Archivio mensile:aprile 2016

Deportations from Greece to Turkey

The mass deportation scheduled for Wednesday 6th April did not happen, after most refugees on the Greek islands asked for asylum in Greece.  However, people can be deported if their applications are refused. Deportations have resumed, see link below.

8th April: Deportations from Greece to Turkey restart with 140 mostly Syrian and Pakistani people, taken on 2 ships in the early hours of the morning from the Greek islands to the Turkish coast. 3 activists jump into the sea, trying to prevent the ship from sailing to Turkey, but are quickly arrested. More people keep arriving than people were deported. Good summary here:  http://bordernews.info/en/

No human right organization has access to the refugees, HRW complains, leading to all sorts of possible abuses and illegal deportations.

Medicins Sans Frontieres, the UNHR, Save the Children and all NGOs and human rights organizations have refused to work in the new detention centres on the Greek islands they consider illegal. 

This video shows what happens to refugees deported back to Turkey https://youtu.be/0SdCEJeXoWs

Activists swim in front of boat to try stop deportations
There has been one suicide of a man deported back to Turkey,  from Pakistan, and three suicide attempts that we know of, one in Turkey and two in Greece, Lesvos. More protests inside the new detention centres on the Greek islands.
Amnesty International condemns the conditions in the Greek detention centres:

 

frontex

Deportation from Chios to Turkey

202 people were deported on Monday they 4th April 2016, with one Frontex guard per deportee. No wonder there was no rebellion. All were deported from Lesvos and Chios. 

From Lesbos 136 people were returned: 135 men and one woman of the following nationalities: 124 from Pakistan, 3 from Bangladesh, 1 from Iraq, 2 from India, 4 from Sri Lanka and 2 from Syria-the latter was asked to return.
 
From Chios  66 people were returned: 56 men and 10 women of the following nationalities: 42 from Afghanistan, 10 from Iran, 6 from Pakistan, 1 from India, 1 from Somalia, 1 from Côte d’Ivoire and 5 from the Congo.
There have been protests on both islands.
13 apparently were asylum seekers deported ‘by mistake’ or because they did not get a chance to ask for asylum in Greece.

All those arriving in Greece after the 20th March are liable to be deported unless they ask for asylum in Greece. All bar a few have asked for asylum in Greece. Those who are refused can be deported. The rate of refusals in Greece is very high and the asylum system is in total disarray, to the point the ECHR have pronounced against deportations to Greece from other EU countries.http://www.asylumineurope.org/reports/country/Greece/statistics

But many people find it very difficult to even access the offices where asylum applications are received, sometimes the queue for days sleeping outside the offices. There are not enough staff to look at the claims leading to unacceptable delays and arbitrary refusals.

The deal was signed on the 19th March. The EU is giving Erdogan 3 billion euros to police the external border of Europe. On the same day there were thousands of people demonstrating for refugees rights in many European cities under the banner

Refugees Welcome. On the 20th they started moving refugees from the islands to the mainland and detaining all the newly arrived. Medicins Sans Frontieres, the UNHCR and all other NGOs and human rights organizations refused to collaborate with these detentions they consider illegal. So nobody has access to the detention centres except the police. In Lesvos, Moria camp has been transformed in a prison (hot spot) but many people sleep outside because there is no room. The autonomous camp Pikpa is threatened with closure, volunteers are campaigning to keep it open. People continue to arrive, and rescue operation continue. In Chios, between 500 and 800 people escaped from detention and occupied the port where they staged a protest just before the beginning of the deportations.
For every Syrian deported back to Turkey, the EU will take one Syrian from outside Europe, but the number is capped at 72.000 (for the whole of the EU). After they will take no more Syrians. The hypocrites are saying it is a humanitarian attempt to curb the deadly journeys through the Aegean. Ferries like the ones used to deport people back to Turkey cost 10 euros from Turkey to Lesvos, if people could buy a ticket.
turkeynotsafe
It is not clear what the reception is for those deported from Greece to Turkey, and what safeguards are in place, if any. People should not be deported from Turkey back to their countries according to the EU-Turkey accords, and they should be put into nice reception centres (dunno if the irony is evident).
Syrians have been stopped at the Turkish -Syrian border and sent back.
16 people have been shot dead by Turkish border guards including 3 children, all Syrians. The information comes from the organization Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. The real number of people shot, killed or injured may be higher.
The Turkish coast guard have been filmed attacking and trying to sink refugees boats on at least three separate occasions.
It has emerged that Turkey has deported thousands of Syrians back to Syria, rounding up 100 per day since January, deporting children without their parents and a 8 months pregnant woman. The information comes from Turkish human right organizations and has been diffused by Amnesty International. Dozens of Afghans have been deported back to Afghanistan.
Detention centres in Turkey are appalling, all sorts of human rights abuses are said to be happening there and people can only get out by signing their own deportation papers.
There are over 2 million refugees in Turkey.
Greece has been turned into another concentration camp for refugees. There are 800.000 refugees stranded there, over 12.000 at Idomeni on the Greek-Macedonian border. surviving in appalling conditions. Macedonian and Greek police have used appalling violence against refugees trying to break through the border, gas and batons are used also against children and women. The Northern countries have closed their borders and the Balkan Route is closed. 
People keep arriving in Greece despite.
Record numbers of people are arriving in Italy from Libya, over 16.000 this year.
Total numbers of people crossing this year are 20.700
Over 700 people have died this year in the Mediterranean, that we know of. There is no count of people who died large of the Libyan coast.

