MONTHLY REVIEW APRIL 2022 – HTML

NEW ON migration-control.info 

Blog 07.04.2022: RefugeesInLibya: An Unheard Mass Protest and Update March 2022 by Doro Krämer and the Migration Control Project Editorial Office: In December 2021, Doro Krämer wrote a blog entry for migration-control.info about the self-organized protest movement of the Refugees in Libya. We translated the blog post and added a short update of the events that have taken place since December.”

Blog 15.04.2022: New EU-Document: Operationalization of the Pact – Migratory Relations with Serbia by the Migration Control Project Editorial Office: “We have received an EU internal document, dated March 17, 2022. The document titled „Operationalization of the Pact – Migratory relations with Serbia“ is to be considered within the discussion of the Council of the European Union on the „improvement“ of the cooperation between the EU and the Serbian state in the field of migration. In the document, the Presidency of the Council proposes to draw up priorities for the elaboration of an action plan. In addition to that, the Presidency proposes to identify Serbia as an additional priority country for the developing New Pact’s action plan. In the following, we contextualize this document in the ongoing externalization of the European migration and border regime to Serbia. Please find the document here.”

Special: Yemen

Yemen 01.04.22: Al Jazeera: Yemen’s warring parties agree to two-month truce, UN says: “The warring sides in Yemen’s seven-year conflict have agreed to a two-month nationwide truce, starting with the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, the United Nations envoy has said. The UN-brokered deal on Friday between a Saudi-led coalition and the rebel Houthi group aligned with Iran is the most significant step yet towards ending a conflict that has killed tens of thousands and pushed millions into hunger. The last coordinated cessation of hostilities nationwide was during peace talks in 2016.”

See also 01.04.22: Al Jazeera: Yemen peace talks give little hope for displaced civilians

Yemen 03.04.22: Der Standard: Angriffe gehen trotz Waffenruhe im Jemen offenbar weiter: (Attacks apparently continue despite cease-fire in Yemen): Just hours after the start of a cease-fire in Yemen, the parties to the conflict have accused each other of breaking the agreement.

Yemen 07.04.22: The Guardian: Exiled Yemen president steps aside as truce raises hopes of end to war: “Yemen’s exiled President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi has transferred his powers to a new presidential council, in a major political shake-up that took place as efforts to end the country’s years-long war gained traction with a fragile two-month truce.”

See also: 08.04.22: Reuters: Head of new Yemeni council promises end to war via peace process; 13.04.22: Al Jazeera: US Navy says new task force to patrol Red Sea amid Yemen war

Yemen 18.04.22: MEMO: Yemen officials, lawmakers return to Aden following Saudi talks: “Yemeni officials and lawmakers yesterday arrived in Yemen’s provisional capital, Aden, to continue conflict resolution talks following recent consultation in Saudi Arabia. An official source told Anadolu Agency that „more than 150 political figures arrived in Aden from Saudi Arabia’s capital, Riyadh, to continue talks to end Yemen’s eight-year long civil conflict.”

See also 18.04.22: Al Jazeera: Fighting rages in Marib despite UN truce

Yemen 25.04.22: Reuters: Yemen’s Houthis offer to release 200 prisoners before Eid al-Fitr, broadcaster reports: “Yemen’s Iran-aligned Houthi movement made a new offer to the United Nations that includes the release of 200 prisoners from each of the warring parties in Yemen before Muslim’s Eid al-Fitr, Al-Masirah TV said on Sunday citing the head of the Houthis‘ prisoner affairs committee, Abdul Qader al-Murtada. Murtada said the reason for the new offer is the delay in the implementation of a prisoner swap agreement, adding the group is waiting for a response of the Saudi-led coalition, which it hopes will be positive.”

