• Dutch exhibition offers new insight into Berbice slave uprising

    National archives showcases unique letters sent by the leader of first organised slave revolt.

    The Dutch national archives are showcasing a unique set of letters sent by the leader of the first organised slave revolt on the American continent to a colonial governor, in which the newly free man proposed to share the land.

    The offer from the man known as #Cuffy, from #Kofi – meaning “born on Friday” – is said to provide a new insight into attempts to resist the brutal regimes of the colonial period, often overlooked in histories of enslaved people.

    “We will give Your Excellency half of #Berbice, and all the negroes will retreat high up the rivers, but don’t think they will remain slaves. The negroes that Your Excellency has on his ships – they can remain slaves,” the rebel leader wrote to the local governor, #Wolfert_Simon_van_Hoogenheim.

    Berbice, now part of #Guyana, was a Dutch colony for two centuries, and in 1763 approximately 350 white Europeans were keeping an estimated 4,000 slaves on coffee, cotton and sugar plantations in increasingly barbaric conditions, even by the cruel standards of the time.

    Cuffy had probably been brought there by traffickers after being bought as a child in west Africa. On the morning of 23 February 1763, a group of around 70 men and women on one colonial plantation overpowered their captors and encouraged the neighbouring slaves to join them, leading to a rebellion of about 3,000 people.

    The colonialists fled as the revolt grew but around 40 men and 20 women and children found themselves surrounded by 500 formerly enslaved people after taking refuge in a house on one of the plantations. The roof was set on fire and escapers were shot, according to the writer and historian #Karin_Amatmoekrim.

    #Van_Hoogenheim burned down the colony’s #Fort_Nassau to avoid it being taken into rebel hands, leading Cuffy, who had taken leadership of the rebellion, to appoint himself as the new governor of Berbice.

    But Cuffy informed Van Hoogenheim that he wanted to end the violence, which he said had been provoked by the cruelty of a particular group of plantation owners. It is this correspondence that now features in the Rebellion and Freedom exhibition, albeit only online for now owing to coronavirus regulations.

    “Cuffy, Governor of the Negroes of Berbice, and Captain Akara send greetings and inform Your Excellency that they are not seeking war. But if Your Excellency wants war, the Negroes are willing to do so,” Cuffy wrote. “The Governor of Berbice asks Your Excellency to come and speak to him; Do not be afraid. But if you don’t come, we’ll fight on until there is no Christian left in Berbice.”

    According to Amatmoekrim, there was scepticism among the other newly freed people at this attempt to find terms with the colonialists, apparently in part born out of the distrust felt by some about Cuffy, who was one of the few “house slaves”, working often in close proximity to the plantation owners.

    Van Hoogenheim waited it out as Cuffy was challenged by a new leader, Atta, leading to a showdown between the two camps of supporters. Cuffy lost out and subsequently killed himself.

    A few months later 600 Dutch soldiers docked at Berbice port, leading to the colony’s recapture by the summer of 1764 and savage repercussions. Around 1,800 rebels died, with 24 burned alive, according to Amatmoekrim.

    “The history of the Berbice uprising is important as it shows that our colonial past is laced with histories of revolt and resistance,” she said. Cuffy’s story, among others, she said, highlighted “the kind of heroism that has not easily penetrated the history books: black, enslaved, and fighting to the bitter end for their own freedom.”

    https://amp.theguardian.com/world/2021/jan/22/dutch-exhibition-offers-new-insight-into-berbice-slave-uprising?__t

    #Pays-Bas #archives #colonialisme #esclavage #colonisation

    ping @cede

  • Militarisation des frontières en #Mer_Egée

    En Mer Egée c’est exactement la même stratégie qui se met en place, et notamment à #Samos, où une #zeppelin (#zeppelin_de_surveillance) de #Frontex surveillera le détroit entre l’île et la côte turque, afin de signaler tout départ de bateaux. L’objectif est d’arrêter « à temps » les embarcations des réfugiés en les signalant aux garde-corps turques. Comme l’a dit le vice-ministre de l’immigration Koumoutsakos « on saura l’heure de départ de l’embarcation, on va en informer les turques, on s’approcher du bateau... »
    S’approcher pourquoi faire, sinon, pour le repousser vers la côte turque ?
    Le fonctionnement de la montgolfière sera confié aux garde-cotes et à la police grecque, l’opération restant sous le contrôle de Frontex.

    –-> reçu via la mailing-list de Migreurop, le 30.07.2017

    #militarisation_des_frontières #frontières #contrôles_frontaliers #Turquie #Grèce #migrations #réfugiés #asile #police #gardes-côtes #surveillance

    –-----------

    Commentaire de Martin Clavey sur twitter :

    Cynisme absolu : Frontex utilise des drones pour surveiller les migrants en méditerranée ce qui permet à l’Union européenne de ne pas utiliser de bateau de surveillance et donc ne pas être soumis au #droit_maritime et à avoir à les sauver

    https://twitter.com/mart1oeil/status/1158396604648493058

    • Σε δοκιμαστική λειτουργία το αερόσταστο της FRONTEX

      Σε δοκιμαστική λειτουργία τίθεται από σήμερα για 28 ημέρες το αερόστατο της FRONTEX στη Σάμο, μήκους 35 μέτρων, προσδεμένο στο έδαφος, εξοπλισμένο με ραντάρ, θερμική κάμερα και σύστημα αυτόματης αναγνώρισης, το οποίο θα επιτηρεί αδιάλειπτα και σε πραγματικό χρόνο το θαλάσσιο πεδίο.

      Σύμφωνα με ανακοίνωση του Λιμενικού, στόχος είναι η αστυνόμευση του θαλάσσιου πεδίου και η καταπολέμηση του διασυνοριακού εγκλήματος. Δημιουργείται ωστόσο το ερώτημα αν οι πληροφορίες που θα συλλέγει το αερόστατο θα χρησιμοποιούνται για την αναχαίτιση ή την αποτροπή των πλεούμενων των προσφύγων που ξεκινούν από τα τουρκικά παράλια για να ζητήσουν διεθνή προστασία στην Ευρώπη.

      « Πρώτα απ’ όλα ξέρεις τι ώρα φεύγει από τους διακινητές το σκάφος, ενημερώνεις την τουρκική πλευρά, πηγαίνεις εσύ κοντά, δηλαδή είναι ένα σύνολο ενεργειών » σημείωνε την περασμένη εβδομάδα σε συνέντευξή του στον ΑΝΤ1 ο αναπληρωτής υπουργός Μεταναστευτικής Πολιτικής Γιώργος Κουμουτσάκος, μιλώντας για τα αποτελέσματα που αναμένεται να έχει το αερόστατο στην ενίσχυση της επιτήρησης των συνόρων.

      Το Λιμενικό είναι η πρώτη ακτοφυλακή κράτους-μέλους της Ε.Ε. που χρησιμοποιεί αερόστατο για την επιτήρηση της θάλασσας, δέκα μήνες μετά την πρώτη παρόμοια πανευρωπαϊκή χρήση μη επανδρωμένου αεροσκάφους μεσαίου ύψους μακράς εμβέλειας.

      « Αυτό καταδεικνύει την ισχυρή και ξεκάθαρη βούληση του Λ.Σ.-ΕΛ.ΑΚΤ. να καταβάλει κάθε δυνατή προσπάθεια, χρησιμοποιώντας τη διαθέσιμη τεχνολογία αιχμής, για την αποτελεσματική φύλαξη των εξωτερικών θαλάσσιων συνόρων της Ευρωπαϊκής Ενωσης, την πάταξη κάθε μορφής εγκληματικότητας καθώς και την προστασία της ανθρώπινης ζωής στη θάλασσα », σημειώνει το Λιμενικό.

      Η λειτουργία του αερόστατου εντάσσεται στην επιχείρηση « Ποσειδών » που συντονίζουν το Λιμενικό και η ΕΛ.ΑΣ. υπό την επιτήρηση της FRONTEX.

      Παράλληλα, στο νησί θα τεθεί σε λειτουργία φορτηγό εξοπλισμένο με παρόμοια συστήματα, προκειμένου να μπορούν να συγκριθούν τα αποτελέσματα και η λειτουργία του επίγειου και του εναέριου συστήματος.

      https://www.efsyn.gr/ellada/koinonia/205553_se-dokimastiki-leitoyrgia-aerostasto-tis-frontex

    • Zeppelin over the island of Samos to monitor migrants trafficking

      Greek authorities and the Frontex will release a huge surveillance Zeppelin above the island of Samos to monitor migrants who illegally try to reach Greece and Europe. The installation of the ominous balloon will be certainly a grotesque attraction for the tourists who visit the island in the East Aegean Sea.

      Deputy Minister of Migration Policy Giorgos Koumoutsakos told private ANT1 TV that the Zeppelin will go in operation next week.

      “In Samos, at some point, I think it’s a matter of days or a week, a Zeppelin balloon will be installed in cooperation with FRONTEX, which will take a picture of a huge area. What does that mean? First of all, you know what time the ship moves away from the traffickers, inform the Turkish side, you go near, that is a set of actions,” Koumoutsakos said.

      The Zeppelin will be monitored by the GNR radar unit of the Frontext located at the port of Karlovasi, samiakienimerosi notes adding “It will give a picture of movements between the Turkish coast to Samos for the more effective guarding of our maritime borders.”

      The Deputy Minister did not elaborate on what exactly can the Greek Port Authority do when it comes “near” to the refugee and migrants boats.

      According to daily efimerida ton syntakton, the Norwegian NGO, Aegean Boat Report, revealed a video shot on July 17. The video shows how a Greek Coast Guard vessel approaches a boat with 34 people on board and leaves them at the open sea to be “collected” by Turkish authorities, while the passengers, among them 14 children, desperately are shouting “Not to Turkey!”

      It is not clear, whether the Greek Coast Guard vessel is in international waters as such vessels do not enter Turkish territorial waters. According to international law, the passengers ought to be rescued. The Greek Coast Guard has so far not taken position on the issue, saying it will need to evaluate the video first, efsyn notes.

      “There is no push backs. Everything will be done in accordance with the international law. Greece will do nothing beyond the international law,” Koumoutsakos stressed.

      PS I suppose, tourists will be cheered to have their vacation activities monitored by a plastic Big Brother. Not?

      https://www.keeptalkinggreece.com/2019/07/26/zeppelin-samos-migrants-refugees

    • Once migrants on Mediterranean were saved by naval patrols. Now they have to watch as #drones fly over
      https://i.guim.co.uk/img/media/8a92adecf247b04c801a67a612766ee753738437/0_109_4332_2599/master/4332.jpg?width=605&quality=85&auto=format&fit=max&s=c0051d5e4fff6aff063c70

      Amid the panicked shouting from the water and the smell of petrol from the sinking dinghy, the noise of an approaching engine briefly raises hope. Dozens of people fighting for their lives in the Mediterranean use their remaining energy to wave frantically for help. Nearly 2,000 miles away in the Polish capital, Warsaw, a drone operator watches their final moments via a live transmission. There is no ship to answer the SOS, just an unmanned aerial vehicle operated by the European border and coast guard agency, Frontex.

      This is not a scene from some nightmarish future on Europe’s maritime borders but a present-day probability. Frontex, which is based in Warsaw, is part of a £95m investment by the EU in unmanned aerial vehicles, the Observer has learned.

      This spending has come as the EU pulls back its naval missions in the Mediterranean and harasses almost all search-and-rescue charity boats out of the water. Frontex’s surveillance drones are flying over waters off Libya where not a single rescue has been carried out by the main EU naval mission since last August, in what is the deadliest stretch of water in the world.

      The replacement of naval vessels, which can conduct rescues, with drones, which cannot, is being condemned as a cynical abrogation of any European role in saving lives.

      “There is no obligation for drones to be equipped with life-saving appliances and to conduct rescue operations,” said a German Green party MEP, Erik Marquardt. “You need ships for that, and ships are exactly what there is a lack of at the moment.” This year the death rate for people attempting the Mediterranean crossing has risen from a historical average of 2% to as high as 14% last month. In total, 567 of the estimated 8,362 people who have attempted it so far this year have died.

