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Refugee crisis: latest news from across Europe
1-4.10.17
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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
Mediterranean: Italy marks anniversary of Lampedusa tragedy following weekend rescues of over 1000 people

A march was held on the Italian island of Lampedusa on Tuesday in memory of the 368 people who died following the 3 October 2013 shipwreck off the coast of the island. The events come after a weekend in which over 1000 people were rescued at sea and three people are reported to have died off the coast of Libya. A further 226 people were "intercepted" and taken to a detention centre in Libya.

No Border Kitchen Lesvos: 28 REASONS FOR ARBITRARY DETENTION

"The Greek government have recently introduced a way to abitrarily detain even more people in Moria. They will expand their practice of detaining people with citizenships of countries with low asylum acceptance rates, undermining the already barely existent right to a fair asylum procedure even more than before."

SPAIN-MELLILA: The immediate return to Morocco of sub-Saharan migrants who were attempting to enter Spanish territory in Melilla amounted to a collective expulsion of foreign nationals, in breach of the Convention (Press release, pdf):

"the European Court of Human Rights held, unanimously, that there had been:

- a violation of Article 4 of Protocol No. 4 (prohibition of collective expulsions of aliens) to the European Convention on Human Rights, and

- a violation of Article 13 (right to an effective remedy) taken together with Article 4 of Protocol
No. 4.

The case concerned the immediate return to Morocco of sub-Saharan migrants who had attempted on 13 August 2014 to enter Spanish territory illegally by scaling the barriers which surround the Melilla enclave on the North-African coast."

Judgment: Affaire N.D. et N.T. c. Espagne (French, pdf)

Italy's deal to stem flow of people from Libya in danger of collapse (Guardian, link)

"Number of people crossing Mediterranean rises again amid power struggle between rival factions in Libyan human-trafficking port. A key pillar of the Italian government’s effort to stem the politically toxic issue of people crossing the Mediterranean from Libya to southern Italy is in danger of collapse as a result of a bloody power struggle in the key Libyan port of Sabratha, the epicentre of human trafficking to Italy."

And see: EU mission struggling in Libya, internal report says (euobserver, link) Also Restricted document highlights plans for ongoing EU interventions in Libya (Statewatch News)

EU: Expansion of the Frontex agency

"In 2015, Frontex employed 320 people, but now it employs 460. Nearly 170 people are involved in operations, 150 work as analysts, and 80 work on operational logistics. By 2020, the number of staff is expected to increase to 1,000.

The Frontex offices now occupy the 6th to 13th floor of the building and the lower levels are occupied by a bank. "Maybe we will have to take their space?" said a Frontex officer.

The budget of the agency will grow from €143 million in 2015 to €322 million in 2020. Frontex is currently running 12 operations in cooperation with EU states. The largest of them are sea operations – "Triton," off the coast of Italy and Malta (with more than 400 officers and 14 ships), and "Poseidon," in Greece and the Aegean Sea (with nearly 900 border guards and 14 ships). Maritime operations are the most expensive part of the agency's budget.

The agency also helps Bulgarian, Hungarian and Croatian guards in patrolling the borders with Serbia, and the Bulgarian authorities in monitoring the Turkish border – Frontex has 270 border guards deployed at these crossing points"

See: Frontex puts down roots in Poland (EUobserver, link)

Refugees' health problems in Greece mostly unmet, medical charity says (ekathimerini.com, link):

"Refugees and migrants in Greece receive little or no medical care for most health problems they face and fewer than half of those pregnant had access to maternal care, aid group Doctors of the World said on Tuesday.

About 60,000 migrants and refugees are stranded in Greece, most in overcrowded camps with unsanitary conditions. More than half of this year’s 20,000 arrivals were women and children, United Nations data shows."

And see: Refugees' health problems in Greece mostly unmet: medical charity (Reuters, link)

Are You Syrious (2.10.17, link)

How the EU-Turkey deal destroys dreams

"At the island of Samos AYS spoke with one of the two people whose case was rejected at the Supreme Court and they are at risk of being forcibly returned to Turkey. Like all of us, he has dreams and hopes, but unlike many, he still believes that the EU is the Promised Land where human rights are priority (...)

This is the story of one of the two Syrians who are at risk of being forcibly returned to Turkey after Greece’s highest administrative court rejected their final appeals against earlier rulings declaring their asylum claims inadmissible.

The decision issued by the court in Greece is putting not only life or these two people who are directly concerned by the court decision in danger but represents a very problematic precedent for future for all asylum-seekers. The latest decision permits to Greek authorities to send back to Turkey thousands of people who arrived in this country after the EU-Turkey deal. Some of them are in detention, some are waiting for the decision since they arrived, mostly stranded on one of the overcrowded islands."

Libya

"the head of the Lybian National Army - who is visiting Rome - told to Italian media that they can stop migrants and refugees traveling to Europe if they have needed military equipment.

“For the control of borders in South, I can provide manpower, but Europeans must send aid: drones, helicopters, night vision goggles, vehicles”, he said in an interview with Italian national daily Corriere della Sera."

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