#zones_frontalières

  • #Taux_de_change : retour sur la politique israélienne des #otages

    Eyal Weizman, fondateur du collectif Forensic Architecture, revient sur la manière dont les #civils installés autour de #Gaza ont servi de « #mur_vivant » lors des massacres du 7 octobre perpétrés par le #Hamas, et retrace l’évolution de la politique israélienne à l’égard des otages.

    Au printemps 1956, huit ans après la Nakba (un terme arabe qui désigne « la catastrophe » ou « le désastre » que fut pour les Palestiniens la création d’Israël), un groupe de fedayins palestiniens franchit le fossé qui sépare Gaza de l’État d’Israël. D’un côté se trouvent 300 000 Palestiniens, dont 200 000 réfugiés expulsés de la région ; de l’autre, une poignée de nouvelles installations israéliennes. Les combattants palestiniens tentent de pénétrer dans le kibboutz de Nahal Oz, tuent Roi Rotberg, un agent de sécurité, et emportent son corps à Gaza, mais le rendent après l’intervention des Nations unies.

    #Moshe_Dayan, alors chef de l’état-major général d’Israël, se trouvait par hasard sur place pour un mariage et a demandé à prononcer, le soir suivant, l’éloge funèbre de Rotber. Parlant des hommes qui ont tué #Rotberg, il a demandé : « Pourquoi devrions-nous nous plaindre de la #haine qu’ils nous portent ? Pendant huit ans, ils se sont assis dans les camps de réfugiés de Gaza et ont vu de leurs yeux comment nous avons transformé les terres et les villages où eux et leurs ancêtres vivaient autrefois. » Cette reconnaissance de ce que les Palestiniens avaient perdu, les hommes politiques israéliens d’aujourd’hui ne peuvent plus se permettre de l’exprimer. Mais Dayan ne défendait pas le #droit_au_retour : il a terminé son discours en affirmant que les Israéliens devaient se préparer à une #guerre_permanente et amère, dans laquelle ce qu’Israël appelait les « #installations_frontalières » joueraient un rôle majeur.

    Au fil des ans, le #fossé s’est transformé en un système complexe de #fortifications - une #zone_tampon de 300 mètres, où plus de deux cents manifestants palestiniens ont été tués par balle en 2018 et 2019 et des milliers d’autres blessés, plusieurs couches de #clôtures en barbelés, des #murs en béton s’étendant sous terre, des mitrailleuses télécommandées - et des équipements de #surveillance, dont des tours de guet, des caméras de vidéosurveillance, des capteurs radar et des ballons espions. À cela s’ajoute une série de #bases_militaires, dont certaines situées à proximité ou à l’intérieur des installations civiles qui forment ce que l’on appelle l’#enveloppe_de_Gaza.

    Empêcher le retour des réfugiés

    Le #7_octobre_2023, lors d’une attaque coordonnée, le Hamas a frappé tous les éléments de ce système interconnecté. #Nahal_Oz, l’installation la plus proche de la clôture, a été l’un des points névralgiques de l’attaque. Le terme « #Nahal » fait référence à l’unité militaire qui a créé les installations frontalières. Les installations du Nahal ont débuté comme des avant-postes militaires et sont devenues des villages civils, principalement de type #kibboutz. Mais la transformation n’est jamais achevée et certains résidents sont censés se comporter en défenseurs quand la communauté est attaquée.

    La « #terre_des_absents » a été la #tabula_rasa sur laquelle les planificateurs israéliens ont dessiné le projet des colons sionistes après les expulsions de 1948. Son architecte en chef était #Arieh_Sharon, diplômé du Bauhaus, qui a étudié avec Walter Gropius et Hannes Meyer avant de s’installer en Palestine en 1931, où il a construit des lotissements, des coopératives de travailleurs, des hôpitaux et des cinémas. Lors de la création de l’État d’Israël, David Ben Gourion l’a nommé à la tête du département de planification du gouvernement. Dans The Object of Zionism (2018), l’historien de l’architecture Zvi Efrat explique que, bien que le plan directeur de Sharon soit fondé sur les principes les plus récents du design moderniste, il avait plusieurs autres objectifs : fournir des logements aux vagues d’immigrants arrivés après la Seconde Guerre mondiale, déplacer les populations juives du centre vers la périphérie, sécuriser la frontière et occuper le territoire afin de rendre plus difficile le retour des réfugiés.

    Dans les années 1950 et 1960, le #plan_directeur de Sharon et de ses successeurs a conduit à la construction, dans les « #zones_frontalières », définies à l’époque comme représentant environ 40 % du pays, de centres régionaux ou « #villes_de_développement » qui desservaient une constellation d’#implantations_agraires. Ces villes de développement devaient accueillir les immigrants juifs d’Afrique du Nord – les Juifs arabes – qui allaient être prolétarisés et devenir des ouvriers d’usine. Les implantations agraires de type kibboutz et #moshav étaient destinées aux pionniers du #mouvement_ouvrier, principalement d’Europe de l’Est. Les #terres appartenant aux villages palestiniens de #Dayr_Sunayd, #Simsim, #Najd, #Huj, #Al_Huhrraqa, #Al_Zurai’y, #Abu_Sitta, #Wuhaidat, ainsi qu’aux tribus bédouines #Tarabin et #Hanajre, sont occupées par les villes de développement #Sderot et #Ofakim et les kibboutzim de #Re’im, #Mefalsim, #Kissufim et #Erez. Toutes ces installations ont été visées le 7 octobre.

    La première #clôture

    À la suite de l’#occupation_israélienne de 1967, le gouvernement a établi des installations entre les principaux centres de population palestinienne à Gaza même, dont la plus grande était #Gush_Katif, près de Rafah, à la frontière égyptienne ; au total, les #colonies israéliennes couvraient 20 % du territoire de Gaza. Au début des années 1980, la région de Gaza et ses environs a également accueilli de nombreux Israéliens évacués du Sinaï après l’accord de paix avec l’Égypte.

    La première clôture autour du territoire a été construite entre 1994 et 1996, période considérée comme l’apogée du « #processus_de_paix ». Gaza était désormais isolée du reste du monde. Lorsque, en réponse à la résistance palestinienne, les colonies israéliennes de Gaza ont été démantelées en 2005, certaines des personnes évacuées ont choisi de s’installer près des frontières de Gaza. Un deuxième système de clôture, plus évolué, a été achevé peu après. En 2007, un an après la prise de pouvoir du Hamas à Gaza, Israël a entamé un #siège à grande échelle, contrôlant et limitant les flux entrants de produits vitaux - #nourriture, #médicaments, #électricité et #essence.

    L’#armée_israélienne a fixé les privations à un niveau tel que la vie à Gaza s’en trouve presque complètement paralysée. Associé à une série de campagnes de #bombardements qui, selon les Nations unies, ont causé la mort de 3 500 Palestiniens entre 2008 et septembre 2023, le siège a provoqué une #catastrophe_humanitaire d’une ampleur sans précédent : les institutions civiles, les hôpitaux, les systèmes d’approvisionnement en eau et d’hygiène sont à peine capables de fonctionner et l’électricité n’est disponible que pendant la moitié de la journée environ. Près de la moitié de la population de Gaza est au #chômage et plus de 80 % dépend de l’#aide pour satisfaire ses besoins essentiels.

    L’enveloppe de Gaza

    Le gouvernement israélien offre de généreux #avantages_fiscaux (une réduction de 20 % de l’impôt sur le revenu par exemple) aux habitants des installations autour de Gaza, dont beaucoup longent une route parallèle à la ligne de démarcation, à quelques kilomètres de celle-ci. L’enveloppe de Gaza comprend 58 installations situées à moins de 10 km de la frontière et comptant 70 000 habitants. Au cours des dix-sept années depuis la prise de pouvoir par le Hamas, malgré les tirs sporadiques de roquettes et de mortiers palestiniens et les bombardements israéliens sur le territoire situé à quelques kilomètres de là, les installations n’ont cessé d’augmenter. La hausse des prix de l’immobilier dans la région de Tel-Aviv et les collines ouvertes de la région (que les agents immobiliers appellent la « Toscane du nord du Néguev ») a entraîné un afflux de la classe moyenne.

    De l’autre côté de la barrière, les conditions se sont détériorées de manière inversement proportionnelle à la prospérité croissante de la région. Les installations sont un élément central du système d’#enfermement imposé à Gaza, mais leurs habitants tendent à différer des colons religieux de Cisjordanie. Démontrant l’aveuglement partiel de la gauche israélienne, certaines personnes installées dans le Néguev sont impliquées dans le #mouvement_pacifiste.

    Le 7 octobre, les combattants du Hamas ont forcé les éléments interconnectés du réseau de siège. Des tireurs d’élite ont tiré sur les caméras qui surplombent la zone interdite et ont lancé des grenades sur les #tours_de_communication. Des barrages de roquettes ont saturé l’#espace_radar. Plutôt que de creuser des tunnels sous les clôtures, les combattants sont venus par le sol. Les observateurs israéliens ne les ont pas vus ou n’ont pas pu communiquer assez rapidement ce qu’ils ont vu.

    Les combattants ont fait sauter ou ouvert quelques douzaines de brèches dans la clôture, élargies par les bulldozers palestiniens. Certains combattants du Hamas ont utilisé des parapentes pour franchir la frontière. Plus d’un millier d’entre eux ont pris d’assaut les bases militaires. L’armée israélienne, aveuglée et muette, n’a pas de vision claire du champ de bataille et les détachements mettent des heures à arriver. Des images incroyables sont apparues sur Internet : des adolescents palestiniens ont suivi les combattants à vélo ou à cheval, sur une terre dont ils avaient peut-être entendu parler par leurs grands-parents, maintenant transformée au point d’en être méconnaissable.

    Les #massacres du 7 octobre

    Les événements auraient pu s’arrêter là, mais ce ne fut pas le cas. Après les bases, ce furent les installations, les horribles massacres maison par maison, et le meurtre d’adolescents lors d’une fête. Des familles ont été brûlées ou abattues dans leurs maisons, des civils incluant des enfants et des personnes âgées ont été prises en otage. Au total, les combattants ont tué environ 1 300 civils et soldats. Plus de 200 personnes ont été capturées et emmenées à Gaza. Jusqu’alors, rien, dans la #violence ni la #répression, n’avait rendu de tels actes inévitables ou justifiés.

    Israël a mis des décennies à brouiller la ligne de démarcation entre les fonctions civiles et militaires des installations, mais cette ligne a aujourd’hui été brouillée d’une manière jamais envisagée par le gouvernement israélien. Les habitants civils cooptés pour faire partie du mur vivant de l’enveloppe de Gaza ont subi le pire des deux mondes. Ils ne pouvaient pas se défendre comme des soldats et n’étaient pas protégés comme des civils.

    Les images des installations dévastées ont permis à l’armée israélienne d’obtenir carte blanche de la part de la communauté internationale et de lever les restrictions qui avaient pu être imposées précédemment. Les hommes politiques israéliens ont appelé à la #vengeance, avec un langage explicite et annihilationiste. Les commentateurs ont déclaré que Gaza devrait être « rayée de la surface de la Terre » et que « l’heure de la Nakba 2 a sonné ». #Revital_Gottlieb, membre du Likoud à la Knesset, a tweeté : « Abattez les bâtiments ! Bombardez sans distinction ! Assez de cette impuissance. Vous le pouvez. Il y a une légitimité mondiale ! Détruisez Gaza. Sans pitié ! »

    L’échange de prisonniers

    Les otages civils des installations dont Israël a fait un « mur vivant » sont devenus pour le Hamas un #bouclier_humain et des atouts pour la #négociation. Quelle que soit la façon dont le #conflit se termine, que le Hamas soit ou non au pouvoir (et je parie sur la première solution), Israël ne pourra pas éviter de négocier l’#échange_de_prisonniers. Pour le Hamas, il s’agit des 6 000 Palestiniens actuellement dans les prisons israéliennes, dont beaucoup sont en #détention_administrative sans procès. La prise en otages d’Israéliens a occupé une place centrale dans la #lutte_armée palestinienne tout au long des 75 années de conflit. Avec des otages, l’#OLP et d’autres groupes cherchaient à contraindre Israël à reconnaître implicitement l’existence d’une nation palestinienne.

    Dans les années 1960, la position israélienne consistait à nier l’existence d’un peuple palestinien, et donc qu’il était logiquement impossible de reconnaître l’OLP comme son représentant légitime. Ce déni signifiait également qu’il n’y avait pas à reconnaître les combattants palestiniens comme des combattants légitimes au regard du droit international, et donc leur accorder le statut de #prisonniers_de_guerre conformément aux conventions de Genève. Les Palestiniens capturés étaient maintenus dans un #vide_juridique, un peu comme les « combattants illégaux » de l’après 11-septembre.

    En juillet 1968, le Front populaire de libération de la Palestine (FPLP) a détourné un vol d’El-Al et l’a fait atterrir en Algérie, inaugurant une série de détournements, dont l’objectif explicite était la libération de prisonniers palestiniens. L’incident d’Algérie a conduit à l’échange de 22 otages israéliens contre 16 prisonniers palestiniens, bien que le gouvernement israélien ait nié un tel accord. Seize contre 22 : ce taux d’échange n’allait pas durer longtemps. En septembre 1982, après l’invasion du Liban par Israël, le Commandement général du FPLP d’Ahmed Jibril a capturé trois soldats de l’armée israélienne ; trois ans plus tard, dans le cadre de ce qui a été appelé l’accord Jibril, Israël et le FPLP-CG sont finalement parvenus à un accord d’échange de prisonniers : trois soldats contre 1 150 prisonniers palestiniens. Dans l’accord de 2011 pour la libération de Gilad Shalit, capturé par le Hamas en 2006, le taux d’échange était encore plus favorable aux Palestiniens : 1 027 prisonniers pour un seul soldat israélien.
    Directive Hannibal

    Anticipant de devoir conclure de nombreux accords de ce type, Israël s’est mis à arrêter arbitrairement davantage de Palestiniens, y compris des mineurs, afin d’augmenter ses atouts en vue d’un échange futur. Il a également conservé les corps de combattants palestiniens, qui devaient être restitués dans le cadre d’un éventuel échange. Tout cela renforce l’idée que la vie d’un colonisateur vaut mille fois plus que la vie d’un colonisé, calcul qui évoque inévitablement l’histoire du #colonialisme et du commerce d’êtres humains. Mais ici, le taux de change est mobilisé par les Palestiniens pour inverser la profonde asymétrie coloniale structurelle.