Arrivals by sea and deaths in the Mediterranean

1 Jan – 4 April 2016

1 Jan – 30 April 2015

Country

Arrivals

Deaths

Arrivals

Deaths

Greece

152,137

366 (Eastern Med route)

22,408

31 (Eastern Med Route)

Cyprus

27

269 (Jan-Dec 2015)

Italy

19,287

343  (Central Med route)

26,228

1,687 (Central Med route)

Spain

638

5 (Western Med and Western African routes)

3,845 (Jan-Dec 2015)

15 ((Western Med and Western African routes)

Estimated Total

172,089

714

48,636

1,733

In today’s news: 
Videos of the deportation to Turkey:
 
Some of the comments are terrible and some viewers may experience vomiting, but the images are very interesting
Videos from clashes at Idomeni:
There are many more such videos old and new, yet nobody gives a shit.
An attempt to walk through Macedonia by crossing river ended up with lots of violence from Macedonia police, lots of gas and lots of arrests, and people were pushed back to Greece. Three Afghans drowned in the river,  a pregnant woman and her 17 years old sister and a cousin.
openborders

Idomeni

 

The “2016 NoBorder Camp” website is up and running!
http://noborder2016.espivblogs.net/

 

Highway Blockade at Austrian-Italian Border Highlights EU Refugee Crisis
see more https://revolution-news.com/highway-blockade-at-austria-it…/

Video via globaltvprojecthttps://www.youtube.com/channel/UCBfP6oOMXYk6rOHBqyML55g

Annunci

Another man died in Calais, another seriously injured

We just had news of yet another death.  Mohammed, a young Kurdish man who had been living in the camp at Dunkirk has just been killed in the UK. He had travelled to the UK in the axil of a truck, the truck was involved in an accident and he died. It is the second death in the last 24 hours!
There is a collection to send the body home. All money will go towards the transportation and anything left will be sent to his family towards the ceremony. Mohammed is pictured below.

mohammed

Early morning, Thursday 31st March, a man was killed  on the A16. His name was Ali Sarail, he was 22 years old from Afghanistan. He was run over by a truck. The driver did not stop.

The mortal accident occurred on the motorway A16 by Marck, near Calais: he was trying to go in the securitized parkings where lorries stop for the night. These parkings are the third main point of passage with the port and the Channel Tunnel
On Tuesday 29th March, a 17 years old boy from Syria was seriously injured
after being run over by a truck in the port. He was taken to hospital in critical condition: the doctors did not know if he would survive, but he is out of danger now and recovering.

Evictions and living conditions

 129 UNACCOMPANIED MINORS UNACCOUNTED FOR SINCE THE DEMOLITION

 

After the brutal eviction of the South side of the ‘jungle’, the authorities suddenly promised they will leave the North side standing for now. The promise was quickly broken.

A small section of the camp in the North side, near Jules-Ferry, has been evicted and destroyed, 40 people and 15 shelters that had been there for a very long time. Volunteers had just enough time to help people move.  A report:  https://www.facebook.com/groups/CalaisMigrantSolidarityActionFromUK/permalink/1029147200493360/

The hunger strike ends after 25 days 

Another illegal eviction : a squat opened by activists on Easter Sunday in a former homeless shelter was evicted by police and Town Hall authorities on the same day, illegally as the owner had not requested the eviction and procedures were not followed. 8 activists were arrested and charged with bullshit offenses: trespass, degradation, refuse to give a document ID. They walked free from court and issued the following report:

https://calaismigrantsolidarity.wordpress.com/2016/04/03/a-political-victory-une-victoire-politique/

