(Brussels 20 March 2014) The lives and rights of migrants, asylum-seekers and refugees are being threatened by European Union (EU) member states’ restrictive border control policies, Amnesty International said today at a protest outside the offices of the European Council in Brussels. Supporters and activists will dump four tonnes of sand on the concourse (freedom of expression zone) to create a reconstructed beach, and call on European leaders to end member states’ deplorable migration and asylum policies and practices.
“The member states are failing miserably to meet their EU and international obligations to protect migrants and asylum-seekers fleeing poverty, conflict and human rights abuses,” said Nicolas Beger, director of Amnesty International’s European Institutions Office.
“As Europe raises its barriers, many have no safe or legal ways to access Fortress Europe. That is why we are outside the European Summit today, to urge EU government leaders to take a hard look at the impact of their “fight against irregular migration” on the lives of men, women and children.”