    Tous les États ne traitent pas de la même manière la capture de leurs soldats et de leurs citoyens. Les Européens et les Japonais procèdent généralement à des échanges secrets de prisonniers ou négocient des rançons. Les États-Unis et le Royaume-Uni affirment publiquement qu’ils ne négocient pas et n’accèdent pas aux demandes des ravisseurs et, bien qu’ils n’aient pas toujours respecté cette règle à la lettre, ils ont privilégié l’abstention et le silence lorsqu’une opération de sauvetage semblait impossible.

    Cette attitude est considérée comme un « moindre mal » et fait partie de ce que les théoriciens des jeux militaires appellent le « jeu répété » : chaque action est évaluée en fonction de ses éventuelles conséquences à long terme, les avantages d’obtenir la libération d’un prisonnier étant mis en balance avec le risque que l’échange aboutisse à l’avenir à la capture d’autres soldats ou civils.

    Lorsqu’un Israélien est capturé, sa famille, ses amis et ses partisans descendent dans la rue pour faire campagne en faveur de sa libération. Le plus souvent, le gouvernement y consent et conclut un accord. L’armée israélienne déconseille généralement au gouvernement de conclure des accords d’échange, soulignant le risque pour la sécurité que représentent les captifs libérés, en particulier les commandants de haut rang, et la probabilité qu’ils encouragent les combattants palestiniens à prendre davantage d’otages. Yahya Sinwar, qui est aujourd’hui le chef du Hamas, a été libéré dans le cadre de l’#accord_Shalit. Une importante campagne civile contre ces échanges a été menée par le mouvement religieux de colons #Gush_Emunim, qui y voyait une manifestation de la fragilité de la société « laïque et libérale » d’Israël.

    En 1986, à la suite de l’#accord_Jibril, l’armée israélienne a publié la directive controversée Hannibal, un ordre opérationnel secret conçu pour être invoqué lors de la capture d’un soldat israélien par une force armée irrégulière. L’armée a nié cette interprétation, mais les soldats israéliens l’ont comprise comme une autorisation de tuer un camarade avant qu’il ne soit fait prisonnier. En 1999, #Shaul_Mofaz, alors chef de l’état-major général, a expliqué cette politique en ces termes : « Avec toute la douleur que cela implique, un soldat enlevé, contrairement à un soldat tué, est un problème national. »

    Bien que l’armée ait affirmé que le nom de la directive avait été choisi au hasard par un programme informatique, il est tout à fait approprié. Le général carthaginois Hannibal Barca s’est suicidé en 181 avant J.-C. pour ne pas tomber aux mains des Romains. Ceux-ci avaient fait preuve d’une détermination similaire trente ans plus tôt : lorsque Hannibal tenta d’obtenir une rançon pour les soldats qu’il avait capturés lors de sa victoire à Cannes, le Sénat, après un débat houleux, refusa et les prisonniers furent exécutés.

    Le 1er août 2014, lors de l’offensive sur Gaza connue sous le nom d’« #opération_Bordure_protectrice », des combattants palestiniens ont capturé un soldat de Tsahal près de Rafah, et la #directive_Hannibal est entrée en vigueur. L’armée de l’air a bombardé le système de tunnels où avait été emmené le soldat, tuant 135 civils palestiniens, dont des familles entières. L’armée a depuis annulé la directive. Toutefois, la plupart des bombardements actuels vise les #tunnels où se trouvent les postes de commandement du Hamas et les otages : le gouvernement semble ainsi, par ces bombardements aveugles, non seulement menacer les Gazaouis d’une #destruction sans précédent, mais aussi revenir au principe de préférer des captifs morts à un accord. #Bezalel_Smotrich, ministre israélien des finances, a appelé à frapper le Hamas « sans pitié, sans prendre sérieusement en considération la question des captifs ». #Gilad_Erdan, ambassadeur d’Israël auprès des Nations unies, a déclaré que les otages « ne nous empêcheraient pas de faire ce que nous devons faire ». Mais dans cette guerre, le sort des #civils de Gaza et des Israéliens capturés est étroitement lié, tout comme celui des deux peuples.

    https://www.mediapart.fr/journal/international/041123/taux-de-change-retour-sur-la-politique-israelienne-des-otages
    #Israël #Palestine #Eyal_Weizman #à_lire

  • UK signs contract with US startup to identify migrants in small-boat crossings

    The UK government has turned a US-based startup specialized in artificial intelligence as part of its pledge to stop small-boat crossings. Experts have already pointed out the legal and logistical challenges of the plan.

    In a new effort to address the high number of Channel crossings, the UK Home Office is working with the US defense startup #Anduril, specialized in the use of artificial intelligence (AI).

    A surveillance tower has already been installed at Dover, and other technologies might be rolled out with the onset of warmer temperatures and renewed attempts by migrants to reach the UK. Some experts already point out the risks and practical loopholes involved in using AI to identify migrants.

    “This is obviously the next step of the illegal migration bill,” said Olivier Cahn, a researcher specialized in penal law.

    “The goal is to retrieve images that were taken at sea and use AI to show they entered UK territory illegally even if people vanish into thin air upon arrival in the UK.”

    The “illegal migration bill” was passed by the UK last month barring anyone from entering the country irregularly from filing an asylum claim and imposing a “legal duty” to remove them to a third country.
    Who is behind Anduril?

    Founded in 2017 by its CEO #Palmer_Luckey, Anduril is backed by #Peter_Thiel, a Silicon Valley investor and supporter of Donald Trump. The company has supplied autonomous surveillance technology to the US Department of Defense (DOD) to detect and track migrants trying to cross the US-Mexico border.

    In 2021, the UK Ministry of Defence awarded Anduril with a £3.8-million contract to trial an advanced base defence system. Anduril eventually opened a branch in London where it states its mission: “combining the latest in artificial intelligence with commercial-of-the-shelf sensor technology (EO, IR, Radar, Lidar, UGS, sUAS) to enhance national security through automated detection, identification and tracking of objects of interest.”

    According to Cahn, the advantage of Brexit is that the UK government is no longer required to submit to the General Data Protection Regulation (RGPDP), a component of data protection that also addresses the transfer of personal data outside the EU and EEA areas.

    “Even so, the UK has data protection laws of its own which the government cannot breach. Where will the servers with the incoming data be kept? What are the rights of appeal for UK citizens whose data is being processed by the servers?”, he asked.

    ’Smugglers will provide migrants with balaclavas for an extra 15 euros’

    Cahn also pointed out the technical difficulties of identifying migrants at sea. “The weather conditions are often not ideal, and many small-boat crossings happen at night. How will facial recognition technology operate in this context?”

    The ability of migrants and smugglers to adapt is yet another factor. “People are going to cover their faces, and anyone would think the smugglers will respond by providing migrants with balaclavas for an extra 15 euros.”

    If the UK has solicited the services of a US startup to detect and identify migrants, the reason may lie in AI’s principle of self-learning. “A machine accumulates data and recognizes what it has already seen. The US is a country with a significantly more racially and ethnically diverse population than the UK. Its artificial intelligence might contain data from populations which are more ethnically comparable to the populations that are crossing the Channel, like Somalia for example, thus facilitating the process of facial recognition.”

    For Cahn, it is not capturing the images which will be the most difficult but the legal challenges that will arise out of their usage. “People are going to be identified and there are going to be errors. If a file exists, there needs to be the possibility for individuals to appear before justice and have access to a judge.”

    A societal uproar

    In a research paper titled “Refugee protection in the artificial intelligence Era”, Chatham House notes “the most common ethical and legal challenges associated with the use of AI in asylum and related border and immigration systems involve issues of opacity and unpredictability, the potential for bias and unlawful discrimination, and how such factors affect the ability of individuals to obtain a remedy in the event of erroneous or unfair decisions.”

    For Cahn, the UK government’s usage of AI can only be used to justify and reinforce its hardline position against migrants. “For a government that doesn’t respect the Geneva Convention [whose core principle is non-refoulement, editor’s note] and which passed an illegal migration law, it is out of the question that migrants have entered the territory legally.”

    Identifying migrants crossing the Channel is not going to be the hardest part for the UK government. Cahn imagines a societal backlash with, “the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom being solicited, refugees seeking remedies to legal decisions through lawyers and associations attacking”.

    He added there would be due process concerning the storage of the data, with judges issuing disclosure orders. “There is going to be a whole series of questions which the government will have to elucidate. The rights of refugees are often used as a laboratory. If these technologies are ’successful’, they will soon be applied to the rest of the population."

    https://www.infomigrants.net/en/post/48326/uk-signs-contract-with-us-startup-to-identify-migrants-in-smallboat-cr

    #UK #Angleterre #migrations #asile #réfugiés #militarisation_des_frontières #frontières #start-up #complexe_militaro-industriel #IA #intelligence_artificielle #surveillance #technologie #channel #Manche

    –—

    ajouté à la métaliste sur la Bibby Stockholm:
    https://seenthis.net/messages/1016683

    • Huge barge set to house 500 asylum seekers arrives in the UK

      The #Bibby_Stockholm is being refitted in #Falmouth to increase its capacity from 222 to 506 people.

      A barge set to house 500 asylum seekers has arrived in the UK as the government struggles with efforts to move migrants out of hotels.

      The Independent understands that people will not be transferred onto the Bibby Stockholm until July, following refurbishment to increase its capacity and safety checks.

      The barge has been towed from its former berth in Italy to the port of Falmouth, in Cornwall.

      It will remain there while works are carried out, before being moved onto its final destination in #Portland, Dorset.

      The private operators of the port struck an agreement to host the barge with the Home Office without formal public consultation, angering the local council and residents.

      Conservative MP Richard Drax previously told The Independent legal action was still being considered to stop the government’s plans for what he labelled a “quasi-prison”.

      He accused ministers and Home Office officials of being “unable to answer” practical questions on how the barge will operate, such as how asylum seekers will be able to come and go safely through the port, what activities they will be provided with and how sufficient healthcare will be ensured.

      “The question is how do we cope?” Mr Drax said. “Every organisation has its own raft of questions: ‘Where’s the money coming from? Who’s going to do what if this all happens?’ There are not sufficient answers, which is very worrying.”

      The Independent previously revealed that asylum seekers will have less living space than an average parking bay on the Bibby Stockholm, which saw at least one person die and reports of rape and abuse on board when it was used by the Dutch government to detain migrants in the 2000s.

      An official brochure released by owner Bibby Marine shows there are only 222 “single en-suite bedrooms” on board, meaning that at least two people must be crammed into every cabin for the government to achieve its aim of holding 500 people.

      Dorset Council has said it still had “serious reservations about the appropriateness of Portland Port in this scenario and remains opposed to the proposals”.

      The Conservative police and crime commissioner for Dorset is demanding extra government funding for the local force to “meet the extra policing needs that this project will entail”.

      A multi-agency forum including representatives from national, regional and local public sector agencies has been looking at plans for the provision of health services, the safety and security of both asylum seekers and local residents and charity involvement.

      Portland Port said it had been working with the Home Office and local agencies to ensure the safe arrival and operation of the Bibby Stockholm, and to minimise its impact locally.

      The barge is part of a wider government push to move migrants out of hotels, which are currently housing more than 47,000 asylum seekers at a cost of £6m a day.

      But the use of ships as accommodation was previously ruled out on cost grounds by the Treasury, when Rishi Sunak was chancellor, and the government has not confirmed how much it will be spending on the scheme.

      Ministers have also identified several former military and government sites, including two defunct airbases and an empty prison, that they want to transform into asylum accommodation.

      But a court battle with Braintree District Council over former RAF Wethersfield is ongoing, and legal action has also been threatened over similar plans for RAF Scampton in Lancashire.

      Last month, a barrister representing home secretary Suella Braverman told the High Court that 56,000 people were expected to arrive on small boats in 2023 and that some could be made homeless if hotel places are not found.

      A record backlog of asylum applications, driven by the increase in Channel crossings and a collapse in Home Office decision-making, mean the government is having to provide accommodation for longer while claims are considered.

      https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/barge-falmouth-cornwall-migrants-bibby-b2333313.html
      #barge #bateau

    • ‘Performative cruelty’ : the hostile architecture of the UK government’s migrant barge

      The arrival of the Bibby Stockholm barge at Portland Port, in Dorset, on July 18 2023, marks a new low in the UK government’s hostile immigration environment. The vessel is set to accommodate over 500 asylum seekers. This, the Home Office argues, will benefit British taxpayers and local residents.

      The barge, however, was immediately rejected by the local population and Dorset council. Several British charities and church groups have condemned the barge, and the illegal migration bill it accompanies, as “an affront to human dignity”.

      Anti-immigration groups have also protested against the barge, with some adopting offensive language, referring to the asylum seekers who will be hosted there as “bargies”. Conservative MP for South Dorset Richard Drax has claimed that hosting migrants at sea would exacerbate tenfold the issues that have arisen in hotels to date, namely sexual assaults, children disappearing and local residents protesting.

      My research shows that facilities built to house irregular migrants in Europe and beyond create a temporary infrastructure designed to be hostile. Governments thereby effectively make asylum seekers more displaceable while ignoring their everyday spatial and social needs.
      Precarious space

      The official brochure plans for the Bibby Stockholm show 222 single bedrooms over three stories, built around two small internal courtyards. It has now been retrofitted with bunk beds to host more than 500 single men – more than double the number it was designed to host.

      Journalists Lizzie Dearden and Martha McHardy have shown this means the asylum seekers housed there – for up to nine months – will have “less living space than an average parking bay”. This stands in contravention of international standards of a minimum 4.5m² of covered living space per person in cold climates, where more time is spent indoors.

      In an open letter, dated June 15 2023 and addressed to home secretary Suella Braverman, over 700 people and nearly 100 non-governmental organisations (NGOs) voiced concerns that this will only add to the trauma migrants have already experienced:

      Housing people on a sea barge – which we argue is equal to a floating prison – is morally indefensible, and threatens to retraumatise a group of already vulnerable people.