Central Africa

Cameroon / US 15.04.22: Al Jazeera: US grants temporary deportation relief to Cameroonians: “Cameroonians living in the United States will receive work permits and temporary relief from the threat of deportation due to the continuing conflict between government forces and armed separatists in the West African country […] While immigration rights activists welcomed Friday’s announcement, some questioned why it took the Biden administration so long to protect Cameroonians.” 

East Africa

Ethiopia 30.03.22: France24: The first of 100,000 Ethiopians repatriated from Saudi Arabia: “Hundreds of Ethiopians arrived back in Addis Ababa on Wednesday, the first contingent of some 100,000 nationals to be repatriated from Saudi Arabia over the coming months. […] Wednesday’s returnees „were assisted and registered by IOM staff and offered, among others, food, temporary accommodation, medical help and counselling services,“ the UN migration agency said in its statement.”

Kenya 12.04.22: The East African: 3.5m Kenyans in need of emergency food aid as drought bites: As most parts of Kenya have experienced little or no rainfall since 2020 and this will be the fourth season in a row that the rains will be failing to meet traditional expectations, at least 3.5 million Kenyans are in need of food assistance. 

Sudan / West Darfur 28.04.22: FAZ: Mehr als 200 Tote bei Angriffen in sudanesischer Krisenregion (More than 200 killed in attacks in Sudanese crisis region): The violence erupted on Friday when armed fighters from Arab tribes attacked villages belonging to the Massalit, an ethnic African minority. It was apparently in retaliation for the deaths of two tribal members. The initial focus was the Krink region about 80 kilometers from El Geneina, the capital of the West Darfur region. More than a thousand fighters from the Arab Riseigat tribe invaded the town of Krink, which has a population of 500,000, on Sunday, according to the UN. According to the report, they attacked hospitals, destroyed a police station and burned down a market. According to Doctors Without Borders (MSF), medical personnel were also killed. In view of the violence, the UN suspended its food aid for more than 60,000 people in the region.

See also 26.04.22: NYT: Arab Militia Kills Scores in Sweeping Attack in Sudan’s Darfur; 14.04.22: Jungle World: Einer von vielen (Start of Trial of an alleged Sudanese war criminal in The Hague)

Uganda / DRC 01.04.22: UN News: Thousands escape to Uganda following violent clashes in DR Congo: After the violence began on Monday, 28 March, some 10,000 people have fled from the DRC’s Rutchuru territory, located less than 10 kilometres from the Bunagana border crossing in Kisoro and have found shelter in the southwest Kisoro district.

Rwanda / Zambia 01.04.22: lusakatimes: Rwanda and Zambia signs 7 MoUs to further enhance ties and integration: “Rwanda and Zambia have signed seven Memoranda of Understandings (MoUs) to further enhance ties and integration between the two countries” One of these MoUs “is meant for the facilitation of the movement of persons between the two countries and establish mechanisms of mutual interest to prevent and combat transnational crime, Joint measures to combat illegal migration and deportation processes and procedures.”

North Africa

Libya 16.04.22: Middle East Eye: Six dead, 29 presumed dead after migrant boat capsizes off Libya: “Six people were found dead and 29 are missing and presumed dead after their boat capsized off the coast of Libya, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) said Saturday [16 April][…]´The bodies of six people have been retrieved while 29 others are missing and presumed dead. At least 53 migrants have been reported dead or missing off Libya this week alone`.“

See also 16.04.22: The Guardian: Boat capsizes off Libya, leaving 35 people dead or presumed dead; 24.04.22: abc News: Survivors blame Lebanon navy for deadly migrant boat sinking 24.04. Al Jazeera: At least 17 dead after four boats capsize off Tunisia coast

Libya / Russia 15.04.22: Al Jazeera: Russians unlikely to leave Libya, despite Ukraine war: “Western observers had begun wondering in recent weeks whether Wagner forces would be withdrawing from Libya to instead focus on supporting Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Although Moscow might need to adjust and reconfigure its mission in Libya, there is good reason to expect the Russians to continue their campaign, which has served to shape the security architecture of Libya’s east, where Haftar is based, and entrench itself.”

