Refugee crisis: latest news from across Europe
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GREECE: Refugee solidarity activists arrested in Greece freed on bail
Two activists who were last week arrested in Greece and charged with facilitating illegal immigration were released from preventive detention on Friday 30 December and will have to pay 2,000 within 12 days to obtain permission to leave Greece until their trial takes place.
UK: The bigger picture about refugees
This article provides official statistical data on asyulm claims in the UK up to June 2016, resettlement to the UK (prinicpally through the Syrian Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme), unaccompanied asylum-seeking children and refugee camps in Europe. It was originally published in the newsletter of Bristol Refugee Rights and is republished here with permission.
FRANCE: Malian consulate in Paris occupied due to "corruption" and EU-Mali agreement
RFI reported on 31 December 2016 that an occupation of the Malian consulate in Paris undertaken by the migrant collective 'Clean Hands' had been continuing for a week, after the group entered the building on 23 December.
One of the occupiers, Samba, told RFI that there were no consular staff remaining in the building, and that: "We have changed the reception into a refreshment bar," and that people were using the space to eat and drink.
The collective has denounced the "corruption" within the consulate and problems and delays with obtaining documents and information.
FRANCE: DUBLIN REGULATION: Dublin to Norway, flight to Kabul (Passeurs d'Hospitalités, link):
"There are many ways to come to Europe. One of them, by Russia, to Norway, crossing the border between the two countries, up in the north.
People seeking asylum in Norway and receiving a negative response often continue their migration to other countries. But if they apply for asylum in Norway, they risk being sent back there, as having their finger prints there will make the country responsible for their asylum application under the Dublin III European regulation.
This puts them in a potential chain reaction of expulsions. In fact, in November, Roman had been sent back to Norway and from there to Afghanistan, without even having time to file an appeal once arrived in Norway. In mid-December 2016, a joint Swedish-Norwegian flight had resulted in the removal of 22 people, including 9 from Norway to Kabul under the agreement between the European Union and Afghanistan.
Hashim is now facing the same risk."
GREECE: Conditions for Refugees on Islands are Regrettable and Infuriating, Says MSF Head in Greece (Greek Reporter, link):
"Living conditions for refugees on Greeces islands is regrettable and infuriating, the head of the MSF (Doctors without Borders) mission in Greece, Clément Perrin, told Athens-Macedonian News Agency (ANA) on Friday.
Perrin said families with newborn babies or small children are still living in tents even as temperatures have dropped to five above Celsius during the night. According to MSF data, in Samos there are 329 tents available for 100 people 120 of which are outside the hotspot without heating and access to hot water. In Moria camp, Lesvos, apart from the prefabricated housing units which house families, the rest of the refugees live in tents without heating and hot water is only available in the morning, which causes large queues.
Greek authorities promised months ago they would improve living conditions on the islands, but very little has been done, Perrin said. Very little has been done for the most vulnerable refugees, while they were supposed to have been transferred to the mainland several weeks ago."
UK: Cornwall refugee group raises thousands to help resettle Syrian families (The Guardian, link):
"A refugee support group in a small Cornwall town hopes to welcome two Syrian families after raising thousands of pounds.
Bude Welcomes Refugees, a 30-person group based in the north Cornwall seaside resort, wants to be one of the earliest adopters of the community sponsorship scheme to resettle refugee families.
The initiative enables community organisations, including charities, faith groups, churches and businesses, to take on the role of supporting resettled refugees in the UK."
Austrian housing project keeps refugees hopes alive (UNHCR, link):
"Is she religious? Does she have a philosophy? She shakes her head. It is simple humanity that has motivated her over a long career of caring for the less fortunate. If someone comes, needing help, I do not tell them to go and see the Pope first.
Frau Bock, who never married, lives modestly to the point of being ascetic. She has never had a holiday; indeed she doesnt even have a passport. She thinks fashion is a waste of time and her only luxury is to go to the hairdressers."
Syrian refugees in Greece despair over Aleppo (Deutsche Welle, link):
"The majority of Syrians in northern Greece initially arrived in the country before the EU-Turkey deal which was signed last March. All of them fled because of the conflict in their homeland. All of them have strong opinions on the civil war that has been destroying Syria for almost six years now. Few of them are willing to express their views publicly. They are either tired of talking to the media or they have families and relatives back home whose lives may be put at risk."
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