United States Court of Appeals Denies Trump’s Travel Ban

The controversial decree signed by President Donald J. Trump banning refugees and restricting travel from seven Muslim-majority countries to enter in the U.S. was declined by the U.S. Court of Appeals.


President of United States Donald J. Trump

Mr. Trump signed the Executive Order 13769 under the name of “Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States”resulting in the suspension of this decree on 3rd February. The U.S. Court of Appeals on 9th February unanimously rejected President Trump’s attempt to re-apply it

From this declarations, CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad said:

This victory should not lead to complacency. This and other Trump administration orders and policies still pose a threat to communities of color, religious minorities, women, and others.”  

Three judges supported arguments in order to keep the suspension of the traveling ban and Mr. Trump said he would take the case to the Supreme Court.

Trump defend his travel ban and accused the judiciary branch of becoming “political” during an address to the Washington, D.C.conference of the Major Cities Chiefs Association. He also made references to his current measures related to the electoral campaign:

“One of the reasons I was elected was because of law, order, and security.”

Mr. Trump talks directly to the American people, Courts of Appeal and to the Opposition:

“You are great men and women, and we have to allow you to do your jobs, and we have to give you the weapons that you need […] they are trying to taking away from you, because of politics, or political views.”

In those statements, he is calling for Americans to understand the travel ban as a tool for increment security and jobs. Then Trump alleged the possibility of the Courts of being influenced by the opposite party in its decisions. 

This article from The Guardian informs about Trump called for surveillance against mosques and support the idea of establishing a database for all Muslims living in the United States. This ideology has led Trump wants to the shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until he was able to figure out how to attack horrendous threats by people who believe only in Jihad, and have no sense of reason or respect for human life, in his own words.

Trump’s executive order of the travel ban restriction proposed (also applied to permanent US residents, like green-card holders and foreign visitors) the imposition of a 90-day ban on travelers from Syria, Iran, Sudan, Lybia, Somalia, Yemen, and Iraq, according to the Telegraph

However, the ban is not applied to Christians of these countries. 

Trump’s executive order has been strongly criticized by many people, as the Court of Appeals alleged that the travel ban has nothing to do with the reach of ‘national security’:

The decision to ban people from seven-Muslim majority countries to enter the United States will give further arguments to extremist groups, such as the Islamic State, and will not guarantee national security.”

By Alejandro Martínez, Marina Barberá and Alba Tissera.

Who is going to help the Roingyans? For the last couple of years more than 92.000 Rohingyans are fighting for survival against Myanmar’s military and police forces and fleeing to neighboring countries. The UN accuses Myanmar of ethnic cleaning and the local people are demanding justice to condemn the genocide of the Rohingyans.

Who is going to help the Roingyans?

For the last couple of years more than 92.000 Rohingyans are fighting for survival against Myanmar’s military and police forces and fleeing to neighboring countries. The UN accuses Myanmar of ethnic cleaning and the local people are demanding justice to condemn the genocide of the Rohingyans.

Burmese government forces committed rape and other sexual violence against ethnic Rohingya women and girls as young as 13 during security operations in northern Rakhine State in late 2016” said Human Rights Watch.

The Rohingya are a Muslim minority with a population of some two million people. Most of them live in Myanmar (approximately 800.000 remain in Myanmar) specifically in the Rakhine region in the north of the country. The rest are spread over other countries of Southeast Asia. About 200,000 in Bangladesh and 50,000 in Malaysia.

Although the situation is now critical, the Rohingyas have been persecuted by the government and the Myanmar authorities during the last decade. Between 1991 and 1992 they suffered a massive exodus to the neighboring country of Bangladesh. This is one of the burning examples of religion discriminations in the world. Myanmar is killing the Muslim minorities just because Myanmar is a Buddhist country. According to BBC, Myanmar claims that the Rohingyans are not from Myanmar, they are illegal migrants from Bangladesh. For survival they were forced to leave their country and go to neighboring Muslim countries like Bangladesh, Malaysia, Indonesia etc.