      Locals are concerned already overstretched services in Portland, including GP practices, will not be able to cope with further pressure. West Dorset MP Chris Lode has questioned whether the barge itself is safe “to cope with double the weight that it was designed to bear”. A caller to the LBC radio station, meanwhile, has voiced concerns over the vessel’s very narrow and low fire escape routes, saying: “What they [the government] are effectively doing here is creating a potential Grenfell on water, a floating coffin.”

      Such fears are not unfounded. There have been several cases of fires destroying migrant camps in Europe, from the Grand-Synthe camp near Dunkirk in France, in 2017, to the 2020 fire at the Moria camp in Greece. The difficulty of escaping a vessel at sea could turn it into a death trap.

      Performative hostility

      Research on migrant accommodation shows that being able to inhabit a place – even temporarily – and develop feelings of attachment and belonging, is crucial to a person’s wellbeing. Even amid ever tighter border controls, migrants in Europe, who can be described as “stuck on the move”, nonetheless still attempt to inhabit their temporary spaces and form such connections.

      However, designs can hamper such efforts when they concentrate asylum seekers in inhospitable, cut-off spaces. In 2015, Berlin officials began temporarily housing refugees in the former Tempelhof airport, a noisy, alienating industrial space, lacking in privacy and disconnected from the city. Many people ended up staying there for the better part of a year.

      French authorities, meanwhile, opened the Centre Humanitaire Paris-Nord in Paris in 2016, temporary migrant housing in a disused train depot. Nicknamed la Bulle (the bubble) for its bulbous inflatable covering, this facility was noisy and claustrophobic, lacking in basic comforts.

      Like the barge in Portland Port, these facilities, placed in industrial sites, sit uncomfortably between hospitality and hostility. The barge will be fenced off, since the port is a secured zone, and access will be heavily restricted and controlled. The Home Office insists that the barge is not a floating prison, yet it is an unmistakably hostile space.

      Infrastructure for water and electricity will physically link the barge to shore. However, Dorset council has no jurisdiction at sea.

      The commercial agreement on the barge was signed between the Home Office and Portland Port, not the council. Since the vessel is positioned below the mean low water mark, it did not require planning permission.

      This makes the barge an island of sorts, where other rules apply, much like those islands in the Aegean sea and in the Pacific, on which Greece and Australia have respectively housed migrants.

      I have shown how facilities are often designed in this way not to give displaced people any agency, but, on the contrary, to objectify them. They heighten the instability migrants face, keeping them detached from local communities and constantly on the move.

      The government has presented the barge as a cheaper solution than the £6.8 million it is currently spending, daily, on housing asylum seekers in hotels. A recent report by two NGOs, Reclaim the Seas and One Life to Live, concludes, however, that it will save less than £10 a person a day. It could even prove more expensive than the hotel model.

      Sarah Teather, director of the Jesuit Refugee Service UK charity, has described the illegal migration bill as “performative cruelty”. Images of the barge which have flooded the news certainly meet that description too.

      However threatening these images might be, though, they will not stop desperate people from attempting to come to the UK to seek safety. Rather than deterring asylum seekers, the Bibby Stockholm is potentially creating another hazard to them and to their hosting communities.

      https://theconversation.com/performative-cruelty-the-hostile-architecture-of-the-uk-governments

      –---

      Point intéressant, lié à l’aménagement du territoire :

      “Since the vessel is positioned below the mean low water mark, it did not require planning permission”

      C’est un peu comme les #zones_frontalières qui ont été créées un peu partout en Europe (et pas que) pour que les Etats se débarassent des règles en vigueur (notamment le principe du non-refoulement). Voir cette métaliste, à laquelle j’ajoute aussi cet exemple :
      https://seenthis.net/messages/795053

      voir aussi :

      The circumstances at Portland Port are very different because where the barge is to be positioned is below the mean low water mark. This means that the barge is outside of our planning control and there is no requirement for planning permission from the council.

      https://news.dorsetcouncil.gov.uk/2023/07/18/leaders-comments-on-the-home-office-barge

      #hostile_architecture #architecture_hostile #dignité #espace #Portland #hostilité #hostilité_performative #île #infrastructure #extraterritorialité #extra-territorialité #prix #coût

    • Sur l’#histoire (notamment liées au commerce d’ #esclaves) de la Bibby Stockholm :

      Bibby Line, shipowners

      Information
      From Guide to the Records of Merseyside Maritime Museum, volume 1: Bibby Line. In 1807 John Bibby and John Highfield, Liverpool shipbrokers, began taking shares in ships, mainly Parkgate Dublin packets. By 1821 (the end of the partnership) they had vessels sailing to the Mediterranean and South America. In 1850 they expanded their Mediterranean and Black Sea interests by buying two steamers and by 1865 their fleet had increased to twenty three. The opening of the Suez Canal in 1869 severely affected their business and Frederick Leyland, their general manager, failed to persuade the family partners to diversify onto the Atlantic. Eventually, he bought them out in 1873. In 1889 the Bibby family revived its shipowning interests with a successful passenger cargo service to Burma. From 1893 it also began to carry British troops to overseas postings which remained a Bibby staple until 1962. The Burma service ended in 1971 and the company moved to new areas of shipowning including bulkers, gas tankers and accommodation barges. It still has its head office in Liverpool where most management records are held. The museum holds models of the Staffordshire (1929) and Oxfordshire (1955). For further details see the attached catalogue or contact The Archives Centre for a copy of the catalogue.

      The earliest records within the collection, the ships’ logs at B/BIBBY/1/1/1 - 1/1/3 show company vessels travelling between Europe and South America carrying cargoes that would have been produced on plantations using the labour of enslaved peoples or used within plantation and slave based economies. For example the vessel Thomas (B/BIBBY/1/1/1) carries a cargo of iron hoops for barrels to Brazil in 1812. The Mary Bibby on a voyage in 1825-1826 loads a cargo of sugar in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil to carry to Rotterdam. The log (B/BIBBY/1/1/3) records the use of ’negroes’ to work with the ship’s carpenter while the vessel is in port.

      In September 1980 the latest Bibby vessel to hold the name Derbyshire was lost with all hands in the South China Sea. This collection does not include records relating to that vessel or its sinking, apart from a copy ’Motor vessel ’Derbyshire’, 1976-80: in memoriam’ at reference B/BIBBY/3/2/1 (a copy is also available in The Archives Centre library collection at 340.DER). Information about the sinking and subsequent campaigning by the victims’ family can be found on the NML website and in the Life On Board gallery. The Archives Centre holds papers of Captain David Ramwell who assisted the Derbyshire Family Association at D/RAM and other smaller collections of related documents within the DX collection.

      https://www.liverpoolmuseums.org.uk/artifact/bibby-line-shipowners

      –—
      An Open Letter to #Bibby_Marine

      Links between your parent company #Bibby_Line_Group (#BLG) and the slave trade have repeatedly been made. If true, we appeal to you to consider what actions you might take in recompense.

      Bibby Marine’s modern slavery statement says that one of the company’s values is to “do the right thing”, and that you “strongly support the eradication of slavery, as well as the eradication of servitude, forced or compulsory labour and human trafficking”. These are admirable words.

      Meanwhile, your parent company’s website says that it is “family owned with a rich history”. Please will you clarify whether this rich history includes slaving voyages where ships were owned, and cargoes transported, by BLG’s founder John Bibby, six generations ago. The BLG website says that in 1807 (which is when slavery was abolished in Britain), “John Bibby began trading as a shipowner in Liverpool with his partner John Highfield”. John Bibby is listed as co-owner of three slaving ships, of which John Highfield co-owned two:

      In 1805, the Harmonie (co-owned by #John_Bibby and three others, including John Highfield) left Liverpool for a voyage which carried 250 captives purchased in West Central Africa and St Helena, delivering them to Cumingsberg in 1806 (see the SlaveVoyages database using Voyage ID 81732).
      In 1806, the Sally (co-owned by John Bibby and two others) left Liverpool for a voyage which transported 250 captives purchased in Bassa and delivered them to Barbados (see the SlaveVoyages database using Voyage ID 83481).
      In 1806, the Eagle (co-owned by John Bibby and four others, including John Highfield) left Liverpool for a voyage which transported 237 captives purchased in Cameroon and delivered them to Kingston in 1807 (see the SlaveVoyages database using Voyage ID 81106).

      The same and related claims were recently mentioned by Private Eye. They also appear in the story of Liverpool’s Calderstones Park [PDF] and on the website of National Museums Liverpool and in this blog post “Shenanigans in Shipping” (a detailed history of the BLG). They are also mentioned by Laurence Westgaph, a TV presenter specialising in Black British history and slavery and the author of Read The Signs: Street Names with a Connection to the Transatlantic Slave Trade and Abolition in Liverpool [PDF], published with the support of English Heritage, The City of Liverpool, Northwest Regional Development Agency, National Museums Liverpool and Liverpool Vision.

      While of course your public pledges on slavery underline that there is no possibility of there being any link between the activities of John Bibby and John Highfield in the early 1800s and your activities in 2023, we do believe that it is in the public interest to raise this connection, and to ask for a public expression of your categorical renunciation of the reported slave trade activities of Mr Bibby and Mr Highfield.

      https://www.refugeecouncil.org.uk/latest/news/an-open-letter-to-bibby-marine

      –-

      Très peu d’info sur John Bibby sur wikipedia :

      John Bibby (19 February 1775 – 17 July 1840) was the founder of the British Bibby Line shipping company. He was born in Eccleston, near Ormskirk, Lancashire. He was murdered on 17 July 1840 on his way home from dinner at a friend’s house in Kirkdale.[1]


      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Bibby_(businessman)

    • ‘Floating Prisons’: The 200-year-old family #business behind the Bibby Stockholm

      #Bibby_Line_Group_Limited is a UK company offering financial, marine and construction services to clients in at least 16 countries around the world. It recently made headlines after the government announced one of the firm’s vessels, Bibby Stockholm, would be used to accommodate asylum seekers on the Dorset coast.

      In tandem with plans to house migrants at surplus military sites, the move was heralded by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Home Secretary Suella Braverman as a way of mitigating the £6m-a-day cost of hotel accommodation amid the massive ongoing backlog of asylum claims, as well as deterring refugees from making the dangerous channel crossing to the UK. Several protests have been organised against the project already, while over ninety migrants’ rights groups and hundreds of individual campaigners have signed an open letter to the Home Secretary calling for the plans to be scrapped, describing the barge as a “floating prison.”

      Corporate Watch has researched into the Bibby Line Group’s operations and financial interests. We found that:

      - The Bibby Stockholm vessel was previously used as a floating detention centre in the Netherlands, where undercover reporting revealed violence, sexual exploitation and poor sanitation.

      – Bibby Line Group is more than 90% owned by members of the Bibby family, primarily through trusts. Its pre-tax profits for 2021 stood at almost £31m, which they upped to £35.5m by claiming generous tax credits and deferring a fair amount to the following year.

      - Management aboard the vessel will be overseen by an Australian business travel services company, Corporate Travel Management, who have previously had aspersions cast over the financial health of their operations and the integrity of their business practices.

      - Another beneficiary of the initiative is Langham Industries, a maritime and engineering company whose owners, the Langham family, have longstanding ties to right wing parties.

      Key Issues

      According to the Home Office, the Bibby Stockholm barge will be operational for at least 18 months, housing approximately 500 single adult men while their claims are processed, with “24/7 security in place on board, to minimise the disruption to local communities.” These measures appear to have been to dissuade opposition from the local Conservative council, who pushed for background checks on detainees and were reportedly even weighing legal action out of concern for a perceived threat of physical attacks from those housed onboard, as well as potential attacks from the far right against migrants held there.

      Local campaigners have taken aim at the initiative, noting in the open letter:

      “For many people seeking asylum arriving in the UK, the sea represents a site of significant trauma as they have been forced to cross it on one or more occasions. Housing people on a sea barge – which we argue is equal to a floating prison – is morally indefensible, and threatens to re-traumatise a group of already vulnerable people.”

      Technically, migrants on the barge will be able to leave the site. However, in reality they will be under significant levels of surveillance and cordoned off behind fences in the high security port area.

      If they leave, there is an expectation they will return by 11pm, and departure will be controlled by the authorities. According to the Home Office:

      “In order to ensure that migrants come and go in an orderly manner with as little impact as possible, buses will be provided to take those accommodated on the vessel from the port to local drop off points”.

      These drop off points are to be determined by the government, while being sited off the coast of Dorset means they will be isolated from centres of support and solidarity.

      Meanwhile, the government’s new Illegal Migration Bill is designed to provide a legal justification for the automatic detention of refugees crossing the Channel. If it passes, there’s a chance this might set the stage for a change in regime on the Bibby Stockholm – from that of an “accommodation centre” to a full-blown migrant prison.

      An initial release from the Home Office suggested the local voluntary sector would be engaged “to organise activities that keep occupied those being accommodated, potentially involved in local volunteering activity,” though they seemed to have changed the wording after critics said this would mean detainees could be effectively exploited for unpaid labour. It’s also been reported the vessel required modifications in order to increase capacity to the needed level, raising further concerns over cramped living conditions and a lack of privacy.

      Bibby Line Group has prior form in border profiteering. From 1994 to 1998, the Bibby Stockholm was used to house the homeless, some of whom were asylum seekers, in Hamburg, Germany. In 2005, it was used to detain asylum seekers in the Netherlands, which proved a cause of controversy at the time. Undercover reporting revealed a number of cases abuse on board, such as beatings and sexual exploitation, as well suicide attempts, routine strip searches, scabies and the death of an Algerian man who failed to receive timely medical care for a deteriorating heart condition. As the undercover security guard wrote:

      “The longer I work on the Bibby Stockholm, the more I worry about safety on the boat. Between exclusion and containment I encounter so many defects and feel so much tension among the prisoners that it no longer seems to be a question of whether things will get completely out of hand here, but when.”

      He went on:

      “I couldn’t stand the way prisoners were treated […] The staff become like that, because the whole culture there is like that. Inhuman. They do not see the residents as people with a history, but as numbers.”