      Gabriele Iacovino, director of one of Italy’s leading thinktanks, the Centre for International Studies, said the move into drones was “a way to spend money without having the responsibility to save lives”. Aerial surveillance without ships in the water amounted to a “naval mission without a naval force”, and was about avoiding embarrassing political rows in Europe over what to do with rescued migrants.

      Since March the EU’s main naval mission in the area, Operation Sophia, has withdrawn its ships from waters where the majority of migrant boats have sunk. While Sophia was not primarily a search-and-rescue mission, it was obliged under international and EU law to assist vessels in distress. The switch to drones is part of an apparent effort to monitor the Mediterranean without being pulled into rescue missions that deliver migrants to European shores.

      Marta Foresti, director of the Human Mobility Initiative at the Overseas Development Institute, an influential UK thinktank, said Europe had replaced migration policy with panic, with potentially lethal consequences. “We panicked in 2015 and that panic has turned into security budgets,” she said. “Frontex’s budget has doubled with very little oversight or design. It’s a knee-jerk reaction.”

      The strategy has seen Frontex, based in Warsaw, and its sister agency, the European Maritime Safety Agency, based in Lisbon, invest in pilotless aerial vehicles. The Observer has found three contracts – two under EMSA and one under Frontex – totalling £95m for drones that can supply intelligence to Frontex.

      The models include the Hermes, made by Elbit Systems, Israel’s biggest privately owned arms manufacturer, and the Heron, produced by Israel Aerospace Industries, a state-owned company. Both models were developed for use in combat missions in the occupied Palestinian territory of Gaza. Frontex said its drone suppliers met all “EU procurement rules and guidelines”.

      There is mounting concern both over how Frontex is spending EU taxpayers’ money and how it can be held accountable. The migration panic roiling Europe’s politics has been a boon for a once unfashionable EU outpost that coordinated national coastal and border guards. Ten years ago Frontex’s budget was £79m. In the latest budget cycle it has been awarded £10.4bn.

      Demand from member states for its services have largely been driven by its role in coordinating and carrying out deportations. The expansion of the deportation machine has caused concern among institutions tasked with monitoring the forced returns missions: a group of national ombudsmen, independent watchdogs appointed in all EU member states to safeguard human rights, has announced plans to begin its own independent monitoring group. The move follows frustration with the way their reports on past missions have been handled by Frontex.

      Andreas Pottakis, Greece’s ombudsman, is among those calling for an end to the agency policing itself: “Internal monitoring of Frontex by Frontex cannot substitute for the need for external monitoring by independent bodies. This is the only way the demand for transparency can be met and that the EU administration can effectively be held into account.”
      Acting to extradite helpless civilians to the hands of Libyan militias may amount to criminal liability

      The Frontex Consultative Forum, a body offering strategic advice to Frontex’s management board on how the agency can improve respect for fundamental rights, has also severely criticised it for a sloppy approach to accountability. An online archive of all Frontex operations, which was used by independent researchers, was recently removed.

      The switch to drones in the Mediterranean has also led to Frontex being accused of feeding intelligence on the position of migrant boats to Libya’s coast guards so they can intercept and return them to Libya. Although it receives EU funds, the Libyan coast guard remains a loosely defined outfit that often overlaps with smuggling gangs and detention centre owners.

      “The Libyan coast guard never patrols the sea,” said Tamino Böhm of the German rescue charity Sea-Watch. “They never leave port unless there is a boat to head to for a pullback. This means the information they have comes from the surveillance flights of Italy, Frontex and the EU.”

      A Frontex spokesperson said that incidents related to boats in distress were passed to the “responsible rescue coordination centre and to the neighbouring ones for situational awareness and potential coordination”. Thus the maritime rescue coordination centre in Rome has begun to share information with its Libyan counterpart in Tripoli, under the instructions of Italy’s far-right interior minister, Matteo Salvini.

      The EU is already accused of crimes against humanity in a submission before the International Criminal Court for “orchestrating a policy of forced transfer to concentration camp-like detention facilities [in Libya] where atrocious crimes are committed”.

      The case, brought by lawyers based in Paris, seeks to demonstrate that many of the people intercepted have faced human rights abuses ranging from slavery to torture and murder after being returned to Libya.

      Omer Shatz, an Israeli who teaches at Sciences Po university in Paris, and one of the two lawyers who brought the ICC case, said Frontex drone operators could be criminally liable for aiding pullbacks. “A drone operator that is aware of a migrant boat in distress is obliged to secure fundamental rights to life, body integrity, liberty and dignity. This means she has to take actions intended to search, rescue and disembark those rescued at safe port. Acting to extradite helpless vulnerable civilians to the hands of Libyan militias may amount to criminal liability.”

      Under international law, migrants rescued at sea by European vessels cannot be returned to Libya, where conflict and human rights abuses mean the UN has stated there is no safe port. Under the UN convention on the law of the sea (Unclos) all ships are obliged to report an encounter with a vessel in distress and offer assistance. This is partly why EU naval missions that were not mandated to conduct rescue missions found themselves pitched into them regardless.

      Drones, however, operate in a legal grey zone not covered by Unclos. The situation for private contractors to EU agencies, as in some of the current drone operations, is even less clear.

      Frontex told the Observer that all drone operators, staff or private contractors are subject to EU laws that mandate the protection of human life. The agency said it was unable to share a copy of the mission instructions given to drone operators that would tell them what to do in the event of encountering a boat in distress, asking the Observer to submit a freedom of information request. The agency said drones had encountered boats in distress on only four occasions – all in June this year – in the central Mediterranean, and that none had led to a “serious incident report” – Frontex jargon for a red flag. When EU naval vessels were deployed in similar areas in previous years, multiple serious incidents were reported every month, according to documents seen by the Observer.

      https://amp.theguardian.com/world/2019/aug/04/drones-replace-patrol-ships-mediterranean-fears-more-migrant-deaths

      #Méditerranée #mer_Méditerranée #Libye

    • L’uso dei droni per guardare i migranti che affogano mette a nudo tutta la disumanità delle pratiche di controllo sui confini

      In troppi crediamo al mito di una frontiera dal volto umano, solo perché ci spaventa guardare in faccia la realtà macchiata di sangue.

      “Se avessi ignorato quelle grida di aiuto, non avrei mai più trovato il coraggio di affrontare il mare”.

      Con queste parole il pescatore siciliano Carlo Giarratano ha commentato la sua decisione di sfidare il “decreto sicurezza” del Governo italiano, che prevede sanzioni o l’arresto nei confronti di chiunque trasporti in Italia migranti soccorsi in mare.

      La sua storia è un esempio della preoccupante tensione che si è creata ai confini della “Fortezza Europa” in materia di leggi e regolamenti. Secondo il diritto internazionale, il capitano di un’imbarcazione in mare è tenuto a fornire assistenza alle persone in difficoltà, “a prescindere dalla nazionalità o dalla cittadinanza delle persone stesse”. Al contempo, molti paesi europei, e la stessa UE, stanno cercando di limitare questo principio e queste attività, malgrado il tragico bilancio di morti nel Mediterraneo, in continua crescita.

      L’Agenzia di Confine e Guardia Costiera Europea, Frontex, sembra aver escogitato una soluzione ingegnosa: i droni. L’obbligo legale di aiutare un’imbarcazione in difficoltà non si applica a un veicolo aereo senza pilota (UAV, unmanned aerial vehicle). Si può aggirare la questione, politicamente calda, su chi sia responsabile di accogliere i migranti soccorsi, se questi semplicemente non vengono proprio soccorsi. Questo principio fa parte di una consolidata tendenza a mettere in atto politiche finalizzate a impedire che i migranti attraversino il Mediterraneo. Visto l’obbligo di soccorrere le persone che ci chiedono aiuto, la soluzione sembra essere questa: fare in modo di non sentire le loro richieste.

      Jean-Claude Juncker sostiene che le politiche europee di presidio ai confini sono concepite per “stroncare il business dei trafficanti”, perché nella moralità egocentrica che ispira la politica di frontiera europea, se non ci fossero trafficanti non ci sarebbero migranti.

      Ma non ci sono trafficanti che si fabbricano migranti in officina. Se le rotte ufficiali sono bloccate, le persone vanno a cercare quelle non ufficiali. Rendere la migrazione più difficile, ha fatto aumentare la richiesta di trafficanti e scafisti, certamente non l’ha fermata. Invece che stroncare il loro business, queste politiche lo hanno creato.

      Secondo la logica della foglia di fico, l’UE sostiene di non limitarsi a lasciare affogare i migranti, ma di fornire supporto alla guardia costiera libica perché intercetti le imbarcazioni che tentano la traversata e riporti le persone nei campi di detenzione in Libia.

      Ma il rapporto del Global Detention Project, a proposito delle condizioni in questi campi, riferisce: “I detenuti sono spesso sottoposti a gravi abusi e violenze, compresi stupri e torture, estorsioni, lavori forzati, schiavitù, condizioni di vita insopportabili, esecuzioni sommarie.” Human Rights Watch, in un rapporto intitolato Senza via di fuga dall’Inferno, descrive situazioni di sovraffollamento e malnutrizione e riporta testimonianze di bambini picchiati dalle guardie.

      L’Irish Times ha riportato accuse secondo cui le milizie associate con il GNA (Governo Libico di Alleanza Nazionale, riconosciuto dall’ONU), starebbero immagazzinando munizioni in questi campi e userebbero i rifugiati come “scudi umani”. Sembra quasi inevitabile, quindi, la notizia che il 3 luglio almeno 53 rifugiati sono stati uccisi durante un attacco dei ribelli appartenenti all’Esercito Nazionale Libico, nel campo di detenzione di Tajura, vicino a Tripoli.

      Secondo una testimonianza riportata dall’Associated Press, a Tajura i migranti erano costretti a pulire le armi delle milizie fedeli al GNA, armi che erano immagazzinate nel campo. Secondo i racconti di testimoni oculari dell’attacco, riportati dalle forze ONU, le guardie del campo avrebbero aperto il fuoco su chi tentava di scappare.

      Nel mondo occidentale, quando parliamo di immigrazione, tendiamo a focalizzarci sul cosiddetto “impatto sulle comunità” causato dai flussi di nuovi arrivati che si muovono da un posto all’altro.

      Nelle nostre discussioni, ci chiediamo se i migranti portino un guadagno per l’economia oppure intacchino risorse già scarse. Raramente ci fermiamo a guardare nella sua cruda e tecnica realtà la concreta applicazione del controllo alle frontiere, quando si traduce davvero in fucili e filo spinato.

      Ci ripetiamo che i costi vanno tutti in un’unica direzione: secondo la nostra narrazione preferita, i controlli di confine sono tutti gratis, è lasciare entrare i migranti la cosa che costa. Ma i costi da pagare ci sono sempre: non solo il tributo di morti che continua a crescere o i budget multimilionari e sempre in aumento delle nostre agenzie di frontiera, ma anche i costi morali e sociali che finiamo con l’estorcere a noi stessi.

      L’ossessione per la sicurezza dei confini deve fare i conti con alcune delle più antiche e radicate convinzioni etiche proprie delle società occidentali. Prendersi cura del più debole, fare agli altri quello che vogliamo sia fatto a noi, aiutare chi possiamo. Molti uomini e donne che lavorano in mare, quando soccorrono dei naufraghi non sono spinti solo da una legge che li obbliga a prestare aiuto, ma anche da un imperativo morale più essenziale. “Lo facciamo perché siamo gente di mare”, ha detto Giarratano al Guardian, “in mare, se ci sono persone in pericolo, le salviamo”.

      Ma i nostri governi hanno deciso che questo non vale per gli europei. Come se fosse una perversa sfida lanciata a istinti morali vecchi di migliaia di anni, nell’Europa moderna un marinaio che salva un migrante mentre sta per affogare, deve essere punito.

      Infrangere queste reti di reciproche responsabilità fra gli esseri umani, ha dei costi: divisioni e tensioni sociali. Ed è un amaro paradosso, perché proprio argomenti di questo genere sono in testa alle nostre preoccupazioni percepite quando si parla di migrazioni. E mentre l’UE fa di tutto per respingere un fronte del confine verso i deserti del Nord Africa, cercando di tenere i corpi dei rifugiati abbastanza lontani da non farceli vedere da vicino, intanto l’altro fronte continua a spingere verso di noi. L’Europa diventa un “ambiente ostile” e quindi noi diventiamo un popolo ostile.

