On 15th January, Turkish Coastguard has rescued 46 migrants in the Aegean Sea while recovering one body, off the southwestern Kuşadası district close to Greek island of Samos. Father of the 4-years-old girl who died at the shipwreck claimed that the Greek Coastguard pushed back their boat: “It was so inhumane. They tried to kill us”
Via InfoMigrants – The Turkish coastguard has reportedly rescued 46 migrants from a sinking rubber boat in the Aegean Sea. The body of a young girl was recovered.
Via The Guardian – Violence so bad that women wear nappies at night to avoid leaving tents, report says.
The EU has been strongly criticised over conditions in Greece’s largest refugee camp, where Oxfam reported women are wearing nappies at night for fear of leaving their tents to go to the toilet.
The British-based NGO described the increasingly dangerous state of the EU-sponsored Moria camp on the island of Lesbos, where a 24-year-old man from Cameroon was found dead in the early hours of Tuesday as temperatures fell below freezing.
Sara Mardini, Sean Binder and Nassos Karakitsos have been imprisoned since almost three month now. In the beginning of this month, Human Rights Watch published an article telling their story and researched on the accusation made against Sara and Sean based on a 86-pages police report and other court documents.
“Accusations of money laundering, people smuggling, and espionage appear no more than an effort to criminalize humanitarian activism on behalf of refugees and migrants in Greece. These charges should be dropped, and the activists should be freed.”, says Bill Van Esveld, senior children’s rights researcher at Human Rights Watch.
In the following, we will publish the full report by HRW
Via Human Rights Watch– The criminal accusations brought by Greek prosecutors against activists for their efforts to rescue migrants and asylum seekers at sea appear entirely unfounded, Human Rights Watch said today. Human Rights Watch analyzed court records and other documents in the cases of two of the four activists currently in pretrial detention.
In a recent post, Deportation Monitoring Aegean reports about deportations as a business model. It describes the role of private companies facilitating deportations from the Greek Islands to Turkey, which are employed by the European Border and Cost Guard Agency FRONTEX. The post follows the financial flows surrounding the execution of deportations.
Via Deportation Monitoring Aegean – The European Border and Coast Guard Agency, better known as Frontex, supports the operational implementation of the deportations under the EU-Turkey statement. This means that the agency is responsible for deploying so-called “forced-return escorts” that support the Greek authorities with deportations. Furthermore, Frontex supports the Greek authorities with technical assistance in terms of organizing means of transportation, operational coordination and financial resources of return operations. In a previous post we discussed the trajectory of deportation and illustrated how commercial tourist companies play a key role in facilitating deportations. In this post, we will elaborate on the collaboration between Frontex and commercial tourist companies to illustrate how commercial interest and migration management coalesce. In order to excavate this relationship, we will first shortly discuss the role of Frontex in the deportation process. After this brief introduction, we will discuss the relation between commercial companies and European agencies, to unpack the social and political implications of this cooperation. Yet, it should be mentioned that the role of Frontex within the deportation regime is complex, and the presented text is not an all-encompassing description of their tasks.
Via The New Arab – Freelance journalist Matt Broomfield describes the situation of LGBTIQ refugees on Lesvos Island. Hundreds of queer refugees who came to Europe to live a free life now face the same discrimination as they did in their home countries: by police, the asylum service and other migrants forced to live behind barbed wire.
Via The New Arab – From the gay Iraqi who saw Isis militants throw his lover from the tallest building in Mosul to the couple who escaped persecution to rendezvous for the first time in a refugee camp, each of the LGBTQI+ refugees trapped on the Greek island of Lesvos could fill a book with their own personal stories.
The report describes the legal grounds for detention in Greece and the actual policy of detaining migrants, focusing on the situation in the pre-removal prison of Moria camp. It criticizes detention of migrants on arrival based on their national belonging and the conditions of detention, following individual stories of asylum seekers held in detention.
In the first stage, he said, Greece will expand its sovereignty towards the west from the Diapontia Islands, a cluster of small islands in the Ionian Sea, to Antikythera, an island lying between the Peloponnese and Crete. But the plan is to also do the same in the Aegean.
Photographer and filmmaker Ali arrived in Lesvos one night in spring 2018 and has since then been living in Moria refugee camp. Currently, Moria is ‘hosting’ triple its capacities with more than 7.000 women, men and children trapped in inhumane and life-threatening conditions. Many are sleeping rough, with not enough tents and blankets for everyone. Winter is approaching fast and there is no solution and relief to be expected!
Ali produced a short film called ‘Silent Message’ that focuses on the appalling conditions refugees are facing in the camp and the life on the island. His previous work focused on the situation of the Hazara minority in Pakistan. Lisa from HarekAct and Ali met in Lesvos for an Interview.
Ali, tell us about your film ‘Silent Message’!
The film is not as good as I wanted it to be, as I realized it with very little equipment but with a lot of help of friends.
With my film, I wanted to show the life for refugees in Moria: The food lines, the tents and the garbage everywhere. But the film is also a message to other refugees stuck on the island. I wanted to show that there can be a life outside of Moria: exploring the capital of Lesvos, spending time at the beaches, swimming or fishing – and thereby trying to forget the horrors of Moria at least for a moment. I see so many people in Moria thinking about their asylum decision all the time and are getting depressed from waiting. So, I decided to do a documentary without any interviews, a silent film to give some hope!