On 14th March, Rohantan lost his life at the age of 28 while attempting to cross the border from Ukraine to Slovakia. He had left home to get to Europe with the aim to support his two sisters and his handicapped mother in Sri Lanka. He died whilst seeking a source of income and safety in the European Union.
His death is directly related to the immigration restrictions of the EU, to tight border controls, to outsourcing such controls to Ukraine and to agencies like IOM, ICMPD and UNHCR who are commissioned with some of these tasks. These do not permit Rohantan to pursue his aspirations and commitments.
Rohantan is thus another victim of the externalised EU border regime whose deadly consequences can be observed day by day in the Mediterranean.
We mourn for Rohantan!
Our deepest sympathy is with his family!
Border Monitoring Project Ukraine
In December 2012, UNHCR Ukraine published a statement concerning the newly-adopted amendments in Ukraine. UNHCR states, that these
amendments to the Law on the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine give the State Border Guard Service the power to authorize the detention of foreigners and stateless persons in the Migrant Custody Centre, if the individuals were detained in the border regions while attempting or making an illegal border crossing. Until now, such detentions have been authorized by a court, not an administrative body, and this is the better approach. According to the Ukrainian constitution, detention should be authorized by a court (Art. 29), and European human rights law reinforces this norm, which is a fundamental guarantee for individual liberty.
Continue reading ‘Migrants can be detained without court decisions’
Although Ukraine has seen a steady decrease in the numbers of arriving and transiting migrants in recent years, EU policymakers remain fixated on the country as a stepping stone into Europe. A case in point is the enormous sums of money Europe has spent to boost its detention capacity. In 2011, 30 million Euros were allocated to build nine new detention centres in Ukraine, reportedly with the aim of locking up “readmitted” migrants sent by EU countries. However, even Ukraine’s Accounting Chamber, a parliamentary body that oversees the use of the national budget, has contended that the country’s existing migrant detention capacity exceeds its needs, pointing out that there are two guards for every detainee. Complementing Ukraine’s growing detention infrastructure have been a slate of new laws aimed in part at regulating the treatment of non-citizens in the country, including the adoption of new immigration legislation in 2011. Some observers have pointed to detention-related gaps in the new law, including its failure to prohibit the common practice of re-arresting migrants upon release and detaining them again for the maximum period allowed. For more information click the picture. Find a map of Ukrainian detention centres and detailed information here.
Olaolu Sunkanmi Femi, a Nigerian student studying in Taras Shevchenko Lugansk National University, had been attacked because of his skin color by a group of local youth, and tried to defend himself and his friend. He managed to resist the attackers with a broken bottle, inflicting only light injuries (and this has been proven by official assessment) – several skin cuts, with no grave consequences. But he is charged now with attempted murder and hooliganism, which means he might spend 10 years to life behind bars in Ukraine. Mother of one of the attackers, by “coincidence”, works as a criminal police investigation officer in the police station which investigated the incident.
Background information can be found here and here.
Sign the online-petition here.
Make a photo of yourself with a statement supporting Femi and post it on Facebook.
Some weeks ago, a press-article on the “Zhuravychi Migrant Accommodation Centre” was published. In this Detention Centre mainly Somali detainees started a hunger strike in the beginning of this year and called for their immediate release. According to the report, 98 persons are still imprisoned. Under them are 36 Somali citizens, 21 Afghans and 7 Moldavians. This means, that Ukraine is still violating the rights especially of Somali refugees, guaranteed inter alia in the European Convention on Human Rights. BMPU spoke to former hunger striker, who now stays in a neighboring EU-member state.
Continue reading ‘Interview with a former hunger striker’
On the 3rd of September 2012 next open court session in the case of Olaolu Sunkanmi Femi, nigerian student, will take place in the ukrainian city of Luhansk. Criminal prosecution of Olaolu Sunkanmi Femi appears to be biased and fabricated. Olaolu Femi might spend the rest of his life in Ukrainian jail for defending himself and his friend against attackers. Protests will take place in Kiev and Luhansk on Monday, the 3rd of September.
Continue reading ‘Nigerian student faces possible life imprisonment in Ukraine after racist attack against him’
In March 2012, Barbara Lochbihler (chair of the Subcommittee on Human Rights of the European Parliament) sent an official request to the European Commission concerning the detention of Somalis in Ukraine. Furthermore, Dr. Bärbel Kofler, member of the German parliament and chair of Ukraine-Germany interparliamentary Group sent an official request to the German government.
Continue reading ‘Answer given by High Representative/Vice-President Ashton on behalf of the Commission and the German government’
Press release published by UNHCR (16.8.2012):
Kyiv (Ukraine) – The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees condemns the extradition of the refugee from Russian Federation (Republic of Ingushetia) that took place on 15 August 2012 in breach of national and international law.
The refugee was recognized by UNHCR under its mandate in March 2012; in June 2012 he was granted refugee status by the EU member-state, who accepted him for resettlement on its territory. This means that both UNHCR and the EU member-state have reached the conclusion that this refugee has a well-founded fear of persecution in his country of origin. Forcibly returning him to that country exposes him to unacceptable risks of serious human rights violations.
Continue reading ‘PRESS-RELEASE: The UN Refugee Agency condemns refoulement of a refugee to Russian Federation’
Almost three month after the Hunger Strike ended, the Somalis (and others) are still in detention. Although all of the Somalis got a document saying that they are in asylum procedure, they are still detained. Only some of them, who “finshed their 12 month” were released. Currently, 105 persons (out of them 45 Somalis) are still detained in Volyn Detention Center.
The particpants of the “Transborder conference”, which took place from the 15th – 18th March in Istanbul sent a gereeting to them:
Continue reading ‘After the Hunger Stirke’