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World UN condemn direct rejections of refugees at EU borders

11:28  28 january  2021
11:28  28 january  2021 Source:   dw.com

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For Vice-Commissioner for Refugees Triggs, pushbacks massively undermine the right to asylum. She did not name the responsible EU states - although they are well known.

Flüchtlinge im September 2020 in einem Schiff der türkischen Küstenwache. Auch Ankara wirft Griechenland Pushbacks vor © Emrah Gurel / AP / picture alliance Refugees in September 2020 in a Turkish Coast Guard ship. Ankara also accuses Greece of pushbacks

The UN expresses its alarm about an increase in deportations and violent rejections of refugees and asylum seekers at the European borders . The states concerned must end these attacks on the right to asylum, demanded the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.

Back to sea or to neighboring countries

UNHCR has received regular reports of some European countries restricting access to asylum and pushing people back after they have already reached their territory, said the UN's deputy high commissioner for refugees, Gillian Triggs, in Geneva.

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So-called pushbacks apparently took place systematically, Triggs continues. Boats with refugees would be towed back. People would be rounded up after landing and then brought back to sea. People arriving by land would be detained without any trial and forcibly returned to neighboring countries.


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Focus on Greece, Croatia and Serbia

The High Commissioner did not mention any EU countries by name. In the past, however, refugees had reported such rejections at the borders from e.g. Greece , Croatia and also Serbia .

Die Australierin Gillian Triggs ist stellvertretende UN-Flüchtlingshochkommissarin © Brendon Thorne / Getty Images Australian Gillian Triggs is Deputy UN High Commissioner for Refugees

"The right to seek asylum is a fundamental human right," continued Triggs. The corona pandemic is no reason for an exception. It is possible to protect yourself from the pandemic and still guarantee access to fair and expeditious asylum procedures. The authorities would have to carry out an individual assessment of the protection requirements, demanded Triggs: "Pushbacks are simply illegal."

Number of arrivals falling.

According to UNHCR, the number of arrivals of refugees and asylum seekers in the European Union has steadily decreased in recent years. In 2020, 95,000 people would have reached the EU by sea and land. In 2019 there were 123,700 people, in 2018 it was 141,500.

sti / fab (afp, dpa, epd)

Hundreds of Rohingya missing from Indonesian refugee camp .
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