According to the CFR Backgrounders, After attacks by Rohingya militants on border police posts on October 9, 2016, the Burmese military undertook a series of “clearance operations” in northern Rakhine State. Security forces summarily executed men, women, and children; looted property; and burned down at least 1,500 homes and other buildings. More than 69,000 Rohingya fled to Bangladesh, while another 23,000 have become internally displaced in Maungdaw district. There have always been differences between the Muslim minority and the rest of the population, mostly Buddhist. The government asserts that they are not Burmese citizens, because they speak another language, the color of their skin is different and their religion is different. But hatred was revived on May 28, 2012 when the corpse of a Burmese woman of Buddhist religion was found raped  and three Muslims were charged of it. Six days later, a crowd of Buddhists stopped a bus in which, they said, the culprits were traveling and killed ten Muslims. Groups of Muslims and Buddhists clashed in various locations in Rakhine to this day in which the figures of displaced people exceed 200,000 people in the last months alone. Moreover, now Bangladesh says that the Rohingyans are unwelcome, because already there are over 160 million people there and they can’t afford to serve more refugees.

The UN has already accused Myanmar of ethnic cleansing as it violates the international law ‘Jus cogens’.

The United Nations Organization and the governments of neighboring countries denounce and pressure Myanmar to solve the problem as soon as possible and end the murders and displacement. A difficult task if we have statements such as the following which came out of the mouth of a senior Burmese diplomat based in Hong Kong : “Actually, the Rohingya are not people from Burma, they are not from the same ethnic group. His complexion is dark brown and our complexion is soft, we are handsome too. They are ugly as orcs”


The World Humanitarian Aid by the UN isn’t good enough

Turkey is as many other countries directly involved in the refugee crisis, which is at the top of the list of problems the World Humanitarian Summit hopes to resolve this week. Turkey needs the help of the United Nations and European Union to end this crisis. However, these international organizations are not helping with enough humanitarian aid and supplies for the people that are suffering.

The United Nations’ main goals are to maintain international peace and security, also to promote the respect of human rights, in which they’re not doing a really good job currently. In countries neighbouring Syria, UNDP (United Nations Development Programme) supports host communities to cope with the influx of refugees by improving infrastructure, and improving local economic and employment opportunities focusing especially on vulnerable groups engaging the local population in its projects.

Speaking in Geneva the UN emergency relief coordinator Stephen O’Brien said that the Syrian government had in fact disregarded ‘countless’ efforts for aid to be allowed in, residents of the town last received aid in November 2012. Although the UN conducted a needs assessment which they came to the conclusion that resources which are in urgent need include medicine, food along with shortages in drinking water due to supplies being destroyed. While the UN’s announcements have been helpful in condemning Assad’s regime actions, it has not taken enough action to help those who need their assistance most.

Lack of aid might be the issue in the besieged areas in Syria, but that’s not the biggest problem. The quality of the humanitarian aid in the world today is not developed to where it should be, and it can be improved to a much higher level than it is. David Millband, president and CEO of the International Rescue Committee, stated in a speech he held a month ago at Georgetown University, that the world humanitarian aid need to be reformed. Further on he expressed, “the scale and complexity of current humanitarian needs are increasingly out of step with the resources, policies and practices available to meet them.”


Source:  The World Humanitarian Summit


The organisation that directs the World Humanitarian Summit is the United Nations. Examples the media covers every single week shows that this organisation is not the most efficient when it comes to humanitarian aid. Actually, one of the biggest and high-profiled international NGOs was absent. Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) had withdrawn from the event with the statement; “We no longer have any hope that the WHS will address the weaknesses in humanitarian action and emergency response, particularly in conflict areas or epidemic situations.”

This week the World Humanitarian summit took place in Istanbul to revise and improve the structure of humanitarian aid. It only lasted two days, and as expected it was not enough time to improve the humanitarian aid in any way. The gathered world leaders did establish a core document with commitments, but it’s non-binding and therefore it becomes another declaration of intent, rather than action.

“It is shameful that rich countries are moaning, complaining, sending refugees back, cutting deals behind their backs… We want to see rich countries step up to the plate, absorb refugees and give them opportunities in their countries,” Winnie Byanyima, executive director of the aid group Oxfam International, told Al Jazeera after the summit closing.

Humanitarian action not only saves lives, it prepares communities to respond to disasters, protects hard-won development gains, and helps people get back on their feet after a crisis strikes. It is important that there soon will be taken some action rather than several conferences and summits that gather publicity for world leaders and organizations.
The United Nations is to bureaucratic and inefficient to handle the different crisis that are ongoing right now. The institutions should involve other NGOs to get action when it’s needed.

