UN experts express concern at length of custody for illegal migrants in

26 January 2009A group of independent United Nations human rights experts today voiced concern about the length of time immigrants rescued off the coast of Malta spend in custody, saying it is not “in line with international human rights law.” The human rights experts noted that illegal immigrants arriving in Malta after enduring risky voyages from North African shores are subject to long periods of automatic detention without genuine legal recourse. “We consider that the detention regime applied to them is not in line with international human rights law,” said Chairperson of the Working on Arbitrary Detention Manuela Carmena Castrillo. “We have met an 8-year-old boy, who should not be detained at all, and a Somali man, suffering from HIV and chicken pox, vegetating in a cell in complete isolation, who should rather be in hospital,” added Ms. Carmena Castrillo.The Maltese Government releases asylum-seekers after 12 months of detention, at the latest, if their asylum claim is still pending. Those who do not apply or whose applications are rejected can end up in custody for 18 months under appalling conditions, the Working Group said at the conclusion of its five-day fact-finding mission to the country.Although disagreeing with the mandatory detention of immigrants in an irregular situation, the experts said that if incarceration is necessary, its length should at least be clearly defined under law, adding that there appears to be no connection between the specifics of an individual case and the length of custody.The Group questioned the legitimacy of mandatory detention, pointing out that under Maltese immigration law detention is resorted to in order to carry out removal from its territory.The Government, however, informed the Working Group that out of the 12,000 immigrants detained since 2002, only around 2,000 have been repatriated.“In particular, we cannot accept how detention of vulnerable groups of persons can be deemed to be the last resort, as required by applicable international human rights law and also by the so-called ‘EU Return Directive,’ which the Government of Malta has to transpose into national law now,” said Ms. Carmena Castrillo. Malta applies a fast-track procedure for the release of families with children, unaccompanied minors, pregnant women and breast-feeding mothers, and people with disabilities, serious or chronic physical or mental health problems. However, according to the Government, it may take up to three months to free them and those who are considered a health risk for the community must stay in detention. “We must not forget that immigrants arriving without proper documentation are not criminals. What we must not forget, either, is that Malta is a small country with by far the highest population density in Europe and limited financial and human resources at hand,” stressed Ms. Carmena Castrillo, stressing that the country cannot manage the large increase of arrivals without the help of the international community.“We are facing a truly human tragedy here, but we sense that the Government can and should do better already at this point in time.”The experts also noted the relatively long periods of time defendants spend in detention while awaiting trial and the high rate of detainees on remand in comparison to the overall prison population. “We are concerned about the figures we have heard: more than 50 per cent of the prisoners in Malta are pre-trial detainees, which is a comparably high rate,” said Vice-Chair of the five-member Group El Hadji Malick Sow.“We are also concerned about allegations received that the rules of release on bail were not to be equally applied by courts to Maltese citizens and foreigners alike,” he added. Mr. Malick Sow recommended that “the Government considers establishing a system of release on parole,” recalling the fundamental right of the accused to be presumed innocent until proven guilty and the right to be tried without undue delay, both of which are well-entrenched in international human rights law. During its mission to Malta, the Group met with senior government authorities of the executive, legislative and judicial branches, as well as with representatives of UN agencies, international organizations, civil society and the Chamber of Advocates. read more

