EU Bookmark and Share  
Refugee crisis: latest news from across Europe
27-28.6.17
Follow us: | | Tweet


Keep in touch: Statewatch Observatory: Refugee crisis in the Med and inside the EU: Daily news (updated through the day), commentaries and official documents
EU effort to halt migrants founders in Libya's chaos (Reuters, link):

"When Libya's coastguard received the first of a long-awaited batch of patrol boats from Italy last month, two of the four vessels still had mechanical problems and one broke down on the way to Tripoli.

As Italy's interior minister later flew in to present the boats officially at a naval base in the Libyan capital, coast guards grumbled that the vessels were old and had little deck space for rescued migrants.

"They want us to be Europe's policeman. At the same time, that policeman needs resources," said naval coastguard spokesman Ayoub Qassem. "I challenge anyone to work in these conditions." "

EU: Council of the European Union: Draft reply to question for written answer: E-000945/2017 - Marina Albiol Guzmán (GUE/NGL): 'Provision of training, equipment and support to the Libyan coastguard' (LIMITE doc no: 10302-17, pdf). The MEP asked:

"Taking into account that three different governments and countless armed groups are controlling different parts of Libya, and that the country has at least seven different coastguard services, how did the Council select the coastguards and officials that will receive EU support? What criteria were applied?"

The Council says there is one government it recognises and one Coast Guard.

See also: UN report on Libya: serious abuses against migrants, "concerns" over vetting of coastguard members trained by EU (Statewatch)

UK: Right to Health for All: Why the Home Office should not have access to NHS patients’ data, and why NHS professionals should not be expected to guard our borders (if we are to take human rights seriously) (pdf) by Doctors of the World and Just Fair:

"A Memorandum of Understanding between NHS Digital (formerly Health and Social Care Information Centre), the Home Office and the Department of Health (“MoU”) came into effect in January 2017. The intention of this MoU is to formalise and facilitate the access to NHS patients’ non-clinical information, including their home address, by Home Office Immigration Enforcement authorities.

(...)

In accordance with international law, governments can control their borders and regulate migration, but not at the expense of human rights. Everyone is entitled to healthcare regardless of their immigration status.

This paper shows why and how the transfer of non-clinical personal data between the NHS and immigration authorities can seriously impair the enjoyment of the right to the highest attainable standard of health for thousands of people living in the UK, which constitutes a breach of the international human rights obligations of the UK."

Irish naval ship 'rescues 712 people' off Libyan coast (Al Jazeera, link):

"An Irish naval ship has rescued 712 people, including pregnant women and infants, off the coast of the Libyan capital of Tripoli as part of an international migrant-rescue effort, Ireland's Defence Forces say.

The Le Eithne ship led the rescue of multiple vessels in distress 40km north-west of Tripoli throughout Sunday.

Six migrants, including one baby, were revived from states of unconsciousness.

The ship will transport the people, including 14 pregnant women and four infants below the age of four months, to a designated "port of safety" to be handed over to Italian authorities."

EU: Council of the European Union: Schengen evaluation of GREECE - Action Plan to remedy the deficiencies identified in the 2016 evaluation on the application of the Schengen acquis in the field of the Schengen Information System (LIMITE doc no: 10283-17, pdf):

Checklist of measures adopyed in Greece or planned:

- Including when and when not to record "nationality"

- "mobile devices to enable photographs and links to be displayed in case of a hit;",

- "Strengthen the use of discreet or specific check alerts for prosecuting criminal offences and preventing threats to public security (Article 36 (2) of Council Decision 2007/533/JHA) by the Hellenic Police";

- "The number of checks has been increased. During the period from 01/06/2015 – 01/05/2016 there were conducted 823.746 document checks of EU citizens, while for the period from 01/06/2016-01/05/2017 the checks reached the number of 1.274.436."

See also: At the behest of the EU Greece is to install a "coastal surveillance system covering the whole sea border between Greece and Turkey" (Statewatch)

French woman guilty of smuggling migrant partner but spared jail (BBC News, link):

"A woman put on trial in France for helping her romantic partner cross the border from the "Jungle" migrant camp in Calais to the UK has escaped a jail sentence.

Béatrice Huret, a former supporter of the far-right National Front, was found guilty of aiding an Iranian man named Mokhtar to cross the English channel.

However, the court did not hand down any punishment for Mrs Huret.

Three others on trial for related offences were also convicted."

DENMARK: Government party wants to punish NGOs for saving refugees crossing the Mediterranean (Copenhagen Post, link):

"The government party Venstre wants to strip Danish aid funds from NGOs that take part in rescuing migrants and refugees trying to cross the Mediterranean via boat.

Venstre’s spokesperson on immigration issues, Marcus Knuth, follows the line set by the EU border agency Frontex, which has also criticised NGOs for funding or taking part in rescue missions.

“I agree strongly with the criticism. Aid organisations create a greater incentive to take the dangerous journey across the Mediterranean Sea, and I look upon that gravely,” Knuth told Berlingske newspaper.

“So we should look at where these organisations get their funds from, and if it comes from Denmark, we should strongly reconsider continuing to give them support.”"

UK: European Court of Human Rights finds UK in breach of Article 5 over unlawful detention of Zimbabwean national (gardencourtchambers.co.uk):

"The applicant, S.M.M., is a Zimbabwean national who lives in London. Relying on Article 5 § 1 (f) (right to liberty and security) of the European Convention, he claimed that he had been detained unlawfully between November 2008 and September 2011. He was detained during that time on the basis that he was awaiting deportation from the UK. In September 2011, he was released on bail and one year later he was granted asylum in the country."

See: Judgment (pdf)

GREECE: In Athens (LRB Blog) by Daniel Trilling:

"My friend was tired, and a little bitter about the way volunteers have been treated. I think she’s right to be. When we look back on Europe’s refugee crisis, are we more likely to remember the stories told by the institutions responsible, or the connections forged between the people who found themselves at the centre of it?"

EU ringed by human trafficking offenders (EUobserver, link):

"The EU is encircled by a ring of the world’s worst offenders on human trafficking, a US state department report has said.

In the south, it neighbours the “special case” of Libya, and is ringed by Mauritania, Mali, Sudan, Eritrea, Syria, and Iran - all of them countries that do not meet US “minimum standards” on prevention of trafficking and “are not making significant efforts to do so”, the report, out on Tuesday (27 June), said.

In the east, Russia and Belarus fell into the same category."

See: US Department of State: Trafficking in Persons Report 2017 (link)

Support our work by making a one-off or regular donation to help us continue to monitor the state and civil liberties in Europe.
Search our database for more articles and information or subscribe to our mailing list for regular updates from Statewatch News Online.

We welcome contributions to News Online and comments on this website. E-mail us or send post to Statewatch c/o MayDay Rooms, 88 Fleet Street, London EC4Y 1DH.

Home | News Online | Journal | Observatories | Analyses | Database | SEMDOC | About Statewatch

© Statewatch ISSN 1756-851X. Personal usage as private individuals/"fair dealing" is allowed. We also welcome links to material on our site. Usage by those working for organisations is allowed only if the organisation holds an appropriate licence from the relevant reprographic rights organisation (eg: Copyright Licensing Agency in the UK) with such usage being subject to the terms and conditions of that licence and to local copyright law.