Pushbacks of migrants from Italy to Slovenia are illegal. Court of Rome Rules.

A judge in Rome has ruled that the practice of deporting migrants to Slovenia, under an old bilateral agreement, is illegal. “They are violating the Constitution and the European Charter of Fundamental Rights”.

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The Bosnia/Croatia Border from the city of Bihac. Photo: Hannah Parry

The ruling comes from the case of a 27 year old man from Pakistan who was a victim of a ‘chain pushback’ — he was expelled as part of a group from Italy to Slovenia, then to Croatia and finally Bosnia.

The individual story of Mahmood is echoed by thousands of people currently stranded in Bosnia, who have faced violence at the hands of the Croatian border authorities. Evidence of these atrocities is collected by the Border Violence Monitoring Network.

The judge found three reasons for this highly significant ruling. The bilateral agreement with Slovenia has conditions which were broken in this case. Firstly, no documentation accompanied the removal. Secondly, individual cases must be considered, rather than mass expulsion. Finally, this legislation, used by the Interior Ministry, should not be applied to an asylum seeker without collecting their application.

Lawyers acting for Mahmood, Anna Brambilla and Caterina Bove, said “We are very satisfied with the pronunciation. In the light of this ordinance, informal readmissions to Slovenia must be stopped immediately to ensure access to the right to asylum”.

I'm a writer, blogger and musician. I write about the situation for refugees in Europe and about travel and adventure. Find out more www.hannahparry.co.uk

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