• Malgré le #coronavirus, la #France continue de refouler les migrants à #Vintimille

    À la frontière franco-italienne, en pleine pandémie de Covid-19, les migrants sont plus que jamais livrés à eux-mêmes, rapporte Il Fatto Quotidiano.

    ”On les a vus arriver à pied depuis la frontière française, sans protection et sans savoir où aller.” Même en pleine pandémie de coronavirus, les rejets de migrants par les autorités françaises se poursuivent à Vintimille, rapporte Il Fatto Quotidiano (https://www.ilfattoquotidiano.it/2020/03/21/coronavirus-la-francia-continua-a-respingere-i-migranti-a-ventimiglia-ma-con-lemergenza-vengono-abbandonati-senza-precauzioni/5744702). Jacopo Colomba, consultant juridique des ONG Caritas et We World, a ainsi raconté au quotidien italien avoir apporté son aide à “sept Kurdes irakiens”, dont trois “avaient un masque, signe qu’ils avaient déjà été pris en charge par quelqu’un ces dernières semaines. Je les ai dirigés vers le camp de la Croix-Rouge voisin, la seule chose que je pouvais faire”.Risque de contagion massiveLe maire de Vintimille, Gaetano Scullino, a alerté la préfecture de la province d’Imperia :

    Les autorités françaises continuent d’accompagner les migrants interceptés sur le territoire français jusqu’à la frontière italienne. Ils entrent ensuite à pied en Italie et se dispersent dans la ville, sans être contrôlés et surtout sans savoir s’ils sont, comme nous, porteurs du virus.”

    Selon Il Fatto Qotidiano, la situation à Vintimille est aujourd’hui “moins explosive qu’en 2015-2016, lorsque des milliers de personnes avaient rejoint la ville frontalière dans l’espoir de traverser la frontière”. Pour l’instant, le camp de la Croix-Rouge accueille environ 250 personnes, mais ce nombre “ne peut pas augmenter davantage en raison des précautions à prendre pour éviter une contagion massive” au nouveau coronavirus.Le quotidien indique également que, par précaution, les autorités italiennes ont “cessé d’identifier et de prendre les empreintes digitales des personnes qui traversent la frontière”, ce qui, selon les ONG, “laisse les migrants encore plus abandonnés à eux-mêmes”. Et déplore que les opérations d’expulsion menées en France exposent les migrants “à de plus grands risques de contagion, car elles se déroulent sans les précautions nécessaires”.Selon Jacopo Colomba, avant d’être reconduits à la frontière, les migrants interceptés passent généralement la nuit “dans un commissariat de police, tous dans la même pièce” :

    Si l’un d’entre eux était positif au #Covid-19, vous comprenez que les autres seraient facilement contaminés.”

    https://www.courrierinternational.com/article/vu-ditalie-malgre-le-coronavirus-la-france-continue-de-refoul
    #frontière_sud-alpine #push-back #refoulement #refoulements #migrations #asile #réfugiés #frontières #Italie

    –---

    Cet article a déjà été signalé par @sinehebdo :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/833549
    et par @thomas_lacroix :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/833498

    ... je remets ici avec mes mots-clé pour le retrouver...

    • Coronavirus, la Francia continua a respingere i migranti a Ventimiglia: “Ma con l’emergenza vengono abbandonati senza precauzioni”

      Li hanno visti arrivare a piedi dal confine francese, senza protezioni e senza un posto dove andare. Anche in piena emergenza coronavirus continuano i respingimenti di migranti alla frontiera di Ventimiglia da parte delle autorità di Parigi. All’ultimo, nelle scorse ore, ha assistito Jacopo Colomba, consulente legale della Caritas e della Onlus We World: “Erano in sette, curdi iracheni – racconta a Ilfattoquotidiano.it – Tre di loro avevano una mascherina, segno che erano già stati presi in carico da qualcuno nelle scorse settimane, gli altri invece erano completamente sprovvisti di protezione. Mi hanno detto che avevano percorso la rotta balcanica. Li ho indirizzati al vicino campo della Croce Rossa, l’unica cosa che potevo fare”.

      La notizia ha però provocato la reazione del sindaco di Ventimiglia, Gaetano Scullino, che ha mobilitato la Prefettura: “Malgrado la pandemia, le autorità francesi continuano ad accompagnare al confine italiano i migranti trovati sul loro territorio nazionale, i quali entrano poi a piedi e si disperdono in città, senza essere controllati e soprattutto senza sapere se pure loro, come noi, sono portatori del virus – ha dichiarato – Chiederò al Prefetto di intervenire per evitare che i migranti siano spinti in Italia e poi lasciati a spasso”.

      La situazione di Ventimiglia, oggi, è meno esplosiva rispetto al 2015-2016, quando migliaia di persone arrivavano nella cittadina di frontiera e affollavano il campo della Croce Rossa nella speranza di varcare il confine e raggiungere i parenti in Francia o nel Nord Europa. Attualmente, sono circa 250 gli ospiti del centro, un numero che però non può crescere ulteriormente a causa delle precauzioni necessarie da prendere per evitare contagi di massa.

      “Da due settimane circa – continua Colomba – le autorità italiane alla frontiera hanno smesso di identificare e prendere le impronte digitali delle persone che varcano il confine. Questo come precauzione. Ma in una situazione del genere, un rimpatrio forzato come quello a cui ho assistito lascia i migranti ancora di più abbandonati a loro stessi”. Anche perché i servizi di trasporto utilizzati in precedenza per raggiungere il centro di accoglienza o la cittadina compiono ormai pochissimi viaggi e le ong hanno interrotto le loro attività al confine con cui davano una prima assistenza a queste persone: “La conseguenza – dice il consulente – è che questi sette migranti che ho incontrato, come tutti gli altri che condividono la loro disavventura, devono compiere una decina di chilometri a piedi e poi, non potendo scomparire, si organizzano con soluzioni di fortuna. Il tutto nel bel mezzo di una grave crisi sanitaria“.

      Le operazioni di espulsione, inoltre, espongono i migranti anche a maggiori rischi di contagio, visto che avvengono senza le dovute precauzioni: “Generalmente – spiega Colomba – queste persone tentano di passare la frontiera a bordo dei treni o a piedi. Se intercettati, vengono portati in dei container al posto di polizia francese dove, di solito, passano la notte, tutti nello stesso locale. Se uno di loro fosse positivo al Covid-19, capite bene che gli altri verrebbero facilmente contagiati. Poi ricevono il foglio di via e vengono rispediti oltre il ponte San Ludovico. Esattamente ciò che è successo ai sette uomini che ho incontrato”.

      https://www.ilfattoquotidiano.it/2020/03/21/coronavirus-la-francia-continua-a-respingere-i-migranti-a-ventimiglia-ma-con-lemergenza-vengono-abbandonati-senza-precauzioni/5744702

  • Privatized Pushbacks: How Merchant Ships Guard Europe

    To hinder migrants crossing the Mediterranean, European navies stopped rescuing them. Now commercial ships are tasked with saving lives — and returning migrants to war-torn Libya.

    The #Panther, a German-owned merchant ship, is not in the business of sea rescues. But one day a few months ago the Libyan Coast Guard ordered it to divert course, rescue 68 migrants in distress in the Mediterranean and return them to Libya, which is embroiled in civil war.

    The request, which the Panther was required to honor, was at least the third time that day, Jan. 11, that the Libyans had called on a merchant ship to assist migrants.

    The Libyans could easily have alerted a nearby rescue ship run by a Spanish charity. The reason they did not goes to the core of how the European authorities have found a new way to thwart desperate African migrants trying to reach their shores from across the Mediterranean.

    And some maritime lawyers think the new tactic is unlawful.

    Commercial ships like the Panther must follow instructions from official forces, like the Libyan Coast Guard, which works in close cooperation with its Italian counterpart.

    Humanitarian rescue ships, on the other hand, take the migrants to Europe, citing international refugee law, which forbids returning refugees to danger.

    After the Panther arrived in Tripoli, Libyan soldiers boarded, forced the migrants ashore at gunpoint, and drove them to a detention camp in the besieged Libyan capital.

    “We call them privatized pushbacks,” said Charles Heller, the director of Forensic Oceanography, a research group that investigates migrant rights abuses in the Mediterranean. “They occur when merchant ships are used to rescue and bring back migrants to a country in which their lives are at risk — such as Libya.”

    The coronavirus crisis has made arguments about Mediterranean migration policy seem peripheral to the European moment, as governments focus on restricting not just external migration, but also the internal movement of their own citizens.

    But long before the pandemic hit, European leaders were mainly consumed by preventing Mediterranean migration, hoping to avoid a repeat of the 2015 migration crisis. And that approach remains topical, with hundreds of migrants crossing the Mediterranean already this week, either oblivious to or unconcerned by the coronavirus outbreak.

    Since the 2015 crisis, European governments have frequently stopped the nongovernmental rescue organizations that patrol the southern Mediterranean — like the Spanish ship, Open Arms — from taking rescued migrants to European ports.

    European navies and coast guards have also largely withdrawn from the area, placing the Libyan Coast Guard in charge of search-and-rescue.

    Now Europe has a new proxy: privately-owned commercial ships. And their deployment is contested by migrant rights watchdogs.

    Although a 1979 international convention on search and rescue requires merchant ships to obey orders from a country’s Coast Guard forces, the agreement also does not permit those forces to pick and choose who helps during emergencies, as Libya’s did.

    “That’s a blatantly illegal policy,” said Dr. Itamar Mann, an expert on maritime law at the University of Haifa in Israel.

    But commercial shipowners say that after saving migrants from drowning, their legal duty is to do as they are told by the Libyan Coast Guard, as decreed by a separate convention on search-and-rescue signed in 1979.

    “This is in accordance with international law,” said John Stawpert, a representative for the International Chamber of Shipping, a global shipowners’ association.

    Between 2011 and 2018, only one commercial ship returned migrants to Libya, according to research by Forensic Oceanography.

    Since 2018 there have been about 30 such returns, involving roughly 1,800 migrants, in which merchant ships have either returned migrants to Libyan ports or transferred them to Libyan Coast Guard vessels, according to data collated by The New York Times and Forensic Oceanography.

    The real number is likely to be higher.

    During the height of the crisis, ships like the Panther would have transferred rescued migrants to the Italian Coast Guard or humanitarian organizations.

    But in 2017, Italy gradually relinquished responsibility for search-and-rescue coordination in the southern Mediterranean to the Libyan Coast Guard, neatly absolving Italy of the legal obligation to rescue and admit every migrant entering international waters north of Libya.

    The next year, merchant ship crews began to return migrants to the Libyan authorities, which had been persuaded to take on the role by the promise of more equipment and international legitimacy.

    The Panther ordinarily supplies a cluster of oil rigs roughly 50 miles north of Libya. On Jan. 11, the Libyan Coast Guard engaged the Panther instead of the Open Arms because only the Panther’s owner had agreed to abide by a restrictive set of regulations drawn up by the Libyan Coast Guard.

    “All the ships who work in search-and-rescue have to follow this code of conduct,” Commodore Masoud Abdal Samad, the Libyan Coast Guard commander, said by telephone.

    Consequently, only the Panther was considered an “acceptable” rescue vessel on Jan. 11, he added.

    The pattern of using commercial ships has increased in recent months, said Anabel Montes Mier, the head of mission aboard the Open Arms that day.

    “These commercial ships follow the orders,” Ms. Montes Mier said. “We refuse to return people to places that are unsafe.”

    Rights groups fear Libya’s refusal to work with humanitarian rescuers has put more migrant lives in danger at sea.

    The number of people reaching Italy has dropped by more than 90 percent since 2017, while the death-toll in the southern Mediterranean has roughly halved in the same period.

    But the number of people drowning, as a proportion of those trying to cross, has sharply risen — from roughly 1 in 50 in 2017, to 1 in 20 in 2019, according to data compiled by the International Organization for Migration.

    The forcible return of the migrants, a practice known as refoulement, has also put many of them in lethal danger on land, because of Libya’s civil war.

    In February, an airstrike hit the dock used by the Panther to disembark migrants in Tripoli. Once ashore, migrants are imprisoned in detention camps run by an assortment of militias. Often, these lie in areas under attack. Last July, one camp was bombed, killing 53 prisoners.

    In a lawless land that provides few rights to foreign laborers, migrants are often tortured, raped, held for ransom, or treated as modern-day slaves.

    Steven, a 20-year-old from South Sudan, described being shot and beaten by Libyan officials after he was returned to Libya by a commercial ship in November 2018.

    “Why did they rescue us and take us back to Libya?” said Steven, who asked to be identified only by his first name for fear of legal repercussions. “It was better to die in the ship.”

    The question of culpability is complex.

    Since 1951, international refugee law has stipulated that migrants should not be returned without due process to the countries they fled. But in cases involving merchant ships, migrants are often rescued in international waters, before reaching Europe’s maritime borders.

    The authorities in Italy and European Union say they should therefore be returned to Libya, since Libya coordinates search-and-rescue operations in these international waters.

    Critics argue that Italy and its European allies still bear responsibility. In the view of humanitarian monitoring groups, the Europeans never relinquished their role in orchestrating search-and-rescue missions — undermining the rationale for surrendering control to Libya.

    During at least part of 2019, Italian navy officers aboard an Italian vessel docked in Tripoli’s harbor oversaw rescues on behalf of the Libyans, according to documents published during a court case in Sicily last March.

    “They coordinated the rescue activities,” Matteo Salvini, Italy’s interior minister at the time, said in an interview with the Times.

    In one instance in November 2018, logbooks show how Italian Coast Guard officers contacted a cargo ship, the Nivin, “on behalf of” their Libyan counterparts. But the logs also reveal that the Nivin’s captain could only reach the Libyan authorities by contacting the Italian Coast Guard.

    And though European navies have withdrawn from the area, their planes still direct the Libyan Coast Guard to migrant vessels, recordings published by The Guardian show.

    In March last year, one such military plane ordered a merchant vessel to return a boatload of rescued migrants to Tripoli, without any intervention from the Libyan Coast Guard, according to recordings reported in The Atavist, a digital magazine.

    In one of several recent phone interviews, Commodore Abdal Samad of the Libyan Coast Guard said an Italian ship docked in Tripoli, once used as a search-and-rescue control center, no longer directs Libyan Coast Guard activity.

    But Libyan Coast Guard crews still sometimes use the Italian ship’s equipment to communicate with merchant vessels, Commodore Abdal Samad conceded, particularly when their radios break down.

    One of the most recent instances, he said, was the weekend in January when the Panther rescued 68 migrants from the southern Mediterranean.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/20/world/europe/mediterranean-libya-migrants-europe.html

    #push-backs #refoulement #refoulements #bateaux_marchands #privatisation #externalisation #Méditerranée #Libye #Mer_Méditerranée #refoulements_privatisés #sauvetage #privatized_pushbacks #gardes-côtes_libyens

    ping @reka

  • Bulgaria is not changing its push-back policy at its border to Turkey

    On the 27th of February 2020 the Turkish government announced migrants will no longer be stopped on the Turkish side of the borders to Greece and Bulgaria. Following this statement thousands of migrants are moving on to Edirne, which is located in the three country border region. For this they used buses (non-stop), organized by the Turkish government, some took taxis. While during the night many people tried to cross the Turkish-Greek border, 60 migrants have been pushed back at the Bulgarian-Turkish border on the following morning.

    The practice of pushing people back to Turkey has not changed so far. During the last days the Greek border is much worse when it comes to the number of people who have been pushed back in only in a short while, but for Greece and Bulgaria this push back practice is not new. While in the past asylum seekers and Bulgarian government officials have both admitted that the Bulgarian border fence could be easily crossed, the Bulgarian authorities have a bad reputation, regarding their behavior towards migrants. The Bulgarian Defence Minister Krassimir Karakachanov just stated that the bulgarian army is ready at any time.

    Media reported that FRONTEX installed 60 additional staff members to the already existing 50 ones at the Bulgarian-Turkish border. This raises the question of whether FRONTEX will only watch the Bulgarian authorities while they go on with their push-back practice in the upcoming days. Until now, the number of crossing incidents around the Turkish-Bulgarian border near Kapıkule/Kapitan Andreevo seem much lower in comparison to the Greek-Turkish border around Pazarkule/Kastanies – both border crossings are only about 10 km away from each other.

    Meanwhile in the whole border region thousands of people, including families, are waiting in the border region under critical weather conditions. Bordermonitoring Bulgaria calls the Bulgarian authorities and FRONTEX to stop the push back practice, which is against international law and the Non-refoulement principle.

    https://bulgaria.bordermonitoring.eu/2020/03/02/bulgaria-is-not-changing-its-push-back-policy-at-its-borde
    #frontières #Turquie #Bulgarie #asile #migrations #réfugiés #push-back #refoulements #refoulement #Frontex

  • Une coalition contre les violences aux frontières

    Nous déposerons plainte contre la Grèce et l’UE pour les violations des droits des personnes migrantes et réfugiées fuyant la Turquie

    Ces derniers jours, les #violations des droits des migrant·e·s et réfugié·e·s qui cherchent à accéder au territoire européen via la Grèce ont pris une tournure dramatique. Si les #violences contre les exilé·e·s atteignent aujourd’hui un niveau inouï, les conditions de cette #escalade ont été posées par les dirigeants européens depuis plusieurs années. En 2015, l’Union européenne (UE) a introduit son « #approche_hotspot », obligeant l’Italie et la Grèce à trier les migrant·e·s et réfugié·e·s arrivant sur leurs côtes. En mars 2016, l’UE a signé un arrangement avec la Turquie qui, pour un temps, a permis de contenir de nouvelles arrivées. Sans surprise, ces dispositifs ont transformé les îles grecques en prisons à ciel ouvert et exacerbé la catastrophe humanitaire aux frontières grecques. La coopération avec la Turquie – largement dénoncée par la société civile –, s’effondre aujourd’hui, alors que les autorités turques, cherchant à faire pression sur l’UE, poussent les personnes migrantes et réfugiées en sa direction.

    Pour empêcher l’arrivée d’un plus grand nombre d’exilé·e·s – principalement Syrien⋅ne·s – fuyant la guerre et maintenant les menaces turques, les agents grecs ont déployé un niveau de #violence inédit, rejoints par une partie de la population. En mer, les garde-côtes coupent la route aux bateaux des migrant·e·s et réfugié·e·s, tirant en l’air et blessant certain·e·s passager·e·s. [1] Un enfant s’est noyé durant la traversée [2] Sur terre, les refoulements à la rivière #Evros ont continué. Une vidéo - qualifiée de « fake news » par les autorités grecques [3] mais vérifiée par #Forensic_Architecture - montre un réfugié syrien tué par balle alors qu’il tentait de traverser la rivière. [4] Par ailleurs, les militant⋅e·s, agissant en solidarité avec les personnes migrantes et réfugiées sont criminalisé⋅e·s et attaqué⋅e·s par des groupes d’extrême droite. [5] Des violations graves sont en cours et les principes de base du droit d’asile sont foulés au pied.

    Cette violence vise à envoyer un message simple aux migrant·e·s et réfugié·e·s potentiel·le·s, celui que le ministère des Affaires Étrangères a exprimé via Twitter : « Personne ne peut traverser les frontières grecques ». [6] Cette politique grecque de fermeture des frontières [7] est soutenue par l’UE. Charles Michel, président du Conseil européen, a ainsi encensé les efforts des Grecs pour « protéger les frontières de l’Europe » [8]. Ursula von der Leyen, présidente de la Commission européenne, a qualifié la Grèce de « bouclier européen » - suggérant ainsi que les personnes migrantes et réfugiées constituent une menace physique pour l’Europe. [9] Enfin, l’agence européenne Frontex va déployer une intervention rapide dans la zone. [10] La Grèce et l’UE sont ainsi prêtes à recourir à tous les moyens pour tenter de dissuader les migrant·e·s et réfugié·e·s et empêcher la répétition des arrivées en grand nombre de 2015 – et la crise politique qu’elles ont générée à travers l’Europe.

    Nous condamnons fermement l’instrumentalisation des migrant·e·s et réfugié·e·s par la Turquie et par l’UE. Aucun objectif politique ne peut justifier de telles exactions. Il est révoltant que des personnes fuyant la violence se trouvent exposées à de nouvelles violences commises par les États européens dont le cynisme et l’hypocrisie culminent. Nos organisations s’engagent à joindre leurs efforts pour forcer les États à rendre compte de leurs crimes. Nous documenterons ainsi les violations des droits des migrant·e·s et réfugié·e·s et déposerons plainte contre ceux qui en sont responsables. Nous soutenons également celles et ceux qui sont de plus en plus criminalisé·e·s pour leur solidarité.

    Nos efforts visent à utiliser tous les outils d’#investigation et du #droit pour faire cesser la #violence_d’État, en finir avec la multiplication et la #banalisation des pratiques de #refoulement en Grèce, et ailleurs aux frontières de l’Europe. Les migrant·e·s et réfugié·e·s ne sont pas une menace face à laquelle l’Europe doit ériger un bouclier, mais sont eux même menacés par la violence des États tout au long de leurs trajectoires précaires. Nous utiliserons les outils du droit pour tenter de les protéger contre cette #brutalité.


    https://www.gisti.org/spip.php?article6320
    #plainte #justice #frontières #migrations #asile #réfugiés #Grèce #Turquie #mourir_aux_frontières #morts #décès #îles #mer_Egée #push-back #push-backs #refoulements

  • Près de 600 migrants portés disparus en Libye, alerte l’OIM

    Les autorités libyennes disent avoir libéré 600 personnes, dont des femmes et des enfants, détenus dans un établissement sous le contrôle du ministère de l’Intérieur. L’Organisation internationale pour les migrations (OIM) s’inquiète du sort de ces migrants volatilisés.

    L’Organisation internationale pour les migrations (OIM) a indiqué avoir perdu la trace de 600 migrants en Libye. « Des femmes et des enfants de tous âges font partie des disparus, ce sont des personnes vulnérables », a alerté Safa Msehli, porte-parole de l’OIM, contactée par InfoMigrants jeudi 20 février.

    Ce groupe de migrants était enfermé dans un établissement sous le contrôle du ministère de l’Intérieur libyen à Tripoli depuis début janvier, après avoir été intercepté en mer Méditerranée et débarqué en Libye par les garde-côtes.

    L’OIM indique ne jamais avoir eu l’autorisation d’accéder à ce #centre. « Ce que nous savons c’est que le gouvernement libyen dit avoir libéré les 600 migrants, mais nous n’avons #aucun_signe_de vie d’eux. Nous sommes très inquiets. Nous avons demandé des éclaircissements aux autorités libyennes », a précisé Safa Msehli.


    https://twitter.com/ONUmigration/status/1230168903348891651?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E12

    Bombardements d’un port de débarquement des migrants

    Sur place, la situation humanitaire continue de se détériorer, 10 mois après le début de l’offensive du maréchal Khalifa Haftar sur Tripoli, a prévenu l’OIM.

    Dernier incident en date, quelques heures à peine avant un débarquement de migrants interceptés en Méditerranée mardi : le port maritime de Tripoli ainsi que celui d’al-Chaab, un port secondaire, ont été la cible de plus de 15 roquettes. C’est la première fois que ces ports sont ciblés par de si lourds bombardements.

    « La Libye ne peut pas attendre », a réagi Federico Soda, chef de la mission de l’OIM en Libye, dans un communiqué. Dans un appel à la communauté internationale émis après cet incident, l’organisation enjoint plus spécifiquement l’Union européenne à réagir au plus vite en prenant « des mesures concrètes pour s’assurer que les vies sauvées en mer soient acheminées vers des ports sûrs, et pour mettre fin au système de détention arbitraire ».

    L’OIM plaide pour « un mécanisme de débarquement rapide et prévisible, dans lequel les États méditerranéens prennent une responsabilité égale pour trouver un port sûr aux personnes secourues ». Il demande aussi la reconnaissance des « efforts de sauvetage des navires des ONG opérant en Méditerranée » et une levée « de toute restriction et tout retard dans le débarquement ».

    Au moins 1 700 migrants ont été interceptés et renvoyés en Libye par les garde-côtes libyens depuis le début de la nouvelle année, selon l’OIM.

    https://www.infomigrants.net/fr/post/22909/pres-de-600-migrants-portes-disparus-en-libye-alerte-l-oim
    #disparitions #IOM #OIM #Libye #asile #migrations #réfugiés #disparitions #gardes-côtes_libyens #sauvetage (?) #Méditerranée #push-back #refoulements #Mer_Méditerranée

    @sinehebdo... c’est aussi un nouveau mot ?
    #migrants_volatilisés

  • Migrants expulsés à #Melilia : « L’Espagne n’a pas commis de violation » (#CEDH)

    Selon la Cour européenne des droits de l’homme, l’Espagne n’a pas commis de violation en renvoyant au Maroc des migrants qui tentaient de franchir Melilia.

    La Cour européenne des droits de l’homme vient de rendre son verdict dans l’affaire de l’expulsion, en 2014, à Melilia, de deux migrants malien et ivoirien par les autorités espagnoles. Dans son arrêt, rendu ce jeudi 13 février, la juridiction a conclu que l’Espagne n’a commis aucune violation.

    L’affaire concerne le renvoi immédiat au Maroc de deux ressortissants malien et ivoirien qui ont tenté, le 13 août 2014, de pénétrer sur le territoire espagnol de manière irrégulière en escaladant les clôtures qui entourent Melilia, sur la côte nord-africaine.

    Dans son arrêt, la Cour a estimé « que les requérants se sont mis eux-mêmes dans une situation d’illégalité lorsqu’ils ont délibérément tenté, le 13 août 2014, d’entrer en Espagne en franchissant le dispositif de protection de la frontière de Melilia, à des endroits non autorisés et au sein d’un groupe nombreux, en profitant de l’effet de masse et en recourant à la force. Ils ont par conséquent décidé de ne pas utiliser les voies légales existantes permettant d’accéder de manière régulière au territoire espagnol. »

    Dans leur requête, les deux migrants avaient notamment affirmé qu’au moment de leur appréhension par la garde civile espagnole, ils n’ont pas « eu la possibilité de s’exprimer sur leur situation personnelle, ni d’être assistés par des avocats ou des interprètes », accusant sur cette base les autorités espagnoles de violations de la convention européenne des droits de l’homme.

