Last Tuesday, Austria signed an agreement with Slovakia for the latter to accommodate 500 of Austria’s asylum seekers, reports Tribune de Geneve.
The asylum seekers will be placed in a former campus in Gabcíkovo. Austrian Interior Minister Johanna Mikl-Leitner is said to be “proud”of this move, which will save Austria money. The UNHCR in Vienna says that Austria must ensure that “high standards” are kept at this new centre. Migrant support groups, including umbrella organisation Asylkoordination, doubt whether this will happen.
The residents of Austrian village Alberschwende resisted the deportations to Syria, reports Joop.nl. On Monday 11th May, 8 police teams searched in the village for a Syrian refugee. They wanted to deport him with others to Hungary. However, they were unable to find him.
8 Syrian refugees live in the village, and 5 of them should be deported to Hungary, according to the Dublin II regulations. Many residents in the village were against this as the refugees are likely to be imprisoned in Hungary. Over 150 residents had signed up for a ‘rescue team’ to form a human chain to protect the refugees from deportation. The police action on Monday was so sudden that the team did not have time to mobilise. However, the police were unable to find the refugee. According to the mayor there is no suspicion of him going into hiding.
Refugees in Austria can apply for asylum after being in the country for more than 6 months. For the 5 aforementioned refugees, they will have been in Austria for 6 months on 22nd June. There is a big chance that they wil get asylum, according to Joop.nl, and so the immigration service wants to deport them before that date.
Around 100 refugees, 35 of whom are on hunger strike, are currently occupying the Votivkirche (church) in Vienna, demanding their regularisation. (See photos here).
The refugees were formerly staying in the protest camp in a park in the city but this was evicted in the early hours of 28th December. This led to solidarity protests in Vienna and a number of other cities including Berlin and Salzburg.
See a timeline of the refugee camp protest here.
For the last two weeks there have been around 50 refugees in a protest camp in Vienna.
Tomorrow afternoon (10/12/12) people from the camp. alongside supporters, will march from the camp to UN HQ.
The demands that the refugees want to present to the UNHCR are:
* We demand the right to asylum for all our reasons of flight. As in our countries, there is no safe life for us due to many different reasons.
* We demand the right to work.
* We want access to German courses and to professional education.
* We don’t want to live in isolated camps, but in places with human conditions.
* If Austria refuses to accept us, we demand from the institutions of the UN to support us to get our fingerprints deleted so that we can travel to a safe country where we can live and stay.