/2018

  • Hidden infrastructures of the European border regime : the #Poros detention facility in Evros, Greece

    This blog post and the research it draws on date before the onset of the current border spectacle in Evros of February/March 2020. Obviously, the situation in Evros region has changed dramatically. Our research however underlines that the Greek state has always resorted to extra-legal methods of border and migration control in the Evros region. Particularly the violent and illegal pushback practices which have persisted for decades in Evros region have now been elevated to official government policy.

    The region of Evros at the Greek-Turkish border was the scene of many changes in the European and Greek border regimes since 2010. The most well-known was the deployment of the Frontex RABIT force in October of that year; while it concluded in 2011, Frontex has had a permanent presence in Evros ever since. In 2011, the then government introduced the ‘Integrated Program for Border Management and Combating Illegal Immigration’ (European Migration Network, 2012), which reflected EU and domestic processes of the Europeanisation of border controls (European Migration Network, 2012; Ilias et al., 2019). The program stipulated a number of measures which impacted the border regime in Evros: the construction of a 12.5km fence along the section of the Greek Turkish border which did not coincide with the Evros river (after which the region takes its name); the expansion of border surveillance technologies and capacities in the area; and the establishment of reception centres where screening procedures would be undertaken (European Migration Network, 2012; Ilias et al., 2019). In this context, one of the measures taken was the establishment of a screening centre in South Evros, near the village of Poros, 46km away from the city of Alexandroupoli – the main urban centre in the area.

    The operation of the Centre for the First Management of Illegal Immigration is documented in Greek (Ministry for Public Order and Citizen Protection, 2013a) and EU official documents (European Parliament, 2012; European Migration Network, 2013), reports by the EU’s Fundamental Rights Agency (2011), NGOs (Pro Asyl, 2012) and activists (CloseTheCamps, 2012), media articles (To Vima, 2012) and research (Düvell, 2012; Schaub, 2013) between 2011 and 2015.

    Yet, during our fieldwork in the area in 2018, none of our respondents mentioned it. Nor could we find any recent research, reports or official documents after 2015 referring to it. It was only a tip from someone we collaborate with that reminded us of the existence of the Poros facility. We found its ‘disappearance’ from public view intriguing. Through fieldwork, document analysis and queries to the Greek authorities, we constructed a genealogy of the Poros centre, from its inception in 2011 to its ambivalent present. Our findings not only highlight the shifting nature of local assemblages of the European border regime, but also raise questions on such ‘hidden’ infrastructures, and the implications of their use for the rights of the people who cross the border.

    A genealogy of Poros

    The Poros centre was originally a military facility, used for border surveillance. In 2012, it was transferred to the Hellenic Police, the civilian authority responsible for migration control and border management, and was formally designated a Centre for the First Management of Illegal Immigration, similar to the more well-known First Reception Centre in Fylakio, in North Evros. The refurbishment and expansion of the old facilities and purchase of necessary equipment were financed through the External borders fund of the European Union (Alexandroupoli Police Directorate, 2011). Visits by the European Commissioner for Home Affairs, Cecilia Malmström (To Vima, 2012), the then executive director of Frontex, Ilkka Laitinen (Ministry for Public Order and Citizen Protection, 2013b), and a delegation of the LIBE committee of the European Parliament (2012) illustrated the embeddedness of the centre in the European border regime. The Commission’s report on the implementation of the Greek National Action Plan on Migration Management and Asylum Reform specifically refers the Poros centre as a facility that could be used for screening procedures and vulnerability assessments (European Commission, 2012).

    The Poros facility was indeed used as a screening and identification centre, activities that fell under both border management and the Greek framework for reception procedures introduced in 2011. While official documents of the Greek Government suggest that the centre started operating in 2012 (Council of Europe, 2012), a media article (Alexandroupoli Online, 2011) and a report by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (2011) provide evidence that it was already operational the year before, as an informal reception centre. When the centre became the main screening facility for South Evros in 2012 (European Parliament, 2012), screening, identification and debriefing procedures at the time were carried out both by Hellenic Police personnel and Frontex officers deployed in the area (Council of Europe, 2012).

    One of the very few research sources referring to Poros, a PhD thesis by Laurence Pillant (2017) provides a detailed description of the space and the activities carried out in the old wooden building and the white containers (image 3), visible in the stills from the video we took in December 2020 (image 4). A mission of Medecins sans frontiers, indicated in Pillant’s diagram, provided health screening in 2012 (European Migration Network, 2013).

    The organisation and function of the centre at the time is also documented in a number of mundane administrative acts which we located through diavgeia.gov.gr, a website storing Greek public administration decisions. Containers were bought to create space for the screening and identification procedures (Regional Police Directorate of Macedonia and Thrace, 2012). A local company was awarded contracts for the cleaning of the facilities (Regional Police Directorate of Macedonia and Thrace, 2013). The last administrative documents we were able to locate concerned the establishment of a committee of local police officers to procure services for emptying the cesspit of the centre (Regional Police Directorate of Macedonia and Thrace, 2015) – not all buildings in the area are linked to the local sewage system. This is the point when the administrative trail for Poros goes cold. No documents were found in diavgeia.gov.gr after January 2015.

    So what happened to the Poros Centre?

    After 2015, we found a mere five online references to the centre, despite extensive searches of sources such as official documents, research or reports by human rights bodies and NGOs. A 2016 newspaper article mentioned that arrested migrants were led there for screening (Ta Nea, 2016). A 2018 article in a local online news outlet mentioned a case of malaria in the village of Poros (Evros News, 2018a), while in another article (Evros News, 2018b), the president of the village council blamed a case of malaria in the village on the lack of health screening in the centre. An account of activities of the municipal council of Alexandroupoli referred to fixing an electrical fault in the centre in May 2019 (Municipality of Alexandroupoli, 2019). Τhe Global Detention Project (2019) also refers to Poros as a likely detention place.

    These sources suggested that the centre might be operational in some capacity, yet they raised more questions than they answered. If the centre has been in operation since 2015, why is there such an absence of official sources referring to it? Equally surprising was the absence of administrative acts related to the Poros centre in diavgeia.gov.gr, in contrast to all other facilities in the area where migrants are detained, such as the Fylakio Reception and Identification Centre and the pre-removal centres and police stations. It was conceivable, of course, that the centre fell into disuse. Since the deployment of Frontex and the border control measures taken under the Integrated Plan, entries through the Greek-Turkish land border decreased significantly – from 54,974 in 2011 to 3,784 in 2016 (Hellenic Police, 2020), and screening procedures were transferred to Fylakio, fully operational since 2013 (Reception and Identification Service, 2020).

    Trying to find answers to our questions, we contacted the Hellenic Police. An email we sent in January 2020 was never answered. In early February, following a series of phone calls, we obtained some answers to our questions. The police officer who answered the phone call did not seem to have heard of the centre and wanted to ask other departments for more information, as well as the First Reception and Identification Service, now responsible for screening procedures. The next day, he said it is occasionally used as a detention facility, when there is a high number of apprehended people that cannot be detained in police cells. According to the police officer, they are detained there for one or two days, until they can be transferred to the Reception and Identification Centre of Fylakio for reception procedures, or detention in the pre-removal detention centre adjacent to it. At the same time, he stated that he was told that Poros has been closed for a long time.

    This contradictory information could be down to the distance between the central police directorate in Athens and the area of Evros – it is not unlikely that local arrangements are not known in the central offices. Yet, it was also at odds both with the description of the use of the centre that our informant himself gave us – using the present tense in Greek –, with what the local media articles suggest, and with what we saw on site. Stills from the video taken during fieldwork in December 2020 suggest that the Poros centre is not disused, although no activity could be observed on the day. The cars and vans parked outside did not seem abandoned or rusting. The main building and the containers appeared to be in a good condition. A bright red cloth, maybe a canvas bag, was hanging outside one of them. The rubbish bins were full, but the black bags and other objects in them did not seem as they have been left in the open for a long time (image 4).

    The police officer also asked, however, how we had heard of Poros – a question that alerted us to both the obscure nature of the facility and the sensitivity of our query.
    A hidden infrastructure of pushbacks?

    The Poros centre, at one level, illustrates how the function of such border facilities can change over time, as the local border regime adapts and responds to migratory movements. Fylakio has become the main reception and detention centre in Evros, and between 2015 and 2017, the Aegean islands became the main point of entry into Greece and the European Union. Yet, our findings raised a lot of significant questions regarding the new function of Poros, given the increase in migratory movements in the area since 2018.

    While we obtained official confirmation that the Poros centre is now used for temporary detention and not screening, it remains the case that there are no official documents – including any administrative acts on diavgeia.gov.gr – that confirm its use as a temporary closed detention centre. Equally, we did not manage to obtain any information about how the facility is funded from the Hellenic Police. Our respondent did not know, and another departments we called did not want to share any information about the centre. It also became evident in the course of our research that most of our contacts in Greece – NGOS and journalists – had never heard of the facility or had no recent information about it. We found no evidence to suggest that Greek and European human rights bodies or NGOs which monitor detention facilities have visited the Poros centre after 2015. A mission of the Council of Europe (2019), for example, visited several detention facilities in Evros in April 2018 but the Poros centre was not listed among them. Similarly, the Fundamental Rights Officer of Frontex, in a partly joined mission with the Fundamental Rights Agency, visited detention facilities in South Evros in 2019, the operational area where the Poros centre is located. However, the centre is not mentioned in the report on that visit (Frontex, 2019).

    The dearth of information and absence of monitoring of the facility means that it is unclear whether the facility provides adequate conditions for detention. While our Hellenic police informant stated that detention there lasts for one or two days, there is no outside gate at the Poros centre, just a rather flimsy looking wire fence. Does this mean that detainees are kept inside the main building or containers the whole time they are detained there? We also do not know if detainees have access to phones, legal assistance or healthcare, which the articles in the local press suggest that is absent from the Poros centre. Equally, in the absence of inspections by human rights bodies, we are unaware of the standards of hygiene inside the facilities, or if there is sufficient food available. Administrative acts archived in diavgeia.gov.gr normally offer some answers to such questions but, as we mentioned above, we could find none. In short, it appears that Poros is used as an informal detention centre, hidden from public view.

    The obscurity surrounding the facility, in the context of the local border regime, is extremely worrying. Many NGOs and journalists have documented widespread pushback practices (Arsis et al., 2018; Greek Council for Refugees, 2018; Koçulu, 2019), evidenced through migrant testimonies (Mobile Info Team 2019) and, more recently, videos (Forensic Architecture, 2019a; 2019b). Despite denials by the Hellenic Police and the Greek government, European and international international human rights bodies (Council of Europe, 2019; Committee Against torture 2019) have accepted these testimonies as credible. We have no firm evidence that the Poros facility may be one of the many ‘informal’ detention places migrant testimonies implicated in pushbacks. Yet, the centre is located no further than two kilometres from the Greek-Turkish border, and the layout of the area is similar to the location of a pushback captured on camera and analysed by Forensic Architecture (2019a): near a dirt road with direct access to the Evros River. Black cars and white vans (images 5 and 6), without police insignia and some without number plates, such as those in the Poros centre, have been mentioned in testimonies of pushbacks (Arsis et al., 2018). Objects looking like inflatable boats are visible in our video stills. While there might be other explanations for their presence (used for patrolling the river or confiscated from migrants crossing the river) they are also used during pushbacks operations, and their presence in a detention centre seems odd.

    These uncertainties, and the tendency of security bodies to avoid revealing information on spaces of detention, are not unusual. However, the obscurity surrounding the Poros centre, located in an area of the European border where detention have long attracted criticism and there is considerable evidence of illegal and violent border control practices, should be a concern for all.

    https://www.respondmigration.com/blog-1/border-regime-poros-detention-facility-evros-greece
    #Evros #détention #rétention #détention_administrative #Grèce #refoulement #push-back #push-backs #invisibilité #invisibilisation #Centre_for_the_First_Management_of_Illegal_Immigration #Fylakio #Frontex

    Ce centre, selon ce que le chercheur·es écrivent, est ouvert depuis 2012... or... pas entendu parler de lui avec @albertocampiphoto quand on a été sur place... alors qu’on a vraiment sillonnée la (relativement petite) région pendant 1 mois !

    Donc pas mention de ce centre dans la #carte qu’on a publiée notamment sur @visionscarto :


    https://visionscarto.net/evros-mur-inutile

    ping @reka @karine4

    • En fait, en regardant mieux « notre » carte je me rends compte que peut-être le centre que nous avons identifié comme « #Feres » est en réalité le centre que les auteur·es appellent Poros... les deux localités sont à moins de 5 km l’une de l’autre.
      J’ai écrit aux auteur·es...

      Réponse de Bernd Kasparek, 12.03.2020 :

      Since we have been in front of Poros detention centre, we are certain that it is a distinct entity from the Feres police station, which, as you rightly observe, is also often implicated in reports about push-backs.

      Réponse de Lena Karamanidou le 13.03.2020 :

      Feres is located here: https://goo.gl/maps/gQn15Hdfwo4f3cno6​ , and it’s a much more modern facility (see photo, complete with ubiquitous military van!). However, ​I’m not entirely certain when the new Feres station was built - I think there was an older police station, but then both police and border guard functions were transfered to the new building. Something for me to check in obscure news items and databases!

    • ‘We Are Like Animals’ : Inside Greece’s Secret Site for Migrants

      The extrajudicial center is one of several tactics Greece is using to prevent a repeat of the 2015 migration crisis.


      The Greek government is detaining migrants incommunicado at a secret extrajudicial location before expelling them to Turkey without due process, one of several hard-line measures taken to seal the borders to Europe that experts say violate international law.

      Several migrants said in interviews that they had been captured, stripped of their belongings, beaten and expelled from Greece without being given a chance to claim asylum or speak to a lawyer, in an illegal process known as refoulement. Meanwhile, Turkish officials said that at least three migrants had been shot and killed while trying to enter Greece in the past two weeks.

      The Greek approach is the starkest example of European efforts to prevent a reprise of the 2015 migration crisis in which more than 850,000 undocumented people passed relatively easily through Greece to other parts of Europe, roiling the Continent’s politics and fueling the rise of the far right.

      If thousands more refugees reach Greece, Greek officials fear being left to care for them for years, with little support from other members in the European Union, exacerbating social tensions and further fraying a strained economy. Tens of thousands of migrants already live in squalor on several Greek islands, and many Greeks feel they have been left to shoulder a burden created by wider European indifference.

      The Greek government has defended its actions as a legitimate response to recent provocations by the Turkish authorities, who have transported thousands of migrants to the Greek-Turkish border since late February and have encouraged some to charge and dismantle a border fence.

      The Greek authorities have denied reports of deaths along the border. A spokesman for the Greek government, Stelios Petsas, did not comment on the existence of the site, but said that Greece detained and expelled migrants in accordance with local law. An act passed March 3, by presidential decree, suspended asylum applications for a month and allowed immediate deportations.

      But through a combination of on-the-ground reporting and forensic analysis of satellite imagery, The Times has confirmed the existence of the secret center in northeastern Greece.

      Presented with diagrams of the site and a description of its operations, François Crépeau, a former U.N. Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants, said it was the equivalent of a domestic “black site,” since detainees are kept in secret and without access to legal recourse.

      Using footage supplied to several media outlets, The Times has also established that the Greek Coast Guard, nominally a lifesaving institution, fired shots in the direction of migrants onboard a dinghy that was trying to reach Greek shores early this month, beat them with sticks and sought to repel them by driving past them at high speed, risking tipping them into water.

      Forensic analysis of videos provided by witnesses also confirmed the death of at least one person — a Syrian factory worker — after he was shot on the Greek-Turkish border.
      A Secret Site

      When Turkish officials began to bus migrants to the Greek border on Feb. 28, a Syrian Kurd named Somar al-Hussein had a seat on one of the first coaches.

      Turkey already hosts more refugees than any other country — over four million, mostly Syrians — and fears that it may be forced to admit another million because of a recent surge in fighting in northern Syria. To alleviate this pressure, and to force Europe to do more to help, it has weaponized refugees like Mr. al-Hussein by shunting them toward the Continent.

      Mr. al-Hussein, a trainee software engineer, spent that night in the rain on the bank of the Evros River, which divides western Turkey from eastern Greece. Early the next morning, he reached the Greek side in a rubber dinghy packed with other migrants.

      But his journey ended an hour later, he said in a recent interview. Captured by Greek border guards, he said, he and his group were taken to a detention site. Following the group’s journey on his mobile phone, he determined that the site was a few hundred yards east of the border village of Poros.

      The site consisted principally of three red-roofed warehouses set back from a farm road and arranged in a U-shape. Hundreds of other captured migrants waited outside. Mr. al-Hussein was taken indoors and crammed into a room with dozens of others.

      His phone was confiscated to prevent him from making calls, he said, and his requests to claim asylum and contact United Nations officials were ignored.

      “To them, we are like animals,” Mr. al-Hussein said of the Greek guards.

      After a night without food or drink, on March 1 Mr. al-Hussein and dozens of others were driven back to the Evros River, where Greek police officers ferried them back to the Turkish side in a small speedboat.

      Mr. al-Hussein was one of several migrants to provide similar accounts of extrajudicial detentions and expulsions, but his testimony was the most detailed.

      By cross-referencing drawings, descriptions and satellite coordinates that he provided, The Times was able to locate the detention center — in farmland between Poros and the river.

      A former Greek official familiar with police operations confirmed the existence of the site, which is not classified as a detention facility but is used informally during times of high migration flows.

      On Friday, three Times journalists were stopped at a roadblock near the site by uniformed police officers and masked special forces officers.

      The site’s existence was also later confirmed by Respond, a Sweden-based research group.

      Mr. Crépeau, now a professor of international law at McGill University, said the center represented a violation of the right to seek asylum and “the prohibition of cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment, and of European Union law.”
      Violence at Sea

      Hundreds of miles to the south, in the straits of the Aegean Sea between the Turkish mainland and an archipelago of Greek islands, the Greek Coast Guard is also using force.

      On March 2, a Coast Guard ship violently repelled an inflatable dinghy packed with migrants, in an incident that Turkish officials captured on video, which they then distributed to the press.

      The footage shows the Coast Guard vessel and an unmarked speedboat circling the dinghy. A gunman on one boat shot at least twice into waters by the dinghy, with what appeared to be a rifle, before men from both vessels shoved and struck the dinghy with long black batons.

      It is not clear from the footage whether the man was firing live or non-lethal rounds.

      Mr. Petsas, the government spokesman, did not deny the incident, but said the Coast Guard did not fire live rounds.

      The larger Greek boat also sought to tip the migrants into the water by driving past them at high speed.
      Forensic analysis by The Times shows that the incident took place near the island of Kos after the migrants had clearly entered Greek waters.

      “The action of Greek Coast Guard ships trying to destabilize the refugees’ fragile dinghies, thus putting at risk the life and security of their passengers, is also a violation,” said Mr. Crépeau, the former United Nations official.
      A Killing on Land

      The most contested incident concerns the lethal shooting of Mohammed Yaarub, a 22-year-old Syrian from Aleppo who tried to cross Greece’s northern land border with Turkey last week.

      The Greek government has dismissed his death as “fake news” and denied that anyone has died at the border during the past week.

      An analysis of videos, coupled with interviews with witnesses, confirmed that Mr. Yaarub was killed on the morning of March 2 on the western bank of the Evros River.

      Mr. Yaarub had lived in Turkey for five years, working at a shoe factory, according to Ali Kamal, a friend who was traveling with him. The two friends crossed the Evros on the night of March 1 and camped with a large group of migrants on the western bank of the river.

      By a cartographical quirk, they were still in Turkey: Although the river mostly serves as the border between the two countries, this small patch of land is one of the few parts of the western bank that belongs to Turkey rather than Greece.

      Mr. Kamal last saw his friend alive around 7:30 a.m. the next morning, when the group began walking to the border. The two men were separated, and soon Greek security forces blocked them, according to another Syrian man who filmed the aftermath of the incident and was later interviewed by The Times. He asked to remain anonymous because he feared retribution.

      During the confrontation, Mr. Yaarub began speaking to the men who were blocking their path and held up a white shirt, saying that he came in peace, the Syrian man said.

      Shortly afterward, Mr. Yaarub was shot.

      There is no known video of the moment of impact, but several videos captured his motionless body being carried away from the Greek border and toward the river.

      Several migrants who were with Mr. Yaarub at the time of his death said a Greek security officer had shot him.

      Using video metadata and analyzing the position of the sun, The Times confirmed that he was shot around 8:30 a.m., matching a conclusion reached by Forensic Architecture, an investigative research group.

      Video shows that it took other migrants about five minutes to ferry Mr. Yaarub’s body back across the river and to a car. He was then taken to an ambulance and later a Turkish hospital.

      An analysis of other footage shot elsewhere on the border showed that Greek security forces used lethal and non-lethal ammunition in other incidents that day, likely fired from a mix of semiautomatic and assault rifles.
      E.U. Support for Greece

      Mr. Petsas, the government spokesman, defended Greece’s tough actions as a reasonable response to “an asymmetrical and hybrid attack coming from a foreign country.”

      Besides ferrying migrants to the border, the Turkish police also fired tear-gas canisters in the direction of Greek security forces and stood by as migrants dismantled part of a border fence, footage filmed by a Times journalist showed.

      Before this evidence of violence and secrecy had surfaced, Greece won praise from leaders of the European Union, who visited the border on March 3.

      “We want to express our support for all you did with your security services for the last days,” said Charles Michel, the president of the European Council, the bloc’s top decision-making body.

      The European Commission, the bloc’s administrative branch, said that it was “not in a position to confirm or deny” The Times’s findings, and called on the Greek justice system to investigate.

      https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/10/world/europe/greece-migrants-secret-site.html

      https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/10/world/europe/greece-migrants-secret-site.html

      #Mohammed_Yaarub #décès #mourir_aux_frontières

    • Grécia nega existência de centro de detenção “secreto” onde os migrantes são tratados “como animais”

      New York Times citou vários migrantes que dizem ter sido roubados e agredidos pelos guardas fronteiriços, antes de deportados para a Turquia. Erdogan compara gregos aos nazis.

      Primeiro recusou comentar, mas pouco mais de 24 horas depois o Governo da Grécia refutou totalmente a notícia do New York Times. Foi esta a sequência espaçada da reacção de Atenas ao artigo do jornal norte-americano, publicado na terça-feira, que deu conta da existência de um centro de detenção “secreto”, perto da localidade fronteiriça de Poros, onde muitos dos milhares de migrantes que vieram da Turquia, nos últimos dias, dizem ter sido roubados, despidos e agredidos, impedidos de requerer asilo ou de contactar um advogado, e deportados, logo de seguida, pelos guardas fronteiriços gregos.
      Mais populares

      Coronavírus: Meninos, isto não são umas férias – Opinião de Bárbara Wong
      Coronavírus
      Coronavírus: o que comprar sem levar o supermercado para casa
      i-album
      Festival
      Cores e mais cores: o Holi e “o triunfo do bem sobre o mal” na Índia

      “Para eles somos como animais”, acusou Somar al-Hussein, sírio, um dos migrantes entrevistados pelo diário nova-iorquino, que entrou na Grécia através do rio Evros e que diz ter sido alvo de tratamento abusivo no centro de detenção “secreto”.

      “Não há nenhum centro de detenção secreto na Grécia”, garantiu, no entanto, esta quarta-feira, Stelios Petsas, porta-voz do executivo grego. “Todas as questões relacionadas com a protecção e a segurança das fronteiras são transparentes. A Constituição está a ser aplicada e não há nada de secreto”, insistiu.

      Com jornalistas no terreno, impedidos de entrar no local por soldados gregos, o New York Times entrevistou diversos migrantes que dizem ter sido ali alvo de tratamento desumano, analisou imagens de satélite, informou-se junto de um centro de estudos sueco sobre migrações que opera na zona e falou com um antigo funcionário grego familiarizado com as operações policiais fronteiriças. Informação que diz ter-lhe permitido confirmar a existência do centro.

      https://www.publico.pt/2020/03/11/mundo/noticia/grecia-nega-existencia-centro-detencao-secreto-onde-migrantes-sao-tratados-a

      #paywall

    • Greece : Rights watchdogs report spike in violent push-backs on border with Turkey

      A Balkans-based network of human rights organizations says that the number of migrants pushed back from Greece into Turkey has spiked in recent weeks. The migrants allegedly reported beatings and violent collective expulsions from inland detention spaces to Turkey on boats across the Evros River.

      Greek officers “forcefully pushed [people] in the van while the policemen were kicking them with their legs and shouting at them.” Then, the migrants were detained, forced to sign untranslated documents and pushed back across the Evros River at night. Over the next few days, Turkish authorities returned them to Greece, but then they were pushed back again.

      This account from 50 Afghans, Pakistanis, Syrians and Algerians aged between 15 and 35 years near the town of Edirne at the Greek-Turkish border was one of at least seven accounts a network of Balkans-based human rights watchdogs says it received from refugees over the course of six weeks, between March and late April.

      The collection of reports (https://www.borderviolence.eu/press-release-documented-pushbacks-from-centres-on-the-greek-mainland), published last week by the Border Violence Monitoring Network (BVMN), with help from its members Mobile Info Team (MIT) and Wave Thessaloniki, consists of “first-hand testimonies and photographic evidence” which the network says shows “violent collective expulsions” of migrants and refugees. According to the network, the number of individuals who were pushed back in groups amount to 194 people.
      https://twitter.com/mobileinfoteam/status/1257632384348020737?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E12

      Without exception, according to the report, all accounts come from people staying in the refugee camp in Diavata and the Drama Paranesti pre-removal detention center. They included Afghans, Pakistanis, Algerians and Moroccans, as well as Bangladeshi, Tunisian and Syrian nationals.

      In the case of Diavata, according to the report, migrants said police took them away, telling them they would receive a document known as “Khartia” to regularize their stay temporarily. The Diavata camp is located near the northern Greek city of Thessaloniki.

      Instead, the migrants were “beaten, robbed and detained before being driven to the border area where military personnel used boats to return them to Turkey across the Evros River,” they said. Another large group reported that they were taken from detention in Drama Paranesti, also located in northern Greece, some 80 kilometers from the border with Turkey, and expelled in the same way.

      While such push-backs from Greece into Turkey are not new, the network of NGOs says the latest incidents are somewhat different: “Rarely have groups been removed from inner-city camps halfway across the territory or at such a scale from inland detention spaces,” Simon Campbell of the Border Violence Monitoring Network told InfoMigrants.

      “Within the existing closure of the Greek asylum office and restriction measures due to COVID-19, the repression of asylum seekers and wider transit community looks to have reached a zenith in these cases,” Campbell said.

      Although Greece last month lifted a controversial temporary ban on asylum applications imposed in response to an influx of refugees from Turkey, all administrative services to the public by the Greek Asylum Service were suspended on March 13.

      The suspension, which the Asylum Service said serves to “control the spread of COVID-19” pandemic, will continue at least through May 15.

      https://twitter.com/GreekAsylum/status/1248651007489433600?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E12

      Reports of violence and torture

      The accounts in the report by the network of NGOs describe a range of violent actions toward migrants, from electricity tasers and water immersion to beatings with batons.

      According to one account, some 50 people were taken from Diavata camp to a nearby police station, where they were ordered to lie on the ground and told to “sleep here, don’t move.” Then they were beaten with batons, while others were attacked with tasers.

      They were held overnight in a detention space near the border, and beaten further by Greek military officers. The next day, they were boated across the river to Turkey by authorities with ’military uniform, masks, guns, electric [taser].’"

      Another group reported that they were “unloaded in the dark” next to the Evros River and “ordered to strip to their underwear.” Greek authorities allegedly used batons and their fists to hit some members of the group.

      Alexandra Bogos, advocacy officer with the Mobile Info Team, told InfoMigrants they were concerned about the “leeway afforded for these push-backs from the inner mainland to take place.”

      Bogos said they reached out to police departments after they learned about the arrests, but police felt “unencumbered” and continued transporting the people to the Greek-Turkish border. “On one occasion, we reached out and asked specifically for information about one individual. The answer was: ’He does not appear in our system’,” Bogos said.

      https://twitter.com/juliahahntv/status/1246165904406261773?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E12

      An Amnesty report (https://www.amnesty.org/en/documents/eur01/2077/2020/en) from April about unlawful push-backs, beatings and arbitrary detention echoes the accusations in the report by the network of NGOs.

      History of forcible rejections

      Over the past three years, violent push-backs have been documented in several reports. Last November, German news magazine Spiegel reported that between 2017 and 2018 Greece illegally deported 60,000 migrants to Turkey. The process involved returning asylum seekers without assessing their status. Greece dismissed the accusations.

      In 2018, the Greek Refugee Council and other NGOs published a report containing testimonies from people who said they had been beaten, sometimes by masked men, and sent back to Turkey (https://www.gcr.gr/en/news/press-releases-announcements/item/1028-the-new-normality-continuous-push-backs-of-third-country-nationals-on-the-e).

      UN refugee agency UNHCR and the European Human Rights Commissioner called on Greece to investigate the claims. In late 2018, another report by Human Rights Watch (HRW), also based on testimonies of migrants, said that violent push-backs were continuing (https://www.hrw.org/news/2018/12/18/greece-violent-pushbacks-turkey-border).

      It is often unclear who is carrying out the push-backs because they often wear masks and cannot be easily identified. In the HRW report, they are described as paramilitaries. Eyewitnesses interviewed by HRW said the perpetrators “looked like police officers or soldiers, as well as some unidentified masked men.”

      Simon Campbell of the Border Violence Monitoring Network said the reports he receives also regularly describe “military uniforms,” which “suggests it is the Greek army carrying out the push-backs,” he told InfoMigrants.

      Last week, the Spiegel published an investigation into the killing of Pakistani Muhammad Gulzar (https://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/greek-turkish-border-the-killing-of-muhammad-gulzar-a-7652ff68-8959-4e0d-910), who was shot at the Greek-Turkish border on March 4. “Evidence overwhelmingly suggests that the bullet came from a Greek firearm,” the authors wrote.

      Violations of EU and international law

      Push-backs are prohibited by Greek and EU law as well as international treaties and agreements. They also violate the principle of non-refoulement, which means the forcible return of a person to a country where they are likely to be subject to persecution.

      In March, Jürgen Bast, professor for European law at the University of Gießen in Germany, called the action of Greek security forces an “open breach of the law” on German TV magazine Monitor.

      Greece is not the only country accused of violating EU laws at the bloc’s external border: On top of the 100 additional border guards the European border and coast guard agency Frontex deployed to the Greek border with Turkey in March, Germany sent 77 police officers to help with border security.
      Professor Bast called Berlin’s involvement a “complete political joint responsibility” of the German government. “All member states of the European Union...including the Commission...have decided to ignore the validity of European law,” he told Monitor.

      In response to a request for comment from InfoMigrants, a spokesperson for EU border and coast guard agency Frontex would confirm neither the reports by the three NGOs nor the existence of systematic push-backs from Greece to Turkey.

      “Frontex has not received any reports of such violations from the officers involved in its activities in Greece,” the spokesperson said, adding that its officers’ job is to “support member states and to ensure the rule of law.”

      Coronavirus used as a pretext?

      On the afternoon of May 5, as the network of NGOs published their report on push-backs, police reportedly rounded up 26-year-old Pakistani national Sheraz Khan outside the Diavata refugee camp. After sending the Mobile Info Team (MIT) a message telling them “Police caught us,” he tried calling the NGO twice, but the connection failed both times.

      MIT’s Alexandra Bogos told InfoMigrants that Khan has not been heard of since and he has not returned to the camp. “We have strong reasons to believe that he may have been pushed back to Turkey,” Bogos said.

      A day later, the police arrived in the morning and “started removing tents and structures set up in an overflow area” outside the Diavata camp.

      Simon Campbell of the Border Violence Monitoring Network said the restrictive measures taken as a response to the coronavirus pandemic have been used to remove those who have crossed the border.

      “COVID-19 has been giving the Greek authorities a blank cheque to act with more impunity,” Campbell told InfoMigrants. “When Covid-19 restrictions lift, will we have already seen this more expansive push-back practice entrenched, and will it persist beyond the lockdown?”

      https://www.infomigrants.net/en/post/24620/greece-rights-watchdogs-report-spike-in-violent-push-backs-on-border-w

  • #Pakistan: Girls Deprived of Education. Barriers Include Underinvestment, Fees, Discrimination

    The Pakistan government is failing to educate a huge proportion of the country’s girls, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today.

    The 111-page report, “‘Shall I Feed My Daughter, or Educate Her?’: Barriers to Girls’ Education in Pakistan,” concludes that many girls simply have no access to education, including because of a shortage of government schools – especially for girls. Nearly 22.5 million of Pakistan’s children – in a country with a population of just over 200 million – are out of school, the majority of them girls. Thirty-two percent of primary school age girls are out of school in Pakistan, compared with 21 percent of boys. By ninth grade, only 13 percent of girls are still in school.

    https://www.hrw.org/news/2018/11/12/pakistan-girls-deprived-education
    #éducation #genre #filles #femmes #discriminations #inégalités #rapport #école

  • Tunisia: Privacy Threatened by ‘Homosexuality’ Arrests

    Tunisian authorities are confiscating and searching the phones of men they suspect of being gay and pressuring them to take anal tests and to confess to homosexual activity, Human Rights Watch said today. Prosecutors then use information collected in this fashion to prosecute them for homosexual acts between consenting partners, under the country’s harsh sodomy laws.

    “The Tunisian authorities have no business meddling in people’s private sexual practices, brutalizing and humiliating them under the guise of enforcing discriminatory laws,” said Amna Guellali, Tunisia director at Human Rights Watch. “Tunisia should abolish its antiquated anti-sodomy laws and respect everyone’s right to privacy.”

    Human Rights Watch spoke with six men prosecuted in 2017 and 2018 under article 230 of the penal code, which punishes consensual same-sex conduct with up to three years in prison. One person interviewed was only 17 years old the first time he was arrested. Human Rights Watch also reviewed the judicial files in these cases and five others that resulted in prosecutions under either article 230 or article 226, which criminalizes “harming public morals.” In addition to violating privacy rights, these cases included allegations of mistreatment in police custody, forced confessions, and denial of access to legal counsel.

    Police arrested some of these men after disputes arose between them or after neighbors reported them. Two had gone to the police to report being raped.

    Some of the men spent months in prison. At least three have left Tunisia and applied for asylum in European countries.

    K.S., a 32-year-old engineer, entered a police station in Monastir in June 2018 to file a complaint of gang rape, and to get an order for a medical examination of his injuries. Instead of treating him as a victim, he said, the police ordered an anal test to determine whether K.S. was “used to practicing sodomy.” “How they treated me was insane,” K.S. told Human Rights Watch. “How is it their business to intrude into my intimate parts and check whether I am ‘used to sodomy’?”

    In another case, a 17-year-old was arrested three times on sodomy charges and was forced to undergo an anal examination, as well as months of conversion therapy at a juvenile detention center. Both harmful practices are discredited.

    Tunisian prosecutors have relied extensively in recent years on forced anal examinations to seek “evidence” of sodomy, even though the exams are highly unreliable and constitute cruel, degrading, and inhuman treatment that can rise to the level of torture.

    On September 21, 2017, during the Universal Periodic Review at the United Nations Human Rights Council, Tunisia formally accepted a recommendation to end forced anal exams. However, Tunisia’s delegation stated: “Medical examinations will be conducted based on the consent of the person and in the presence of a medical expert.” This stance is not credible because trial courts can presume that a refusal to undergo the exam signals guilt, Human Rights Watch said. Tunisia should abandon anal exams altogether.

    Prosecutions for consensual sex in private and between adults violate the rights to privacy and nondiscrimination guaranteed by the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Tunisia is a party. The United Nations Human Rights Committee, which monitors compliance with the covenant, has stated that sexual orientation is a status protected against discrimination. The UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention has found that arrests for same-sex conduct between consenting adults are, by definition, arbitrary.

    Tunisia’s 2014 constitution, in article 24, obliges the government to protect the rights to privacy and the inviolability of the home. Article 21 provides that “All citizens, male and female, have equal rights and duties, and are equal before the law without any discrimination.” Article 23 prohibits “mental and physical torture.”

    The Code of Criminal Procedure prohibits house searches and seizure of objects that could serve a criminal investigation without a judicial warrant, except in cases of flagrante delicto, that is when catching someone in the act.

    Article 1 of Law No. 63 on the protection of personal data stipulates that “every person is entitled to the protection of their personal data and privacy of information, viewed as a fundamental right guaranteed by the constitution. This data can only be used with transparency, loyalty and respect for the dignity of the person whose data is subject of treatment.” However, neither Law No. 63 nor any other domestic law regulates the conditions for seizing private data during a police investigation or its use.

    On June 12, the Commission on Individual Freedoms and Equality, appointed by President Beji Caid Essebsi, proposed, among other actions, to decriminalize homosexuality and to end anal testing in criminal investigations into homosexuality. It also proposed criminalizing the unlawful “interception, opening, recording, spreading, saving and deleting” of an electronic message.

    On October 11, 13 members of the Tunisian Parliament introduced draft legislation for a code on individual freedoms. It incorporated several proposals from the presidential commission including abolition of article 230.

    Parliament should move quickly on this draft legislation and abolish article 230, Human Rights Watch said. It should enact a law that effectively protects people’s privacy, through regulating the seizure and use of private data during criminal investigations, with consequences if such a law is violated.

    The Justice Ministry should meanwhile direct public prosecutors to abandon prosecutions under article 230. The Interior Ministry should investigate reports of the ill-treatment of people arrested based on their gender identity or sexual orientation.

    Human Rights Watch conducted face to face interviews with men in Tunisia and phone interviews with men who fled to European countries. Pseudonyms have been used to protect their privacy.

    Shams and Damj, local LGBT rights groups, provided assistance.

    Accounts by Men Prosecuted

    K.S., 32, engineer

    K.S. used to work for an international company in Tunis. He said that on June 8, he went to spend the weekend in at a friend’s house in Monastir, a coastal city. He had earlier chatted with a man from Monastir on Grindr, a social network application for gays. They made a date and they met that day in a café. The man invited K.S. to his house, but once there, the man became aggressive and showed K.S. a police badge. Two other men arrived, and they started insulting him, calling him “sick.” “One said, ‘You people of Loth [a demeaning term derived from the Biblical and Quranic story of Lot], you deserve to be killed, you are like microbes.’”

    They punched and slapped him on the face, he said. Then the man who had invited him said, “We will show you what sodomy is like.” The men then forced him to take off his clothes and bend over. Two of them held K.S. by the arms while the third inserted a baton in his anus. “It was unbearable, I felt that I will faint,” K.S. said. They finally let him leave.

    I was shivering and bleeding [when I reached my friend’s house]. The next day, I went to Fattouma Bourguiba hospital in Monastir. I just wanted to get medical treatment and to check that I did not have internal hemorrhaging.

    But, he said, the doctor refused to examine him without a police order:

    I went to the Skanes district police station in Monastir, to try to get the requisition order. I did not want to tell the police the full story, so I just said that three men had raped me. The policeman who was typing my statement left the room at some point, and that’s when I saw on the screen that he was instructing the doctor at Fatouma Bourguiba hospital to examine whether I am ‘used to practicing sodomy.’ I felt the blood freeze in my body.

    Human Rights Watch reviewed the June 9 police requisition order, in which the chief instructs the doctor to examine whether K.S. was “used to practicing sodomy” and whether he was victim of anal rape.

    K.S. said that, when the policeman returned to the office, K.S. asked if he could leave. The policeman replied: “And go where? You can’t leave before we check what kind of stuff you do.” The policeman called for a patrol car to drive K.S. to the hospital.

    The doctor told me that he has a requisition order to perform an anal test. “We want to check whether this is a habit,” he said. I was terrified. I told him that I didn’t want to do the test. But he insisted that he had to perform it. He told me to remove my pants and assume a prayer position [on hand and knees] on top of the medical bed. He put on gloves and started to examine me with his fingers. As soon as he did, I felt sick and told him I wanted to go to the toilet. I wanted to stop this humiliation. He let me go. I managed to avoid the policemen who were waiting for me in the corridor and left the hospital. Once in the parking lot, I started running until I felt safe, and then went to my friend’s house.

    K.S. said he took a flight on June 13 to Belgium, where he has filed a request for asylum.

    K. B., 41, documentary filmmaker

    K.B. spent 13 months in pretrial detention on accusation of sodomy and unlawful detention. He is married and the father of an 8-year-old girl. He told Human Rights Watch that on March 3, 2017, at around 9 p.m., he went to downtown Tunis for drinks. While he was sitting in a bar, S.Z., a young man, approached him. They chatted for a while, then K.B. invited him to his place. He said that, after having sex, he went to the kitchen to prepare some food. When he came back to the living room, he caught the man stealing money from his wallet. K.B. tried to force him out of his apartment, but the man locked himself in a bedroom, went to the balcony, and screamed for help. Policemen arrived, arrested them, and took them to the Aouina district police station.

    Police treated me with contempt. The first question the interrogator asked was whether I had sex with S.Z. I denied it categorically and told him we only had drinks together. But he said that S.Z. had confessed. The interrogator asked me: “Aren’t you ashamed of yourself?”
    K.B. said the police at the station confiscated his phone and looked at his social media history and his photo archives. They switched the phone off and did not allow him to call his family or a lawyer. They presented him with a statement to sign, but he refused. At 4 a.m., they transferred both men to Bouchoucha detention center. Later that morning, the police took the men to the Tunis first instance court, where a prosecutor ordered them to undergo an anal test. The police took them to Charles Nicole hospital, K.B. said, where he refused the test. “The idea of them intruding into my intimacy and into my body was so humiliating to me.”

    He was returned to detention and after a few weeks decided to undergo the test in the hope that negative results would prove his innocence. He said he informed the investigative judge during a hearing and the judge issued a requisition. Police officers took him again to Charles Nicole Hospital.

    It was the worst thing that ever happened to me. The doctor asked me to strip and get on the examination table. He asked me to bend over. There was one policeman in the room and one medical assistant, watching. The doctor put one finger into my anus and moved it around. I was so ashamed. It was very dehumanizing.

    K.B. said that even though the test result was negative, the investigative judge indicted him for sodomy. The order referring the case to trial said that the time elapsed between the alleged act and the test prevented the court from ruling out that K.B. was “used to the practice of sodomy.”

    In May 2018, 13 months after the court placed K.B. in pretrial detention, it acquitted and freed him.

    In the indictment, the investigative judge wrote that S.Z. had confessed to the police to “committing the crime of sodomy in exchange for money” and that he admitted that he “approached and dated men he met via Facebook.” The judge quotes the police report, which describes in crude terms the sexual intercourse between K.B. and S.Z. The judge also states that K.B has denied the accusation of sodomy, and instead stated that he and S.Z. were only having drinks at his place and did not have sex.

    The investigative judge notes that S.Z. later retracted his confession and says that he gave instructions for the forensic doctor in the Charles Nicole Hospital to administer an anal test to determine whether K.B “bore signs of the practice of homosexual activity” recently or whether he “practices sodomy in a habitual way.”

    The judge’s indictment of K. B. was based on S.Z.’s confession to the police, later repudiated, from “the circumstances of the case, which show that the two men had no other reason to go to K. B.’s house” and K. B.’s refusal to take the anal test. The judge wrote: “given that the test was performed 20 days after the reported incident, the forensic doctor was not able to find signs of anal penetration because those signs disappear five days after the act.”

    “Free” (nickname), 32, hairdresser

    Free said that on the night of April 5, 2018, he went with a female friend from Sousse to Monastir for drinks and to meet his boyfriend. When they arrived at around 9 p.m., he said, a police patrol stopped them and asked for their papers, then told the woman to accompany them to the station for further identity checks. Free waited outside the station.

    While waiting, Free received an angry message from his boyfriend asking him why he was late. Free explained where he was and snapped a photo of the station as proof. A police officer saw him and confiscated Free’s telephone, saying he had endangered state security. The officer took him to an interrogation room, where another officer handcuffed him to a chair. An officer searched the phone and finding nude photos of Free, then searched his social media activity and read the conversations he had with men on gay dating apps and his chats with his boyfriend on Facebook Messenger, some of them sexually explicit.

    Free said that the police officer turned to him and said, “I hate you, you sodomites. You will have to pay for your depravity.” Other police officers in the room insulted Free, he said. The officer interrogated him about his sexual activity, wrote a report, and told him to sign it. When Free refused, a policeman slapped him in the face and said, “Ah, now you are trying to be a man. Just sign here, you scum.” Free signed the report without reading it.

    At no point during the interrogation did the police advise Free of his right to speak to a lawyer. At around midnight, they moved him into a cell, where he spent the night. The following day, he was taken before a prosecutor, who charged him with sodomy but decided to release him provisionally pending trial. On June 6, he appeared before the first instance court in Monastir. The presiding judge closed the courtroom to the public.

    The first question he asked me was whether I am used to the practice of sodomy. I told him I was not. He asked the question again, then asked, “Then why did you confess?” I answered, “Because the police forced me to.” The judge asked, “But if you are not a sodomite, why do you dress like this, why do you look like one of them?”

    He said the judge adjourned the trial to June 14, when he convicted Free and sentenced him to a four-months sentence with probation, based on his phone conversations and his forced confession. Free has appealed.

    M. R., 26, paramedic

    M.R. worked in a hospital in Tebourba, a city 40 kilometers west of Tunis. He fled to France and applied for asylum after being charged under article 230 and granted pretrial release.

    M.R. said he had always hidden his sexual orientation because of severe social stigma. In November 2017, he chatted with a man on Facebook. The man, called A.F., sent him photos, and they decided to meet. When they did, M.R. realized that the photos were fake and told A.F. that he would not have sex with him. A few days later, on November 28, A.F. banged on his door at around 4 a.m. Fearing scandal, M.R. opened the door to find A.F. drunk and wielding a knife. A.F. slapped him on the face, ordered him to remove his clothes, and raped him, he said, threatening to cut his throat. After a few hours, A.F. told M.R. to buy A.F. cigarettes. M.R. went to the Tebourba police station and filed a rape complaint.

    When I told the police officers about the rape, they asked me how I knew the man and how we met. I dodged the questions, but they insisted. I told them that I am gay, and their behavior changed instantly. The station chief said: “Ah, so you were the one who initiated this, you are an accomplice to the crime, there is no rape here – you deserve this.” Then, he handed me a requisition order and told me to go get an anal test the following day at Charles Nicole Hospital.

    The police interrogated M.R., then accompanied him to his apartment, where they arrested A.F. The police told M.R. to undergo the anal examination, then report to the First Instance Court in Manouba. M.R. consulted the nongovernmental association Shams, which defends sexual minorities, and decided to skip the anal test. When he reported to the court, the investigative judge treated him as a criminal, not a victim. M.R. said:

    He asked questions about my sex life and when I started practicing sodomy with other men. He said that I deserved everything that had happened to me and that I should be ashamed of myself.

    M.R. said that the judge charged him with sodomy and granted him pretrial release. A.F. was kept in custody and charged with sodomy and rape.

    The indictment of M.R., prepared by the investigative judge and dated December 13, 2017, provides purported details from M.R.’s intimate life, including confessions that he is gay. The indictment also relies on the confession from A.F. and cites a condom seized at M. R.’s house as evidence.

    M.R. said that, three days after the encounter with A.F., he reported to work at the hospital. The director handed him a dismissal notice on the grounds that he was facing trial.

    I had to go back to my family’s place, as I had no salary anymore. It was like living in a prison. My father and older brother beat me many times, my father even burned me with a cigarette. They did not allow me to go out, they said they were ashamed of me.

    Having lost everything, he left Tunisia for France.

    I had no other choice, I felt rejected by everyone, my family, society, my colleagues. And I was afraid of going to prison.

    Mounir Baatour, M.R.’s lawyer, told Human Rights Watch that the case is stalled in the first instance court in Manouba, and has yet to go to trial. On May 15, 2018, indictment chamber sent the indictment to the cassation court for a legal review, which is pending.

    R. F., 42, day laborer, and M.J. 22, unemployed

    On June 12, 2018, police in Sidi Bouzaiane arrested R.F. and M.J. after R.F. went to the police to say that M.J. had refused to leave R.F.’s house.

    M.J. said that the police came to his house and took both men to the police station at around midnight. They interrogated them in the same room, asking them how they met. A police officer took R.F.’s phone and watched videos stored on it, then said to R.F., “So you are a miboun [a degrading term for gay]. M.J. said:

    One of the four officers present during interrogation slapped R.F. on the face. Then he turned toward me and asked, “So what were you both doing in the house? I’m sure you were having sex, so you too must be a miboun. You are staining this country,” he said.

    M.J. said that policemen beat him on his face, head, and back. When the police finished the interrogation at 3 a.m., they presented a written report and told M.J. to sign it. He said he asked to have a lawyer first, but they refused to let him call one and insulted him. He signed the report.

    The police report, reviewed by Human Rights Watch, states that neither man requested a lawyer. R.F.’s purported statement, as the police recorded it, describes in graphic terms how he habitually practices sodomy and has sex with men. The police report states that officers searched R.F.’s smartphone and found videos of R.F. having sex with men. The police confiscated his phone, the report says, as “evidence of the crime.”

    Two days after the arrest, M.J. said, he and R.F. appeared before a prosecutor, who asked them: “Aren’t you afraid of God’s judgment?” He ordered pretrial detention, and they were sent to the Sidi Bouzid prison. M.J. said that one of the prison guards harassed him and asked him vulgar questions such as: “How you do this? Are you getting fucked for money? Why are you fucking men? Aren’t there enough women to fuck in this country?”

    He said he was put in a cell with 100 other men, who seemed to have been informed about his “crime.” Over the following days, his cellmates insulted, beat, and sexually harassed him. He said that one night, he refused to have sex with the cell “strongman”, so the man and two others beat him. He said they held his arms, while the strongman slapped him on the face and punched him on the chin.

    After a week in detention, he appeared before an investigative judge, who asked him about his sexual behavior. M.J. said he admitted that he is gay. He said he had done nothing wrong, but the judge replied, “You are harming society.”

    The first instance court in Sidi Bouzid sentenced the two men on June 12 to three months in prison for sodomy. The appeals court upheld the sentence.

    S.C., 24 and A.B., 22

    Police arrested S.C. and A.B. in Sousse on December 8, 2016, when they were allegedly caught committing sodomy in public. They were sentenced, on March 10, 2017, to eight months in prison under article 230 of the penal code and not on charges related to public indecency. The police report describes their sexual intercourse in detail and concludes that S.C. “committed active sodomy,” while A.B. was a “passive sodomite.”

    The judgment from the first instance court in Sousse, which Human Rights Watch reviewed, states that both denied committing sodomy or being homosexuals. It states that they were both subjected to anal examinations on December 9, 2016, that turned out “negative.” The judge concluded that: “the results of the anal tests cannot exonerate the accused of the crime, especially given that the [tests] were performed sometime after the facts.” The court based the guilty verdict only on the declarations by police officers and wrote that: “it is appropriate to sentence them to eight months as an adequate and dissuasive sentence proportional to the offense that they have committed.”

    A.C., 18, student

    A.C. was arrested three times for sodomy. The first time was in August 2017, when he was 17. Police forces arrested him at his house after his two sisters denounced him as gay and took him to the Kasba police station in Tunis. He said that they interrogated him extensively about his sexual orientation and took his smart phone and searched his personal data. The next day, they took him to a forensic doctor in the Charles Nicole hospital for an anal examination. He said he did not have a lawyer and that the police did not inform him of his right to have one.

    I did not understand what was going on. The police told me that the test is mandatory. The doctor told me to go on an examination bed and to bend, and then he inserted his fingers in my insides. The doctor did not explain what the test is about.

    A.C. said he was released without charge after spending two days in the Kasba police station.

    On May 15, 2018, he went to the police station in Sijoumi, in Tunis, in response to a summons. He said police officers told him his family had filed a complaint and questioned him for almost four hours. A.C. confessed to being gay. The police took him to Bouchoucha detention center in Tunis, where he spent the night. The next day, May 16, he appeared before the Tunis first instance court in Sidi Hassine, where an investigative judge interviewed him. The judge asked him: “Why are you like this? Don’t you know that what you’re doing is haram [forbidden under Islam]?”

    I told the judge that I didn’t break any laws, that what I do is my personal business. I did not hurt anyone. This is my private life and should not be the concern of anyone else.

    He said the judge ordered his detention for two months in a juvenile rehabilitation center, as he was still a minor, and forced him to undergo “conversion therapy,” a thoroughly discredited method to change someone’s sexual orientation or gender identity. At the center, a psychiatrist visited him twice, telling him that “he should work on changing himself and his mind.” He appeared before another investigative judge, on June 25, who released him.

