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  • Avec le #Liban, l’UE compte de nouveau sur un #pays_tiers pour contrôler les migrations

    Un nouvel #accord a été conclu entre l’Union européenne et le Liban cette semaine, à hauteur d’un milliard d’euros. Ce dernier vise, sous couvert d’aider à maintenir la sécurité et la stabilité du pays, à freiner les départs d’exilés syriens en direction de l’Europe.

    La tournée continue. L’Union européenne vient de signer un nouveau « deal », cette fois avec le Liban, pour qu’un pays tiers gère le contrôle de ses frontières. Après l’Égypte et la Tunisie, c’est désormais à un Liban en crise de tenter de maîtriser les départs des exilés présents sur son sol, qui pourraient aspirer à rejoindre l’Europe pour une vie meilleure.

    Cette aide d’un milliard d’euros, annoncée à l’occasion d’une visite de la présidente de la commission européenne Ursula von der Leyen et du président chypriote Níkos Christodoulídis à Beyrouth le 2 mai, devrait s’étaler jusqu’en 2027 et « permettra de soutenir la population au Liban et de contribuer à sa sécurité et sa stabilité », a argué Ursula von der Leyen.

    Entre les lignes, le spectre migratoire n’est jamais bien loin : cette enveloppe doit certes permettre de soutenir « les plus vulnérables », à l’heure où le Liban traverse une crise socio-économique majeure, mais aussi et surtout « les réfugiés, les personnes déplacées à l’intérieur du pays et les communautés d’accueil », tout en renforçant le soutien aux forces armées libanaises « dans la lutte contre la #traite et le #trafic_d’êtres_humains ».

    Autrement dit les #passeurs, qui permettent aux Syriennes et Syriens de faire la traversée vers l’île de Chypre, où le nombre d’arrivées par la mer a bondi ces dernières années ; et où, tout récemment, le gouvernement a annoncé vouloir suspendre les demandes d’asile pour les Syrien·nes sur l’île, en violation du droit international et en particulier de la Convention de Genève relative aux réfugiés.

    C’était d’ailleurs l’objet d’une première rencontre entre le président chypriote et le premier ministre libanais, Najib Mikati, organisée le 8 avril dernier à Beyrouth. Le premier ministre libanais avait alors assuré que « l’armée et les forces de sécurité libanaises faisaient de leur mieux pour mettre fin à l’immigration illégale ».

    L’entrevue avait abouti sur l’idée d’une coopération entre les deux pays, avec une « aide substantielle de la commission européenne », comme l’avait souligné le porte-parole du gouvernement chypriote à l’issue de la rencontre.

    Des contours flous

    Plus surprenant, le Conseil européen a également « réaffirmé la nécessité de créer les conditions d’un #retour_sûr, volontaire et digne des réfugiés syriens, telles que définies par le Haut-Commissariat aux réfugiés », peut-on lire dans un communiqué de la commission européenne en date du 2 mai.

    La #Syrie n’est pourtant pas considérée comme un #pays_sûr, comme le font remarquer différents observateurs : en septembre 2021, l’ONG Amnesty International avait même pointé dans un rapport les nombreuses violences – torture, viols, détention arbitraire – dont les réfugiés de retour en Syrie peuvent faire l’objet.

    Dans tous les cas, soulève Wadih Al-Asmar, président du réseau EuroMed Droits, « 250 millions d’euros sont prévus pour l’#armée_libanaise, qui participe à renvoyer des Syriens chez eux malgré les dangers qu’ils encourent en Syrie ». L’argent européen va donc « permettre des violations des droits de l’homme », regrette-t-il, expliquant que plusieurs cas ont déjà été documentés par ses équipes dernièrement.

    L’homme s’interroge par ailleurs sur cette enveloppe financière tombée de nulle part : fait-elle partie des fonds alloués par l’UE au Liban de façon régulière depuis 2011 ? S’agit-il d’une somme allouée de façon exceptionnelle ?

