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Refugee crisis: latest news from across Europe
29-30.6.17
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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
ICC in The Hague to investigate Libyan Coastguard on the initiative of Sea-Watch (link):

"The International Criminal Court in The Hague is investigating the so-called Libyan Coastguard. This investigation is the result of the numerous attacks on civil rescue organisations as well as refugees and migrants, as highlighted by Sea-Watch. In several cases, the so-called Libyan Coastguard has put rescuers, migrants and refugees in mortal danger in order to bring the latter back to Libya at gunpoint – a clear violation of the internationally-accepted principle of non-refoulement.

For Sea-Watch, the specific reason for this legal investigation stems from an incident on 10th May in which a patrol boat of the Libyan Coastguard dangerously cut across the bow of the Sea-Watch 2 in order to subsequently reach a wooden boat with c. 500 people on board."

Are You Syrious (29.6.17, link)

EU funds for refugee support in Turkey are used to detain and deport them: Feature

"The EU-Turkey agreement was always supposed to be a plan, according to the ones that design it, to stop to route though Greece and support the millions of refugees stuck in Turkey. Nevertheless the EU has not disbursed all funds under the EU-Turkey deal to NGOs but also to the Turkish government, FAZ reported on Monday....

So the EU funds do not entirely go straight to support the refugees but also to detain and deport them. In its report from 13.06.17 the Commission also stated: “Due to the lower than expected number of returnees, the Special Measure on returns is also being modified to improve the Turkish Directorate-General for Migration Management’s capacity to manage, receive and host migrants and returnees, especially as concerns human resources and infrastructure.....

According to the information from the Turkish authorities only 56 of the around 1000 non-Syrian refugees, who were transferred back from Greece to Turkey, applied for asylum in Turkey. Only two were granted international protection and 38 applications are pending, the rest was denied or rejected. But overall more than 700 people were returned to their countries of origin."

Afghanistan

"The afghan migration ministers is asking both Sweden and EU to stop the deportations instantly, was today reported by the Swedish paper SVD. A Swedish lawyer quoted is reading this info as if the Afghan government is looking for a way out from the previous agreement regarding returning citizens...."

Italy

"There has been a protest today at Cara di Mineo camp. 300 people blocked the main road Catania-Gela close to the entrance of the Cara to protest against local new rules. Plus, older problems like delays in receiving permits to stay and the diaria (daily allowance) converted into cigarettes.

Authorities announced the rule which prohibits migrants from cooking different food from the one provided by the Cara and from selling clothes and medicines inside the structure."

Migrant arrivals up in Aegean, as Juncker pledges support (ekathimerini.com, link):

"As official figures point to a significant increase in undocumented migrants seeking to enter the European Union, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker on Friday described Greece and Italy as “heroic” in their efforts to tackle the problem and pledged additional European support.

In the past week alone, a total of 813 migrants arrived on the Greek islands from neighboring Turkey, according to government figures made public on Friday.

Local reports suggest that conditions at migrant reception centers on Chios and Lesvos are becoming increasingly cramped and unpleasant, as arrivals have spiked due to the good weather and only a handful of migrants are being sent back to Turkey."

UK: Upper Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber): No more returns to Libya

"The violence in Libya has reached such a high level that substantial grounds are shown for believing that a returning civilian would, solely on account of his presence on the territory of that country or region, face a real risk of being subject to a threat to his life or person."

See: Decision: full-text (pdf)

EU: President Tusk wants to turn the international sanctions machinery against migrant smugglers: See Council Press release (pdf):

"When it comes to migration just one remark: there is already a very ambitious and responsible language proposed by Chancellor Merkel. My suggestion is that maybe we could also add a very concrete reference to the fight against smugglers. We could appeal to the other G20 members to consider for example UN sanctions against the smugglers.

In order to put smugglers on the UN list we need the UN Security Council members to agree. The G20 format seems to be a good forum to bring it to the table."

Italy considers closing its ports to boats carrying migrants (Guardian, link):

"Government reportedly seeking EU approval of drastic changes to asylum procedures after surge in refugee arrivals....The Italian government is considering blocking boats carrying migrants from landing at its ports after nearly 11,000 refugees arrived on its shores in five days.

It has been reported that the government has given its ambassador to the EU, Maurizio Massari, a mandate to raise the issue formally with the European commission to seek permission for a drastic revision of EU asylum procedures. One idea being discussed is denying docking privileges to boats not carrying Italian flags that seek to land in Italian ports, mainly in Sicily or Calabria."

And see: Italy takes formal EU migrant step, ports cd be blocked (ANSA, link):

" Italy is taking a formal step with the European Commission in relation to the large numbers of asylum seekers landing on its shores, ANSA sources said. Over 10,000 asylum seekers arrived in Italy from Saturday to Tuesday and some 12,000 have arrived in the last 48 hours. The government gave its ambassador to the EU, Maurizio Massari, a mandate to formally raise the issue with European Migration and Home Affairs Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos, the sources said."

Number of refugees in east Croatian border town reaches nearly 200 (Dalje, link):

"The number of refugees arriving in the eastern Croatian town of Tovarnik on the Croatia-Serbia border has been rising since early Wednesday morning, and just before the noon, some 180 migrants were being on the premises of the local police station for registration.

The total closure of the Hungarian border (with Serbia) on Tuesday led to re-routing of refugees from Serbia towards the border with Croatia, the local police spokesman, Domagoj Dzigumovic, said."

Greek minister’s take on refugee crisis (New Europe, link):

"Greece’s Migration Minister Yannis Mouzalas has praised his country’s efforts to manage the refugee crisis.

In an interview with China’s Xinhua News Agency, he said: “I think we did well. I clarify that by saying we did well, I mean we managed a very difficult issue with dignity, but that does not mean we did not make mistakes, that everybody is happy now, that there are pergolas with flowers all around......

The situation remains difficult, but manageable, Mouzalas said, noting that with 60,000 people trapped in Greece, the wager was big for a country with no previous experience in hosting so many refugees.”

UK: Immigration detainees bring legal challenge against £1 an hour 'slave' wages (Guardian, link): "Lawyers for 10 people held in UK centres want Home Office to raise minimum pay for voluntary but ‘essential’ work by detainees."

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