organization:european court of human rights

  • European Court Condemns Greece’s Migrant Kid Lockups

    Fresh Ruling Calls for End to Harmful Detention of Lone Migrant Children.
    This week, the European Court of Human Rights ruled for the second time in four months against Greece’s abusive practice of locking up unaccompanied migrant and asylum-seeking children in police cells under the so-called “protective custody” regime.

    The problem seems to be getting worse. As of May 31, 123 unaccompanied children were still detained in police station cells or immigrant detention centers across the country. That’s 43 more kids than were being detained at the end of March, just as the court first ruled against the practice.

    Human Rights Watch has found that detained children are forced to live in unsanitary conditions, often alongside adults they do not know, and can be abused and ill-treated by police. Detention can also have serious long-term impacts, including anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, memory loss, and harm to children’s development.

    To make things worse, because they are in detention, these kids – who may have suffered horrific experiences while escaping from war zones – are often unable to receive medical treatment, psychological counselling, or legal aid. Few even know why they’re detained or how long they will be behind bars.

    The latest ruling concerns five unaccompanied children from Afghanistan, aged between 14 and 17, who first applied to the European Court in 2016. The court ruled that the detention in police stations of three of the children violated their right to liberty, and that conditions there exposed them to degrading treatment. The court also held that the authorities had not done all that could reasonably be expected of them to provide for and protect four of the children, who had lived for a month in the makeshift Idomeni refugee camp in an environment unsuitable for adolescents.

    The Greek government should respond to the ruling by immediately transferring all kids now in police custody to open and safe accommodation. Greece should also work to increase its shelter capacity, find alternatives to detention, and implement a comprehensive foster family system introduced in 2018, which would also benefit Greek children.

    Unaccompanied kids in Greece should not have to spend another day locked up in filthy police cells.


    https://www.hrw.org/news/2019/06/15/european-court-condemns-greeces-migrant-kid-lockups

    #CEDH #condamnation #Grèce #enfants #enfance #réfugiés #migrations #asile #rétention #détention_administrative #MNA #mineurs_non_accompagnés


  • Italie : La capitaine Pia Klemp menacée de 20 ans de prison - Secours Rouge
    https://secoursrouge.org/Italie-La-capitaine-Pia-Klemp-menacee-de-20-ans-de-prison


    Pia Klemp

    Pia Klemp a participé au sauvetage de réfugiés dans la méditerranée avec l’association Sea-Watch. Elle est maintenant accusée par la justice italienne d’aide à l’immigration illégale. Le parquet exige une peine de prison de 20 ans. Pour ses investigations, le parquet a eu recourt à des écoutes téléphoniques et à des agents infiltrés. Dans le cadre de ses six missions en tant que capitaine des bateaux de sauvetage Sea-Watch 3 et Iuventa, Pia Klemp dit avoir pu sauver les vies de 5000 personnes.

    • German boat captain Pia Klemp faces prison in Italy for migrant rescues

      Pia Klemp stands accused of aiding illegal immigration after she saved people from drowning in the Mediterranean. The Bonn native has accused Italian authorities of organizing “a show trial.”

      Nearly 60,000 people had signed a petition by Saturday afternoon demanding that Italy drop criminal proceedings against German boat captain Pia Klemp and other crew members who have rescued thousands of migrants in the Mediterranean Sea.

      In an interview with the Basler Zeitung daily on Friday, Klemp said that a trial against her was due to begin soon after she and some of her compatriots were charged in Sicily with assisting in illegal immigration.

      She said that she was told by her Italian lawyer that she could be looking at “up to 20 years in prison and horrendous fines.”

      Klemp added, however, that she intended to fight the case up to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, France, if she had to.

      The 35-year-old Bonn native has been under investigation in Italy since her ship, the Iuventa, was impounded in the summer of 2017, and the government has moved to ban her from sailing around the Italian coast. According to German public broadcaster WDR, through the work on that ship and the Sea-Watch 3, Klemp has personally assisted in the rescue of more than 1,000 people at risk of drowning in unsafe dinghies as they attempted to cross to Europe in search of a better life.

      Read more: Italy’s Matteo Salvini wants hefty fines for migrant rescue vessels

      Salvini’s crackdown

      An already immigrant-unfriendly government in Rome became even more so in June 2018, when newly appointed Interior Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini of the far-right League party promised a crackdown the likes of which modern Italy had never seen.

      Since assuming office, Salvini has sought to put a stop to migrant rescue ships docking on Italian shores and allowing refugees to disembark. In January, the nationalist leader made headlines with the forced evacuation of hundreds of asylum-seekers from Italy’s second-largest refugee center and his refusal to clarify where the people, many of whom had lived in Castelnuovo di Porto for years and become integrated into town life, were being taken.

      Shortly thereafter, Sicilian prosecutors ruled that Salvini could be charged with kidnapping more than 177 migrants left stranded on a ship he had ordered impounded.

      ’A yearslong show trial’

      What frustrates Klemp the most, she told the Basler Zeitung, is that the costs — amounting to hundreds of thousands of euros — that she has had to prepare to cover from her own savings and some new donations “for what is likely to be a yearslong show trial” require money that could have been spent on rescue missions.

      “But the worst has already come to pass,” she said. “Sea rescue missions have been criminalized.”

      For this, the captain blames not only the Italian government but what she sees as a failure of the European Union “to remember its avowed values: human rights, the right to life, to apply for asylum, and the duty of seafarers to rescue those in danger at sea.”

      Klemp added that “demagogues” such as Salvini, former Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz and German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer were effectively allowing thousands to perish in the Mediterranean each year.

      She pushed back at criticism that rescue missions encouraged more people to attempt the highly dangerous crossing. “There are scientific studies that disprove the idea that sea rescues are a so-called pull factor,” she said. “The people come because, unfortunately, there are so many reasons to flee.” And if countries close their borders, “they come via the Mediterranean because there is no legal way to get here,” she added.

      To cover her potentially exorbitant legal costs, a bar in Bonn has announced a fundraising campaign to help Klemp. Cafe Bla has announced that for every patron who orders the “Pia beer,” 50 euro cents will be donated to their former waitress.


      https://www.dw.com/en/german-boat-captain-pia-klemp-faces-prison-in-italy-for-migrant-rescues/a-49112348?maca=en-Twitter-sharing

    • Mobilisation pour la capitaine d’un navire humanitaire

      L’ancienne capitaine du « #Iuventa », immobilisé depuis 2017, encourt vingt ans de prison en Italie. Accusée de complicité avec les passeurs, elle affirme n’avoir fait que respecter le droit international, qui impose de porter secours à toute personne en détresse.

      https://www.liberation.fr/planete/2019/06/11/mobilisation-pour-la-capitaine-d-un-navire-humanitaire_1732973

    • I Helped Save Thousands of Migrants from Drowning. Now I’m Facing 20 Years in Jail | Opinion

      In today’s Europe, people can be sentenced to prison for saving a migrant’s life. In the summer of 2017, I was the captain of the rescue ship Iuventa. I steered our ship through international waters along the Libyan coastline, where thousands of migrants drifted in overcrowded, unseaworthy dinghies, having risked their lives in search of safety. The Iuventa crew rescued over 14,000 people. Today, I and nine other members of the crew face up to twenty years in prison for having rescued those people and brought them to Europe. We are not alone. The criminalization of solidarity across Europe, at sea and on land, has demonstrated the lengths to which the European Union will go to make migrants’ lives expendable.

      Two years ago, Europe made renewed efforts to seal the Mediterranean migrant route by draining it of its own rescue assets and outsourcing migration control to the so-called “Libyan Coast Guard”, comprised of former militia members equipped by the EU and instructed to intercept and return all migrants braving the crossing to Europe. NGO ships like the Iuventa provided one of the last remaining lifelines for migrants seeking safety in Europe by sea. For European authorities, we were a critical hurdle to be overcome in their war against migration.

      In August 2017, the Iuventa was seized by the Italian authorities and the crew was investigated for “aiding and abetting illegal immigration.” Thus began an ongoing spate of judicial investigations into the operation of search and rescue vessels. Sailors like myself, who had rallied to the civil fleet when it seemed no European authority cared people were drowning at sea, were branded as criminals. The ensuing media and political campaign against us has gradually succeeded in removing almost all NGOs from the central Mediterranean, leaving migrants braving the sea crossing with little chance of survival.

      We sea-rescuers have been criminalized not only for what we do but for what we have witnessed. We have seen people jump overboard their frail dinghies on sighting the so-called Libyan Coast Guard, preferring death at sea over return to the slavery, torture, rape and starvation that awaits them in EU-funded Libyan detention centers. We have also seen what becomes of those who are found too late. For days, I steered our ship through international waters with a dead two-year-old boy in the freezer. No European country had wanted to save him when they had the chance. His mother lived, and after days of drifting in wait of an open port, our ship brought her to Europe—when it no longer mattered to her. We rescuers know that those who drown at Europe’s doorstep are not unlucky casualties of the elements. The transformation of the Mediterranean into a mass grave for migrants is a European political project.

      Over the past year, Italy’s interior minister Matteo Salvini has provided a useful alibi for centrist European political forces–those avowedly committed to “European values” of human rights. His persistent targeting of rescue NGOs and his decision to seal Italian ports to ships carrying rescued migrants has seen him cast as the “rotten egg” of an otherwise largely liberal European Union. But Matteo Salvini is neither the architect of Fortress Europe, nor its sole gatekeeper.

      Alongside Italy’s ostentatious prosecution of sea rescuers, other European nations have adopted shrewder, subtler tactics, revoking their flags or miring ships’ crews in unnecessary and lengthy bureaucratic procedures. When Salvini sealed Italian ports, other member states expressed righteous indignation—but not one of them offered its own ports as havens for later rescues. One of two remaining rescue ships, Sea-Watch 3, has since spent weeks motoring along the European coast line with hundreds of refugees on board, pleading for an open port, only to find that their “cargo” was not wanted anywhere in Europe.

      In the coming months, as the conflict in Libya intensifies, thousands more will be forced to brave the sea crossing. I know from experience that without rescue, the majority of them will die. Common sense tells me that with humanitarian vessels barred from saving lives and European commercial and military and Coast Guard ships instructed to avoid migrant routes, their chances of rescue are shrinking. I suspect European leaders share my common sense.

      Meanwhile, we sea rescuers are not alone in facing charges for “crimes of solidarity.” On land across Europe, hundreds of men and women stand trial for having offered food, shelter or clothing to migrants. Among us are countless migrants criminalized for having helped other migrants in need, whose faces will likely not appear in esteemed publications.

      None of us has been prosecuted for helping white Europeans. The simple truth is that in intimidating and punishing those of us who have offered their solidarity to migrants, Europe has worked systematically and with precision to segregate, humiliate and isolate its weakest members—if not based on race and ethnicity de jure, then certainly de facto.

      None of us facing charges for solidarity is a villain, but neither are we heroes. If it is alarming that acts of basic human decency are now criminalized, it is no less telling that we have sometimes been lauded by well-intentioned supporters as saints. But those of us who have stood in solidarity with migrants have not acted out of some exceptional reserve of bravery or selfless compassion for others. We acted in the knowledge that the way our rulers treat migrants offers a clue about how they would treat the rest of us if they thought they could get away with it. Politicians who target, scapegoat and exploit migrants, do so to shore up a violent, unequal world—a world in which we, too, have to live and by which we, too, may be disempowered.

      The criminalization of solidarity today is not only about stripping Europe’s most precarious of their means of survival. It is also an effort at foreclosing the forms of political organization that alliances between Europeans and migrants might engender; of barring the realization that in today’s Europe of rising xenophobia, racism, homophobia and austerity, the things that migrants seek—safety, comfort, dignity—are increasingly foreclosed to us Europeans as well.

      And in hounding migrants and those standing in solidarity with them, Europe is not only waging a brutal battle of suppression. It is also belying its fear of what might happen if we Europeans and migrants made common cause against Fortress Europe, and expose it for what it is: a system that would pick us off one by one, European and migrant alike, robbing each of us in turn of our freedoms, security and rights. We should show them that they are right to be afraid.

      Captain Pia Klemp is a vegan nature-lover, animal-rights and human-rights activist. Before joining search and rescue missions, Captain Pia Klemp was an activist for maritime conservation with Sea-Shepherd. Chloe Haralambous, a researcher and fellow rescue crew member, contributed to this op-ed.

      The views expressed in this article are the author’s own.​​​​​

      https://www.newsweek.com/refugees-mediterranean-sea-rescue-criminalization-solidarity-1444618


  • Refugee, volunteer, prisoner: #Sarah_Mardini and Europe’s hardening line on migration

    Early last August, Sarah Mardini sat on a balcony on the Greek island of Lesvos. As the sun started to fade, a summer breeze rose off the Aegean Sea. She leaned back in her chair and relaxed, while the Turkish coastline, only 16 kilometres away, formed a silhouette behind her.

    Three years before, Mardini had arrived on this island from Syria – a dramatic journey that made international headlines. Now she was volunteering her time helping other refugees. She didn’t know it yet, but in a few weeks that work would land her in prison.

    Mardini had crossed the narrow stretch of water from Turkey in August 2015, landing on Lesvos after fleeing her home in Damascus to escape the Syrian civil war. On the way, she almost drowned when the engine of the inflatable dinghy she was travelling in broke down.

    More than 800,000 people followed a similar route from the Turkish coast to the Greek Islands that year. Almost 800 of them are now dead or missing.

    As the boat Mardini was in pitched and spun, she slipped overboard and struggled to hold it steady in the violent waves. Her sister, Yusra, three years younger, soon joined. Both girls were swimmers, and their act of heroism likely saved the 18 other people on board. They eventually made it to Germany and received asylum. Yusra went on to compete in the 2016 Olympics for the first ever Refugee Olympic Team. Sarah, held back from swimming by an injury, returned to Lesvos to help other refugees.

    On the balcony, Mardini, 23, was enjoying a rare moment of respite from long days spent working in the squalid Moria refugee camp. For the first time in a long time, she was looking forward to the future. After years spent between Lesvos and Berlin, she had decided to return to her university studies in Germany.

    But when she went to the airport to leave, shortly after The New Humanitarian visited her, Mardini was arrested. Along with several other volunteers from Emergency Response Centre International, or ERCI, the Greek non-profit where she volunteered, Mardini was charged with belonging to a criminal organisation, people smuggling, money laundering, and espionage.

    According to watchdog groups, the case against Mardini is not an isolated incident. Amnesty International says it is part of a broader trend of European governments taking a harder line on immigration and using anti-smuggling laws to de-legitimise humanitarian assistance to refugees and migrants.

    Far-right Italian Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini recently pushed through legislation that ends humanitarian protection for migrants and asylum seekers, while Italy and Greece have ramped up pressure on maritime search and rescue NGOs, forcing them to shutter operations. At the end of March, the EU ended naval patrols in the Mediterranean that had saved the lives of thousands of migrants.

    In 2016, five other international volunteers were arrested on Lesvos on similar charges to Mardini. They were eventually acquitted, but dozens of other cases across Europe fit a similar pattern: from Denmark to France, people have been arrested, charged, and sometimes successfully prosecuted under anti-smuggling regulations based on actions they took to assist migrants.

    Late last month, Salam Kamal-Aldeen, a Danish national who founded the rescue non-governmental organisation Team Humanity, filed an application with the European Court of Human Rights, challenging what he says is a Greek crackdown on lifesaving activities.

