• EU praises on reducing number of refugees while smugglers rub their hands

    The Security Intelligence Agency (SOA) has published this year’s annual report. While we welcome the efforts of security institutions to be more transparent to citizens, we are concerned about some of the interpretations on their behalf, in the realm of the international humanitarian and refugee law. Namely, submitting a request for international protection immediately upon first entry into the Republic of Croatia cannot be a single criterion for assessing someone’s credibility! This is particularly important when it comes to the numerous testimonies of the refugees, that we have previously reported on, which repeatedly prove that they had not been able to seek international protection, not only at the borders, but also at the police stations – and more, they were deported to Serbia or Bosnia and Herzegovina afterwards.

    Finally, the question is whether the assessment of the credibility of the refugee testimony is the job of the Ministry of Internal Affairs or the job of SOA? SOA has mandate to deal with issues related to national security rather than assessments of the credibility of refugee testimonies.

    For more than 5 years, the Friends of the Earth connect young people from Europe and Africa to learn from each other and express solidarity in the struggle for social and environmental justice. This year they should have met within the project called „Fostering an Inclusive and Diverse Youth Environmental Movement project Across Africa and Europe”. Of the 7 young people from Africa who were to come to a partner meeting in Brussels in July, there were only three because four could not receive the visa (and that did not happen for the first time). That is why the Young Friends of Earth Africa and Young Friends of Earth Europe have decided to write an open letter and send it out to the EU Member States – to point out the injustice regarding the freedom of movement and privilege of Europeans.

    The letter was published on Thursday, September 14, following a meeting of the Justice and Home Affairs Council of the European Union on human rights, migration and terrorism. Signatures are still collected, and you can sign up with your signature here.

    Worrying news come from Romania where over the past few weeks Romania’s Coast Guard intercepted several smuggling ships that transported larger number of refugees. For example, last Wednesday, they saved 157 people, including 56 children from the Black Sea.  Trends show increased movements on routes across the Black Sea, through which people from Turkey come to Romania. Romanian Coast Guard warns that this route, due to the unpredictability of the Black Sea, could prove to be more deadly than the Mediterranean one.

    The consequences of the EU’s blindness while making a decision to keep refugees at all costs outside the European territory, apart from the increased movements across the dangerous Black Sea, can be seen in an open letter of the MSF that recently warned about European funding aimed at stopping ships from Libyan waters is exactly what strengthens criminal chains and leaves people in conditions where they are exposed to monstrous abuse. On the other hand, Italy proudly declares that it has reduced the arrival of Libyan refugees by 87% considering it success, while we wonder whether Europe truly considers leaving people to the mercy and inescapability of rape, slavery and torture THE success? 

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