 

zonesudburned

After completing the eviction of the South side, the authorities told the associations in
an official meeting that they will not evict the North side for the next two months,
and volunteers are welcome to keep working there and improve the conditions. Probably this sudden U-turn – originally they were determined to destroy everything and leave only the containers – comes from fear that people will spread along the coast as several smaller jungles were set up by migrants just before the eviction. Care4Calais counted 14 new camps with 15 to 150 people in each. Of course, there are more hidden camps, and quite a few people have gone to Belgium, despite Belgium closing the border. Existing ‘jungles’ in other places, like Hazebrouk and Norrent Fontes, have filled up three times their normal size with refugees coming from Calais.The new accommodation centres where people are taken by coach are not a great success and have a drop out rate of nearly 25%, i.e. a quarter of the people leave without saying anything, many have returned to Calais. So now we have several hundreds of  people spread along the coast and thousands of people crammed in the North side, feeling insecure and demoralised, but no significant reduction in numbers. New people continue to arrive. The government have done a new count of Calais jungle and found 3500 in all, but their numbers are always a gross underestimate. An independent count has just been published by the association Help Refugee, who shockingly found 129 minors have gone missing since the eviction! In total, refugees still in the Calais camp are 4946 according to Help Refugees, 4432 adults and 514 children, of whom 294 are unaccompanied minors. – read the full report here: 
but who can count all the people in new camps? The concentration-style container camp is now housing 1400 including 140 children, 85 unaccompanied. The blue tent camp, that is also securitized and run by La vie active, is quite empty because most tents are damaged and unusable.  170 women and children sleep inside Jules-Ferry, stuck like sardines in the containers there as the big heated tents are now damp and unusable, and more women sleep outside the centre. All around survives the autonomous anarchic jungle, only they are overcrowded in less than a third of the original size.

 

 

aubergejungleviction

The green band was evicted first, the part in the red is the South side that has just been evicted, all people who have not left are crammed in what remains, in the North side by the Jules-Ferry centre. You can see the white containers and the blue tents. Photo from the Auberge des migrants 

northside

There is a new autonomous family camp in the North side, housing some 200 families in donated caravans, lots of young children and babies – they have been barbarically gassed by CRS, ACAB, on Wednesday. The nearest water point is far from the family camp. Some newborn babies and their families are in hotels thanks to volunteers.
In the South side, the church, the boys’ centre , the No Borders info point and the school of chemin des Dunes are still standing. The legal centre continues to operate in the jungle but the cabin that hosted it  has been burned down in what is believed an arson attack. Jungle books and its radio have relocated to the North as well as Ashram kitchen. The independent women’s centre and Alice’s therapy centre have been lost because they could not be relocated. Everything else in the South has been bulldozed. A donated double-decker bus is replacing the women’s centre . Alice parked in the family camp and set up a new centre. Liz is still looking after the women and the unaccompanied minors,  most of the minors who were brutally evicted from the South side have relocated to the North side.
Volunteers have documented 6 cases of underage boys raped in the jungle in the last year, in some cases requiring hospital and stitches, and volunteers are saying some smugglers are targeting young boys for rape. It has been observed all through the migrants’ routes that some women – and some underage boys and girls too – sell sex to pay for their journeys as they have finished their money or have been robbed; this phenomenon  certainly does not stop in Calais. There is not much information about women being raped or pushed into prostitution as the women are reluctant to talk about it but it is clear as the light that in the jungle they have no protection, other than from their friends, husbands, brothers and communities – which works well if women are well connected, but many women are alone, or they have to take a boyfriend just to avoid other men’s attention.  Some women get beaten and abused regularly especially when their boyfriends or husbands get drunk. Most are too scared to walk out these relationships and would not know where to go, they are trapped. Other women have learnt to stand up for themselves, it is a matter of assertiveness and being connected, make good friends. One woman led her male companions on protests and actions on the motorway; another ran a club all winter long, all by herself with a little help from her friends, but it is hard to be a woman in a male-dominated environment. Even the women who sleep inside Jules-Ferry are in the jungle as soon as they go out. Women and families are generally unhappy to be living next to lots of single men and have said so.
the new family camp in the North side

The new family camp in the North side

There have been more traffic and traffic jams after the Easter break, record number of vehicles. 
 
Wednesday 30th , around 5 PM, there was a traffic jam and hundreds of migrants from the jungle managed to get on the motorway . Police reacted by throwing gas grenades. As people withdrew, police started shooting at longer range and well into the camp where people live. All the ‘jungle’ was engulfed in thick clouds of CS gas including the family area, 200 families with young children. Grenades kept falling on the roofs and in the streets. One person was wounded.The shooting kept going until well past 6 PM.
There were more traffic jams Thursday the 31st in the morning and in the afternoon near the jungle. Once again the police used excessive force, using CS gas and the water cannon.