Libya 21.04.22: taz: Ein neuer Stellvertreterkrieg droht (A new proxy war is looming): In Libya, the conflict between the rival prime ministers threatens to escalate into a new war. After armed persons occupied two oil ports on Monday, the state oil company NOC ordered an export stop due to „force majeure“. Many Libyans see this as the first sign of the next international proxy war in Africa’s oil-richest country.

Morocco/Algeria 12.04.22: Middle East Eye: Algeria accuses Morocco of ‚targeted killings‘ of three people near Western Sahara: “Algeria accused Morocco on Tuesday of „targeted killings“ of three people near the disputed area of Western Sahara, as relations between the two countries continues to deteriorate. Media linked to the Polisario Front reported a Moroccan air strike early Sunday against trucks close to the border between the desert territory and Mauritania, killing three people of unknown nationalities.”

Morocco / Spain 11.04.22: Der Standard: Polisario setzt Beziehungen zu Madrid aus (Polisario suspends relations with Madrid): Following a letter from Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez endorsing the autonomy for Western Sahara offered by Morocco in 2007, Frente Polisario breaks with the Spanish government „until it desists from instrumentalising the Sahrawi cause as a shameful bargaining chip and compensation in its deals and transactions with the Moroccan occupiers.“

See also 08.04.22: Der Standard: Marokkos König empfing Spaniens Premier nach Kurswechsel in Westsahara-Konflikt (Morocco’s King welcomed Spain’s Prime Minister after change of course in Western Sahara conflict)

Sudan 06.04.22 Al Jazeera: Sudanese mark removal of al-Bashir with protest against army rule: Thousands of Sudanese took to the streets to commemorate the anniversary of mass unrest that led to the toppling of former Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir in 2019, and to protest the military’s ongoing grip on power.

Tunisia 05.04.22: Statewatch: EU: Tracking the Pact: Tunisia refuses cooperation with Frontex but will set up an „integrated border surveillance“ system: “It is clear that the North African country, which is in the midst of a wave of protests and a democratic crisis, continues to refuse to cooperate with Frontex – but the provision of millions of euros for an „integrated border surveillance and coastal communication system“ is still going ahead. More money is also being provided, with the aim of targeting „young Tunisians prone to migration”.”

Tunisia 19.04.22: Alarmphone: Criminalization of Refugees: The dark Side of EU and UNHCR Policies in Tunisia: “On Thursday, 14th of April,  18 refugees were arrested by security forces in the Tunisian capital of Tunis . The arrests took place after a group of 210 people expressed their frustration with the unresponsiveness of the UNHCR, and decided to transfer their protest to the agency’s headquarters located in Tunis. The decision of moving the protest came after the group had a sit-in for over two months in front of the UNHCR’s office in Zarzis following the agency’s newly-adopted undeclared policy of closing many dorms sheltering refugees and asylum seekers and reducing the number of residents, and pushing many of them to leave in exchange of alternatives that do not live up to the minimum living standards and people on the move expectations due to “absence of financial support” as the agency declared earlier this year.”

See also 16.04.22: Schengenvisainfo: Italy Repatriated Nearly 850 Migrants Since the Beginning of 2022

West Africa

Burkina Faso 26.04.22: Monde 5: Burkina Faso : des communautés tentent un dialogue incertain avec des groupes djihadistes (Burkina Faso: Communities attempt uncertain dialogue with jihadist groups): In early April, the junta that overthrew elected President Roch Marc Christian Kaboré on January 24 announced the creation of „local dialogue committees“ with Burkinabe groups that have no links to al-Qaeda and the Islamic State (IS). The willingness expressed by some young combatants of these groups to talk to their traditional, religious and customary leaders, led to the establishment of dialogue committees, according to Burkina Faso’s Minister of National Reconciliation Yéro Boly.

