Author Archive for marc

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BMPU media monitoring: Large family from Palestine “got lost” at the border in Transcarpathia


23In Transcarpathia border guards of BS “Knyaginya” of Chop Detachment detained 7 citizens of Palestine, 5 of them were children. It was reported by the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine. In the course of realization of special actions on counteraction to illegal migration only for the last weekend border guards of Chop, Mostytskyi and Lvov Detachments detected 16 illegal migrants. All detainees intended to get to the countries of European Union in illegal way.

BMPU media monitoring: Violator was apprehended in Transcarpathia taking two little children over the border


1-2In the frames of activities aimed on counteraction to illegal migration, border guards of Chop Detachment detected illegal migrants from Asia last weekend.

The man and two children – 6-year-old girl and 4-year-old boy were stopped by the law enforcement agents in the area of BS “Uzhgorod”. According to the words of the man, he and his children, who, by the way, were dressed in light clothes, were the migrants from Iran. No document was presented, however, he mentioned that they made their way to Slovakia, and from there they intended to get to Austria. The route through the border had been planned already in Iran by means of the Internet.

The border guards delivered the violators to the subdivision. In a result of medical examination it was established that the health state of the father and his children is satisfactory. So far, their personalities are under establishment. The further destiny of the detainees will be defined by the court.


Protest in Mukachevo open centre for asylum-seekers and refugees

In Transcarpatia two (open) Temporary Accommodation Centres (TACs) are existing: One is located in Mukachevo  (total capacity: 70 persons, 22 rooms), another one in Perechyn (total capacity: 50 persons, 18 rooms). Both centres are housing asylum-seekers and persons, who already received a residence permit based on their asylum application. Single men and women, unaccompanied minors and families are living  there (in Perechyn only families). The centres are run by the state migration service with the support of a local NGO, which is an UNHCR implementing partner.

On the 19th of September, the inhabitants of the Mukachevo centre started to protest by doing a hunger-strike. Their criticism was referring to:

1. Structural defects: In some rooms it is raining in because of holes in the roof.
2. Not enough food and bad quality of the food.
3. Bad health care, for example they are not allowed to call the ambulance.
4. Bad behaviour of some of the employed (for example they call black people “monkeys”).
5. The administration of the camp advised two Sudanese inhabitants not the leave the camp after 10 o-clock and refused to call the police and the ambulance, after the Sudanese had been beaten up by locals in the town.
6. No/low quality (of) language courses for the children.
7. Problems within the program, which should support them to open up small businesses.
8. Pressure to leave the camp without offering an alternative.

In the meantime, the inhabitants of the Mukachevo camp stopped their hunger strike and started talks with UNHCR. BMPU will continue to monitor the situation in Mukachevo and report on the next developments.

UNHCR: Number of displaced inside Ukraine more than doubles since early August to 260,000

Vincent Cochetel, director of UNHCR’s Europe Bureau, told journalists in Geneva that the number of people displaced inside Ukraine had more than doubled in the past four weeks. UNHCR estimates that 260,000 people were displaced as of Monday, compared to 117,000 in the first week of August.


Read more here.

2.8.2014: Slovakian policemen shot Transcarpathian smuggler

The smuggler did not react upon the warning shot of the Police on the territory of Slovakia, not far from Ukrainian-Slovakian border between the villages of Zboj and Novа Sedlica, and it cost him life.
On Saturday morning, not far away from the border to Transcarpathia, a Slovakian border patrol intended to stop a group of illegal migrants by warning shots, but there was no reaction on the side of the border violators. According to the information provided by the the website, after the second attempt a shoot-out started. One person of the group of border crossers took a gun and tried to shoot to policeman, but he failed and was shot by police. According to the information of the press-secretary of Sobrance Border Police, Agnessa Kopernytska, police investigates the case and no information can be given yet. “The weaponed smuggler of Ukrainian origin was shot in a shoot-up intending to cross the border illegally with 5 migrants” – the head of press-service of Ministry of Interior Ivan Netik reported to Mass Media concerning the incident. The illegal migrants were not injured. The Slovakian Ministry of Interior said that first aid was provided to the injured Ukrainian, but he died at the place of the incident. “I have already reported that after the beginning of Russian-Ukrainian crisis the smugglers became more aggressive, and the worst thing is that they began to be armed. I also have said that we cannot exclude that in the nearest future a situation will arise in which the armed conflict can end with health or life loss. And here it now happened”, Mr. Kalinyak stated. Negotiations on the incident between the Special Service of Slovakia, representatives of the Ukrainian Ministry of Interior and Ukrainian border guards continue. In total, since the beginning of 2014, the Slovak Department of Border Police and the Slovak Police on Foreigners’ Affairs prevented 35 cases of illegal border crossing from Ukraine to Slovakia. 107 foreigners were detained. The majority, 40 migrants were Afghan citizens, 18 were from Ukraine, 11 from Somalia, seven from Bangladesh and seven from Palestine.


