EDITORIAL

Dear Readers,

Welcome to the Black & Asian News, European Edition!

Want to keep up to date with the situation in Ukraine? You will find below useful news relating to the number of refugees in different European countries. There is also an interesting article on an Afghan-Ukrainian surgeon who has made it to Britain after fleeing Russia’s invasion. He has basically been displaced by war twice in 34 years.

You will also find below a selection of country specific news articles. There is a story on burkinis in France, a new report on racism in Germany as well as an article on the public broadcasting of ”replacement theory” in the Netherlands.

If you scroll down, you will also find resources relating to the chronic lack of diversity and ethnic minority staff in EU institutions and interesting news on Frontex. It’s also worth reading (In)visible refugees in Europe by Bianet, which reminds us that “The core principle of asylum must be based on universal human rights, not location proximity, religion, or ethnic identity of displaced people.”

And lastly, the article that I found thought provoking this week is “How Europe spent billions to keep migrants in Africa by VoxEurop.

Stay Safe,

 

Thushari Perera

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UKRAINE & WAR

How many Ukrainians have fled their homes and where have they gone?, BBC News, 19 May 2022

“More than 14 million people are thought to have fled their homes since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the United Nations (UN) says. About six million have left for neighbouring countries, while eight million people are displaced inside the war-torn country itself.”

Afghan surgeon who fled Ukraine says he was treated differently at Polish border, The Guardian, 19 May 2022

“Born in Kabul, Afghanistan, and later building a life in Ukraine, Ruhullah Haji has been displaced by war twice in 34 years. So when the heart surgeon made it to Britain after fleeing Russia’s invasion, he was desperate for security and the right to remain as a Ukrainian.”

Ukraine war: Repatriated Pakistani students worry for their future, Deutsche Welle, 17 May 2022

“Hundreds of Pakistanis studying in Ukraine were brought home after Russia invaded the Eastern European country. Now they can neither go back nor find a place in local universities.”

BELGIUM

Non-Ukraine refugees speak of unfair treatment: ‘Don’t I also have the right to live?’, Brussels Times, 18 May 2022

“Belgium’s temporary protection immediately allows Ukrainians access to the labour market, social welfare, and a one-year residence permit that can be extended for another year. However, those who have fled non-European war zones face a very different reality.”

Flemish and Dutch far-right politicians banned from ‘working visit’ in Molenbeek, Brussels Times, 13 May 2022

“We will never give in to the provocations of the far-right, whose sole aim is to destroy the positive and inclusive dynamics that we build day after day with all Anderlecht residents, regardless of their origin…”

FRANCE

Outcry after French city of Grenoble votes to allow burkinis in public pools, RFI, 17 May 2022

“Grenoble has become the second city in France to allow women to wear burkinis in public swimming pools – as well as bathe topless – following a divisive city council vote late Monday on modifying swimwear rules.”

CAGE Managing Director succeeds in overturning entry ban to France as courts demand French authorities pay compensation, CAGE, 18 May 2022

“After two years of litigation, the administrative courts in France have forced the French interior ministry to overturn its entry ban against CAGE Managing Director, Muhammad Rabbani, and also pay compensation after they failed to produce any justification for their action.”

French far-right newcomer Zemmour to seek parliamentary seat, France24.com, 12 May 2022

French far-right TV pundit-turned-politician Eric Zemmour said Thursday he would seek a seat in parliament standing in the glitzy constituency around Saint-Tropez, three weeks after failing with a presidential bid.”

Marine Le Pen makes a cautious return to the political arena ahead of legislative elections, Le Monde, 13 May 2022

“Marine Le Pen is launching her campaign for re-election in Pas-de-Calais, but appears on the defensive against Jean-Luc Mélenchon and resigned against Emmanuel Macron.

France Investigates Police Violence Against 2 Muslim Women With Hijab, Moroccoworldnews.com, 5 May 2022

“The women are accusing three police officers of hitting them and attempting to tear one of the women’s hijab.”

Has Macron laid the groundwork for a Le Pen victory in 2027?, Open Democracy, 29 April 2022

“Macron has regrouped the centre-Left and centre-Right into one party. But it’s left him vulnerable.”