West Africa 05.04.22: Al Jazeera: Oxfam, others: West Africa facing worst food crisis in a decade: “About 27 million people in West Africa are suffering from hunger marking the region’s worst food crisis in a decade, international aid groups have said. In a damning statement […] 11 major international organizations[…] warned that the figure could even rise to 38 million this June. Unless urgent action is taken, they said, the increase would mark “a new historic level” and an increase by more than a third during last year.”

Mali 26.04.21: Le Monde: Mali : six soldats tués dans trois attaques contre des camps militaires (Mali: Six soldiers killed in three attacks on military camps): On April 24, the Malian army announced the death of six soldiers in three simultaneous attacks on military camps in central Mali. The attacks, carried out Sunday „around 5 a.m.“ by „armed terrorist groups [who] used suicide vehicles packed with explosives,“ left a total of „six dead“ and 20 wounded in the three camps targeted, in Sévaré, Bapho and Niono.

See also Al Jazeera 05.04.22: Mali: HRW condemns ‘deliberate slaughter’ of 300 men by military; 05.04.22: Human Rights Watch: Mali: Massacre by Army, Foreign Soldiers; 12.04.22: africanews: EU halts military training for Malian troops; 19.04.22: africanews: Mali receives two Russian military helicopters

Mauritania 31.03.22: Euronews: Twenty-five migrants feared dead off Spain’s Canary Islands:  “At least 25 migrants are feared to have died at sea during an attempted sea crossing near Spain’s Canary Islands. The migrant vessel is believed to have left Nouakchott in Mauritania before attempting to cross the Atlantic Ocean. About 75 people — including some children — had left Mauritania on 19 March, Spanish police said on Thursday.”

Niger 22.04.22: Al Jazeera: Niger approves hosting more European forces amid Mali withdrawal: “Legislators in Niger have approved a bill that allows the hosting of more European special forces in the west African country as France continues its withdrawal from neighbouring Mali. Niger’s parliament voted overwhelmingly on Friday [22 April] in favour of the bill, which clears the way for more European troops to be deployed but the total number has not been revealed.The issue of increased foreign troops had pitted the governing party of President Mohamed Bazoum, who proposed the legislation, against opposition and civil society group who are weary of France’s military involvement in its former colonies.

West Asia 

Israel / DRC 07.04.22: Haaretz: Israeli Minister Lifts Blanket Ban on Expelling Congolese Asylum Seekers: “Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked has ordered an end to a freeze on the repatriation of refugees from Democratic Republic of Congo on Wednesday, citing an upswing in the conditions in the country. In light of the change, the cases of those in Israel illegally will be examined on an individual basis within the next 30 days, including any request for asylum that they have filed.”

Irak 01.05.22: Irakische Militärpräsenz in Şengal: Die Menschen haben Angst (Iraqi military presence in Şengal: people are afraid): Iraq has massively increased its military presence in the Yezidi settlement area of Şengal, many roads in the region are closed. The increased presence of the Iraqi army in Şengal is taking place in parallel with the Turkish invasion of the guerrilla areas in Southern Kurdistan and the permanent attacks on Rojava. The connection between Şengal, Rojava and the Medya defence areas is to be cut off, all three areas are to be isolated and worn down. Apparently, there is an agreement between the Erdogan government in Turkey, the Barzanî party PDK in Southern Kurdistan and the Iraqi central government under Mustafa al-Kadhimi.

Turkey / Kurdistan 29.04.22: ANFNews: Rojava und Şengal werden eingekreist (Rojava and Şengal are encircled): In the past two years, the South Kurdish party PDK has transformed the border with Rojava into a fortress. Under Turkey’s direction, a siege situation has been created against Rojava similar to that against the Medya defence areas. On the 33 kilometres of border between Rojava and South Kurdistan, 66 military bases of the PDK, which collaborates with Turkey, were created. In addition, there are hundreds of military positions. Special units of the PDK are massing armoured vehicles in the region and thermal cameras are being installed. However, the bases are not used by the PDK alone, but also simultaneously by the Turkish intelligence service MIT and the Turkish army.