      Ci auto-ingaggiamo come guardie di confine al nostro interno. Padroni di casa, infermiere, insegnanti, manager – ogni relazione sociale deve essere controllata. Il nostro regime di “frontiera quotidiana” crea “comunità sospette” all’interno della nostra società: sono persone sospette per il solo fatto di esistere e, nei loro confronti, si possono chiamare le forze dell’ordine in ogni momento, “giusto per dare un’occhiata”.

      Il confine non è solo un sistema per tenere gli estranei fuori dalla nostra società, ma per marchiare per sempre le persone come estranee, anche all’interno e per legittimare ufficialmente il pregiudizio, per garantire che “l’integrazione” – il Sacro Graal della narrazione progressista sull’immigrazione – resti illusoria e irrealizzabile, uno scherzo crudele giocato sulla pelle di persone destinate a rimanere etichettate come straniere e sospette. La nostra società nel suo insieme si mette al servizio di questo insaziabile confine, fino a definire la sua vera e propria identità nella capacità di respingere le persone.

      Malgrado arrivino continuamente immagini e notizie di tragedie e di morti, i media evitano di collegarle con le campagne di opinione che amplificano le cosiddette “legittime preoccupazioni” della gente e le trasformano in un inattaccabile “comune buon senso”.

      I compromessi che reggono le politiche di controllo dei confini non vengono messi in luce. Questo ci permette di guardare da un’altra parte, non perché siamo crudeli ma perché non possiamo sopportare di vedere quello che stiamo facendo. Ci sono persone e gruppi che, come denuncia Adam Serwer in un articolo su The Atlantic, sono proprio “Focalizzati sulla Crudeltà”. E anche se noi non siamo così, viviamo comunque nel loro stesso mondo, un mondo in cui degli esseri umani annegano e noi li guardiamo dall’alto dei nostri droni senza pilota, mentre lo stato punisce chi cerca di salvarli.

      In troppi crediamo nel mito di una frontiera dal volto umano, solo perché ci spaventa guardare in faccia la tragica e insanguinata realtà del concreto controllo quotidiano sui confini. E comunque, se fosse possibile, non avremmo ormai risolto questa contraddizione? Il fatto che non lo abbiamo fatto dovrebbe portarci a pensare che non ne siamo capaci e che ci si prospetta una cruda e desolante scelta morale per il futuro.

      D’ora in poi, il numero dei migranti non può che aumentare. I cambiamenti climatici saranno determinanti. La scelta di non respingerli non sarà certamente gratis: non c’è modo di condividere le nostre risorse con altri senza sostenere dei costi. Ma se non lo facciamo, scegliamo consapevolmente i naufragi, gli annegamenti, i campi di detenzione, scegliamo di destinare queste persone ad una vita da schiavi in zone di guerra. Scegliamo l’ambiente ostile. Scegliamo di “difendere il nostro stile di vita” semplicemente accettando di vivere a fianco di una popolazione sempre in aumento fatta di rifugiati senza patria, ammassati in baracche di lamiera e depositi soffocanti, sfiniti fino alla disperazione.

      Ma c’è un costo che, alla fine, giudicheremo troppo alto da pagare? Per il momento, sembra di no: ma, … cosa siamo diventati?

      https://dossierlibia.lasciatecientrare.it/luso-dei-droni-per-guardare-i-migranti-che-affogano-m

    • Et aussi... l’utilisation de moins en moins de #bateaux et de plus en plus de #avions a le même effet...

      Sophia : The EU naval mission without any ships

      Launched in 2015 to combat human smuggling in the Mediterranean, the operation has been all but dismantled, symbolizing European division on immigration policy.


      The Italian air base of Sigonella extends its wire fencing across the green and yellow fields of Sicily, 25 kilometers inland from the island’s coastline. Only the enormous cone of Mount Etna, visible in the distance, stands out over this flat land. Posters depicting a sniper taking aim indicate that this is a restricted-access military zone with armed surveillance.

      Inside, there is an enormous city with deserted avenues, runways and hangars. This is the departure point for aircraft patrolling the Central Mediterranean as part of EU Naval Force Mediterranean Operation Sophia, Europe’s military response to the human smuggling rings, launched in 2015. But since March of this year, the planes have been a reflection of a mutilated mission: Sophia is now a naval operation without any ships.

      The Spanish detachment in #Sigonella has just rotated some of its personnel. A group of newly arrived soldiers are being trained in a small room inside one of the makeshift containers where the group of 39 military members work. The aircraft that they use is standing just a few meters away, on a sun-drenched esplanade that smells of fuel. The plane has been designed for round-the-clock maritime surveillance, and it has a spherical infrared camera fitted on its nose that allows it to locate and identify seagoing vessels, as well as to detect illegal trafficking of people, arms and oil.

      If the EU had systematically shown more solidarity with Italy [...] Italian voters would not have made a dramatic swing to the far right

      Juan Fernando López Aguilar, EU Civil Liberties Committee

      This aircraft was also made to assist in sea rescues. But this activity is no longer taking place, now that there are no ships in the mission. Six aircraft are all that remain of Operation Sophia, which has been all but dismantled. Nobody would venture to say whether its mandate will be extended beyond the current deadline of September 30.

      The planes at Sigonella continue to patrol the Central Mediterranean and collect information to meet the ambitious if vague goal that triggered the mission back at the height of the refugee crisis: “To disrupt the business of human and weapons smuggling.” The operation’s most controversial task is still being carried out as well: training Libya’s Coast Guard so they will do the job of intercepting vessels filled with people fleeing Libyan war and chaos, and return them to the point of departure. Even official sources of Europe’s diplomatic service admitted, in a written reply, that the temporary suspension of naval assets “is not optimal,” and that the mission’s ability to fulfill its mandate “is more limited.”

      In these four years, the mission has had some tangible achievements: the arrest of 151 individuals suspected of human trafficking and smuggling, and the destruction of 551 boats used by criminal networks. Operation Sophia has also inspected three ships and seized banned goods; it has made radio contact with 2,462 vessels to check their identity, and made 161 friendly approaches. For European diplomats, the mission has been mainly useful in “significantly reducing smugglers’ ability to operate in high seas” and has generally contributed to “improving maritime safety and stability in the Central Mediterranean.”

      Sophia’s main mission was never to rescue people at sea, yet in these last years it has saved 45,000 lives, following the maritime obligation to aid people in distress. The reason why it has been stripped of its ships – a move that has been strongly criticized by non-profit groups – can be found 800 kilometers north of Sicily, in Rome, and also in the offices of European politicians. Last summer, Italy’s far-right Interior Minister Matteo Salvini began to apply a closed-port policy for ships carrying rescued migrants unless a previous relocation agreement existed with other countries. Salvini first targeted the non-profit groups performing sea rescues, and then he warned his European colleagues that Italy, which is leading the EU mission, would refuse to take in all the rescued migrants without first seeing a change in EU policy. A year later, no European deal has emerged, and every time a rescue is made, the issue of who takes in the migrants is negotiated on an ad hoc basis.

      Operation Sophia has saved 45,000 lives

      Although arrivals through this route have plummeted, Salvini insists that “Italy is not willing to accept all the migrants who arrive in Europe.” Political division among member states has had an effect on the European military mission. “Sophia has not been conducting rescues since August 2018,” says Matteo Villa, a migration expert at Italy’s Institute for International Policy Studies (ISPI). “Nobody in the EU wanted to see a mission ship with migrants on board being refused port entry, so the ‘solution’ was to suspend Sophia’s naval tasks.”

      The decision to maintain the operation without any ships was made at the last minute in March, in a move that prevented the dismantling of the mission just ahead of the European elections. “Operation Sophia has helped save lives, although that was not its main objective. It was a mistake for [the EU] to leave it with nothing but airplanes, without the ships that were able to save lives,” says Matteo de Bellis, a migration and refugee expert at Amnesty International. “What they are doing now, training the Libyans, only serves to empower the forces that intercept refugees and migrants and return them to Libya, where they face arbitrary detention in centers where there is torture, exploitation and rape.”

      Ever since the great maritime rescue operation developed by Italy in 2013, the Mare Nostrum, which saved 150,000 people, its European successors have been less ambitious in scope and their goals more focused on security and border patrolling. This is the case with Sophia, which by training the Libyan Coast Guard is contributing to the increasingly clear strategy of outsourcing EU migratory control, even to a country mired in chaos and war. “If Europe reduces search-and-rescue operations and encourages Libya to conduct them in its place, then it is being an accomplice to the violations taking place in Libya,” says Catherine Wollard, secretary general of the non-profit network integrated in the European Council of Refugees and Exiles (ECRE).

      Training the Libyans only serves to empower the forces that intercept refugees and migrants and return them to Libya, where they face torture, exploitation and rape

      Matteo de Bellis, Amnesty International

      The vision offered by official European sources regarding the training of the Libyan Coast Guard, and about Operation Sophia in general, is very different when it comes to reducing mortality on the Mediterranean’s most deadly migration route. “Operation Sophia was launched to fight criminal human smuggling networks that put lives at risk in the Central Mediterranean,” they say in a written response. European officials are aware of what is going on in Libya, but their response to the accusations of abuse perpetrated by the Libyan Coast Guard and the situation of migrants confined in detention centers in terrible conditions, is the following: “Everything that happens in Libyan territorial waters is Libya’s responsibility, not Europe’s, yet we are not looking the other way. […] Through Operation Sophia we have saved lives, fought traffickers and trained the Libyan Coast Guard […]. We are performing this last task because substantial loss of life at sea is taking place within Libyan territorial waters. That is why it is very important for Libya’s Coast Guard and Navy to know how to assist distressed migrants in line with international law and humanitarian standards. Also, because the contribution of Libya’s Coast Guard in the fight against traffickers operating in their waters is indispensable.”

      Criticism of Operation Sophia is also coming from the European Parliament, which funded the trip that made this feature story possible. Juan Fernando López Aguilar, president of the parliament’s Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs, attacks the decision to strip Sophia of its naval resources. The Socialist Party (PSOE) politician says that this decision was made “in the absolute absence of a global approach to the migration phenomenon that would include cooperative coordination of all the resources at member states’ disposal, such as development aid in Africa, cooperation with origin and transit countries, hirings in countries of origin and the creation of legal ways to access the EU. Now that would dismantle [the mafias’] business model,” he says.

      López Aguilar says that the EU is aware of Italy’s weariness of the situation, considering that “for years it dealt with a migratory pressure that exceeded its response capacity.” Between 2014 and 2017, around 624,000 people landed on Italy’s coasts. “If they EU had systematically shown more solidarity with Italy, if relocation programs for people in hotspots had been observed, very likely Italian voters would not have made a dramatic swing giving victory to the far right, nor would we have reached a point where a xenophobic closed-port narrative is claimed to represent the salvation of Italian interests.”

      Miguel Urbán, a European Member of Parliament for the Spanish leftist party Unidas Podemos, is highly critical of the way the EU has been managing immigration. He talks about a “militarization of the Mediterranean” and describes European policy as bowing to “the far right’s strategy.” He blames Italy’s attitude for turning Sophia into “an operation in the Mediterranean without a naval fleet. What the Italian government gets out of this is to rid itself of its humanitarian responsibility to disembark migrants on its coasts.”

      For now, no progress has been made on the underlying political problem of disembarkation and, by extension, on the long-delayed reform of the Dublin Regulation to balance out frontline states’ responsibility in taking in refugees with solidarity from other countries. Sophia will continue to hobble along until September after being all but given up for dead in March. After that, everything is still up in the air.

      https://elpais.com/elpais/2019/08/29/inenglish/1567088519_215547.html
      #Sophie #Opération_Sophia #Sicile

    • L’uso dei droni per guardare i migranti che affogano mette a nudo tutta la disumanità delle pratiche di controllo sui confini

      In troppi crediamo al mito di una frontiera dal volto umano, solo perché ci spaventa guardare in faccia la realtà macchiata di sangue.

      “Se avessi ignorato quelle grida di aiuto, non avrei mai più trovato il coraggio di affrontare il mare”.

      Con queste parole il pescatore siciliano Carlo Giarratano ha commentato la sua decisione di sfidare il “decreto sicurezza” del Governo italiano, che prevede sanzioni o l’arresto nei confronti di chiunque trasporti in Italia migranti soccorsi in mare.

