02 April 2020 – Austria

The Ministry of Justice put in place several restrictive measures in prisons to avoid the spread of Covid-19, including the suspension of family visits. Prisoners may meet with their legal representatives behind a glass window and phone calls and video conferences have been set up. Under newly passed legislation, prison sentences may be postponed for […]

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Immigration Detainees Lying in their Bunk-beds in a Room in Eisenstadt Detention Centre,(https://www.globaldetentionproject.org/wp-content/uploads/centres/Eisenstadt%20PAZ%20-%20Photo%202.jpg)

02 April 2020 – Papua New Guinea

On 19 March 2020, authorities announced that penal institutions have been placed in quarantine. New prisoners are tested upon their entry and visits are suspended until further notice. Prisons were then placed in isolation from 24 March 2020 onwards and detainees or staff members that have Covid-19 symptoms will be placed in isolation and suspected […]

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Refugees on Manus Island Stage Protest Requesting Release, (https://www.rnz.co.nz/international/pacific-news/413230/covid-19-calls-for-evacuation-of-refugees-from-nauru-png)

02 April 2020 – Portugal

On 28 March, the Portuguese government announced that all migrants living in the country are to be treated as permanent residents during the crisis. Persons must provide evidence of an on-going residency request before they can use the country’s health service, welfare system, bank accounts, and work and rental contracts. These rules would apply from […]

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The Portuguese Aliens and Borders Service (SEF) (https://www.portugalresident.com/sef-refuses-asylum-to-moroccan-arrivals-in-monte-gordo/)

02 April 2020 – Australia

1,100 Australian healthcare professionals have co-signed a letter to the Home Affairs Minister, Peter Dutton, calling for all refugees and asylum seekers to immediately be released from immigration detention. “Failure to take action to release people seeking asylum and refugees from detention will not only put them at greater risk of infection and possibly death,” […]

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01 April 2020 – Egypt

The GDP has been unable to find any reports indicating that authorities have taken measures to assist migrants and asylum seekers, who are generally detained in prisons and police stations in Egypt. On 11 March 2020, the Egyptian government suspended visits to prisoners for 10 days due to the Covid-19 outbreak. Activists have urged the […]

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An Egyptian police officer stands in the entrance to Tora Prison, Cairo (https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/coronavirus-egypt-prison-letter-smuggled-out-doctors-who-want-help-fight-pandemic)

01 April 2020 – Italy

Campaign groups such as the “Campagna Nazionale contro la detenzione amministrativa di migranti” have highlighted the risks of the spread of Coronavirus within immigration detention centres in Italy, especially given the poor hygiene conditions and particular vulnerability of detainees. In addition, Italy’s national detainee rights guarantor, Mauro Palma, has urged the government to assess whether […]

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Police Officers Guarding Entrance to Immigration Detention Centre, (https://www.lasciatecientrare.it/emergenza-coronavirus-bloccare-gli-ingressi-nei-cpr-e-procedere-alla-progressiva-chiusura-dei-centri/)

01 April 2020 – Netherlands

The Council of Europe, in a 26 March statement, mentioned Netherlands as being one of a handful of countries in Europe to have released some immigration detainees because of the Covid-19 pandemic. However, other reports indicate that as of the end of March, people continued to be placed in immigration detention and that insufficient steps […]

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Temporary Emergency Shelter Barracks in Willem Lodewijk van Nassaukazerne, (https://www.gic.nl/nieuws/minister-stelt-kazerne-zoutkamp-beschikbaar-als-tijdelijke-noodonderdaklocatie-voor-vreemdelingen)

31 March 2020 – Bahrain

In mid-March King Al Khalifa of Bahrain ordered, via decree, the liberation of 901 prisoners so as to control the spread of Covid-19. Prison sentences for 585 other prisoners will be changed to rehabilitation and reformation programmes. Bahrain is notorious for imprisoning large numbers of foreign workers, who at one time reportedly made up some […]

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Prisoners Sitting in Overcrowded Jau Prison Hall in Bahrain, (https://www.google.com/search?q=jau+prison+bahrain&rlz=1C1CHBF_en-GBGB838GB838&sxsrf=ALeKk00N6CO1WAQocKWr1-dgv1Glza0cDw:1586352853762&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjWztjy-NjoAhVuQUEAHcfnA70Q_AUoAnoECBMQBA&biw=1920&bih=937#imgrc=gyA4jCNqiiwT6M)

31 March 2020 – Germany

On 16 March, Germany reintroduced border controls, stationing federal police at the borders with Austria, Switzerland, France, Luxembourg and Denmark. The Ministry of Interior said that in coordination with the neighbouring countries and authorities in all German federal states with external borders, the border police are ordered to turn away all travellers without a valid […]

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German police check drivers entering the country from France, following the reintroduction of border controls (https://www.thelocal.com/20200315/germany-to-close-its-borders)

30 March 2020 – South Africa

On 20 March 2020, the Justice Minister, Ronald Lamola, advised that criminal prisons in South Africa would undergo deep cleaning in a bid to prevent coronavirus infections. In addition, visits to offenders are suspended for 30 days and testing measures are being rolled out. A local NGO, Sonke Gender Justice, has urged the government to […]

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Prisoners Inside an Overcrowded Cell in Pollsmoor Prison in Cape Town, (https://edition.cnn.com/2016/02/25/africa/south-africa-jail-mandela/index.html)