    Il souligne les « contours très flous » de cet accord, conclu avec le premier ministre libanais alors que celui-ci n’a pas l’habilitation de signer des accords internationaux, pour lequel aucun texte n’a encore visiblement été rédigé. « Aucun texte n’a été présenté au parlement libanais ou au parlement européen. C’est avant tout un grand effet d’annonce », estime celui qui est aussi président du centre libanais des droits humains à Beyrouth.

    Un coup de com’ « très problématique sur le plan des #droits_humains » : il pourrait provoquer une « pression supplémentaire sur les réfugiés syriens » présents au Liban, et participe au narratif faisant des Syriens les responsables de tous les maux que peut connaître le pays. « Il y a pourtant une classe politique corrompue qui a volé l’argent des Libanais, mais au lieu de poursuivre en justice les responsables de tout ça, on met tout sur le dos des réfugiés syriens », déplore Wadih Al-Asmar.

    Dans l’esprit du pacte migratoire européen

    L’effet d’annonce derrière ce nouvel accord vise aussi à conforter Chypre dans ses prises de position plus ou moins explicites contre les réfugiés syriens qui tentent de rejoindre l’île par la mer.

    Depuis quelques mois, Chypre « viole le droit européen » en refusant le débarquement de ces réfugiés. « Ursula von der Leyen donne donc une couverture politique au président chypriote en concluant cet accord », estime Wadih Al-Asmar.

    L’eurodéputé Damien Carême abonde : « On a l’impression que c’est pour calmer Chypre, qui ne veut plus accueillir de réfugiés syriens et va jusqu’à les refouler. On note d’ailleurs le mutisme de la Commission européenne sur ces agissements. »

    Ce nouvel accord s’inscrit, relève l’eurodéputé, dans la droite ligne du pacte migratoire européen, adopté le 10 avril dernier par le Parlement européen. « Il s’agit d’externaliser la gestion des frontières et de renvoyer le plus de personnes possible », explicite l’écologiste, qui a très vite marqué son désaccord avec ce pacte.

    Après la Mauritanie, la Tunisie, l’Égypte ou encore la Libye, « l’UE s’enferme dans des solutions qui ont déjà montré toute leur inefficacité ». Signer des accords avec des pays tiers dits « sûrs » est désormais devenu une « obsession », tacle l’eurodéputé, qui prend soin de relativiser la notion de pays « sûr ».

    « On ne sait pas bien ce qu’il y a derrière cette notion, puisque la Tunisie est par exemple considérée comme un pays sûr, et la Libye aussi, malgré tout ce qu’il s’y passe. » Impossible de ne pas relever les incohérences s’agissant du cas précis de la Syrie, où la commission européenne encourage le retour volontaire des réfugiés syriens, tout en considérant que le pays n’est pas « sûr ». « C’est dramatique et très inquiétant », alerte celui qui pointe là un « cynisme maximal ».

    Massivement présents sur le territoire libanais (un million et demi de réfugiés, soit près de 30 % de la population), mais victimes de discours populistes allant jusqu’à la théorie raciste du « grand remplacement », rejetés par Chypre et soumise à des marchandages financiers orchestrés par l’UE, prête à débourser un milliard d’euros pour ne pas les voir débarquer sur son sol… voilà le « marché de dupes » auxquels sont soumis les réfugiés syriens, dénonce Wadih Al-Asmar, qui résume la visite d’Ursula von der Leyen à un « échec ».

    Cette dernière veut « transformer le Liban en poste frontière avancé de l’UE », comme d’autres pays par le passé. Mais selon lui, le nombre de traversées par la mer vers Chypre ne baissera pas, et le business des passeurs, que l’accord UE-Liban est censé mettre à mal, continuera de fleurir de son côté, avec l’assentiment de la population libanaise, « contente de voir qu’ils font partir les réfugiés syriens ».

