Press Review


07 October 2019
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UNHCR: The East African: African refugees settled but cooped inside Gashora camp – The first group of 66 African refugees and asylum seekers evacuated from Libya under a scheme led by the UN Refugee Agency, UNHCR, and the Rwandan government, arrived in Rwanda two weeks ago. Reporters from the East African visited the transit centre at Gashora in the Bugesera district, two hours from the capital Kigali, and found that asylum seekers ability to move freely is still restricted.
AGENDA: Al Jazeera: EU calls on Turkey to speed up readmission of irregular migrants – At a meeting in Athens, Greece, Germany and the European Commission have called on Turkey to fully implement the EU Turkey Statement, stipulating that Turkey must readmit third-country nationals who passed through Turkey and are not considered eligible for asylum in the EU. According to human rights advocates the deal is in breach of international human rights and European law. At the occasion, German interior minister Seehofer assured support to Greece where arrivals have slightly increased in recent weeks.

See also: BR 24: EU will Zahl der illegalen Einreisen senken - betont aber auch Plicht zur Lebensrettung [EU wants to decrease number of illegal immigrants – underlines duty to rescue at sea].

SEARCH & RESCUE: Ansa: Migrant boat overturns off Lampedusa, dozens missing – Dozens of people are reported missing and feared dead after a boat in distress with around 50 people capsized off Lampedusa. The Italian Coast Guard and police rescued 22 people and recovered the bodies of two women. The boat allegedly overturned in preparation of a transfer of its passengers to a patrol boat. 

SEARCH & RESCUE: El Mundo: El Open Arms rescata en Malta a 40 migrantes, entre los que hay un bebé y un niño – The rescue vessel Open Arms, operated by the NGO Proactive Open Arms, rescued a group of 40 people in distress in Maltese waters on Sunday. The vessel is currently located a few miles from the Italian island of Lampedusa. The ship embarked upon mission number 67 last week after it had been stuck in a Sicilian port for a month due to “technical and operational irregularities”.

SEARCH & RESCUE: Alarm Phone: Central Mediterranean Regional Analysis – The NGO Alarm Phone, which runs a hotline for migrants in distress in the Mediterranean, published its regional analysis of developments in the central Mediterranean over the past three months. With 39 distress cases, it is the first time that the Alarm Phone has been alerted to so many boats crossing this area of the Mediterranean Sea in such short period of time. 14 of these boats were intercepted and returned to Libya. 17 boats were rescued and brought to a European harbour. The fate of six boats remains unknown. Two boats capsized, and about 140 people lost their lives.

BORDER MANAGEMENT: The Guardian: Human trafficker was at meeting in Italy to discuss Libya migration – According to investigations by Italian press, a notorious human trafficker attended a meeting in Sicily with Italian intelligence officials discussing cooperation on migration control with Libya. A 2017 UN security report described the man as a human trafficker responsible for shootings at sea and suspected of drowning dozens of people. The Italian government has been cooperating closely with Libyan authorities by providing material support and training to the so-called Libyan coastguard to enable them to prevent boats of refugees from reaching Europe and bring them back to Libya. The cooperation has been confirmed in recent meetings on EU level despite evidence of human rights violations by the Libyan coastguard.
Bosnia & Herzegovina: AYS: People arriving in Tuzla are abandoned by authorities – Are You Syrious reports on the situation in Tuzla, at the border between Serbia and Bosnia Herzegovina where recently a 6-year-old girl arrived in town by herself after Police had stopped her parents at the border and pushed them back to Serbia.

GREECE: Ekathimerini: 570 migrants transferred out of Moria camp – Greek authorities have transferred around 570 people from the overcrowded refugee camp Moria on the island of Lesvos on Sunday. According to Greek authorities, the group comprised mainly “vulnerable” people, i.e. families, single women with children and unaccompanied minors. The transfer is part of the plan to reduce overcrowding at the camp, where about 13,000 people live in a space designed for 3,000.

ITALY: AIDA:  ITALY: DECREE LISTS 13 COUNTRIES AS “SAFE COUNTRIES OF ORIGIN” – The Italian government signed a decree establishing a list of countries designated as “safe countries of origin”. The list includes Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, Ukraine, Ghana, Senegal and Cape Verde. Individuals originating from these countries may be subject to an accelerated asylum procedure. The list of “safe countries of origin” has been presented as part of a “return decree”.

See also: AYS: Italy’s new plan to accelerate expulsions and forced returns.

FRANCE: Franceinfo: Rennes : 33 Géorgiens expulsés de Bretagne par un vol spécial – Migrants Support Organisations in Rennes, France, are mobilising against the planned deportation of 33 people of Georgian nationality by French authorities. Between October 3-4 several families in the region have been arrested and a plane is waiting to return them to Tbilisi. Their asylum applications have allegedly been rejected.

TANZANIA: The Guardian: Tanzania warns return of hundreds of Burundian refugees is just the start – According to UNHCR, about 590 Burundian refugees have been voluntarily repatriated from Tanzania to a transit centre for returning refugees in Burundi. Although UNHCR says that conditions in Burundi are not currently conducive to promote returns, the Tanzanian government is putting increasing pressure on those left in Tanzania to return.
The Guardian: Unwilling and fearful refugees should not be forced to return home – Researcher and practitioner Jeff Crips comments on the increasingly common practice for refugees to be involuntarily returned to insecure countries of origin, in direct violation of laws and principles adopted by the international community over the past 70 years. He outlines a number of steps that could be taken to halt the recent deterioration in standards.

EURONEWS: UNHCR in Libya Part 1: From standing #WithRefugees to standing #WithStates? - Euronews undertook an investigation into the UNHCR's operation in Libya, where tens of thousands of people are stuck in detention camps, many of which hope to make their way to Europe. They trace controversial strategies of EU and UNHCR in relation to the situation in Libya and documents the neglect of those waiting to be processed.
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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