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Are You Syrious?

AYS News Digest 13/6/22: France’s new proposal — relocation of 10,000 asylum seekers per year across EU states

France’s new EU asylum pact proposal // Turkey announces tighter immigration measures // Alarmphone has lost contact with a group stranded on the Evros islet//High rate of fatalities still in the Mediterranean // UK protests against the first planned flight to Rwanda // FRONTEX publishes data on migration flows into the EU // UN report published on human rights violations at the EU borders // and extra resources/reading….

Source: UN News, 2022


Felipe Gonzalez Morales has published a report on human rights violations at international borders

You can read the full report here: Human rights violations at international borders: trends, prevention and accountability

Key conclusions from this report include;

  • Pushbacks continue to be used as a deterrent mechanism in many States
  • Reports of pushbacks are often not investigated thoroughly enough and dismissed by national authorities
  • Certain States have created conditions in which law enforcement officers involved in pushbacks have been provided immunity
  • Morales emphasises his support of the New Pact on Migration and Asylum, that would help to mobilise independent monitoring mechanisms at national and EU level borders

FRONTEX have also published a report on the numbers of people who have entered EU external borders

The reports claims that more then 5.5 million Ukrainian nationals have entered the EU from Ukraine and Moldova since February.

“In the first five months of 2022, the most active migratory routes into the EU were the Western Balkan, Central Mediterranean and Eastern Mediterranean routes.”

France proposes an EU plan whereby 10,000 asylum seekers a year are relocated from EU border countries

The proposal considers all 19 EU states in the Schengen zone to welcome asylum seekers who are currently in Italy, Greece and Malta. States that would not agree to be a part of this plan would be required to provide financial contributions to those who do welcome more asylum seekers.


Turkey has announced tighter migration controls on Syrians in the country

“The percentage of foreigners who are allowed to live in each neighborhood will be reduced from 25 percent to 20 percent, starting from July 1, closing 1,200 districts to settlement”

Source: Arab News, 2022

The idea is that foreigners, including Syrian nationals, will not be able to live in a neighbourhood that already has foreigners making up 20% of the population in that area.

In addition, Syrians will not be allowed to visit family in Syria during the upcoming Muslim holiday, Eid Al-Adha. Refugees risk losing their refugee status if they visit Syria during this holiday.

In addition, with these new measures, taxi drivers are now permitted to ask clients for official ID documents when moving between cities, further creating a network of security and control within the country.

1104 migrants have been detained by Turkish authorities — whilst Turkey hosts over 4 million refugees, more than any other country, current policy changes and harsher security measures are being introduced.

The previous day, another 1,682 migrants were detained across various cities in Turkey. Last Friday, 221 Afghan nationals were flown back to Afghanistan.


UNHCR data shows a sharp increase in numbers of dead or missing individuals trying to cross to Europe from 2020 to 2021

Whilst the numbers of refugees and asylum seekers crossing into Europe has decreased since 2015, the rate of fatalities is still exceptionally high, and is increasing.

Source: UN News, 2022

Deaths and abuses on land routes follow a similar trend, particularly in countries of origin and transit, such as, Eritrea, Somalia, Ethiopia, Sudan, Djibouti, and Libya.

You can read the full article here: UN News


Following on from the report in AYS News Digest 10/6/22, Alarm Phone has stated that they lost contact with the group stuck on the Evros islet.

They believe another pushback has taken place, and that the group members have had their phones taken away from them.

A truck fleeing police in Thessaloniki hit a fence, killing one migrant and injuring 17 others

The driver ran through a checkpoint, and instead of stopping, he sped up.

An Afghan male was shot and killed in a village in Greece, near the border with Turkey

Greece’s minister for Citizen Protection denied any involvement, and claimed that Turkey are spreading fake news.


Polish government will lift the state of emergency imposed along its border with Belarus

Poland began constructing the border wall in 2021 when the numbers of migrants crossing through Belarus to Poland was rising. The government restricted the rights of most individuals entering the border area under emergency powers. They have said that whilst the state of emergency will be lifted, they will continue preventing individuals from going within 200 metres of the wall.


InfoMigrants reports that Slovenia’s new left-liberal government plans to remove the border fence along the Croatian border by the end of 2022.

It was originally built in 2015, as a response to the increasing numbers of asylum seekers attempting to cross through Slovenia. It has been extended several times in the last few years.


Defamation case against Matteo Salvini, leader of Italy’s far-right League party, has begun

He is accused of damaging the reputation of Carola Rackete, the former captain of Sea-Watch 3 migrant rescue ship, after making personal, targeted, remarks on social media from June to July 2019.

Source: InfoMigrants, 13/6/2022


You can use the interactive map here to find an action/event near you.

This week of action follows the rejection of a legal challenge against the UK’s attempts to deter asylum seekers from coming to the UK. The High Court in London ruled that the removal of asylum seekers from the UK to Rwanda can commence this week.

People have come together across the UK, opposing tighter immigration policies and the first flight for Rwanda that is planned to take place on Tuesday 14/6/22.

In Manchester, protesters marched through the city centre — there were hundreds of people attending, fighting against the UK’s immigration policies.

Source: The Guardian, 2022

In Peckham, South East London, protesters blocked an immigration enforcement van that was holding a Nigerian man who had been arrested for overstaying his visa. The protesters sat in front of the van for hours.

Source: The Guardian, 2022

Protesters outside Gatwick airport on Sunday 12th June:

Protests have taken place on Monday 13/6/22 outside the Home Office:

Care4Calais provided regular updates on the deportees, and reported that 2 more individuals have had their tickets cancelled:


  • A really interesting joint NGO statement in regards to the changes required in EU migration policy and resettlement —
  • A Q&A with Sally Hayden on the abuse and human rights violations taking place in Libya’s detention centres
  • Following on from this, there is a very powerful testimony by Zoule who was detained in a detention centre in Libya for 8 months
  • James O’Brien discusses the UK Rwanda Policy
  • Mixed Migration article/summary of recent events — June 6–13

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