    A.C. said that on September 2, he was running some errands with his boyfriend when the police stopped them and asked for their identity cards. The police told A.C. that his family had filed a complaint against him. They took him to Hay Hlel police station in Tunis, where they questioned him about his sexual life, confiscated his phone, and looked at his photos and personal conversations. A prosecutor issued a warrant to detain him, and he spent eight days in the Bouchoucha detention center. On September 20, he appeared before a judge, who released him without charge.

    F.B, 28; N.A, 21 and B.K., 27, day laborers

    In Sousse, a coastal city, the police arrested three men in January 2017, after neighbors complained that they suspected the men were gay. In the indictment, which Human Rights Watch reviewed, the investigative judge states that the police went to the house where the men were staying, seized their phones, on which they found “evidence that they were sodomites,” as well as “women’s clothing,” and took the men to the police station.

    The investigative judge ruled that the men harmed public morals based on the content of the seized phones and “because they dressed up like women, used lipstick, and talked in a languid way.” The police report and the indictment, which usually would include information about a judicial warrant, did not indicate that the police had one. The three men were sentenced to two months in prison for the charge of harming public morals and served their terms.

    https://www.hrw.org/news/2018/11/08/tunisia-privacy-threatened-homosexuality-arrests

    #Tunisie #homophobie #homosexualité #COI #LGBT

  • Brazilian media report that police are entering university classrooms to interrogate professors

    In advance of this Sunday’s second-round presidential election between far-right politician Jair #Bolsonaro and center-left candidate Fernando Haddad, Brazilian media are reporting that Brazilian police have been staging raids, at times without warrants, in universities across the country this week. In these raids, police have been questioning professors and confiscating materials belonging to students and professors.

    The raids are part a supposed attempt to stop illegal electoral advertising. Brazilian election law prohibits electoral publicity in public spaces. However, many of the confiscated materials do not mention candidates. Among such confiscated materials are a flag for the Universidade Federal Fluminense reading “UFF School of Law - Anti-Fascist” and flyers titled “Manifest in Defense of Democracy and Public Universities.”

    For those worrying about Brazilian democracy, these raids are some of the most troubling signs yet of the problems the country faces. They indicate the extremes of Brazilian political polarization: Anti-fascist and pro-democracy speech is now interpreted as illegal advertising in favor of one candidate (Fernando Haddad) and against another (Jair Bolsonaro). In the long run, the politicization of these two terms will hurt support for the idea of democracy, and bolster support for the idea of fascism.

    In the short run, the raids have even more troublesome implications. Warrantless police raids in university classrooms to monitor professor speech have worrisome echoes of Brazil’s 1964-1985 military regime — particularly when the speech the raids are seeking to stop is not actually illegal.

    Perhaps the most concerning point of all is that these raids are happening before Bolsonaro takes office. They have often been initiated by complaints from Bolsonaro supporters. All of this suggests that if Bolsonaro wins the election — as is widely expected — and seeks to suppress the speech of his opponents, whom he has called “red [i.e., Communist] criminals,” he may have plenty of willing helpers.

    https://www.vox.com/mischiefs-of-faction/2018/10/26/18029696/brazilian-police-interrogate-professors
    #université #extrême_droite #Brésil #police #it_has_begun
    Je crois que je vais commencer à utiliser un nouveau tag, qui est aussi le nom d’un réseau : #scholars_at_risk

    • Brésil : à peine élu, Jair Bolsonaro commence la chasse aux opposants de gauche

      Les universités dans le viseur

      Enfin, toujours pour lutter contre l’opposition à gauche, Jair Bolsonaro entend faire pression sur les professeurs d’université qui parleraient de politique pendant leurs cours.

      Le président élu a récemment scandalisé une partie du monde éducatif en accusant des professeurs, cités avec leurs noms et prénoms, de défendre les régimes de Cuba et de Corée du Nord devant leurs élèves, dans une vidéo diffusée sur Internet.

      Et pour y remédier, il compte installer des pancartes devant les salles de cours pour appeler les étudiants à dénoncer leurs professeurs par le biais d’une « hotline » téléphonique dédiée à la question.

      https://www.bfmtv.com/international/bresil-a-peine-elu-jair-bolsonaro-commence-la-chasse-aux-opposants-de-gauche-

    • Au Brésil, vague de répression dans les universités à la veille du second tour

      Quelques jours avant le second tour de l’élection présidentielle brésilienne, qui voit s’affronter le candidat d’extrême droite Jair Bolsonaro et le candidat du Parti des travailleurs (PT) Fernando Haddad, les campus universitaires du pays ont fait face à une vague inédite de répression de la liberté d’expression. Jeudi 25 octobre, la police a investi 27 universités, à la demande des tribunaux électoraux, dont les juges sont chargés de faire respecter les règles de communication et de propagande électorales des partis en lice. Les forces de police étaient à la recherche de supposé matériel de propagande électorale illégale. En fait, ces opérations ont visé des banderoles antifascistes, de soutien à la démocratie, un manifeste en soutien à l’université publique, des débats et des cours sur la dictature, la démocratie et les « fakes news » – ces mensonges ayant été largement diffusés pendant la campagne, en particulier par l’extrême-droite… [1]

      À Rio, une juge a ainsi fait enlever une banderole du fronton du bâtiment de la faculté de droit de l’université fédérale Fluminense (UFF), sur laquelle était inscrit, autour du symbole antifasciste du double drapeau rouge et noir, « Droit UFF antifasciste ». À l’université de l’État de Rio, les agents électoraux ont retiré une banderole en hommage à Marielle Franco, l’élue municipale du parti de gauche PSOL assassinée en pleine rue en mars dernier.

      220 000 messages de haine en quatre jours contre une journaliste

      Dans une université du Pará, quatre policiers militaires sont entrés sur le campus pour interroger un professeur sur « son idéologie ». L’enseignant avait abordé la question des fake news dans un cours sur les médias numériques. Une étudiante s’en est sentie offensée, alléguant une « doctrine marxiste », et l’a dit à son père, policier militaire. Une enquête du journal la Folha de São Paulo a pourtant révélé mi-octobre que des entreprises qui soutiennent le candidat d’extrême droite avaient acheté les services d’entreprises de communication pour faire envoyer en masse des fausses nouvelles anti-Parti des travailleurs directement sur les numéros whatsapp – une plateforme de messagerie en ligne – des Brésiliens. L’auteure de l’enquête, la journaliste Patricia Campos Melo, et le quotidien de São Paulo, ont ensuite reçu 220 000 messages de haine en quatre jours ! [2] Le journal a demandé à la police fédérale de lancer une enquête.

      Mais ce sont des conférences et des débats sur la dictature militaire et le fascisme qui ont pour l’instant été interdits. C’est le cas d’un débat public intitulé « Contre la fascisme, pour la démocratie », qui devait avoir lieu à l’université fédérale de Rio Grande do Sul (la région de Porto Alegre). Devaient y participer l’ex-candidat du parti de gauche PSOL au premier tour de la présidentielle, Guilherme Boulos, un ancien ministre issu du Parti des travailleurs, des députés fédéraux du PT et du PSOL. « J’ai donné des cours et des conférences dans des universités en France, en Angleterre, au Portugal, en Espagne, en Allemagne, en Argentine, et ici, même pendant la dictature. Aujourd’hui, je suis censuré dans l’État, le Rio Grande do Sul, que j’ai moi-même gouverné. Le fascisme grandit », a réagi l’un des députés, Tarso Genro, sur twitter.

      Une banderole « moins d’armes, plus de livres » jugée illégale

      Dans le Paraíba, les agents du tribunal électoral se sont introduits dans l’université pour retirer une banderole où était simplement inscrit « moins d’armes, plus de livres ». « Cette opération de la justice électorale dans les universités du pays pour saisir du matériel en défense de la démocratie et contre le fascisme est absurde. Cela rappelle les temps sombres de la censure et de l’invasion des facultés », a écrit Guilherme Boulos, le leader du PSOL, sur twitter, ajoutant : « Le parti de la justice a formé une coalition avec le PSL », le parti de Bolsonaro. « De telles interventions à l’intérieur de campus au cours d’une campagne électorale sont inédites. Une partie de l’appareil d’État se prépare au changement de régime », a aussi alerté l’historienne française, spécialiste du Brésil, Maud Chirio, sur sa page Facebook.

      Dimanche dernier, dans une allocution filmée diffusée pour ses supporters rassemblés à São Paulo, Jair Bolsonaro a proféré des menaces claires à l’égard de ses opposants. « Ou vous partez en exil ou vous partez en prison », a-il dit, ajoutant « nous allons balayer ces bandits rouges du Brésil », et annonçant un « nettoyage jamais vu dans l’histoire de ce pays ». Il a précisé qu’il allait classer le Mouvements des paysans sans Terre (MST) et le Mouvement des travailleurs sans toit (MTST) comme des organisations terroristes, et menacé Fernando Haddad de l’envoyer « pourrir en prison aux côtés de Lula ».


      https://www.bastamag.net/Au-Bresil-vague-de-repression-dans-les-universites-a-la-veille-du-second-t

    • We deplore this attack on freedom of expression in Brazil’s universities

      107 international academics react to social media reports that more than 20 universities in Brazil have been invaded by military police in recent days, with teaching materials confiscated on ideological grounds

      Reports have emerged on social media that more than 20 universities in Brazil have been subjected in recent days to: invasions by military police; the confiscation of teaching materials on ideological grounds; and the suppression of freedom of speech and expression, especially in relation to anti-fascist history and activism.

      As academics, researchers, graduates, students and workers at universities in the UK, Europe and further afield, we deplore this attack on freedom of expression in Brazil’s universities, which comes as a direct result of the campaign and election of far-right President Bolsonaro.

      Academic autonomy is a linchpin not only of independent and objective research, but of a functioning democracy, which should be subject to scrutiny and informed, evidence-based investigation and critique.

      We call on co-workers, colleagues and students to decry this attack on Brazil’s universities in the name of Bolsonaro’s wider militaristic, anti-progressive agenda. We will not stand by as this reactionary populist attacks the pillars of Brazil’s democracy and education system. We will campaign vigorously in whatever capacity we can with activists, educators and lawmakers in Brazil to ensure that its institutions can operate without the interference of this new – and hopefully short-lived – government.
      Dr William McEvoy, University of Sussex, UK (correspondent)
      Dr Will Abberley, University of Sussex
      Nannette Aldred, University of Sussex
      Patricia Alessandrini, Stanford University, USA
      Dr Michael Alexander, University of Glasgow
      Steven Allen, Birkbeck, University of London
      Dr Katherine Angel, Birkbeck, University of London
      Pedro Argenti, University of Antwerp, Belgium
      Nick Awde, International Editor, The Stage newspaper, London
      Professor Ian Balfour, York University, Toronto, Canada
      Lennart Balkenhol, University of Melbourne, Australia
      Nehaal Bajwa, University of Sussex
      Dr Louis Bayman, University of Southampton
      Mark Bergfeld, former NUS NEC (2010-2012)
      Professor Tim Bergfelder, University of Southampton
      Dr Patricia Pires Boulhosa, University of Cambridge
      Dr Maud Bracke, University of Glasgow
      Max Brookman-Byrne, University of Lincoln
      Dr Conrad Brunström, Maynooth University, Ireland
      Dr Christopher Burlinson, Jesus College, Cambridge
      Professor Martin Butler, University of Sussex
      Professor Gavin Butt, University of Sussex
      Cüneyt Çakirlar, Nottingham Trent University
      Guilherme Carréra, University of Westminster
      Geoffrey Chew, Royal Holloway, University of London
      Dr Maite Conde, University of Cambridge
      Dr Luke Cooper, Anglia Ruskin University, UK, and Institute of Human Sciences, Vienna, Austria
      Dr Sue Currell, University of Sussex
      Professor Dimitris Dalakoglou, Vrije University, Amsterdam, Netherlands
      William Dalziel, University of Sussex
      Dr April de Angelis, Royal Holloway, University of London
      Dr Olga Demetriou, Durham University
      Dr Stephanie Dennison, University of Leeds
      Dr Steffi Doebler, University of Liverpool
      Dr Sai Englert, SOAS University of London
      James Erskine, University of Sussex and Birkbeck, University of London
      Professor Martin Paul Eve, Birkbeck, University of London
      John Fallas, University of Leeds
      Dr Lynne Fanthome, Staffordshire University
      Dr Hannah Field, University of Sussex
      Dr Adrian Garvey, Birkbeck, University of London
      Dr Laura Gill, University of Sussex
      Dr Priyamvada Gopal, University of Cambridge
      Bhavini Goyate, University of Sussex
      Dr Craig Haslop, University of Liverpool
      Professor Björn Heile, University of Glasgow
      Dr Phil Hutchinson, Manchester Metropolitan University
      Professor Martin Iddon, University of Leeds
      Dr Eleftheria Ioannidou, University of Groningen, Netherlands
      Dr Chris Kempshall, University of Sussex
      Andrew Key, University of California, Berkeley, USA
      Professor Laleh Khalili, SOAS University of London
      Dr Theodore Koulouris, University of Brighton
      Professor Maria Lauret, University of Sussex
      Professor Vicky Lebeau, University of Sussex
      Professor James Livesey, University of Dundee, Scotland
      Professor Luke Martell, University of Sussex
      Dr N Gabriel Martin, Lebanese American University, Lebanon
      Wolfgang Marx, University College, Dublin, Ireland
      Andy Medhurst, University of Sussex
      Professor Philippe Meers, University of Antwerp, Belgium
      Dr Shamira A Meghani, University of Cambridge
      Niccolo Milanese, CESPRA EHESS, Paris, France and PUC Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
      Dr Ian Moody, CESEM – Universidade Nova, Lisbon
      Professor Lucia Naqib, University of Reading
      Dr Catherine Packham, University of Sussex
      Professor Dimitris Papanikolaou, University of Oxford
      Mary Parnwell, University of Sussex
      Professor Deborah Philips, University of Brighton
      Dr Chloe Porter, University of Sussex
      Dr Jason Price, University of Sussex
      Dr Duška Radosavljević, Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, University of London
      Francesca Reader, University of Sussex and University of Brighton
      Naida Redgrave, University of East London
      Professor Nicholas Ridout, Queen Mary, University of London
      Professor Lucy Robinson, University of Sussex
      Dr Kirsty Rolfe, University of Sussex
      Dr Joseph Ronan, University of Brighton
      Dr Michael Rowland, University of Sussex
      Dr Zachary Rowlinson, University of Sussex
      Professor Nicholas Royle, University of Sussex
      Dr Eleanor Rycroft, University of Bristol
      Dr Jason Scott-Warren, University of Cambridge
      Dr Deborah Shaw, University of Portsmouth
      Dr Lisa Shaw, University of Liverpool
      Kat Sinclair, University of Sussex
      Sandrine Singleton-Perrin, University of Essex
      Despina Sinou, University of Paris 13 – Sorbonne Paris Cité, France
      Dave Smith, University of Hertfordshire
      John Snijders, Durham University
      Dr Samuel Solomon, University of Sussex
      Dr Arabella Stanger, University of Sussex
      Professor Rob Stone, University of Birmingham
      Bernard Sufrin, Emeritus Fellow, Dept of Computer Science, University of Oxford
      Dr Natasha Tanna, University of Cambridge
      Professor Lyn Thomas, University of Sussex
      Simon Thorpe, University of Warwick
      Dr Gavan Titley, Maynooth University, Ireland
      Dr Pamela Thurschwell, University of Sussex
      Dr Dominic Walker, University of Sussex
      Dr Ed Waller, University of Surrey and University of Portsmouth
      Dr Kiron Ward, University of Sussex
      Helen Wheatley, University of Warwick
      Ian Willcock, University of Herfordshire
      Professor Gregory Woods, Nottingham Trent University
      Dr Tom F Wright, University of Sussex
      Dr Heba Youssef, University of Brighton

      https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/nov/01/we-deplore-this-attack-on-freedom-of-expression-in-brazils-universities
      #liberté_d'expression

    • Brazil Court Strikes Down Restrictions on University Speech

      Brazil´s Supreme Court issued an important decision striking down restrictions on political speech on university campuses in a unanimous ruling yesterday. Meanwhile, president-elect Jair Bolsonaro´s allies in Congress are pressing ahead with efforts to restrict what students and educators can discuss in the classroom.

      The court ruling overturned decisions by electoral court judges who recently ordered universities across the country to clamp down on what they considered illegal political campaigning. The orders were spurred by complaints from anonymous callers and, in a few cases, by members of conservative groups.

      For example, at Grande Dourados Federal University, court officials suspended a public event against fascism, according to the student group that organized it. At Campina Grande Federal University, police allegedly seized copies of a pamphlet titled “Manifesto in defense of democracy and public universities” and hard drives, said a professors´ association.

      At Rio de Janeiro State University, police ordered the removal of a banner honoring Marielle Franco, a black lesbian human rights defender and councilwoman murdered in March, despite not having a judicial order.

      The attorney general, Raquel Dodge, asked the Supreme Court to rule the electoral court judges´ decisions unconstitutional, and Supreme Court justice Cármen Lúcia Rocha issued an injunction stopping them. The full court upheld that decision on October 31.

      “The only force that must enter universities is the force of ideas,” said Rocha.

      “The excessive and illegitimate use of force by state agents … echoes somber days in Brazilian history,” said Justice Rosa Weber, referring to Brazil´s 1964 – 1985 military dictatorship.

      The ruling comes as Bolsonaro, who remains in Congress until he assumes the presidency on January 1, and his allies push a bill that would prohibit teachers from promoting their own opinions in the classroom or using the terms “gender” or “sexual orientation,” and would order that sex and religious education be framed around “family values.”

      A state representative-elect from Bolsonaro´s party has even called on students to film and report teachers who make “political-partisan or ideological statements.” Bolsonaro made a similar call in 2016. State prosecutors have filed a civil action against the representative-elect, alleging she instituted “an illegal service for the political and ideological control of teaching activities.”

      In his long career in Congress, Bolsonaro has endorsed abusive practices that undermine the rule of law, defended the dictatorship, and has been a vocal proponent of bigotry.

      More than ever, Brazil needs its judiciary to defend human rights within and outside the classroom.


      https://www.hrw.org/news/2018/11/01/brazil-court-strikes-down-restrictions-university-speech
      #cour_suprême #justice

    • Présidentielle au Brésil : relents de dictature militaire

      Présidentielle au Brésil : Bolsonaro et le « risque d’un retour à l’ordre autoritaire en Amérique latine »

      Porté par plus de deux cents universitaires, responsables politiques et citoyens d’Europe et du Canada, ce manifeste s’inscrit dans un mouvement mondial de soutien à la démocratie face à la violence déchaînée par la candidature de Jair Bolsonaro au Brésil. Il est ouvert aux démocrates de toutes les sensibilités politiques. Face au risque imminent d’un retour à l’ordre autoritaire en Amérique latine, la solidarité internationale est impérative.

      Nous, citoyens, intellectuels, militants, personnalités politiques vivant, travaillant et étudiant en Europe et au Canada, exprimons notre vive inquiétude face à la menace imminente de l’élection de Jair Bolsonaro à la présidence du Brésil le 28 octobre 2018.

      Le souvenir de la dictature militaire

      La victoire de l’extrême droite radicale au Brésil risque de renforcer le mouvement international qui a porté au pouvoir des politiciens réactionnaires et antidémocratiques dans de nombreux pays ces dernières années.

      Bolsonaro défend ouvertement le souvenir de la dictature militaire qui a imposé sa loi au Brésil entre 1964 et 1985, ses pratiques de torture et ses tortionnaires. Il méprise le combat pour les droits humains. Il exprime une hostilité agressive envers les femmes, les Afro-descendants, les membres de la communauté LGBT +, les peuples autochtones et les pauvres. Son programme vise à détruire les avancées politiques, économiques, sociales, environnementales et culturelles des quatre dernières décennies, ainsi que l’action menée par les mouvements sociaux et le camp progressiste pour consolider et étendre la démocratie au Brésil.

      L’élection de Bolsonaro menace les fragiles institutions démocratiques pour la construction desquelles les Brésilien·ne·s ont pris tant de risques. Son arrivée au pouvoir serait aussi un frein majeur à toute politique internationale ambitieuse en matière de défense de l’environnement et de préservation de la paix.

      Premiers signataires : Martine Aubry , maire de Lille, ancienne ministre (PS) ; Luc Boltanski , sociologue, directeur d’études, EHESS ; Peter Burke , historien, professeur émérite à l’université de Cambridge ; Roger Chartier , historien, directeur d’études EHESS/Collège de France ; Mireille Clapot , députée de la Drôme, vice-présidente de la commission des affaires étrangères (LRM) ; Laurence Cohen , sénatrice du Val-de-Marne (PCF) ; Didier Fassin , professeur de sciences sociales, Institute for advanced study, Princeton ; Carlo Ginzburg , professeur émérite à UCLA et à l’Ecole normale supérieure de Pise ; Eva Joly , députée européenne (groupe Verts-ALE) ; Pierre Louault , sénateur d’Indre-et-Loire (UDI) ; Paul Magnette, bourgmestre de Charleroi, ex-ministre président de la Wallonie, ex-président du Parti socialiste belge ; Thomas Piketty , directeur d’études à l’EHESS.

      http://jennifer-detemmerman.fr/index.php/2018/10/23/presidentielle-au-bresil-relents-de-dictature-militaire

    • Une pétition qui a été lancé avant l’élection...
      Defend Democracy in Brazil. Say No to Jair Bolsonaro

      Defend Democracy in Brazil,

      Say No to Jair Bolsonaro

      We, citizens, intellectuals, activists, politicians, people living, working, and studying in Europe and Canada, wish to express our growing alarm at the imminent threat of Jair Bolsonaro’s election to the presidency on October 28, 2018. The potential victory of a far-right radical in Brazil would reinforce a dangerous international trend of extremely reactionary and anti-democratic politicians gaining state power in recent years.

      Bolsonaro explicitly defends the Brazilian military dictatorship that ruled the country from 1964-85 and praises torture and torturers. He condemns human rights efforts. He has expressed aggressive and vile hostility toward women, people of African descent, the LGBT+ community, indigenous people, and the poor. His proposed policies would effectively undo all of the political, social, economic, labor, environmental, and cultural gains of the last four decades, efforts by social movements and progressive politicians to consolidate and expand democracy in Brazil. A Bolsonaro presidency also threatens to undermine the still fragile democratic politics that people throughout Brazil have risked so much to build.

      His election would seriously hamper any ambitious international effort for environmental protection, against climate change and for the preservation of peace.

      Adapted version of the text « Defend Democracy in Brazil, Say No to Jair Bolsonaro! »

      https://www.change.org/p/association-pour-la-recherche-sur-le-br%C3%A9sil-en-europe-pour-la-d%C3%A9fe

  • Sri Lanka: Government Slow to Return Land. Create Consultative Process to End Military Occupation

    The Sri Lankan government has yet to fully restore civilian ownership of land and property nearly a decade since the end of the civil war in 2009, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. Progress, particularly since the election of a new government in 2015, has been hindered by broad military claims of national security and the lack of a transparent process.

    The 80-page report, “‘Why Can’t We Go Home?’: Military Occupation of Land in Sri Lanka,” details security force occupation of land both during and after the armed conflict. It identifies the lack of transparency and due process, failure to map occupied land, inadequate support to affected people and communities, and prolonged delays in providing appropriate reparations for decades of loss and suffering. The military has also used some confiscated lands for commercial profit rather than national security and returned damaged or destroyed property to owners without compensation.

    “All those displaced during Sri Lanka’s brutal civil war are entitled to return to their homes,” said Meenakshi Ganguly, South Asia director. “Despite repeated pledges by the authorities, the military has been frustratingly slow to restore land to its rightful owners.”

    The report is based on over 100 interviews between August 2017 to May 2018 with members of affected communities, activists, local officials, and lawyers. It looks into cases of military occupation and land release in 20 areas in six districts, primarily in Sri Lanka’s north and east.

    The three-decade civil war in Sri Lanka ended with the decisive defeat of the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in May 2009. Large areas, including those previously held by the LTTE in the north and east, came under military control. At the end of the war, some 300,000 people ended up in a military detention camp.

    While the administration of then-President Mahinda Rajapaksa released some land to its original owners, the military retained control over large areas for military but also non-military purposes, such as agriculture, tourism, and other commercial ventures.

    The new government, led by President Maithripala Sirisena, took some steps to release civilian land held by the security forces. At the United Nations Human Rights Council in October 2015, the government promised to address conflict-related issues, including returning land to its original owners. However, the government’s response has fallen far short of its promises. On October 4, 2018, the president ordered the state to release all civilian land by December 31, 2018.

    The military has also retained control of land it previously announced it would return. For instance, in April 2017, the navy responded to protests by displaced communities from the Mullikulam area in Mannar by announcing it would release 100 acres of the land that security forces had been occupying. More than a year later, people are still waiting.

    “Now there is no war,” said Francis Crooss, a village elder. “It’s now peacetime. So why can’t we go back home?”

    State agencies have exchanged properties without releasing the land to civilians. In Pallimunai in Mannar, land belonging to residents displaced since 1990 was occupied first by the army and then the police. At war’s end, the police promised to release their land and homes, but instead, the navy took control.

    “We’ve been made refugees in our own village,” said Helena Perera, one of the residents.

    All three major ethnic communities in the country – the Sinhalese, Tamils, and Muslims – are affected by military occupation of land in the north and east. However, the vast majority of cases impact the Tamil community.

    Human Rights Watch documented a number of cases in which properties were destroyed while held by the military after the war, including Hindu temples, churches, mosques, and Buddhist shrines.

    Government authorities have also carried out land grabs since the end of the war. In July 2010, the military forcibly evicted residents of Ragamwela, Panama, in southeastern Ampara district. In November 2011, 200 soldiers arrived in Ashraf Nagar village in Ampara district and demanded that all its occupants leave. In such cases, the security forces set up military camps or used the land for other purposes, including commercial use.

    The government’s failure to establish a uniform policy on resettlement remains a critical problem, Human Rights Watch said. Some displaced families did not receive proper resettlement assistance when they returned to formerly occupied lands. The government transferred others from displacement camps, but they then entered into other forms of displacement, such as living with friends and relatives, or moving to other camps closer to their original properties, which the military still occupied. Those resettled more than once were denied full resettlement assistance when their land was eventually released.

    A 70-year-old fisherman from Myliddy said his family had moved 24 times in 27 years until the military released his property in July 2017. But without resettlement assistance, he is severely in debt. “We hope the government will at least help us restart our lives this one last time,” he said.

    Partial releases pose particular problems for returnee communities. Military control of neighboring areas hinders access to services and jobs, and heightens fears of surveillance and harassment by soldiers.

    Establishing ownership of land where multiple displacements have occurred over decades is difficult, Human Rights Watch said. But instead of leaving it exclusively to the military, the government should urgently set up a transparent and consultative process, including displaced communities, to establish land claims and restore civilian ownership.

    “The government has adopted an arbitrary, piecemeal approach to land returns, which is fomenting deep distrust among communities wary that the military is still in charge,” Ganguly said. “It should address rights violations and provide remedies to end the distress of those who have long suffered because of the military’s occupation of land.”


    https://www.hrw.org/news/2018/10/09/sri-lanka-government-slow-return-land
    #terre #Sri-Lanka #guerre #conflit #occupation #occupation_militaire #retour #rapport #IDPs #déplacés_internes #réfugiés #restitution_des_terres

    Lien vers le rapport:
    https://www.hrw.org/report/2018/10/09/why-cant-we-go-home/military-occupation-land-sri-lanka

  • New Satellite Imagery Shows Growth in Detention Camps for Children

    A satellite image taken on September 13, 2018, shows substantial growth in the tent city the US government is using to detain migrant children located in the desert in #Tornillo, #Texas.

    The tent city was originally used to house children separated from parents this summer, when the Trump administration was aggressively prosecuting parents traveling with children for illegal entry to the US. The US Department of Health and Human Services has stated that the new growth in the number of tents is necessary in order to house children who may cross the border on their own, unaccompanied by family members.

    The image from September 13, 2018 shows that since June 19th, the date of a previous satellite image, the number of tent shelters has nearly quadrupled, from 28 to 101 tents. At a reported capacity of 20 children per tent, the tent city can currently house 2,020 children, which is only half of the government’s stated goal of 3,800 beds at the Tornillo facility. In addition to the completed tents, there are numerous tents that can be seen currently under construction as well as several larger buildings that have recently been built.

    “Children should not be detained, since locking up kids harms their health and development,” said Alison Parker, US managing director of Human Rights Watch. “There are safe and viable alternatives to detaining children that the US government should put to use immediately.”


    https://www.hrw.org/news/2018/10/03/new-satellite-imagery-shows-growth-detention-camps-children
    #rétention #détention #camps #asile #migrations #réfugiés #enfants #enfance #images_satellitaires #USA #frontières #Etats-Unis

    • *The Ongoing, Avoidable Horror of the Trump

      Administration’s Texas Tent Camp for Migrant Kids*
      The detention camp for migrant kids in Tornillo, Texas, was supposed to be gone by now. Set up as a temporary “emergency influx shelter” in June, when the government was running out of places to put the kids it was tearing from parents at the border, the camp, located in the desert forty miles southeast of El Paso, was originally scheduled to close on July 13th. But the government kept pushing back the deadline, in thirty-day increments, until recently disclosing that the facility will remain open at least through the end of the year.

      The Times put the camp back in the news this week, reporting that the facility’s capacity was also recently increased, so that it could accommodate up to thirty-eight hundred kids—some ten times as many kids as it was housing in June. “[T]he intent is to use these temporary facilities only as long as needed,” Evelyn Stauffer, a spokesperson for the Department of Health and Human Services, which oversees the facility, told the Times. From the start at Tornillo, though, “as needed” has been less about outside forces than about the Administration’s own decisions and goals. The government has discussed Tornillo as if it’s a necessary response to a crisis “when it’s not a crisis,” Bob Carey, a former H.H.S. official, told me on Monday. Carey ran the Office of Refugee Resettlement, the branch of H.H.S. responsible for the care of migrant kids, during the final two years of the Obama Administration. Tornillo was, and is, “a consequence of the actions of the Administration,” he said.

      President Trump put a halt to family separations in June, in response to the enormous public outcry and the humanitarian disaster that the policy produced. Yet, while public attention moved on, the number of kids in government custody has only gone up. As the Times reported, there are now more than thirteen thousand migrant kids in government facilities, five times more than a year ago, and those kids are spending an average of fifty-nine days in custody, twice as long as a year ago. While Tornillo was set up to make room for kids who had been taken from parents, most of the kids there now crossed the border alone. This isn’t a new problem—large numbers of kids crossed the borders by themselves in the last years of the Obama Administration. In response, O.R.R. used “emergency influx shelters,” with the idea to dismantle them as soon as demand waned. The goal was to place the kids with relatives or other sponsors around the country. “These facilities, none of them were intended as long-term care facilities,” Carey said. The Tornillo camp, for instance, doesn’t offer any systemized schooling to the kids there.

      Recently, this work of processing kids out of government custody has begun to slow significantly. That’s reflected in the longer amount of time that the kids are spending in government facilities. “They’re treating these kids like criminals,” another Obama-era H.H.S. official told me. “That comes at a significant cost to the kids, to their mental health.” Part of the issue is that the government has given potential sponsors, who are often undocumented themselves, a real reason to fear coming forward to claim the kids. In June, as the Times reported, “federal authorities announced that potential sponsors and other adult members of their households would have to submit fingerprints, and that the data would be shared with immigration authorities.” Immigration and Customs Enforcement has acknowledged arresting dozens of people who came forward to be sponsors. With the way the numbers are trending, it’s hard to see how the need for the tent camp at Tornillo will end.


      https://www.newyorker.com/news/current/the-ongoing-avoidable-horror-of-the-trump-administrations-texas-tent-camp
      #tentes

  • Palestinians prevent Israeli settlers’ raid of Khan al-Ahmar
    Sept. 7, 2018 1:33 P.M. (Updated: Sept. 7, 2018 5:08 P.M.)
    http://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?ID=780980

    JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — A group of Palestinians prevented a group of Israeli settlers from raiding the Khan al-Ahmar village east of occupied Jerusalem City, on Friday morning.

    Locals said that Israeli settlers attempted to raid the Bedouin village, threatened with demolition that is expected to take place in less than a week, to provoke residents and activists carrying out a sit-in at the village.

    Palestinian youths prevented Israeli settlers from raiding the village and forced them to leave back to the nearby main street.

    Israeli settlers were carrying Israeli flags and repeating racist slogans.

    Locals added that the settlers also called for expelling Palestinians of Bedouin areas east of Jerusalem in favor of increasing Israeli settlements in the area.

    Earlier this week, the Israeli High Court had rejected an appeal against the demolition of the village, and ordered the evacuation of its residents in preparation for its demolition within a week.

    Khan al-Ahmar has been under threat of demolition by Israeli forces; the demolition would leave more than 35 Palestinian families displaced, as part of an Israeli plan to expand the nearby illegal Israeli settlement of Kfar Adummim.

    #colonialisme_de_peuplement #Khan_al-Ahmar

    • La démolition d’un village de Cisjordanie « comprommet la paix », avertit l’UE
      La destruction de la communauté bédouine de Khan al-Ahmar, à une place stratégique, menace la solution à deux états, dit l’Union européenne
      Par Times of Israel Staff Aujourd’hui, 14:13
      https://fr.timesofisrael.com/la-demolition-dun-village-de-cisjordanie-comprommet-la-paix-averti

      L’Union européenne a vivement recommandé jeudi à Israël de reconsidérer la démolition d’un village bédouin en Cisjordanie, avertissant qu’elle pourrait nuire aux efforts livrés pour conclure un accord de paix entre Israël et les Palestiniens.

      Un jugement de la Haute cour émis la veille a approuvé la destruction de Khan al-Ahmar après le rejet d’un dernier appel dans une affaire qui aura suscité les critiques à l’international.

      « Les conséquences de la démolition de cette communauté et le déplacement de ses résidents, notamment des enfants, contre leur volonté pourrait être très grave, menacer sérieusement la viabilité d’une solution à deux état et venir compromettre les perspectives de paix », a noté l’UE dans un communiqué. « La communauté de Khan al-Ahmar est située dans un secteur sensible de la zone C qui est d’importance stratégique pour préserver la contiguïté d’un futur état palestinien ».

    • Cisjordanie occupée
      L’Union européenne appelle Israël à revenir sur sa décision de démolir un village palestinien
      Avec Agences, 18 juillet 2018 à 18:32
      https://lematin.ma/journal/2018/lunion-europeenne-appelle-israel-revenir-decision-demolir-village-palestinien/297395.html

      La chef de la diplomatie de l’Union européenne, Federica Mogherini, a appelé mercredi les autorités israéliennes à revenir sur leur décision de démolir le village palestinien de Khan Al-Ahmar, faisant part de sa profonde préoccupation quant au sort de la communauté bédouine qui y réside. (...)

    • Demolition of Palestinian Community Imminent. Israeli High Court Green Lights Razing of #Khan_al-Ahmar

      Residents of Khan al-Ahmar thought they had found a way around Israel’s discriminatory building permit regime in Area C of the West Bank. Since a building permit is required only for concrete structures, they built their school, which serves 160 children from five villages, using clay and 2,200 old tires.

      The plan didn’t work. The Israeli army has exclusive control over planning in Area C. It has allocated just one percent of that land for Palestinian buildings, and refuses the vast majority of Palestinian permit applications.

      Khan al-Ahmar was no exception. Over the years, Israeli authorities issued demolition orders against the school and every other structure in this small village of 180 residents, just east of Jerusalem, on the grounds that they lacked permits. On September 5, Israel’s High Court rejected several appeals, and green-lighted demolition.

      Israeli military planning documents do not recognize the community’s presence, and Israeli authorities have repeatedly confiscated its land, demolished its buildings, and expelled its Palestinian residents for building without permits.

      This isn’t the community’s first displacement. In the early 1950s, Israeli forces evicted residents from the Tel Arad district of the Negev desert. The community fled to the West Bank and built a village in the current location. They registered as Palestine refugees with the United Nations.

      In 1977, Israel established the settlement of Ma’ale Adumim, allocating it the land on which Khan al-Ahmar sits.

      International law prohibits an occupying power from destroying property, including schools, unless “absolutely necessary” for “military operations.” Transferring civilians within an occupied territory, either by direct force or indirect coercion into a place not of their choosing, is a war crime under the International Criminal Court’s statute.

      Israeli officials should know that the demolition and any resulting displacement of the population may subject them to criminal investigation.

      Other states also have a duty to ensure that the Geneva Conventions are respected, and should make clear to Israeli officials that, if the demolition goes ahead, people implicated in any criminal acts could be investigated and prosecuted by domestic authorities outside of Israel where they have jurisdiction.

      Global condemnation alone has not stopped serious war crimes during Israel’s 50-year occupation. Action and justice is long overdue.


      https://www.hrw.org/news/2018/09/16/demolition-palestinian-community-imminent

  • John McCain : In Memoriam | Human Rights Watch
    https://www.hrw.org/news/2018/08/26/john-mccain-memoriam

    John S. McCain III, the senior Republican senator from Arizona who died of brain cancer on August 25, 2018, left behind a strong record of commitment to the bipartisan promotion and defense of human rights in the United States and abroad. He was 81.

    Signalé par Angry Arab cet hommage surréaliste de Human Rights Watch à McCain !

  • Arabie saoudite : cinq militants des droits de l’homme risquent la peine de mort

    https://www.lemonde.fr/proche-orient/article/2018/08/23/riyad-requiert-la-peine-de-mort-pour-cinq-militants-des-droits-de-l-homme_53

    Le Monde, décidément ne fait aucun progrès : parmi les cinq personnes mentionnées il y a au moins une femme (Israa Al-Ghomgham) et peut-être plus, mais le Monde s’en fout. Ce serait pas trè compliqué de s’adapter (Cinq militant·es pour la défense des droits humains), mais bon, n’en demandons pas trop à des journalistes méprisants et limités.

    La peine de mort a été requise à l’encontre de cinq militants des droits de l’homme en Arabie saoudite, ont annoncé, mercredi 22 août, Human Rights Watch (HRW), Amnesty International et plusieurs groupes de défense des droits de l’homme.

    Parmi ces personnes figure Israa Al-Ghomgham, militante chiite de premier plan qui a rassemblé des informations sur les manifestations de masse qui ont eu lieu dans la province orientale du pays à partir de 2011.

    –---

    Saudi Prosecution Seeks Death Penalty for Female Activist | Human Rights Watch

    https://www.hrw.org/news/2018/08/21/saudi-prosecution-seeks-death-penalty-female-activist

    International standards, including the Arab Charter on Human Rights, ratified by Saudi Arabia, require countries that retain the death penalty to use it only for the “most serious crimes,” and in exceptional circumstances. Human Rights Watch opposes capital punishment in all countries and under all circumstances. Capital punishment is unique in its cruelty and finality, and it is inevitably and universally plagued with arbitrariness, prejudice, and error.

    A recent crackdown on women’s rights activists in Saudi Arabia has led to the arrest of at least 13 women under the pretext of maintaining national security. While some have since been released, others remain detained without charge. They are: Loujain al-Hathloul, Aziza al-Yousef, Eman al-Nafjan, Nouf Abdelaziz, Mayaa al-Zahrani, Hatoon al-Fassi, Samar Badawi, Nassema al-Sadah, and Amal al-Harbi. Authorities have accused several of them of serious crimes and local media outlets carried out an unprecedented campaign against them, labeling them “traitors.

    –----

    Saudi Arabia arrests two more prominent women’s right activists

    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/08/01/saudi-arabia-arrests-two-prominent-womens-right-activists

    Saudi Arabian authorities have arrested two high-profile women’s rights activists, Human Rights Watch said Wednesday, amid what the organisation called an “unprecedented” crackdown on dissent.

    Award-winning gender rights activist Samar Badawi was arrested along with fellow campaigner Nassima al-Sadah this week, “the latest victims of an unprecedented government crackdown on the women’s rights movement,” HRW said in a statement.

    #droits_humains #droit_des_femmes #arabie_saoudite #barbares et aussi #journalisme_misérable

  • Arabie saoudite : Peine de mort demandée pour des militantes | Mediapart
    https://www.mediapart.fr/journal/international/220818/arabie-saoudite-peine-de-mort-demandee-pour-des-militantes

    La peine de mort a été requise contre cinq militantes des droits de l’homme en Arabie saoudite, ont annoncé Human Rights Watch (HRW) et plusieurs groupes de défense.

    RYAD (Reuters) - La peine de mort a été requise contre cinq militantes des droits de l’homme en Arabie saoudite, ont annoncé Human Rights Watch (HRW) et plusieurs groupes de défense.

    Parmi les détenues figurent Israa al Ghomgham, militante musulmane chiite de premier plan qui a rassemblé des informations sur les manifestations de masse qui ont eu lieu dans la province Orientale à partir de 2011. Elle a été arrêtée chez elle en décembre 2015 avec son mari.

    Elle pourrait être la première femme à être condamnée à la peine capitale pour son activité relative aux droits de l’homme. Elle est notamment accusée d’incitation à manifester et d’avoir apporté un soutien moral à des émeutiers.
    L’Arabie saoudite, monarchie absolue sunnite où les manifestations publiques et les partis politiques sont interdits, a adopté ces dernières années des réformes sociales et économiques de grande envergure sous la houlette du jeune prince héritier Mohamed ben Salman (MBS).

    Mais ces réformes sont accompagnées d’une répression contre les dissidents. Des dizaines de religieux, d’intellectuels et de militants ont été arrêtés cette année, dont des femmes qui avaient fait campagne pour le droit de conduire dans ce pays musulman profondément conservateur.

    Or, les femmes se sont vus récemment accorder le droit de passer leur permis de conduire.

    « Toute exécution est effroyable, mais demander la peine de mort pour des militantes comme Israa al Ghomgham, qui ne sont même pas accusées de comportement violent, est monstrueux », a déclaré mercredi Sarah Leah Whitson, directrice de HRW au Moyen-Orient.

    ALQST, un groupe saoudien de défense des droits de l’homme basé à Londres, a rapporté la décision concernant Israa al Ghomgham au début de la semaine.

    Des militantes des droits de l’homme ! Ce sont pour les droits des femmes qu’elles se battent et que les hommes vont les décapitées.

    • #merci @mad_meg de systématiquement relever la question terminologique, il reste un long chemin à faire avant de réussir à passer des droits de l’homme aux droits humains. Il se trouve qu’on s’est accroché il y a quelques mois avec un groupe de militantes (de défense des droits humains, donc) - et non pas de militants mâles pourtant, qui souhaitaient utiliser nos cartes pour leur nouveau site, et qui ont refusé de changer l’expression « Droits de l’homme » pour « Droits humains » au prétexte que c’était l’histoire, que ça venait des « Lumières » et qu’on ne s’essuit pas les pieds sur l’Histoire. Voilà aussi ce contre quoi il faut se battre. J’ajoute que jai finalement refusé de fournir la cartographie tant que l’expresion « Droits de l’homme » figurerait sur le site.

    • Merci @reka de ne pas avoir laissé passer ça. Il y a parfois des femmes qui s’arcboutent pour conserver un statut d’inférieures à toutes les autres femmes.

      Et je souligne aussi la #traduction_sexiste de médiapart avec son « militantes des droits de l’homme » d’autant que Human Rights Watch a fait un communiqué en anglais.

      https://www.hrw.org/news/2018/08/21/saudi-prosecution-seeks-death-penalty-female-activist

      (Beirut) – Saudi Arabia’s Public Prosecution is seeking the death penalty against five Eastern Province activists, including female human rights activist Israa al-Ghomgham, Human Rights Watch said today. The activists, along with one other person not facing execution, are being tried in the country’s terrorism tribunal on charges solely related to their peaceful activism.

      The Public Prosecution, which reports directly to the king, accused the detained activists of several charges that do not resemble recognizable crimes, including “participating in protests in the Qatif region,” “incitement to protest,” “chanting slogans hostile to the regime,” “attempting to inflame public opinion,” “filming protests and publishing on social media,” and “providing moral support to rioters.” It called for their execution based on the Islamic law principle of ta’zir, in which the judge has discretion over the definition of what constitutes a crime and over the sentence. Authorities have held all six activists in pretrial detention and without legal representation for over two years. Their next court date has been scheduled for October 28, 2018.

      Attention, comme je le soulignais dans un autre seen, la traduction Gogll ne traduit pas le féminin correctement. N’empêche, l’algorithme utilise bien l’expression « droits humains ».

      #Israa_Al-Ghomgham
      #Samar_Badawi
      #Nassima_Al-Sadah
      #Loujain_al-Hathloul
      #Aziza_al-Yousef
      #Eman_al-Nafjan
      #Nouf_Abdelaziz
      #Mayaa_al-Zahrani
      #Hatoon_al-Fassi
      #Amal_al-Harbi

    • Je comprend pas ce qui t’empeiche de dire « Défenseuse » si le suffixe en -esse te va pas et que tu aime « défenseuse ». Pas de problème avec la paraphrase non plus. Les suffixes en esse ont un coté ancien régime - noblesse, papesse, philosophesse, peintresse, comptesse...
      Le dictionnaire cordiale accepte defenseuse :
      https://www.universalis.fr/dictionnaire/defenseuse
      wikipédia dit que le dictionnaire de l’AF ne reconnait pas défenseuse, mais c’est une raison de plus pour s’en servir. L’AF choisissant toujours le mot ou la tournure qui va exprimer haine ou/et mépris des femmes et tout ce qui est féminin de près ou de loin.

      Sinon pour revenir à ces millitantes qui risquent la peine de mort. Je me disait qu’au moins le féminin était conservé à « militante » car il y a 5 femmes, sinon le féminin aurais disparu. Sur le e-monde en fait elles disparaissent.
      https://www.lemonde.fr/proche-orient/article/2018/08/23/riyad-requiert-la-peine-de-mort-pour-cinq-militants-des-droits-de-l-homme_53

      Riyad requiert la peine de mort pour cinq militants des droits de l’homme

      Parmi eux, Israa Al-Ghomgham pourrait devenir la première femme condamnée à la peine capitale pour son engagement en faveur des libertés.

      Et pour illustré ceci une photo de 5 hommes et Israa Al-Ghomgham enfant.

      Du coup c’est curieux de parler de 5 millitantes chez médiapart. D’autre part j’ai pas vu l’usage du mot féminisme, seulement « militante pour les droits de l’homme » ou « pour la liberté » en anglais les journaux vont jusqu’a osé dire parfois « militante pour les liberté des femmes » mais le mot féminisme est proscrit.

  • D’un coté #Macron en plein selfie à l’Elysée avec son grand pote saoudien, le jeune prince « moderne et féministe » #Mohamed_Bin_Salman, à qui la France vend des armes et qu’elle soutient contre vents et marées dans la région. Brutal et orgueilleux, il est en quelque sorte le Jupiter de la péninsule arabique.

    De l’autre #Asra-al-Ghangam, militante pour les #droits_des_femmes et la libération des prisonniers politiques en Arabie Saoudite, arrêtée en 2015 avec son mari. Elle a été exécutée, décapitée au sabre, hier matin. Avant de mourir elle aurait déclaré à ses bourreaux : « Je n’ai tué personne ».

    https://www.facebook.com/nadjil.kallisto/posts/701682903498898
    #Arabie_saoudite #France #armes #armement #féminisme #femmes #décapitation #militantisme #résistance
    cc @reka

    • En tout cas d’après https://www.middleeasteye.net/fr/reportages/en-arabie-saoudite-une-activiste-chiite-risque-la-peine-de-mort-10174, ce n’est pas Esra al-Ghamgam sur la photo mais Samar Badawi
      La vidéo qui circule date de 2015

      Elle serait encore en vie

      http://article19.ma/accueil/archives/97947

      https://twitter.com/ali_adubisi/status/1031146505611161600 13:50 - 19 août 2018

      علي الدبيسي
      @ali_adubisi

      في قضية #إسراء_الغمغام، الحكم لم يصدر بعد والذي حصل هو بدء المحاكمة بالجلسة ١ في ٦/٨/٢٠١٨ وطالبت النيابة العامة بإصدار حكم الإعدام.
      الجلسة ٢ ستعقد في ٢٨/١٠/٢٠١٨ وأقترح دعوة جماهيرية واسعة حول العالم لتظاهرات قبل الجلسة، تضامناً معها ودفاعا عن حقها في الحرية والحياة.
      حياتها أمانة.

      European Saudi Organization for Human Rights Director رئيس المنظمة الأوروبية السعودية لحقوق الإنسان ali.adubisi@esohr.org

    • C’est assez intéressant :

      cette info arrive sur FB formatée dans un style assez spectaculaire pour ne pas dire putassier (l’image de macron et du prince en vis à vis de la photo d’une femme supposée être Israa al-Ghamgham (que le post dit avoir été décapitée) et qui est en fait selon « middleeasteye.net » Samar Badawi, une autre militante saoudienne. Par ailleurs une vidéo circule prétendant être l’execution de cette militante et qui en fait s’avère être une autre décapitation qui date de 2015. Tout le monde a été profondément ému au point de signaler ce post FB sans penser à vérifier. C’est peut-être vrai, peut-être pas, mais une journée complète de recherche n’a rien donné de vraiment probant.

      Comme nous nous intéressons à la situation des droits humains en Arabie saoudite, nous avons aussi été très bouleversé, d’autant plus qu’il y a cette incertitude.

      Ce type de dissémination de l’info me fait peur et me fait penser que nous restons très fragiles face à ce qui nous arrive par différents canaux. D’où l’importance des débats et des partages, et des recherches communes sur seenthis pour tenter de déconstruire cet invraissemblable magma.

    • Saudi Prosecution Seeks Death Penalty for Female Activist

      Saudi Arabia’s Public Prosecution is seeking the death penalty against five Eastern Province activists, including female human rights activist #Israa_al-Ghomgham, Human Rights Watch said today. The activists, along with one other person not facing execution, are being tried in the country’s terrorism tribunal on charges solely related to their peaceful activism.

      The Public Prosecution, which reports directly to the king, accused the detained activists of several charges that do not resemble recognizable crimes, including “participating in protests in the Qatif region,” “incitement to protest,” “chanting slogans hostile to the regime,” “attempting to inflame public opinion,” “filming protests and publishing on social media,” and “providing moral support to rioters.” It called for their execution based on the Islamic law principle of ta’zir, in which the judge has discretion over the definition of what constitutes a crime and over the sentence. Authorities have held all six activists in pretrial detention and without legal representation for over two years. Their next court date has been scheduled for October 28, 2018.

      “Any execution is appalling, but seeking the death penalty for activists like Israa al-Ghomgham, who are not even accused of violent behavior, is monstrous,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. “Every day, the Saudi monarchy’s unrestrained despotism makes it harder for its public relations teams to spin the fairy tale of ‘reform’ to allies and international business.”

      Al-Ghomgham is a Shia activist well known for participating in and documenting mass demonstrations in the Eastern Province that began in early 2011, calling for an end to the systematic discrimination that Saudi Shia citizens face in the majority-Sunni country. Authorities arrested al-Ghomgham and her husband in a night raid on their home on December 6, 2015 and have held them in Dammam’s al-Mabahith prison ever since.

      Saudi activists told Human Rights Watch that the Public Prosecution’s recent demand makes al-Ghomgham the first female activist to possibly face the death penalty for her human rights-related work, which sets a dangerous precedent for other women activists currently behind bars.

      Saudi Arabia’s Specialized Criminal Court (SCC), set up in 2008 to try terrorism cases, has since been increasingly used to prosecute peaceful dissidents. The court is notorious for its violations of fair trial standards and has previously sentenced other Shia activists to death on politically motivated charges. The court sentenced a prominent Shia cleric, Nimr al-Nimr, and seven other men to death for their role in the 2011 Eastern Province demonstrations in 2014 and another 14 people in 2016 for participating in the protests. Saudi authorities executed al-Nimr and at least three other Shia men on January 2, 2016 when they carried out the largest mass execution since 1980, putting 47 men to death.

      International standards, including the Arab Charter on Human Rights, ratified by Saudi Arabia, require countries that retain the death penalty to use it only for the “most serious crimes,” and in exceptional circumstances. Human Rights Watch opposes capital punishment in all countries and under all circumstances. Capital punishment is unique in its cruelty and finality, and it is inevitably and universally plagued with arbitrariness, prejudice, and error.

      A recent crackdown on women’s rights activists in Saudi Arabia has led to the arrest of at least 13 women under the pretext of maintaining national security. While some have since been released, others remain detained without charge. They are: Loujain al-Hathloul, Aziza al-Yousef, Eman al-Nafjan, Nouf Abdelaziz, Mayaa al-Zahrani, Hatoon al-Fassi, Samar Badawi, Nassema al-Sadah, and Amal al-Harbi. Authorities have accused several of them of serious crimes and local media outlets carried out an unprecedented campaign against them, labeling them “traitors.

