Most European Union countries waited until the last minute before suspending expulsions of Afghans who had sought asylum on their soil. Now that the Taliban have seized power in Kabul, the 27 EU foreign ministers are meeting this Tuesday to decide the next steps to take. A dignified welcome for Afghan exiles who have already arrived on their territory would be a first sign of solidarity, says Mediapart's Carine Fouteau.
Authorities in Paris and on France's Indian Ocean overseas département of Mayotte seem set on deterring further Sri Lankan asylum seekers from coming to the impoverished archipelago. Even if, as a series of documents show, the cost to taxpayers of sending that message has been exorbitant. Manuel Sanson from investigative website Le Poulpe reports
French President Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday visited the Channel port of Calais, which for years has been a magnet for thousands of migrants from Africa and the Middle East seeking a passage to Britain from makeshift camps set up around the town. While his presence was ostensibly to address the local crisis, Macron’s visit also served as a platform to present his government’s proposed toughening up of immigration laws. But the planned clampdown on so-called economic migrants, who face mass deportations, has met with outrage not only from organisations defending migrants’ rights, but also from Macron’s own allies.
While massive numbers of refugees continue to arrive in Europe, there is a perception among many in France that the country is something of a ‘promised land’ for asylum seekers, a dream destination about to be overwhelmed by the influx. But in reality, the self-proclaimed “land of human rights” figures way down the wish-list of those currently seeking to settle in Europe, even among francophone refugees. In this analysis of the crisis, which on Sunday saw Germany closing its southern borders, Mediapart's specialist writer on migratory issues, Carine Fouteau, examines why the majority of refugees are now spurning France.
Last year, the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and Amnesty International denounced the appalling conditions at an Australian immigration centre in Papua New Guinea, one of two offshore Pacific camps used by Australia to detain and process migrants' demands for asylum. But the alarm went unheeded, and in February this year a revolt by the detainees led to a bloody confrontation that left one 23 year-old Iranian asylum seeker dead, and 77 other people injured, some by gunshot and machete blows. Mediapart has gained access to a series of photos of the injured detainees and witness accounts of the tragic events on February 16th and 17th which received little coverage outside of Australia. Carine Fouteau reports on the inhumane and humiliating treatment Australia reserves for asylum seekers, one of whom, an Iraqi national aged 43, told Amnesty International that, given their fate, “if we had died in the ocean, that would have been better.”
Mediapart has obtained a series of photographs taken inside Australia’s immigration ‘processing’ centre on Manus Island, in Papua New Guinea, in the aftermath of a wild attack upon the detainees by locals, and which left one asylum seeker dead. They show the horrific injuries sustained by the camp's inmates, who were attacked with firearms, rocks, machetes and sticks on the night of February 17th 2014. The pictures were taken inside the camp between February 19th and 25th by three people who have asked to remain unidentified.(See Mediapart's in-depth report on the events and the controversial history of Australia's offshore detention camps here.)