Tag Archive for '2013'

Statistics New Asylum Service Greece 2013

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’

AI: Two boat tragedies leave migrants dead and missing off Europe’s shores

Press releases

25 July 2013
Two boat tragedies leave migrants dead and missing off Europe’s shores

Separate boating incidents putting the lives of dozens of migrants at risk in the Aegean Sea today are a tragic reminder of the dangers faced by people seeking to reach Europe’s borders, Amnesty International said.
A search and rescue operation continues off the Turkish coastal city Bodrum, where a boat believed to have 13 migrants on board went missing early this morning.
Also today the Greek coastguard rescued 21 migrants who fell from a rubber boat carrying 46 people near the island of Chios. One of the migrants was unconscious when pulled out of the sea and was later pronounced dead.
“The sad truth is that we’re likely to see more tragic incidents like these as migrants and asylum-seekers flee economic hardship and conflict with the hopes of finding safety and a better life in Europe,” said Jezerca Tigani, Deputy Director of Amnesty International’s Europe and Central Asia Programme. Continue reading ‘AI: Two boat tragedies leave migrants dead and missing off Europe’s shores’

3 Videos / CNN / Europe’s Lost Children: Journeys of pain, despair – and joy.

Immigrants fleeing violence pay people smugglers thousands of dollars to enter Europe through Greece. The exodus includes children, alone and at risk. Their dreams are big, but the reality far different.
Story by: Irene Chapple. Film, Wojciech Treszczynski. Photo, Giorgos Moutafis.

Sisters’ tears for broken family

Arazu has dressed carefully for her morning flight. The petite, youthful 43-year-old wears summery white trousers and Jackie O-inspired cream plastic sunglasses. Her nails are painted deep burgundy and her hair sits in a soft bob above her shoulders. Her earrings are delicate twisted wire balls with little pearls buried inside, gifts from her two daughters at Christmastime.video.placeholder.1

But it’s the trousers and sunglasses that carry the most powerful memories for Arazu. She wore them the day she left Greece with fake papers more than two years ago. Now, as a legal resident of Europe, she’s wearing them upon her return as a symbol of freedom — and a message of hope.
Continue reading ‘3 Videos / CNN / Europe’s Lost Children: Journeys of pain, despair – and joy.’

AI: Frontier Europe (new report on push-backs and arbitrary detention)

The Greek government is trying to seal its borders not only through increased surveillance and the construction of a fence; but research by Amnesty International shows that those who do arrive are sometimes pushed straight back to Turkey. Those returned to Turkey under such circumstances are denied the chance to apply for asylum in Greece or explain whether they have other needs, in flagrant violation of international law.
Amnesty International’s research also shows that the way in which such push-back operations are carried out by the Greek border guard or coastguard is putting lives at risk. Several of those interviewed by Amnesty International claimed they were abandoned in the middle of the sea on unseaworthy vessels or left on the Turkish side of the land border with tied hands. …

Read the Report (in English)

2012 Annual Report of the Racist Violence Recording Network

Introduction
The present report consists of two parts: First, the quantitative and qualitative findings of recording incidents of racist violence, through interviewing victims, by organizations participating in the Racist Violence Recording Network during 2012; and, second the Network’s positions on state responses and initiatives to combat racist crimes, including the adoption or amendment of relevant legislation or initiatives to do so.
Continue reading ‘2012 Annual Report of the Racist Violence Recording Network’

New report on Greece published by the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights

Strasbourg, 16 April 2013 – CommDH(2013)6
REPORT by Nils Muižnieks, Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights
Following his visit to Greece, from 28 January to 1 February 2013

Summary

Commissioner Nils Muižnieks and his delegation visited Greece from 28 January to 1 February 2013. In the course of this visit the Commissioner held discussions with state authorities and non-governmental, national and international organisations. The present report focuses on the following human rights issues:

I. Intolerance and hate crimes in Greece – the need for urgent action

The Commissioner is seriously concerned by the increase in racist and other hate crimes in Greece, which primarily targets migrants and poses a serious threat to the rule of law and democracy. A number of the reported attacks have been linked to members or supporters, including MPs, of the neo-Nazi political party “Golden Dawn” which won seats in parliament in June 2012. Continue reading ‘New report on Greece published by the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights’

Lesvos: More refugees dying on dangerous routes to asylum in Europe

Another refugee boat with 15 passengers got lost only three months after the tragedy that cost the lives of 21 refugees in December of last year on Lesvos island. Eight Syrian refugees a lost in the sea between Turkey and Lesvos. Six corpses were already found on the coast of the island. Relatives have arrived to look out for their beloved. One 17-year-old pregnant woman from Syria has been already recognised.
Last Friday the Greek coast guard had found already three of the corpses – of one woman and two children near Eressos beach. It seems the small boat got in distress only a few days earlier while the corpses were brought to the coast by the strong winds of the days. Saturday afternoon relatives of lost refugees reported to the police of Lesvos the disappearance of eight Syrians (two men, a woman, two minors and three children). They had started their dangerous journey in Dikili in Turkey but they never arrived. On Sunday another three corpses were found. Unfortunately the corpses are not to be recognised anymore since they were many days in the sea.