European Commission considering visa freedom for Turks in Europe

In March, the European Commission signed a deal with Turkey regarding the refugee crisis. One of the conditions for Turkey taking in all refugees with Greece as a destination, was the guarantee of visa freedom for Turks while travelling within the European Union.
Authors: Derek J. W., Suzanne Vink,
Paloma Álvarez, Raquel Envó, Alba Montoya

Merkels Türkei-Reise

(Image source: Spiegel Online)

Last week, the European Commission discussed the potential visa freedom for Turkish citizens when travelling within the European Union. For Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan this was an important condition of the refugee deal the European Union has signed with Turkey. In the deal Turkey and the EU agreed that refugees arriving in Greece will be sent back to Turkey in order to properly register them before granting them asylum in different member states.

Even though, Turkey has not yet fulfilled the 72 criteria which are obligatory in order to obtain such visa freedom, the European Commission has the obligation to keep its promise.

There are many critics arguing against this visa freedom, stating that the deal with Turkey would play right into the hands of right-wing populists, such as the Alternative for Germany (AfD), the Front National in France or the Freedom Party of Austria (FPÖ). These argue that refugees from Syria portray a major threat to European internal security.

German news magazine, Der Spiegel, spoke to expert Gareth Jenkins. He explains there are 400, 000 internally displaced Kurdish refugees in Turkey, as the situation is developing almost like a civil war in the south-east of the country. He predicts that “a substantial number of Turks would come to Europe and either apply for asylum or disappear into the underground economy, especially in Germany and the Netherlands, where so many Turks have relatives.

To whom is this deal an advantage?

As a lot of Turkish people are living in Europe -alone of Germany’s 80 million inhabitants, around 2 million are of Turkish origin- it would be increasingly more convenient to have relatives visit. Furthermore, the visa freedom is a form of appeasement in order to maintain Turkey’s support for handling the refugee crisis Europe is currently experiencing. While keeping Turkey satisfied, the European Union hopes to have an easier approach at dealing with the waves of refugees arriving from Syria, while trying to solve internal problems with member states such as Hungary or Slovakia.

EU Summit

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, European Council President Donald Tusk and European Commission President, Jean-Claude Juncker in Brussels on 18. March 2016. (Image source: New Europe)

Turkish president Erdogan argues to have the upper hand in the EU-Turkey deal, opposed to German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the European Union itself. Earlier in March, he stated that: “The European Union needs Turkey more than Turkey needs the European Union,”.

Simultaneously, the Austrian EU Enlargement Commissioner Johannes Hahn exhorted the Turkish president to negotiate with and not threaten the EU.

How many Turks can we expect to make use of this visa freedom?

While some predict a large influx of Turkish Kurds applying for asylum, others expect the numbers will be less dramatic. Currently, Turkey is one of the countries in Europe with the highest prices for obtaining a passport. With the future introduction of a new biometric passport, the Turkish passport will cost around €300, which not every Turk will be able to afford. Since Turkey is not a member of the Schengen agreement, Turkish travelers have the obligation to travel using their passport within the EU, being unable to use their national ID as documentation.

Defending Human Rights is a global issue

IMG_5785Brazilian journalist Ávany França. Credits: Ávany França’s personal file

Journalist, photographer and blogger, Ávany França also holds a master’s degree in Intercultural Relations and is currently working at the NGO Alianza Por Solidaridad, in the volunteering department dealing with themes such as migration. The international organization has a strong work in the Middle East when it comes to defend human and women rights in this conflictive areas, giving civilians support, aid and support in the struggle for a dignity life during war times.

The Middle East has been worldwide news due to civil wars and revolutions. The Arab Spring combined with Western invasions in Arab countries have created violent extremist groups in the region. These extremist groups constantly bomb civilian areas killing people every day, and the local governments seem not to be strong enough to lead with them. As a result of these conflicts, a lot of people end up leaving their home countries in order to find safety somewhere else. “The most common routes are Western Balkan, Eastern Mediterranean route and Central Mediterranean route. Those routes have been used for refugees for many and many years,” said Ávany, who also explained how the refugees leave their countries. “The sea is the mainly mean used. It is unsafe and the number of people that dies trying to cross the ocean is also high.” A Syrian boy who was found dead in Turkey cost because his boat had drowned on the way to Europe has shocked the world recently.

As a Brazilian citizen, she also said that even though Brazil is open to receive refugees, it doesn’t provide them a social integration, only assistencialism. A problem that refugees not only find in Brazil, but also in other countries that receive them. According to her, “there is very little effort to integrate the refugees in the sense of being part of the new society.” She also explains the consequences of not fully integrate the refugees: “As a result, the society does not accept them fully, the refugees do not find a place in the new country and discrimination, and separation become a reality. With no real integration practice, the possibilities for those people feel as part of the new society and raise their voices is very limited.”

