Tag Archive for 'fortress europe'

Ministry announces pilot scheme Greece to use drones to control Immigration

Fulmar-UAV-Demo-0112a

The Greek government is about to use a drone to oversee its sea borders in the Aegean, one the of main avenues for immigration into the EU, in a pilot project. Athens’ Ministry of Shipping has issues a competition call for a drone that, according to the competition rules, has to be handed over to the authorities by the end of June.

Greece’s Shipping Minister, Miltiadis Varvitsiotis recently revealed that the country is receiving around 1,000 immigrants a month through the eastern Aegean Sea. Immigration flows have intensified in the Aegean since Greece put up a fence to close off its land border with Turkey alongside the river Evros in the northeast of the country. Immigration flows have also been affected by the deteriorioration of conditions in Syria. Continue reading ‘Ministry announces pilot scheme Greece to use drones to control Immigration’

One dead, seven missing as boat capsizes near Kuşadası, Turkey

At least one refugee was killed and seven others are missing as their boat capsized near Kuşadası coast of Aydın province.
Coast guards could save 11 passengers of the boat, which was carrying 19 refugees.

Aydın Governor Erol Ayyıldız said in a statement that the adverse weather conditions could cause the incident and that coast guards as well as a helicopter and four rescue boats are looking for the missing passengers.

Ayyıldız said they still couldn’t identify the nationality of the immigrants.

todayszaman (in english)

Greek Coast Guard drowned refugees near Farmakonisi during push-back attempt

Source: Infowar English version source: expressed.org
Translator: Eleni Nicolaou

Eyewitnesses accuse the Greek Coast Guard of drowning migrants off the coast of the island of Farmakonisi on January 20th, 2013. 9 children and 3 women died!

survivors arriving in piraeus on 23.1.14

survivors arriving in piraeus on 23.1.14


“I am shocked and distressed by the new tragedy which occurred near Farmakonisi in which a number of migrants, including possible asylum seekers, have drowned or have gone missing in what appears to be a case of a failed collective expulsion,” Nils Muiznieks, the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, said in a statement emailed to The Associated Press.

“The Greek government has pledged last week to put an end to the illegal practice of collective expulsions and effectively investigate all such cases. I urge them to implement their promise.”

As UNHCR reports: “According to survivors’ testimonies, the Coast Guard boat towing their vessel was heading, at high speed, towards the Turkish coast, when the tragic incident happened amid rough seas. The same witnesses said people were screaming for help, since there was a large number of children on the boat”.
International organisations have condemned, several times, the refoulement policy against migrants entering Greece without papers.
Video showing how the survivors arrive on LEros with coast guard escort while being in a devastated state

video showing the arrival of the survivors in Piraeus / Athens 23.1.14 and their shocking witness accounts
Continue reading ‘Greek Coast Guard drowned refugees near Farmakonisi during push-back attempt’

The new untouchables, An essay by Spyros Marchetos

The Monaghan Report on the scandalous death of Jimmy Mubenga during his expulsion from Britain highlighted the broader issue of the inhuman treatment of immigrants in Europe. We become more and more accustomed to their demonisation and dehumanisation; even worse, the recent “Go Home” vans campaign in Britain warns that immigrant-bashing might soon become something like official policy. A system in crisis needs scapegoats, and the immigrants come in handy here, being much sexier scapegoats than bankers. Could this be a prelude to a wider authoritarian turn? Just watch what is happening in Greece.

The plight of the newcomers has often been described in words and in film. It does not lack official sanction. Before the elections, Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, whose extreme Right past and affiliations are no secret, decried that “our cities have been occupied by illegal immigrants; we will take them back”. This would actually be an act of charity towards Greek children: “Kindergartens are now full of immigrant children, and Greeks cannot enter. This will stop!” he added. Nikos Dendias, Minister for Public Order, put things into perspective: “Immigration is a problem perhaps greater than the [economic crisis]”. Such declarations are not taken by the police as implying that immigrant rights are sacrosanct. As for the judicial and the administrative system, they protect these rights no better. In all, asylum seekers are systematically detained and face inhuman or degrading treatment. This is not leftist rhetoric, but an official statement of the highest EU Court of Justice, which in 2011 put a ban on the deportation of asylum seekers to Greece for exactly that reason.
Continue reading ‘The new untouchables, An essay by Spyros Marchetos’

Lostatborder Report: now also in German!

lostatborder (in german)

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.

“Turned away” HRW reports about illegal push-backs of minors from the Italian Sea Ports to Greece

Read the whole report here

HRW 2012: EU: Provide Protection for Syrian Refugees

(Brussels) – The European Union and its member states should do more to help the thousands of Syrian asylum seekers trying to reach Europe as the Syrian crisis worsens and winter sets in, Human Rights Watch said today.

Between March 2011 and September 2012, 21,000 Syrians claimed asylum in the European Union. While some EU countries offer Syrians safety, in others, including Greece, they face detention, significant obstacles in getting protection, and even forced return, Human Rights Watch said.

“Syrians seeking asylum in the European Union face a protection lottery depending on which country they reach,” said Judith Sunderland, senior Western Europe researcher at Human Rights Watch. “The EU should make sure that Syrian refugees and others who need protection can find a safe haven in all EU member states just as they have in countries bordering Syria.”
Continue reading ‘HRW 2012: EU: Provide Protection for Syrian Refugees’

The construction of the Evros border fence is completed

10.365 metres of fence of 4 metres height lead now on the land border between Greece and Turkey from Fylakio of Kastanies until the river Evros. The construction that began in May 5th was completed on December 15 and costed 3 million Euro.

kathimerini (in greek)

Syrians report push-backs in Evros

Syrian refugees ‘turned back from Greek border by police’
Asylum seekers crossing from Turkey say they have been illegally deported by Greek police or blocked from entering

by Rebecca Omonira-Oyekanmi in Edirne and Athens – Friday 7 December 2012

On the edge of Europe, where the river Evros meanders towards the Aegean sea, a new tragedy involving two of the world’s most troubled peoples is unfolding. On one side of the river border are gathered clusters of Syrian refugees, desperate to escape the misery of war and put the Turkish camps behind them. But beyond the perilous currents lies Greece, a nation so economically bereft it has little time or resources for them.

The Evros has always been a barrier to those seeking asylum in the European Union, but now the surging tide of migrants fleeing Syria faces something new. Refugees, non-governmental organisation (NGO) workers and lawyers have told the Guardian that border forces have been pushing asylum seekers back into their boats and escorting them back back across to the Turkish side.
Continue reading ‘Syrians report push-backs in Evros’

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

  • Hunger strike in Paranesti detention Center
    Dozens of immigrants and refugees held in Paranesti detention center (a former military barracks near the city of Drama, Greece) started a hunger strike. Most of them are being held more than 18 months.

RSS Group of Lawyers – Athens

  • Case of torture by Coast Guards off Chios in 2007: Appeal Court on 6-11-2014 ‏
    Οn 6 November 2014 the Supreme Military Court of Athens (Petrou Ralli str. 1, at 9:00 am) is going to examine the appeal by the two coast guards found guilty at first instance for having committed acts of torture against an asylum seeker, including restricting the victim’s breathing so as to simulate drowning and suffocation […]

RSS the border is the problem