Press Review


16 July 2019
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PACIFIC: The Guardian: Nauru refugees still waiting for medical care months after 'urgent' warnings about threat to life – The Guardian reports that the implementation of medical transfers from Australia’s off shore immigrant detention centres to the mainland under the new medevac bill can take several months. Interviewees say the delays are further deteriorating their mental and physical health, leading many to consider and attempt suicides.
POLICY: ECRE: Joint Statement: European Union/Libya: Act Now to Save Lives – After the attack on Tajoura detention centre Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and the European Council on Refugees and Exiles call on EU foreign ministers gathering in Brussels to issue a clear call to Libyan authorities to close their migrant detention centers. The EU ministers should make a commitment on behalf of EU states to facilitate the evacuation of detainees to safe places, including outside of Libya and to EU member states, the NGOs say.

SEARCH & RESCUE: MEMO: Morocco navy rescues 161 migrants in Mediterranean – MEMO reports that the Moroccan navy rescued 161 migrants trying to cross to Spain in rubber boats.  According to a military source, the Moroccan Navy rescued 271 migrants over the weekend, some of whom were in poor health, and were brought to the Moroccan Mediterranean ports.

EU BORDERS: Harekact: Violent and illegal pullback by Turkish Coast Guard in the Aegean Sea – The aid organisations Refugee Rescue & Lighthouse Relief, who conduct search and rescue operations in Lesvos, have documented a violent pullback by the Turkish Coast Guard of a dinghy that had entered Greek territorial waters in the North of Lesvos on 2nd July. The NGO Alarm Phone received reports of further violent pullbacks and calls for immediate investigation of the cases.

See also: Refugee Rescue: Joint statement: suspected illegal pullback by the Turkish Coast Guard.
AUSTRIA: ECRE:  REFORMING LEGAL ASSISTANCE IN AUSTRIA: AN END TO INDEPENDENT PROVISION? – ECRE’s legal note on a reform of the Austrian law adopted in June 2019 provides a concise analysis of the most problematic aspects of the provision of free legal assistance by a new Federal Agency. It raises concerns over the risk of arbitrary access to free legal assistance at first instance and highlights the importance of helping asylum seekers to fully understand their rights and obligations at the earliest stage of the procedure.

CROATIA: HRW: Human Rights Watch letter to Croatia's President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic – After the Croatian President in an interview with Swiss television acknowledged unlawful pushbacks of migrants by Croatian border officials to Bosnia Herzegovina, an open letter of Human Rights Watch asks her to order an investigation and a halt to such actions. The summary return of migrants by an EU member state to a non-EU member state without first considering protection needs and with the use of force violates multiple EU laws and the UN Refugee Convention, the NGOs says.

FRANCE: Euronews: Undocumented migrants occupy Paris Pantheon for right to remain – Hundreds of protesters occupied the Pantheon monument in Paris on Friday to denounce the conditions undocumented immigrants face in France. The movement under the name “Gilets Noirs” asked for regularization for all. Videos document police brutality the protesters faced upon leaving the building. They report at least six arrests and several people injured.

SWEDEN: AYS: Life without borders initiates a sit-in against deportations from Sweden to
Afghanistan –
Are You Serious reports that Afghan families have been protesting against deportations at Norra bantorget in Stockholm, Sweden, since the 9th of July. Most of the families on site received the final rejection of their asylum claim and are facing deportation and some are still in the process of appeal. Some of the protesters have reportedly never been to Afghanistan but lived in Iran before arriving in Sweden in 2015, some have children born in Sweden and some faced serious persecution back in Afghanistan.

UK: The Guardian:  Home Office lied to EU states so it could deport slavery victims, say whistleblowers – The Guardian spoke to whistleblowers who allege that, while operating as the third country unit, the now renamed Dublin cessation unit (DCU) regularly lied to other EU member states and manipulated the Dublin system by sending them “extra time” letters, falsely claiming asylum applicants had launched appeals. These letters remove the deadline – usually six months – after which someone seeking asylum can no longer be removed from the UK and sent to the EU country determined to be responsible for assessing their claim.