    Au final, conclut-il, « l’UE ne fait pas baisser la pression sur les réfugiés syriens, n’apporte pas de garanties réelles pour améliorer leur condition au Liban, et offre une image dégradée de l’Europe qui ne cherche qu’à contenir les migrations dans un pays tiers ».

    https://www.mediapart.fr/journal/international/030524/avec-le-liban-l-ue-compte-de-nouveau-sur-un-pays-tiers-pour-controler-les-

    #externalisation #migrations #réfugiés #frontières #contrôles_frontaliers #aide_financières #réfugiés_syriens #renvois #expulsions #retour_volontaire #retour_digne #pays-tiers_sûrs

    ping @_kg_

    • EU unveils €1-billion aid package for Lebanon in bid to curb refugee flows

      The European Union will provide €1 billion in financial aid to Lebanon over three years to prop up the country’s economy and help prevent a surge in refugees leaving for Europe.

      European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced the move on Thursday morning following a meeting with Lebanese caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati and Cypriot President Nikos Christodoulides in Lebanon’s capital, Beirut.

      The financial envelope, made up entirely of grants and to be dispersed by 2027, will help Lebanon strengthen basic services such as education, social protection and health, and spur economic reforms in the crisis-stricken country, von der Leyen said.

      But some three quarters of the cash - a total of €736 million - will be specifically dedicated to helping Lebanon grapple with the challenges it faces in welcoming Syrian refugees.

      “We understand the challenges that Lebanon faces with hosting Syrian refugees and other displaced persons. It is vital to ensure the well-being of host communities and Syrian refugees,” von der Leyen said.

      The Commission chief also vowed to “look at how to make the EU’s assistance more effective,” including facilitating a “more structured approach to voluntary returns” of displaced Syrians in cooperation with the UN refugee agency (UNHCR).

      It comes after EU leaders backed deeper engagement with Beirut last month to help safeguard it from the repercussions of the conflict in the Middle East, and after Cyprus raised the alarm over a sharp peak in the number of Syrian refugees arriving from Lebanon.

      It also follows a string of agreements signed over the last year between Brussels and African countries in a bid to stem migration into Europe.

      A deepening economic crisis and fragile government make Lebanon particularly vulnerable to the instability gripping the region in the wake of the Israel-Hamas war.

      The country is home to some 210,000 Palestinian and 1.5 million Syrian refugees, prompting fears regional instability could unleash a wave of migrants towards Europe via the island of Cyprus.
      Cash to stem refugee flows

      In early April, Cyprus announced it would temporarily halt the processing of asylum applications due to a surge in arrivals of Syrian refugees transiting through Lebanon and attempting to reach the island, which lies just 260 km off the Lebanese coast in the Mediterranean Sea.

      Over 1,000 people arrived in Cyprus by boats from Lebanon during the first two weeks of April, leaving refugee and reception centres on the island overloaded.

      “The problems seen on the Cypriot border is only one example of what could happen if this problem is not addressed,” Lebanese caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati acknowledged on Thursday, thanking Cyprus’ President Christodoulides for brokering the agreement.

      Hailing the announcement as “historic”, Christodoulides said that the financial envelope would address a situation that is “not sustainable” for either Lebanon, Cyprus or the European Union.

      “While we commend the Lebanese government for hosting a large number of Syrian refugees for more than 12 years, we are also fully cognisant of the enormous pressure that this creates to your economy and to your society,” Christodoulides said.

      He backed von der Leyen’s proposal of intensifying work with partners such as UNHCR on voluntary returns, where refugees who want to return to their home countries - even if the UN agency considers it unsafe for them - are supported to do so.

      Christodoulides also went further by calling for the status of some regions of Syria to be “re-examined” as safe areas to facilitate the return of migrants and refugees, a proposal he tabled at last month’s summit meeting of EU leaders.