    According to Maria Serrano, senior campaigner on migration at Amnesty International, collectively the cases have done tremendous damage in terms of public perception of humanitarian work in Europe. “The atmosphere… is very hostile for anyone that is trying to help, and this [has a] chilling effect on other people that want to help,” she said.

    As for the case against Mardini and the other ERCI volunteers, Human Rights Watch concluded that the accusations are baseless. “It seems like a bad joke, and a scary one as well because of what the implications are for humanitarian activists and NGOs just trying to save people’s lives,” said Bill Van Esveld, who researched the case for HRW.

    While the Lesvos prosecutor could not be reached for comment, the Greek police said in a statement after Mardini’s arrest that she and other aid workers were “active in the systematic facilitation of illegal entrance of foreigners” – a violation of the country’s Migration Code.

    Mardini spent 108 days in pre-trial detention before being released on bail at the beginning of December. The case against her is still open. Her lawyer expects news on what will happen next in June or July. If convicted, Mardini could be sentenced to up to 25 years in prison.

    “It seems like a bad joke, and a scary one as well because of what the implications are for humanitarian activists and NGOs just trying to save people’s lives.”

    Return to Lesvos

    The arrest and pending trial are the latest in a series of events, starting with the beginning of the Syrian war in 2011, that have disrupted any sense of normalcy in Mardini’s life.

    Even after making it to Germany in 2015, Mardini never really settled in. She was 20 years old and in an unfamiliar city. The secure world she grew up in had been destroyed, and the future felt like a blank and confusing canvas. “I missed Syria and Damascus and just this warmness in everything,” she said.

    While wading through these emotions, Mardini received a Facebook message in 2016 from an ERCI volunteer. The swimming sisters from Syria who saved a boat full of refugees were an inspiration. Volunteers on Lesvos told their story to children on the island to give them hope for the future, the volunteer said, inviting Mardini to visit. “It totally touched my heart,” Mardini recalled. “Somebody saw me as a hope… and there is somebody asking for my help.”

    So Mardini flew back to Lesvos in August 2016. Just one year earlier she had nearly died trying to reach the island, before enduring a journey across the Balkans that involved hiding from police officers in forests, narrowly escaping being kidnapped, sneaking across tightly controlled borders, and spending a night in police custody in a barn. Now, all it took was a flight to retrace the route.

    Her first day on the island, Mardini was trained to help refugees disembark safely when their boats reached the shores. By nighttime, she was sitting on the beach watching for approaching vessels. It was past midnight, and the sea was calm. Lights from the Turkish coastline twinkled serenely across the water. After about half an hour, a walkie talkie crackled. The Greek Coast Guard had spotted a boat.

    Volunteers switched on the headlights of their cars, giving the refugees something to aim for. Thin lines of silver from the reflective strips on the refugees’ life jackets glinted in the darkness, and the rumble of a motor and chatter of voices drifted across the water. As the boat came into view, volunteers yelled: “You are in Greece. You are safe. Turn the engine off.”

    Mardini was in the water again, holding the boat steady, helping people disembark. When the rush of activity ended, a feeling of guilt washed over her. “I felt it was unfair that they were on a refugee boat and I’m a rescuer,” she said.

    But Mardini was hooked. She spent the next two weeks assisting with boat landings and teaching swimming lessons to the kids who idolised her and her sister. Even after returning to Germany, she couldn’t stop thinking about Lesvos. “I decided to come back for one month,” she said, “and I never left.”
    Moria camp

    The island became the centre of Mardini’s life. She put her studies at Bard College Berlin on hold to spend more time in Greece. “I found what I love,” she explained.

    Meanwhile, the situation on the Greek islands was changing. In 2017, just under 30,000 people crossed the Aegean Sea to Greece, compared to some 850,000 in 2015. There were fewer arrivals, but those who did come were spending more time in camps with dismal conditions.

    “You have people who are dying and living in a four-metre tent with seven relatives. They have limited access to water. Hygiene is zero. Privacy is zero. Security: zero. Children’s rights: zero. Human rights: zero… You feel useless. You feel very useless.”

    The volunteer response shifted accordingly, towards the camps, and when TNH visited Mardini she moved around the island with a sense of purpose and familiarity, joking with other volunteers and greeting refugees she knew from her work in the streets.

    Much of her time was spent as a translator for ERCI’s medical team in Moria. The camp, the main one on Lesvos, was built to accommodate around 3,000 people, but by 2018 housed close to 9,000. Streams of sewage ran between tents. People were forced to stand in line for hours for food. The wait to see a doctor could take months, and conditions were causing intense psychological strain. Self-harm and suicide attempts were increasing, especially among children, and sexual and gender-based violence were commonplace.

    Mardini was on the front lines. “What we do in Moria is fighting the fire,” she said. “You have people who are dying and living in a four-metre tent with seven relatives. They have limited access to water. Hygiene is zero. Privacy is zero. Security: zero. Children’s rights: zero. Human rights: zero… You feel useless. You feel very useless.”

    By then, Mardini had been on Lesvos almost continuously for nine months, and it was taking a toll. She seemed to be weighed down, slipping into long moments of silence. “I’m taking in. I’m taking in. I’m taking in. But it’s going to come out at some point,” she said.

    It was time for a break. Mardini had decided to return to Berlin at the end of the month to resume her studies and make an effort to invest in her life there. But she planned to remain connected to Lesvos. “I love this island… the sad thing is that it’s not nice for everybody. Others see it as just a jail.”
    Investigation and Arrest

    The airport on Lesvos is on the shoreline close to where Mardini helped with the boat landing her first night as a volunteer. On 21 August, when she went to check in for her flight to Berlin, she was surrounded by five Greek police officers. “They kind of circled around me, and they said that I should come with [them],” Mardini recalled.

    Mardini knew that the police on Lesvos had been investigating her and some of the other volunteers from ERCI, but at first she still didn’t realise what was happening. Seven months earlier, in February 2018, she was briefly detained with a volunteer named Sean Binder, a German national. They had been driving one of ERCI’s 4X4s when police stopped them, searched the vehicle, and found Greek military license plates hidden under the civilian plates.

    When Mardini was arrested at the airport, Binder turned himself in too, and the police released a statement saying they were investigating 30 people – six Greeks and 24 foreigners – for involvement in “organised migrant trafficking rings”. Two Greek nationals, including ERCI’s founder, were also arrested at the time.

    While it is still not clear what the plates were doing on the vehicle, according Van Esveld from HRW, “it does seem clear… neither Sarah or Sean had any idea that these plates were [there]”.

    The felony charges against Mardini and Binder were ultimately unconnected to the plates, and HRW’s Van Esveld said the police work appears to either have been appallingly shoddy or done in bad faith. HRW took the unusual step of commenting on the ongoing case because it appeared authorities were “literally just [taking] a humanitarian activity and labelling it as a crime”, he added.
    Detention

    After two weeks in a cell on Lesvos, Mardini was sent to a prison in Athens. On the ferry ride to the mainland, her hands were shackled. That’s when it sank in: “Ok, it’s official,” she thought. “They’re transferring me to jail.”

    In prison, Mardini was locked in a cell with eight other women from 8pm to 8am. During the day, she would go to Greek classes and art classes, drink coffee with other prisoners, and watch the news.

    She was able to make phone calls, and her mother, who was also granted asylum in Germany, came to visit a number of times. “The first time we saw each other we just broke down in tears,” Mardini recalled. It had been months since they’d seen each other, and now they could only speak for 20 minutes, separated by a plastic barrier.

    Most of the time, Mardini just read, finishing more than 40 books, including Nelson Mandela’s autobiography, which helped her come to terms with her situation. “I decided this is my life right now, and I need to get something out of it,” she explained. “I just accepted what’s going on.”

    People can be held in pre-trial detention for up to 18 months in Greece. But at the beginning of December, a judge accepted Mardini’s lawyer’s request for bail. Binder was released the same day.
    Lingering fear

    On Lesvos, where everyone in the volunteer community knows each other, the case came as a shock. “People started to be... scared,” said Claudia Drost, a 23-year-old from the Netherlands and close friend of Mardini’s who started volunteering on the island in 2016. “There was a feeling of fear that if the police… put [Mardini] in prison, they can put anyone in prison.”

    “We are standing [up] for what we are doing because we are saving people and we are helping people.”

    That feeling was heightened by the knowledge that humanitarians across Europe were being charged with crimes for helping refugees and migrants.

    During the height of the migration crisis in Europe, between the fall of 2015 and winter 2016, some 300 people were arrested in Denmark on charges related to helping refugees. In August 2016, French farmer Cédric Herrou was arrested for helping migrants and asylum seekers cross the French-Italian border. In October 2017, 12 people were charged with facilitating illegal migration in Belgium for letting asylum seekers stay in their homes and use their cellphones. And last June, the captain of a search and rescue boat belonging to the German NGO Mission Lifeline was arrested in Malta and charged with operating the vessel without proper registration or license.

    Drost said that after Mardini was released the fear faded a bit, but still lingers. There is also a sense of defiance. “We are standing [up] for what we are doing because we are saving people and we are helping people,” Drost said.

    As for Mardini, the charges have forced her to disengage from humanitarian work on Lesvos, at least until the case is over. She is back in Berlin and has started university again. “I think because I’m not in Lesvos anymore I’m just finding it very good to be here,” she said. “I’m kind of in a stable moment just to reflect about my life and what I want to do.”

    But she also knows the stability could very well be fleeting. With the prospect of more time in prison hanging over her, the future is still a blank canvas. People often ask if she is optimistic about the case. “No,” she said. “In the first place, they put me in… jail.”

    https://www.thenewhumanitarian.org/feature/2019/05/02/refugee-volunteer-prisoner-sarah-mardini-and-europe-s-hardening-
    #criminalisation #délit_de_solidarité #asile #migrations #solidarité #réfugiés #Grèce #Lesbos #Moria #camps_de_réfugiés #Europe

    Avec une frise chronologique:

    ping @reka


    • #MH17 à la CEDH, la plainte visant l’Ukraine pour la non fermeture de son espace aérien est toujours en attente : toujours pas de décision sur sa recevabilité…

      l’article original
      MH17 : Der EGMR drückt sich vor einer Entscheidung | Telepolis
      https://www.heise.de/tp/features/MH17-Der-EGMR-drueckt-sich-vor-einer-Entscheidung-4401994.html

      Im Namen von Angehörigen hat der deutsche Experte für das Luftfahrtrecht, Elmar Giemulla, die Ukraine bezichtigt, den Luftraum fahrlässig nicht gesperrt zu haben. Die Klage wurde bis zum heutigen Tag weder abgewiesen noch angenommen

    • Sur le site de la CEDH, la recherche de « MH-17 » ne me retourne qu’une décision toute récente (04/04/19) de transmission à la Russie des plaintes la visant. Trois ans après le dépôt de la première.

      Communication Ayley and Others v. Russia and Angline and Others v. Russia - downing of flight MH-17
      https://hudoc.echr.coe.int/eng-press#{"itemid" :["003-6376180-8356050"]}

      The European Court of Human Rights decided on 3 April to communicate to the Government of Russia the applications Ayley and Others v. Russia (application no. 25714/16) and Angline and Others v. Russia (no. 56328/18), and requested it to submit observations.

      The applications were lodged by the relatives of people who were killed in the downing on 17 July 2014 of flight MH-17 over the territory of eastern Ukraine.

      They allege in particular that the Russian Federation was directly or indirectly responsible for the destruction of the plane and failed to investigate the disaster properly or cooperate with other investigations.

      Russia has repeatedly denied any involvement in the destruction of the aircraft.

      A statement of facts submitted to the parties, with questions from the Court, is available in English on the Court’s website. The Court’s ruling in the case will be made at a later stage.


  • ‘It’s an Act of Murder’: How Europe Outsources Suffering as Migrants Drown

    This short film, produced by The Times’s Opinion Video team and the research groups #Forensic_Architecture and #Forensic_Oceanography, reconstructs a tragedy at sea that left at least 20 migrants dead. Combining footage from more than 10 cameras, 3-D modeling and interviews with rescuers and survivors, the documentary shows Europe’s role in the migrant crisis at sea.

    On Nov. 6, 2017, at least 20 people trying to reach Europe from Libya drowned in the Mediterranean, foundering next to a sinking raft.

    Not far from the raft was a ship belonging to Sea-Watch, a German humanitarian organization. That ship had enough space on it for everyone who had been aboard the raft. It could have brought them all to the safety of Europe, where they might have had a chance at being granted asylum.

    Instead, 20 people drowned and 47 more were captured by the Libyan Coast Guard, which brought the migrants back to Libya, where they suffered abuse — including rape and torture.

    This confrontation at sea was not a simplistic case of Europe versus Africa, with human rights and rescue on one side and chaos and danger on the other. Rather it’s a case of Europe versus Europe: of volunteers struggling to save lives being undercut by European Union policies that outsource border control responsibilities to the Libyan Coast Guard — with the aim of stemming arrivals on European shores.

    While funding, equipping and directing the Libyan Coast Guard, European governments have stymied the activities of nongovernmental organizations like Sea-Watch, criminalizing them or impounding their ships, or turning away from ports ships carrying survivors.

    More than 14,000 people have died or gone missing while trying to cross the central Mediterranean since 2014. But unlike most of those deaths and drownings, the incident on Nov. 6, 2017, was extensively documented.

    Sea-Watch’s ship and rescue rafts were outfitted with nine cameras, documenting the entire scene in video and audio. The Libyans, too, filmed parts of the incident on their mobile phones.

    The research groups Forensic Architecture and Forensic Oceanography of Goldsmiths, University of London, of which three of us — Mr. Heller, Mr. Pezzani and Mr. Weizman — are a part, combined these video sources with radio recordings, vessel tracking data, witness testimonies and newly obtained official sources to produce a minute-by-minute reconstruction of the facts. Opinion Video at The New York Times built on this work to create the above short documentary, gathering further testimonials by some of the survivors and rescuers who were there.

    This investigation makes a few things clear: European governments are avoiding their legal and moral responsibilities to protect the human rights of people fleeing violence and economic desperation. More worrying, the Libyan Coast Guard partners that Europe is collaborating with are ready to blatantly violate those rights if it allows them to prevent migrants from crossing the sea.

    Stopping Migrants, Whatever the Cost

    To understand the cynicism of Europe’s policies in the Mediterranean, one must understand the legal context. According to a 2012 ruling by the European Court of Human Rights, migrants rescued by European civilian or military vessels must be taken to a safe port. Because of the chaotic political situation in Libya and well-documented human rights abuses in detention camps there, that means a European port, often in Italy or Malta.

    But when the Libyan Coast Guard intercepts migrants, even outside Libyan territorial waters, as it did on Nov. 6, the Libyans take them back to detention camps in Libya, which is not subject to European Court of Human Rights jurisdiction.

    For Italy — and Europe — this is an ideal situation. Europe is able to stop people from reaching its shores while washing its hands of any responsibility for their safety.

    This policy can be traced back to February 2017, when Italy and the United Nations-supported Libyan Government of National Accord signed a “memorandum of understanding” that provided a framework for collaboration on development, to fight against “illegal immigration,” human trafficking and the smuggling of contraband. This agreement defines clearly the aim, “to stem the illegal migrants’ flows,” and committed Italy to provide “technical and technological support to the Libyan institutions in charge of the fight against illegal immigration.”

