sont là depuis plus de 20 ans pour faire la même tâche, ils ne remettront pas en cause le processus, ou très rarement. Maintenant, nous avons des gens (employés offshores) qui parfois détectent des pistes d’amélioration des procédures. Un nouveau venu polonais peut parfaitement contribuer activement à changer les méthodes de travail ».

    Dans cette étude, nous avons souligné que différents types de connaissances nécessitaient différentes pratiques de transfert de connaissances, soutenues par des formes diverses de transfert de personnel, afin que les membres de l’équipe offshore acquièrent les connaissances requises.

    En résumé, les résultats de l’étude soulignent que la création, la distribution et le partage des connaissances étant un processus dynamique, il nécessite une interaction intensive et continue. Il ressort de nos travaux de recherche que les entreprises devraient envisager un large éventail de types de transfert de personnel pour faciliter le transfert de connaissances depuis et vers le siège.

    Nous montrons que le recours à des #missions_internationales_bidirectionnelles plus courtes, en plus de l’expatriation à long terme, n’est pas seulement un moyen de compenser les inconvénients bien connus de l’#expatriation à long terme (par exemple lié aux coûts de l’opération, et aux difficultés d’adaptation des expatriés à leur nouvel environnement), mais constitue aussi un moyen de faciliter le transfert de différents types de connaissances entre les deux parties, et à des moments différents. De plus, cette étude démontre que diverses formes de transfert de personnel sont utilisées de façon complémentaire pour transférer différents types de connaissances.

    https://theconversation.com/entreprises-offshores-le-transfert-ponctuel-de-personnel-une-altern

    #migrations #offshore

    –-

    Et un nouveau terme :
    #expatrié_à_court_terme qui font des #missions_internationales_bidirectionnelles...

    #mots #terminologie #vocabulaire

    –-> ajouté à la métaliste sur la terminologie de la migration :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/414225

  • Revealed: No 10 explores sending asylum seekers to Moldova, Morocco and Papua New Guinea | UK news | The Guardian
    https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2020/sep/30/revealed-no-10-explores-sending-asylum-seekers-to-moldova-morocco-and-p

    Downing Street has asked officials to consider the option of sending asylum seekers to Moldova, Morocco or Papua New Guinea and is the driving force behind proposals to hold refugees in offshore detention centres, according to documents seen by the Guardian.

    The documents suggest officials in the Foreign Office have been pushing back against No 10’s proposals to process asylum applications in detention facilities overseas, which have also included the suggestion the centres could be constructed on the south Atlantic islands of Ascension and St Helena.

    The documents, marked “official” and “sensitive” and produced earlier this month, summarise advice from officials at the Foreign Office, which was asked by Downing Street to “offer advice on possible options for negotiating an offshore asylum processing facility similar to the Australian model in Papua New Guinea and Nauru”.

    #migration #asile #déportation #externalisation #déterritorialisation

    • Downing Street has asked officials to consider the option of sending asylum seekers to Moldova, Morocco or Papua New Guinea and is the driving force behind proposals to hold refugees in offshore detention centres, according to documents seen by the Guardian.

      The documents suggest officials in the Foreign Office have been pushing back against No 10’s proposals to process asylum applications in detention facilities overseas, which have also included the suggestion the centres could be constructed on the south Atlantic islands of Ascension and St Helena.

      The documents, marked “official” and “sensitive” and produced earlier this month, summarise advice from officials at the Foreign Office, which was asked by Downing Street to “offer advice on possible options for negotiating an offshore asylum processing facility similar to the Australian model in Papua New Guinea and Nauru”.

      The Australian system of processing asylum seekers in on the Pacific Islands costs AY$13bn (£7.2bn) a year and has attracted criticism from human rights groups, the United Nations and even the UK government, according to the documents, which reveal British ministers have “privately” raised concerns with Australia over the abuse of detainees in its offshore detention facilities.

      The Financial Times reported on Wednesday that the home secretary, Priti Patel, asked officials to consider processing asylum seekers Ascension and St Helena, which are overseas British territories. Home Office sources were quick to distance Patel from the proposals and Downing Street has also played down Ascension and St Helena as destinations for asylum processing centres.

      However, the documents seen by the Guardian suggest the government has for weeks been working on “detailed plans” that include cost estimates of building asylum detention camps on the south Atlantic islands, as well as other proposals to build such facilities in Moldova, Morocco and Papua New Guinea.