    Rendu par la Grande chambre de la Cour européenne, l’arrêt de ce jeudi vient à rebours de celui prononcé en octobre 2017, et qui avait conclut à l’existence de plusieurs « violations » imputables aux autorités espagnoles.

    https://www.medias24.com/migrants-expulses-a-mellila-l-espagne-n-a-pas-commis-de-violation-cedh-761
    #CourEDH #push-back #refoulements #droits_fondamentaux #droits_humains #Espagne #devoluciones_en_caliente #justice (euh...) #migrations #asile #réfugiés #frontières

    ping @isskein @karine4

    • El Tribunal de Estrasburgo cambia de criterio y avala las devoluciones en caliente

      La Gran Sala del Tribunal Europeo de Derechos Humanos (TEDH) ha avalado las devoluciones en caliente en la frontera española y con ello anula su condena a España de 2017 por estas prácticas. El Tribunal considera que los migrantes denunciantes «se pusieron ellos mismos en una situación de ilegalidad al intentar entrar deliberadamente en España por la valla de Melilla».

      Estrasburgo ha concluido que «la falta de un estudio individualizado» de cada caso, como obliga el Convenio Europeo de Derechos Humanos, «podía atribuirse al hecho de que los solicitantes no habían utilizado los procedimientos oficiales de entrada existentes para ese fin, y que, por lo tanto, [la devolución] había sido una consecuencia de su propia conducta».

      Según el fallo, en la legislación española existen «varios medios posibles» de entrada al país por la vía regular, por lo que las personas devueltas «podrían haber solicitado un visado o protección internacional, en particular en el puesto fronterizo, pero también en las representaciones diplomáticas y consulares de España en sus respectivos países de origen o tránsito o bien en Marruecos». La Corte destaca entre las vías de acceso legal a España las oficinas de asilo creadas en el paso fronterizo de Melilla.

      Las ONG denuncian los obstáculos a los que se enfrentan las personas subsaharianas para acceder a estas salas y la dificultad para llegar a España a través de vías legales y seguras. No obstante, el Tribunal responde que «el mero hecho -no discutido por el Gobierno - de que se presentasen en Beni Enzar muy pocas solicitudes de asilo antes del 1 de septiembre de 2014 no permiten la conclusión de que el Estado demandado no había proporcionado un acceso efectivo a ese cruce fronterizo».

      Según expone la sentencia, a lo largo del procedimiento ante la Gran Cámara «los demandantes no alegaron que tratasen de entrar en territorio español alguna vez por medios legales. Sólo en la audiencia de la Gran Cámara declararon que habían intentado acercarse a Beni Enzar [puesto fronterizo] pero habían sido ’perseguidos por oficiales marroquíes». El argumento de la dificultad de acceso a las salas de asilo de la frontera no ha convencido a la Gran Sala. «En ningún momento los demandantes habían alegado que la obstáculos encontrados fueron responsabilidad de las autoridades españolas. Por lo tanto, la Corte no estaba convencida de que, en el momento de los hechos, los demandantes hubieran tenido razones convincentes para no utilizar el puesto fronterizo».

      De esta manera, la Corte rompe con el criterio de los magistrados que estudiaron el caso en primera instancia, que concluyeron en 2017 que la expulsión inmediata de N.D y N.T el 13 de agosto de 2014 violó el Convenio Europeo de los Derechos Humanos, en relación a la prohibición de los retornos colectivos y la obligación de garantizar el derecho de recurso efectivo de las personas devueltas.

      Los denunciantes, de origen maliense y marfileño, se encontraban entre los centenares de personas que intentaron saltar la valla de Melilla el 13 de agosto de 2014. Alrededor de 70 migrantes permanecieron durante horas sentadas en lo alto de la alambrada más próxima a España. Finalmente, todos ellos descendieron por una escalera colocada por la Guardia Civil y, tras pisar suelo español, todos fueron esposados y entregados de forma inmediata a las fuerzas marroquíes.
      El giro de Estrasburgo

      En su sentencia de 2017, el Tribunal de Estrasburgo dio la razón por unanimidad a N.D. y N.T, de Mali y Costa de Marfil, respectivamente. Cuando ambos ciudadanos fueron esposados por los agentes españoles para ser devueltos a Marruecos, nadie les preguntó su nombre. No los identificaron ni les ofrecieron el acceso a un abogado ni a un intérprete, como establecen diferentes acuerdos internacionales de los que España forma parte, como la Convención de Ginebra, y como marcaba la Ley de Extranjería vigente en ese momento, meses después reformada a través de la Ley de Seguridad Ciudadana en un intento de regular estas prácticas.

      La Corte concluyó entonces que la expulsión inmediata de dos ciudadanos de origen subsahariano a Marruecos violó el Convenio Europeo de los Derechos Humanos que prohíbe los retornos colectivos y obliga a garantizar el derecho de recurso efectivo de las personas devueltas. El TEDH sostenía que los denunciantes «no tuvieron la oportunidad de explicar sus circunstancias para recibir asistencia de abogados, intérpretes o personal médico», lo que impedía de facto la posibilidad de solicitar asilo.

      «El Tribunal ha observado que los denunciantes habían sido expulsados y enviados a Marruecos en contra de sus deseos y que las medidas se adoptaron en ausencia de toda intervención administrativa o judicial previa», sentenció Estrasburgo en 2017. En este sentido, el Tribunal alegó que «existe un vínculo claro entre la expulsión colectiva y el hecho de que se les impedía acceder a un recurso que les hubiera permitido presentar su queja a una autoridad competente y obtener una minuciosa revisión de sus solicitudes antes de su devolución». No había duda, concluían, de que los hechos ocurrieron bajo jurisdicción española.

      Tras ser entregados a las autoridades marroquíes por los guardias civiles, N.D. y N.T fueron trasladados a la comisaría de la policía de Nador, y luego a Fez, a más de 300 kilómetros de Melilla, en compañía de los 75 a 80 inmigrantes que habían intentado entrar en Melilla en la misma fecha. El Tribunal Europeo ordenó entonces a España indemnizar a cada uno de ellos con 5.000 euros.

      Tirando de los mismos argumentos que el Partido Popular, el Gobierno español defendió estas expulsiones ante Estrasburgo y anunció que no abordaría ninguna reforma al respecto hasta conocer la decisión definitiva del Tribunal Europeo de Derechos Humanos. «No hay una expulsión sino una prevención de entrada», alegó la Abogacía del Estado en el documento enviado a Estrasburgo. Los migrantes, añadió, «no lograron superar la línea policial» por lo que no entraron «en la jurisdicción española».

      La hipótesis del Ejecutivo, conocida como la «frontera flexible», fue la base levantada por el exministro del PP Jorge Fernández Díaz para justificar las expulsiones inmediatas en Ceuta y Melilla. Según su argumentario, el suelo español no empezaba a los pies de la valla hispano-marroquí, sino que su inicio estaría ligado a la línea imaginaria formada por los agentes de la Guardia Civil. No habría, insisten, una ’devolución en caliente’ sino un ’rechazo en frontera’. A su juicio, los migrantes no habrían entrado a España a pesar de sortear la alambrada fronteriza.

      En 2018, el Gobierno devolvió en caliente a 658 personas en las fronteras de Ceuta y Melilla, 51 más que el año anterior, según las cifras del Ministerio del Interior aportadas en una respuesta remitida a la exsenadora de Unidas Podemos Maribel Mora.

      Las devoluciones en caliente fueron regularizadas en la legislación española en 2015 por el Gobierno de Mariano Rajoy a través de la figura del «rechazo frontera», incluida en una disposición de la Ley de Seguridad Ciudadana. Esta semana, el Constitucional ha empezado a analizar los artículos de la llamada ’Ley Mordaza’ cuestionados en el recurso, incluida la disposición adicional primera que regula las devoluciones en caliente.

      https://www.eldiario.es/desalambre/Estrasburgo-devoluciones_en_caliente-derechos_humanos_0_994951426.html

    • Feu vert européen aux #expulsions_express de migrants

      L’Espagne n’a pas bafoué les droits humains en expulsant « à chaud », sans décision administrative ou judiciaire, deux migrants africains de son enclave de Melilla, dans le nord du Maroc, a statué la Cour européenne des droits de l’homme (CEDH) dans un arrêt rendu jeudi à Strasbourg. La décision, définitive, est une surprise puisqu’elle inverse un arrêt rendu en 2017, qui donnait raison aux deux requérants et condamnait Madrid.

      Au-delà du cas de ces deux ressortissants, malien et ivoirien, l’Espagne a expulsé de façon expéditive, depuis une quinzaine d’années, des centaines de « sauteurs », ces migrants d’Afrique subsaharienne qui franchissent à mains nues les grilles, hautes de plus de 6 mètres et hérissées de lames tranchantes, qui séparent du Maroc les villes de Ceuta et Melilla, seules frontières terrestres entre l’Afrique et l’Europe. Parvenus en territoire espagnol, les migrants étaient reconduits au Maroc sans avoir pu faire valoir leur droit à une assistance juridique ou médicale ni déposer une demande d’asile. Au mépris du droit européen, opposé aux expulsions collectives, et de la Convention de Genève de 1951 sur les réfugiés.

      Pour Claire Rodier, du Groupe d’information et de soutien des immigré.e.s (Gisti), cofondatrice du réseau Migreurop, une telle décision est « catastrophique » en ce qu’elle « valide des pratiques contraires au droit international », et « s’inscrit dans un climat politique qui justifie le recours à l’illégalité des Etats ». Quelques exemples : « Les interdictions de débarquement des bateaux humanitaires en Méditerranée, de porter secours à leurs passagers, l’accord Turquie-UE de 2016… »

      Pour la responsable d’ONG, l’arrêt de Strasbourg est un nouveau cas où « les juges suivent les politiques ». La Hongrie, souligne-t-elle, procède à des expulsions illégales. La France aussi, à la frontière italienne, même si elle s’en défend.

      L’argument de la CEDH, qui reproche aux migrants de « choisir » la violence au lieu de se présenter aux postes frontières en faisant la queue avec les touristes, scandalise Claire Rodier car il « ignore une situation pourtant connue de tous et dénoncée depuis des années : les migrants noirs ne peuvent approcher des guichets frontaliers, tant du côté espagnol que marocain, tout est fait pour les empêcher d’y accéder. » Dès lors, ils n’ont pas le « choix », la voie illégale est la seule possible.

      https://www.liberation.fr/planete/2020/02/13/feu-vert-europeen-aux-expulsions-express-de-migrants_1778340
      #migrations #réfugiés #asile #machine_à_expulser

    • "El fallo de Estrasburgo significa que si entras de manera irregular no te amparan los derechos"

      Los impulsores del caso que ha llevado las devoluciones en caliente al Tribunal de Estrasburgo consideran que la decisión de la corte es «peligrosa» porque responsabiliza a los migrantes de poner en una situación de ilegalidad y les niega el amparo de los convenios europeos por infringir una norma

      Peligrosa, decepcionante, sin memoria histórica y sin empatía. Así han calificado este jueves los impulsores de la causa la decisión de la Gran Sala del Tribunal Europeo de derechos de Humanos (TEDH) que avala las devoluciones en caliente de migrantes en las vallas de Ceuta y Melilla y, por extensión, a todas las fronteras de la Unión Europea.

      «Es difícil encontrar palabras ante un texto jurídico redactado sin conciencia, sin memoria histórica, sin imaginación y sin empatía», ha afirmado en rueda de prensa Wolfgang Kaleck, fundador del Centro Europeo de Derechos Constitucionales y Humanos (ECCHR), la organización alemana que llevó al tribunal de Estrasburgo el caso de los dos jóvenes subsaharianos expulsados automáticamente tras saltar la valla de Melilla en 2014. Ganaron en primera instancia, por unanimidad de todos los jueces, pero menos de tres años después, también por unanimidad, el mismo tribunal con diferentes magistrados ha anulado la condena a España y ha cambiado de opinión.

      «Estamos sorprendidos. Afirmar que los demandantes tenían otra posibilidad legal [de entrar en España] es ir contra la realidad», ha criticado Kaleck. «No hay maneras legales para encontrar refugio en Europa. Por eso violan alguna regla», ha especificado, en referencia al fallo de la corte, que responsabiliza a los dos demandantes de ponerse ellos mismos «en una situación de ilegalidad al intentar entrar deliberadamente por la valla de Melilla». Para Kaleck, asumir esto significa «negar el Convenio de Derechos Humanos de la Unión Europea y la Convención de Ginebra sobre los refugiados».

      https://twitter.com/centre_IRIDIA/status/1227983447404285953?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E12

      El problema fundamental, según ha destacado Hanna Hakiki, abogada de la asociación alemana, es que la sentencia considera probado que había jurisdicción europea dentro de la valla y que se produjo una expulsión sin garantías, pero que al mismo tiempo existían vías legales para acceder que no los demandantes no utilizaron. Por eso la corte no encuentra una violación del Convenio Europeo de Derechos Humanos, en concreto, al recurso efectivo de su expulsión. «Es una interpretación punitiva de la protección, significa que si entras de manera irregular no te amparan los derechos del Convenio Europeo de Derechos Humanos», ha lamentado. «Creo que esta es una perspectiva peligrosa que va contra el Derecho Internacional», ha advertido la abogada.

      Hakiki ha recordado que el el TEDH ha asumido la postura del representante de España durante la vista del recurso que el Gobierno interpuso ante la condena de 2017. Según afirmó este representante, se puede pedir asilo en los puestos fronterizos y en las embajadas y consulados españoles en otros países. «Esto es falso y todos lo saben, desde el Defensor del Pueblo Español hasta el Alto Comisionado de las Naciones Unidas para los Refugiados (ACNUR)», ha esgrimido la letrada.

      En la misma línea se ha pronunciado Gonzalo Boye, abogado defensor de los migrantes de la causa, que ha destacado «contradicciones» en la sentencia y ha pedido paciencia para analizarla en profundidad. «Confío en que este fallo no cree doctrina. Que no haga historia», ha deseado el letrado, que también defiende al expresidente de la Generatitat de Catalunya Cales Puigdemont. Según Boye, «es muy preocupante que cualquier personas que infrinja una norma —en este caso, una administrativa— pierda los derechos que le amparan. Esta decisión, en un caso penal, puede ser muy peligrosa», ha sentenciado el abogado.

      «Ya no hay tribunal de derechos humanos»

      «Creo sinceramente que el Tribunal Europeo de Derechos Humanos ha dejado de ser una referencia en Derechos Humanos», ha lamentado José Palazón, activista y presidente de la fundación Pro Derechos de la Infancia (Prodein) de Melilla, que lleva años denunciando públicamente las vulneraciones de derechos y la violencia empleada contra los migrantes por parte de las fuerzas de seguridad españolas y marroquíes. «Enfadado y sorprendido con esas 17 personas que llaman jueces», ha afirmado estar Palazón, el más contundente en la crítica.

      «Ya no hay tribunal de derechos humanos, hay un tribunal del derecho de los Gobiernos y corporaciones fascistas que crecen en toda Europa, que se deja influenciar y tiene miedo de defender los derechos humanos», ha proseguido el activista. «¿Será que a los negros les gusta saltar la valla?», se ha preguntado irónicamente para recordar que para los subsaharianos es imposible acercarse a la frontera entre Marruecos y España de otra forma. «Nos han robado una institución. Han ganado esta partida, pero la lucha sigue», ha afirmado.

      Por su parte, Kaleck ha recordado que su organización tiene pendientes otros procesos similares a este por devoluciones en otras fronteras de la Unión Europea y que esta decisión «no es una solución», por eso ha hecho un llamamiento al Gobierno español para que legisle "de acuerdo a la Constitución a la Convención de Derechos Humanos de la UE. «En 20 años, este tribunal se avergonzará de esta decisión».

      https://www.publico.es/sociedad/devoluciones-caliente-fallo-estrasburgo-significa-entras-manera-irregular-no

    • L’Espagne et l’Union européenne pourront faire prévaloir la protection des frontières européennes sur le #droit_d’asile

      La Cour européenne des droits de l’Homme (Cour-EDH) vient de rendre une décision favorable aux autorités espagnoles, en entérinant la pratique dite des « refoulements à chaud » des personnes tentant de rejoindre les enclaves espagnoles de Ceuta et Melilla. Alors même qu’une autre formation de la Cour avait condamné l’Espagne en 2017 pour cette pratique illégale[1], sa Grande Chambre a décidé cette fois que ce pays n’avait pas violé les droits des exilé·e·s qui avaient déjà franchi sa frontière en les renvoyant de façon expéditive et violente vers le Maroc. Par cette décision extrêmement grave, la Cour-EDH légitime le principe du refoulement généralisé. Par ailleurs, elle entérine l’impossibilité de déposer une demande d’asile en cas de franchissement illégal d’une frontière, et salue la bonne collaboration avec le Maroc dans la répression des exilé·e·s.

      Les personnes migrantes se heurtent aux pratiques de refoulement tout au long de leurs parcours aux frontières extérieures de l’UE, qui s’étendent toujours plus aux Sud et à l’Est. Elles y sont confrontées lorsqu’elles tentent de traverser le Sahara[2] ou les Balkans[3], ou tentent de fuir l’enfer libyen[4]. Cette réalité – qui, pour les cas les plus dramatiques mène à la mort – concerne aussi l’intérieur du territoire européen, comme l’illustrent les renvois récurrents de personnes migrantes aux frontières françaises avec l’Italie et l’Espagne[5]. Les pratiques de refoulement se multiplient et sont devenues une forme de gestion de plus en plus normalisée des mobilités illégalisées, qu’il faudrait entraver à tout prix.

      Depuis au moins deux décennies, les personnes migrantes subissent les violences des garde-frontières espagnols lors de leurs tentatives d’entrée dans les enclaves de Ceuta et Melilla. Les militaires marocains ne sont pas en reste : de multiples rapports d’ONG démontrent que le Maroc procède régulièrement à de violentes répressions et rafles pour éloigner les exilé·e·s de la frontière[6].

      Malgré cette réalité ancienne et documentée, la Cour-EDH conclut dans son arrêt du 13 février que l’Espagne n’a commis aucune violation, estimant « que les requérants [s’étaient] mis eux-mêmes dans une situation d’illégalité » en tentant de franchir la frontière de Melilla hors d’un poste-frontière habilité. Elle ajoute qu’« ils ont par conséquent décidé de ne pas utiliser les voies légales existantes permettant d’accéder de manière régulière au territoire espagnol ». Argument fallacieux s’il en est de considérer que seul·e·s pourraient être protégé·e·s du refoulement les exilé·e·s entré·e·s par un poste frontière habilité ou qu’ils/elles pourraient déposer sans entrave une demande d’asile au consulat. Pourtant, de nombreuses organisations de défense des droits – dont les rapports ont été sciemment ignorés par la Cour – ont pu documenter que les personnes noires sont particulièrement traquées par les forces sécuritaires marocaines, empêchées d’atteindre les postes frontières des enclaves. L’accès aux bureaux d’asile de Ceuta et Melilla (mis en place en 2015) leur est donc impossible, ne leur laissant d’autres choix que de tenter d’escalader les clôtures et leurs lames tranchantes, ou de prendre la mer, au péril de leur vie[7].

      La Cour européenne des droits de l’Homme, en revenant sur la condamnation de l’Espagne, donne un signal fort aux États européens pour la généralisation de ces pratiques violentes de refoulement et la légitimation de l’externalisation de l’asile. En effet, en estimant qu’un État membre peut limiter le droit de demander protection sur son territoire à certains lieux ou à certaines circonstances, la Cour cautionne des pratiques contraires au droit international, que l’UE essaye de longue date de promouvoir : empêcher l’arrivée de celles et ceux qui cherchent protection, soit en érigeant des barrières physiques ou juridiques, soit en sous-traitant ses obligations à des pays notoirement hostiles aux personnes migrantes.

      Les associations signataires condamnent fermement la décision de la Cour-EDH. Nous refusons que le principe de non-refoulement, pierre angulaire du droit d’asile, soit remis en cause au nom de la politique d’externalisation et de protection des frontières de l’UE et ses États membres. Nous soutenons les personnes migrantes dans l’exercice de leur liberté de circulation, et combattons les violences et le racisme qu’elles subissent tout au long de leurs trajectoires illégalisées.

      https://www.lacimade.org/presse/lespagne-et-lunion-europeenne-pourront-faire-prevaloir-la-protection-des-f

      –-> Communiqué inter-associatif signé par le réseau Migreurop, dont La Cimade est membre, publié à la suite d’une décision rendue par la Cour européenne des droits de l’Homme sur les « refoulements à chaud » en Espagne.

  • En #Algérie, près de 11000 #migrants_subsahariens expulsés en #2019

    L’Algérie poursuit les expulsions de migrants subsahariens vers le nord du Niger, comme tout au long de l’année 2019. Après des #arrestations au cours de la semaine dernière, un convoi de plusieurs centaines de personnes était en route ce mercredi pour la frontière.

    Transmise le 13 janvier aux responsables de 30 régions du pays par le ministère des Affaires étrangères, une circulaire publiée dans la presse explique le déroulement d’une opération d’expulsion de migrants subsahariens vers la frontière avec le Niger.

    Des bus ont convergé des régions du nord et du centre du pays vers la ville de Ghardaïa, à 600 kilomètres au sud d’Alger. Le 13 janvier au soir, selon un témoin, plusieurs dizaines de bus transportant des migrants étaient arrivés dans la ville. Ces personnes ont été arrêtées par les forces de sécurité dans les jours précédents.

    Réseaux de mendicité

    La plupart sont originaires du Niger. Alger s’appuie sur un accord passé avec Niamey en 2014 (http://www.rfi.fr/hebdo/20151016-niger-algerie-reprise-expulsions-departs-volontaires-agadez-tamanrasset) pour rapatrier ces personnes, impliquées dans des réseaux de #mendicité, que l’Algérie considère comme des réseaux criminels. Mais au cours des arrestations, les forces de l’ordre arrêtent aussi des ressortissants d’autres nationalités.

    En 2019, des expulsions ont eu lieu chaque mois. Selon les données de l’Organisation internationale des migrations qui enregistre les migrants qui le souhaitent à leur arrivée dans le nord du Niger, presque 11 000 personnes ont été expulsées de janvier à novembre, dont 358 qui n’étaient pas nigériennes.


    www.rfi.fr/afrique/20200115-algerie-reprise-expulsions-migrants-niger ##migrants_sub-sahariens
    #Niger #renvois #expulsions #statistiques #chiffres #migrants_nigériens #déportation #refoulement #refoulements

    ping @karine4 @_kg_
    signalé par @pascaline via la mailing-list Migreurop

    Ajouté à la métaliste sur les expulsions de l’Algérie vers le Niger :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/748397

  • Hoping To Survive, by #Razieh_Gholami, Afghanistan, 2019

    ‘The journey to safety is hard. Europe doesn’t want refugees. We thought we had arrived to safety but Europe is trying to make us struggle more and send us back to danger’

    https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/gallery/2019/dec/25/we-never-chose-this-refugees-use-art-to-imagine-a-better-world-in-pictu
    #dessin #asile #migrations #réfugiés #frontières #refoulement #push-back #refoulements #Europe #frontières_extérieures #fermeture_des_frontières

    ping @karine4 @isskein

  • Privatised Push-Back of the #Nivin

    In November 2018, five months after Matteo Salvini was made Italy’s Interior Minister, and began to close the country’s ports to rescued migrants, a group of 93 migrants was forcefully returned to Libya after they were ‘rescued’ by the Nivin, a merchant ship flying the Panamanian flag, in violation of their rights, and in breach of international refugee law.

    The migrants’ boat was first sighted in the Libyan Search and Rescue (SAR) Zone by a Spanish surveillance aircraft, part of Operation EUNAVFOR MED – Sophia, the EU’s anti-smuggling mission. The EUNAVFOR MED – Sophia Command passed information to the Italian and Libyan Coast Guards to facilitate the interception and ‘pull-back’ of the vessel to Libya. However, as the Libyan Coast Guard (LYCG) patrol vessels were unable to perform this task, the Italian Coast Guard (ICG) directly contacted the nearby Nivin ‘on behalf of the Libyan Coast Guard’, and tasked it with rescue.

    LYCG later assumed coordination of the operation, communicating from an Italian Navy ship moored in Tripoli, and, after the Nivin performed the rescue, directed it towards Libya.

    While the passengers were initially told they would be brought to Italy, when they realised they were being returned to Libya, they locked themselves in the hold of the ship.

    A standoff ensured in the port of Misrata which lasted ten days, until the captured passengers were violently removed from the vessel by Libyan security forces, detained, and subjected to multiple forms of ill-treatment, including torture.

    This case exemplifies a recurrent practice that we refer to as ‘privatised push-back’. This new strategy has been implemented by Italy, in collaboration with the LYCG, since mid-2018, as a new modality of delegated rescue, intended to enforce border control and contain the movement of migrants from the Global South seeking to reach Europe.

    This report is an investigation into this case and new pattern of practice.

    Using georeferencing and AIS tracking data, Forensic Oceanography reconstructed the trajectories of the migrants’ vessel and the Nivin.

    Tracking data was cross-referenced with the testimonies of passengers, the reports by rescue NGO WatchTheMed‘s ‘Alarm Phone’, a civilian hotline for migrants in need of emergency rescue; a report by the owner of the Nivin, which he shared with a civilian rescue organisation, the testimonies of MSF-France staff in Libya, an interview with a high-ranking LYCG official, official responses, and leaked reports from EUNAVFOR MED.

    Together, these pieces of evidence corroborate one other, and together form and clarify an overall picture: a system of strategic delegation of rescue, operated by a complex of European actors for the purpose of border enforcement.

    When the first–and preferred–modality of this strategic delegation, which operates through LYCG interception and pull-back of the migrants, did not succeed, those actors, including the Maritime Rescue Co-ordination Centre in Rome, opted for a second modality: privatised push-back, implemented through the LYCG and the merchant ship.

    Despite the impression of coordination between European actors and the LYCG, control and coordination of such operations remains constantly within the firm hands of European—and, in particular, Italian—actors.

    In this case, as well as in others documented in this report, the outcome of the strategy was to deny migrants fleeing Libya the right to leave and request protection in Italy, returning them to a country in which they have faced grave violations. Through this action, Italy has breached its obligation of non-refoulement, one of the cornerstones of international refugee law.