      La sua storia è un esempio della preoccupante tensione che si è creata ai confini della “Fortezza Europa” in materia di leggi e regolamenti. Secondo il diritto internazionale, il capitano di un’imbarcazione in mare è tenuto a fornire assistenza alle persone in difficoltà, “a prescindere dalla nazionalità o dalla cittadinanza delle persone stesse”. Al contempo, molti paesi europei, e la stessa UE, stanno cercando di limitare questo principio e queste attività, malgrado il tragico bilancio di morti nel Mediterraneo, in continua crescita.

      L’Agenzia di Confine e Guardia Costiera Europea, Frontex, sembra aver escogitato una soluzione ingegnosa: i droni. L’obbligo legale di aiutare un’imbarcazione in difficoltà non si applica a un veicolo aereo senza pilota (UAV, unmanned aerial vehicle). Si può aggirare la questione, politicamente calda, su chi sia responsabile di accogliere i migranti soccorsi, se questi semplicemente non vengono proprio soccorsi. Questo principio fa parte di una consolidata tendenza a mettere in atto politiche finalizzate a impedire che i migranti attraversino il Mediterraneo. Visto l’obbligo di soccorrere le persone che ci chiedono aiuto, la soluzione sembra essere questa: fare in modo di non sentire le loro richieste.

      Jean-Claude Juncker sostiene che le politiche europee di presidio ai confini sono concepite per “stroncare il business dei trafficanti”, perché nella moralità egocentrica che ispira la politica di frontiera europea, se non ci fossero trafficanti non ci sarebbero migranti.

      Ma non ci sono trafficanti che si fabbricano migranti in officina. Se le rotte ufficiali sono bloccate, le persone vanno a cercare quelle non ufficiali. Rendere la migrazione più difficile, ha fatto aumentare la richiesta di trafficanti e scafisti, certamente non l’ha fermata. Invece che stroncare il loro business, queste politiche lo hanno creato.

      Secondo la logica della foglia di fico, l’UE sostiene di non limitarsi a lasciare affogare i migranti, ma di fornire supporto alla guardia costiera libica perché intercetti le imbarcazioni che tentano la traversata e riporti le persone nei campi di detenzione in Libia.

      Ma il rapporto del Global Detention Project, a proposito delle condizioni in questi campi, riferisce: “I detenuti sono spesso sottoposti a gravi abusi e violenze, compresi stupri e torture, estorsioni, lavori forzati, schiavitù, condizioni di vita insopportabili, esecuzioni sommarie.” Human Rights Watch, in un rapporto intitolato Senza via di fuga dall’Inferno, descrive situazioni di sovraffollamento e malnutrizione e riporta testimonianze di bambini picchiati dalle guardie.

      L’Irish Times ha riportato accuse secondo cui le milizie associate con il GNA (Governo Libico di Alleanza Nazionale, riconosciuto dall’ONU), starebbero immagazzinando munizioni in questi campi e userebbero i rifugiati come “scudi umani”. Sembra quasi inevitabile, quindi, la notizia che il 3 luglio almeno 53 rifugiati sono stati uccisi durante un attacco dei ribelli appartenenti all’Esercito Nazionale Libico, nel campo di detenzione di Tajura, vicino a Tripoli.

      Secondo una testimonianza riportata dall’Associated Press, a Tajura i migranti erano costretti a pulire le armi delle milizie fedeli al GNA, armi che erano immagazzinate nel campo. Secondo i racconti di testimoni oculari dell’attacco, riportati dalle forze ONU, le guardie del campo avrebbero aperto il fuoco su chi tentava di scappare.

      Nel mondo occidentale, quando parliamo di immigrazione, tendiamo a focalizzarci sul cosiddetto “impatto sulle comunità” causato dai flussi di nuovi arrivati che si muovono da un posto all’altro.

      Nelle nostre discussioni, ci chiediamo se i migranti portino un guadagno per l’economia oppure intacchino risorse già scarse. Raramente ci fermiamo a guardare nella sua cruda e tecnica realtà la concreta applicazione del controllo alle frontiere, quando si traduce davvero in fucili e filo spinato.

      Ci ripetiamo che i costi vanno tutti in un’unica direzione: secondo la nostra narrazione preferita, i controlli di confine sono tutti gratis, è lasciare entrare i migranti la cosa che costa. Ma i costi da pagare ci sono sempre: non solo il tributo di morti che continua a crescere o i budget multimilionari e sempre in aumento delle nostre agenzie di frontiera, ma anche i costi morali e sociali che finiamo con l’estorcere a noi stessi.

      L’ossessione per la sicurezza dei confini deve fare i conti con alcune delle più antiche e radicate convinzioni etiche proprie delle società occidentali. Prendersi cura del più debole, fare agli altri quello che vogliamo sia fatto a noi, aiutare chi possiamo. Molti uomini e donne che lavorano in mare, quando soccorrono dei naufraghi non sono spinti solo da una legge che li obbliga a prestare aiuto, ma anche da un imperativo morale più essenziale. “Lo facciamo perché siamo gente di mare”, ha detto Giarratano al Guardian, “in mare, se ci sono persone in pericolo, le salviamo”.

      Ma i nostri governi hanno deciso che questo non vale per gli europei. Come se fosse una perversa sfida lanciata a istinti morali vecchi di migliaia di anni, nell’Europa moderna un marinaio che salva un migrante mentre sta per affogare, deve essere punito.

      Infrangere queste reti di reciproche responsabilità fra gli esseri umani, ha dei costi: divisioni e tensioni sociali. Ed è un amaro paradosso, perché proprio argomenti di questo genere sono in testa alle nostre preoccupazioni percepite quando si parla di migrazioni. E mentre l’UE fa di tutto per respingere un fronte del confine verso i deserti del Nord Africa, cercando di tenere i corpi dei rifugiati abbastanza lontani da non farceli vedere da vicino, intanto l’altro fronte continua a spingere verso di noi. L’Europa diventa un “ambiente ostile” e quindi noi diventiamo un popolo ostile.

      Ci auto-ingaggiamo come guardie di confine al nostro interno. Padroni di casa, infermiere, insegnanti, manager – ogni relazione sociale deve essere controllata. Il nostro regime di “frontiera quotidiana” crea “comunità sospette” all’interno della nostra società: sono persone sospette per il solo fatto di esistere e, nei loro confronti, si possono chiamare le forze dell’ordine in ogni momento, “giusto per dare un’occhiata”.

      Il confine non è solo un sistema per tenere gli estranei fuori dalla nostra società, ma per marchiare per sempre le persone come estranee, anche all’interno e per legittimare ufficialmente il pregiudizio, per garantire che “l’integrazione” – il Sacro Graal della narrazione progressista sull’immigrazione – resti illusoria e irrealizzabile, uno scherzo crudele giocato sulla pelle di persone destinate a rimanere etichettate come straniere e sospette. La nostra società nel suo insieme si mette al servizio di questo insaziabile confine, fino a definire la sua vera e propria identità nella capacità di respingere le persone.

      Malgrado arrivino continuamente immagini e notizie di tragedie e di morti, i media evitano di collegarle con le campagne di opinione che amplificano le cosiddette “legittime preoccupazioni” della gente e le trasformano in un inattaccabile “comune buon senso”.

      I compromessi che reggono le politiche di controllo dei confini non vengono messi in luce. Questo ci permette di guardare da un’altra parte, non perché siamo crudeli ma perché non possiamo sopportare di vedere quello che stiamo facendo. Ci sono persone e gruppi che, come denuncia Adam Serwer in un articolo su The Atlantic, sono proprio “Focalizzati sulla Crudeltà”. E anche se noi non siamo così, viviamo comunque nel loro stesso mondo, un mondo in cui degli esseri umani annegano e noi li guardiamo dall’alto dei nostri droni senza pilota, mentre lo stato punisce chi cerca di salvarli.

      In troppi crediamo nel mito di una frontiera dal volto umano, solo perché ci spaventa guardare in faccia la tragica e insanguinata realtà del concreto controllo quotidiano sui confini. E comunque, se fosse possibile, non avremmo ormai risolto questa contraddizione? Il fatto che non lo abbiamo fatto dovrebbe portarci a pensare che non ne siamo capaci e che ci si prospetta una cruda e desolante scelta morale per il futuro.

      D’ora in poi, il numero dei migranti non può che aumentare. I cambiamenti climatici saranno determinanti. La scelta di non respingerli non sarà certamente gratis: non c’è modo di condividere le nostre risorse con altri senza sostenere dei costi. Ma se non lo facciamo, scegliamo consapevolmente i naufragi, gli annegamenti, i campi di detenzione, scegliamo di destinare queste persone ad una vita da schiavi in zone di guerra. Scegliamo l’ambiente ostile. Scegliamo di “difendere il nostro stile di vita” semplicemente accettando di vivere a fianco di una popolazione sempre in aumento fatta di rifugiati senza patria, ammassati in baracche di lamiera e depositi soffocanti, sfiniti fino alla disperazione.

      Ma c’è un costo che, alla fine, giudicheremo troppo alto da pagare? Per il momento, sembra di no: ma, … cosa siamo diventati?

      https://dossierlibia.lasciatecientrare.it/luso-dei-droni-per-guardare-i-migranti-che-affogano-m

    • Grèce : le gouvernement durcit nettement sa position et implique l’armée à la gestion de flux migratoire en Mer Egée

      Après deux conférences intergouvernementales ce we., le gouvernement Mitsotakis a décidé la participation active de l’Armée et des Forces Navales dans des opérations de dissuasion en Mer Egée. En même temps il a décidé de poursuivre les opérations de ’désengorgement’ des îlses, de renfoncer les forces de garde-côte en effectifs et en navires, et de pousser plus loin la coopération avec Frontex et les forces de l’Otan qui opèrent déjà dans la région.

      Le durcissement net de la politique gouvernementale se traduit aussi par le retour en force d’un discours ouvertement xénophobe. Le vice-président du gouvernement grec, Adonis Géorgiadis, connu pour ses positions à l’’extrême-droite de l’échiquier politique, a déclaré que parmi les nouveaux arrivants, il y aurait très peu de réfugiés, la plupart seraient des ‘clandestins’ et il n’a pas manqué de qualifier les flux d’ ‘invasion’.

      source – en grec - Efimerida tôn Syntaktôn : https://www.efsyn.gr/politiki/kybernisi/211786_kybernisi-sklirainei-ti-stasi-tis-sto-prosfygiko

      Il va de soi que cette militarisation de la gestion migratoire laisse craindre le pire dans la mesure où le but évident de l’implication de l’armée ne saurait être que la systématisation des opérations de push-back en pleine mer, ce qui est non seulement illégal mais ouvertement criminel.

      Reçu de Vicky Skoumbi via la mailing-list Migreurop, 23.09.2019

  • La sindaca di #Lodi non torna indietro: «Il regolamento resta in vigore». Nuovo caso in Veneto

    Per ottenere il contributo regionale sull’acquisto di testi scolastici in Veneto, i cittadini non comunitari devono presentare, oltre alla certificazione Isee, un certificato sul possesso di immobili o percezione di redditi all’estero rilasciato dalle autorità del Paese di provenienza.

    È quanto si legge nelle «istruzioni per il richiedente» rilasciate a settembre sul sito internet della Regione. Nei giorni scorsi, era scoppiata la polemica su un caso simile a Lodi, dove il Comune ha chiesto un documento aggiuntivo a chi non è italiano per ottenere le agevolazioni sulla mensa scolastica.

    La norma non è però presente né nella delibera di Giunta né nel bando per la concessione di contributi, ma soltanto nelle «istruzioni per il richiedente» rilasciate a settembre sul sito internet per la compilazione della richiesta. A renderlo noto, in un’interrogazione alla Giunta regionale, è il Gruppo del Partito democratico, che chiede una proroga per il termine di presentazione delle domande, che è stata fissata a mezzogiorno di oggi. «La Giunta - afferma l’interrogazione che ha come primi firmatari i consiglieri Francesca Zottis e Claudio Sinigaglia - faccia chiarezza sui contributi per il buono libri: la documentazione richiesta ai cittadini non comunitari sta provocando ritardi e disagi».

