Tag Archive for 'italy'

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Two refugee boats saved in the Ionian Sea

Two refugee boats that had departed from the Greek coast towards Italy were saved on monday by the Italian Coast Guard. The approx. 80 refugees were mainly from Afghanistan. They had been one week on the sea. Most of them were dehydrated, without food and water when they were found.

Another 70 refugees in distress at sea on their way to Italy on the 16th November

The boat carrying around 60-70 refugees mainly from Afghanistan had left Kerkyra in the early morning hours. The machine broke down and water started entering the boat when the refugees could contact the Greek coast guard in order to get saved.
The strong winds carried the boat near to Lefkada. In the afternoon hours the coast guard could bring the boat finally to the port of Preveza.

Terror and Fear in the Open Sea near Zakynthos – Letter by the Afghan Commission of Political Refugees

Athens, 28th of September 2011

Terror and Fear in the Open Sea

In the open sea close to Zakynthos a group of 65 Afghan and Iraqi-Kurdish refugees experienced days of terror and fear when they were trying to reach the Italian shore. They were in serious danger of death by drowning and starvation when their boat went into distress. Among them were many children and families. One of them lost his life, while trying to save himself by swimming. Two others took their last breaths in the hospital, following their rescue after 11 days on the open sea.

refugees in an overcrowded boat trying to find a safe haven

The tragic story of refugees and migrants who are forced to leave behind their home due to war, poverty and persecution takes no end. Among the refugees in the boat many had already lost relatives on the sea and land borders on their way from Afghanistan and Iraq through other countries and until here. Their tragic stories continue in Greece, a country, which in the name of crisis and a repressive migration policy of Fortress Europe denies providing refugees with their basic rights, with a functioning reception infrastructure and integrating them into social and economical life. This gives the extreme-right a leeway to target them both ideologically and in practice on the streets and to use them as scapegoats of a policy of poverty and misery. It leads the refugees and migrants to a further quest for a safe life in another country – whatever it may cost.

This incident is not rare but it is a tough reality with many victims. Many boats in distress, many deaths at the borders – and the European governments are well aware of it.
Following this tragedy some of the survivors returned to Athens, among them a single father with his two small kids (4-6 years old) in his arms, searching for some corner on the squares and streets of Athens. In their hands the deportation order, which the police authorities gave them without asking where they will go or what they will eat. Nobody asked them if they need protection or if they want to claim asylum.


The Commission of Afghan Political Refugees

another ship in distress in the Ionian, 23rd of September

On Friday, September 23, a small boat that was trying to get to Italy carrying 65 Kurds and Afghans sans-papiers, broke 90 miles southwest of the island of Zakynthos. When port police reached the vessel only 32 immigrants were aboard. A helicopter participating in the rescue operation managed to save 30 immigrants that have fallen in the sea. Late in the afternoon, the same helicopter discovered the bodies of 3 sans-papiers who drowned at sea.


64 sans-papiers deported by Italy back to Patras, 9th of September

As reported by local newspapers for the second time within the last year Italy is deporting sans-papiers by ship back to Greece. 64 sans-papiers are at this moment detained inside the ferryboat Ioanian Queen and guarded by 50 Carabinieris. They will arrive tomorrow morning in Patras. The deportation is reported to be based on the Dublin II regulation, but it remains unclear if there was any other legal ground on which this deportation was decided. While most European countries have stopped deporting sans-papiers back to Greece due to the European wide recognition of the ongoing human rights violations and degrading living conditions, Italy obviously continues. Italy itself is together with Hungary has been after Greece criticised more and more and became the next candidates for a struggle to stop Dublin II deportations back there.

local news in Greek

Mass Readmission of 81 refugees from Italy to Patras / Greece – 20.04.2011

Berlusconi is “cleaning his backyard”
As far as we know, Italy readmitted for the first time refugees via the sea way and in a great number from the inland of the country to Greece. 81 sans-papiers from war torn countries such as Afghanistan and Iraq, women, minors and other vulnerable persons were arrested on their way through Italy and towards the European “golden” North, deported by ship to Patras and from there transferred to Athens.
Continue reading ‘Mass Readmission of 81 refugees from Italy to Patras / Greece – 20.04.2011’