    This report is the basis for a legal submission to the United Nations Human Rights Committee by Global Legal Action Network (GLAN) on behalf of an individual who was shot and forcefully removed from the Nivin.

    https://forensic-architecture.org/investigation/nivin
    #Méditerranée #rapport #Charles_Heller #asile #frontières #migrations #réfugiés #mer_Méditerranée #push-back #push-backs #refoulement #refoulements #privatisation #Italie #Libye #operation_sophia #EUNAVFOR_Med #gardes-côtes_libyens #sauvetage #Misrata #torture #privatised_push-back #push-back_privatisé #architecture_forensique #externalisation #navires_marchands #Salvini #Matteo_Salvini

    Pour télécharger le rapport :
    https://content.forensic-architecture.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/2019-12-18-FO-Nivin-Report.pdf

    –-----

    Sur le cas du Nivin, voir aussi, sur seenthis, ce fil de discussion :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/735627

    • Migrants refoulés en Libye : l’Italie accusée d’embrigader la marine marchande

      En marge du Forum mondial sur les réfugiés, plusieurs ONG ont annoncé mercredi saisir un comité de l’ONU dans l’espoir de faire cesser les refoulements de migrants vers la Libye .

      De son identité il n’a été révélé que ses initiales. SDG a fui la guerre au Soudan du Sud. En novembre 2018, avec une centaine d’autres migrants embarqués sur un canot pour traverser la Méditerranée, il est secouru par un cargo battant pavillon panaméen, le Nivin. Mais l’équipage, suivant ainsi les instructions des autorités italiennes, ramène les naufragés vers la Libye et le port de Misrata. Les migrants refusent de débarquer, affirmant qu’ils préfèrent mourir sur le navire plutôt que de retourner dans les centres de détention libyens.

      Il s’ensuit un bras de fer d’une dizaine de jours. Finalement, les Libyens donnent l’assaut et les migrants sont débarqués de force. SDG est blessé, puis emprisonné et maltraité. Il restera avec une balle en plastique dans la jambe pendant six mois. Le jeune homme est aujourd’hui à Malte, où il a pu déposer une demande d’asile. Il a finalement réussi la traversée, à sa huitième tentative.

      C’est en son nom que plusieurs ONG ont déposé une plainte contre l’Italie mercredi auprès du Comité des droits de l’homme de l’ONU. Cet organe, composé de 18 experts, n’émet que des avis consultatifs. « Cela ira plus vite que devant la Cour européenne des droits de l’homme (CEDH). Nous visons l’Italie, car le comité de l’ONU ne se prononce que sur les violations commises par des Etats, nous ne pourrions attaquer l’Union européenne », justifie Violeta Moreno-Lax, de l’ONG Global Legal Action. L’Italie, en première ligne face à l’arrivée de boat people, avait déjà été condamnée par la CEDH en 2012 pour le refoulement de migrants en Libye. « Depuis, Rome fait tout pour contourner cet arrêt », dénonce la juriste.

      « Le choix impossible des équipages »

      L’une des tactiques, ont exposé les ONG lors d’une conférence de presse, est d’embrigader la marine marchande pour qu’elle ramène les naufragés en Libye. « La décision de l’ancien ministre de l’Intérieur Matteo Salvini de fermer les ports italiens aux navires de sauvetage en juin 2018 a créé une onde de choc en Méditerranée, décrit le chercheur suisse Charles Heller, qui documente la disparition de migrants en mer. Les autres pays européens ont retiré leurs bateaux, parce qu’ils risquaient d’être bloqués faute de ports où débarquer les migrants. Ce sont donc les navires marchands qui sont appelés à remplir le vide. Ces équipages sont face à un choix impossible. Soit ils se conforment aux instructions des autorités maritimes italiennes et violent le droit de la mer, qui oblige les marins à débarquer les naufragés vers un port sûr. Soit ils résistent et s’exposent à des poursuites judiciaires. Dans les faits, beaucoup de navires évitent de porter secours aux embarcations en détresse. »

      Ces derniers mois, Charles Heller a recensé 13 navires marchands qui ont refoulé des migrants en Libye. Parmi ces cas, deux tentatives n’ont pas réussi, les naufragés se rebellant contre un retour en Libye. « Il faut comprendre qu’une fois débarqués en Libye, les migrants sont détenus de façon totalement arbitraire. Les centres sont inadaptés, la nourriture est insuffisante, les maladies comme la tuberculose y font des ravages et les disparitions ne sont pas rares, en particulier les femmes », détaille Julien Raickman, le chef de mission de Médecins sans frontières en Libye.


      https://www.letemps.ch/monde/migrants-refoules-libye-litalie-accusee-dembrigader-marine-marchande

    • Migranti, un report accusa l’Italia: «Respingimento illegale dei 93 salvati dal mercantile Nivin e riportati in Libia con la forza»

      Le prove in un documento della Forensic Oceanography presso la Goldsmith University of London. Nell’ultimo anno, chiamando navi commerciali a soccorrere barche in difficoltà, sarebbero stati 13 i casi analoghi.

      «Qui MRCC Roma. A nome della Guardia costiera libica per la salvezza delle vite in mare vi preghiamo di procedere alla massima velocità per dare assistenza ad una barca in difficoltà con circa 70 persone a bordo. Vi preghiamo di contattare urgentemente la Guardia costiera libica attraverso questo centro di ricerca e soccorso ai seguenti numeri di telefono». Ai quali rispondono sempre gli italiani.

      Un dispaccio del centro di ricerca e soccorso di Roma delle 19.39 del 7 novembre del 2018 dimostra che a coordinare l’operazione di salvataggio di un gruppo di migranti poi riportati in Libia dal mercantile Nivin battente bandiera panamense fu l’Italia. In 93, segnalati prima da un aereo di Eunavformed, poi dal centralino Alarmphone, furono presi a bordo dal Nivin e, con l’inganno, sbarcati con la forza a Misurata dall’esercito libico dopo essere rimasti per dieci giorni asserragliati sul ponte del mercantile. Picchiati, feriti, rinchiusi di nuovo nei centri di detenzione in un paese in guerra.

      Un respingimento di massa illegittimo, contrario al diritto internazionale, che sarebbe stato dunque coordinato dall’Italia secondo una strategia di salvataggio delegato ai privati per applicare il controllo delle frontiere. Un «modello di pratica» che - secondo un rapporto redatto da Charles Heller di Forensic Oceanography, ramo della Forensic Architecture Agency basata alla Goldsmiths University of London - l’Italia e l’Europa avrebbero applicato ben 13 volte nell’ultimo anno, in coincidenza con la politica italiana dei porti chiusi.

      Caso finora unico, alcune delle persone riportate in Libia sono state rintracciate nei centri di detenzione da Msf che ne ha raccolto le testimonianze che - incrociate con i documenti e le risposte alle richieste di informazione date da Eunavformed e dalla stessa Guardia costiera libica - hanno consentito di ricostruire quello che viene definito nello studio «una pratica ricorrente di respingimenti, una nuova modalità di soccorso delegato ai privati» che verrebbe attuato quando le motovedette della guardia costiera libica, come avvenne nel caso del 7 novembre 2018, sono impegnate in altri interventi. «Impegnandosi in questa pratica - è l’accusa del report - l’Italia usa violenza extraterritoriale per contenere i movimenti dei migranti e viola l’obbligo di non respingimento». Per questo il Glan, l’organizzazione di avvocati, accademici e giornalisti investigativi Global Legal Action Network ha presentato una denuncia contro l’Italia al Comitato per i diritti umani delle Nazioni Unite per conto di uno dei migranti riportati indietro. E’ la prima volta che accade.

      La partenza
      Nella notte tra il 6 e 7 novembre 2018 dalla costa di Zlitan parte un gommone con 93 persone a bordo di sette nazionalità diverse. C’è anche una donna con un bimbo di quattro mesi. Alle 15.25 del 7 novembre la barca viene avvistata in zona Sar libica da un aereo spagnolo dell’operazione Sophia che - secondo quanto riferito da Eunavformed - «dichiara che non c’erano assetti navali nelle vicinanze». Tramite il quartier generale della missione che, in quel momento, era sulla nave San Marco della marina italiana, l’informazione con le coordinate navali della posizione della barca viene passata al centro di ricerca e soccorso di Roma che le trasmette a quello libico. Il commodoro libico Masoud Abdalsamd riferisce che le motovedette libiche sono impegnate in altre attività e il gommone continua la sua navigazione.

      La richiesta di soccorso
      Due ore dopo, alle 17.18, dal gommone un primo contatto con il centralino Alarm Phone che comunica le coordinate al centro di soccorso di Roma e monitora la zona: non ci sono navi vicine e l’unica Ong presente, la Mare Jonio, è a Lampedusa. Roma ( che era già informata) chiama Tripoli, la guardia costiera libica identifica la Nivin, un mercantile già in rotta verso Misurata ma le manca l’attrezzatura per comunicare e dirigere la Nivin e chiede a Roma di farlo «a suo nome». Da quel momento è MRCC a prendere in mano il coordinamento, dà istruzioni al comandante della Nivin e dirige il soccorso.

      L’arrivo dei libici
      Alle 21.34, un dispaccio del centro di ricerca e soccorso dei libici annuncia la presa del coordinamento delloperazione ma la comunicazione parte dallo stesso numero nella disponibilità della Marina italiana sulla nave di stanza a Tripoli. Alle 3.30 la Nivin soccorre i migranti. Saliti a bordo i marinai li tranquillizzano dicendo loro che saranno portati in Italia. Ma quando vedono arrivare una motovedetta libica i migranti capiscono di essere stati ingannati, rifiutano il trasbordo e si barricano sulla tolda della nave. I libici dopo un poò rinunciano e la Nivin prosegue verso Misurata dicendo ai migranti di essere in rotta verso Malta. Un’altra bugia.

      Lo sbarco a Misurata
      I migranti rimangono asserragliati anche quando la nave entra nel porto libico. Ci resteranno dieci giorni chiedendo disperatamente aiuto ai media internazionali con i telefoni cellulari. Il 20 novembre l’intervento di forza dei militari libici armati pone fine alla loro odissea. Alcuni migranti vengono picchiati, feriti, ricondotti nei centri di detenzione dove alcuni di loro vengono intercettati dall’equipe di Medici senza frontiere che raccoglie le loro testimonianze che si incrociano perfettamente con i documenti recuperati.

      Il ruolo dell’Italia
      Ne viene fuori un quadro che combacia perfettamente con quanto già evidenziato da un’inchiesta in via di conclusione della Procura di Agrigento coordinata dal procuratore aggiunto Salvatore Vella. Un quadro in cui l’Italia, nonostante gli accordi con la Libia, prevedono un ruolo di semplice assistenza e supporto tecnico alla Guardia costiera libica, di fatto svolge - tramite la nave della Marina militare di stanza a Tripoli - svolge una funzione di centro di comunicazione e coordinamento «dando un contributo decisivo - si legge nel report - alla capacità di controllo e coordinamento che ha saldamente in mano».
      «Quando i libici non sono in grado di intervenire - è l’accusa di Forensic Oceanography - Roma opta per una seconda modalità, quella del respingimento privato attraverso le mavi mercantili che - secondo un recente report semestrale di Eunavformed - ha prodotto 13 casi nell’ultimo anno con un aumento del 15-20 per cento».

      https://www.repubblica.it/cronaca/2019/12/18/news/migranti_l_italia_dietro_il_respingimento_dei_93_salvati_dal_mercantile_n

  • UNHCR Serbia Update, November 2019

    • 1,035 asylum seekers reported collective expulsion from neighbouring countries (439 from Romania, 357 from Hungary, 133 from Croatia and 96 from BiH). 51% of them alleged to have been denied access to asylum and 19% maltreatment by authorities of these countries. Amongst them were asylum seekers, who were expelled to Serbia outside lawful procedures from Hungary (three) or BiH (two), though they had never been in Serbia before. The terrible danger of irregular movements was again illustrated in the early morning of 11 November, when a dinghy with ten migrants heading from the port of #Apatin towards Croatia overturned in the Danube, leading to four missing passengers, feared to have drowned.

    https://reliefweb.int/report/serbia/unhcr-serbia-update-november-2019
    #Serbie #push-back #refoulement #refoulements #push-backs #refoulements_collectifs #asile #migrations #réfugiés #Roumanie #Hongrie #Croatie #Bosnie #Bosnie-Herzégovine #par_ricochet

    Il y a aussi, dans ce rapport, la nouvelle de #décès #morts :

    The terrible danger of irregular movements was again illustrated in the early morning of 11 November, when a dinghy with ten migrants heading from the port of #Apatin towards Croatia overturned in the Danube, leading to four missing passengers, feared to have drowned

    Sur les #refoulements_en_chaîne...

    Comme ce qui se passait en 2013, et que j’avais signalé dans un texte écrit pour la revue Vivre Ensemble (@vivre) paru en septembre 2014 :
    Serbie | L’antichambre de l’Europe

    Une fois récolté l’argent nécessaire, ils et elles reprennent leur route vers l’Europe, souvent via la Hongrie. L’UE ayant renforcé les contrôles à la frontière hongro-serbe, les migrants restent fréquemment bloqués en Serbie. Quant à ceux qui parviennent à la franchir, ils risquent de se retrouver… en Grèce ! Les conditions d’accueil en Hongrie conduisent en effet nombre de migrants à refuser de donner leurs empreintes digitales pour ne pas s’y trouver coincés par le jeu du système Dublin. Ils sont alors acheminés vers la frontière serbe, selon les témoignages que nous avons recueillis. Et lorsqu’ils sont interceptés en Serbie, ils sont condamnables à une peine de prison (10 à 15 jours) ou à une amende et reçoivent un ordre d’expulsion. Parfois, ils sont directement retransférés en Macédoine. La Macédoine ayant notamment signé un accord de réadmission avec Athènes, les migrants peuvent, au final, se retrouver en Grèce. Un pays structurellement défaillant en matière de protection, au point que les renvois Dublin y sont illégaux depuis 2011. La Hongrie continue ainsi d’y renvoyer indirectement les migrants, par le jeu de refoulements en chaîne.

    https://asile.ch/chronique/serbie-lantichambre-de-leurope

    ping @isskein

  • Maroc : Les refoulements des Subsahariens vers la frontière avec l’Algérie reprennent

    Cette semaine, les autorités marocaines ont mené à nouveau des raids sur des camps de migrants à #Nador, procédant par la même occasion au #déplacement_forcé d’un groupe de 90 Subsahariens vers la frontière avec l’#Algérie. Une action qui indigne les associatifs et militants des droits humains, dont l’AMDH et le GADEM.

    Les conditions météorologiques difficiles en ce début d’hiver ne semblent pas empêcher les autorités marocaines à Nador de poursuivre les campagnes de #déplacements_forcés de migrants subsahariens loin des côtes méditerranéennes.

    Jeudi, la section Nador de l’Association marocaine des droits humains (AMDH) a affirmé avoir « constaté deux bus devant le centre d’enfermement d’Arekmane à Nador, au bord desquels 90 #migrants_subsahariens viennent d’être éloignés de nuit et dans un #froid glacial vers la région désertique de la frontière algéro-marocain ».

    « Ces bus ne s’arrêtent qu’une fois à l’extrême sud de #Jerada ou #Oujda, dans une désertique où il #neige des fois et où il fait très froid actuellement », compète Omar Naji, président de l’AMDH-Nador, joint ce vendredi par Yabiladi.


    https://twitter.com/NadorAmdh/status/1197587135072747522?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E11

    Conditions difficiles et risques sécuritaires sur une frontière théoriquement fermée

    Pour le militant, « ce ne sont plus des déplacements vers le Sud, et notamment Tiznit et nous n’avons pas encore d’explications ». Il rappelle que c’était déjà le cas en 2013 et 2014 lorsque ces migrants étaient plutôt renvoyés vers les frontières Est du royaume. « Ces déplacements avaient pourtant cessé pour une période. Si ces migrants ne sont pas interpellés par l’armée algérienne, ils retournent à Nador et dans le nord », déplore-t-il.

    Cette campagne de déplacements forcés depuis les villes du nord semble reprendre. Mercredi, l’AMDH a dénoncé un assaut mené par les autorités marocaines sur des maisons louées par des migrants dans l’optique de les déplacer aussi. Il risquent tout autant un déplacement forcé vers le Sud ou éventuellement vers la frontière avec l’Algérie. Le même jour, des attaques nocturnes contre les campements des migrants à Nador ont été dénoncées par l’ONG via sa page Facebook.

    Contactée par Yabiladi, la coordinatrice général du Groupe antiraciste d’accompagnement et de défense des étrangers et migrants (GADEM), Camille Denis, précise ne pas avoir plus d’informations sur cette nouvelle campagne. Mais elle rappelle que ces déplacements forcés vers la frontière avec l’Algérie ne sont pas une pratique nouvelle. « Déjà l’année dernière, le GADEM avait soulevé cette question pour le cas d’un groupe de migrants et en 2016 aussi. La pratique avait diminué depuis l’annonce de la politique migratoire du royaume mais n’a jamais cessé », nous rappelle-t-elle.

    « Au-delà des conditions météorologiques difficiles actuellement, ces déplacements forcés soulèvent de sérieuses questions sur les risques sécuritaires pour ces migrants qui, pour certains qui passent du côté algérien, peuvent être renvoyés vers le Niger », déplore-t-elle.

    Des migrants déplacés de Nador qui finissent au Mali ?

    Et c’est d’ailleurs le cas. Jointe par notre rédaction, Aimée Lokaké, présidente de la Communauté congolaise au Maroc et membre du Conseil des migrants subsahariens au Maroc rapporte le cas d’une migrante subsaharienne. « J’ai l’appelée et elle m’a indiqué qu’elle était à Nador avant d’être déplacée avec d’autres migrants vers l’Algérie, qui les a à son tour expulsés vers le #Niger. Elle se retrouve actuellement au Mali », informe-t-elle. « Ce qui se passe en route et ce qu’ils subissent, on ne le sait pas. Mais nous sommes dans le devoir de protéger les humains », ajoute-t-elle.

    « J’ai appelé des ressortissants à Oujda qui m’ont indiqué qu’il s’agit de migrants en situation administrative irrégulière qui voulaient faire la traversée », informe-t-elle encore. Aimée Lokaké insiste aussi sur la nécessité d’encadrer ces personnes et les sensibiliser « au lieu de les déplacer comme ça, surtout qu’un drame peut leur arriver alors que leurs familles croient qu’ils se trouvent ici au Maroc ».

    Président ODT-I (syndicat pour les travailleurs migrants), Amadou Sadio Baldé dénonce aussi ces déplacements. « A l’état où nous sommes, soit une phase de l’intégration de migrants, nous déplorons ces déplacements et la précarité qu’ils occasionnent. Nous ne pouvons pas cautionner ces actes », affirme-t-il.

    Pour lui, « l’intégration étant un processus long, le Maroc doit prendre en considération la situation de ces migrants et leurs conditions ».

    https://www.yabiladi.com/articles/details/85882/maroc-refoulements-subsahariens-vers-frontiere.html

    #Algérie #renvois #expulsions #migrations #réfugiés #asile #abandon #désert #frontières #refoulements #push-back #refoulement

    ping @isskein @karine4

    Voir aussi le fil de discussion commencé en 2017, qui relate des mêmes refoulements jusqu’en 2018 :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/627118

  • Balkan Region - Report July 2019

    The Border Violence Monitoring Network has just published it’s August report summarizing the current situation regarding pushbacks and police violence in the Western Balkans, primarily in Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, the Se​rbian borders with Croatia and Hungary, but also including Italy, Slovenia, North Macedonia and Greece.

    This report analyzes, among other things:

    – Torture: Recurrence of extreme violence and abuse
    – Pushback from Italy
    – Beyond police: Actors within the pushback framework
    – Further dispersion of pushback sites in NW Bosnia
    – Trends in pushback sites to and from Greece

    More broadly, monitoring work continues to note the trans-national and bilateral cooperation between EU member states in the north of the Balkan route. Instances of chain pushbacks from Italy to Bosnia and Herzegovina, though relatively rare, offer insight into the web of actors engaged in the refoulement of groups across multiple borders, and liminality of due process in these cases. The intersection of unlawful acts also raises key concerns about aiding and abetting of pushbacks by Brussels. Specifically, analysis from this month elaborates on the involvement of Frontex in facilitating pushbacks.

    https://www.borderviolence.eu/wp-content/uploads/August-Report.pdf
    #rapport #migrations #réfugiés #Balkans #route_des_Balkans #asile #frontières #violence #push-back #push-backs #refoulement #refoulements

    –------

    v. aussi la liste des push-back avec armes à feu (août 2017-octobre 2019) :
    Push-back reports from Croatia with gun violence
    https://seenthis.net/messages/814569

    • Je mets ici les passages qui m’intéressent particulièrement... et notamment sur la #frontière_sud-alpine

      Push-back from Italy

      Chain push-backs from Italy are comparatively rare. Yet notably one report (see 1.1: https://www.borderviolence.eu/violence-reports/august-5-2019-0700-fernetti-italy conducted last month provided evidence of this sequential phenomena of expulsion from Italy back to BiH, via Slovenia and Croatia; drawing into question why such uncommon and illegal procedure was conducted by Italian police officers. The transit group was initially apprehended by Italian police officers in a small village on theoutskirts of Trieste from where they described being brought to a government building. Both in Italy and later in Slovenia, the transit group in question was detained, made to give their fingerprints, had their pictures taken and were asked to sign paperswritten in languages that they did not understand.

      “We asked the woman, what was on the paper because it was in Italian. She didn’t translate and we didn’t understand what we signed.” “I told the translator that they have to find a solution. They can’t just bring us back to Slovenia, knowing that we were in Italy. And they said, we are just migrants, we are not tourists.”Once they arrived in Croatia, the transit group was detained in a police station and interviewed one at a time before being brought to the border with Bosnia-Herzegovina where the group had their phones individually broken with a hammer by a Croatian police officer. They were then told to walk through a forest into Bosnia-Herzegovina. The chronology of events above alludes also to the complicit nature of preliminary actors within the wider pushbacks. Arguably initiators such as Slovenia and Italy -who often afford groups with translators and legal documents -have an intimate relationship to the violence and terror that accompanies subsequent push-backs from Croatia to BiH. The feigning of due process by these countries, despite prior knowledge of violent chain refoulement, forms a central part of their conceit. Italy and Slovenia mask their actions in a malaise of procedures (regularly untranslated or explained), in order to hide the institutionalisation of illegal chain pushbacks. The nature of chain pushbacks are defined by these bit-part processes, which simultaneously imitate regular procedures, while providing ample space for state authorities to deviate from legal obligations.

      (pp.6-7)
      #Italie #push-back #Slovénie #refoulement

    • And on the

      Construction of further fencing along Slovenian-Croatian border

      This August the Slovenian government authorized the construction (https://www.reuters.com/article/us-europe-migrants-slovenia/slovenia-erects-more-border-fence-to-curb-migrant-inflow-idUSKCN1VC19Q) of a fence 40 kms long on the banks of the river Kolpa, on the border with Croatia. The security device, installed by Serbian firm LEGI SGS, will add up to an already existing fence, making the barrier a total of 219km long. The exact location of the construction was not made public, and a spokeswoman for the interior ministry said itwill be a temporary measure to prevent people crossing the border. She did however directly cite migration as a threat to the security of citizens’ in her statement, arguably reinforcing the ideological bordering that accompanies this further fencing. Theconstruction is part of an escalating approach to border security which includes the deployment of military (https://www.aljazeera.com/amp/news/2019/07/slovenia-deploy-soldiers-boost-border-patrols-migrants-190721191235190.ht), stationed on the border since 2016, and bolstered this year alongside regular police forces.

      The opposition party NSi demanded tighter control (https://balkaninsight.com/2019/07/05/slovenia-opposition-demands-tighter-border-controls-with-croatia) sat the border with Croatia in July, and there seems little, or no will to challenge the mainstream rhetoric on migration. These demands, as BVMN reported last month (http://www.nonamekitchen.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/Final-Report-July-2019.pdf), coincided with concerns of Italy building a wall on the border with Slovenia, were the ongoing joint border not to stem movement from Slovenia into Italy. Thus it seems somewhat ironic to observe the construction of a barrier on Slovenia’s Southern border, preempting the machinations of Italian interior minister, Matteo Salvini.

      Unfortunately, the domino effect being played out between these states only feeds into Croatia’s intensifying security measures. While interior minister David Bozinovic was plethoric, stating that “what Slovenians are doing, is their own decision” (https://www.total-croatia-news.com/politics/38042-migrants), his assertion that a joint European solution would be more welcome rings fairly hollow when viewed in tandem with the heightened repression around pushbacks this month and the already complicit role of Frontex. To this end, there seems to be no escape from the vicious circle of reborderization and loss of human rights in Europe, shown most recentlyby Slovenia’s harder borders.

      Allegations of smuggling made against asylum centerstaff in Ljubljana

      A statement (https://push-forward.org/novica/izjava-iniciative-prosilcev-za-azil-la-lutte-de-la-liberte-6-8-2019-az) by the asylum seekers initiative La lutte de la Liberté, and released at the beginning of August highlights what may be a serious case of abuse by security personnel in the asylum seekers camp Vič, Slovenia. According to the group, a resident in the camp called Ibrahim witnessed a number of security guards smuggling migrants out of the camp with cars in exchange for money. After the incident, which took place at the beginning of July, Ibrahim told the director of the camp who flatly denied the allegations, yet simultaneously removed two guards from their posts, causing great suspicion. In retaliation, other guards started to mob Ibrahim resulting in a series of episodes of violence culminating in a fight, for which Ibrahim was taken to a detention centre in #Postojna.

      Ibrahim has now been released and three security guards in the camp are under investigation, a source from InfoKolpa shared. Even though the actual occurrence of smuggling remains a supposition, the event highlights an important grey zone in which camp staff are operating, and the potential for systemic abuse of the asylum system. It can be argued that such cases can only emerge in the void left by inaccessible procedures and it is well known that extremely long waiting times are built into the asylum system in Slovenia. The behaviorof the security guards, in a position of absolute power over the migrants, can be explained by the fact that they are virtually invisible to the outside world, unless the migrants can organizethemselves as in this case. There has already been proof of violent behaviorby the guards in Vic, as shown in this video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m4GP0qLTsg0

      ) taken some six months ago.

      People on the move, for their part, are in a position of structural and individual disadvantage, susceptible to many types of violence. As the statement correctly underlines, regardless of some staff being amenable, one person abusing a position of power is enough to ruin the life of someone held captive in a protracted asylum system. Infact, evidence would go further to suggest that in this case it seems like the guards were more of an organizedmob, rather than rogue individuals.

      The waiting period for asylum which reaches nine months maximum in theory (with only 18 euros a month granted to applicants by the state), makes the tenure of asylum seekers even more precarious, adding to the poor or nonexistent measures taken to integrate them into society: asylum seekers have no access to welfare, assistance in access to work or social housing and their placement in the detention center in Postojna is decided arbitrarily bythe police. The entire Slovenian asylum system goes thus into inquiry, if viewed through thelensof this case, which both expounds its flaws and the potential corruption within.