    La certificazione richiesta ai cittadini extra Ue è «un passaggio obbligatorio - spiegano Zottis e Sinigaglia - che compare solo nelle istruzioni delle procedure web per la validazione delle domande alla Regione. Tuttavia la documentazione non serve in presenza di un’apposita convenzione tra l’Italia e lo stato di provenienza: bastano delle semplici dichiarazioni sostitutive. Ma le amministrazioni locali neanche sanno quali sono i Paesi con cui sono stati firmati questi accordi, oltre ad aver scoperto in ritardo la necessità di un ulteriore passaggio in quanto non c’era alcuna traccia nel bando. Non si può scaricare ulteriori incombenze e responsabilità sui Comuni. Senza considerare che si rischia di tagliar fuori dai contributi una buona fetta di cittadini non comunitari che invece avrebbe bisogno di un sostegno».

    La replica della Regione Veneto rispetto alla vicenda, sottolinea che la necessità di un certificato ai cittadini non comunitari per usufruire dei buoni per l’acquisto di libri ricalca quanto stabilito dalla normativa statale. Si sarebbe trattato, quindi, dell’applicazione in ambito regionale del Decreto del Presidente della Repubblica 31 agosto 1999, n. 394 tutt’ora vigente.

    La norma regola l’utilizzo degli istituti della autocertificazione di fatti, stati e qualità personali relativamente ai soli cittadini non comunitari, appartenenti a Paesi che non hanno sottoscritto con lo Stato Italiano convenzioni internazionali. In ambito regionale la materia è regolata dalla legge 7 febbraio 2018 n. 2 «Disposizioni in materia di documentazione amministrativa» ai sensi dell’articolo 3 del Decreto del Presidente della Repubblica 28 dicembre 2000, n. 445 «Testo unico delle disposizioni legislative e regolamentari in materia di documentazione amministrativa» e dell’articolo 2 del Decreto del Presidente della Repubblica 31 agosto 1999, n. 394 «Regolamento recante norme di attuazione del testo unico delle disposizioni concernenti la disciplina dell’immigrazione e norme sulla condizione dello straniero».

    Intanto, sul «caso Lodi», è intervenuto Matteo Salvini, attraverso una dichiarazione postata sul suo profilo Facebook: «Basta coi furbetti, se c’è gente che al suo Paese ha case, terreni e soldi, perché dovremmo dare loro dei servizi gratis, mentre gli Italiani pagano tutto?».

    E, dopo le polemiche, arriva la replica della sindaca di Lodi, che non arretra. «Certamente il Regolamento rimane in vigore, la Legge deve sempre valere per tutti - si legge in una nota - dispiace che non tutti condividano il principio di equità che sta alla base di questa delibera, che vuole mettere italiani e stranieri nella stessa condizione di partenza per dimostrare redditi e beni posseduti, né il successivo impegno preso dall’Amministrazione nei confronti dei cittadini che sono nell’oggettiva impossibilità di presentare la documentazione richiesta».

    https://www.huffingtonpost.it/2018/10/15/bimbi-stranieri-esclusi-da-buoni-libro-senza-certificato-ad-hoc-nuovo

    #enfants #enfance #école #discriminations #migrations #Italie #mensa #manuels_scolaires #xénophobie #racisme #cantine_scolaire

    • Lodi, l’affondo di Fico: «Chiedere scusa ai bimbi e riammetterli a #mensa»

      Dopo la rivolta contro l’esclusione dei bimbi stranieri l’inversione di rotta del governo. Salvini: «Se i genitori non possono portare i documenti, varrà la buona fede». E Di Maio: «I bambini non si toccano, Bussetti troverà soluzione». Ma la sindaca resiste: «Il regolamento resta in vigore»

      https://www.repubblica.it/cronaca/2018/10/15/news/lodi_dietrofront_del_governo_ai_bimbi_stranieri_bastera_l_autocertificazi

    • Lodi: sospendere la delibera comunale sulle modalità di accesso alle prestazioni sociali agevolate

      Lodi: Amnesty International Lombardia chiede la sospensione della delibera comunale sulle modalità di accesso alle prestazioni sociali agevolate

      Amnesty International Lombardia ha espresso preoccupazione per la delibera approvata dal comune di Lodi, che prevede che ai fini dell’accoglimento della domanda per ottenere le agevolazioni vengano considerati – per i cittadini stranieri – anche i redditi e i beni posseduti all’estero e non dichiarati in Italia.

      Ai fini di tale certificazione, anche in assenza di beni o redditi, è necessario produrre una certificazione rilasciata dalla competente autorità dello stato estero (ambasciata o consolato), corredata da traduzione legalizzata dall’autorità consolare italiana che ne attesti la conformità.

      In una lettera inviata alla sindaca di Lodi, Sara Casanova, il responsabile di Amnesty International Lombardia, Simone Rizza, ha dichiarato che “in conseguenza di tale disposizione, in molti casi si ha l’impossibilità di attestare una situazione patrimoniale di difficoltà, a carico di una considerevole fascia di popolazione debole e sulla base di un criterio inequivocabilmente discriminatorio (…). Gli effetti sono di particolare rilevanza se visti in relazione al servizio di mensa e di trasporto pubblico per i bambini delle famiglie colpite dal provvedimento, il cui diritto allo studio e ad una positiva integrazione con i compagni pari-età rischiano di essere seriamente compromessi“.

      Amnesty International Lombardia ha dunque chiesto alla sindaca di sospendere questa misura al più presto, individuando in via alternativa criteri diversi e comunque non discriminatori.

      https://www.amnesty.it/lodi-amnesty-international-lombardia-chiede-la-sospensione-della-delibera-co

    • Veneto, bimbi stranieri non hanno sconti sui libri senza certificati dei Paesi d’origine

      Nuovo ‘caso Lodi’: i bimbi stranieri vengono discriminati in Veneto: senza certificazioni dei Paesi d’origine che attestino la condizione economica della famiglia non possono ottenere agevolazioni sui libri scolastici. Assessore del comune di Padova: “Lo faccia la Regione la verifica visto che si tratta di una disposizione regionale anche perché ad oggi non c’è un elenco dei Paesi che aderiscono alle convenzioni quindi tecnicamente è una norma inapplicabile e per questo discriminatoria”

      https://www.fanpage.it/veneto-bimbi-stranieri-non-hanno-sconti-sui-libri-senza-certificati-dei-paes

    • Mensa ai bimbi migranti, il dem Guerini: «Non cancellate l’umanità della mia Lodi»

      Sindaco per otto anni, ora a capo del Copasir. Il deputato dem parla del caso-mense scolastiche: «L’immagine che si sta dando non ha nulla a che fare con la nostra comunità che si è sempre caratterizzata per l’impegno verso gli altri»


      https://www.repubblica.it/politica/2018/10/17/news/lodi_l_ex_sindaco_guerini_ora_capo_del_copasir_nostra_citta_sempre_stata_accogliente_-209132976/?ref=twhs&timestamp=1539771237000&refresh_ce

    • Italy’s Salvini forced into U-turn over school lunches for immigrant children

      Far-right minister forced to drop support for edict that effectively excluded children from school canteens

      Italy’s far-right interior minister, Matteo Salvini, has been forced to drop his support for a controversial policy in a northern city that led to the children of immigrants paying more for school lunches than their Italian counterparts.

      The minister came under pressure after a crowdfunding appeal raised €60,000 (£46,000) within a few days to fund school lunches for the children of mainly African migrants in protest against a resolution passed by Sara Casanova, the mayor from Salvini’s League party in the Lombardy city of Lodi, that in effect forced them to eat separately.
      The edict had obliged parents to declare their assets, in Italy and their countries of origin – a difficult if not impossible request for those coming from African countries – in order to qualify for the standard cost of meals.

      Failing to provide the asset details meant they had to pay the highest rate of €5 per child, and with migrants constituting the poorest people in the city, many could not afford to do so. Families were also required to pay €210 per child each quarter for the school bus.

      The resolution, first reported by the Piazza Pulita television programme, meant that for two weeks, more than 300 children were in effect excluded from school canteens across the city and forced to dine at home.

      Activists and leftwing politicians attacked the resolution, with a senator from the centre-left Democratic party, Simona Malpezzi, describing it as “apartheid”.

      Italy’s children’s commissioner, Filomena Albano, urged the city’s council to rethink the policy, telling La Repubblica: “It’s unthinkable to force young children to eat alone, cut off from their classmates, because their parents cannot pay.”

      The aid group Coordination of Equal Duties launched a crowdfunding campaign across Italy that raised €60,000 to ensure school lunches and bus rides for children affected by the resolution.

      Amid the outcry, Salvini relinquished his support for the move, writing on Facebook that “a self-certification of assets” would be enough to guarantee school meals for the children of foreigners.

      He also came under pressure from his government coalition partner, Luigi Di Maio, the leader of the populist Five Star Movement, who praised Italians’ generosity and said “no child should be harmed”.

      In spite of the pressures from the government and the protesters, Casanova has insisted she will not go back on her decision. Although she is likely to accept the self-certification, the resolution will not be dismissed, she told reporters.

      The former prime minister Matteo Renzi described the resolution as a “national disgrace”.

      ‘‘Seeing children discriminated against in the school canteen for economic reasons hurts the heart,” he wrote on Twitter. “Politics based on hate and fear generates monsters.”


      https://amp.theguardian.com/world/2018/oct/15/italys-salvini-forced-into-u-turn-over-school-lunches-for-immigrant

    • Italy’s Tough Line on Immigrants Reaches a School Cafeteria

      At the beginning of the school year, as most of the elementary students chatted over warm plates of pasta in the cafeteria, about a dozen immigrant children unwrapped sandwiches around three tables in a spare classroom with slanted purple blinds, drab office furniture and a form reading, “Students who bring lunch from home.”

      “I wanted to go back to the cafeteria,” said Khadiga Gomaa, a 10-year-old Egyptian girl.

      Khadiga and the others did not belong to an Italian breakfast club of poorly behaved students. They were segregated from the rest of the pupils at Lodi’s Archinti school because they had lost their daily lunch subsidy.

      And that was because they failed to meet a new, and critics say punitive, requirement introduced by the town’s mayor, a member of the governing and anti-immigrant League party.

      In addition to the usual documentation needed for lunch and bus subsidies, the mayor now requires foreigners to prove that they do not possess property, bank accounts or other revenue streams in their countries of origin.

      Without that proof, children cannot get subsidized lunch and instead have to pay five euros a day, which many parents say they cannot afford. But in Lodi’s schools, as in much of Italy, children cannot bring outside food into the cafeteria.

      That meant students who hadn’t paid or received subsidies had to go home for lunch. To avoid burdening parents, the school’s principal allowed the children to bring sandwiches from home and eat them in a separate room.

      Reports of segregation in Lodi — and the violation of the sacred Italian ritual of lunching together — struck an Italian heartstring.

      After a national outcry, Italians raised 80,000 euros to pay for the lunches and school buses of about 200 immigrant children, many of them born and raised in Italy, through December. And many hailed the haul as a first sign of resistance to the League, and to Matteo Salvini, its national leader and Italy’s powerful vice premier, who has cracked down on immigration, hardened opposition to birthright citizenship and spoken harshly about migrants.

      But here in Lodi, a town in the fertile Po River Valley, with a handsome piazza paved with cobbled gray river stones and adorned with a medieval cathedral and neoclassical facades, many locals took another view.

      On Tuesday morning, as the committee that had raised money for the children held a rally in a small piazza directly under the mayor’s offices, Adriana Bonvicini, 60, bought gladioli in the piazza’s flower shop.

      “They are exploiting their children and people’s feelings to get what they want,” she said, gesturing at the square, filled with women in hijabs and flowing African dresses.

      “They are trying to cast us as heartless,” she continued. “They are the cruel ones. It’s a question of justice. They all have five kids each and want a free ride. Remember what Erdogan said.”

      This was a reference to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey, who has urged Turkish people living in Europe to “have not just three but five children.” She quoted him, loosely: “We will take over Europe through our women’s bellies.”

      The women around Ms. Bonvicini agreed.

      They argued that it wasn’t so hard for foreigners to get proof from their embassies and that foreigners took advantage of the town’s largess and then complained about it.

      They sounded, in short, like the people who voted for the League in the town and all over the country.

      “Let them govern,” Ms. Bonvicini said, referring to the government.

