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Riot at Trandum Detention Centre
A riot took place at Trandum Detention Centre for asylum seekers close to the Gardermoen International Airport tonight. The riot started at 6.50 pm.
Norway suspends returns to several countries
Returns are suspended to Libya, Uzbekistan and certain parts of Iraq.
Norway suspends returns to Uzbekistan after asylum arrests
In a propaganda film shown on national television in Uzbekistan former Uzbek asylum seekers to Norway are depicted as returned traitors. On Christmas Eve they were sentenced to up to 13 years in prison. (video)
Heavy criticism of government's return policy
Norway is obliged to monitor what happens with people who are deported to dangerous countries. But it does not happen, writes researcher Maja Janmyr in an article in the magazine Røyst.
 - Aftenposten
Warnings of no mercy return policies - (Norwegian)
Return of asylum seekers is devoted much space in the government refugee addition to the state budget. Prime Minister Erna Solberg stresses that it's important to send back asylum seekers without protection needs.
 - VG
More refugees should be returned faster - (Norwegian)
The Norwegian government will follow the European Union closely and repatriate more refugees faster. According to State Secretary Jøran Kallemyr (The Progress Party) the measure may prevent more people from drowning in the Mediterranean.
 - nrk
Shaimaa (11) and her family can return to Norway - (Norwegian)
The National Immigration Board (UNE) has reversed its prior decision and the family of five from Jemen are allowed back to Norway on a one year permit. The family had lived seven years in the country when they where deported to Jemen in November 2014.
 - nrk
Afghan minister asks Norway to take back family - (Norwegian)
The Afghan Refugee Minister says family's security can't be guaranteed in their region of Ghazni.
 - VG
Afghan authorities will stop all forced returns from Norway
Afghanistan will close its borders to all individuals who are deported from Norway, says the country's refugee minister. He adds that the country wants a new return agreement with Norway.
 - Aftenposten
National Police Immigration Service was ready to give up government's demands for more deportations - (Norwegian)
In August last year the National Police Immigration Service (PU) alerted the authorities that they would not be able to meet Minister of Justice and Public Security Anders Anundsen's demand of 7700 deportations of asylum seekers. Mr. Anundsen did not accept this, and he asked PU to speed up the work with the deportations. Later it was agreed on a total of 7100 deportations in 2014.
 - Brussels

ECRE joins UNHCR in urging not to send asylum seekers back to Bulgaria under the Dublin agreement

In its observations on the current situation of asylum in Bulgaria, UNHCR considers that asylum seekers in Bulgaria face a real risk of inhuman or degrading treatment due to systemic deficiencies in reception conditions and asylum procedures in the country.

UNHCR describes the reception conditions for asylum seekers in Bulgaria as ‘deplorable’ and ‘at variance with the right to human dignity and respect for privacy’. UNHCR’s analysis is in line with the findings of ECRE’s Asylum Information Database (AIDA) Country Report on Bulgaria, updated by the Bulgarian Helsinki Committee in December 2013. Asylum seekers in Bulgaria reside in overcrowded and understaffed reception centres, especially since the sharp increase in applications since August 2013, mainly by Syrians.

In addition, UNHCR cites the risk of lengthy and arbitrary detention due to delays and to the absence of a clear basis for detention in Bulgarian law. Another critical problem is the denial of access to a fair and effective asylum determination procedure, which leaves asylum seekers sent to Bulgaria under the Dublin Regulation at risk of refoulement to their countries of origin.

It is recommended that Bulgaria adopt a crisis management plan, in accordance with Article 33 of the Dublin III Regulation, to reinforce EU efforts to improve the situation in the country. Such a plan would require Bulgaria to report regularly to the Commission and the European Asylum Support Office as well as inform the European Parliament of any progress made.

ECRE also notes the growing number of cases in which national courts have ordered suspension of Dublin transfers to EU Member States, including Bulgaria, Hungary, Malta, Poland and Italy. As a result, ECRE calls on the EU institutions to recognise the failures of the current system and seize the opportunity of the upcoming discussions on the EU’s strategic guidelines for the Post-Stockholm era to fundamentally review the principles underlying the Dublin system.