      Syria, which has been under the authoritarian regime of Bashar al-Assad for more than two decades, has been designated an unsafe country since the civil war erupted in 2011. But refugee host countries such as Turkey and Lebanon have been pushing for the mass return of Syrian refugees to the country.

      A European Commission spokesperson confirmed that the EU has followed the lead of the UNHCR in their approach to safe zones in Syria, and that Brussels is “embarking now on discussions to see how to approach this issue in the upcoming period.”

      Von der Leyen also floated a working arrangement between Lebanon and the EU’s border agency, Frontex, “particularly on information exchange and situational awareness.” The agency currently has such arrangements in place with 19 partner countries.
      Security of Lebanon ’at stake’

      Both Christodoulides and von der Leyen also acknowledged the threat posed by the war between Israel and Hamas to Lebanon’s security.

      The Iranian-backed militant group Hezbollah is present in the country and has continuously exchanged fire across Lebanon’s southern border with Israel since the outbreak of the war last October.

      Hezbollah also took part in Tehran’s unprecedented aerial attack on Israel last month.

      “We are deeply concerned about the volatile situation in South Lebanon. What is at stake is the security of both Lebanon and Israel. The two cannot be disassociated,” von der Leyen said.

      Von der Leyen asked for a UN resolution calling on Israel to withdraw its troops from the Blue Line, the border demarcation between Lebanon and Israel, to be respected.

      https://www.euronews.com/my-europe/2024/05/02/eu-unveils-1-billion-aid-package-for-lebanon-in-bid-to-curb-refugee-flows

    • #Abou_Nader: Lebanese people reject European aid as a bribe to contain refugees

      #Fouad_Abou_Nader announced that Lebanese people have significant doubts regarding the EU’s financial package for Lebanon, estimated at a value of one billion euros over four years.

      He said: “If it is a veiled bribe intended to task the government with containing Syrian refugees and keeping them in Lebanon, then this assistance is to be returned to the givers with thanks.”

      He added: “The assistance that Lebanon was expecting from Europe is the regular repatriation of refugees to their country by giving them direct incentives in Syria. They can start by repatriating about 200,000 refugees who freely move between Lebanon and their country and have participated in the recent elections, which means there are no problems between them and the regime.”

      He asked: “Lebanese people were promised the transfer of Syrian prisoners to their country to complete their sentences there, so where is this promise now?”

      https://www.lbcgroup.tv/news/lebanon-news/770041/abou-nader-lebanese-people-reject-european-aid-as-a-bribe-to-contain-r/en

      #refus

  • Why does France hold the record for accidents in the workplace? | Euronews
    https://www.euronews.com/2024/02/05/why-does-france-hold-the-record-for-accidents-in-the-workplace

    Les accidents du travail, une hécatombe invisible en France | Euronews
    https://fr.euronews.com/2024/02/05/les-accidents-du-travail-une-hecatombe-invisible-en-france

    Pourquoi la #France est-elle considérée comme le « champion » européen des accidents du travail ? Le Collectif « Stop a la mort au travail », qui milite en faveur des victimes d’accidents mortels et de leurs familles, pourrait avoir la réponse.

  • Barcelona declares drought emergency, with big fines for breaking water rules | Euronews
    https://www.euronews.com/green/2024/02/01/spain-expected-to-declare-drought-emergency-today-with-big-fines-for-break

    After months of warnings, authorities in Catalonia have declared a drought emergency.

    The region is in the midst of the worst drought since records began.

    From tomorrow (Friday), 80% of the Catalan population, including Barcelona, will be under strict water restrictions.

    On n’a pas idée de réclamer l’indépendance aussi. (quoi je mélange tout ?)

  • Blinken tells United Nations : ’Palestinian civilians must be protected’ | Euronews
    https://www.euronews.com/2023/10/24/hamas-says-at-least-140-killed-in-gaza-by-israeli-airstrike-overnight-macr

    Le début d’une leur d’espoir ?