      Discussions were also held in August 2017 over the possibility of using the vessel as accommodation for some 400 students in Galway, Ireland, amid the country’s housing crisis. Though the idea was eventually dropped for lack of mooring space and planning permission requirements, local students had voiced safety concerns over the “bizarre” and “unconventional” solution to a lack of rental opportunities.
      Corporate Travel Management & Langham Industries

      Although leased from Bibby Line Group, management aboard the Bibby Stockholm itself will be handled by #Corporate_Travel_Management (#CTM), a global travel company specialising in business travel services. The Australian-headquartered company also recently received a £100m contract for the provision of accommodation, travel, venue and ancillary booking services for the housing of Ukrainian refugees at local hotels and aboard cruise ships M/S Victoria and M/S Ambition. The British Red Cross warned earlier in May against continuing to house refugees on ships with “isolated” and “windowless” cabins, and said the scheme had left many “living in limbo.”

      Founded by CEO #Jamie_Pherous, CTM was targeted in 2018 by #VGI_Partners, a group of short-sellers, who identified more than 20 red flags concerning the company’s business interests. Most strikingly, the short-sellers said they’d attended CTM’s offices in Glasgow, Paris, Amsterdam, Stockholm and Switzerland. Finding no signs of business activity there, they said it was possible the firm had significantly overstated the scale of its operations. VGI Partners also claimed CTM’s cash flows didn’t seem to add up when set against the company’s reported growth, and that CTM hadn’t fully disclosed revisions they’d made to their annual revenue figures.

      Two years later, the short-sellers released a follow-up report, questioning how CTM had managed to report a drop in rewards granted for high sales numbers to travel agencies, when in fact their transaction turnover had grown during the same period. They also accused CTM of dressing up their debt balance to make their accounts look healthier.

      CTM denied VGI Partners’ allegations. In their response, they paraphrased a report by auditors EY, supposedly confirming there were no question marks over their business practices, though the report itself was never actually made public. They further claim VGI Partners, as short-sellers, had only released the reports in the hope of benefitting from uncertainty over CTM’s operations.

      Despite these troubles, CTM’s market standing improved drastically earlier this year, when it was announced the firm had secured contracts for the provision of travel services to the UK Home Office worth in excess of $3bn AUD (£1.6bn). These have been accompanied by further tenders with, among others, the National Audit Office, HS2, Cafcass, Serious Fraud Office, Office of National Statistics, HM Revenue & Customs, National Health Service, Ministry of Justice, Department of Education, Foreign Office, and the Equality and Human Rights Commission.

      The Home Office has not released any figures on the cost of either leasing or management services aboard Bibby Stockholm, though press reports have put the estimated price tag at more than £20,000 a day for charter and berthing alone. If accurate, this would put the overall expenditure for the 18-month period in which the vessel will operate as a detention centre at almost £11m, exclusive of actual detention centre management costs such as security, food and healthcare.

      Another beneficiary of the project are Portland Port’s owners, #Langham_Industries, a maritime and engineering company owned by the #Langham family. The family has long-running ties to right-wing parties. Langham Industries donated over £70,000 to the UK Independence Party from 2003 up until the 2016 Brexit referendum. In 2014, Langham Industries donated money to support the re-election campaign of former Clacton MP for UKIP Douglas Carswell, shortly after his defection from the Conservatives. #Catherine_Langham, a Tory parish councillor for Hilton in Dorset, has described herself as a Langham Industries director (although she is not listed on Companies House). In 2016 she was actively involved in local efforts to support the campaign to leave the European Union. The family holds a large estate in Dorset which it uses for its other line of business, winemaking.

      At present, there is no publicly available information on who will be providing security services aboard the Bibby Stockholm.

      Business Basics

      Bibby Line Group describes itself as “one of the UK’s oldest family owned businesses,” operating in “multiple countries, employing around 1,300 colleagues, and managing over £1 billion of funds.” Its head office is registered in Liverpool, with other headquarters in Scotland, Hong Kong, India, Singapore, Malaysia, France, Slovakia, Czechia, the Netherlands, Germany, Poland and Nigeria (see the appendix for more). The company’s primary sectors correspond to its three main UK subsidiaries:

      #Bibby_Financial_Services. A global provider of financial services. The firm provides loans to small- and medium-sized businesses engaged in business services, construction, manufacturing, transportation, export, recruitment and wholesale markets. This includes invoice financing, export and trade finance, and foreign exchanges. Overall, the subsidiary manages more than £6bn each year on behalf of some 9,000 clients across 300 different industry sectors, and in 2021 it brought in more than 50% of the group’s annual turnover.

      - #Bibby_Marine_Limited. Owner and operator of the Bibby WaveMaster fleet, a group of vessels specialising in the transport and accommodation of workers employed at remote locations, such as offshore oil and gas sites in the North Sea. Sometimes, as in the case of Chevron’s Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) project in Nigeria, the vessels are used as an alternative to hotels owing to a “a volatile project environment.” The fleet consists of 40 accommodation vessels similar in size to the Bibby Stockholm and a smaller number of service vessels, though the share of annual turnover pales compared to the group’s financial services operations, standing at just under 10% for 2021.

      - #Garic Ltd. Confined to construction, quarrying, airport, agriculture and transport sectors in the UK, the firm designs, manufactures and purchases plant equipment and machinery for sale or hire. Garic brought in around 14% of Bibby Line Group’s turnover in 2021.

      Prior to February 2021, Bibby Line Group also owned #Costcutter_Supermarkets_Group, before it was sold to #Bestway_Wholesale to maintain liquidity amid the Covid-19 pandemic. In their report for that year, the company’s directors also suggested grant funding from #MarRI-UK, an organisation facilitating innovation in maritime technologies and systems, had been important in preserving the firm’s position during the crisis.
      History

      The Bibby Line Group’s story begins in 1807, when Lancashire-born shipowner John Bibby began trading out of Liverpool with partner John Highfield. By the time of his death in 1840, murdered while returning home from dinner with a friend in Kirkdale, Bibby had struck out on his own and come to manage a fleet of more than 18 ships. The mysterious case of his death has never been solved, and the business was left to his sons John and James.

      Between 1891 and 1989, the company operated under the name #Bibby_Line_Limited. Its ships served as hospital and transport vessels during the First World War, as well as merchant cruisers, and the company’s entire fleet of 11 ships was requisitioned by the state in 1939.

      By 1970, the company had tripled its overseas earnings, branching into ‘factoring’, or invoice financing (converting unpaid invoices into cash for immediate use via short-term loans) in the early 1980s, before this aspect of the business was eventually spun off into Bibby Financial Services. The group acquired Garic Ltd in 2008, which currently operates four sites across the UK.

      People

      #Jonathan_Lewis has served as Bibby Line Group’s Managing and Executive Director since January 2021, prior to which he acted as the company’s Chief Financial and Strategy Officer since joining in 2019. Previously, Lewis worked as CFO for Imagination Technologies, a tech company specialising in semiconductors, and as head of supermarket Tesco’s mergers and acquisitions team. He was also a member of McKinsey’s European corporate finance practice, as well as an investment banker at Lazard. During his first year at the helm of Bibby’s operations, he was paid £748,000. Assuming his role at the head of the group’s operations, he replaced Paul Drescher, CBE, then a board member of the UK International Chamber of Commerce and a former president of the Confederation of British Industry.

      Bibby Line Group’s board also includes two immediate members of the Bibby family, Sir #Michael_James_Bibby, 3rd Bt. and his younger brother #Geoffrey_Bibby. Michael has acted as company chairman since 2020, before which he had occupied senior management roles in the company for 20 years. He also has external experience, including time at Unilever’s acquisitions, disposals and joint venture divisions, and now acts as president of the UK Chamber of Shipping, chairman of the Charities Trust, and chairman of the Institute of Family Business Research Foundation.

      Geoffrey has served as a non-executive director of the company since 2015, having previously worked as a managing director of Vast Visibility Ltd, a digital marketing and technology company. In 2021, the Bibby brothers received salaries of £125,000 and £56,000 respectively.

      The final member of the firm’s board is #David_Anderson, who has acted as non-executive director since 2012. A financier with 35 years experience in investment banking, he’s founder and CEO of EPL Advisory – which advises company boards on requirements and disclosure obligations of public markets – and chair of Creative Education Trust, a multi-academy trust comprising 17 schools. Anderson is also chairman at multinational ship broker Howe Robinson Partners, which recently auctioned off a superyacht seized from Dmitry Pumpyansky, after the sanctioned Russian businessman reneged on a €20.5m loan from JP Morgan. In 2021, Anderson’s salary stood at £55,000.

      Ownership

      Bibby Line Group’s annual report and accounts for 2021 state that more than 90% of the company is owned by members of the Bibby family, primarily through family trusts. These ownership structures, effectively entities allowing people to benefit from assets without being their registered legal owners, have long attracted staunch criticism from transparency advocates given the obscurity they afford means they often feature extensively in corruption, money laundering and tax abuse schemes.

      According to Companies House, the UK corporate registry, between 50% and 75% of Bibby Line Group’s shares and voting rights are owned by #Bibby_Family_Company_Limited, which also retains the right to appoint and remove members of the board. Directors of Bibby Family Company Limited include both the Bibby brothers, as well as a third sibling, #Peter_John_Bibby, who’s formally listed as the firm’s ‘ultimate beneficial owner’ (i.e. the person who ultimately profits from the company’s assets).

      Other people with comparable shares in Bibby Family Company Limited are #Mark_Rupert_Feeny, #Philip_Charles_Okell, and Lady #Christine_Maud_Bibby. Feeny’s occupation is listed as solicitor, with other interests in real estate management and a position on the board of the University of Liverpool Pension Fund Trustees Limited. Okell meanwhile appears as director of Okell Money Management Limited, a wealth management firm, while Lady Bibby, Michael and Geoffrey’s mother, appears as “retired playground supervisor.”

      Key Relationships

      Bibby Line Group runs an internal ‘Donate a Day’ volunteer program, enabling employees to take paid leave in order to “help causes they care about.” Specific charities colleagues have volunteered with, listed in the company’s Annual Review for 2021 to 2022, include:

      - The Hive Youth Zone. An award-winning charity for young people with disabilities, based in the Wirral.

      – The Whitechapel Centre. A leading homeless and housing charity in the Liverpool region, working with people sleeping rough, living in hostels, or struggling with their accommodation.

      - Let’s Play Project. Another charity specialising in after-school and holiday activities for young people with additional needs in the Banbury area.

      - Whitdale House. A care home for the elderly, based in Whitburn, West Lothian and run by the local council.

      – DEBRA. An Irish charity set up in 1988 for individuals living with a rare, painful skin condition called epidermolysis bullosa, as well as their families.

      – Reaching Out Homeless Outreach. A non-profit providing resources and support to the homeless in Ireland.

      Various senior executives and associated actors at Bibby Line Group and its subsidiaries also have current and former ties to the following organisations:

      - UK Chamber of Shipping

      - Charities Trust

      - Institute of Family Business Research Foundation

      - Indefatigable Old Boys Association

      - Howe Robinson Partners

      - hibu Ltd

      - EPL Advisory

      - Creative Education Trust

      - Capita Health and Wellbeing Limited

      - The Ambassador Theatre Group Limited

      – Pilkington Plc

      – UK International Chamber of Commerce

      – Confederation of British Industry

      – Arkley Finance Limited (Weatherby’s Banking Group)

      – FastMarkets Ltd, Multiple Sclerosis Society

      – Early Music as Education

      – Liverpool Pension Fund Trustees Limited

      – Okell Money Management Limited

      Finances

      For the period ending 2021, Bibby Line Group’s total turnover stood at just under £260m, with a pre-tax profit of almost £31m – fairly healthy for a company providing maritime services during a global pandemic. Their post-tax profits in fact stood at £35.5m, an increase they would appear to have secured by claiming generous tax credits (£4.6m) and deferring a fair amount (£8.4m) to the following year.

      Judging by their last available statement on the firm’s profitability, Bibby’s directors seem fairly confident the company has adequate financing and resources to continue operations for the foreseeable future. They stress their February 2021 sale of Costcutter was an important step in securing this, given it provided additional liquidity during the pandemic, as well as the funding secured for R&D on fuel consumption by Bibby Marine’s fleet.
      Scandal Sheet

      Bibby Line Group and its subsidiaries have featured in a number of UK legal proceedings over the years, sometimes as defendants. One notable case is Godfrey v Bibby Line, a lawsuit brought against the company in 2019 after one of their former employees died as the result of an asbestos-related disease.

      In their claim, the executors of Alan Peter Godfrey’s estate maintained that between 1965 and 1972, he was repeatedly exposed to large amounts of asbestos while working on board various Bibby vessels. Although the link between the material and fatal lung conditions was established as early as 1930, they claimed that Bibby Line, among other things:

      “Failed to warn the deceased of the risk of contracting asbestos related disease or of the precautions to be taken in relation thereto;

      “Failed to heed or act upon the expert evidence available to them as to the best means of protecting their workers from danger from asbestos dust; [and]

      “Failed to take all reasonably practicable measures, either by securing adequate ventilation or by the provision and use of suitable respirators or otherwise, to prevent inhalation of dust.”

      The lawsuit, which claimed “unlimited damage”’ against the group, also stated that Mr Godfrey’s “condition deteriorated rapidly with worsening pain and debility,” and that he was “completely dependent upon others for his needs by the last weeks of his life.” There is no publicly available information on how the matter was concluded.

      In 2017, Bibby Line Limited also featured in a leak of more than 13.4 million financial records known as the Paradise Papers, specifically as a client of Appleby, which provided “offshore corporate services” such as legal and accountancy work. According to the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project, a global network of investigative media outlets, leaked Appleby documents revealed, among other things, “the ties between Russia and [Trump’s] billionaire commerce secretary, the secret dealings of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s chief fundraiser and the offshore interests of the Queen of England and more than 120 politicians around the world.”

      This would not appear to be the Bibby group’s only link to the shady world of offshore finance. Michael Bibby pops up as a treasurer for two shell companies registered in Panama, Minimar Transport S.A. and Vista Equities Inc.
      Looking Forward

      Much about the Bibby Stockholm saga remains to be seen. The exact cost of the initiative and who will be providing security services on board, are open questions. What’s clear however is that activists will continue to oppose the plans, with efforts to prevent the vessel sailing from Falmouth to its final docking in Portland scheduled to take place on 30th June.