      The documents suggest the UK’s proposals would go further than Australia’s hardline system, which is “based on migrants being intercepted outside Australian waters”, allowing Australia to claim no immigration obligations to individuals. The UK proposals, the documents state, would involve relocating asylum seekers who “have arrived in the UK and are firmly within the jurisdiction of the UK for the purposes of the ECHR and Human Rights Act 1998”.

      The documents suggest that the idea that Morocco, Moldova and Papua New Guinea might make suitable destinations for UK asylum processing centres comes directly from Downing Street, with documents saying the three countries were specifically “suggested” and “floated” by No 10. One document says the request for advice on third country options for detention facilities came from “the PM”.

      The Times reported that the government was also giving serious consideration to the idea of creating floating asylum centres in disused ferries moored off the UK coast.

      While composed in the restrained language of civil servants, the Foreign Office advice contained in the documents appears highly dismissive of the ideas emanating from Downing Street, pointing out numerous legal, practical and diplomatic obstacles to processing asylums seekers oversees. The documents state that:

      • Plans to process asylum seekers at offshore centres in Ascension or St Helena would be “extremely expensive and logistically complicated” given the remoteness of the islands. The estimated cost is £220m build cost per 1,000 beds and running costs of £200m. One document adds: “In relation to St Helena we will need to consider if we are willing to impose the plan if the local government object.”

      • The “significant” legal, diplomatic and practical obstacles to the plan include the existence of “sensitive military installations” on the island of Ascension. One document warns that the military issues mean the “will mean US government would need to be persuaded at the highest levels, and even then success cannot be guaranteed”.

      • It is “highly unlikely” that any north African state, including Morocco, would agree to hosting asylum seekers relocated to the UK. “No north African country, Morocco included, has a fully functioning asylum system,” one document states. “Morocco would not have the resources (or the inclination) to pay for a processing centre.”

      • Seeming to dismiss the idea of sending asylum seekers to Moldova, Foreign Office officials point out there is protracted conflict in the eastern European country over Transnistria as well as “endemic” corruption. They add: “If an asylum centre depended on reliable, transparent, credible cooperation from the host country justice system we would not be able to rely on this.”

      • Officials warned of “significant political and logistical obstacles” to sending asylum seekers to Papua New Guinea, pointing out it is more than 8,500 miles away, has a fragile public health system and is “one of the bottom few countries in the world in terms of medical personnel per head of population”. They also warn any such a move would “renew scrutiny of Australia’s own offshore processing”. One document adds: “Politically, we judge the chances of positive engagement with the government on this to be almost nil.”

      A Foreign Office source played down the idea that the department had objected to Downing Street’s offshoring proposals for asylum seekers, saying officials’ concerns were only about the practicality of the plan. “This was something which the Cabinet Office commissioned, which we responded to with full vigour, to show how things could work,” the source said.

      However, another Whitehall source familiar with the government plans said they were part of a push by Downing Street to “radically beef-up the hostile environment” in 2021 following the end of the Brexit transition. Former prime minister Theresa May’s “hostile environment” phrase, which became closely associated with the polices that led to the Windrush scandal, is no longer being used in government.

      But the source said that moves are afoot to find a slate of new policies that would achieve a similar end to “discourage” and “deter” migrants from entering the UK illegally.

      The documents seen by the Guardian also contain details of Home Office legal advice to Downing Street, which states that the policy would require legislative changes, including “disapplying sections 77 and 78 of the Nationality Immigration and Asylum Act 2002 so that asylum seekers can be removed from the UK while their claim or appeal is pending”.

      Another likely legislative change, according to the Home Office advice, would require “defining what we mean by a clandestine arrival (and potentially a late claim) and create powers allowing us to send them offshore for the purposes of determining their asylum claims”.

      One of the documents states that the option of building detention centres in foreign countries – rather than British overseas territories – is “not the favoured No 10 avenue, but they wish to explore [the option] in case it presents easier pathways to an offshore facility”.

      On Wednesday, asked about the FT’s report about the UK considering plans to ship asylum seekers to the south Atlantic for processing, Boris Johnson’s spokesperson confirmed the UK was considering Australian–style offshore processing centres.