UNITED STATES: NPR Trump Administration Implementing '3rd Country' Rule On Migrants Seeking Asylum – The U.S. government is reportedly implementing a new asylum rule that requires all asylum seekers who pass through a third country before they reach the U.S. to apply for refugee status in that country rather than at the U.S. border. The interim final rule will take effect immediately after it is published in the Federal Register on Tuesday, according to the departments of Justice and Homeland Security and applies specifically to the I.S.-Mexico border.
See also: UNHCR: UNHCR deeply concerned about new U.S. asylum restrictions.
ECRE: Return Policy: Desperately Seeking Evidence And Balance – In its latest policy note ECRE assesses the latest developments in EU policy and law on returns. It looks at what makes returns so difficult and argues that changing a complicated policy like return should not be rushed. Reform should be based on review and impact assessment including on the fundamental rights of the individual. Policy makers must accept the complexity of the situation for the individuals concerned and ensure that those with no prospect of return in the foreseeable future can reside in dignity in the EU, ECRE demands.

The Guardian: Australia's Orwellian anti-refugee system hints at what's to come for climate refugees – Given Australia’s undignified treatment of refugees with legitimate legal claims under international law, the Guardian’s Jeff Sparrow foreshadows the desperate situation for climate change refugees, who are not covered by the scope of the Geneva Convention.  By 2050, the World Bank expects the displacement of up to 143 million people from sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia and Latin America, i.e. places that benefited least from the resource-heavy acceleration of consumer capitalism in the post-war era, which spurred climate change.

Eurasia Review: West’s Violent Interventions Behind Global Refugee Crisis – OpEd – As the image of the bodies of Salvadoran Oscar Alberto Martinez Ramirez and his daughter Valeria sparked widespread outrage, Ramzy Baroud sheds light on the historical role of US interventions in El Salvador and how they shape the present situation in the Latin American country.

The Nation: What Happened When the EU Moved Its Fight to Stop Migration to Niger – The Nation traces how EU intervention in Niger aimed at preventing migration from Africa to Europe has undermined the economic structure of the city of Agadez. EU-backed law “on the illegal trafficking of migrants,” made a once-respectable business illegal overnight, and led to many young people being imprisoned.

HuffPost: When I Was An Asylum Seeker I Wasn't Allowed To Work. Here's Why That Must Change – Amina Kadogo, a business owner and refugee from DR Congo, reflects upon the time she spent in the UK as an asylum seeker, where she was not allowed to work. She calls for the Home Office to grant all asylum seekers the right to work.

The New Humanitarian: Dear UN secretary-general, don’t forget the internally displaced – Last year, UN member states endorsed two landmark “compacts” designed to improve the global response to refugees and migration. Two representatives from Refugees International argue that both accords ommitted internally displaced persons, or IDPs, though a staggering 41.3 million people are displaced within their own countries.
The Bullet: Greece: 39 Months at City Plaza for Refugees Ends – After over three years the keys of squatted City Plaza Hotel in Athens, Greece, were handed back to the former employees last week. This post reflects on the achievements and challenges of the project, which aimed to create, on the one hand, a space of safety and dignity in which to house refugees in the centre of the city and, on the other, to create a centre of struggle against racism, borders, and social exclusion; for the freedom of movement and for the right to stay.
With kind regards,
Hannah Berwian

Hannah Berwian
Communications Assistant
p: +32 2 234 38 22
a: Rue Royale 146, Brussels

Please note that the information of the press review is taken from publicly available information provided by media companies, organisations and blogs. All the sources are clearly ascribed and ECRE is not claiming any authorship over the content. The Press Review does not necessarily reflect the views of ECRE. This document is just a relay to the original articles and makes it easier to find stories concerning asylum issues. If you are the publisher of some of the information and would like it removed from this document, or if you would like to see a particular story published in the Press Review, please email: 

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