      “If the Crown Prince is truly serious about reform, he should immediately step in to ensure no activist is unjustly detained for his or her human rights work,” added Whitson.

      https://www.hrw.org/news/2018/08/21/saudi-prosecution-seeks-death-penalty-female-activist

    • L’algorithme de Google a encore des progrès à faire pour savoir utiliser correctement le féminin …

      A recent crackdown on women’s rights activists in Saudi Arabia has led to the arrest of at least 13 women under the pretext of maintaining national security. While some have since been released, others remain detained without charge. They are: Loujain al-Hathloul, Aziza al-Yousef, Eman al-Nafjan, Nouf Abdelaziz, Mayaa al-Zahrani, Hatoon al-Fassi, Samar Badawi, Nassema al-Sadah, and Amal al-Harbi. Authorities have accused several of them of serious crimes and local media outlets carried out an unprecedented campaign against them, labeling them “traitors.

      est traduit par

      Une récente répression contre les militantes des droits des femmes en Arabie saoudite a conduit à l’arrestation d’au moins 13 femmes sous prétexte de maintenir la sécurité nationale.

      En utilisant « militantes des droits des femmes » sont invibilisés les hommes « militants des droits des femmes ». A la phrase suivante, les femmes redeviennent des hommes …

      Alors que certains ont depuis été libérés, d’autres sont toujours détenus sans inculpation. Les autorités ont accusé plusieurs d’entre eux de crimes graves et les médias locaux ont mené une campagne sans précédent contre eux, les qualifiant de « traîtres ».

  • China: Crackdown on Tibetan Social Groups. New Regulations Ban Social Action Under Guise of Fighting ‘Organized Crime’

    Chinese authorities are using an ostensible anti-mafia campaign to target suspected political dissidents and suppress civil society initiatives in Tibetan areas, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The authorities are now treating even traditional forms of social action, including local mediation of community or family disputes by lamas or other traditional authority figures, as illegal.

    The 101-page report, “‘Illegal Organizations’: China’s Crackdown on Tibetan Social Groups,” details efforts by the Chinese Communist Party at the local level to eliminate the remaining influence of lamas and traditional leaders within Tibetan communities. The report features rare in-depth interviews, state media cartoons depicting the new restrictions, and cases of Tibetans arbitrarily detained for their involvement in community activities.


    https://www.hrw.org/news/2018/07/29/china-crackdown-tibetan-social-groups
    #Chine #Tibet #rapport #répression

  • 08/07: 19 travellers at Turkish-Greek landborder, pushed-back to Turkey

    Watch The Med Alarm Phone Investigations – 8th of July 2018

    Case name: 2018_07_08-AEG406
    Situation: 19 travellers at Turkish-Greek landborder, pushed-back to Turkey
    Status of WTM Investigation: Concluded

    Place of Incident: Aegean Sea

    Summary of the Case:

    On Sunday, 8th of July, at 11:14pm CEST, we were alerted to a group of travellers stuck near #Tichero, Greece, close to the Turkish landborder. The group consisted of 19 people, among them a 1-year-old child, a pregnant lady and a man that had a broken leg. At 12:11pm we managed to establish contact to the travellers. They were afraid of being pushed-back to Turkey by the police and asked for medical aid and the possibility to seek asylum in Greece. We asked them for a list of their names and birth dates in order to alert UNHCR. At 1:02am we received the list. We couldn’t get back in contact until 1:47am. The group decided not to move further and to wait until the morning for the UNHCR office to open so they could call there.
    At 8:30am we called UNHCR and asked for assistance. At 8:45am we also called the local police station but the operator refused to speak to us in English. We told the group to call 112 themselves for assistance. Until 9:30am we couldn’t reach any local police station. At 9:50am we sent an email to the local authorities and UNHCR to inform them about the people. Afterwards we continuously tried again to get in touch with the authorities and the group, but couldn’t establish a connection any more. At 2pm we reached the police in Alexandropolis. They informed us that they were searching since one hour but hadn’t found the travellers. During the afternoon, we couldn’t get any news and didn’t reach the travellers anymore. At 6:53pm the police informed us that they had not found the group yet. The next day at 11:02am we were informed by a contact person that the group had been found and that they had been allegedly violently pushed-back to Turkey. At 12:45am we managed to reach the group itself. They told us that the police had found them at 5:00pm the day before and put them in „a prison“. At 10:00pm the police had told the group that they were being moved to a camp to apply for international protection. However, the police instead brought them back to the river and handed them to officers discribed as „military“, who forced them onto a boat and across Evros border river back to Turkey. The police officers before had confiscated personal belongings of the refugees, including mobile phones, money, passports and the food for the baby.

    http://watchthemed.net/reports/view/943

    #Evros #Grèce #frontières #Turquie #push-back #refoulement #asile #migrations #réfugiés

    • WSJ: Turks fleeing Erdogan fuel new influx of refugees to Greece

      Thousands of Turks flee Turkey due to a massive witch-hunt launched by the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) government against the Kurds and the Gülen Group in the wake of a failed coup attempt on July 15, 2016.
      Around 14,000 people crossed the Evros frontier from January through September of this year, more than double the number for the whole of last year, according to the Greek police. Around half of them were Turkish citizens, according to estimates from Frontex, the European Union’s border agency. Many are judges, military personnel, civil servants or business people who have fallen under Turkish authorities’ suspicion, had their passports canceled and chosen an illegal route out.
      Nearly 4,000 Turks have applied for asylum in Greece so far this year. But most Turkish arrivals don’t register their presence in Greece, planning instead to head deeper into Europe and further from Turkey.

      About 30 Turks have been arriving on a daily basis since the failed coup, according to Kathimerini, there were zero arrivals from Turkey in 2015. However, thousands of Turkish citizens have started claiming asylum in Greece since “Erdogan stepped up his crackdown against his opponents since the failed coup attempt.”

      The Wall Street Journal interviewed some of the purge-victim families in Greece:

      “In the dead of night, Yunuz Cagar and his wife Cansu gave their baby some herbal tea to help her sleep, donned backpacks and followed smugglers on a muddy path along the Evros river, evading fences and border guards until they reached Greece.

      Mr. Cagar, a 29-year-old court clerk, was living a quiet life with his family in a provincial town near Istanbul until Turkey’s crackdown after a failed military coup in 2016 turned their world upside down. Judges, colleagues and friends were arrested. He lost his job and had to move the family into his parents’ attic. Mr. Cagar was arrested and spent four months in prison. His crime, he says, was downloading a messaging app, an act he says the state treated as evidence of supporting terrorism.
      The flow of asylum seekers crossing the Greek-Turkish border along the Evros river is rising for the first time since the peak of Europe’s migration crisis in 2015. This time, though, the increase is mainly due to Turks fleeing President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his dragnet against real or imagined followers of the U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gulen. Turkey accuses Mr. Gulen, an ex-ally turned enemy of Mr. Erdogan, of orchestrating the coup attempt.

      “We didn’t say goodbye to anyone before leaving,” said Mr. Cagar, who is now in Athens trying to find some way to get to Germany. His wife and child already made it there with the help of smugglers who have demanded a hefty price. “We began our journey with €13,000 ($14,700) and I have €1,500 left,” he said.

      Ahmed, a 30-year-old former F-16 pilot in the Turkish air force, spends his days talking to smugglers and trying to find a way out. “My dream is Canada, but the reality is Omonoia,” he said, referring to the gritty square in downtown Athens where migrants and smugglers mingle.

      A few months after the coup attempt, Ahmed said, he was dismissed, accused of Gulenist links, arrested and beaten, after another officer denounced him. He said he has no connections with Mr. Gulen’s network. He was released pending trial, but decided to flee when a prison term appeared unavoidable.

      Yilmaz Bilir, his wife Ozlem and their four children were on vacation when the coup attempt happened. Mr. Bilir, who worked at the information-technology department of Turkey’s foreign ministry, found out months later that he was suspected of Gulenist links, which he denies. The family went into hiding, staying with relatives and friends. Mr. Bilir was arrested when he briefly visited his own home and neighbors called the police. When he was released pending trial, the family decided to leave Turkey.

      Mr. Bilir made it to Germany using a forged passport and has applied for asylum there. His wife and children have applied to join him.

      Mrs. Bilir, stuck for now in Athens, remembers how happy the family was when they crossed the river Evros one summer night. “It was an endless walk, but we were happy, because we were away together,” she said. “I was so stressed in Turkey that I couldn’t sleep well for months, but that first night in detention in Greece, I finally slept.”

      After the coup, Meral Budak was suspended from her job as a teacher. Her husband was a journalist at Zaman, a major Turkish newspaper linked to Mr. Gulen’s movement. He had a valid U.S. visa and was able to travel to Canada, where he now works as an Uber driver. His 18-year-old son joined him a few months later.

      Mrs. Budak and the couple’s 15-year-old son Ali remained in Turkey and soon had their passports revoked. They went into hiding for a year. “The most traumatic memory was when I burned hundreds of books,” she said. “Even my children’s school books could be considered evidence, since the publishing companies were funded by Gulen.”
      On Jan. 1 of this year, Mrs. Budak and Ali undertook the long walk across the Evros and into Greece, where they now wait to join the rest of the family in Canada.

      “When I was walking through Greek villages, I realized my life was never going to be the same,” Mrs. Budak said. “I was walking into the unknown.”
      Read the full report on: https://www.wsj.com/articles/turks-fleeing-erdogan-fuel-new-influx-of-refugees-to-greece-1543672801

      https://turkeypurge.com/wsj-turks-fleeing-erdogan-fuel-new-influx-of-refugees-to-greece
      #réfugiés_turcs

    • Fourth migrant found dead near border, Greek ’pushback’ suspected

      Bodies of migrants keep piling up on Turkey’s border with Greece, while Greece denies it is involved in illegal “pushback” practices. Villagers in Adasarhanlı, where the body of another migrant was found earlier this week, alerted authorities after they discovered a body in a rice field, a short distance from the Turkish-Greek border, late Wednesday. The man is believed to be an illegal migrant forced to walk back to Turkey in freezing temperatures by Greek police as part of their controversial pushback practice.

      An initial investigation shows the man froze to death three days ago, and there were lesions on his body stemming from prolonged exposure to water.

      İbrahim Dalkıran, the leader of the village, said they have seen a large number of migrants recently in the area, and many took shelter, in wet clothes or half naked, in Adasarhanlı. “This is a humanitarian situation. Greece sends back migrants almost every three or four days. Some arrive injured, and we call a doctor. It is sad to see them in such a state,” Dalkıran told reporters.

      Olga Gerovasili, Greece’s minister for citizen protection whose ministry oversees border security, has denied previous allegations of pushback and told Anadolu Agency (AA) that Greece is not involved in such incidents. Yet, figures provided to AA by Turkish security sources show many illegal migrants were forced to go back to Turkey by Greek officials, with some 2,490 migrants being pushed back in November alone. The agency reports that some 300 of them were subjected to mistreatment by Greek security forces, ranging from beatings to being forced to go back half naked to the Turkish side of the border.

      Three bodies, believed to be Afghan or Pakistani migrants, were found in three villages in Edirne, the Turkish province that borders Greece. More than 70,000 illegal migrants were intercepted in Edirne between January and November, a high number compared to the 47,731 stopped last year as they tried to cross into Greece despite an increase in pushback reports.

      Under international laws and conventions, Greece is obliged to register any illegal migrants entering its territory; yet, this is not the case for some migrants. Security sources say that accounts of migrants interviewed by Turkish migration authority staff and social workers show that they are forced to return to Turkey, where they arrived from their homelands with the hope of reaching Europe.

      Pırıl Erçoban, a coordinator for the Association for Solidarity with Refugees (Mülteci-Der), says pushback constitutes a serious crime. She said it was “sad and unacceptable” that three migrants died, the number of deaths illustrates a serious problem. “It sheds light on the fact that pushback is being applied. It is still a crime to send those people back, even if they can make it back to Turkey alive,” Erçoban told AA. She says pushback was also taking place on migrant sea journeys, but has stopped, although the practice has continued on land. “Both Greece and Bulgaria are involved in this practice. Our figures show some 11,000 [illegal migrants] entered Turkey from Greece and Bulgaria, though not all of them were forced; we believe a substantial portion of returns are the result of pushback,” she said, adding returns were mostly via Greece. Erçoban said taking legal action to help migrants forced to return was difficult, as they could not reach the victims. “There should be administrative and criminal sanctions, and the culprits should be found. Turkey should take steps against pushback if [Greece] adopted it as a state policy. We hear that they are being beaten with iron bars and sent back without their clothes. This is a crime,” she added.

      Every year, hundreds of thousands of migrants flee civil conflict or economic hardship in their home countries in hope of reaching Europe. Edirne is a primary migration route. Turkish Directorate General of Migration Management data reveals that most of the migrants come from Pakistan, Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan. The numbers increase in late summer and autumn before dropping in the winter months.

      Temperatures hover near minus zero degrees Celsius in Edirne and other provinces at the border, which also saw heavy rainfall last week. Migrants usually take boats on the Meriç River, while some try to swim across to the other side. Early yesterday, police stopped 17 Pakistani migrants who were walking on train tracks near the border.

      https://www.dailysabah.com/investigations/2018/12/07/fourth-migrant-found-dead-near-border-greek-pushback-suspected/amp?__twitter_impression=true
      #mourir_aux_frontières #décès #morts

    • Greece accused of migrant ’pushbacks’ at Turkey border

      Hundreds of migrants including children and families have been illegally returned from Greece to Turkey despite Greek authorities being repeatedly warned about the practice, three non-governmental organizations said Wednesday.

      Migrants being forced back over the border, in violation of international law, has become the “new normality” at the border crossing with Turkey in Greece’s northeast Evros region, the three Greek organizations said.

      The testimonies of 39 people who attempted to cross the border to Europe, collected in detention centers near the border since the spring, were published in a report by the Greek Council for Refugees, ARSIS and HumanRights360.

      In their testimonies, the migrants describe being intercepted and detained by people wearing police or military uniforms, sometimes with a hood covering their face, who then forced them onto a boat to cross the Evros River back to Turkey.

      Some migrants described being physically abused or robbed by the individuals, who mostly spoke Greek.

      The report “constitutes evidence of the practice of pushbacks being used extensively and not decreasing, regardless of the silence and denial by the responsible public bodies and authorities,” the NGOs said.

      The “particularly wide-spread practice” leaves the “state exposed and posing a threat for the rule of law in the country,” they added.

      The Greek office of the U.N. refugee agency also said it had recorded a “significant number of testimonies on informal forced returns” through the Evros border.

      “On many occasions, we have addressed those concerns to the Greek authorities requesting the investigation of incidents,” the UNHCR office said.

      “The state’s response so far to these practices has not produced the results required for an effective access to asylum.”

      Greek authorities have denied involvement in the migrant returns and have announced investigations into potential militia action, without result so far.

      The flow of migrants across the Greek-Turkish land border has almost tripled this year, according to Greece’s migration ministry, with 14,000 people intercepted so far compared to 5,400 in 2017.


      http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Middle-East/2018/Dec-12/471620-greece-accused-of-migrant-pushbacks-at-turkey-border.ashx

    • Greece: Violent Pushbacks at Turkey Border

      Greek law enforcement officers at the land border with Turkey in the northeastern Evros region routinely summarily return asylum seekers and migrants, Human Rights Watch said today. The officers in some cases use violence and often confiscate and destroy the migrants’ belongings.

      “People who have not committed a crime are detained, beaten, and thrown out of Greece without any consideration for their rights or safety,” said Todor Gardos, Europe researcher at Human Rights Watch. “The Greek authorities should immediately investigate the repeated allegations of illegal pushbacks.”

      Human Rights Watch interviewed 26 asylum seekers and other migrants in Greece in May, and in October and November in Turkey. They are from Afghanistan, Iraq, Morocco, Pakistan, Syria, Tunisia, and Yemen, and include families traveling with children. They described 24 incidents of pushbacks across the Evros River from Greece to Turkey.

      Most incidents took place between April and November. All of those interviewed reported hostile or violent behavior by Greek police and unidentified forces wearing uniforms and masks without recognizable insignia. Twelve said police or these unidentified forces accompanying the police stripped them of their possessions, including their money and personal identification, which were often destroyed. Seven said police or unidentified forces took their clothes or shoes and forced them back to Turkey in their underwear, sometimes at night in freezing temperatures.

      Abuse included beatings with hands and batons, kicking, and, in one case, the use of what appeared to be a stun gun. In another case, a Moroccan man said a masked man dragged him by his hair, forced him to kneel on the ground, held a knife to his throat, and subjected him to a mock execution. Others pushed back include a pregnant 19-year-old woman from Afrin, Syria, and a woman from Afghanistan who said Greek authorities took away her two young children’s shoes.

      Increasing numbers of migrants, including asylum seekers, have attempted to cross the Evros River, which forms a natural border between Greece and Turkey, since April. By the end of September, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) had registered 13,784 arrivals by land, a nearly fourfold increase over the same period last year.

      In early June, Turkey unilaterally suspended all returns under a bilateral readmission agreement, stopping coordinated returns over the land border. In a July letter to Human Rights Watch, Hellenic Police Director Georgios Kossioris acknowledged an “acute problem” related to new arrivals and migrants arrested in the region, causing the overcrowding in some facilities, and inhumane conditions in police stations and registration and identification centers Human Rights Watch had documented.

      Accounts gathered by Human Rights Watch are consistent with the findings of other nongovernmental groups, intergovernmental agencies, and media reports. UNHCR, the United Nations Refugee Agency, has raised similar concerns. In a June report, the Council of Europe’s (CoE) Committee for the Prevention of Torture said it has received “several consistent and credible allegations of pushbacks by boat from Greece to Turkey at the Evros River border by masked Greek police and border guards or (para-)military commandos.” In November, the CoE human rights commissioner called on Greece to investigate allegations, in light of information pointing to “an established practice.”

      Human Rights Watch wrote to the head of border protection of the Hellenic Police on December 6, 2018, informing them of its findings. In his reply, Police Director Kossioris categorically denied that Hellenic Police carry out forced summary returns. He said all procedures for the detention and identification of migrants entering Greece were carried out in line with relevant legislation, and that they “thoroughly investigate” any incidents of misconduct or violation of migrants’ and asylum seekers’ rights. Greek authorities have consistently denied pushback practices, including a high-ranking Greek police official in a June meeting with Human Rights Watch. For a decade, Human Rights Watch has documented systematic pushbacks by Greek law enforcement officials at its land border with Turkey.

      Greek authorities should promptly investigate in a transparent, thorough, and impartial manner repeated allegations that Greek police and border guards are involved in collective and extrajudicial expulsions at the Evros region. Authorities should investigate allegations of violence and excessive use of force. Any officer engaged in such illegal acts, as well as their commanding officers, should be subject to disciplinary sanction and, as appropriate, criminal prosecution. Anyone seeking international protection should have the opportunity to apply for asylum, and returns should follow a procedure that provides access to effective remedies and safeguards against refoulement – return to a country where they are likely to face persecution, and ill-treatment.

      The European Commission, which provides financial support to the Greek government for migration control, including in the Evros region, should urge Greece to end all summary returns of asylum seekers to Turkey, press the authorities to investigate allegations of violence, and open legal proceedings against Greece for violating European Union laws.

      “Despite government denials, it appears that Greece is intentionally, and with complete impunity, closing the door on many people who seek to reach the European Union through the Evros border,” Gardos said. “Greece should cease forced summary returns immediately and treat everyone with dignity and respect for their basic rights.”

      For detailed accounts from asylum seekers and migrants, please see below. Please note that all names have been changed.

      Human Rights Watch interviewed 26 people from Afghanistan, Iraq, Morocco, Pakistan, Syria, Tunisia, and Yemen, including seven women, two of whom were pregnant at the time they were summarily returned to Turkey across the Evros River. In seven cases, families were pushed back, including children.

      In Greece, Human Rights Watch interviewed people who managed to re-enter Greek territory following a pushback, in the Fylakio pre-removal detention center and in the Fylakio reception and identification center, as well as in the Diavata camp for asylum seekers in Thessaloniki. In Turkey, those interviewed were in the Edirne removal center and in urban locations in Istanbul.

      All names of interviewees have been changed to protect their privacy and security. Interviews were carried out privately and confidentially, in the interviewees’ first language, or a language they spoke fluently, through interpreters. Interviewees shared their accounts voluntarily, and without remuneration, and have consented to Human Rights Watch collecting and publishing their accounts.

      Pushbacks in Evros

      The 24 incidents described demonstrate a pattern that points to an established and well-coordinated practice of pushbacks. Most of the incidents share three key features: initial capture by local police patrols, detention in police stations or informal locations close to the border with Turkey, and handover from identifiable law enforcement bodies to unidentifiable paramilitaries who would carry out the pushback to Turkey across the Evros River, at times violently. In nine cases, migrants said uniformed police physically mistreated them before or during the pushback.

      The accounts suggest close and consistent coordination between police with unidentified, often masked, men who may or may not be law enforcement officers. In a May interview with Human Rights Watch, Second Lieutenant Sofia Lazopoulou at the border police station of Neo Cheimonio said that police officers wearing dark blue uniforms were in charge of services at the police station and that those who wear military camouflage uniforms were patrolling officers, in charge of prevention and deterrence of irregular migrants crossing into Greece.

      Interviewees said that people who looked like police officers or soldiers, as well as some of the unidentified masked men, carried equipment such as handguns, handcuffs, radios, spray cans, and batons, while others carried tactical gear such as armored gloves, binoculars, and knives and military grade weapons, such as rifles.

      The repeated nature of the pushbacks and the fact that those officers who conduct them were clearly on official duty, indicates that commanding officers knew, or ought to have known, what was happening.

      Ferhat G., a Syrian Kurdish man in his forties, said two police officers detained him, his wife, and three children, ages 12, 15, and 19, at an abandoned train station on September 19. They were held in a large caged area in the backyard of a police station with dozens of other people for five hours. Ferhat could not say where the train station or police station were:

      We were all put in a van, 60 to 70 people. Commandos all in black, wearing face masks, drove us back to the river. We were very afraid… I saw other people there, mainly youths with just shorts, no other clothes. Our blood froze out of fear. When they opened the van, we started going out. “Stand in one line, one-by-one,” they said and hit someone. Ten by 10, they put us in a small boat, driven by a Greek soldier. I cried because of the humiliation.

      The modus operandi was largely replicated, with some variations, in the other cases Human Rights Watch documented.

      Capture

      Twenty-one of those interviewed said local police patrols detained them in towns and villages near the border or in open farmland. Two said that the police took them off a bus or a train shortly after its departure. Three said they could not identify the men who detained them and took them directly back to the border. People said they were then transported in police cars, pick-up trucks, white vans without windows or signs, or larger trucks painted in green or camouflage that appeared to be military trucks.

      Karim L., 25, from Morocco, said that police officers removed him from a train to Alexandropouli on November 8. Shortly after its scheduled departure from Orestiada, at 12:37 p.m., police officers began asking passengers who looked foreign to show their passports and took Karim and five or six others off the train. The police took him to a nearby police station and kept him there for two nights. Then four men wearing police uniforms and black masks took him to the border in a van. He said they subjected him to physical violence and a mock execution, then pushed him back to Turkey. He was not photographed, fingerprinted, or given any paper to read or sign, or otherwise informed of the reasons for his arrest. He said that other people, including families with children, were also detained in the station’s three cells.

      Mahsa N., an Afghan woman, said uniformed police officers removed her, her husband, their three children, ages 5, 9, and 11, and two unrelated Afghan men from a bus 15 minutes after it left Alexandropouli in mid-September, during their third attempt to enter Greece. They were pushed back to Turkey the same day, with the police who had detained them taking them all the way to the Evros River, where others were already being held so they could be returned on a boat.

      Dila E., a 25-year-old Syrian woman, described her experience shortly after crossing the Evros River in late April. She said she was with seven other people, including four children, when masked men she could not identify pushed them back to Turkey as they were walking in a small town near the border:

      They came with a car and took us. They put us in a white van. You couldn’t see anything from the inside. They took us directly to the river and made us cross the river with a rubber boat. They took everyone’s mobile phones, set of clothes, and even the money from some.

      Malik N., a 26-year-old Moroccan man, said uniformed police stopped him along with three other men on November 13 near a gas station in Didymoteicho, a town two kilometers from the border. He said that one of the policemen made a phone call, and a white van arrived 15 minutes later. Two men he could not identify took him and two of his group to a location that he described as barracks: “They put us in the car, which was very well made, dark inside, and without seats. There were no signs on it. … There was a terrible smell [in the barracks], and officials had their masks on… There were 30 people there.”

      Masked men took him to the border the next evening:

      After the masked people came, they started to shout at us, and hit us one by one with batons at the door. There were around eight people outside the barracks, each with a thick plastic baton. They would hit you as you walked to the car. They would shout “Fuck Islam.” They put 30 of us in the van. [There were] no chairs. I felt like I was suffocating, there was no air. When we arrived at the river, they ordered people to strip to shorts only. They took my phones, my money, €1,500, and my glasses, and broke them.

      Sardar T., 18, from Afghanistan, said that uniformed police caught him and the group of people he was traveling with at the Didymoteicho bus station on April 23. He said the police came with a white van but later brought a big car, similar to a military truck with green camouflage. Human Rights Watch researchers saw a vehicle matching Sardar’s description parked in the yard of the border police station of Neo Cheimonio, as well as numerous white vans, without police signs. Sardar said that the officers who pushed them back to Turkey were wearing police uniforms and that masks concealed their faces except for their eyes.

      Detention

      Thirteen of those interviewed reported that they were detained in formal and informal locations close to the border, for periods ranging from a few hours to five days. Five said they were taken to a police station, while eight described buildings on the outskirts of nearby villages and towns, or on farmland that they said were used as drop-off points for detained migrants. None of the interviewees, even those held at police stations, were duly identified and registered, and their detention appears to have been arbitrary and incommunicado.

      A few dozen to one hundred people were detained at a time, without food, water, and sanitation, and then taken to the Evros River and returned to Turkey. Interviewees described the rooms in the unidentified buildings as “prison-like” and “like a storage room,” with a few mattresses and a single, filthy toilet. They said women and families with children were either held together with unrelated men, or sometimes in adjacent rooms.

      Mahsa, the Afghan woman who was summarily returned to Turkey three times, said she and her family were kept for five days, along with unrelated men who were also detained, in a dark room with no beds or heat before the second pushback, in late August. They were not given any food. Their belongings, including winter coats for her young children, and a cherished backpack and doll, were never returned. Up to 10 guards, wearing belts with what appeared to be handguns, batons, and pepper spray, would check on people and lock the door but not provide any information. She saw guards beating men staying in the same room: “They had a blue uniform with writing on it in Greek on the back, with big letters. They called us dirt.”

      Azadeh B., a 22-year-old Afghan woman traveling with her husband and two children, ages 2 and 4, said they were pushed back twice from Greece – and had spent five days in detention before being returned the second time, in early October. She said they were taken to a room in a structure located in the middle of farmland:

      We could not see or hear anything. We were not asked to sign anything or told anything. The guards closed the door and locked it. When families asked for water, they filled dirty bottles and threw them inside the room through the door. They took everything from us, even the Quran. We asked them to give back our kids’ shoes, but they didn’t. They do this because they don’t want us to come back. If it’s something of value, they keep it, something they don’t like, they put it in the bin.

      She said only the children were given some biscuits while detained in a room that was about 40 square meters and shared by about 80 people whom she believed were also all migrants.

      Hassan I., a Tunisian man in his thirties, said that before being violently pushed back along with four friends in early August, they spent a day in detention. He said the location resembled a military base because they saw military vehicles, including trucks and tanks, parked near the room in which they were held. It was a 15-minute drive from the town of Orestiada, where they had been stopped and picked up in the morning by two police officers in blue uniforms in a civilian car.

      The policemen drove them to the location, where guards violently pushed them against a wall, searched them, and hit them. “First, they asked for phones, then for money,” Hassan said. They were shouting ‘malaka’ [a Greek insult meaning ‘asshole’]. I was shocked. I felt humiliated. When we tried to ask for anything, like our sim cards, memory cards, they hit us immediately.” Hassan and his friends were put in a room that looked like a storage room. In an adjacent room, they could hear the voices of families with children. Hassan estimated that by 9 p.m., when they were taken to the border in trucks, about 80 men were in his room of about 24 square meters, in which there were only a few chairs, a toilet, and a water tap.

      Zara Z., 19 and four-months pregnant, from Afrin, Syria, said that in mid-May, men wearing camouflage uniforms stopped her and her husband and detained them overnight in a room without bedding or furniture, together with other migrant families, and without any food or water. The next day they were transferred in a van to the Evros River, put on a boat, and pushed back to Turkey.

      Pushbacks across the Evros River

      All those interviewed said they were transported to the border with Turkey in groups of 60 to 80, in military trucks or unmarked vans. In all but three cases, the agents wore face masks, black pants, or camouflage, making it impossible to recognize or identify them. In the three other cases, interviewees said police in regular blue and camouflage uniforms transported them to the river. Ten out of 26 interviewees said they were physically abused or witnessed others being ill-treated during the pushback operation.

      Karim, a 25-year-old Moroccan man, said Greek police handed him over to masked men wearing police uniforms after they caught him in Greece on November 10 and that he was violently pushed back to Turkey. After ordering him to take off his clothes and shoes, two of the masked officers kicked him to the ground and hit him with a baton, then one of them subjected him to a mock execution. They dragged him by his hair and forced him to kneel on the ground, while the masked officer held a knife to his throat and said in broken English, “Whoever returns to Greece, they will die.” Karim said he could not sleep at night and was experiencing recurrent nightmares.

      Hassan, the Tunisian who was pushed back with his four friends on August 10 or 11, said that masked men wearing black clothes ill-treated them after taking them to the border in a truck. One of the men used a stun gun on Hassan’s lower back, causing burns that were still visible over two months later. He provided video footage of the group’s injuries, which he said was recorded the day after the incident and was first posted on social media on August 12, showing several bruises he said resulted from blows to their upper and lower backs and limbs. “Next time I will see you,” one of the masked men told him in English, “I will kill you.” At the time of the interview, Hassan had been sleeping in parks in Istanbul, after all his belongings were confiscated in Greece.

      Amir B., a Tunisian man in his twenties, was pushed back to Turkey at the end of September after entering Greece and hiding for six days. He said he was returned from near Alexandropouli to the border in one of two military trucks, which together took around 80 people to the border, including about 30 women and a few children. Amir said masked men pushed people around as they got off the trucks, and then pushed them toward the river, ordering them to remain silent. The agents then split the group into smaller groups of 10 and ordered them to take off their shoes. Women had to give up their coats, while some men had to strip to underwear. Amir’s jeans, where he also kept his money, were set on fire. When a black pick-up truck arrived with a small boat, the guards checked the other side of the river with binoculars, and then used the small boat to take the groups of 10 in turn across the water.

      https://www.hrw.org/news/2018/12/18/greece-violent-pushbacks-turkey-border

      #vidéo:
      Greek Authorities Beat, Push Back Migrants into Turkey
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X2olpuc_tqA

    • El oscuro secreto de la frontera oriental de Europa

      Grecia deporta ilegalmente a los refugiados que llegan a su territorio, en algunos casos incluso secuestrándolos lejos de la frontera, según denuncian ONG y Acnur.

      Firas debería estar en Grecia. Es más, oficialmente, según los registros del Gobierno heleno y del Alto Comisionado de Naciones Unidas para los Refugiados (ACNUR), reside en Grecia. Pero no. Este sirio, de 17 años, malvive amedrentado, sin dinero y sin papeles en un pequeño apartamento de Estambul que comparte con otros refugiados, después de haber sido deportado ilegalmente por la policía griega a Turquía en tres ocasiones. Una práctica prohibida por las leyes internacionales, pero que, según las organizaciones de derechos humanos, se está convirtiendo en “sistemática” a medida que la ruta migratoria de entrada a la Unión Europea se desvía hacia la frontera del río Evros. Acnur ha recabado unos 300 casos de devoluciones en caliente de personas que intentan llegar a la UE desde Turquía solo en 2018.

      “En los últimos años hemos recabado un número significante de casos de pushback [término en inglés para referirse a esta práctica ilegal]”, explica Margaritis Petritzikis, representante de Acnur en el campo de detención de Fylakio, en Grecia, junto al Evros. “Los testimonios describen a quienes practican las detenciones vistiendo uniformes de diferentes colores, muchas veces sin distintivos, y con la cara cubierta, por lo que no sabemos a qué cuerpo pertenecen. La jurisdicción del control fronterizo es de la policía griega, pero el área que rodea el río es zona militarizada”, añade Petritzikis.

      Los detenidos aseguran que, una vez detenidos y antes de ser devueltos en barcas al otro lado de la frontera, son llevados a almacenes, instalaciones militares o comisarías de policía, transportados con furgonetas sin identificar, supuestamente de las fuerzas de seguridad, según los testimonios recogidos en informes de diversas ONG, entre ellas Human Rights Watch y el Greek Council for Refugees (GCR).

      El Evros, también llamado Maritsa, hace de barrera natural a lo largo de 194 de los 206 kilómetros de frontera terrestre entre Turquía y Grecia; el resto lo cubre una valla levantada en 2012. Para aquellos migrantes y refugiados que, desde suelo turco, sueñan con alcanzar territorio europeo, son apenas 100 o 200 metros que cubrir en un bote hinchable, un trayecto mucho más corto que el que separa la costa turca de las islas griegas del mar Egeo. Además, aquí no está vigente el acuerdo firmado entre la UE y Turquía en 2016, que permite la devolución de aquellos migrantes llegados de manera irregular por vía marítima. En la zona del Evros regía otro acuerdo bilateral de devolución firmado entre Turquía y Grecia, aunque Ankara lo canceló el pasado año. Por ello, en los últimos años, se ha incrementado el número de llegadas a través de esta ruta (en 2018 fueron 18.014, un 35% del total de refugiados y migrantes que arribaron a Grecia, según los datos de Acnur). La mayor parte de los que llegan son sirios, afganos y turcos.

      Sus aguas aparentemente tranquilas son un espejismo engañoso. Es un río caudaloso, de habituales inundaciones y fuertes corrientes: durante el pasado año, medio centenar de personas murieron en esta ruta, la mayoría ahogadas o por hipotermia. “El río es pequeño, pero peligroso. Sobre todo porque los botes son para cinco personas y cruzamos 30 a la vez”, explica un joven bangladesí detenido en el campo de Fylakio.

      Un residente de Edirne, en la orilla turca del río, explica que las tarifas que exigen los traficantes por pasar al otro lado van de 1.000 a 5.000 euros. Aquellos que pagan más “reciben un servicio vip”, y en la orilla griega les esperan otros traficantes que los llevan en coche hasta Salónica o Atenas: “A estos no los suele detener nunca la policía”. A los que no disponen de ese dinero, después de superar el peligro de las aguas les aguarda una nueva barrera.
      Práctica ilegal

      Dos y media de la madrugada. Se escuchan pasos entre la maleza, en la zona boscosa que rodea el Evros. Hay cuchicheos. Los pasos se detienen al escuchar el vehículo en el que viaja este periodista. Poco después, se alejan.

      Anteriormente, en cuanto veían a cualquier persona en la orilla griega, los refugiados se identificaban como tales y pedían que se avisase a la policía. Sabían que habían llegado a territorio seguro. Ya no. Entre los refugiados es sabido que, si son apresados en esta zona, corren el riesgo de ser devueltos al otro lado. Las devoluciones en caliente están prohibidas por la ley: la normativa exige que sean primero identificados y, si es el caso, se les permita presentar una petición de asilo. Firas (que no es su nombre real) cuenta que pasó por ello dos veces durante el año pasado. En la primera ocasión, durante el verano, explica que fue detenido nada más cruzar el río, llevado a una comisaría y devuelto a Turquía al cabo de unas seis horas. “En la comisaría nos pegaron a todos los hombres, nos quitaron nuestras pertenencias y destrozaron los móviles”, asegura.

      La segunda fue aún peor: una vez capturados, Firas explica que los agentes de policía llamaron a otros agentes con uniforme militar y la cara cubierta y les propinaron una paliza. Esta vez les quitaron hasta la ropa y los devolvieron a Turquía en calzoncillos. Su historia es similar a las decenas de testimonios recabados por diferentes ONG, que consideran que puede haber un patrón de actuación de las fuerzas de seguridad helenas.

      En algunos casos no se trata ni siquiera de devoluciones «en caliente», es decir, al ser detenidos en el borde mismo de la frontera, sino desde bastante más adentro en el territorio griego y pasado bastante tiempo desde que los refugiados entraron al país. A. A., un sirio que residía en Alemania de manera legal, llegó en agosto de 2017 a la ciudad griega de Alejandrópolis para encontrarse con su mujer, que había cruzado recientemente la frontera. Pero, según manifestó al GCR, fue detenido por agentes de la policía que, haciendo caso omiso a sus documentos, lo encapucharon y lo enviaron a Turquía en un bote junto a otros refugiados.

      Similar es el caso de Firas. La tercera vez que intentó cruzar a Grecia, a mediados de noviembre, explica que lo logró. Y fue enviado al centro de detención de Fylakio. A inicios de enero, salió de él con los documentos que lo acreditaban como solicitante de asilo. Tomó un autobús hacia Salónica, pero cuenta que, cuando llevaba 15 minutos de viaje, la policía le ordenó bajar junto a otros cinco sirios. “Tenía los papeles de la policía griega y de Acnur, pero los destrozaron delante de mí”, relata. “Nos llevaron a un calabozo y agentes con pasamontañas nos desnudaron y nos pegaron. No nos dieron agua ni comida. El segundo día, vinieron otros agentes y nos pegaron con tubos de cañería. Luego nos llevaron al río junto a varias familias con niños y nos devolvieron a Turquía”.

      La respuesta del Gobierno griego es siempre la misma: “No existen estas prácticas”. Así lo han dicho públicamente los ministerios de Orden Público y Migraciones ante las quejas formales de ACNUR y el Consejo de Europa. La comandancia regional en Tracia de la policía griega, preguntada por la situación, redirigió a este periodista al comisario de Orestíada, Pascalis Siritudis, quien respondió al teléfono —un día después de haberse negado a recibirlo— con gran enfado: "La policía griega respeta siempre la ley y las normas internacionales. No olvide que esta es la frontera de la Unión Europea, no solo de Grecia”. Desde el Ministerio de Orden Público, la contestación fue similar: «La policía griega cumple con los derechos humanos».

      Hay varias investigaciones en marcha. Una, sobre la devolución de varios turcos en mayo de 2017, ha alcanzado el Tribunal Supremo de Grecia. También el Defensor del Pueblo y la Fiscalía de Orestíada han iniciado un proceso judicial tras la denuncia de un ciudadano sudanés deportado ilegalmente a Turquía. Pero, hasta ahora, nadie ha sido condenado. Dimitris Koros, abogado del GCR, admite que es difícil armar estos casos: “La mayoría de los refugiados devueltos no tienen tiempo ni medios para iniciar un proceso judicial y, además, es casi imposible identificar a quienes participan en las devoluciones ya que van con la cara cubierta y sin identificaciones, y se suelen producir de noche”.

      Entretanto Firas continúa en Estambul, temeroso de que un día lo detengan las autoridades turcas y lo deporten a la misma Siria de la que escapó huyendo de la guerra. Y se sigue preguntando por qué lo echaron de Grecia si tenía derecho a quedarse. “Me sorprendió mucho el nivel de brutalidad que emplearon conmigo. Siempre habíamos escuchado que la Unión Europea era un lugar donde no había violencia y se respetaban los derechos humanos”, se queja.

      https://elpais.com/internacional/2019/03/03/actualidad/1551607634_105978.html

    • Turkish computer science student missing in Evros following failed attempt to escape to Greece

      21-year-old university student #Mahir_Mete_Kul has been missing since the boat he used to cross Evros river between Greece and Turkey capsized on March 24.

      A computer science student at Istanbul’s Beykent University, Kul spent 10 months in prison on charges of membership to the leftist group, Liseli Dev-Genc, and was released 5 months ago with judicial control, media reported. As the court in charge put an overseas travel ban on his passport, Kul embarked on the risky journey to escape Turkey the same way thousands of others have tried over the past two years: crossing the Evros river along Turkey-Greece border in a bid to seek asylum abroad.

      “My son was a pretty young university student. They sent him up to prison. Following his release, they prevented him from going back to the school. As he had a travel ban on his passport, he chose this way [to escape],” Mahir’s mother Araz Kul spoke to Gazete Karinca. Five months ago, the mother left Turkey to Greece due to political reasons too, media said.

      Thousands of people have fled Turkey due to a massive witch-hunt launched by the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) government against all kinds of opposition.

      More than 510,000 people have been detained and some 100,000 including academics, judges, doctors, teachers, lawyers, students, policemen and many from different backgrounds have been put in pre-trial detention since last summer.

      Many tried to escape Turkey via illegal ways as the government cancelled their passports like thousands of others.


      https://turkeypurge.com/turkish-computer-science-student-missing-in-evros-following-failed-atte
      #mourir_aux_frontières #morts #décès #mourir_dans_l'Evros

      L’appel de la mère :
      https://twitter.com/TurkeyPurge/status/1110989355445678080
      https://twitter.com/TurkeyPurge/status/1110990512381530113

      #réfugiés_turcs

    • À la frontière gréco-turque. Empêcher les migrants d’entrer en Europe, sauver ceux qui y parviennent

      Je copie-colle ici la partie dédiée à la région de l’Evros :

      L’Evros, région délaissée par les garde-frontières

      La gare de Marasia semble aussi abandonnée que le village éponyme. Derrière un panneau jaune et rouge signalant le passage de trains à vapeurs, un cours d’eau ruisselle dans le calme. L’Evros, large d’une dizaine de mètres à peine à cet endroit, est la plus longue rivière des Balkans, prenant sa source en Bulgarie pour se jeter dans la mer Égée, près d’Alexandroupoli. Depuis l’accord entre l’Union européenne et la Turquie et la fermeture de la route des Balkans, la pression migratoire sur la Grèce, qui se concentrait ces dernières années sur les îles en mer Égée, se déporte vers l’Evros, frontière naturelle entre la Grèce et la Turquie. “Aujourd’hui, le problème n’est plus à la barrière mais dans la rivière”, atteste Paschalis Siritoudis, le directeur de la police du département d’Orestiada.

      Un effet de vases communicants

      Cette affluence ne l’inquiète pas plus que ça. “De plus en plus de migrants arrivent ces dernières années mais c’est un vieux problème auquel la région est confrontée depuis une vingtaine d’années. Avant la construction de la barrière avec la Turquie (celle-ci longe la frontière sur 12 kilomètres dans une zone militarisée, NdlR), 30 000 migrants passaient chaque année. En 2012, nous avons lancé une opération de surveillance à la frontière, du personnel a été recruté. Les années suivantes, ce nombre est tombé entre 1 000 et 3 000 personnes. En 2018, environ 7 000 ont franchi la frontière. Ces chiffres, même s’ils sont moindres, montrent qu’il y a toujours un problème migratoire ici. Mais le flux est sous contrôle, il n’y a aucune comparaison possible avec la situation avant 2012”, martèle le colonel, d’une voix tonitruante.

      Les chiffres du Haut-Commissariat des Nations unies (UNHCR) vont bien au-delà de ceux du directorat de police : en 2018, 18 014 personnes sont entrées en Grèce via l’Evros. Presque trois fois plus de personnes (dont une majorité de ressortissants turcs) que l’année précédente.

      Dès qu’une porte se ferme dans la région d’Evros, une fenêtre s’ouvre ailleurs. Et vice-versa. Quand, en juillet 2012, l’opération Aspida (“bouclier” en grec) est lancée, le nombre d’entrées à la frontière gréco-turque chute de manière vertigineuse. La première semaine du mois d’août, 2 000 migrants y sont appréhendés. Quelques mois plus tard, en octobre, moins de 10 personnes sont arrêtées par semaine.

      Les autorités compétentes et Frontex se félicitent du succès de cette opération. Les réjouissances sont cependant de courte durée : face au renforcement des contrôles à la frontière terrestre, les départs en mer se multiplient. “Immédiatement après le déploiement de l’opération Aspida, le nombre de détections de traversées illégales a augmenté, à la fois à la frontière maritime entre la Grèce et la Turquie et à la frontière terrestre avec la Bulgarie”, reconnaît Frontex dans son rapport annuel 2012, d’où sont issus les chiffres précités.

      Sur les 206 km de frontière fluviale entre la Grèce et la Turquie, seuls 12,5 kms sont terrestres et forment ce qu’on appelle le triangle de Karaağaç. C’est sur ce territoire qu’est érigée la barrière. (en rouge sur la carte)

      “Les barrières et les murs sont des solutions court-termistes à des mesures qui ne règlent pas le problème. L’Union européenne ne finane et ne financera pas cette barrière. Ça ne sert à rien.”
      Cecilia Malmström, ex-Commissaire européenne aux Affaires intérieures, février 2011.

      “Le problème n’est plus à la barrière mais dans la rivière” Paschalis Siritoudis, directeur de la police du département d’Orestiada

      Sept ans plus tard, l’opération Aspida est toujours en cours et semble faire la fierté de Paschalis Siritoudis. “Elle est connue dans toute la Grèce, dans toute l’Europe même ! Elle est effectuée avec le support de Frontex”, se félicite-t-il.

      Les officiers de Frontex déployés près d’Orestiada en 2010 (surtout pour identifier les migrants) pour prêter main forte aux Grecs sont partis. Aujourd’hui, l’agence européenne n’est que peu impliquée dans la région : quelques agents travaillent aux check-points et patrouillent avec des policiers et des militaires le long de la barrière de barbelés. “Nous avons parlé avec les autorités grecques pour augmenter notre présence mais la décision leur revient. Nous sommes prêts à intervenir s’ils en ressentent le besoin”, explique Eva Moncure, porte-parole de l’agence.

      À entendre Paschalis Siritoudis, ce n’est pas le cas. “Les officiers grecs qui effectuent l’enregistrement des migrants irréguliers, prennent leurs empreintes digitales et font le débriefing sont plus expérimentés que quiconque en Europe. Ils ont eu affaire à des dizaines de milliers de migrants et leur expertise est reconnue par tous”, s’exclame-t-il, assis derrière son bureau dans le commissariat d’Orestiada.

      De son côté, Frontex fait grand cas de ses compétences. “L’agence mutualise les ressources et fait appel aux États membres pour lui fournir du personnel. Il y a donc un turn-over important dans toutes les missions. Au fil des ans, nous avons toutefois développé une expertise, notamment au niveau de l’examen des documents. Avec quel genre de papiers voyagent les migrants ? Sont-ils faux ? Sont-ils vrais ? Où ont-ils été fabriqués ?”, explique Eva Moncure.

      Soumise à la bonne volonté des États membres, Frontex insiste pour pouvoir déployer ses guest officers. Ne serait-ce que pour partager les informations recueillies aux frontières avec une floppée d’institutions. Du point de vue de l’agence, plus celles-ci circulent, mieux les frontières sont protégées. Ainsi, depuis 2016, date du dernier élargissement du mandat de l’agence, Frontex est habilitée à mener des interviews sur le trafic d’êtres humains et à partager les informations récoltées avec Europol. “Nous n’enquêtons pas. Nous ne faisons que récolter des informations et les transmettons à qui de droit. Comme nous sommes en première ligne, nous pouvons obtenir ces informations plus aisément”, indique Eva Moncure. “Quand on parle de Frontex, tout le monde parle toujours des migrants mais personne ne parle des trafiquants d’êtres humains. Pour résumer, notre boulot est de surveiller les frontières, de venir en aide aux migrants s’ils sont en danger et de les renvoyer dans leur pays s’ils n’ont pas le droit d’asile en Europe. Un autre volet important, c’est de recueillir des informations sur les passeurs, les routes qu’ils utilisent, les connexions qu’ils ont, etc. Il ne faut pas oublier que les personnes qui font monter les migrants dans des bateaux ou qui leur font traverser une rivière ne sont pas des enfants de chœur. Le trafic d’êtres humains rapporte énormément d’argent, bien plus que le trafic de drogues. Le problème, c’est que pour l’instant, la justice arrête les petites mains pendant que les chefs des réseaux se la coulent douce à Dubaï en comptant leurs billets”, poursuit-elle.

      Pour rappel, les officiers ont un pouvoir exécutif lorsqu’ils sont impliqués dans l’enregistrement des migrants : prise d’empreintes digitales, screening (pour établir nationalité des migrants) et vérification des documents d’identité. En outre, ils ne peuvent délivrer de décisions relatives à l’asile puisqu’il s’agit d’un pouvoir régalien.

      Renvoyés en Turquie sur des bateaux

      Dans la région d’Evros, contrairement aux îles grecques, les agents de Frontex ne sont pas en contact avec les migrants et donc pas habilités à collecter des informations sur le trafic d’êtres humains. Laissé entre les mains des autorités grecques, l’enregistrement (et partant, le screening et l’interview) des migrants qui parviennent à entrer dans l’espace Schengen n’y semble pas garanti.

      À ce sujet, deux rapports, publiés en décembre 2018 - l’un par Humans Rights Watch et l’autre par le Greek Council for Refugees (GCR), Human Rights 360 et l’Association for the Social Support of Youth - sont glaçants. Confiscation de biens (“ils jettent nos téléphones dans la rivière”, “ils ont confisqué le lait artificiel pour notre bébé”, “il a déchiré mon certificat de naissance devant moi”) et de vêtements, privation de nourriture et parfois d’eau, fouilles corporelles, violences physiques et verbales… Comble du comble : les migrants seraient reconduits de l’autre côté de la rivière Evros dans des embarcations pneumatiques.

      Ces documents font état d’une pratique courante près de la rivière : le push-back, c’est-à-dire le refoulement des personnes qui franchissent la frontière. Ces expulsions collectives (et illégales) obéissent à un modus operandi bien rôdé, à lire les nombreux témoignages récoltés par ces ONG. “La plupart des incidents partagent trois caractéristiques principales : arrestation par une patrouille de police locale, détention dans des commissariats ou des emplacements informels (entrepôts, gares abandonnées, etc.) proches de la frontière avec la Turquie et remise des migrants par les forces de l’ordre à du personnel non-identifié (dont le visage serait le plus souvent caché par une cagoule, NdlR) qui procède au push-back via la rivière Evros, parfois de manière violente”, décrit Human Rights Watch. Certaines personnes interrogées ont subi plusieurs push-backs avant d’être finalement enregistrées selon la procédure légale.

      Les migrants ne sont pas photographiés, leurs empreintes digitales ne sont pas prises et les raisons de leur arrestation ne leur sont pas expliquées. Sans enregistrement, leur présence dans l’espace Schengen n’est pas attestée et il est donc impossible d’introduire une demande d’asile. Il est en revanche possible d’assurer qu’ils n’ont jamais un pied sur le sol européen.

      Ces allégations sont remontées jusqu’au Commissaire aux droits de l’homme du Conseil de l’Europe et au Comité européen pour la prévention de la torture qui les ont jugées crédibles. Après une visite en Grèce en avril 2018, le Commissaire a par ailleurs souligné l’absence d’enquêtes sur ce genre de pratiques de la part des autorités grecques.

      Des bateaux et des chaussures d’enfants

      À Marasia, derrière le panneau jaune et rouge signalant le passage de trains à vapeur, un chemin de terre longe une forêt, qui borde l’Evros. Avec l’arrivée du printemps, des fleurs jaunes tapissent ses berges.

      Il ne faut pas marcher bien loin pour découvrir les traces d’un spectacle qui suscite malaise et interrogations. À cent mètres de la gare, une paire de rames a été abandonnée.

      Un peu plus loin, au bord de l’eau, un bateau gris et bleu est recouvert de feuilles mortes. L’inscription “Excursion 5” est écrite dessus en lettres capitales. Cinquante mètres après, un autre bateau jaune et vert se confond avec la couleur des fleurs.

      De retour sur le chemin de terre, des taches de couleur attirent le regard. Ce sont des chaussures. En daim, celles d’un adulte, à côté d’un soutien-gorge et d’un jeans délavé. À côté, deux paires de basket appartiennent à des enfants. Les plus petites, bleues, sont une pointure 26. Leur ancien propriétaire doit avoir entre trois et cinq ans. Que lui est-il arrivé ? A-t-il été reconduit en Turquie ? Ses compagnons de route ont-ils été interrogés sur le trafic d’êtres humains dont ils ont été victimes ?

      Confronté aux accusations de push-backs menés dans la région, le chef de la police élude d’abord la question et jure que les migrants interceptés sont pris en charge. Avant de finir par admettre que “nous avons reçu des informations sur les push-backs de la part des ONG”.