      He said the UK had a “long and proud history” of accepting asylum seekers but needed to act, particularly given migrants making unofficial crossings from France in small boats.

      “We are developing plans to reform our illegal migration and asylum policies so we can keep providing protection to those who need it, while preventing abuse of the system and criminality. As part of this work we’ve been looking at what a whole host of other countries do to inform a plan for the United Kingdom. And that work is ongoing.”

      Asked for comment about the proposals regarding Moldova, Morocco and Papua New Guinea, Downing Street referred the Guardian to the spokesman’s earlier comments. The Foreign Office referred the Guardian to the Home Office. The Home Office said it had nothing to add to comments by the prime minister’s spokesman.

      #UK #Angleterre #Maroc #Papoue_Nouvelle_Guinée #Moldavie
      #offshore_detention_centres
      #procédure_d'asile #externalisation_de_la_procédure #modèle_australien

      #île_de_l'Ascension

      #île_Sainte-Hélène


      #Sainte-Hélène

      –---

      Les #floating_asylum_centres pensés par l’UK rappellent d’autres structures flottantes :
      https://seenthis.net/messages/879396

      –—

      Ajouté à la métaliste sur l’externalisation des frontières :
      https://seenthis.net/messages/731749

    • Ascension Island: Priti Patel considered outpost for UK asylum centre location

      The government has considered building an asylum processing centre on a remote UK territory in the Atlantic Ocean.

      The idea of “offshoring” people is being looked at but finding a suitable location would be key, a source said.

      Home Secretary Priti Patel asked officials to look at asylum policies which had been successful in other countries, the BBC has been told.

      The Financial Times says Ascension Island, more than 4,000 miles (6,000km) from the UK, was a suggested location.

      What happens to migrants who reach the UK?
      More migrants arrive in September than all of 2019
      Fleeing the Syrian war for Belfast

      The Foreign Office is understood to have carried out an assessment for Ascension - which included the practicalities of transferring migrants thousands of miles to the island - and decided not to proceed.

      However, a Home Office source said ministers were looking at “every option that can stop small boat crossings and fix the asylum system”.

      "The UK has a long and proud history of offering refuge to those who need protection. Tens of thousands of people have rebuilt their lives in the UK and we will continue to provide safe and legal routes in the future.

      “As ministers have said we are developing plans to reform policies and laws around illegal migration and asylum to ensure we are able to provide protection to those who need it, while preventing abuse of the system and the criminality associated with it.”

      No final decisions have been made.
      ’Logistical nightmare’

      Labour’s shadow home secretary Nick Thomas-Symonds said: “This ludicrous idea is inhumane, completely impractical and wildly expensive - so it seems entirely plausible this Tory government came up with it.”

      Alan Nicholls, a member of the Ascension Island council, said moving asylum seekers more than 4,000 miles to the British overseas territory would be a “logistical nightmare” and not well received by the islanders.

      He also told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that the presence of military bases on the island could make the concept “prohibitive” due to security concerns.

      Australia has controversially used offshore processing and detention centres for asylum seekers since the 1980s.

      A United Nations refugee agency representative to the UK, Rossella Pagliuchi-Lor, said the proposal would breach the UK’s obligations to asylum seekers and would “change what the UK is - its history and its values”.

      Speaking to the UK Parliament’s Home Affairs Select Committee, she said the Australian model had “brought about huge suffering for people, who are guilty of no more than seeking asylum, and it has also cost huge amounts of money”.

      The proposal comes amid record numbers of migrants making the journey across the English Channel to the UK in small boats this month, which Ms Patel has vowed to stop.

      Laura Trott, Conservative MP for Sevenoaks in Kent, said it was “absolutely right” that the government was looking at offshore asylum centres to “reduce the pressure” on Kent, which was “unable to take any more children into care”.

      In order to be eligible for asylum in the UK, applicants must prove they cannot return to their home country because they fear persecution due to their race, religion, nationality, political opinion, gender identity or sexual orientation.

      Asylum seekers cannot work while their claims are being processed, so the government offers them a daily allowance of just over £5 and accommodation, often in hostels or shared flats.

      Delays in processing UK asylum applications increased significantly last year with four out of five applicants in the last three months of 2019 waiting six months or more for their cases to be processed.

      That compared with three in four during the same period in 2018.

