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Rebordering Britain & Britons after Brexit
13 September 2023

The normalization of state violence against migrants and refugees: comment piece in El Pais

In a comment piece for Spanish daily El Pais, Nando Sigona examines the link between border externalisation and the normalisation of state violence across Europe.Violence, he argues, has become an inherent aspect of Europe’s response to migration, particularly from the Global South. It occurs across various sites within Europe, by state and state-sponsored agents, and is increasingly extended beyond its borders through the outsourcing of immigration control to third countries.

State violence is the product of deliberate actions, such as imposing excessively punitive conditions on those who irregularly enter Europe to seek asylum, but it also arises from deliberate state inactions, as seen in the case of the Pylos shipwreck. In this instance, the Greek Coast Guard’s intervention was too little and too late, despite the Greek authorities and Frontex being aware of the dire conditions on the migrant boat for hours and monitoring it from a distance.

The silencing of Europe's public, Sigona adds, plays an important role in the process of normalisation.