Last week, the European United Left/Nordic Green Left European Parliament Group (GUE/NGL) released a report following a monitoring visit to Sudan highlighting the human rights costs of EU-Sudanese cooperation on migration control. Following the visit the delegation also supported the appeal against Italy in front of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) on the repatriation of five Sudanese asylum seekers.

Human rights concerns raised in the report include the EU’s planned provision of equipment to the Sudanese police for migration control and border surveillance and its potential use by other governmental forces. The country’s northern border, one of the borders covered by cooperation with the EU, is currently controlled by the so-called “Rapid Support Forces,” led by former militias who are responsible for mass murder in Darfur. The report also warns about detention and deportation of victims of human trafficking by the Sudanese authorities.

The delegation also facilitated the launch of an appeal before the European Court of Human Rights of five Sudanese who were returned under a Memorandum of Understanding agreed by the heads of the Italian and Sudanese police forces (not ratified by the Italian parliament) in August last year. The five men were part of a group of 48 people returned from the Italian border city Ventimiglia. The claimants argue that their return violates the principle of non-refoulement, safeguards against collective expulsion, and the right to effective remedy enshrined in the European Convention on Human Rights.

Grave human rights abuses in Sudan have been extensively documented and Sudanese asylum seekers are among the nationalities with the top ten recognition rates in the EU.

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