Tag Archive for 'fortress europe'

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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’

Vote No on the EU “Reception” Directive! Flight is no crime!

Appeal to the members of the European Parliament

Vote No on the EU Reception Directive! Flight is no crime!

Dear Sir or Madam,

Imagine you yourself had to flee. You leave everything that you own behind. After a long, ardous journey you reach the EU. You believe that here rule of law and democracy exist, and you finally believe that you are safe. But at the border you are being arrested. You are locked up in the next detention centre – for months if deemed necessary. No-one tells you why you are being detained.
Continue reading ‘Vote No on the EU “Reception” Directive! Flight is no crime!’

Protest at the detention centre in Corinth reveals inhuman and degrading detention conditions

The provisory detention centre for sans-papiers was opened about four months ago in an overnight action by the Ministry of Citizen Protection and Public Order. It is one of three mass detention centres – the others are located in Xanthi and in Komotini – which were set up by the new government in the summer to fit the thousand arrested sans-papiers captured during the Xenios Dias sweep operation. There have been repeated protests by the mayor of Corinth against the creation of this detention centre. He even reached the point to cut off the water supply.

Corinth provisory detention center in a former army camp

The building was originally an army camp at the outskirts of Corinth city. Sans-papiers were arrested in massive sweeps and were brought from various places, such as Corinth and Patras, to this detention centre. A couple of NGOs have tried ever since to enter the prison in order to monitor the situation, screen the detainees and offer legal aid, but access has been denied. They could only see a hand full of detainees of whom they had their names in advance.

Yesterday, solidarity groups from Patras and Corinth but also from other places hold a protest in front of the detention centre. A delegation of seven persons entered the detention centre (with 2 parliamentarians of Syriza, a doctor, a lawyer, interpreters and members of the Movement for the Support of the Rights of Refugees and Migrant of Patras as well as the Antirascist Initiative of Corinth) More than 650 persons were detained in the overcrowded detention centre for the reason of “illegal entry”, “illegal stay” or “illegal exit” to/in/from Greece.

Detainees reported to the delegation that they were lacking warm water, they have insufficient food, no access to information and lawyers and seldom visits of doctors always without any interpreters, many lack medicine they need to take and thus remain sick in their cells.
Among the detainees were many minors, there were family fathers whose families upon their arrest were left behind without anyone to take care, there were persons who wanted to apply for asylum but could not manage and others who had applied 4 months earlier but were not released within the legal maximum period of detention for asylum seekers (3 months). Others had managed to apply for asylum but received during detention the rejection and lacked any information and legal aid to appeal within the given period of 15 days, therefore, falling out of the asylum system.
Reportedly, there are also many cases of ill-treatment by the authorities.

No concentration camps!
Never and nowhere!

best news (in greek)

see also older articles:
zougla tv (in greek)
letter by the syndicate of the police concerning hygiene in the detention centre of Corinth, October 17, 2012 (in greek)

read also the press release of the NGO AITIMA, September 13, 2012 (in greek)

Dublin II: Reform instead of Abolishment

The following article on “the next reform of Dublin II” was published on Septmeber 19, 2012

Asylum seekers in the EU would be better protected, and would not be transferred to EU countries where there is a risk of inhuman or degrading treatment, under changes to EU asylum legislation endorsed by the Civil Liberties Committee on Wednesday. Parliament is expected to adopt the new law by the end of the year.

The changes would update the “Dublin” regulation, which lays down criteria for determining which member state is responsible for examining an application for international protection. This is necessary to prevent asylum seekers from filing multiple applications or applying to a state of their choice after transiting through other EU countries. The regulation also precludes situations in which asylum seekers are sent from one state to another, with none accepting responsibility. Usually, the country deemed responsible is that through which the asylum seeker first entered the EU.
Continue reading ‘Dublin II: Reform instead of Abolishment’

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)

The new detention regime in Greece

Instead of rights protection of refugees and migrants Greece is investing in a new detention regime. See some of the new detention centers.

Amigdaleza detention center

The greek government is constructing a new detention landscape since the opening of the detention centre of Amigdaleza near by Athens. Only recently, in August 2012, a massive police lead pogrom (in Athens but also Korinth and elsewhere) resulted in the arrest of more than 2.500 migrants and refugees.

Amigdaleza detention center

Due to the lack of detention capacities the government turned to ad hoc solutions turning i.e. former police academies in Xanthi and Komotini or military camps in Korinth into provisory detention camps. Continue reading ‘The new detention regime in Greece’

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’

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)

Statisticians and magicians

Statisticians and magicians
By Dimosthenis Papadatos – Anagnostopoulos
originally published in Greek in: Red Notebook

One out of five. These are the “illegals” that the Police discovered in the first 12 days of the (ongoing) “Zeus Xenios” sweep operation. And what does this ratio reveal to us?

First of all, the obvious: 6.344 persons were arbitrarily arrested, even though they legally reside in Greece and they have never committed any offence.
They were simply arrested because of the color of their skin – and probably on conviction that criminality does not exclusively apply to the “illegal” ones. In the end, those legally residing in the country are still aliens.
Continue reading ‘Statisticians and magicians’

New report: “HUMAN CARGO. Arbitrary readmissions from Italian sea ports to Greece”


download the report

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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