      Pas suffisamment pour enquêter, comme recommandé par le Commissaire européen aux droits de l’homme et le Comité européen pour la prévention de la torture.

      https://dossiers.lalibre.be/greco-turque/login.php

    • Οργανωμένο σχέδιο ανομίας στον Έβρο καταγγέλλει η « Καμπάνια για το Άσυλο »

      Την κατεπείγουσα διερεύνηση των συνεχιζόμενων καταγγελιών για τις άτυπες επιχειρήσεις επαναπροώθησης προσφύγων στον Έβρο και τον έλεγχο των εμπλεκομένων ζητούν από τους υπουργούς Προστασίας του Πολίτη, Όλγα Γεροβασίλη, Μεταναστευτικής Πολιτικής, Δημήτρη Βίτσα, και Δικαιοσύνης, Μιχάλη Καλογήρου, δέκα οργανώσεις που συμμετέχουν στην « Καμπάνια για το Άσυλο ».

      Σημειώνουν ότι οι υπουργοί είναι υπόλογοι για κάθε καθυστέρηση, η οποία εντείνει την πεποίθηση ότι τα σύνορα στον Έβρο αποτελούν ένα πεδίο εκτός δικαίου και εκτός νόμου και έναν τόπο μαρτυρίου για τους πρόσφυγες.

      Υπογραμμίζουν ότι ο συστηματικός τρόπος και οι ομοιότητες της κακομεταχείρισης παραπέμπουν σε οργανωμένο σχέδιο αποτροπής, στο πλαίσιο του οποίου αναπτύσσονται γενικευμένες πρακτικές, οι οποίες έγιναν πιο εκτεταμένες, συστηματικές και σκληρές μετά την υπογραφή της ευρωτουρκικής συμφωνίας το Μάρτιο του 2016. Και αναφέρουν ότι οι πρακτικές αυτές εμπίπτουν στην αρμοδιότητα της ποινικής δικαιοσύνης και στοιχειοθετούν κατά περίπτωση κακουργήματα (βασανισμός, ληστεία, έκθεση ζωής σε κίνδυνο...).

      Οι οργανώσεις (ΑΡΣΙΣ, Δίκτυο Κοινωνικής Υποστήριξης Προσφύγων και Μεταναστών, ΕΠΣΕ, Ελληνικό Φόρουμ Προσφύγων, Κίνηση για τα Ανθρώπινα Δικαιώματα – Αλληλεγγύη στους Πρόσφυγες Σάμος, Κόσμος χωρίς Πολέμους και Βία, ΛΑΘΡΑ, PRAKSIS, Πρωτοβουλία για τα Δικαιώματα των Κρατουμένων, Υποστήριξη Προσφύγων στο Αιγαίο) κάνουν λόγο για επιδεικτική βαρβαρότητα ένστολων ή μη στην περιοχή και παράνομες ενέργειες οι οποίες αποτελούν αντικείμενο συγκεκριμένων οδηγιών και εντολών. Σημειώνουν ότι το οργανωμένο σχέδιο περιλαμβάνει επίσης τη συγκάλυψη και νομιμοποίηση των εγκληματικών μεθόδων που χρησιμοποιούνται.

      Ολόκληρη η ανακοίνωση της « Καμπάνιας για το Άσυλο » έχει ως εξής :

      Απαξίωση της ανθρώπινης ζωής και της νομιμότητας οι επαναπροωθήσεις στον Έβρο

      Αθήνα, 2 Μαΐου 2019

      Τα σύνορα της χώρας στον Έβρο τείνουν να καταστούν ένας εκτός δικαίου και εκτός νόμου τόπος μαρτυρίου για τους πρόσφυγες που επιχειρούν απελπισμένα να περάσουν στο ευρωπαϊκό έδαφος, στιγματίζοντας τη χώρα μας και τους υπευθύνους για τη διαχείρισή τους.

      Ενώ παρακολουθούμε τους αυξανόμενους πνιγμούς στα σύνορα, οι καταγγελίες προσφύγων για βάρβαρες πρακτικές επαναπροώθησης συνεχίζονται. Εκτός από τον αποτροπιασμό που προκαλούν, δείχνουν επίσης ότι η άσκηση βίας και οι συστηματικές παραβιάσεις δεν αποτελούν μεμονωμένες ατομικές επιλογές, αλλά γενικευμένες πρακτικές που αναπτύσσονται στα πλαίσια ενός σχεδίου αποτροπής και προσπάθειας ενίσχυσης του « μηνύματος » αποθάρρυνσης, που « πρέπει να σταλεί » για την ανάσχεση των προσφυγικών ρευμάτων.

      Όσα εκτενώς καταγράφονται στην κοινή έκθεση του Ελληνικού Συμβούλιου για τους Πρόσφυγες, της ΑΡΣΙΣ και της HumanRights360, που δημοσιεύτηκε πρόσφατα (1), δεν αφήνουν αμφιβολία για την αλήθεια των καταγγελλόμενων. Ο συστηματικός τρόπος και οι ομοιότητες της κακομεταχείρισης παραπέμπουν σε ένα οργανωμένο σχέδιο, η εφαρμογή του οποίου επιτρέπει -αν δεν προτρέπει- παράνομες συμπεριφορές. Οι περίπολοι ενόπλων με ή χωρίς αστυνομικές και στρατιωτικές στολές, μάσκες ή κουκούλες, που μιλούν εκτός από τα ελληνικά και άλλη ευρωπαϊκή γλώσσα (συχνά αναφερόμενη η γερμανική), που δρουν με επιδεικτική βαρβαρότητα ακόμα και μπροστά σε μικρά παιδιά και οικογένειες, βία και κακοποιήσεις, αφαίρεση προσωπικών ειδών και χρημάτων, ρούχων κατά περίπτωση και συχνά υποδημάτων, αφαίρεση ή καταστροφή κινητών τηλεφώνων (για να μην καταγράφεται η παράνομη δράση), μεταφορά σε εγκαταλειμμένες αποθήκες που χρησιμεύουν ως άτυπα κρατητήρια χωρίς τροφή και νερό και χρήση φουσκωτών για την επαναπροώθηση στην Τουρκία, παραπέμπουν σε εκτέλεση συγκεκριμένων οδηγιών και εντολών, που εφαρμόζονται επιλεκτικά σε εφαρμογή προαποφασισμένου σχεδίου, που περιλαμβάνει και τη συγκάλυψη -και κατά συνέπεια νομιμοποίηση- των εγκληματικών μεθόδων που χρησιμοποιούνται κατ’ αυτές.

      Η Καμπάνια για την Πρόσβαση στο Άσυλο καταγγέλλει για ακόμα μια φορά την εφαρμογή των πρακτικών άτυπης επαναπροώθησης που έχουν επεκταθεί και καταστεί σκληρότερες και συστηματικότερες μετά την Κοινή Δήλωση αρχηγών κρατών και κυβερνήσεων ΕΕ-Τουρκίας της 18ης Μαρτίου 2016 και επισημαίνει ότι δεν αποτελούν μόνο σοβαρή παραβίαση των διεθνών υποχρεώσεων της χώρας, αλλά εμπίπτουν στην αρμοδιότητα της ποινικής δικαιοσύνης και στοιχειοθετούν κατά περίπτωση κακουργήματα (βασανισμοί, ληστείες, έκθεση σε κίνδυνο ζωής κ.ά.)

      Ζητάμε να δοθούν απαντήσεις από τις αρχές :

      Ποια σώματα ενεργούν στα σύνορα για την αποτροπή παράτυπων εισόδων.
      Υπάρχει πλαίσιο συγκεκριμένων εντολών για την περίπτωση εντοπισμού, σύλληψης και μεταχείρισης των παράτυπα εισερχόμενων και έλεγχος για τον τρόπο εφαρμογής του από τις περιπόλους ;
      Υπάρχει υποχρέωση καταγραφής των περιπόλων που ενεργούν κατά μήκος του Έβρου και υποχρεωτική αναφορά σχετικά με την πορεία που ακολουθούν καθώς και τις ενέργειες τους ;
      Ελέγχεται από την εκάστοτε προϊσταμένη αρχή η νομιμότητα των ενεργειών αυτών των περιπόλων και η τήρηση των υποχρεώσεων που επιβάλει το διεθνές δίκαιο για την προστασία των προσφύγων ;

      Η Καμπάνια για την Πρόσβαση στο Άσυλο επισημαίνει ότι τα αρμόδια και εμπλεκόμενα Υπουργεία (Προστασίας του Πολίτη, Άμυνας και Μεταναστευτικής Πολιτικής) αλλά και ο Υπουργός Δικαιοσύνης οφείλουν να προβούν με διαδικασίες κατεπείγοντος στη διερεύνηση των καταγγελιών και τον έλεγχο των εμπλεκόμενων σε επιχειρήσεις αποτροπής και είναι υπόλογοι για κάθε καθυστέρηση, καθώς οι συνεχιζόμενες παραβιάσεις, όσο εκφεύγουν από κάθε μορφής έλεγχο, λογοδοσία και τιμωρία, επιβεβαιώνουν την πεποίθηση ότι ο Έβρος είναι ένα εκτεταμένο πεδίο εκτός δικαίου και εκτός νόμου όπου οι πρόσφυγες είτε σπρώχνονται στο θάνατο είτε στα χέρια εγκληματικών οργανώσεων, όπου μπορεί να αναπτύσσεται ανεμπόδιστα το οργανωμένο έγκλημα και όπου η ανθρώπινη ζωή είναι εξαιρετικά φτηνή ακόμη και γι’ αυτούς που είναι υπεύθυνοι να την προστατεύουν.

      https://www.efsyn.gr/node/193572

      Reçu via la mailing-list Migreurop avec ce commentaire :

      10 ONG et associations solidaires somment les Ministres de l’ordre public, de la Politique Migratoire et de la Justice d’ouvrir en toute urgence une enquête concernant les dénonciations répétées d’opérations illégales de refoulement de réfugiés à Evros (frontière fluviale gréco-turque au Nord de la Grèce) ; elles réclament aussi que tous les agents de l’état impliqués dans des telles actions fassent l’objet d’un contrôle.

      Les dix ONG qui font partie de celles ayant lancé la Campagne pour l’accès à l’asile (http://asylum-campaign.blogspot.com) font remarquer que les ministres seront tenus pour responsable de tout empêchement ou retard dans l’enquête, qui renforcerait la conviction que la frontière d’Evros est une zone de non-droit et un haut-lieu de torture pour les réfugiés (tortures, mauvais traitements, vols avec violence, mise en danger de la vie d’autrui).

      Elles soulignent que le mode opératoire quasi-identique de plusieurs opérations de refoulement et les ressemblances dans les mauvais traitements subis par les réfugiés renvoient à un plan organisé et concerté de dissuasion, dans le cadre duquel se déploient de pratiques généralisées qui sont devenus plus fréquentes, plus systématiques et encore plus dures après l’accord UE-Turquie en mars 2016.

      Les organisations Arsis , Réseau de soutien social de réfugiés et de migrants (Diktyo) Observatoire grec pour les accords d’Helsinki (Greek Helsinki Monitor ), Forum grec des réfugiés (Greek Forum of Refugees), Mouvement pour les Droits de l’Homme-Solidarité avec les Réfugiés Samos, Monde sans guerres et violence , « LATHRA » -Comité de Solidarité avec les Réfugiés de Chios, PRAKSIS , Initiative pour les droits de détenus ,

      Soutien aux Réfugiés en Egée (Refugees Support Aegean) parlent de brutalité ostentatoire de la part des policiers et de groupes paramilitaires et d’actions illégales qui ne pourraient être que le fruit de consignes précises et d’ ordres venant d’en haut. Pour les ONG, le recouvrement et la légalisation implicite de méthodes criminelles employées est partie intégrante du plan organisé de push-back.

    • “We were beaten and pushed back by masked men at Turkish-Greek border” – Turkish journalist and asylum seeker

      A group of Turkish political asylum seekers claims that, following their attempt to cross the Turkish border via Evros River in the northeast of Greece on Friday evening, they were pushed back after being beaten by masked men with batons.

      Tugba Ozkan, a journalist in the group, told IPA News on the phone that the group of 15 people fleeing persecution in Turkey crossed the Turkish-Greek border on Friday at 9 pm near Soufli, a town at Evros Regional Unit.

      When they stepped on Greek soil, however, she said a group of masked men beat them and pushed them back across the river to Turkish land, where a post-coup crackdown has persecuted tens of thousands of Turkish nationals since the abortive coup in 2016.

      A family of four from the group, including two children, disappeared after the alleged push-back. Turkish soldiers reportedly arrested the four Turkish nationals, Alpay Akinci (42), Meral Akinci (40), Okan Selim Akinci (11), and Ayse Hilal Akinci (8).

      Trying to hide from Turkish security officers, 11 people, including Ozkan, were attempting to cross the border for the second time.

      “Masked men beat us with batons. We are in a very dire situation. We are afraid to be pushed back again. We need help,” a desperate Ozkan said in dismay.

      The group of asylum seekers managed to cross the Evros safely in their second attempt, she said, and the group was attempting to hide when two Greek police cars found them.

      Greek Police detained the group at around 2 pm on Saturday near the border and took them into custody, according to the Greek Council for Refugees (GCR), a non-governmental organization defending human rights and fighting against illegal push-backs in the region.

      The group applied for asylum in Greece and are expected to be released in a few days after the official registration is done, according to GCR lawyers.
      Push-back: Infamous buzzword of immigration debate glossary

      The practice that notoriously became known as “push-back,” can be defined as ‘the use of force to stop asylum seekers at borders and to return them to the country from which they came.’

      According to official numbers of the United Nations, thousands of asylum seekers and refugees from various nations cross the Turkish-Greek border illegally every year in an attempt to reach Europe to take refuge.

      Many reported push-back incidents have occurred in recent years, but no accurate figures have been revealed yet.

      One of those incidents was the case of Murat Capan, a Turkish journalist who worked for the critical Nokta magazine. According to the narrative of Hellenic League for Human Rights, Capan and a Turkish family with three children crossed the Evros river in May 2017, escaping persecution.

      The Greek police took them into custody where they asked to apply for asylum. Subsequently, they were taken to a UN facility in a van.

      According to the information put forth by Hellenic League, the van met with a car along the road and five masked men dressed in camouflage bound the hands of the Turkish nationals. Two of the masked men then escorted them back to the Turkish side of the border where they were handed over to Turkish soldiers.

      Turkish authorities had already sentenced Capan in absentia to twenty-two and a half years in prison. Following the push-back incident, the security forces sent Capan to prison to serve his term.

      Another incident included 6 Turkish asylum seekers and took place in September 2018. Two Turkish families entered Greece via Evros and as reported by a Turkish journalist in exile, Cevheri Guven, their presence in Greece can be backed by solid evidence.

      One family had their two kids with them and took their photo on a roadside cafe in Alexandroupolis.

      Guven shares the location and picture of the coffee where the photo above had been taken to display that the families were indeed in Greece.

      The families were escorted back to Turkey after appealing for asylum by the Greek police and thrown into the water by the Turkish side, according to Guven. Turkish gendarmerie caught them after hours of walking along the road and 3 adults out of 4 in the group faced arrest.

      The cases of Capan and the Yildiz family crystalize the consequences of the push-back practice, which is a widespread method apparently enforced by Greek security forces working alongside Greece’s border with Turkey, according to the work of several NGOs.

      Greek NGOs, including GCR, HumanRights360, and ARSIS, released a report on the push-back practice in December 2018.

      The report, dubbed “The new normality: Continuous push-backs of third-country nationals on the Evros river,” includes testimonies of 39 people who tried to cross the Evros river to enter Greece, but who were pushed back to Turkey, often violently.

      The report of the NGOs concludes that “the practice of push-backs constitutes a particularly wide-spread practice, often employing violence in the process.”

      GCR, HumanRights360, and ARSIS have urged authorities to take action against the practice, which they label as “a threat to the rule of law” in Greece.

      According to a 2012 ruling of the European Court of Human Rights, push-back policy breaches international law, including the Geneva Convention and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

      International laws are clear on peoples’ rights to seek protection from persecution in other countries, and the latter is obliged to process these requests in order to avoid the risk of endangering people who have a legitimate claim to protection.

      https://ipa.news/2019/04/28/we-were-beaten-and-pushed-back-by-masked-men-at-turkish-greek-border-turkish-j

    • Three Kurdish children drown as more refugees try to make their way into Greece

      THREE KURDISH have perished while trying to cross from Turkey into Greece when the boat they were in capsized.

      The children were from the Iraqi Kurdistan capital of Erbil and drowned in Maritsa River.

      “In the early hours of today, around 3 am, a boat carrying thirteen immigrants who wanted to cross from Turkey to Greece through the Evros River overturned and two children drowned. One child died due to the cold weather,” said Ari Jalal, a representative of Federation of Iraqi Refugees in Kurdistan, in an interview with Kurdish Rudaw.

      Jalal further said the body of one child is yet to be found. “The search continues. We are in contact with the consulates of Iraq, Turkey and Greece after the tragic boat incident. The other immigrants were rescued by Greek police,” Jalal said.

      Turkey is used as a key and main route by thousands of refugees who want to cross into Europe through Greece, especially since 2011, when the Syrian civil war began.

      According to Greece police, the number of migrants registered and arrested after crossing the border was 3,543 by last October, an 82% increase over the same month in the preceding year.


      https://ipa.news/2019/02/04/three-kurdish-children-drown-as-more-refugees-try-to-make-their-way-into-greec
      #décès #morts

    • The new normality: Continuous push-backs of third country nationals on the Evros river

      The Greek Council for Refugees, ARSIS-Association for the Social Support of Youth and HumanRights360 publish this report containing 39 testimonies of people who attempted to enter Greece from the Evros border with Turkey, in order to draw the attention of the responsible authorities and public bodies to the frequent practice of push-backs that take place in violation of national, EU law and international law.

      The frequency and repeated nature of the testimonies that come to our attention by people in detention centres, under protective custody, and in reception and identification centres, constitutes evidence of the practice of pushbacks being used extensively and not decreasing, regardless of the silence and denial by the responsible public bodies and authorities, and despite reports and complaints denouncements that have come to light in the recent past.
      The testimonies that follow substantiate a continuous and uninterrupted use of the illegal practice of push-backs. They also reveal an even more alarming array of practices and patterns calling for further investigation; it is particularly alarming that the persons involved in implementing the practice of push-backs speak Greek, as well as other languages, while reportedly wearing either police or military clothing. In short, we observe that the practice of push-backs constitutes a particularly wide-spread practice, often employing violence in the process, leaving the State exposed and posing a threat for the rule of law in the country.
      Τhe organizations signing this report urge the competent authorities to investigate the incidents described, and to refrain from engaging in any similar action that violates Greek, EU law, and International law.

      https://www.gcr.gr/en/news/press-releases-announcements/item/1028-the-new-normality-continuous-push-backs-of-third-country-nationals-on-the-e

      Pour télécharger le #rapport:


      https://www.gcr.gr/en/news/press-releases-announcements/item/download/492_22e904e22458d13aa76e3dce82d4dd23

    • Απάντηση Γεροβασίλη για τις επαναπροωθήσεις

      Επιστολή στον επικεφαλής της Υπατης Αρμοστείας στην Ελλάδα, Φιλίπ Λεκλέρκ, έστειλε η Όλγα Γεροβασίλη απαντώντας στη δική του στην όποια, όπως αναφέρει υπουργός Προστασίας του Πολίτη, « παρατίθενται περιγραφές και μαρτυρίες μεταναστών για περιστατικά και πρακτικές προσώπων, που φέρονται να ανήκουν σε Σώματα Ασφαλείας, στην περιοχή του Έβρου.

       »Συγκεκριμένα, οι αναφορές αφορούν σε άτυπες αναγκαστικές επιστροφές στην Τουρκία, χωρίς την τήρηση των νόμιμων διαδικασιών, σε περιστατικά βίας και σοβαρών παραβιάσεων των ανθρωπίνων δικαιωμάτων, καθώς και σε περιστατικά σύμφωνα με τα οποία δεν επετράπη η πρόσβαση προσφύγων και μεταναστών στο μηχανισμό του ασύλου.

      Η κ. Γεροβασίλη υποστηρίζει πως « οι καταγγελλόμενες συμπεριφορές και πρακτικές ουδόλως υφίστανται ως επιχειρησιακή δραστηριότητα και πρακτική του προσωπικού των Υπηρεσιών Συνοριακής Φύλαξης, το οποίο κυρίως εμπλέκεται σε δράσεις για την αντιμετώπιση του φαινομένου της παράνομης μετανάστευσης στα ελληνοτουρκικά σύνορα. Από την διερεύνηση των μέχρι σήμερα καταγγελλομένων περιστατικών και από τις εσωτερικές έρευνες που έχουν πραγματοποιηθεί από τις αρμόδιες Υπηρεσίες, προκύπτει το συμπέρασμα ότι αυτά δεν δύνανται να επιβεβαιωθούν ».

      Ισχυρίζεται δε ότι « η εμπειρία, ο επαγγελματισμός και το ήθος του αστυνομικού προσωπικού των Υπηρεσιών Συνοριακής Φύλαξης, δεν αφήνουν ουδεμία αμφιβολία ότι το έργο της διαχείρισης συνόρων επιτελείται με υψηλό αίσθημα ευθύνης και ανθρωπισμού. Προς επίρρωση αυτού, σημειώνεται ότι, στον ποταμό Έβρο έχουν λάβει χώρα, πολλές φορές υπό άκρως αντίξοες συνθήκες, επιχειρήσεις διάσωσης μεταναστών που κινδύνευαν από πνιγμό, από το αστυνομικό προσωπικό, το οποίο και με κίνδυνο της ζωής του επιδιώκει την προστασία της ζωής των μεταναστών όταν εγκλωβίζονται σε επικίνδυνα σημεία του ποταμού Έβρου, αποσπώντας θετικά σχόλια από την κοινή γνώμη.

      Επίσης, η υπουργός σημειώνει πως « οι Έλληνες αστυνομικοί που πραγματοποιούν εθνικές επιχειρησιακές δράσεις επιτήρησης συνόρων στην περιοχή του Έβρου, τα τελευταία έτη, υποστηρίζονται από Φιλοξενούμενους Αξιωματούχους διαφόρων ειδικοτήτων, στο πλαίσιο Κοινών Επιχειρήσεων του Frontex που υλοποιούνται στην περιοχή. Ο εν λόγω Ευρωπαϊκός Οργανισμός ενισχύει την επίγνωση της κατάστασης και την επιχειρησιακή ανταπόκριση στα ελληνοτουρκικά χερσαία σύνορα. Σε αυτό το πλαίσιο, ουδέποτε έγινε αναφορά από ξένους Φιλοξενούμενους Αξιωματούχους του Frontex, περιστατικού παράτυπης επαναπροώθησης ή παραβίασης δικαιώματος μεταναστών, με εμπλοκή ελλήνων αστυνομικών ».

      Στην επιστολή επισημαίνεται πως « τόσο σε κεντρικό όσο και σε περιφερειακό επίπεδο, το αστυνομικό προσωπικό λαμβάνει ειδικότερες οδηγίες και διαταγές, ενώ παρακολουθεί και εκπαιδευτικά προγράμματα, σχετικά με την προστασία των θεμελιωδών δικαιωμάτων των μεταναστών, με ιδιαίτερη έμφαση στις ευάλωτες ομάδες. Οι οδηγίες εστιάζουν στην προστασία της ανθρώπινης ζωής και αξιοπρέπειας, την αποφυγή των διακρίσεων, την νόμιμη χρήση βίας και την αρχή της μη-επαναπροώθησης. Σε αυτό το πλαίσιο, το αστυνομικό προσωπικό εποπτεύεται και αξιολογείται σε μόνιμη βάση, από την ιεραρχία του σώματος.

      Τέλος, η κ. Γεροβασίλη υπενθυμίζει ότι « η Ελλάδα έχει διαχειρισθεί αποτελεσματικά, από το 2015 μέχρι και σήμερα, περισσότερους από 1.350.000 πρόσφυγες/μετανάστες, έχοντας ως γνώμονα την προστασία της ανθρώπινης ζωής και αξιοπρέπειας. Ειδικότερα, επισημαίνεται πώς, κατά το πρώτο 4μηνο του 2019 στην περιοχή δικαιοδοσίας των Δ.Α. Ορεστιάδας και Αλεξανδρούπολης έχουν πραγματοποιηθεί 3.130 συλλήψεις υπηκόων τρίτων χωρών, γεγονός που έρχεται σε αντίθεση με τις καταγγελίες περί επαναπροωθήσεων. Επιπλέον και κατά το συγκεκριμένο χρονικό διάστημα που αναφέρεται στις καταγγελίες (25-29.04.2019), πραγματοποιήθηκαν στην συγκεκριμένη περιοχή 101 συλλήψεις υπηκόων τρίτων χωρών ».

      https://www.efsyn.gr/node/193868

      Traduction de Vicky Skoumbi via la mailing-list Migreurop :

      La ministre grecque de Protection du Citoyen (euphémisme pour l’Ordre Public) Olga Gerovassili a démenti les accusations de refoulements illégaux à Evros –frontière nord-est de la Grèce avec la Turquie. En réponse à la lettre que lui avait adressée Philippe Leclerc, représentant de l’UNHCR en Grèce, où celui-ci évoque des témoignages des migrants concernant des mauvais traitements et des refoulements effectués par des forces de sécurité de la région d’Evros, la ministre a tout nié en bloc.

      Philippe Leclerc faisait état des témoignages qui dénoncent d’une part des renvois forcés vers la Turquie, sans que les procédures légales soient respectées, et d’autre part des violences et des violations graves des droits humains, ainsi que des cas où on a interdit aux réfugiés et aux migrants l’accès au mécanisme de l’asile.

      Mme Gerovassili soutient que « les comportements et les pratiques dénoncées ne font nullement partie des modes opératoires et des pratiques du personnel de la Garde-Frontière, qui est surtout impliqué à des actions de contrôle du phénomène d’immigration illégale aux frontières gréco-turques. L’investigation des incidents dénoncés jusqu’à aujourd’hui et les enquêtes internes réalisées par les services compétents ont conduit à la conclusion que ces incidents ne peuvent pas être confirmés ».

      La ministre prétend que « l’expérience, le professionnalisme et l’éthos du personnel policier de la Garde-Frontière, ne laissent aucun doute sur le fait qu’ils opèrent avec un très haut sens de responsabilité et d’humanisme. Pour corroborer ce fait, elle souligne le fait qu’à Evros des opérations de sauvetage ont eu lieu plusieurs fois sous de conditions extrêmement dangereuses : les policiers opèrent au péril de leur propre vie pour la protection de la vie des migrants, lorsque ceux-ci sont bloqués à des endroits dangereux du fleuve Evros.

      La ministre ajoute que les officiers de Frontex qui sont impliqués dans des opérations conjointes avec les policiers grecs n’ont jamais dénoncé des cas de refoulement illégal ou de violation de droit de migrants de la part des agents grecs.

      Dans la lettre que la ministre a adressée à Philippe Leclerc, il est dit que le personnel policier agit sous des consignes et ordres spécifiques, tandis qu’il est souvent amené à suivre des programmes de formation spécifiques à la protection des droits fondamentaux de migrants. D’après la ministre, les consignes données mettent en avant la nécessité de protéger la vie et la dignité humaine, d’éviter toute discrimination, de s’en tenir à l’usage légal de la violence et au principe du non-refoulement. « Dans ce cadre, les agents de police sont contrôlés et évalués en continu, par leurs supérieurs hiérarchiques », dit la ministre.

      Enfin Mme Gerovassili met en avant le fait que 3.130 arrestations de ressortissants de pays tiers ont été effectuées pendant les quatre premiers mois de 2019 dans les régions d’Orestiada et d’Alexandroupolis- proches d’Evros- ce qui, d’après la ministre, contredit les accusations de refoulements illégaux. « Qui plus est, pendant la période précise où les faits dénoncés auraient pu avoir lieu (25-29.04.2019), 101 arrestations de ressortissants de pays tiers ont eu lieu dans cette région ».

      Avec ce commentaire :

      N’en déplaise à la ministre, les faits sont têtus et aucun démenti ne saurait entamer la crédibilité de rapports des ONG et des témoignages comme ceux par ex. rapportés par le Conseil Grec pour les Réfugiés

      https://www.gcr.gr/en/news/press-releases-announcements/item/1067-gcr-and-cear-publish-a-joint-video-documenting-the-harsh-reality-of-pushbac

    • Εvros Pushbacks

      The Greek Council for Refugees and CEAR (C​omisión Española de Ayuda al Refugiado), with the support of the Municipality of Madrid, publish together a video on pushbacks in Evros, today, March 20, three years since the implementation of the EU-Turkey Joint Statement, of which the consequences are obvious in Greece’s northern border, as well as on the Eastern Aegean islands. The shattering testimonies of people who attempted to enter Greece from the Turkish border and were violently pushed back to Turkey, without ever being given the opportunity to apply for asylum, reveal the systematic nature of the pushbacks practice, in direct violation of Greek, EU and international law.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LAyuOlohOss


      #routes_migratoires #accord_UE-Turquie #parcours_migratoires #Pavlos_Pavlidis #identification #corps

      Le #cimetière :


      ... qui ne semble plus être le même que celui qu’on avait visité en 2012 :

    • Ces migrants mystérieusement refoulés de Grèce en Turquie

      C’est un sujet qui, régulièrement, vient mettre en porte-à-faux les autorités grecques : l’accueil des migrants qui traversent le fleuve Evros. Frontière entre la Turquie et la Grèce, ce fleuve sert de point d’entrée en Europe pour les migrants venus d’Asie, d’Afrique ou tout simplement de Turquie.

      Et si la traversée du fleuve n’est pas insurmontable, en revanche, les conditions d’accueil sont sujettes à critique par les ONG et même par les migrants.

      L’équipe d’euronews à Athènes en a rencontrés. Ils racontent comment les policiers grecs ont pour habitude de les refouler, sans ménagement.

      Mikail est turc, demandeur d’asile en Grèce. Il explique qu’il a traversé le fleuve avec un groupe de 11 personnes. Lorsqu’ils sont arrivés sur le sol grec, des policiers les ont arrêtés. « Les types portaient des tenues militaires, raconte-t-il. Et ils avaient des matraques. On aurait dit qu’ils partaient en guerre. Nous, on a essayé de comprendre pourquoi ils se comportaient ainsi. Ils nous ont simplement dit : "On va vous renvoyer chez vous". »

      « Mes enfants étaient à côté de moi, ajoute Gulay, réfugiée turque_. Ils m’ont dit : "Maman, y vont nous tuer ?" Je leur ai dit : "Non, ils ne vont pas nous tuer. Ils veulent juste nous renvoyer en Turquie"._ »

      Le groupe de ces 11 migrants parviendra malgré tout à rester en Grèce. D’autres n’ont pas eu cette chance.

      Le 4 mai, trois personnes, deux hommes et une jeune femme, ont traversé le fleuve. Craignant d’être refoulés, ils ont prévenu un proche vivant déjà en Grèce ainsi qu’un avocat. Ils ont envoyé une photo prise dans la ville de #Nea_Vyssa.


      https://twitter.com/zubeyirkoculu/status/1124764045024821249?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed&ref_url=https

      Ils ont ensuite été emmenés dans un commissariat de police à Neo Xeimonio. Et là, on a perdu leur trace. On a appris plus tard qu’ils avaient été renvoyés en Turquie, et qu’ils étaient désormais emprisonnés dans la ville turque d’Edirne.

      Ishan, le frère de la jeune femme raconte qu’il est allé au commissariat de police pour savoir ce qui était advenue de sa sœur. « Je leur ai dit : "je sais que ma sœur a été arrêtée et qu’elle était ici". Ils m’ont juste dit : "On n’est au courant de rien". »

      « Nous avons sollicité les autorités grecques pour en savoir davantage sur cette affaire, ajoute Michalis Arampatzoglou, journaliste d’euronews . Le ministère de la Protection civile a dit n’avoir aucune information sur cet incident. Pour autant, des cas comme celui-là, il y en a de plus en plus. Les avocats des victimes comptent engager des poursuites judiciaires, pour que enquêtes soient menées et que la lumière soit faite. »

      https://fr.euronews.com/2019/05/16/ces-migrants-mysterieusement-refoules-de-grece-en-turquie


    • https://twitter.com/zubeyirkoculu/status/1124764045024821249?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed&ref_url=https

      Je copie-colle ici le thread twitter:

      Breaking: 3 Turkish nationals, Kamil Y, Ayse E, Talip N, have crossed the Turkish-Greek border through Evros on May 4 at 5 am, they were taken into custody at #Xeimonio police station. A family member and a lawyer in the region, however, were told by the Police they are absent.
      Ms. Ayse E. sent her location at Xeimonio before they were detained, she also shared a video urging Greek authorities to stop any possible push-back.
      We are Turkish political asylum seekers. We fled persecution back in Turkey and crossed Evros on May 4 at 5 am. We are hiding near Nea Vyssa in fear of push-back. We urge the United Nations and Greek authorities to protect us from being pushed back."

      The latest live location Ms. Ayse shared with me was from #Xeimonia Police station which proves 3 Turkish asylum seekers taken into custody. The Greek police currently inform their lawyer that there are no such persons in the custody which might mean another push-back on the way.

    • ’Masked men beat us with batons’: Greece accused of violent asylum seeker pushbacks

      Scores of Turkish asylum seekers have been pushed back — sometimes violently — from Greece in the last three weeks, lawyers and family members told Euronews.

      Witnesses claim various groups of masked men in military uniform, as well as those in plain clothes collaborating with the police, used physical force against those who resisted.

      There have been 82 people from Turkey, including children, that have sought political asylum in neighbouring Greece and been sent back since April 23.

      Around half have been detained or arrested by Turkish authorities upon their return to their home country on terrorism charges.

      They have been linked to the Gulen Movement, which Ankara blames for the failed 2016 coup, or the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), who have been involved in an armed struggle with the Turkish state over independence.

      The European Commission has urged Greece to follow up on the allegations that Euronews has detailed in this article.

      ’Violently pushed back’

      “We are Turkish political asylum seekers,” began Ayse Erdogan in a video she sent to a family member.

      “We fled persecution in Turkey and crossed [at] Evros on May 4, at 5 am. We are hiding near Nea Vyssa [on the Greek-Turkey land border] in fear of a push back. We urge the United Nations and Greek authorities to protect us from being pushed back.”

      Ayse, who had crossed the border with friends Kamil and Talip, was picked up by Greek police and taken into custody at a police station in the village of Nea Cheimonio. Hours later, Ayse would be part of a group of migrants that were allegedly violently pushed back to Turkey by Greek police.

      Nea Cheimonio was the last place that Ayse’s family was able to pick up a location signal from her phone.

      The same day, accompanied by a lawyer, Ayse’s twin brother, Ihsan Erdogan, who is a registered asylum seeker in Greece, went to the police station in Nea Cheimonio, based on her last location information. He was told his sister and her friends had never been held there.

      On May 5, Ihsan received a phone call from a family member saying his sister had been imprisoned by a court in the northwestern province of Edirne, over the border in Turkey.

      The relative had spoken to Ayse, who said her Turkish group, along with a number of Syrians, had been handed over to a group of masked men soon after they left the police station in Nea Cheimonio. Greek police, she claimed, seized their belongings including her phone.

      Ihsan rues that his sister was seemingly sent back just before he arrived in Nea Cheimonio. “I urge Greek authorities not to send others like my sister back to prison,” he told Euronews.
      ’Masked men beat us with batons’

      Freshly-graduated as a mathematics teacher, Ayse had spent 28 months in prison over alleged affiliation with the Gulen Movement, an organisation Turkish authorities have outlawed.

      Hundreds of people were arrested in the aftermath of the failed putsch in 2016 and accused of links to US-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen.

      Ayse was not the only political asylum seeker allegedly sent back to Turkey in what appears to be a violation of international asylum law.

      On April 26 this year, at Soufli, a border town near Evros River, a group of 11 people — including three children, a pregnant woman and another one that was disabled — was sent back by masked men after being beaten violently, according to a journalist in the group.

      “Masked men beat us with batons,” said Tugba Ozkan, who is 28 and pregnant. "We are in a very dire situation. We are afraid to be pushed back again. We need help.

      “I had forgotten about my pregnancy,” she added. “I tried to stop Greek police by moving ahead but they pushed me, too. It was unbelievable and unforgettable to see my husband beaten in front of my eyes.”
      No acknowledgement from Athens

      According to the account of the group, the police cooperated with a group of masked men who forced them to return to Turkey. The group managed to cross the border again the next day, only to be detained officially and come face-to-face with a police officer who had pushed them back at Soufli. They were released under the protection of a UNHCR officer on April 30.

      Greek NGOs published reports last year with testimonies from people from various nationalities who were allegedly sent back to Turkey via Evros after being beaten by masked men.

      The UN’s refugee agency (UNHCR) and the Commissioner for Human Rights of the Council of Europe urged Greek authorities to investigate those reports.

      The claims of violent push back operations at Evros river, however, have never ended. None have been officially acknowledged by Athens.

      Greece police declined to comment after requests by Euronews regarding the latest push back allegations.

      A European Commission spokesman, speaking to Euronews, said that they were aware of the recent push back claims.

      “The Commission expects that the Greek authorities will follow up on the specific allegations and will continue to closely monitor the situation,” he said.

      https://www.euronews.com/2019/05/11/masked-men-beat-us-with-batons-greece-accused-of-violent-asylum-seeker-pus

    • Migrants tortured by Greek police, illegally pushed back to Turkey

      Three migrants allegedly tortured by Greek security forces and illegally pushed back to neighboring Turkey were found by Turkish border units and are being provided medical treatment in northwestern Edirne province.

      Iraqi national Ibrahim Khidir (35) and Egyptian nationals Hassan Mahmoud (18) and Ahmed Samir (26) were found in a rural area, half-naked and exhausted with deep marks from plastic bullets and battering on their bodies. They were taken under protection by soldiers, who gave first aid to the migrants before handing them over to the provincial migration management directorate.

      The migrants told reporters that they crossed into Greece with a group of seven other illegal migrants after making arrangements with human smugglers in Istanbul’s Esenyurt district. They were held by the Greek police at the coach station in the border district of Didymoteicho while trying to travel to Thessaloniki. They were then taken to a local police station, where they spent two days along with 35 other illegal migrants and were denied any food.

      The migrants said they were divided into groups of 10 and boarded boats with two Greek police officers accompanying each and six officers watching guard. They were pushed back to Turkey through the Maritsa River (Meriç in Turkish, or Evros in Greek) forming the border with Greece.

      The violence that began at the police station, which included battering with truncheons, shooting with plastic bullets and electroshocks, continued at the riverside and on the boats.

      Khidir told reporters that Greek security forces captured him in Didymoteicho and tortured him with electroshocks, rear-handcuffing and plastic bullets fired at his body. His clothes and money were taken when he was detained.

      Turkish soldiers treated them very well and took care that they received treatment, according Khidir.

      Mahmoud and Samir also said that they were pushed back to Turkey after being stripped of their clothes and beaten up.

      Under international laws and conventions, Greece is obliged to register any illegal migrants entering its territory; yet, this is not the case for thousands of migrants were forcibly returned to Turkey especially since the beginning of refugee influx into Europe in 2015. Security sources say that accounts of migrants interviewed by Turkish migration authority staff and social workers show that they were subjected to torture, theft and other human rights abuses. Several migrants were also found frozen to death after being left in desolate areas.

      Similar incidents have also taken place on the Aegean, in which migrants and Turkish locals accused the Greek coast guard of deflating their boats or re-routing them back to Turkish territorial waters.

      Turkey and the European Union signed a deal in 2016 to curb illegal immigration through the dangerous Aegean Sea route from Turkey to Greece. Under the deal, Greece sends back migrants held in the Aegean islands they crossed to from nearby Turkish shores and in return, EU countries receive a number of Syrian migrants legally. The deal, reinforced with an escalated crackdown on human smugglers and more patrols in the Aegean, significantly decreased the number of illegal crossings.

      Bulgarian border authorities were also accused of abuses targeting migrants and pushing them back to Turkey in several incidents.

      However, some desperate migrants still take the route across the better-policed land border between Turkey, Greece and Bulgaria, especially in winter months when a safe journey through the Aegean is nearly impossible aboard dinghies.

      https://www.dailysabah.com/turkey/2019/05/30/migrants-tortured-by-greek-police-illegally-pushed-back-to-turkey/amp
      #torture

    • Greece continues to push asylum seekers back to Turkey

      Greek border forces along the Evros River pushed 59 migrants back into Turkey on Friday morning, signaling the continuation of a policy that started before the arrival of the new government.

      The pushback was reported by Zübeyir Koçulu, an Athens-based Turkish journalist who tweeted, “It seems nothing has changed on the Evros regarding pushbacks following a recent government change in Greece.”

      A total of 59 asylum seekers, nine of them Turkish and the remainder Afghans, Syrians and Somalis, were illegally sent back to Turkey, according to Koçulu.

      “The Greek police collected the group soon after their arrival and held them in custody at the Tychero police station for four hours,” he said. “After seizing their phones, security officers pushed the 59 people through the river near Soufli by force, perpetrating violence, according to witnesses.”

      He further claimed that Turkish political asylum seekers in the group were detained by Turkish security forces soon after the pushback. Three children in the group were delivered to their relatives.

      The Evros River, which forms most of the land border between the two countries, was one of the main routes used by Turkish asylum seekers fleeing government persecution as well as migrants of other nationalities until a series of violent pushback operations a few months ago stopped the flow.

      “Ironically, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, the new PM of Greece, fled with his parents into exile in Turkey when he was a year old in 1968 during the Greek junta,” Koçulu said. “He knows what it is to be a migrant from his own experience.”

      https://www.turkishminute.com/2019/07/21/greece-continues-to-push-asylum-seekers-back-to-turkey

    • What is happening on the Greece-Turkey border?

      While migrant camps on the Aegean islands have reached breaking point, and with Turkey threatening to ’open the gates’, migrants continue to arrive in Greece in the hundreds every week. Most come by sea, but in recent months, growing numbers have crossed via the land route across the Evros River. Many claim they are subjected to violent and illegal treatment by authorities at the border.
      Since the deaths of 39 Vietnamese migrants smuggled by lorry into the UK, there have been many more reports of migrants stowing away in trucks and vans. The latest group of 41 people hiding in a truck crossing from Turkey into northern Greece were reportedly mostly Afghan men between the ages of 20 and 30. Some reports said they were in danger of suffocation when they were discovered.

      On the Greek-Turkish border, smugglers are regularly caught transporting migrants in minibuses or trucks. There are mixed reports about how many people cross via this border. According to the UN migration agency, IOM, the number has risen steadily in recent months – from 255 arrivals in May to 1,233 in September.

      While the focus remains on the overcrowded migrant camps on the Aegean islands, which have seen a much bigger surge in arrivals during the same period, there has been less attention given to what is happening on the land border.

      ’Brutal treatment’

      There have been reports of violence and illegal activities by some Greek authorities against migrants crossing the Evros river since as early as mid-2017. These have included claims that migrants have been arrested, beaten up, robbed, detained, and forcibly returned or “pushed back” into Turkey.

      Dorothee Vakalis from Naomi, a refugee aid organization in Thessaloniki, says migrants continue to be subjected to “brutal treatment” by authorities at the border. “Everything gets taken away from them, phones, money, sometimes clothing as well. They are sent back to the other side practically naked,” she said on German radio on Tuesday. “We hear from relatives about families with small children, pregnant women being pushed back,” Vakalis said.

      Beaten by masked men

      According to an account of a case in April reported in Euronews, men wearing masks beat several migrants with batons before sending them back. In the group was a 28-year-old pregnant woman, Tugba Ozkan. “I had forgotten about my pregnancy,” Ozkan told Euronews. “I tried to stop Greek police by moving ahead but they pushed me, too. It was unbelievable and unforgettable to see my husband beaten in front of my eyes.”

      InfoMigrants was also in contact last year with a Kurdish couple who said they were locked in a small dark room with many others before being taken by masked commandos back across the border into Turkey.

      It is not clear who is carrying out the push backs, because they often wear masks and cannot be easily identified. The Hellenic League for Human Rights (HLHR) and Human Rights Watch describe them as paramilitaries. Eyewitnesses interviewed by Human Rights Watch said people who “looked like police officers or soldiers, as well as some unidentified masked men, carried handguns, handcuffs, radios, spray cans, and batons,” and others carried gear such as “armored gloves, binoculars and knives and military-grade weapons such as rifles.”

      The HLHR has suggested that the Greek police are either unaware of the existence of these paramilitaries or they turn a blind eye to them. According to Human Rights Watch, accounts suggest "close and consistent coordination “between police and unidentified men.” ..."Commanding officers knew, or ought to have known, what was happening," HRW’s report claims.

      Calls for investigation

      The Greek Refugee Council and other NGOs published a report in 2018 containing testimonies from people who said they had been beaten, sometimes by masked men, and sent back to Turkey. The UNHCR and the European Human Rights Commissioner have called on Greece to investigate the claims. Late last year another report by Human Rights Watch also based on testimonies of migrants, said that violent push backs were continuing.

      Turkey has also urged Greece to stop the practice of push backs. The Turkish foreign ministry recently claimed that a total of 25,404 irregular migrants were pushed back to Turkey in the first month of this year, according to the IPA news service. Turkey says it has evidence that the push backs are occurring and has invited the Greek government to “work on correcting the policy.” Greece has not acknowledged that violent push backs are occurring.

      According to some of the testimonies in the report by the Greek Refugee Council, Turkey is also responsible for carrying out push backs of Syrian and Iraqi single men.

      I believe these illegal push backs are not even known about or discussed in Europe or in Germany.
      _ Dorothee Vakalis, humanitarian worker with ’Naomi’ in Thessaloniki

      The European Commission spokesperson Natasha Bertaud has confirmed that the Commission contacted Greek authorities about reports of alleged push backs earlier this year. “The Commission expects that Greek authorities will follow up on the specific allegations and will continue to monitor the situation closely,” Bertaud said.

      Legal returns and illegal push backs

      The Evros River runs along 194 km of the 206 km of land border between the EU and Turkey. This border is not covered by the so-called EU-Turkey Statement, the agreement signed between Turkey and Europe in 2016 which allows the return to Turkey of Syrian migrants who arrive irregularly in Greece by sea.

      The land border was covered by a separate bilateral migrant readmission deal between Turkey and Greece. Turkey canceled that agreement last June because Greece refused to hand over several Turkish officers who escaped to Greece after Turkey‘s failed military coup in 2016.

      Push backs are prohibited by Greek and EU law, as well as international treaties and agreements, including the Geneva Convention on Refugees, which guarantees the right to seek protection. They go against the principle of non-refoulement, which means the forcible return of a person to a country where they are liable to be subject to persecution.

      https://www.infomigrants.net/en/post/20626/what-is-happening-on-the-greece-turkey-border
      #statistiques #chiffres

    • Griechenland soll 60.000 Migranten illegal abgeschoben haben

      Menschenrechtler und die Türkei beschuldigen Griechenland, Migranten und Flüchtlinge illegal abzuschieben. Türkische Dokumente, die dem SPIEGEL vorliegen, sollen die Anschuldigungen belegen.

      Am 3. November 2019 greift die die türkische Polizei 252 Migranten in der Nähe des Grenzübergangs Kapikule auf. Danach wird sie einen brisanten Aktenvermerk anfertigen: Die Migranten hätten es über die Grenze nach Griechenland geschafft, schreiben die türkischen Beamten später in ihrem Bericht. Aber dann seien sie gegen ihren Willen zurückgebracht worden, ohne Chance auf einen Asylantrag.

      „Push-Backs“ nennen sich diese illegalen Rückführungen von Migranten und Flüchtlingen. Sie sind nach europäischem und internationalem Recht verboten. Dieses schreibt den Staaten vor, potenziellen Asylbewerbern den Zugang zu einem effektiven Asylverfahren zu gewähren.

      Seit Jahren beschuldigen Menschenrechtsorganisationen und Anwälte griechische Behörden, Migranten am Grenzfluss Evros illegal in die Türkei abzuschieben. Der SPIEGEL hat nun türkische Dokumente erhalten, darunter auch die Aufzeichnungen der Polizisten über den Vorfall am 3. November. Diese legen nahe, dass Griechenland im großen Stil illegale Push-Backs an der Grenze zur Türkei durchführt.

      Harte Anschuldigungen gegen Griechenland

      In der Migrationspolitik liegen die Türkei und Griechenland schon lange im Clinch, Anfang November erreichte der Konflikt zwischen den Erzrivalen einen neuen Höhepunkt: Das türkische Außenministerium beschuldigte die griechischen Behörden, Flüchtlinge verhaftet, sie geschlagen, ihre Kleider geraubt, Habseligkeiten beschlagnahmt und sie dann in die Türkei zurückgeschickt zu haben. „Wir haben Fotos und Dokumente“, fügte das Ministerium hinzu.

      Der griechische Premierminister Kyriakos Mitsotakis reagierte knapp. „Diejenigen, die die Flüchtlingskrise ausgenutzt haben, indem sie die Verfolgten als Spielball für ihre eigenen geopolitischen Ziele benutzt haben, sollten vorsichtiger sein, wenn sie sich auf Griechenland beziehen.“

      Mehr als 58.000 Push-Backs in einem Jahr

      Das türkische Material umfasst Fallberichte und Interviewprotokolle. Zudem Fotos, die angeblich Migranten zeigen sollen, die von griechischen Behörden misshandelt wurden. Dazu enthält es bisher unveröffentlichte Daten, die vom türkischen Innenministerium zusammengestellt wurden.

      Diesen Daten zufolge hat Griechenland in den zwölf Monaten vor dem 1. November 2019 insgesamt 58.283 Migranten zurückgeschafft. Die meisten registrierten Fälle betrafen pakistanische Staatsangehörige (16.435), gefolgt von Afghanen, Somaliern, Bangladeschern und Algeriern. Dazu kommen mehr als 4.500 Syrer.

      Dem Dokument nach lag die Zahl der gemeldeten Push-Backs allein im Oktober bei mehr als 6.500. Ein endgültiger Beweis sind die Dokumente nicht, die Anschuldigungen der Migranten lassen sich nicht unabhängig verifizieren. Und Griechenland bestreitet die Vorwürfe. Allerdings stimmen sie mit ähnlichen Berichten von Menschenrechtsorganisationen überein. Die Menge der Zeugenaussagen verschärft die Zweifel an den griechischen Unschuldsbeteuerungen.

      Die am 3. November festgenommenen Asylbewerber wurden nach türkischen Angaben später von der türkischen Polizei befragt und in ein Abschiebezentrum in Edirne gebracht, die Stadt liegt etwa 10 Kilometer von der Grenze entfernt. Alle bis auf die Syrer würden in ihre Herkunftsländer zurückgeschickt, erklärte ein türkischer Beamter. Die Syrer würden an den türkischen Ort zurückgebracht, an dem sie sich zuerst registriert hätten.

      Beraubt, eingesperrt, zurückgebracht: Die Geschichte eines Syrers

      Einer der acht Syrer, die am 3. November von der türkischen Polizei verhaftet worden sind, gibt an, mit seiner Frau vier Jahre zuvor aus Aleppo geflohen zu sein. So geht es aus der Abschrift des Interviews hervor. Zunächst habe der studierte Jurist demnach als Kassierer in Istanbul gearbeitet. Dann habe er „aus wirtschaftlichen Gründen“ beschlossen, nach Griechenland zu gehen.

      Mit einem Schmuggler überquerte der Syrer die Grenze, in der griechischen Stadt Alexandroupolis schließlich stellten er und seine Frau sich der Polizei, um Asyl zu beantragen. Stattdessen seien allerdings ihre Besitztümer beschlagnahmt, sie selbst in eine Zelle gesteckt worden. Laut Interviewabschrift wurden die beiden Syrer zwei Tage später von der griechischen Polizei zusammen mit anderen Migranten zurückgebracht.

      14 Polizisten sollen die Gruppe zum Fluss Evros begleitet haben, auf 150 Kilometern markiert er die natürliche Grenze zwischen den beiden Ländern. Anschließend hätten zwei Polizisten das Paar in einem Boot zurück auf die türkische Seite befördert.

      Griechisch-türkisches Grenzgebiet

      In letzter Zeit würden vermehrt Migranten zurückgebracht, nachdem sie mit Booten den Evros überquert hätten, heißt es in dem Bericht der türkischen Behörden. So gibt der Gouverneur von Edirne in einem Schreiben vom 29. Oktober an das türkische Innenministerium an, dass zwischen Anfang Januar und Ende September insgesamt 91.681 illegale Migranten in seiner Provinz aufgegriffen worden seien.