      –—

      Ascension Island key facts

      The volcanic island has no indigenous population, and the people that live there - fewer than 1,000 - are the employees and families of the organisations operating on the island
      The military airbase is jointly operated by the RAF and the US, and has been used as a staging post to supply and defend the Falkland Islands
      Its first human inhabitants arrived in 1815, when the Royal Navy set up camp to keep watch on Napoleon, who was imprisoned on the island of St Helena some 800 miles away
      It is home to a BBC transmitter - the BBC Atlantic Relay station - which sends shortwave radio to Africa and South America

      https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-54349796

    • UK considers sending asylum seekers abroad to be processed

      Reports suggest using #Gibraltar or the #Isle_of_Man or copying Australian model and paying third countries

      The Home Office is considering plans to send asylum seekers who arrive in the UK overseas to be processed, an idea modelled on a controversial Australian system, it is understood.

      Priti Patel, the home secretary, is expected to publish details next week of a scheme in which people who arrive in the UK via unofficial means, such as crossing the Channel in small boats, would be removed to a third country to have any claim dealt with.

      The government has pledged repeatedly to introduce measures to try to reduce the number of asylum seekers arriving across the Channel. Australia removes arrivals to overseas islands while their claims are processed.

      A Home Office source said: “Whilst people are dying making perilous journeys we would be irresponsible if we didn’t consider every avenue.”

      However, the source played down reports that destinations considered included Turkey, Gibraltar, the Isle of Man or other British islands, and that talks with some countries had begun, saying this was “all speculation”.

      Last year it emerged that meetings involving Patel had raised the possibility of asylum seekers being sent to Ascension Island, an isolated volcanic British territory in the south Atlantic, or St Helena, part of the same island group but 800 miles away.

      At the time, Home Office sources said the proposals came when Patel sought advice from the Foreign Office on how other countries deal with asylum applications, with Australia’s system given as an example.

      Labour described the Ascension Island idea as “inhumane, completely impractical and wildly expensive”.

      After the Brexit transition period finished at the end of 2020, the UK government no longer had the automatic right to transfer refugees and migrants to the EU country in which they arrived, part of the European asylum system known as the Dublin regulation.

      The UK government sought to replace this with a similar, post-Brexit version, but was rebuffed by the EU.

      With the government facing political pressure on migrant Channel crossings from some parts of the media, and from people like Nigel Farage, the former Ukip leader who frequently makes videos describing the boats as “an invasion”, Patel’s department has sought to respond.

      Last year, official documents seen by the Guardian showed that trials had taken place to test a blockade in the Channel similar to Australia’s controversial “turn back the boats” tactic.

      Reports at the time, denied by Downing Street, said that other methods considered to deter unofficial Channel crossings included a wave machine to push back the craft.

      https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2021/mar/18/asylum-seekers-could-be-sent-abroad-by-uk-to-be-processed

  • La galassia offshore dei trader ticinesi. Il caso Duferco

    La catena societaria del gruppo Duferco, la più importante azienda di commercio di materie prime di Lugano di Federico Franchini

    È considerato il più importante commerciante d’acciaio del mondo e l’unica multinazionale con sede in Ticino. È la Duferco di Lugano, capostipite e fiore all’occhiello della piazza di trading del Ceresio. Nonostante la sua importanza di lei si sa poco o nulla. Chi la controlla? Quali sono i suoi utili? Attraverso documenti ufficiali area ha ricostruito la sua struttura societaria. Quello che emerge è una galassia complessa che si dirama in diversi paradisi fiscali.

    Rue Guillaume Schneider 6, Lussemburgo. Per ricostruire la catena societaria di Duferco occorre partire da qui. Se il Ticino è il centro operativo delle diverse società legate a questo gruppo, il cuore societario è nel Granducato. È qui, dove si sono trasferite da Guernsey nel 2010, che hanno sede le case madri di quelle che di fatto sono le due Duferco: la Duferco Participations Holding (Dph), legata alla storica proprietà italiana, e la Duferco International Trading Holding (Dith), oggi in mani cinesi. Queste due holding, benché legate tra loro da vincoli storici e di proprietà, vanno considerate come due multinazionali a sé.

