Today saw the start of the ‘Building a Europe of Asylum’ ministerial conference in Paris, and Reporters Without Borders (RSF) have used the opportunity to ask the 27 ministers responsible for asylum policy to do more to protect the dozens of journalists and free speech activists who are forced into exile each year.
“The current situation is dramatic and most journalists seeking asylum – who mainly come from Eritrea, Iran, Iraq or Sri Lanka – have difficulty finding refuge,” the letter says. “The long waits in the offices of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the almost systematic refusal of western embassies to grant them visas force the great majority to risk their lives by resorting to illegal immigration methods.
“For this reason, there is an urgent need not only to recognise the refugee status of journalists in your country seeking asylum but also to facilitate procedures for protected entry and emergency resettlement.”
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