See also 29.04.22: ANFNews: Grünes Außenministerium stellt sich hinter türkischen Angriffskrieg (Green Foreign Ministry backs Turkish war of aggression)

Europe

France / Mali 08.04.22: LMD: Frankreichs Rückzug aus Mali (France’s withdrawal from Mali) [Background Read]: At least 2,800 jihadists are said to have been killed in French-led operations, and the French themselves lost 58 soldiers.1 The losses of the African troops are likely to be much higher: they probably recorded hundreds of dead and wounded. The exact number is unknown, as there are no official figures. Civilian casualties in the affected countries are said to number several thousand.

Germany / Libya 31.03.22: InfoMigrants: Germany to end training of Libyan coast guard over ‚unacceptable‘ behavior towards migrants: “[T]he German foreign ministry announced it would be extending its participation in the EU monitoring mission Irini in the Mediterranean, but it would no longer commit to training the Libyan coast guard, due to concerns about their treatment of migrants. The trainings are part of the Irini mandate.”

Germany 14.04.22: DW: Wie Deutschland EU-Geld in Afrika verwaltet (How EUTF Budget is managed) [Background Read]: Germany, with the largest economic output of all EU countries, pays the most into the EUTF. Between 2016 and 2021, the government contributed about 316 million euros from the budget of the Federal Foreign Office and the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). In addition, Germany also pays most of the contributions to the general EU budget and the European Development Fund. This is where most of the EUTF money comes from. Overall, about a quarter of the budget comes from the German treasury.

Germany 27.04.22: ANFNews: Bünger: Bund und Länder machen sich zu Erfüllungsgehilfen Erdogans (Bünger: Federal and state governments are becoming Erdogan’s accomplices): Only 13.4 per cent of Kurds fleeing the AKP/MHP regime in Turkey were granted protection status in 2021 in Germany. For applicants registered as „of Turkish origin“, the protection rate is 77.8 per cent. Deportations of politically persecuted Kurds to Turkey have increased. The MP Bünger reproaches the federal and state governments: „There is justified criticism that the federal and state governments are thus making themselves accomplices of Erdoğan’s unprecedented attacks on Kurds, leftists and opposition members. This policy must be stopped immediately.“

Greece 17.04.22: AP News: Greek police: Migrant shot dead while crossing from Turkey: A woman between the ages of 20 and 25 was killed by gunfire when trying to cross the Evros river at the Turkish-Greek border. “Greek police were patrolling the area where the Evros River, which is called Meric in Turkish, narrows to about 60 to 70 meters (around 200 feet) wide and through which many migrants attempt to cross, according to a police statement and additional information provided to The Associated Press by a police officer on condition of anonymity.”

See also 16.04.22: Die Zeit: Am Fluss der Schande (At the River of Shame) [Background Read]

Greece 21.04.22: The Guardian: ‘A disaster waiting to happen’: who was really responsible for the fire at Moria refugee camp? [Background Read]: “Days after fire destroyed the overcrowded camp, six inmates were charged with arson. Greece is now opening ‘prison-like’ secure camps in the Aegean islands as part of a growing tendency to criminalise refugees. – A long read about the criminalisiation of refugees in the Aegean.”

Switzerland / Germany 05.04.22: swissinfo: Swiss government beefs up police cooperation with Germany: The Swiss justice minister Karin Keller-Sutter has signed a revised bilateral accord on police cooperation with Germany. As a statement of the minister states “The treaty regulates cross-border cooperation, the bilateral exchange of information and the coordination of operational missions between the police authorities. […] The revised police agreement will further strengthen the already close bilateral police cooperation.”