    US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has told a meeting of the United Nations Security Council on Monday that “a civilian is a civilian is a civilian” and said that Palestinian civilians “must be protected.”

    America’s top diplomat called on Hamas to stop using civilians as human shields, and told Israel that it must “take precautions.”

    Blinken said that food, water and medicine must be allowed to flow into Gaza for the people who need it.

    UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres also told the UN on Monday that there had been “clear violations” of humanitarian law in Gaza and called for an “immediate humanitarian ceasefire”, before a Security Council that remained divided on the 18th day of the war between Israel and Hamas.

    Guterres’ comments provoked anger ifrom Israel, which accused him of failing to understand the bloody attack by Hamas on 7 October; while the Palestinian representative denounced the “inexcusable” inaction of the Security Council, which in recent weeks has exposed its long-standing divisions on the Israeli-Palestinian issue.

  • Europe spent more on roads than rail in the last 25 years: These 10 countries bucked the trend

    A new report reveals how European countries are cutting railways and building roads.

    Europe’s rail network has dramatically declined over the past three decades, new research has warned, while investment in roads has soared.

    But with the funding gap between the two narrowing, could there be a light at the end of the (previously shuttered) tunnel?

    The length of motorways in Europe grew 60 per cent between 1995 and 2020, or 30,000km, according to research conducted by German thinktanks Wuppertal Institute and T3 Transportation and commissioned by Greenpeace.

    Meanwhile, railways shrank by 6.5 per cent, or 15,650km, and more than 2,500 railway stations were closed.

    The figures expose how governments prioritise cars over rail, warned Greenpeace EU senior climate campaigner Lorelei Limousin.

    “Millions of people outside cities have no option but to own a car to get to work, take kids to school or access basic services, living in areas with little or no public transport,” she said.

    “This is a direct result of governments dismantling local and regional rail networks while pouring money into roads.”

    However, there is a slight silver lining to the sobering research: the funding gap is narrowing.

    Between 1995 and 2018, European countries spent 66 per cent more on roads than railways. During the years 2018-2021, European countries spent 34 per cent more on extending roads than on extending railways.

    Nonetheless, the disparity is still jarring, Limousin commented.

    “Governments and the EU must hit the brakes on this dismantling of our train lines, reopen disused tracks and invest in rail – and stop the massive subsidies for roads that wreck the climate, pollute the air and make people’s lives miserable,” she said.
    Which European countries have invested in public transport?

    Trains are one of the most eco-friendly ways of getting around. Cars, vans and trucks are responsible for 72 per cent of Europe’s transport emissions, while rail accounts for only 0.4 per cent.

    But governments continue to pour money into polluting car infrastructure.

    EU-27 countries, Norway, Switzerland and the UK spent approximately €1.5 trillion on road infrastructure and only €930 billion on rail over this 1995-2020 period.

    Ten countries report a net increase of their railway networks’ lengths since 1995. These are Belgium, Croatia, Estonia, Finland, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Slovenia, Spain and Switzerland.

    The bulk of the railway closures took place in Germany (reduced by 6,706 km), Poland (by 4,660 km) and France (by 4,125 km). Despite this, these three countries still represent the longest total network lengths, followed by the UK and Spain.

    Between 2018 and 2021, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Italy, Luxembourg and the UK invested more in rail than roads. The other countries spent more on roads than rail. In Romania, the funding gap was particularly stark, with the government spending 12 times as much on roads as it did on rail.

    Motorways grew most in Ireland, Romania and Poland, and least in Lithuania, Latvia and Belgium. In 15 out of the 30 countries analysed, the motorway length more than doubled, including Spain, Norway and Greece.
    What do researchers think should be done to improve the European rail network?

    Several European countries have launched cheap public transport fares in a bid to reduce emissions. More than three million people have purchased Germany’s Deutschlandticket, priced at €49 a month.

