Refugee crisis: latest news from across Europe 4.5.16

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 Greece, Lesvos: An important legal victory: Electra (link)


"This is today's Decision of Lesvos Prosecutor, making clear that the Moria Center is NOT a place where Unaccompanied Minors can possibly "reside". It can be used to effectively challenge the detention of every single youth detained in that space".

 300 organisations and 11,000 individuals denounce the EU-Turkey agreement and see: CEAR denuncia junto a más 300 organizaciones el acuerdo UE-Turquía (link):

"The Spanish Refugee Aid Commission (CEAR) has today presented before the European Commission, the Council of Europe and the EU Ombudsman its complaint about the EU-Turkey deal and the infringement of the rights of refugees, with the support of 294 organisations and more than 11,000 individual signatures....

"Withdrawing the agreement with Turkey is the last opportunity for the EU to recover its decency, avoid putting at risk the lives of thousands of people who have fled war, and to prevent the treaties that it has signed on human rights and the right to asylum from becoming nothing more than wasted paper," said Estrella Galán, general secretary of CEAR."

See The list of social collectives and entities; professional organisations, networks and platforms, universtities and research centres, political organisations and trade unions that have signed the CEAR letters - including Statewatch - can be viewed: Here (link, pdf)

The petition open for individual signatures is here: Detengan las expulsiones de refugiados y retiren el acuerdo con Turquía (, link)

 Welcome2eu: Superb guides: Welcome to Italy:Info Guide for refugees and migrants (72 pages, great detail, English, link) and Italian (link) and Long guide (English, pdf, link) and Long guide (Italian, pdf, link)

 European Commission: Proposal for a COUNCIL IMPLEMENTING DECISION setting out a recommendation for temporary internal border control in exceptional circumstances putting the overall functioning of the Schengen area at risk (COM 275-16, pdf): Applies only to AU, DE, DK, SE, NO.

and see Background: Can Schengen be suspended because of Greece? Should it be? (EU Law Analysis, link)

EU: SCHENGEN & BORDER CONTROLS: Letter to European Commission from Austria, France, Germany and Denmark: Letter (pdf):

"Our countries have reintroduced temporary border controls along the internal borders of the Schengen area to manage the migration flow and respond to the concerns of public order and security.

Even though the refugee situation at the internal borders along the Balkan route is no longer as dramatic as in the past, we are concerned about developments at the European Union's external borders. In some places persistent serious shortcomings and structural deficits have been detected by the Schengen evaluation. We do not assume that they can be permanently remedied in the very near future. Furthermore, a considerable number of migrants are still in Greece and along the Balkan route. We do not know whether and to what extent they have been registered."

 Hungary to hold EU refugee quota referendum by October (euractiv, link): "Hungary will hold a referendum in September or early October, on whether to accept any future European Union quota system for resettling refugees, the prime minister’s office said yesterday (3 May)."

UNHCR Daily Report (3.5.16) Lawyers finaly allowed to enter some detention centres

"Greek Alternate Minister of Migration Policy Yiannis Mouzalas agreed to allow permanent presence of lawyers in two facilities in Eleonas, Attica, as well as in Moria, Lesvos, following a meeting with the head of the Athens Bar Association, Vasilis Alexandris, on 28 April. The program will be launched tentatively under the responsibility of the Greek Bar’s Committee for refugees and migrants issues, headed by Panagiotis Perakis, who was also present at the meeting. The ministry said the Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe (CCBE) has also expressed an interest in offering legal aid to refugees in Moria."

See also: Pilot Program to Allow Fixed Presence of Greek Lawyers in Two Refugee Centers (Greek Reporter, link)

 Migrant flow to Greek islands ebbs but camps full (, link):

"There were no migrant and refugee landings on the shores of Lesvos for a fourth straight day Tuesday. Also no arrivals were reported on the islands of Chios and Samos between Monday and Tuesday morning.

A total of 8,190 people are being hosted at the so-called hot spots on the three islands, with more than half of those staying on Lesvos. Another 10,000 migrants and refugees are living in a makeshift camp near the border village of Idomeni in northern Greece, with thousands more in state-run venues in Attica and other parts of Greece."

UNHCR report that: 53 refugees arrived in Lesvos on 3 May.

 News (4.5.16)

Racism in Austria at its highest level in years (The, link): "Racism in Austria is at its highest level for years according to an annual report released by the anti-discrimination organisation ZARA.... Two thirds of the racist remarks or acts referred to refugees, and were directed towards either asylum seekers or people supporting them. The ZARA statistics are only a guide to the extent of racism in Austria as they just reflect the number of incidents that were registered by people with the organisation." and see: The far right is weaselling into the mainstream, dressed up in suits (Guardian, link)

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