    Libyan Coast Guard members have been trained by the European Union, and the Italian government donated or repaired several patrol boats and supported the establishment of a Libyan search-and-rescue zone. Libyan authorities have since attempted — in defiance of maritime law — to make that zone off-limits to nongovernmental organizations’ rescue vessels. Italian Navy ships, based in Tripoli, have coordinated Libyan Coast Guard efforts.

    Before these arrangements, Libyan actors were able to intercept and return very few migrants leaving from Libyan shores. Now the Libyan Coast Guard is an efficient partner, having intercepted some 20,000 people in 2017 alone.

    The Libyan Coast Guard is efficient when it comes to stopping migrants from reaching Europe. It’s not as good, however, at saving their lives, as the events of Nov. 6 show.

    A Deadly Policy in Action

    That morning the migrant raft had encountered worsening conditions after leaving Tripoli, Libya, over night. Someone onboard used a satellite phone to call the Italian Coast Guard for help.

    Because the Italians were required by law to alert nearby vessels of the sinking raft, they alerted Sea-Watch to its approximate location. But they also requested the intervention of their Libyan counterparts.

    The Libyan Coast Guard vessel that was sent to intervene on that morning, the Ras Jadir, was one of several that had been repaired by Italy and handed back to the Libyans in May of 2017. Eight of the 13 crew members onboard had received training from the European Union anti-smuggling naval program known as Operation Sophia.

    Even so, the Libyans brought the Ras Jadir next to the migrants’ raft, rather than deploying a smaller rescue vessel, as professional rescuers do. This offered no hope of rescuing those who had already fallen overboard and only caused more chaos, during which at least five people died.

    These deaths were not merely a result of a lack of professionalism. Some of the migrants who had been brought aboard the Ras Jadir were so afraid of their fate at the hands of the Libyans that they jumped back into the water to try to reach the European rescuers. As can be seen in the footage, members of the Libyan Coast Guard beat the remaining migrants.

    Sea-Watch’s crew was also attacked by the Libyan Coast Guard, who threatened them and threw hard objects at them to keep them away. This eruption of violence was the result of a clash between the goals of rescue and interception, with the migrants caught in the middle desperately struggling for their lives.

    Apart from those who died during this chaos, more than 15 people had already drowned in the time spent waiting for any rescue vessel to appear.

    There was, however, no shortage of potential rescuers in the area: A Portuguese surveillance plane had located the migrants’ raft after its distress call. An Italian Navy helicopter and a French frigate were nearby and eventually offered some support during the rescue.

    It’s possible that this French ship, deployed as part of Operation Sophia, could have reached the sinking vessel earlier, in time to save more lives — despite our requests, this information has not been disclosed to us. But it remained at a distance throughout the incident and while offering some support, notably refrained from taking migrants onboard who would then have had to have been disembarked on European soil. It’s an example of a hands-off approach that seeks to make Libyan intervention not only possible but also inevitable.

    A Legal Challenge

    On the basis of the forensic reconstruction, the Global Legal Action Network and the Association for Juridical Studies on Immigration, with the support of Yale Law School students, have filed a case against Italy at the European Court of Human Rights representing 17 survivors of this incident.

    Those working on the suit, who include two of us — Mr. Mann and Ms. Moreno-Lax — argue that even though Italian or European personnel did not physically intercept the migrants and bring them back to Libya, Italy exercised effective control over the Libyan Coast Guard through mutual agreements, support and on-the-ground coordination. Italy has entrusted the Libyans with a task that Rome knows full well would be illegal if undertaken directly: preventing migrants from seeking protection in Europe by impeding their flight and sending them back to a country where extreme violence and exploitation await.

    We hope this legal complaint will lead the European court to rule that countries cannot subcontract their legal and humanitarian obligations to dubious partners, and that if they do, they retain responsibility for the resulting violations. Such a precedent would force the entire European Union to make sure its cooperation with partners like Libya does not end up denying refugees the right to seek asylum.

    This case is especially important right now. In Italy’s elections in March, the far-right Lega party, which campaigned on radical anti-immigrant rhetoric, took nearly 20 percent of the vote. The party is now part of the governing coalition, of which its leader, Matteo Salvini, is the interior minister.

    His government has doubled down on animosity toward migrants. In June, Italy took the drastic step of turning away a humanitarian vessel from the country’s ports and has been systematically blocking rescued migrants from being disembarked since then, even when they had been assisted by the Italian Coast Guard.

    The Italian crackdown helps explain why seafarers off the Libyan coast have refrained from assisting migrants in distress, leaving them to drift for days. Under the new Italian government, a new batch of patrol boats has been handed over to the Libyan Coast Guard, and the rate of migrants being intercepted and brought back to Libya has increased. All this has made the crossing even more dangerous than before.

    Italy has been seeking to enact a practice that blatantly violates the spirit of the Geneva Convention on refugees, which enshrines the right to seek asylum and prohibits sending people back to countries in which their lives are at risk. A judgment by the European Court sanctioning Italy for this practice would help prevent the outsourcing of border control and human rights violations that may prevent the world’s most disempowered populations from seeking protection and dignity.

    The European Court of Human Rights cannot stand alone as a guardian of fundamental rights. Yet an insistence on its part to uphold the law would both reflect and bolster the movements seeking solidarity with migrants across Europe.

    https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2018/12/26/opinion/europe-migrant-crisis-mediterranean-libya.html
    #reconstruction #naufrage #Méditerranée #Charles_Heller #Lorenzo_Pezzani #asile #migrations #réfugiés #mourir_en_mer #ONG #sauvetage #Sea-Watch #gardes-côtes_libyens #Libye #pull-back #refoulement #externalisation #vidéo #responsabilité #Ras_Jadir #Operation_Sophia #CEDH #cour_européenne_des_droits_de_l'homme #justice #droits_humains #droit_à_la_vie

    ping @reka

    • È un omicidio con navi italiane” L’accusa del Nyt

      Video-denuncia contro Roma e l’Ue per un naufragio di un anno fa: botte dei libici ai migranti, 50 morti.

      Patate scagliate addosso ai soccorritori della Sea Watch invece di lanciare giubbotti e salvagente ai naufraghi che stavano annegando. E poi botte ai migranti riusciti a salire sulle motovedette per salvarsi la vita. Ecco i risultati dell’addestramento che l’Italia ha impartito ai libici per far fuori i migranti nel Mediterraneo. È un video pubblicato dal New York Times che parte da una delle più gravi tra le ultime stragi avvenute del Canale di Sicilia, con un commento intitolato: “‘È un omicidio’: come l’Europa esternalizza sofferenza mentre i migranti annegano”.

      Era il 6 novembre 2017 e le operazioni in mare erano gestite dalla guardia costiera libica, in accordo con l’allora ministro dell’Interno, Marco Minniti. Il dettaglio non è secondario, lo stesso video mostra la cerimonia di consegna delle motovedette made in Italy ai partner nordafricani. Una delle imbarcazioni, la 648, la ritroviamo proprio al centro dell’azione dove, quel giorno, cinquanta africani vennero inghiottiti dal mare. Al tempo era consentito alle imbarcazioni di soccorso pattugliare lo specchio di mare a cavallo tra le zone Sar (Search and rescue, ricerca e soccorso) di competenza. Al tempo i porti italiani erano aperti, ma il comportamento dei militari libici già al limite della crudeltà. Il video e le foto scattate dal personale della Sea Watch mostrano scene durissime. Un migrante lasciato annegare senza alcun tentativo da parte dei libici di salvarlo: il corpo disperato annaspa per poi sparire sott’acqua, quando il salvagente viene lanciato è tardi. Botte, calci e pugni a uomini appena saliti a bordo delle motovedette, di una violenza ingiustificabile. Il New York Times va giù duro e nel commento, oltre a stigmatizzare attacca i governi italiani. Dalla prova delle motovedette vendute per far fare ad altri il lavoro sporco, al nuovo governo definito “di ultradestra” che “ha completato la strategia”. Matteo Salvini però non viene nominato. L’Italia, sottolinea il Nyt, ha delegato alle autorità della Tripolitania il pattugliamento delle coste e il recupero di qualsiasi imbarcazione diretta a nord. Nulla di nuovo, visto che la Spagna, guidata dal socialista Sanchez e impegnata sul fronte occidentale con un’ondata migratoria senza precedenti, usa il Marocco per “bonificare” il tratto di mare vicino allo stretto di Gibilterra da gommoni e carrette. Gli organismi europei da una parte stimolano il blocco delle migrazioni verso il continente, eppure dall’altra lo condannano. Per l’episodio del 6 novembre 2017, infatti, la Corte europea dei diritti umani sta trattando il ricorso presentato dall’Asgi (Associazione studi giuridici sull’immigrazione) contro il respingimento collettivo. Sempre l’Asgi ha presentato due ricorsi analoghi per fatti del dicembre 2018 e gennaio 2018; infine altri due, uno sulla cessione delle motovedette e l’altro sull’implementazione dell’accordo Italia-Libia firmato da Minniti.

      https://www.ilfattoquotidiano.it/premium/articoli/e-un-omicidio-con-navi-italiane-laccusa-del-nyt

    • Comment l’Europe et la Libye laissent mourir les migrants en mer

      Il y a un peu plus d’un an, le 6 novembre 2017, une fragile embarcation sombre en mer avec à son bord 150 migrants partis de Tripoli pour tenter de rejoindre l’Europe. La plupart d’entre eux sont morts. Avec l’aide de Forensic Oceanography – une organisation créée en 2011 pour tenir le compte des morts de migrants en Méditerranée – et de Forensic Architecture – groupe de recherche enquêtant sur les violations des droits de l’homme –, le New York Times a retracé le déroulement de ce drame, dans une enquête vidéo extrêmement documentée.

      Depuis l’accord passé en février 2017 entre la Libye et l’Italie, confiant aux autorités libyennes le soin d’intercepter les migrants dans ses eaux territoriales, le travail des ONG intervenant en mer Méditerranée avec leurs bateaux de sauvetage est devenu extrêmement difficile. Ces dernières subissent les menaces constantes des gardes-côtes libyens, qui, malgré les subventions européennes et les formations qu’ils reçoivent, n’ont pas vraiment pour but de sauver les migrants de la noyade. Ainsi, en fermant les yeux sur les pratiques libyennes régulièrement dénoncées par les ONG, l’Europe contribue à aggraver la situation et précipite les migrants vers la noyade, s’attache à démontrer cette enquête vidéo publiée dans la section Opinions du New York Times. Un document traduit et sous-titré par Courrier international.

      https://www.courrierinternational.com/video/enquete-comment-leurope-et-la-libye-laissent-mourir-les-migra

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=10&v=dcbh8yJclGI

    • How We Made an Invisible Crisis at Sea Visible

      An ambitious Opinion Video project produced across three continents — in collaboration with a pioneering forensic research group — shines a spotlight on the more than 16,000 migrants who have died trying to cross the Mediterranean since 2014.

      Forensic Oceanography had created a report and a minute-by-minute reconstruction of the episode (http://www.forensic-architecture.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/2018-05-07-FO-Mare-Clausum-full-EN.pdf) intended partly to support a case that was about to be filed on behalf of survivors at the European Court of Human Rights.

      Their reporting was deep, but it was very technical. We wanted to build on the original research to create a short film that would sharpen the story while still embracing complexity.

      https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/23/reader-center/migrants-mediterranean-sea.html
      #visibilité #invisibilité #in/visiblité #Mare_clausum


  • Detainees Evacuated out of Libya but Resettlement Capacity Remains Inadequate

    According to the United Nations Refugee Agency (#UNHCR) 262 migrants detained in Libya were evacuated to Niger on November 12- the largest evacuation from Libya carried out to date. In addition to a successful airlift of 135 people in October this year, this brings the total number of people evacuated to more than 2000 since December 2017. However Amnesty International describes the resettlement process from Niger as slow and the number of pledges inadequate.

    The evacuations in October and November were the first since June when the Emergency Transit Mechanism (ETM) centre in Niger reached its full capacity of 1,536 people, which according to Amnesty was a result of a large number of people “still waiting for their permanent resettlement to a third country.”

    57,483 refugees and asylum seekers are registered by UNHCR in Libya; as of October 2018 14,349 had agreed to Voluntary Humanitarian Return. Currently 3,886 resettlement pledges have been made by 12 states, but only 1,140 have been resettled.

    14,595 people have been intercepted by the Libyan coast guard and taken back to Libya, however it has been well documented that their return is being met by detention, abuse, violence and torture. UNHCR recently declared Libya unsafe for returns amid increased violence in the capital, while Amnesty International has said that “thousands of men, women and children are trapped in Libya facing horrific abuses with no way out”.

    In this context, refugees and migrants are currently refusing to disembark in Misrata after being rescued by a cargo ship on November 12, reportedly saying “they would rather die than be returned to land”. Reuters cited one Sudanese teenager on board who stated “We agree to go to any place but not Libya.”

    UNHCR estimates that 5,413 refugees and migrants remain detained in #Directorate_for_Combatting_Illegal_Migration (#DCIM) centres and the UN Refugee Agency have repetedly called for additional resettlement opportunities for vulnerable persons of concern in Libya.

    https://www.ecre.org/detainees-evacuated-out-of-libya-but-resettlement-capacity-remains-inadequate
    #réinstallation #Niger #Libye #évacuation #asile #migrations #réfugiés #HCR #détention #centres_de_détention #Emergency_Transit_Mechanism (#ETM)

    • ET DES INFORMATIONS PLUS ANCIENNES DANS LE FIL CI-DESSOUS

      Libya: evacuations to Niger resumed – returns from Niger begun

      After being temporarily suspended in March as the result of concerns from local authorities on the pace of resettlement out of Niger, UNHCR evacuations of vulnerable refugees and asylum seekers from Libya through the Emergency Transit Mechanism has been resumed and 132 vulnerable migrants flown to the country. At the same time the deportation of 132 Sudanese nationals from Niger to Libya has raised international concern.

      Niger is the main host for refugees and asylum seekers from Libya evacuated by UNHCR. Since the UN Refugee Agency began evacuations in cooperation with EU and Libyan authorities in November 2017, Niger has received 1,152 of the 1,474 people evacuated in total. While UNHCR has submitted 475 persons for resettlement a modest 108 in total have been resettled in Europe. According to UNHCR the government in Niger has now offered to host an additional 1,500 refugees from Libya through the Emergency Transit Mechanism and upon its revival and the first transfer of 132 refugees to Niger, UNHCR’s Special Envoy for the Central Mediterranean Situation, Vincent Cochetel stated: “We now urgently need to find resettlement solutions for these refugees in other countries.”

      UNHCR has confirmed the forced return by authorities in Niger of at least 132 of a group of 160 Sudanese nationals arrested in the migrant hub of Agadez, the majority after fleeing harsh conditions in Libya. Agadez is known as a major transit hub for refugees and asylum seekers seeking passage to Libya and Europe but the trend is reversed and 1,700 Sudanese nationals have fled from Libya to Niger since December 2017. In a mail to IRIN News, Human Rights Watch’s associate director for Europe and Central Asia, Judith Sunderland states: “It is inhuman and unlawful to send migrants and refugees back to Libya, where they face shocking levels of torture, sexual violence, and forced labour,” with reference to the principle of non-refoulement.

