Lack of evidence is not the problem. In the last years, different civil society and research organizations have collected numerous testimonies of migrants and refugees that have been violently sent back by authorities after they crossed the border of the Westens Balkans, Morocco, Sebia, Turkey or Belarus into the European Union (EU). In many cases, these people – looking for dignity and international protection – reported abuse, humiliation and beatings. In the so called ‘pushbacks’, access to the asylum procedure is denied; asylum seekers are not registered but immediately returned to the other side of the border. Member of the European Parliament Tineke Strik is worried this inhumane and unlawful way of pushing people out of the EU is becoming a normality. On February 18, during the breakfast briefing organized by the Greens/EFA and the Open Society European Policy Institute; ‘Strengthening borders, weakening the rule of law?’ Strik, together with experts in the field, brought the attention to the pushbacks that take place at EU’s external borders. It was concluded that the approach for EU border control needs to be reconsidered and an independent border control mechanism should be implemented to stop the unlawful pushbacks from happening.
In this week’s news highlights: EU visits road construction project in Eritrea, reports Eritrean state news; Criticism on plans for a barrier between Greece and Turkey; Italy convicted of breaching the non-refoulement principle in 2009; Tear gas used by police at migrants and refugees in Lesbos; Sea Watch has no access to Frontex alerts; French police removes last refugee tent camp in Paris; Criticism on extension of Italian deal with Libyan coast guard; Libyan peace talks continue; Refugees in GDF in distress; The story of Mohammed who feels abandoned by the UN; Eritrea is not happy with American travel ban; Malnutrition is a big problem in Sudanese refugee camps; Reporters Without Borders urges Eritrean President to free Dawit Isaak and others; And discussion about Horn of Africa borders.
In this week’s news highlights: UNHCR in Libya accused of neglect and mismanagement in 4-part investigation; First group of people evacuated from Libya to Rwanda; Returnees flee after arrival in Libya; IOM urges closure of Tajoura detention centre; New Country of Origin Information on Eritrea confirms no change in human rights; RSF accused of pressuring the European Union; Bad conditions at Shagarab Camp in Sudan; Belgian and Eritrean Catholic Church representatives meet in Belgium; Three Jehovah’s Witnesses imprisoned for 25 years in Eritrea; Operation Sophia continues for an additional six months; Two people die in a fire at Greek refugee camp; Greece calls for help from other EU member states and Frontex; and Germany strengthens random checks at borders.