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COVID-19 in Europe, the Central Eurasian Region, and Turkey

What are some of your biggest concerns about the coronavirus moving through Europe and Central Asia? Europe is one of the world’s epicenters of COVID-19 cases. There’s an awful death toll in Italy and Spain with the numbers of dead going up…
Military police officers patrol at a market in Budapest, Hungary, March 31, 2020.
News
How has the situation on Lesbos changed since your last visit? When I was here in 2016, I couldn’t imagine things being worse. We saw a lawless situation in Moria refugee camp. There were around 6,000 people in the camp,…
Migrants who arrived yesterday to Greece from Turkey eat bread as they try to warm themselves at the village of Skala Sikaminias, on the Greek island of Lesbos on Friday, March 6, 2020.
News
With independent media largely silenced or taken over, the courts increasingly curbed, and a parliament firmly under the control of the newly re-elected Fidesz ruling party, Hungary’s nongovernmental groups are the most effective…
Protesters attend a rally against Hungarian government's clampdown on a top foreign university and non-government organisations in Budapest, Hungary, May 21, 2017.
News
Last week, the European People's Party (EPP) had a chance to stand up for its values and those of the European Union. But instead, it ducked the issue. The umbrella group of center-right and Christian democrat parties in European…
Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel talks with Hungary's Prime Minister Viktor Orban before a photo at the European Union Tallinn Digital Summit in Tallinn, Estonia, September 29, 2017.
News

Regardless of if you look at United States, Europe, or the Pacific, the global asylum system is quickly falling apart.

The broad outlines of President Donald Trump’s “America First” foreign policy veers from build-a-wall isolationism to jingoistic sabre rattling, but in one dimension it has been sadly consistent: the stance that refugees should…
Demonstrators march outside the Trump Building at 40 Wall St. as part of a protest against the US government's refugee ban in New York on March 28, 2017. © 2017 Reuters
News

EU Commission’s Silence Undermining the Rights of Migrants

Migration was high on the agenda when the EU’s migration commissioner, Dimitris Avramopoulos, visited Budapest last week. But, after lengthy discussions with Hungary’s justice and interior ministers, his public remarks after the meeting on 28 March…
Migrants walk along Hungary's border fence on the Serbian side of the border near Morahalom, Hungary, February 22, 2016
News
Hungary’s governing party is cranking up the heat on nongovernmental organizations.  With its tight grip on parliament, and having undermined the courts and the media, the Fidesz government doesn’t like being held to account by pesky independent…
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban speaks during his state-of-the-nation address in Budapest, Hungary, February 10, 2017.
News
“What crime did we commit for 40 police officers to surround us? It’s like they think we are terrorists or criminals,” 48-year old Khatoon, a Yazidi woman from Iraq who had several family members who were murdered or taken hostage by ISIS, told me. For a…
News
“What crime did we commit for 40 police officers to surround us? It’s like they think we are terrorists or criminals,” 48-year old Khatoon, a Yazidi woman from Iraq who had several family members who were murdered or taken hostage by the jihadist group…
News
During his late April visit with German Chancellor Angela Merkel to Turkey, European Council President Donald Tusk lavished praise on his hosts, saying, “Turkey is the best example for the whole world on how we should treat refugees.” Turkey,…
News
The European Union’s current plan to stop the irregular flow of migrants and refugees to Europe, which came into effect on March 20, involves an agreement with Turkey to take back all people arriving on the Greek islands and all those intercepted in…
News
EU leaders claim that the March 18 agreement to return “all new irregular migrants crossing from Turkey into Greek islands” back to Turkey, writes Bill Frelick, will take place “in full accordance with EU and international law.” They cited the Procedures…
Asylum seekers and migrants at a makeshift camp at the port of Piraeus, queuing for distribution of survival kits by the Hellenic Red Cross. In the absence of any visible government support or personnel the day to day operation of the camp is dependent on
News

By Kenneth Roth, Salil Shetty & Catherine Woollard

Let’s not confuse desperation for legality when it comes to Europe’s proposed refugee deal with Turkey. No one should be under any illusion - the very principle of international protection for those fleeing war and persecution is at stake. …
Stranded refugees and migrants walk inside a relocation camp as they wait to cross the Greek-Macedonian border, near the Greek village of Idomeni, March 1, 2016.
News
European policymakers have been burning the midnight oil looking for ways to keep Syrian and other refugees and migrants from reaching Greece and swelling the ranks of asylum seekers in the European Union. The Nato operation announced on 11…
News
I talked to “Nabeel,” a 52-year-old man from Syria a few days ago in the resort town of Cesme on Turkeys’ Aegean coast. He told me how the overcrowded boat he’d boarded with his wife and four children a few days earlier sank. Turkish coastguards saved…
News
On November 21, after some United States governors announced that they didn’t want to accept Syrian refugees writes Gerry Simpson, the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America called on Americans “not [to] be guided by fear or bigotry,…
News
While EU leaders at the 23 September emergency summit on the refugee crisis struggled to reach agreement on how to cooperate, they all seemed to agree with German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s observation that “solving problems of [the EU] external borders…
News

Amid an influx of Iraqis and Syrians into Europe, the West is neglecting another group of refugees also in desperate need of help.

TOVARNIK, Croatia — Rajab Ali, a 16-year-old Hazara boy from Afghanistan’s Bamyan province, was silently weeping when we found him standing at the last remaining opening in the 12-foot-high razor-wire border fence Hungary has constructed on its…
Afghan Refugees