Tag Archives: Aegean Islands

Report from the Trial against the #Moria35 – Racism in the Court Hall

Valeria Hänsel, who contributes to HarekAct with her insights on the situation for refugees on Lesvos focusing on detention and deportations, wrote a report in German about the trial against the #Moria35 that took place last month in Chios.

Protest in Solidarity with the Moria35

Following a few abstracts:

“32 of the 35 defendants were collectively convicted for injuring a police officer in a four-day trial. They should go to jail for 26 month, though this penalty is temporarily suspended.

Vassilis Kerasiotis and Gina Palaialogou, the defendends of the convicts, lodged an appeal immediately after the process. Until a decision is made, all convicts are free.  Palaialogou comments on the verdict: “The decision was a compromise. Due to political reasons an acquittal in the first instance would hardly have been possible. In that case, they would have needed a justification and compensation for the detention for a duration of 9 nine month before the trial and the police statements would have needed to be falsified. ”

Click here to read the whole article in German at borderline-europe

Lucia Heisterkamp also published a shorter version in German newspaper taz together with Valeria Hänsel.

borderline-europe report from the island of Lesvos

In April 2018, borderline-europe members Doro Bruch, Jan Dunkemölle und Nora Freitag visited Lesvos for two weeks to gain an overview on the current situation for migrants in the island. They talked to lawyers, NGO workers, refugees and activists.

Stage2 camp in the North of Lesvos

Their report is aimed at providing insights on the current situation of refugees on the island and giving links to related information plattforms. The report focuses firstly on spotting, i.e. monitoring of the coasts for the documentation of sea rescue and arrivals over the sea from the Turkey and secondly, the accommodation and care of refugees on the island.

To continue reading the whole report in German, click here!

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

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

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!

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

Op-Ed: Moria 35 – Trial at the Gates of Fortress Europe

Via ECREOp-ed by Carlos Orjuela and Lorraine Leete of Legal Centre Lesbos.

“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

Far-right attacks increase tension in Greece’s Lesbos

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.

The attacks, which started at around 8pm local time (17:00 GMT) on Sunday, sparked clashes that lasted throughout the night.

Continue reading Far-right attacks increase tension in Greece’s Lesbos

New refugees in Greece can move freely, says court

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