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European Commission Proposes Measures “To Apply the Fiction of Non-Entry”

As families huddle to keep warm in the forests along the Poland-Belarus border, some of them nursing wounds from violent ping-pong pushbacks, the European Commission has proposed a plan to make a horrible situation even worse. On December 1, the…
Blankets and sleeping bags strewn across a forest floor
Report
Summary Thousands of people are stuck in a desperate limbo at the border of Belarus and Poland in circumstances that violate their rights, in some cases egregiously, and put their lives at risk. Encouraged by local travel agents in the Middle East to…
News

Ensure Humanitarian Access, End Ping-Pong Pushbacks

“Die here or go to Poland.” This was the “choice” that a Kurdish man from Syria told me a Belarusian border guard had given him, as he described his horrific experiences on the Poland-Belarus border, pleading with the guard to be allowed go back to…
A group of men seated on the ground
News

Polish Authorities Should Allow Access to Territory and Asylum Process

While Poland’s government touts its role in the airlift of at-risk Afghans from Kabul, it has trapped 32 Afghans for over 3 weeks at its border with Belarus, preventing them from entering Poland to exercise their right to seek asylum and denying them…
Polish security forces surround migrants at the border with Belarus in Usnarz Gorny, Poland on September 1, 2021. 
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

Poland blocks asylum seekers at border in defiance of European Court rulings

(London) The European Commission should take enforcement action to address Poland’s summary returns of asylum seekers to Belarus, three leading rights groups have said today. Amnesty International, Helsinki Foundation for Human…
Asylum seekers in the arrivals hall at Brest train station, returned on the 13.46 pm train from Terespol, where their requests to seek asylum Poland were rejected. Brest, Belarus, December 7, 2016.
News

Ensure Procedure Access; Halt Summary Returns

(Budapest) – Polish authorities routinely deny asylum seekers at the Belarus-Poland border the right to apply for asylum and instead summarily return them to Belarus, Human Rights Watch said today. Since 2016, large numbers of asylum seekers, mostly from…
Asylum seekers in the arrivals hall at Brest train station, returned on the 13.46 pm train from Terespol, where their requests to seek asylum Poland were rejected. Brest, Belarus, December 7, 2016.
News
Refugees are welcome in Poland. That’s the message of theatre productions, school events, and pro-refugee rallies taking place this week in Warsaw and elsewhere in the country. These events, organized by nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), aim to…
Poland Refugees Welcome Warsaw
News
Earlier this week here in Geneva, a few minutes' walk from the imposing facade of the United Nations refugee agency's headquarters, I opened my morning paper. At first glance I saw that Swiss "house rules" had changed, so that "permission" would be…
News

Prevent Discrimination in Access to Public Facilities

The Swiss government is arbitrarily interfering with asylum seekers’ free movement rights by giving local authorities the authority to prohibit them from using public school and sports facilities, Human Rights Watch said. On August 7, 2013, the head of…
News

Allow Access to EU Territory, Step Up Assistance in Region

(Brussels) – The European Union and its member states should do more to help the thousands of Syrian asylum seekers trying to reach Europe as the Syrian crisis worsens and winter sets in, Human Rights Watch said today. Between March 2011 and September…
News
Switzerland is a country of paradoxes. Rich with humanitarian traditions, home of international human rights bodies and organizations, and numerous global companies, it is also a place where the debate around migration has grown increasingly hard-line.…
News

Human Rights Watch's Submission to the Human Rights Council

Human Rights Watch is concerned about a number of practices which in Switzerland have led to serious instances of human rights violations that erode the implementation of international standards of human rights protection in the country. Human Rights…
News
On June 8, the Council of Europe released a report confirming allegations first made by Human Rights Watch in 2005 that the CIA used locations in Poland and Romania for the secret detention of terror suspects. During several years of research, we combed…
News
(New York) – The Central Intelligence Agency secretly operated illegal prisons for terrorism suspects in multiple locations in Poland and Romania from 2003 to 2005, according to a report released today by the Council of Europe, a European…
News
The European Parliament should condemn European complicity in the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) program of “extraordinary renditions” and secret detention of prisoners, Human Rights Watch said today. The report of the European Parliament’s…
News

Report Stresses Further Need to Investigate Secret Detention and Rendition to Torture

A new report by the European Parliament’s Temporary Committee on illegal CIA activity in Europe is a powerful indictment of European governments’ complicity in CIA abuses, Human Rights Watch said today. “The report shows how European governments acted as…
Report
Ukraine: On the Margins Rights Violations against Migrants and Asylum Seekers at the New Eastern Border of the European Union Executive Summary Key Recommendations Background Migration Trends…
News
(Geneva) — With a membership that includes governments responsible for crimes against humanity, the U.N. Commission on Human Rights meeting in Geneva next week must take dramatic steps to restore its sinking credibility, Human Rights Watch said today.…