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AYS News Digest 6/7/22: Rohingya child challenges Croatia and Slovenia over violent pushbacks

Hungary remains firm they only respect Ukranians’ right to seek protection, and nobody else’s / While a child suees Croatia, its ‘independent border mechanism’ finds no wrongdoings / The huge issue of GPS tagging in the case of UK / Geermany’s capital left without accommodation / & more news, information and good reads for you to share and read

FEATURE

A Rohingya child refugee faced repeated beatings by Croatian border officers, had his belongings burnt and his shoes confiscated before numerous forced expulsions, including a “chain” pushback from Slovenia, European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights reported.

National, EU, and international law oblige Croatia and Slovenia to act in a child’s best interests and prioritize the identification of their age during their handling by border officers.

U.F. submitted complaints against Croatia and Slovenia at the UN Child Rights Committee for multiple violations of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC).

These are the first complaints of their kind against these two states.

THE SEA

Tragic death of 22 people confirmed

The Malian government has confirmed that 22 Malians, including three children, died off the coast of Libya when their boat got into trouble towards the end of June.

152 survivors, including people with medical cases, unaccompanied minors, families, and children, disembarked in Pozzallo, Sicily. The remaining 154 survivors spene another night onboard the Ocean Viking.

We would like to stress out that nobody wants to be a survivor or saved, and if these people’s rights to ask for protection and search for safety would have been respected, they too never would have to be saved.

Here is how many of the saved end up in Italy:

TURKEY

A 4-year old dies, 12 more people injured in a police shooting of a van

Turkish gendarmerie have opened fire on a minibus carrying refugees for allegedly “disobeying stop warnings” in the eastern province of Van, leading to the death of a person and injury of 12 others.

Eyewitnesses of the incident said that the deceased was a four-year-old child.

Reportedly, 40–50 shots were fired at the minibus in the first round. The same number of shots in the second round reports say. The human rights advocate called the incident a “breach of duty and a violation of the right to life,” and appealed for an independent probe.

GREECE

Rescuer at sea has become the target of the conservative Greek power

On social networks, the far right is unleashed against a former engineer who, since 2015, has been rescuing migrants at sea, the media report.

Greek authorities abduct refugees on the Greek coast and then throw them into the open sea, the rescuer stated openly at the European Parliament in May. With this intervention, broadcast several weeks later on social networks in Greece, the man with the laughing eyes drew the wrath of New Democracy, the conservative party in power.

However, after the recent court decisions, he posed the question to them — who is now the one defaming thee country abroad?

Read the story on Iasonas in Le Monde.

Athens insists on closing Eleonas

The municipal authority of Athens insisted on the closure of the refugee structure of Eleonas, rejecting a resolution submitted by the councilor of the faction “Mutiny in the neighborhoods of Athens”, P. Konstantinou, and supported by the opposition forces.

The proposition called for the Municipality of Athens and the Ministry of Immigration “not to proceed with the closure of the structure until housing is found for the guests through housing programs within the city — so that the students can continue to attend the schools where they attend and the access of the refugees to public hospitals and in the asylum process — and that there is no dismissal/interruption of the contract of workers in the structure. It was voted down”, the media report.

The mayor seems to insist that the structure was there for the emergency migration context that is no longer present, not explaining what will happen to the 500 people there.

It all seems to go into the direction of isolating the people:

In the meantime, the prime minister once again went to Brussels and bluntly defended his country’s track record on migration and media freedoms, two issues that have generated international outrage.

CROATIA

Yearly report by The Mechanism — what did it have to say about the conduct of border police?

The first report is our by the (infamous) “Independent mechanism of monitoring the actions of police officers of the Ministry of the Interior in the area of illegal migration and international protection”, aka The Mechanism.

In spite of all the earlier warnings and rightful scepticism of its independent element, the MoI and its chosen partners of whom the Mechanism is comprised of insist that its establishment is “the start of an unbiased, independent and expert dialogue with the MoI, which is not led with the exclusive objective of detecting and processing individual illegal actions of police officers, but rather with the purpose of determining normative, institutional, systematic, operational, technical as well as human factors, which contribute or even cause such illegal actions.”

They did note that “the communication established by the Mechanism throughout the duration of the Agreement was difficult due to the lack of defined official contacts of the Mechanism itself.”

They also suggested all the other Member States should follow their example, onting in particular that, apart from other benefits, it would help stop the so many times mentioned “abuse of asylum system” that the MoI claims people on the move are doing.

The Mechanism considers that the establishment of independent mechanism of monitoring the actions of police officers in all EU Member States based on legally binding rules of the EU would contribute to the enhancement of the asylum system in Member States and a more successful protection of fundamental rights as well as helped align standards when treating irregular migrants and using the same legal tools when treating migrants. It would also contribute to a more efficient prevention of asylum system abuse in the area of the entire EU, enhancement of police work and exchange of best practice in the work of monitoring mechanisms of Member States.

