FECL 24 (May 1994):

DOCUMENTS AND PUBLICATIONS

European Parliament:

Report on the Commission proposal for a Council regulation determining the third countries whose nationals must be in possession of a visa when crossing the external borders of the Member States, 29.3.94, A3-0193/94, Committee on Civil Liberties and Internal Affairs, rapp: François Froment-Meurice. Adopted by the EP on 21.4.94.

The report calls for a series of ammendments of the Commission proposal regarding a visa obligation for a common list of countries. Among other things, the EP demands that the list of countries subjected to visa obligation must be established on the basis of "objective and publicly stated" criteria justifying why a country is on the list. Moreover, no third country whose nationals do not, at present, require a visa for entry to a Member State should be on the list.

- Report on the communication of the Commission containing a proposal for a decision, based on Article K.3 of the TEU establishing a Convention on the crossing of the external frontiers of the Member States, 29.3.94, A3-0190/94, Committee on Civil Liberties and Internal Affairs, rapp: Christopher Beazley. Adopted on 21.4.94.

The report calls for, inter alia:

 

Council of Europe - Parliamentary Assembly:

- Report on the right of asylum, 23.3.94, Doc.7052, rapp: Hans-Göran Franck.

After recalling that the Council of Europe has always asked its members to treat refugees and asylum seekers in a "particularly liberal and humanitarian spirit", in full respect of the principle of non-refoulement, the report stresses that "recent developments in the field of asylum policy in many member states have put this practice into question". As a consequence, the report calls for "common action" to ensure "fairness to all persons in need of protection, and to reduce friction over sharing asylum responsibilities between its member states by initiating collective European co-operation. Among the concrete measures proposed are:

The Assembly further calls for action to prevent people being forced to leave their country of origin.

- Report on the situation of asylum seekers whose applications have been rejected, 21.3.93, Doc. 7044, rapp: Flückiger.

The situation of rejected asylum seekers, whose numbers are constantly rising, is one of increasing concern. The report looks at the situation of those who refuse to return to their country of origin and consequently find themselves in a precarious position. It proposes that conditions should be established for the successful social and economic re-integration of rejected asylum seekers in their countries of origin, notably through bilateral and multilateral co-operation programmes. Moreover, member states' asylum policies should be harmonised in consultation with the UNHCR.

 

Asyl/"Innere Sicherheit" - Drogen, "Organisierte Kriminalität", "Extremismus" (Asylum/"Internal security" - Drugs, "organised crime", "extremism", in German, by Beat Leuthardt, publ. by Rotpunktverlag.

A comprehensive book notably on the Swiss and the German role in building "Fortress Europe". The abolition of internal border controls is being "compensated" by a policy of "European Apartheid" and broad surveillance inside the fortress, the author, a Swiss jurist and journalist, suggests. The book contains a lot of evidence from Germany and Switzerland, but also from all other European countries from Ireland to the Ukraina, and from Sweden to Greece, illustrating the above tendencies. It is particularly this focus on the concrete effects of the "Fortress" policies on the lives of both European nationals and foreigners that makes this book a valuable contribution to a sometimes all too academic debate in the field.

Available at: Flüchtlingsinformation, Postfach 6175, CH-3001 Bern. Price: sfr.43.- (without postage).

 

Forced out: illegal evictions continue with impunity in Croatia, Report by the International Helsinki Federation for Human Rights (IHF), March 1994, 25 p., in English.

This report is about forced, illegal evictions of people (of mostly non-Croat origin) from their homes in Croatia (see CL No.23, p.9). Evictions are carried out by military police or unidentified uniformed people. The evictions are often accompanied of massive threats and violence. At least one person has been killed. Several people told the IHF that they had been threatened at their work place and in some instances had been dismissed. IHF notes that evicitons are regularly taking place without interference of Croatian law enforcement authorities and that local human rights groups and lawyers often feel great risk in taking up eviction cases. One attorney in Split told the IHF: "Most of these cases involve victims who are of non-Croat origin and many of them are ethnic Serbs. I have defended the rights of these people in some cases and the result was severe threats against both me, my colleagues and my family. I simply do not have the courage to take such cases anymore although I feel for the victims. Several lawyers have had their offices bombed, I'm sorry, but I'm afraid".

The situation above "raises serious concerns about the Croatian government's actual commitment to the rule of law and to human rights", the IHF says and , i.a., alls for action by the CSCE.

Available at: International Helsinki Federation for Human Rights, Rummelhardtgasse 2/18, A-1090 Vienna, Tel: +43/1 4027387, Fax: +43/1 4087444.

 

The Humanitarian Law Fund:

Spotlight Report No.10 on judicial practice in Beli Manastir, UNPA, Sector East, Belgrade, 1.3.94.

Following descriptions of several individual cases of police and judicial abuse, the report concludes that "state agencies arbitrarily arrested and kept people under detention without reason and with the sole view of forcing them and other individuals of non-Serbian origin to leave the territory controlled by the Krajina Serbs. Even though the Court found the accused not guilty, the court-room did make its contribution to the "ethnic cleansing".

 

Spotlight Report No.11 on police repression in Sanjak, Belgrade, 23.3.1994.

The report maps out mass arrests, beetings and the summary punishment of people of Muslim nationality following clashes between supporters of the Prishtina and Novi Pazar football clubs in October 1993.

Both reports available at: The Humanitarian Law Fund, Terazije 6/III, 11000 Belgrade, FRY, Tel: +38/11 658430, Fax: +38/11 646341. email HLF_BG@ZAMIR-BG.ZTN.ZER.DE