For Immediate Release
Austria: Drastic, Unjustified Measures against Asylum Seekers
MILAN - The law approved today by the National Council of the Austrian parliament is a blow to the rights of asylum seekers, Human Rights Watch said today. The law, which is expected to pass quickly and unchallenged in the parliament’s upper chamber, allows the federal government to declare a state of emergency and drastically curtail the right to seek asylum at Austria’s borders.
“These measures constitute a legal wall to asylum just as despicable as a razor-wire fence,” said Judith Sunderland, acting deputy Europe and Central Asia director at Human Rights Watch. “Austria should be working with other European Union countries to make sure people have a fair chance to get the protection they need, not taking unilateral decisions to pass asylum seekers around like hot potatoes.”
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Human Rights Watch is one of the world's leading independent organizations dedicated to defending and protecting human rights. By focusing international attention where human rights are violated, we give voice to the oppressed and hold oppressors accountable for their crimes. Our rigorous, objective investigations and strategic, targeted advocacy build intense pressure for action and raise the cost of human rights abuse. For 30 years, Human Rights Watch has worked tenaciously to lay the legal and moral groundwork for deep-rooted change and has fought to bring greater justice and security to people around the world.