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Refugee crisis: latest news from across Europe
23.3.17
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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: Commission: Latest figures on: Relocations from Greece and Italy (22.3.17, pdf) and Hotspots (20.3.17, pdf)

Enough is enough: deaths on the western Balkans route (IRR News, link):

"A public push is needed to stop refugee and migrant deaths on the western Balkans route. IRR News continues its investigation into violations and deaths at EU borders, focusing on seven deaths in the Serbian, Hungarian and Bulgarian border zones."

EU:Justice and Home Affairs Council 27-28 March, 2017: Background Note (pdf) Substantial items on refugees, migration and asylum.

Asylum seekers protest against the problematic asylum procedures in Finland

"Iraqi and Afghan asylum seekers in Finland have been protesting against the unequal asylum processes and faulty asylum decisions for one month in central Helsinki, the capital of Finland. The asylum processes and decisions have proved to be highly problematic when it comes to using interpreters, accepting evidence, evaluating personal threat and the safety of the country of origin among other things. The Finnish Immigration Service (Migri) refuses to publicly admit these problems, although in a private meeting with the demonstrators Migri has admitted making several mistakes in the cases of asylum seekers who arrived in Finland in 2015 and after. Meanwhile, Finland continues to forcibly deport people to unsafe circumstances."

Court ruling blocks Libya-Italy MoU on stemming illegal immigration (Libya Observer, link):

"Tripoli Appeals Court's administrative division ruled Wednesday to block the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between Libya and Italy to fight the growing influx of illegal immigrants and the issue of human trafficking as well as to help Libya secure its southern borders.

"The MoU will be blocked urgently until the lawsuit is tackled in full." The court ruling stated.

Ending the migrant deal with Turkey may save the EU (euobserver, link):

" this particular deal has come at an incredibly huge political price for the EU and its member states, notably Germany.

From the agreement's inception, Turkey has been trying to use it as a card to exert political pressure against the EU, and has more than once threatened to call it off if it did not get visa-free travel for Turkish citizens in return. ..."

Ill-Treatment Of Migrants In Greek Law Enforcement – Are the Strasbourg Court Judgments the Tip of the Iceberg? (EU Migration Law, link):

Nikolaos Sitaropoulos, Head of Division and Deputy to the Director, Office of the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights.All views expressed herein are strictly personal.

"A number of reports by international human rights organisations, like CPT and Amnesty International, have recorded numerous cases of ill-treatment, including torture, suffered by migrants while under the control of Greek law enforcement officials. Despite the frequent reporting of such incidents there have not been any major cases brought before the European Court of Human Rights (‘Strasbourg Court’ or ‘the Court’) until recently."

EU: Humanitarian Visas, still an open question (balcanicaucaso.org, link):

"The recent verdict of the European Court of Justice comes as a blow to those who want to see safe and legal access to the EU for refugees. But the reform of the Code on Visas offers another chance for change, and the European Parliament is keen on not letting it get away."

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