      According to a statement released by Amnesty International on May 16: “At least 7,000 migrants and refugees are languishing in Libyan detention centres where abuse is rife and food and water in short supply. This is a sharp increase from March when there were 4,400 detained migrants and refugees, according to Libyan officials.”

      https://www.ecre.org/libya-evacuations-to-niger-resumed-returns-from-niger-begun

    • Libya: return operations running but slow resettlement is jeopardizing the evacuation scheme

      According to the International Organization for Migration (IOM) 15.000 migrants have been returned from Libya to their country of origin and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has assisted in the evacuation of more than 1,300 refugees from Libya thereby fulfilling the targets announced at the AU-EU-UN Taskforce meeting in December 2017. However, a modest 25 of the more than 1000 migrants evacuated to Niger have been resettled to Europe and the slow pace is jeopardizing further evacuations.

      More than 1000 of the 1300 migrants evacuated from Libya are hosted by Niger and Karmen Sakhr, who oversees the North Africa unit at the UNHCR states to the EU Observer that the organisation: “were advised that until more people leave Niger, we will no longer be able to evacuate additional cases from Libya.”

      During a meeting on Monday 5 March with the Civil Liberties Committee and Foreign Affairs Committee MEPs, members of the Delegation for relations with Maghreb countries, Commission and External Action Service representatives on the mistreatment of migrants and refugees in Libya, and arrangements for their resettlement or return, UNHCR confirmed that pledges have been made by France, Switzerland, Italy, Norway, Sweden and Malta as well as unspecified non-EU countries but that security approvals and interviewing process of the cases is lengthy resulting in the modest number of resettlements, while also warning that the EU member states need to put more work into resettlement of refugees, and that resettlement pledges still fall short of the needs. According to UNHCR 430 pledges has been made by European countries.

      An estimated 5000 people are in government detention and an unknown number held by private militias under well documented extreme conditions.

      https://www.ecre.org/libya-return-operations-running-but-slow-resettlement-is-jeopardizing-the-evac

    • Libya: migrants and refugees out by plane and in by boat

      The joint European Union (EU), African Union (AU) and United Nations (UN) Task Force visited Tripoli last week welcoming progress made evacuating and returning migrants and refugees out of Libya. EU has announced three new programmes, for protecting migrants and refugees in Libya and along the Central Mediterranean Route, and their return and reintegration. Bundestag Research Services and NGOs raise concerns over EU and Member State support to Libyan Coast Guard.

      Representatives of the Task Force, created in November 2017, met with Libyan authorities last week and visited a detention centres for migrants and a shelter for internally displaced people in Tripoli. Whilst they commended progress on Voluntary Humanitarian Returns, they outlined a number of areas for improvement. These include: comprehensive registration of migrants at disembarkation points and detention centres; improving detention centre conditions- with a view to end the current system of arbitrary detention; decriminalizing irregular migration in Libya.

      The three new programmes announced on Monday, will be part of the European Union Emergency Trust Fund for Africa. €115 million will go towards evacuating 3,800 refugees from Libya, providing protection and voluntary humanitarian return to 15,000 migrants in Libya and will support the resettlement of 14,000 people in need of international protection from Niger, Chad, Cameroon and Burkina Faso. €20 million will be dedicated to improving access to social and protection services for vulnerable migrants in transit countries in the Sahel region and the Lake Chad basin. €15 million will go to supporting sustainable reintegration for Ethiopian citizens.

      A recent report by the Bundestag Research Services on SAR operations in the Mediterranean notes the support for the Libyan Coast Guard by EU and Member States in bringing refugees and migrants back to Libya may be violating the principle of non-refoulement as outlined in the Geneva Convention: “This cooperation must be the subject of proceedings before the European Court of Human Rights, because the people who are being forcibly returned with the assistance of the EU are being inhumanely treated, tortured or killed.” stated Andrej Hunko, European policy spokesman for the German Left Party (die Linke). A joint statement released by SAR NGO’s operating in the Mediterranean calls on the EU institutions and leaders to stop the financing and support of the Libyan Coast Guard and the readmissions to a third country which violates fundamental human rights and international law.

      According to UNHCR, there are currently 46,730 registered refugees and asylum seekers in Libya. 843 asylum seekers and refugees have been released from detention so far in 2018. According to IOM 9,379 people have been returned to their countries of origin since November 2017 and 1,211 have been evacuated to Niger since December 2017.

      https://www.ecre.org/libya-migrants-and-refugees-out-by-plane-and-in-by-boat

      Complément de Emmanuel Blanchard (via la mailing-list Migreurop):

      Selon le HCR, il y aurait actuellement environ 6000 personnes détenues dans des camps en Libye et qui seraient en attente de retour ou de protection (la distinction n’est pas toujours très claire dans la prose du HCR sur les personnes à « évacuer » vers le HCR...). Ces données statistiques sont très fragiles et a priori très sous-estimées car fondées sur les seuls camps auxquels le HCR a accès.

    • First group of refugees evacuated from new departure facility in Libya

      UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, in coordination with Libyan authorities, evacuated 133 refugees from Libya to Niger today after hosting them at a Gathering and Departure Facility (GDF) in Tripoli which opened on Tuesday.

      Most evacuees, including 81 women and children, were previously detained in Libya. After securing their release from five detention centres across Libya, including in Tripoli and areas as far as 180 kilometres from the capital, they were sheltered at the GDF until the arrangements for their evacuation were concluded.

      The GDF is the first centre of its kind in Libya and is intended to bring vulnerable refugees to a safe environment while solutions including refugee resettlement, family reunification, evacuation to emergency facilities in other countries, return to a country of previous asylum, and voluntary repatriation are sought for them.

      “The opening of this centre, in very difficult circumstances, has the potential to save lives. It offers immediate protection and safety for vulnerable refugees in need of urgent evacuation, and is an alternative to detention for hundreds of refugees currently trapped in Libya,” said UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi.

      The centre is managed by the Libyan Ministry of Interior, UNHCR and UNHCR’s partner LibAid. The initiative is one of a range of measures needed to offer viable alternatives to the dangerous boat journeys undertaken by refugees and migrants along the Central Mediterranean route.

      With an estimated 4,900 refugees and migrants held in detention centres across Libya, including 3,600 in need of international protection, the centre is a critical alternative to the detention of those most vulnerable.

      The centre, which has been supported by the EU and other donors, has a capacity to shelter up to 1,000 vulnerable refugees identified for solutions out of Libya.

      At the facility, UNHCR and partners are providing humanitarian assistance such as accommodation, food, medical care and psychosocial support. Child friendly spaces and dedicated protection staff are also available to ensure that refugees and asylum-seekers are adequately cared for.

      https://www.unhcr.org/news/press/2018/12/5c09033a4/first-group-refugees-evacuated-new-departure-facility-libya.html

    • Migration : à Niamey, des migrants rapatriés de Libye protestent contre leurs conditions de séjour

      Les manifestants protestent contre leur détention de vie qu’ils jugent « déplorables » et pour amplifier leurs mouvements, ils ont brandi des pancartes sur lesquelles ils ont écrit leurs doléances. Les migrants manifestant s’indignent également de leur séjour qui ne cesse de se prolonger, sans véritable alternatives ou visibilité sur leur situation. « Ils nous ont ramené de la Libye pour nous laisser à nous-mêmes ici », « on ne veut pas rester ici, laisser nous partir là où on veut », sont entre autres les slogans que les migrants ont scandés au cours de leur sit-in devant les locaux de l’agence onusienne. Plusieurs des protestataires sont venus à la manifestation avec leurs bagages et d’autres avec leurs différents papiers, qui attestent de leur situation de réfugiés ou demandeurs d’asiles.

      La situation, quoique déplorable, n’a pas manqué de susciter divers commentaires. Il faut dire que depuis le début de l’opération de rapatriement des migrants en détresse de Libye, ils sont des centaines à vivre dans la capitale mais aussi à Agadez où des centres d’accueil sont mis à leurs dispositions par les agences onusiennes (UNHCR, OIM), avec la collaboration des autorités nigériennes. Un certain temps, leur présence de plus en plus massive dans divers quartiers de la capitale où des villas sont mises à leur disposition, a commencé à inquiéter les habitants sur d’éventuels risques sécuritaires.

      Le gouvernement a signé plusieurs accords et adopté des lois pour lutter contre l’immigration clandestine. Il a aussi signé des engagements avec certains pays européens notamment la France et l’Italie, pour l’accueil temporaire des réfugiés en provenance de la Libye et en transit en attendant leur réinstallation dans leur pays ou en Europe pour ceux qui arrivent à obtenir le sésame pour l’entrée. Un geste de solidarité décrié par certaines ONG et que les autorités regrettent presque à demi-mot, du fait du non-respect des contreparties financières promises par les bailleurs et partenaires européens. Le pays fait face lui-même à un afflux de réfugiés nigérians et maliens sur son territoire, ainsi que des déplacés internes dans plusieurs régions, ce qui complique davantage la tâche dans cette affaire de difficile gestion de la problématique migratoire.

      Le Niger accueille plusieurs centres d’accueil pour les réfugiés et demandeurs d’asiles rapatriés de Libye. Le 10 décembre dernier, l’OFPRA français a par exemple annoncé avoir achevé une nouvelle mission au Niger avec l’UNHCR, et qui a concerné 200 personnes parmi lesquelles une centaine évacuée de Libye. En novembre dernier, le HCR a également annoncé avoir repris les évacuations de migrants depuis la Libye, avec un contingent de 132 réfugiés et demandeurs d’asiles vers le Niger.

      Depuis novembre 2017, le HCR a assuré avoir effectué vingt-trois (23) opérations d’évacuation au départ de la Libye et ce, « malgré d’importants problèmes de sécurité et les restrictions aux déplacements qui ont été imposées ». En tout, ce sont 2.476 réfugiés et demandeurs d’asile vulnérables qui ont pu être libérés et acheminés de la Libye vers le Niger (2.069), l’Italie (312) et la Roumanie (95).


      https://www.actuniger.com/societe/14640-migration-a-niamey-des-migrants-rapatries-de-libye-protestent-contr

      Je découvre ici que les évacuations se sont faites aussi vers l’#Italie et... la #Roumanie !

    • Destination Europe: Evacuation. The EU has started resettling refugees from Libya, but only 174 have made it to Europe in seven months

      As the EU sets new policies and makes deals with African nations to deter hundreds of thousands of migrants from seeking new lives on the continent, what does it mean for those following dreams northwards and the countries they transit through? From returnees in Sierra Leone and refugees resettled in France to smugglers in Niger and migrants in detention centres in Libya, IRIN explores their choices and challenges in this multi-part special report, Destination Europe.

      Four years of uncontrolled migration starting in 2014 saw more than 600,000 people cross from Libya to Italy, contributing to a populist backlash that is threatening the foundations of the EU. Stopping clandestine migration has become one of Europe’s main foreign policy goals, and last July the number of refugees and migrants crossing the central Mediterranean dropped dramatically. The EU celebrated the reduced numbers as “good progress”.

      But, as critics pointed out, that was only half the story: the decline, resulting from a series of moves by the EU and Italy, meant that tens of thousands of people were stuck in Libya with no way out. They faced horrific abuse, and NGOs and human rights organisations accused the EU of complicity in the violations taking place.

      Abdu is one who got stuck. A tall, lanky teenager, he spent nearly two years in smugglers’ warehouses and official Libyan detention centres. But he’s also one of the lucky ones. In February, he boarded a flight to Niger run (with EU support) by the UN’s refugee agency, UNHCR, to help some of those stranded in Libya reach Europe. Nearly 1,600 people have been evacuated on similiar flights, but, seven months on, only 174 have been resettled to Europe.

      The evacuation programme is part of a €500-million ($620-million) effort to resettle 50,000 refugees over the next two years to the EU, which has a population of more than 500 million people. The target is an increase from previous European resettlement goals, but still only represents a tiny fraction of the need – those chosen can be Syrians in Turkey, Jordan, and Lebanon as well as refugees in Libya, Egypt, Niger, Chad, Sudan, and Ethiopia – countries that combined host more than 6.5 million refugees.

      The EU is now teetering on the edge of a fresh political crisis, with boats carrying people rescued from the sea being denied ports of disembarkation, no consensus on how to share responsibility for asylum seekers and refugees within the continent, and increasing talk of further outsourcing the management of migration to African countries.

      Against this backdrop, the evacuation and resettlement programme from Libya is perhaps the best face of European policy in the Mediterranean. But, unless EU countries offer more spots for refugees, it is a pathway to safety for no more than a small handful who get the luck of the draw. As the first evacuees adjust to their new lives in Europe, the overwhelming majority are left behind.

      Four months after arriving in Niger, Abdu is still waiting to find out if and when he will be resettled to Europe. He’s still in the same state of limbo he was in at the end of March when IRIN met him in Niamey, the capital of Niger. At the time, he’d been out of the detention centre in Libya for less than a month and his arms were skeletally thin.

      “I thought to go to Europe [and] failed. Now, I came to Niger…. What am I doing here? What will happen from here? I don’t know,” he said, sitting in the shade of a canopy in the courtyard of a UNHCR facility. “I don’t know what I will be planning for the future because everything collapsed; everything finished.”
      Abdu’s story

      Born in Eritrea – one of the most repressive countries in the world – Abdu’s mother sent him to live in neighbouring Sudan when he was only seven. She wanted him to grow up away from the political persecution and shadow of indefinite military service that stifled normal life in his homeland.

      But Sudan, where he was raised by his uncle, wasn’t much better. As an Eritrean refugee, he faced discrimination and lived in a precarious legal limbo. Abdu saw no future there. “So I decided to go,” he said.

      Like so many other young Africans fleeing conflict, political repression, and economic hardship in recent years, he wanted to try to make it to Europe. But first he had to pass through Libya.

      After crossing the border from Sudan in July 2016, Abdu, then 16 years old, was taken captive and held for 18 months. The smugglers asked for a ransom of $5,500, tortured him while his relatives were forced to listen on the phone, and rented him out for work like a piece of equipment.

      Abdu tried to escape, but only found himself under the control of another smuggler who did the same thing. He was kept in overflowing warehouses, sequestered from the sunlight with around 250 other people. The food was not enough and often spoiled; disease was rampant; people died from malaria and hunger; one woman died after giving birth; the guards drank, carried guns, and smoked hashish, and, at the smallest provocation, spun into a sadistic fury. Abdu’s skin started crawling with scabies, his cheeks sank in, and his long limbs withered to skin and bones.

      One day, the smuggler told him that, if he didn’t find a way to pay, it looked like he would soon die. As a courtesy – or to try to squeeze some money out of him instead of having to deal with a corpse – the smuggler reduced the ransom to $1,500.

      Finally, Abdu’s relatives were able to purchase his freedom and passage to Europe. It was December 2017. As he finally stood on the seashore before dawn in the freezing cold, Abdu remembered thinking: “We are going to arrive in Europe [and] get protection [and] get rights.”

      But he never made it. After nearly 24 hours at sea, the rubber dinghy he was on with around 150 other people was intercepted by the Libyan Coast Guard, which, since October 2016, has been trained and equipped by the EU and Italy.

      Abdu was brought back to the country he had just escaped and put in another detention centre.