      (pp.18-20)

      #murs #barrières_frontalières #militarisation_des_frontières

  • Création de zones frontalières (au lieu de lignes de frontière) en vue de refoulements

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

    Gianfranco Schiavone :

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

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

    #Italie #Slovénie #frontière_sud-alpine #migrations #réfugiés #asile #frontière_mobile #bande_frontalière #frontières_mobiles

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

    #métaliste

    ping @reka @simplicissimus @karine4 @isskein

    • A la frontière entre franco-italienne :

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

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

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

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

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

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

      (p.15-16)

      https://www.borderviolence.eu/wp-content/uploads/July-2019-Final-Report.pdf
      #Italie #Slovénie #10_km

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      –Trieste e Gorizia;

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

      –Caltanissetta, Ragusa, Siracusa, Catania, Messina;

      –Trapani, Agrigento;

      –Città metropolitana di Cagliari e Sud Sardegna.

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

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

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

      A tal fine ASGI ricorda che:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      Procedural Breach of Article 3 ECHR

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

      The Chamber’s reasoning under Article 5 ECHR

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      Narrowing down the importance of Amuur v France

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

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

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

      Overall weakening of the protection of Article 5 ECHR

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

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

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

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

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

  • USA : Dublin façon frontière Mexique/USA

    Faute d’accord avec le #Guatemala (pour l’instant bloqué du fait du recours déposé par plusieurs membres de l’opposition devant la Cour constitutionnelle) et le #Mexique les désignant comme des « #pays_sûr », les USA ont adopté une nouvelle réglementation en matière d’#asile ( « #Interim_Final_Rule » - #IFR), spécifiquement pour la #frontière avec le Mexique, qui n’est pas sans faire penser au règlement de Dublin : les personnes qui n’auront pas sollicité l’asile dans un des pays traversés en cours de route avant d’arriver aux USA verront leur demande rejetée.
    Cette règle entre en vigueur aujourd’hui et permet donc le #refoulement de toute personne « who enters or attempts to enter the United States across the southern border, but who did not apply for protection from persecution or torture where it was available in at least one third country outside the alien’s country of citizenship, nationality, or last lawful habitual residence through which he or she transited en route to the United States. »
    Lien vers le règlement : https://www.dhs.gov/news/2019/07/15/dhs-and-doj-issue-third-country-asylum-rule
    Plusieurs associations dont ACLU (association US) vont déposer un recours visant à le faire invalider.
    Les USA recueillent et échangent déjà des données avec les pays d’Amérique centrale et latine qu’ils utilisent pour débouter les demandeurs d’asile, par exemple avec le Salvador : https://psmag.com/social-justice/homeland-security-uses-foreign-databases-to-monitor-gang-activity

    Reçu via email le 16.07.2019 de @pascaline

    #USA #Etats-Unis #Dublin #Dublin_façon_USA #loi #Dublin_aux_USA #législation #asile #migrations #réfugiés #El_Salvador

    • Trump Administration Implementing ’3rd Country’ Rule On Migrants Seeking Asylum

      The Trump administration is moving forward with a tough new asylum rule in its campaign to slow the flow of Central American migrants crossing the U.S.-Mexico border. Asylum-seeking immigrants who pass through a third country en route to the U.S. must first apply for refugee status in that country rather than at the U.S. border.

      The restriction will likely face court challenges, opening a new front in the battle over U.S. immigration policies.

      The interim final rule will take effect immediately after it is published in the Federal Register on Tuesday, according to the departments of Justice and Homeland Security.

      The new policy applies specifically to the U.S.-Mexico border, saying that “an alien who enters or attempts to enter the United States across the southern border after failing to apply for protection in a third country outside the alien’s country of citizenship, nationality, or last lawful habitual residence through which the alien transited en route to the United States is ineligible for asylum.”

      “Until Congress can act, this interim rule will help reduce a major ’pull’ factor driving irregular migration to the United States,” Homeland Security acting Secretary Kevin K. McAleenan said in a statement about the new rule.

      The American Civil Liberties Union said it planned to file a lawsuit to try to stop the rule from taking effect.

      “This new rule is patently unlawful and we will sue swiftly,” Lee Gelernt, deputy director of the ACLU’s national Immigrants’ Rights Project, said in a statement.

      Gelernt accused the Trump administration of “trying to unilaterally reverse our country’s legal and moral commitment to protect those fleeing danger.”

      The strict policy shift would likely bring new pressures and official burdens on Mexico and Guatemala, countries through which migrants and refugees often pass on their way to the U.S.

      On Sunday, Guatemala’s government pulled out of a meeting between President Jimmy Morales and Trump that had been scheduled for Monday, citing ongoing legal questions over whether the country could be deemed a “safe third country” for migrants who want to reach the U.S.

      Hours after the U.S. announced the rule on Monday, Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard said it was a unilateral move that will not affect Mexican citizens.

      “Mexico does not agree with measures that limit asylum and refugee status for those who fear for their lives or safety, and who fear persecution in their country of origin,” Ebrard said.

      Ebrard said Mexico will maintain its current policies, reiterating the country’s “respect for the human rights of all people, as well as for its international commitments in matters of asylum and political refuge.”

      According to a DHS news release, the U.S. rule would set “a new bar to eligibility” for anyone seeking asylum. It also allows exceptions in three limited cases:

      “1) an alien who demonstrates that he or she applied for protection from persecution or torture in at least one of the countries through which the alien transited en route to the United States, and the alien received a final judgment denying the alien protection in such country;

      ”(2) an alien who demonstrates that he or she satisfies the definition of ’victim of a severe form of trafficking in persons’ provided in 8 C.F.R. § 214.11; or,

      “(3) an alien who has transited en route to the United States through only a country or countries that were not parties to the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees, the 1967 Protocol, or the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.”

      The DHS release describes asylum as “a discretionary benefit offered by the United States Government to those fleeing persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion.”

      The departments of Justice and Homeland Security are publishing the 58-page asylum rule as the Trump administration faces criticism over conditions at migrant detention centers at the southern border, as well as its “remain in Mexico” policy that requires asylum-seekers who are waiting for a U.S. court date to do so in Mexico rather than in the U.S.

      In a statement about the new rule, U.S. Attorney General William Barr said that current U.S. asylum rules have been abused, and that the large number of people trying to enter the country has put a strain on the system.

      Barr said the number of cases referred to the Department of Justice for proceedings before an immigration judge “has risen exponentially, more than tripling between 2013 and 2018.” The attorney general added, “Only a small minority of these individuals, however, are ultimately granted asylum.”

      https://www.npr.org/2019/07/15/741769333/u-s-sets-new-asylum-rule-telling-potential-refugees-to-apply-elsewhere

    • Le journal The New Yorker : Trump est prêt à signer un accord majeur pour envoyer à l’avenir les demandeurs d’asile au Guatemala

      L’article fait état d’un projet de #plate-forme_externalisée pour examiner les demandes de personnes appréhendées aux frontières US, qui rappelle à la fois une proposition britannique (jamais concrétisée) de 2003 de créer des processing centers extra-européens et la #Pacific_solution australienne, qui consiste à déporter les demandeurs d’asile « illégaux » de toute nationalité dans des pays voisins. Et l’article évoque la « plus grande et la plus troublante des questions : comment le Guatemala pourrait-il faire face à un afflux si énorme de demandeurs ? » Peut-être en demandant conseil aux autorités libyennes et à leurs amis européens ?

      –-> Message reçu d’Alain Morice via la mailling-list Migreurop.

      Trump Is Poised to Sign a Radical Agreement to Send Future Asylum Seekers to Guatemala

      Early next week, according to a D.H.S. official, the Trump Administration is expected to announce a major immigration deal, known as a safe-third-country agreement, with Guatemala. For weeks, there have been reports that negotiations were under way between the two countries, but, until now, none of the details were official. According to a draft of the agreement obtained by The New Yorker, asylum seekers from any country who either show up at U.S. ports of entry or are apprehended while crossing between ports of entry could be sent to seek asylum in Guatemala instead. During the past year, tens of thousands of migrants, the vast majority of them from Central America, have arrived at the U.S. border seeking asylum each month. By law, the U.S. must give them a chance to bring their claims before authorities, even though there’s currently a backlog in the immigration courts of roughly a million cases. The Trump Administration has tried a number of measures to prevent asylum seekers from entering the country—from “metering” at ports of entry to forcing people to wait in Mexico—but, in every case, international obligations held that the U.S. would eventually have to hear their asylum claims. Under this new arrangement, most of these migrants will no longer have a chance to make an asylum claim in the U.S. at all. “We’re talking about something much bigger than what the term ‘safe third country’ implies,” someone with knowledge of the deal told me. “We’re talking about a kind of transfer agreement where the U.S. can send any asylum seekers, not just Central Americans, to Guatemala.”

      From the start of the Trump Presidency, Administration officials have been fixated on a safe-third-country policy with Mexico—a similar accord already exists with Canada—since it would allow the U.S. government to shift the burden of handling asylum claims farther south. The principle was that migrants wouldn’t have to apply for asylum in the U.S. because they could do so elsewhere along the way. But immigrants-rights advocates and policy experts pointed out that Mexico’s legal system could not credibly take on that responsibility. “If you’re going to pursue a safe-third-country agreement, you have to be able to say ‘safe’ with a straight face,” Doris Meissner, a former commissioner of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, told me. Until very recently, the prospect of such an agreement—not just with Mexico but with any other country in Central America—seemed far-fetched. Yet last month, under the threat of steep tariffs on Mexican goods, Trump strong-armed the Mexican government into considering it. Even so, according to a former Mexican official, the government of Andrés Manuel López Obrador is stalling. “They are trying to fight this,” the former official said. What’s so striking about the agreement with Guatemala, however, is that it goes even further than the terms the U.S. sought in its dealings with Mexico. “This is a whole new level,” the person with knowledge of the agreement told me. “In my read, it looks like even those who have never set foot in Guatemala can potentially be sent there.”

      At this point, there are still more questions than answers about what the agreement with Guatemala will mean in practice. A lot will still have to happen before it goes into force, and the terms aren’t final. The draft of the agreement doesn’t provide much clarity on how it will be implemented—another person with knowledge of the agreement said, “This reads like it was drafted by someone’s intern”—but it does offer an exemption for Guatemalan migrants, which might be why the government of Jimmy Morales, a U.S. ally, seems willing to sign on. Guatemala is currently in the midst of Presidential elections; next month, the country will hold a runoff between two candidates, and the current front-runner has been opposed to this type of deal. The Morales government, however, still has six months left in office. A U.N.-backed anti-corruption body called the CICIG, which for years was funded by the U.S. and admired throughout the region, is being dismantled by Morales, whose own family has fallen under investigation for graft and financial improprieties. Signing an immigration deal “would get the Guatemalan government in the U.S.’s good graces,” Stephen McFarland, a former U.S. Ambassador to Guatemala, told me. “The question is, what would they intend to use that status for?” Earlier this week, after Morales announced that he would be meeting with Trump in Washington on Monday, three former foreign ministers of Guatemala petitioned the country’s Constitutional Court to block him from signing the agreement. Doing so, they said, “would allow the current president of the republic to leave the future of our country mortgaged, without any responsibility.”

      The biggest, and most unsettling, question raised by the agreement is how Guatemala could possibly cope with such enormous demands. More people are leaving Guatemala now than any other country in the northern triangle of Central America. Rampant poverty, entrenched political corruption, urban crime, and the effects of climate change have made large swaths of the country virtually uninhabitable. “This is already a country in which the political and economic system can’t provide jobs for all its people,” McFarland said. “There are all these people, their own citizens, that the government and the political and economic system are not taking care of. To get thousands of citizens from other countries to come in there, and to take care of them for an indefinite period of time, would be very difficult.” Although the U.S. would provide additional aid to help the Guatemalan government address the influx of asylum seekers, it isn’t clear whether the country has the administrative capacity to take on the job. According to the person familiar with the safe-third-country agreement, “U.N.H.C.R. [the U.N.’s refugee agency] has not been involved” in the current negotiations. And, for Central Americans transferred to Guatemala under the terms of the deal, there’s an added security risk: many of the gangs Salvadorans and Hondurans are fleeing also operate in Guatemala.

      In recent months, the squalid conditions at borderland detention centers have provoked a broad political outcry in the U.S. At the same time, a worsening asylum crisis has been playing out south of the U.S. border, beyond the immediate notice of concerned Americans. There, the Trump Administration is quietly delivering on its promise to redraw American asylum practice. Since January, under a policy called the Migration Protection Protocols (M.P.P.), the U.S. government has sent more than fifteen thousand asylum seekers to Mexico, where they now must wait indefinitely as their cases inch through the backlogged American immigration courts. Cities in northern Mexico, such as Tijuana and Juarez, are filling up with desperate migrants who are exposed to violent crime, extortion, and kidnappings, all of which are on the rise.This week, as part of the M.P.P., the U.S. began sending migrants to Tamaulipas, one of Mexico’s most violent states and a stronghold for drug cartels that, for years, have brutalized migrants for money and for sport.

      Safe-third-country agreements are notoriously difficult to enforce. The logistics are complex, and the outcomes tend not to change the harried calculations of asylum seekers as they flee their homes. These agreements, according to a recent study by the Migration Policy Institute, are “unlikely to hold the key to solving the crisis unfolding at the U.S. southern border.” The Trump Administration has already cut aid to Central America, and the U.S. asylum system remains in dire need of improvement. But there’s also little question that the agreement with Guatemala will reduce the number of people who reach, and remain in, the U.S. If the President has made the asylum crisis worse, he’ll also be able to say he’s improving it—just as he can claim credit for the decline in the number of apprehensions at the U.S. border last month. That was the result of increased enforcement efforts by the Mexican government acting under U.S. pressure.

      There’s also no reason to expect that the Trump Administration will abandon its efforts to force the Mexicans into a safe-third-country agreement as well. “The Mexican government thought that the possibility of a safe-third-country agreement with Guatemala had fallen apart because of the elections there,” the former Mexican official told me. “The recent news caught top Mexican officials by surprise.” In the next month, the two countries will continue immigration talks, and, again, Mexico will face mounting pressure to accede to American demands. “The U.S. has used the agreement with Guatemala to convince the Mexicans to sign their own safe-third-country agreement,” the former official said. “Its argument is that the number of migrants Mexico will receive will be lower now.”

      https://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/trump-poised-to-sign-a-radical-agreement-to-send-future-asylum-seekers-to
      #externalisation

    • After Tariff Threat, Trump Says Guatemala Has Agreed to New Asylum Rules

      President Trump on Friday again sought to block migrants from Central America from seeking asylum, announcing an agreement with Guatemala to require people who travel through that country to seek refuge from persecution there instead of in the United States.

      American officials said the deal could go into effect within weeks, though critics vowed to challenge it in court, saying that Guatemala is itself one of the most dangerous countries in the world — hardly a refuge for those fleeing gangs and government violence.

      Mr. Trump had been pushing for a way to slow the flow of migrants streaming across the Mexican border and into the United States in recent months. This week, the president had threatened to impose tariffs on Guatemala, to tax money that Guatemalan migrants in the United States send back to family members, or to ban all travel from the country if the agreement were not signed.

      Joined in the Oval Office on Friday by Interior Minister Enrique Degenhart of Guatemala, Mr. Trump said the agreement would end what he has described as a crisis at the border, which has been overwhelmed by hundreds of thousands of families fleeing violence and persecution in El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala.
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      “These are bad people,” Mr. Trump told reporters after a previously unannounced signing ceremony. He said the agreement would “end widespread abuse of the system and the crippling crisis on our border.”

      Officials did not release the English text of the agreement or provide many details about how it would be put into practice along the United States border with Mexico. Mr. Trump announced the deal in a Friday afternoon Twitter post that took Guatemalan politicians and leaders at immigration advocacy groups by surprise.

      Kevin K. McAleenan, the acting secretary of homeland security, described the document signed by the two countries as a “safe third” agreement that would make migrants ineligible for protection in the United States if they had traveled through Guatemala and did not first apply for asylum there.

      Instead of being returned home, however, the migrants would be sent back to Guatemala, which under the agreement would be designated as a safe place for them to live.

      “They would be removable, back to Guatemala, if they want to seek an asylum claim,” said Mr. McAleenan, who likened the agreement to similar arrangements in Europe.
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      The move was the latest attempt by Mr. Trump to severely limit the ability of refugees to win protection in the United States. A new regulation that would have also banned most asylum seekers was blocked by a judge in San Francisco earlier this week.

      But the Trump administration is determined to do everything it can to stop the flow of migrants at the border, which has infuriated the president. Mr. Trump has frequently told his advisers that he sees the border situation as evidence of a failure to make good on his campaign promise to seal the border from dangerous immigrants.

      More than 144,200 migrants were taken into custody at the southwest border in May, the highest monthly total in 13 years. Arrests at the border declined by 28 percent in June after efforts in Mexico and the United States to stop migrants from Central America.

      Late Friday, the Guatemalan government released the Spanish text of the deal, which is called a “cooperative agreement regarding the examination of protection claims.” In an earlier statement announcing the agreement, the government had referred to an implementation plan for Salvadorans and Hondurans. It does not apply to Guatemalans who request asylum in the United States.

      By avoiding any mention of a “safe third country” agreement, President Jimmy Morales of Guatemala appeared to be trying to sidestep a recent court ruling blocking him from signing a deal with the United States without the approval of his country’s congress.

      Mr. Morales will leave office in January. One of the candidates running to replace him, the conservative Alejandro Giammattei, said that it was “irresponsible” for Mr. Morales to have agreed to an accord without revealing its contents first.

      “It is up to the next government to attend to this negotiation,” Mr. Giammattei wrote on Twitter. His opponent, Sandra Torres, had opposed any safe-third-country agreement when it first appeared that Mr. Morales was preparing to sign one.

      Legal groups in the United States said the immediate effect of the agreement will not be clear until the administration releases more details. But based on the descriptions of the deal, they vowed to ask a judge to block it from going into effect.

      “Guatemala can neither offer a safe nor fair and full process, and nobody could plausibly argue otherwise,” said Lee Gelernt, an American Civil Liberties Union lawyer who argued against other recent efforts to limit asylum. “There’s no way they have the capacity to provide a full and fair procedure, much less a safe one.”

      American asylum laws require that virtually all migrants who arrive at the border must be allowed to seek refuge in the United States, but the law allows the government to quickly deport migrants to a country that has signed a “safe third” agreement.

      But critics said that the law clearly requires the “safe third” country to be a truly safe place where migrants will not be in danger. And it requires that the country have the ability to provide a “full and fair” system of protections that can accommodate asylum seekers who are sent there. Critics insisted that Guatemala meets neither requirement.

      They also noted that the State Department’s own country condition reports on Guatemala warn about rampant gang activity and say that murder is common in the country, which has a police force that is often ineffective at best.

      Asked whether Guatemala is a safe country for refugees, Mr. McAleenan said it was unfair to tar an entire country, noting that there are also places in the United States that are not safe.

      In 2018, the most recent year for which data is available, 116,808 migrants apprehended at the southwest border were from Guatemala, while 77,128 were from Honduras and 31,636 were from El Salvador.

      “It’s legally ludicrous and totally dangerous,” said Eleanor Acer, the senior director for refugee protection at Human Rights First. “The United States is trying to send people back to a country where their lives would be at risk. It sets a terrible example for the rest of the world.”

      Administration officials traveled to Guatemala in recent months, pushing officials there to sign the agreement, according to an administration official. But negotiations broke down in the past two weeks after Guatemala’s Constitutional Court ruled that Mr. Morales needed approval from lawmakers to make the deal with the United States.

      The ruling led Mr. Morales to cancel a planned trip in mid-July to sign the agreement, leaving Mr. Trump fuming.

      “Now we are looking at the BAN, Tariffs, Remittance Fees, or all of the above,” Mr. Trump wrote on Twitter on July 23.

      Friday’s action suggests that the president’s threats, which provoked concern among Guatemala’s business community, were effective.

      https://www.nytimes.com/2019/07/26/world/americas/trump-guatemala-asylum.html

    • Este es el acuerdo migratorio firmado entre Guatemala y Estados Unidos

      Prensa Libre obtuvo en primicia el acuerdo que Guatemala firmó con Estados Unidos para detener la migración desde el Triángulo Norte de Centroamérica.

      Estados Unidos y Guatemala firmaron este 26 de julio un “acuerdo de asilo”, después de que esta semana el presidente Donald Trump amenazara a Guatemala con imponer aranceles para presionar por la negociación del convenio.

      Según Trump, el acuerdo “va a dar seguridad a los demandantes de asilo legítimos y a va detener los fraudes y abusos en el sistema de asilo”.

      El acuerdo fue firmado en el Despacho Oval de la Casa Blanca entre Kevin McAleenan, secretario interino de Seguridad Nacional de los Estados Unidos, y Enrique Degenhart, ministro de Gobernación de Guatemala.

      “Hace mucho tiempo que hemos estado trabajando con Guatemala y ahora podemos hacerlo de la manera correcta”, dijo el mandatario estadounidense.

      Este es el contenido íntegro del acuerdo:

      ACUERDO ENTRE EL GOBIERNO DE LOS ESTADOS UNIDOS DE AMÉRICA Y EL GOBIERNO DE LA REPÚBLICA DE GUATEMALA RELATIVO A LA COOPERACIÓN RESPECTO AL EXAMEN DE SOLICITUDES DE PROTECCIÓN

      EL GOBIERNO DE LOS ESTADOS UNIDOS DE AMÉRICA Y EL GOBIERNO DE LA REPÚBLICA DE GUATEMALA, en lo sucesivo de forma individual una “Parte” o colectivamente “las Partes”,

      CONSIDERANDO que Guatemala norma sus relaciones con otros países de conformidad con principios, reglas y prácticas internacionales con el propósito de contribuir al mantenimiento de la paz y la libertad, al respeto y defensa de los derechos humanos, y al fortalecimiento de los procesos democráticos e instituciones internacionales que garanticen el beneficio mutuo y equitativo entre los Estados; considerando por otro lado, que Guatemala mantendrá relaciones de amistad, solidaridad y cooperación con aquellos Estados cuyo desarrollo económico, social y cultural sea análogo al de Guatemala, como el derecho de las personas a migrar y su necesidad de protección;

      CONSIDERANDO que en la actualidad Guatemala incorpora en su legislación interna leyes migratorias dinámicas que obligan a Guatemala a reconocer el derecho de toda persona a emigrar o inmigrar, por lo que cualquier migrante puede entrar, permanecer, transitar, salir y retornar a su territorio nacional conforme a su legislación nacional; considerando, asimismo, que en situaciones no previstas por la legislación interna se debe aplicar la norma que más favorezca al migrante, siendo que por analogía se le debería dar abrigo y cuidado temporal a las personas que deseen ingresar de manera legal al territorio nacional; considerando que por estos motivos es necesario promover acuerdos de cooperación con otros Estados que respeten los mismos principios descritos en la política migratoria de Guatemala, reglamentada por la Autoridad Migratoria Nacional;

      CONSIDERANDO que Guatemala es parte de la Convención sobre el Estatuto de los Refugiados de 1951, celebrada en Ginebra el 28 de julio de 1951 (la “Convención de 1951″) y del Protocolo sobre el Estatuto de los Refugiados, firmado en Nueva York el 31 de enero de 1967 (el “Protocolo de 1967′), del cual los Estados Unidos son parte, y reafirmando la obligación de las partes de proporcionar protección a refugiados que cumplen con los requisitos y que se encuentran físicamente en sus respectivos territorios, de conformidad con sus obligaciones según esos instrumentos y sujetos . a las respectivas leyes, tratados y declaraciones de las Partes;

      RECONOCIENDO especialmente la obligación de las Partes respecto a cumplir el principio de non-refoulement de no devolución, tal como se desprende de la Convención de 1951 y del Protocolo de 1967, así como la Convención contra la Tortura y Otros Tratos o Penas Crueles, Inhumanos o Degradantes, firmada en Nueva York el 10 de diciembre de 1984 (la “Convención contra la Tortura”), con sujeción a las respectivas reservas, entendimientos y declaraciones de las Partes y reafirmando sus respectivas obligaciones de fomentar y proteger los derechos humanos y las libertades fundamentales en consonancia con sus obligaciones en el ámbito internacional;

      RECONOCIENDO y respetando las obligaciones de cada Parte de conformidad con sus leyes y políticas nacionales y acuerdos y arreglos internacionales;

      DESTACANDO que los Estados Unidos de América y Guatemala ofrecen sistemas de protección de refugiados que son coherentes con sus obligaciones conforme a la Convención de 1951 y/o el Protocolo de 1967;

      DECIDIDOS a mantener el estatuto de refugio o de protección temporal equivalente, como medida esencial en la protección de los refugiados o asilados, y al mismo tiempo deseando impedir el fraude en el proceso de solicitud de refugio o asilo, acción que socava su legitimo propósito; y decididos a fortalecer la integridad del proceso oficial para solicitar el estatuto de refugio o asilo, así como el respaldo público a dicho proceso;

      CONSCIENTES de que la distribución de la responsabilidad relacionada con solicitudes de protección debe garantizar en la práctica que se identifique a las personas que necesitan protección y que se eviten las violaciones del principio básico de no devolución; y, por lo tanto, comprometidos con salvaguardar para cada solicitante del estatuto de refugio o asilo que reúna las condiciones necesarias el acceso a un procedimiento completo e imparcial para determinar la solicitud;

      ACUERDAN lo siguiente:

      ARTÍCULO 1

      A efectos del presente Acuerdo:

      1. “Solicitud de protección” significa la solicitud de una persona de cualquier nacionalidad, al gobierno de una de las Partes para recibir protección conforme a sus respectivas obligaciones institucionales derivadas de la Convención de 1951, del Protocolo de 1967 o de la Convención contra la Tortura, y de conformidad con las leyes y políticas respectivas de las Partes que dan cumplimiento a esas obligaciones internacionales, así como para recibir cualquier otro tipo de protección temporal equivalente disponible conforme al derecho migratorio de la parte receptora.

      2. “Solicitante de protección” significa cualquier persona que presenta una solicitud de protección en el territorio de una de las partes.

      3. “Sistema para determinar la protección” significa el conjunto de políticas, leyes, prácticas administrativas y judiciales que el gobierno de cada parte emplea para decidir respecto de las solicitudes de protección.

