Europe is criticized for "inhumane" treatment of immigrants
The highest body for human rights in Europe has criticized the "inhumane" treatment of migrants at European borders, especially at the external border of the European Union.
The migrants had suffered "punches, slaps, blows with sticks and other hard objects... by the police or border guards", according to the annual report of the Council of Europe's Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT), published on Thursday, 30 March.
"Other forms of inhumane and degrading treatment were also used, such as firing bullets near people's bodies while they were lying on the ground," the report further states.
The report notes that some other tactics included "pushing them into rivers (sometimes with their hands still tied), removing their clothes and shoes, and forcing them to walk barefoot and/or in their underwear and, in some cases, completely naked." beyond the border".
The CPT said it had faced "a growing number" of people claiming to have been forcibly removed from the European border.
"Many European countries face very complex migration challenges at their borders, but that does not mean they can ignore their human rights obligations. Forced removals are illegal, unacceptable and must end," said CPT head Alan Mitchell.
This committee had visited regular and border police and coast guard posts, detention centers and transit areas on the main migration routes to Europe.
The CPT called on Council of Europe member states to guarantee the rights of migrants by registering each individual, providing them with medical and vulnerability assessments and offering them the possibility to apply for asylum.
"Arrest should only be used as a last resort," the published report also states.
The Council of Europe consists of 46 countries. Russia was excluded after its unprovoked invasion of Ukraine last year, but it remains a party to the European Convention for the Prevention of Torture.
Migrants remain a hot topic in the European Union since more than a million people arrived in Europe during the 2015-16 refugee crisis.
The number of migrants trying to enter Europe reached 330,000 in 2022, 64 percent more than a year earlier, the EU's border agency Frontex said./REL