      This one was official – run by the Libyan Directorate for Combating Irregular Migration. But it wasn’t much different from the smuggler-controlled warehouses he’d been in before. Again, it was overcrowded and dirty. People were falling sick. There was no torture or extortion, but the guards could be just as brutal. If someone tried to talk to them about the poor conditions “[they are] going to beat you until you are streaming blood,” Abdu said.

      Still, he wasn’t about to try his luck on his own again in Libya. The detention centre wasn’t suitable for human inhabitants, Abdu recalled thinking, but it was safer than anywhere he’d been in over a year. That’s where UNHCR found him and secured his release.

      The lucky few

      The small village of Thal-Marmoutier in France seems like it belongs to a different world than the teeming detention centres of Libya.

      The road to the village runs between gently rolling hills covered in grapevines and winds through small towns of half-timbered houses. About 40 minutes north of Strasbourg, the largest city in the region of Alsace, bordering Germany, it reaches a valley of hamlets that disrupt the green countryside with their red, high-peaked roofs. It’s an unassuming setting, but it’s the type of place Abdu might end up if and when he is finally resettled.

      In mid-March, when IRIN visited, the town of 800 people was hosting the first group of refugees evacuated from Libya.

      It was unseasonably cold, and the 55 people housed in a repurposed section of a Franciscan convent were bundled in winter jackets, scarves, and hats. Thirty of them had arrived from Chad, where they had been long-time residents of refugee camps after fleeing Boko Haram violence or conflict in the Sudanese region of Darfur. The remaining 25 – from Eritrea, Ethiopia, and Sudan – were the first evacuees from Libya. Before reaching France, they, like Abdu, had been flown to Niamey.

      The extra stop is necessary because most countries require refugees to be interviewed in person before offering them a resettlement spot. The process is facilitated by embassies and consulates, but, because of security concerns, only one European country (Italy) has a diplomatic presence in Libya.

      To resettle refugees stuck in detention centres, UNHCR needed to find a third country willing to host people temporarily, one where European resettlement agencies could carry out their procedures. Niger was the first – and so far only – country to volunteer.

      “For us, it is an obligation to participate,” Mohamed Bazoum, Niger’s influential interior minister, said when interviewed by IRIN in Niamey. Niger, the gateway between West Africa and Libya on the migration trail to Europe, is the top recipient of funds from the EU Trust Fund for Africa, an initiative launched in 2015 to “address the root causes of irregular migration”.

      “It costs us nothing to help,” Bazoum added, referring to the evacuation programme. “But we gain a sense of humanity in doing so.”

      ‘Time is just running from my life’

      The first evacuees landed in Niamey on 12 November. A little over a month later, on 19 December, they were on their way to France.

      By March, they had been in Thal-Marmoutier for three months and were preparing to move from the reception centre in the convent to individual apartments in different cities.

      Among them, several families with children had been living in Libya for a long time. But most of the evacuees were young women who had been imprisoned by smugglers and militias, held in official detention centres, or often both.

      “In Libya, it was difficult for me,” said Farida, a 24-year-old aspiring runner from Ethiopia. She fled her home in 2016 because of the conflict between the government and the Oromo people, an ethnic group.

      After a brief stay in Cairo, she and her husband decided to go to Libya because they heard a rumour that UNHCR was providing more support there to refugees. Shortly after crossing the border, Farida and her husband were captured by a militia and placed in a detention centre.

      “People from the other government (Libya has two rival governments) came and killed the militiamen, and some of the people in the prison also died, but we got out and were taken to another prison,” she said. “When they put me in prison, I was pregnant, and they beat me and killed the child in my belly.”

      Teyba, a 20-year-old woman also from Ethiopia, shared a similar story: “A militia put us in prison and tortured us a lot,” she said. “We stayed in prison for a little bit more than a month, and then the fighting started…. Some people died, some people escaped, and some people, I don’t know what happened to them.”

      Three months at the reception centre in Thal-Marmoutier had done little to ease the trauma of those experiences. “I haven’t seen anything that made me laugh or that made me happy,” Farida said. “Up to now, life has not been good, even after coming to France.”

      The French government placed the refugees in the reception centre to expedite their asylum procedures, and so they could begin to learn French.

      Everyone in the group had already received 10-year residency permits – something refugees who are placed directly in individual apartments or houses usually wait at least six months to receive. But many of them said they felt like their lives had been put on pause in Thal-Marmoutier. They were isolated in the small village with little access to transportation and said they had not been well prepared to begin new lives on their own in just a few weeks time.

      “I haven’t benefited from anything yet. Time is just running from my life,” said Intissar, a 35-year-old woman from Sudan.

      A stop-start process

      Despite their frustrations with the integration process in France, and the still present psychological wounds from Libya, the people in Thal-Marmoutier were fortunate to reach Europe.

      By early March, more than 1,000 people had been airlifted from Libya to Niger. But since the first group in December, no one else had left for Europe. Frustrated with the pace of resettlement, the Nigerien government told UNHCR that the programme had to be put on hold.

      “We want the flow to be balanced,” Bazoum, the interior minister, explained. “If people arrive, then we want others to leave. We don’t want people to be here on a permanent basis.”

      Since then, an additional 148 people have been resettled to France, Switzerland, Sweden and the Netherlands, and other departures are in the works. “The situation is improving,” said Louise Donovan, a UNHCR communications officer in Niger. “We need to speed up our processes as much as possible, and so do the resettlement countries.”

      A further 312 people were evacuated directly to Italy. Still, the total number resettled by the programme remains small. “What is problematic right now is the fact that European governments are not offering enough places for resettlement, despite continued requests from UNHCR,” said Matteo de Bellis, a researcher with Amnesty International.
      Less than 1 percent

      Globally, less than one percent of refugees are resettled each year, and resettlement is on a downward spiral at the moment, dropping by more than 50 percent between 2016 and 2017. The number of refugees needing resettlement is expected to reach 1.4 million next year, 17 percent higher than in 2018, while global resettlement places dropped to just 75,000 in 2017, UNHCR said on Monday.

      The Trump administration’s slashing of the US refugee admissions programme – historically the world’s leader – means this trend will likely continue.

      Due to the limited capacity, resettlement is usually reserved for people who are considered to be the most vulnerable.

      In Libya alone, there are around 19,000 refugees from Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia, and Sudan registered with UNHCR – a number increasing each month – as well as 430,000 migrants and potential asylum seekers from throughout sub-Saharan Africa. Many have been subjected to torture, sexual violence, and other abuses. And, because they are in Libya irregularly, resettlement is often the only legal solution to indefinite detention.

      In the unlikely scenario that all the sub-Saharan refugees in Libya were to be resettled, they would account for more than one third of the EU’s quota for the next two years. And that’s not taking into account people in Libya who may have legitimate grounds to claim asylum but are not on the official radar. Other solutions are clearly needed, but given the lack of will in the international community, it is unclear what those might be.

      “The Niger mechanism is a patch, a useful one under the circumstance, but still a patch,” de Bellis, the Amnesty researcher, said. “There are refugees… who cannot get out of the detention centres because there are no resettlement places available to them.”

      It is also uncertain what will happen to any refugees evacuated to Niger that aren’t offered a resettlement spot by European countries.

      UNHCR says it is considering all options, including the possibility of integration in Niger or return to their countries of origin – if they are deemed to be safe and people agree to go. But resettlement is the main focus. In April, the pace of people departing for Europe picked up, and evacuations from Libya resumed at the beginning of May – ironically, the same week the Nigerien government broke new and dangerous ground by deporting 132 Sudanese asylum seekers who had crossed the border on their own back to Libya.

      For the evacuees in Niger awaiting resettlement, there are still many unanswered questions.

      As Abdu was biding his time back in March, something other than the uncertainty about his own future weighed on him: the people still stuck in the detention centres in Libya.

      He had started his travels with his best friend. They had been together when they were first kidnapped and held for ransom. But Abdu’s friend was shot in the leg by a guard who accused him of stealing a cigarette. When Abdu tried to escape, he left his friend behind and hasn’t spoken to him or heard anything about him since.

      “UNHCR is saying they are going to find a solution for me; they are going to help me,” Abdu said. “It’s okay. But what about the others?”

      https://www.irinnews.org/special-report/2018/06/26/destination-europe-evacuation

    • Hot Spots #1 : Niger, les évacués de l’enfer libyen

      Fuir l’enfer libyen, sortir des griffes des trafiquants qui séquestrent pendant des mois leurs victimes dans des conditions inhumaines. C’est de l’autre côté du désert, au Niger, que certains migrants trouvent un premier refuge grâce à un programme d’#évacuation d’urgence géré par les Nations Unies depuis novembre 2017.

      https://guitinews.fr/video/2019/03/12/hot-spots-1-niger-les-evacues-de-lenfer-libyen

      Lien vers la #vidéo :

      « Les gens qu’on évacue de la Libye, ce sont des individus qui ont subi une profonde souffrance. Ce sont tous des victimes de torture, des victimes de violences aussi sexuelles, il y a des femmes qui accouchent d’enfants fruits de cette violences sexuelles. » Alexandra Morelli, Représentante du HCR au Niger.

      https://vimeo.com/323299304

      ping @isskein @karine4


  • Croatia, criminalisation of solidarity

    With 700 cases of reports of violence and theft against migrants at the border, Croatia holds the negative record among the countries of the area. Meanwhile, intimidation against solidarity increases and the first convictions pour down.

    “At the end of August 2015, when the first wave of refugees came to our territory, with a group of friends we went every day to help in Bapska, in Tovarnik, later in Opatovac. It was solidarity that moved me. Here in Croatia many were refugees not so long ago and still remembered what it means to be driven out of your home. At that time, the borders were open and refugees were still seen as human beings. We worked together, volunteers from all over the world, the police, the locals who collected food and basic necessities. It was nice to see how people managed to organise, and very quickly”, recalls Dragan Umičević.

    Dragan, a retired veteran from Osijek, has continued to volunteer for refugees both in Croatia and in Serbia and Greece. When the Balkan route was already closed, in collaboration with the NGO Are you syrious? (AYS), he assisted some refugees by going personally to the border with Serbia, to be sure they were allowed to apply for asylum in Croatia. In fact, for some time now, many NGO testimonies on the field agree that the Croatian police carries out illegal rejections of refugees, accompanied by violence, denying them the right to asylum.
    “Unwitting negligence”

    On the night of March 21st, 2018, being the closest volunteer, Dragan went to Strošinci on the recommendation of AYS, that was in contact with a group of refugees who had just entered Croatian territory. Among them were the family members of Madina Hussiny, the little Afghan girl who was hit by a train after her group, in a previous attempt to cross the border, had been illegally returned to Serbia by the Croatian police.

    “In a group of 14 people there were 11 minors, including some very young children. There was a storm, they were frozen, wet, worn out. At the border I contacted the police, explaining the situation, and acted in cooperation with them. It would not have been possible to do otherwise”, continues Umičević, who then indicated the way to the refugees by flashing the headlights of his car. “When the refugees arrived, the police told me I could go home, but I preferred to take them to the police station to make sure that their asylum application was presented. After an informal interview, during which no accusation against me was advanced, I left”.

    Two weeks later, however, Umičević learned that he had earned the ungrateful role of the first activist targeted by a judicial proceeding for a crime of solidarity in Croatia. Charges questioned both the fact that the police had authorised him to flash to the group of refugees and his awareness, at the time, of the exact position of the refugees in relation to the Croatian border.

    In first instance, he was found guilty of “unwitting negligence” – as, despite being notified of the geolocation of the group of refugees, already in Croatia, he acted without being able to verify it – and sentenced to pay a fine of 60,000 kunas (over 8,000 Euros). The prosecution, however, had requested a fine of 320,000 kunas, two months in prison for the volunteer, and the ban on the activity of AYS.

    “The purpose of the sentence is to discourage volunteers, who will think twice before engaging, especially if the sentence is confirmed, and then the police will have their hands free. This can be transferred to other segments of everyday life”, concludes Umičević, who is now awaiting the appeal. In the meantime, he has received the solidarity of the people around him, civil society, and some media. “That I know of, no politician has expressed solidarity. They have nothing to gain from that”. Indeed, the Croatian political scene has been silent not only in front of his case, but in the face of the systematic violations of refugee rights in general.
    Violations of human rights

    On October 23rd, Platforma 112 , which brings together many Croatian human rights organisations, once again invited Prime Minister Andrej Plenković and Interior Minister Davor Božinović to suspend attacks on associations supporting refugees, demanding independent investigations and punishment not of those who defend human rights, but those who violate them.

    This was only the last of the appeals, which followed the letter from Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights Dunja Mijatović to Prime Minister Plenković, in which the Croatian government was asked to stop police violence on refugees trying to enter the country.

    The reticence of the Croatian police in providing access to information was also highlighted in the 2017 report by ombuswoman Lora Vidović, whose office, as reported on the official site itself , receives daily inquiries by foreign and local media on cases of violence and violation of rights – impossibility of applying for asylum in the country – to the detriment of refugees.

    The appeal by Platforma 112 has fallen on deaf ears, with no reaction from either Croatian politics or European governments. For a European Union that seeks to outsource the management of refugee flows as much as possible and no matter what, violence on its doorsteps is not news. According to UNHCR report Desperate Journeys , with 700 reported cases of violence and theft at the border, Croatia holds the negative record among the countries of the area, compared to 150 and 140 cases, respectively, in Hungary and Romania.

    Intimidations against solidarity in Croatia have intensified since Madina’s family entered the country. The family was detained in the Tovarnik closed camp for over two months after applying for asylum in Croatia, and transferred to an open structure only after repeated interventions by the European Court of Human Rights. The NGOs (AYS and Center for Peace Studies) and lawyers (Ivo Jelavić and Sanja Bezbradica) who supported the family in their search for the truth received pressures. Umičević’s conviction is part of this framework.
    The media debate

    The Croatian events cannot be separated from the European context of criminalisation of solidarity, with a series of judicial proceedings in Italy, France, Hungary, and elsewhere. Moreover, the collaboration of border police in implementing chain rejections from Italy to Slovenia, Croatia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina was exposed by a recent report by La Stampa .

    However, what currently stands out in Croatia is the aggressive media campaign against refugees, also stimulated in recent weeks by the news from Velika Kladuša, Bosnia and Herzegovina, where thousands of individuals are pressing at the borders of the European Union.

    In particular, a piece by a well-known right-wing opinionist can be seen as a sort of manifesto of the new right wing – sovereignist, anti-migrant, and contrary to secularisation.

    On Večernji List, Nino Raspudić compared those who selflessly help refugees to the bizarre case of a Dutch tourist hospitalised for the bite of a viper she had tried to pet. Both cases would show a deformed view of reality typical of Western civilisation, unable to recognise true evil and danger, but “happy to kill unborn children and send parents to euthanasia”. The article continues by attacking NGOs, defined as “traffickers”, “criminals, mobsters, mercenaries”, attached “to Soros’ breast”. These are the same accusations periodically circulated by obscure media and Serbian, Bulgarian, Macedonian, Hungarian, and now also Italian politicians, conflating otherwise conflicting extreme right discourses in the hate speech against refugees.