      Appendix: Company Addresses

      HQ and general inquiries: 3rd Floor Walker House, Exchange Flags, Liverpool, United Kingdom, L2 3YL

      Tel: +44 (0) 151 708 8000

      Other offices, as of 2021:

      6, Shenton Way, #18-08A Oue Downtown 068809, Singapore

      1/1, The Exchange Building, 142 St. Vincent Street, Glasgow, G2 5LA, United Kingdom

      4th Floor Heather House, Heather Road, Sandyford, Dublin 18, Ireland

      Unit 2302, 23/F Jubilee Centre, 18 Fenwick Street, Wanchai, Hong Kong

      Unit 508, Fifth Floor, Metropolis Mall, MG Road, Gurugram, Haryana, 122002 India

      Suite 7E, Level 7, Menara Ansar, 65 Jalan Trus, 8000 Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia

      160 Avenue Jean Jaures, CS 90404, 69364 Lyon Cedex, France

      Prievozská 4D, Block E, 13th Floor, Bratislava 821 09, Slovak Republic

      Hlinky 118, Brno, 603 00, Czech Republic

      Laan Van Diepenvoorde 5, 5582 LA, Waalre, Netherlands

      Hansaallee 249, 40549 Düsseldorf, Germany

      Poland Eurocentrum, Al. Jerozolimskie 134, 02-305 Warsaw, Poland

      1/2 Atarbekova str, 350062, Krasnodar, Krasnodar

      1 St Peter’s Square, Manchester, M2 3AE, United Kingdom

      25 Adeyemo Alakija Street, Victoria Island, Lagos, Nigeria

      10 Anson Road, #09-17 International Plaza, 079903 Singapore

      https://corporatewatch.org/floating-prisons-the-200-year-old-family-business-behind-the-bibby-s

      signalé ici aussi par @rezo:
      https://seenthis.net/messages/1010504

    • The Langham family seem quite happy to support right-wing political parties that are against immigration, while at the same time profiting handsomely from the misery of refugees who are forced to claim sanctuary here.


      https://twitter.com/PositiveActionH/status/1687817910364884992

      –---

      Family firm ’profiteering from misery’ by providing migrant barges donated £70k to #UKIP

      The Langham family, owners of Langham Industries, is now set to profit from an 18-month contract with the Home Office to let the Bibby Stockholm berth at Portland, Dorset

      A family firm that donated more than £70,000 to UKIP is “profiteering from misery” by hosting the Government’s controversial migrant barge. Langham Industries owns Portland Port, where the Bibby Stockholm is docked in a deal reported to be worth some £2.5million.

      The Langham family owns luxurious properties and has links to high-profile politicians, including Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Deputy Prime Minister Oliver Dowden. And we can reveal that their business made 19 donations to pro-Brexit party UKIP between 2003 and 2016.

      Late founder John Langham was described as an “avid supporter” of UKIP in an obituary in 2017. Now his children, John, Jill and Justin – all directors of the family firm – are set to profit from an 18-month contract with the Home Office to let the Bibby Stockholm berth at Portland, Dorset.

      While Portland Port refuses to reveal how much the Home Office is paying, its website cites berthing fees for a ship the size of the Bibby Stockholm at more than £4,000 a day. In 2011, Portland Port chairman John, 71, invested £3.7million in Grade II* listed country pile Steeple Manor at Wareham, Dorset. Dating to around 1600, it has a pond, tennis court and extensive gardens designed by the landscape architect Brenda Colvin.

      The arrangement to host the “prison-like” barge for housing migrants has led some locals to blast the Langhams, who have owned the port since 1997. Portland mayor Carralyn Parkes, 61, said: “I don’t know how John Langham will sleep at night in his luxurious home, with his tennis court and his fluffy bed, when asylum seekers are sleeping in tiny beds on the barge.

      “I went on the boat and measured the rooms with a tape measure. On average they are about 10ft by 12ft. The bunk bed mattresses are about 6ft long. If you’re taller than 6ft you’re stuffed. The Langham family need to have more humanity. They are only interested in making money. It’s shocking.”

      (#paywall)
      https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/family-firm-profiteering-misery-providing-30584405.amp

      #UK_Independence_Party

    • ‘This is a prison’: men tell of distressing conditions on Bibby Stockholm

      Asylum seekers share fears about Dorset barge becoming even more crowded, saying they already ‘despair and wish for death’

      Asylum seekers brought back to the Bibby Stockholm barge in Portland, Dorset, have said they are being treated in such a way that “we despair and wish for death”.

      The Guardian spoke to two men in their first interview since their return to the barge on 19 October after the vessel lay empty for more than two months. The presence of deadly legionella bacteria was confirmed on board on 7 August, the same day the first group of asylum seekers arrived. The barge was evacuated four days later.

      The new warning comes after it emerged that one asylum seeker attempted to kill himself and is in hospital after finding out he is due to be taken to the barge on Tuesday.

      A man currently on the barge told the Guardian: “Government decisions are turning healthy and normal refugees into mental patients whom they then hand over to society. Here, many people were healthy and coping with OK spirits, but as a result of the dysfunctional strategies of the government, they have suffered – and continue to suffer – from various forms of serious mental distress. We are treated in such a way that we despair and wish for death.”

      He said that although the asylum seekers were not detained on the barge and could leave to visit the nearby town, in practice, doing so was not easy.

      He added: “In the barge, we have exactly the feeling of being in prison. It is true that they say that this is not a prison and you can go outside at any time, but you can only go to specific stops at certain times by bus, and this does not give me a good feeling.

      “Even to use the fresh air, you have to go through the inspection every time and go to the small yard with high fences and go through the X-ray machine again. And this is not good for our health.

      “In short, this is a prison whose prisoners are not criminals, they are people who have fled their country just to save their lives and have taken shelter here to live.”

      The asylum seekers raised concerns about what conditions on the barge would be like if the Home Office did fill it with about 500 asylum seekers, as officials say is the plan. Those on board said it already felt quite full with about 70 people living there.

      The second asylum seeker said: “The space inside the barge is very small. It feels crowded in the dining hall and the small entertainment room. It is absolutely clear to me that there will be chaos here soon.

      “According to my estimate, as I look at the spaces around us, the capacity of this barge is maximum 120 people, including personnel and crew. The strategy of ​​transferring refugees from hotels to barges or ships or military installations is bound to fail.

      “The situation here on the barge is getting worse. Does the government have a plan for shipwrecked residents? Everyone here is going mad with anxiety. It is not just the barge that floats on the water, but the plans of the government that are radically adrift.”

      Maddie Harris of the NGO Humans For Rights Network, which supports asylum seekers in hotels, said: “Home Office policies directly contribute to the significant deterioration of the wellbeing and mental health of so many asylum seekers in their ‘care’, with a dehumanising environment, violent anti-migrant rhetoric and isolated accommodations away from community and lacking in support.”

      A Home Office spokesperson said: “The Bibby Stockholm is part of the government’s pledge to reduce the use of expensive hotels and bring forward alternative accommodation options which provide a more cost-effective, sustainable and manageable system for the UK taxpayer and local communities.

      “The health and welfare of asylum seekers remains the utmost priority. We work continually to ensure the needs and vulnerabilities of those residing in asylum accommodation are identified and considered, including those related to mental health and trauma.”

      Nadia Whittome and Lloyd Russell-Moyle, the Labour MPs for Nottingham East and Brighton Kemptown respectively, will travel to Portland on Monday to meet asylum seekers accommodated on the Bibby Stockholm barge and local community members.

      The visit follows the home secretary, Suella Braverman, not approving a visit from the MPs to assess living conditions as they requested through parliamentary channels.

      https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2023/oct/29/this-is-a-prison-men-tell-of-distressing-conditions-on-bibby-stockholm
      #prison #conditions_de_vie

  • 100-MILE BORDER ENFORCEMENT ZONE

    The U.S. #Customs_and_Border_Protection (#CBP), which includes the Border Patrol, is the largest law enforcement agency in the country. Their jurisdiction they claim spans 100 miles into the interior of the United States from any land or maritime border. Two-thirds of the U.S. population lives within this 100-mile border enforcement zone, including cities like Washington D.C., San Francisco CA, Chicago IL, New Orleans LA, Boston MA, & more.

    Because these are considered border cities, federal border and immigration agents assert the power to board public transportation or set up interior checkpoints and stop, interrogate and search children on their way to school, parents on their way to work, and families going to doctor’s appointments or the grocery store — all done without a warrant or reasonable suspicion.

    How can CBP agents do this? Unlike other federal agencies, CBP officers are uniquely granted extraordinary and unprecedented powers. These extraordinary powers state that officers are able to racially profile, stop, frisk, detain, interrogate, and arrest anyone without a warrant or reasonable suspicion. The Fourth Amendment is intended to protect all people against unreasonable searches and seizures. Every other federal law enforcement agency, except CBP, requires either a warrant or “reasonable grounds” for an officer to act without a warrant.

    Border regions are often treated as zones of exception for human rights and civil rights, laying the foundation for abuse not just along our nation’s borders but across the country. That should never be the case. In these zones, border authorities assert excessive power, beyond the power of other law enforcement agencies, which leads to harassment, abuse, racial profiling and intimidation of border residents and travelers. In February 2020, Trump announced CBP employees would be granted immunity from Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests, and a few days later he announced he would be sending BORTAC units, the elite tactical units of Border Patrol, across the United States to major cities like New York, Chicago, and most likely many other major cities, to assist in door-to-door ICE raids and terrorizing communities of color. Most recently, BORTAC units & CBP resources were being used across the country to surveil & quell Black Lives Matter protests. Almost all of those major cities reside within the 100 mile border enforcement zone where border patrol operates with impunity. If human rights are to mean something, they must be fully protected in border communities, without exception.

    The results have been deadly.

    We must end the decades of enforcement-only policies that have erased our rights and have resulted in death & damage across our border communities. It is time to reimagine what border communities should look like, and what border governance could look like.

    That is why the Southern Border Communities Coalition calls on Congress to adopt a New Border Vision that expands public safety, protects human rights, and welcomes people at our borders in a manner consistent with our national values and global best practices.

    Part of a New Border Vision would be to establish a “reasonable grounds” standard in the statute governing the Department of Homeland Security, specifically sections (a)(1) and (a)(3) of 8 USC 1357, which would strengthen our protections against unreasonable interrogation, searches, and entry onto private property.

    Cities are beginning to take action to protect their communities from inhumane & immoral border policies that impact everyone. By supporting a New Border Vision, they are taking the first step in envisioning a future that is welcoming, safe & humane for all!

    https://www.southernborder.org/100_mile_border_enforcement_zone
    #frontières #contrôles_frontaliers #asile #migrations #réfugiés #USA #Etats-Unis #villes #zones_frontières #zones_frontalières #zone_frontalière #bande_frontalière #frontières_mobiles

    –---
    ajouté à la métaliste autour de la création de zones frontalières (au lieu de lignes de frontière) en vue de refoulements ou autres pratiques de contrôles migratoires :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/795053

    ping @karine4

    • La France a aussi créé une « zone frontière » (on va dire…) dans laquelle les contrôles d’identité peuvent être effectués sans qu’il y ait nécessité d’une motivation quelconque (motivations au demeurant très, très larges… cf. la partie de l’article cité ci-dessous qui précède la citation).

      Je ne sais pas si elle a été cartographiée dans tous ses recoins, parce que ça me semble particulièrement coton vu la définition de ladite zone (en vigueur depuis le 01/03/2019) :

      Dans une zone comprise entre la frontière terrestre de la France avec les Etats parties à la convention signée à Schengen le 19 juin 1990 et une ligne tracée à 20 kilomètres en deçà,

      ainsi que dans les zones accessibles au public des ports, aéroports et gares ferroviaires ou routières ouverts au trafic international et désignés par arrêté et aux abords de ces gares, pour la prévention et la recherche des infractions liées à la criminalité transfrontalière, l’identité de toute personne peut également être contrôlée, selon les modalités prévues au premier alinéa, en vue de vérifier le respect des obligations de détention, de port et de présentation des titres et documents prévues par la loi.

      Lorsque ce contrôle a lieu à bord d’un train effectuant une liaison internationale, il peut être opéré sur la portion du trajet entre la frontière et le premier arrêt qui se situe au-delà des vingt kilomètres de la frontière. Toutefois, sur celles des lignes ferroviaires effectuant une liaison internationale et présentant des caractéristiques particulières de desserte, le contrôle peut également être opéré entre cet arrêt et un arrêt situé dans la limite des cinquante kilomètres suivants. Ces lignes et ces arrêts sont désignés par arrêté ministériel.

      Lorsqu’il existe une section autoroutière démarrant dans la zone mentionnée à la première phrase du présent alinéa et que le premier péage autoroutier se situe au-delà de la ligne des 20 kilomètres, le contrôle peut en outre avoir lieu jusqu’à ce premier péage sur les aires de stationnement ainsi que sur le lieu de ce péage et les aires de stationnement attenantes. Les péages concernés par cette disposition sont désignés par arrêté.

      Le fait que le contrôle d’identité révèle une infraction autre que celle de non-respect des obligations susvisées ne constitue pas une cause de nullité des procédures incidentes. Pour l’application du présent alinéa, le contrôle des obligations de détention, de port et de présentation des titres et documents prévus par la loi ne peut être pratiqué que pour une durée n’excédant pas douze heures consécutives dans un même lieu et ne peut consister en un contrôle systématique des personnes présentes ou circulant dans les zones ou lieux mentionnés au même alinéa.

