03 April 2020 – Algeria

With the Covid-19 crisis provoking a state of “panic” across Algeria, the country has announced a “plan d’urgence.” Authorities have continued their efforts to block unauthorised migration from sub-Saharan countries, including detaining “migrants clandestins” and arresting alleged traffickers. However, simultaneously, the Ministry of Justice announced that it was temporarily suspending court functions. In addition, all […]

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Bilall Bensalem,

03 April 2020 – Argentina

Argentina’s borders have been closed to both nationals and non-nationals since 27 March 2020. On 31 March 2020, this measure was extended until 12 April 2020, through a Decree of Necessity and Urgency, with some modifications, including the possibility for nationals and residents to “gradually return to the national territory.” There are reports indicating that […]

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Police operation to halt a riot in the Las Flores Prison, in the province of Santa Fe, 24 March 2020, (https://elpais.com/sociedad/2020-03-25/cinco-muertos-en-motines-en-carceles-argentinas-durante-la-cuarentena-por-el-coronavirus.html)

03 April 2020 – Bangladesh

There are critical concerns about the risk of infection spreading uncontrollably in the overcrowded camps and other facilities used to house the some one million Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh. Human rights groups issued a joint letter on 1 April commending the government “for working closely with the humanitarian community on COVID-19 preparedness and response in […]

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02 April 2020 – Russian Federation

Russia has taken some steps to limit immigration detainee populations. At the same time, it has taken draconian measures that have severely increased the vulnerability of thousands of migrant workers and other foreigners residing in the country. According to ADC Memorial, the government has prohibited the placement of new people in detention centres, and instead […]

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02 April 2020 – Colombia

Migrants and refugees in Colombia find themselves in a particularly vulnerable situation due to the Covid-19 crisis and the measures taken by the government, including confinement and border closures. Many have lost their homes and been left on the street as they are not able to afford rent. UNHCR has urged the country to adopt […]

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A Wall of the Modelo Prison in Bogota, Colombia, (https://colombiareports.com/colombia-to-release-more-than-10000-inmates-from-prison-over-coronavirus-fears/)

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)