      Dies sei ein dramatischer Anstieg im Vergleich zu den knapp 30.000 Festgenommenen im Jahr 2016. Laut türkischen Behörden gaben mehr als 55 Prozent der festgenommenen Migranten an, es nach Griechenland geschafft zu haben, aber trotzdem zurückgebracht worden zu sein.

      Die Zahl spiegelt den erhöhten Druck an den Außengrenzen Europas wider. Seit dem Frühsommer steigt die Zahl der Migranten, die auf den griechischen Inseln in der Ägäis ankommen. In den vergangenen Monaten versuchen auch wieder deutlich mehr Migranten, den Evros auf illegalem Weg zu überqueren. Nach den Daten des UNHCR kamen 2018 über den Evros mehr als 18.000 Migranten in die EU - ein Anstieg von 173 Prozent gegenüber 2017.

      Die Überquerung des reißenden Grenzflusses ist gefährlich, immer wieder endet sie tödlich. Die Route hat aber auch Vorteile: Wer es unerkannt über den Fluss schafft, wird nicht wie auf den griechischen Ägäis-Inseln unter unmenschlichen Bedingungen in ein Lager gepfercht. Zudem liegt die Region viel näher an der Balkan-Route, die von Nordgriechenland nach Mittel- und Nordeuropa führt und wieder verstärkt genutzt wird.

      Die griechischen Behörden weisen die türkischen Vorwürfe zurück. Es gebe keine Push-Backs, teilte ein Sprecher des griechischen Ministeriums für Bürgerschutz auf Anfrage mit. Bisher haben griechische Behörden nur wenige der Beschwerden überprüft - und fanden demnach keine Beweise für Fehlverhalten.

      Nicht nur türkische Behörden sprechen allerdings von systematischen illegalen Abschiebungen: Menschenrechtler werfen Griechenland und anderen europäischen Staaten an der Außengrenze schon seit Jahren Push-Backs vor und dokumentieren diese. Auch in der griechischen und internationalen Presse wird immer wieder über einzelne Vorfälle berichtet (lesen Sie hier einen SPIEGEL-Bericht). Der Europarat spricht von „glaubwürdigen Anschuldigungen“, und auch das Flüchtlingshilfswerk der Uno zeigte sich bereits besorgt.

      Die Menschenrechtskommissarin des Europarates, Dunja Mijatovic, erklärte auf SPIEGEL-Anfrage, dass in den letzten Jahren sowohl in der Türkei als auch in Griechenland illegale Abschiebungen dokumentiert worden seien - und mahnte eine menschlichere Migrationspolitik an.

      https://www.spiegel.de/politik/ausland/griechenland-soll-zehntausende-migranten-illegal-in-die-tuerkei-abgeschoben-

      #renvois #expulsions #réfugiés #asile #migrations #Turquie #Grèce #push-back #refoulement #refoulements

    • Greece illegally deported 60,000 migrants to Turkey: report

      Greece illegally deported 60,000 migrants to Turkey, documents released by Turkey reportedly show. The process involves returning asylum seekers without assessing their status.

      Greece illegally deported about 60,000 migrants to Turkey between 2017 and 2018, according to a report on the online news portal of weekly German magazine Spiegel, published on Wednesday evening.

      Turkey is accusing Greece of not properly dealing with the asylum status of migrants. Instead, Turkish Interior Ministry files claim that Greece illegally transported 58,283 people to Turkey in the 12 month period leading up to November 1, 2018.

      Greece is disputing the accusations, with Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsokasis saying Ankara was playing games: “Those people who have used the refugee crisis to their own ends should be more careful when dealing with Greece.”

      A Greek Foreign Ministry spokesman told German news agency dpa that Athens had denied similar accusations “many times” already.

      This so-called “push back” of asylum seekers is illegal under European and international law. The state is obliged to assess the asylum status of new migrants rather than sending them to another country.

      Where were the migrants from?

      According to the Turkish documents, the largest proportion of migrants sent away from Greece were Pakistani, with large numbers from Somalia, Algeria and Bangladesh. 4,500 were Syrians.

      Turkish officials said they sent back most of the people back to their countries of origin except for the Syrians, who were sent back to the Turkish town where they originally registered as refugees.

      The governor of the Turkish-Greek border region of Edirne reported that over 90,000 migrants were arrested between January and September 2019, a big increase from the 30,000 arrested in the same region in 2016.

      https://www.dw.com/en/greece-illegally-deported-60000-migrants-to-turkey-report/a-51234698?maca=en-Twitter-sharing

    • Thousands of ’illegal’ Syrians and other migrants ejected from Istanbul

      Turkey says it has expelled nearly 50,000 migrants from Istanbul, including more than 6,000 Syrians. The government says the migrants were in the city illegally and will be made to leave Turkey.
      The Istanbul governor’s office said on Friday that 42,888 “illegal” migrants had been arrested and sent to repatriation centers, to be removed later from Turkey. It said 6,416 Syrians had been placed in “temporary refugee centers.”

      A campaign from July through to the end of October was aimed at reducing the number of unregistered refugees in Turkey’s biggest city. The country hosts about 3.6 million Syrians — more than any other country.

      Syrians who are registered in Turkey are given “temporary protection”, as the Turkish government does not offer them formal refugee status. Under the system, the Syrians have to stay in the province to which they were initially assigned, and can only visit other cities with short-term passes.

      In July, officials said that 547,000 Syrians were officially registered in Istanbul, and that no new registrations were being accepted. Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said at the time that the aim was to expel 80,000 undocumented migrants by the end of the year.

      •••• ➤ Watch: Syrian refugees not ready to go home

      Public sentiment in Turkey towards Syrian refugees has worsened in recent years. The Turkish government wants to settle some of them in an area it now controls in northeast Syria, after it launched an offensive last month against the Kurdish YPG militia.

      Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch last month published reports saying Turkey was forcibly sending Syrian refugees to northern Syria. Turkey’s foreign ministry called the claims in the reports “false and imaginary.”

      https://www.infomigrants.net/en/post/20903/thousands-of-illegal-syrians-and-other-migrants-ejected-from-istanbul

    • Refugees ‘tortured and beaten by Greek soldiers’ before being sent back to Turkey

      Bruised and bandaged, a group of refugees show off the injuries they claim were caused by Greek soldiers. One says he was blindfolded and burnt with a cigarette while another said his foot ended up broken in several places. A third migrant claims the authorities confiscated his money and clothes while others say they have been hit over the head with sticks. Their allegations form part of a growing number of complaints made against Greek soldiers at the border with Turkey. In the past year, hundreds of people claim to have been tortured and abused before being physically pushed back over the border.

      Under international law, Greece is obliged to register any illegal immigrant that enters its territory. But Turkey claims they forcibly reject them and this year alone they allege Greece returned some 25,404 undocumented migrants. That figure has not been independently verified but there are allegations of severe abuse, which includes withholding food and water. Musaddiq Javed from Pakistan was one of 30 men who entered Greece last week on foot. He said the group were arrested as they walked towards #Xanthi but the police handed them over to Greek soldiers who allegedly ripped the Turkish liras they found on them. He recalled: ‘The soldiers brought me in a room and blindfolded me. They then burned my hand with a cigarette and kicked my feet.’

      Muhammad Nainiya from Morocco added: ‘They brought us near a river and put us on a boat and hit our heads with sticks.’ He said they were made to walk back into Turkey and eventually reached a village where local residents gave them clothes. Muhammed added: ‘The doctor told me that I had three broken bones on my foot and that it would need surgery. I had the surgery and stayed in the hospital for a week.’ The men are now staying at a refugee centre in Turkey after receiving medical treatment while the Greek authorities have yet to comment on the claims.

      Greece is struggling with the number of refugees on both the mainland and the islands. It has camps on five Aegean islands (Lesbos, Chios, Samos, Kos and Leros) with an official capacity of 6,178 people. Two days ago it was holding 35,590 men, women and children in unsanitary and dangerous conditions. The Greek government has pledged a crackdown and plans to convert the refugee camps into detention centres. Human rights groups say it would make it easier for Greece to detain asylum seekers for longer and scrap protections for already vulnerable people. Turkey and the EU signed a refugee deal in March 2016 which aimed to discourage irregular migration through the Aegean Sea. People arriving by boat to the Greek islands were to be returned to Turkey in exchange for EU nations to take Syrian refugees from Turkey.

      https://metro.co.uk/2019/11/26/refugees-tortured-beaten-greek-soldiers-sent-back-turkey-11223565/?ito=article.desktop.share.top.twitter

    • Illegal push-backs in Evros. Evidence of human rights abuses at the Greece/Turkey border


      https://static1.squarespace.com/static/597473fe9de4bb2cc35c376a/t/5dcd1da2fefabc596320f228/1573723568483/Illegal+Evros+pushbacks+Report_Mobile+Info+Team_final.pdf
      #Mobile_Info_Team

      Résumé ici:

      Mobile Info Team have published a new report on pushbacks from Greece to Turkey in the Evros region. They have been gathering data since August 2018 and have brought together 27 testimonies from people who have experienced this illegal practice.

      The procedure is similar in all cases. Firstly, arrest and capture by Greek police inside Greek territory, then detention and confiscation of personal property, followed by coordinated handoffs/transfers to authorities and finally, collective expulsion across the Evros River in small boats.

      The violent practices of Greek police are of critical concern. Established legal procedures stipulate that Greek police would meet asylum seekers on Greek land, escort them to police stations, take their personal data and register their requests for asylum. Their reported actions however ranged from complicit handovers to unidentified ‘commando’ groups, to perpetrating acts of violence and theft themselves.

      Many of the testimonies are deeply disturbing, although all pushbacks are illegal regardless of whether an individual or group is subjected to violence. Often people reported the deprivation of food and water, theft of property, detention in dirty and cramped spaces, unprovoked violent beatings and even electric shocks.

      https://medium.com/are-you-syrious/ays-daily-digest-27-11-19-evros-pushbacks-report-human-rights-abuses-at-gree

    • Έξι Μετανάστες Πέθαναν Από το Κρύο στον Έβρο

      Μια νέα θανάσιμη διαδρομή ανησυχεί τις Αρχές, ενώ οι ροές στον Έβρο αυξάνονται.

      Έξι μετανάστες βρέθηκαν νεκροί από το κρύο στον Έβρο, σε διάστημα 48 ωρών. Είναι η πρώτη φορά που καταγράφεται αντίστοιχος αριθμός θανάτων από υποθερμία, σε τόσο μικρό διάστημα. Επιπλέον, τα σημεία όπου εντοπίστηκαν τα τέσσερα από τα έξι θύματα, μαρτυρά ότι οι άνθρωποι που περνούν τον Έβρο και κατευθύνονται προς την ενδοχώρα επιλέγουν μια νέα διαδρομή, που ακολουθεί παράλληλα τα ελληνο-βουλγαρικά σύνορα και αποδεικνύεται θανάσιμη λόγω του άγριου εδάφους και των εξαιρετικά χαμηλών θερμοκρασιών.

      Το VICE πληροφορείται ότι οι έξι νεκροί μετανάστες βρέθηκαν στη διάρκεια του Σαββατοκύριακου, σε διαφορετικά σημεία. Πρόκειται για τέσσερις άντρες και δύο γυναίκες. Δεν υπάρχει κανένα στοιχείο για την ταυτότητά τους, καθώς δεν είχαν έγγραφα. Οι δύο γυναίκες είναι αφρικανικής καταγωγής, ενώ η ηλικία των θυμάτων εκτιμάται μεταξύ 18 και 30 ετών.

      Τα δύο πρώτα θύματα βρέθηκαν κοντά στο ποτάμι, σε χωράφι έξω από το χωριό Γεμιστή. Οι υπόλοιποι τέσσερις άνθρωποι, όμως, εντοπίστηκαν πολύ μακριά από τον Έβρο. Πιο ειδικά, δύο στο 17ο χιλιόμετρο της επαρχιακής οδού Μεγάλου Δέρειου-Σαπών και δύο έξω από το χωριό Κόρυμβος. Οι Αρχές προσπαθούν να διαπιστώσουν αν οι τέσσερις νεκροί στον ορεινό όγκο ήταν στην ίδια ομάδα που είχε περάσει τον Έβρο.

      Οι τελευταίοι θάνατοι, αλλά και μαρτυρίες ανθρώπων που κατάφεραν να φθάσουν στη Θεσσαλονίκη, αποκαλύπτουν ότι υπάρχει μια νέα διαδρομή μεταναστών. Προσπαθώντας να αποφύγουν την Εγνατία Οδό και τους ελέγχους της Αστυνομίας, οι μετανάστες περνούν το ποτάμι και κατευθύνονται στον ορεινό όγκο πίσω από το Σουφλί. Έπειτα, περπατούν κατά μήκος των ελληνο-βουλγαρικών συνόρων, ακολουθώντας χωμάτινους δρόμους και τις οδηγίες διακινητών που λαμβάνουν μέσω στιγμάτων στο GPS. Εκτός από τις οδηγίες, δεν έχει διαπιστωθεί φυσική παρουσία διακινητών κατά μήκος της διαδρομής, αναφέρουν πηγές.

      Οι μετανάστες θέλουν να φθάσουν στην Κομοτηνή και από εκεί να πάρουν το λεωφορείο για τη Θεσσαλονίκη. Το ταξίδι με τα πόδια από τον Έβρο ως την Κομοτηνή, μπορεί να διαρκέσει ως και επτά μέρες, ανάλογα με τις καιρικές συνθήκες. Η απότομη αλλαγή του καιρού και η σφοδρή κακοκαιρία που έπληξε την περιοχή, φαίνεται ότι ευθύνονται για τους μαζικούς θανάτους των τελευταίων ημερών, σε συνδυασμό με το γεγονός ότι στο βουνό δεν υπάρχουν σημάδια για να ακολουθήσουν.

      Όσοι μετανάστες επιλέγουν την παραπάνω διαδρομή, επιθυμούν να συνεχίσουν βόρεια προς την Ευρώπη, χωρίς να καταγραφούν στην Ελλάδα. Υπάρχει κάτι ακόμη. Άνθρωποι που περπάτησαν κατά μήκος των ελληνο-βουλγαρικών συνόρων ανέφεραν ότι έπεσαν θύματα ληστείας από αγνώστους, που φορούσαν ρούχα παραλλαγής, όπως περιέγραψαν. Σε μια περίπτωση, τους άρπαξαν χρήματα και κινητά. Σε μια δεύτερη, γυναίκα από το Ιράν ανέφερε ότι τους άφησαν να συνεχίσουν, επειδή εκείνη τους μίλησε στα τούρκικα, στοιχείο που δείχνει πιθανή εμπλοκή ατόμων από τα μειονοτικά χωριά.

      Όλα αυτά συμβαίνουν, ενώ οι ροές στον Έβρο αυξάνονται και η κυβέρνηση σχεδιάζει να λάβει επιπλέον μέτρα για την ανάσχεσή τους, μεταξύ αυτών την επέκταση του φράχτη που υπάρχει από το 2012 στο μοναδικό χερσαίο τμήμα των συνόρων. Ο φράχτης έχει μήκος 12 χιλιόμετρα και εκ του αποτελέσματος απλώς μετάφερε τα περάσματα προς τα νότια, σε άλλα σημεία του ποταμού. Στον σχεδιασμό της κυβέρνησης περιλαμβάνεται επίσης η δημιουργία μιας δεύτερης ζώνης ελέγχου στην Εγνατία Οδό, καθώς και η ανάπτυξη των ηλεκτρονικών μέσων με τα οποία ελέγχονται τα περάσματα στον Έβρο.

      https://www.vice.com/gr/article/a355mk/e3i-metanastes-pagwsan-kai-pe8anan-apo-to-krio-ston-ebro

      –----------

      Source : un tweet de Bruno Tersago :

      Bodies of 6 #refugees/#migrants found near #Evros river (border #Greece/#Turkey). Aged between 18 and 30. Apparently frozen to death.

      https://twitter.com/BrunoTersago/status/1204405077936627717

      #décès #morts #mourir_de_froid

    • Six migrants retrouvés morts de froid à la frontière gréco-turque

      Six migrants ont été retrouvés morts de froid ces derniers jours dans la région de l’Evros, à la frontière entre la Grèce et la Turquie, a annoncé mardi Pavlos Pavlidis, le médecin légiste de l’hôpital d’Alexandroupoli en charge des autopsies.

      Les six migrants, deux femmes africaines et quatre hommes dont les âges étaient évalués de 18 à 30 ans, sont morts d’hypothermie entre jeudi et dimanche derniers, a précisé à la presse le médecin légiste. Aucun document d’identité n’a été retrouvé sur ces migrants, rendant le processus d’identification complexe. La région frontalière de l’Evros séparant la Grèce de la Turquie est un lieu de passage privilégié par les passeurs depuis la signature de l’accord UE-Turquie en 2016 et le renforcement des patrouilles navales en mer Égée.

      Malgré un mur de 12 km de long à la frontière gréco-turque, les trafiquants ont trouvé des points de passage pour les migrants, situés au sud des barbelés. Le gouvernement grec a annoncé en novembre l’embauche de 400 gardes-frontières dans la région de l’Evros et le renforcement de la surveillance à la frontière avec des radars infrarouges. La traversée de la rivière est particulièrement dangereuse. De nombreux migrants ont été retrouvés noyés ces dernières années. Des réseaux de passeurs entassent également souvent des dizaines de migrants dans des voitures, conduites à grande vitesse pour échapper aux contrôles policiers, entraînant des accidents fréquents.

      Début novembre, quarante-et-un migrants ont été découverts vivants, cachés dans un camion frigorifique intercepté sur une autoroute du nord de la Grèce. Pour la première fois depuis 2016, la Grèce est redevenue cette année la principale porte d’entrée des demandeurs d’asile en Europe. Le flux migratoire via les îles de la mer Egée face à la Turquie reste le plus important avec plus de 55000 arrivées en 2019 selon le HCR, l’Agence des Nations unies pour les réfugiés. Mais les arrivées via la frontière terrestre avec la Turquie sont en augmentation depuis 2018. En 2019, plus de 14000 personnes ont emprunté ce chemin périlleux selon le HCR.

      https://www.lefigaro.fr/flash-actu/six-migrants-retrouves-morts-de-froid-a-la-frontiere-greco-turque-20191210

    • Statement: Four Push-Back Operations at the Greek-Turkish Land Border Witnessed by the Alarm Phone

      The Alarm Phone witnessed four illegal push-back operations at the Greek-Turkish land border over the course of ten days.

      CASE 1: The first case occurred on Saturday the 30th of June 2018. In the early morning, we had been informed about a group of people along the Turkish-Greek land border that was in need of support. Five of them were from Syria, five from Sierra Leone, six men, two women, and two children. We contacted the travellers, received their GPS position, and notified the police to their whereabouts, as the travellers had asked us to do. The police confirmed to us that they would search for them. Hours later, in the early afternoon, one of the members of the group told us that she was on her way back to Istanbul. She informed us about what had happened to them: At around 9am local time, they had been found by Greek officers in blue & black uniforms. Their belongings was taken away, and at least 5 of them were forced back to Turkey. They had not taken any pictures as their phones had been taken away. Our contact person had been able to hide her phone. They were kept in confinement for about one hour and treated badly, “like dogs” she said, before being forced onto a boat that returned them illegally to Turkey.

      CASE 2: On Thursday the 5th of July, the second push-back operation was observed by the Alarm Phone. We had received a distress call from a group of Syrian, Iraqi, Yemeni and Sudanese migrants who had crossed into Greece seeking international protection. The group was found by the Greek police. The police handed the group to Greek officers who did not hesitate to use violence and intimidation. They were beaten, robbed, and forced onto a boat that returned them to Turkish territory.

      CASE 3: In the night of 5th-6th of July 2018, a group of 12 people from Syria and Iraq, including two women, one of whom was elderly, two children (six and eleven years old), and eight men, was reportedly apprehended on Greek soil near Mikrochori in Evros region and pushed back to Turkey. It remains unclear what happened to them upon return to Turkey.

      CASE 4: In the night of 9th-10th of July 2018, 19 people from Syria and Iraq, including a one-year-old child, a pregnant woman and a man with a broken leg, were reportedly pushed-back from Greece to Turkey at the land border in Evros. They arrived on 9th July and had sent a SOS-call to the Alarm Phone. The first GPS coordinates received showed their position near Filakto. The group said they had sick kids with them and they were very hungry. A second set of GPS coordinates sent showed them at a position near Provatonas. Communications with the group broke down in the afternoon and only in the late morning of the next day, the group answered again – now from Turkey. They reported that ‘the police’ had found them around 5pm on the 9th of July. They brought them to a place the migrants described as ‘a prison’. At 10pm, the officers allegedly wearing blue trousers and camouflage sweaters, told the group that they would be moved to a camp so that they could apply for international protection. However, instead, they brought them back to the river. There, according to one testimony, the men of the group were beaten. Their belongings such as phones, money, passports and the food for the infant were taken away. They were then put onto a boat at the river and were threatened not to come back to Greece again.

      Reacting to our questions concerning cases 3 and 4, the Greek police stated that they had not found anyone at the positions we had provided them with.

      The Alarm Phone, when receiving distress calls from groups in the Evros border region who report to have persons among them with special needs, such as pregnant women, people with disabilities, toddlers and infants, elderly or sick, informs the respective authorities (Greek and /or Turkish) upon request of the people in need. In these four cases, GPS positions shared with us showed clearly locations on Greek soil. Despite this fact and despite many requests for assistance made toward the responsible authorities, the people ended up back in Turkey. Instead of getting access to protection in Greece as requested in their calls for help and their claims to asylum, they were returned to a place where they stated they would be in danger.

      The Alarm Phone is very concerned about repeated testimonies of illegal push-backs at the Greek-Turkish land border. We demand respect for the people’s human rights and dignity, as well as for the international law, which is clearly beached in such push-back operations.

      https://alarmphone.org/en/2018/07/06/four-push-back-operations-at-the-greek-turkish-land-border-witnessed-by-

    • The Turkish Woman Who Fled Her Country only To Get Sent Back

      #Ayşe_Erdoğan was persecuted in Turkey as an alleged follower of the Gülen movement. The young teacher fled to Greece to seek refuge. This is how she wound up back in a Turkish prison.

      As Ayşe Erdoğan reached for her mobile phone to film herself, she was already aware of the risk she was facing. She had managed to cross over into Greece from Turkey, meaning she had made it to Europe. But she still wasn’t home free.

      On the morning of May 4, 2019, Erdoğan, a 28-year-old math teacher from Turkey, hid near the Greek village of Nea Vyssa. Accompanied by two Turkish traveling companions, she had succeeded in crossing the Evros, a wild river that forms a natural border between the two countries but whose current is so strong that it often sweeps migrants away to their deaths.

      Erdoğan, who bears no relation to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, had been sentenced to more than six years in prison in Turkey. Authorities there had accused her of belonging to the sect of the Islamist cleric Fethullah Gülen, which Ankara considers a terrorist organization. Erdoğan was allowed to leave prison until the start of her appeal, but only under the condition that she remain in Turkey.

      Shortly after her release, she fled. She traveled to the north to reach Europe, just as thousands of other Turks who are persecuted as Gülen supporters have done.

      Erdoğan wanted to file an application for political asylum. The Turkish national wanted to exercise the right the European Union grants to every individual who reaches European soil — at least in theory.

      “We are Turkish political asylum-seekers,” Erdoğan said in one video she recorded on her phone. “We fled persecution back in Turkey. We are hiding near Nea Vyssa in fear of pushback.” She sent the videos to her brother Ihsan, who was already in Athens. A journalist later posted the video on Twitter, and the Greek daily Kathimerini also reported on her case.

      Using WhatsApp, Erdoğan sent her location to her brother. She also sent emails to Greek human rights lawyers and the head of the UNHCR, the UN refugee agency. “If we push back to Turkey, our life will be in danger,” she wrote.

      That same day, Erdoğan was taken back across the Evros. Turkish border officials apprehended her and the two Turkish nationals traveling with her the next morning at 8:10 a.m. and put them in jail. A court convicted Erdoğan the next day for violating the terms of her parole by leaving the country.

      For the first time, Forensic Architecture, a research agency based at Goldsmiths College at the University of London, has reconstructed the precise events in the hours leading up to Erdoğan’s capture. DER SPIEGEL also interviewed the brother and Ayşe Erdoğan’s lawyers in addition to reviewing Turkish court documents.

      The data and documents lead to just one conclusion: Ayşe Erdoğan had made it to Greece and was in the hands of Greek authorities before she was returned to Turkey. These were presumably Greek border guards or police. Erdoğan herself claims to have been picked up at a Greek police station by masked men.

      Responding to a request for comment from DER SPIEGEL, the Greek police stated that they "always comply with Greek and European law in the performance of their duties.” Officials would not comment on the specific case in question. Back in December, DER SPIEGEL and Forensic Architecture analyzed videos showing how the illegal pushbacks along the Evros apparently take place: Masked men speaking with Greek accents are seen taking people who have fled to Greece across to the Turkish side of the Evros in motorized dinghies. Refugees who claim they were pushed back also say they were abused and that their mobile phones were rendered unusable.

      All available evidence suggests that the Greek authorities are carrying out systematic pushbacks. DER SPIEGEL has previously reported on Turkish documents which suggest that Greece is illegally deporting tens of thousands of migrants and refugees. Following the revelations, the European Commission demanded an investigation into the accusations, though this has yet to happen.

      The only person who has followed up on the pushback allegations is the Greek ombudsman, the agency responsible for independently monitoring the country’s authorities. The agency opened a general investigation into the issue in June 2017. It is now investigating more than half a dozen cases, including the videos published by DER SPIEGEL.

      However, the Greek authorities have expressed little interest in the videos. A police spokesman told DER SPIEGEL in January: “There won’t be any investigation because there are no pushbacks on the Evros.”

      But Ayşe Erdoğan’s case suggests it is very likely that this statement isn’t true. It underscores suspicions that Greek border officials are deporting even Turkish asylum-seekers without granting them any asylum procedures, even though these people are the subject of political persecution in their home country.

      The pushbacks violate international law, European Union law as well as Greek law, since every refugee has the right to fair asylum proceedings. Moreover, those who apply for asylum cannot be sent back to countries where they could be in danger or threatened with persecution. That, however, appears to be exactly what happened to Erdoğan.

      The fact that Erdoğan repeatedly shared her location with her brother on WhatsApp and took a selfie together with the two people accompanying her in the village center of Nea Vyssa has been helpful in the effort to reconstruct events. A government building can be seen in the photo, including its logo. Another lawyer, Nikolaos Ouzounidis, met with the group in Nea Vyssa and also took a photo of them.

      In collaboration with the Greek NGO HumanRights360, Forensic Architecture analyzed the photos, videos, WhatsApp messages, emails, court files and police reports. Among other steps, the agency compared the photos to images from Google Earth. This made it possible to verify that Erdoğan had, in fact, entered Greece before her arrest.

      There is no doubt that Ayşe and the two accompanying her had been in Nea Vyssa that day. “I saw them with my own eyes,” said Ouzounidis.

      Erdoğan contacted the police station in Nea Vyssa, near the Turkish border, to apply for asylum. But Greek police brought them to a police station in Neo Cheimonio, a town 18 kilometers (11 miles) south of Nea Vyssa. This is evidenced in Erdoğan’s WhatsApp locations and her testimony in court, which has been obtained by DER SPIEGEL.

      Ouzounidis tried to speak to Erdoğan at the police station twice — first on his own and later with her brother, Ihsan, who had come from Athens. Both times, police informed the lawyer that no one with that name was being held at the station. Officially, at least, there was never any arrest or charges filed.

      At 6:53 p.m., Erdoğan once again shared her location with her brother on WhatsApp, with the pin pointing to the police station. It would be the last message that Ayşe Erdoğan would send from Greece.

      “I thought Ayşe was safe,” said Ihsan Erdoğan. “But they just brushed us off at the police station.” Ihsan found out the next day from his parents that his sister had been deported to Turkey and arrested there.

      The Turkish court documents provide details about how Erdoğan experienced her pushback. They describe how masked men put them in a car and took them back to the Evros River. "They put us in a car, took us to Meriç river (Eds. note: as the Evros is known in Turkey) again, put us in an inflatable boat, and took us back to the Turkish banks. Thus, we weren’t able to apply for asylum.”

      Turkish police officers apprehended Erdoğan the next morning. A court in the province of Edirne convicted her the following morning on charges of illegally fleeing the country. The court transcript states that, “The accused violated the rules of her parole and left the country via illegal routes but was deported and returned to Turkey.”

      As part of her defense, Erdoğan claimed that she had felt isolated after her release from prison, that she was no longer able to find work and that even her friends weren’t speaking to her anymore. She told the court that she regretted having fled. “I am the victim,” Erdoğan said, according to the court transcript.

      Her brother Ihsan also denied to DER SPIEGEL that he or Ayşe were members of the Gülen sect.

      Turkish President Erdoğan has blamed the Gülen movement for the attempted coup in July 2016. In response, the Turkish state ordered the arrest of tens of thousands of Gülen supporters.

      Gülen, who has lived in exile in the United States since the 1990s, has denied the accusations. In public, he presents himself as a modern reformer of moderate Islam. His followers run schools, universities, media organizations, hospitals and foundations in more than 100 countries.

      But people who have left the community have described it as a secret society. “Infiltrating state agencies, maximizing political influence and gaining control of the state is seen as the goal by all those who have been interviewed,” reads one document from Germany’s Foreign Ministry.

      Tens of thousands of the Islamist movement’s followers have found refuge in European countries in recent years. More than 10,000 Turks have applied for asylum in Greece alone since 2016.

      But it’s not clear how many of those applications have been approved. The Greek authorities don’t want to publish that kind of information out of fear of provoking Turkish President Erdoğan, with whom the Greek government already has a tense relationship.

      However, Greek bureaucratic sources say that most of the Turkish refugees who apply for it are granted asylum in Greece. That had also been Ayşe Erdoğan’s hope. Instead, she now finds herself locked up by the Turkish government in a prison in the Gebze province near Istanbul.

      Greece has already thrown out a lawsuit submitted by her lawyers. Erdoğan’s attorney, Maria Papamina of the Greek Council for Refugees, says that all the prosecutor did was obtain assurances from the Greek police that Ayşe Erdoğan had never been registered there.

      She claims that evidence of the pushback wasn’t even taken into consideration. Papamina says she wants to appeal the case and take it right up to Greece’s highest court if she has to — and even further up to the European Court of Human Rights, if need be.

      But the only likely real chance Ayşe Erdoğan would have of getting released from prison would be through her appeal to Turkey’s highest court, but her chances are slim. There’s much to suggest that Ayşe Erdoğan will spend years in a Turkish prison.

      https://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/the-turkish-woman-who-fled-her-country-only-to-get-sent-back-a-fd2989c7-0439

  • UK Should Reject Extraditing Julian #Assange to US | Human Rights Watch
    https://www.hrw.org/news/2018/06/19/uk-should-reject-extraditing-julian-assange-us

    While some admire and others despise Assange, no one should be prosecuted under the antiquated Espionage Act for publishing leaked government documents. That 1917 statute was designed to punish people who leaked secrets to a foreign government, not to the media, and allows no defense or mitigation of punishment on the basis that public interest served by some leaks may outweigh any harm to national security.

  • Bosnian police block 100 migrants from reaching Croatia

    Bosnian border police on Monday stopped about 100 migrants from reaching the border with European Union member Croatia amid a rise in the influx of people heading through the Balkans toward Western Europe.

    Police blocked the migrants near the Maljevac border crossing in northwestern Bosnia, which was briefly closed down. The group has moved toward Croatia from the nearby town of #Velika_Kladusa, where hundreds have been staying in makeshift camps while looking for ways to move on.

    Migrants have recently turned to Bosnia in order to avoid more heavily guarded routes through the Balkans. Authorities in the war-ravaged country have struggled with the influx of thousands of people from the Mideast, Africa and Asia.

    Peter Van der Auweraert, from the International Organization for Migration, tweeted the attempted group crossing on Monday was a “very worrying development that risks” creating a backlash.

    Van der Auweraert told The Associated Press that the migrant influx has already put pressure on Bosnia and any incidents could further strain the situation, making Bosnians view migrants as “troublemakers” rather than people in need of help, he said.

    Migrants arrive in Bosnia from Serbia or Montenegro after traveling from Greece to Albania, Bulgaria or Macedonia.

    Also Monday, a migrant was stabbed in a fight with another migrant in an asylum center in southern Bosnia, police said.

    The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies said Monday that more than 5,600 migrants have reached Bosnia and Herzegovina so far this year, compared with only 754 in all of 2017.

    Hundreds of thousands of people passed through the Balkans toward Europe at the peak of the mass migration in 2015. The flow eased for a while but has recently picked up a bit with the new route through Bosnia.

    http://www.miamiherald.com/news/nation-world/article213373449.html
    #Bosnie #fermeture_des_frontières #asile #migrations #réfugiés #Croatie #frontières #route_des_Balkans #Bosnie-Herzégovine

    • Migrants en Croatie : « on ne nous avait encore jamais tiré dessus »

      Le 30 mai, la police croate ouvrait le feu sur une camionnette qui venait de forcer un barrage près de la frontière avec la Bosnie-Herzégovine. À l’intérieur, 29 migrants. Bilan : deux enfants et sept adultes blessés. Reportage sur le lieu du drame, nouvelle étape de la route de l’exil, où des réfugiés désœuvrés errent dans des villages désertés par l’exode.

      https://www.courrierdesbalkans.fr/Migrants-en-Croatie-nulle-part-ailleurs-on-ne-nous-avait-tire-des
      #police #violences_policières

    • Refugees stranded in Bosnia allege Croatian police brutality

      Croatian officers accused of physical and verbal abuse, along with harassment including theft, but deny all allegations.

      Brutally beaten, mobile phones destroyed, strip-searched and money stolen.

      These are some of the experiences refugees and migrants stranded in western Bosnia report as they describe encounters with Croatian police.

      The abuse, they say, takes place during attempts to pass through Croatia, an EU member, with most headed for Germany.

      Bosnia has emerged as a new route to Western Europe, since the EU tightened its borders. This year, more than 13,000 refugees and migrants have so far arrived in the country, compared with only 755 in 2017.

      In Velika Kladusa, Bosnia’s most western town beside the Croatian border, hundreds have been living in makeshift tents on a field next to a dog kennel for the past four months.

      When night falls, “the game” begins, a term used by refugees and migrants for the challenging journey to the EU through Croatia and Slovenia that involves treks through forests and crossing rivers.

      However, many are caught in Slovenia or Croatia and are forced to return to Bosnia by Croatian police, who heavily patrol its EU borders.

      Then, they have to start the mission all over again.

      Some told Al Jazeera that they have attempted to cross as many as 20 times.

      The use of violence is clearly not acceptable. It is possible to control borders in a strict matter without violence.

      Peter Van der Auweraert, Western Balkans coordinator for the International Organization for Migration

      All 17 refugees and migrants interviewed by Al Jazeera said that they have been beaten by Croatian police - some with police batons, others punched or kicked.

      According to their testimonies, Croatian police have stolen valuables and money, cut passports, and destroyed mobile phones, hindering their communication and navigation towards the EU.

      “Why are they treating us like this?” many asked as they narrated their ordeals.

      “They have no mercy,” said 26-year-old Mohammad from Raqqa, Syria, who said he was beaten all over his body with batons on the two occasions he crossed into the EU. Police also took his money and phone, he said.

      “They treat babies and women the same. An officer pressed his boot against a woman’s head [as she was lying on the ground],” Mohammad said. “Dogs are treated better than us … why are they beating us like this? We don’t want to stay in Croatia; we want to go to Europe.”

      Mohammad Abdullah, a 22-year-old Algerian, told Al Jazeera that officers laughed at a group of migrants as they took turns beating them.

      "One of them would tell the other, ’You don’t know how to hit’ and would switch his place and continue beating us. Then, another officer would say, ’No, you don’t know how to hit’ and would take his place.

      “While [one of them] was beating me, he kissed me and started laughing. They would keep taking turns beating us like this, laughing,” Abdullah said.

      Croatia’s Interior Ministry told Al Jazeera that it “strongly dismisses” allegations of police brutality.

      In an emailed statement, it said those attempting to cross borders know they are acting outside of the law, and claimed that “no complaint so far has proved to be founded.”

      At a meeting in late August with Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic, German Chancellor Angela Merkel praised Croatia for its control over its borders.

      “You are doing a great job on the borders, and I wish to commend you for that,” Merkel said.

      But according to a new report, the UNHCR received information about 1,500 refugees being denied access to asylum procedures, including over 100 children. More than 700 people reported violence and theft by Croatian police.

      Al Jazeera was unable to independently verify all of the claims against police, because many of the refugees and migrants said their phones - which held evidence - were confiscated or smashed. However, the 17 people interviewed separately reported similar patterns of abuse.

      Shams and Hassan, parents of three, have been trying to reach Germany to apply for asylum, but Croatian authorities have turned them back seven times over the past few months.

      Four years ago, they left their home in Deir Az Zor, Syria, after it was bombed.

      Shams, who worked as a lawyer in Syria, said Croatian policemen strip-searched her and her 13-year-old daughter Rahma on one occasion after they were arrested.

      The male officers handled the women’s bodies, while repeating: “Where’s the money?”

      They pulled off Shams’ headscarf, threw it on the ground and forced her to undress, and took Rahma into a separate room.

      “My daughter was very afraid,” Shams said. "They told her to take off all her clothes. She was shy, she told them, ’No.’

      "They beat her up and stripped her clothes by force, even her underwear.

      “She kept telling them ’No! No! There isn’t [any money]!’ She was embarrassed and was asking them to close the window and door so no one would see her. [The officer] then started yelling at her and pulled at her hair. They beat her up.”

      Rahma screamed for her mother but Shams said she couldn’t do anything.

      “They took 1,500 euros ($1,745) from me and they took my husband’s golden ring. They also broke five of our mobiles and took all the SIM cards … They detained us for two days in prison and didn’t give us any food in the beginning,” Shams said, adding they cut her Syrian passport into pieces.

      “They put my husband in solitary confinement. I didn’t see him for two days; I didn’t know where he was.”

      A senior policeman told Shams that she and her children could apply for asylum, but Hassan would have to return to Bosnia.

      When she refused, she said the police drove the family for three hours to a forest at night and told them to walk back to Bosnia.

      They did not have a torch or mobile phone.

      She said they walked through the forest for two days until they reached a small town in western Bosnia.

      “No nation has the right to treat people this way,” Shams said.

      In another instance, they said they were arrested in a forest with a group of refugees and migrants. All 15 of them were forced into a van for two hours, where it was difficult to breathe.

      “It was closed like a box, but [the officer] refused to turn on the air conditioning so we could breathe. My younger son Mohammad - he’s eight years old - he has asthma and allergies, he was suffocating. When we knocked on the window to ask if he could turn on the air conditioning, [the officer] beat my husband with the baton,” Shams said.

      No Name Kitchen, a volunteer organisation that provides assistance to refugees and migrants on the Balkan route, has been documenting serious injuries on Instagram.

      In one post, the group alleges that Croatian police twice crushed a refugee’s orthopaedic leg.

      Peter Van der Auweraert, the Western Balkans coordinator for the International Organization for Migration, says he has heard stories of police brutality, but called for an independent investigation to judge how alleged victims sustained injuries.

      “Given the fact that there are so many of these stories, I think it’s in everyone’s interest to have an independent inquiry to see what is going on, on the other side of the border,” Van der Auweraert said.

      “The use of violence is clearly not acceptable. It’s not acceptable under European human rights law, it’s not acceptable under international human rights law and it is to my mind also, not necessary. It is possible to control borders in a strict matter without violence.”

      Shams’ family journey from Syria was traumatic from the get-go, and they have spent and lost several thousand euros.

      While travelling in dinghies from Turkey to Greece, they saw dead bodies along the way.

      “We call upon Merkel to help us and open the borders for us. At least for those of us stuck at the borders,” she said. “Why is the EU paying Croatia to prevent our entry into the EU, yet once we reach Germany, after spending a fortune with lives lost on the way, we’ll be granted asylum?”

      “We have nothing,” said her husband Hassan. “Our houses have been destroyed. We didn’t have any problems until the war started. We had peace in our homes. Is there a single country that accepts refugees?”

      “There are countries but there’s no way to reach them,” Shams replied. “This is our misery.”


      https://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/refugees-stranded-bosnia-report-campaign-police-brutality-180915100740024

    • Le Conseil de l’Europe somme la Croatie d’enquêter sur les violences policières

      Le Commissariat aux droits de l’Homme du Conseil de l’Europe a appelé la Croatie à ouvrir rapidement des enquêtes sur les allégations de violences policières et de vol à l’encontre de « demandeurs d’asile et autres migrants », ainsi que sur les cas d’expulsions collectives.

      Dans un courrier publié vendredi 5 octobre et adressé au Premier ministre croate Andrej Plenkovic, la commissaire aux droits de l’Homme du Conseil de l’Europe, Dunja Mijatovic, a déclaré être « préoccupée » par les informations « cohérentes et corroborées » fournies par plusieurs organisations attestant « d’un grand nombre d’expulsions collectives de la Croatie vers la Serbie et vers la Bosnie-Herzégovine de migrants en situation irrégulière, dont de potentiels demandeurs d’asile ».

      Elle s’inquiète particulièrement du « recours systématique à la violence des forces de l’ordre croates à l’encontre de ces personnes », y compris les « femmes enceintes et les enfants ». La responsable s’appuie sur les chiffres du Haut-Commissariat de l’ONU aux réfugiés (UNHCR), selon lesquels sur 2 500 migrants expulsés par la Croatie, 700 ont accusé la police de violences et de vols.

      « Consciente des défis auxquels la Croatie est confrontée dans le domaine des migrations », Dunja Mijatovic souligne cependant que les « efforts pour gérer les migrations » doivent respecter les principes du droit international. « Il s’agit notamment de l’interdiction absolue de la torture et des peines ou traitements inhumains prévue à l’article 3 de la Convention européenne des droits de l’homme et l’interdiction des expulsions collectives », qui s’appliquent « aux demandeurs d’asile comme aux migrants en situation irrégulière », écrit-elle.

      Une « violence systématique » selon les associations

      Pour la commissaire, Zagreb doit « entamer et mener rapidement à leur terme des enquêtes rapides, efficaces et indépendantes sur les cas connus d’expulsions collectives et sur les allégations de violence contre les migrants ». Elle somme également le gouvernement croate de « prendre toutes les mesures nécessaires pour mettre fin à ces pratiques et éviter qu’elles ne se reproduisent ».

      « Aucun cas de mauvais de traitement policier à l’encontre de migrants (...) ni aucun vol n’ont été établis », s’est défendu le ministre croate de l’Intérieur Davor Bozinovic dans une lettre de réponse au Conseil de l’Europe.

      Pourtant, dans un rapport intitulé « Games of violence », l’organisation Médecins sans frontières MSF alertait déjà en octobre 2017 sur les violences perpétrées par les polices croates, hongroises et bulgares envers les enfants et les jeunes migrants.

      Sur sa page Facebook, l’association No Name Kitchen a également rappelé qu’elle documentait les cas de violences aux frontières croates depuis 2017 sur le site Border violence.
      En août dernier, cette association qui aide les réfugiés à Sid en Serbie et dans le nord-ouest de la Bosnie expliquait à InfoMigrants que la violence était « systématique » pour les migrants expulsés de Croatie. « Il y a un ou deux nouveaux cas chaque jour. Nous n’avons pas la capacité de tous les documenter », déclarait Marc Pratllus de No Name Kitchen.


      http://www.infomigrants.net/fr/post/12518/le-conseil-de-l-europe-somme-la-croatie-d-enqueter-sur-les-violences-p

    • Bosnie-Herzégovine : des réfugiés tentent de passer en force en Croatie

      Alors que les températures ont brutalement chuté ces derniers jours, des réfugiés bloqués en Bosnie-Herzégovine ont tenté de franchir la frontière croate. Des rixes ont éclaté, des policiers croates ont été blessés, des réfugiés aussi.

      Environ 150 à 200 réfugiés ont essayé, mercredi après-midi, de traverser en force le pont reliant la Bosnie-Herzégovine au poste-frontière croate de Mlajevac. Des échauffourées ont éclaté entre la police et les réfugiés, parmi lesquels des femmes et des enfants. Au moins deux policiers croates ont été blessés par des jets de pierres, selon le ministère croate de l’Intérieur. Les réfugiés ont depuis organisé un sit-in devant la frontière, dont ils demandent l’ouverture.

      « Les réfugiés se sont déplacés jusqu’à la frontière croate où la police leur a refusé l’entrée, illégale et violente, sur le territoire », a rapporté le ministère croate de l’Intérieur. « Les réfugiés ont ensuite jeté des pierres sur les agents de la police croate, dont deux ont été légèrement blessé et ont demandé une aide médicale. »

      Après avoir passé la nuit près de la frontière de Velika Kalduša – Maljevac, les réfugiés s’attendaient à pouvoir entrer en Croatie depuis la Bosnie-Herzégovine et ont franchi un premier cordon de la police bosnienne aux frontières. « La police croate n’a pas réagi après que les réfugiés eurent passé le premier cordon de police en direction de la Croatie, car il y avait un second cordon de la police bosnienne », a déclaré la cheffe du département des relations publiques du ministère croate de l’Intérieur, Marina Mandić, soulignant que la police croate, en poste à la frontière, n’est intervenue à aucun moment et n’a donc pas pénétré sur le territoire de la Bosnie-Herzégovine, comme l’ont rapporté certains médias.

      Selon l’ONG No Name Kitchen, la police bosnienne aurait fait usage de gaz lacrymogènes. Au moins trois réfugiés ont été blessés et pris en charge par Médecins sans frontières.

      Mardi, plus de 400 réfugiés sont arrivés à proximité de la frontière où la police a déployé une bande jaune de protection pour les empêcher de passer en Croatie. Parmi les réfugiés qui dorment dehors ou dans des tentes improvisées, on compte beaucoup de femmes et d’enfants. Ils ont ramassé du bois et allumé des feux, alors que la température atteint à peine 10°C.

      Le commandant de la police du canton d’Una-Sana, en Bosnie-Herzégovine, Mujo Koričić, a confirmé mercredi que des mesures d’urgence étaient entrées en vigueur afin d’empêcher l’escalade de la crise migratoire dans la région, notamment l’afflux de nouveaux réfugiés.

      Mise à jour, jeudi 25 octobre, 17h – Environ 120 réfugiés stationnent toujours près du poste-frontière de Velika Kalduša–Maljevac après avoir passé une deuxième nuit sur place, dehors ou dans des tentes improvisées. La police aux frontières de Bosnie-Herzégovine assure que la situation est sous contrôle et pacifiée. La circulation est toujours suspendue. Des enfants portent des banderoles avec des inscriptions demandant l’ouverture de la frontière.

      En réaction, le secrétaire général aux Affaires étrangères de l’UE, l’autrichien Johannes Peterlik, a déclaré jeudi 25 octobre en conférence de presse : « Les migrations illégales ne sont pas la voie à suivre. Il y a des voies légales et cela doit être clair ».

      Le nombre de migrants dans le canton d’Una-Sana est actuellement estimé à 10500.


      https://www.courrierdesbalkans.fr/Bosnie-Herzegovine-des-refugies-tentent-un-passage-en-force-en-Cr
      #violence

      v. aussi :

      Sulla porta d’Europa. Scontri e feriti oggi alla frontiera fra Bosnia e Croazia. Dove un gruppo di 200 migranti ha cercato di passare il confine. Foto Reuters/Marko Djurica

      https://twitter.com/NiccoloZancan/status/1055070667710828545

    • Bleak Bosnian winter for migrants camped out on new route to Europe

      Shouting “Open borders!”, several dozen migrants and asylum seekers broke through a police cordon last week at the Maljevac border checkpoint in northwestern Bosnia and Herzegovina and tried to cross into Croatia.

      After being forced back by Croatian police with teargas, they set up camp just inside Bosnian territory. They are in the vanguard of a new wave of migrants determined to reach wealthier European countries, often Germany. Stalled, they have become a political football and face winter with little assistance and inadequate shelter.

      The old Balkan route shut down in 2016 as a raft of European countries closed their borders, with Hungary erecting a razor-wire fence. But a new route emerged this year through Bosnia (via Albania and Montenegro or via Macedonia and Serbia) and on to Croatia, a member of the EU. The flow of travellers has been fed by fresh streams of people from the Middle East and Central and South Asia entering Greece from Turkey, notably across the Evros River.

      By the end of September, more than 16,000 asylum seekers and migrants had entered Bosnia this year, compared to just 359 over the same period last year, according to official figures. The real number is probably far higher as more are smuggled in and uncounted. Over a third of this year’s official arrivals are Pakistani, followed by Iranians (16 percent), Syrians (14 percent), and Iraqis (nine percent).

      This spike is challenging Bosnia’s ability to provide food, shelter, and other aid – especially to the nearly 10,000 people that local institutions and aid organisations warn may be stranded at the Croatian border as winter begins. Two decades after the Balkan wars of the 1990s, the situation is also heightening tensions among the country’s Muslim, Serb, and Croat communities and its often fraught tripartite political leadership.

      How to respond to the unexpected number of migrants was a key issue in the presidential election earlier this month. Nationalist Bosnian Serb leader Milorad Dodik, who won the Serb seat in the presidency, charged that it was a conspiracy to boost the country’s Muslim population. The outgoing Croat member of the presidency, Dragan Čović, repeatedly called for Bosnia’s borders to be closed to stem the migrant flow.

      Maja Gasal Vrazalica, a left-wing member of parliament and a refugee herself during the Bosnian wars, accuses nationalist parties of “misusing the topic of refugees because they want to stoke up all this fear through our nation.”
      “I’m very scared”

      Most migrants and asylum seekers are concentrated around two northwestern towns, Bihać and nearby Velika Kladuša. Faris Šabić, youth president of the Bihać Red Cross, organises assistance for the some 4,000 migrants camped in Bihać and others who use the town as a way station.

      Since the spring and throughout the summer, as arrivals spiked, several local volunteers joined his staff to provide food, hygiene items, and first aid. But now, as winter draws in, they fear the scale of the crisis is becoming untenable.

      “I have to be honest, I’m very scared,” Šabić told IRIN, examining a notebook filled with the names of new arrivals. “Not only for migrants, I’m scared for my locals as well. We are a generous and welcoming people, but I fear that we will not be able to manage the emergency anymore.”

      The Bihać Red Cross, along with other aid organisations and human rights groups, is pushing the government to find long-term solutions. But with an economy still recovering from the legacy of the war and a youth unemployment rate of almost 55 percent, it has been hard-pressed to find answers.

      Hope that the end of the election season might improve the national debate around migration appears misguided. Around 1,000 Bihać locals staged protests for three consecutive days, from 20-22 October, demanding the relocation of migrants outside the town centre. On the Saturday, Bihać residents even travelled to the capital, Sarajevo, blocking the main street to protest the inaction of the central government.

      The local government of the border district where most migrants and asylum seekers wait, Una-Sana, complains of being abandoned by the central government in Sarajevo. “We do not have bad feelings towards migrants, but the situation is unmanageable,” the mayor of Bihać, Šuhret Fazlić, told IRIN.

      To begin with most residents openly welcomed the migrants, with volunteers providing food and medical help. But tensions have been growing, especially as dozens of the latest newcomers have started occupying the main public spaces in the town.

      “They turned our stadium into a toilet and occupied children’s playgrounds,” said Fazlić. “I would like to understand why they come here, but what is important at the moment is to understand where to host them in a dignified manner.”
      Beatings and abuse

      Those camped near the Croatian border have all entered Bosnia illegally. Each night, they wait to enter “The Game” – as they refer to attempts to cross the frontier and strike out into dense forests.

      Most are detained and pushed back into Bosnia by the Croatian police. Some reach Slovenia before being deported all the way back. Abuse is rife, according to NGOs and human rights groups. Those who have attempted to cross say Croatian police officers destroy their phones to prevent them from navigating the mountains, beat them with electric batons, unleash dogs, steal their money, and destroy their documents and personal belongings. Croatia’s interior ministry has strongly denied allegations of police brutality.

      No Name Kitchen, a group of activists that provides showers, soap, and hygiene products to migrants in Velika Kladuša, has been documenting cases of violence allegedly committed by the Croatian police. In August alone the organisation collected accounts from 254 deportees. Most claimed to have suffered physical violence. Of those cases, 43 were minors.

      Croatian media has reported cases of shootings, too. In late May, a smuggler’s van bringing migrants and asylum seekers from Bosnia was shot at and three people including a boy and a girl, both 12, were wounded.

