The EU-Turkey Statement and the Greek Hotspots – A Failed European Pilot Project in Refugee Policy
The Greens/EFA Group in the European Parliament recently published a study focusing on the detrimental impact that the EU-Turkey Statement and the implementation of the “hotspot approach” in Greece is having on the rights of refugees and migrants arriving. The study finds that the current procedures and practices for processing asylum applications on the Greek islands under the EU-Turkey statement violate the applicants’ right to asylum and due process.
Via New York Times [abstracts] – In Turkey, the Coast Guard said that nine migrants, including six children, had drowned in an accident off the country’s Mediterranean coast.
The migrants’ boat capsized early Sunday morning near the town of Demre in the southern province of Antalya, according to the Turkish Coast Guard, which said it had recovered nine bodies and rescued four other migrants. A fifth was saved by a passing fishing vessel.
Via Hurriyet Daily News(16th May 2018) – The EU warned on May 16 that asylum seeker arrivals from Turkey have surged this year and called on member countries to act urgently on pledges of support for the bloc’s border force.
Via Ekathimerini (15.05.18) – Turkey’s coast guard says seven Afghan nationals died, including three children, while trying to cross into Greece, but that it managed to rescue 13 people from the sinking boat.
In a statement Tuesday, it said a rescue ship and helicopter were dispatched late Monday near the western province of Canakkale following a tip. A half-sunk 6-meter fiber boat was found.
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.
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.
Via New Internationalist– After a two-year wait, five humanitarian volunteers who wanted to help refugees land safely have been acquitted. Tim Baster and Isabelle Merminod report from Lesbos
As the judge announced her decision late in the afternoon, there was a pause in the court in Mytilini, the capital of the Greek island of Lesbos, as translators did their work. Then the packed public gallery erupted. Some 50 cheering and clapping spectators invaded the stuffy court room, pushing aside startled policemen and court officials.
Two humanitarian volunteers from Denmark, Salam Aldeen and Mohammad Abbassi and three from Spain, Enrique Rodríguez, Manuel Blanco and Julio Latorre, arrested on 14 January 2016, had been finally acquitted of the charge of attempting to traffic asylum seekers. The volunteers came from the SpanishPROEM-AIDand the DanishTeam Humanity,two of the many humanitarian NGOs working to help people arrive safely in Lesbos. The three Spanish volunteers are professional firefighters.
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.
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
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.