      Dans un rayon maximal de dix kilomètres autour des ports et aéroports constituant des points de passage frontaliers au sens de l’article 2 du règlement (UE) 2016/399 du Parlement européen et du Conseil du 9 mars 2016 concernant un code de l’Union relatif au régime de franchissement des frontières par les personnes (code frontières Schengen), désignés par arrêté en raison de l’importance de leur fréquentation et de leur vulnérabilité, l’identité de toute personne peut être contrôlée, pour la recherche et la prévention des infractions liées à la criminalité transfrontalière, selon les modalités prévues au premier alinéa du présent article, en vue de vérifier le respect des obligations de détention, de port et de présentation des titres et documents prévus par la loi. L’arrêté mentionné à la première phrase du présent alinéa fixe le rayon autour du point de passage frontalier dans la limite duquel les contrôles peuvent être effectués. Lorsqu’il existe une section autoroutière commençant dans la zone mentionnée à la même première phrase et que le premier péage autoroutier se situe au-delà des limites de cette zone, le contrôle peut en outre avoir lieu jusqu’à ce premier péage sur les aires de stationnement ainsi que sur le lieu de ce péage et les aires de stationnement attenantes. Les péages concernés par cette disposition sont désignés par arrêté. Le fait que le contrôle d’identité révèle une infraction autre que celle de non-respect des obligations susmentionnées ne constitue pas une cause de nullité des procédures incidentes. Pour l’application du présent alinéa, le contrôle des obligations de détention, de port et de présentation des titres et documents prévus par la loi ne peut être pratiqué que pour une durée n’excédant pas douze heures consécutives dans un même lieu et ne peut consister en un contrôle systématique des personnes présentes ou circulant dans les zones mentionnées au présent alinéa.

      https://www.legifrance.gouv.fr/codes/section_lc/LEGITEXT000006071154/LEGISCTA000006151880/2019-03-01?etatArticle=VIGUEUR&etatTexte=VIGUEUR&isAdvancedResult=tr

      (suivent les dispositions particulières pour l’Outre-Mer…)

      (le gras et les sauts de ligne sont de ma main)

      pour les arrêtés – et donc les listes détaillées des zones concernées – c’est là (et c’est long…)

      • ports, aéroports et gares ferroviaires
      https://www.legifrance.gouv.fr/loda/id/LEGIARTI000025578312/#LEGIARTI000025578312

      • ports points de passage frontalier et péages
      https://www.legifrance.gouv.fr/jorf/id/JORFARTI000037884862#JORFARTI000037884862

    • et tant d’autres @simplicissimus :
      https://seenthis.net/messages/795053

      Et pour la France, en effet, je me suis toujours demandée comment ils calculaient réellement sur le terrain ces fameux 10 km (les 10 km supplémentaires que la France a mis en place en 2017 :
      « Le 30 octobre 2017 une nouvelle loi ajoute une zone de 10 kilomètres autour de chaque poste-frontière et gares internationales où la police peut procéder à des contrôles d’identité » (https://www.editions-legislatives.fr/actualite/la-loi-renforcant-la-lutte-contre-le-terrorisme-etend-a-nouvea)

      https://www.borderforensics.org/fr/investigations/blessing-investigation

    • l’ajout de 2017 correspond au deuxième alinéa (hors mes sauts de ligne) de l’arrêté ci-dessus (c’est la version en vigueur actuellement) (Dans un rayon maximal de 10 kilomètres…)

      ça peut fournir un petit (!) boulot de carto à proposer à un étudiant comme sujet de mémoire ou un TP de synthèse sur l’emploi d’ArcGIS mobilisant un bon paquet de couches distinctes (frontières, emprises portuaires, réseaux viaire et ferroviaire, j’en oublie forcément… p. ex. emprises autoroutières pour les péages et les parkings attenants…) et de calculs propres aux SIG (distance à un point, à une limite, …)

    • Pour les 20 km, c’est les 20km qui valent pour tous les pays Schengen...

      Et oui... ça serait super un petit travail de carto par un·e étudiant·e ou toute autre personne de bonne volonté :-)

    • You may have seen this map of the 100-mile border zone making the rounds recently. Did you ever wonder why they chose 100 miles? There must be a good reason for it, right? Well, actually no. Here’s a short thread 🧵on it ...

      The Border Patrol was established two days after the eugenics-derived national origins quotas in the 1924 Johnson-Reed Immigration Act was signed, in order to enforce the new restrictions 2/9

      The original authorization for the Border Patrol was meant to keep the agents at the border line itself. Senator David Reed explained: “They have no right to go into the interior city and pick up aliens on the street and arrest them” 3/9

      Nevertheless, the agents did go into the interior. In 1930 Treasury Undersecretary Ogden Mills proposed a new law to stop it “you will not have a Border Patrol operating 20 miles inside the United States. You will have a border patrol where it belongs, and that is on the border”

      Mills’ and other efforts to rein in the Border Patrol failed in the 1930s. In 1946, Congress revised the Border Patrol’s authorization and clarified (kind of) how far inside the US they could go: “within a reasonable distance from any external boundary of the United States” 5/9

      At the time, the Border Patrol was part of the Department of Justice. In July 1947, the DoJ released a routine update to its policies in the Federal Register. In tiny print on p. 5071, they defined the term reasonable distance ... 6/9

      Without public comment or consultation, the Department of Justice defined the reasonable distance for the Border Patrol as “a distance not exceeding 100 air miles from any external boundary of the United States” 7/9

      And... that’s it. Since 1947, the reasonable distance has remained unchanged at 100 miles from borders and coastlines. If DHS Secretary Mayorkas wanted to change it, he could do so immediately himself 8/9

      I tell the history of the Border Patrol from their racist Wild West origins to their assault on the 4th Amendment in my new book Nobody is Protected: How the Border Patrol Became the Most Dangerous Police Force in the United States @CounterpointLLC
      9/9


      https://www.counterpointpress.com/dd-product/nobody-is-protected

      https://twitter.com/ReeceJonesUH/status/1535362380510531584

  • Missing in #Brooks_County: A tragic outcome of U.S. border and migration policy

    Since the 1990s, tens of thousands of migrants have died painful deaths, usually of dehydration and exposure, on U.S. soil. Their remains are only occasionally found. The migrants began taking ever more hazardous routes after the Clinton and subsequent administrations started building up border-security infrastructure and #Border_Patrol presence in more populated areas.

    The crisis is particularly acute in a sparsely populated county in south #Texas, about 70 miles north of the border, where migrants’ smugglers encourage them to walk around a longstanding Border Patrol highway checkpoint. Many of them get lost in the hot, dry surrounding ranchland and go missing.

    The WOLA Podcast discussed the emergency in Brooks County, Texas in October 2020, when we heard from Eddie Canales of the South Texas Human Rights Center.

    Eddie features prominently in “Missing in Brooks County,” a new documentary co-directed and produced by Lisa Molomot and Jeff Bemiss. Molomot and Bemiss visited the county 15 times over 4 years, and their film shows the crisis from the perspective of migrants, family members, Border Patrol agents, ranchers, humanitarian workers like Eddie, and experts trying to help identify remains and help loved ones achieve closure.

    One of those experts, featured in some of the most haunting scenes in “Missing in Brooks County,” is anthropologist Kate Spradley of Texas State University, who has sought to bring order to a chaotic process of recovering, handling, and identifying migrants’ remains.

    In this episode of the podcast, Lisa Molomot, Jeff Bemiss, and Kate Spradley join WOLA’s Adam Isacson to discuss the causes of the tragedy in Brooks County and elsewhere along the border; why it has been so difficult to resolve the crisis; how they made the film; how U.S. federal and local government policies need to change, and much more.

    https://www.wola.org/analysis/missing-in-brooks-county-a-tragic-outcome-of-u-s-border-and-migration-policy
    #USA #Etats-Unis #décès #morts #mourir_aux_frontières #Mexique #frontières #asile #migrations #réfugiés #contrôles_migratoires #désert #déshydratation #weaponization #frontières_mobiles #zones_frontalières #checkpoints #chiens #statistiques #chiffres #chasse #propriété_privée #prevention_through_deterrence #mortalité
    #podcast #audio

  • Le Monde selon #Modi, la nouvelle #puissance indienne

    « Aucune puissance au monde ne peut arrêter un pays de 1,3 milliard d’habitants. Le 21e siècle sera le siècle de l’Inde ».
    #Narendra_Modi, nationaliste de droite, à la tête de l’Inde depuis 2014, est le nouvel homme fort de la planète. 3ème personnalité la plus suivie sur Twitter, au centre de « l’Indopacifique », une nouvelle alliance contre la Chine. C’est l’histoire d’un tournant pour l’Inde et pour le monde.

    http://www.film-documentaire.fr/4DACTION/w_fiche_film/62159_1

    #film #film_documentaire #documentaire
    #Inde #Savarki #culte_de_la_personnalité #nationalisme #cachemire_indien #purge #militarisation #couvre-feu #RSS #patriotisme #religion #propagande_hindoue #colonialisme #impérialisme #BJP #parti_nationaliste_hindou #pogrom #islamophobie #Amit_Shah #Vibrant_Gujarat #hologramme #réseaux_sociaux #journée_internationale_du_yoga #yoga #soft_power #fierté_nationale #Alliance_indo-pacifique #Indo-Pacifique #armée #Routes_de_la_soie #route_de_la_soie #collier_de_perles #Chine #armes #commerce_d'armes #Ladakh #frontières #zones_disputées #disputes_frontalières #différends_frontaliers #litige_frontalier #zones_frontalières #zone-tampon #Israël #revanche_nationaliste #temple_Ajodhya #hindouisme #déchéance_de_nationalité #citizenship_amendment_act #citoyenneté #primauté_des_Hindous #résistance #milices_privées

  • #Frontex suspend ses #opérations en Hongrie

    Frontex, l’agence de surveillance des frontières de l’UE, a annoncé mercredi qu’elle suspendait ses opérations en Hongrie après une décision de la Cour de justice européenne critiquant le système d’asile de ce pays.

    Frontex, l’agence de surveillance des frontières de l’UE, a annoncé mercredi qu’elle suspendait ses opérations en Hongrie après une décision de la #Cour_de_justice_européenne critiquant le système d’asile de ce pays.

    « Frontex a suspendu toutes ses #activités_opérationnelles sur le terrain en Hongrie », a déclaré à l’AFP Chris Borowski, le porte-parole de Frontex, dont le siège est à Varsovie.

    « Nos efforts communs pour protéger les frontières extérieures de l’UE ne peuvent réussir que si nous veillons à ce que notre coopération et nos activités soient pleinement conformes aux lois de l’UE », a-t-il déclaré.

    En décembre, la Cour de justice de l’Union européenne a constaté de nombreuses failles dans les procédures d’asile de la Hongrie, notamment l’#expulsion_illégale de migrants en provenance de #Serbie.

    Elle a également déclaré que les lois interdisant aux demandeurs d’asile de demeurer en Hongrie pendant que leur appel devant la justice était examiné étaient illégales et a critiqué la #détention de migrants dans des « #zones_de_transit ».

    Le Comité Helsinki hongrois (HHC), un organisme de surveillance non gouvernemental, a affirmé mardi que la Hongrie avait expulsé plus de 4.400 migrants depuis la décision de la Cour de justice de l’UE.

    « La décision de Frontex est importante puisque Frontex n’a jamais suspendu ses activités » auparavant, a déclaré Andras Lederer, un membre du HHC.

    M. Lederer a estimé que Frontex avait été forcée de suspendre ses opérations en Hongrie parce qu’elle risquait d’être tenue pour « complice » de la politique migratoire hongroise.

    https://www.mediapart.fr/journal/fil-dactualites/270121/frontex-suspend-ses-operations-en-hongrie?onglet=full

    #suspension #Hongrie #arrêt #stop #justice #CJUE #illégalité #complicité
    #asile #migrations #réfugiés #frontières #push-backs #refoulements #zones_frontalières

    ping @isskein @_kg_ @rhoumour @karine4

    • Frontex suspend ses activités en Hongrie, quelles conséquences pour la Serbie ?

      Le 27 janvier, l’agence européenne de gestion des frontières a suspendu ses activités en Hongrie, le temps que Budapest mette sa législation vis-à-vis des réfugiés en conformité avec le droit européen. Les associations serbes d’aide aux exilés s’inquiètent d’une décision potentiellement contreproductive.

      (Avec Radio Slobodna Evropa) – « La violence aux frontières et les retours illégaux de personnes en Serbie risquent de s’intensifier. » Voilà ce que craint Radoš Đurović, du Centre pour l’assistance aux demandeurs d’asile, une ONG basée à Belgrade, après la décision de Frontex, l’agence européenne de garde-frontières, de se retirer de Hongrie. Est-il possible, pourtant, d’envisager un scénario pire que la situation actuelle ? « On assiste tous les jours à des expulsions massives et à des scènes de violence », rappelle-t-il. « Les autorités hongroises ne prennent même pas la peine d’avertir leurs collègues serbes. Elles se contentent de pousser les réfugiés par centaines de l’autre côté de l’immense clôture de barbelés. »

      Frontex a suspendu ses activités en Hongrie le 27 janvier en attendant que le gouvernement de Viktor Orban harmonise la législation du pays avec l’arrêt rendu le 17 décembre par la Cour européenne de justice sur les demandes d’asile. Dès le lendemain, la Commission européenne a appelé Budapest à respecter les droits des réfugiés. « Je m’attends à ce que la Hongrie change sa politique et permette aux réfugiés de demander l’asile sur son territoire », a déclaré avec optimisme la commissaire aux Affaires intérieures, Ylva Johansson. « Une agence comme Frontex ne peut pas aider la Hongrie à empêcher des gens d’entrer sur son territoire si la Hongrie elle-même ne respecte pas les droits fondamentaux des migrants et les lois de l’UE. »

      Autrement dit, pour Bruxelles, il serait grand temps que Budapest commence à accepter les demandes d’asile et permette aux réfugiés de rester en Hongrie au moins le temps que leurs demandes soient examinées, et qu’elle mette un terme aux expulsions massives sans laisser la possibilité aux candidats à l’exil de déposer une demande d’asile. Selon Vladimir Petronijević, de Grupa 484, une ONG belgradoise d’aide aux réfugiés, Frontex a émis de sérieuses objections vis-à-vis de cette pratique qui contrevient aux principes de l’UE. « Il a été souligné que la partie hongroise met en œuvre en permanence l’expulsion collective de migrants et de réfugiés vers la Serbie, une pratique qui prévaut depuis plusieurs années. » Or, regrette-t-il, avec ou sans Frontex, ces expulsions risquent bel et bien de se poursuivre. « Je ne vois pas de raisons particulières qui empêcheraient la Hongrie de continuer à faire ce qu’elle a toujours fait depuis 2015. »

      Selon le Comité Helsinki en Hongrie, Budapest aurait expulsé plus de 4000 réfugiés de Hongrie depuis décembre dernier. « Nous continuerons à défendre le peuple hongrois et les frontières du pays et de l’UE », a d’ailleurs affirmé, le 28 janvier, le porte-parole du gouvernement de Viktor Orbán. Du côté de Belgrade, les autorités continuent de pratiquer la politique de l’autruche. « D’après ce que nous observons sur le terrain, la Serbie réagit peu à ces pratiques unilatérales, non seulement le long de la frontière hongroise, mais aussi des frontières croate et roumaine, peut-être parce qu’elle ne veut pas offenser les pays voisins membres de l’UE », estime Radoš Đurović. La Hongrie n’est en effet pas la seule à mettre en œuvre ces mauvaises pratiques : la Croatie lui a depuis longtemps emboîté le pas, de même que la Roumanie ou encore la Macédoine du Nord.

      https://www.courrierdesbalkans.fr/Frontex-Hongrie

  • ITALY : UPTICK IN CHAIN-REMOVALS

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

    In this context, civil society groups highlight that “the returns are being carried out so quickly there is no way Italian authorities are implementing a full legal process at the border to determine if someone is in need of international protection.” The pushbacks to Slovenia appear to be indiscriminate. According to Gianfranco Schiavone (https://www.thenewhumanitarian.org/news-feature/2020/11/17/europe-italy-bosnia-slovenia-migration-pushbacks-expulsion), from ASGI (Associazione per gli studi giuridici sullʼim-migrazione), “[they] have involved everybody, regardless of nationality,” he said. “They pushed back Afghans, Syrians, people from Iraq, people in clear need of protection.” As stated by Anna Brambilla, lawyer at ASGI, the Italian Ministry of the Interior (https://altreconomia.it/richiedenti-asilo-respinti-al-confine-tra-italia-e-slovenia-la-storia-d):
    “confirmed that people who have expressed a desire to apply for international protection are readmitted to Slovenia and that readmissions are carried out without delivering any provision relating to the readmission itself.”