      4. “Menor no acompañado” significa un solicitante de protección que no ha cumplido los dieciocho (18) años de edad y cuyo padre, madre o tutor legal no está presente ni disponible para proporcionar atención y custodia presencial en los Estados Unidos de América o en Guatemala, donde se encuentre el menor no acompañado.

      5. En el caso de la inmigración a Guatemala, las políticas respecto de leyes y migración abordan el derecho de las personas a entrar, permanecer, transitar y salir de su territorio de conformidad con sus leyes internas y los acuerdos y arreglos internacionales, y permanencia migratoria significa permanencia por un plazo de tiempo autorizado de acuerdo al estatuto migratorio otorgado a las personas.

      ARTÍCULO 2

      El presente Acuerdo no aplica a los solicitantes de protección que son ciudadanos o nacionales de Guatemala; o quienes, siendo apátridas, residen habitualmente en Guatemala.

      ARTÍCULO 3

      1. Para garantizar que los solicitantes de protección trasladados a Guatemala por los Estados Unidos tengan acceso a un sistema para determinar la protección, Guatemala no retornará ni expulsará a solicitantes de protección en Guatemala, a menos que el solicitante abandone la ‘solicitud o que esta sea denegada a través de una decisión administrativa.

      2. Durante el proceso de traslado, las personas sujetas al presente Acuerdo serán responsabilidad de los Estados Unidos hasta que finalice el proceso de traslado.

      ARTÍCULO 4

      1. La responsabilidad de determinar y concluir en su territorio solicitudes de protección recaerá en los Estados Unidos, cuando los Estados Unidos establezcan que esa persona:

      a. es un menor no acompañado; o

      b. llegó al territorio de los Estados Unidos:

      i. con una visa emitida de forma válida u otro documento de admisión válido, que no sea de tránsito, emitido por los Estados Unidos; o

      ii. sin que los Estados Unidos de América le exigiera obtener una visa.

      2. No obstante el párrafo 1 de este artículo, Guatemala evaluará las solicitudes de protección una por una, de acuerdo a lo establecido y autorizado por la autoridad competente en materia migratoria en sus políticas y leyes migratorias y en su territorio, de las personas que cumplen los requisitos necesarios conforme al presente Acuerdo, y que llegan a los Estados Unidos a un puerto de entrada o entre puertos de entrada, en la fecha efectiva del presente Acuerdo o posterior a ella. Guatemala evaluará la solicitud de protección, conforme al plan de implementación inicial y los procedimientos operativos estándar a los que se hace referencia en el artículo 7, apartados 1 y 5.

      3. Las Partes aplicarán el presente Acuerdo respecto a menores no acompañados de conformidad con sus respectivas leyes nacionales,

      4. Las Partes contarán con procedimientos para garantizar que los traslados de los Estados Unidos a Guatemala de las personas objeto del presente Acuerdo sean compatibles con sus obligaciones, leyes nacionales e internacionales y políticas migratorias respectivas.

      5. Los Estados Unidos tomarán la decisión final de que una persona satisface los requisitos para una excepción en virtud de los artículos 4 y 5 del presente Acuerdo.

      ARTÍCULO 5

      No obstante cualquier disposición del presente Acuerdo, cualquier parte podrá, según su propio criterio, examinar cualquier solicitud de protección que se haya presentado a esa Parte cuando decida que es de su interés público hacerlo.

      ARTÍCULO 6

      Las Partes podrán:

      1. Intercambiar información cuando sea necesario para la implementación efectiva del presente Acuerdo con sujeción a las leyes y reglamentación nacionales. Dicha información no será divulgada por el país receptor excepto de conformidad con sus leyes y reglamentación nacionales.

      2. Las Partes podrán intercambiar de forma habitual información respecto á leyes, reglamentación y prácticas relacionadas con sus respectivos sistemas para determinar la protección migratoria.

      ARTÍCULO 7

      1. Las Partes elaborarán procedimientos operativos estándar para asistir en la implementación del presente Acuerdo. Estos procedimientos incorporarán disposiciones para notificar por adelantado, a Guatemala, el traslado de cualquier persona conforme al presente Acuerdo. Los Estados Unidos colaborarán con Guatemala para identificar a las personas idóneas para ser trasladadas al territorio de Guatemala.

      2. Los procedimientos operativos incorporarán mecanismos para solucionar controversias que respeten la interpretación e implementación de los términos del presente Acuerdo. Los casos no previstos que no puedan solucionarse a través de estos mecanismos serán resueltos a través de la vía diplomática.

      3. Los Estados Unidos prevén cooperar para fortalecer las capacidades institucionales de Guatemala.

      4. Las Partes acuerdan evaluar regularmente el presente Acuerdo y su implementación, para subsanar las deficiencias encontradas. Las Partes realizarán las evaluaciones conjuntamente, siendo la primera dentro de un plazo máximo de tres (3) meses a partir de la fecha de entrada en operación del Acuerdo y las siguientes evaluaciones dentro de los mismos plazos. Las Partes podrán invitar, de común acuerdo, a otras organizaciones pertinentes con conocimientos especializados sobre el tema a participar en la evaluación inicial y/o cooperar para el cumplimiento del presente Acuerdo.

      5. Las Partes prevén completar un plan de implementación inicial, que incorporará gradualmente, y abordará, entre otros: a) los procedimientos necesarios para llevar a cabo el traslado de personas conforme al presente Acuerdo; b) la cantidad o número de personas a ser trasladadas; y c) las necesidades de capacidad institucional. Las Partes planean hacer operativo el presente Acuerdo al finalizarse un plan de implementación gradual.

      ARTÍCULO 8

      1. El presente Acuerdo entrará en vigor por medio de un canje de notas entre las partes en el que se indique que cada parte ha cumplido con los procedimientos jurídicos nacionales necesarios para que el Acuerdo entre en vigor. El presente Acuerdo tendrá una vigencia de dos (2) años y podrá renovarse antes de su vencimiento a través de un canje de notas.

      2. Cualquier Parte podrá dar por terminado el presente Acuerdo por medio de una notificación por escrito a la otra Parte con tres (3) meses de antelación.

      3. Cualquier parte podrá, inmediatamente después de notificar a la otra parte por escrito, suspender por un periodo inicial de hasta tres (3) meses la implementación del presente Acuerdo. Esta suspensión podrá extenderse por periodos adicionales de hasta tres (3) meses por medio de una notificación por escrito a la otra parte. Cualquier parte podrá, con el consentimiento por escrito de la otra, suspender cualquier parte del presente Acuerdo.

      4. Las Partes podrán, por escrito y de mutuo acuerdo, realizar cualquier modificación o adición al presente Acuerdo. Estas entrarán en vigor de conformidad con los procedimientos jurídicos pertinentes de cada Parte y la modificación o adición constituirá parte integral del presente Acuerdo.

      5. Ninguna disposición del presente Acuerdo deberá interpretarse de manera que obligue a las Partes a erogar o comprometer fondos.

      EN FE DE LO CUAL, los abajo firmantes, debidamente autorizados por sus respectivos gobiernos, firman el presente Acuerdo.

      HECHO el 26 de julio de 2019, por duplicado en los idiomas inglés y español, siendo ambos textos auténticos.

      POR EL GOBIERNO DE LOS ESTADOS UNIDOS DE AMÉRICA: Kevin K. McAleenan, Secretario Interino de Seguridad Nacional.

      POR EL GOBIERNO DE LA REPÚBLICA DE GUATEMALA: Enrique A. Degenhart Asturias, Ministro de Gobernación.

      https://www.prensalibre.com/guatemala/migrantes/este-es-el-acuerdo-migratorio-firmado-entre-guatemala-y-estados-unidos

    • Washington signe un accord sur le droit d’asile avec le Guatemala

      Sous la pression du président américain, le Guatemala devient un « pays tiers sûr », où les migrants de passage vers les Etats-Unis doivent déposer leurs demandes d’asile.

      Sous la pression de Donald Trump qui menaçait de lui infliger des sanctions commerciales, le Guatemala a accepté vendredi 26 juillet de devenir un « pays tiers sûr » pour contribuer à réduire le nombre de demandes d’asile aux Etats-Unis. L’accord, qui a été signé en grande pompe dans le bureau ovale de la Maison blanche, en préfigure d’autres, a assuré le président américain, qui a notamment cité le Mexique.

      Faute d’avoir obtenu du Congrès le financement du mur qu’il souhaitait construire le long de la frontière avec le Mexique, Donald Trump a changé de stratégie en faisant pression sur les pays d’Amérique centrale pour qu’ils l’aident à réduire le flux de migrants arrivant aux Etats-Unis, qui a atteint un niveau record sous sa présidence.

      Une personne qui traverse un « pays tiers sûr » doit déposer sa demande d’asile dans ce pays et non dans son pays de destination. Sans employer le terme « pays tiers sûr », le gouvernement guatémaltèque a précisé dans un communiqué que l’accord conclu avec les Etats-Unis s’appliquerait aux réfugiés originaires du Honduras et du Salvador.

      Contreparties pour les travailleurs agricoles

      S’adressant à la presse devant la Maison blanche, le président américain a indiqué que les ouvriers agricoles guatémaltèques auraient en contrepartie un accès privilégié aux fermes aux Etats-Unis.

      Le président guatémaltèque Jimmy Morales devait signer l’accord de « pays tiers sûr » la semaine dernière mais il avait été contraint de reculer après que la Cour constitutionnelle avait jugé qu’il ne pouvait pas prendre un tel engagement sans l’accord du Parlement, ce qui avait provoqué la fureur de Donald Trump.

      Invoquant la nécessité d’éviter des « répercussions sociales et économiques », le gouvernement guatémaltèque a indiqué qu’un accord serait signé dans les prochains jours avec Washington pour faciliter l’octroi de visas de travail agricole temporaires aux ressortissants guatémaltèques. Il a dit espérer que cette mesure serait ultérieurement étendue aux secteurs de la construction et des services.

      Les Etats-Unis sont confrontés à une flambée du nombre de migrants qui cherchent à franchir sa frontière sud, celle qui les séparent du Mexique. En juin, les services de police aux frontières ont arrêté 104 000 personnes qui cherchaient à entrer illégalement aux Etats-Unis. Ils avaient été 144 000 le mois précédent.

      https://www.lemonde.fr/international/article/2019/07/27/washington-signe-un-accord-sur-le-droit-d-asile-avec-le-guatemala_5493979_32
      #agriculture #ouvriers_agricoles #travail #fermes

    • Migrants, pressions sur le Mexique

      Sous la pression des États-Unis, le Mexique fait la chasse aux migrants sur son territoire, et les empêche d’avancer vers le nord. Au mois de juin, les autorités ont arrêté près de 24 000 personnes sans papiers.

      Debout sur son radeau, Edwin maugrée en regardant du coin de l’œil la vingtaine de militaires de la Garde Nationale mexicaine postés sous les arbres, côté mexicain. « C’est à cause d’eux si les affaires vont mal », bougonne le jeune Guatémaltèque en poussant son radeau à l’aide d’une perche. « Depuis qu’ils sont là, plus personne ne peut passer au Mexique ».

      Les eaux du fleuve Suchiate, qui sépare le Mexique du Guatemala, sont étrangement calmes depuis le mois de juin. Fini le ballet incessant des petits radeaux de fortune, où s’entassaient, pêle-mêle, villageois, commerçants et migrants qui se rendaient au Mexique. « Mais ça ne change rien, les migrants traversent plus loin », sourit le jeune homme.

      La stratégie du président américain Donald Trump pour contraindre son voisin du sud à réduire les flux migratoires en direction des États-Unis a mis le gouvernement mexicain aux abois : pour éviter une nouvelle fois la menace de l’instauration de frais de douanes de 5 % sur les importations mexicaines, le gouvernement d’Andrés Manuel López Obrador a déployé dans l’urgence 6 500 éléments de la Garde Nationale à la frontière sud du Mexique.
      Des pots-de-vin lors des contrôles

      Sur les routes, les opérations de contrôle sont partout. « Nous avons été arrêtés à deux reprises par l’armée », explique Natalia, entourée de ses garçons de 11 ans, 8 ans et 3 ans. Cette Guatémaltèque s’est enfuie de son village avec son mari et ses enfants, il y a dix jours. Son époux, témoin protégé dans le procès d’un groupe criminel, a été menacé de mort. « Au premier contrôle, nous leur avons donné 1 500 pesos (NDLR, 70 €), au deuxième 2 500 pesos (118 €), pour qu’ils nous laissent partir », explique la mère de famille, assise sous le préau de l’auberge du Père César Augusto Cañaveral, l’une des deux auberges qui accueillent les migrants à Tapachula.

      Conçu pour 120 personnes, l’établissement héberge actuellement plus de 300 personnes, dont une centaine d’enfants en bas âge. « On est face à une politique anti-migratoire de plus en plus violente et militarisée, se désole le Père Cañaveral. C’est devenu une véritable chasse à l’homme dehors, alors je leur dis de sortir le moins possible pour éviter les arrestations ». Celles-ci ont en effet explosé depuis l’ultimatum du président des États-Unis : du 1er au 24 juin, l’Institut National de Migration (INM) a arrêté près de 24 000 personnes en situation irrégulière, soit 1 000 personnes détenues par jour en moyenne, et en a expulsé plus de 17 000, essentiellement des Centraméricains. Du jamais vu.
      Des conditions de détention « indignes »

      À Tapachula, les migrants arrêtés sont entassés dans le centre de rétention Siglo XXI. À quelques mètres de l’entrée de cette forteresse de béton, Yannick a le regard vide et fatigué. « Il y avait tellement de monde là-dedans que ma fille y est tombée malade », raconte cet Angolais âgé de 33 ans, sa fille de 3 ans somnolant dans ses bras. « Ils viennent de nous relâcher car ils ne vont pas nous renvoyer en Afrique, ajoute-il. Heureusement, car à l’intérieur on dort par terre ». « Les conditions dans ce centre sont indignes », dénonce Claudia León Aug, coordinatrice du Service jésuite des réfugiés pour l’Amérique latine, qui a visité à plusieurs reprises le centre de rétention Siglo XXI. « La nourriture est souvent avariée, les enfants tombent malades, les bébés n’ont droit qu’à une seule couche par jour, et on a même recensé des cas de tortures et d’agressions ».

      Tapachula est devenu un cul-de-sac pour des milliers de migrants. Ils errent dans les rues de la ville, d’hôtel en d’hôtel, ou louent chez l’habitant, faute de pouvoir avancer vers le nord. Les compagnies de bus, sommées de participer à l’effort national, demandent systématiquement une pièce d’identité en règle. « On ne m’a pas laissé monter dans le bus en direction de Tijuana », se désole Elvis, un Camerounais de 34 ans qui rêve de se rendre au Canada.

      Il sort de sa poche un papier tamponné par les autorités mexicaines, le fameux laissez-passer que délivrait l’Institut National de Migration aux migrants extra-continentaux, pour qu’ils traversent le Mexique en 20 jours afin de gagner la frontière avec les États-Unis. « Regardez, ils ont modifié le texte, maintenant il est écrit que je ne peux pas sortir de Tapachula », accuse le jeune homme, dépité, avant de se rasseoir sur le banc de la petite cour de son hôtel décati dans la périphérie de Tapachula. « La situation est chaotique, les gens sont bloqués ici et les autorités ne leur donnent aucune information, pour les décourager encore un peu plus », dénonce Salvador Lacruz, coordinateur au Centre des Droits humains Centro Fray Matías de Córdova.
      Explosion du nombre des demandes d’asile au Mexique

      Face à la menace des arrestations et des expulsions, de plus en plus de migrants choisissent de demander l’asile au Mexique. Dans le centre-ville de Tapachula, la Commission mexicaine d’aide aux réfugiés (COMAR), est prise d’assaut dès 4 heures du matin par les demandeurs d’asile. « On m’a dit de venir avec tous les documents qui prouvent que je suis en danger de mort dans mon pays », explique Javier, un Hondurien de 34 ans qui a fait la queue une partie de la nuit pour ne pas rater son rendez-vous.

      Son fils de 9 ans est assis sur ses genoux. « J’ai le certificat de décès de mon père et celui de mon frère. Ils ont été assassinés pour avoir refusé de donner de l’argent aux maras », explique-t-il, une pochette en plastique dans les mains. « Le prochain sur la liste, c’est moi, c’est pour ça que je suis parti pour les États-Unis, mais je vois que c’est devenu très difficile, alors je me pose ici, ensuite, on verra ».

      Les demandes d’asile au Mexique ont littéralement explosé : 31 000 pour les six premiers mois de 2019, c’est trois fois plus qu’en 2018 à la même période, et juin a été particulièrement élevé, avec 70 % de demandes en plus par rapport à janvier. La tendance devrait se poursuivre du fait de la décision prise le 15 juillet dernier par le président américain, que toute personne « entrant par la frontière sud des États-Unis » et souhaitant demander l’asile aux États-Unis le fasse, au préalable, dans un autre pays, transformant ainsi le Mexique, de facto, en « pays tiers sûr ».

      « Si les migrants savent que la seule possibilité de demander l’asile aux États-Unis, c’est de l’avoir obtenu au Mexique, ils le feront », observe Salvador Lacruz. Mais si certains s’accrochent à Tapachula, d’autres abandonnent. Jesús Roque, un Hondurien de 21 ans, « vient de signer » comme disent les migrants centraméricains en référence au programme de retour volontaire mis en place par le gouvernement mexicain. « C’est impossible d’aller plus au nord, je rentre chez moi », lâche-t-il.

      Comme lui, plus de 35 000 personnes sont rentrées dans leur pays, essentiellement des Honduriens et des Salvadoriens. À quelques mètres, deux femmes pressent le pas, agacées par la foule qui se presse devant les bureaux de la COMAR. « Qu’ils partent d’ici, vite ! », grogne l’une. Le mur tant désiré par Donald Trump s’est finalement érigé au Mexique en quelques semaines. Dans les esprits aussi.

      https://www.la-croix.com/Monde/Ameriques/Le-Mexique-verrouille-frontiere-sud-2019-08-01-1201038809

    • US Move Puts More Asylum Seekers at Risk. Expanded ‘#Remain_in_Mexico’ Program Undermines Due Process

      The Trump administration has drastically expanded its “Remain in Mexico” program while undercutting the rights of asylum seekers at the United States southern border, Human Rights Watch said today. Under the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) – known as the “Remain in Mexico” program – asylum seekers in the US are returned to cities in Mexico where there is a shortage of shelter and high crime rates while awaiting asylum hearings in US immigration court.

      Human Rights Watch found that asylum seekers face new or increased barriers to obtaining and communicating with legal counsel; increased closure of MPP court hearings to the public; and threats of kidnapping, extortion, and other violence while in Mexico.

      “The inherently inhumane ‘Remain in Mexico’ program is getting more abusive by the day,” said Ariana Sawyer, assistant US Program researcher at Human Rights Watch. “The program’s rapid growth in recent months has put even more people and families in danger in Mexico while they await an increasingly unfair legal process in the US.”

      The United States will begin sending all Central American asylum-seeking families to Mexico beginning the week of September 29, 2019 as part of the most recent expansion of the “Remain in Mexico” program, the Department of Homeland Security acting secretary, Kevin McAleenan, announced on September 23.

      Human Rights Watch concluded in a July 2019 report that the MPP program has had serious rights consequences for asylum seekers, including high – if not insurmountable – barriers to due process on their asylum claims in the United States and threats and physical violence in Mexico. Human Rights Watch recently spoke to seven asylum seekers, as well as 26 attorneys, migrant shelter operators, Mexican government officials, immigration court workers, journalists, and advocates. Human Rights Watch also observed court hearings for 71 asylum seekers in August and analyzed court filings, declarations, photographs, and media reports.

      “The [MPP] rules, which are never published, are constantly changing without advance notice,” said John Moore, an asylum attorney. “And so far, every change has had the effect of further restricting the already limited access we attorneys have with our clients.”

      Beyond the expanded program, which began in January, the US State Department has also begun funding a “voluntary return” program carried out by the United Nations-affiliated International Organization for Migration (IOM). The organization facilitates the transportation of asylum seekers forced to wait in Mexico back to their country of origin but does not notify US immigration judges. This most likely results in negative judgments against asylum seekers for not appearing in court, possibly resulting in a ban of up to 10 years on entering the US again, when they could have withdrawn their cases without penalty.

      Since July, the number of people being placed in the MPP program has almost tripled, from 15,079 as of June 24, to 40,033 as of September 7, according to the Mexican National Institute of Migration. The Trump administration has increased the number of asylum seekers it places in the program at ports of entry near San Diego and Calexico, California and El Paso, Texas, where the program had already been in place. The administration has also expanded the program to Laredo and Brownsville, Texas, even as the overall number of border apprehensions has declined.

      As of early August, more than 26,000 additional asylum seekers were waiting in Mexican border cities on unofficial lists to be processed by US Customs and Border Protection as part the US practice of “metering,” or of limiting the number of people who can apply for asylum each day by turning them back from ports of entry in violation of international law.

      In total, more than 66,000 asylum seekers are now in Mexico, forced to wait months or years for their cases to be decided in the US. Some have given up waiting and have attempted to cross illicitly in more remote and dangerous parts of the border, at times with deadly results.

      As problematic as the MPP program is, seeking asylum will likely soon become even more limited. On September 11, the Supreme Court temporarily allowed the Trump administration to carry out an asylum ban against anyone entering the country by land after July 16 who transited through a third country without applying for asylum there. This could affect at least 46,000 asylum seekers, placed in the MPP program or on a metering list after mid-July, according to calculations based on data from the Mexican National Institute of Migration. Asylum seekers may still be eligible for other forms of protection, but they carry much higher eligibility standards and do not provide the same level of relief.

      Human Rights Watch contacted the Department of Homeland Security and the US Justice Department’s Executive Office for Immigration Review with its findings and questions regarding the policy changes and developments but have not to date received a response. The US government should immediately cease returning asylum seekers to Mexico and instead ensure them meaningful access to full and fair asylum proceedings in US immigration courts, Human Rights Watch said. Congress should urgently act to cease funding the MPP program. The US should manage asylum-seeker arrivals through a genuine humanitarian response that includes fair determinations of an asylum seeker’s eligibility to remain in the US. The US should simultaneously pursue longer-term efforts to address the root causes of forced displacement in Central America.

      “The Trump administration seems intent on making the bad situation for asylum seekers even worse by further depriving them of due process rights,” Sawyer said. “The US Congress should step in and put an end to these mean-spirited attempts to undermine and destroy the US asylum system.”

      New Concerns over the MPP Program

      Increased Barriers to Legal Representation

      Everyone in the MPP has the right to an attorney at their own cost, but it has been nearly impossible for asylum seekers forced to remain in Mexico to get legal representation. Only about 1.3 percent of participants have legal representation, according to the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse at Syracuse University, a research center that examined US immigration court records through June 2019. In recent months, the US government has raised new barriers to obtaining representation and accessing counsel.

      When the Department of Homeland Security created the program, it issued guidance that:

      in order to facilitate access to counsel for aliens subject to return to Mexico under the MPP who will be transported to their immigration court hearings, [agents] will depart from the [port of entry] with the alien at a time sufficient to ensure arrival at the immigration court not later than one hour before his or her scheduled hearing time in order to afford the alien the opportunity to meet in-person with his or her legal representative.

      However, according to several attorneys Human Rights Watch interviewed in El Paso, Texas, and as Human Rights Watch observed on August 12 to 15 in El Paso Immigration Court, the Department of Homeland Security and the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR), which manages the immigration court, have effectively barred attorneys from meeting with clients for the full hour before their client’s hearing begins. Rather than having free access to their clients, attorneys are now required to wait in the building lobby on a different level than the immigration court until the court administrator notifies security guards that attorneys may enter.

      As Human Rights Watch has previously noted, one hour is insufficient for adequate attorney consultation and preparation. Still, several attorneys said that this time in court was crucial. Immigration court is often the only place where asylum seekers forced to wait in Mexico can meet with attorneys since lawyers capable of representing them typically work in the US. Attorneys cannot easily travel to Mexico because of security and logistical issues. For MPP participants without attorneys, there are now also new barriers to getting basic information and assistance about the asylum application process.

      Human Rights Watch observed in May a coordinated effort by local nongovernmental organizations and attorneys in El Paso to perform know-your-rights presentations for asylum seekers without an attorney and to serve as “Friend of the Court,” at the judge’s discretion. The Executive Office for Immigration Review has recognized in the context of unaccompanied minors that a Friend of the Court “has a useful role to play in assisting the court and enhancing a respondent’s comprehension of proceedings.”

      The agency’s memos also say that, “Immigration Judges and court administrators remain encouraged to facilitate pro bono representation” because pro bono attorneys provide “respondents with welcome legal assistance and the judge with efficiencies that can only be realized when the respondent is represented.”

      To that end, immigration courts are encouraged to support “legal orientations and group rights presentations” by nonprofit organizations and attorneys.

      One of the attorneys involved in coordinating the various outreach programs at the El Paso Immigration Court said, however, that on June 24 the agency began barring all contact between third parties and asylum seekers without legal representation in both the courtroom and the lobby outside. This effectively ended all know-your-rights presentations and pro bono case screenings, though no new memo was issued. Armed guards now prevent attorneys in the US from interacting with MPP participants unless the attorneys have already filed official notices that they are representing specific participants.

      On July 8, the agency also began barring attorneys from serving as “Friend of the Court,” several attorneys told Human Rights Watch. No new memo has been issued on “Friend of the Court” either.

      In a July 16 email to an attorney obtained by Human Rights Watch, an agency spokesman, Rob Barnes, said that the agency shut down “Friend of the Court” and know-your-rights presentations to protect asylum seekers from misinformation after it “became aware that persons from organizations not officially recognized by EOIR...were entering EOIR space in El Paso.

      However, most of the attorneys and organizations now barred from performing know-your-rights presentations or serving as “Friend of the Court” in El Paso are listed on a form given to asylum seekers by the court of legal service providers, according to a copy of the form given to Human Rights Watch and attorneys and organizations coordinating those services.

      Closure of Immigration Court Hearings to the Public

      When Human Rights Watch observed court hearings in El Paso on May 8 to 10, the number of asylum seekers who had been placed in the MPP program and scheduled to appear in court was between 20 and 24 each day, with one judge hearing all of these cases in a single mass hearing. At the time, those numbers were considered high, and there was chaos and confusion as judges navigated a system that was never designed to provide hearings for people being kept outside the US.