Meanwhile refugees continue to arrive on the island. On Monday 63 refugees were arrested my LEsvos police. Another 16 Afghans had spent some nights in the park of Mytilini city since the police was denying to register / arrest them. The local solidarity network “The village of all-together” supplied the homeless refugees with blankets, clothes and food.

efimerida ton sindakton (in greek)

lesvos news (in greek)
embros (in greek)
tvxs (in greek)

AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL – PRESS RELEASE
20 March 2013

Refugees dying on dangerous routes to asylum in Europe

In a case highlighting the risks people take when fleeing conflict in their countries to seek refuge in Europe, the authorities of Lesvos continue their search for the bodies of asylum-seekers who had attempted to reach the Greek island.

Since last Friday, they have found the bodies of six Syrian nationals including a 17-year-old pregnant woman and a mother with her young children. They are now searching for the bodies of three more Syrian nationals whose families had reported missing to the island authorities after the nine attempted to cross from Turkey on 6 March 2013.

Lesvos is one of the main crossings for migrants and refugees trying to enter the European Union via the Greek mainland. Last December, 21 people (mostly Afghans) drowned close to the shores of the island, after the boat they were in capsized.

Since last summer, people fleeing the conflict in Syria have featured among those attempting the crossing, including many families with young children.

“As Greece is tightening the border controls in Evros, including the completion of a 10.5km fence last December, people take more and more dangerous routes. This was a tragedy waiting to happen,’’ said John Dalhuisen, Amnesty International’s Director of the Europe and Central Asia Programme.

“It is vital that the Greek authorities ensure protection to all asylum-seekers reaching the country. Instead, the Greek asylum system is grossly failing them. People who flee conflict, including many Syrians and Afghans who make it to the shores of Lesvos, are detained in police stations in overcrowded and poor conditions or in many cases left destitute to sleep in the streets.’’

“The Greek authorities should also take urgent measures to improve the reception conditions of those arriving at its shores and end the detention of asylum-seekers. In addition, Syrian nationals with no papers fleeing the conflict, must not be detained or issued with deportation orders and the authorities should proceed with a fair and effective examination of their asylum claims.”

“It is very painful to watch the same tragedy repeating in the shores of our own island,” said Efi Latsoudi, a local activist and member of the ‘Village of altogether’ – an initiative run by of volunteers who step in when state support for refugees and migrants is not available.

BBC: Greece asylum: Journey through a broken system

When it comes to seeking asylum, Greece is the gateway to Europe. But the Greek asylum system is a mess. Paul Mason spoke to one man who has spent more than a year on the road – in squats, living rough and for a time in detention – about the experience of trying to claim asylum on Europe’s frontier.

It was hard to forget Mohamed Lamhoud. I met him in a shattered factory in Patras, Greece, squatting there alongside hundreds of other young, male migrants. Their clothes were filthy; many had wounds consistent with being beaten up, or fleeing being beaten up. They were drinking and washing from a standpipe._65969208_bbc1024lahmoud

Mohamed was different in one way only: in his pocket he had a book by Jean Paul Sartre. And while I tried to engage him about the conditions in the squatted factory, he tried to engage me in a discussion about Nietzsche.

That was in February 2012. The 26-year-old Moroccan had been living there for months. As I left that factory, I never thought I would see any of the men living there again.

But three weeks ago, on Facebook, somebody friended me and immediately sent me a pop-up message: “C’est moi, Mohamed, sociologique.” Through Facebook and Franglais he was speaking to me from inside a migrant detention centre in Corinth. And he had big news. He would soon be released.

Continue reading ‘BBC: Greece asylum: Journey through a broken system’

Chios: dozens of refugees detained for days in cage like detention building

xios-konteiner 47 Syrians and 4 Palestinian refugees who had newly arrived in end Fbebruary 2013 in Greece – among them 14 children and two pregnant women – were detained in a container like buiding next to the coast guard for more than six days.

As the local solidarity group for refugees and migrants “Lathra” denounced on February 28, the cage like detention building has only two rooms of 35 square metres in total which doesn’t even fit them to sleep, is lacking beds, chairs, tables. The building is situated on a parking area next to the coast guard. Since Chios has currently no detention centre, this cage is being used the last months for all new arriving refugees.

Only a few days after the publicity around the cage-detention again the coast guard detained 6o refugees in the same place.

Press Release 28.2.13 Lathra (in greek)
Press Release 7.3.13 LAthra
left.gr (in greek)

Greece: UN experts on arbitrary detention concerned by detention conditions and limited access to legal assistance

ATHENS / GENEVA (31 January 2013) – At the end of its 11-day visit to Greece, the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention noted that the time has come for an improvement of conditions of detention and for the effective implementation of recent positive legislative developments, including in the area of migration and asylum.

“In most detention facilities visited by the Working Group, the conditions fall far below international human rights standards, including in terms of severe overcrowding,” stressed Vladimir Tochilovsky, member of the Working Group.

Continue reading ‘Greece: UN experts on arbitrary detention concerned by detention conditions and limited access to legal assistance’

The infomobile

... is like a “paper boat”. We chose this as a metaphor for what we want to create and for the situation of refugees and migrants in Greece. The paper boat is a folded boat able to swim – for a while. Then you have to build a new one to go on travelling. A paper boat is symbolic for the journey of life, vulnerable but in your own hands and to be recreated again and again. It is simple, but it carries many hopes and dreams. It can dance on a turbulent sea. It belongs to everybody. And it might become the small version – like a first draft – of a welcome-space.

Get in touch

email: infomobile.w2eu@gmail.com

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