BMPU has serious doubts on the statements of the Slovak authorities:
1. Is is very unusual that Ukrainian smugglers are joining groups of irregular migrants to Slovakia. In the “normal” case, they are not leaving the territory of  Ukraine.

2. It is very unusual as well, that smugglers are carrying weapons. At least there haven’t been information on that in the Ukrainian media the last years and it can be assumed, that Ukrainian border guards would probably mention this fact in their press communication.


Ukrainian Refugees

иимссмчмссмчсAccording to UNHCR 155.800 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) were registered in Ukraine on the 13th of August 2014. It can be assumed that the actual number is probably much higher, because a lot of IDPs do not register officially. The civil society, as well as state bodies are are taking care of their needs. Read more on their support in this UNHCR report. However, more and more voices accuse them for having fled instead of fighting against the separatists, what has now to be done by soldiers, border guards and volunteers from Western and Central Ukraine. Furthermore, thousands of refugees left the embattled areas to Russia. UNHCR estimates that more than 150.000 people have fled to Russia. But their number is difficult to estimate as well, as a lot of them do not register (Ukrainian citizens don’t need a visa for entering Russia) and there have always been a lot of working migrants.

The Kiew post has recently published three stories on Ukrainian refugees:

Journalist from the UK visited Ukraine in July

The European Union’s eastern frontier cuts through Selmentsi, a village on the border of Slovakia and Ukraine. On the Ukrainian side, the road leading to the checkpoint is lined with shops selling fake designer clothes. The villagers serving in the shops slip easily between Hungarian, Russian, Ukrainian and Slovakian, a legacy of the region’s contested history. Once part of the Habsburg Empire, this section of the Carpathian mountains was taken by the Soviet Union in 1945. A glance at a map shows why Stalin coveted it: across a span of just a few hundred kilometres, Transcarpathia borders Romania, Hungary, Slovakia and Poland which is very convenient for an empire looking to keep its satellite states in check…

Read the full story here.

Report: Immigration detention and the rule of law

cover-rule-of-lawReport by the Bingham Centre for the Rule of Law: Immigration detention and the rule of law – National Report: Ukraine. Download the report here.


38 people tried to cross the border to Slovakia irregularly in one night

According to our Press Monitoring, 38 people tried to cross the border to European Union member states from Transcarpatia in only one night:

1. Border guards apprehended 33 citizens of Afghanistan and Syria at Ukrainian-Slovakian border
In the conditions of sudden worsening of tension at the state border of Ukraine the subdivisions of SBGS continue to protect the state border in a reinforced regiment not only at the eastern and southern area of the border as well as at other areas of our country. Thus, border guards of Chop Detachment detained 33 illegal migrants at night, who intended to cross the border by several groups. Border guards detected one group of the violators while patrolling the state border in the suburb of the village of Onokivtsi, Transcarpathian oblast. After the alarm system went on, the border guards started to the place immediately and apprehended 6 persons 200 m before the state border. They were the citizens of Afghanistan. Less than in an hour, border guards caught 27 persons more. According to the words of the detainees they did not have any documents, 24 of them were the citizens of Afghanistan and 3 were the migrants from Syria. So far, the detainees are delivered to border subdivision, the verification is conducted and measures are undertaken on the search of the participated persons and those who smuggled the detained persons.

2. Border guards were detaining the illegal migrants during the day
In the area of BS Malyi Bereznyi Ukrainian border guards together with the Slovakian colleagues detained 5 illegal migrants, according to their words – these were the citizens of Afghanistan. Ukrainian border guards detained them at about 03 p.m. Border guards were informed at once as well as the colleagues of the neighboring country. As result border guards of Ukraine detected 2 illegal migrants at the Ukrainian side 50 m before the state border. Three more persons were apprehended 1 km before the border by Slovakian border guards.


UNHCR on the latest developments in Ukraine

Depending on how the situation develops, third country nationals may also choose or be compelled to leave Ukraine, as a result of recent developments or in anticipation of a further escalation of the situation. Among these persons, there may be those who were recognized as refugees in Ukraine or registered as asylum-seekers. Afghan and Syrian nationals are heavily represented amongst asylum-seekers and refugees in Ukraine. Ukraine has been and remains a transit and destination country for refugees and people otherwise in need of international protection from third countries. If travelling onwards, these persons should be referred to national asylum procedures for consideration of their applications for international protection. In addition, there may be third country nationals or stateless persons who resided in Ukraine before seeking international protection elsewhere and who had not or not yet applied for international protection in Ukraine. UNHCR recommends that these persons also be referred to the national asylum procedure in the country where they seek international protection.

Find the full statement here.


Recently published by BMPU: Report on Corruption in the Immigration, Detention and Asylum System of Ukraine

Published 2011 by BMPU: Access to Protection Denied – Refoulement of Refugees and Minors on the Eastern Borders of the EU

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