    La Duferco del Dragone
    È il 2014 quando il colosso pubblico cinese Hesteel Group acquisisce la maggioranza della Duferco di #Lugano. In realtà, il controllo arriva a monte: Hesteel, tramite una controllata di Singapore, acquisisce la maggioranza della Dith, la società madre delle attività di trading. L’alleanza è tra titani: il secondo produttore d’acciaio del mondo si unisce al principale commerciante di prodotti siderurgici del pianeta. Gli ormai ex azionisti di maggioranza, il fondatore #BrunoBolfo e suo nipote #AntonioGozzi perdono il controllo sulla Dith, ma attraverso l’altra #Duferco, la Dph, mantengono un’importante quota di minoranza nella holding che ora detiene i diritti esclusivi per vendere l’acciaio cinese.

    Dopo Hesteel (61%) e Dph (27%), il terzo azionista di Dith è la Big Brown Dog Holding (12%) di Hong Kong, controllata dal Ceo Matthew De Morgan e nella quale, fino a poco fa, mantenevano qualche briciola gli ucraini dell’Unione Industriale del Donbass (Isd). Prima dell’arrivo di Hesteel, infatti, Bolfo & Co. avevano stretto un accordo strategico con l’Isd che, tramite la cipriota Steelhold, aveva acquisito quote di minoranza della Dith. Oggi, gli oligarchi dell’est sono ormai usciti di scena lasciando spazio ai nuovi padroni dell’acciaio, i dragoni cinesi della provincia di Hebei.

    Il gruppo ha mantenuto la sede operativa in Ticino, dove sono attive sette società tra cui la capostipite della piazza luganese: la Duferco Sa. La Dith è attiva soprattutto nel commercio di acciaio (ma non solo) e dispone di alcune unità produttive come una fabbrica in Macedonia, controllata tramite filiali a Cipro e nel Liechtenstein. La diminuzione della domanda di acciaio cinese e la crisi dei dazi sta pesando sulle performance del gruppo: dopo essere diminuiti del 20% nel 2018, gli utili di Dith sono scesi di un altro 57% nel 2019, issandosi a 26 milioni di dollari.

    Dxt: il gigante sconosciuto
    Ogni anno, Handelszeitung pubblica la lista delle più importanti società elvetiche per cifra d’affari. Nel 2019, per arrivare al Ticino occorreva scendere alla 32esima posizione: qui si trova la Dxt Commodities. Poco nota al grande pubblico, questa azienda è specializzata nel trading d’idrocarburi ed energia elettrica. Dxt è stata fondata nel 1999 dai top manager di Duferco, in collaborazione con alcuni fiduciari di Lugano. Gli stessi, per intenderci, che hanno ideato la tanto discussa ingegneria fiscale della Gucci. Anche per il trading l’asse è sempre quello: Lugano-Lussemburgo. La Dxt è controllata al 95% dalla Dxt International, sede nel Granducato. Una società che ha realizzato 26 milioni di euro di utili nel 2018, grazie soprattutto alla controllata ticinese. La Dxt International è detenuta al 50% da due altre società: la Spelugues Investments, basata nel Delaware e posseduta dal Ceo Benedict Sciortino; e la Dph, la Duferco “italiana”. Oltre alla Dxt, quest’ultima detiene in Ticino, sempre per il tramite di una lussemburghese, anche la metà del gruppo di commercio marittimo Nova Marine.

    Scatole cinesi
    Ma chi controlla la Dph? Il primo scalino a ritroso porta alla Btb Investments, una società che la detiene al 100%. A questo punto l’organigramma si biforca in due rami. Uno va verso altre due entità – la Ultima Holding a sua volta controllata dalla Lagrev Investments – che sembrano portare al manager Antonio Gozzi. L’altro ramo, leggermente maggioritario, conduce alla Bb Holding Investments che, come le altre lussemburghesi citate, ha sede al numero 6 di Rue Guillaume Schneider. La Bb Holding fa capo al vecchio patron, quel Bruno Bolfo che, ancora una volta, sembra avere azzeccato tutte le sue mosse: nel 2019, l’utile netto della sua holding è aumentato del 66% raggiungendo gli 85 milioni di dollari. La Duferco italiana, insomma, sembra rendere di più rispetto a quella cinese. Per mettere al sicuro il suo tesoro milionario, però, Bruno Bolfo ha pensato a uno scalino in più: la Bb Holding è infatti detenuta al 100% da La Sesta Trust, un fondo fiduciario basato nel Liechtenstein. Ultima fermata di una galassia decisamente offshore.