    In the column Reakcija, also hosted by Večernji List, opinionist Mate Miljić stated that the European Union is to blame for the pressure of migrants at Croatian borders because, “in its will to create a multicultural melting pot, it has allowed mass illegal immigration”. Moreover, in his opinion, the left would be ready to cut pensions for war veterans to “give them to illegal migrants”.

    Trvtko Barun, director of Jesuit Refugee Service, replied to Raspudić on the same newspaper. Pointing to the dangers of calling to hatred and using distorted images, Barun cited Pope Bergoglio’s positions on refugees, that struggle to be received in the Croatian Catholic Church.
    Narratives of fear

    In addition to direct crusades, however, the Croatian press is spreading narratives that stimulate the construction of barriers, fuelling suspicion, fear, and lack of empathy toward refugees.

    In the days of pressure on the borders of Velika Kladuša, following a declaration by a local police inspector, the news circulated for days that a migrant suspected of murdering five people in Macedonia had been arrested, even after this was categorically denied by the sources of the Macedonian Interior Ministry.

    The very hierarchy of the news shows the construction – intentional or not – of a narrative of suspicion and fear, with refugees (now called “illegal migrants”) without faces, names, and stories, seen exclusively as a threat to public order.

    The story of some refugees who, in days of bad weather, allegedly entered some vacant holiday homes in the mountain region of Gorski Kotar, to seek shelter and dry clothes, received great attention nationally, although the damage amounted to a few hundred Euros.

    As elsewhere in Europe, also in Croatia the many fake news and the prejudices circulating on the web – both on registered outlets and on social networks – find in the fear of the other fertile ground to build easy consensus and grab clicks. In a piece on Novi List, however, Ladislav Tomičić recalled that the habit of resorting to lying will leave a mark in society, which will pay the price also when the wave of refugees is exhausted.

    https://www.balcanicaucaso.org/eng/Areas/Croatia/Croatia-criminalisation-of-solidarity-190998
    #Croatie #asile #migrations #réfugiés #solidarité #délit_de_solidarité

    • La Croatie criminalise la solidarité

      6 novembre — 14h15 : Le 23 octobre, la plate-forme 112, qui réunit de nombreuses associations d’aide aux réfugiés, a appelé le Premier ministre Andrej Plenković et le ministre de l’Intérieur Davor Božinović à suspendre les attaques judiciaires en cours contre les associations de solidarité, qui se sont multipliées ces derniers mois. Dans le même temps, la majorité des médias croates, notamment le quotidien Večernji List multiplient les articles et les éditoriaux très hostiles aux réfugiés, réclamant parfois la création d’un mur sur la frontière avec la Bosnie-Herzégovine.

      via Courrier des Balkans : https://www.courrierdesbalkans.fr/Bosnie-police-renforts-frontieres

    • Croatie : sale temps pour les ONG d’aide aux réfugiés

      Les bénévoles et employés d’ONG d’aide aux réfugiés en Croatie sont confrontés quasiment tous les jours à des intimidations, dénonce le réseau de médias européens Euractiv. Des menaces anonymes et actes de vandalisme qui font suite aux tentatives du ministère de l’Intérieur de criminaliser les activités de ces organisations humanitaires.

      Le ministère de l’Intérieur a récemment refusé de prolonger son accord de coopération avec le Centre pour les études de la paix (CMS), une organisation qui s’occupe des réfugiés et demandeurs d’asile depuis quinze ans. Suite à cette décision, le CMS est désormais interdit de se rendre dans les centres d’accueil, tandis que ses bénévoles ne peuvent plus enseigner le croate ni fournir une aide juridique aux réfugiés qui suivent un parcours d’intégration.

      L’ONG Are You Syrious (AYS), qui travaille avec les réfugiés depuis 2015, a quant à elle vu ses bureaux vandalisés à plusieurs reprises au cours des dernières semaines. Les murs et un véhicule de l’organisation ont été tagués. Lors d’attaques précédentes, des briques avaient été jetés sur les fenêtres et les véhicules de l’organisation.

      Des attaques qui se produisent alors que les discours de haine à l’encontre des réfugiés se généralisent en Croatie et dans le reste de l’Europe. Pour Sara Kekuš (CMS), citée par Euractiv, c’est résultat de « la politique européenne actuelle envers les réfugiés [...] que la droite extrême qualifie fréquemment de migrants illégaux et présente comme une menace pour toute l’Europe », déclare-t-elle.

      AYS est également l’objet d’intimidations sur les réseaux sociaux avec des messages les accusant d’être « à la solde de Soros pour islamiser l’Europe », d’aider « les terroristes et les violeurs », et les menaçant de « punitions conséquentes ». Mi-novembre, le Centre pour l’intégration, qui dépend d’AYS, et son entrepôt à Novi Zagreb ont été vandalisés avec un graffiti « Les immigrants ne sont pas les bienvenus » inscrit sur un mur et « Fuck Isis » tagué sur leur véhicule. « Tout cela a lieu, alors que le ministre de l’Intérieur Davor Božinović a déclaré au Parlement que notre organisation était impliquée dans d’obscures activités de trafic », rappelle Asja Korbar d’AYS.

      Le ministère de l’Intérieur a exercé des pressions sur le CMS et AYS après que ces deux ONG ont publié des témoignages de récurrentes violences policières à l’encontre des réfugiés. La situation s’est détériorée après la mort de Madini Husini, une fillette qui a perdu la vie le 21 novembre 2017 le long de la voie ferrée Tovarnik-Šid, près de la frontière serbe. « Quand on s’est saisi de l’affaire, le ministère de l’Intérieur a commencé à nous criminaliser », explique Sara Kekuš. « Il s’est mis à associer notre organisation à des trafiquants et à criminaliser notre travail plutôt que d’enquêter sur cette mort et de résoudre l’affaire. »

      Les déclarations du ministère de l’Intérieur ont été fermement condamnées par la médiatrice de la Réublique, Lora Vidović. « Les trafiquants sont les ennemis des droits humains et constituent une menace pour les migrants, ils ne doivent donc pas être associés aux ONG qui agissent conformément aux lois croates », a-t-elle affirmé, avant de conclure : « Je suis sûre qu’il ne s’agit que d’une poignée d’individus et que la majorité des citoyens condamne ces violences, mais il est très important que les institutions fassent passer le même message et poursuivent les responsables ».

      https://www.courrierdesbalkans.fr/Croatie-ONG-refugies

    • MUP Hrvatske odbio produžiti saradnju sa volonterima

      Hrvatsko Ministarstvo unutrašnjih poslova odbilo je da produži ugovor o saradnji udruženju « Are You Syrious » koje je u prihvatilištu za tražioce međunarodne pomoći pomagalo djeci migranata i izbjeglica u učenju jezika, kulture...

      Isto se desilo krajem prošle godine Centru za mirovne studije.

      Zajedničko za ova dva udruženja je što su oštro kritizirala MUP zbog odnosa prema migrantima na granici.

      Iz MUP-a poručuju - nisu to jedina udruženja, ima i drugih koja se bave istim poslom.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KdrNiIPeY1w

      http://balkans.aljazeera.net/video/mup-hrvatske-odbio-produziti-saradnju-sa-volonterima


  • Freedom of speech has always existed within boundaries of civility and that should never change -

    H A Hellyer The National
    https://www.thenational.ae/opinion/comment/freedom-of-speech-has-always-existed-within-boundaries-of-civility-and-t

    Last week, the European Court of Human Rights ruled that the civil liberties of an Austrian woman found guilty of “disparaging religious doctrines” after she insulted the Prophet Mohammed had not been violated. Predictably, scores of commentators have argued that this was a failing of the ECHR and yet another in a long line of attacks upon freedom of expression. But is that really the case?

    There are several points to be raised here. Firstly, the ECHR did nothing more than uphold the existing Austrian verdict, reached in 2011, which ordered her to pay a Dh2,000 fine. Declaring that the judgment did not contravene the ECHR’s own definition of freedom of speech merely underscores the fact that the Austrian courts were operating within the boundaries of national law.

    Had the Austrian court ruled in favour of the plaintiff, the ECHR would equally not have gone against it. In fact, the ECHR has on several occasions ruled that religious freedom can be curtailed if its member nations decide as much. A number of high-profile cases, in which Muslim women went to court to protest being discriminated against by not being allowed to wear the hijab either at school or work, have failed. The ECHR is many things, but a perennial bastion of legal protection for Muslim sensibilities it is not.

    The Austrian legal system is not terribly favourable to Islam anyway, particularly when one takes into account the tone of contemporary politics in the country. The far-right chancellor Sebastian Kurz was elected on a platform of opposition to what he calls “political Islam” and, in December, he formed a coalition government with the country’s anti-Muslim Freedom Party.


  • Press release: UK intelligence agency admits unlawfully spying on Privacy International | Privacy International
    https://privacyinternational.org/press-release/2283/press-release-uk-intelligence-agency-admits-unlawfully-spying-
    http://privacyinternational.org

    Thames House, Offices of MI5. Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

    MI5 collected Privacy International’s private data and examined it
    GCHQ, MI5, and MI6 unlawfully collected data relating to UK charity Privacy International
    Privacy International has written to the UK’s Home Secretary demanding action against spy agencies
    Disclosures come less than a fortnight after UK laws on mass surveillance ruled unlawful at European Court of Human Rights

    The UK’s domestic-facing intelligence agency, MI5, today admitted that it captured and read Privacy International’s private data as part of its Bulk Communications Data (BCD) and Bulk Personal Datasets (BPD) programmes, which hoover up massive amounts of the public’s data. In further startling legal disclosures, all three of the UK’s primary intelligence agencies - GCHQ, MI5, and MI6 - also admitted that they unlawfully gathered data about Privacy International or its staff.

    The intelligence agencies have repeatedly denied that their BPD and BCD programmes are tantamount to mass surveillance of people not suspected of any wrongdoing. Documents published today demonstrate that Privacy International, an international NGO, has been caught up in MI5’s investigations because its data was part of the UK intelligence agencies vast databases.

    These revelations came during the course of Privacy International’s challenge to the BPD and BCD powers, which is currently pending before the Investigatory Powers Tribunal (IPT), a court which is set up to hear claims against the UK intelligence services. The IPT is required to inquire into any unlawful activity by the UK intelligence agencies, and to provide a summary of such activity to any claimant that comes before it.


  • 10 Human Rights Organisations v. United Kingdom
    https://privacyinternational.org/legal-action/10-human-rights-organisations-v-united-kingdom

    In March 2015, Privacy International, together with nine other NGOs, filed an application to the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR), challenging two aspects of the United Kingdom’s surveillance regime revealed by the Snowden disclosures : (1) UK bulk interception of internet traffic transiting undersea fibre optic cables landing in the UK and (2) UK access to the information gathered by the US through its various bulk surveillance programs. Our co-applicants are the American Civil (...)

    #GCHQ #algorithme #spyware #écoutes #web #surveillance #DRIP #ACLU #PrivacyInternational

    /sites/default/files/fav/apple-icon-180x180.png


  • ECtHR blocks push back of Somali migrants from Malta to Libya following outcry from civil society

    On Tuesday, the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) handed the Maltese government a Rule 39 interim order blocking the return of around 45 Somali migrants from Malta to Libya. The decision was prompted by an application brought by the Jesuit Refugee Service and People for Change Foundation, together with a number of supporting organisations. The ECtHR has given the Maltese government one month in which to give a full and individual consideration to the asylum applications of the migrants.

    http://www.asylumineurope.org/news/25-05-2017/ecthr-blocks-push-back-somali-migrants-malta-libya-following-outcry-
    #Malte #refoulement #renvois #expulsions #push-back #réfugiés_somaliens #justice #asile #migrations #réfugiés #CEDH


  • Saving European Democracy Starts at Home – Foreign Policy
    http://foreignpolicy.com/2018/05/17/saving-european-democracy-starts-at-home

    Among media analysts and academics, there is a widespread belief that one man, President Emmanuel Macron of France, can stem the tide of radical right populism in Europe. Macron burnished his credentials as the continent’s leading defender of liberal democracy in a major speech at the European Parliament on April 17. His central message was to respond to the populists’ rise not with “authoritarian democracy, but the authority of democracy.

    Tout cela est bien connu et documenté ici, mais, même si ce n’est qu’une Opinion, c’est dans FP…

    […]
    One year after Macron’s election victory, his record at home is decidedly mixed when it comes to respect for human rights and key democratic principles.
    […]
    Although France suspended its commitment to some of the rights enshrined in the European Convention on Human Rights during that period, Macron gave a speech to the European Court of Human Rights on the eve of the new law entering force, assuring his critics that the new law would restore the rule of law. But it hasn’t.

    In fact, the new law enshrines in ordinary criminal and administrative law many of the state of emergency’s exceptional powers and practices.
    […]
    So far, leading anti-poverty and anti-homelessness charities are concerned that Macron’s social policy reforms are taking France in the wrong direction. His government appears to be increasing the pinch on pensioners and others with low incomes. Macron’s government reduced the housing support benefit that an estimated 10 percent of people in France rely on — a move that is unlikely to convince voters that he wants to improve economic and social rights for all. Macron may also be learning that labeling those left behind by technological progress and those who object to his labor and welfare policy choices as “slackers” does not help his case.
    […]
    If he is to present a real alternative, Macron should first confront some of his own government’s deeply flawed policies on immigration, counterterrorism, and integration. Above all, Macron should stand up for human rights principles and address the fear, abuse, and unfairness that drive voters into the arms of radical right populists.

    That pluralist vision is where the authority of democracy lies.


  • Je vais mettre ici quelques informations et documents que j’ai trouvé concernant la question de la prise d’ #empreintes_digitales de demandeurs d’asile, notamment de la part de l’#Italie et de la #Grèce, en vue de leur #enregistrement et #identification dans la base de données #Eurodac.
    C’est pour la préparation d’un chapitre de livre que je suis en train d’écrire, mais je me dis qu’il s’agit d’informations qu’il est bien garder quelque part, sachant que pas tout va in fine rentrer dans le chapitre...

    NB : Il y a déjà des informations sur ce sujet sur seenthis :
    https://seenthis.net/recherche?recherche=%23r%C3%A9fugi%C3%A9s+%23empreintes_digitales

    Les informations compilées ici n’ont pas un vrai ordre chronologique ou logique. L’ordre est dicté par l’avancée de mes recherches... chaotiques...

    cc @isskein

    • Hotspots and Relocation Schemes: the right therapy for the Common European Asylum System?

      The arrivals observed throughout 2015 have been concentrated in both Greece – accounting for more than 800,000 in 2015 alone – and Italy. These two “frontline” states, have been faced with the formidable logistical challenge of organising the first reception and identification of migrants. A full implementation of Dublin and EURODAC would have made the challenges even more difficult. Frontline states would have been responsible for fingerprinting all arriving persons, receiving their claims, and in most cases – given that Dublin assigns responsibility primarily to the state of first entry – processing them as well as organizing long-term reception or return.

