Proposals to strip refugees and asylum-seekers of their rights must be rejected in Slovenia

News Hour:

The Slovenian parliament must reject amendments to the Aliens Act that, once triggered, would deny refugees and asylum seekers the protections to which they are entitled under international and EU law, Amnesty International said following the adoption of the amendments by the government today.

Emergency measures set out in the bill would give authorities the possibility to adopt special measures that would deny entry to people arriving at the borders and automatically expel migrants and refugees who had entered Slovenia irregularly, without assessing their asylum claims or the risk of them being tortured or persecuted upon return. The application of the measures would be conditional on the decision of the parliament to trigger their enforcement, following government’s assessment that the public order and national security are under threat.

“Stripping people fleeing for their lives of their right to claim asylum and pushing them back at the border is a breach of international and EU law. Instead of treating refugees and asylum-seekers as a security risk, the Slovenian authorities should recognize their responsibility to protect people who have made terrifying journeys and risked everything in search of safety,” said Gauri van Gulik, Amnesty International’s Deputy Europe Director.

“This bill resembles similar efforts of Slovenia’s neighbours – most notably, Hungary, but also Austria – to seal their borders to those fleeing horrors of war. It rides roughshod over both the right that every individual has to ask for asylum and the obligation Slovenia has to fully assess each claim.”

Rejecting an asylum seeker or a migrant at the border without due process and consideration of their individual circumstances is a pushback, and is prohibited in all circumstances under EU and international law.

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