Ukraine 04.04.22: Al Jazeera: Fear grows for migrants held in Ukraine’s detention centre: “Concerns have been raised about a European Union-funded migrant detention centre near Ukraine’s Lutsk city which appears to continue to hold an unconfirmed number of migrants despite Russia’s full-scale invasion of the country.[…] weeks into the Russian invasion, there were still people from countries such as Afghanistan and Pakistan detained in this centre. Several people were recently released with the support of their embassies, but a source confirmed there were still people who remained there.”

UK / Rwanda 14.04.22: AlJazeera: UK to send asylum seekers to Rwanda under controversial new deal: “The United Kingdom plans to send some asylum seekers who make it the country thousands of miles away to Rwanda for their claims to be processed there under a controversial new immigration scheme announced by Prime Minister Boris Johnson.”

See also 06.04.22: Middle East Eye: Priti Patel plans to turn the UK into asylum hell. The Lords are trying to stop her; 14.04.22: Middle East Eye: UK policy to send asylum seekers to Rwanda criticised as ‚cruel‘; 14.04.22: inews: Why Rwanda plan might not work as offshore asylum schemes by Australia, Israel and Denmark deemed failures; 15.04.22: The East African: Rwanda excludes refugees from neighbouring states in UK deal; 20.04.22: Reuters: Denmark in talks with Rwanda on transfer of asylum-seekers; 20.04.22: dailymail: Denmark begins talks with Rwanda to set up a migrant scheme like Britain’s; 28.04.22: africanews: Rwanda: Opposition leader warns UK-Rwanda migration deal could create „conflicts“

UK 25.04.22: Calais.Bordermonitoring: Aus für Pushbacks im Ärmelkanal (Puhsbacks in Channel Failed): As Public and Commercial Services (PCS) Union, Care4Calais, Channel Rescue and Freedom from Torture announce today, April 25, 2022, the British government has abandoned its plan to forcibly push back boats of refugees in the English Channel. The four organizations have thus achieved a significant human rights policy success.

European Union

Frontex 06.04.22: schengenvisainfo: Frontex Supports EU’s Reintegration Services Scheme for Migrants: “Frontex, the European Border and Coast Guard Agency, has for the first time supported the Member States’ plans to provide reintegration measures to migrants willing to return to their home countries, the authority reveals. According to a press release […] Egypt will provide third-country nationals services such as long-term accommodation, medical assistance, job searching, education and family reunification across all 26 EU Member States.”

Frontex 21.04.22: FragDenStaat: Resources at the disposal of violence: How European countries make Frontex operations possible [Background Read]: “756 German officers, 11 Italian aircrafts, 62 Bulgarian patrol cars or 101 Austrian deportation officials: We publish all resources European countries make available to Frontex. […] In order to better understand each European country’s contributions to Frontex, today we are publishing a compilation of all resources (equipment and officers) made available to Frontex per country, from 2015 to 2021.”

See also 21.04.22: Golem: Frontex will 13.000 Geflüchtete mit Drohnen aufgespürt haben [Frontex claims to have tracked 13,000 refugees with drones]

Frontex 27.04.22: Republik: Inside Frontex: Die geheime Datenbank der EU – und was sie damit vertuscht (Inside Frontex: The EU’s secret database – and what it covers up with it) [Background Read]: The EU border agency was involved in illegal pushbacks of hundreds, probably even thousands of refugees in the Aegean. Frontex surveillance planes and vessels spotted the people on the move in inflatable boats and informed the Greek Coast Guard, which put them on inflatable, unpowered life rafts and left them on the open sea in Turkish waters – a practice that was even criticized in a Frontex internal investigation report. It regularly misclassified the illegal practices and thus prevented them from being cleared up. 

Frontex 29.04.22: Politico: EU border agency chief resigns after critical watchdog probe: “EU border agency chief Fabrice Leggeri is resigning following the release of initial findings from a long-running watchdog probe into misconduct at the agency, according to multiple people familiar with the matter. Leggeri has led the agency, Frontex, since 2015. In recent years, Frontex has come under significant scrutiny for its alleged role in illegally turning migrants away at the EU’s borders, a practice known as pushbacks. Frontex has also faced allegations of harassment and misconduct within the agency itself.”