    Mister acciaio e gli amici luganesi

    È l’11 agosto del 1982 quando, presso lo studio del notaio Filippo Solari di Lugano, viene costituita la Duferco Sa. Il gruppo era stato creato qualche anno prima in Brasile dal ligure Bruno Bolfo, un manager con esperienze nell’acciaio in Italia, Stati Uniti e Sudamerica.

    In Ticino, al momento della creazione della Duferco, Bolfo non c’è. A comparire di fronte al notaio sono due figure note del sottobosco finanziario e societario luganese: Elio Borradori, padre dell’attuale sindaco Marco, che diventerà noto per essere stato l’amministratore dei dittatori Saddam Hussein e Ferdinando Marcos, e il suo socio Josef Kraft. Al momento della sua creazione, la maggioranza delle azioni della Duferco saranno detenute da una sconosciuta società del Liechtenstein, la Forward Investment, amministrata dallo stesso Kraft.

    Quando, un anno dopo, viene creata in Lussemburgo la prima Duferco Holding, lo schema si ripete: il controllo è affidato alla Laconfida di Vaduz, la società figlia dello studio legale Borradori e da cui sono transitati molti dei segreti finanziari, più o meno occulti, legati al sottobosco fiduciario luganese. Nel 1990, quando la Duferco decide d’insediare la sua casa madre a Guernsey, la Duferco Holding viene liquidata nel Granducato. Ad occuparsi della liquidazione sono Josef Kraft e Jean-Louis Hurst, suo successore a Laconfida ed ex dirigente del gruppo Ocra, la struttura creata da Tito Tettamanti per la gestione della contabilità parallela dei potentati di mezzo mondo. Hurst entrerà di lì a poco anche nella Duferco di Lugano, nel frattempo diventata sede operativa di quello che si sta profilando come il più grande commerciante di acciaio del pianeta.

    Una società che negli anni ’90 si lancia alla conquista del selvaggio Est in preda al caos delle privatizzazioni del settore siderurgico. In quegli anni, oltre a stringere alleanze con gli oligarchi russi e ucraini, Duferco consolida la propria struttura societaria in Ticino. Per farlo, Bruno Bolfo fa affidamento ad un gruppo di rampanti fiduciari ed esperti fiscali. Nel 1996, infatti, nel Cda di Duferco c’entrano Donato Cortesi e Adelio Lardi, gli ideatori dell’ingegneria fiscale dei giganti della moda che in quegli anni inizieranno a insediarsi in Ticino.

    Nel 1999, Lardi e Cortesi, assieme al già citato Hurst e ai top manager di Duferco, si faranno promotori della nascita di Dufenergy, la società che diventerà Dxt Commodities. Un nome poco noto, ma che oggi è la più importante azienda ticinese per cifra d’affari. Una società che, come abbiamo visto nell’articolo sopra, è controllata di fatto al 50% da una società del Delaware, al 25% da una lussemburghese e al 25% da un trust del Lichtenstein, cassaforte dei tesori di Bruno Bolfo. Insomma, dall’inizio alla fine, i segreti di Duferco portano sempre a Vaduz.

    https://www.areaonline.ch/La-galassia-offshore-dei-trader-ticinesi-Il-caso-Duferco-08bb2900


    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/ETx22_HWoAAI-TT?format=jpg&name=large

    #matière_première #offshore #acier @cdb_77 #suisse #tessin

  • Australia’s Offshore Detention Regime in Breach of International Law

    In a letter (https://uploads.guim.co.uk/2020/02/14/200213-Andrew-Wilkie-Response-from-International-Criminal-Court-Aust, the International Criminal Court (ICC) communicated that Australia’s #offshore_detention_regime amounts to “cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment” and is thus unlawful under international law, but will not prosecute the Australian government.

    The prosecutor’s office of the ICC found that some of the conditions of detention and treatment of refugees and asylum-seekers in the processing centres on Nauru and on Manus Island constitute “the underlying act of imprisonment or other severe deprivations of physical liberty under Article 7(1)(e)” of the Rome Statue that defines crimes against humanity. But the case falls outside the ICC’s jurisdiction and does not demonstrate the “contextual elements” to warrant further investigation, the office states

    Australian independent MP, Andrew Wilkie, first contacted the ICC in 2014, claiming that then prime minister Tony Abbott was breaching international law by engaging in imprisonment, deportation and forcible transfer of a population. Since then, Wilkie provided the ICC with evidence of deaths in detention through murder and neglect, indefinite detention of children, forced family separation and rape, sexual abuse, self-harm and child abuse. He states that despite no further investigation of the ICC “recent developments in the government’s asylum seeker policies have opened up new avenues for further investigation and I am currently seeking legal advice as to the next step forward.”

