AYS News Digest 15/06/2022: UK Rwanda flight cancelled by ECHR
Call for action in Poland // Suspension of Schengen border code, Italy // Trial due to start of attempted suicide victim from Moira 2
UK Rwanda flight cancelled by ECHR
With just minutes to spare before the flight was due to leave, the European Court of Human Rights prevented the first deportation flight. Citing “real risk of inhuman and degrading treatment (Art. 3 ECHR)”, the UK government was forced to comply, preventing the six remaining people from being deported.
Of the 37 people originally scheduled to leave, all the others had successful legal challenges. In July, a further case will be brought before UK courts by NGOs to challenge the legality of the policy.
The policy would see asylum seekers have their case heard in Rwanda and successful applicants would remain in the African country. The policy, put forward was a “deterrent” against those arriving by small boats, is set to cost the Government millions. The scheduled flight alone was due to cost £500,000. This thread examines the costs involved.
The frequent question asked by British media is why people want to make the dangerous crossing to the UK, having passed through other European countries. This thread explores answers to that questions.
The number of people entering Serbia is increasing. There are 200–250 people per day entering the country, with an estimated 500 people being illegally expelled from northern countries back to Serbia. More than a thousand people attempted to claim asylum, with only two applications successful.
A report has been issued reflecting on the response to the war in Ukraine and the resulting humanitarian crisis. Humanitarian Outcomes analysed data regarding funding and organisations over the three months of the conflict. This twitter thread pulls out some important points, which demonstrate that local groups have done more of the work and received less of the funding.
Call for action
Those who have escaped the dangerous conditions of the border are kept in guarded centres. The conditions of these centres include lack of legal information, no psychological support and a lengthy waiting time. Hunger strikes have been staged by detainees at four centres in Poland and No Borders Team are calling for demonstrations. With World Refugee Day on 20th June, they call for local groups to use creative methods to stage demonstrations and protests. Find out more and add your event here.
Suspension of Schengen border code
The bishop of Ventimiglia has criticised France for their racist border regime. The border between France and Italy has been subject to a suspension of the Schengen Accords, with ‘Only those with darker skin checked [for ID]’. According to the letter, published on the Diocese website, since the war between Russia and Ukraine, discrimination against people from Africa and Asia has been evident.
A cemetery for those who die in the Mediterranean Sea has been opened. The site created by Catholic Charity Caritas is located in the city of Reggio Calabria in southern Italy.
“This place should be a strong signal to both national and European institutions: everyone has the right to leave and we all have the duty to welcome,” Marco Pagniello
Sixty people remain homeless in Trento, Italy. The asylum seekers have been waiting for months for a place in the housing system, according to association Assemblea antirazzista (anti-racist assembly). The system for providing housing was also criticised, detailing that the process is complicated and some people miss their opportunity due to not being able to answer a phone call.
There has been a protest in Paris with more than a hundred people seeking accommodation. The protest included 27 pregnant women and more than 60 children who require sufficient accommodation in Paris. The state was requested to use some of the 500 places being saved for people from Ukraine, but the State response was negative.
A photographer has been fined nearly €1,000 following a dispute with the police on the Canary Islands. Eighteen months ago, Pulitzer prize-winning photographer Javier Bauluz was documenting the arrival of people to the EU islands from mainland Africa when the police questioned him.
Trial due to start of attempted suicide victim from Moira 2
A trial is to take place regarding a woman who attempted suicide last year by setting herself on fire. The trial, due to start on 22nd June, concerns an incident which took place in Mavrovouni camp (nicknamed Moiria 2) while she was heavily pregnant. The woman, identified as MM, faces charges of attempted arson.
A detailed account of a pushback from Greece to Turkey is recounted here. A Turkish citizen was attempting to reach her family in Germany.
A child is being treated in hospital after a fire at Greek camp Eleonas. The 14-year-old from Afghanistan is facing respiratory problems and severe burns.
Golden Dawn, the banned far right group, were the topic of the Court of Appeal. Four people sentenced for their involvement were appealing their sentences when the meeting was adjourned. Reportedly, a phone call warning of a bomb in the building led to the appeal being adjourned until 6th July.
A protest is intended to take place on 25th June in Exarchia Square in response to the “gentrification” of the area. The most impoverished people have been gradually excluded from the area.
Protestors have demonstrated outside a company that provides GPS trackers used on asylum seekers. Capita earns millions of pounds from their contract for ankle trackers which the UK Home Office uses to monitor people.
After 11 years Simba Mujakachi has been granted refugee status, thereby eliminating a £100,000 health care debt. Mujakachi suffered a stroke, but as an asylum seeker, wasn’t entitled to treatment. After years of appeals and hearings, the NHS debt has now been cancelled due to his change in status. Whilst this was celebrated as a victory, Mujakachi, who has lived in the UK since the age of four, faces on-going financial hardship.
SEA and SAR
A large number of operations in the Mediterranean have taken place recently. Sea Eye 4 was instrumental in the rescue of 416 people in three different operations, whilst rescue vessel Nadir assisted in the rescue of around 30 people off the coast of Lampedusa in Italy.
There was also an incident involving a boat of 103 people who were forced onto a patrol boat of the so-called Libyan Coast Guard. Seventeen people threw themselves into the water to avoiding being forcibly returned to Libya.
A 15-year-old boy was in need of hospital treatment after swimming to save himself. The boy, who arrived semi-conscious, was in need of air-lifting to receive treatment from the rescue vessel.
This comes as Sea Watch reiterates that their no-fly order over the Libyan search and rescue zone endangers lives.
The LIBE Committee Frontex Scrutiny Working Group (FSWG) has met to discuss Frontex’s activities in non-EU countries. The discussion, which included a representative of the Border Violence Monitoring Network, left some questions unanswered. BVMN has issued three complaints against Frontex, which have yet to be answered.
Alarmephone Sahara are presenting a tour of talks concerning the EU border regime in Agadez and Niger. Various dates and cities in Germany.
This long read compares the response to law-breaking by army officers in Russia, Iraq and Bosnia to the illegal actions of the border authorities at the Greek border.
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