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Refugee crisis: latest news from across Europe
7.1.18
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Keep in touch: Statewatch Observatory: Refugee crisis in the Med and inside the EU: Daily news (updated through the day), commentaries and official documents
EU-TURKEY DODGY DEAL: Letters between the Commission and the Turkish and Greek governments April-July 2016 (ordered as in the pdf):

1. Letter to Commission from Permanent Delegation of Turkey in EU (12 April 2016)
2. Letter from the Director General of the Commission to Greek government (5 May 2016)
3. Letter from the Director General of the Commission to Greek government (27 April 2016)
4. Letter to Commission from Permanent Delegation of Turkey in EU (24 April 2016)
5. Letter from Commissioner for EU DG Home to Greek Alternate Minister for Migration (29 July 2016)

Sicily/Italy/EU/Africa: EU and Italian authorities accused of “system crimes” as court calls for the recognition of migrants as a “people” and as holders of rights (pdf):

"The People’s Permanent Court held a session on the rights of migrants and refugees in Palermo from 18 to 20 December 2017 following a request to do so, and submissions of evidence by over 100 international associations and organisations in Barcelona on 7-8 July 2017.

The session focused extensively on issues including deaths at sea, policies denying hospitality and rights and the externalisation of the EU’s and Italy’s immigration policies to the African coast and mainland, particularly in Libya, with the violence, abuses and deaths this entails."

Are You Syrious (5.1.18, link)

FEATURE: The sinister collaboration - how policy affects people

"In the night between 3 and 4 January, unknown people threw molotov cocktails at a door of a building meant to host migrants in the future. This incident happened in Capriglia, in the hill town of Pietrasanta (Lucca). The door is blackened by the hot fire, which fortunately burned out on its own. The Saturday before, some residents of Capriglia made a civil protest against the next arrival of asylum seekers in the town.(...)"

Expulsions

"In Serbia, a large number of expulsions have been reported by UNHCR and partners: 147 collective expulsions from Croatia, 85 from Romania and 79 from Hungary from December 11 to 24. To put this in context, this is 311 expulsions in less than two weeks."

AUSTRIA

"Austrian Vice Chancellor Strache argued that not only should refugees be put in military barracks while they wait on their asylum application, but that they be subject to curfew and other limitations. Even other members of the Vice Chancellor’s right wing party have distanced themselves from the proposal, which immediately drew backlash, but the disturbing implication remains that even though the Vice Chancellor’s plan will not be enacted “immediately” that it is a veritable option for Austria. (Source)"

Greece: As attacks on migrant homes spike, group fears Golden Dawn threat (ekathimerini.com, link):

"Attacks against migrant workers, and Pakistani nationals in particular, in the Piraeus suburbs of Renti and Nikaia have spiked since Christmas, a rights group warned on Thursday, saying the assaults bear the hallmarks of Golden Dawn’s so-called “assault divisions.”

According to the Movement Against Racism and the Fascist Threat (KEERFA) more than 30 houses tenanted by migrants have been attacked in less than a month in those two areas by black-hooded assailants throwing stones, sticks, bottles and even bitter oranges at the houses, breaking windows and frightening their tenants."

Are You Syrious (4.1.18, link)

FEATURE

"Two boats were reportedly stopped by the Turkish Coast Guard on their way to Greece during the night/morning of Thursday.
However, after the initial 400 people who arrived during Monday and Tuesday, more people have arrived in the Greek Aegean islands over the past 24 hours. 15 people arrived on a boat on the south coast of Lesvos earlier on Thursday.

A boat with 38 people (28 men, 6 women and 4 children) landed on Chios and 44 (12 men, 16 women and 16 children) people were on board the vessel that arrived to Samos." (...)

Inhumane and illegal detention case linked to the EU-Turkey deal

"The latest press release of the Lesvos solidarity was signed by a number of organizations active with refugees in Greece and it calls for the “immediate release of a vulnerable case currently unnecessarily detained in PROKEKA, the prison within Moria refugee camp.” They stress out that his case is one of many inhumane and illegal detention cases linked to the EU-Turkey deal. We wrote about it in yesterday’s Digest, you can read the entire text here."

ITALY: Police check-ups, detention and deportation

"On Wednesday another round-up on an ethnic basis was done in Ventimiglia, Italian volunteers report. Reportedly, after the usual cleaning of the river banks done by migrants and volunteers, in front of Eufemia-Info&Legal Point the Italian police stopped some of the boys goind to Taranto. One of them, despite the fact that he had all the documents, was detained “for an investigation”. The growing concern is that he might have also been deported because other people with documents have previously been reported to the south of Italy."

Greece: Aegean Boat Report

"
The camps on the islands are overcrowded, people are suffering, because Europe don’t want to let them in. You have probably seen footage from Moria on Lesvos on the news, situation on Chios and Samos isn’t much better. People will again die in camps on the Greek islands this winter, living in summer tents, suffering from cold, under extremely poor living conditions.

A total of 730 boats reached the Greek islands in 2017, carrying 29.229 people. When the new year started, 13.671 people was stuck in camps on the Greek islands."

The asylum files: deadlock and dead-ends (euobserver, link):

"The past year has yet to deliver any meaningful reforms of the EU's fractured internal asylum system.

The half-dozen bills under discussion remain either mired in political standoffs, or left on the desks of understaffed and overworked EU delegations."

A seahorse for the Mediterranean: Border surveillance for Libyan search and rescue zone (link):

"Libya is to become the first third-state to join the EU’s satellite-supported “Seahorse Mediterranean” network. The Italian military is currently setting up the necessary control centres, to be followed by a new application for a search and rescue zone, supported by Italy. In the end, the Libyan coastguard is to coordinate all maritime search and rescue missions itself.(...)

Unlike the ships in the EU military mission EUNAVFOR MED or merchant ships, the Libyan patrol boats would be able to escort the rescued parties on board back to Libya without infringing upon the principle of non-refoulement enshrined under international law. Thus the creation of such a coordination centre means a nightmare for hundreds of thousands of refugees and independently-organised rescue missions that have been repeatedly shot at by coastguard units. There is already evidence about the Italian navy’s involvement in such a facilitating return of migrants to Libya."

UNHCR: 2017 (1.1.18)

Total in 2017: 171,332: Arrivals in Italy: 119,249; Arrivals in Greece: 29,716; Arrivals in Spain: 23,253; Arrivals in Cyprus: 1,111. Dead/missing 3,061.

2016: Total arrivals: 362,753. Dead/missing:   5,096
2015: Total arrivals: 1,015,078. Dead/missing: 2,051
2014: Total arrivals:   216,054. Dead/missing:  3,538

Meet Lamin (migrantsofthemed.com, link):

"18 years old and from Banjul, Gambia.

He was 17 years old when he left his country on a journey that took five months.

He did not want his photo shown.

To reach Sicily he crossed six countries: The Gambia, Senegal, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, and the most dangerous of all, Libya.(...)

Libya: Up to One Million Enslaved Migrants, Victims of ‘Europe’s Complicity’ (IPS, link):

"“European governments are knowingly complicit in the torture and abuse of tens of thousands of refugees and migrants detained by Libyan immigration authorities in appalling conditions in Libya,” Amnesty International charged in the wake of global outrage over the sale of migrants in Libya.(...)

“European governments have not just been fully aware of these abuses... they are complicit in them” -- John Dalhuisen, Amnesty International."

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