      But Lodi mothers from Tunisia and Egypt said that they returned home to get the documents and that none existed. A mother from Nigeria said her husband went to the embassy in Rome and submitted the requisite documentation to the city, but had yet to hear back and was struggling to pay the full freight for her child.

      The mayor, Sara Casanova, had the backing of Mr. Salvini (“SHE’S RIGHT!!!” he wrote on Twitter). On Tuesday she was nowhere to be seen.

      She declined an interview request, but told La Verità, a newspaper preferred by the government, that she didn’t require the documentation from people from war-torn nations, and that “we’re not racist and there’s no apartheid here.”

      On Tuesday, the committee’s organizers hung signs showing children with their noses pressed up against a cafeteria window.

      Another sign showed a boy with his hands in the air saying: “Fascism is back. History didn’t teach you anything!!”

      That sign was directed to Lodi’s mayor, whose door they knocked on every two hours with chants of “Open up.” But it could have been a message to the national government.

      Tuesday was also the 75th anniversary of the deportation of Roman Jews to Nazi death camps, but the prime minister’s office wrote that it was the 80th anniversary, and the president of the country’s national broadcaster, who was chosen by Mr. Salvini, wrote of “the celebration of the 65th anniversary.”

      Northern regions controlled by the League have also required immigrants to prove their financial status through the same bureaucratic requirement used in Lodi when trying to get low-cost public housing and subsidies to buy school textbooks. For the demonstrators in Lodi, the town, a famous battlefield for Napoleon, was now a front against the government’s creeping racism and resurgent fascism.

      “I’m sorry for Italy if they think this is equality,” said Imen Mbarek, 30, who said she returned to Tunisia to get the right papers but that they simply didn’t exist. She is now paying full price for school lunch; last year, she said, she paid 1.65 euros a day.

      Hayat Laoulaoi, 35, a Moroccan housewife with a blue headdress and pink cellphone cover, had four children, all but one born in Italy. She said she was unable to secure the required documentation or afford the full freight.

      o she made her son Soufiane, 9, tuna sandwiches that he ate in the separate room.

      She said that after losing the bus subsidy, she walked with him six kilometers to school and that when they saw a bus drive by on the street he asked, “‘There’s a school bus, why can’t we go on it?’”

      As she spoke, her son played quietly with a Transformer toy and said he missed his friend Rayen, a Tunisian boy who still eats in the cafeteria.

      The majority of the students in his school, as high as 80 percent according to school officials, are considered foreigners, even though many of them were born and raised in Italy.

      Eugenio Merli, the principal of the Archinti school — which is named for Ettore Archinti, a former Lodi mayor sent by fascists to die in a Nazi concentration camp — defended his decision to put the children in a separate classroom to eat.

      “Eating in the classroom created a type of separation, but it was a way to help the parents,” he said, adding that he worried that if the children were forced home for lunch, they might not come back.

      This month, he strong-armed the cafeteria’s caterers into letting the students back into the cafeteria, where they ate their sandwiches at separate tables.

      “The kids have a right to be with their friends, not to be segregated,” he said. “They aren’t just going to school to learn. They are also learning how to live together.”

      Outside the school, he greeted Khadiga Gomaa, who was in high spirits. She said she had eaten her first hot lunch with her friends since school started.

      “I had penne pasta, cod and salad,” she said. “It was good.”


      https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/22/world/europe/italy-schools-league.html

    • Il giudice blocca un sindaco della Lega: delibera discriminatoria contro gli immigrati

      Come a Lodi anche a #Vigevano il comune chiedeva agli stranieri documentazione introvabile per poter avere agevolazioni.

      La delibera del 2017 emessa dal sindaco #Andrea_Sala Comune di Vigevano (Pavia) in cui si disponeva che l’accesso agli stranieri a «prestazioni sociali agevolate» non era subordinato al solo modello Isee (come accade per i cittadini italiani), ma anche all’esibizione di «certificati o attestazioni rilasciati dalla competente autorità dello Stato estero, legalizzati dalle autorità consolari italiane e corredati di traduzione in lingua italiana» è stata giudicata discriminatoria dal Tribunale di Milano, che ha accolto le richieste delle associazioni Asgi (Associazione studi giuridici sull’immigrazione), Naga e Anolf-Cisl, assistite dagli avvocati Alberto Guariso, Giulia Vicini e Silvia Balestro. Le associazioni, dopo aver ricordato che la decisione del giudice Francesca Capelli è in linea con quella sul noto caso delle mense di Lodi, spiegano che il Tribunale col provvedimento «conferma che le amministrazioni comunali non possono richiedere agli stranieri documenti aggiuntivi rispetto all’Isee».
      Lo scorso dicembre, infatti, il Tribunale di Milano aveva accertato la «condotta discriminatoria del Comune di Lodi» sul caso del servizio mensa dal quale sono stati esclusi di fatto i bambini stranieri e aveva ordinato di «modificare il ’Regolamento per l’accesso alle prestazioni sociali agevolate’ in modo da consentire ai cittadini non appartenenti all’Unione Europea di presentare la domanda di accesso» alle stesse condizioni degli italiani.
      Anche nel caso di Vigevano, ora, il giudice della Sezione lavoro del Tribunale milanese ha ordinato al Comune «di cessare il comportamento discriminatorio e pertanto di revocare o modificare la delibera di Giunta comunale» in modo «da consentire ai cittadini di paesi extra Ue di accedere a prestazioni sociali agevolate, mediante presentazione dell’Isee alle medesime condizioni previste per i cittadini italiani».
      Per il giudice, infatti, «non esistano principi ricavabili da norme di rango primario che consentano al Comune di introdurre, diverse modalità di accesso alle prestazioni sociali agevolate, con particolare riferimento alla previsione di specifiche e più gravose procedure poste a carico dei cittadini di Stati non appartenenti all’Unione Europea».
      Purtroppo, spiegano i legali delle associazioni, «nei ben tre anni di vigenza della delibera di Vigevano, molti cittadini stranieri che non potevano procurarsi i documenti illegittimamente richiesti dal Comune, sono stati obbligati a pagare importi molto superiori a quello che avrebbero dovuto versare sulla base dell’Isee presentato per accedere a servizi comunali come mensa o trasporto scolastico».
      Molti di loro, chiariscono gli avvocati, «si sono visti negare addirittura le prestazioni statali che passano attraverso il vaglio del Comune. Tra le altre l’assegno di maternità di base»

      https://www.globalist.it/news/2019/04/01/il-giudice-blocca-un-sindaco-della-lega-delibera-discriminatoria-contro-gl
      #justice #assistance_sociale

    • Global migration figures higher than previously thought, study finds

      US researchers reveal that up to 87 million people migrate every five years.

      Over a five-year period, about one in 80 people around the world migrate to another country, researchers have revealed, in a study that shows more than a quarter of that movement is down to people returning to their country of birth.

      Global migration is difficult to measure, with data often lacking for developing countries and inaccurate for others.

      But a pair of researchers in the US say they have come up with a model that provides the most reliable “big picture” view of human migration yet. Crucially, they say, it takes into account the “churn” of people moving into and out of countries, something previous global estimates had not included.

      “Policies that are set based on a quota of a number of people who enter the country miss out on the fact that you should also be expecting a lot of the existing migrant population to be leaving the country,” said Dr Jonathan Azose, a co-author of the study from the University of Washington.

      The study, published in the journal PNAS, reveals a model for estimating migration around the world between 1990 and 2015, broken down into five-year chunks. The team say they were able to show the model worked by comparing its results with high-quality migration data from Europe.

      A key problem with the previous leading global migration estimates, says Azose, is that the approach looked at overall changes in the net number of immigrants in a country over time, without taking into account that many individuals left and others arrived, resulting in underestimates of movement, something the new model tackles.

      It suggests that between 67 million and 87 million people, including refugees, migrated for each five-year chunk – far higher than previous global estimates of 34m-46 m migrations – and corresponding to 1.13%-1.29% of the global population.

      The team note that while absolute numbers of people migrating appear to have risen, there has been little change in the proportion of the world’s population who are on the move. That said, key origins and destinations change over time: for example,movement of Syrians in Saudi Arabia to Turkey between 2010 and 2015 were a leading contributor to “transit” migrations, while migration of Syrians from Syria to Turkey and Lebanon were among the largest emigration movements in that period.

      The new study suggests that while migration to a new country makes up the biggest proportion of human movement, return migration – in which individuals return to their country of birth – accounted for between 26% and 31% of migration in each five-year period.

      However, the team admit the new model has limitations, including the fact that different countries require individuals to stay there for different lengths of time to be registered as a migrant, and figures for the total number of migrants in each country might not be accurate to start with, meaning possible errors in the data used.

      But the team say their work could help researchers delve deeper into what causes people to migrate and help them build predictive models for this.

      Dr Nando Sigona, an expert in international migration and forced displacement at the University of Birmingham, who was not involved in the research, welcomed the study.

      “Estimating migration flows is extremely difficult. Data are limited and incomplete, especially in less economically developed countries. This contributes to a perception in the west that all migration flows are directed towards the global north,” he said.

      While the new model had limitations, he added, it offered a more rounded view of global migration, including showing movements between countries in the south and highlighting the large proportion of return journeys. “Finally,” he said, “it shows a world which is more dynamic and on the move than previously thought.”

      https://amp.theguardian.com/world/2018/dec/24/global-migration-figures-higher-than-previously-thought-study-finds
      #estimations

      Lien vers l’article/étude:
      https://www.pnas.org/content/early/2018/12/18/1722334116

  • Vu sur Twitter :

    M.Potte-Bonneville @pottebonneville a retweeté Catherine Boitard

    Vous vous souvenez ? Elle avait sauvé ses compagnons en tirant l’embarcation à la nage pendant trois heures : Sarah Mardini, nageuse olympique et réfugiée syrienne, est arrêtée pour aide à l’immigration irrégulière.

    Les olympiades de la honte 2018 promettent de beaux records

    M.Potte-Bonneville @pottebonneville a retweeté Catherine Boitard @catboitard :

    Avec sa soeur Yusra, nageuse olympique et distinguée par l’ONU, elle avait sauvé 18 réfugiés de la noyade à leur arrivée en Grèce. La réfugiée syrienne Sarah Mardini, boursière à Berlin et volontaire de l’ONG ERCI, a été arrêtée à Lesbos pour aide à immigration irrégulière

    #migration #asile #syrie #grèce #solidarité #humanité

    • GRÈCE : LA POLICE ARRÊTE 30 MEMBRES D’UNE ONG D’AIDE AUX RÉFUGIÉS

      La police a arrêté, mardi 28 août, 30 membres de l’ONG grecque #ERCI, dont les soeurs syriennes Yusra et Sarah Mardini, qui avaient sauvé la vie à 18 personnes en 2015. Les militant.e.s sont accusés d’avoir aidé des migrants à entrer illégalement sur le territoire grec via l’île de Lesbos. Ils déclarent avoir agi dans le cadre de l’assistance à personnes en danger.

      Par Marina Rafenberg

      L’ONG grecque Emergency response centre international (ERCY) était présente sur l’île de Lesbos depuis 2015 pour venir en aide aux réfugiés. Depuis mardi 28 août, ses 30 membres sont poursuivis pour avoir « facilité l’entrée illégale d’étrangers sur le territoire grec » en vue de gains financiers, selon le communiqué de la police grecque.

      L’enquête a commencé en février 2018, rapporte le site d’information protagon.gr, lorsqu’une Jeep portant une fausse plaque d’immatriculation de l’armée grecque a été découverte par la police sur une plage, attendant l’arrivée d’une barque pleine de réfugiés en provenance de Turquie. Les membres de l’ONG, six Grecs et 24 ressortissants étrangers, sont accusés d’avoir été informés à l’avance par des personnes présentes du côté turc des heures et des lieux d’arrivée des barques de migrants, d’avoir organisé l’accueil de ces réfugiés sans en informer les autorités locales et d’avoir surveillé illégalement les communications radio entre les autorités grecques et étrangères, dont Frontex, l’agence européenne des gardes-cotes et gardes-frontières. Les crimes pour lesquels ils sont inculpés – participation à une organisation criminelle, violation de secrets d’État et recel – sont passibles de la réclusion à perpétuité.