      A report earlier this year from the UN’s refugee agency, UNHCR, collated accounts from 2,500 refugees and migrants allegedly pushed back from Croatia to Serbia and Bosnia. In more than 1,500 cases – 100 of them relating to children – asylum procedures were denied, and over 700 people made allegations of violence or theft.
      Winter housing needed

      In Velika Kladuša, two kilometres from the Maljevac border checkpoint, around 1,000 people live in a makeshift tent camp that turns into a swamp every time it rains. Temperatures here will soon plummet below zero at night. Finding a new place for them "is a race against time and the key challenge,” said Stephanie Woldenberg, senior UNHCR protection officer.

      Already, life is difficult.

      “Nights here are unsustainable,” Emin, a young Afghan girl who tried twice to cross the border with her family and is among those camped in Velika Kladuša, told IRIN. “Dogs in the kennel are treated better than us.”

      Bosnian police reportedly announced last week that migrants are no longer allowed to travel to the northwest zone, and on 30 October said they had bussed dozens of migrants from the border camps to a new government-run facility near Velika Kladuša. Another facility has been set up near Sarajevo since the election. Together, they have doubled the number of beds available to migrants to 1,700, but it’s still nowhere near the capacity needed.

      The federal government has identified a defunct factory, Agrokomerc, once owned by the mayor of Velika Kladuša, Fikret Abdić, as a potential site to house more migrants. Abdić was convicted on charges of war crimes during the Balkan wars and sentenced to 20 years imprisonment. He became mayor in 2016, after his 2012 release. His local government is strongly opposed to the move and counters that the migrants and asylum seekers should be equally distributed throughout Bosnia.

      For now, around 800 people live inside a former student dormitory in Velika Kladuša that is falling apart due to damage sustained during the Bosnian wars. Holes in the floor and the absence of basic fixtures and of a proper heating system make it highly unsuitable to house migrants this winter. Clean water and bathing facilities are scarce, and the Red Cross has registered several cases of scabies, lice, and other skin and vector-borne diseases.

      Throughout the three-storey building, migrants and asylum seekers lie sprawled across the floor on mattresses, waiting their turn to charge their phones at one of the few electrical sockets. Many are young people from Lahore, Pakistan who sold their family’s homes and businesses to pay for this trip. On average they say they paid $10,000 to smugglers who promised to transport them to the EU. Several display bruises and abrasions, which they say were given to them by Croatian border patrol officers as they tried to enter Croatia.

      The bedding on one mattress is stained with blood. Witnesses told IRIN the person who sleeps there was stabbed by other migrants trying to steal his few belongings. “It happens frequently here,” one said.


      https://www.irinnews.org/news-feature/2018/10/31/bleak-bosnian-winter-migrants-camped-out-new-route-europe

    • ’They didn’t give a damn’: first footage of Croatian police ’brutality’

      Migrants who allegedly suffer savage beatings by state officials call it ‘the game’. But as shocking evidence suggests, attempting to cross the Bosnia-Croatia border is far from mere sport.

      As screams ring out through the cold night air, Sami, hidden behind bushes, begins to film what he can.

      “The Croatian police are torturing them. They are breaking people’s bones,’’ Sami whispers into his mobile phone, as the dull thumps of truncheons are heard.

      Then silence. Minutes go by before Hamdi, Mohammed and Abdoul emerge from the woods, faces bruised from the alleged beating, mouths and noses bloody, their ribs broken.

      Asylum seekers from Algeria, Syria and Pakistan, they had been captured by the Croatian police attempting to cross the Bosnia-Croatia border into the EU, and brutally beaten before being sent back.

      Sami, 17, from Kobane, gave the Guardian his footage, which appears to provide compelling evidence of the physical abuses, supposedly perpetrated by Croatian police, of which migrants in the Bosnian cities of Bihac and Velika Kladusa have been complaining.

      The EU border agency, Frontex, announced on Wednesday that this year is likely to produce the lowest number of unauthorised migrants arriving into Europe in five years.

      Frontex said that approximately 118,900 irregular border crossings were recorded in the first 10 months of 2018, roughly 31% lower than the same period in 2017.
      Advertisement

      Despite this steady decline in numbers, many states remain embroiled in political disputes that fuel anti-migrant sentiment across Europe.

      Frontex also noted that, while entries are declining, the number of people reaching Europe across the western Mediterranean, mostly through Spain from Morocco, continues to rise. Nearly 9,400 people crossed in October, more than double the number for the same month last year.

      But the brutality of what is happening on Europe’s borders is not documented. Every night, migrants try to cross into Croatia. And, according to dozens of accounts received by the Guardian and charities, many end up in the hands of police, who beat them back to Bosnia.

      No Name Kitchen (NNK), an organisation consisting of volunteers from several countries that distributes food to asylum seekers in Serbia, Bosnia and Italy, registers 50-100 people a week who have been pushed back by the Croatian authorities. Roughly 70% of them claim to have been beaten.

      “In the last months our team in Bosnia and Herzegovina has regularly treated patients – sometimes even women and small children – with wounds allegedly inflicted by state authorities when attempting to cross into Croatia and Slovenia, where, according to their testimonies, their claims for asylum and protection are regularly ignored,” says Julian Koeberer, humanitarian affairs officer in the northern Balkans for Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF).
      Advertisement

      Since the turn of the year, the Bosnian authorities have registered the entry of about 21,000 people, coming from Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran or Syria. Of these, an estimated 5,000 remain in the country.

      Of 50 people to whom the Guardian spoke, mostly from Pakistan, 35 said they had been attacked by Croatian police. The majority of them arrived in Bosnia through Turkey, hoping to reach Slovenia, a Schengen country, before heading to Italy, Austria or Germany.

      ‘‘The Iranian police broke all my teeth, the Croatian ones broke my nose and ribs,” says Milad, 29, an Iranian asylum seeker who since September has lived in Bihac. “Yet everyone talks about the violence in Iran and nobody talks about the violence perpetrated by a European country.”

      Adeel, 27, from Pakistan, claims he had his ankle broken with a truncheon. ‘‘Where are the human rights?” he asks.

      Anees, 43, also from Pakistan, says he begged the police not to beat him after he was stopped in the woods on the border with Velika Kladusa. ‘‘I have a heart disease, I told them to stop because they could have killed me,’’ explains Anees, whose medical conditions are detailed in a clinical file.

      On 9 June 2018, he had heart surgery at the Zdravstveni centre hospital in the Serbian city of Uzice. After the operation, he continued his journey. He struggles to breathe as he tells his story: ‘‘I told him I was sick, I showed them the clinical file. They did not give a damn. They started beating me and sent us back to Bosnia. But it does not matter. Tomorrow I will try the game again.’’

      That’s what migrants call it: ‘the game”. But there is nothing fun about it. They set off in groups: 70 or 80 people, or sometimes as few as five to 10. Police, armed with truncheons, pistols and night vision goggles, patrol Europe’s longest border between Bosnia and Croatia. According to accounts provided by more than 10 migrants, some officers wear paramilitary uniforms with a badge depicting a sword upraised by two lightning bolts. This is the badge of Croatian special police.

      “They stop us and, before beating us, they frisk us”, says Hamdi, 35, An Algerian language teacher. “If they find money, they steal it. If they find mobile phones, they destroy them to avoid being filmed or simply to stop us from contacting our friends. And then they beat us, four or five against one. They throw us to the ground, kick us, and beat us with their truncheons. Sometimes their dogs attack us. To them, we probably don’t seem much different from their dogs.”

      Hamdi is one of three men traveling with Sami. The screams in the video are his. His face is covered in blood when he reaches his friends. His nose is broken, his lips swollen.

      “After repeatedly being pushed back or forced to return to Bosnia on their own, asylum seekers find themselves in unsanitary, improvised settlements such as open fields and squats while formal government camps are full,” says Koeberer.

      “Those sites still offer alarmingly inadequate conditions due to only slow improvement in provision of winter shelter (food, hygiene, legal status and medical care), and these inhumane living conditions have severe impact on people’s physical and mental health. In winter, the lives of those who are forced to remain outside will seriously be at risk.’’

      At the camp in Velika Kladusa, where Hamdi lives, dozens of people sit in the mud and on piles of rubbish, awaiting the arrival of the doctors. On man has a cast on his arm and leg, the result, he says, of a police beating. Others show black eyes, bruises on their backs and legs, lumps and wounds on their heads, split lips, and scars on their legs.

      ‘‘There have been cases in which migrants claimed to have been stripped and forced to walk barefoot with temperatures below freezing,” said Stephane Moissaing, MSF’s head of mission in Serbia. “Cases where asylum seekers have told how police would beat children in front of their parents. From the information we have, up until now, it is a systematic and planned violence.”

      Karolina Augustova, an NKK volunteer, says violence has increased since October protests in which hundreds of asylum seekers marched from the north-western town of Velika Kladusa towards Croatia to object against pushbacks that violate the rights of people to seek asylum in Europe.

      The Bosnian police appear to be aware of the assaults. A Bosnian police agent guarding the camp in Velika Kladusa, who prefers to remain anonymous, points out a bruise on a boy’s leg. “You see this bruise?” he says. “It was the Croatian police. The Bosnian police know, but there is no clear and compelling evidence, just the accounts of the refugees and their wounds.”

      The majority of Bosnians live in peace with migrants and view them as refugees. The scars from the war that ravaged this area in the early 1990s are everywhere, in the abandoned homes riddled with machine gun fire and in the collective memory of Bosnians. People from Bihac and Velika Kladusa know what it means to flee from war. The minarets of the numerous mosques along the border are a reminder that Bosnia is the closest Muslim community in Europe.

      “I feel sorry for these people,’’ says the policeman on guard. ‘‘They remind me of the Bosnians when the war devastated our country.’’

      MSF, NNK and a number of other organisations have repeatedly reported and denounced violence perpetrated by the security forces in the Balkans, but Croatian police deny all the allegations.

      The Guardian has contacted the Croatian interior minister, the police and the Croatian government for comment, but has received no response.

      Abdul, 33, recently arrived in Velika Klaudusa after a journey that lasted over a year. He comes from Myanmar and has lost everything: his wife and children were killed, and he has no news of his father, mother and sisters. Abdul has heard about the violence and is worried. The migrants around him, with bandaged legs and noses and bleeding mouths, cause fear.

      “I lost everything, yes, it’s true,” he says. “But I have to get to Europe, one way or another. To make sense of what I lost. I owe it to my dead children. To my wife who was killed. To those who have not had the good fortune to have arrived here safe and sound.”

      https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2018/nov/14/didnt-give-a-damn-refugees-film-croatian-police-brutality-bosnia

    • A la frontière bosno-croate, des matraques pour les migrants

      Les policiers croates violentent les exilés bloqués entre les deux pays, nouveau point de passage de la route des Balkans. Mais dans la région, la #solidarité s’organise.

      L’intervention de la police bosnienne est fixée à 18 heures au poste frontière de Maljevac, entre la Bosnie-Herzégovine et la Croatie. Des dizaines de riverains s’y sont massées, ce jour-là, pour assister à cette opération qui va déloger les migrants qui campent depuis une semaine à 300 mètres de la douane. « Je n’ai rien contre les réfugiés, mais 200 personnes ne peuvent pas bloquer toute une ville », explique un Bosnien d’une cinquantaine d’années. Deux heures plus tard le passage est rouvert. Nous sommes à Velika Kladusa, dans le canton d’Una-Sana, dans le nord-ouest de la Bosnie, le long de la dernière déviation de la « route des Balkans ». Depuis le début de l’année, plus de 21 000 personnes (venant du Pakistan, d’Afghanistan ou encore d’Iran) ont choisi de traverser la Bosnie-Herzégovine dans l’espoir d’atteindre l’ouest de l’Europe. Et alors que 5 000 d’entre eux seraient toujours bloqués dans le pays, Sarajevo a enregistré ces dernières semaines une hausse des arrivées, avec environ 1 000 nouvelles entrées hebdomadaires.

      Sachets à emporter

      Dans ce petit bourg, la situation a dégénéré fin octobre lorsque des centaines de migrants ont tenté d’entrer de force en Croatie, avant d’être repoussés par les policiers. A la suite de ces heurts qui ont fait plusieurs blessés, Zagreb a décidé de suspendre pendant une semaine le transit à Maljevac : une très mauvaise nouvelle pour cette ville qui vit du commerce avec la Croatie et dont les habitants commencent à s’agacer d’une situation qui s’enlise. « La Croatie est à moins de 2 kilomètres dans cette direction », indique Asim Latic en pointant du doigt la plaine qui s’étend derrière les buissons. Avant d’ajouter : « Mais les réfugiés, eux, passent par les bois, et cela prend plusieurs jours de marche. » Ce restaurateur de Velika Kladusa, propriétaire de la pizzeria Teferic, fait partie des habitants qui se sont engagés dans l’aide aux migrants dès février, lorsque des dizaines, puis des centaines de personnes sont arrivées dans ce coin de la Bosnie.

      Pendant neuf mois, il a offert chaque jour 400 repas à autant d’exilés. Début novembre, après une chute des dons de la communauté locale, il a bien cru devoir mettre la clé sous la porte. « Les Bosniens ont aussi connu la guerre, mais ils sont fatigués », explique ce grand gaillard que les réfugiés appellent « papa ». De temps en temps, il leur prépare de la nourriture dans des sachets à emporter, « pour qu’ils survivent dans la forêt ». Le chemin des bois est emprunté par tous ceux qui ne peuvent pas se permettre les tarifs des passeurs : 2 000 euros ou plus pour aller en voiture à Trieste en Italie, 1 200 euros pour descendre à Split en Croatie. A pied, il faut marcher environ une semaine, assurent les migrants : 80 kilomètres en Croatie, puis, une fois entrés en Slovénie, on se dirige vers l’Italie ou l’Autriche. Mais c’est sans compter sur l’intervention de la police croate, véritable inconnue dans le game - nom donné ici aux tentatives de passage de la frontière.

      Non loin de la séparation bosno-croate, Aadi a décidé de planter sur sa tente le drapeau bleu et jaune de la Bosnie-Herzégovine. « Les Bosniens sont des gens accueillants. Ce sont les policiers croates qui nous posent problème », dit-il. « Les policiers m’ont violemment frappé avec une matraque. Les conditions hygiéniques de ce camp ont fait le reste », renchérit Gabdar, un jeune Irakien qui arbore une plaie infectée à la main droite, où du pus s’est formé sous les croûtes. Youssef, un Tunisien trentenaire, se plaint que la police croate n’a pas seulement détruit son smartphone, mais aussi la powerbank, cette batterie externe indispensable à ceux qui passent de longs mois sur les routes.

      Ecrans brisés

      « Police, problem » est un refrain mille fois entendu. Dès que l’on mentionne les forces de l’ordre croates, les migrants sortent leurs portables. La multitude d’écrans brisés et les connecteurs d’alimentation rendus inutilisables avec des tournevis sont la preuve - disent-ils - des abus des policiers. Une accusation difficile à prouver, mais qui a attiré l’attention du Conseil de l’Europe (CoE). Début octobre, la commissaire aux droits de l’homme Dunja Mijatovic a invité Zagreb à faire la lumière sur ces allégations.

      D’après le CoE et le Haut Commissariat des Nations unies pour les réfugiés, la Croatie aurait expulsé collectivement 2 500 migrants depuis le début de 2018, « parmi eux, 1 500 personnes ont affirmé n’avoir pas pu soumettre une demande d’asile, tandis que 700 disent avoir été victimes de violences ou de vols de la part des policiers croates ». Joint par mail, le ministère de l’Intérieur de Zagreb assure que la police agit « dans le respect de la loi et des traités internationaux » et que « les vérifications effectuées jusque-là n’ont prouvé aucun cas de violence ».

      Au centre de Bihac, à 60 kilomètres au sud de Velika Kladusa, Ali, un Pakistanais de 17 ans se jette dans l’eau glaciale de la rivière Una et entreprend de se savonner les cheveux. Sur les bancs du parc alentour, d’autres migrants tuent le temps, cigarette ou smartphone à la main. La scène est devenue courante dans cette ville de 60 000 habitants, et la situation qui s’éternise agace certains locaux. Plusieurs pétitions ont fait leur apparition et quelques manifestations ont rassemblé un millier de personnes à Bihac, demandant aux autorités de trouver une solution à la présence des migrants en centre-ville.

      « Je n’ai rien contre les réfugiés, mais ces gens ne viennent pas de pays en guerre, ce sont des migrants économiques », affirme Sej Ramic, conseiller municipal à Bihac et professeur d’art, modérateur du groupe Facebook « Stop invaziji migranata ! Udruženje gradjana Bihaća » (« Stop à l’invasion des migrants ! Collectif de citoyens de Bihac »). Un argumentaire devenu habituel au sein de l’Union européenne, mais qu’on avait moins l’habitude d’entendre en Bosnie, pays lui-même marqué par une forte émigration.

      Face à cette opposition grandissante, le gouvernement du canton a entrepris d’arrêter les bus et les trains en provenance de Sarajevo et de renvoyer vers la capitale tous les migrants qui en descendent. Et dans le centre-ville de Biha, les policiers renvoient les migrants qui traînent vers le Dacki Dom. Cet ancien dortoir étudiant abandonné, dont la carcasse de béton nu se dresse au milieu des bois, héberge environ 1 000 personnes dans des conditions très précaires. Des centaines d’autres sont logées dans les environs, dans une ancienne usine de réfrigérateurs et dans un hôtel fermé depuis de nombreuses années. D’autres campent ou squattent des maisons abandonnées des alentours. L’objectif de l’Organisation internationale pour les migrations (OIM) est « d’atteindre, dans les prochains jours, une capacité d’hébergement de 5 000 personnes sur l’ensemble du territoire bosnien », indique Peter Van der Auweraert, coordinateur de l’OIM pour les Balkans occidentaux. Cependant, « si le flux actuel de 1 000 entrées par semaine devait continuer, nous serons bientôt dans une situation très compliquée », poursuit-il, et note qu’avec l’hiver qui arrive, « ce qui coince, c’est le timing ».

      L’UE a récemment débloqué 7,2 millions d’euros pour aider la Bosnie, l’un des pays les plus pauvres des Balkans, à gérer le flux migratoire. Alors qu’à Bihac les ouvriers s’affairent à sécuriser les bâtiments et que les ONG tentent de reloger les centaines de personnes toujours dans des tentes, Van der Auweraert souligne le manque de volonté politique des autorités locales. L’imbroglio institutionnel bosnien, hérité des accords de Dayton, complique davantage le processus décisionnel.

      Il est midi à Velika Kladusa, et la pizzeria Teferic est en pleine distribution. Des dizaines de migrants patientent pour s’asseoir devant une assiette de macaronis. Dans la cuisine, Halil et Refik - « c’est lui qui a arrêté le chauffeur de Mladic pendant la guerre », nous glisse Asim - s’affairent autour d’une énorme casserole. Deux jeunes Indiens et un Pakistanais de passage prêtent main forte à la petite équipe. Après neuf mois de travail bénévole dans la pizzeria, Asim est fatigué « physiquement et mentalement ». S’il a trouvé de l’aide auprès de l’association néerlandaise Lemon Foundation, l’avenir de leur activité reste fragile. Tout en contemplant le va-et-vient des migrants à l’extérieur, il secoue la tête : « Mais que vont faire ces gens ? »

      https://www.liberation.fr/planete/2018/11/20/a-la-frontiere-bosno-croate-des-matraques-pour-les-migrants_1693271

    • Croatia: Migrants Pushed Back to Bosnia and Herzegovina

      Croatian police are pushing migrants and asylum seekers back to Bosnia and Herzegovina, in some cases violently, and without giving them the possibility to seek asylum, Human Rights Watch said.

      Human Rights Watch interviewed 20 people, including 11 heads of families and 1 unaccompanied boy, who said that Croatian police deported them to Bosnia and Herzegovina without due process after detaining them deep inside Croatian territory. Sixteen, including women and children, said police beat them with batons, kicked and punched them, stole their money, and either stole or destroyed their mobile phones.

      “Croatia has an obligation to protect asylum seekers and migrants,” said Lydia Gall, Balkans and Eastern EU researcher at Human Rights Watch. “Instead, the Croatian police viciously beat asylum seekers and pushed them back over the border.”

      All 20 interviewees gave detailed accounts of being detained by people who either identified themselves as Croatian police or wore uniforms matching those worn by Croatian police. Seventeen gave consistent descriptions of the police vans used to transport them to the border. One mother and daughter were transported in what they described as a police car. Two people said that police had fired shots in the air, and five said that the police were wearing masks.

      These findings confirm mounting evidence of abuse at Croatia’s external borders, Human Rights Watch said. In December 2016, Human Rights Watch documented similar abuses by Croatian police at Croatia’s border with Serbia. The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) reported in August 2018 that it had received reports Croatia had summarily pushed back 2,500 migrants and asylum seekers to Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina since the beginning of the year, at times accompanied by violence and theft.

      In response to a call by the Council of Europe’s human rights commissioner to investigate the allegations, Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic in September denied any wrongdoing and questioned the sources of the information. Police in Donji Lapac, on the border with Bosnia and Herzegovina, refused to provide Croatia’s ombudswoman, Lora Vidović, access to police records on treatment of migrants and told her that police are acting in accordance with the law.

      In a December 4 letter, Interior Minister Davor Bozinovic responded to a detailed description of the Human Rights Watch findings. He said that the evidence of summary returns and violence was insufficient to bring criminal prosecutions, that the allegations could not be confirmed, and that migrants accuse Croatian police in the hope that it will help them enter Croatia. He said that his ministry does not support any type of violence or intolerance by police officers.

      Croatia has a bilateral readmission agreement with Bosnia and Herzegovina that allows Croatia to return third-country nationals without legal permission to stay in the country. According to the Security Ministry of Bosnia and Herzegovina, under the agreement, between January and November 27, Croatia returned 493 people to Bosnia and Herzegovina, 265 of whom were Turkish nationals. None of the people Human Rights Watch interviewed underwent any formal return procedure before being forced back over the border.

      The summary return of asylum seekers without consideration of their protection needs is contrary to European Union asylum law, the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, and the 1951 Refugee Convention.

      Croatian authorities should conduct thorough and transparent investigations of abuse implicating their officials and hold those responsible to account, Human Rights Watch said. They should ensure full cooperation with the Ombudswoman’s inquiry, as required by national law and best practice for independent human rights institutions. The European Commission should call on Croatia, an EU member state, to halt and investigate summary returns of asylum seekers to Bosnia and Herzegovina and allegations of violence against asylum seekers. The Commission should also open legal proceedings against Croatia for violating EU laws, Human Rights Watch said.

      As a result of the 2016 border closures on the Western Balkan route, thousands of asylum seekers were stranded, the majority in Serbia, and found new routes toward the EU. In 2018, migrant and asylum seeker arrivals increased in Bosnia and Herzegovina, from fewer than 1,000 in 2017 to approximately 22,400, according to the European Commission. The Commission estimates that 6,000 migrants and asylum seekers are currently in the country. Bosnia and Herzegovina has granted international protection to only 17 people since 2008. In 2017, 381 people applied for asylum there.

      Bosnia and Herzegovina has only one official reception center for asylum seekers near Sarajevo, with capacity to accommodate just 156 people. Asylum seekers and migrants in the border towns of Bihac and Velika Kladusa, where Human Rights Watch conducted the interviews, are housed in temporary facilities managed by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) – a dilapidated building, a refurbished warehouse, and former hotels – or they sleep outdoors. The IOM and UNHCR have been improving the facilities. The EU has allocated over €9 million to support humanitarian assistance for asylum seekers and migrants in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

      “Just because the EU is sending humanitarian aid to refugees in Bosnia and Herzegovina, that does not justify turning a blind eye to violence at the Croatian border,” Gall said. “Brussels should press Zagreb to comply with EU law, investigate alleged abuse, and provide fair and efficient access to asylum.”

      For detailed accounts by the people interviewed, please see below.

      Human Rights Watch interviewed 13 men, 6 women, and one 15-year-old unaccompanied boy. All interviewees’ names have been changed in order to protect their security and privacy. All interviews were conducted in English or with the aid of a Persian or Arabic speaking interpreter. Human Rights Watch informed interviewees of the purpose of the interview and its voluntary nature, and they verbally consented to be interviewed.

      Denied Access to Asylum Procedure, Summarily Returned

      All 20 people interviewed said that people who identified themselves as Croatian police or whom they described as police detained them well inside Croatian territory and subsequently returned them to Bosnia and Herzegovina without any consideration of asylum claims or human rights obstacles to their return.

      Nine said that police detained them and others and took them to a police station in Croatia. The others said that police officers took them directly to the border with Bosnia-Herzegovina and made them cross.

      Those taken to police stations said they were searched, photographed, and questioned about details such as their name, country of origin, age, and their route entering Croatia. They were not given copies of any forms. They said they were held there in rooms with limited or no seating for between 2 and 24 hours, then taken to the border. Three people said they asked for asylum at the police station but that the police ignored or laughed at them. Six others said they dared not speak because police officers told them to remain quiet.

      Faven F. and Kidane K., a married couple in their thirties from Eritrea, said they had been walking for seven days when they were detained on November 9, close to Rijeka, 200 kilometers from the border. They said that four men in green uniforms detained them in the forest and took them in a windowless white van without proper seats to a police station in Rijeka:

      They delivered us to new police. One was in plain clothes, the other one in dark blue uniform that said “Policija” on it…. At the station, they gave us a paper in English where we had to fill in name, surname, and place of birth…. A lady officer asked us questions about our trip, how we got there, who helped us. We told them that if Croatia can give us asylum, we would like to stay. The lady officer just laughed. They wrote our names on a white paper and some number and made us hold them for a mug shot. Then they kept us in the cell the whole night and didn’t give us food, but we could drink tap water in the bathroom.

      Yaran Y., a 19-year-old from Iraq, was carrying his 14-year old sister Dilva, who has a disability and uses a wheelchair, on his back when they were detained along with at least five others at night in the forest. Yaran Y. said he told officers he wanted asylum for his sister, but that the police just laughed. “They told us to go to Brazil and ask for asylum there,” Yaran Y. said.

      Ardashir A., a 33-year-old Iranian, was travelling with his wife and 7-year-old daughter in a group of 18 people, including 3 other children, the youngest of whom is under age 2. He said that Croatian police detained the group 12 kilometers inside Croatian territory on November 15 and took them to a police station:

      They [Croatian police] brought us to a room, like a prison. They took our bags and gave us only a few slices of bread. There were no chairs, we sat on the floor. Two people in civilian clothes came after a while, I don’t know if they were police, but they took a group picture of us and refused to let us go to the toilet. A 10-year-old child really needed to go but wasn’t allowed so he had to endure. After two hours they took us … to the border.

      Adal A., a 15-year-old boy from Afghanistan traveling on his own said that he was detained on November 15 near Zagreb and taken in a white windowless van to a police station:

      They searched us at the police station and took our phones, power banks, bags, and everything we had. They took three kinds of pictures: front, side, and back. We had to hold a paper with a number. I was asked questions about my name, where I am from, my age, and about the smuggler. I told them I’m 15. We then sat in a room for 24 hours and received no food but could get water from the tap in the toilet.

      Palmira P., a 45-year-old Iranian, said that a female police officer mistreated Palmira’s 11-year-old daughter during a body search in a police station courtyard on the outskirts of Rijeka in early November: “She pulled my daughter’s pants down in front of everyone. My daughter still has nightmares about this policewoman, screaming out in the middle of the night, ‘Don’t do it, don’t do it!’”

      Everyone interviewed said that Croatian police confiscated and never returned or destroyed their phones and destroyed power banks and phone chargers. Four people said that Croatian police forced them to unlock their phones before stealing them.

      Madhara M., a 32-year-old from Iran, said a police officer found a €500 bill in his pocket on November 15: “He looked at it, inspected it, and admired it and then demonstratively put it in his pocket in front of me.”

      Accounts of Violence and Abuse

      Seventeen people described agonizing journeys ranging from 15 minutes to five hours in windowless white police vans to the border. In two cases, people described the vans with a deep dark blue/black stripe running through the middle and a police light on top. A Human Rights Watch researcher saw a police van matching that description while driving through Croatia.

      Croatian roads close to the border with Bosnia and Herzegovina cross windy, mountainous terrain. People interviewed said they had experienced nausea, vomited, or felt extreme cold or heat in the van. A 23-year-old Syrian woman said she believed the difficult van ride and pushback caused her to miscarry her 7-week pregnancy. Amez A., a 28-year-old Iraqi, said police sprayed what he thought was teargas into the van before closing the back doors and driving off, making everyone in the car vomit and have difficulty breathing.

      Sixteen people, including women and children, said that they were slapped, pummelled with fists, beaten with police batons made of rubber or wood, or kicked by people they described as or who identified themselves as Croatian police during the pushbacks.

      In many cases, the violence was accompanied by abusive language in English. Human Rights Watch observed marks and bruises on nine people and viewed photographs of injuries on four more who said they were the result of beatings by Croatian police officers. Four people said that they required treatment at Bosnian hospitals.

      Adal A., the 15-year-old unaccompanied boy, described a particularly vicious beating on November 16:

      They wore dark blue uniforms with masks, and as I exited the van, both police hit me with their batons. I felt a blow to my neck and I fell forward and wanted to get up. At that point, I was on the Bosnian side of the border stones, where another six Croatian police officers stood waiting. They were all over me, beating me. I don’t know how they beat me, but it was hard and strong, and I tried to protect my face. I was so badly beaten on my back that I still can’t sleep on it properly because of the pain. When they saw that my nose was bleeding, and that my hand was injured and that I couldn’t walk, they stopped…. They yelled “Go!” and as I was trying to leave, they fired guns in the air.

      Human Rights Watch interviewed Adal A. four days after he said this had happened and observed marks and bruises on his legs and arms.

      Aftab A., 37, from Iran, said that police officers in dark blue uniforms beat him and his 12-year-old son in what he called the “Tunnel of Death:”

      They [police] make this tunnel [lined up on each side] and you have to pass. They took us out of the van one by one and they started beating me with batons from both sides. I was beaten on my arm, shoulder, and on my knee with batons. My son was beaten with batons on his back and on his head…We kept screaming ‘my son my son!’ or ‘my dad my dad!’ but they didn’t care. They kept beating at us until we crossed the border. Even my wife was struck across her back with a baton. The child was so scared and was crying for half an hour and then wouldn’t speak for a long time.

      Madhara M., 32, from Iran, was taken to the border on November 15 along with four others, including a married couple. He said that Croatian police beat him and then threw him into a ditch he said separates Croatia from Bosnia and Herzegovina:

      There were about eight police officers in front of the van. But there were more behind them making sure we can’t run away. The first punch broke my tooth… I fell, and the officer rolled me over, and punched me in the eye. It was so painful, I tried to escape by crawling, but the police struck me with the baton on my back. Suddenly, I received a second blow on the same eye. Then the police officers grabbed me and threw me into the ditch. All along, they were laughing and swearing in English, things like ‘I will fuck your mother.’

      Bahadur B. and Nabila N., both 32 and from Iran, are a married couple who were traveling with Madhara M. Nabila N., who was three-months’ pregnant at the time, described the violence at the border:

      They [Croatian police] were standing four on one side and four on the other side. We call it the ‘terror tunnel.’ They told us to get out. Bahadur tried to help me down from the van, as I was stiff from the ride. When he did, the police started beating him…I turned and screamed at them to stop beating my husband, but…. I stumbled on a bag in the darkness…When I got up, I was face-to-face with a police officer who was wearing a mask. I kept screaming, “Please don’t do it, we will leave” but he deliberately hit me hard with his baton across my hand. I kept screaming “baby, baby!” during the whole ordeal but they didn’t listen, they just laughed.

      Both Yaran Y., 19, and his sister Dilva, 14, who has a physical disability, said they required medical treatment after Croatian police used physical force during the pushback in early July. Yaran Y. said:

      I was carrying Dilva on my back the whole way while others pushed her wheelchair. Our family travelled with five other people. It was dark, when the police surprised us by firing shots in the air. They police wore dark or black color uniforms and there were six or seven of them. I asked one of the police officers for asylum but he harshly pushed me so I fell with my sister on my back. In the fall, my sister and I landed on a sharp wooden log which severely injured her foot and my hand.

      A Human Rights Watch researcher observed scars on Dilva’s foot and Yaran’s hand and saw pictures of the fresh injuries.

      Sirvan S., 38, from Iraq, said Croatian police in dark blue uniforms beat him and his youngest son, age 6, during a pushback on November 14: “My son and I were beaten with a rubber baton. I was beaten in the head and on my leg. My son was beaten with a baton on his leg and head as well as he was running from the police.” Sirvan’s wife, 16-year-old daughter, and 14-year-old son witnessed the violence.

      Gorkem G., 30, travelling with his 25-year-old pregnant wife, 5-year-old son, and 2-year-old daughter, said that Croatian police pushed his son, so he fell hard to the ground. “He only wanted to say “hi” to the police,” Gorkem G. said

      Family members described the anger, frustration, and trauma they experienced seeing the police officers beat their loved ones. A 10-year-old Yazidi boy from Iraq said, “I saw how police kicked my father in his back and how they beat him all over. It made me angry.” His father, Hussein H., said that police officers had dragged him out of the van at the border and kicked and punched him when he was on the ground.

      Fatima F., 34, a Syrian mother of six, travelled with her husband’s 16-year-old brother and three of her children, ages 2, 4, and 10. She said that three police officers in dark uniforms beat her husband’s brother in front of her and her children:

      They were merciless […] One officer was by the van, one in the middle of the line of people, and one close to the path [into Bosnia and Herzegovina]. They kept beating the others with batons, and kicking. They [the officers] saw me and the kids but they just kept beating the men despite the kids crying. They didn’t beat me or the children, but the children were very afraid when they saw the men being beaten. My oldest girl kept screaming when she saw my husband’s brother get beaten…[she] screams out in the middle of the night.

      In three cases, people said they were forced to cross ice-cold rivers or streams even though they were near a bridge.

      Thirty-year-old Abu Hassan A. from Iran, travelling in a group of seven other single men, said:

      They [police] were wearing masks. There was a bridge about 50-60 meters away. More than six police were guarding the bridge. It [the stream] was about 5-6 meters wide and waist high and muddy. They told us we have to cross. Then the police… beat me with batons and kicked me, and the first handed me over to the second police who did the same thing, and then handed me over to the third, who did the same thing. After that, I was close to the riverbank, where two other police were waiting. The first one beat me again with baton and pushed me toward the other. They beat me on the legs, hands, arms, shoulders. This is what they did to force us to go into the water and across. I could barely stand or walk for a week after.

      https://www.hrw.org/news/2018/12/11/croatia-migrants-pushed-back-bosnia-and-herzegovina

    • Why are police in Croatia attacking asylum seekers trapped in the Balkans?

      Hearing increasing reports of police brutality against refugees on the Croatia-Bosnia border, Human Rights Watch is demanding action from Zagreb and the EU Commission.

      In November, I spent four days talking to migrants, including asylum seekers, in dilapidated, freezing buildings in Bihac and Velika Kladusa in Bosnia Herzegovina, an area close to the Croatian border. I heard the same story over and over: Croatian police officers beat and robbed them before illegally forcing them over the border to Bosnia and Herzegovina.

      Unfortunately, in my work as the Eastern Europe and Balkans researcher at Human Rights Watch, these stories are not new to me. But what really struck me this time around was the sheer brutality and cruelty of the police assaults.

      “They are merciless,” 34-year-old Fatima*, from Syria, said of Croatian police officers. She and her three young children, the youngest only two years old, were forced to watch Croatian police officers beat her 16-year-old brother-in-law. “My 10-year-old daughter suffered psychologically since it happened, having nightmares,” Fatima said.

      Nabila*, an Iranian woman who was three months pregnant at the time, told me a police officer struck her on her hand with a baton though she told him and other officers repeatedly that she was pregnant.

      Sirvan*, from Iraq, said a Croatian police officer beat his six-year-old son with a baton on his leg and his head as he was trying to run away from the police beatings.

      Yaran*, also from Iraq, was carrying his 14-year-old sister, Dilva*, who has a physical disability and uses a wheelchair, when Croatian police officers manhandled them. “When they captured us, I immediately told them ‘asylum’ but one police officer just pushed me hard so I fell backwards with my sister on my back.” They both required medical treatment after they were forced back to Bosnia and Herzegovina.

      Croatia’s interior ministry has denied any wrongdoing but testimonies from migrants continue to emerge.

      Since March 2016, when the Western Balkan route was closed, many people have found themselves stuck in the Balkans. After fleeing countries such as Syria, Afghanistan, Iran, Eritrea, Pakistan and Bangladesh, people had travelled through Turkey to Greece or Bulgaria, and onwards to Macedonia and Serbia.

      There are now between 6,000 and 8,000 people trapped in Serbia and around 6,000 in Bosnia and Herzegovina, who want to move onwards to EU states and particularly to Western Europe.

      Many have tried to cross to Hungary and Croatia but are met with violence from border guards. Most of the people I talked to had been walking for days inside Croatia by the time police detained them.

      Some were taken to police stations, where they were denied food for up to 24 hours; others were taken directly to the border. They were transported in windowless locked vans on winding mountainous roads on trips of up to five hours. People kept sliding off the narrow benches, bumping into each other, and throwing up.

      At the border, a “Tunnel of Terror” – as some called it — greeted them. A gauntlet of police officers beat them, pushing each person to the next officer and then to the next, laughing and mocking them on the way.

      Tired and beaten, migrants and asylum seekers were then chased down a slippery slope or thrown into a ditch four to five meters deep that is the de facto border between Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina or made to wade across an ice-cold stream.

      Most of the 20 people I interviewed, including parents with their children, the girl with a disability, and pregnant women, said they were brutally forced across the border in the cold of dark winter nights.

      Every person I interviewed also said that Croatian police robbed them of their phones and money. They kept the good phones, forcing people to surrender their passcodes, and smashed the rest. Money, if found, was stolen too.

      All this is going on at the EU’s borders. With total impunity.

      And it has been going on for some time. I documented similar abuses on Croatia’s border with Serbia two years ago. The government rejected our allegations and the EU didn’t act. In two years, rather than improving, the situation has got worse.

      More recently, the Croatian government dismissed concerns raised by UN refugee agency UNHCR and the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights and told us they didn’t have enough evidence to bring prosecutions and that allegations can’t be confirmed.

      The EU provides funds for humanitarian assistance to migrants and asylum seekers in Bosnia and Herzegovina that, while helpful, cannot justify turning a blind eye to neighbouring member state, Croatia, blatantly breaking EU laws and ignoring violence committed against those same people.

      Croatian authorities need to take these allegations seriously. They need to immediately open an investigation into the summary returns and violence by Croatian police against migrants and asylum seekers. And they need to hold those responsible to account.

      It’s also well past time for EU institutions to break their silence and send a strong message to Zagreb that pushbacks and violence flies in the face of Croatia’s legal obligations. The EU should make failure by Zagreb to address this issue come at a serious cost.

      *Names have been changed to protect identities.

      https://lacuna.org.uk/migration/why-police-croatia-attacking-asylum-seekers-trapped-in-the-balkans

      #Velika_Kladusa

    • Croatia violating EU law by sending asylum seekers back to Bosnia

      Hidden cameras capture apparent expulsions by Croatian border police in forest.

      Croatian police are returning groups of asylum seekers across the EU’s external border with Bosnia, a video obtained by the Guardian suggests, in an apparent breach of EU law.

      Footage shared by the watchdog organisation Border Violence Monitoring (BVM) shows a number of alleged collective expulsions or “pushbacks” of migrants in a forest near Lohovo, in Bosnian territory.

      The videos, filmed on hidden cameras between 29 September and 10 October, capture 54 incidents of people being pushed back in groups from Croatia into Bosnia with 368 people in total returned, according to the footage.

      Bosnia-Herzegovina’s security minister, Dragan Mektić, told the news channel N1 the behaviour of the Croatian police was “a disgrace for an EU country”.

      Croatian police are returning groups of asylum seekers across the EU’s external border with Bosnia, a video obtained by the Guardian suggests, in an apparent breach of EU law.

      Footage shared by the watchdog organisation Border Violence Monitoring (BVM) shows a number of alleged collective expulsions or “pushbacks” of migrants in a forest near Lohovo, in Bosnian territory.

      The videos, filmed on hidden cameras between 29 September and 10 October, capture 54 incidents of people being pushed back in groups from Croatia into Bosnia with 368 people in total returned, according to the footage.

      Bosnia-Herzegovina’s security minister, Dragan Mektić, told the news channel N1 the behaviour of the Croatian police was “a disgrace for an EU country”.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CAmdAjzcrcA


      https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/dec/17/croatia-violating-eu-law-by-sending-back-asylum-seekers-to-bosnia?CMP=s

    • ‘Unverifiable information from unknown migrants’? – First footage of push-backs on the Croatian-Bosnian border

      By now our database contains more than 150 push-back reports from the Bosnian-Croatian border. In light of this figure it seems hard to deny this illegal practice of collective expulsions of people seeking protection, perpetrated by the Croatian police and often accompanied by violence. The people returning from the border with broken arms or legs, or showing bloodshot eyes and marks of beatings with batons on their backs, are no isolated cases. Their injuries and testimonies prove irrefutably institutionalised and systematically applied practices – even if the Croatian Minister of the Interior [1] continues to deny these accusations and instead prefers to accuse refugees of self-injury [2]. Meanwhile, various large international media have taken up the topic and report on developments at the Bosnian-Croatian border. The Guardian, for example, recently published a video showing a refugee bleeding from several wounds just after a pushback [3]. Yet, for some reason, up to now the available evidence has not been enough to hold the responsible persons and institutions accountable. New video material provided to BVM by an anonymous group should now close this gap in evidence.

      VIDEO MATERIAL PROVES ILLEGAL PUSH-BACKS FROM CROATIA

      On 20 November we received a letter containing extensive video footage from the Bosnian-Croatian border area. For security reasons, the informants themselves prefer to remain anonymous; yet for the extensiveness and level of detail of the material in concordance with other reports, we consider it authentic. The footage was filmed by hidden cameras in a forest near Lohovo, Bosnia-Herzegovina, (Coordinates 44.7316124, 15.9133454) between 29 September and 10 October 2018 and show 54 push-backs.

      At least 350 refugees, including small children, minors and women, can clearly be seen on the video recordings as victims of these pushbacks, which take place several times a day and at night. Should they occur just as frequently as during the filmed period, the number of push-backs at this border crossing alone exceeds 150 per month. For the first time, the material can unambiguously prove that the Croatian police systematically conducts collective expulsions on Bosnian territory.

      The group’s report accompanying the material reads:

      “These push-backs are not conducted at an official border checkpoint and without the presence of Bosnian officials and are therefore illegal. In addition, documentation by various NGOs suggests that asylum applications by refugees were previously disregarded.”

      These expulsions over the green border do not follow formal return procedures [4] and can thus not be justified with the 2007 readmission agreement between the EU and Bosnia. The only legal way to return people would be through the readmission process at the official border crossing after a readmission application has been made to the Bosnian authorities.

      PROOF OF MULTIPLE CRIMINAL OFFENCES

      In not complying with these procedures, the police officers involved violate international law, in particular the prohibition of collective expulsions laid down in Article 4 of the Fourth Additional Protocol to the European Convention on Human Rights [5] and Article 19 of the European Charter of Fundamental Rights [6]. Similarly, the right to asylum, as agreed in the Geneva Convention on Refugees [7] and Article 18 of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, is not granted.

      “According to first-hand accounts, the officials inflict violence during approximately one in five push-backs in Lohovo, which is considerably less than on other push-back locations on the Bosnian-Croatian border. Here as in other locations, mobile phones are almost always destroyed and returned in a yellow plastic bag.”

      In the videos themselves, the violence becomes apparent in the form of kicks and insults. Shots and screams that can be heard at close range indicate that the beatings and humilliations which are extensively documented by various NGOs [8], take place nearby.

      Interestingly enough, the group seems to be planning to release even more video material from the border:

      “We already have more recordings from other locations and will publish them as soon as we have collected enough material. Since push-backs at other locations often take place at night, we work here with thermal cameras and other special equipment.”

      With their work, the group aims to contribute to the end of push-backs and police violence in Croatia, they state:

      “We demand that the human rights violations at the Bosnian-Croatian border stop immediately. For this it is necessary that they are examined in an official investigation both internally, by the Croatian Minister of the Interior, and by the European Commission, which co-finances Croatian border security from the Internal Security Fund (ISF).”

      BVM supports these demands. Now more than ever, the evidence is calling for immediate investigations by the Croatian authorities as well as by the European Union of which Croatia is a member state and which co-funds Croatian border security. The European Commission should call on Croatia to stop and investigate collective expulsions of asylum seekers to Bosnia and Herzegovina as well as allegations of violence perpetrated by Croatian officers. The EU Commission should also open legal proceedings against Croatia for violating EU laws.

      We would like to make the material that was sent to us available to the general public, in order to make them visible as evidence of the everyday events at the borders of the European Union.

      The data package, including the report, an overview of the content of the material and all the videos, can be accessed or downloaded here:

      https://files.borderviolence.eu/index.php/s/EYZdTo0OeGXrCqW

      In case of queries we can establish encrypted communication with the anonymous group.


      https://www.borderviolence.eu/proof-of-push-backs

    • Human rights group files complaint against Croatian police

      A Croatian NGO working with migrants has filed a complaint against police who it claims used excessive force and violence against migrants, illegally pushing them back at the border with Bosnia.
      A human rights organization in Croatia on Wednesday filed a complaint against several Croatian police officers, whose identities are unknown. The organization claims that they are guilty of using excessive force, violence and other illegal behavior against migrants and refugees that were pushed back at the border with Bosnia.

      The complaint by the Center for Peace Studies (CMS), a Zagreb-based NGO, is based on footage published in recent days by Border Violence Monitoring (BVM), an international organization that collects evidence of abuse and illegal push-backs against migrants on the Balkan route.

      Video and witness statements

      BVM received the footage from an anonymous source in November. The organization said that it had verified that the videos were credible. They also argued that the footage was in line with hundreds of witness statements from migrants collected over the past year, according to which Croatian police systematically push back migrants towards Bosnia.

      The footage was reportedly filmed in September and allegedly shows a group of migrants lined up and Croatian police forcing them to return to Bosnia, without giving them the possibility to ask for asylum or international humanitarian protection. BVM said that this was against international law, because the incidents occurred in the so-called “green zone,” in the forest between the two countries, not at border crossings, and without the presence of Bosnian border guards.

      The footage also shows some incidents of Croatian police kicking, threatening and insulting migrants.

      Collective forced push-backs

      The Center for Peace Studies said that, for the first time, the footage offers undeniable proof corroborating the many complaints against Croatian police presented in recent months by international organizations including the Council of Europe, UNHCR, and Human Rights Watch. “The footage shows collective forced push-backs and the use of unjustified violence,” CMS said.

      The NGO has asked for an investigation by the judiciary as well as the resignation of the interior minister and some high-ranking members of Croatian police.

      Croatian Interior Minister Davor Bozinovic said that he had not seen any video in which Croatian police made use of violence and that there was no substantial evidence that showed illegal conduct by the police. Croatia has always rejected accusations that its police engage in illegal behavior against migrants.

      http://www.infomigrants.net/en/post/14039/human-rights-group-files-complaint-against-croatian-police

    • En Bosnie, des milliers de réfugiés sont bloqués dans la neige aux frontières de l’Union européenne

      La Bosnie-Herzégovine est devenue un cul-de-sac aux portes de l’Union européenne, où sont bloqués plusieurs milliers d’exilés. Malgré les violences de la police croate et une neige redoutable, ils cherchent à continuer leur route vers l’Ouest.

      Depuis l’été, les témoignages et les rapports des organisations internationales s’accumulent : la police croate maltraite systématiquement les migrants et les réfugiés, et procède à des rapatriements forcés extra-légaux en Bosnie-Herzégovine. Le 16 décembre, le réseau Border violence monitoring a ainsi publié d’accablantes vidéos montrant comment les forces de l’ordre regroupaient des réfugiés arrêtés alors qu’ils tentaient d’entrer en Croatie et les forçaient à reprendre la route de la Bosnie-Herzégovine.

      Ces vidéos, réalisées en caméra cachée, documentent 54 cas de refoulement, effectués entre le 29 septembre et le 10 octobre dans la forêt de Lehovo, dans les régions montagneuses et très peuplées de Krajina, qui marquent la frontière entre les deux pays. Sur les vidéos, on peut dénombrer au moins 350 réfugiés, dont des femmes et des enfants. « Pour la première fois, des documents prouvent que la police croate mène systématiquement des expulsions collectives sur le territoire bosnien, note Border Violence Monitoring. Ces refoulements ne sont pas menés à un poste-frontière et ont lieu sans présence de représentants légaux de la Bosnie-Herzégovine, ils sont donc contraires au droit international. »

      https://twitter.com/Border_Violence/status/1074178137217478656

      Deux jours plus tôt, Human Rights Watch publiait un rapport accablant sur les actes de violence et de torture commis par la police croate. Zagreb interdit bien souvent aux réfugiés de déposer une demande d’asile, contrevenant ainsi à ses obligations internationales. L’organisation internationale affirme avoir recueilli les témoignages de 20 personnes, dont 16 évoquaient des brutalités systématiques, voire de véritables actes de torture commis par les forces de l’ordre croates, ainsi que des vols d’argent et de téléphones portables.

      Le Commissaire des Nations unies pour les réfugiés confirmait de son côté en août 2018 avoir reçu des rapports qui soulignaient que la Croatie avait illégalement refoulé 2 500 migrants et demandeurs d’asile vers la Bosnie-Herzégovine et la Serbie depuis le début de l’année dernière. Ces accusations ont été réfutées par le premier ministre croate Andrej Plenković, dans une réponse à une interpellation du Conseil de l’Europe.

      Depuis plusieurs mois, les associations et les collectifs croates de soutien aux réfugiés font d’ailleurs l’objet d’un véritable harcèlement : attaques de leurs locaux ou de leurs véhicules par des « inconnus », poursuites judiciaires contre plusieurs militants. Ces collectifs viennent d’ailleurs de publier une « Lettre ouverte aux citoyens de l’Union européenne depuis la périphérie », soulignant que les politiques de fermeture des frontières pourraient faire basculer tous ces pays de la périphérie européenne – membres ou non de l’Union – dans des régimes de plus en plus autoritaires.

      Dragan Mektić, le ministre de la sécurité de Bosnie-Herzégovine, a pourtant confirmé à la télévision N1 la réalité de ces mauvais traitements. « Le comportement de la police croate est une honte pour un pays membre de l’Union européenne. Les policiers se font les complices des trafiquants, en poussant les migrants dans les mains des réseaux criminels », a-t-il expliqué. Depuis la fermeture de la « route des Balkans », au printemps 2016, et l’édification d’un mur de barbelés le long de la frontière hongroise, les candidats à l’exil empruntent de nouvelles routes depuis la Grèce, transitant par l’Albanie, le Monténégro et la Bosnie-Herzégovine, ou directement depuis la Serbie vers la Bosnie-Herzégovine, devenue une étape obligatoire sur la route vers l’Union européenne.

      La région de Bihać constitue effectivement un cul-de-sac. Selon les chiffres officiels, 18 628 réfugiés ont été enregistrés en Bosnie-Herzégovine en 2018. Au 18 décembre, 5 300 se trouvaient dans le pays, dont au moins 4 000 dans le canton de Bihać, les autres étant répartis dans des centres d’accueil à proximité de la capitale Sarajevo ou de la ville de Mostar. La majorité d’entre eux ne fait que transiter, alors que des températures polaires et de fortes neiges se sont abattues sur la Bosnie-Herzégovine depuis la fin du mois de décembre.

      À Velika Kladuša, une petite ville coincée à la frontière occidentale du pays, le camp de Trnovi a été évacué mi-décembre et tous ses habitants relogés dans l’ancienne usine Miral, aménagée en centre d’hébergement d’urgence par l’Organisation internationale pour les migrations (OIM). « Les conditions sont très précaires, mais au moins, il y a du chauffage », se réjouit Husein Kličić, président du Comité cantonal de la Croix-Rouge.

      Les entrées en Bosnie-Herzégovine se sont ralenties avec l’arrivée de l’hiver, 450 par semaine en novembre contre 1 200 un mois plus tôt, selon Peter Van der Auweraert, directeur de l’OIM dans le pays, mais les flux ne se sont pas taris : en ce début janvier, de nouveaux groupes arrivent tous les jours au Monténégro, explique Sabina Talovic, volontaire dans la ville de Pljevlja, proche des frontières de la Bosnie-Herzégovine. Ces flux devraient recommencer à enfler une fois le printemps revenu.

