EUROPEAN UNION: INCREASE IN ASYLUM SEEKERS FROM THE BALKANS

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The European Union is confronted to the contradictions of its policy vis-à-vis the countries of the Western Balkans (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia). On the one hand a very restrictive immigration policy that significantly limits the possibilities of going on diaspora. The other a policy of rapprochement and a concept of stability in the region that leads to condone violations of human rights. Asylum seekers from these countries are considered as bogus asylum seekers and their countries of origin are supposed to prevent them from coming out and seek asylum in the European Union.

In fact, the number of asylum seekers from these countries is increasing according to the last Eurostats’ paper.

In French on Le Courrier des Balkans website :

http://balkans.courriers.info/article25757.html

The Eurostats paper in English :

http://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/cache/ITY_OFFPUB/KS-QA-14-011/EN/KS-QA-14-011-EN.PDF

 

CYPRUS: THOSE SYRIANS WHO DO NOT WANT TO LET BEING ENCLOSED

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Cyprus shares with Greece being the worst European countries in terms of non-hospitality and violation of the rights of asylum seekers and refugees. And be separated from the rest of the EU by sea like Greece is from Schengen by the Adriatic Sea and the Balkans (see here).

A group of three hundred forty-five Syrian exiles did not make the mistake. Rescued at sea by a luxury liner that leads them to Cyprus, the majority of them refuse to come down and demands to be brought to Italy.

They finally agree to disembark but very few of them claim asylum in Cyprus, the other wanting to continue their journey towards a more hospitable land.

In English:

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-29358265

http://cyprus-mail.com/2014/10/13/only-six-of-339-rescued-refugees-have-applied-for-asylum-in-cyprus/

 

 

GREECE: THE DETENTION SYSTEM CHALLENGED AGAIN

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A report under the MIDAS project advanced illegality and ineffectiveness of detention extended beyond 18 months, while another of the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman Treatments reveals that these worsen in prisons and detention centers.

On the MIDAS project’s website (in English):

http://www.eliamep.gr/en/category/migration/midas/

On Okeanews website (in French):

http://www.okeanews.fr/20141013-detention-prolongee-dimmigrants-inhumaine-illegale-inefficace

http://www.okeanews.fr/20141015-cas-de-torture-dans-des-centres-de-detention-pour-migrants-en-grece

 

 

SERBIA: THE FATE OF ASYLUM SEEKERS

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Consequence of its place on the path of exiles on their way to central and northern Europe, but also the number of crises in the Middle East (after Syria, Iraq), Serbia sees the number of asylum seekers increase. Most do not want to stay and continue their journey. But many questions are being debated, such as the reception capacity at the approach of winter, the proportion of minors, with in the background the issue of Serbian asylum-seekers in the European Union. Also, rejection reactions of the population, as in Mladenovac.

About the reception of asylum seekers, on the site of Le Courrier des Balkans:

http://balkans.courriers.info/article25671.html

and on the blog Serbie Droits Humains:

http://serbie-droitshumains.blogspot.fr/2014/10/hausse-du-nombre-de-demandeurs-dasile.html

About minors:

http://serbie-droitshumains.blogspot.fr/2014/10/mineurs-demandeurs-dasile-en-serbie.html

and opposition to the home of asylum seekers in Mladenovac, on the blog Serbie Droits Humains:

http://serbie-droitshumains.blogspot.fr/2014/10/manifestation-contre-un-centre-pour.html

(Article in French)

 

BALKAN ROAD

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After “Beyond Evros Wall” in 2012, the photographer Alberto Campi and the geographer Christina del Baggio just published “Balkan Road”, a documentary made ​​of portraits of exiles on their way through the Western Balkans.

Beyond Evros Wall (in English) :

http://www.albertocampiphoto.com/beyond-evros-wall-2/

Balkan Road (in French) :

http://visionscarto.net/balkan-road

 

WESTERN BALKANS: SAFE COUNTRIES ACCORDING TO GERMANY

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The German parliament decided to add Bosnia, Macedonia and Serbia to the list of safe countries of origin. This list varies from one country to another, and included so far in Germany the other countries of the European Union, Ghana and Senegal. This effectively means that asylum seekers should bring immediately clear evidence of persecution for their claims examined. This measure is intended mainly Roma, who are also the majority of deportees by Germany to the Balkans.

See in English in the European Council on Refugees and exiles :

http://us1.campaign-archive2.com/?u=8e3ebd297b1510becc6d6d690&id=9642a55e9e&e=56fa2dd50e

 

GREECE: NEW CONDEMNATIONS BY THE ECHR

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Greece has just been condemned by the European Court of Human Rights for the inhuman and degrading conditions in detention centers again.

In one of the two judgments, it emphasizes the excessive length of the continued detention. In the other the fact that the plaintiff, who was seeking asylum, did not in practice access to an appeal against his conditions of detention, and that once released it was left in the street without any material support and without access to the health care system.

Article (in English) in the ECRE Weekly Bulletin:

http://us1.campaign-archive1.com/?u=8e3ebd297b1510becc6d6d690&id=ce8de8fbd1

ECHR decision (in French) for Tatishvili v. Greece:

http://hudoc.echr.coe.int/sites/eng/pages/search.aspx?i=001-145785

ECHR decision (in French) for the FH v. Greece:

http://hudoc.echr.coe.int/sites/eng/pages/search.aspx?i=001-145786

 

GREECE: DESIGNATED SMUGGLERS

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The mission of Christian Peacemaker Team in Lesbos enabled them to observe how the Greek coastguard designate among the exiles came on the same boat supposed smugglers who are thus imprisoned for several months in anticipation of their trial, with few defenses against a procedure they can’t understand well.

Testimony (in English) on their website:

http://cptmediterranean.wordpress.com/2014/09/20/mohamad-escaped-the-war-but-landed-in-prison/

 

GREECE: PIKPA IN DANGER

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PIKPA is an self-organised shelter of exiles created by the inhabitants of the island of Lesbos, near the Turkish coast (https://goo.gl/maps/pAonT), in a place provided by the municipality.

Sometimes instrumentalised by the police, which makes it a spillway of the Moria detention center when full, PIKPA is nevertheless an open welcoming place, where the exiles may find that Europe is also a place of hospitality and solidarity.

The municipality has changed, and the new mayor wants to close PIKPA.

Welcome to Europe release (in English):

http://lesvos.w2eu.net/2014/09/21/mayor-of-mitilini-wants-to-close-down-self-organised-welcome-center-for-refugees/

Christian Peace Team Mediterranean release (in English):

http://cptmediterranean.wordpress.com/2014/09/18/press-release-mayor-galenos-is-wasting-an-opportunity-to-support-hospitality-at-pikpa/

 

GREECE: INCREASED PENALTIES AGAINST THE WORDS AND RACIST ACTS

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A law has been adopted that provide a more severe penalty for incitement to racial hatred, racism and Holocaust denial. It was long expected, particularly because of the development of the Golden Dawn. Its path has not been easy. For example, in the spring, an amendment to the immigration bill had been proposed to sanction abusive denunciations of acts involving the police or border guards - so especially targeting migrants alleging violations of their rights.

The law passed, remains that it is applied - main weakness of the legislation in force so far.

In French on Le Courrier des Balkans website:

http://balkans.courriers.info/article25580.html

 

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