      Parmi les membres de l’ONG grecque arrêtés se trouve Yusra et Sarah Mardini, deux sœurs nageuses et réfugiées syrienne qui avaient sauvé 18 personnes de la noyade lors de leur traversée de la mer Égée en août 2015. Depuis Yusra a participé aux Jeux Olympiques de Rio, est devenue ambassadrice de l’ONU et a écrit un livre, Butterfly. Sarah avait quant à elle décidé d’aider à son tour les réfugiés qui traversaient dangereusement la mer Égée sur des bateaux de fortune et s’était engagée comme bénévole dans l’ONG ERCI durant l’été 2016.

      Sarah a été arrêtée le 21 août à l’aéroport de Lesbos alors qu’elle devait rejoindre Berlin où elle vit avec sa famille. Le 3 septembre, elle devait commencer son année universitaire au collège Bard en sciences sociales. La jeune Syrienne de 23 ans a été transférée à la prison de Korydallos, à Athènes, dans l’attente de son procès. Son avocat a demandé mercredi sa remise en liberté.

      Ce n’est pas la première fois que des ONG basées à Lesbos ont des soucis avec la justice grecque. Des membres de l’ONG espagnole Proem-Aid avaient aussi été accusés d’avoir participé à l’entrée illégale de réfugiés sur l’île. Ils ont été relaxés en mai dernier. D’après le ministère de la Marine, 114 ONG ont été enregistrées sur l’île, dont les activités souvent difficilement contrôlables inquiètent le gouvernement grec et ses partenaires européens.

      https://www.courrierdesbalkans.fr/Une-ONG-accusee-d-aide-a-l-entree-irreguliere-de-migrants

      #grèce #asile #migrations #réfugiés #solidarité #délit_de_solidarité

    • Arrest of Syrian ’hero swimmer’ puts Lesbos refugees back in spotlight

      Sara Mardini’s case adds to fears that rescue work is being criminalised and raises questions about NGO.

      Greece’s high-security #Korydallos prison acknowledges that #Sara_Mardini is one of its rarer inmates. For a week, the Syrian refugee, a hero among human rights defenders, has been detained in its women’s wing on charges so serious they have elicited baffled dismay.

      The 23-year-old, who saved 18 refugees in 2015 by swimming their waterlogged dingy to the shores of Lesbos with her Olympian sister, is accused of people smuggling, espionage and membership of a criminal organisation – crimes allegedly committed since returning to work with an NGO on the island. Under Greek law, Mardini can be held in custody pending trial for up to 18 months.

      “She is in a state of disbelief,” said her lawyer, Haris Petsalnikos, who has petitioned for her release. “The accusations are more about criminalising humanitarian action. Sara wasn’t even here when these alleged crimes took place but as charges they are serious, perhaps the most serious any aid worker has ever faced.”

      Mardini’s arrival to Europe might have gone unnoticed had it not been for the extraordinary courage she and younger sister, Yusra, exhibited guiding their boat to safety after the engine failed during the treacherous crossing from Turkey. Both were elite swimmers, with Yusra going on to compete in the 2016 Rio Olympics.

      The sisters, whose story is the basis of a forthcoming film by the British director Stephen Daldry, were credited with saving the lives of their fellow passengers. In Germany, their adopted homeland, the pair has since been accorded star status.

      It was because of her inspiring story that Mardini was approached by Emergency Response Centre International, ERCI, on Lesbos. “After risking her own life to save 18 people … not only has she come back to ground zero, but she is here to ensure that no more lives get lost on this perilous journey,” it said after Mardini agreed to join its ranks in 2016.

      After her first stint with ERCI, she again returned to Lesbos last December to volunteer with the aid group. And until 21 August there was nothing to suggest her second spell had not gone well. But as Mardini waited at Mytilini airport to head back to Germany, and a scholarship at Bard College in Berlin, she was arrested. Soon after that, police also arrested ERCI’s field director, Nassos Karakitsos, a former Greek naval force officer, and Sean Binder, a German volunteer who lives in Ireland. All three have protested their innocence.

      The arrests come as signs of a global clampdown on solidarity networks mount. From Russia to Spain, European human rights workers have been targeted in what campaigners call an increasingly sinister attempt to silence civil society in the name of security.

      “There is the concern that this is another example of civil society being closed down by the state,” said Jonathan Cooper, an international human rights lawyer in London. “What we are really seeing is Greek authorities using Sara to send a very worrying message that if you volunteer for refugee work you do so at your peril.”

      But amid concerns about heavy-handed tactics humanitarians face, Greek police say there are others who see a murky side to the story, one ofpeople trafficking and young volunteers being duped into participating in a criminal network unwittingly. In that scenario,the Mardini sisters would make prime targets.

      Greek authorities spent six months investigating the affair. Agents were flown into Lesbos from Athens and Thessaloniki. In an unusually long and detailed statement, last week, Mytilini police said that while posing as a non-profit organisation, ERCI had acted with the sole purpose of profiteering by bringing people illegally into Greece via the north-eastern Aegean islands.

      Members had intercepted Greek and European coastguard radio transmissions to gain advance notification of the location of smugglers’ boats, police said, and that 30, mostly foreign nationals, were lined up to be questioned in connection with the alleged activities. Other “similar organisations” had also collaborated in what was described as “an informal plan to confront emergency situations”, they added.

      Suspicions were first raised, police said, when Mardini and Binder were stopped in February driving a former military 4X4 with false number plates. ERCI remained unnamed until the release of the charge sheets for the pair and that of Karakitsos.

      Lesbos has long been on the frontline of the refugee crisis, attracting idealists and charity workers. Until a dramatic decline in migration numbers via the eastern Mediterranean in March 2016, when a landmark deal was signed between the EU and Turkey, the island was the main entry point to Europe.

      An estimated 114 NGOs and 7,356 volunteers are based on Lesbos, according to Greek authorities. Local officials talk of “an industry”, and with more than 10,000 refugees there and the mood at boiling point, accusations of NGOs acting as a “pull factor” are rife.

      “Sara’s motive for going back this year was purely humanitarian,” said Oceanne Fry, a fellow student who in June worked alongside her at a day clinic in the refugee reception centre.

      “At no point was there any indication of illegal activity by the group … but I can attest to the fact that, other than our intake meeting, none of the volunteers ever met, or interacted, with its leadership.”

      The mayor of Lesbos, Spyros Galinos, said he has seen “good and bad” in the humanitarian movement since the start of the refugee crisis.

      “Everything is possible,. There is no doubt that some NGOs have exploited the situation. The police announcement was uncommonly harsh. For a long time I have been saying that we just don’t need all these NGOs. When the crisis erupted, yes, the state was woefully unprepared but now that isn’t the case.”

      Attempts to contact ERCI were unsuccessful. Neither a telephone number nor an office address – in a scruffy downtown building listed by the aid group on social media – appeared to have any relation to it.

      In a statement released more than a week after Mardini’s arrest, ERCI denied the allegations, saying it had fallen victim to “unfounded claims, accusations and charges”. But it failed to make any mention of Mardini.

      “It makes no sense at all,” said Amed Khan, a New York financier turned philanthropist who has donated boats for ERCI’s search and rescue operations. To accuse any of them of human trafficking is crazy.

      “In today’s fortress Europe you have to wonder whether Brussels isn’t behind it, whether this isn’t a concerted effort to put a chill on civil society volunteers who are just trying to help. After all, we’re talking about grassroots organisations with global values that stepped up into the space left by authorities failing to do their bit.”


      https://amp.theguardian.com/world/2018/sep/06/arrest-of-syrian-hero-swimmer-lesbos-refugees-sara-mardini?CMP=shar

      #Sarah_Mardini

    • The volunteers facing jail for rescuing migrants in the Mediterranean

      The risk of refugees and migrants drowning in the Mediterranean has increased dramatically over the past few years.

      As the European Union pursued a policy of externalisation, voluntary groups stepped in to save the thousands of people making the dangerous crossing. One by one, they are now criminalised.

      The arrest of Sarah Mardini, one of two Syrian sisters who saved a number of refugees in 2015 by pulling their sinking dinghy to Greece, has brought the issue to international attention.

      The Trial

      There aren’t chairs enough for the people gathered in Mytilíni Court. Salam Aldeen sits front row to the right. He has a nervous smile on his face, mouth half open, the tongue playing over his lips.

      Noise emanates from the queue forming in the hallway as spectators struggle for a peak through the door’s windows. The morning heat is already thick and moist – not helped by the two unplugged fans hovering motionless in dead air.

      Police officers with uneasy looks, 15 of them, lean up against the cooling walls of the court. From over the judge, a golden Jesus icon looks down on the assembly. For the sunny holiday town on Lesbos, Greece, this is not a normal court proceeding.

      Outside the court, international media has unpacked their cameras and unloaded their equipment. They’ve come from the New York Times, Deutsche Welle, Danish, Greek and Spanish media along with two separate documentary teams.

      There is no way of knowing when the trial will end. Maybe in a couple of days, some of the journalists say, others point to the unpredictability of the Greek judicial system. If the authorities decide to make a principle out of the case, this could take months.

      Salam Aldeen, in a dark blue jacket, white shirt and tie, knows this. He is charged with human smuggling and faces life in jail.

      More than 16,000 people have drowned in less than five years trying to cross the Mediterranean. That’s an average of ten people dying every day outside Europe’s southern border – more than the Russia-Ukraine conflict over the same period.

      In 2015, when more than one million refugees crossed the Mediterranean, the official death toll was around 3,700. A year later, the number of migrants dropped by two thirds – but the death toll increased to more than 5,000. With still fewer migrants crossing during 2017 and the first half of 2018, one would expect the rate of surviving to pick up.

      The numbers, however, tell a different story. For a refugee setting out to cross the Mediterranean today, the risk of drowning has significantly increased.

      The deaths of thousands of people don’t happen in a vacuum. And it would be impossible to explain the increased risks of crossing without considering recent changes in EU-policies towards migration in the Mediterranean.

      The criminalisation of a Danish NGO-worker on the tiny Greek island of Lesbos might help us understand the deeper layers of EU immigration policy.

      The deterrence effect

      On 27 March 2011, 72 migrants flee Tripoli and squeeze into a 12m long rubber dinghy with a max capacity of 25 people. They start the outboard engine and set out in the Mediterranean night, bound for the Italian island of Lampedusa. In the morning, they are registered by a French aircraft flying over. The migrants stay on course. But 18 hours into their voyage, they send out a distress-call from a satellite phone. The signal is picked up by the rescue centre in Rome who alerts other vessels in the area.

      Two hours later, a military helicopter flies over the boat. At this point, the migrants accidentally drop their satellite phone in the sea. In the hours to follow, the migrants encounter several fishing boats – but their call of distress is ignored. As day turns into night, a second helicopter appears and drops rations of water and biscuits before leaving.

      And then, the following morning on 28 March – the migrants run out of fuel. Left at the mercy of wind and oceanic currents, the migrants embark on a hopeless journey. They drift south; exactly where they came from.

      They don’t see any ships the following day. Nor the next; a whole week goes by without contact to the outside world. But then, somewhere between 3 and 5 April, a military vessel appears on the horizon. It moves in on the migrants and circle their boat.

      The migrants, exhausted and on the brink of despair, wave and signal distress. But as suddenly as it arrived, the military vessel turns around and disappears. And all hope with it.

      On April 10, almost a week later, the migrant vessel lands on a beach south of Tripoli. Of the 72 passengers who left 2 weeks ago, only 11 make it back alive. Two die shortly hereafter.

      Lorenzo Pezzani, lecturer at Forensic Architecture at Goldsmiths University of London, was stunned when he read about the case. In 2011, he was still a PhD student developing new spatial and aesthetic visual tools to document human rights violations. Concerned with the rising number of migrant deaths in the Mediterranean, Lorenzo Pezzani and his colleague Charles Heller founded Forensic Oceanography, an affiliated group to Forensic Architecture. Their first project was to uncover the events and policies leading to a vessel left adrift in full knowledge by international rescue operations.

      It was the public outrage fuelled by the 2013 Lampedusa shipwreck which eventually led to the deployment of Operation Mare Nostrum. At this point, the largest migration of people since the Second World War, the Syrian exodus, could no longer be contained within Syria’s neighbouring countries. At the same time, a relative stability in Libya after the fall of Gaddafi in 2011 descended into civil war; waves of migrants started to cross the Mediterranean.