See also 30.04.22: taz: Lügeris Abschied (Leggeri leaves Frontex); Tagesschau 31.04.22: Frontex-Chef Leggeri zurückgetreten (Frontex head Leggeri resigned)

IRINI 29.04.22: TAZ: In unruhigen Gewässern (In troubled waters): Operation Irini has only symbolic effect in the fight against arms smuggling.On 29.04.the German Bundestag will vote on the request of the coalition of the two parties to continue to provide German military personnel and material for Irini.

Reports

03/22 Border Violence Monitoring Network: Illegal Pushbacks and Border Monitoring Violence Reports: March 2022 Balkan Region: “In March, the Border Violence Monitoring Network (BVMN) shared 36 testimonies of pushbacks impacting 762 people-on-the-move across the Balkans. This report brings together first-hand testimonies from a range of countries in the region to look at the way European Union states and other actors are affecting systemic violence towards people crossing borders. In trends in pushbacks observed in the last month, this report analyses the continuation of pushbacks perpetrated deep inland in Greece of people-on-the-move with some kind of legal status and official documentation.”

03/22 Heinrich Böll Stiftung Sarajevo and Thessaloniki: People on the Move in BiH 2019-2021. In Between. (Un)welcome to No Man’s Land: “This report, written by two researchers, scholars and activists attempts to portray the situation regarding access to human rights by the people on the move who have been stuck in the corridor between the EU countries. It covers the period from January 2019 to March 2022. While trying not to repeat what was already addressed in our previous report and has not changed since, we focus on the following issues: the overview of the ever-changing situation regarding people on the move; the access to human rights such as freedom of movement; access to healthcare; access to accommodation; and access to asylum.”

03/22 Alarm Phone: Border Business – How the EU’s militarisation fuels smuggling networks between North Africa and Spain: “The following report sheds light on how this border business works in different regions in the Western Mediterranean and on the Atlantic route. We hope that it will underline that the problem of the border business does not consist in the individual smugglers and travel agents. The reason for the flourishing border business are a) the racist border policies of the European Union that do not offer any regular route, militarise borders and push migrants to resort to centralised and often exploitative smuggling networks and, closely intertwined, b) the capitalist structures in which state officials and local populations enrich themselves and the European economies thrives.”

04/22 Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch: ‘We Will Erase You From This Land’: Crimes Against Humanity and Ethnic Cleansing in Ethiopia’s Western Tigray Zone: The report “documents how newly-appointed officials in Western Tigray and security forces from the neighbouring Amhara region, with the acquiescence and possible participation of Ethiopian federal forces, systematically expelled several hundred thousand Tigrayan civilians from their homes using threats, unlawful killings, sexual violence, mass arbitrary detention, pillage, forcible transfer, and the denial of humanitarian assistance. These widespread and systematic attacks against the Tigrayan civilian population amount to crimes against humanity, as well as war crimes.”

04/22 Human Rights Watch: “Their Faces Were Covered” Greece Using Other Migrants to Expel Asylum Seekers: A new report published by Human Rights Watch shows that Greek security forces are employing third country nationals, men who appear to be of Middle Eastern or South Asian origin, to push asylum seekers back at the Greece-Turkey land border. “Three people interviewed were able to talk with the men ferrying the boats. The boat pilots told them they were also migrants who were employed by the Greek police with promises of being provided with documents enabling them to travel onward.”

04/22 Alarm Phone: Left-to-die four times: still no justice for the 130 people abandoned at sea on 21 April 2021: One year ago, on April 21 2021, a boat with about 130 people on board was abandoned in the Central Mediterranean sea in worsening weather conditions despite their repeated calls for help. The Alarm Phone was in contact with the people on board and witnessed how the passengers were left to die four times, among others by Frontex-operated planes. The AP asks authorities to finally disclose all the information in their possession, as only then the responsibilities of all actors involved might be established.