    Crucially, the well publicised nature of chain removals from Slovenia, and onwards through Croatia, mean the authorities are aware of the violent sequence they are enter-ing people into, and thus complicit within this #violence.

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

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

    https://www.borderviolence.eu/wp-content/uploads/BVMN-November-Report.pdf

    #asile #migrations #réfugiés #refoulements #push-backs #Italie #Slovénie #droit_d'asile #frontières #contrôles_frontaliers #10_km #refoulements_en_chaîne

    –—

    Ajouté à la métaliste sur la création de #zones_frontalières (au lieu de lignes de frontière) en vue de refoulements :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/795053

    • Schiavone: «#Lamorgese ammetta che l’Italia sta facendo respingimenti illegali»

      «Le riammissioni informali dei richiedenti asilo non hanno alcuna base giuridica», spiega Gianfranco Schiavone, del direttivo dell’Asgi, Associazione per gli Studi Giuridici sull’immigrazione. Nel 2020 sono state riammesse in Slovenia 1301 persone. «Sostenere, come ha fatto la ministra dell’interno Lamorgese durante l’interrogazione del deputato di Leu, Erasmo Palazzotto, che la Slovenia e soprattutto la Croazia siano “Paesi sicuri” nonostante le prove schiaccianti della violenza esercitata dalla polizia croata sulle persone in transito, ha dell’incredibile, un’affermazione indecorosa»

      Quelle che il governo italiano chiama “riammissioni” in realtà altro non sono che respingimenti illegali dei profughi che arrivano dalla Rotta Balcanica a Trieste e Gorizia. Pakistani, iracheni, afghani, e talvolta anche siriani che avrebbero diritto di chiedere asilo nel nostro Paese ma neanche mettono piede sul suolo italiano che già sono in marcia per fare forzatamente la Rotta Balcanica al contrario: all’Italia alla Slovenia, dalla Slovenia alla Croazia, dalla Croazia alla Bosnia.

      Lo scorso 13 gennaio il deputato di Leu, Erasmo Palazzotto durante la sua interrogazione ha ricordato alla ministra dell’Interno Lamorgese quanto sia disumano quello che sta succedendo in Bosnia, alle porte dell’Europa e di come testimoni il fallimento dell’Unione nella gestione dei flussi migratori sottolinenando che "Il nostro Paese deve sospendere le riammissioni informali verso la Slovenia e porre la questione in sede di Consiglio Europeo per gestire in maniera umana questo fenomeno. Va messa la parola fine a questa barbarie”. Ma Lamorgese sembra ancora continuare a non curarsi di quello che avviene dentro i nostri confini. Nel 2020 sono state respinte illegalmente in Slovenia 1301 persone.

      «Quello che succede al confine italiano sono veri e propri respingimenti illegali», spiega Gianfranco Schiavone, del direttivo di Asgi, Associazione per gli Studi Giuridici sull’Immigrazione. «Anche nel 2018 si erano registrati casi di respingimenti illegittimi ma in numero contenuto. Allora la risposta fu principalmente quella di negare i fatti. In ogni caso, oggi, il fenomeno dei respingimenti illegali è aumentato enormemente in termini di quantità ma soprattutto nella loro rivendicazione ideologica. Mentre in passato la giustificazione poggiava sulla tesi che non si trattasse di richiedenti asilo oggi si tende a giustificare (pur usando volutamente un linguaggio ambiguo) che si possono respingere anche i richiedenti perchè la domanda di asilo si può fare in Slovenia».

      Stando a quanto ha affermato la ministra le riammissioni sono possibili in virtù dell’accordo bilaterale firmato dai due Paesi, Italia e Slovenia, nel 1996. Si tratta di “riammissioni” effettuate non in ragione del ripristino dei controlli alle frontiere interne, mai formalmente avvenuto, ma in applicazione dell’Accordo bilaterale fra il Governo della Repubblica italiana e il Governo della Repubblica di Slovenia sulla riammissione delle persone alla frontiera, firmato a Roma il 3 settembre 1996, che contiene previsioni finalizzate a favorire la riammissione sul territorio dei due Stati sia di cittadini di uno dei due Stati contraenti sia cittadini di Stati terzi.

      «In primis», spiega Schiavone, «occorre rilevare come tale accordo risulti illegittimo per contrarietà al sistema costituzionale interno italiano e per violazione di normative interne. È infatti dubbia la legittimità nell’ordinamento italiano dell’Accordo bilaterale fra il Governo della Repubblica italiana e il Governo della Repubblica di Slovenia e di ogni altro analogo tipo di accordi intergovernativi per due ordini di ragioni: nonostante abbiano infatti una chiara natura politica, essi non sono stati ratificati con legge di autorizzazione alla ratifica ai sensi dell’art. 80 Cost.;in quanto accordi intergovernativi stipulati in forma semplificata, in ogni caso essi non possono prevedere modifiche alle leggi vigenti in Italia (altro caso in cui l’art. 80 Cost. prevede la preventiva legge di autorizzazione alla ratifica) e dunque essi neppure possono derogare alle norme di fonte primaria dell’ordinamento giuridico italiano. In ogni caso, anche volendo prescindere da ogni ulteriore valutazione sui profili di illegittimità dell’Accordo di riammissione è pacifico che ne è esclusa appunto l’applicazione ai rifugiati riconosciuti ai sensi della Convenzione di Ginevra (all’epoca la nozione di protezione sussidiaria ancora non esisteva) come chiaramente enunciato all’articolo 2 del medesimo Accordo. Del tutto priva di pregio sotto il profilo dell’analisi giuridica sarebbe l’obiezione in base alla quale l’accordo fa riferimento ai rifugiati e non ai richiedenti asilo giacché come è noto, il riconoscimento dello status di rifugiato (e di protezione sussidiaria) è un procedimento di riconoscimento di un diritto soggettivo perfetto i cui presupposti che lo straniero chiede appunto di accertare. Non v’è pertanto alcuna possibilità di distinguere in modo arbitrario tra richiedenti protezione e rifugiati riconosciuti dovendosi comunque garantire in ogni caso l’accesso alla procedura di asilo allo straniero che appunto chiede il riconoscimento dello status di rifugiato. A chiudere del tutto l’argomento sotto il profilo giuridico, è il noto Regolamento Dublino III che prevede che ogni domanda di asilo sia registrata alla frontiera o all’interno dello Stato nel quale il migrante si trova. Una successiva complessa procedura stabilita se il Paese competente ad esaminare la domanda è eventualmente diverso da quello nel quale il migrante ha chiesto asilo e in ogni caso il Regolamento esclude tassativamente che si possano effettuare riammissioni o respingimenti di alcun genere nel paese UE confinante solo perchè il richiedente proviene da lì. Anzi, il Regolamento è nato in primo luogo per evitare rimpalli di frontiera tra uno stato e l’altro. Violare, come sta avvenendo, questa fondamentale procedura, significa scardinare il Regolamento e in ultima analisi, il sistema europeo di asilo. È come se fossimo tornati indietro di trent’anni, a prima del 1990».

      Inoltre secondo la ministra "la Slovenia aderisce alla Convenzione di Ginevra e che la stessa Slovenia, come la Croazia sono considerati Paesi sicuri sul piano del rispetto dei diritti umani e delle convenzioni internazionali. Pertanto le riammissioni avvengono verso uno stato europeo, la Slovenia, dove vigono normative internazionali analoghe a quelle del nostro paese”.

      «Lamorgese», continua Schiavone, «ha fatto una figura veramente imbarazzante che ricade sul nostro Paese. Bisogna avere il coraggio di ammettere che abbiamo fatto una cosa illegale riammettendo i richiedenti asilo in Slovenia e da là, attraverso una collaudata catena, in Crozia e infine in Bosnia. E anche se nell’audizione dice tre parole, solo un piccolo inciso, sul fatto che non possono essere riamessi i migranti che hanno fatto richiesta d’asilo, nei fatti la sostanza non cambia. Infine sostenere che la Slovenia e soprattutto la Croazia siano “Paesi sicuri” nonostante le prove schiaccianti della violenza esercitata dalla polizia croata sulle persone in transito ha dell’incredibile. Un ministro non può permettersi di dire che quelli sono Paesi sicuri, perchè per i migranti della Rotta Balcanica non lo sono. E alla domanda “come finirà la questione?” La ministra non è stata in grado di formulare nessuna risposta chiara sul fatto che verrà posta fine alla pratica delle riammissioni dei richiedenti. Ed è forse questa la cosa più grave».

      http://www.vita.it/it/article/2021/01/18/schiavone-lamorgese-ammetta-che-litalia-sta-facendo-respingimenti-ille/158020

  • EU: Damning draft report on the implementation of the Return Directive

    Tineke Strik, the Green MEP responsible for overseeing the passage through the European Parliament of the ’recast Return Directive’, which governs certain common procedures regarding the detention and expulsion of non-EU nationals, has prepared a report on the implementation of the original 2008 Return Directive. It criticises the Commission’s emphasis, since 2017, on punitive enforcement measures, at the expense of alternatives that have not been fully explored or implemented by the Commission or the member states, despite the 2008 legislation providing for them.

    See: DRAFT REPORT on the implementation of the Return Directive (2019/2208(INI)): https://www.statewatch.org/media/documents/news/2020/jun/ep-libe-returns-directive-implementation-draft-rep-9-6-20.pdf

    From the explanatory statement:

    “This Report, highlighting several gaps in the implementation of the Return Directive, is not intended to substitute the still overdue fully-fledged implementation assessment of the Commission. It calls on Member States to ensure compliance with the Return Directive and on the Commission to ensure timely and proper monitoring and support for its implementation, and to enforce compliance if necessary.

    (...)

    With a view to the dual objective of the Return Directive, notably promoting effective returns and ensuring that returns comply with fundamental rights and procedural safeguards, this Report shows that the Directive allows for and supports effective returns, but that most factors impeding effective return are absent in the current discourse, as the effectiveness is mainly stressed and understood as return rate.”

    Parliamentary procedure page: Implementation report on the Return Directive (European Parliament, link: https://oeil.secure.europarl.europa.eu/oeil/popups/ficheprocedure.do?reference=2019/2208(INI)&l=en)

    https://www.statewatch.org/news/2020/june/eu-damning-draft-report-on-the-implementation-of-the-return-directive
    #Directive_Retour #EU #Europe #Union_européenne #asile #migrations #réfugiés #renvois #expulsions #rétention #détention_administrative #évaluation #identification #efficacité #2008_Return_Directive #régimes_parallèles #retour_volontaire #déboutés #sans-papiers #permis_de_résidence #régularisation #proportionnalité #principe_de_proportionnalité #AVR_programmes #AVR #interdiction_d'entrée_sur_le_territoire #externalisation #Gambie #Bangladesh #Turquie #Ethiopie #Afghanistan #Guinée #Côte_d'Ivoire #droits_humains #Tineke_Strik #risque_de_fuite #fuite #accord #réadmission

    –—

    Quelques passages intéressants tirés du rapport:

    The study shows that Member States make use of the possibility offered in Article 2(2)(a) not to apply the Directive in “border cases”, by creating parallel regimes, where procedures falling outside the scope of the Directive offer less safeguards compared to the regular return procedure, for instance no voluntary return term, no suspensive effect of an appeal and less restrictions on the length of detention. This lower level of protection gives serious reasons for concern, as the fact that border situations may remain outside the scope of the Directive also enhances the risks of push backs and refoulement. (...) Your Rapporteur considers that it is key to ensure a proper assessment of the risk of refoulement prior to the issuance of a return decision. This already takes place in Sweden and France. Although unaccompanied minors are rarely returned, most Member States do not officially ban their return. Their being subject to a return procedure adds vulnerability to their situation, due to the lack of safeguards and legal certainty.

    (p.4)
    #frontières #zones_frontalières #push-backs #refoulement

    Sur les #statistiques et #chiffres de #Eurostat:

    According to Eurostat, Member States issued over 490.000 return decisions in 2019, of which 85% were issued by the ten Member States under the current study. These figures are less reliable then they seem, due to the divergent practices. In some Member States, migrants are issued with a return decision more than once, children are not issued a decision separately, and refusals at the border are excluded.

    Statistics on the percentage of departure being voluntary show significant varieties between the Member States: from 96% in Poland to 7% in Spain and Italy. Germany and the Netherlands have reported not being able to collect data of non-assisted voluntary returns, which is remarkable in the light of the information provided by other Member States. According to Frontex, almost half of the departures are voluntary.