In the meantime, the other states seem to be freshly impressed by the puhbacks:

We are more concerned with the abuse of the people, as should the Mechanism be.

The report also mentions the use of of unmarked vehicles, also for the transport of minors. One such (abused) minor is suing the country. (see feature)

For an overview of some of the most interesting points in the Report, see thread published on BVMN’s Twitter profile:

HUNGARY

Opeen for Ukranians, reluctant to see they are denying the rights to all the others (asylum seekers)

On July 4 Serbian officials signed a bilateral agreement on a new regime of border control with Hungary. Among others, instead of Bezdan, now, the point of border check of the river crossing will be Bačka Palanka. On this occasion, the Hungarian minister once again stressed out their (ignorant) opinion that the question of asylum seekers, people on the move close to their borders, is “not a human rights problem but a threat to the security of the two countries”. The official Hungary insists that while they accept people from Ukraine on the one side of the border, they will remain inflexible towards “illegal migrants” trying to cross the border from Serbia.

ECRE comments on the statement:

SPAIN

Spanish media outlet has collected testimonies of several of the survivors of the Melilla tragedy in which at least 23 people died. They all fled the war in the Sudanese region of Darfur and have been trying to reach Europe for several years to seek asylum.

Interior calculates say that around a hundred people were “rejected at the border”.

They speak of wars, of murdered family members, of torture and exploitation in Libya, of the blockade of the route to Italy that has forced them to cross the Algerian desert, of violence and persecution on the Moroccan border.

To exercise their right to seeking asylum, the people have to suffer and sometimes die trying to reach the autonomous city in the only way that exists for them, and the Spanish wire fences are only the last part of a long way that passes through Chad, Libya, Algeria and Morocco.

Although the official rate of acceptance of requests for asylum by the Sudanese in Spain is higher than 90%, majority of the 100 people who tried to enter Spain with the same intention didn’t receive a chance to do so.

In a testimony of one of the your people, it says:

“It was his friend Nassib who forced the door open with shears, he explains. “ I saw him die, it was very sad . Everything the Moroccans threw was aimed at him, because he opened the door, and when he did, they beat him with sticks and sprayed him. Then all the people ran over him to cross”

More on the aspects of the police officials’ behavior at the border on that day, in a thread:

GERMANY

The new law — a good sign in the right direction, but its criteria exclude far too many

The federal government’s new draft must be significantly improved and made more precise in the legislative process in order to implement a paradigm shift in asylum and migration policy, said PROASYL.

PRO ASYL welcomes the fact that the Federal Government wants to give long-term tolerated persons a perspective and avoid chain tolerance with the right of opportunity passed by the Federal Cabinet today. But improvements are necessary, otherwise there is a risk of a kind of lottery for the right to stay.

Find their press release here:

Berlin

a cut back on the quality of accommodation can no longer be ruled out.”

Berlin currently has less than 200 spots available across some 75 shared accommodations. German newspaper the Tagesspiegel reported on Tuesday that of 25,915 places, only 854 were still available, InfoMigrants notes.

Apart from the accommodation problem, the issue of deportation centre at the Berlin’s airport is also in the centre of people’s concerns. The No Border collective has shared their action guide, with tips and sharepics:
https://dumpharder.neocities.org/

THE NETHERLANDS

As a consequence of Denmark’s cessation of some Syrian refugees’ residence permits, Netherlands authorities can no longer automatically consider transfer to Denmark safe.

UK

New assault on the rights of modern slavery survivors

Modern slavery support is at crisis point and, instead of improving access to help, the government seems determined to eradicate it. Last week, the Slavery and Human Trafficking (Definition of Victim) Regulations 2022 were introduced as ‘secondary legislation’ to the Nationality and Borders Act. These spell out who the UK now considers a ‘real’ victim of human trafficking. They are needlessly narrow.

Open Democracy has a good piece on the topic, analysing all the shortcomings:

Intrucing for of monitoring — GPS tags

Deep and intimate insight into a person’t life is one of the things enabled to the Home Office with the GPS tags, among others, a profitable business. Now the Office plans to use it in the case of sending people to Rwanda.

Many people report a constant stigmatizing and degrading feeling.

BID is now engaging in advocacy and active work on the topic:

GENERAL

WORTH READING

  • June 27-July 4, 2022 Mixed Migration — hebdo:
  • Afghanistan — “the resounding silence from those with the power to help but who choose not to.”
  • a personal story:

Find daily updates and special reports on our Medium page.

If you wish to contribute, either by writing a report or a story, or by joining the info gathering team, please let us know!

We strive to echo correct news from the ground through collaboration and fairness. Every effort has been made to credit organisations and individuals with regard to the supply of information, video, and photo material (in cases where the source wanted to be accredited). Please notify us regarding corrections.

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Are You Syrious?

Are You Syrious?

Daily news digests from the field, mainly for volunteers and refugees on the route, but also for journalists and other parties.