      When Human Rights Watch returned to observe hearings just over three months later, four judges were hearing a total of about 250 cases a day, an average of over 60 cases for each judge. Asylum seekers in the program, who would previously have been allowed into the US to pursue their claims at immigration courts dispersed around the country, have been primarily funneled through courts in just two border cities, causing tremendous pressures on these courts and errors in the system. Some asylum seekers who appeared in court found their cases were not in the system or received conflicting instructions about where or when to appear.

      One US immigration official said the MPP program had “broken the courts,” Reuters reported.

      The Executive Office for Immigration Review has stated that immigration court hearings are generally supposed to be open to the public. The regulations indicate that immigration judges may make exceptions and limit or close hearings if physical facilities are inadequate; if there is a need to protect witnesses, parties, or the public interest; if an abused spouse or abused child is to appear; or if information under seal is to be presented.

      In recent weeks, however, journalists, attorneys, and other public observers have been barred from these courtrooms in El Paso by court administrators, security guards, and in at least one case, by a Department of Homeland Security attorney, who said that a courtroom was too full to allow a Human Rights Watch researcher entry.

      Would-be observers are now frequently told by the court administrator or security guards that there is “no room,” and that dockets are all “too full.”

      El Paso Immigration Court Administrator Rodney Buckmire told Human Rights Watch that hundreds of people receive hearings each day because asylum seekers “deserve their day in court,” but the chaos and errors in mass hearings, the lack of access to attorneys and legal advice, and the lack of transparency make clear that the MPP program is severely undermining due process.

      During the week of September 9, the Trump administration began conducting hearings for asylum seekers returned to Mexico in makeshift tent courts in Laredo and Brownsville, where judges are expected to preside via videoconference. At a September 11 news conference, DHS would not commit to allowing observers for those hearings, citing “heightened security measures” since the courts are located near the border. Both attorneys and journalists have since been denied entry to these port courts.

      Asylum Seekers Describe Risk of Kidnapping, Other Crimes

      As the MPP has expanded, increasing numbers of asylum seekers have been placed at risk of kidnapping and other crimes in Mexico.

      Two of the northern Mexican states to which asylum seekers were initially being returned under the program, Baja California and Chihuahua, are among those with the most homicides and other crimes in the country. Recent media reports have documented ongoing harm to asylum seekers there, including rape, kidnapping, sexual exploitation, assault, and other violent crimes.

      The program has also been expanded to Nuevo Laredo and Matamoros, both in the Mexican state of Tamaulipas, which is on the US State Department’s “do not travel” list. The media and aid workers have also reported that migrants there have experienced physical violence, sexual assault, kidnapping, and other abuses. There have been multiple reports in 2019 alone of migrants being kidnapped as they attempt to reach the border by bus.

      Jennifer Harbury, a human rights attorney and activist doing volunteer work with asylum-seekers on both sides of the border, collected sworn declarations that they had been victims of abuse from three asylum seekers who had been placed in the MPP program and bused by Mexican immigration authorities to Monterrey, Mexico, two and a half hours from the border. Human Rights Watch examined these declarations, in which asylum seekers reported robbery, extortion, and kidnapping, including by Mexican police.

      Expansion to Mexican Cities with Even Fewer Protections

      Harbury, who recently interviewed hundreds of migrants in Mexico, described asylum seekers sent to Nuevo Laredo as “fish in a barrel” because of their vulnerability to criminal organizations. She said that many of the asylum seekers she interviewed said they had been kidnapped or subjected to an armed assault at least once since they reached the border.

      Because Mexican officials are in many cases reportedly themselves involved in crimes against migrants, and because nearly 98 percent of crimes in Mexico go unsolved, crimes committed against migrants routinely go unpunished.

      In Matamoros, asylum seekers have no meaningful shelter access, said attorneys with Lawyers for Good Government (L4GG) who were last there from August 22 to 26. Instead, more than 500 asylum seekers were placed in an encampment in a plaza near the port of entry to the US, where they were sleeping out in the open, despite temperatures of over 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Henriette Vinet-Martin, a lawyer with the group, said she saw a “nursing mother sleeping on cardboard with her baby” and that attorneys also spoke to a woman in the MPP program there who said she had recently miscarried in a US hospital while in Customs and Border Protection custody. The attorneys said some asylum seekers had tents, but many did not.

      Vinet-Martin and Claire Noone, another lawyer there as part of the L4GG project, said they found children with disabilities who had been placed in the MPP program, including two children with Down Syndrome, one of them eight months old.

      Human Rights Watch also found that Customs and Border Protection continues to return asylum seekers with disabilities or other chronic health conditions to Mexico, despite the Department of Homeland Security’s initial guidance that no one with “known physical/mental health issues” would be placed in the program. In Ciudad Juárez, Human Rights Watch documented six such cases, four of them children. In one case, a 14-year-old boy had been placed in the program along with his mother and little brother, who both have intellectual disabilities, although the boy said they have family in the US. He appeared to be confused and distraught by his situation.

      The Mexican government has taken some steps to protect migrants in Ciudad Juárez, including opening a large government-operated shelter. The shelter, which Human Rights Watch visited on August 22, has a capacity of 3,000 migrants and is well-stocked with food, blankets, sleeping pads, personal hygiene kits, and more. At the time of the visit, the shelter held 555 migrants, including 230 children, primarily asylum seekers in the MPP program.

      One Mexican government official said the government will soon open two more shelters – one in Tijuana with a capacity of 3,000 and another in Mexicali with a capacity of 1,500.

      Problems Affecting the ‘Assisted Voluntary Return’ Program

      In October 2018, the International Organization for Migration began operating a $1.65 million US State Department-funded “Assisted Voluntary Return” program to assist migrants who have decided or felt compelled to return home. The return program originally targeted Central Americans traveling in large groups through the interior of Mexico. However, in July, the program began setting up offices in Ciudad Juárez, Tijuana, and Mexicali focusing on asylum seekers forced to wait in those cities after being placed in the MPP program. Alex Rigol Ploettner, who heads the International Organization for Migration office in Ciudad Juárez, said that the organization also provides material support such as bunk beds and personal hygiene kits to shelters, which the organization asks to refer interested asylum seekers to the Assisted Voluntary Return program. Four shelter operators in Ciudad Juárez confirmed these activities.

      As of late August, Rigol Ploettner said approximately 500 asylum seekers in the MPP program had been referred to Assisted Voluntary Return. Of those 500, he said, about 95 percent were found to be eligible for the program.

      He said the organization warns asylum seekers that returning to their home country may cause them to receive deportation orders from the US in absentia, meaning they will most likely face a ban on entering the US of up to 10 years.

      The organization does not inform US immigration courts that they have returned asylum seekers, nor are asylum seekers assisted in withdrawing their petition for asylum, which would avoid future penalties in the US.

      “For now, as the IOM, we don’t have a direct mechanism for withdrawal,” Rigol Ploettner said. Human Rights Watch is deeply concerned about the failure to notify the asylum courts when people who are on US immigration court dockets return home and the negative legal consequences for asylum seekers. These concerns are heightened by the environment in which the Assisted Voluntary Return Program is operating. Asylum seekers in the MPP are in such a vulnerable situation that it cannot be assumed that decisions to return home are based on informed consent.

      https://www.hrw.org/news/2019/09/25/us-move-puts-more-asylum-seekers-risk

      via @pascaline

    • Sweeping Language in Asylum Agreement Foists U.S. Responsibilities onto El Salvador

      Amid a tightening embrace of Trump administration policies, last week El Salvador agreed to begin taking asylum-seekers sent back from the United States. The agreement was announced on Friday but details were not made public at the time. The text of the agreement — which The Intercept requested and obtained from the Department of Homeland Security — purports to uphold international and domestic obligations “to provide protection for eligible refugees,” but immigration experts see the move as the very abandonment of the principle of asylum. Aaron Reichlin-Melnick, policy analyst at American Immigration Council, called the agreement a “deeply cynical” move.

      The agreement, which closely resembles one that the U.S. signed with Guatemala in July, implies that any asylum-seeker who is not from El Salvador could be sent back to that country and forced to seek asylum there. Although officials have said that the agreements would apply to people who passed through El Salvador or Guatemala en route, the text of the agreements does not explicitly make that clear.

      “This agreement is so potentially sweeping that it could be used to send an asylum-seeker who never transited El Salvador to El Salvador,” said Eleanor Acer, senior director of refugee protection at the nonprofit organization Human Rights First.

      DHS did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

      The Guatemalan deal has yet to take effect, as Guatemala’s Congress claims to need to ratify it first. DHS officials are currently seeking a similar arrangement with Honduras and have been pressuring Mexico — under threats of tariffs — to crack down on U.S.-bound migration.

      The agreement with El Salvador comes after the Supreme Court recently upheld the Trump administration’s most recent asylum ban, which requires anyone who has transited through another country before reaching the border to seek asylum there first, and be denied in that country, in order to be eligible for asylum in the U.S. Meanwhile, since January, more than 42,000 asylum-seekers who filed their claims in the U.S. before the ban took effect have been pushed back into Mexico and forced to wait there — where they have been subjected to kidnapping, rape, and extortion, among other hazards — as the courts slowly weigh their eligibility.

      Reichlin-Melnick called the U.S.-El Salvador deal “yet another sustained attack at our system of asylum protections.” It begins by invoking the international Refugee Convention and the principle of non-refoulement, which is the crux of asylum law — the guarantee not to return asylum-seekers to a country where they would be subjected to persecution or death. Karen Musalo, law professor at U.C. Hastings Center for Gender and Refugee Studies, called that invocation “Orwellian.”

      “The idea that El Salvador is a safe country for asylum-seekers when it is one of the major countries sending asylum-seekers to the U.S., a country with one of the highest homicide and femicide rates in the world, a place in which gangs have control over large swathes of the country, and the violence is causing people to flee in record numbers … is another absurdity that is beyond the pale,” Musalo said.

      “El Salvador is not a country that is known for having any kind of protection for its own citizens’ human rights,” Musalo added. “If they can’t protect their own citizens, it’s absolutely absurd to think that they can protect people that are not their citizens.”

      “They’ve looked at all of the facts,” Reichlin-Melnick said. “And they’ve decided to create their own reality.”

      Last week, the Salvadoran newspaper El Faro reported that the country’s agency that reviews asylum claims only has a single officer. Meanwhile, though homicide rates have gone down in recent months — since outsider president Nayib Bukele took office in June — September has already seen an increase in homicides. Bukele’s calculus in accepting the agreement is still opaque to Salvadoran observers (Guatemala’s version was deeply unpopular in that country), but he has courted U.S. investment and support. The legal status of nearly 200,000 Salvadorans with temporary protected status in the U.S. is also under threat from the administration. This month also saw the symbolic launch of El Salvador’s Border Patrol — with U.S. funding and support. This week, Bukele, who has both sidled up to Trump and employed Trumpian tactics, will meet with the U.S. president in New York to discuss immigration.

      Reichlin-Melnick noted that the Guatemalan and Salvadoran agreements, as written, could bar people not only from seeking asylum, but also from two other protections meant to fulfill the non-refoulement principle: withholding of removal (a stay on deportation) and the Convention Against Torture, which prevents people from being returned to situations where they may face torture. That would mean that these Central American cooperation agreements go further than the recent asylum ban, which still allows people to apply for those other protections.

      Another major difference between the asylum ban and these agreements is that with the asylum ban, people would be deported to their home countries. If these agreements go into effect, the U.S. will start sending people to Guatemala or El Salvador, regardless of where they may be from. In the 1980s, the ACLU documented over 100 cases of Salvadorans who were harmed or killed after they were deported from the U.S. After this agreement goes into effect, it will no longer be just Salvadorans who the U.S. will be sending into danger.

      https://theintercept.com/2019/09/23/el-salvador-asylum-agreement

    • La forteresse Trump ou le pari du mur

      Plus que sur le mur promis pendant sa campagne, Donald Trump semble fonder sa #politique_migratoire sur une #pression_commerciale sur ses voisins du sud, remettant en cause les #échanges économiques mais aussi culturels avec le Mexique. Ce mur ne serait-il donc que symbolique ?
      Alors que l’administration américaine le menaçait de #taxes_douanières et de #guerre_commerciale, le Mexique d’Andres Lopez Obrador a finalement concédé de freiner les flux migratoires.

      Après avoir accepté un #accord imposé par Washington, Mexico a considérablement réduit les flux migratoires et accru les #expulsions. En effet, plus de 100 000 ressortissants centre-américains ont été expulsés du Mexique vers le #Guatemala dans les huit premiers mois de l’année, soit une hausse de 63% par rapport à l’année précédente selon les chiffres du Guatemala.

      Par ailleurs, cet été le Guatemala a conclu un accord de droit d’asile avec Washington, faisant de son territoire un « #pays_sûr » auprès duquel les demandeurs d’asiles ont l’obligation d’effectuer les premières démarches. Le Salvador et le #Honduras ont suivi la voie depuis.

      Et c’est ainsi que, alors qu’il rencontrait les plus grandes difficultés à obtenir les financements pour le mur à la frontière mexicaine, Donald Trump mise désormais sur ses voisins pour externaliser sa politique migratoire.

      Alors le locataire de la Maison Blanche a-t-il oublié ses ambitions de poursuivre la construction de cette frontière de fer et de béton ? Ce mur n’était-il qu’un symbole destiné à montrer à son électorat son volontarisme en matière de lutte contre l’immigration ? Le retour de la campagne est-il susceptible d’accélérer les efforts dans le domaine ?

      D’autre part, qu’en est-il de la situation des migrants sur le terrain ? Comment s’adaptent-ils à cette nouvelle donne ? Quelles conséquences sur les parcours migratoires des hommes, des femmes et des enfants qui cherchent à gagner les Etats-Unis ?

      On se souvient de cette terrible photo des cadavres encore enlacés d’un père et de sa petite fille de 2 ans, Oscar et Valeria Alberto, originaires du Salvador, morts noyés dans les eaux tumultueuses du Rio Bravo en juin dernier alors qu’ils cherchaient à passer aux Etats-Unis.

      Ce destin tragique annonce-t-il d’autres drames pour nombre de candidats à l’exil qui, quelques soient les politiques migratoires des Etats, iront au bout de leur vie avec l’espoir de l’embellir un peu ?

      https://www.franceculture.fr/emissions/cultures-monde/les-frontieres-de-la-colere-14-la-forteresse-trump-ou-le-pari-du-mur

      #Mexique #symbole #barrières_frontalières #USA #Etats-Unis #renvois #push-back #refoulements

    • Mexico sends asylum seekers south — with no easy way to return for U.S. court dates

      The exhausted passengers emerge from a sleek convoy of silver and red-streaked buses, looking confused and disoriented as they are deposited ignominiously in this tropical backwater in southernmost Mexico.

      There is no greeter here to provide guidance on their pending immigration cases in the United States or on where to seek shelter in a teeming international frontier town packed with marooned, U.S.-bound migrants from across the globe.

      The bus riders had made a long and perilous overland trek north to the Rio Grande only to be dispatched back south to Mexico’s border with Central America — close to where many of them had begun their perilous journeys weeks and months earlier. At this point, some said, both their resources and sense of hope had been drained.

      “We don’t know what we’re going to do next,” said Maria de Los Angeles Flores Reyes, 39, a Honduran accompanied by her daughter, Cataren, 9, who appeared petrified after disembarking from one of the long-distance buses. “There’s no information, nothing.”

      The two are among more than 50,000 migrants, mostly Central Americans, whom U.S. immigration authorities have sent back to Mexico this year to await court hearings in the United States under the Trump administration’s Remain in Mexico program.

      Immigration advocates have assailed the program as punitive, while the White House says it has worked effectively — discouraging many migrants from following up on asylum cases and helping to curb what President Trump has decried as a “catch and release” system in which apprehended migrants have been freed in U.S. territory pending court proceeding that can drag on for months or years.

      The ever-expanding ranks pose a growing dilemma for Mexican authorities, who, under intense pressure from the White House, had agreed to accept the returnees and provide them with humanitarian assistance.

      As the numbers rise, Mexico, in many cases, has opted for a controversial solution: Ship as many asylum seekers as possible more than 1,000 miles back here in the apparent hope that they will opt to return to Central America — even if that implies endangering or foregoing prospective political asylum claims in U.S. immigration courts.

      Mexican officials, sensitive to criticism that they are facilitating Trump’s hard-line deportation agenda, have been tight-lipped about the shadowy busing program, under which thousands of asylum-seekers have been returned here since August. (Mexican authorities declined to provide statistics on just how many migrants have been sent back under the initiative.)

      In a statement, Mexico’s immigration agency called the 40-hour bus rides a “free, voluntary and secure” alternative for migrants who don’t want to spend months waiting in the country’s notoriously dangerous northern border towns.

      Advocates counter that the program amounts to a barely disguised scheme for encouraging ill-informed migrants to abandon their ongoing petitions in U.S. immigration court and return to Central America. Doing so leaves them to face the same conditions that they say forced them to flee toward the United States, and, at the same time, would undermine the claims that they face persecution at home.

      “Busing someone back to your southern border doesn’t exactly send them a message that you want them to stay in your country,” said Maureen Meyer, who heads the Mexico program for the Washington Office on Latin America, a research and advocacy group. “And it isn’t always clear that the people on the buses understand what this could mean for their cases in the United States.”

      Passengers interviewed on both ends of the bus pipeline — along the northern Mexican border and here on the southern frontier with Guatemala — say that no Mexican official briefed them on the potential legal jeopardy of returning home.

      “No one told us anything,” Flores Reyes asked after she got off the bus here, bewildered about how to proceed. “Is there a safe place to stay here until our appointment in December?”

      The date is specified on a notice to appear that U.S. Border Patrol agents handed her before she and her daughter were sent back to Mexico last month after having been detained as illegal border-crossers in south Texas. They are due Dec. 16 in a U.S. immigration court in Harlingen, Texas, for a deportation hearing, according to the notice, stamped with the capital red letters MPP — for Migrant Protection Protocols, the official designation of Remain in Mexico.

      The free bus rides to the Guatemalan border are strictly a one-way affair: Mexico does not offer return rides back to the northern border for migrants due in a U.S. immigration court, typically several months later.

      Beti Suyapa Ortega, 36, and son Robinson Javier Melara, 17, in a Mexican immigration agency waiting room in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico.

      “At this point, I’m so frightened I just want to go home,” said Beti Suyapa Ortega, 36, from Honduras, who crossed the border into Texas intending to seek political asylum and surrendered to the Border Patrol.

      She, along with her son, 17, were among two dozen or so Remain in Mexico returnees waiting recently for a southbound bus in a spartan office space at the Mexican immigration agency compound in Nuevo Laredo, across the Rio Grande from Laredo, Texas.

      Ortega and others said they were terrified of venturing onto the treacherous streets of Nuevo Laredo — where criminal gangs control not only drug trafficking but also the lucrative enterprise of abducting and extorting from migrants.

      “We can’t get out of here soon enough. It has been a nightmare,” said Ortega, who explained that she and her son had been kidnapped and held for two weeks and only released when a brother in Atlanta paid $8,000 in ransom. “I can never come back to this place.”

      The Ortegas, along with a dozen or so other Remain in Mexico returnees, left later that evening on a bus to southern Mexico. She said she would skip her date in U.S. immigration court, in Laredo — an appointment that would require her to pass through Nuevo Laredo and expose herself anew to its highly organized kidnapping and extortion gangs.

      The Mexican government bus service operates solely from the northern border towns of Nuevo Laredo and Matamoros, officials say. Both are situated in hyper-dangerous Tamaulipas state, a cartel hub on the Gulf of Mexico that regularly ranks high nationwide in homicides, “disappearances” and the discovery of clandestine graves.

      The long-haul Mexican busing initiative began in July, after U.S. immigration authorities began shipping migrants with court cases to Tamaulipas. Earlier, Remain in Mexico had been limited to sending migrants with U.S. court dates back to the northern border towns of Tijuana, Mexicali and Ciudad Juarez.

      At first, the buses left migrants departing from Tamaulipas state in the city of Monterrey, a relatively safe industrial center four hours south of the U.S. border. But officials there, including the state governor, complained about the sudden influx of hundreds of mostly destitute Central Americans. That’s when Mexican authorities appear to have begun busing all the way back to Ciudad Hidalgo, along Mexico’s border with Guatemala.

      A separate, United Nations-linked program has also returned thousands of migrants south from two large cities on the U.S. border, Tijuana and Ciudad Juarez.

      The packed buses arrive here two or three times a week, with no apparent set schedule.

      On a recent morning, half a dozen, each ferrying more than 40 migrants, came to a stop a block from the Rodolfo Robles international bridge that spans the Suchiate River, the dividing line between Mexico and Guatemala. Part of the fleet of the Omnibus Cristobal Colon long-distance transport company, the buses displayed windshield signs explaining they were “in the service” of Mexico’s national immigration agency.

      The migrants on board had begun the return journey south in Matamoros, across from Brownsville, Texas, after having been sent back there by U.S. immigration authorities.

      Many clutched folders with notices to appear in U.S. immigration court in Texas in December.

      But some, including Flores Reyes, said they were terrified of returning to Matamoros, where they had been subjected to robbery or kidnapping. Nor did they want to return across the Rio Grande to Texas, if it required travel back through Matamoros.

      Flores Reyes said kidnappers held her and her daughter for a week in Matamoros before they managed to escape with the aid of a fellow Honduran.

      The pair later crossed into Texas, she said, and they surrendered to the U.S. Border Patrol. On Sept. 11, they were sent back to Matamoros with a notice to appear Dec. 16 in immigration court in Harlingen.

      “When they told us they were sending us back to Matamoros I became very upset,” Flores Reyes said. “I can’t sleep. I’m still so scared because of what happened to us there.”

      Fearing a second kidnapping, she said, she quickly agreed to take the transport back to southern Mexico.

      Christian Gonzalez, 23, a native of El Salvador who was also among those recently returned here, said he had been mugged in Matamoros and robbed of his cash, his ID and his documents, among them the government notice to appear in U.S. immigration court in Texas in December.

      “Without the paperwork, what can I do?” said an exasperated Gonzalez, a laborer back in Usulutan province in southeastern El Salvador. “I don’t have any money to stay here.”

      He planned to abandon his U.S. immigration case and return to El Salvador, where he said he faced threats from gangs and an uncertain future.

      Standing nearby was Nuvia Carolina Meza Romero, 37, accompanied by her daughter, Jessi, 8, who clutched a stuffed sheep. Both had also returned on the buses from Matamoros. Meza Romero, too, was in a quandary about what do, but seemed resigned to return to Honduras.

      “I can’t stay here. I don’t know anyone and I don’t have any money,” said Meza Romero, who explained that she spent a week in U.S. custody in Texas after crossing the Rio Grande and being apprehended on Sept. 2.

      Her U.S. notice to appear advised her to show up on Dec. 3 in U.S. immigration court in Brownsville.

      “I don’t know how I would even get back there at this point,” said Meza Romero, who was near tears as she stood with her daughter near the border bridge.

      Approaching the migrants were aggressive bicycle taxi drivers who, for a fee of the equivalent of about $2, offered to smuggle them back across the river to Guatemala on rafts made of planks and inner tubes, thus avoiding Mexican and Guatemalan border inspections.

      Opting to cross the river were many bus returnees from Matamoros, including Meza Romero, her daughter and Gonzalez, the Salvadoran.

      But Flores Reyes was hesitant to return to Central America and forfeit her long-sought dream of resettling in the United States, even if she had to make her way back to Matamoros on her own.

      “Right now, we just need to find some shelter,” Flores Reyes said as she ambled off in search of some kind of lodging, her daughter holding her mother’s arm. “We have an appointment on Dec. 16 on the other side. I plan to make it. I’m not ready to give up yet.”

      https://www.latimes.com/world-nation/story/2019-10-15/buses-to-nowhere-mexico-transports-migrants-with-u-s-court-dates-to-its-far

      –---------

      Commentaire de @pascaline via la mailing-list Migreurop :

      Outre le dispositif d’expulsion par charter de l’OIM (https://seenthis.net/messages/730601) mis en place à la frontière nord du Mexique pour les MPPs, le transfert et l’abandon des demandeurs d’asile MPPS à la frontière avec le Guatemala, par les autorités mexicaines est présentée comme une façon de leur permettre d’échapper à la dangerosité des villes frontalières du Nord tout en espérant qu’ils choississent de retourner par eux-mêmes « chez eux »...

    • In a first, U.S. starts pushing Central American families seeking asylum to Guatemala

      U.S. officials have started to send families seeking asylum to Guatemala, even if they are not from the Central American country and had sought protection in the United States, the Los Angeles Times has learned.

      In July, the Trump administration announced a new rule to effectively end asylum at the southern U.S. border by requiring asylum seekers to claim protection elsewhere. Under that rule — which currently faces legal challenges — virtually any migrant who passes through another country before reaching the U.S. border and does not seek asylum there will be deemed ineligible for protection in the United States.

      A few days later, the administration reached an agreement with Guatemala to take asylum seekers arriving at the U.S. border who were not Guatemalan. Although Guatemala’s highest court initially said the country’s president couldn’t unilaterally enter into such an agreement, since late November, U.S. officials have forcibly returned individuals to Guatemala under the deal.

      At first, U.S. officials said they would return only single adults. But starting Tuesday, they began applying the policy to non-Guatemalan parents and children, according to communications obtained by The Times and several U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services officials.

      One family of three from Honduras, as well as a separate Honduran parent and child, were served with notices on Tuesday that they’d soon be deported to Guatemala.

      The Trump administration has reached similar agreements with Guatemala’s Northern Triangle neighbors, El Salvador and Honduras, in each case obligating those countries to take other Central Americans who reach the U.S. border. Those agreements, however, have yet to be implemented.

      The administration describes the agreements as an “effort to share the distribution of hundreds of thousands of asylum claims.”

      The deals — also referred to as “safe third country” agreements — “are formed between the United States and foreign countries where aliens removed to those countries would have access to a full and fair procedure for determining a claim to asylum or equivalent temporary protection,” according to the federal notice.

      Guatemala has virtually no asylum system of its own, but the Trump administration and Guatemalan government both said the returns would roll out slowly and selectively.

      The expansion of the policy to families could mean many more asylum seekers being forcibly removed to Guatemala.

      Experts, advocates, the United Nations and Guatemalan officials say the country doesn’t have the capacity to handle any sizable influx, much less process potential protection claims. Guatemala’s own struggles with corruption, violence and poverty helped push more than 270,000 Guatemalans to the U.S. border in fiscal 2019.

