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.
Via Amnesty International – At least 2,000 Afghans who fled to Turkey to escape conflict and the worst excesses of the Taliban are in detention and at imminent risk of being forced back to danger, Amnesty International said today. The Turkish authorities appear to be ramping up a deportation spree that has seen 7,100 Afghans rounded up and returned to Afghanistan since early April.
The Turkish authorities told Amnesty International that all these returns are voluntary, and that the UN Refugee Agency UNHCR has periodic access to places of detention. However, in telephone interviews with detainees in the Düziçi container camp in southern Turkey, where at least 2,000 Afghans are believed to be held, Amnesty International heard how detainees have been pressured to sign documents written in Turkish, which they are unable to understand. These could be “voluntary repatriation forms,” which the Turkish authorities have previously used in coercive circumstances with Syrian and other refugees.
“On the 20 April, we are scheduled to attend trial in Chios after waiting nine months, trapped on Lesvos, while 30 of our brothers unjustly have waited in prison for this same time period. Our humanity has been denied since we stepped foot in Europe, the supposed cradle of democracy and human rights. . . We are treated like criminals, simply for crossing a border that Europeans can freely cross.” An excerpt from the Statement by 5 of the Moria 35 Defendants.
Today begins the trial of the Moria 35, which will determine the fate of 35 individuals arrested following a protest outside the European Asylum Support Office (EASO) in Moria Refugee Camp on 18 July 2017. The stakes are high in this inherently political trial. The 35 face criminal charges for which they may receive 10 years in prison and probable deportation if found guilty.
Continue reading Op-Ed: Moria 35 – Trial at the Gates of Fortress Europe
Via Keep Talking Greece – Hundreds of refugees and migrants have been flocking to Thessaloniki in Northern Greece, lately, seeking an opportunity for a temporary residence in an EU country. Majority of them have reportedly illegally entered Greece from Turkey through the Evros river. They sleep in parks and squares awaiting for a place in the Greek refugee accommodation camps.
Via AlJazeera – A mob of far-right protesters have attacked refugees and migrants who had been holding a separate demonstration in the main square of Mytileni, the main town of the Greek island of Lesbos.
Via Deutsche Welle – Syrians granted limited asylum but denied the right to fetch relatives are departing Germany for Turkey by using smugglers, say German media. The cases, if confirmed, bizarrely reverse the “Balkan route” drama of 2015.
Thousands of Syrian refugees are attempting to leave Germany despite being legally entitled to stay, according to a report to be aired Thursday on German public broadcaster ARD.
Continue reading Syrian refugees leaving Germany over family reunification policy
Via Hurriyet Daily News – 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.
By Garib Mirza – Garib Mirza is a freelance researcher, whose studies focus on the ongoing conflict in Syria and recently on the Syrian refugees. He has worked for independent Syrian research centers and think tanks.
The European Dream
‘It’s Europe!’ a Syrian youth responded when a France 24 reporter asked him in 2014 why he and others set out on the arduous path to Europe. ‘It’s Europe!’ seems enough of an answer to the question and perhaps it is the best expression of many refugees’ and asylum seekers’ ‘European Dream’.
Via Ekathimerini – New refugee and migrant arrivals in Greece will soon be able to move around the country freely without being restricted to the islands of the eastern Aegean where they arrive from neighboring Turkey, according to a Council of State ruling that emerged on Tuesday and upends a 2016 decision by the Greek asylum service that forced them to remain in so-called hotspots until their asylum application was processed.
According to the leaked ruling by the country’s highest administrative court, there are no reasons of public interest or migration policy to justify their geographical restriction to the islands of Lesvos, Chios, Samos, Leros, Kos and Rhodes. Continue reading New refugees in Greece can move freely, says court
Via AlJazeera – Greek police detained 1,658 refugees and migrants in March after they crossed the border from Turkey by land.
A growing number of refugees and migrants are reaching Greece via land routes from Turkey, with Greek authorities increasingly accused of carrying out illegal pushbacks on the land borders.
On Friday, the Greek police said that 1,658 refugees and migrants were detained in March after crossing into Greece through the Evros River, which is situated on the Turkish border. Continue reading Refugees increasingly entering Greece via land routes