      Many of these responsibilities have remained virtual. A large number of those who arrived on Greek shores in particular have moved on to other Member States via the “Balkan route” without filing a claim or even being identified there. Failed identification in the first state of entry raised security concerns and rendered the Dublin system practically inapplicable vis-à-vis the frontline states – nothing new in respect of Greece, already “excised” from the Dublin system by the European Court of Human Rights in 2011. Destination and transit states reacted with a flurry of unilateral responses ranging from the temporary reintroduction of checks at internal borders, to the erection of barbed wire fences, to the announcement of national ‘caps’ on the number of persons who would be admitted to claim asylum.

      http://eumigrationlawblog.eu/hotspots-and-relocation-schemes-the-right-therapy-for-the-common-
      #hotspots #relocalisation

    • The Reform of Dublin III regulation

      Another salient criterion is irregular entry (Art . 13 DRIII). Its effective operation would shift responsibility to States located at the Southern and Eastern borders of the Union – to an unmanageable extent in Greece in 2015 . This has not happened owing to the extreme i nefficiency of the Dublin system ( see below). Also, as acknowledged by the Commission , the fear of incurring overwhelming responsibilit ies has motivated border States not to register arriving persons – before, and more visibly during the “crisis” of 2015 – undermining the effective operation of the criterion.

      A ce paragraphe est ajoutée une note :

      See in particular April 2016 Communication (footnote 2 ), p. 4. See also European Commission (2007). Dublin II Evaluation (footnote 11 ), p. 9. The Commission has launched infringement proceedings against i.a. Italy and Greece for their alleged failure to systematically fingerprint irregular arrivals: see European Commission (2015). Managing the refugee crisis: State of play of the im plementation of the priority actions under the European Agenda on Migration, COM (2015) 510, 14 October 2015, p. 11 and Annex 6. Available from: http://www.refworld.org/docid/563201fc4.html .

      http://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/etudes/STUD/2016/571360/IPOL_STU(2016)571360_EN.pdf

    • Managing the Refugee Crisis: State of Play of the Implementation of the Priority Actions under the European Agenda on Migration (14.10.2015)

      Effectively managing the pressure of migratory flows on some parts of the shared external Schengen border accompanied by steps to prevent secondary movements and the immediate return to the country of relocation of relocated persons found in another Member State. The other essential component is action to secure swift return, voluntary or forced, of people not in need of international protection and who do not therefore qualify for relocation. The p riority actions set out by the Commission focused heavily on the operational working of the se measures .requires both responsibility and solidarity on the part of all Member States. The rapid roll - out of the ’hotspot’ approach is providing support to the most affected Member States to ensure the proper reception, identification and processing of arrivals. In parallel, the measures proposed by the Commission and adopted by the Council to relocate 160,000 people in clear need of international protection . This will allow for a significant, if partial, reduction of the pressure on the most affected Member States. It is of crucial importance that the se parallel measures will now be fully implemented, with the fingerprinting of all migrants, the prompt selection and relocation of asylum applicants and adequate reception capacities,

      http://www.refworld.org/docid/563201fc4.html

    • Et voilà le résultat avec la mise sur pied des hotspots :

      COMMUNICATION FROM THE COMMISSION TO THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND THE COUNCIL on the State of Play of Implementation of the Priority Actions under the European Agenda on Migration (10.02.1016)

      With strong, dedicated EU support, Greece and Italy started to set up – and in some cases completed – hotspots 3 to ensure screening, identifi cation and fingerprinting of third country nationals arriving irregularly at the external EU border. Registration is a crucial first step in the control and management of the flows. The hotspots are designed to ensure integrated teams of border agents operate in dedicated facilities, 24 hours a day and seven days a week. Everyone arriving in the external borders should be registered, fingerprinted and have their documents checked against national and international security databases. Third country nationa ls arriving irregularly should then be channelled into one of three processes: the national asylum syst em, the European relocation system or the return system. The proportion of migrants whose fingerpri nts are included in th e Eurodac database has risen in Greece from 8% in September 2015 to 78 % in January 2016, and in Italy from 36% to 87% over the same period 4 . These figures are expected to improve further as the hotspots become more fully operational.

      The rules on registration, identification, fi ngerprinting and security screening of arrivals need to be applied effectively and systematically.

      Par rapport à la Grèce :

      Reception capacities should be increased, supporting both humanita rian needs and better management of inflows – with EU funding already in place to help to achie ve swiftly the 50,000 target agreed at the Western Balkans Leaders’ Meeting. Standardised procedures for all stages of the process should be applied and full deployment of Eurodac fingerprinting machines completed. There must also be no gaps in EU support: the agencies should be present on all islands.

      Et par rapport à l’Italie :

      The Commission is ready to organise an innovative mobile hotspot team (with agents from Frontex and EASO) in Eastern Sicily to support the identification, fingerprinting and provision of information to migrants who cannot be disembarked in the designated hotspot ports, to help plug gaps in the fingerprinting and registration of migrants beyond the hotspots.

      Both Greece and Italy have faced the problem of a refusal by migrants to be fingerprinted. National legislation will have to be amended as a matter of priority an d all operational steps taken to ensure that all migrants are finge rprinted – including as a last resort through a proportionate use of coercion – and all secondary movements of unidentif ied and unregistered migrants are avoided. Progress has been made, but this should be accelerated to ensure full 100% coverage of identification and registration of all entries by the March Eur opean Council.

      To help manage the refugee crisis effectively, leaders at the February European Council should commit to: • The urgent completion of the set-up of hotspots in Greece and Italy to ensure the registration of and support to migrants and refugees in line with the principle that no one should arrive in the EU without having been properly registered and fingerprinted, with dedicated EU support to secure increased reception capacity and fully functioning asylum and return procedures;

      https://ec.europa.eu/transparency/regdoc/rep/1/2016/EN/1-2016-85-EN-F1-1.PDF

    • Connais-tu les travaux du projet de recherche « Processing Citizenship », et notamment les contributions de Annalisa Pelliza ?

      https://processingcitizenship.eu/team/annalisa-pelizza

      https://easst.net/article/processing-citizenship-digital-registration-of-migrants-as-co-production-of-i

      In this first stage of investigation, we are also interested in the chain of artefacts deployed at Hotspots that translate previous identities into new European-readable ones. This line of investigation is key in light of recent developments in the European migration landscape. The goal of the so called “Hotspot approach”, introduced in 2015, is to operationally support frontline Member States (i.e., Greece and Italy) in “swiftly identify[ing], register[ing] and fingerprint[ing] incoming migrants” (Commission, 2015a: 1). Hotspots are thus the first step in the procedure of sorting migrants into three alternative paths: “relocation” or “resettlement” to another Member State (for those identified as in clear need of international protection), or “return” to the country of legal residence (for those who are not deemed in need of protection). They can be conceived as “routers” that create “early entrenchments” (Star and Lampland, 2009) in sorting individuals, liminal situations in which past identities are assessed and translated into proto-decisions.

      http://www.4sonline.org/blog/post/how_government_databases_create_european_readable_identities_for_migrants

      On July 20 2015 – one month before the growing number of migrants crossing the Balkans pushed some countries to declare a state of emergency – the European database containing fingerprints of asylum seekers, called Eurodac, was rendered interoperable with national police authorities’ databases Europe-wide. From that moment, Member States’ police forces could query European data sources not only to grant citizenship rights, but also to preserve order in their national territory. An almost unnoticed technical switch in the Eurodac system marked a major shift in personal data exchange policy Europe-wide.

    • Question posée le 9 avril 2018 via la mailing-list Migreurop :

      Dans le cadre de nos séances d’informations juridique pour les migrants en transit au hub Humanitaire de Bruxelles, nous entendons régulièrement que l’Italie ne mettrais pas systématiquement les empreintes prises dans le système commun mais nous ne trouvons rien de fiable sur ce sujet. Quelqu’un du réseau peut nous éclaircir sur cette pratique, svp ?

      Voici la réponse reçue via la même mailing-list (auteure de la réponse "Tata) :

      Il n’existe pas de réponse claire à cette question cruciale. Mais j’ai quelques éléments d’infos qui peuvent un peu éclairer. En l’espace de 6 mois, entre avant et après la mise en place des hotspots, le taux officiel d’identification est passé de 8 à 100%. Donc officiellement la réponse est non. Cette rumeur est donc devenue beaucoup moins vraie après la mise en place des hotspots.

      Ceci dit :

      – il y a des gens qui arrivent en petit bateau, ailleurs, ne se font pas intercepter et ne donnent pas leurs empreintes
      – il y a des gens qui réussissent d’une maniere ou d’une autre à ne pas les donner, ou elles ne sont pas lisibles
      – il y a des erreurs de la part de la police et des empreintes pas très nettes
      – Les personnes sont enregistrées en cat. 2 et s’ils acceptent de rester en italie, une deuxieme fois en cat. 1. S’ils ne sont qu’en catégorie 2 (une seule prise d’empreintes), alors il arrive que les prefectures du moins en france n’en tiennent pas compte. Il arrive aussi qu’il y ait eu un laps de temps de plus d’un an entre ce pré-enregistrement et la demande d’asile dans un autre pays. Dans ce cas là, un article du reg dublin dit que si preuve de présence de 5 mois, alors plus de procédure dublin. Mais il n’est pas très clair s’il arrive que les personnes passent en cat normale de demandeur d’asile grâce à ça. Bcp d’amis dont c’est le cas se sont retrouvés sans soucis en ce qui concerne dublin.

      Conclusion (toujours la même) : c’est une question de chance ! (mais celle-ci s’est drastiquement réduite avec les hotspots).

    • Implementing the Common European Asylum System: Commission escalates 8 infringement proceedings

      The Commission is today urging Greece, Croatia and Italy to correctly implement the Eurodac Regulation (Regulation (EU) No 603/2013), which provides for effective fingerprinting of asylum seekers and transmission of data to the Eurodac central system within 72 hours. Effective implementation of the Eurodac Regulation is essential for the functioning of the Dublin system and EU relocation schemes. The European Commission sent administrative letters to Greece, Croatia and Italy in October. Two months later, concerns have not been effectively addressed. The European Commission has therefore decided today to send Letters of Formal Notice to Greece, Croatia and Italy (the first step of an infringement procedure).

      http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-15-6276_EN.htm


  • Country Report : Italy

    The updated AIDA Country Report on Italy documents developments in the asylum procedure, reception conditions, detention of asylum seekers and content of international protection throughout 2017.
    The year 2017 has been chatacterised by media, political and judicial crackdown on non-governmental organisations (NGOs) saving lives at sea, and by the implementation of cooperation agreements with African countries such as Libya, while barriers to access to the territory have also been witnessed at the northern borders of the country, against the backdrop of increasing arrivals from Austria.
    Severe obstacles continue to be reported with regard to access to the asylum procedure in Italy. Several Police Headquarters (Questure) in cities such as Naples, Rome, Bari and Foggia have set specific days for seeking asylum and limited the number of people allowed to seek asylum on a given day, while others have imposed barriers on specific nationalities. In Rome and Bari, nationals of certain countries without a valid passport were prevented from applying for asylum. In other cases, Questure in areas such as Milan, Rome, Naples, Pordenone or Ventimiglia have denied access to asylum to persons without a registered domicile, contrary to the law. Obstacles have also been reported with regard to the lodging of applications, with several Questure such as Milan or Potenza unlawfully refusing to complete the lodging of applications for applicants which they deem not to be in need of protection.
    Since December 2017, Italy has established a specific Dublin procedure in Questure in the Friuli-Venezia Giulia region bordering Austria and Slovenia, with support from EASO. According to that procedure, as soon as a Eurodac ‘hit’ is recorded, Questure move the lodging appointment to a later date and notify a Dublin transfer decision to the persons concerned prior to that date. Applicants are therefore subject to a Dublin transfer before having lodged their application, received information on the procedure or had an interview.
    Despite a continuing increase in the capacity of the SPRAR system, which currently counts over 35,000 funded places, the vast majority of asylum seekers are accommodated in temporary reception centres (CAS). CAS hosted around 80% of the population at the end of 2017. In Milan, for example, the ratio of SPRAR to CAS is 1:10.
    Destitution remains a risk of asylum seekers and beneficiaries of international protection. At least 10,000 persons are excluded from the reception system. Informal settlements with limited or no access to essential services are spread across the entire national territory.
    Throughout 2017, both due to the problems related to age assessment and to the unavailability of places in dedicated shelters, there have been cases of unaccompanied children accommodated in adults’ reception centres, or not accommodated at all. Several appeals have been lodged to the European Court of Human Rights against inappropriate accommodation conditions for unaccompanied children.
    Five pre-removal centres (CPR) are currently operational, while a new hotspot has been opened in Messina. However, substandard conditions continue to be reported by different authorities visiting detention facilities, namely the hotspots of Lampedusa and Taranto and the CPR of Caltanissetta and Ponte Galeria.
    The hotspots of Lampedusa and Taranto have been temporarily been closed as of March 2018.

    http://www.asylumineurope.org/sites/default/files/report-download/aida_it_2017update.pdf
    #Italie #asile #migrations #réfugiés #procédure_d'asile #hotspots #Dublin #frontières #procédure_accélérée #vulnérabilité #pays_sûr #relocalisation #hébergement #logement #éducation #travail #santé #rétention #détention_administrative #naturalisation #liberté_de_mouvement #rapport #refoulement #push-back

    Intéressant, lien avec la #frontière_sud-alpine (#Côme #Milan #Vintimille) :

    Particularly as regards Taranto , as reported by the Senate , among the 14,576 people transiting through the hotspot from March to October 2016 , only 5,048 came from disembarkations while the majority (9,528 ) were traced on Italian territory, mainly at border places in Ventimiglia , Como and Milan , and forcibly taken to Taranto to be identified. Some o f them were asylum seekers accommodated in reception centre in the place they were apprehended and who, after being again identified, were just released out of the hotspot without any ticket or money to go back to their reception centres.

    v. aussi la carte de #Gwendoline_Bauquis, produite dans le cadre de son mémoire de master : « Géopolitique d’une crise de la frontière – Entre #Côme et #Chiasso, le système européen d’asile mis à l’épreuve » (2017)


    #cartographie #visualisation


  • McLibel: full documentary
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V58kK4r26yk

    Hello. This is the official, full-length (81 min) version of our 2005 documentary, McLibel. This film was made completely independently (no studio/broadcaster backing) over four long years. We’re a tiny independent film company always struggling to make ends meet, so if you watch for free here, please make a donation - http://spannerfilms.net/donate - and also sign up to our email list: http://www.spannerfilms.net/mailing_list . Thanks v much and enjoy the film, Franny & Lizzie from Spanner Films
    – - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
    The first documentary from renowned director Franny Armstrong (The Age of Stupid, Drowned Out), McLibel tells the true story of two ordinary people who battle McDonald’s in what became known as “the biggest corporate PR disaster in history” (Channel 4 News). The Seattle Times called the film an “irresistible David and Goliath tale... you can’t help but cheer along” and the Sydney Morning Herald described it as “an often-hilarious exposé of big business arrogance... and an extraordinary example of independent filmmaking”.

    McDonald’s often used the English libel laws to suppress criticism. Major media organisations like the BBC, Channel 4 and The Sun had backed down in the face of their legal threats. But then they sue single father Dave Morris (41) and gardener Helen Steel (34). In what became England’s longest-ever trial, the “McLibel Two” represent themselves for three and a half years in court against McDonald’s £10 million legal team. Every aspect of the corporation’s business is cross-examined, from junk food and McJobs, to animal cruelty, environmental damage and advertising to children.

    McDonald’s try every trick in the book against the pair, including legal manoeuvres, secret settlement negotiations, a visit from Ronald McDonald and even spies. Seven years later, in February 2005, the marathon legal battle finally concludes at the European Court of Human Rights - will the result take everyone by surprise?