      From October 2013, Mare Nostrum broke with the reigning EU-policy of non-interference and deployed Italian naval vessels, planes and helicopters at a monthly cost of €9.5 million. The scale was unprecedented; saving lives became the political priority over policing and border control. In terms of lives saved, the operation was an undisputed success. Its own life, however, would be short.

      A critical narrative formed on the political right and was amplified by sections of the media: Mare Nostrum was accused of emboldening Libyan smugglers who – knowing rescue ships were waiting – would send out more migrants. In this understanding, Mare Nostrum constituted a so-called “pull factor” on migrants from North African countries. A year after its inception, Mare Nostrum was terminated.

      In late 2014, Mare Nostrum was replaced by Operation Triton led by Frontex, the European Border and Coast Guard Agency, with an initial budget of €2.4 million per month. Triton refocused on border control instead of sea rescues in an area much closer to Italian shores. This was a return to the pre-Mare Nostrum policy of non-assistance to deter migrants from crossing. But not only did the change of policy fail to act as a deterrence against the thousands of migrants still crossing the Mediterranean, it also left a huge gap between the amount of boats in distress and operational rescue vessels. A gap increasingly filled by merchant vessels.

      Merchant vessels, however, do not have the equipment or training to handle rescues of this volume. On 31 March 2015, the shipping community made a call to EU-politicians warning of a “terrible risk of further catastrophic loss of life as ever-more desperate people attempt this deadly sea crossing”. Between 1 January and 20 May 2015, merchant ships rescued 12.000 people – 30 per cent of the total number rescued in the Mediterranean.

      As the shipping community had already foreseen, the new policy of non-assistance as deterrence led to several horrific incidents. These culminated in two catastrophic shipwrecks on 12 and 18 April 2015 and the death of 1,200 people. In both cases, merchant vessels were right next to the overcrowded migrant boats when chaotic rescue attempts caused the migrant boats to take in water and eventually sink. The crew of the merchant vessels could only watch as hundreds of people disappeared in the ocean.

      Back in 1990, the Dublin Convention declared that the first EU-country an asylum seeker enters is responsible for accepting or rejecting the claim. No one in 1990 had expected the Syrian exodus of 2015 – nor the gigantic pressure it would put on just a handful of member states. No other EU-member felt the ineptitudes and total unpreparedness of the immigration system than a country already knee-deep in a harrowing economic crisis. That country was Greece.

      In September 2015, when the world saw the picture of a three-year old Syrian boy, Alan Kurdi, washed up on a beach in Turkey, Europe was already months into what was readily called a “refugee crisis”. Greece was overwhelmed by the hundreds of thousands of people fleeing the Syrian war. During the following month alone, a staggering 200.000 migrants crossed the Aegean Sea from Turkey to reach Europe. With a minimum of institutional support, it was volunteers like Salam Aldeen who helped reduce the overall number of casualties.

      The peak of migrants entered Greece that autumn but huge numbers kept arriving throughout the winter – in worsening sea conditions. Salam Aldeen recalls one December morning on Lesbos.

      The EU-Turkey deal

      And then, from one day to the next, the EU-Turkey deal changed everything. There was a virtual stop of people crossing from Turkey to Greece. From a perspective of deterrence, the agreement was an instant success. In all its simplicity, Turkey had agreed to contain and prevent refugees from reaching the EU – by land or by sea. For this, Turkey would be given a monetary compensation.

      But opponents of the deal included major human rights organisations. Simply paying Turkey a formidable sum of money (€6 billion to this date) to prevent migrants from reaching EU-borders was feared to be a symptom of an ‘out of sight, out of mind’ attitude pervasive among EU decision makers. Moreover, just like Libya in 2015 threatened to flood Europe with migrants, the Turkish President Erdogan would suddenly have a powerful geopolitical card on his hands. A concern that would later be confirmed by EU’s vague response to Erdogan’s crackdown on Turkish opposition.

      As immigration dwindled in Greece, the flow of migrants and refugees continued and increased in the Central Mediterranean during the summer of 2016. At the same time, disorganised Libyan militias were now running the smuggling business and exploited people more ruthlessly than ever before. Migrant boats without satellite phones or enough provision or fuel became increasingly common. Due to safety concerns, merchant vessels were more reluctant to assist in rescue operations. The death toll increased.
      A Conspiracy?

      Frustrated with the perceived apathy of EU states, Non-governmental organisations (NGOs) responded to the situation. At its peak, 12 search and rescue NGO vessels were operating in the Mediterranean and while the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex) paused many of its operations during the fall and winter of 2016, the remaining NGO vessels did the bulk of the work. Under increasingly dangerous weather conditions, 47 per cent of all November rescues were carried out by NGOs.

      Around this time, the first accusations were launched against rescue NGOs from ‘alt-right’ groups. Accusations, it should be noted, conspicuously like the ones sounded against Mare Nostrum. Just like in 2014, Frontex and EU-politicians followed up and accused NGOs of posing a “pull factor”. The now Italian vice-prime minister, Luigi Di Maio, went even further and denounced NGOs as “taxis for migrants”. Just like in 2014, no consideration was given to the conditions in Libya.

      Moreover, NGOs were falsely accused of collusion with Libyan smugglers. Meanwhile Italian agents had infiltrated the crew of a Save the Children rescue vessel to uncover alleged secret evidence of collusion. The German Jugendrettet NGO-vessel, Iuventa, was impounded and – echoing Salam Aldeen’s case in Greece – the captain accused of collusion with smugglers by Italian authorities.

      The attacks to delegitimise NGOs’ rescue efforts have had a clear effect: many of the NGOs have now effectively stopped their operations in the Mediterranean. Lorenzo Pezzani and Charles Heller, in their report, Mare Clausum, argued that the wave of delegitimisation of humanitarian work was just one part of a two-legged strategy – designed by the EU – to regain control over the Mediterranean.
      Migrants’ rights aren’t human rights

      Libya long ago descended into a precarious state of lawlessness. In the maelstrom of poverty, war and despair, migrants and refugees have become an exploitable resource for rivalling militias in a country where two separate governments compete for power.

      In November 2017, a CNN investigation exposed an entire industry involving slave auctions, rape and people being worked to death.

      Chief spokesman of the UN Migration Agency, Leonard Doyle, describes Libya as a “torture archipelago” where migrants transiting have no idea that they are turned into commodities to be bought, sold and discarded when they have no more value.

      Migrants intercepted by the Libyan Coast Guard (LCG) are routinely brought back to the hellish detention centres for indefinite captivity. Despite EU-leaders’ moral outcry following the exposure of the conditions in Libya, the EU continues to be instrumental in the capacity building of the LCG.

      Libya hadn’t had a functioning coast guard since the fall of Gaddafi in 2011. But starting in late 2016, the LCG received increasing funding from Italy and the EU in the form of patrol boats, training and financial support.

      Seeing the effect of the EU-Turkey deal in deterring refugees crossing the Aegean Sea, Italy and the EU have done all in their power to create a similar approach in Libya.
      The EU Summit

      Forty-two thousand undocumented migrants have so far arrived at Europe’s shores this year. That’s a fraction of the more than one million who arrived in 2015. But when EU leaders met at an “emergency summit” in Brussels in late June, the issue of migration was described by Chancellor Merkel as a “make or break” for the Union. How does this align with the dwindling numbers of refugees and migrants?

      Data released in June 2018 showed that Europeans are more concerned about immigration than any other social challenge. More than half want a ban on migration from Muslim countries. Europe, it seems, lives in two different, incompatible realities as summit after summit tries to untie the Gordian knot of the migration issue.

      Inside the courthouse in Mytilini, Salam Aldeen is questioned by the district prosecutor. The tropical temperature induces an echoing silence from the crowded spectators. The district prosecutor looks at him, open mouth, chin resting on her fist.

      She seems impatient with the translator and the process of going from Greek to English and back. Her eyes search the room. She questions him in detail about the night of arrest. He answers patiently. She wants Salam Aldeen and the four crew members to be found guilty of human smuggling.

      Salam Aldeen’s lawyer, Mr Fragkiskos Ragkousis, an elderly white-haired man, rises before the court for his final statement. An ancient statuette with his glasses in one hand. Salam’s parents sit with scared faces, they haven’t slept for two days; the father’s comforting arm covers the mother’s shoulder. Then, like a once dormant volcano, the lawyer erupts in a torrent of pathos and logos.

      “Political interests changed the truth and created this wicked situation, playing with the defendant’s freedom and honour.”

      He talks to the judge as well as the public. A tragedy, a drama unfolds. The prosecutor looks remorseful, like a small child in her large chair, almost apologetic. Defeated. He’s singing now, Ragkousis. Index finger hits the air much like thunder breaks the night sounding the roar of something eternal. He then sits and the room quiets.

      It was “without a doubt” that the judge acquitted Salam Aldeen and his four colleagues on all charges. The prosecutor both had to determine the defendants’ intention to commit the crime – and that the criminal action had been initialised. She failed at both. The case, as the Italian case against the Iuventa, was baseless.

      But EU’s policy of externalisation continues. On 17 March 2018, the ProActiva rescue vessel, Open Arms, was seized by Italian authorities after it had brought back 217 people to safety.

      Then again in June, the decline by Malta and Italy’s new right-wing government to let the Aquarious rescue-vessel dock with 629 rescued people on board sparked a fierce debate in international media.

      In July, Sea Watch’s Moonbird, a small aircraft used to search for migrant boats, was prevented from flying any more operations by Maltese authorities; the vessel Sea Watch III was blocked from leaving harbour and the captain of a vessel from the NGO Mission Lifeline was taken to court over “registration irregularities“.

      Regardless of Europe’s future political currents, geopolitical developments are only likely to continue to produce refugees worldwide. Will the EU alter its course as the crisis mutates and persists? Or are the deaths of thousands the only possible outcome?

      https://theferret.scot/volunteers-facing-jail-rescuing-migrants-mediterranean

  • Chez Courrier International, on n’aime pas le pouvoir Vénézuélien, et on n’hésite pas à transiger sur la déontologie journalistique pour pouvoir balancer une punchline assimilant le chef d’état à un dictateur.

    Ainsi lorsque celui-ci est victime d’une attentat et que les commanditaires de l’attentat sont arrêtés. Courrier international préfère prendre le parti des terroristes en assimilant l’arrestation à une "purge". Il faut dire que l’un des commanditaires de l’attentat arrêté est député.

    https://web.archive.org/web/20180809172452/https://www.courrierinternational.com/dessin/au-venezuela-maduro-commence-sa-purge

    Seulement patatra, le député a avoué le 10 août être concerné par l’attaque : « Il y a plusieurs semaines, j’ai été contacté par [l’ex-président du Parlement] Julio Borges qui m’a demandé de faire passer une personne du Venezuela vers la Colombie. Il s’agit de Juan Monasterios », un des auteurs présumés de l’attaque.

    https://www.20minutes.fr/monde/2320031-20180810-video-venezuela-depute-arrete-reconnait-implication-atten

    Alors Courrier International, tout bête d’avoir cru à la version des terroristes, mais trop fier pour avouer son erreur, re-titre en catimini son article atténuer la propagande devenue trop flagrante. Aucune allusion à la mise à jour n’est précisé sur l’article.

    https://www.courrierinternational.com/dessin/au-venezuela-maduro-commence-sa-purge

    Trop flag, en effet. On préférera la subtilité du Monde, empressé de reprocher au pouvoir de s’en prendre à son opposition :

    https://www.lemonde.fr/ameriques/article/2018/08/08/apres-l-attentat-contre-maduro-le-pouvoir-venezuelien-s-en-prend-a-l-opposit

    On pourra toujours se demander pourquoi le respectable quotidien ne reproche pas à l’opposition d’avoir commis un attentat. On peut aussi rappeler que la même opposition ayant récemment échoué à renverser Nicolas Maduro, parle régulièrement et ouvertement de la possibilité d’un coup d’état comme le seul moyen réaliste de provoquer un changement de régime

    https://amp.theguardian.com/world/2018/jan/09/calls-for-a-coup-in-venezuela-ignore-the-fact-that-the-generals-are

    #Vénézuela #Courrier_International #medias #Amérique_Latine #Maduro