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Refugee crisis: latest news from across Europe
29.10.15


"The Europe We Want!" Refugee crisis: Here’s a ‘to do list’ for the refugee crisis from Strasbourg’s human rights watchdogs (europesworld.org, link): by Nils Muižnieks, Council of Europe’s Commissioner for Human Rights: "Migration is the most controversial issue in Europe of this decade. It is creating new divisions between European countries and is feeding the widespread euroscepticism that far-right political movements have so promptly exploited...."

ECRE/AIDA: The new asylum procedure at the border and restrictions to accessing protection in Hungary (pdf):

"increasing pressure has triggered a series of changes in the Hungarian asylum system which raises multiple legal and policy concerns. At the same time, Hungary appears to be a transit country for a large number, if not most, of refugees and asylum seekers arriving there, who seek to continue their journey towards other European countries....

the Asylum Information Database (AIDA), the European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE) has sought to gain an in-depth understanding of the new border procedure applied at the Hungarian border and the conditions facing asylum seekers in the new transit zones. This enquiry is followed by an assessment of the treatment afforded to persons who enter the country irregularly, as well as by a discussion on the broader effects of the recent restrictions imposed by Hungary for refugees seeking protection in Europe "

Sweden to keep shelters for asylum seekers secret (euractiv, link): "The Swedish Migration Agency has decided to keep the locations of refugee housing facilities secret, following 21 being torched since March.

Yesterday, the municipality of Danderyd, a town located north of Stockholm, announced that a new residence for 70 asylum seekers will be opened in November, in facilities that previously belonged to a public school. But around 2AM this morning (28 October), the building was set alight. On Tuesday (27 October), a building that was meant to be used for refugee accommodations in Färingtofta, in southern Sweden, was likewise destroyed in an arson attack.

In order to prevent more fires, the Migration Agency has decided to make it harder for the public to locate the addresses of planned homes for asylum seekers. This means that 66,000 residences will be kept a secret. "The level of security has deteriorated and it's worrying with all these fires. We will keep the residences a secret so that they won't become common knowledge," said Willis Åberg, operations manager at the Migration Agency, according to Radio Sweden" [emphasis in original].

EU naval anti-smuggler operation “not working”, needs intervention in Libya: French admiral (Libya Herald, link):

"The EU naval operation to clamp down on illegal migrant crossings from Libya is not working, according to its deputy commander, Rear Admiral Hervé Bléjean. The only way to stop the flow, he said in Rome yesterday, was by going to Libyan territory, both the country’s inshore waters and on land and hitting the smuggler networks.

“The operation will only be effective when we can work close to the networks, go after the big fish not the little ones who go out to sea,” he said.

In the three week since it started, the operation, codenamed Sophia and designed to arrest the smugglers and seize their boats them had not done so at all so far, the French rear admiral admitted."

Greece: Lesvos: Death Toll Still Rising!! 29/10/2015 (Youtube, link) by Eric Kempson, heart-rending report

News (29.10.15)

Dutch king calls for calm on migration - Rise in threats to politicians leads to royal intervention. (politico, link): "The Dutch king on Wednesday called for sensible debate on migration as the Netherlands faced a surge in violence and intimidation.... In recent days, the country has seen rising anti-migrant sentiment and political shouting matches. The parliamentary chairman of the liberal People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy was sent a bullet in the mail, and a far-left politician’s car was set on fire on Tuesday night."

Migrants' hardship continues (DW, link): "As winter approaches, refugee camps in Croatia and Slovenia are still struggling to provide shelter and medical supplies for all. Helpers are now treating women and children first. But quick solutions are needed to avoid a humanitarian disaster "

Lesbos braces for winter as refugees keep coming (DW, link): "On Lesbos, the numbers of refugees coming continue to rise, despite the weather. Omaira Gill reports from the Greek island where even the cemetery is overwhelmed by new arrivals from across the sea."

More than 1,000 migrants rescued off coast of Libya: Italian coast guard (DW, link): "Ships from several different EU countries have participated in a rescue mission in the Mediterranean Sea. Some of the vessels were part of the bloc's new anti-smuggling operation."

EU Commission president and Austrian Chancellor unite against fences in Europe (DW, link): "European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann have warned that fences are not welcome in the EU. Shortly before, Vienna suggested building a barrier on its Slovenian border."

Seven children die after migrant boats sink off Greece (.ekathimerini.com, link): "Amnesty International's Deputy Europe Director Gauri van Gulik said it was “obscene that European leaders allowed such a chain of tragedies on its shores”.

As Migrants Flow In, More Europeans Question Open Borders (npr, link)

Bavarian allies heap pressure on Merkel over refugees (euractiv, link): "German Chancellor Angela Merkel came under intense pressure for her handling of the refugee crisis on Wednesday (28 October), with her Bavarian allies warning of a coalition crisis unless she limits a record influx of migrants. The Christian Social Union (CSU), sister party to Merkel's Christian Democratic Union (CDU), have been outspoken in their criticism of her "open doors" policy towards asylum seekers, in part because their home state of Bavaria is the entry point for virtually all of the migrants arriving in Germany."

Austria says won't close border, still plans small fence (euobserver, lkink): "Austria tried on Wednesday (28 October) to alleviate concerns over its plan to erect a fence on its border with Slovenia, the first such plan between two Schengen countries. In a phone call in the afternoon, Austrian chancellor Werner Fayman and European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker agreed that "fences have no place in Europe," the Commission said. "There is no fence with Hungary and no fence with Slovenia," Fayman said later on Austria's ORF TV channel."

Germany cracks down on Afghan migrants (politico, link): "Merkel’s government claims deportations will rise “significantly.”... While there are calls for more Afghans to be deported — Germany, after all, has been part of the coalition trying to make their homeland safe — critics of the policy say that Afghanistan is not secure enough for people to be sent back. Based on the number of refugees “both this month, as well as over the course of 2015, Afghanistan ranks number two in the list of countries of origin of refugees – that’s unacceptable,” German Interior Minister Thomas De Maizière told journalists Wednesday." and "Austrian interior minister, Johanna Mikl-Leitner, has called for the same “Fortress Europe” Orbán wants. “The current situation in Slovenia, Austria or Germany proves that we need to build on a Fortress Europe as soon as possible. We need a controlled access to Europe…” (politico)

Refugee crisis: The map that shows how Europe is becoming a fortress to keep people out (The Independent, link)

Withheld EU report raps Turkey on rights, media, justice (Reuters, link)

Unravelling the Drivers behind EU Border Militarization (Border Criminologies, link)

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