Armani Reeves named starting cornerback for Ohio States opener against Buffalo

Cornerbacks and special teams coach Kerry Coombs celebrates the Buckeyes victory over Wisconsin on Nov. 17, 2012 at Camp Randall Stadium. OSU won, 21-14.Sophomore cornerback Armani Reeves will have big shoes to fill for the Ohio State football team when it kicks off its season Aug. 31 versus Buffalo. With star cornerback Bradley Roby suspended for the season opener, Reeves will take Roby’s place in the starting lineup opposite junior Doran Grant, OSU cornerbacks coach KerryCoombs said Monday.Reeves said Monday he is looking forward to the opportunity to be a starter, if only for one game.“I can’t wait to have all my family and friends see me on the field,” Reeves said. “It’s going to be fun.”OSU coach Urban Meyer announced Saturday that Roby, a redshirtjunior, would be suspended for at least the first game of the season for his involvement in an incident at a bar in Bloomington, Ind., on July 21. That announcement came one day after Roby’s charge was downgraded from misdemeanor battery to disorderly conduct.Roby was one of the nation’s best cornerbacks last season as a redshirt sophomore. He had 19 pass defenses in 11 games for a nation-best rate of 1.73 pass defenses per game. He was named a semifinalist for the Jim Thorpe Award and a second-team All-American.Meyer has not ruled out the possibility of Roby being suspended for more than one game, but he is expected to return as the team’s No. 1 cornerback once he is off suspension.Coombs said Reeves has earned the opportunity to start against Buffalo.“(Reeves has had an) incredible offseason, great spring, worked really hard, understands the game, very committed, very focused,” Coombs said. “(He) still has to play, so we’ll find out on the 31st, but he’s going to line up, and he’s going to play, and I’m excited to see him play.”Starting opposite Reeves will be Grant, who is taking Travis Howard’s place in the starting lineup at cornerback.“I feel good. I feel ready to play. I’m ready for the season to get started,” Grant said.Grant started one game last season versus UAB in place of Roby. He saw action in all 12 games, accumulated 19 tackles and had an interception, a sack and a fumble recovery during the season.Going into this season as a starter, Grant said he has a fresh mindset and is going to play more aggressively.“I prepared for it just like I did last season,” Grant said. “I just grew a little bit, little bit more confident and I’m ready for Aug. 31.”Coombs said he’s confident in Grant’s ability.“I think there’s a difference when you walk in and hope to get a job, and when you’ve earned a job,” Coombs said. “I think he feels very, very confident in his ability to do that job. I know that I do.”With Roby’s ability to make plays on the ball and lock down opponents in coverage, opposing teams may be more prone to throw at Grant this season. Grant said he is looking forward to be tested by his opponents.“To me, it’s just more opportunity in my eyes,” Grant said.Coombs said Grant has been tested by all of the Buckeyes’ top wide receivers in fall camp, and that Grant has responded “incredibly well.”“If you’re going to play this position at this level, you better hope to be tested, that’s why you want to be there,” Coombssaid. “You’re standing out there on the island all by yourself. It takes a man’s man to play corner in the Big Ten Conference and I would expect that he’s really excited about that.”Redshirt senior quarterback Kenny Guiton said throwing against Grant in practice has been a challenge.“He’s a guy that works hard and he’s always in there and I think he’s going to do real good,” Guiton said. “He’s there, he’s always there, you have to make a good pass to complete it on him.”In football terminology, Roby plays boundary cornerback, which means he will play on the short side of the field and typically see more one-on-one matchups with the opposing team’s best receiver. Grant will play the field cornerback spot opposite Roby, but for the season opener, Coombs said both Grant and Reeves could see time as the boundary cornerback.“For the first game, Doran (Grant) will play some boundary, Armani (Reeves) will play some boundary,” Coombs said. “The throw is shorter to the boundary so it’s an easier throw. Offenses put their best guy there a lot. So a shorter throw to a better receiver requires tighter coverage. The skill set in the boundary is a little different than the skill set to the field.”Roby may be one of the nation’s best cornerbacks, but Coombs said the secondary will be fine without him in the lineup.“I want to make sure I’m very, very clear: We’re going to be good regardless of who’s in there,” Coombs said.Behind Roby, Grant and Reeves, the Buckeyes are relying on youth to step up quickly at cornerback.Three true freshmen — Eli Apple, Cam Burrows and Gareon Conley — are currently battling for depth chart position at cornerback behind Reeves, Coombs said.“They’re battling their butt(s) off,” Coombs said. “The guy who makes it through that the best is the guy that’s going to play the most, but I would expect all of them to play this year.”As for Reeves, he said although he is excited to start, his preparation will not change if he returns to a backup role upon Roby’s return.“Obviously he’s one of the best in the country, if not the best, so when he comes back I’m still going to do the same thing I’ve been doing all the time, and that’s working hard,” Reeves said of Roby. “And if I’m on the field at corner, I’m going to be going hard.”Reeves said Roby has still been the same player in camp too, even though he will be forced to sit out the opening game.“He’s been very supportive and working hard like always,” Reeves said. “Nothing’s really changed for him. Still a hard worker, film everyday, technique’s always on point.”The Aug. 31 season opener versus Buffalo is scheduled for a noon kickoff at Ohio Stadium. read more

Finnish Minerals Group established

first_imgThe Ministerial Committee on Economic Policy of the Finnish Government has reorganised the State’s mining industry holdings into a new holdings and development company. This will advance the development of Finland’s battery and mining cluster. The arrangement transfers Finnish Industry Investment Ltd’s (Tesi) investment program for the mining cluster under the responsibility of Terrafame Group Ltd, which will change its name to Finnish Minerals Group Ltd (Suomen Malmijalostus Oy in Finnish).The change will not affect the operations or ownership of Terrafame. Finnish Minerals Group will continue as Terrafame’s parent company, its shareholding remaining unchanged at approximately 77%.The change in question is an internal arrangement of the State’s share portfolio, and its implementation does not require new financing from the State budget. Due to the strong development of Tesi’s results-based financing, a total of €46 million of funds previously allocated to Tesi in the government budget that are still unused by the mining investment program are planned to be transferred to Finnish Minerals Group’s use. The financial risks or responsibilities of the State will not be affected by the arrangement.This development offers very interesting prospects for individual companies as well as for the entire Finnish battery and mining cluster. “The State’s holdings in mining industry companies that produce raw materials needed in electric car batteries can be developed as a strategic entity in the future. To maximise their value, raw materials and components should be further processed and refined in Finland as much as possible. Moving up the value chain would result in new jobs as well as tax and export income,” says Minister of Economic Affairs Mika Lintilä.“It is important to act quickly. If Finland misses the beat on the development in the battery industry, it may become more difficult to get involved later. Finland has an opportunity to be at the forefront of advancing sustainable mining and moving towards climate-friendly transport,” Lintilä continues.Finnish Minerals Group will be responsible for the strategic ownership and development of its other target companies as well as the mining investment programme from now on. In addition, the company will advance the development of the Finnish battery cluster on a wider scale. The company has already been actively involved in the EU Battery Alliance which, on the initiative of the European Commission, has been preparing a strategic action plan to boost the battery cluster market in Europe. In due time, the strategic entity will channel funds also to ensuring the availability of raw materials for batteries. Finnish Minerals Group will advance this important topic for Finland by actively participating in the Battery Alliance as well as in the preparations for projects and financing packages that will become available to apply for.“Finnish Minerals Group will actively take part in the long-term strategic development of its target companies. The company can also make new investments in the battery and mining cluster projects in the future within the framework of the mining investment programme,” says Janne Känkänen, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Finnish Minerals Group.“The goal is for Finnish Minerals Group to act as an active owner and developer of the target companies. The active and international R&D operations created during the operation of Terrafame Group Ltd will benefit also Finnish Minerals Group’s new target companies in the future, along with their strategic ownership as a whole,” says CEO of Finnish Minerals Group Matti Hietanen.“Projects in the EU’s battery and mining cluster can offer target companies opportunities to participate in long-term development work. For smaller target companies, in particular, Finnish Minerals Group can offer also other operative support in, for instance, corporate responsibility, communications, public affairs, environmental permit processes and international visibility,” Hietanen concludes.last_img read more