    The Australian government runs offshore detention centres on the Pacific Islands #Nauru and Manus Island to process asylum applications. Some asylum-seekers have been there for 5 years, with minimal information on their cases and how long they will remain detained. Today, there are still 230 refugees and asylum-seekers on Nauru, and about 180 on #Manus_Island, some of them undergoing the process for resettlement in America.

    https://www.ecre.org/australias-offshore-detention-regime-in-breach-of-international-law
    #justice #droit #modèle_australien #externalisation #asile #migrations #réfugiés #Australie #pacific_solution #droit_international

  • Die Katastrophe der sog. »australischen Lösung« mit Offshore-Intern...
    https://diasp.eu/p/9276632

    Die Katastrophe der sog. »australischen Lösung« mit Offshore-Internierungslagern. Im @guardian geschildert von einem, der es nach 6 Jahren geschafft hat, dem zu entkommen. https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/jun/27/former-manus-island-detainee-tells-un-human-beings-are-being-destroyed …https://twitter.com/heldavidson/status/1144053463594094592 …

    Die Katastrophe der sog. »australischen Lösung« mit Offshore-Internierungslagern. Im @guardian.twitter-atreply .pretty-link .js-nav geschildert von einem, der es nach 6 Jahren geschafft hat, dem zu entkommen. https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/jun/27/former-manus-island-detainee-tells-un-human-beings-are-being-destroyed … https://twitter.com/heldavidson/status/1144053463594094592 … (...)

  • Universal Loss of #privacy & the Bullish Case for #bitcoin Adoption
    https://hackernoon.com/universal-loss-of-privacy-the-bullish-case-for-bitcoin-5d42a2864756?sour

    It is incredible how some visionaries who lived among us were able to predict things decades in advance — the famed British author George Orwell was one such visionary. In his literary classic “1984” (which was written in 1949, by the way!), he painted the picture of a total surveillance society under “Big Brother” where humans live and function like sheeple and every person’s every action or word would have consequences.Lo and behold, enter real life in 2019, and we are looking more and more likely to descend into an #orwellian future.The internet, without doubt the greatest human invention of the modern era, changed human life as we knew it. The internet made information mobile, which led to unlimited possibilities. It granted new ideas, sights, sounds, concepts, skills, and opportunities to (...)

    #surveillance-state #offshore-banking

  • Norway Supreme Court hears #snow_crab case with implication for #oil | Reuters
    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-norway-eu-snowcrab-idUSKCN1P9003


    A view shows a beach at the Ny-Aalesund research station on the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard, Norway, September 20, 2016.
    Picture taken September 20, 2016.
    REUTERS/Gwladys Fouche/File Photo

    Norway’s Supreme Court began hearing arguments on Tuesday on whether EU ships can fish for snow crab off Arctic islands north of Norway without permission from Oslo, a case that could decide who has the right to explore for oil in the region.

    At stake is whether the snow crab - whose meat is considered a delicacy by gourmets in Japan and South Korea - is a sedentary species living on the seabed or a fish stock that moves around - and who gets to decide about it.

    If it is seen as a sedentary species, then it is a resource belonging to the #continental_shelf of Norway. If the EU can stake a claim over the snow crab, then it could be harder for Oslo to secure its claim over potential oil and gas resources.

    The question of the snow crab is a proxy for oil. Because what is valid for the snow crab is valid for the oil industry,” Oeystein Jensen, a senior research fellow in law at the Fridtjof Nansen Institute in Oslo, told Reuters

    #crabe_des_neiges #plateau_continental
    #forage_pétrolier #offshore

  • Why It Is So Hard to Trust Your #offshore Development Team and How to Fix It
    https://hackernoon.com/why-it-is-so-hard-to-trust-your-offshore-development-team-and-how-to-fix

    Photo credits: Pavel ProskurinTrust has always been one of the major problems of business relationships, and the IT industry is not an exception. Mutual trust is a paramount factor in setting up a productive and successful workflow with the software engineers. Ultimately all of the fears of tech companies boil down to a question of trust:“How can I be sure a partnership with a software development vendor won’t f*ck up my business?”Unfortunately, sometimes it may take quite a long time to develop such trust, especially with the offshore teams involved in so many horror stories of IT outsourcing.There are so many risks when outsourcing your product development to third countries but still, many tech companies do that without even having enough information about the agency they’re going to (...)