      Citizenship and Immigration Services and Homeland Security officials did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

      https://www.latimes.com/politics/story/2019-12-10/u-s-starts-pushing-asylum-seeking-families-back-to-guatemala-for-first-time

    • U.S. implements plan to send Mexican asylum seekers to Guatemala

      Mexicans seeking asylum in the United States could be sent to Guatemala under a bilateral agreement signed by the Central American nation last year, according to documents sent to U.S. asylum officers in recent days and seen by Reuters.

      In a Jan. 4 email, field office staff at the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) were told Mexican nationals will be included in the populations “amenable” to the agreement with Guatemala.

      The agreement, brokered last July between the administration of Republican President Donald Trump and the outgoing Guatemalan government, allows U.S. immigration officials to send migrants requesting asylum at the U.S.-Mexican border to apply for protection in Guatemala instead.

      Mexico objects to the plan, its foreign ministry said in a statement late on Monday, adding that it would be working with authorities to find “better options” for those that could be affected.

      Trump has made clamping down on unlawful migration a top priority of his presidency and a major theme of his 2020 re-election campaign. His administration penned similar deals with Honduras and El Salvador last year.

      U.S. Democrats and pro-migrant groups have opposed the move and contend asylum seekers will face danger in Guatemala, where the murder rate is five times that of the United States, according to 2017 data compiled by the World Bank. The country’s asylum office is tiny and thinly staffed and critics have argued it lacks the capacity to properly vet a significant increase in cases.

      Guatemalan President-elect Alejandro Giammattei, who takes office this month, has said he will review the agreement.

      Acting Deputy U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Ken Cuccinelli said in a tweet in December that Mexicans were being considered for inclusion under the agreement.

      USCIS referred questions to DHS, which referred to Cuccinelli’s tweet. Mexico’s foreign ministry did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

      Alejandra Mena, a spokeswoman for Guatemala’s immigration institute, said that since the agreement was implemented in November, the United States has sent 52 migrants to the country. Only six have applied for asylum in Guatemala, Mena said.

      On Monday, an additional 33 Central American migrants arrived on a flight to Guatemala City, she said.

      Unaccompanied minors cannot be sent to Guatemala under the agreement, which now applies only to migrants from Honduras, El Salvador and Mexico, according to the guidance documents. Exceptions are made if the migrants can establish that they are “more likely than not” to be persecuted or tortured in Guatemala based on their race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion.

      Numbers of Central American migrants apprehended at the border fell sharply in the second part of 2019 after Mexico deployed National Guard troops to stem the flow, under pressure from Trump.

      Overall, border arrests are expected to drop again in December for the seventh straight month, a Homeland Security official told Reuters last week, citing preliminary data.

      The U.S. government says another reason for the reduction in border crossings is a separate program, known as the Migrant Protection Protocols, that has forced more than 56,000 non-Mexican migrants to wait in Mexico for their U.S. immigration court hearings.

      With fewer Central Americans at the border, U.S. attention has turned to Mexicans crossing illegally or requesting asylum. About 150,000 Mexican single adults were apprehended at the border in fiscal 2019, down sharply from previous decades but still enough to bother U.S. immigration hawks.

      https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-immigration/us-implements-plan-to-send-mexican-asylum-seekers-to-guatemala-idUSKBN1Z51S
      #Guatemala

    • Mexico begins flying, busing migrants back to #Honduras

      Hundreds of Central American migrants who entered southern Mexico in recent days have either been pushed back into Guatemala by Mexican troops, shipped to detention centers or returned to Honduras, officials said Tuesday. An unknown number slipped past Mexican authorities and continued north.

      The latest migrant caravan provided a public platform for Mexico to show the U.S. government and migrants thinking of making the trip that it has refined its strategy and produced its desired result: This caravan will not advance past its southern border.

      What remained unclear was the treatment of the migrants who already find themselves on their way back to the countries they fled last week.

      “Mexico doesn’t have the capacity to process so many people in such a simple way in a couple of days,” said Guadalupe Correa Cabrera, a professor at George Mason University studying how the caravans form.

      The caravan of thousands had set out from Honduras in hopes Mexico would grant them passage, posing a fresh test of U.S. President Donald Trump’s effort to reduce the flow of migrants arriving at the U.S. border by pressuring other governments to stop them.

      Mexican Foreign Secretary Marcelo Ebrard said 2,400 migrants entered Mexico legally over the weekend. About 1,000 of them requested Mexico’s help in returning to their countries. The rest were being held in immigration centers while they start legal processes that would allow them to seek refuge in Mexico or obtain temporary work permits that would confine them to southern Mexico.

      On Tuesday afternoon, Jesus, a young father from Honduras who offered only his first name, rested in a shelter in Tecun Uman, Guatemala, with his wife and their baby, unsure of what to do next.

      “No country’s policy sustains us,” he said in response to hearing Ebrard’s comments about the situation. “If we don’t work, we don’t eat. (He) doesn’t feed us, doesn’t care for our children.”

      Honduran officials said more than 600 of its citizens were expected to arrive in that country Tuesday by plane and bus and more would follow in the coming days.

      Of an additional 1,000 who tried to enter Mexico illegally Monday by wading across the Suchiate river, most were either forced back or detained later by immigration agents, according to Mexican officials.

      Most of the hundreds stranded in the no-man’s land on the Mexican side of the river Monday night returned to Guatemala in search of water, food and a place to sleep. Late Tuesday, the first buses carrying Hondurans left Tecun Uman with approximately 150 migrants heading back to their home country.

      Mexican authorities distributed no water or food to those who entered illegally, in what appeared to be an attempt by the government to wear out the migrants.

      Alejandro Rendón, an official from Mexico’s social welfare department, said his colleagues were giving water to those who turned themselves in or were caught by immigration agents, but were not doing the same along the river because it was not safe for workers to do so.

      “It isn’t prudent to come here because we can’t put the safety of the colleagues at risk,” he said.

      Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said Tuesday that the government is trying to protect the migrants from harm by preventing them from traveling illegally through the country. He said they need to respect Mexican laws.

      “If we don’t take care of them, if we don’t know who they are, if we don’t have a register, they pass and get to the north, and the criminal gangs grab them and assault them, because that’s how it was before,” he said. “They disappeared them.”

      Mexican Interior Minister Olga Sánchez Cordero commended the National Guard for its restraint, saying: “In no way has there been an act that we could call repression and not even annoyance.”

      But Honduras’ ambassador to Mexico said there had been instances of excessive force on the part of the National Guard. “We made a complaint before the Mexican government,” Alden Rivera said in an interview with HCH Noticias without offering details. He also conceded migrants had thrown rocks at Mexican authorities.

      An Associated Press photograph of a Mexican National Guardsman holding a migrant in a headlock was sent via Twitter by acting U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Ken Cuccinelli with the message: “We appreciate Mexico doing more than they did last year to interdict caravans attempting to move illegally north to our southern border.”

      “They absolutely must be satisfied with (Mexico’s) actions because in reality it’s their (the United States’) plan,” said Correa Cabrera, the George Mason professor. “They’re congratulating themselves, because in reality it wasn’t López Obrador’s plan.”

      She said it is an complicated issue for Mexico, but the National Guard had no business being placed at the border to handle immigration because they weren’t trained for it. The government “is sending a group that doesn’t know how to and can’t protect human rights because they’re trained to do other kinds of things,” she said.

      Mexico announced last June that it was deploying the newly formed National Guard to assist in immigration enforcement to avoid tariffs that Trump threatened on Mexican imports.

      Darlin René Romero and his wife were among the few who spent the night pinned between the river and Mexican authorities.

      Rumors had circulated through the night that “anything could happen, that being there was very dangerous,” Romero said. But the couple from Copan, Honduras, spread a blanket on the ground and passed the night 20 yards from a line of National Guard troops forming a wall with their riot shields.

      They remained confident that Mexico would allow them to pass through and were trying to make it to the northern Mexican city of Monterrey, where his sister lives.

      They said a return home to impoverished and gang-plagued Honduras, where most of the migrants are from, was unthinkable.

      https://apnews.com/4d685100193f6a2c521267fe614356df

  • Découvrir la #France derrière des barbelés

    Chaque année, à leur descente de l’avion, du train ou du bateau qui les a menés en France, des milliers d’étrangers sont victimes de l’arbitraire de la frontière et ne sont pas autorisés à pénétrer sur le territoire. Quand ils ne sont pas renvoyés illico, on les enferme en « #zone_d’attente ».

    Tout commence lors des contrôles des passagers. Certaines personnes sont admises sur le territoire Schengen sur simple présentation de leurs documents de voyage. D’autres, en raison de leur provenance, de leur nationalité ou de leur comportement, subissent un contrôle plus poussé.

    Claudia, Lola et Sarah [1], trois amies de nationalité dominicaine, résident à Naples depuis huit ans. Elles décident de venir en France, sans avoir réservé leur billet retour, une condition nécessaire à leur entrée sur le territoire – ce qu’elles ignorent. Lorsque Claudia passe les #contrôles_frontaliers, aucune question ne lui est posée : elle est admise sur le territoire français. Ses deux amies n’ont pas la même chance et subissent un contrôle plus approfondi. Elles ont beau présenter immédiatement leurs cartes de résidence italienne, comme pour rassurer la police française : elles ne veulent pas rester, elles ont leur vie en Italie... rien n’y fait. L’entrée leur est refusée et elles sont enfermées jusqu’à leur refoulement.

    Bienvenue en « zone d’attente ». Des lieux de #privation_de_liberté [2] qui se trouvent dans les #aéroports, les #ports et les #gares desservant l’international. En France, il en existe cent une, toutes différentes. Il peut s’agir d’une salle dans l’aéroport de Toulouse, de cellules dans le sous-sol de l’aéroport de Marseille ou encore d’une chambre d’hôtel en face de l’aéroport de Nantes.

    À #Roissy, la #Zapi_3 (Zone d’attente pour personnes en instance) s’étend sur deux niveaux et peut recevoir jusqu’à 120 personnes. Placé au bord des pistes, le bâtiment est entouré de grillages surplombés de barbelés. L’intérieur n’est pas moins oppressant : présence policière constante, caméras de surveillance, fenêtres condamnées, lumière de néons blafarde et bruit incessant des haut-parleurs appelant des personnes pour un éventuel renvoi. Surnommée « l’hôtel » par la police aux frontières, la Zapi 3 est la vitrine des zones d’attente françaises.
    *

    Lorsqu’elles ne sont pas immédiatement renvoyées vers leur pays de provenance, les personnes non-admises sur le territoire sont donc enfermées en zone d’attente, pour une durée initiale de quatre jours et une durée maximum de vingt jours, le temps pour les autorités d’organiser leur renvoi. Durant leur maintien, elles sont dépendantes de la #police_aux_frontières (#PAF) pour l’exercice de leurs droits : enregistrement d’une demande d’asile, repas, accès aux soins.

    Dina et Ehsan, un couple afghan, sont arrivés de Grèce à l’aéroport de Beauvais. Placés en zone d’attente, ils ont vécu un calvaire durant cinq jours avant d’être libérés au titre de l’asile. Dina, alors enceinte de cinq mois, souffrait de maux de ventre et de saignements abondants ; Ehsan, lui, avait une plaie au bras nécrosée et inquiétante, due à une blessure par balle. Seule une lotion vitaminée leur a été délivrée lors de leur bref passage à l’hôpital.

    Les conditions d’enfermement étaient également inhumaines : un espace extrêmement sale, des poubelles débordantes, une chaleur suffocante, l’impossibilité de se laver, pas d’accès à un espace extérieur et une nourriture en quantité et qualité insuffisantes.

    À leur arrivée, la police a refusé d’enregistrer leurs demandes d’asile, et tenté de les renvoyer à deux reprises vers la Grèce. Pendant quatre jours, le couple n’a reçu aucune explication sur ses droits, la PAF n’ayant pas fait appel à un interprète. Les agents ont refusé de leur remettre les documents administratifs relatifs au refus d’entrée et au maintien en zone d’attente.

    La procédure de demande d’asile à la frontière est un #filtre qui sert avant tout au contrôle des flux migratoires, au détriment de la protection des personnes. Elle ne tend pas à reconnaître le statut de réfugié, mais seulement à donner l’autorisation d’entrer sur le territoire français afin d’y déposer une demande d’asile. Cette première décision revient au ministère de l’Intérieur. Pour cela, le demandeur est entendu par l’Ofpra (Office français de protection des réfugiés et des apatrides) qui examinera de façon superficielle le « caractère manifestement infondé » de sa demande [3].

    Lydia est nicaraguayenne. Elle a demandé l’asile à la frontière depuis la zone d’attente de Roissy. Sur la base d’un entretien de 25 minutes avec interprète, l’Ofpra et le ministère de l’Intérieur ont considéré que sa demande était manifestement infondée, décision confirmée par le tribunal administratif qui a rejeté son recours contre la décision ministérielle. Lydia a alors subi plusieurs tentatives d’embarquement. Après vingt jours d’enfermement, elle est placée en garde à vue pour avoir refusé d’embarquer, puis directement au Centre de rétention administrative (#CRA) sur la base d’une obligation de quitter le territoire français émise à l’issue de la garde à vue. L’Ofpra lui accordera finalement le statut de réfugiée depuis le CRA.

    La situation de Lydia n’est malheureusement pas isolée. Si certaines personnes finissent par être libérées de la zone d’attente, les autres sont majoritairement refoulées ou placées en garde à vue pour leur refus d’embarquer, ce qui constitue souvent le point d’entrée d’une spirale d’enfermements successifs. Les possibilités sont nombreuses : prison, local ou centre de rétention administrative. Si le juge prononce une interdiction du territoire français, la personne est placée en rétention juste après l’audience. Si, en plus, le juge condamne la personne (le refus d’embarquer est un délit passible de trois ans de prison ferme), elle sera placée en rétention à sa sortie de prison. La police tentera de nouveau de l’éloigner et si elle persiste à refuser d’embarquer, elle pourra une nouvelle fois être placée en garde à vue et condamnée.
    *

    Pour se protéger d’un prétendu « risque migratoire » ou d’un « afflux massif », l’enfermement est un instrument central et banalisé de gestion des populations migrantes en Europe et au-delà. Les logiques frontalières sont généralement les mêmes : rejet, #invisibilisation, opacité des pratiques, fichage, violations des droits fondamentaux. L’enfermement se double d’une dimension de « #tri à l’entrée », qui renverrait à l’idée de prévention associée à l’image de « criminels » placés derrière des barreaux. Cet enfermement crée surtout des traumatismes profonds.

    http://cqfd-journal.org/Decouvrir-la-France-derriere-des

    #zones_d'attente #refoulement #push-back #refoulements #refoulements #aéroport #enfermement #détention_administrative #rétention

    ping @karine4 @isskein

  • Pour archivage... un #rapport de Migreurop sur les « #frontières assassines » de l’Europe... c’était 2009, et on parlait notamment dans ce rapport des #push-back (#refoulements) dans la région de l’#Evros :


    http://www.migreurop.org/IMG/pdf/Rapport-Migreurop-oct2009-def.pdf

    Je le partage aujourd’hui car ce qui est raconté ici, donc autour de 2009, se répète dans l’Evros autour des années 2012-2013 (j’en avais parlé sur @visionscarto : https://visionscarto.net/a-kumkapi-avant-de-passer-la-frontiere) et on en reparle aujourd’hui, v. notamment : https://seenthis.net/messages/710720

    #asile #migrations #réfugiés #Grèce #Turquie

  • VIOLENCE REPORTS

    The collective expulsion and violent return of asylum seekers to the Bosnian border surrounding #Velika_Kladuša is a routine occurrence. Men, women, and even children regularly return from their attempts to cross through Croatia and Slovenia with split lips, black eyes, and broken bones. The search for safety and asylum is all too often met with police batons and closed fists.

    The brutal practices of the Croatian police are against international laws and directives. Firstly, the beating and deportation of all people on the move, both irregular migrants and asylum seekers, is against the prohibition of collective expulsion (Article 4 Protocol 4 ECHR*), and the absolute prohibition of torture and non-humane or degrading treatment or punishment (Article 3 ECHR*).

    Secondly, according to the EU Directive on Asylum Procedures (2005/85/EC), all people on the move are entitled to information about asylum, translation assistance, the ability to present their case to a competent authority, notification of the outcome, and the right to appeal a negative decision (1). But most importantly, viewing people searching safety as mere illegal numbers and dangerous bodies pushes them to a grey zone. Within this grey zone, they are stripped of the right to have rights, resulting in their humiliation without legal consequence, leaving perpetrators unrecognisable and unpunished.

    Thousands of lives are being slowly destroyed while the EU community silently overlooks the brutality of its own border regime, absolving itself of any real sense of responsibility.

    To this end, No Name Kitchen, in coordination with several other independent groups operating in the area, has been engaged in the collection and presentation of the violence which occurs at Europe’s doorstep. In this capacity, we collect the testimonies of victims of border violence and present them to a variety of actors within the field in the hopes of highlighting the systematic nature of this violence. The methodological process for these reports is centered on leveraging the close social contact that we have as independent volunteers with refugees and migrants to monitor pushbacks from Croatia. When individuals return with significant injuries or stories of abuse, one of our violence monitoring volunteers will sit down with them and collect their testimonies. We collect hard data (dates, geo-locations, officer descriptions, photos of injuries/medical reports, etc.) but also open narratives of the abuse.

    http://www.nonamekitchen.org/en/violence-reports

    Lien pour télécharger le rapport :


    http://www.nonamekitchen.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/Finished-Border-Violence-on-the-Balkan-Route.pdf
    #violence #rapport #route_des_balkans #Balkans #asile #migrations #réfugiés #Bosnie #frontières #Croatie #Slovénie

    • Garaža za mučenje migranata

      “Policija je dovela njih sedmero u garažu u Korenicu, gdje su im oduzeli sve stvari. Slomili su im mobitele, uništili punjače. Uzeli su im novac, cigarete i hranu. Kad su skinuli odjeću policajci su ih počeli tući rukama, laktovima, nogama”. U posljednjih pola godine pojavila su se višestruka svjedočanstva koja ukazuju na to da hrvatska policija pritvara i muči izbjeglice i migrante u garaži u policijskoj postaji u Korenici. Garaža s plavim vratima, u kojoj, kako se opisuje u svjedočanstvima, izbjeglice i migranti bivaju pretučeni i izgladnjivani, nalazi se svega par metara od dječjeg igrališta.

      U više izvještaja različitih organizacija, a najnovije i u posljednjem izvještaju Border Violence Monitoringa, opisuju se garažna mjesta za pritvaranja i zlostavljanje, koja po opisu mogu odgovarati policijskoj postaji u Korenici, koja je zbog blizina granice često u službi odvraćanja izbjeglica i migranta natrag u Bosnu i Hercegovinu.

      Prema posljednjim svjedočanstvima u travnju je grupa muškaraca iz Sirije, Alžira i Maroka, uhvaćena blizu granice sa Slovenijom, odvedena u garažu u Korenicu i zatim vraćena natrag u Bosnu i Hercegovinu. Izrazili su namjeru za službenim traženjem azila, ali im je odbijen pristup proceduri, iako na nju imaju zakonsko pravo.

      “Policija je dovela njih sedmero u garažu u Korenicu, gdje su im oduzeli sve stvari. Slomili su im mobitele, uništili punjače. Uzeli su im novac, cigarete i hranu. Jednoj su osobi uzeli čak i naočale. U prostoru je samo prljavi pod, bez deka, spužvi, wc-a. Morali su na njemu ležati, iako je bilo užasno hladno. Kad su skinuli odjeću policajci su ih počeli tući rukama, laktovima, nogama. Imali su i elektrošokere i pepper sprej, koje su koristili nekoliko puta. Svi su ljudi plakali”, stoji u svjedočanstvu.

      Prva svjedočanstva i opisi garaže pojavili su se u prosincu prošle godine, od strane migranata koji su nakon prelaska granice u Hrvatsku uhićeni, odvedeni u “garažu” pa protjerani natrag u Bosnu i Hercegovinu, bez da im je omogućeno pravo da u Hrvatskoj zatraže azil.

      U prosincu 2018. godine, kako je evidentirao Border Violence Monitoring, grupu Alžiraca je nakon prelaska granice pokupio kombi s policajcima u maskirnim uniformama, koji su izgledali kao vojska. Odveli su ih u garažu.

      “Policijska postaja je ispred garaže. Dvorište je između policijske postaje i garaže. Unutra je umiovaonik i grijalica, te svjetla na stropu. Prostorija je malena. Nema prozora, samo plava vrata”, stoji u opisu. Istaknuli su kako je bilo hladno te zbog hladnoće nisu mogli spavati. Policajci su, navodi se, s njima pričali nasilno te su im odbili dati hranu.

      Naposljetku su, s drugim migrantima koji su već bili u garaži, bez da im se omogući da zatraže azil, izbačeni u planinama i poslani da hodaju natrag u Bosnu satima. Kad su izišli iz kombija, policajci su naložili vatru u koju su bacili sve njihove stvari. “Jedan je policajac htio uzeti i deku u kojoj je bila umotana djevojčica iz iračke obitelji, ali ga je drugi policajac zaustavio da to ne napravi”, navodi se u svjedočanstvu. Vreće za spavanje i šatori su završili u plamenu.

      “Policija radi što hoće”, komentar je koji se učestalo čuje među brojnim izbjeglicama koji su više puta protjerani iz Hrvatske. Većina odvraćenih i protjeranih u Velikoj Kladuši, gradu blizu granice u kojem smo nedavno bili, žale se upravo najgorljivije na hrvatsku policiju.

      I mještani Velike Kladuše, pogotovo oni koji svakodnevno pomažu izbjeglicama i migrantima, ističu kako ljudi s granice dolaze izmučeni i gladni, nerijetko s modricama, ožiljcima, otvorenim ranama. “Svi ti prizori podsjećaju me na zadnji rat, jedino što nema bombardiranja”, komentira nam jedna mještanka. Nasilje koje provodi hrvatska granična policija tako je postalo svakodnevna tema.

      Krajem prošle godine pojavljuje se još jedno svjedočanstvo o “garaži”, u kojem stoji: “Stavili su nas u ćeliju, ali to zapravo nije ćelija, nego više kao garaža, s plavim vratima i pločicama. Ispred je parkiralište i policijska postaja”. “Kad nas je policija uhvatila, nisu nam dali ništa. Tamo je bio neki stari kruh, dosta star. Zatražio sam taj kruh, ali mi ga nisu dali”, opisuje jedan od migranata.

      Ponukani ovim svjedočanstvima i opisima garaže za mučenje, nedavno smo posjetili Korenicu. Na ulazu u Korenicu primjećujemo jedan policijski auto parkiran kraj šume, i policajca koji se upravo izvlači iz šume prema autu. Tijekom zimskih mjeseci mogli smo čitati kako “službenici postaje granične policije Korenice provode mjere pojačanog suzbijanja nezakonitih migracija”. U razgovoru s mještanima doznajemo kako su pojačane policijske snage u okolici u posljednje vrijeme, a izbjeglice i migrante se intenzivno traži po okolnim brdima.

      Prilikom našeg kratkog boravka u Korenici, ispred policijske postaje se izmijenio velik broj policajaca, dolazili su i odlazili autima i kombijima. Osim policajaca u redovnim uniformama, bilo je i obučenih u tamnozelene uniforme. U postaju dolaze i kombiji bez policijskih oznaka, a prisutni su i policajci u civilnoj odjeći.

      Prednji dio postaje sastoji se od velike zgrade s mnogo prozora, dok je unutarnji dio kompleksa ograđen i s malim dvorištem na kojem je parkirano nekoliko policijskih automobila i kombija, uz prostorije koje nalikuju na garaže, s plavim vratima. Te prostorije s jedne strane gledaju i na obližnje dječje igralište i na tom dijelu nema nijednog prozora. U dvorištu se nalaze i Toi Toi WC-i.

      U najnovijem svjedočanstvu koje je dokumentirao Border Violence Monitoring stoji: “Možemo ići samo dva puta dnevno na zahod, ujutro i navečer. Za ovo nas se vodi van u dvorište, gdje se nalaze tri plastična WC-a”, što ukazuje da postoji mogućnost da se radi upravo o ovoj policijskoj postaji. Aktivisti nam potvrđuju kako su svjedočanstva o “garaži” postala učestalija i sve detaljnija u opisima.

      I u svjedočanstvima iz ožujka izbjeglice i migranti navode kako su bili zatvoreni satima bez vode i hrane, te su iz nužde morali urinirati u kutu prostorije. “Bili smo kao kokoši. Ne želim se prisjećati tog trenutka. Bili smo poput životinja”, opisuje jedan migrant. “Pod je betoniran, hladno je, moramo spavati na njemu. Postoji samo jedna slavina za vodu i mali grijač na zidu. Vrata su plava i na njima je ispisano na mnogo jezika, datumi, imena i mjesta. Pakistanski, alžirski, marokanski, iranski, sirijski, odasvud”, opisuje se.

      Kad su pušteni iz pritvora garaže, kažu, policija ih je ostavila u planinskom području i poslala da hodaju kilometrima natrag prema Bihaću. Učestalo se spominje oduzimanje novca i mobitela i vrijednih stvari koje migranti sa sobom nose.

      Procedure odvraćanja izbjeglica i migranata obično se izvode iza zatvorenih vrata i u skrovitim područjima, čime se umanjuje rizik da će biti onih koji će im svjedočiti. Paralelu možemo povući i sa tzv. trećestupanjskim policijskim ispitivanjima.

      “Većina trećestupanjskih ispitivanja događala se tijekom pritvaranja na izoliranim lokacijama, uključujući policijske postaje, garaže, ponekad i hotele i mrtvačnice. Ali obično se takva mučenja događaju u pozadinskim sobama, incommunicado prostorijama, posebno dizajniranima u ove svrhe. U javnosti se postojanje takvih prostorija poriče, a njihovo održavanje zahtjeva šutnju čitavog sustava. Policija je rijeko kažnjavana za brutalne metode ispitivanja, korištene za izvlačenje priznanja, ali i da se ’nepoželjne’ otjera iz grada”, navodi se u radu Police Interrogation and Coercion in Domestic American History: Lessons for the War on Terror, Richarda A. Leoa i Alexe Koenig.

      “Ovakve prakse postaju sredstvo putem kojeg policija nadilazi svoju ispitivačku ulogu, pojačava svoju moć i zaobilazi ulogu koja je dizajnirana kako bi se spriječila koncentracija i zlouporaba moći od strane države”, zaključuju autori.

      Brutalne prakse zlostavljanja i prisilnih protjerivanja koje provode policijski službenici na hrvatskoj granici i o kojima sad već postoje kontinuirana i detaljna svjedočanstva, protivne su i domaćim i međunarodnim zakonima te direktivama.