Why Marine Le Pen won most of the vote in French overseas territories, Le Monde in English, 27 April 2022

“Local elected officials must also have the courage to take on essential responsibilities for the future,” said Mr. Letchimy, who is pushing for a new contract with the central government and “a new policy of economic and cultural emancipation.”

GERMANY

Racism in Germany is part of everyday life, Deutsche Welle, 6 May 2022

“Most Germans recognize that racism exists in their society, affecting not only minorities but everybody who lives here. The country’s first National Discrimination and Racism report has found some surprising results.”

Report: Germany sees hundreds of far-right cases in military, TRT World, 4 May 2022

“Among 262 cases investigated by the authorities were some soldiers making Nazi salute, using Nazi slogans, listening to extreme-right music, and displaying racist behavior, local media say.”

ITALY

A court case against migrant activists in Italy offers a reminder – not all refugees are welcome in Europe, The Conversation, 13 May 2022

“Costa and two volunteers with Baobab Experience faced up to 18 years in prison after they purchased bus tickets for African migrants trying to travel from Rome to Genoa in 2016. An Italian judge dropped charges against Costa and his co-workers on May 9, 2022, because the “crime was nonexistent.””

IRELAND/NORTHERN IRELAND

In Northern Ireland, Ukrainian refugees find themselves in limbo, Al Jazeera, 19 May 2022

“Refugees fleeing the war in Ukraine have found themselves in limbo in Northern Ireland, caught between differing approaches to the crisis by the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland. Ireland was the first country in the European Union to waive visa requirements for Ukrainians and, to date, nearly 30,000 have sought shelter there.”

 NETHERLANDS

Replacement Theory report on public broadcaster shocks Dutch MP’s, NL Times, 19 May 2022

“The lower house of the Dutch parliament wants State Secretary Gunay Uslu (Culture and Media) to take steps against “uncontested population theories” disseminated by public broadcaster Ongehoord Nederland. Flemish politician Filip Dewinter was on an Ongehoord Nederland broadcast on May 10 during which he spoke about replacement theory, which claims that Western society is slowly being replaced by immigrants with an ethnically diverse, non-Western background. The program’s presenters did not contradict him, and they did not intervene in any way during the broadcast. Belief in the replacement theory conspiracy was the likely motive behind a mass shooting in Buffalo in the United States on May 14…Eleven of the victims were Black.”

SWITZERLAND

Funds pledged to help Sri Lankan adoptees trace roots, Swissinfo, 16 May 2022

“The children were often newborns or very young, and sold for CHF5,000-CHF15,000. The biological mothers in Sri Lanka received very little of this money, with intermediaries usually pocketing the profits. A further study by the Zurich University of Applied Sciences also revealed the extent of trafficking, which led to some 11,000 Sri Lankan children given up for adoption in European countries.”

Swiss politicians vote against loosening notorious banking secrecy law, The Guardian, 6 May 2022

“Failure to amend law in reaction to Credit Suisse investigation dashes hopes for fast-track route to greater press freedom.”

UNITED KINGDOM

Black & Asian News – UK Edition

 GENERAL EUROPEAN NEWS

(In)visible refugees in Europe, Bianet.org, 19 May 2022

“European leaders’ discrimination dehumanizes the displacement experiences of non-European refugees. The core principle of asylum must be based on universal human rights, not location proximity, religion, or ethnic identity of displaced people.”

Covid vaccine inequity due to ‘racism rooted in slavery and colonialism’, The Guardian, 30 April 2022

“Global failure to redress race-based injustice has led to higher death rates and worsened discrimination, UN says…The Cerd statement singled out the UK, Germany and Switzerland for continuing to block a waiver on lifting intellectual property rules that would enable the redistribution and scaling-up of the Covid response.”

EUROPEAN UNION

How Europe spent billions to keep migrants in Africa, VoxEurop, 4 May 2022

“Fight irregular migration, return and reintegrate migrants, create more legal pathways to the EU: The European Union set high goals with its Emergency Trust Fund for Africa. DW examines whether the EUTF achieved them.”

Diversity, equality and inclusiveness: time for the EU to act, The Parliament Magazine, 18 May 2022

“As part of our new series exploring how to build ‘A Europe of Equals’, MEPs explain how they want the EU to recognise the diversity of European society and introduce a new directive to ensure equal opportunities for all.”

