29 September - 12 October 2020

Including:

  • Greece: On Lesvos, migrants and their supporters continue to suffer at the hands of the authorities
  • EU: Deportations to Afghanistan: member states want to simplify expulsion of "vulnerable groups"
  • UK considers imitating Australia's brutal off-shoring of asylum seekers
  • EU: Advice of Frontex Consultative Forum on Fundamental Rights still falls on deaf ears
  • EU: Tracking the Pact: Secret documents on reception conditions and qualification for international protection

08 October 2020

Greece: On Lesvos, migrants and their supporters continue to suffer at the hands of the authorities

Legal Centre Lesvos reports on the situation following the fire that destroyed the Moria camp three weeks ago. Grassroots initiatives are being targeted and shut down, and a new, closed camp has been set up. Nevertheless, the organisation reports some succeses with individual cases.


08 October 2020

Italy: UN expert condemns ‘criminalization’ of those saving lives in the Mediterranean

Criminal proceedings in Italy are ongoing against the crew of the rescue boat Iuventa and the former captain of rescue boat Sea-Watch 3. A UN human rights expert says the charges should be dropped, because those saving lives at sea are "human rights defenders and not criminals."


07 October 2020

Greek police recruited undocumented migrants in operation against NGOs

The Greek police recruited two undocumented migrants as informers in an operation which has led to multiple accusations of criminality against a number of NGOs, whom the police argue have assisted in migrant smuggling. According to a report in Greek paper Kathimerini, the investigation revolves around the use of the AlarmPhone service - which exists precisely to help to people in distress at sea, and whose work has saved thousands of lives in recent years.


07 October 2020

France turns down offer of UK drone assistance to stop migrants leaving beaches in first place

According to a report originally published in The Telegraph, the French authorities have turned down a UK offer of drones assistance to try to prevent departures of boats trying to cross the Channel. However, it is unclear from the report whether the UK authorities sought to lend the drone itself to the French, or instead wanted access to French airspace to monitor beaches.


06 October 2020

Joint Statement: The Pact on Migration and Asylum: to provide a fresh start and avoid past mistakes, risky elements need to be addressed and positive aspects need to be expanded

A joint statement signed by 70+ NGOs and human rights organisations from across Europe and beyond.


06 October 2020

Twelve arrested for smuggling migrants in small boats across the English channel

A major operation involving judicial and law enforcement authorities from Belgium, France, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom, supported by Europol and Eurojust, led to the dismantling of a large network of criminals smuggling migrants in life threatening conditions across the English Channel.


02 October 2020

EU: European Asylum Support Office study: Border procedures for asylum applications in the EU+ countries

A study by EASO looking at how member states have implemented the 2013 Asylum Procedures Directive, which allows for the use of "border procedures" for a rapid assessment of asylum applications. Under measures recently-proposed as part of the Pact on Migration and Asylum, border procedures - and accompanying large-scale detention - would become far more widely-used.


02 October 2020

Greece: Police file migrant smuggling cases against 35 people, including 33 NGO workers

The Greek police have handed files to the prosecution authorities alleging the involvement of 35 foreign nationals in migrant smuggling. The files list offences such as "forming and joining a criminal organisation, espionage, violation of state secrets, as well as violations of the Immigration Code".


01 October 2020

EU: Deportations to Afghanistan: member states want to simplify expulsion of "vulnerable groups"

The EU is moving toward renewal of the 'Joint Way Forward with Afghanistan', an informal agreement that facilitates the deportation of Afghans present in the EU. A secret document from July, published here, sets out the member states' demands to the Commission for the renewed agreement. It includes a call for "the notion of vulnerable groups" to be "limited", which would ease the deportation of people who may otherwise qualify for protection.


01 October 2020

UK considers imitating Australia's brutal off-shoring of asylum seekers

It has emerged in recent days that the UK government is considering the possibility of housing asylum-seekers in camps outside the country.


01 October 2020

After Moria, EU to try closed asylum camps on Greek islands

Barbed wire fences and microchipped armbands to control entry await the future residents of a forthcoming "closed camp" for refugees and migrants on the Greek island of Samos.


01 October 2020

EU: Advice of Frontex Consultative Forum on Fundamental Rights still falls on deaf ears

The European Border and Coast Guard Agency’s Consultative Forum on Fundamental Rights has produced its annual report for 2019, and a number of familiar concerns are again present. The Forum was set up eight years ago to provide Frontex with independent advice on fundamental rights.


01 October 2020

EU: Tracking the Pact: Secret documents on reception conditions and qualification for international protection

Last week the European Commission published its Pact on Migration and Asylum. While it includes some new measures, it also calls for the adoption of previous proposals that were the subject of significant disagreement between the Council and the European Parliament. Today we are publishing Council documents that have until now remained secret, including blocked provisional agreements on the rules on reception conditions and the criteria for qualification for international protection.


29 September 2020

Bulgaria will relocate some refugees from Moria, but racism and xenophobia make it a tough destination

Bulgaria has agreed to accept 70 unaccompanied minors affected by the fire in the Moria camp on the Greek island of Lesvos. However, conditions for migrants and refugees are problematic - the use of detention is widespread, and racism and xenophobia are deeply rooted in Bulgarian society, argues Milana Nikolova.


 

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