Forced Returns to Italy

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The case of R (Mahlu) v SSHD (CO/11265/2011) involved an asylum applicant challenging the Secretary of State’s decision to remove him to Italy under the Dublin Regulations.

Dublin II Regulations allow EU countries to return asylum seekers back to Italy (or any other European Country) if that is the place they launched their first asylum application.

The quality and conditions of the asylum process are subject to a Court of Appeal hearing which is due to take place in September 2012. The court sided with Mahlu and granted a stay against his removal to Italy pending the decision of the Court of Appeal. The court also decided that this decision can be cited in any other cases in which the Secretary of State is attempting removal to Italy.

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Greece: New Asylum Services

The Greek government has established three new asylum services - the Initial Reception Service, the Asylum Service and the Appeals Authority.

Their new Initial Reception Services is established to provide services to third country nationals who are arrested due to illegal entry or stay in Greece, under conditions that guarantee human dignity and their rights. The services includes identification, registration, medical screening and support, advice on their rights and entitlements, and the referral of vulnerable persons.

The Asylum Service will receive asylum seekers and decide their cases. The Appeals Authority aim to overcome the shortcomings of the past which has resulted in criticisms from both the domestic and the international community.

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Israel to detain people entering the country irregularly for up to 3 years, or more

Israel to detain people entering the country irregularly for up to 3 years, or more

The Israeli Parliament passed a bill authorising the detention of anyone who enters the territory without prior permission. The detention can last up to 3 years. If the Israeli authorities believe a person is from a country it considers to be a source of anti-Israel terrorism, detention can be longer than three years.

Amnesty International's Interim Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa Ann Harrison commented that “Israel has the right to protect its borders, but it does not have the right to abandon its international human rights obligations to asylum-seekers, refugees and migrants, or to criminalise them as ‘infiltrators’, which only fuels xenophobia and discrimination.”

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Greece: Asylum Process

As of 3 November 2010 Sweden will cease the transfer of asylum seekers to Greece, under the Dublin Regulation. Dan Eliasson, Director General of the Swedish Migration Board, explained “the situation in Greece is gradually deteriorating, also for asylum seekers from Sweden”. Read More...