African rights chief calls for refugee protection in EU

Human rights commissioner voices worries over Europe's handling of refugees

African rights chief calls for refugee protection in EU

World Bulletin / News Desk

A leading figure from the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights has voiced concern over the treatment of refugees arriving in the EU.

Commission member Pansy Tlakula called on Europe to ensure the rights of asylum seekers are respected.

“We are concerned with illegal migration and the way the Europeans are dealing with it, particularly people from developing countries,” Tlakula told Anadolu Agency. “They should ensure that the fundamental rights of these migrants are protected.”

Speaking on the sidelines of a meeting of the commission in Gambian capital Banjul on Wednesday, she added: “We have seen the EU leaders saying they are going to be regulating the inflow of migrants into their countries. Well, every region has a right to do that but in doing so, human rights standard have to be observed."

“We are saying that there are already frameworks that deal with the issue of migration and those human rights frameworks have to be observed.”

Since the beginning of the year, more than 5,800 Africans have arrived in Europe, according to the International Organization for Migration.

Most are thought to be young economic migrants driven from their home countries by poverty and rising unemployment.

The EU recently began sending such migrants who have crossed into Europe via Turkey and Greece back to Turkey, raising concerns among human rights groups.

To help African governments stem migration, EU leaders announced in November the creation of a $1.9 billion fund for Africa.

Turning to Egypt, Tlakula said the commission had received a number of complaints against the government of President Abdel Fattah el Sisi.

“The commission has received quite a number of formal complains of human rights abuse contrary to the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights and we will be considering those complains,” she said, without giving details on the number of complaints.

She also expressed concern the human rights situation in Burundi, where around 500 have been killed since April last year.

“We have raised our concerns about human rights violations in Burundi, particularly the issues of arbitrary arrest and detention, violence torture, the closure of media houses and restricting the operation of civil society organizations.”

She urged the Burundian government to “take the lead in condemning violence”.

The commission, established to protect and promote human rights, is made up of 11 members elected by the African Union Assembly.

Last Mod: 07 Nisan 2016, 12:31
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