Tag Archives: Aegean Islands

New Report: An Island in Despair

Refugee Rights Europe published a new report on the living conditions of refugees on the ‘prison’ island Lesvos after a research delegation travelled to the notorious island of Lesvos in Greece in June 2018, to document the human rights situation experienced by refugees and displaced people there.

Click here to read the continue to the full report

Click here to read Refugee Rights Europe’s Press Release: Lesvos at Breaking Point

‘Hero’ Syrian swimmer arrested by Greek police for helping migrants reach Lesbos

Via The Telegraph – Greek police have charged a Syrian “hero” refugee, who was once hailed for saving people from a sinking boat in the Mediterranean, with helping migrants illegally enter the country.

Sara Mardini, 23, who has settled in Germany, was arrested last week in what police said was an operation to dismantle a “criminal network” involving 30 members of an NGO working on the island on Lesbos, where thousands of migrants are living in camps.

“For me, this is clearly a case of criminalising help given to refugees,” Haris Petsikos, her lawyer said, adding that she is being detained in a prison outside of Athens. He said Ms Mardini, who denies the charges, had been volunteering on the island for Emergency Response Centre International.

Yusra and Sara Mardini are seen on stage at the 2016 Bambi Awards.
Yusra and Sara Mardini are seen on stage at the 2016 Bambi Awards. Credit: dpa

Continue reading ‘Hero’ Syrian swimmer arrested by Greek police for helping migrants reach Lesbos

Lesvos prosecutor files against 30 NGO members facilitating migrants trafficking

Via Keep Talking Greece – Greek authorities have struck a blow to a NGO suspected to have been involved in facilitating the illegal arrivals of refugees and migrants to the islands of Lesvos and Samos. The NGO was mainly operating on the island of Lesvos and the hot spot of Moria. Investigation that has lasted several months has reportedly found out that the NGO was systematically active in the facilitation of the illegal entry of migrants and refugees to Greece.

Continue reading Lesvos prosecutor files against 30 NGO members facilitating migrants trafficking

Children ‘attempting suicide’ at Greek refugee camp

Via BBC – At Moria camp on the Greek island of Lesbos, there is deadly violence, overcrowding, appalling sanitary conditions and now a charity says children as young as 10 are attempting suicide. The Victoria Derbyshire programme has been given rare access inside.

“We are always ready to escape, 24 hours a day we have our children ready,” says Sara Khan, originally from Afghanistan. “The violence means our little ones don’t get to sleep.”

Continue reading Children ‘attempting suicide’ at Greek refugee camp

New migrant route involves sailboats from Turkey

Refugees and migrants arrive in an overloaded rubber dinghy on the Greek island of Lesbos (Lesvos), Greece, 15 December 2015 after crossing the Aegean Sea from Turkey.EPA/STRINGER
Refugees and migrants arrive in an overloaded rubber dinghy on the Greek island of Lesbos (Lesvos), Greece, 15 December 2015 after crossing the Aegean Sea from Turkey. EPA/STRINGER

Via Infomigrants A new migrant route from Turkey has been opened up by human traffickers – particularly Ukrainian and Russian – to transport migrants to Europe, mainly through Italy. In recent weeks, the smugglers have used sailboats and landed on the beaches of Sicily at night. Continue reading New migrant route involves sailboats from Turkey

Children losing out on education in EU migration deal

Via euobserver –  “I get depressed here. I want to go to a good school to study,” said a bright, 12-year-old girl from Afghanistan, who’s been stuck for six months in the grim Moria refugee camp on the Greek island of Lesbos. “If we don’t study we won’t have a future and we won’t become successful.” Continue reading Children losing out on education in EU migration deal

9 die as migrant boat sinks off Turkey’s Aegean coast

Via Hurriyet Daily News / Anadolu Agency – Nine people died early on Aug. 9 when a boat carrying 13 migrants sank off the western coast of Turkey, the Turkish coast guard said. Four people were rescued.

The boat sank off the coast of Aydın province, near Kuşadası, a popular tourist destination, it said. Kuşadası district governor Muammer Aksoy said seven children and two women were identified as casualties with no one missing.

Continue reading 9 die as migrant boat sinks off Turkey’s Aegean coast

Shedding Light on the Maritime Border between Turkey and Greece – Changes in the Border regime in the Aegean Sea since the EU-Turkey Deal

Reporting from the kritnet conference in Göttingen – Part 2

The HarekAct editorial board attended the 16th kritnet conference in Göttingen between 11-13th of May. It was a very good occasion to share and exchange knowledge, meet our friends, activists and colleagues again and discuss future projects and plans. We took part in the workshop titled “Post 2015 Border Regime – Re-Stabilization of the European Border Regime after the ‘Long Summer of Migration’”. We discussed the extension of borders into the cities following the example of Istanbul; the state of the border regime and public debate on migration in Turkey; and the impact and future of the EU-Turkey statement for both Greece and Turkey. Besides the individual inputs, we had a rich collective discussion with various perspectives, information and experiences brought by activists, researchers and professionals from Germany, Turkey, Greece and Kurdish region, and we are looking forward to keep building on the ideas we had as well as the connections we built there.

Although with a little bit of delay, now we would like to share our contributions to the workshop one by one. Enjoy the inputs presented by HarekAct editors in written and updated form in our blog. Keep posted!


copyright: Moritz Richter

Disobedient Border Crossings…

Since the EU-Turkey Deal, the number of clandestine border crossings has dropped substantially, and the agreement is still deterring many migrants from crossing the Aegean Sea. But that’s not the whole picture: Since April 2016, more than 60.000 people made it across the Aegean, and boats are still landing on the islands on an almost daily basis, despite augmented border control. Recently, the number of migrants arriving on the Greek Aegean islands via the sea are increasing again. While around 3.200 people arrived between April and May 2017, the number almost doubled during the same period in 2018, with circa 6.000 migrants making it safely to Greece. This year up until mid-June, circa 13.000 migrants have crossed from Turkey to Greece, with most of the boats still arriving on Lesvos island (ca. 7.000) (see UNHCR).

In the following text, I will take a closer look at the changes and dynamics in the Aegean Sea following the EU-Turkey Deal. Although border patrol agents are increasing their capacities, we are still witnessing many disobedient border crossings and a civil society which continues to report about rights violations at sea. Continue reading Shedding Light on the Maritime Border between Turkey and Greece – Changes in the Border regime in the Aegean Sea since the EU-Turkey Deal

Refugees further traumatized by conditions in Greece’s Moria camp

 

Via Doctors Without Borders – As refugees continue to arrive on the island of Lesbos, Greece, the situation in Moria refugee camp is descending into chaos. There are frequent clashes, riots, and incidents of sexual violence, and the conditions of the camp are harming refugees’ mental health.

There are now more than 8,000 people crammed into a space made for 3,000 in Moria camp. Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has witnessed escalating daily violence in Moria over the past few months, and staff have treated many victims of sexual violence, which occurs in and around the camp. Continue reading Refugees further traumatized by conditions in Greece’s Moria camp

Reporting on the Turkish-EU Border Regime