Via euobserver(02.05.2018) – Some six years after Greece erected a 10km barb wired border fence along a stretch of the Evros river it shares with Turkey, the European Commission has announced plans to create a standing corps of 10,000 border guards.
On Wednesday (2 May), the EU executive proposed the idea as part of its aim to overhaul the EU budget for the years 2021-27.
Frontex had 300 border guards in 2015. Under EU Commission plans, that could increase to 10,000 in less than ten years (Photo: europarl.europa.eu)
With nothing to live on, many Syrians are living on their own in the province of Izmir and have arranged a silent deal with Turkey.
Are You Syrious, recently published another report about the situation of refugees in the province of Izmir. Previously HarekAct reported about this topic.
If you are living in the fields in Turkey, you are left to yourself — or the camp community around you. It can happen that no one comes to see you for months and you rarely have the chance to go into more socialized areas away from the olive trees and fields that surround your tents.
The village closest to one of the sites is a few kilometers away on dirt tracks, and if you walk over the field in the opposite direction you will find only a country road. Maybe, from time to time, a mobile shop will stop at the side of the country road and sell you overpriced items. After it rains, the dirt roads are inaccessible by car.
What sounds like the scene of a slum in a third world country is still reality for thousands of people in the province of Izmir. With the third biggest city in the country, bearing the same name, the province of Izmir is also one of the wealthiest in Turkey. With a population of more than 135,000 displaced Syrians, the province with its four million citizens belongs to the top ten provinces to host Syrians in the country.
Read the full report including more fotos and videos at AYS.
For more information about the situation of migrants around Izmir check the HarekAct report as well as AYS.
Via New Internationalist– After a two-year wait, five humanitarian volunteers who wanted to help refugees land safely have been acquitted. Tim Baster and Isabelle Merminod report from Lesbos
As the judge announced her decision late in the afternoon, there was a pause in the court in Mytilini, the capital of the Greek island of Lesbos, as translators did their work. Then the packed public gallery erupted. Some 50 cheering and clapping spectators invaded the stuffy court room, pushing aside startled policemen and court officials.
Two humanitarian volunteers from Denmark, Salam Aldeen and Mohammad Abbassi and three from Spain, Enrique Rodríguez, Manuel Blanco and Julio Latorre, arrested on 14 January 2016, had been finally acquitted of the charge of attempting to traffic asylum seekers. The volunteers came from the SpanishPROEM-AIDand the DanishTeam Humanity,two of the many humanitarian NGOs working to help people arrive safely in Lesbos. The three Spanish volunteers are professional firefighters.
A working plan for Turkish citizens to travel to Schengen countries visa-free, submitted by Turkey to Brussels in February, is currently being examined, said the source, who requested anonymity due to restrictions on speaking to the media.
Via Greek Reporter – The International Organization for Migration (IOM), the UN migration agency, is reporting that more than 10,000 migrants left voluntarily from Greece between June 2016 and April this year.
Among the returnees, almost 8,380 were men and 2,125 were women. The IOM says special assistance was provided to 77 unaccompanied migrant children, helping them to reunite with their families.
The voluntary returns saw people go back to their homes in 84 countries and territories over a 20-month period through a program funded by the EU and Greece.
Via Ahval News – Abdulkarim Khalaf opened his eyes on last month to find himself lying in a hospital bed in the Syrian town of Ras al-Ayn, near the border with Turkey. When the 18-year-old tried to ask about his two cousins, nobody in the room could understand the sounds he was making, distorted by the many wounds to his face and body.
Khalaf and his two cousins, 22-year-olds Hameed Sahlan and Zayed al-Moghaireth, from a village close to the border successfully scaled the wall Turkey erected along the frontier to keep out refugees, but immediately ran into Turkish border guards.
Via W2EU Infomobile – On 24 of April 2018 one year had passed since 22 people among them two children lost their lives in the boat accident north of Lesvos. Rescue teams managed many hours later to rescue two women alive, one of them pregnant in the 8th month.
Sylvie and Joelle and the little girl Victoria, born in Mitilini just one month later, came again to Lesvos to remember this year. Together with the rescue teams of Refugee Rescue / Mo chara and with the activists from Watch the Med Alarm Phone and Welcome to Europe they returned to the place the rescued women and also the dead bodies had been brought one year ago.
Foto: Marily Stroux
Also the spotting teams who still care every night at the beaches to spot boats on the way from the Turkish to the Greek side, Lighthouse relief and The Hope Project, joined the invitation to the three women.