Although the refugee movement is getting more and more space on the media, still a lot of people have some sort of prejudice about them. Ávany explained that this prejudice is not only an issue in Europe but global, and it comes from the fear of the unknown. She adds: “Who are those people, what are their values, how kind of attitude can we expect from them? Those questions normally are not clarified and from the citizen’s point of view can be seen as a threat.” Ávany says that people’s reactions to the unknown are usually negative so that’s why migration policies programs should work in order to inform and to educate not only the local population, but also the refugees.

In conflictive areas the ones who suffer the most are the children. Ávany says that unfortunately education cannot be provided to them during war times since the priorities are others such as providing them food, security and dignity. She also adds: “What we need as a society, and I am saying that in a global sense, is to work very hard to avoid calamities like that keep happening in the world. Ávany says that it’s our responsibility “to fight for less social differences, for human rights and so on.”

When it comes to defend women’s rights, the NGO Alianza Por La Soridaridad have had a strong impact in the Middle East. The NGO works along with local partners in order to rise up women’s voices through creation of protocols, improvement of the care of victims, promotion of networking and support of women’s organizations. In this region, “women essential needs have been neglected wisely”, said Ávany who also explained that many women in the Middle East have been facing extreme difficulties and no rights respect due to the fact that they have no economic power or autonomy. She also complements: “Many women suffer social abuses, such as not to be able to decide on their sexual relationships, marriage, motherhood, and number of children.”

Although feminism movement as women fight for economic, social and political equality of sexes is getting bigger every day, this reality is significantly slower in the Middle East since women from this region also face religious and traditional barriers. Ávany explains that equality is an issue that will be sorted out in 118 years-time and also adds: “Unfortunately, we as a society are very far away to promote equality [of gender]. However, the positive point is that people in general can get more and more information about this gender issue and about how important this is everywhere.” She even uses Africans communities as an example of women’s struggles, “where women have suffered the powerful of tradition over their rights as human beings to the salary inequality between male and female professionals in developing countries.”

Written by Maria Beatriz Esperidião

UNHCR accuse Europe of not being too solidary with the refugees

Alejandra Rojo, Patricia Martinez, Rafael Lopez, Isidoro Arriola. 

The high commissioner of the UN for the refugees “invites” Europe in order to learn of the generosity of the developing countries.

Now Europe has to be more solidary with the war refugees. In the message of Antonio Guterres, UNHCR, call the countries to be more hospitable and generous, like the developing countries. These countries have opened their boundaries to the conflicting zones. They have received the 80% of the 800.000 new displaced people, due to the last year crisis. Because of these, the High Commissioner has request for solidarity in EU, so the refugees don’t go all to the same places. Therefore the EU ,being a community of developed countries, and have many more resources than the developing countries, has a responsibility to assist them with the same or similar social policies  and protection in all the countries of the EU to which the refugees don´t have problems, or they won´t have to go from one country to another. So the duty to help others has to be of all countries, not of a few.

Guterres has pointed out the principal problem is the diversity of asylum policies. He declares that the EU has a Schengen space in which the circulation is free, but if a person from Somalia had asked for protection in different EU countries he would have a 8-91% of variation, depending on the country. With this example the commissioner has raised the necessity of harmonizing the asylum politics in Europe. He has also declared that the number of refugees will increase in a few years ago by the increase of new humanitarian crises. So the change of the measures should be fast.

In relation to Spain, Guterres has pointed out that the asylum law is OK, but it should improve in the practice. About the snip of 1389 millions in cooperation to the development that the government has approved recently, the High Commissioner, said that Spain is in a difficult budget situation. But after de meeting with José Manuel García-Margallo, Guterres has declared that the impact of the change should be as small as possible.

The last year the areas where there were more humanitarian crises were in countries such as the Horn of Africa, Sudan, Mali, Libya, Syria.Guterres has indicated that the principles obstacles of the aids to the refugees are the economic crisis that now a days we live with. According with UNHCR data, the riots in Syria has obliged to more than 40.000 people to abandon theirs houses and to seek asylum in neighbor’s countries like Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey. Furthermore, there are about 100000 Iraqis refugees that are under the protection of the UN in Syria. In Mali there are 107.000 displaced people, and more than 130.000 Sudanese people have seek for refugee in Ethiopia, South Sudan due the combats that are taking place in the southern states and in the Horn of Africa. There are almost a million of refugees and asylum seekers from Somalia in neighbor countries. For all this that are happening it is more difficult to find solutions to protect and provide solutions to the refugee, because the conflicts are more complex and humanitarian organizations have worse access.