“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→
On the 16th of March, two families tried to reach Europe through the Aegean Sea, one from Afghanistan, one from Iraq. They left Turkey and swiftly moved toward the Greek island of Agathonisi. But shortly before reaching it, they capsized. A relative of the Afghan family on Samos Island notified the authorities repeatedly, via phone and in person. At that point, many of the shipwrecked could have still been rescued.
Via Spiegel Online(Link in German) –16 refugees died in the Aegean sea one week ago when their boat was sinking in front of the Greek island Agathonisi, in the largest shipwreck in the Aegean this year so far. On board were two families from Afghanistan and Iraq, many children, including a few months old baby, a total of 21 people. But only three adults made it ashore – all children drowned. Two people are still missing.
Via Newsdeeply – On the second anniversary of the E.U.-Turkey deal that curbed refugee boats to Greece, experts from Turkey, Greece and Germany weigh in on the agreement’s impact on refugees and on Europe.
The E.U.-Turkey statement of March 20, 2016, was a turning point in Europe’s crisis over refugees.
Under the deal, Turkey would prevent boats leaving its shores for Greece, while Athens would return arriving migrants to Turkey. In exchange, the E.U. would increase funding and resettlement for refugees in Turkey, along with other political sweeteners.
Very little of the deal’s original provisions have been implemented, but the number of boats did drop drastically (while continuing to fluctuate, just as the journey continues to be deadly). Coming after 1 million people arrived in Europe in 2015, E.U. policymakers continue to defend the deal as a major success.
At the same time, human rights groups say many of their warnings about the agreement have been realized: Refugees are warehoused in dire conditions on the Greek islands while Turkey threatens a new surge in refugee boats to ward off criticism about its human rights situation.
Via Milliyet(Link in Turkish) – 154 migrants were caught in Dikili, a district of Izmir, while they were trying to cross to the Greek island Lesvos by rubber boats. The Coast Guard teams intervened and intercepted 154 migrants, including women and children, mostly from Syrian, Cameroon, Ghana, Angola and Senegal. They were first brought to the Dikili Coast Guard Command. The International Organization for Migration (IOM) has provided humanitarian assistance for them. It is stated that they will be sent to the Izmir Provincial Directorate of Migration after the proceedings.
Via CNNTürk(Link in Turkish) – According to a statement issued by the Mersin Governor’s Office, teams affiliated to the Coast Guard Mediterranean Region Command spotted the presence of migrants on a moving boat in Kizkalesi, Silifke county.