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Executive Summary for July 27th

We review the latest issues related to refugees, including a U.N. report on the bombing of a refugee boat that finds a Saudi-led coalition responsible, a European Court of Justice ruling on the Dublin rules, and the detention of migrants at Milan’s train station.

Published on July 27, 2017 Read time Approx. 2 minutes

U.N. Report: Saudi-Led Coalition Responsible for Bombing Refugee Boat

U.N. investigators found a Saudi-led coalition responsible for bombing a refugee boat off the coast of Yemen in March, killing 42 people onboard.

“This civilian vessel was almost certainly attacked using a 7.62mm caliber weapon from an armed utility helicopter,” they wrote in a confidential report to the U.N. Security Council seen by Reuters. “The Saudi Arabia-led coalition forces are the only parties to the conflict that have the capability to operate armed utility helicopters in the area,” the report said, noting that the helicopter was likely operating from a naval vessel.

Human Rights Watch said earlier that the attack on the boat of Somali refugees trying to flee war-torn Yemen was likely a war crime. The coalition – which receives U.S. arms and support – denied bombing the boat.

The U.N. investigators accused countries of hiding behind the coalition to shield themselves from responsibility for violations by their national forces. “Attempts to divert responsibility in this manner from individual states to the Saudi Arabia-led coalition may contribute to further violations continuing with impunity,” they wrote.

ECJ Says Dublin Rules Apply Even in ‘Exceptional Circumstances’

The European Court of Justice ruled that Austria and Slovenia could deport asylum seekers back to Croatia, finding that the E.U.’s Dublin rules apply even in “exceptional circumstances.”

The court’s advocate general had earlier advised that the rules, which require most refugees to claim asylum in the first E.U. state they enter, were “simply not designed” to cover a situation like the events of 2015, when over 1 million people entered the bloc by sea, with most heading north on foot.

Although the court usually follows the advocate general’s advice, it is not obligated to do so.

Separately, the advocate general also advised that the court dismiss lawsuits by Hungary and Slovakia, and backed by Poland, which argued that obligatory quotas for the relocation of asylum seekers in the E.U. were unlawful. The European Commission immediately issued a request to the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland to implement the E.U. rules.

Hungary’s state secretary of the Justice Ministry labeled the opinion a political statement “used to disguise the fact that there are no legal arguments in it.” The final ruling is expected after the summer.

Italy Detains Dozens of Migrants in Milan

Italian police detained 36 people at Milan’s central train station, which has become a hub for migrants in the city.

“We will continue until it is clear to the delinquents that the Central Station is not a place to loiter,” Milan’s official for security, Carmela Rozza, told reporters.

Last week, a Guinean man stabbed a police officer in front of the station and was later deported.

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