UN Agency Says 10,000 Refugees Left Greece Voluntarily From June 2016

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.

Continue reading UN Agency Says 10,000 Refugees Left Greece Voluntarily From June 2016

Syrian refugees turning to sex work being driven to the edge of society in Turkey

Via Ahval News (from 27th April) – Having escaped the brutal seven-year civil war in their homeland, many Syrian refugees face poverty and discrimination in Turkey. Some have turned to sex work, but have then been driven further into the periphery of society and have little access to justice in response to violence and exploitation, said a report by the Red Umbrella Sexual Health and Human Rights Association, a Turkish non-governmental organisation Continue reading Syrian refugees turning to sex work being driven to the edge of society in Turkey

Syrian refugees say Turkish border guards shooting at them

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.

Continue reading Syrian refugees say Turkish border guards shooting at them

Memorial to remember victims of shipwreck off Lesvos on 24th of April 2017

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.

On 22nd of April we travelled with the survivors on the ferry to Lesvos. At the ships restaurant we introduced them and their story to the crew who have been really touched to have survivors on board. Continue reading Memorial to remember victims of shipwreck off Lesvos on 24th of April 2017

Greece reinforces land border with Turkey to stem flow of migrants

Via The Guardian –  Greece has rushed to reinforce its land border with Turkey as fears mount over a sharp rise in the number of refugees and migrants crossing the frontier.

Police patrols were augmented as local authorities said the increase in arrivals had become reminiscent of the influx of migrants on the Aegean islands close to the Turkish coast. About 2,900 people crossed the land border in April, by far surpassing the number who arrived by sea, the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) said. The figure represents half of the total number of crossings during the whole of 2017. Continue reading Greece reinforces land border with Turkey to stem flow of migrants

Greek Government Reinstates Containment Policy That Keeps People Trapped on Islands – Defies Court on Asylum Seekers

21 rights organizations condemn the government’s attempt to overturn the court decision ending the containment policy

Press release by 21 human rights and humanitarian organizations, 25.04.2018 –  The Greek government’s move on April 20, 2018, overturning abinding court ruling ordering it to end its abusive policy of trapping asylum seekers on Greece’s islands raises rule of law concerns, 21 human rights and humanitarian organizations
said today.

Rather than carrying out the April 17 ruling by the Council of State, the country’s highest administrative court, the government issued an administrative decision reinstating the policy, known as the “containment policy.” Continue reading Greek Government Reinstates Containment Policy That Keeps People Trapped on Islands – Defies Court on Asylum Seekers

Moria 35 Trial Ends in Conviction of 32 – But After 9 Months of Unjust Detention, the 35 will Finally be Free!

Press release by Legal Center Lesbos, 28.04.2018 – While all 35 defendants should soon be released from detention, a gross miscarriage of justice took place today at the Mixed Jury Court in Chios, Greece where a ruling of guilty was declared against 32 of the 35 defendants. The 35 were arbitrarily and violently arrested in Moria camp in Lesvos on 18 July 2017 following what started as a peaceful protest outside of an EASO office. This inherently unsafe verdict, reached despite an overwhelming lack of evidence, follows a week long trial which continuously violated fundamental principles of a fair trial under Article 6 of the European Convention of Human Rights and brings into serious question the impartiality of both the Judges and Prosecutor in the case. Continue reading Moria 35 Trial Ends in Conviction of 32 – But After 9 Months of Unjust Detention, the 35 will Finally be Free!

Afghans make long trek west before Turkey secures border

Via Hurriyet Daily News (from 19th April) – On a mountainous road leading west from the Iranian border, 22-year-old Sunnatilla Rasulbek trudges through heavy rain, one of tens of thousands of Afghans hoping to find work and security in Turkey before a wall goes up to keep them out.

Already 2,000 km from his home in Mazar-e-Sharif in northern Afghanistan, Rasulbek plans to try to earn some money in eastern Turkey before heading further west to Istanbul in search of a job to support his family back home.

Continue reading Afghans make long trek west before Turkey secures border

Far-right hooligans attack migrants on Lesvos, turn town into battleground

Via Ekathimerini  Report (from 24th April) with more information on the racist attacks on refugees on Lesvos which took place last Sunday

Police forced dozens of migrants, most Afghan asylum-seekers, who had been camped out on the main square of Lesvos island’s capital since last week, onto buses and transported them to the Moria camp in the early hours of Monday after downtown Mytilini turned into a battleground on Sunday.

Continue reading Far-right hooligans attack migrants on Lesvos, turn town into battleground

16 including 6 children detained following attempted escape to Greece

Via Turkey Purge – At least 16 people were detained in Turkey’s western province of Mugla after they failed to escape to Greece, media reported on Apr 24.

The group attempted to escape to the Greek island of Kos in a speed boat that was chased by Turkish coast guards off Mugla shores upon a complaint. The boat carrying the group crashed into a reef in the Kisebükü bay.

Continue reading 16 including 6 children detained following attempted escape to Greece

Reporting on the Turkish-EU Border Regime