Press Review


30 September 2019
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LIBYA: UNHCR: First group of vulnerable refugees evacuated from Libya to Rwanda – UNHCR reports that a group of 66 vulnerable refugees was evacuated from Libya to Rwanda on Friday last week, on a UNHCR-chartered flight. They are the first to be transferred under the Emergency Transit Mechanism, recently agreed and set up by the Government of Rwanda, UNHCR, and the African Union. The entire group has reportedly been granted asylum-seeker status, pending an assessment of their refugee claim by UNHCR. Anyone found not to be in need of international protection will be either assisted to return home or given the possibility of regularising their status in Rwanda, UNHCR says.

WESTERN/CENTRAL AFRICA: UNHCR: Brutal violence in northern Nigeria forces thousands into Niger – According to the UN Refugee Agency, UNHCR, more than 40,000 people have now been forced to cross from northwest Nigeria into Niger as a result of an upsurge in violent attacks on civilians over the last ten months. The escalating violence in the Nigerian states of Sokoto, Zamfara and Katsina – violence by groups other than Boko Haram – has led to a new humanitarian emergency in Niger’s border regions.
BORDER MANAGEMENT: EUObserver: 'Inhumane' Frontex forced returns going unreported – The EUObserver reports on the role of the European Border and Coast Guard (EBCG) Frontex in coordinating and funding forced return operations of those whose applications for international protection had been rejected. According to a representative of the Council of Europe (CoE), the agency lacks adequate monitoring capacity for return operations which often involve the use of violence by the responsible authorities. A CoE report had alerted to potential human rights violations during a deportation from Germany last year, which was not reflected in the Frontex report.

Search & RESCUE: Al Jazeera: At least seven killed as migrant boat capsizes off Greece – According to the Greek coastguard, seven people, including a baby and a toddler died when a boat sank in the eastern Aegean Sea. The passengers were trying to reach Greece from Turkey when the boat capsized on Friday near the small Greek island of Oinousses, about eight kilometers from the Turkish coast. Twelve people were rescued. The incident is among the deadliest of its kind in Greek waters.

See also: FR: Türkische Regimekritiker ertrinken auf der Flucht vor Erdogan.

Search & RESCUE: Malta Today: Mediterranean ports expected to rotate on migrant disembarkation, minister reveals – According to the Maltese Home Affairs Minister, a port rotation mechanism is part of an agreement on disembarkation of people rescued in the Mediterranean discussed by France, Germany, Italy and Finland last week. Various ports in the Mediterranean will be the designated disembarkation spots on a rotation basis depending on the countries that participate in an agreement.

Search & RESCUE: ASHARQ AL-AWSAT: Dozens Killed as Boats Capsize off Morocco, Libya – Six men and one woman died after their rubber boat capsized off Moroccan coast. The bodies were discovered off Ain Harouda, northeast of Casablanca. Three other people were found unconscious and taken to a hospital. Search operations continue and an investigation has been opened to determine the cause of the accident.

Search & RESCUE: ASHARQ AL-AWSAT: UN: Libya's Coast Guard Rescued 70 Europe-Bound Migrants – The UN refugee agency, UNHCR, said on Sunday that Libya's “coast guard” rescued about 70 Europe-bound migrants after several days in distress in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of the Misrata, Libya. The people were disembarked back in Libya, UNHCR said stressing that they do not consider Libya as safe for disembarkation. The NGO Alarm Phone had alerted authorities to the boat in distress.

See also: Yahoo News: Scores of migrants flee after being rescued off Libyan coast: officials; MenaFN: More than 200 sea migrants arrive in Italy, 71 returned to Libya.
GERMANY: FR: „Krankmachende Lebensbedingungen“ - Ärzte der Welt zieht sich aus Ankerzentrum zurück [Health-threatening Living Conditions – Doctors of the World (DOW) retreat from Anker centres] – The German branch of the NGO Doctors of the World announced that from October on they will no longer be present in the Anker centre in Manching/Ingoldstadt, in Bavaria. According to the organisation the poor living conditions in the reception facility for asylum seekers do not allow for successful medical treatment and DOW cannot carry the responsibility for the state of mentally traumatized patients.

GREECE: BBC: Greece: Deadly fire triggers protests at Moria refugee camp – A woman and a child reportedly died in a fire at the overcrowded Moria camp on the Greek island of Lesbos. The death toll may still increase as eye witnesses spoke of further victims. Police fired teargas against protesting migrants who said firefighters were too slow to respond to the blaze. Moria camp hosts about 13,000 people but has facilities for only 3,000. With increasing arrivals on Greek islands conditions have further worsened though Greek authorities are carrying out transfers to the mainland.
UK: Independent: Home Office faces court challenge over allowing asylum seekers to be interrogated by countries from which they are trying to flee – The UK High Court has granted permission for challenging in court the practice of the UK Home Office to invite foreign government representatives to interview political asylum seekers. The practice revealed by the Independent in December 2018 was believed to have been part of an agreement with the Government of Zimbabwe that Britain would “repatriate” at least 2,500 failed asylum seekers to Zimbabwe providing that officials from the country could interrogate them beforehand.

AUSTRALIA: The Guardian: Labor demands government release 'secret report' on refugee resettlement – The Australian Labour party demanded the publication of a report encouraging the government of Scott Morrison to create a “more positive narrative” on refugees, and warned against a shift towards selecting refugees on a work-ready basis rather than on humanitarian need. The report was completed in February, but the immigration minister, David Coleman, is reportedly refusing to release it until the end of the year.
BorderCriminologiesBlog: The Illocutionary Force of Dignity in Practice – This post is the final installment of Border Criminologies’ themed week on Dignity and immigration. Researcher Rupaleem Bhuyan provides a novice perspective of what happens when a feminist, interpretive migration scholar ‘follows dignity around’. She suggests to explore dignity as a practice, without presuming that those assigning dignity are inherently worthy.

Euractiv: A short guide to the Commissioner hearings – Euractiv offers a brief guide to the hearings of the proposed candidate for Ursula von der Leyen’s Commission in the European Parliament. The Parliament will hold 26 hearings over six days each involving one or more committees according to the portfolio. Within 24h, the committees will need to come up with an evaluation letter stating whether they consider the candidate sufficiently qualified for the job. If a committee rejects a candidate president-elect Von der Leyen has the chance to propose another candidate to secure the Parliament’s backing of the college of commissioners as a whole.

DW: Former East German refugees mark anniversary of 1989 escape to West – Deutsche Welle reports on former East German refugees marking their successful 1989 escape to West Germany at the German Embassy in Prague. The event in 1989 eventually led to the fall of the Berlin Wall and German reunification.
Evening Standard: Teranga documentary: How three women shone a spotlight on Italy’s hidden migrants – A new documentary is shining a spotlight on Italy's hidden migrants. Set in a Naples nightclub called Teranga, the film seeks to show asylum seekers not as victims or “invaders”, but as multi-faceted individuals who laugh, cry and dream of a better future.
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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