    But inexpensive fares are not enough. Greenpeace urged policymakers to pour money into railways, public transport, and cycle lanes, and divert it away from motorways and airports.

    The researchers believe that more than 13,500km of closed railway lines could be reopened “relatively easily.”

    “European nations have a commitment to reduce energy and transport poverty, and

    they are committed to the Paris Agreement,” the report authors urge.

    “Therefore, from a social and environmental perspective, the funding priorities for transport infrastructure need to shift accordingly.

    https://www.euronews.com/green/2023/09/19/europe-spent-more-on-roads-than-rail-in-the-last-25-years-these-10-countri

    #transports_publics #transports #rail #train #routes #automobile #investissements #transport_ferroviaire #Europe #transport_routier

    • Europe lost 15,000 km of rail, built 30,000 km of motorway since 1995

      Since 1995, European countries invested on average 66% more in expanding and refurbishing roads than in railways, new research has found. The new study (https://greenpeace.at/uploads/2023/09/analysis_development-of-transport-infrastructure-in-europe_2023.pdf) by the Wuppertal Institut and T3 Transportation Think Tank, commissioned by Greenpeace Central and Eastern Europe, looked at the investments in road and rail infrastructure by the 27 EU countries, as well as Norway, Switzerland and the UK.

      The study shows that European countries have spent approximately €1.5 trillion on road infrastructure and only €930 billion on rail in the last three decades, encouraging people to use cars instead of sustainable public transport.

      Click here (https://greenpeace.at/uploads/2023/09/factsheet_key-findings-and-country-data_transport-infrastructure-report_s) for a factsheet of the study’s main findings and country data.

      Lorelei Limousin, Greenpeace EU senior climate campaigner, said: “Millions of people outside cities have no option but to own a car to get to work, take kids to school or access basic services, living in areas with little or no public transport. This is a direct result of governments dismantling local and regional rail networks while pouring money into roads. Climate pollution from transport is through the roof, and we’ve seen people around Europe and across the world suffer the consequences. Governments and the EU must hit the brakes on this dismantling of our train lines, reopen disused tracks and invest in rail – and stop the massive subsidies for roads that wreck the climate, pollute the air and make people’s lives miserable.”

      This lopsided funding has come with a 60% increase in the length of Europe’s motorways since 1995 – more than 30,000 km – while European rail lines shrank by 6.5%, or 15,650 km. This contributed to a 29% increase in demand for motorised road transport between 1995 and 2019. Cars, vans and trucks are responsible for 72% of Europe’s transport emissions, while rail accounts for only 0.4%.

      About 13,700 km of mostly regional railway lines and more than 2,500 railway stations have been temporarily or permanently closed to passenger trains. This disproportionately affects rural communities, which suffer from reduced access to rail and other public transport. More than half of the kilometres of closed railway line could be reopened relatively easily, according to the study.

      The study looks at how the funding gap between road and rail in Europe has evolved over time, and finds that since 2018 the gap has begun to narrow, from 66% in favour of roads before 2018 to 34% since then. However, despite this, many European countries continued to close further railway lines and stations, and to plan and build new motorways and airport extensions.

      Transport remains the only sector in the EU that has consistently increased its domestic greenhouse gas emissions. Greenhouse gas emissions from transport have actually increased by 15% in the period from 1995 to 2019. At the same time, an average train journey in Europe produces 77% less greenhouse gas emissions than a car trip per passenger kilometre. Data shows that a dense and well-developed rail network is key to making public transport accessible and attractive to people, which brings pollution down.

