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Refugee crisis: latest news from across Europe
14-20.5.19
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Statewatch Observatory: The refugee crisis in the Med and inside the EU: a humanitarian emergency

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Hundreds of Europeans including firefighters and priests arrested for ‘solidarity’ with refugees, data shows (The Indepdendent, link):

"Firefighters, priests and elderly women are among hundreds of Europeans who have been arrested or investigated for demonstrating “solidarity” with refugees and asylum seekers over the past five years – with such cases rising sharply in the last 18 months, new research shows.

A database collated by global news website openDemocracy reveals 250 people across Europe have been arrested or criminalised in other ways for providing food, shelter and transport and other “basic acts of human kindness” to migrants.

The number of cases increased dramatically in 2018, with more than 100 cases recorded last year – twice as many as in 2017. The majority of the cases in 2018 were arrests and charges for providing food, transport or other support to migrants without legal papers."

See: Hundreds of Europeans ‘criminalised’ for helping migrants – as far right aims to win big in European elections (OpenDemocracy, link) and: European governments’ targeting of migrant solidarity activists for prosecution must stop, says IRR (IRR, link)

ITALY: Ill-treatment and detention: investigation of the Lampedusa centre

Long periods of detention, ill-treatment, abuses of law in the treatment of migrant children and unaccompanied minors. The handling of foreigners in Lampedusa resulted in allegations framed in very strong terms by the judge for preliminary investigations [gip] in Rome, who asked for the investigation into events at the Sicilian detention centre to remain open: "There is an evident need," states the order dated 2 May 2019 "to carry out territorial inquiries".

European Commission: EU Facility for Refugees in Turkey: solid progress in supporting refugees (press release, pdf):

"The Commission reported today good progress in the implementation and programming of €6 billion of the EU Facility for Refugees in Turkey. More than 80 projects are currently up and running delivering tangible results to refugees and host communities in particular on education and health. Out of the €6 billion, some €4.2 billion has been allocated, of which €3.45 billion has been contracted and €2.22 billion disbursed to date."

Salvini fumes at EU court ruling on refugee returns (euractiv, link):

"Italy’s hardline deputy prime minister reiterated his call to change the EU in reaction to a ruling by the European Court of Justice (ECJ) that refugees cannot be deported if their life or freedom is at risk in their home countries."

Migrants Trying to Reach Europe Are Trapped in Libya - Between Militias and the Sea (The Intercept, link):

"The lives of hundreds of migrants and refugees are under threat in Libya as the conflict there nears detention centers, according to a release yesterday from Amnesty International."

GREECE: Immediate abolition of the use of unsuitable detention facilities (Press release, pdf):

"The non-governmental organization AITHMA, along with 15 other Greek and foreign actors from civil society and academia, is addressing an open letter to the leadership of the Ministry of Citizen Protection and the head of the Greek Police regarding the continued detention of irregular immigrants and asylum seekers in inappropriate facilities in violation of Greek, Euro-pean and international law."

And Open Letter (pdf):

"Problems relating to the administrative detention of irregular migrants and asylum seekers – Immediate abolition of the use of unsuitable detention facilities. We are writing to express our deep concern at the continued detention of irregular migrants and asylum seekers in unsuitable detention facilities."

Are You Syrious Extensive report:

"Report on illegal practice of collective expulsion on Slovene-Croatian border. Processed under the readmission agreement, many people were denied their right to asylum procedure by the Slovenian police, still conducting systematic expulsions to Croatia under the guise of the readmission. This is a report written by Slovenian activists documenting the continuing unlawful police practice at the border between Croatia and Slovenia."

Illegal push-backs and border violence reports - Balkan Region - April 2019 (pdf):

"The methodological process for these reports leverages the close social contact that we have as independent volunteers with refugees and migrants to monitor push-backs in the Western Balkans. When individuals return with significant injuries or stories of abuse, one of our violence reporting volunteers will sit down with the individuals to collect their testimonies."

Germany: anti-torture committee calls on authorities to ensure better treatment of foreign nationals being removed by air (CoE, link):

"The monitoring of a return flight of Afghan nationals from Munich to Kabul (Afghanistan) on 14 August 2018 is the subject of a new report published today by the Council of Europe’s Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) (See the executive summary).

Austrian state plans 'Ten Commandments' for refugees (DW, link):

"Refugees in Lower Austria are to be issued with "Ten Commandments of Immigration" by regional authorities. Included in the edicts is a requirement for migrants to show gratitude to the country."

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