 

from volunteer James Cartwright to Calais Migrant Solidarity (No Borders):

What’s on my mind? Gassing children.  An incident outside the camp resulted in teargas being fired indiscriminately at 4000 people in Calais today. I say indiscriminately because we felt the effects on the other side of the camp and I’m pretty sure they weren’t aiming for us. Between us and the spewing gas-cannisters was the family-area. We looked into purchasing gas-masks for children a while back, as this is not an isolated incident. They don’t make them. Because even fucking arms-manufacturers seemingly can’t envisage a time when you’d fire teargas at children. The French riot police clearly have a more vile and lurid imagination. Utter fucking inhuman bastards. And by the way, British taxes help fund this policing. We paid these collaborators to take hungry, poorly children and poison them in their makeshift homes.

some film and photos here:
but we need more photo and video evidence! If you have please send or send the links, thanks!
 
Fascists and cops
Attacks from far-right militias against migrants stopped for a while after some of the perpetrators were arrested but have resumed. Usually the attacks happen at night and involve groups of men and also some women armed with iron bars, chains, knives, gas and guns. The fash usually go around in cars and in large groups targeting refugees who are isolated or in small groups. They also attack activists and volunteers.  Sometimes people including underage boys have been kidnapped and beaten unconscious, they were robbed and many had broken bones. Gael Rougemont, who pointed a gun at the migrants during the pro-immigrants demonstration the 23rd January, was acquitted by the judge for ‘legitimate defense’! Other nazis are awaiting trial.
This unaccompanied minor from Afghanistan had an arm broken by a paramilitary militia of 10 they also stole his phone

This unaccompanied minor from Afghanistan had an arm broken by a paramilitary militia of 10; they also stole his mobile phone. Patriots or cowards? 

 Most of the violence though comes from the POLICE.
An independent survey conducted by the non-profit organization Refugees Rights on 850 people in the jungle chosen at random found that:
  • 73% of respondents have experienced police violence
  • 16.7% reported verbal abuse, 41.1% being exposed to tear gas, 28.3% physical violence, and 1% sexual violence
  • 57% have experienced tear gas ‘every day’ or ‘many times a week’. 17.4% have experienced tear gas ‘once a week’
  • 69.4% expressed that police treatment of refugees is ‘very bad’ or ‘bad’
  • 45.4% of respondents have experienced violence by citizens (non-police such as far-right groups)
  •  28.9% reported verbal abuse, 27.1% physical violence, and 1.4% sexual violenceIn total,
  • 86% of the children surveyed said they have experienced police violence since arriving in the camp. Of these, 61.2% were subject to physical violence and 28.1% verbal abuse. 95.9% reported being exposed to tear gas.Meanwhile, 49.6% of children responded that they have experienced violence by non-police citizens – 36.4% physical violence and 25.6% verbal abuse.44.6% of the children have family in the UK.For further statistics, visit http://refugeerights.org.uk/press-releases/
 IMG_1082
Fires and fights
There has been a big fire in the North side, several shelters were destroyed. There has been a very big fight between Afghans and Sudanese, resulting in 17 Afghans in hospital, one lost one eye, and 20 Sudanese, one in serious condition but he survived. Allegedly the reason for the fight was a contended bicycle some Afghans had taken from a Sudanese. A big number of Sudanese went to  attack the Afghans in their camp – thoroughly a bad idea because the Afghans defend their territory and all join the fight like one and they are fearless: in fact, the Sudanese lost. I personally doubt that a bicycle alone, besides providing a trigger, can cause such a terrifying fight and I would look for a reason at the parkings near Marck, as there have been big massive fights for the control of these parkings in the past and these fights often continue in the camps where people live That is me playing Sherlock Holmes. I do not know, and people are reluctant to talk about. I am more concerned that fights should be kept out the camps where people live. Before the eviction of the South side there had been no big fights in the jungle for a long time, people and community elders managed very well to keep things together. In fact, the jungle was a model of community spirit and self- organization and a brilliant example of how people can live togehter without police or central authority: truly amazing, considering there were nearly 10.000 people at some point, from many different nationalities and ethnic groups. It can be the case that the sudden relocation of so many people to the North side has caused new problems besides the obvious stress from overcrowding. Volunteers are  saying the relocation has accelerated the formation of hierarchies inside the camp –  usually who creates hierarchies are the smugglers. Probably it means that people now find it more difficult to get away from the mafia for lack of space, or that people are under more pressure to support smugglers of their own nationality against others. This is a place  where there are thousands of people traumatised by wars, persecution, and deadly journeys, and there are several hundreds of women and children of all ages living in appalling  conditions under gas attacks, beatings by police and far-right militias, danger of fires, danger of fights, danger of sexual assaults.
 Destruction of the AFG camp in the South side
EVICTION OF THE SOUTH SIDE

 

Videos of the destruction of the ‘jungle’s South side
A video of the ‘jungle’ before the eviction of the South side:
Best sources of information on Calais are still
and Passeurs d’hospitalitees https://passeursdhospitalites.wordpress.com/
  
Volunteers and associations are a good source.
The mainstream media cannot be trusted.