Refugee Law

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Pushbacks and Lawlessness

Dozens of cases before the European Court of Human Rights claim that Greek authorities are engaged in a policy of secret returns of persons seeking asylum back to Turkey, or ‘pushbacks’. Α post on this blog, ‘Pushbacks as Euphemism’ by Niamh Keady-Tabbai and Itamar Mann drew attenttion to the alleged ‘driftbacks’ in the Aegean. These, however, are only one part of a larger picture, because the current allegations concern land borders as well. The Greek government denies that such events take place. It accuses NGOs, foreign governments and ‘trafficking networks’ of inventing these stories. Nevertheless, the Greek Ombudsman’s ‘interim report on allegations of forced expulsions’, which is the only official investigation ever to have taken place in Greece on these matters, concluded in January 2021 that the allegations it had seen were credible and that the number and the standard features of the reported pushbacks caused ‘alarm’, which was not dispelled by the response of the Greek authorities. Similar conclusions, more strongly worded, were also reached by Amnesty International, the Council…

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The International Law of Protected Spaces and the Collapse of the Humanitarian Corridors in Ukraine

As the war in Ukraine deepens, the UN Refugee Agency has warned that Europe sits on the precipice of its ‘largest refugee crisis this century’. Over a million people have already fled the Russian invasion within the first seven days of conflict alone, and numbers are expected to rise exponentially. Simultaneously, while the refugee crisis grows…

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A Former Danish Minister for Immigration is Sentenced: A new Chapter in the Danish ‘Migrants Saga’

On December 13 2021 the Danish Court of Impeachment (Rigsretten) convicted Inger Støjberg, a former Minister of Immigration, for having unlawfully instructed public authorities to separate migrant couples one of whom was a minor. This special Court, which Parliament assembles, exists to try ministers accused of maladministration. Although nominally a permanent body, the assembly of the Court…

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The New Palestinian Refugees

According to numbers The Guardian published on May 17, 2021, the current Israeli attack on Gaza has killed 200 Palestinians, including 59 children. 34,000 have been displaced from their homes. It is hard to assess the accuracy of these numbers. Very likely, the death toll will be higher: the violence has not ebbed, and bodies…

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“Pushbacks” as Euphemism

Late in March, the UN Refugee Agency, UNHCR, declared that it identified “hundreds” of migrant pushbacks from Greece. These have allegedly occurred in the Aegean and in the Evros region – the Northern land border between Greece and Turkey. While Greece continues to deny these allegations, it has now become abundantly clear that this is mere gaslighting.

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