    (p.5)

    As Article 7(4) is often applied in an automatic way, and as the voluntary departure period is often insufficient to organise the departure, many returnees are automatically subject to an entry ban. Due to the different interpretations of a risk of absconding, the scope of the mandatory imposition of an entry ban may vary considerably between the countries. The legislation and practice in Belgium, Bulgaria, France, the Netherlands and Sweden provides for an automatic entry ban if the term for voluntary departure was not granted or respected by the returnee and in other cases, the imposition is optional. In Germany, Spain, Italy, Poland and Bulgaria however, legislation or practice provides for an automatic imposition of entry bans in all cases, including cases in which the returnee has left during the voluntary departure period. Also in the Netherlands, migrants with a voluntary departure term can be issued with an entry ban before the term is expired. This raises questions on the purpose and effectiveness of imposing an entry ban, as it can have a discouraging effect if imposed at an early stage. Why leave the territory in time on a voluntary basis if that is not rewarded with the possibility to re-enter? This approach is also at odds with the administrative and non-punitive approach taken in the Directive.

    (p.6)

    National legislation transposing the definition of “risk of absconding” significantly differs, and while several Member States have long lists of criteria which justify finding a risk of absconding (Belgium has 11, France 8, Germany 7, The Netherlands 19), other Member States (Bulgaria, Greece, Poland) do not enumerate the criteria in an exhaustive manner. A broad legal basis for detention allows detention to be imposed in a systematic manner, while individual circumstances are marginally assessed. National practices highlighted in this context also confirm previous studies that most returns take place in the first few weeks and that longer detention hardly has an added value.

    (p.6)

    In its 2016 Communication on establishing a new Partnership Framework with third countries under the European Agenda on Migration, the Commission recognised that cooperation with third countries is essential in ensuring effective and sustainable returns. Since the adoption of this Communication, several informal arrangements have been concluded with third countries, including Gambia, Bangladesh, Turkey, Ethiopia, Afghanistan, Guinea and Ivory Coast. The Rapporteur regrets that such informal deals are concluded in the complete absence of duly parliamentary scrutiny and democratic and judicial oversight that according to the Treaties the conclusion of formal readmission agreements would warrant.

    (p.7)

    With the informalisation of cooperation with third countries in the field of migration, including with transit countries, also came an increased emphasis on conditionality in terms of return and readmission. The Rapporteur is concerned that funding earmarked for development cooperation is increasingly being redirected away from development and poverty eradication goals.

    (p.7)
    #développement #aide_au_développement #conditionnalité_de_l'aide

    ping @_kg_ @isskein @i_s_ @karine4 @rhoumour

  • #CIVIPOL au #Soudan

    L’Union européenne a suspendu ses programmes liés au #contrôle_migratoire au Soudan, en raison de la situation politique. CIVIPOL était en charge des programmes coordonnés par la #France. Présentation.

    CIVIPOL est défini comme "l’opérateur de #coopération_technique_internationale du ministère de l’Intérieur". C’est une #société_anonyme dont 40% du capital son détenus par l’État et 60% par des acteurs privés comme #Airbus, #Safran, #Thalès et d’autres, ainsi que #Défense_Conseil_International, qui est la société privée équivalente de CIVIPOL pour le ministère de la défense.

    CIVIPOL a une action d’#expertise, de #conseil, de #formation. Elle est "financée quasi exclusivement par les bailleurs internationaux". Elle a aussi comme savoir-faire le "soutien à la filière des #industries_de_sécurité" : "Civipol soutient les acteurs de la filière des industries de sécurité. À travers le réseau international des salons #Milipol, Civipol permet aux États partenaires d’identifier, avec les industriels, les #solutions_technologiques les plus adaptées à leurs impératifs de protection. En proposant des offres intégrées issues de la filière européenne des industries de sécurité, Civipol contribue à la mise en place de #systèmes_opérationnels_interopérables au sein des États partenaires et, le cas échéant, avec les systèmes homologues européens."

    #CIVIPOL_Conseil, la société anonyme, est en effet associée dans #CIVIPOL_Groupe au Groupement d’Intérêt Économique Milipol, qui organise des #salons "de la sûreté et de la sécurité intérieure des États" à Paris, au Qatar et dans la zone Asie - Pacifique (on peut découvrir ici le message adressé par le ministre français de l’intérieur à l’ouverture du dernier salon).

    CIVIPOL a aussi racheté en 2016 la société #Transtec, qui a des activités de soutien, accompagnement, conseil, expertise, dans le domaine de la #gouvernance. Elle a par exemple mené deux programmes au Soudan, l’un « #Soutien_à_l'Analyse_Economique_et_à_la Planification_Sectorielle_à_l’Appui_de_la_République_du_Soudan » « afin de permettre à la délégation de l’UE au Soudan de mieux comprendre la situation économique du pays et de contribuer à une approche plus cohérente de la programmation de l’UE dans chaque secteur d’intervention » ; l’autre « #Programme_de_renforcement_des_capacités_des_organisations_de_la_société_civile_soudanaise », dont « l’objectif consistait à renforcer les capacités des bénéficiaires des #OSC locales dans le cadre du programme de l’#Instrument_Européen_pour_la_Démocratie_et_les_Droits_de_l'Homme (#IEDDH) afin d’améliorer leur gestion administrative et financière des projets financés par l’UE » (il ne s’agit donc pas de développer la démocratie, mais de permettre aux OSC – Organisations de la Société Civile – soudanaises de s’inscrire dans les programmes de financement de l’Union européenne.

    CIVIPOL intervient dans quatre programmes au Soudan, financés par l’Union européenne. L’un concernant le #terrorisme, « Lutte contre le blanchiment d’argent et le financement du terrorisme dans la grande Corne de l’Afrique (https://static.mediapart.fr/files/2019/07/26/lutte-contre-le-blanchiment-dargent-et-le-financement-du-terrorisme) », l’autre concernant l’application de la loi, « #Regional_law_enforcement_in_the_Greater_Horn_of_Africa_and_Yemen (https://static.mediapart.fr/files/2019/07/26/regional-law-enforcement-in-the-greater-horn-of-africa-and-yemen-rl) ». Notons que ces deux programmes concernent aussi le #Yémen, pays en proie à une guerre civile, et une intervention militaire extérieure par une coalition menée par l’Arabie saoudite, pays allié de la France et en partie armée par elle, coalition à laquelle participe plusieurs milliers de membres des #Forces_d’Action_Rapide soudanaises, ancienne milice de Janjawid, aussi reconvertie en garde-frontière dans le cadre de la politique de contrôle migratoire mise en place par le Soudan à la demande de l’Union européenne, Forces d’Action Rapide dont le chef est l’homme fort actuel de la junte militaire qui a succédé au dictateur Omar El-Béchir. CIVIPOL agit dans cette complexité.

    Les deux autres programmes concerne la politique de #contrôle_migratoire. L’un, sous l’intitulé de « #Meilleure_Gestion_des_Migrations (https://static.mediapart.fr/files/2019/07/26/better-migration-management-bmm.pdf) », implique différents intervenants pour le compte de plusieurs États membres de l’Union européenne et des agences de l’ONU, sous coordination allemande, l’#Allemagne cofinançant ce programme. « Dans cette contribution, CIVIPOL fournit des formations pour les unités spécialisés en charge de la lutte contre le trafic d’êtres humains, forme les agents de police dans les #zones_frontalières et aide les autorités chargées de la formation de la #police ». Compte-tenu du rôle des Forces d’Action Rapide, il semble difficile que CIVIPOL ne les ait pas croisées. Ce programme a été suspendu en mars 2019, l’Union européenne ayant donné une explication quelque peu sybilline : « because they require the involvement of government counterparts to be carried out » (« parce que leur mise en œuvre exige l’implication d’interlocuteurs gouvernementaux d’un niveau équivalent »).

    L’autre, mis en œuvre par CIVIPOL, est le #ROCK (#Centre_opérationnel_régional_d'appui_au_processus_de_Khartoum et à l’Initiative de la Corne de l’Afrique de l’Union africaine (https://static.mediapart.fr/files/2019/07/26/regional-operational-center-in-khartoum-in-support-of-the-khartoum-) – en anglais #Regional_Operational_Centre_in_Khartoum etc.) La stratégie du projet ROCK est de faciliter l’#échange_d'informations entre les services de police compétents. Ainsi, le projet consiste à mettre en place une plate-forme à Khartoum, le centre régional "ROCK", afin de rassembler les #officiers_de_liaison des pays bénéficiaires en un seul endroit pour échanger efficacement des #informations_policières. » Il a été suspendu en juin « until the political/security situation is cleared » (« jusqu’à ce que la situation politique/sécurtiaire soit clarifiée ») selon l’Union européenne.

    D’après la présentation qu’on peut télécharger sur le site de CIVIPOL, le premier « programme intervient en réponse aux besoins identifiés par les pays africains du #processus_Khartoum », tandis que le second a été « lancé dans le cadre du processus de Khartoum à la demande des pays de la #Corne_de_l'Afrique ». Il ne faut donc surtout pas penser qu’il puisse s’agir d’une forme d’externalisation des politiques migratoires européennes.

    Ces deux programmes concernent neuf pays africains. L’un d’eux est l’#Érythrée. Il n’est pas interdit de penser que les liens tissés ont pu faciliter la coopération entre autorités françaises et érythréennes qui a permis l’expulsion d’un demandeur d’asile érythréen de France en Érythrée le 6 juin dernier.

    https://blogs.mediapart.fr/philippe-wannesson/blog/260719/civipol-au-soudan
    #complexe_militaro-industriel #externalisation #contrôles_frontaliers #migrations #asile #réfugiés #suspension #Erythrée

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

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

    Gianfranco Schiavone :

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

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

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

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

    ping @reka @simplicissimus @karine4 @isskein

    • A la frontière entre franco-italienne :

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

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

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

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

    • Frontière entre #Italie et #Slovénie :

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

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

      (p.15-16)

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

      –—

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

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

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

      https://seenthis.net/messages/892914

      #10_km

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      –Trieste e Gorizia;

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

      –Caltanissetta, Ragusa, Siracusa, Catania, Messina;

      –Trapani, Agrigento;

      –Città metropolitana di Cagliari e Sud Sardegna.

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

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

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

      A tal fine ASGI ricorda che:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      Procedural Breach of Article 3 ECHR

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

      The Chamber’s reasoning under Article 5 ECHR

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      Narrowing down the importance of Amuur v France

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

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

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

      Overall weakening of the protection of Article 5 ECHR

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

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

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

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

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

    • Entre la #Pologne et la #Biélorussie :

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

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

      –-

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

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

      (Ferré 2018 : 16)

      –-

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

      (Ferré 2018 : 19)

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

      #20_km #20_kilomètres

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

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

      https://seenthis.net/messages/950934

    • #France :

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

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

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

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

      –—

      Rapport CNCDH 2018, p.7 :

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

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

      #10_km #20_km

    • Sur le #Bibby_Stockholm barge at #Portland Port :

      “Since the vessel is positioned below the mean low water mark, it did not require planning permission”

      https://seenthis.net/messages/1000870#message1011761

      voir aussi :

      “The circumstances at Portland Port are very different because where the barge is to be positioned is below the mean low water mark. This means that the barge is outside of our planning control and there is no requirement for planning permission from the council.”

      https://news.dorsetcouncil.gov.uk/2023/07/18/leaders-comments-on-the-home-office-barge

      #UK #Angleterre

    • The ‘Border’ under EU Law

      The first argument made by the Catania Tribunal regards the correct initiation of a border procedure. According to the judge, the procedure was not applied „at the border“, as understood by EU law (Art. 43 Directive 2013/32). Indeed, the applicants arrived and made their asylum application in Lampedusa (province of Agrigento) but the detention was ordered several days later in Pozzallo (Ragusa province) when the applicants were no longer „at the border.“ Because the border procedure (involving detention) was utilized at a later stage and in a different place, it was not appropriately initiated.

      In support of the Catania Tribunal’s conclusion, we should recall that Article 43 the Procedures Directive requires a spatial and temporal link between the border crossing and the activation of the border procedure (https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/en/TXT/?uri=celex%3A32013L0032). Although the Directive does not define the terms „border“ or „transit zone“, it clearly distinguishes these areas from other „locations in the proximity of the border or transit zone“ (Article 43(3)), where applicants can be exceptionally accommodated but never detained. The distinction between the border and other places in its vicinity suggests that the procedure provided for in Art. 43 can only be applied in narrow and well-defined areas or in pre-identified transit zones (such as the Hungarian transit zones examined by the Court in FMS and Commission v Hungary).

      Other EU law instruments support this narrow interpretation of the “border” concept. Regulation 1931/2006 defines a „border area“ as a delimited space within 30 km from the Member State’s border. In the Affum case, the Court also called for a narrow interpretation of the spatial concept of „border.“ There, the Court clarified that the Return Directive allows Member States to apply a simplified return procedure at their external borders in order to „ensure that third-country nationals do not enter [their] territory“ (a purpose which resonates with that of Art. 8(3)(c) Reception Directive). However, such a procedure can only be applied if there is a „direct temporal and spatial link with the crossing of the border“, i.e. „at the time of the irregular crossing of the border or near that border after it has been crossed“ (par. 72).

      By contrast, under the Italian accelerated procedure, the border has blurred contours. The new procedure, relying on the “#fiction_of_non-entry” (https://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/etudes/STUD/2020/654201/EPRS_STU(2020)654201_EN.pdf), can be carried out not only „at“ the border and in transit zones or in areas territorially „close“ to the border, but in entire provinces in southern and northern Italy. This far exceeds the narrow definition of border or border area derived from EU law.

      https://seenthis.net/messages/1018938#message1023987
      #fiction_de_non-entrée

      –—

      Ce terme est empruntée d’une vieille loi des Etats-Unis, The Immigration Act 1891 :

      “The Immigration Act 1891 was the first to expressly mention detention, as it made provision for officers to ’inspect all such aliens’ or ’to orcier a temporary removal of such aliens for examination at a de ignated time and place, and then and there detain them until a thorough inspection is made’. The Act alsa created the very important provision that came to be known as the ’entry fiction’. According to this, a removal to shore for examination ’shall not be considered a landing during the pendency of such examination’. This was a criticallegal (and constitutional) innovation because it meant that th ose incarcerated must be treated as if they were not there. This was both an attempt to treat the place of detention as if it were sim ply an extension ofbeing held on board ship, but also something more serious. The concept of being physically detained within the territorial land-mass of the United States but not being considered legally present was radical. It suggested a kind of limbo - with the detention centre constituting perhaps an extra-legal space- putting immigrants beyond the reach of constitutional norms, pending a final executive decision to land or deport them.”

      source : Daniel Wilsher, Immigration detention : law, history, politics, 2012, p. 13