      L’urgence est désormais de passer l’hiver. Selon Damir Omerdić, ministre de l’éducation du canton d’Una-Sana, une trentaine d’enfants installés avec leurs familles dans l’ancien hôtel Sreda, dans la ville de Cazin, devraient même pouvoir intégrer l’école primaire d’un petit village voisin et des négociations sont en cours avec un autre établissement. « Ils passeront deux ou trois heures par jour à l’école. Notre but est de leur permettre de faire connaissance avec d’autres enfants », explique-t-il à Radio Slobodna Evropa.

      La police du canton d’Una-Sana a observé, courant décembre, plusieurs groupes de réfugiés en train de s’engager dans le massif de Plješevica, qui fait frontière avec la Croatie. Non seulement, des secteurs n’ont toujours pas été déminés depuis la fin de la guerre, mais seuls des montagnards expérimentés et bien équipés peuvent s’engager en plein hiver dans ces montagnes dont les sommets culminent à plus de 1 600 mètres. Les policiers bosniens n’ont aucun mandat pour stopper les réfugiés qui prennent cette route dangereuse – mais si jamais ils parviennent à franchir ces montagnes, on peut hélas gager que la police croate les arrêtera.

      https://www.mediapart.fr/journal/international/130119/en-bosnie-des-milliers-de-refugies-sont-bloques-dans-la-neige-aux-frontier

    • Entre violences et désespoir, le quotidien des migrants oubliés en Bosnie-Herzégovine

      Ils sont plus de 3 500 dans les #camps surpeuplés à la frontière avec la Croatie, des centaines dans les squats insalubres à Sarajevo, et bien d’autres encore dans le reste du pays. Depuis plus d’un an, la Bosnie-Herzégovine subit afflux massif de migrants, auquel les autorités ont toutes les peines de faire face. Pour ces candidats à l’exil bloqués à la lisière de l’Union européenne, l’espoir de passer se fait de plus en plus ténu. « Entre violences et désespoir, le quotidien des migrants oubliés en Bosnie-Herzégovine », un Grand reportage de Jean-Arnault Dérens et Simon Rico.


      https://www.infomigrants.net/fr/post/15228/entre-violences-et-desespoir-le-quotidien-des-migrants-oublies-en-bosn
      #campement

    • In Bosnia, a Migrant Way Station Is Becoming a Winter Prison

      For years, the country remained untouched by the global migrant crisis, but now, even in a place where many people were once refugees, tensions are on the rise.

      BIHAC, Bosnia and Herzegovina—Zohaib Ali, a 22-year-old student from Pakistan, has attempted to cross into the European Union through the mountainous border separating Bosnia and Herzegovina from Croatia 16 times. Many of the migrants he met during his repeated efforts have now made it to Italy or France. “I tried, and they tried. … [I had] bad luck,” he told Foreign Policy in December. But bad luck is not the only element to blame.

      Ali speculated that if he had come to Bosnia earlier in the spring of 2018, when the border with Croatia wasn’t so heavily guarded, he might have succeeded. Instead, he arrived in August, finding himself in one of the world’s most difficult migration bottlenecks.

      For years, the global migrant crisis was a remote concern for Bosnia. Migrants traveling along the Balkan corridor first arrived in Greece by sea from Turkey and then moved toward Macedonia and Serbia in order to enter Croatia and Hungary, both EU member states. As in 2015 and 2016, countries along the route have closed their borders, sending migrants fanning out across the Balkans.

      Now, migrants leaving Greece go through jagged mountains and dense woodland to reach Albania, then Montenegro, only to find themselves stuck in Bosnia. This small, ethnically divided country with a dearth of economic opportunities has found itself at the epicenter of the crisis, as more people make their way in and can no longer find a way out.

      Since January 2018, more than 23,000 migrants and asylum-seekers have arrived in Bosnia. The year before, there were fewer than 1,000.

      The shift has caught the country’s authorities flat-footed. Many international actors, including the Council of Europe’s commissioner for human rights, have expressed concerns over the slow and chaotic response to the needs of these new arrivals.

      Despite his determination to reach his brother in Germany or his sister in Canada, Ali has resolved to spend the winter in northwestern Bosnia before he attempts his next crossing in the spring. Maybe borders won’t be so heavily guarded and Croatian police so brutal, he speculates. He wasn’t beaten or attacked with dogs, as was the case for many less fortunate migrants, who have accused Croatian forces of systematic violence. But he was the victim of theft on multiple occasions. “They took my rucksack with belongings,” he recounted matter-of-factly.

      It’s an uncomfortable compromise. Ali’s efforts to find help to get out of Bosnia have been anything but fruitful. When a smuggler promised to get him a safe passage to Italy, Ali handed over 16,000 euros ($18,000), and in return, he received nothing.

      In Bosnia, he was told that he would need a visa. Then a smuggler took his passport and never gave it back, making his presence in Bihac—without documents or refugee status—completely illegal. “It’s not a problem,” Ali said. “There [are] too many migrants here. No one will notice.”

      Extreme temperatures are a factor, too. “The cold in the mountains is like ice going inside you, in your blood,” Ali said. In these conditions, around 4,000 others have made the same pragmatic decision—Bosnia will have to do, for now.

      For migrants and asylum-seekers stuck in Bosnia through the winter, options are limited. They’re allowed to stay in one of four refugee camps along the border with Croatia. The camps are temporary and were never intended for their current purpose.

      https://foreignpolicy.com/2019/02/20/in-bosnia-a-migrant-way-station-is-becoming-a-winter-prison-bihac-cro

    • Reçu via la mailing-list Inicijativa Dobrodosli, le 29.04.2019

      Since 18 July 2018, the border has been monitored by a Frontex airplane. Croatian border with Bosnia and Herzegovina is regularly patrolled by over 1,000 officers (out of a total of 6,500 border police officers) and there are additional 2,000 riot police officers deployed for border surveillance.

      #militarisation_des_frontières #Frontex #surveillance #surveillance_aérienne #police #Bosnie-Herzégovine #Croatie #frontières #surveillance_frontalière #contrôles_frontaliers

    • Kroatische Polizei bei illegaler Abschiebung gefilmt

      Kroatien schiebt Flüchtlinge an der grünen Grenze illegal nach Bosnien ab. Das verstösst gegen EU- und Völkerrecht.

      Ein verlassener Grenzabschnitt im Norden Bosniens Ende April. Aus dem Wald tauchen kroatische Uniformierte auf. Dahinter eine Gruppe von rund 30 Menschen mit Rucksäcken und Decken bepackt. Am Grenzstein zwischen Kroatien und Bosnien bleiben die Beamten stehen und schicken die Gruppe per Handbewegung nach Bosnien.

      Was aus der Ferne wie eine Grenzwanderung am Balkan aussieht, ist eine illegale Abschiebung von Flüchtlingen an der kroatischen EU-Aussengrenze. «Rundschau»-Reporter dokumentieren an zwei Tagen vier sogenannte Push-Backs. Die vier Aktionen betreffen rund 70 Menschen, hauptsächlich aus Pakistan, Algerien und Afghanistan.

      Knüppelhiebe und zerstörte Handys

      Die «Rundschau» konnte direkt nach den Push-Backs mit den betroffenen Migranten reden. Es ist das erste Mal, dass diese illegalen Ausschaffungen an der EU-Aussengrenze vollständig dokumentiert werden können.

      Die Betroffenen berichteten übereinstimmend, dass sie von der kroatischen Polizei ohne Verfahren an der grünen Grenze nach Bosnien zurückgeschafft worden seien. Bei den Push-Backs sei von kroatischen Beamten auch Gewalt angewendet worden.

      Ein junger Pakistani erzählt: «Sie haben uns im Wald aufgegriffen, alle in einen Van gesteckt und direkt zur Grenze gefahren. Die Fahrt dauerte etwa zwei Stunden. Dann haben sie unsere Handys zerstört und uns mit Knüppelhieben Richtung Bosnien geschickt».

      Das Geld, das einige dabeigehabt hätten, sei ihnen gestohlen worden. Diese und ähnliche Berichte über zum Teil brutales Vorgehen der kroatischen Grenzwächter dokumentieren NGO seit über einem Jahr.
      Asylanfragen ignoriert

      Eine afghanische Familie mit Kleinkindern berichtet, wie sie im Wald von kroatischen Polizisten gestoppt worden sei. «Sie richteten die Pistolen auf uns und sagten ‹Stopp›. Wir hatten grosse Angst und weinten», erzählt das älteste der Kinder. Als die Familie um Asyl gebeten habe, hätten die Beamten gelacht, man werde ihnen «bosnisches Asyl» geben – sie also nach Bosnien zurückschaffen.

      Die «Rundschau» sprach mit mehr als hundert weiteren Migranten und Flüchtlingen. Alle erklärten, dass sie daran gehindert worden seien, in Kroatien Asyl zu beantragen.

      Kein Einzelfall in Europa

      Die «Rundschau» legte die Filmaufnahmen Migrationsexperten und Menschenrechtsorganisationen vor. Der deutsche Migrationsforscher Marcus Engler ist deutlich: «Es ist ein Verstoss gegen EU-Recht und Völkerrecht.» Kroatien sei kein Einzelfall. «Diese Praxis wird an der ganzen EU-Aussengrenze angewendet.»

      András Léderer vom Hungarian Helsinki Committee (HHC), spricht von schweren Menschenrechtsverletzungen. Bei einer möglichen Rückführung von Migranten brauche es immer ein offizielles Verfahren – auch wenn diese illegal über die grüne Grenze eingereist seien. Jeder Mensch muss einzeln angehört, sein Fall einzeln geprüft werden.

      Aber das Video zeige klar: Hier finde eine kollektive Ausschaffung statt, was immer illegal sei. «Man darf Menschen nicht mitten im Wald oder auf einem Feld aus dem Land werfen», so Léderer. Dass die Zurückweisungen an der grünen Grenze inoffiziell stattfänden, also nicht in Gegenwart der bosnischen Behörden, sei eine klare Verletzung des Grenzabkommens.

      https://www.srf.ch/news/international/ausschaffung-ueber-gruene-grenze-kroatische-polizei-bei-illegaler-abschiebung-ge
      #vidéo

      Commentaire sur la vidéo de Inicijativa Dobrodosli, reçu par email, le 22.05.2019 :

      This week, the Swiss media SRF released a report containing recordings of police conduct on the Croatian border with Bosnia and Herzegovina. The aforementioned report brings us new testimonies and evidence of illegal conduct of the Croatian police at the border with BH. Footage concretely demonstrate collective expulsion on the green border and a police van transporting people from the depths of the Croatian territory, which confirms that this is not a “discouragement”, and all without the presence of the Bosnian-Herzegovinian police that would be there in case of lawful readmission process. The testimonies reaffirm that this is a European problem, not just a Croatian one because refugees speak of chain pushbacks from Slovenia (https://push-forward.org/porocilo/report-illegal-practice-collective-expulsion-slovene-croatian-border) through Croatia to BH. Footage also brings shocking testimonies of children (https://www.srf.ch/play/tv/news-clip/video/kinder-erzaehlen-wie-sie-mit-waffengewalt-zurueckgedraengt-worden-sind?id=090062) describing police threats with weapons, as well as testimonies of denial of asylum seeking. The Ministry of Interior, as usual, rejects the responsibility without any counter-evidence or legally justified arguments. We wonder how many more violations of human rights should happen in order for the Croatian authorities to take responsibility and stop the illegal conduct.

    • Prvi intervju u kojem hrvatski policajac tvrdi: šefovi nam naređuju da ilegalno protjerujemo migrante

      Telegram ekskluzivno objavljuje priču Barbare Matejčić, nastalu nakon iscrpnih razgovora s pripadnikom MUP-a

      "Početkom 2017. vratio sam prvu grupu migranata. Naredbe sam dobivao od šefa smjene. Dakle, nazovem šefa, kažem da imamo grupu migranata. Često nam građani dojave kada vide migrante, a nekada bismo ih i sami našli na ulici. Šef smjene mi onda kaže da će me nazvati za 10 minuta. Nazove me na privatni mobitel na kojemu se ne snimaju razgovori, kaže da ih vozimo na granicu. Migranti kažu: ’Azil’, a mi: ’No azil’ i stavimo ih u maricu u kojoj isključimo vezu, koja inače stalno odašilje GPS signal, da se ne bi znalo gdje smo’, detaljno prepričava hrvatski policajac kojem, zbog zaštite, nećemo otkriti identitet

      “I ja i moje kolege policajci provodili smo nezakonita vraćanja migranta iz Zagreba na granicu Hrvatske s Bosnom i Hercegovinom i Srbijom. Doveli bismo ih pred zelenu granicu i rekli im da prijeđu nazad u Bosnu ili Srbiju. Nismo ih evidentirali. Takve smo naredbe dobivali od nadređenih u policijskoj postaji, nisu se policajci toga sami sjetili”, rekao nam je zagrebački policajac u razgovorima koje smo s njim vodili tijekom lipnja 2019. Time je potvrdio ono na što međunarodne i domaće organizacije poput Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Are You Syrious i Centar za mirovne studije upozoravaju već duže od dvije i pol godine: hrvatska policija suprotno hrvatskim i međunarodnim zakonima sustavno i organizirano provodi grupna protjerivanja izbjeglica s teritorija Republike Hrvatske na teritorije Republike Srbije i Bosne i Hercegovine. Pri tome im ne dozvoljava da zatraže azil u Hrvatskoj.

      Unatoč stotinama svjedočanstava samih izbjeglica koje tvrde da ih je hrvatska policija nezakonito protjerala u Bosnu i Srbiju, anonimnoj pritužbi koju je od pripadnika granične policije nedavno primila pučka pravobraniteljica Lora Vidović, snimkama protjerivanja koje su prikupile nevladine organizacije i mediji, tvrdnjama stanovnika Bosne i Hercegovine koji su vidjeli hrvatsku policiju kako protjeruje izbjeglice, hrvatsko Ministarstvo unutarnjih poslova negira sve optužbe. Također, MUP tvrdi da se ne radi o protjerivanju, već o zakonitom odvraćanju na samoj granici. No ovo je prvi put da izvor iz policije osobno novinarki potvrđuje grupna protjerivanja tražitelja azila, i to iz Zagreba, daleko od hrvatske granice. Riječ je o policajcu s dugim stažem u zagrebačkoj policiji, kojem zbog zaštite ne otkrivamo identitet kao ni policijsku postaju kojoj pripada.

      ‘Šef me zove na privatni mobitel, jer se ne snima i kaže mi da ih vozimo’

      “Početkom 2017. vratio sam prvu grupu migranata. Naredbe sam dobivao od šefa smjene, jer o svemu što se dogodi na terenu moraš obavijestiti šefa smjene. Dakle, nazovem šefa smjene, kažem da imamo grupu migranata. Često nam građani dojave kada vide migrante, a nekada bismo ih i sami našli na ulici. Šef smjene mi onda kaže da će me nazvati za 10 minuta. Nazove me na privatni mobitel na kojemu se ne snimaju razgovori, kaže da ih vozimo na granicu. Migranti kažu: ‘Azil’, a mi: ‘No azil’ i stavimo ih u maricu u kojoj isključimo vezu, koja inače stalno odašilje GPS signal, da se ne bi znalo gdje smo.

      Napravimo im pretres, bez naloga naravno, da vidimo odakle su ušli u Hrvatsku, imaju li neki račun iz kafića, karticu za mobitel, ili nam oni sami kažu. Kada utvrdimo iz koje zemlje su došli, tamo ih vodimo. Na putu bi se pri svakom ulasku i izlasku iz područja policijske postaje trebalo prijaviti operativno-komunikacijskom centru. I putuje se s putnim nalogom na kojem sve piše, gdje ideš i zašto. Kod vraćanja migranata to se ništa nije radilo. Njih se vraćalo bez ikakve dokumentirane procedure. Kao da ih nikada nismo našli ni odveli do granice“, prepričava postupak nezakonitih vraćanja naš izvor.

      ‘Na internetu smo sami proučavali zakone i shvatili da to nije legalno’

      U početku nije znao da je takav postupak nezakonit. “Kada je krenuo onaj prvi val izbjeglica 2015., dolazili su organizirano i dobivali smo smjernice kako da postupamo. Kada su kasnije počeli ilegalni prelasci, nitko nam nije rekao koja je procedura. Tek kada smo ih trebali procesuirati, jer nismo sve automatski vraćali na granicu, onda smo na internetu proučavali zakone i gledali što treba raditi. Sami smo se educirali i tako smo shvatili da način na koji smo mi to obavljali nije po zakonu.”

      Takvim postupanjem, za koje naš izvor optužuje hrvatsku policiju, osim što se krši pravo izbjeglicama da zatraže međunarodnu zaštitu, krše se i propisi prema kojima se ne smiju provoditi grupna protjerivanja, već individualni povratci, i to u zakonom predviđenom postupku uz propisanu dokumentaciju te u dogovoru s policijom zemlje u koju ih se vraća. Redom, krši se UN-ova Konvencija o statusu izbjeglica, Europska konvencija o ljudskim pravima, Povelja EU o temeljnim pravima, direktive koje reguliraju sustav međunarodne zaštite i postupke povratka državljana trećih zemalja, Zakonik o schengenskim granicama, hrvatski Zakon o strancima i Zakon o međunarodnoj i privremenoj zaštiti.

      ‘Neki policajci su odbijali to raditi, njih su odmah kažnjavali’

      Naš izvor nije ni jednom obavijestio bosansku ili srpsku policiju, već bi odveo grupu na zelenu granicu i protjerao ih same preko. Također ne postoji nikakav pisani trag o takvom postupanju. Izvor, nadalje, tvrdi kako nisu vraćali sve migrante koje bi našli. “Ako bi u grupi bile žene i djeca, ili ako je puno građana prijavilo da je vidjelo migrante – jer ti pozivi ostaju zabilježeni – ili ako bi ih našli usred dana na cesti kada bi postojala mogućnost da netko fotografira policiju kako odvodi migrante i može kasnije pitati gdje su ti ljudi, onda se išlo po proceduri”, tvrdi. Odvelo bi ih se u policijsku postaju, pokrenulo postupak utvrđivanja identiteta, fotografiralo bi ih se, uzelo otiske prstiju i smjestilo u Porin (prihvatilište za azilante) gdje im se pruža utočište do odluke hoće li im se udovoljiti zahtjevu za azil ili ne.

      Također, izvor kaže da nije svaki šef smjene naređivao nezakonita vraćanja, kao što ni svi policajci nisu to htjeli raditi: “Bilo je policajaca koji su odbili takve naredbe pa su za kaznu završili na čuvanju objekata. Šest mjeseci čuvaš zgradu i dobiješ bitno manju plaću, ukupno oko 3500 do 4000 kuna. Nakon što bi im se to dogodilo, nitko više nije odbio vratiti migrante na granicu.

      Po pravilniku bismo morali odbiti naredbu ako je protuzakonita i obavijestiti o tome neposrednog nadređenog osobe koja je izdala protuzakonitu naredbu. Ali, nemaš se kome obratiti, jer su te naredbe dolazile od nadređenih kojima bi se ti, kao, trebao žaliti. Svi smo znali da su šefovi smjene naredbe dobivali od svojih nadređenih, to je javna tajna. Takva je hijerarhija MUP-a. Imaš načelnika postaje i trojicu pomoćnika načelnika, nije se ni jedan šef smjene sam toga sjetio”, priča.
      Isključivo usmene naredbe, nema pisanih tragova

      Sve naredbe su, kaže, bile usmene i naš izvor nije nikada vidio pisani trag o tome. Također, nikada nije dobio naredbu da primjenjuje silu ili da uništava imovinu izbjeglica, iako su zabilježena brojna svjedočanstva o nasilju policije nad izbjeglicama. “Svakakve priče su kolale o tome, ali osobno nisam ni dobio takvu naredbu ni vidio da je netko od policajaca tukao migrante ili im uništio mobitel.” On je obavio četiri vraćanja, odnosno tri jer je jedno bilo neuspješno – dva u Bosnu i Hercegovinu i jedno u Srbiju.

      Svaki put se radilo o grupama mlađih muškaraca. Jednom ih je bilo devetero otraga u marici, a dvaput četrnaestero. Po zakonu se u marici u stražnjem dijelu može voziti najviše šestero ljudi. Iako tri vraćanja ne zvuči kao da se radi o čestoj praksi, napominje da je to ono što ga je zapalo u njegovoj smjeni, a da treba uračunati sve policajce u svim zagrebačkim postajama te smjene kroz 365 dana u godini, čime bi se došlo do puno veće brojke nezakonitih vraćanja samo s područja Zagreba.
      Zašto je odlučio progovoriti, iako bi mogao završiti u zatvoru?

      Zna da bi, kada bi se saznalo o kome se radi, mogao završiti u istražnom zatvoru. Ovime što je radio počinio je kazneno djelo, a nadređeni u policiji bi, uvjeren je, tvrdili da nije bilo nikakve naredbe. Zbog čega je, usprkos tome, pristao istupiti u medije?

      “Ni jedan policajac nije se sam sjetio da tjera ljude preko granice. Gdje će policajcu iz Zagreba pasti na pamet da skupi u maricu migrante i vozi ih na granicu? Ali nitko od šefova neće preuzeti odgovornost ako se sazna za takvo ponašanje, nego će reći da je policajac to sam napravio. Nije, već mu je naredio šef smjene, pomoćnici načelnika, načelnik policijske postaje, načelnik uprave… Po tom lancu išla je naredba na niže, do policajaca. Ali, nitko to neće reći i nastradat će obični policajci koji su najmanje krivi”, objašnjava svoje motive.

      Pravobraniteljica: ‘Zaštita policajaca koji časno rade svoj posao’

      Komentar smo zatražili od pučke pravobraniteljice Lore Vidović: “Ovi navodi, na žalost, samo potvrđuju ono što mi govorimo i pišemo već godinama, a MUP demantira bez argumenata. Ponovno se nameće pitanje kako u ovakvim okolnostima utvrditi odgovornost onih koji takva postupanja naređuju i provode, između ostaloga i kako bi se zaštitili oni policijski službenici koji časno obavljaju svoj posao. Osim toga, jedan od ključnih argumenata koji MUP neprekidno ističe je i kako su policijski službenici educirani za postupanje s migrantima, a sada vidimo da to ipak nije tako”, kaže pravobraniteljica.

      Vidović napominje i da MUP njenom uredu protivno zakonu brani pristup podacima i informacijskom sustavu MUP-a dok se komunikacija s policijskim službenicima “svodi na kontrolirano i šablonizirano davanje podataka”. Amnesty International je u svom opsežnom izvještaju, objavljenom u ožujku 2019., također utvrdio da su sustavna grupna protjerivanja, ponekad popraćena nasiljem i zastrašivanjem, redovita na granici između Hrvatske i Bosne i Hercegovine.
      Nevladine procjene kažu da je 2018. bilo 10.000 protjerivanja iz RH

      Milena Zajović Milka iz nevladine organizacije Are You Syrious kaže da je prema njihovim procjenama u 2018. bilo čak 10.000 protjerivanja iz Hrvatske. “Nezakonite prakse hrvatske policije nadilaze svaku vjerodostojnu mogućnost poricanja. Razmjeri i dosljednost izvještaja, video snimaka i uznemirujućih svjedočenja ljudi koji su iskusili loše postupanje u rukama hrvatske policije, ukazuju na sustavnu i namjernu politiku hrvatskih vlasti, a ne na dobro organiziranu urotu izbjeglica i migranata kako bi dobili međunarodnu zaštitu, kao što hrvatsko Ministarstvo unutarnjih poslova često sugerira.

      Želeći zaštitom vanjske granice EU pokazati svoju spremnost za pridruživanje schengenskoj zoni 2020., Hrvatska je postala jedan od europskih marljivih čuvara vrata. U svom pristupu migracijama, hrvatske vlasti se opasno približavaju ponašanju mađarske vlade protiv koje je Europska komisija pokrenula postupak zbog povrede propisa EU-a”, komentirala nam je Jelena Sesar, autorica izvještaja Amnesty Internationala. Ona napominje da treba provesti neko vrijeme na bosanskoj strani granice kako bi se svjedočilo grupama ljudi protjeranih duboko s hrvatskog teritorija. To smo i napravili.
      Slovenska policija ih ne tuče, za našu kažu: ‘Croatian police very bad’

      U Velikoj Kladuši i Bihaću krajem lipnja 2019. čuli smo desetine podjednakih svjedočenja izbjeglica: prešli su hrvatsku granicu, policija ih je uhvatila, razbila im mobitele da ne mogu dokazati gdje su uhvaćeni, da ne mogu dokumentirati što su im policajci napravili, a i da im otežaju ponovni prelazak. Većinu ih je, tvrde, hrvatska policija i pretukla. Mnogi su nam pokazivali svježe ozljede, kao i zarasle ožiljke od, kako tvrde, hrvatske policije.

      Umar (18), Rizwan (18) i Ali (19) su iz Pakistana i više puta ih je u Bosnu, tvrde, vratila hrvatska policija. Pričaju kako su ih tukli palicom. Uzeli im novac. Papire koje su dobili u Bosni su im uništili. Stvari, uključujući vreću za spavanje, su im zapalili. Jednom su došli do Slovenije, ali ih je uhvatila slovenska policija i predala hrvatskoj policiji, koja ih je pak protjerala u Bosnu, kažu. Slovenska policija ih nije tukla. “Croatian police very bad”, ponavljaju, a Umar svaki put doda: “I’m sorry, madam”, jer sam iz Hrvatske pa da me ne uvrijedi njihovo loše mišljenje o hrvatskoj policiji.

      Gradonačelnik Bihaća koji je naletio na hrvatske policajce s migrantima

      Jelena Sesar potvrđuje da su dokumentirali brojne slučajeve prisilnog vraćanja iz Slovenije, pa čak i Italije u Bosnu i Hercegovinu: “Takva se vraćanja događaju na, čini se, dobro organiziran način i kroz učinkovitu suradnju talijanske, slovenske i hrvatske policije, iako se ne radi o sustavnoj praksi”. I gradonačelnik Bihaća Šuhret Fazlić nezadovoljan je postupanjem hrvatske policije. Razgovarali smo u blizini Bihaća gdje je tijekom lova u siječnju 2019., kaže, zatekao dvojicu naoružanih hrvatskih policajaca koji su doveli grupu od 30 do 40 migranata.

      “Bili su otprilike 500 metara od granice s Hrvatskom. Predstavio sam se tim policajcima i rekao im da su na bosanskom teritoriju i da je to što rade nezakonito. Policajac je slegnuo ramenima i rekao da su dobili takve naredbe. Znam i ime tog policajca, ali mu ne želim stvarati probleme”, kaže gradonačelnik. Hrvatski ministar unutarnjih poslova Davor Božinović nazvao je čak i te gradonačelnikove tvrdnje “insinuacijama” i “lažnim optužbama”.
      Europska unija Hrvatskoj cijelo vrijeme šalje različite signale

      Ministar Božinović očigledno se osjeća dovoljno jakim i sigurnim da može opovrgavati sve dokaze o nezakonitostima policije kojom zapovijeda. Znači li to da ima potporu u EU u obrani njezine vanjske granice bez obzira na primijenjena sredstva? “Tvrdnje o zloporabama hrvatske policije daleko se ozbiljnije shvaćaju izvan Hrvatske. Povjerenica Vijeća Europe za ljudska prava, posebni izaslanik Vijeća Europe za migracije, Europski parlament i Europska komisija zatražili su od hrvatskih vlasti da istraže te tvrdnje i ustrajali na tome da Hrvatska mora nadzirati svoje granice u punoj suglasnosti s europskim zakonima.

      Europska komisija je također zatražila od hrvatskih vlasti da ojačaju trenutačno prilično neučinkovit nadzorni mehanizam nad svojim praksama na granici, što bi uključivalo neovisni nadzor nevladinih organizacija. No, istina je da su dužnosnici EU Hrvatskoj slali različite signale. Istovremeno su kritizirali dokumentirane nezakonitosti policije i hvalili vlasti za zaštitu vanjskih granica EU.

      Također, Europska komisija je u proteklih nekoliko godina Hrvatskoj dodijelila više od 100 milijuna eura, od čega je značajan dio namijenjen nadzoru i upravljanju granicom, uključujući financiranje plaća policijskih službenika, unatoč vjerodostojnim dokazima represivnih mjera koje koriste iste te snage. Osiguravajući sredstva te propuštajući da se hrvatske vlasti javno i odlučno prozovu zbog postupanja prema izbjeglicama i migrantima, EU je de facto odobrila takvo ponašanje”, kaže Jelena Sesar. Tražili smo od MUP-a očitovanje o našim saznanjima, no nismo dobili odgovor.

      https://www.telegram.hr/price/prvi-intervju-u-kojem-hrvatski-policajac-tvrdi-sefovi-nam-nareduju-da-ilega

      –------------------

      Reçu via la newsletter Inicijativa Dobrodosli, le 29.07.2019, avec ce commentaire:

      The new testimony of the policeman within which he describes the practice of pushbacks confirms countless testimonies of refugees who claimed that pushbacks are implemented even from the depths of the territory of the Republic of Croatia. In this text, written by Barbara Matejčić, you can read about methods and internal procedures that the policeman describes, and given the fact that he is already the second policeman who spoke about illegal, inhuman and immoral procedures that they have been seeking to do. It will be interesting to see what will be the next step taken by Minister Božinović, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Government of the Republic of Croatia. Until the writing of this report, five days after the publication, we did not receive any response from the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

      Et en plus:

      You can read about anonymous testimonies and the work of the State Attorney of the Republic of Croatia and the Parliamentary Committee on Internal Affairs as well as other events that followed the theme of pushbacks and violence at the border in a new interview with the Croatian Ombudswoman, Lora Vidović (https://www.jutarnji.hr/vijesti/hrvatska/pucka-pravobraniteljica-u-velikom-intervjuu-za-jutarnji-stat-cu-iza-svakog-policajca-koji-odluci-progovoriti-o-nasilju-nad-migrantima/9157892). You can also take a look at the TV report on police violence and refugee testimonies at the SRF (https://www.srf.ch/news/international/migration-auf-der-balkanroute-asyl-tuersteher-fuer-die-schweiz).

      Minister Božinović in his reaction that came a week later after the anonymous complaint of the policeman got published failed to address the content of the complaint. Additionally, following concerns show that state institutions did not approach seriously to these problems and that are no sufficient efforts to stop these practices and properly sanction them: the information that the Parliamentary Committee on Internal Affairs and National Security revealed the details of the above mentioned anonymous complaint to the Ministry of Internal Affairs as well as the fact of the insufficient capacity of the State Attorney of the Republic of Croatia to conduct an investigation within the Ministry of Internal Affairs without using the capacities of MoI.

      This week we could read numerous comments about the latest statement of the President in which she tried to explain what she meant when she addressed pushbacks and her admitting that they are carried out at the border with Bosnia and Herzegovina. While trying to justify illegal pushbacks, the President, strengthened the narrative of refugees as threats and instructed journalists to work in official propaganda service. In connection to this, we are sharing comments of Ladislav Tomčić (www.novilist.hr/Komentari/Kolumne/Ladovina-Ladislava-Tomicica/LADISLAV-TOMICIC-Spomenar-Kolinde-Grabar-Kitarovic), Boris Pavelić (novilist.hr/Komentari/Kolumne/Pronadena-zemlja-Borisa-Pavelica/Kuscevic-Maric-Zalac-A-Bozinovic-Trebao-je-prvi-otici), Slavica Lukić (https://www.jutarnji.hr/komentari/opasne-poruke-predsjednice-grabar-kitarovic/9138125), and Gordan Duhaček (https://www.index.hr/vijesti/clanak/eu-koristi-hrvatsku-za-obavljanje-prljavog-posla-s-migrantima/2103291.aspx).

    • Asyl-Türsteher für die Schweiz

      Mit umstrittenen Methoden weist Kroatien Asylsuchende ab. Die Schweiz profitiert. Welche Verantwortung hat die Politik?

      Der junge Afghane taucht mit einer Gruppe anderer junger Männer aus dem Niemandsland zwischen Kroatien und Bosnien auf. Den Migranten war es gelungen, bei Velika Kladuša über die grüne Grenze in die EU zu kommen. Nach sechs Tagen Fussmarsch wurden sie kurz vor dem Übergang nach Slowenien entdeckt: «Männer mit Masken übers ganze Gesicht haben uns weggeschleppt. An der Grenze haben sie mich geschlagen.» Offenbar haben ihn kroatische Polizisten zusammen mit seinen Kollegen ohne Verfahren über die EU-Aussengrenze ausgeschafft. Nach internationalem Recht wäre dies ein illegaler «push back».
      Fragen an den Bundesrat

      Derweil sinken in der Schweiz die Asylzahlen. Der Bund prüft gar den Verzicht auf einzelne Asylzentren. Auch im Wahlherbst dürften die Themen Asyl und Migration kaum eine Rolle spielen. Die Türsteher an der EU-Aussengrenzen erledigen ihren Job effektiv – auch im Interessen der Schweiz. So stellt sich die Frage: Welche Verantwortung trägt die Schweizer Politik für den Umgang mit Migranten und Flüchtlingen vor den Toren der europäischen Wohlstandszone?

      SP-Nationalrätin Samira Marti hat Fragen: «Ich will vom Bundesrat wissen, ob Flüchtlinge in Kroatien Zugang zum Rechtssystem und zum Asylverfahren haben. Es handelt sich schliesslich nicht einfach um eine Staatsgrenze, sondern um eine europäische Aussengrenze.» Der Bundesrat wird die Interpellation voraussichtlich im Herbst beantworten. Bis dann hält sich die Verwaltung mit öffentlichen Auftritten zum Thema zurück.

      «Push backs» auf Befehl

      Trotzdem gibt es indirekt eine Antwort: In einem Brief an ein Basler Bürgerforum von Ende Juni 2019 hält die zuständige EJPD-Chefin Karin Keller-Sutter fest: «Die Schweiz setzt sich (…) mit Nachdruck dafür ein, dass ein effektiver Grenzschutz nicht zu Lasten der internationalen und europäischen Menschenrechtsnormen gehen darf.» Schengen-Kandidat Kroatien betone, dass er sich an die geltenden Normen und Gesetze halte.

      Unterdessen sind in Kroatien mögliche Beweise aufgetaucht, dass illegale «push backs» durchaus System haben könnten: Ein Mann, der angeblich für die Polizei arbeitet, schreibt an die Ombudsfrau für Menschenrechte, dass es klare Befehle gebe, «die Flüchtlinge gewaltsam nach Bosnien zurückzuschicken». Die kroatische Polizeigewerkschaft HSP bestreitet die Echtheit des Briefs. Ihr Präsident Dubravko Jagić sagt zu SRF: «Wie soll die Polizei das Gesetz umsetzen, wenn sie nicht selbst dem Gesetz folgt.»

      8500 Asylsuchende allein in Bosnien

      In den nächsten Tagen erscheint allerdings auf dem Newsportal Telegram eine Recherche der renommierten Journalistin Barbara Matejčić. Sie hat einen kroatischen Polizisten interviewt, der bestätigt, dass die illegalen «push backs» von Migranten über die Befehlskette befohlen werden: «Wir führten sie ins Grenzgebiet. Dort wurden sie angewiesen, nach Bosnien oder Serbien zurückzukehren. Ohne Registrierung oder Asylantrag. Dies waren die Befehle unserer Vorgesetzten.»

      Während in Kroatien der Widerstand gegen das Vorgehen der Polizei wächst, warten in Bosnien nach Schätzungen des UNHCR rund 8500 Asylsuchende darauf, ihr Glück in der europäischen Wohlstandszone zu suchen. Dazu gehört auch die Schweiz. Das Staatsekretariat für Migration (SEM) bemüht sich, die Not vor Ort zu lindern und ist dabei, zusammen mit einer lokalen Organisation die Trinkwasseraufbereitung sicherzustellen. Auch wenn die Schweiz offiziell ihr Handeln auf die EU abstimmt: Als unabhängiger Kleinstaat kann sie ihre Chance nutzen, selbständig zu agieren.

      https://www.srf.ch/news/international/migration-auf-der-balkanroute-asyl-tuersteher-fuer-die-schweiz

      L’adresse URL de la vidéo:
      https://www.srf.ch/play/tv/rundschau/video/pruegel-an-der-eu-grenze-wie-kroatien-migranten-abschiebt?id=972c5996-ec49-4079-

    • Reçu via la newsletter Inicijativa Dobrodosli, le 12.08.2019:

      The accusations against the Croatian police and their execution of violent pushbacks continue. The Mayor of Bihac reiterated that Croatian police conducts violent pushbacks and is illegally entering the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina (https://m.vecernji.hr/vijesti/eurozastupnik-podupire-bih-sram-me-je-hrvatska-granicna-policija-se-ne-sm). The Greens - European Free Alliance MEP Eric Marquardt, condemned the execution of illegal pushbacks by Croatian police (https://m.vecernji.hr/vijesti/eurozastupnik-podupire-bih-sram-me-je-hrvatska-granicna-policija-se-ne-sm), saying that “the European Border Police act as a criminal gang robbing and beating people and illegally returning them to BiH from Croatia.” Another accusation (https://www.oslobodjenje.ba/vijesti/bih/potvrdeno-za-oslobodenje-povrijedeno-18-migranata-gpbih-ih-skupljala-uz in the series of testimonies arrived on Wednesday when Migrant Coordinator for the Municipality of Velika Kladuša Jasmin Čehić confirmed that a total of 18 injured refugees were brought to the Velika Kladuša Health Center. Border police found refugees beaten up at various locations along the border, and refugees later said in their statements that they had entered Croatian territory when they were intercepted by Croatian police, beaten up, the police seized their money, put them in a van and transferred to the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina. In their statement (http://hr.n1info.com/Vijesti/a425120/MUP-kaze-da-nisu-tukli-migrante-samo-su-ih-odvratili-od-prelaska-granice.), the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Croatia again rejected the conduct of violent pushbacks, stating that Croatian police intercepted the refugees as they crossed the border and that they were deterred from doing so without force. However, the content of a statement from the Interior Ministry was challenged by a local man from #Kladuša (http://hr.n1info.com/Vijesti/a425170/Mjestanin-Velike-Kladuse-kaze-da-je-vidio-2-kombija-iz-kojih-su-izasli-mi), who told reporters that he witnessed the arrival of two Croatian police vans and the expulsion of refugees into the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina. It is beyond dispute that the Ministry of the Interior systematically ignores the numerous testimonies of refugees about violence at the borders. Numerous foreign media such as the Guardian (https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/jul/16/croatian-police-use-violence-to-push-back-migrants-says-president and the BBC (https://www.bbc.com/news/av/world-europe-49132735/beaten-and-robbed-how-croatia-is-policing-its-borders published the stories about illegal pushbacks. This week the German weekly magazine Der Spiegel (https://www.index.hr/vijesti/clanak/potresna-reportaza-iz-bih-hrvatski-policajci-su-se-smijali-dok-su-nas-tukli/2107078.aspx), published testimonies from refugees stating that Croatian police officers laughed while kicking them on the body and face, confiscating their cell phones and money and burning their personal belongings.

    • This week Croatia received from the European Commission the green light to enter the Schengen area (https://www.vecernji.hr/vijesti/europska-komisija-upravo-donijela-odluku-hrvatska-je-ispunila-uvjete-za-sch. The confirmation of the fulfillment of the requirements comes some months after the end of the European independent experts’ inspection who assessed that Croatia meets Schengen standards. Both the above-mentioned inspection and the Commission paid particular attention to the sphere of management and protection of the external borders, and especially to the control of the one with Bosnia and Herzegovina. The European Commission’s report states how Croatia needs to invest in the procurement of new technical equipment and training of special dogs that would support the border protection. The day after the European Commission’s positive decision, Dimitris Avramopoulos, the European Commissioner for Migration, Internal Affairs, and Citizenship, visited Zagreb and emphasized how “Croatia has to maintain a high level of control of its external borders and especially with Bosnia and Herzegovina” (https://www.slobodnaevropa.org/a/30232391.html.

      While EU officials, together with Croatian Government representatives, celebrate the European Commission’s approval for the admission to the Schengen area, civil society organisations at national and international level warn that Croatia cannot become a member of the Schengen area as long as it violates both human rights and the Schengen acquis (https://www.ecre.org/editorial-croatias-schengen-accession-reinforcing-legal-red-lines-not-borders). The European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE) warned that the continuous practice of push-backs conducted by Croatian police officers at the border with Bosnia and Herzegovina represents a violation of Article 4 of the Schengen Borders Code. Welcome Initiative, together with the Border Violence Monitoring Network, the Centre for Peace Studies, Are you Syrious?, Rigardu, Mobile Info Team, Re:ports Sarajevo, the Asylum Protection Centre, and Refugee Aid Serbia, published a statement regarding the approval of the European Commission for Croatian entrance to the Schengen area. The statement highlights that “Croatia’s membership to the Schengen area should have been put on hold until the Government of the Croatian Republic does not stop the violent #push-backs” (https://www.cms.hr/hr/azil-i-integracijske-politike/hrvatska-ne-smije-uci-u-schengen-dok-krsi-ljudska-prava). In an interview for Faktograf (https://faktograf.hr/2019/10/23/zeleno-svjetlo-za-ulazak-hrvatske-u-schengen-ima-svoju-mracnu-stranu, the representative of the Centre for Peace Studies claimed that it is impossible that EU institutions do not know what is happening at the borders with Bosnia and Herzegovina, especially when not only many national and international organisations but also institutions such as the UN Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of Migrants (https://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=25088&LangID=E) and the Commissioner of Human Rights of the Council of Europe (https://rm.coe.int/09000016808d7db3) warned about violent push-backs. Paradoxically, the European Commission confirms in its report that the violence against refugees at the borders is acknowledged, and at the same time, it makes certain decisions that tacitly support these practices. If the European Union really wanted to dissociate itself from the policies which rely on beating the people who are in a search of safety, then it would have already taken some steps to urge the Croatian Government to take the necessary measures and to prevent daily violence.

      Reçu via la newsletter Inicijativa Dobrodosli, le 29.10.2019.

      Mise en évidence de ce passage :

      The European Commission’s report states how Croatia needs to invest in the procurement of new technical equipment and training of special dogs that would support the border protection.

      –-> #chiens #militarisation_des_frontières #technologie #protection_des_frontières #frontières_extérieures #refoulements

      #Schengen #adhésion #espace_Schengen #violence

      –-------------

      voir aussi en français :

      Adhésion à Schengen : la Croatie en bonne voie pour intégrer l’espace Schengen

      La Commission rend compte aujourd’hui des progrès accomplis par la Croatie en vue de satisfaire aux conditions nécessaires pour intégrer l’espace Schengen. La Commission européenne considère que, sur la base des résultats du processus d’évaluation Schengen lancé en 2016, la Croatie a pris les mesures requises pour que les conditions nécessaires à l’application intégrale des règles et normes Schengen soient remplies. La Croatie devra continuer à mettre en œuvre toutes les actions en cours, notamment en ce qui concerne la gestion des frontières extérieures, pour faire en sorte que les conditions précitées continuent d’être remplies. La Commission confirme également que la Croatie continue de remplir les engagements liés aux règles Schengen qu’elle a pris dans le cadre des négociations d’adhésion.

      https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/fr/IP_19_6140

  • "An occupying country transferring its own civilians into the occupied territory, as in the case of Israeli settlements on Palestinian land, is a war crime under the Fourth Geneva Convention."

    Real Estate Shopping on Someone Else’s Land | Human Rights Watch
    https://www.hrw.org/news/2018/06/13/real-estate-shopping-someone-elses-land

    At an informational session in the Israeli settlement of Alfei Menashe in the West Bank, a real estate agent engages in sales patter with house hunters for a new development of penthouses and 3- and 4-bedroom apartments: “breathtaking views,” “the highest standards of construction,” and “just minutes” from major Israeli cities. Two potential home-buyers, Israeli men in their 30s, flip through brochures showing high-rise buildings built on open land that had formed part of the neighboring Palestinian village.

    “The view is spectacular,” says the representative of the Israeli developer Zemach Hammerman. “If you look to the east, you’ll see olive trees, and you know what that means. No one is going to block your view.”

    #palestine #occupation #colonisation #destruction

  • Israel: Apparent War Crimes in Gaza | Human Rights Watch
    June 13, 2018
    https://www.hrw.org/news/2018/06/13/israel-apparent-war-crimes-gaza

    (New York) – Israeli forces’ repeated use of lethal force in the Gaza Strip since March 30, 2018, against Palestinian demonstrators who posed no imminent threat to life may amount to war crimes, Human Rights Watch said today. Israeli forces have killed more than 100 protesters in Gaza and wounded thousands with live ammunition.

    The United Nations General Assembly should support a resolution that calls for exploring measures to guarantee the protection of Palestinians in Gaza, and a UN inquiry mandated to investigate all violations and abuses should identify Israeli officials responsible for issuing unlawful open-fire orders. The killings also highlight the need for the International Criminal Court to open a formal investigation into the situation in Palestine. Third countries should impose targeted sanctions against officials responsible for ongoing serious human rights violations.

    “Israel’s use of lethal force when there was no imminent threat to life has taken a heavy toll in life and limb,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. “The international community needs to rip up the old playbook, where Israel conducts investigations that mainly whitewash the conduct of its troops and the US blocks international accountability with its Security Council veto, and instead impose real costs for such blatant disregard for Palestinian lives.” (...)

    #crimedeguerre

  • Budget de l’Union : La Commission propose une importante augmentation des financements visant à renforcer la gestion des migrations et des frontières

    Pour le prochain #budget à long terme de l’UE se rapportant à la période 2021-2027, la Commission propose de quasiment tripler les financements destinés à la gestion des #migrations et des #frontières, qui atteindraient 34,9 milliards d’euros contre 13 milliards d’euros au cours de la période précédente.

    La proposition de la Commission est une réponse aux défis accrus qui se posent en matière de migration et de #sécurité, avec des instruments de financement plus flexibles pour faire face aux événements imprévus, la #protection_des_frontières étant au cœur du nouveau budget. Un nouveau fonds séparé pour la gestion intégrée des frontières sera créé et l’Agence européenne de garde-frontières et de garde-côtes sera renforcée par un nouveau corps permanent de quelque 10 000 #gardes-frontières. Ce nouveau fonds aidera aussi les États membres à effectuer les contrôles douaniers en finançant des équipements de contrôle douanier.

    M. Frans Timmermans, premier vice-président, a fait la déclaration suivante : « Sur la base de l’expérience passée et sachant que la migration restera un défi à l’avenir, nous proposons une augmentation des financements sans précédent. Le renforcement de nos frontières communes, notamment avec l’#Agence_européenne_de_garde-frontières_et_de_garde-côtes, continuera de figurer parmi les grandes #priorités. Une #flexibilité accrue de nos instruments de financement signifie que nous sommes prêts à fournir un soutien rapide aux États membres ; au moment et à l’endroit où ils en ont besoin - en particulier en cas de #crise. »

    M. Dimitris Avramopoulos, commissaire pour la migration, les affaires intérieures et la citoyenneté, a déclaré quant à lui : « Une meilleure gestion de nos frontières extérieures et des flux migratoires restera une priorité clé pour l’Union européenne, les États membres et nos citoyens dans les années à venir. Des défis plus grands exigent de faire appel à des ressources plus importantes - c’est pourquoi nous proposons de quasiment tripler le budget dans ce domaine. Le renforcement des financements jouera un rôle essentiel en nous permettant de mettre en œuvre nos priorités politiques : davantage sécuriser nos #frontières_extérieures, continuer à accorder une protection à ceux qui en ont besoin, mieux soutenir la #migration_légale et les efforts d’#intégration, lutter contre la migration irrégulière, et assurer le retour effectif et rapide de ceux qui ne bénéficient pas du droit de séjour. »

    M. Pierre Moscovici, commissaire pour les affaires économiques et financières, la fiscalité et les douanes, s’est exprimé en ces termes : « Les 115 000 fonctionnaires des douanes de l’UE sont en première ligne pour protéger les citoyens européens contre les produits contrefaits ou dangereux et les autres formes de commerce illicite. Afin de les soutenir dans cette mission capitale, nous proposons aujourd’hui un nouveau fonds doté de 1,3 milliard d’euros, afin que les pays de l’UE puissent acquérir les équipements douaniers les plus avancés. L’#union_douanière de l’UE fêtera son 50e anniversaire le mois prochain : nous devons veiller à ce qu’elle continue à prendre de l’ampleur. »

    Durant la crise des réfugiés de 2015 et de 2016, l’appui financier et technique que l’Union européenne a fourni aux États membres a été déterminant dans le soutien apporté à ceux d’entre eux qui se trouvaient sous pression, dans le développement des capacités de recherche et de sauvetage, dans l’intensification des retours et dans l’amélioration de la gestion des frontières extérieures. Tirant les enseignements du passé, la Commission propose de quasiment tripler les financements destinés aux domaines essentiels que représentent la gestion des migrations et celle des frontières.

    1. #Sécurisation des frontières extérieures de l’UE

    La protection effective des frontières extérieures de l’UE est essentielle pour gérer les flux migratoires et garantir la sécurité intérieure. Des frontières extérieures solides sont aussi ce qui permet à l’UE de maintenir un espace Schengen sans contrôles aux frontières intérieures. La Commission propose d’allouer 21,3 milliards d’euros à la gestion globale des frontières et de créer un nouveau #Fonds_pour_la_gestion_intégrée_des_frontières (#FGIF) doté d’une enveloppe supérieure à 9,3 milliards d’euros.

    Les principaux éléments du nouveau Fonds sont les suivants :

    – Une palette adéquate de priorités :

    Renforcement des frontières extérieures de l’Europe : Le nouveau #Fonds s’inscrira dans le prolongement du travail réalisé ces dernières années et s’appuiera sur lui pour mieux protéger les frontières de l’UE, avec la mise en place du corps européen de garde-frontières et de garde-côtes, des vérifications systématiques aux frontières, de nouveaux systèmes informatiques à grande échelle et interopérables, y compris le futur système d’entrée/sortie. Le financement sera mis à disposition dans des domaines tels que la lutte contre le #trafic_de_migrants et la #traite des êtres humains, les opérations visant à intercepter et stopper les personnes représentant une #menace, l’appui aux opérations de recherche et de sauvetage en mer, les équipements et la formation des gardes-frontières, ainsi que l’appui opérationnel rapide aux États membres sous pression.
    Une politique des #visas plus solide et plus efficace : Le Fonds garantira également l’évolution continue et la modernisation de la politique des visas de l’UE, tout en renforçant la sécurité et en atténuant les risques liés à la migration irrégulière.

    – Soutien aux États membres : Le nouveau Fonds consacrera un financement à long terme de 4,8 milliards d’euros aux mesures prises par les États membres en matière de gestion des frontières et à la politique des visas. Le financement correspondra exactement aux besoins des États membres et un examen à mi-parcours tiendra compte de pressions nouvelles ou supplémentaires. Chaque État membre recevra un montant forfaitaire de 5 millions d’euros, le reste étant distribué selon la charge de travail, la pression et le niveau de menace aux frontières extérieures terrestres (30 %), aux frontières extérieures maritimes (35 %), dans les aéroports (20 %) et dans les bureaux consulaires (15 %).

    – Une réponse souple et rapide : Un montant de 3,2 milliards d’euros sera consacré à des actions d’appui ciblé aux États membres, aux projets de dimension européenne, et permettra de faire face aux besoins urgents. Le nouveau Fonds a été conçu pour garantir une souplesse suffisante permettant de fournir aux États membres une aide d’urgence en cas de besoin et de faire face aux priorités nouvelles et critiques à mesure qu’elles surviennent.

    – Des équipements de contrôle douanier plus performants aux frontières extérieures : Le nouvel instrument comportera une enveloppe de 1,3 milliard d’euros pour aider les États membres à acquérir, entretenir et remplacer des équipements douaniers modernes, tels que de nouveaux #scanners, des systèmes de reconnaissance automatique des plaques minéralogiques, des équipes de #chiens_renifleurs et des #laboratoires_mobiles d’analyse d’échantillons.

    – Renforcement des organismes chargés de la gestion des frontières : En plus de ce Fonds, une enveloppe supérieure à 12 milliards d’euros devant être présentée séparément sera consacrée à la poursuite du renforcement de l’Agence européenne de garde-frontières et de garde-côtes et de l’agence #eu-LISA.

