Italy in deal to hold asylum-seekers in Albania

Italy and Albania on Nov. 6 announced an agreement that would see asylum-seekers intercepted at sea by Italian forces taken to Albania while their claims are processed. Italy is to pay for construction of two centers in Albania with the capacity to hold up to 3,000 migrants at a time. If Italy rejects the asylum bids, Albania would deport the migrants. Albania is also to provide external security for the two centers, which would be under Italian jurisdiction. Children and pregnant women would be excluded from the plan. Some experts question whether the plan is legal, and say it follows a worrying trend of European countries seeking to "externalize" migrant processing to other countries. (TNH, AP)

Amnesty calls on Italy to reject migration pact with Albania

Amnesty International on Jan. 22 called on Italian lawmakers to reject a deal that would establish centers under Italian jurisdiction in Albania to detain migrants rescued at sea by Italian ships, calling the deal "unworkable, harmful and unlawful." (Jurist)

Albania court approves Italy migration deal

The Constitutional Court of Albania approved on Jan. 30 a migration agreement with Italy to establish migrant processing centers under Italian jurisdiction in Albania and allow Italy to send migrants rescued by Italian ships at sea to Albania. The centers would jointly accommodate up to 3,000 detained migrants at any given time. (Jurist)

Albanian parliament approves Italy migration deal

The Albanian parliament has agreed to accept asylum seekers and migrants arriving from Italy—a move that was criticized by rights groups. As many as 36,000 people could be sent to processing centers in Albania each year. (TNH)

HRW blasts Italy migration pact with Albania

Human Rights Watch on June 6 slammed Italy's deal to send asylum seekers to Albania, terming the pact a "model of mismanagement" and a "blueprint for abuse." (Jurist)

Riots rock Tirana

Thousands of opposition supporters took the streets in Tirana, Albania, on Juy 11, demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Edi Rama and throwing fire bombs at government buildings. The demonstrators also demanded the release of opposition leader Sali Berisha, who has been under house arrest on corruption charges since last year. (Jurist)