25/05/2021

Minsk forced a Ryanair flight to make an emergency landing in order to detain its passengers

On May 23, a Ryanair flight from Athens to Vilnius was forced to make an emergency landing in Minsk due to an alleged bomb threat (that later proved false). On board was Belarusian journalist Roman Protasevich — the former editor-in-chief of the most prominent Belarusian opposition outlet, Nexta. The Belarusian authorities removed Protasevich from the flight, arresting him along with his girlfriend Sofia Sapega, who is a Russian citizen.

Source: Meduza

01/06/2021

Migration lawsuit launched against EU’s border agency

Human rights lawyers said that they have launched legal action against the European Union’s border and coast guard agency Frontex, accusing it of violating the rights of people trying to seek asylum and other breaches of international law. The case, filed at the European Court of Justice, concerns a woman from Burundi and a Congolese teenager who tried to apply for international protection on the Greek island of Lesbos last year.

Source: AP

01/06/2021

Russia designates 3 German NGOs as ‘undesirable’

Russia's Prosecutor General designated three German nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) as "undesirable" in a step criticised by Berlin and German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas. All three organisations (the German-Russian Exchange, the Forum of Russian-Speaking Europeans, and the Centre for Liberal Modernity) say they work to bring Germans and Russians together with a goal of greater mutual understanding.

Source : DW

01/06/2021

Germany agrees to pay Namibia €1.1bn over historical Herero-Nama genocide

After almost 6 years of negotiations with the Namibian government, Germany has agreed to pay Namibia €1.1bn, as it officially recognised the Herero-Nama genocide at the start of the 20th century, in what Angela Merkel’s government says amounts to a gesture of reconciliation but not legally binding reparations.

Source: The Guardian

01/06/2021

Bill to allow same-sex partnerships in Lithuania falls at first hurdle

A bill that would have allowed civil unions for same-sex couples in Lithuania failed to clear its first parliamentary hurdle. The measure, backed by Lithuanian Prime Minister Ingrida Simonyte, had sought to allow same-sex unions and give LGBT+ couples access to certain legal benefits, including joint ownership of property and inheritance rights.

Source: Euronews

01/06/2021

‘Undesirable’ Open Russia opposition group disbands ahead of elections

Open Russia, an opposition movement established by exiled Kremlin critic Mikhail Khodorkovsky, announced its closure. Executive director Andrei Pivovarov linked the decision to bills advancing through Russian parliament tightening criminal punishment for Russians who support and work for “undesirable” organisations. Open Russia was labelled “undesirable” in 2017 in line with a law targeting foreign groups accused of political meddling.

Source: The Moscow Times

07/06/2021

Danish law passed to allow offshore asylum centres

Denmark has passed legislation allowing it to relocate asylum seekers to third countries outside the European Union while their cases are reviewed. The project, proposed by the Social Democrat-led government, would seek partner countries to run camps and fund agencies along migration routes. But the European Commission said it had concerns about the law, and a leading NGO said it was irresponsible.

Source: BBC

07/06/2021

Bulgarian citizens try to challenge Sofia in court over air pollution levels

A group of citizens in Bulgaria are trying to take the authorities of Sofia to court over harmful levels of air pollution in the capital. More than half of the city’s air quality monitoring stations recorded illegal levels of PM10 particles pollution more than 35 times over the course of 2020. Sofia’s authorities have a plan to improve air quality in the city, but the six citizens argue it does not go far enough.

Source: Euronews

07/06/2021

Czech women fight to criminalise all non-consensual sex

The legal definition of rape under Czech law requires violence or the threat of violence, or an abuse of the victim’s inability to defend themselves. Campaigners argue that this definition is far too narrow and contributes to the tiny number of rapes that are reported in the country. Two NGOs, together with Amnesty International are calling on Czech politicians to support a bill expanding the definition of rape.

Source: The Guardian