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Drop Baseless Charges; Investigate Intelligence Service

(Nairobi) – Burundian authorities should drop baseless charges and release eight former Burundian refugees who were forcibly returned from Tanzania in August 2020. On February 26, 2021, the Muha High Court in Bujumbura ruled against their provisional…
Sign outside the Muha High Court in Bujumbura, Burundi.
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Évariste Ndayishimiye’s first foreign visit as the president of Burundi was nothing if not symbolic. He chose Kigoma, a town in northwestern Tanzania near which about 154,000 Burundian nationals continue to seek protection from the previous…
Nduta camp in Tanzania currently houses 70,109 Burundian refugees and asylum seekers.
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Halt Forced Returns; Investigate Police, Intelligence Services

(Nairobi) – Tanzanian authorities have gravely abused at least 18 Burundian refugees and asylum seekers since late 2019. The whereabouts of several who were forcibly disappeared remain unknown, and additional Burundians may have suffered similar abuse.…
Burundian President Évariste Ndayishimiye (left) and Tanzanian President John Magufuli meet in Kigoma, in northwestern Tanzania, on September 19, 2020. It was Ndayishimiye’s first foreign visit since his election in May 2020.
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Mounting Intimidation for 163,000 Burundian Refugees and Asylum Seekers

(Nairobi) – The fear of violence, arrest, and deportation is driving many of the 163,000 Burundian refugees and asylum seekers in Tanzania out of the country. Tanzanian authorities have also made it very difficult for the United Nations…
Nduta camp in Tanzania currently hosts 72,886 Burundian refugees and asylum seekers and UNHCR’s departure center, where Burundians depart from when they are repatriated to Burundi.
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Hundreds of Burundians in Camp Targeted

(Nairobi) – Tanzanian authorities unlawfully coerced more than 200 unregistered asylum seekers into returning to Burundi on October 15, 2019 by threatening to withhold their legal status in Tanzania, Human Rights Watch said today. The…
A Tanzanian policeman watches over as Burundian refugees gather on the shores of Lake Tanganyika in Kagunga village in Kigoma region in western Tanzania, where they wait for transport to Kigoma township, May 17, 2015.
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Ensure Repatriations Are Voluntary

(Nairobi) – Tanzania should protect Burundian refugees fleeing widespread abuses instead of requiring them to return to Burundi against their will. Tanzanian authorities have announced a plan to send all 183,000 Burundian…
A Tanzanian policeman watches over as Burundian refugees gather on the shores of Lake Tanganyika in Kagunga village in Kigoma region in western Tanzania, where they wait for transport to Kigoma township, May 17, 2015.
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The London summit this week could kick-start the revival of the stalled reform process in the region – but won’t if human rights and the rule of law stay off the agenda

  Western Balkan and European Union leaders meet in London this week for a summit that could be a chance to revive stalled reforms and focus attention on critical issues. Unfortunately, there is every chance it will turn out to be full of hot…
Migrants are seen in front of a dorm destroyed during Bosnian 1992-1995 war, in Bihac, Bosnia and Herzegovina May 11, 2018.
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On February 6, the European Commission will present its new strategy for the enlargement of the EU. People in the Western Balkans may greet the news with scepticism. But if the EU institutions and states are really willing to end the EU…
Roma refugees from Kosovo drink water at the Vrela Ribnicka camp in Podgorica, Montenegro on October 13, 2012
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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.
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Asylum Seekers Denied Access to Protection; Subject to Violence

(Budapest) – Croatian police are forcing asylum seekers back to Serbia from inside Croatia, in some cases using violence, without giving them an opportunity to lodge claims for protection, Human Rights Watch said today. Human…
Migrants wait in line to receive free food during a snowfall outside a derelict customs warehouse in Belgrade, Serbia January 9, 2017.
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Serbia, Hungary Leave People Without Adequate Shelter as Winter Hits Hard

While many in Serbia prepare for Orthodox Christmas, others in the country and neighboring Hungary are bedding down in freezing cold weather hoping to survive. Temperatures in Hungary and Serbia have dropped to minus 20 degrees centigrade at night.…
Asylum seekers and migrants living in appalling conditions in abandoned warehouses behind Belgrade train station, Serbia. November 22, 2016.
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Ensure Asylum Access; Investigate Cruel, Violent Pushbacks

(Budapest) – Migrants at Hungary’s border are being summarily forced back to Serbia, in some cases with cruel and violent treatment, without consideration of their claims for protection, Human Rights Watch said today. New…
Asylum seekers in Roszke waiting for days and weeks to be admitted to the transit zone, Hungary, March 31, 2016.
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“I have been here for five days already, outside and without a roof over my head. I can’t sleep, it’s too cold, and I have to be awake in case they [police] call my number.” Ahmed, 21, was one of hundreds of single Afghan men…
Two Afghan asylum seekers sleeping on the ground outside a registration camp in Dimitrovgrad, Serbia.
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(November 17, 2015) More than 800,000 asylum seekers and migrants have arrived in Europe by sea in 2015, with most traveling onward to northern and western EU countries. According to UNHCR, the United Nations refugee agency, 84 percent were from Syria,…
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Stranded in Misery by Delay, Lack of Coordination, Indifference

(Budapest) –The European Union and Western Balkans countries meeting on October 25, 2015, should focus on alleviating the suffering of migrants and asylum seekers stranded at various European borders, Human Rights Watch said today. Cascading border…
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Neighbors Set to Meet at Summit Lack Capacity to Protect Refugees

(Brussels) – A European Union migration meeting set for October 8, 2015, looks set to focus yet again on shifting the EU governments' responsibilities toward refugees and asylum seekers to their neighbors, Human Rights Watch said today…
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