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Refugee crisis: latest news from across Europe
8.6.16
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Keep in touch: Statewatch Observatory: Refugee crisis in the Med and inside the EU: Daily news (updated through the day), commentaries and official documents
Greece:
Rulings back 35 migrants appealing deportation (ekathimerini.com, link)

"Fears are rising about the possible breakdown of a deal between the European Union and Turkey for the return of migrants after legal committees in Greece upheld dozens of appeals by refugees against their deportation.

By late Monday, Greek appeals committees had ruled in favor of 35 refugees, ruling that Turkey is “an unsafe country.” Only two rulings overturned appeals by refugees against their deportation....

Hundreds of applications are pending and there are fears that they too will result in rulings in favor of refugees, undercutting a deal signed between Ankara and Brussels in March to return migrants to Turkey.

Meanwhile there are also concerns about a pickup in arrivals from neighboring Turkey."

Greece: Samos Hotspot: Roaring With Rage But Who is Listening? (samoschronicles. link):

"The decision to place all the arrivals in a closed detention centre which followed on from the EU/Turkey pact led some activists and NGOs to withdraw from direct work in the Samos hotspot (aka the Camp). Given the dubious legality of the pact and the intention to return the majority of the arrivals back to Turkey which has been deemed a safe place for refugees, it was considered that any interventions with refugees in the Camp would signify compliance with this latest inappropriate and inhumane response to the refugees. As one MSF worker observed at the time, “how can I help and welcome the arrivals on the beach when I know that they are going to be locked in the camp and then possibly deported to Turkey? I can’t do that”....

the numbers now coming to the frontier islands such as Samos, Lesvos and Chios are slowly increasing. 55 refugees arrived on 7th June and a further 60 three days earlier."

Are You Syrious (link)

The EU is trying to halt migration by bribing the world into compliance.

"In an effort to halt the unstoppable, EU is trying to broker deals based on the failed EU/Turkey deal with Lebanon, Tunisia, Nigeria, Senegal, Mali, Niger, Ethiopia, and Libya , and as Guardian reports they are also mulling over whether or not to make the same deal with Sudan, the president of which is wanted for war crimes. To top it all off, the EU is looking for a partner in Eritrea, a country whose government is accused of crimes against humanity by the UN. Commissioner Avramopoulos says that the EU plans to secure up to €62bn of funding to convince these states to hold back the migration. EC has reportedly threatened ‘uncooperative partners’ in the migration crisis with ‘positive and negative incentives’ if they do not work sufficiently with the EU in combating the flow of migrants trying to reach Europe. Countries that do not let migrants cross their country and/or accept to take migrants back will be rewarded."

Refugees arriving in Crete are reportedly being stripped of their right to seek asylum.

According to reports which we have received, there are around 113 refugees from Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, Pakistan, and Bangladesh (including families and children) who wanted to go to Italy from Turkey but have been caught in a Greece Island (Crete) from last several days.According to the information received from the island, they are “being kept in bad condition where there is no medical facilities and no good food...".

No new relocations for unaccompanied minors in almost two months.

"As for the relocation of the most vulnerable—News That Moves reports that not one unaccompanied minor has been relocated since April 12. There are unaccompanied minors from Syria, Iraq, Eritrea, Burundi, Central African Republic, Costa Rica, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Bahrain, Maldives, and British overseas countries and territories. Note that the so-called eligible nationalities for relocation are changing every three months, but currently these are the ones that are. The EU Commission stated that the process of relocation of unaccompanied minors has to be more efficient, but as it seems no real solution is in sight. According to UNHCR and Amnesty International observations, due to the time consuming procedures for the appointment of legal guardians in Greece and Italy, and due to the lack of effective information about their rights, unaccompanied children are often not effectively given priority for relocation."

EU migration policy suggests Europe prefers strongmen over reality (Guardian, link):

"Cuddly language cannot hide preferred EU method of dealing with migration: gratify those who cause it in the first place...

There is nothing especially seismic about the latest version of the EU’s migration policy, which was unveiled on Tuesday afternoon. The central premise is the same one that Europe has long employed: asking the developing world to deal with migration, so it doesn’t have to.

In a carrot-and-stick approach, Europe is offering aid, trade and expertise to countries bearing the brunt of migration flows in the Middle East and north Africa. Those that fail to comply will not get the aid or the trade. “There are consequences,” one EU memo ominously reads, “for those that refuse.”

Those taking the carrot will be expected to make life a bit better for the millions of migrants within their borders. Above all, they are tasked with readmitting the few who manage to escape – and to stopping the rest from leaving in the first place. It is the EU-Turkey deal, but repeated across the southern Mediterranean and the Sahara."

Greece: USEFUL LINK: Lawyers Available In European Countries (News That Moves, link): "The European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE) has published a list of lawyers and experts from several countries in Europe who work on asylum and immigration law. The list contains contact phone numbers for lawyers and organisations offering legal aid to refugees."

EU Court of Justice: The Return Directive prevents a national of a non-EU country who has not yet been subject to the return procedure being imprisoned solely because he or she has entered the territory of a Member State illegally across an internal border of the Schengen area (Press release. pdf):

"That is also the case where that national, who is merely in transit on the territory of the Member State concerned, is intercepted when leaving the Schengen area and is the subject of a procedure for readmission into the Member State from which he or she has come"

See: Judgment: Full-text (pdf)

And: Imprisoning woman trying to illegally enter UK was wrong, EU rules (Guardian, link):

"European court of justice says France acted wrongly after Ghanian woman was found with false passport at Channel tunnel...

France was wrong to imprison a Ghanian woman who was arrested at the Channel tunnel during an attempt to enter Britain illegally using a false passport, the EU’s most senior court has ruled.

The European court of justice said on Tuesday that the EU directive on returning irregular migrants prevents any member state imposing a prison sentence on a non-EU migrant who is in the country illegally, and whom they have not attempted to return."

Germany’s refugee policy: ‘Borders on cynicism’ (euractiv, link):

"Arms exports to Saudi Arabia, the return of refugees to Afghanistan and the deal with Turkey: Germany’s peace institutes have come out firing against many of Germany’s more controversial policies....

The five leading peace institutes in Germany have made wide-ranging criticisms of Berlin’s foreign and security policies.

In a new report, the organisations criticised Germany’s cooperation with Saudi Arabia and Qatar in particular, because of their links to the funding of terrorism and the propagation of fundamentalism...

“The fact that Germany arms countries like Saudi Arabia is scandalous,” said Margret Johannsen from Hamburg University’s Institute for Peace Research and Security Policy."

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