EU: Refugee Observatory 18-20-17

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Refugee crisis: latest news from across Europe
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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
EU: London, 4 December 2017: Stop the criminalisation of human rights defenders (IRR, link):

"To mark the publication of IRR’s new research into the hostile political and legal environment facing humanitarian actors who seek to protect life at Europe’s sea and land borders, the IRR invites you to a wide-ranging discussion of how EU policies are shrinking the space for humanitarian action while feeding the far Right."

Fundamental rights and the EU hotspot approach (Danish Refugee Council, pdf):

"A legal assessment of the implementation of the EU hotspot approach and its potential role in the reformed Common European Asylum System."

UK: West Yorkshire and Kent police forces to have new trial powers to stop and search people for ‘immigration offences’ (Right to Remain, link):

"Polices forces in West Yorkshire and Kent have begun a pilot progamme that will grant both forces the same powers as Immigration Officers to search ‘non-EEA illegal immigrants’ for UK drivers licenses.

This further outsourcing of immigration enforcement will lead to the increased harassment of migrants, and racial profiling of UK citizens.

The powers are contained in the controversial 2016 Immigration Act, Theresa May’s last before she left her post as Home Secretary and ascended to Number 10. The Act extends Immigration Officer’s powers in terms of stopping someone, and at the same time blurs the line between police and immigration by granting police some of those same powers."

Are You Syrious (19.11.17):

"Police say they are happy to let refugee on hunger strike die

Today is the fourth day of a hunger strike by Hesam Shaeri Hesari, an Iranian refugee whose asylum application was denied. Hesam was forced to flee his home country as a result of his political beliefs, and he has good reason to believe that should he return to Iran, he would be persecuted or jailed. To protest this injustice, Hesam has opted to go on a hunger strike.

Hesam has been under police custody for the last ten days and is expected to stay there until his deportation to Iran. Tonight, Hesam was transferred to a hospital....

Protest scheduled in Lesvos for November 20, right wingers to hold counter-protest

"On November 20, starting from 5pm, people on Lesvos will hold a demonstration in Mitylini against the EU’s and UN’s numerous failures to commit their obligations towards refugees. The main demand of the protesters is that the islands be opened to allow refugees, who have been stranded in the islands for months, to move to the mainland. Anti-refugee right-wingers, as well as the mayor of Mytilini will hold an event earlier in the day against the presence of refugees on Lesvos and in Greece more generally."

3 sink while heading to Ceuta

"3 refugees have died after falling out of a boat destined for Ceuta. The 21 survivors on the boat were rescued by the Spanish coastguard. Ceuta is seen as a desirable destination for many. The city, located at the northern tip of Africa, is a Spanish territory. The territory is completely walled off from neighboring Morocco, forcing people to resort to more dangerous means to cross the border."

CROATIA: AYS van has its windows smashed

"The AYS van has been vandalized after our appeal to keep the residents in Zagreb rather than moving them to a motel near the Serbian border. The police has opened aninvestigation, but we don’t expect much out of it. We use this vehicle every day to bring both kids and adults from Porin camp to different educational or other activities, to move those who’ve been granted asylum to their new homes, to distribute donations etc. We are completely paralyzed without it. If you would like to contribute to repairing the van, please contact us on FB. We’d really appreciate it."

Israel to deport 40,000 African refugees without their consent (DW, link)

"Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has announced an unspecified international deal to expel some 40,000 African asylum seekers from the country. The Israeli Cabinet also voted to shut down a migration center."

Migrants clash with farmers on Chios; riot breaks out in Lesvos camp (, link):

"Ten migrants staying at a camp in the former Vial factory on the eastern Aegean island of Chios were being questioned by police on Monday morning following tension with a pair of local famers.(...)

Meanwhile, police were also called in the early hours of Sunday to quell a riot that broke out at the Moria refugee processing center on Lesvos. Reports suggested the riot was mostly restricted to the area of the massively overcrowded camp housing some 350 unaccompanied minors, and caused damage to UNHCR facilities and the office of a non-governmental organization.

Local authorities on Lesvos were on strike on Monday in protest at the situation that has developed on the island, as well as on others in the eastern Aegean, from a spike in arrivals and continued delays in the processing of migrants and refugees who have already been trapped in camps for months."

First child refugee from Greek camps comes to UK (Guardian, link)

"Syrian boy was offered place by London council last year but officials did not take action to facilitate the 15-year-old’s transfer."

Supporting Libyan Coast Guard is a misuse of the so-called "Africa Fund". Italian Association ASGI brings Italian Foreign Ministry to Court

"The Italian Association for Juridical Studies on Immigration (ASGI) has recently brought legal proceedings before the Regional Administrative Tribunal (TAR) with regard to Decree 4110/47 by which the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation allocates 2,5 million euros to the Ministry of Interior to repair four vessels for Libyan authorities and train them. Such a disbursement is part of the "Africa Fund" (200 million euros) set up by the Italian Parliament to promote cooperation and dialogue with African countries. Being Libya a notoriously unsafe country for migrants and refugees in transit, the compatibility of such a massive allocation of money with the stated goals of the "Africa Fund" – however vague they are – should be qu questioned. Given that these vessels might be used by the Libyan Coast Guard to pull-back migrants and refugees rescued/intercepted at sea and retain them in appalling detention centers, the main argument before TAR is that this military equipment is a diversion of the funding allocated by the Italian Parliament to contribute to the resolution of the humanitarian crisis in Libya."

See: Depositato il ricorso di ASGI contro lo sviamento di 2,5 milioni di euro dal c.d. Fondo Africa(Italian, link)

Migrant crisis: Europe should stop using Libya as a dumping ground (Middle East Eye, link):

"With no central government and its own crises, Libya is ill-equipped to deal with an influx of returned migrants requiring shelter."

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