    #offshore-team #offshore-outsourcing #software-development #remote

  • Les voies luxembourgeoises de la fortune des Aznavour
    https://www.mediapart.fr/journal/economie/290318/les-voies-luxembourgeoises-de-la-fortune-des-aznavour

    Le 24 août 2017 à Hollywood, #Charles_Aznavour attend le dévoilement de son « étoile ». © Reuters Charles Aznavour a créé en 2007 une holding luxembourgeoise pour rapatrier les dividendes de ses sociétés françaises qui gèrent ses droits d’auteur. Une partie de sa famille a pris le contrôle de cette structure en 2016.

    #Economie #Luxembourg #offshore

  • „Frying Pan Tower“ : Haie, Hurrikane, Asbest – in diesem Hostel besteht Lebensgefahr | Berliner Zeitung
    https://www.berliner-zeitung.de/ratgeber/reise/-frying-pan-tower--haie--hurrikane--asbest---in-diesem-hostel-beste


    Si vous n’avez ni peur des effets de l’amiante ni des requins, si vous êtes insensibles auy typhons et tsunamis, voilà un endroit parfait pour vos vacances de fin d’année.

    Speerfischen und Tauchen werden vom Betreiber des Turms als Hauptfreizeitbeschäftigungen beworben. Auf dem renovierungsbedürftigen Turm erleben Besucher die Naturgewalten ringsum wohl besonders eindrücklich. „Stellt euch vor, ihr sitzt auf einem 25 mal 25 Meter großen Deck mit einer Panorama-Aussicht auf den Ozean, ihr seht Sonnenuntergänge von euern Zimmern aus, ohne die Lichter der Stadt, mit der unbegrenzten Sicht in den Sternenhimmel“

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NSa1ZxtbBaE

    #USA #tourisme #polution #pétrole #forage #offshore

  • L’offshore, brique centrale du capitalisme financier mondialisé
    https://www.mediapart.fr/journal/economie/081117/loffshore-brique-centrale-du-capitalisme-financier-mondialise

    Les pratiques légales de placement dans les #paradis_fiscaux ne sont pas les fruits d’une dérive, mais sont partie intégrante du capitalisme moderne. Pour lutter contre cette optimisation fiscale autorisée, il faudrait donc se placer dans un cadre plus large.

    #Economie #Mondialisation #offshore #Paradise_Papers

  • Îles Vierges, Panama, jardins secrets, « choses privées » et paradis des riches.

    Pendant qu’il traquait les plus grands criminels de la planète, le premier procureur de la Cour pénale internationale (CPI), Luis Moreno Ocampo, a détenu des sociétés offshore implantées au Panama et dans les îles Vierges britanniques, deux des plus opaques paradis fiscaux au monde, selon des documents obtenus par Mediapart et analysés par l’European Investigative Collaborations (EIC).

    https://www.mediapart.fr/journal/international/290917/ocampo-mon-salaire-netait-pas-suffisant

    #Cour_pénale_internationale #CPI #Ocampo #offshore #Panama #îles_Vierges #paradis_fiscaux

  • #Ocampo : « Mon salaire n’était pas suffisant »
    https://www.mediapart.fr/journal/international/290917/ocampo-mon-salaire-netait-pas-suffisant

    Luis Moreno Ocampo, le 3 mars 2011, à la #CPI de La Haye. © Jerry Lampen/Reuters Depuis son bureau de la Cour pénale internationale (CPI), le procureur #Luis_Moreno_Ocampo gérait plusieurs sociétés implantées dans les pires #paradis_fiscaux du monde, selon des documents obtenus par Mediapart et analysés par l’EIC. L’ancien magistrat star parle de « choses privées ».

    #International #Belize #Bensouda #BVI #ICC #Îles_vierges_britanniques #justice_internationale #Mossack_Fonseca #offshore #Panama