    Filmed over ten years, with courtroom reconstructions directed by Ken Loach, McLibel features the first interview with a McDonald’s spy, as well as in-depth contributions from Eric Schlosser (Fast Food Nation) and Keir Starmer (then Helen and Dave’s pro bono lawyer, now the UK’s Director of Public Prosecutions).

    The McLibel trial became a cause-celebre in the UK, resulting in changes both to UK law and to McDonald’s itself. It is often cited as influencing works which followed, including Fast Food Nation, Jamie’s School Dinners and Super Size Me. The producers estimate that more than 26 million people have seen McLibel on TV, cinema, DVD and at local screenings worldwide.
    – - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
    More about the film: http://www.spannerfilms.net/films/mclibel


  • Europe’s human rights court struggles to lay down the law
    Nearly 10,000 judgments covering 46 countries have not been implemented.

    http://www.politico.eu/article/human-rights-court-ilgar-mammadov-azerbaijan-struggles-to-lay-down-the-law

    The most sophisticated system in the world for defending human rights is facing a test. So far, it’s failing.

    Nearly 10,000 judgments of the European Court of Human Rights have not been put into effect by national governments. Some of those cases were ruled on as far back as 1992, and they cover all but one of the 47 member countries of the Strasbourg-based Council of Europe, the court’s parent body and the Continent’s leading human rights organization.

    The failure to implement these judgments — detailed in a Council of Europe database — means that practices have continued across Europe, in many cases for years, after being ruled violations of human rights. These range from segregating HIV-positive prisoners in Greece, to police brutality in Bulgaria, to not properly investigating deaths of prisoners in Romania.

    One case in particular could soon elevate this problem to a bigger political stage. The court ruled in 2014 that the detention of Ilgar Mammadov, an opposition leader in Azerbaijan, was a human rights violation — but he is still in prison three years later.


  • Commission européenne | Programme de soutien à la gestion intégrée des migrations et des frontières en Libye
    https://asile.ch/2017/08/27/commission-europeenne-programme-de-soutien-a-gestion-integree-migrations-front

    Le fonds fiduciaire de l’UE pour l’Afrique adopte un programme de soutien à la gestion intégrée des migrations et des frontières en Libye d’un montant de 46 millions d’euros.


  • Shocking new evidence could overturn Northern Ireland ruling that became an international blueprint for torture | openDemocracy
    https://www.opendemocracy.net/uk/tom-griffin/shocking-new-evidence-could-overturn-northern-ireland-ruling-that-bec

    British forces in Northern Ireland used waterboarding and electric shock treatment on detainees during the 1970s, newly uncovered files show. Witness statements and internal Whitehall correspondence released for the first time last month could have significant implications for international human rights law and British-Irish relations.

    One victim of waterboarding in Belfast spoke out publicly about his experience for the first time at following the recovery of his original testimony from 1972, which recounts that he ‘felt like I was drowning or suffocating until I fell on the floor unconscious’

    The documents were revealed at an event in London to mark the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture on 26 June, hosted by Matrix Chambers, along with the Pat Finucane Centre, the Committee on the Administration of Justice (CAJ) and Amnesty International.

    They add to growing evidence that interrogation practices in Northern Ireland went beyond those criticised by the European Court of Human Rights in the 1978 case of Ireland v. the United Kingdom. The so-called ‘five techniques’ examined in that judgement included deprivation of sleep, deprivation of food and drink, stress positions, hooding and subjection to ‘white noise’.

    Although the European Court condemned these practices as ‘inhuman and degrading’ it refused to describe them as torture. This paradoxically opened the way for the ruling to be used as a blueprint by interrogators, notably in the ‘torture memos’ drafted by the Deputy Assistant Attorney General of the US John Yoo to justify practices used during the earliest phase of the ‘War on Terror’.


  • A right to family reunification for persons granted international protection? The Strasbourg case-law, state sovereignty and EU harmonisation

    For a long time, the European Court of Human Rights showed great respect for state sovereignty in the field of migration and was very reluctant to affirm a right of aliens to enter a Convention State to reunite with family members living there. Only in very rare cases has the Court found violations of the European Convention on Human Rights when migrants or refugees have been denied reunification with their children or spouses in the state of residence. However, recent case-law points to an increasing shift from respect for states’ prerogatives in the field of immigration to a strengthening of the human rights of aliens. On the one hand, the Court has adjusted its approach under Article 8 ECHR giving increased weight to the interests of refugees and beneficiaries of subsidiary protection to be reunited with their loved ones (1) and on the other hand, applicants have been successful in utilising the Article 14 prohibition of discrimination to claim a right to family reunification (2).

    http://eumigrationlawblog.eu/a-right-to-family-reunification-for-persons-under-international-p
    #unité_familiale #regroupement_familiale #asile #migrations #réfugiés #CEDH #CourEDH #jurisprudence #famille



  • Greece: Strasbourg Court halts return of rejected asylum seeker to Turkey

    Last week the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) granted interim measures under Rule 39 of the Rules of the Court to prevent the return of a rejected asylum seeker to Turkey under the EU-Turkey deal.

    The applicant, a national of Pakistan and member of the Ahmadi minority, has had his asylum application rejected as unfounded at both first and second instance and is currently on the island of Lesvos. An application for interim measures has been filed before the Administrative Court of Mytilene against his readmission to Turkey, although such measures have no suspensive effect under national law. The ECtHR requested the Greek authorities to suspend the return of the individual to Turkey until the Administrative Court of Mytilene issues its decision. The Strasbourg Court also ordered the case to be prioritised.

    Since the adoption of the EU-Turkey deal on 18 March 2016, more than 1,200 people have been returned from Greece to Turkey. The majority of those returned are nationals of Pakistan.

    https://www.ecre.org/greece-strasbourg-court-halts-return-of-rejected-asylum-seeker-to-turkey
    #asile #migrations #réfugiés #Turquie #accord_UE-Turquie #Grèce #renvoi #expulsion #CourEDH #Cour_européenne_des_droits_de_l'homme #CEDH #jurisprudence #suspension


  • Hungary will cease providing Kiskunhalas asylum-seekers with food by end of April

    Refugees at the #Kiskunhalas camp in southern Hungary have been notified that soon they will no longer receive any food or stipends for purchasing food.


    http://budapestbeacon.com/featured-articles/hungary-will-cease-providing-kiskunhalas-asylum-seekers-food-end-april/46180
    #camps_de_réfugiés #Hongrie #asile #migrations #réfugiés #nourriture #it_has_begun

    • Hungary denying food to asylum seekers, say human rights groups

      Some adults whose claims were rejected went without food for up to five days, claim activists.

      Hungarian authorities are systematically denying food to failed asylum seekers detained in the country’s border transit zones, say rights activists.

      The policy, whereby adults whose asylum claims have been rejected are denied food, was described as “an unprecedented human rights violation in 21st-century Europe” by the Hungarian Helsinki Committee, a human rights organisation working to offer legal support to those in the transit zones.

      It may amount to “inhuman treatment and even to torture” under international human rights law, said the organisation in a statement released this week. It documented eight cases involving 13 people this year when the Hungarian authorities had begun providing food to people only after the European court of human rights had intervened. Some went without food for up to five days before the rulings were granted.

      Hungary’s nationalist prime minister, Viktor Orbán, has built his political programme around being tough on migration and demonising refugees and migrants. In 2015, he ordered a fence built along the country’s southern border with Serbia and regularly rails against the danger of migration in his speeches. A tax has been imposed on NGOs who work on migration-related issues.

      The Hungarian authorities only accept asylum applications from a small quota of people allowed into its border transit zones, and a July ruling last year made it even harder to satisfy the requirements, noting that anyone who had arrived in Hungary from a safe country was automatically ineligible. Most people arrive from Serbia, which is considered safe.

      Orbán’s spokesman, Zoltán Kovács, dismissed criticism of the policy of withholding food, saying the authorities provided “everything for people who have a legal right to stay in the transit zone”, but added that food would not be provided for those who had been tested and found to be ineligible. “It’s a businesslike approach. When business is finished, there’s nothing we can do,” he said.

      Kovács said the government still provided asylum or the right to stay for people who come with “not only a story but real proof” their lives were in danger. Last year, Hungarian authorities accepted 349 applications made through the transit zone, mainly from Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria, though it is not clear how many of these came before the July ruling on safe countries.

      Kovács said when people’s asylum claims were rejected they were free to leave the transit zone and return to Serbia. “There is no free meal for anyone,” he said in an interview last year.

      However, Hungary and Serbia have no readmission agreement, meaning those in the transit zone cannot be legally deported.

      “The idea is that if you make people hungry enough, you’ll force them to go back to Serbia,” said Márta Pardavi, the co-chair of the Hungarian Helsinki Committee. “This would mean they enter Serbia in a way that is completely unauthorised by Serbian authorities.”

      Orbán’s Fidesz party is campaigning on an anti-migration platform for European parliament elections next month. In this climate, all discussions of migration-related issues retain a political dimension, with organisations such as the Hungarian Helsinki Committee denounced in government-linked media.

      The independent Hungarian MP Bernadett Szél criticised the detention of children in the border transit zones after visiting one of the holding centres earlier this month. “They are locked between fences topped with barbed wire. And there is a lot of dust everywhere … I think the government is not allowing us to take photos inside because people would feel pity for these kids if they saw them.”

      https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/apr/26/hungary-denying-food-to-asylum-seekers-say-human-rights-groups

    • Hungary continues to starve detainees in the transit zones

      23 April 2019

      Hungary started to deprive of food some third-country nationals detained in the transit zones started in August 2018. After 5 such cases successfully challenged by the HHC with obtaining interim measures from the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR), the Hungarian Immigration and Asylum Office (IAO) promised in August 2018 to discontinue this practice and provide food to all asylum-seekers in the transit zone. While welcoming the announcement to end starvation, the HHC also warned already in August 2018 that unless the legal framework is amended to clearly stipulate the requirement to provide food to all those detained in the transit zone, similar cases will occur in the future. Less than 6 months later, on 8 February 2019, an Iraqi family of five was informed that the parents would not be given food while detained in the transit zone. The IAO actually refused to provide the parents with food for 5 days, until the HHC secured an interim measure from the ECtHR that ordered the Hungarian authorities to immediately stop this practice.

      Between February 2019 and the 23rd of April 2019, the HHC had to request interim measures on a case-by-case basis in a total of 8 cases, pertaining to 13 starved people in the transit zones, bringing the total number of starvation cases since August 2018 to 13, and that of the affected individuals to 21.

      You can read our full information note, including the summaries of cases here: https://www.helsinki.hu/wp-content/uploads/Starvation-2019.pdf

      https://www.helsinki.hu/en/hungary-continues-to-starve-detainees-in-the-transit-zones
      #zones_de_transit


  • Swedish Doctors for Human Rights : White Helmets Video, Macabre Manipulation of Dead Children and Staged Chemical Weapons Attack to Justify a “No-Fly Zone” in Syria – THE INDICTER
    http://theindicter.com/swedish-doctors-for-human-rights-white-helmets-video-macabre-manipulati

    Si, après ça, vous avez encore la moindre estime pour les Casques blancs ! Perso, j’ai tendance à accorderplus de crédibilité aux Swedish Doctors for Human Rights...

    UN representatives were moved to tears by the spectacle presented to them by the White Helmets. An appropriate response, to the black art performance of the White Helmets, whose acting talents have propelled them onto Hollywood’s red carpet. In any sane world, however, the ‘misuse’, the propaganda abuse, of the children being exploited as props in a war that will inevitably kill more children, should also qualify the White Helmets for due process in a court of law and condemn their sponsors to prosecution in the European Court of Human Rights.

    As for war-hawk, Samantha Power’s threats, echoed by her puppet human rights organisations, controlled by western corporate elites, I would like to mention that the war in Syria started when the US and NATO states, in unholy alliance with Gulf State tyrannies, funded, trained and armed the “moderate” extremist forces which have since invaded and terrorized the Syrian state and its people, who have steadfastly stood with their elected government against the tide of regime change propaganda and proxy military intervention.

    In the final judgement, when the international court for war crimes puts the immoral warmongers on trial, they will be condemned and found guilty of abhorrent crimes against Humanity by all the decent people of this world.


  • Poland : Asylum Seekers Blocked at Border

    (Budapest) – Polish authorities routinely deny asylum seekers at the Belarus-Poland border the right to apply for asylum and instead summarily return them to Belarus, Human Rights Watch said today. Since 2016, large numbers of asylum seekers, mostly from the Russian Republic of Chechnya, but also from Tajikistan and Georgia, have tried to apply for asylum in Poland at the border with Belarus.


    https://www.hrw.org/news/2017/03/01/poland-asylum-seekers-blocked-border
    #Pologne #asile #migrations #réfugiés #fermeture_des_frontières #Biélorussie #frontières #push-back #refoulement

    –-> @reka : une autre frontière à épaissir sur les cartes...


  • AIDA 2016 Update : Belgium

    The updated Country Report on Belgium contains information on recent developments in case law and policy related to asylum procedures, reception conditions, detention of asylum seekers and integration of beneficiaries of international protection.

    Belgium not only increased its use of the #Dublin Regulation in 2016, but also repeatedly stated its intention to reinstate Dublin transfers to Greece in 2017, a practice halted in 2011 after Belgium was condemned by the European Court of Human Rights for a violation of Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights. The State Secretary sees this measure as the “only way for candidate applicants to understand that they may not choose their country of asylum.”

    Belgium expanded its list of safe countries of origin to include Georgia and Albania, despite a ruling of the Council of State declaring the designation of Albania unlawful. A further extension of this list is to be expected with State Secretary of Asylum and Migration reiterating plans to take other EU Member States’ designations of safe countries into account.

    The pressure on the reception network in Belgium was artificially maintained by closing down multiple reception capacities in 2016 thereby reducing the reception capacity from 35,697 places in May 2016 to 26,362 places in January 2017.

    The increased use of detention on grounds of protection of public order has led to multiple occasions where detention was based on accusations that were later deemed untrue or which the judiciary decided not to prosecute. When courts later reviewed the legality of detention orders, they regularly ruled that they were illegal. On top of this, the State Secretary announced the establishment of closed centres for families close to the 127-Bis Repatriation Centre near the Brussels National Airport, with a view to carrying out returns, even though detaining children is currently prohibited under Belgian legislation.

    In April 2016 the Aliens Act was amended to restrict the duration of residence permits for beneficiaries of international protection. According to the new provision beneficiaries of international protection no longer receive permanent residence upon recognition, but a temporary right of residence of five years. Amendments also facilitated revoking the right to residence in Belgium.

    “The developments in 2016 clearly show the intent to discourage people from seeking asylum in Belgium as far as possible by lowering protection standards, shortening procedures and increasing the use of detention and Dublin. The government’s intention to detain children, add countries to the safe countries of origin list and apply the barely used cessation clauses more strictly, already offers a view on the future of Belgium’s asylum system,” says Ruben Fierens, AIDA Legal Officer.

    http://www.asylumineurope.org/news/22-02-2017/aida-2016-update-belgium
    #asile #migrations #réfugiés #Belgique #Grèce #renvois #expulsions #renvois_Dublin #pays_sûrs #liste_des_pays_sûrs #Albanie #Géorgie #logement #hébergement #détention_administrative #rétention