Tag Archives: Detention

Turkey Must Not Ignore Non-Syrian Refugees

On 13th of December 2018, Refugees International published a report concerning the conditions of Afghan asylum-seekers in Turkey, titled “‘You Cannot Exist in This Place:’ Lack of Registration Denies Afghan Refugees Protection in Turkey”. The report claims crucial recommendations to DGMM, UNHCR, EU and US on the facilitation of registration, resettlement and protection for Afghan asylum-seekers. The full report is accesible here in English and Turkish.


Via Refugees Deeply

As Turkey takes sole responsibility from UNHCR for processing the asylum claims of Afghans and other non-Syrians, it must register them and allow them to access their basic rights, say Refugees International’s Izza Leghtas and Jessica Thea.

An unaccompanied minor from Afghanistan.AP/Alastair Grant
Continue reading Turkey Must Not Ignore Non-Syrian Refugees

Festus Okey: a long road to justice

Due to the reopening of the case of Festus Okey last week, Pelin Çakir summarizes and comments on the murder and its contexts for HarekAct


Photo: Reyan Tuvi

by Pelin Çakır

Festus Okey, was born in 1975, in the Abia state of Nigeria, one of eleven children born to a farming couple. His brother Tochukwu migrated to South Africa to support his family in their poverty, but told Festus that conditions were very bad there, leading Festus to come to Istanbul instead in 2005. He worked in temporary jobs and played football with amateur teams in the so-called African league of Istanbul, a league which gives hope to many African young men to be discovered by the agents of professional football teams and therefore become a reputed player. His friends were calling him Okute. By coincidence, he appeared in an independent documentary which reported on the league, firstly recorded while running in the field, then unexpectedly during his funeral (how his murder was initially acknowledged by the press).

It wasn’t easy to escape the police’s ‘attention’ as a black man in Istanbul. The first time he was arrested by police for being undocumented, and kept for several months in Kumkapı detention center until he managed to file an asylum application to the UNHCR. On the early evening of 20 August 2007, Festus Okey and his friend Mamina Oga were stopped by an undercover police officer in the central Beyoğlu area of Istanbul. The police officer later described how they were apprehended with the following words “black persons and citizens from the East draw more attention with respect to narcotics”. Continue reading Festus Okey: a long road to justice

Case on Festus Okey murdered at Istanbul police station reopened after 11 years

On Wednesday the case on the murder of Festus Okey in Beyoglu police station of Istanbul 11 years ago was reopened. Although the audience was not allowed to enter the courtroom several newspapers report about the trial.


Via Bianet
In Festus Okey case, which has been reopened after 11 years, the court ruled that necessary documents for visa procedures for Okey’s family shall be provided. DNA reports have also been requested to prove blood relations between the family members.

The case of Festus Okey from Nigeria, who was killed at Beyoğlu Police Department in İstanbul, has been reopened after 11 years.

In today’s (December 12) hearing, which has been held at İstanbul 21st Heavy Penal Court, it has been ruled that Tochukwu Gameliah Ogu, brother of Okey, shall be invited to the trial as an observer. Having applied to intervene in the case as well, Ogu shall await the result of the DNA test, which is required for his application for intervention to be granted. Continue reading Case on Festus Okey murdered at Istanbul police station reopened after 11 years

Queer refugees on Lesvos are crying out for help

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.


The self-organized group Lesvos LGBTIQ+ Refugee Solidarity supports queer refugees in group meetings and in terms of accommodation and legal advice.

For their work, they collect donations through: borderline-europe e.V. GLS Bank, Bochum IBAN: DE11 4306 0967 4005 7941 00 BIC:GENODEM1GLS Purpose: LGBTIQ Lesvos


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.

Continue reading Queer refugees on Lesvos are crying out for help

HarekAct Newsletter VI – July, August and September 2018

TURKEY’S MIGRATION MANAGEMENT REGIME

Following our attendance at the Kritnet Conference in last May, we finally had the chance to share our contributions in HarekAct. One of our editors focused on the post EU-Turkey deal context in Istanbul, Turkey, which is marked by policies and practices of marginalization, irregularization and criminalization of migrants. The unfavorable conditions in the provision of registration, services and protection, with the implementation of additional mechanisms of securitization, detention and forced deportation, has had the impact of extending the constraints of the global border regime further to directly affect the living experiences of migrants in Istanbul.

In July, Human Rights Watch also published a report on the consequences of Turkey’s suspension of registering Syrians in Istanbul and other nine cities along the Syrian border. The report claims that this practice represents Turkey’s latest efforts in denying new asylum-seekers protection, following the closure of the borders and the shooting at individuals attempting to cross. Ultimately it is forcing Syrians to live under the risk of deportation, without access to urgent services, and having to depend on smugglers inside Turkey.

Reports reveal Turkey’s further plans to engineer the movement of more Syrian populations to the outskirts of Turkey. One of the sources mentions a decision to transfer 34,180 Syrian refugees from five camps to facilities closer to the border with Syria, and another quotes Erdoğan’s pledge to create more safe zones in Syria in order to allow refugees to return. Continue reading HarekAct Newsletter VI – July, August and September 2018

Over 370 irregular migrants held across Turkey

Via YeniŞafak

At least 376 irregular migrants were held across Turkey, security sources said Monday.

In northwestern province of Kirklareli, Turkish gendarmerie units rounded up 136 irregular migrants near the Bulgarian border, said the sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on speaking to the media.

The migrants — nationals of Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq and Iran — were referred to the immigration office, while four suspects were arrested over human trafficking.

Meanwhile, in the eastern province of Van, 203 irregular migrants from Afghanistan and Pakistan were held.

167 of the migrants were held in a house raid, while the other 36, including women and children, were rounded up during regular patrols.

Continue reading Over 370 irregular migrants held across Turkey

#Moria35 finally free from prison

The Legal Center Lesvos reports that the remaining persons of the #Moria35 were finally released after 15 month of injust imprisonment.

If you want to learn more about the case of the #Moria35, the Legal Center Lesvos in cooperation with Joinda Production produced a short documentary about it: http://www.legalcentrelesbos.org/

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

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