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Migrants Face Human Rights Abuses at EU Borders; Impunity Persists

Dawn was breaking when Akram and around 20 others dragged themselves up the banks of the Glina river, their bodies bruised from beatings by Croatian police officers. Some of them were barefoot and so badly injured they could barely walk. Akram was back…
Migrants warm their hands above a fire in Bosnia and Herzegovina, January 11, 2021.
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Commissioner’s Visit Underscores EU Responsibility to Find Solutions

European Union Commissioner for Home Affairs Ylva Johansson’s visit to Bosnia and Herzegovina this week has highlighted the EU’s role in alleviating the suffering of migrants and asylum seekers in the country. During her visit, Johansson emphasized…
Migrants warm their hands above a fire at the Lipa camp, outside Bihac, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Monday, January 11, 2021. The camp was closed on December 23, 2020 and destroyed in a fire the same day. 
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Abuses Should Rule Out Schengen Accession

 (Budapest) – The European Commission’s October 22, 2019 conclusion that Croatia is ready to join the Schengen Area wilfully brushes over evidence of violent pushbacks of migrants at its borders, Human Rights Watch said today in releasing a video…
A migrant who claims he was beaten by Croatian police while attempting to cross the border to Croatia shows his injury at a factory hall turned migrants facility in Bihac, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Wednesday, March 13, 2019.
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Relocate Migrants to Decent Accommodation Elsewhere

Over a year after Human Rights Watch first criticized Bosnia’s failure to protect the basic rights of migrants and asylum seekers, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) is warning of a fast-developing humanitarian emergency…
Migrants and asylum seekers in camp Vucjak where 2,500 people are now living in inhumane conditions without water, electricity, and medical care, Bihac, Bosnia and Herzegovina
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Violence, Abuse; Denied Opportunity to Apply for Asylum

(Budapest) – Croatian police are pushing migrants and asylum seekers back to Bosnia and Herzegovina, in some cases violently, and without giving them the possibility to seek asylum, Human Rights Watch said. Human Rights Watch interviewed…
Migrants including asylum seekers in a dilapidated building in Borici camp, Bihac, Bosnia Herzegovina. November 19, 2018.
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Country Appears Ill-equipped to Manage Increase in Arrivals

When you think of refugees in connection with Bosnia and Herzegovina, you may think of people displaced by fighting in the former Yugoslavia in the 1990s. But today the country is facing a different kind of refugee crisis as it strains…
Asylum seekers and other migrants gather in a park in Bosnia and Herzegovina’s capital Sarajevo, where volunteers provide them with food, blankets, and medical care.
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Rolls Back Refugee Rights; Could Harm Children

(Stockholm) – The Swedish Parliament is expected to approve a restrictive new asylum bill on June 21, 2016, that could harm the well-being of migrant children in need of protection and undermine their opportunity to effectively integrate into Swedish…
Nour T., a 16-year-old Syrian girl, at a group home in Gothenburg, Sweden.
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Delays, Difficulties for Care, Asylum Claims

(Stockholm) – Unaccompanied migrant children in Sweden are experiencing delays and difficulties in getting critical care and support, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. Sweden has had an unprecedented increase in the arrival of…
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I met Tabish P. on a cold day in February at the group home where he lives in Gothenburg. A 16-year-old asylum seeker from Afghanistan, Tabish told me that if he could speak to the Swedish government, he would tell them he is happy here. Tabish…
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Lack of Consensus on Mandatory Relocation; Shift Focus to Countries Outside EU

(Brussels) – The response to the refugee crisis agreed by the European Union interior ministers on September 14, 2015, is largely focused on shifting responsibility to countries outside the EU, Human Rights Watch said today. …
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Two weeks ago, the Netherlands deported Said Ahmed Said to Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu. The Dutch government has been saying for nearly a year that the situation on the ground has improved to the point where they can safely return failed asylum seekers.…
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Returns to South-Central Somalia Would Contravene UN Refugee Guidelines

The Dutch government should not deport Somalis to any part of south-central Somalia, including Mogadishu, until security improves substantially, and the UN refugee agency has issued new guidelines. In mid-February 2013, Dutch authorities said they planned…
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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…
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Foreign Minister Carl Bildt Ministry for Foreign Affairs Gustav Adolfs torg 1 SE-103 39 Stockholm Sweden   Dear Foreign Minister Bildt: We are writing to you before the December 31 announced closure of Camp Ashraf (also known as Camp New Iraq) to urge the…
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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…
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Diplomatic Assurances Against Torture Offer No Protection From Abuse

The United Nations’ ruling that Sweden violated the global torture ban in its involvement in the CIA transfer of an asylum seeker to Egypt is an important step toward establishing accountability for European governments complicit in illegal US renditions…
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Officials Must Not Return Gay and Lesbian Asylum Seekers to Iran

As the Netherlands mulls resuming deportations of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender asylum seekers back to Iran, and Sweden begins such deportations again, both European governments must adhere to their international legal obligations not to send…