Tag Archive for 'aegean'

Page 2 of 2

Greek Coast Guard Stops 90 Illegal Migrants in the Aegean Sea

The Greek coast guard on Friday detained 90 migrants, among them thirteen children, off the eastern Aegean coast, radio reports said.
Officials were alerted to a vessel ferrying 36 illegal immigrants, among them six woman and six children, near the rocky islet of Farmakoniki in the eastern Aegean.

In a separate incident, the coast guard detained 22 people, among them two women and three children as they were sailing in an inflatable raft near the tiny island of Agathonisi, off the coast of Turkey.
Officials also stopped 32 illegal immigrants, among them nine women and four children, off the island of Kasoniki, near Samos.

source

more arrivals in the Aegean – more Syrian refugees

Following a police crackdown in Evros region since August 2012 the influx of undocumented immigrants into the country from the land border with Turkey has virtually stopped. Meanwhile the number of refugees and migrants entering the country via the Aegean has skyrocketed, with some 60 percent of total arrivals coming from strife-torn Syria.
In the Aegean dozens of refugees and migrants are arriving on the islands every day. Local authorities there are complaining of a lack of personnel, infrastructure and funding to deal with the people.

Meanwhile statistics released by the Greek police show that 60 percent of immigrants detained in the Aegean and in the northeastern port of Alexandroupoli, in Evros, since the beginning of September are from Syria. In the same period last year, only 1.5 percent of detained migrants were Syrian.

ekathimerini (in english)

Four new detention centres for Lesvos, Samos, Chios and Rhodos planned

Authorities are planning to set up four new reception centers for immigrants on islands of the Aegean (Chios, Lesvos, Samos and Rhodos) to cope with the rising influx of migrants and refugees into Greece by sea that has been prompted by more effective policing along the Turkish land border. The Greek police announced that in the period between August 1st and September 17, 2012, 44 arrivals of refugee boats were registered with a total of 831 refugees being arrested on the Aegean islands.

The decision to set up the centres was taken during a meeting on Monday between Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, Defense Minister Panos Panayiotopoulos, Public Order Minister Nikos Dendias and Merchant Marine Minister Costas Mousouroulis. The aim is as they say to prevent the incoming migrants from traveling to the mainland until they are deported. Government officials also reportedly decided to intensify inspections by coast guard vessels and members of the European Union border monitoring agency, Frontex, along the sea borders.

Minister of Citizen Protection Dendias also presented to Samaras a plan code-named “Ioni” aimed at dealing with an anticipated influx of refugees from Syria ad deterring them form entering Greece. According to sources, the plan outlines three scenarios, foreseeing the refugees’ arrival in Greece, Cyprus and Turkey. In either of the latter two cases, Greek authorities would help the neighboring countries. In the event that the refugees arrive in Greece, the plan is to temporarily detain them on Crete. Turkey is believed to be accommodating 83,000 Syrian refugees though authorities have indicated they cannot host more than 130,000. Reports suggest that around 250,000 Syrians have fled their homeland.

The old detention centres of Chios and Samos are already in the hands of the police and a planned amount of 95.000 was decided to be invested for their renovation following complaints of local police officers concerning the devastating state of the buildings. On Lesvos island the police officers also filed complaints about the detention conditions in the overcrowded police stations. As they said in the main police station of Mytilini there were 60 persons detained instead of the possible maximum of 28.

Meanwhile during one of the most recent arrivals on September 13, 2012, of sans-papiers on Agathonisi island half of the 58 passengers who had not managed to disembark when a Frontex patrol boat arrived together with a boat of the greek coast guard almost drowned when they were afraid to be pushed back into the Turkish sea and jumped into the sea.
On September 9, 2012 another 16 sans-papiers had arrived on Symi island.
At the same time the police reported on September 5, that arrivals in Evros have been reduced by 84%.

See:
enikos.gr (in greek)
ekathimerini (in english)
samos times (in greek)
embros newspaper of Mytilini (in greek)
embros newspaper of Mytilini (in greek)
rodiaki (in greek)
greek police statistics of reduced arrival in evros (see table in greek)

Tragic death of more than 61 sans-papiers in the sea between Turkey and Greece

At least 61 sans-papiers died when their ship sank near by the coast of Izmir, Turkey. More than 100 persons were trying to reach the Greek coast on that ship but they came into distress at sea in only 50 metres distance from the turkish coast. The fishing boat they were in struck some rocks and began taking on water, sinking soon afterwards. Among the passengers there were reportedly mainly refugees from Syria, Iraq and Kurdistan while the majority were women and children. 43 of them could be saved until now and 61 were found dead (among the dead are at least 20 children).

tv xs (in greek)
hurriyet (in english)

read the press release of Multeci Der

Continue reading ‘Tragic death of more than 61 sans-papiers in the sea between Turkey and Greece’

New border crossings into Greece: A revival of the old routes in the Aegean?