04/22 HRW: Sudan: Hundreds of Protesters Detained, Mistreated: “The ruthless and brutal targeting of protesters is an attempt to instill fear, and has largely evaded international scrutiny,” said Mohamed Osman, Sudan researcher at Human Rights Watch. “For months, security forces have abused and illegally detained hundreds of people, including children, who express their opposition to military rule.”

04/22 Human Rights Watch: Poland: Trafficking, Exploitation Risks for Refugees: “Refugees from Ukraine, particularly women and girls, face heightened risks of gender-based violence, trafficking, and other exploitation due to lack of systematic protection and security measures in Poland. “Poland’s acceptance of those fleeing the war in Ukraine is a positive shift from its response to other crises, but the lack of basic protection measures risks exposing refugees to serious abuse”.” 

04/22 Mare Liberum: Pushback Report 2021: “The Pushback Report 2021 first provides a brief overview of the history of European border violence and illustrates different ways of  dealing with different migratory movements of the European border regime. In the main part of the publication, it becomes clear that illegal pushbacks have become a regular practice of  human rights violations against people on the move. These are neither isolated cases nor a   „side effect“ of so-called border protection. Rather, different testimonies reveal impressively  that (physical) violence, humiliation and torture are used as strategic means to prevent fleeing people from reaching EU territory, also by illegal methods.”

Campaigns

No Name Kitchen 26.04.22: Velika Kladuša – BREAKING NEWS: “Over the past weeks, the movement of people on has increased in the North of Bosnia and Herzegovina. More people are leaving the camps in Sarajevo or in Serbia and are coming to the area. Meanwhile, the rumor has made it to us from multiple sides that this time indeed the official decision has been taken to close the Miral camp. All necessary agreements have been signed. This means that the only camp in the area will most probably shut down. We witness that many people on the move show great solidarity with each other. Even when living space in the squats – the empty houses and house ruins many people on the move are residing in- is very limited, they make space for newcomers. They share the limited resources they have.Until state actors, together with European Union as the origin of this situation behind its borders, and institutional organizations working together with EU take over their responsibility and start to take care of people’s most basic human rights, we will try to fill the gaps as best as we can.” To donate, follow this link.

Events 

Panel 03.05.22, 3 – 4.30 pm (CEST): Connected Sociologies Curriculum Project: Channel Crossings: Colonial Histories and Maritime Legacies: This event situates contemporary British responses to Channel Crossings within the context of colonial histories and maritime legacies. It aims to offer a historicized perspective on this phenomenon which seeks to respond to calls to embed colonial histories in analyses of the present. With Lucy Mayblin, Joe Turner, Arshad Isakjee, and Thom Davies.

Book launch 09.05.22, 7.30 – 9.30 pm (CEST): mEUterei: Grenzenlose Gewalt – Der unerklärte Krieg der EU gegen Flüchtende (Boundless violence – The EU’s undeclared war against refugees): The book by the authors‘ collective „mEUterei“ meticulously takes stock of the systematics of the daily crimes against humanity at Europe’s borders, orchestrated from Brussels desks and executed by highly armed border guards. It is a call for global solidarity and equal rights for all refugees. The event takes place physically in Hamburg, Germany. 

Presentation 02.06.22, 7.30 pm (CEST): Sea-Watch: The eye over the Mediterranean Sea – Sea-Watch’s civil aerial reconnaissance introduces itself: “121 missions, and 1,124 hours of flight time. Looking back, 2021 was the most intensive year for our civil aerial reconnaissance operation so far. Together with the Swiss organisation Humanitarian Pilots Initiative (HPI), Sea-Watch’s Airborne Operations have been operating this mission since 2017.” Two activists, the Head of Mission and the media officer, will share their perspectives. Register here

 

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