by Paolo Martino
Saddam, Hamza and Omar have travelled for thousands of kilometers, passing through the wars of Afghanistan, the Horn of Africa and the Middle East. Once in Greece, close to the Europe they dream of, they have to spend months around the port of Patras attempting to board the ferries that cross the Adriatic Sea. The courage they show crossing the sea, however, has no relevance for the Italian port authority: spotted in the harbor during disembarkation, the migrants are forced to return to the same ferry and are immediately pushed back to Greece (technically “readmitted”), in violation of the rights of refugees and asylum seekers.
Riammessi (Readmitted)’s, the new ZaBit, première will be screened on November 14, at 11 am, during the presentation of “Porti insicuri”, report on the readmissions from Italian ports towards Greece and on the violation of migrants’ fundamental rights, organized by Doctors for Human Rights in collaboration with ASGI. On November 14, Riammessi (Readmitted) will also be visible online on the website www.zalab.org.
Watch the documentary “Readmitted”
The new asylum service reached now its first six months of functioning in Athens. Also in Fylakio, Alexandroupoli and Lesvos three asylum offices were opened meanwhile. Soon also in Rhodes (end of 2013), later in 2014 in Thessaloniki, Samos, Chios, Iraklio/ Crete and Patra asylum offices will open.
Statistics (7.6. – 29.11.13)
- 4.189 asylum applications were registered of which 3.162 were male applicants, 1.027 female and 171 unaccompanied minors (4,1% of total)
- 1.670 first instance decisions were taken and 411 were cut
- 213 received a protection status (12,8% of the applicants) of which 149 were recognised as political refugees and 64 received subsidiary protection
- 24,9% of the positive first instance decisions concerned Syrians, 18,3% Afghans, 9,4% Eritreans, 8% Sudanese, 6,1% Iranians and 5,6% Ethiopians
- the highest recognition rate concerns: 1. Syrians (98,1%), followed by Sudanese (89,5%), Eritreans (83,3%), Ethiopia (54,5%) and Afghanistan (47,6%)
- 1.457 applications were rejected in the first instance (87,2%)
- from 11.7.13 until 29.11 803 appeals were made, of which 462 were proceeded and 20 received a protection status while 442 were rejected
Continue reading ‘Statistics New Asylum Service Greece 2013′
Three refugees reported lost in Evros at the land border to Turkey. A group of refugees upon arrival reported them lost.
tvxs (in greek)
Refugee woman around 35-40 years old found dead – most likely due to cold – in Evros.
left.gr (in greek)
A dinghy with 13 Syrian refugees got in distress near the Turkish coast. 5 refugees drowned, among them a 2-month-old baby. 9 persons were saved. They were heading towards Lesvos island.
newspost (in greek)
Efymerida ton Sindakton published today a witness account of one of the Syrians who had disappeared on November 12th in Evros.
Read also respective announcement of UNHCR
We implored them for help, they threw us in the river
by Dimitris Angelidis
International report – catapults
The systematic and extended application of the illegal practice of readmissions has been registered in a series of reports by international organisms and organizations in the last years. Nevertheless the Greek authorities ostentatiously ignore the allegations, creating a regime of impunity which closes their eyes when it comes to massive violations of fundamental rights of migrants and refugees.
According to the report of Amnesty International “Frontier Europe” which was published in July, the Commissioner Malmstrom expressed her big concern for the allegations and stated that if they are proved or continue “it is possible to lead to a suspension or termination of a part of or of all Frontex operations in the Greek-Turkish borders”.
The commissioner could have been more strict in her statements, if they wouldn’t reflect Europe’s shift into a more conservative migration and refugees’ policy. “Migrants who manage to cross the European borders, are often victims of push-backs” reported on Monday three international organizations on a common press release with the Hellenic League for Human Rights, that accuses the EU for promoting practices that penalize migrants and invest in border control, instead of creating reception structures. Continue reading ‘Push-back of 150 Syrians in Evros: An eye-witness speaks out’
by Apostolis Fotiadis
ATHENS, Nov 20 2013 (IPS) – Human rights groups have circulated evidence in the last few days indicating that Greece, Italy and Egypt illegally detain and push back Syrian refugees.
The reports were issued by the German refugee aid organisation Pro Asyl, Medici per i Diritti Umani – MEDU (Doctors for Human Rights – Italy), the Italian human rights lawyers Association for Legal Studies on Migration (ASGI), and Human Rights Watch
Continue reading ‘IPS News: Syrian Refugees Illegally Pushed Back’
When the boat got in distress the reguees called the Hellenic coastguard. Upon arrival the boat had turned already around, 12 persons were found dead until now – among them four children. 15 persons could be saved. They informed the authorities that more people are missing.
iefimerida (in greek)
12 November 2013
With reference to the report issued on November 7th 2013 by the German NGO Pro-Asyl, titled “Pushed Back – Systematic human rights violations against Refugees in the Aegean Sea and the Greek-Turkish land border”, the UNHCR Regional Representative for Southern Europe, Mr. Laurens Jolles, stated the following:
UNHCR is concerned over reports of asylum seekers and migrants being forcibly returned (“push-back”) from Greece to Turkey, as published by the German NGO ‘Pro Asyl’. The numbers and scale of the alleged incidents, which reportedly also involve persons fleeing Syria, raise serious concerns.
UNHCR stresses the vital importance of permitting people to access territory to seek international protection. If practices to prevent this, which could put asylum seekers at risk, are taking place they should cease immediately. Continue reading ‘UNHCR: Statement about report on push-backs from Greece to Turkey’
According to the Afghan community in Greece, Nezam Hakimi died on November 4th, 2013 after four months of detention. His cancer had not been treated during that period. He is another victim of the new mass detention centers for migrants.
Only four months earlier, in July 27th, Mohammad Hassan had died after 11 months of detention in Corinth.
facebook of the afghan community in greece (in farsi)
tvxs (in greek)
for more information on the new detention centers in Greece see:
AI 2013: Frontier Europe
for more information on the arbitrary arrests during police raid Xenios Dias operation see:
HRW 2013: Unwelcome Guests