      “Premlaćivanje i deportacija ljudi protivni su zabrani kolektivnih protjerivanja (Članak 4 Protokola 4 ECHR) i zabrani mučenja i nečovječnog ili ponižavajućeg postupanja ili kazni (Članak 3 ECHR)”, navodi se u Petom izvještaju o nezakonitim protjerivanjima i nasilju Republike Hrvatske, koji su nedavno objavile organizacije Are You Syrious?, Centar za mirovne studije i Incijativa Dobrodošli.

      Vraćanje migranata u Bosnu i Hercegovinu bez uzimanja u obzir osobnih okolnosti svakog pojedinog slučaja, a posebice zanemarujući njihovu potrebu za međunarodnom zaštitom, pa čak i na izričito traženje azila, uporaba sredstava prisile te ponižavanje ozbiljna su povreda izbjegličkih i migantskih prava, ali i enorman prijestup MUP-a, na što je upozoravala i pučka pravobraniteljica.

      MUP-u smo uputili upit za komentar o opžubama za nasilje i mučenje od strane hrvatske policije, kao i za slučaj “garaže” koju se povezuje s policijskom postajom u Korenici. Upitali smo ih i jesu li, s obzirom na svjedočanstva koja se pojavljuju od prosinca, reagirali na optužbe i posvetili se detaljnoj istrazi i uvidu u potencijalne prijestupe i prekoračenja policijske ovlasti u Korenici. Do zaključenja teksta odgovor na upite nismo dobili.

      Kada su u pitanju optužbe za policijsko nasilje, u prijašnjim reakcijama iz MUP-a su isticali kako “prilikom postupanja prema migrantima policija poštuje njihova temeljna prava i dostojanstvo te im omogućuje pristup sustavu međunarodne zaštite, ukoliko im je takva zaštita potrebna, sukladno općim dokumentima o ljudskim pravima, regulativi EU-a te nacionalnom zakonodavstvu. Želimo naglasiti nultu stopu tolerancije ovog ministarstva na nezakonitu uporabu sredstava prisile od strane hrvatske policije naspram bilo koje populacije, kao i nultu stopu tolerancije nad neprocesuiranjem bilo kojeg kaznenog djela ili prekršaja počinjenog od strane policijskih službenika”.

      Kako je moguće da se u zemlji “nulte stope tolerancije na nezakonitu upotrebu sredstava prisile” kontinuirano pojavljuju svjedočanstva o garažama za mučenje? Ostaje nam zapitati se je li zaista moguće da su sva ova detaljna svjedočanstva, koja se u mnogočemu podudaraju, prikupljena u različitim vremenskim periodima, od ljudi čiji se putevi uglavnom nisu sreli, lažna? Volonteri i aktivisti koji prikupljaju svjedočanstva također se rotiraju i dolaze iz različitih organizacija, pa je i njihova “sugestivnost” faktor koji bi se moglo prekrižiti.

      Garaža za mučenje mali je prostor, ali je bijeg od suočavanja s njenim postojanjem velik i indikativan. Arundhati Roy piše: “Ne postoje oni koji nemaju glas. Postoje samo oni koji su namjerno ušutkani i oni koje biramo da ne čujemo.”

      https://www.h-alter.org/vijesti/garaza-za-mucenje-migranata
      #Korenica

      Commentaire reçu par email de Inicijativa Dobrodosli, le 22.05.2019 :

      H-alter published a text based on refugee testimonies and previously published reports of torture in a blue-coloured door garage that may correspond to the description of the police station in Korenica, located near the children’s playground. The testimonies describe denial of food, limited use of toilet and physical violence that occurs not only at the border but also in the depths of the Croatian territory.

    • ‘Nobody Hears You’ : Migrants, Refugees Beaten on Balkan Borders

      Migrants and refugees say they continue to face violence at the hands of police while trying to cross the Balkan peninsula.

      It was supposed to have closed. But migrants and refugees from the Middle East, Asia and Africa are still crossing the Balkan peninsula en route to Western Europe. Many report brutality at the hands of the police.

      In April this year, some 3,600 migrants and refugees – mainly from Afghanistan and Iran – were registered in Serbia, according to the United Nations refugee agency, UNHCR.

      Bosnia last year registered 25,000, though only 3,500 chose to stay in the country while the rest crossed quickly into European Union member Croatia.

      No Name Kitchen, NNK, an NGO assisting migrants and refugees, says police violence is on the rise.

      Between May 2017 and May last year, NNK recorded 215 reported cases of push-backs by Croatian police to Serbia, of which 45 per cent involved physical violence.

      Between May 2017 and December last year, there were 141 push-backs from Croatia to Bosnia, NNK reported, of which 84 per cent involved violence.

      Croatian authorities denied police used violence against migrants and refugees, telling BIRN that such accusations were often made up.

      BIRN journalists spoke to a number of refugees and migrants in Serbia, Bosnia and Slovenia about their experiences with Croatian police. Most chose to be identified only by their first names.

      Ahmed: ‘Nobody hears you’

      “They make the music loud and start beating us, one by one. With sticks, electrical sticks…,” said Ahmed, a Moroccan who had spent the past month in a migrant camp in the small Serbian border town of Sid.

      Ahmed said he had tried several times to cross the nearby border into Croatia, running a gauntlet known among migrants and refugees as ‘The Game’, but had been turned back each time by Croatian police.

      “I’ve been captured and they turn me back, beat me and turn me back,” he told BIRN. “They would come out from the car, one by one and they start, like that until you scream and nobody hears you,” he said.

      Ali: ‘Police have no heart’

      Ali and a group of friends had made it into Croatia from Bosnia in April and walked for six days in the direction of Slovenia.

      “Police officers, they caught us and after that, they brought us in the police station and we were for four hours in the police station like a prisoner and after that… they beat us,” he told BIRN in the northwestern Bosnian town of Bihac, a hub for migrants and refugees trying to cross the Croatian border.

      “Police have no heart. They don’t want to see that the guys are human. It’s really horrible.”

      Nue: ‘I don’t have a country’

      Some of those BIRN spoke to said they were fleeing repression in their own countries.

      Nue, a Palestinian now also stuck in Sid, said: “My country, I don’t have a country because I am from Palestine… I have ID just to say I am from Palestine.”

      Nue said that when he tried to cross the border, he was caught by the Croatian police. He pointed to a cut on his head.

      “When he’s [the police officer] catching me, he does like this,” he said, imitating being beaten. “I have to just stay in the tent because maybe I have a problem in my head because [the beating was] very strong.”

      Nue said he was now sleeping in the street.

      Another man, in the centre of Sid, said police were also violent towards his wife, who was nine months pregnant when BIRN spoke to the couple.

      “They don’t care if she’s pregnant or not,” he said. “There is no human qualities in them, you understand. I never seen such people.”

      Muhamed: Old and new injuries

      Muhamed, from Tunisia, said he had been in Serbia for six weeks having been beating by police on the Croatian border.

      “They done with you everything,” he said, and showed injuries he said were inflicted the day before by Croatian police.

      Muhamed said he was beaten for 10 minutes and then sent back to Serbia.

      “Everytime, doing this, everytime, look, this old and this new,” he said, pointing to the bruises and cuts.

      Khalid: It was necessary

      In a migrant camp in Slovenia, Khalid, from Eritrea, said he had been deported back to Bosnia eight times.

      “I came to Ljubljana by walk,” he said.

      “[Croatian police] deported me eight times – four times to [Velika Kladusa] and four times to Bihac. They beat us, and they take [our] phones. They make many things.”

      Though he personally had not faced violence, Khalid said he knew of many others who had.

      “All the people now, they forget everything because they crossed the borders and also we have to tell them sorry, we cross your country… It was necessary to do it.”

      Activist: ‘It’s worse and worse’

      Diego Menjibar, an activist with No Name Kitchen, told BIRN:

      “They are beaten by batons in borders. Also, with fist, kicking them. We have a lot of cases every week of people beaten with batons, with physical violence, also verbal violence and some of them, they also passed out while they [were] beat, so we have a doctor here.”

      Menjibar spoke in a disused factory in Sid that is now filled with tents for migrants and refugees. Roughly 100 pass through the camp each day.

      “We talk with the people in the squat and we listen what they say and every time it’s worse and worse,” he said.

      Beaten around the legs

      In April, Swiss broadcaster SRF and the crew of the TV programme “Rundschau” spent three weeks in the fields on the Bosnian-Croatian border speaking to migrants and refugees in the moment after they were turned back by Croatian police.

      “I was literally running after these people when they came down [after being deported],” SRF journalist Nicole Vögele told BIRN. “I was aware that now what we really need is a full line of evidence.”

      In May, SRF broadcast a piece showing Croatian police pushing back migrants and refugees into Bosnia. Vögele said many sustained injuries to their legs from being beaten by police with sticks.

      “Most of them were showing me the [lower] parts of the legs,” Vögele said. “Two days later, I asked them if they have same traces because just an hour after the beating, as you can imagine you can see a bit of red. But two days later it is clearly visible.”

      In the SRF report, an Afghan family, including small children, spoke of bring stopped in the forest by Croatian policemen.

      “They pointed their guns at us and said ‘Stop’. We were very scared and cried,” said the oldest of the children. When the family asked for asylum, the police officers laughed and said that they would be given “Bosnian asylum” – meaning that they would be deported back to Bosnia.

      Injuries

      The Serbian-based NGO Asylum Protection Centre has also gathered extensive evidence of Croatian police brutality.

      In late April, Rados Djurovic, the director of the centre, said instances of violence were on the rise.

      The NGO has also gathered evidence of migrant families, including children, being starved and exhausted and illegally pushed back into Serbia by Hungarian police.

      Police denial

      The office of the Croatian ombudsperson said it had acted in more than 50 cases concerning refugees and migrants.

      The cases “often involve complaints on various grounds, including police treatment,” the office said in a written reply to BIRN.

      Most complaints concerned Croatian and Hungarian police.

      “The complaints relate to various types of violence, from hits by hands and sticks to the bite of official dogs,” the office said.

      The local health centre in Bihac, in northwestern Bosnia, said it saw up to 10 cases of violent injuries each month, “but injuries are done by various subjects, i.e. the internal conflicts of migrants, third parties and / or police”.

      Croatia’s interior ministry said it had looked into all complaints of alleged coercive measures against migrants and that none had warranted further criminal investigation.

      “In all these cases, detailed field inspections were carried out in police administrations, and so far in none of the cases have been found that police officers are using forced means against migrants,” it told BIRN.

      The ministry stressed its respect for the fundamental rights and dignity of migrants and that it used “prescribed procedure for returning to the country from which they illegally entered into the Republic of Croatia.”

      “Migrants are most often falsely accusing police officers of violence, expecting such accusations will help them with a new attempt to enter the Republic of Croatia and continue their journey towards the destination countries,” it said.

      In Bosnia, a police spokesman in the Una-Sana canton, where Bihac is located, said police had not received any complaints of violence against migrants and refugees by Bosnian police.

      https://balkaninsight.com/2019/06/13/nobody-hears-you-migrants-refugees-beaten-on-balkan-borders

    • Un monde de murs : en Bosnie, la matraque et les poings comme frontière

      L’Europe a fait tomber ses murs mais bétonne ses frontières. Depuis 2018, des milliers de personnes tentent de traverser le corridor croate depuis la Bosnie pour atteindre l’espace Schengen. Migrants et ONG dénoncent des refoulements ultra-violents.

      Le camp de #Vučjak est situé sur une ancienne décharge. D’après le responsable de la Croix-Rouge, du méthane s’échappe du sol dans certaines zones. Autour des terrains empruntés chaque jour par les migrants sont susceptibles d’abriter des #mines_antipersonnel. - Kristof Vadino.

      Ici, on appelle ça le « #game ». Tenter de franchir la frontière entre la Bosnie et la Croatie et atteindre la Slovénie puis l’Italie sans se faire pincer. Le « game », Anwar peut en parler : il a « joué », il a perdu. Ils sont un petit groupe d’adolescents pakistanais et afghans dans le coin d’une grande tente du camp de Vučjak, dans les montagnes du nord de la Bosnie, à manger à même le sol le deuxième (et dernier) repas de la journée. Certains sont majeurs. « La police a tout pris : mes vêtements, mes chaussures… Ils ont tout jeté dans le feu. Et puis, ils ont frappé, fort », raconte le jeune Pakistanais. Parce qu’on demande, il précise : coups de poing, coups de pied, coups de matraque. « Ils nous ont poussés dans la rivière, l’eau était vraiment très froide, mais ils nous ont forcés à rester là deux heures. Ensuite, on a dû monter dans un véhicule et ils ont mis la climatisation à fond. » Ils ont été renvoyés pieds nus dans la forêt.

      Si, à vol d’oiseau la frontière n’est qu’à quelques kilomètres du camp, il faut plusieurs heures de marche pour passer la montagne, notoirement habitée par loups, serpents et ours (un psychologue croate de Médecins du Monde raconte avoir suivi une enfant traumatisée après que sa famille a été prise en chasse par un ours). Cette fois-ci, Anwar s’en sort bien, des contusions mais pas de blessures. Celle d’avant, au tibia, a cicatrisé. Une fois, il est parvenu à marcher pendant dix jours en Croatie. Il approchait de la frontière slovène lorsqu’on l’a attrapé. « A chaque fois, ils nous lâchent dans la montagne quand ils nous ramènent. » Les violences ? « Toujours. » Un ami l’a dépanné d’une paire de chaussures et de vêtements, mais il faudra quelque temps avant de réunir à nouveau le matériel nécessaire pour camper dans la « jungle » le long des routes croates. Avant d’avoir une opportunité avec les passeurs aussi. Le tarif : 1.200 euros – payables à l’arrivée – pour rejoindre Trieste à pied depuis la Bosnie. L’option « taxi » est beaucoup plus sûre, mais trois à quatre fois plus chère.

      « C’est dur », mais pas question de dévisser de l’objectif. « Inch Allah, je retenterai et je rejoindrai la Belgique », assure Anwar, dans un grand sourire fayot. « Il n’y a pas de vie pour nous au Pakistan. » Autour, les copains qui comprennent un peu l’anglais acquiescent, sérieux.
      Une petite équipe pour 700 hommes

      L’acharnement, c’est l’impossibilité de faire machine arrière : la dette contractée auprès de sa famille – les terres vendues, les sacrifices pour financer le voyage –, l’obligation de réussite. C’est aussi que, si violentes que puissent être les fins de partie, le « game » vaut le coup. Depuis 2018, un peu plus de 50.000 migrants sont entrés en Bosnie. D’après les chiffres de l’Organisation internationale pour les migrations (OIM), ils seraient actuellement autour de 7.000 sur le territoire ; 700 ont fait le choix de rentrer dans leur pays d’origine. Les autres sont vraisemblablement passés en Europe.

      Comme beaucoup, Anwar a passé quelques nuits devant les portes de Bira, le vaste entrepôt qui parque depuis un an plus de 1.500 hommes, mineurs isolés et familles à quelques kilomètres de là. Il est complet en permanence (1.800 personnes en ce moment). L’espace permettrait de rajouter des containers pour ouvrir 500 places supplémentaires, mais le gouvernement local restreint strictement la capacité. Les conditions sont rudes mais, à côté du camp « cauchemar » de Vučjak, c’est trois étoiles. « J’ai dit à la barrière de Bira que j’avais 17 ans », raconte Anwar. « Mais ils n’ont pas voulu que j’entre. » Il a fini par lâcher l’affaire et revenir au camp.

      Dans la tente des garçons, le container de la Croix-Rouge locale conserve les pains qui restent du petit-déjeuner. Les retardataires et retournés frappent régulièrement à la porte pour en récupérer. « It’s oooooopeeeeeen. » Affalé sur la table, le garçon aux traits tirés retire prestement le masque médical en se redressant. Mohamed Cehic gère la toute petite équipe de la Croix-Rouge qui tente tant bien que mal, seule, de répondre aux besoins des 700 hommes du camp. Cinq « volontaires » mobilisés sept jours par semaine. Il est épuisé. « Rien à voir avec le travail, j’ai juste mal dormi », assure le responsable. Avant de prendre les rênes du camp, il avait travaillé un mois dans les centres gérés par l’OIM, où la Croix-Rouge assure la distribution des repas. Et avant cela, il était à l’école. Il a 19 ans.

      « On fait tout : on a monté les tentes, on collecte et distribue la nourriture, les vêtements, tout », explique Mohamed Cehic. « Ce n’est pas un camp, je dirais plutôt un… site de transit. La situation n’est pas bonne. Ce n’est pas facile pour les gens. » Il est parfois interrompu par les puissantes rafales de vent qui rabattent pluie et branches contre la paroi du container. Reprend quand cela se calme. « L’hiver approche. C’est la montagne ici, il fait beaucoup plus froid qu’en ville. Ça va vite devenir très difficile. » Est-ce qu’il y a d’autres questions, parce qu’il devrait y aller là, il y a encore… beaucoup.
      « Si une solution n’est pas trouvée rapidement, les gens vont mourir »

      Dehors, les sollicitations reprennent. Deux hommes reviennent de l’unité mobile que Médecins sans frontières fait désormais venir quatre fois par semaine à un kilomètre de là (il n’y avait avant cela aucun accès à l’aide médicale). Ils ont un papier certifiant leur diagnostic : tuberculose. Il faut organiser leur transport à l’hôpital. Entendant parler de « docteur », d’autres arrivent. Un homme a le poignet blessé. « Police. » Il a improvisé un bandage avec un t-shirt déchiré et de la ficelle. Un autre encore ; une plaie suinte à travers le tissu à sa cheville. « C’est trop tard pour le docteur. Demain. » L’eau dans la tente ? « Je sais, on n’a rien pour réparer. » Médicament ? Vêtements ? Non ; plus tard : désolé, je ne peux rien faire ; demain. « Je ne sais pas si on pourra continuer comme ça », reconnaît Mohamed Cehic. « Les autorités ont dit que le camp fermerait le 15 novembre, mais honnêtement, je ne sais plus à qui faire confiance. » Même la nourriture manque. Dans son dernier rapport, la Croix-Rouge affirme ne pas parvenir à fournir les 2.200 calories minimum nécessaires. Le chef de mission de l’OIM, Peter Van der Auweraert, est, lui, plus catégorique : « Si une solution n’est pas trouvée rapidement, les gens vont mourir. »

      Vučjak n’a rien d’un camp spontané. Il résulte de la volonté du gouvernement cantonal d’éloigner les migrants des centres-villes et des habitations. Nouvellement empruntée, la route bosnienne a vu le nombre de migrants soudainement augmenter début 2018, passant de 1.116 personnes en 2017 à 23.848 l’année suivante. Même si un centre d’accueil existe à Sarajevo (saturé, comme les autres), la population se concentre dans le seul canton d’Una Sana, très proche de la Slovénie et de l’Italie. Ce qui a pesé sur la population. En l’espace de dix mois, la police du canton a ouvert 185 dossiers criminels à l’encontre de migrants, incluant un meurtre, trois tentatives de meurtre et des intrusions dans des maisons (« Plutôt en quête d’abris que de vol », nuance le porte-parole de la police). Des migrants étaient victimes dans 26 dossiers. Mais s’agissant de Vučjak, l’OIM et la plupart des autres organisations (y compris l’Union européenne, qui finance tous les centres) ont refusé de jouer le jeu. Le site, une ancienne décharge, n’a pas été testé pour sa toxicité. Sans eau courante, ni électricité, il est entouré de zones toujours susceptibles d’abriter des mines antipersonnel, résidus de guerre.
      Violences policières

      Seule la Croix-Rouge a répondu à l’appel du gouvernement et jongle depuis avec des bouts de ficelle. Enfin, des colsons pour l’heure, seul moyen de rabibocher les tentes déchirées par les intempéries. Au petit matin, les hommes transis de froid se rassemblent près des feux aux abords des tentes. Voire à l’intérieur. C’est dangereux, mais comme tout. Encore emmitouflé dans une mince couverture, un homme se lance dans une grande supplique à l’Union européenne. « Vous nous repoussez, d’accord, mais s’il vous plaît, arrêtez de nous punir. Arrêtez les violences. »

      La violence « supposée » de la police croate, toutes les personnes rencontrées qui sont revenues de la frontière disent en avoir fait l’expérience. Les estropiés qui « se sont fait mal » en tentant de traverser font désormais partie du paysage cantonal. Tant à Vučjak que dans les rues et les centres gérés par l’OIM. Comme Ghulem, 38 ans, croisé à Miral, le centre de Velika Kladusa, dans son fauteuil roulant. Lorsque ses amis l’ont ramené du « game » il y a un mois, incapable de tenir sur ses jambes, les médecins ont fait une radio. Mais on ne lui a jamais communiqué les résultats. Il peut légèrement les bouger maintenant, pas plus. Il a mal, surtout le soir. C’était sa première tentative. Un seul coup de matraque sous les genoux. Il y pense tout le temps. Des migrants racontent que la police tape toujours plus dur sur les Pakistanais – majoritaires en ce moment – sans qu’on sache pourquoi.

      Naeem était presque en Italie, lorsque la police slovène l’a intercepté et remis aux forces croates. Retour à la montagne. Le bâton a frappé tellement fort qu’il a creusé des trous dans la chair. Sa jambe a doublé de volume avec l’infection. Un mois plus tard, les plaies suintent encore à travers les pansements. Il a de la chance, il a accès à un docteur.
      Histoires de disparitions

      Contactée, la Commission européenne assure prendre la situation très au sérieux et attend que la Croatie la « tienne informée ». Fin 2018, Bruxelles débloquait une enveloppe de 6,8 millions d’euros pour permettre à la Croatie de renforcer le contrôle de ses frontières – condition pour une intégration future du pays dans l’espace Schengen – « dans le respect du droit de l’Union européenne ». Outre l’achat de matériel, la création de nouveaux postes-frontières et le renforcement des équipes, l’argent devait financer un « monitoring indépendant », censé essentiellement passer en revue les procédures en place. Quant aux violences policières et au déni d’asile, la Croatie « s’est engagée à enquêter sur toute allégation de mauvais traitement de migrants et réfugiés à la frontière ». Le ministère de l’Intérieur croate n’a pas donné suite à nos requêtes (refusant par ailleurs l’accès à un centre d’accueil de Zagreb).
      Quotidien de migrant

      Le monitoring se fait surtout du côté des ONG. Une poignée d’organisations actives dans les Balkans alimente continuellement le Border Violence Monitoring de rapports d’entretiens menés avec des migrants, souvent complétés de rapports médicaux corroborant les témoignages. De quoi conforter l’idée d’un usage systématique de la violence incluant torture par le froid, passage à tabac, destructions des biens et vêtements et, dans certains cas, des morsures de chiens, os brisés par des coups de bâton…

      L’angle mort pour l’heure, ce sont les disparitions. Dans les camps circulent de nombreuses histoires de noyade lors de la traversée de la Glina, la rivière qui sépare la Bosnie de la Croatie. Mais elles restent quasi impossibles à documenter. Alertées par les migrants, les ONG ont amené (poussé) la police bosnienne à découvrir trois corps – dont un dans la rivière – depuis le mois de septembre, induisant ainsi l’ouverture d’enquêtes. Depuis son lit superposé dans l’immense dortoir de Miral, un garçon essaie de se faire entendre, cherche du regard un Pakistanais capable de traduire. « S’il vous plaît, mes amis, ils sont restés là-bas. » Quatre jours plus tôt, il a laissé quatre compagnons dans les bois, à proximité de la frontière slovène, raconte-t-il. « Ils ont mangé des baies empoisonnées. Ils ne se sont pas réveillés. » Les informations lui manquent, il n’a pas de données GPS. « C’est près d’un village. S’il vous plaît. Il faut les aider. »

      Déni d’asile

      L.K.

      D’après les témoignages de migrants et d’organisations locales, de nombreux cas de refoulements se feraient depuis les commissariats de police croates, seuls endroits où les personnes peuvent déclarer leur intention de demander l’asile. « Il est déjà arrivé que des personnes viennent directement dans nos locaux, qu’on les renvoie vers les commissariats… et qu’elles se retrouvent en Bosnie le lendemain », raconte Tajana Tadic, de l’association citoyenne Are you Sirious. « Ça nous met dans une situation compliquée. C’est délicat de demander aux gens de faire confiance une autorité dont ils ont peur, tout en sachant qu’ils ont de bonnes raisons de se méfier. »

      La Croatie, cela dit, accueille des demandeurs d’asile. Des familles surtout. Médecins du Monde y assure le screening médical et les consultations psychologiques. « On constate essentiellement des maladies de peau, des blessures traumatiques et des problèmes respiratoires. Côté psychologique, leur esprit est encore tourné vers la route, l’urgence d’avancer. Ce n’est qu’après quelque temps que les problèmes apparaissent, quand ils sortent du “mode survie” », explique une psychologue. « On voit des symptômes dépressifs, des crises de panique, de l’anxiété, des troubles de stress post-traumatiques… »

      https://plus.lesoir.be/259302/article/2019-11-08/un-monde-de-murs-en-bosnie-la-matraque-et-les-poings-comme-frontiere
      #Vucjak #the_game #Cazin #Bihac #Vedika_Kladusa

  • #métaliste (qui va être un grand chantier, car il y a plein d’information sur seenthis, qu’il faudrait réorganiser) sur :
    #externalisation #contrôles_frontaliers #frontières #migrations #réfugiés

    Des liens vers des articles généraux sur l’externalisation des frontières de la part de l’ #UE (#EU) :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/569305
    https://seenthis.net/messages/390549
    https://seenthis.net/messages/320101

    Ici une tentative (très mal réussie, car évidement, la divergence entre pratiques et les discours à un moment donné, ça se voit !) de l’UE de faire une brochure pour déconstruire les mythes autour de la migration...
    La question de l’externalisation y est abordée dans différentes parties de la brochure :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/765967

    Petit chapitre/encadré sur l’externalisation des frontières dans l’ouvrage « (Dé)passer la frontière » :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/769367

    Les origines de l’externalisation des contrôles frontaliers (maritimes) : accord #USA-#Haïti de #1981 :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/768694

    L’externalisation des politiques européennes en matière de migration
    https://seenthis.net/messages/787450

    "#Sous-traitance" de la #politique_migratoire en Afrique : l’Europe a-t-elle les mains propres ?
    https://seenthis.net/messages/789048

    Partners in crime ? The impacts of Europe’s outsourced migration controls on peace, stability and rights :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/794636
    #paix #stabilité #droits #Libye #Niger #Turquie