    2. Migrations : soutenir une politique solide, réaliste et équitable

    La Commission propose de renforcer le financement destiné à la gestion des migrations à raison de 51 % et de le porter ainsi à 10,4 milliards d’euros au titre du Fonds « Asile et migration » renouvelé (#FAM). Le Fonds soutiendra les efforts déployés par les États membres dans trois domaines clés : l’asile, la migration légale et l’intégration, la lutte contre la migration irrégulière et le retour. Les principaux éléments du nouveau Fonds sont les suivants :

    – Une palette adéquate de priorités : Le nouveau Fonds continuera de fournir un appui vital aux systèmes d’asile nationaux et mettra un accent renouvelé sur la mise à disposition des aides de l’UE en faveur des questions les plus urgentes, telles que :

    Un #régime_d'asile_européen plus solide et plus efficace : Le Fonds contribuera à renforcer et à développer tous les aspects du #régime_d'asile_européen_commun, y compris sa dimension extérieure :
    Un soutien accru à la migration légale et à l’intégration : Le Fonds consacrera des ressources additionnelles au soutien de l’intégration précoce des ressortissants de pays tiers séjournant légalement dans l’UE sur le court terme, lesquelles seront complétées par un financement au titre du #Fonds_de_cohésion_pour_l'intégration_socio-économique à plus long terme.
    Des retours plus rapides et plus fréquents : Le Fonds soutiendra une approche plus coordonnée pour lutter contre la migration irrégulière, améliorer l’efficacité des retours et intensifier davantage la coopération avec les pays tiers en matière de réadmission.

    – Soutien aux États membres : Le Fonds consacrera un financement à long terme de 6,3 milliards d’euros à des actions de soutien aux États membres dans la gestion de la migration, en concordance avec leurs besoins. Un examen à mi-parcours tiendra compte de pressions nouvelles ou supplémentaires. Chaque État membre recevra un montant forfaitaire de 5 millions d’euros, le reste étant distribué sur la base d’une évaluation des pressions s’exerçant sur lui et en tenant compte des proportions prévues en matière d’asile (30 %), de migration légale et d’intégration (30 %) et de retour (40 %).

    – Une meilleure préparation : Une enveloppe de 4,2 milliards d’euros sera réservée aux projets présentant une véritable valeur ajoutée européenne, telle que la #réinstallation, ou pour répondre à des besoins impérieux et pour faire parvenir des financements d’urgence aux États membres au moment et à l’endroit où ils en ont besoin.

    Une plus grande coordination entre les instruments de financement de l’UE : Le Fonds « Asile et migration » sera complété par les fonds additionnels affectés au titre des instruments de politique extérieure de l’UE pour accélérer la coopération en matière de migration avec les pays partenaires, notamment dans le cadre des efforts visant à lutter contre la migration irrégulière, à améliorer les perspectives dans les pays d’origine, à renforcer la coopération en matière de retour, de réadmission, et de migration légale ;

    – Renforcement des organismes de l’UE : En plus de ce fonds, une enveloppe de près de 900 millions d’euros devant être présentée séparément sera consacrée au renforcement de la nouvelle #Agence_de_l'Union_européenne_pour_l'asile.

    Prochaines étapes

    Il est essentiel de parvenir à un accord rapide sur le budget global à long terme de l’UE et sur ses propositions sectorielles de manière à garantir que les fonds de l’UE commencent à produire leurs effets le plus tôt possible sur le terrain.

    Des retards pourraient compromettre la capacité de l’Union européenne à réagir aux crises si elles venaient à éclater, et pourraient priver les projets de ressources essentielles - telles que les programmes européens d’aide au retour volontaire et de réadmission, et la poursuite du financement de l’UE en faveur de la réinstallation.

    Un accord sur le prochain budget à long terme en 2019 permettrait d’assurer une transition sans heurts entre l’actuel budget à long terme (2014-2020) et le nouveau, ce qui garantirait la prévisibilité et la continuité du financement, pour le bénéfice de tous.

    Historique du dossier

    Depuis le début du mandat de la Commission Juncker, la gestion des frontières et celle des migrations constituent une priorité politique - depuis les orientations politiques présentées en juillet 2014 par le président Juncker jusqu’à son dernier discours sur l’état de l’Union prononcé le 13 septembre 2017.

    Cependant, l’Europe a été surprise par l’ampleur et l’urgence de la crise des réfugiés de 2015-2016. Pour éviter une crise humanitaire et permettre une réponse commune à ce défi sans précédent, ainsi qu’aux nouvelles menaces pesant sur la sécurité, l’UE a fait usage de toute la souplesse possible dans le budget existant afin de mobiliser des fonds supplémentaires. En plus des dotations initiales pour la période 2014-2020 s’élevant à 6,9 milliards d’euros pour l’#AMIF et le #FSI (frontières et police), un montant supplémentaire de 3,9 milliards d’euros a été mobilisé pour atteindre 10,8 milliards d’euros en faveur de la migration, de la gestion des frontières et de la sécurité intérieure - et cela ne comprend même pas le financement important mobilisé pour faire face à la crise des réfugiés à l’extérieur de l’UE.

    Tirant les enseignements du passé, la Commission propose à présent de doubler le financement dans tous les domaines, avec 10,4 milliards d’euros pour la migration, 9,3 milliards d’euros pour la gestion des frontières, 2,5 milliards d’euros pour la sécurité intérieure et 1,2 milliard d’euros pour le déclassement sécurisé des installations nucléaires dans certains États membres - soit plus de 23 milliards d’euros au total.

    En outre, le soutien aux organismes de l’UE dans le domaine de la sécurité, de la gestion des frontières et des migrations sera revu à la hausse, passant de 4,2 milliards à 14 milliards d’euros.

    http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-18-4106_fr.htm
    #EU #UE #migrations #asile #réfugiés #renvois #expulsions #interopérabilité #Fonds_Asile_et_migration #machine_à_expulser #accords_de_réadmission #coopération_internationale #aide_au_développement

    –-----------------

    Comme dit Sara Prestianni, voici la réponse à la tragédie de l’Aquarius...
    –-> « la #protection_des_frontières étant au cœur du nouveau budget »
     :-(

    Création d’ « un nouveau fonds séparé pour la gestion intégrée des frontières sera créé et l’Agence européenne de garde-frontières et de garde-côtes sera renforcée par un nouveau corps permanent de quelque 10 000 #gardes-frontières. Ce nouveau fonds aidera aussi les États membres à effectuer les contrôles douaniers en finançant des équipements de contrôle douanier »
    #Frontex n’est plus suffisant... un nouveau fonds est nécessaire... yuppi !
    #contrôles_frontaliers #complexe_militaro-industriel

    • Voici une contre-proposition, de #Gabriele_Del_Grande:

      Lettera al Ministro dell’Interno Matteo Salvini

      Confesso che su una cosa sono d’accordo con Salvini: la rotta libica va chiusa. Basta tragedie in mare, basta dare soldi alle mafie libiche del contrabbando. Sogno anch’io un Mediterraneo a sbarchi zero. Il problema però è capire come ci si arriva. E su questo, avendo alle spalle dieci anni di inchieste sul tema, mi permetto di dare un consiglio al ministro perché mi pare che stia ripetendo gli stessi errori dei suoi predecessori.

      Blocco navale, respingimenti in mare, centri di detenzione in Libia. La ricetta è la stessa da almeno quindici anni. Pisanu, Amato, Maroni, Cancellieri, Alfano, Minniti. Ci hanno provato tutti. E ogni volta è stato un fallimento: miliardi di euro persi e migliaia di morti in mare.

      Questa volta non sarà diverso. Per il semplice fatto che alla base di tutto ci sono due leggi di mercato che invece continuano ad essere ignorate. La prima è che la domanda genera l’offerta. La seconda è che il proibizionismo sostiene le mafie.

      In altre parole, finché qualcuno sarà disposto a pagare per viaggiare dall’Africa all’Europa, qualcuno gli offrirà la possibilità di farlo. E se non saranno le compagnie aeree a farlo, lo farà il contrabbando.

      Viviamo in un mondo globalizzato, dove i lavoratori si spostano da un paese all’altro in cerca di un salario migliore. L’Europa, che da decenni importa manodopera a basso costo in grande quantità, in questi anni ha firmato accordi di libera circolazione con decine di paesi extraeuropei. Che poi sono i paesi da dove provengono la maggior parte dei nostri lavoratori emigrati: Romania, Albania, Ucraina, Polonia, i Balcani, tutto il Sud America. La stessa Europa però, continua a proibire ai lavoratori africani la possibilità di emigrare legalmente sul suo territorio. In altre parole, le ambasciate europee in Africa hanno smesso di rilasciare visti o hanno reso quasi impossibile ottenerne uno.

      Siamo arrivati al punto che l’ultima e unica via praticabile per l’emigrazione dall’Africa all’Europa è quella del contrabbando libico. Le mafie libiche hanno ormai il monopolio della mobilità sud-nord del Mediterraneo centrale. Riescono a spostare fino a centomila passeggeri ogni anno con un fatturato di centinaia di milioni di dollari ma anche con migliaia di morti.

      Eppure non è sempre stato così. Davvero ci siamo dimenticati che gli sbarchi non esistevano prima degli anni Novanta? Vi siete mai chiesti perché? E vi siete mai chiesti perché nel 2018 anziché comprarsi un biglietto aereo una famiglia debba pagare il prezzo della propria morte su una barca sfasciata in mezzo al mare? Il motivo è molto semplice: fino agli anni Novanta era relativamente semplice ottenere un visto nelle ambasciate europee in Africa. In seguito, man mano che l’Europa ha smesso di rilasciare visti, le mafie del contrabbando hanno preso il sopravvento.

      Allora, se davvero Salvini vuole porre fine, come dice, al business delle mafie libiche del contrabbando, riformi i regolamenti dei visti anziché percorrere la strada del suo predecessore. Non invii i nostri servizi segreti in Libia con le valigette di contante per pagare le mafie del contrabbando affinché cambino mestiere e ci facciano da cane da guardia. Non costruisca altre prigioni oltremare con i soldi dei contribuenti italiani. Perché sono i nostri soldi e non vogliamo darli né alle mafie né alle polizie di paesi come la Libia o la Turchia.

      Noi quelle tasse le abbiamo pagate per veder finanziato il welfare! Per aprire gli asili nido che non ci sono. Per costruire le case popolari che non ci sono. Per finanziare la scuola e la sanità che stanno smantellando. Per creare lavoro. E allora sì smetteremo di farci la guerra fra poveri. E allora sì avremo un obiettivo comune per il quale lottare. Perché anche quella è una balla. Che non ci sono soldi per i servizi. I soldi ci sono, ma come vengono spesi? Quanti miliardi abbiamo pagato sottobanco alle milizie libiche colluse con le mafie del contrabbando negli anni passati? Quanti asili nido ci potevamo aprire con quegli stessi denari?

      Salvini non perda tempo. Faccia sbarcare i seicento naufraghi della Acquarius e anziché prendersela con le ONG, chiami la Farnesina e riscrivano insieme i regolamenti per il rilascio dei visti nei paesi africani. Introduca il visto per ricerca di lavoro, il meccanismo dello sponsor, il ricongiungimento familiare. E con l’occasione vada a negoziare in Europa affinché siano visti validi per circolare in tutta la zona UE e cercarsi un lavoro in tutta la UE anziché pesare su un sistema d’accoglienza che fa acqua da tutte le parti.

      Perché io continuo a non capire come mai un ventenne di Lagos o Bamako, debba spendere cinquemila euro per passare il deserto e il mare, essere arrestato in Libia, torturato, venduto, vedere morire i compagni di viaggio e arrivare in Italia magari dopo un anno, traumatizzato e senza più un soldo, quando con un visto sul passaporto avrebbe potuto comprarsi un biglietto aereo da cinquecento euro e spendere il resto dei propri soldi per affittarsi una stanza e cercarsi un lavoro. Esattamente come hanno fatto cinque milioni di lavoratori immigrati in Italia, che guardate bene non sono passati per gli sbarchi e tantomeno per l’accoglienza. Sono arrivati dalla Romania, dall’Albania, dalla Cina, dal Marocco e si sono rimboccati le maniche. Esattamente come hanno fatto cinque milioni di italiani, me compreso, emigrati all’estero in questi decenni. Esattamente come vorrebbero fare i centomila parcheggiati nel limbo dell’accoglienza.

      Centomila persone costrette ad anni di attesa per avere un permesso di soggiorno che già sappiamo non arriverà in almeno un caso su due. Perché almeno in un caso su due abbiamo davanti dei lavoratori e non dei profughi di guerra. Per loro non è previsto l’asilo politico. Ma non è previsto nemmeno il rimpatrio, perché sono troppo numerosi e perché non c’è la collaborazione dei loro paesi di origine. Significa che di qui a un anno almeno cinquantamila persone andranno ad allungare le file dei senza documenti e del mercato nero del lavoro.

      Salvini dia a tutti loro un permesso di soggiorno per motivi umanitari e un titolo di viaggio con cui possano uscire dal limbo dell’accoglienza e andare a firmare un contratto di lavoro, che sia in Italia o in Germania. E dare così un senso ai progetti che hanno seguito finora. Perché l’integrazione la fa il lavoro. E se il lavoro è in Germania, in Danimarca o in Norvegia, non ha senso costringere le persone dentro una mappa per motivi burocratici. Altro che riforma Dublino, noi dobbiamo chiedere la libera circolazione dentro l’Europa dei lavoratori immigrati. Perché non possiamo permetterci di avere cittadini di serie a e di serie b. E guardate che lo dobbiamo soprattutto a noi stessi.

      Perché chiunque di noi abbia dei bambini, sa che cresceranno in una società cosmopolita. Già adesso i loro migliori amici all’asilo sono arabi, cinesi, africani. Sdoganare un discorso razzista è una bomba a orologeria per la società del domani. Perché forse non ce ne siamo accorti, ma siamo già un noi. Il noi e loro è un discorso antiquato. Un discorso che forse suona ancora logico alle orecchie di qualche vecchio nazionalista. Ma che i miei figli non capirebbero mai. Perché io non riuscirei mai a spiegare ai miei bambini che ci sono dei bimbi come loro ripescati in mare dalla nave di una ONG e da due giorni sono bloccati al largo perché nessuno li vuole sbarcare a terra.

      Chissà, forse dovremmo ripartire da lì. Da quel noi e da quelle battaglie comuni. Dopotutto, siamo o non siamo una generazione a cui il mercato ha rubato il futuro e la dignità? Siamo o non siamo una generazione che ha ripreso a emigrare? E allora basta con le guerre tra poveri. Basta con le politiche forti coi deboli e deboli coi forti.

      Legalizzate l’emigrazione Africa –Europa, rilasciate visti validi per la ricerca di lavoro in tutta l’Europa, togliete alle mafie libiche il monopolio della mobilità sud-nord e facciamo tornare il Mediterraneo ad essere un mare di pace anziché una fossa comune. O forse trentamila morti non sono abbastanza?

      https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=2105161009497488&id=100000108285082

    • Questions et réponses : les futurs financements de l’UE en faveur de la gestion des frontières et des migrations

      Quel sera le montant des financements disponibles pour la gestion des frontières et des migrations ?

      34,9 milliards d’euros.

      Tirant les enseignements du passé, et sachant que la question des migrations et de la gestion des frontières demeurera un défi à l’avenir, la Commission propose d’augmenter fortement les financements en la matière au titre du prochain budget de l’UE pour la période 2021-2027.

      Un montant de financements sans précédent sera alloué par l’intermédiaire de deux Fonds principaux :

      le nouveau Fonds « Asile et migration » (qui continuera de s’appeler FAMI sous sa dénomination abrégée) sera modifié et renforcé ;
      l’instrument relatif à la gestion des frontières et aux visas du Fonds pour la sécurité intérieure sera intégré à un nouveau Fonds, le Fonds pour la gestion intégrée des frontières (FGIF), qui comprendra aussi un autre instrument, également nouveau, l’instrument relatif aux équipements de contrôle douanier.

      Au total, ce sont 34,9 milliards d’euros qui seront mis à disposition sur la prochaine période de 7 ans, contre 13 milliards d’euros environ pour la période budgétaire en cours :

      il est proposé d’augmenter de 51 % le budget alloué à la politique migratoire, qui passerait ainsi de 6,9 milliards d’euros actuellement à 10,4 milliards d’euros ;
      dans le cadre du nouveau Fonds pour la gestion intégrée des frontières (FGIF), il est proposé de multiplier par quatre les financements alloués à la gestion des frontières, qui passeraient de 2,7 milliards d’euros actuellement (pour la période 2014-2020) à un montant qui pourrait atteindre 9,3 milliards d’euros (+ 241%).

      En outre, la Commission a proposé d’octroyer plus de 12 milliards d’euros à l’Agence européenne de garde-frontières et de garde-côtes et à l’agence eu-LISA et près de 900 millions d’euros à l’Agence de l’Union européenne pour l’asile (actuellement le Bureau européen d’appui en matière d’asile, EASO). Cette proposition sera présentée ultérieurement.

      1. Fonds pour la gestion intégrée des frontières (FGIF)

      Pourquoi créer un nouveau Fonds distinct pour la gestion des frontières ?

      Dans le cadre de l’actuel budget de l’UE, la gestion des frontières relève du Fonds pour la sécurité intérieure (FSI), qui est scindé en FSI-Frontières et FSI-Police.

      Si un Fonds dédié à la gestion des frontières est créé en vertu du prochain cadre financier pluriannuel, c’est parce qu’aussi bien la gestion des frontières que la sécurité intérieure sont devenues des priorités de plus en plus pressantes, qui méritent chacune que des instruments financiers dédiés et plus ciblés leur soient consacrés.

      Pour pouvoir gérer les flux migratoires et garantir la sécurité intérieure, il est crucial de protéger efficacement les frontières extérieures de l’UE. Des frontières extérieures fortes sont aussi ce qui permet à l’UE de conserver un espace Schengen sans contrôles aux frontières intérieures.

      Le nouveau Fonds pour la gestion intégrée des frontières comprend l’instrument relatif à la gestion des frontières et aux visas et inclura également un nouvel instrument : l’instrument relatif aux équipements de contrôle douanier, en reconnaissance du rôle joué par les autorités douanières dans la défense de toutes les frontières de l’UE (frontières maritimes, aériennes et terrestres et transits postaux), ainsi que dans la facilitation des échanges et la protection des personnes contre les marchandises dangereuses et les contrefaçons.

      Quelles sont les priorités du nouveau Fonds pour la gestion intégrée des frontières ?

      Au cours des dernières années, un certain nombre de mesures ont été prises afin de répondre aux priorités du moment, mais aussi de poser tous les fondements importants nécessaires pour garantir la solidité des frontières.

      Le nouveau Fonds confortera ces efforts et apportera un soutien renforcé à la sécurisation de nos frontières extérieures, en s’attachant prioritairement :

      à soutenir davantage les États membres dans leurs efforts de sécurisation des frontières extérieures de l’UE ;
      à favoriser une plus grande uniformité des contrôles douaniers ;
      à garantir que les systèmes informatiques à grande échelle utilisés pour gérer les frontières sont solides et fonctionnent sans problème les uns avec les autres, ainsi qu’avec les systèmes nationaux ;
      à garantir l’adaptabilité de la politique commune des visas de l’UE à l’évolution des problèmes de sécurité et des défis liés à la migration, ainsi qu’aux nouvelles possibilités offertes par le progrès technologique.

      Comment les financements seront-ils répartis ?

      La dotation totale de 9,3 milliards d’euros au Fonds pour la gestion intégrée des frontières se répartit comme suit :

      4,8 milliards d’euros iront à des financements à long terme destinés à soutenir les mesures de gestion des frontières et la politique des visas des États membres, dont un financement initial aux États membres de 4 milliards d’euros (soit 50 %) et un ajustement de 0,8 milliard d’euros (soit 10 %) à mi-parcours pour tenir compte des pressions nouvelles ou supplémentaires ;
      3,2 milliards d’euros (soit 40 %), distribués sur l’ensemble de la période de financement, iront à un « mécanisme thématique », destiné à apporter un soutien ciblé aux États membres, à financer des projets à valeur ajoutée européenne et à répondre en outre aux urgences ;
      1,3 milliard d’euros ira à l’instrument relatif aux équipements de contrôle douanier.

      Les financements alloués aux États membres reflèteront précisément les besoins de chacun. Au début de la période de programmation, chaque État membre recevra une somme forfaitaire de 5 millions d’euros, tandis que le solde sera distribué en fonction de la charge de travail, de la pression et du niveau de menace aux frontières extérieures terrestres (30 %) et maritimes (35 %), dans les aéroports (20 %) et dans les bureaux consulaires (15 %).

      En outre, sur les 4,8 milliards d’euros alloués aux États membres, 157,2 millions d’euros seront réservés au régime de transit spécial appliqué par la Lituanie.

      Comment les dotations nationales au titre de l’instrument relatif à la gestion des frontières et aux visas seront-elles calculées ? Pourquoi n’est-il pas possible de fournir dès à présent la ventilation par État membre ?

      Chaque État membre recevra une somme forfaitaire de 5 millions d’euros au début de la période de financement. Au-delà, leurs dotations respectives seront calculées sur la base d’une évaluation des besoins les plus pressants. Cette évaluation sera de nouveau réalisée à mi-parcours.

      Pour chaque État membre, cette évaluation tiendra compte :

      de la longueur de tout tronçon des frontières extérieures terrestres et maritimes que gère cet État membre et de la charge de travail liée (sur la base du nombre de franchissements et du nombre de refus d’entrée), ainsi que du niveau de menace (sur la base d’une évaluation de la vulnérabilité réalisée par l’Agence européenne de garde-frontières et de garde-côtes) ;
      de la charge de travail (sur la base du nombre de franchissements et du nombre de refus d’entrée) dans les aéroports de cet État membre ;
      du nombre de bureaux consulaires que compte cet État membre et de la charge de travail liée (sur la base du nombre de demandes de visa).

      Les calculs se fonderont sur des données statistiques collectées par Eurostat, l’Agence européenne de garde-frontières et de garde-côtes et les États membres sur les trois années (36 mois) ayant précédé l’entrée en application du nouveau budget.

      De plus, outre leurs dotations et en application des calculs susmentionnés, les États membres recevront, tout au long de la période de programmation, des financements ciblés en faveur de priorités thématiques ou en réponse à des besoins pressants. Ces financements proviendront du « mécanisme thématique ».

      Étant donné que le prochain budget à long terme doit couvrir une période s’ouvrant en 2021, il n’est pas possible de prédire dès à présent ce que montreront les données futures. Une ventilation basée sur les données d’aujourd’hui donnerait une image biaisée, ne correspondant pas à ce que seront les dotations effectives.

      Ce budget revu à la hausse servira-t-il aussi à renforcer les agences de l’UE chargées de la gestion des frontières ?

      Oui. Outre les 9,3 milliards d’euros alloués au Fonds pour la gestion intégrée des frontières, et au titre d’une proposition qui sera présentée séparément, plus de 12 milliards d’euros serviront à renforcer encore l’Agence européenne de garde-frontières et de garde-côtes, y compris par le financement d’un corps permanent de quelque 10 000 garde-frontières, ainsi qu’à financer l’agence eu-LISA (l’Agence européenne pour la gestion opérationnelle des systèmes d’information à grande échelle au sein de l’espace de liberté, de sécurité et de justice).

      La Commission va-t-elle désormais financer aussi la construction de clôtures ?

      Non. Le travail de la Commission vise à garantir un contrôle adéquat des frontières, non à les fermer. La Commission n’a jamais financé de clôtures et n’entend pas le faire non plus dans le cadre du nouveau budget de l’UE.

      Le Fonds soutiendra-t-il la réalisation de vérifications systématiques obligatoires aux frontières extérieures ?

      Oui.

      Depuis le 7 avril 2017, outre les vérifications systématiques qui étaient déjà réalisées sur tous les ressortissants de pays tiers entrant dans l’espace Schengen, les États membres sont tenus de procéder à des vérifications systématiques, dans les bases de données pertinentes, sur les citoyens de l’UE qui franchissent les frontières extérieures de l’UE.

      Le nouveau Fonds pour la gestion intégrée des frontières (via son instrument relatif à la gestion des frontières et aux visas) apportera un soutien supplémentaire aux États membres, pour les aider à s’acquitter de ces responsabilités.

      Il s’agira d’un soutien aux infrastructures, aux équipements (tels que des scanners de documents) et aux systèmes informatiques utilisés pour contrôler les frontières, mais aussi d’un soutien à la formation des garde-frontières et à des actions visant à améliorer la coopération interservices. Les États membres pourront également couvrir les frais de personnel et de fonctionnement liés aux vérifications systématiques obligatoires aux frontières extérieures.

      Comment le nouvel instrument relatif aux visas soutiendra-t-il l’élaboration de la politique commune des visas ?

      Le nouveau Fonds aidera à moderniser la politique commune des visas de l’UE. Les financements seront essentiels, notamment parce qu’ils permettront d’améliorer l’efficacité du traitement des demandes de visa, par exemple en termes de détection et d’évaluation des risques de sécurité et de migration irrégulière, et de faciliter les procédures de visa pour les voyageurs de bonne foi.

      En 2018, la Commission a présenté une proposition de modification ciblée du code des visas et une proposition de révision du cadre juridique sous-tendant le système d’information sur les visas (VIS). Il faudra soutenir financièrement la mise en œuvre de certaines des mesures proposées, telles que la modernisation du VIS aux fins de son utilisation combinée avec d’autres systèmes d’information de l’Union et d’une coopération améliorée entre les autorités des États membres dans le cadre du traitement des demandes de visa.

      Le Fonds servira en outre à évaluer plus avant la possibilité de numériser le traitement des demandes de visa. Sur le moyen à long terme, il sera essentiel à la mise en place de procédures électroniques de visa rapides, sûres et conviviales, pour le plus grand avantage tant des demandeurs de visa que des consulats.

      Pourquoi accorder une telle importance aux contrôles douaniers ?

      L’union douanière est unique au monde. Elle constitue un fondement de l’Union européenne et elle est essentielle au bon fonctionnement du marché unique. Une fois les formalités douanières accomplies dans un État membre, les marchandises peuvent circuler librement sur le territoire de l’Union, puisque tous les États membres sont censés appliquer les mêmes règles en matière de recettes et de protection aux frontières extérieures. Les administrations douanières de l’UE doivent coopérer étroitement pour faciliter les échanges et protéger la santé et la sécurité de tous les citoyens de l’UE. L’UE est l’un des plus grands blocs commerciaux du monde : en 2015, elle a pesé pour près de 15 % (représentant 3 500 milliards d’euros) dans les échanges mondiaux de marchandises.

      Pour gérer ce volume d’échanges internationaux, il faut traiter chaque année, de manière rapide et efficace, des millions de déclarations en douane. Mais les douanes jouent également un rôle protecteur. Elles participent activement à la lutte contre le terrorisme, en procédant à des vérifications pour détecter le trafic d’armes et le commerce illégal d’œuvres d’art et de biens culturels, et elles protègent les consommateurs contre les marchandises qui présentent un risque pour leur santé et leur sécurité. Ainsi, 454,2 tonnes de stupéfiants, 35 millions de marchandises de contrefaçon et 3,2 milliards de cigarettes ont été saisis dans l’Union en 2014. La réalisation de contrôles appropriés passe par l’échange rapide d’informations de haute qualité et à jour et par une bonne coordination entre les administrations douanières de nos États membres.

      Que prévoit le nouvel « instrument relatif aux équipements de contrôle douanier » ?

      Le nouvel instrument relatif aux équipements de contrôle douanier vise à aider les États membres à effectuer les contrôles douaniers en finançant les équipements nécessaires. Si ce nouvel instrument, doté d’une enveloppe de 1,3 milliard d’euros, est créé, c’est afin de permettre l’acquisition, la maintenance et le remplacement d’équipements douaniers innovants, dès lors que ni le Programme « Douane » ni d’autres instruments financiers existants ne sont disponibles à cette fin.

      Cet instrument financera les équipements douaniers pour les quatre types de frontières (terrestres, maritimes, aériennes et postales), un groupe de travail composé d’États membres volontaires étant chargé de superviser et d’évaluer les besoins en équipement pour chaque type de frontière. Les fonds seront mis à la disposition de tous les États membres. Des travaux ont déjà été menés par l’équipe d’experts douaniers de la frontière terrestre est et sud-est de l’Union (CELBET), qui réunit les onze États membres chargés des frontières terrestres de l’Union. L’équipe CELBET poursuivra ses activités. S’agissant des autres types de frontières, les travaux peuvent désormais commencer afin que les besoins des États membres puissent être évalués, et des fonds alloués, dès l’entrée en vigueur, en 2021, de l’instrument relatif aux équipements de contrôle douanier.

      Quel type d’équipement est-il possible d’acquérir au moyen du nouvel instrument ?

      L’instrument a pour objectif de financer des équipements qui ne sont pas intrusifs, mais qui permettent la réalisation de contrôles douaniers efficaces et efficients. Parmi les équipements que les États membres pourraient acquérir ou moderniser ou dont ils pourraient solliciter la maintenance, citons les scanners, les systèmes de détection automatisée des plaques d’immatriculation, les équipes de chiens renifleurs et les laboratoires mobiles d’analyse d’échantillons. Les besoins en équipement seront définis dans le cadre du Programme « Douane » qui s’applique parallèlement au nouvel instrument relatif aux équipements de contrôle douanier annoncé aujourd’hui. Les équipements de contrôle douanier mis à disposition au titre de ce Fonds pourront également être utilisés pour d’autres contrôles de conformité, réalisés, par exemple, en application de dispositions en matière de visas ou de prescriptions de police, le cas échéant, ce qui permettra d’en maximiser l’impact.

      L’instrument établit des priorités en matière de financement des équipements selon certains critères d’éligibilité. Les équipements pourront être achetés au titre de la nouvelle réglementation uniquement s’ils se rapportent à au moins un des six objectifs suivants : inspections non intrusives ; détection d’objets cachés sur des êtres humains ; détection des rayonnements et identification de nucléides ; analyse d’échantillons en laboratoire ; échantillonnage et analyse sur le terrain des échantillons ; et fouille à l’aide de dispositifs portables, Cette liste pourra être réexaminée en tant que de besoin. L’instrument soutiendra également l’acquisition ou la modernisation d’équipements de contrôle douanier pour l’expérimentation de nouveaux dispositifs ou de nouvelles conditions sur le terrain avant que les États membres n’entament des achats à grande échelle d’équipements neufs.

      2. Fonds « Asile et migration » (FAMI)

      Quelles sont les priorités du Fonds « Asile et migration » ?

      Au cours des vingt dernières années, l’Union européenne a mis en place des normes communes en matière d’asile qui comptent parmi les plus élevées au monde. S’agissant des migrations, la politique européenne a progressé à pas de géant ces trois dernières années, sous l’effet de l’agenda européen en matière de migration proposé par la Commission Juncker en mai 2015. Une ligne de conduite plus homogène se dégage peu à peu pour faire face au phénomène.

      Outre qu’il soutiendra les efforts déployés actuellement, le nouveau Fonds accroîtra encore le soutien octroyé à la gestion des migrations, en s’attachant prioritairement :

      à offrir davantage de soutien aux États membres soumis aux pressions migratoires les plus fortes ;
      à soutenir davantage la migration légale et l’intégration rapide des ressortissants de pays tiers en séjour régulier ;
      à lutter contre l’immigration irrégulière, en accroissant le nombre de retours effectifs des personnes qui n’ont pas le droit de séjourner dans l’UE et en renforçant la coopération en matière de réadmission avec les pays tiers ;
      à équiper l’Union de moyens plus rapides et plus souples pour faire face aux crises.

      Comment les fonds prévus au titre du FAMI seront-ils répartis entre les États membres ?

      La Commission a proposé de consacrer 10,4 milliards d’euros au nouveau Fonds « Asile et migration » (FAMI).

      Un montant de 4,2 milliards d’euros (40 %) de cette enveloppe sera distribué tout au long de la période de financement pour apporter un appui ciblé aux États membres, qui concernera des projets ayant une véritable valeur ajoutée européenne comme la réinstallation ou servira à répondre à des besoins urgents et à orienter les financements d’urgence vers les États membres au moment et à l’endroit où ils en ont besoin.

      Le Fonds consacrera 6,3 milliards d’euros (60 %) à des financements de long terme destinés à soutenir les États membres en matière de gestion des migrations.

      Dans ce cadre sont prévus une dotation initiale accordée aux États membres (50 % de l’intégralité du Fonds, soit 5,2 milliards d’euros) et un ajustement à mi-parcours pour tenir compte de pressions nouvelles ou supplémentaires (10 %, soit 1,1 milliard d’euros).

      Chaque État membre recevra une somme forfaitaire de 5 millions d’euros, tandis que le solde sera réparti en fonction de la pression migratoire et des besoins des États membres dans les domaines de l’asile (30 %), de l’intégration et de la migration régulière (30 %) et de la lutte contre l’immigration illégale et du retour (40 %).

      Comment les dotations nationales seront-elles calculées ? Pourquoi n’est-il pas possible de fournir dès à présent la ventilation par État membre ?

      Les financements alloués aux États membres reflèteront précisément les besoins de chacun. Au début de la période de programmation, chaque État membre recevra un montant forfaitaire de 5 millions d’euros. Au-delà, leurs dotations respectives seront calculées sur la base d’une évaluation des besoins les plus pressants. Le solde sera réparti en fonction de la pression migratoire et des besoins des États membres en matière d’asile. Pour chaque État membre, cette évaluation tiendra compte :

      pour l’asile (pondération de 30 %) : du nombre de bénéficiaires reconnus d’une protection internationale (30 %), de demandeurs d’asile (60 %) et de personnes réinstallées (10 %) ;
      pour la migration légale et l’intégration (pondération de 30 %) : du nombre de ressortissants de pays tiers en séjour régulier (40 %) et du nombre de ressortissants de pays tiers qui ont obtenu un premier permis de séjour (les travailleurs saisonniers, les étudiants et les chercheurs ne relèvent pas de cette catégorie) ;
      pour le retour (pondération de 40 %) : du nombre de ressortissants de pays tiers en séjour irrégulier qui ont fait l’objet d’une décision de retour (50 %) et du nombre de retours effectivement réalisés (50 %).

      Les calculs seront basés sur des données statistiques recueillies par Eurostat au cours des trois années civiles précédant l’entrée en application du nouveau budget.

      Étant donné que le prochain budget à long terme doit couvrir une période s’ouvrant en 2021, il n’est possible de prédire dès à présent ce que montreront des données futures. Une ventilation basée sur les données d’aujourd’hui donnerait une image biaisée, ne correspondant pas à ce que seront les dotations effectives.

      Quelles sont les mesures qui ont été prises au titre des Fonds actuels pour soutenir les États membres au cours de la crise migratoire ?

      Dans l’ensemble, l’actuel Fonds « Asile, migration et intégration » (FAMII) a soutenu efficacement et avec succès la réponse commune apportée par l’Union à l’aggravation des problèmes de migration et de sécurité, tout en envoyant également un message de solidarité aux États membres situés en première ligne. Par ailleurs, face à la crise migratoire, aux difficultés accrues sur le plan de la sécurité et à un environnement politique en perpétuelle évolution, la Commission a dû recourir à une multitude de modalités financières ad hoc pour appuyer une réponse commune et adéquate de l’UE, et ce d’autant plus que les mécanismes et réserves de flexibilité ont été créés à une époque où les flux migratoires étaient stables.

      Les augmentations budgétaires réalisées jusqu’au milieu de la période de financement actuelle 2014-2020 ont clairement prouvé que les moyens budgétaires avaient atteint leurs limites. La dotation du Fonds « Asile, migration et intégration » a plus que doublé (+ 123 %), les financements destinés aux organismes décentralisés pratiquement doublé (+ 86 %), et l’aide d’urgence augmenté de près de 500 %. Outre des instruments de financement de l’Union, dont certains devaient être modifiés pour être utilisés à l’intérieur de l’Union (notamment l’instrument d’aide d’urgence), l’Union a dû mettre en place des solutions de financement innovantes comme les Fonds fiduciaires pour mobiliser des financements au-delà des limites du cadre financier.

      L’expérience acquise avec l’actuel cadre financier fait apparaître un besoin évident de montants de financement considérablement accrus et d’une plus grande souplesse, de manière à garantir une gestion budgétaire saine et prévisible.

      Qu’en est-il de l’intégration qui figurant dans le Fonds précédent ?

      La Commission propose de donner un nouvel élan au soutien aux politiques d’intégration au titre du prochain budget à long terme en associant la force de frappe de plusieurs instruments de financement.

      Au titre du Fonds « Asile et migration », le soutien à l’intégration se concentrera sur les mesures d’intégration rapide et aura pour objectif d’apporter une aide lors des premières étapes clés de l’intégration comme les cours de langue, tout en soutenant également le renforcement des capacités des autorités chargées de la politique d’intégration, les guichets uniques d’information pour les migrants en séjour régulier récemment arrivés et les échanges entre les migrants en séjour régulier récemment arrivés et les membres de la communauté d’accueil.

      L’intégration à plus long terme bénéficiera d’un soutien au titre des Fonds de cohésion de l’UE, en particulier le futur Fonds social européen + et le futur Fonds européen de développement régional. Ces mesures d’intégration à long terme incluront des mesures d’appui structurel comme la formation professionnelle, l’éducation et le logement.

      Y aura-t-il des financements à la réinstallation ?

      Oui. La Commission propose que les États membres reçoivent 10 000 euros par personne réinstallée, comme dans le cadre des actuels programmes de réinstallation de l’UE.

      Comment les politiques de retour seront-elles soutenues ?

      Des retours effectifs sont une composante essentielle d’une politique migratoire de l’UE qui soit équitable et humaine, mais aussi – et c’est tout aussi important – viable. Le Fonds aidera à combattre la migration irrégulière, en garantissant la pérennité du retour et la réadmission effective dans les pays tiers. Comme pour toutes les politiques de l’UE, cela se fera dans le plein respect des droits fondamentaux et de la dignité des personnes faisant l’objet d’une mesure de retour.

      Seront soutenus : la mise en œuvre des retours ; le renforcement des infrastructures de retour et des capacités de rétention ; le développement de la coopération avec les pays d’origine, afin de faciliter la conclusion d’accords de réadmission, assortis de modalités pratiques, et leur mise en œuvre ; et la réintégration. Le Fonds soutiendra également les mesures visant d’abord à prévenir la migration irrégulière (campagnes d’information, collecte de données, suivi des flux et des routes migratoires, etc.).

      Quel est le lien avec la gestion des flux migratoires externes ?

      Les dimensions interne et externe à l’UE de la gestion des migrations sont étroitement liées. Le Fonds « Asile et migration » sera à même de soutenir la dimension externe des politiques internes de l’Union.

      Ce soutien sera largement complété par les fonds alloués, au titre de la politique extérieure de l’Union, à la lutte contre la dimension extérieure de la migration irrégulière, et notamment aux efforts déployés pour remédier à ses causes profondes, améliorer les perspectives d’avenir qu’offrent les pays d’origine et développer la coopération en matière de retour, de réadmission et de migration légale (voir les propositions sectorielles distinctes qui seront présentées dans les jours à venir).

      Les autorités locales et les organisations de la société civile pourront-elles également bénéficier de financements du Fonds ?

      La Commission considère que les administrations locales et régionales et la société civile jouent un rôle fondamental, notamment en matière d’intégration, et devraient en conséquence recevoir autant de soutien que possible.

      C’est pourquoi, alors que les fonds allaient jusqu’à présent aux autorités nationales en couverture de 75 % des coûts d’une mesure (taux de cofinancement), à l’avenir, lorsque des régions, des municipalités ou des organisations de la société civile mettront en œuvre semblables mesures, le budget de l’UE couvrira 90 % des coûts.

      Pourquoi des financements au nouveau système de Dublin sont-ils prévus au titre du FAMI, alors qu’il n’y a pas encore eu d’accord à ce sujet ?

      La proposition relative au FAMI prévoit d’ores et déjà un soutien au transfert des demandeurs d’asile en application du règlement de Dublin tel qu’il est proposé de le réformer. Les financements couvriraient les mesures de premier accueil et d’assistance de base, l’aide à l’intégration si le demandeur reçoit un statut de protection et l’aide aux personnes qui devraient faire l’objet d’une mesure de retour au cas où elles n’obtiendraient pas de protection ou de droit de séjour.

      La proposition reflète le règlement de Dublin en l’état actuel des négociations, mais elle sera adaptée en fonction du résultat final de ces négociations.

      Comment le suivi des fonds alloués à la gestion des frontières et des migrations sera-t-il assuré ?

      La Commission suivra la mise en œuvre des actions en gestion directe et indirecte. Pour les fonds dont la gestion est partagée entre l’UE et les États membres, la responsabilité première d’assurer le suivi des projets financés par l’UE incombera à ces derniers. Les autorités administrant les fonds de l’UE dans les États membres doivent mettre en place des systèmes de gestion et de contrôle satisfaisant aux exigences de l’UE, y compris en matière de suivi. Le suivi des actions faisant l’objet d’une gestion partagée sera assuré par chaque État membre, dans le cadre d’un système de gestion et de contrôle conforme au droit de l’UE (règlement portant dispositions communes). Une priorité nouvelle sera accordée à la réalisation d’évaluations régulières selon des indicateurs de performance (les États membres devront communiquer des données pour chaque programme, jusqu’à six fois par an).

      Les États membres devront également communiquer un rapport annuel de performance, fournissant des informations sur l’état de mise en œuvre du programme et indiquant si les valeurs intermédiaires et les valeurs cibles ont été atteintes. Une réunion de réexamen sera organisée tous les deux ans entre la Commission et chaque État membre pour apprécier la performance de chaque programme. À la fin de la période, chaque État membre présentera un rapport de performance final.

      http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_MEMO-18-4127_fr.htm

    • LE VERE RAGIONI DELL’IMMIGRAZIONE AFRICANA : IL FURTO DELLA TERRA

      L’Unione europea ha appena deciso di triplicare i fondi per la gestione dei migranti: la somma messa a bilancio passerà dagli attuali 13 miliardi di euro (anni 2014-2021) ai futuri 35 miliardi di euro (anni 2021-2027).
      Prima di compiere l’analisi dei costi preventivati, dove i soldi vanno, per fare cosa, dobbiamo sapere cosa noi prendiamo dall’Africa, e cosa restituiamo all’Africa. Se noi aiutiamo loro oppure se loro, magari, danno una mano a noi.
      Conviene ripetere e magari ripubblicare. Quindi partire dalle basi, dai luoghi in cui i migranti partono.

      https://raiawadunia.com/le-vere-ragioni-dellimmigrazione-africana-il-furto-della-terra
      #land_grabbing #accaparement_de_terres

    • UE- #JAI : course effrénée au renforcement de Frontex au détriment des #droits_fondamentaux Featured

      Le 12 octobre, les #Conseil_Justice_et_Affaires_Intérieurs discutera de la nouvelle proposition de #réforme de Frontex, l’#agence_européenne_des_garde-côtes_et_garde-frontières, deux ans après la dernière révision du mandat en 2016. Peu importe les critiques relatives aux violations des droits inhérentes à ses activités : l’agence est en passe d’acquérir des #compétences_exécutives ainsi qu’un rôle accru pour expulser depuis les Etats membres et depuis les Etats non européens.

      Le collectif Frontexit réitère ses très fortes préoccupations quant à cette énième réforme et appelle le Etats membres et les parlementaires européens à refuser cette course législative symbole d’une obsession du contrôle des frontières au détriment des droits des personnes migrantes.

      La Commission européenne propose de porter le #personnel de Frontex à 10’000 hommes d’ici 2020 et son #budget à 1,3 milliards pour la période 2019/2020, soit une augmentation de plus de 6000% du budget prévisionnel en à peine 12 ans. L’agence jouera un rôle central et inédit dans la préparation des décisions de retour depuis les Etats-membres et dans la conduite des #expulsions entre/depuis des pays « tiers » sans prérogatives claires.

      Face au doublement du nombre de personnes expulsées depuis l’UE entre 2015 et 2017, au vu des mécanismes de contrôle politiques faibles, voire inexistants (aucune activité hors UE sous contrôle du Parlement européen) et des réponses aux violations des droits ineffectives et inefficaces, cette réforme mettra davantage en danger les personnes migrantes et affaiblira leurs maigres droits.

      L’UE poursuit une course effrénée au renforcement de Frontex alors qu’aucune étude d’impact de ses activités actuelles sur les droits fondamentaux n’a été réalisée. Il est urgent que les parlementaires européens exercent un droit de contrôle sur les activités de Frontex y compris hors de l’UE (déploiement croissant de l’agence en Afrique par exemple), de l’arsenal à sa disposition (#EUROSUR compris) et de leurs conséquences.

      Aucune justification tangible n’existe pour cette énième révision du mandat, si ce n’est – aux dires de l’UE – l’urgence de la situation. Pourtant, cette urgence n’existe pas (le nombre d’arrivées a été divisé par cinq depuis 2015 selon l’OIM), pas plus que la soi-disant « crise migratoire ». L’effondrement du nombre des arrivées est directement imputable à l’augmentation des dispositifs sécuritaires aux frontières et à la coopération sans limite avec des pays où les violations des droits sont légion.

      Frontex, prompte à qualifier de « passeurs » des pêcheurs tunisiens qui sauvent des vies, prompte à collaborer voire dispenser des formations à des Etats où les violations des droits sont documentées, est à l’image d’une Europe qui s’enfonce dans une logique toujours plus sécuritaire au détriment des droits des personnes exilées, mais également de leurs soutiens.

      Cette #fermeture_des_frontières est également une menace pour le respect des droits des personnes qui se voient obligées d’exercer leur droit à quitter tout pays par des voies toujours plus dangereuses.

      http://www.frontexit.org/fr/actus/item/904-ue-jai-course-effrenee-au-renforcement-de-frontex-au-detriment-des-dr
      #droits_humains

    • NGOs, EU and international agencies sound the alarm over Frontex’s respect for fundamental rights

      The Frontex Consultative Forum on Fundamental Rights has expressed “serious concerns about the effectiveness of Frontex’s serious incident reporting mechanism,” saying that it should be revised and that the border agency must “take additional measures to set up an effective system to monitor respect for fundamental rights in the context of its activities.”

      The inadequacy of the serious incident reporting (SIR) mechanism is raised in the latest annual report of the Consultative Forum (http://www.statewatch.org/news/2019/mar/eu-frontex-consultative-forum-annual-report-2018.pdf), which is made up of nine civil society organisations, two EU agencies and four UN agencies and other intergovernmental bodies. It was established in October 2012 to provide independent advice to the agency on fundamental rights.

      Its report notes that during 2018, Frontex “only received 3 serious incident reports for alleged violations of fundamental rights and 10 complaints,” described by as an “almost negligible number” given that the agency has some 1,500 officers deployed at the external borders of the EU.

      Fundamental rights violations

      The Consultative Forum highlights “fundamental rights violations in areas where the Agency is operational, including the Hungarian-Serbian and the Greek-Turkish land borders.”

      For example, interviews by Human Rights Watch with asylum seekers in Greece and Turkey found that:

      “Greek law enforcement officers at the land border with Turkey in the northeastern Evros region routinely summarily return asylum seekers and migrants… The officers in some cases use violence and often confiscate and destroy the migrants’ belongings.” (https://www.hrw.org/news/2018/12/18/greece-violent-pushbacks-turkey-border)

      This is simply the latest in a long line of reports and investigations documenting mistreatment and abuse at the Greek-Turkish border, where The Christian Science Monitor also heard allegations that Frontex was directly involved in pushback operations (https://www.csmonitor.com/World/Europe/2018/1221/Are-Greek-and-EU-officials-illegally-deporting-migrants-to-Turkey).

      The Consultative Forum’s report also points to numerous instances of collective expulsion from Croatia to Serbia and Bosnia Herzegovina; ill-treatment at the Bulgarian-Turkish border; and what the Hungarian Helsinki Committee refers to as “systemic violations of asylum-seekers’ human rights in Hungary.” (https://www.osce.org/odihr/396917?download=true)

      Repeat: suspend activities at Hungary-Serbia border

      In its report, the Consultative Forum repeats a recommendation it has made previously: until fundamental rights can be guaranteed, the Executive Director should use the powers available under the 2016 Frontex Regulation to “suspend operational activities” at the Hungarian-Serbian border.

      The agency offers little obvious information about its activities at that border on its website (https://frontex.europa.eu/along-eu-borders/main-operations/operations-in-the-western-balkans), merely stating that it “deploys specialised officers and border surveillance vehicles and other equipment” in both Hungary and Croatia, where its officers “assist the national authorities in the detection of forged documents, stolen cars, illegal drugs and weapons.”

      The December 2018 report by the Hungarian Helsinki Committee cited above doesn’t mention Frontex, but details serious malpractice by the Hungarian state: immediate pushbacks that negate the right to seek asylum; a lack of procedural safeguards for those that do manage to claim asylum; and a lack of state support to integrate and assist those that receive protection.

      Lack of staff “seriously undermining” fundamental rights obligations

      The Consultative Forum’s report also repeats a longstanding complaint that the inadequate provision of staff to the agency’s Fundamental Rights Officer is “seriously undermining the fulfilment” of their mandate “and, more generally Frontex’s capacity to fulfil its fundamental rights obligations”.

      According to the report, while there were 58 posts for administrators foreseen in the agency’s recruitment plan for 2018, not a single one was allocated to the Fundamental Rights Officer.

      Furthermore, “during the year, only three Senior Assistants… joined the Fundamental Rights Office,” and its work “continues to be compromised in areas such as monitoring of operations, handling of complaints, provision of advice on training, risk analysis, third country cooperation and return activities” - in short, those areas of the agency’s work raising the most high-profile fundamental rights concerns.

      Independence of Fundamental Rights Office at risk

      The report also warns that the independence of the Fundamental Rights Office is at risk.

      The problem centres on the appointment of an Advisor in the Executive Director’s Cabinet as interim replacement for the Fundamental Rights Officer, who in the second half of 2018 “took an extended period of sick leave”.

      The Consultative Forum has “noted that the appointment of a member of the Executive Director’s cabinet as Fundamental Rights Officer ad interim raises issues under the EBCG [Frontex] Regulation.”

      In particular, the “previous and future reporting expectations on the incumbent in relation to the Executive Director” make it:

      “difficult… to ensure that the Fundamental Rights Officer ad interim and the Fundamental Rights Officer’s team maintain their independence in the performance of their duties and avoid potential conflicts of interest.”

      A long list of issues

      The report also examines a number of other issues concerning fundamental rights and the agency’s work, including the ongoing amendments to its governing legislation; the treatment of stateless persons in Frontex operations; “gender mainstreaming at Frontex”; and the need for a revision of the Fundamental Rights Strategy, amongst other things.

      Full report: Frontex Consultative Forum on Fundamental Rights: Sixth annual report (http://www.statewatch.org/news/2019/mar/eu-frontex-consultative-forum-annual-report-2018.pdf)

      Further reading

      Frontex condemned by its own fundamental rights body for failing to live up to obligations (Statewatch News Online, 21 May 2018: http://www.statewatch.org/news/2018/may/eu-frontex-fr-rep.htm)

      http://www.statewatch.org/news/2019/mar/fx-consultative-forum-rep.htm

  • Unending Repression in Thailand 4 Years After Coup. Hopes Dim for Democratic Restoration

    Four years after the Thai military seized power on May 22, 2014, Thailand is nowhere near what the ruling junta promised would be a rights-respecting, democratic country.

    The coup leader, Prime Minister Gen. Prayut Chan-ocha, wields unchecked power with total impunity. Since the coup, the ruling National Council for Peace and Order has routinely enforced censorship and blocked public discussions about the state of human rights and democracy in Thailand. Hundreds of activists and dissidents have been prosecuted on criminal charges such as sedition, computer-related crimes, and lese majeste (insulting the monarchy) for the peaceful expression of their views. Public gatherings of more than five people and pro-democracy activities are prohibited. Thousands have been summoned and pressured to stop making political comments against the junta. Military authorities continue to secretly detain people for up to seven days without charge and interrogate them without access to lawyers or safeguards against mistreatment.

    Prayut has repeatedly made, and then broken, promises about election dates and a return to civilian rule. His latest promise is to hold elections by February 2019, but there is little reason to believe that, if held, they will be free and fair. The junta has indicated that some leading politicians and political parties will be banned, while restrictive laws mean that voters and the media will have their arms twisted and their mouths gagged.

    Despite this, more and more Thais from all walks of life have come forward to challenge the military dictatorship – including by holding peaceful rallies in Bangkok and other provinces demanding that the junta lift restrictions on fundamental freedoms.

    Now more than ever, concerned governments need to press for a transition to civilian democratic rule. The United States, the European Union, Japan, and other friends of Thailand have repeatedly said that bilateral relations will only be normalized when democracy is fully restored through a free and fair election. They should publicly stress that a legitimate election requires more than an orderly election day, but a political context in which all are freely able to express their views and participate in the electoral process without fear of arrest.

    Four years after waking up to a military coup, Thais finally need to know that their country is on the path to a genuine, rights-respecting democracy.


    https://www.hrw.org/news/2018/05/21/unending-repression-thailand-4-years-after-coup
    #Thaïlande #coup #répression #dictature