Ukraine shows the EU must think beyond tomorrow, EU Observer, 10 May 2022

“International Monetary Fund managing director Kristalina Georgieva is among those who has warned that increases in food and energy prices will trigger social unrest. Pakistan and Sri Lanka are proof that this is already happening. Thinking ahead is certainly difficult in the face of urgent challenges. But the Ukraine war’s devastating global economic fall-out, especially on the world’s most vulnerable must not be ignored.”

The time to support the Global South is now, International Politics and Society Journal, 10 May 2022

“Up to 20 million people are acutely threatened by hunger. At the same time, due to the war in Europe, the prices for food and fertiliser are spiking. Until now, over one third of east Africa’s grain imports have come from Russia or Ukraine; but since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, deliveries have plummeted. The region’s national budgets are massively indebted after two years of pandemic and economic restrictions, and cannot absorb the price increases…In a world in which many developing countries are being courted by various potential partners, a fairer EU trade policy takes on geopolitical importance.”

Europe Day: Reminder EU needs to care for democracy watchdogs, EU Observer, 9 May 2022

“Government-orchestrated smear campaigns, funding restrictions and unjust constraints on their ability to perform their work threaten their existence — and, in turn, threaten our rights and democracy. Even in traditionally strong democracies, civil society organisations (CSOs) are under pressure…As well as smear campaigns and restrictive laws, some politicians and corporations use bogus lawsuits to stop CSOs and journalists from exposing unethical and illegal activity. These are known as SLAPPs: strategic lawsuits against public participation.”

Working at EU institutions not easy for ethnic minority staff, EU Observer, 4 May 2022

“EU institutions have failed to create an inclusive culture for Europeans of colour and people with disabilities, according to the European Commission’s first-ever survey on diversity, inclusion and respect at the workplace.”

Why Leggeri’s resignation won’t change Frontex, EU Observer, 3 May 2022

“Some EU states want the external EU borders sealed, at the expense of rights enshrined in both EU and international law. In Poland, border police are forcing back people from Afghanistan or Senegal into Belarus. Such moves, known as pushbacks, are illegal under EU law, but have since been circumvented by national emergency rules and implicitly condoned.”

Migration: Frontex cannot be free of European values (lemonde.fr), Le Monde in English, 2 May 2022

“The resignation of the director of the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex) is a reminder that the agency cannot disregard the principle of non-refoulement of people at risk of persecution.”

Frontex boss Leggeri resigns from EU border control agency, Le Monde in English, 29 April 2022

“Fabrice Leggeri resigned from Frontex, the European Union’s border control agency which has been marred by accusations of illegal’pushbacks’ against migrants…In recent months, Mr. Leggeri has publicly acknowledged confusion…”Between the imperative not to allow people to cross irregularly and the other, the principle of non-refoulement (which forbids pushbacks) as everyone in need of protection has the right to asylum, how should we act?” he said. “No one can give me the answer. We’re schizophrenic”.”

Shared fortunes: Why Britain, the European Union, and Africa need one another, ECFR.eu, 22 April 2022

“The partnership between the two has great potential. But it will not fulfil that potential without some significant changes in Britain’s priorities and actions. And the effort will be all the more effective if Britain engages with Africa in cooperation with the rest of Europe. This paper explores how this could be achieved. It sets out the historical context of Britain’s relationship with Africa before and after independence. It explores the main economic, political, and social dynamics that underpin the existing relationship and what they mean for the future, as well as how this is affected by changes in Africa itself. Finally, it looks at the European dimension, and where closer collaboration rather than increased competition between Britain and Europe in Africa could have benefits for all parties.”

The environmental component in EU National Roma Integration Strategies, European Public Health Alliance, 28 April 2022

“The Communication (COM/2011/ 173/4) by the European Commission determines the content in terms of housing of the national strategies of the Member States…Failing to systematically address ethnic or racial-based environmental differences reinforces environmental racism (considered an extension of institutional racism) against the main European ethnic minority. The documents reproduce institutional racism conveyed through a policy of omission of the evident environmental health inequalities among Roma communities.”

Image Credit: Ann H via Pexels.com

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