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Racist asylum policy in Europe


The most used migration route to Europe is the one across the central Mediterranean Sea. Almost 100,000 people have already tried to reach the EU via this dangerous route this year. Since the post-fascist Giorgia Meloni has been in power in Italy, it has become even more difficult for civilian sea rescuers to do their life-saving work.








The case of the "Ocean Viking"


For almost three weeks, the 230 refugees on board of the “Ocean Viking” had to wait for a safe harbor. "Ocean Viking" with more than 230 refugees on board had to wait for a safe harbor. Finally, the search and rescue ship of the NGO "SOS Mediterannée" was allowed to dock in Toulon in southern France. Italy had refused to accept it until the very end.


Thus, just a few weeks after the elections, it becomes clear how the new government in Italy will deal with people seeking protection in the future. As SOS Mediterrannée writes in a media release, it has imposed a "discriminatory and implicit ban on entry into territorial waters." As a result, refugees may become entrapped on ships for weeks at a time, waiting to dock safely in a harbor.


But the difficulties posed by the Italian government take many forms. At the beginning of November, only 144 of the 179 refugees on board the SOS Humanity ship "Humanity 1" were allowed to go ashore in Catania, Sicily. Adult men without health problems were initially not allowed to leave the rescue ship. After days of back and forth, they were finally allowed to disembark. However, it remains unclear the Italian authorities will react in the future.


The example of the “Ocean Viking” shows that the situation under Meloni is more likely to worsen than to ease. The Italian prime minister already announced new measures against the NGOs' ships in the middle of the month - no details have been given yet. Together with Greece, Malta and Cyprus, she demands that "each state must actually exercise its jurisdiction and control over the ships sailing under its flag."


Inhumane treatment of people on the move


France's treatment of some of those rescued on the "Ocean Viking" in Toulon shows how inhumane and repulsive the policies of various countries in Europe are towards displaced people. The country expressed its anger at Italy's refusal to take in the rescue ship and accused Italy of disregarding international law.


However, It soon became clear that this reaction was not about the right to asylum anchored in human rights. 123 of the 234 refugees on board were turned away after only a few days and denied asylum. How the authorities were able to determine in such a short time who has a "right" to an asylum procedure, remains a mystery to the public.


We know about similar practices taking place in Greece, where people from Syria, Afghanistan, Somalia, Pakistan and Bangladesh formally have no right to an asylum procedure. For them, Turkey is considered a safe third country, to which they can be deported. This not only contradicts current international law, but is simply inhumane, sinceTurkey is not a safe third country and people cannot be denied asylum on the basis of their nationality and origin.


Once again, it is clear that Europe does not care about human rights and those in need of protection. It would rather deport refugees back to their home countries or outsource the "problem" to unjust states like Turkey. Moreover, The international right-wing developments in Europe do the rest to fuel a policy of isolation and exclusion.

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