Recently the greek news are talking of a revival of the old routes into Greece through the Aegean islands. Since two years Evros has been the main entrance for sans-papiers into Greece with steadily increasing numbers of arrivals. Since the beginning of the governments massive pogrom against sans-papiers in Athens but also in Evros and the further periphery in the beginning of this August, numbers of arrivals have been shrinking in Evros and increasing again slightly on the islands of the Aegean (mainly: Mytilini, Samos, Patmos, Leros, Symi etc.). In August 397 sans-papiers were arrested on the Aegean islands compared to 168 in 2011. The greek government following this increase and the medial hype around the “revival of the island routes” asked Frontex for more support in controlling their sea borders. The request concerns 4 additional aircrafts, 4 coast guard ships and specialised extra staff.
Concerning the fate of the arriving sans-papiers, as it seems, the authorities on the islands have the order to keep new arriving sans-papiers as long as possible in detention on the islands and not transfer them to Athens. In some cases solidarity group denounced the lack of access to the asylum procedure for the detained. In a long-term perspective if arrivals will continue and grow this could result in the creation of new detention places on the islands (or the re-opening of old ones). It is yet unclear if the slightly increasing arrivals on the islands can be interpreted as another change of routes or if it is more of a short term phenomenon. Clearly, the medial referral to a “revival” of the old routes and de facto arrivals of the last days anyway also lead to an increased use of a fascist discourse by some people within the local societies (i.e. in Symi but also elsewhere).

read also the press release of the Doctors Without Borders on the situation on the islands (in english)

In Samos the local solidarity group published a number of press releases concerning the very poor detention conditions of newly arrived Syrian and Afghan refugees (among them also children, women and UN-recognized refugees from other countries) and the lack of access to the asylum procedure for the about 50-60 refugees. Since a few days the Syrian refugees are on hunger strike protesting their inhuman situation.

see also earlier post with the press releases

In Mytilini the last month there have been also repeated arrivals (50 and more in the last period). Sans-papiers seem to be detained in the police stations of the island.

In Symi a boat carrying 38 sans-papiers was seemingly shot by the authorities and thereafter sank (on September 4th). The passengers were saved and are in detention now. In total there were about 100 (or more) arrivals in this period. The police station does not fit any more detainees so that the new arriving have to stay in the yard and next to it in outside spaces. The Doctors without borders are offering some medical first aid, while the police is responsible for the catering. At the same time during a recent municipal council on the island one of the speakers proposed to call members of the fascist party GD (golden dawn) to “solve the problem” and “so that the guys don’t allow the boats of the coast guard to disembark the sans-papiers on the island”. The mayor of the island at some point said: “if nothing happens (from the side of the government?) then we have to tak the weapens and protect our island!”.

In Leros a few days ago 60 sans-papiers arrived – originally having arrived on Farmakonisi. Amog them were also small children. They were all detained in the yard of the coast guard and the police station.

see: indymedia 4.9.12

In Rhodos 20-30 people were reported to have arrived in the last days. At the same time their are rumours about the construction of a new detention centre on Kos island.

Evros crossings down radically

The number of sans-papiers crossing into Greece via the Evros border has dropped by 84 percent since the government launched a massive crackdown on clandestine migrants this summer, police said Wednesday to the greek newspapers.

According to official figures, some 1,121 unregistered immigrants have been arrested in Evros since the start of the “Xenios Zeus” sweep on August 4 compared to 6,991 in the same period last year. Arrivals this month have dwindled drastically compared to last year. In 2011, border guards detained 403 immigrants on September 1 while on the same day this year none was intercepted.

The authorities now fear a renewed influx via the islands of the eastern Aegean.

The mayor of Symi, Lefteris Papakalodoukas, told Kathimerini newspaper that the past two weeks have seen a surge of would-be migrants from the neighboring Turkish coast. “It’s terrible, some 120 to 130 immigrants gather in front of the main police precinct every day and there are only five officers on duty to deal with them,” Papakalodoukas said. Meanwhile, sources said that as many as 6,000 immigrants are currently gathered in neighboring Turkey, waiting their turn to board ships to bring them to Greece. Papakalodoukas told Kathimerini that two coast guard vessels have been patrolling the sea between Symi and the Turkish coast this week and arrested two suspected smugglers on Tuesday.

Police says a total of 16,836 people were being temporarily detained in the broader Athens area, out of whom 2,144 have been arrested since the start of the sweep operation for lacking residence papers.

ekathimerini (in greek)

Refugee boat sank near Symi island

Accodring to local media a boat carrying 38 sans-papiers from Turkey into the Greek sea got into distress at sea Tuesday 4, 2012 when the greek coast guard started hunting it down and opened fire. The passengers were saved and arrested and are currently in provisory detention.

Tv XS (in greek)

Frontex to Increase again Sea and Air Patrols in Aegean at Greece’s Request

Frontex to Increase Sea and Air Patrols in Aegean at Greece’s Request
by Niels Frenzen (via Migrants at Sea)

Greek news reports say that Greek officials have made requests to Commissioner Malmström and Frontex for assistance to respond to “increasing migratory pressures on the islands of the Eastern Aegean.” The Greek islands of Lesvos, Samos, Patmos, Leros and Symi in particular have reportedly seen an increase in the number of persons entering from nearby Turkish territory. According to the media reports the assistance will include the deployment of “four aerial vehicle[s], four patrol boats, three mobile surveillance units and eight expert officers, whose costs will be covered by EU funds the agency and the European Commission.”

to vima (in greek)
news now (in greek)

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

RSS Clandestina

  • The Greek part of the Balkan route: Pressure & Resistance
    …how the creation of the Balkan route is connected to the Greek financial crisis …what happened when people on the move came across the part of the greek population that (faced with the end of consumerism as we knew it) chose not fascism but humanity and solidarity and what was the reaction of the social […]

RSS Group of Lawyers – Athens

  • COMUNICATO STAMPA - Solidarietà al giornalista italiano Gabriele Del Grande
    Solidarietà al giornalista italiano Gabriele Del Grande  Il 9 aprile 2017 le autorità turche hanno arrestato illegalmente e senza alcun motivo il giornalista italiano Gabriele Del Grande nella città turca di Hatay, dove stava svolgendo un’inchiesta per il suo nuovo libro “Un partigiano mi disse”. È evidente che l’attività giornalistica del 35enne Gabriele Del Grande, […]

RSS the border is the problem