      As European governments prepare to set their budgets for next year, Greenpeace is calling on national and EU policymakers to finally shift funding priorities from road to rail, better maintaining rail infrastructure, and making public transport more affordable.

      https://www.greenpeace.org/eu-unit/issues/climate-energy/46794/europe-lost-15000-km-of-rail-built-30000-km-of-motorway-since-1995
      #comparaison #rapport #étude #autoroutes #statistiques

  • #France ’A power struggle’: What lies behind the anger in France’s banlieues?
    https://www.euronews.com/2023/07/27/a-power-struggle-what-lies-behind-the-anger-in-frances-banlieues

    The killing of a 17-year-old boy by a police officer in a Paris suburb in June saw France gripped by mass violence and nationwide riots. Euronews Witness heads into France’s poorest neighbourhoods to discover the origins of the unrest.

    France still bears the scars of more than five nights of fierce rioting in June sparked by the killing of Nahel, a 17-year-old boy of Algerian descent, by a police officer. But what lies behind the anger felt by the French suburbs?

    In this latest episode of Euronews Witness, our reporter Monica Pinna went in search of answers in the suburbs, or so-called “banlieues”, outside France’s southeastern city of #Lyon.

  • EU dumps 37 million items of plastic clothing in Kenya a year.
    https://www.euronews.com/green/2023/02/16/eu-dumps-37-million-items-of-plastic-clothing-in-kenya-a-year-which-countr

    “We went to the Ground Zero of the #fast_fashion world to unmask an ugly truth - that the trade of used clothing from Europe is, to a large and growing extent, a trade in hidden waste,” says Betterman Simidi Musasia, founder and patron of Clean Up Kenya, which advocates for sustainable public sanitation.

    [...] “A large proportion of clothing donated to charity by well-meaning people ends up this way. Why? Because the backbone of the fast fashion industry is plastic, and plastic clothing is essentially junk,” says Musasia.

    [...] More than two thirds of clothing is now made of plastics like nylon and polyester which are impossible to recycle.

    #déchets #vêtements #plastique #pollution

  • Severe drought impacts economies linked to the Danube | Euronews
    https://www.euronews.com/2022/11/01/severe-drought-impacts-economies-linked-to-the-danube

    ça date un peu (01/11/22), une vidéo dont le texte est retranscrit ci-dessous

    The most severe Danube drought in centuries has caused serious damage to countries whose economies are strongly tied with the big Central European river.

    de la sécheresse de cet été dans la zone, j’avais juste retenu l’émersion d’épaves de sous-marins allemands de la WW2…

    Low water levels on Danube reveal sunken WW2 German warships | Reuters
    https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/low-water-levels-danube-reveal-sunken-ww2-german-warships-2022-08-19
    https://www.reuters.com/resizer/fymOkYtKy3B2iuxaaDfowkjaWWM=/1200x0/filters:quality(80)/cloudfront-us-east-2.images.arcpublishing.com/reuters/JQRSWOFHS5NEZMDN47V2XSAYP4.jpg
    Ivica Skodric, a 37-year old local fisherman, points at the wreckage of a World War Two German warship in the Danube in Prahovo, Serbia August 18, 2022.
    REUTERS/Fedja Grulovic

  • #Latvia: Refugees and migrants arbitrarily detained, tortured and forced to ‘voluntarily’ return to their countries

    Latvian authorities have violently pushed back refugees and migrants at the country’s borders with Belarus, subjecting many to grave human rights violations, including secret detention and even torture, according to new findings published in a report by Amnesty International.

    Latvia: Return home or never leave the woods reveals the brutal treatment of migrants and refugees – including children – who have been held arbitrarily in undisclosed sites in the Latvian forest, and unlawfully and violently returned to Belarus. Many faced beatings and electric shocks with tasers, including on their genitals. Some were unlawfully forced to return ‘voluntarily’ to their home countries.

    “Latvia has given refugees and migrants a cruel ultimatum: accept to return ‘voluntarily’ to their country, or remain stranded at the border facing detention, unlawful returns and torture. In some cases, their arbitrary detention at the border may amount to enforced disappearance,” said Eve Geddie, Director of Amnesty International’s European Institutions Office.

    “The Latvian authorities have left men, women and children to fend for themselves in freezing temperatures, often stranded in forests or held in tents. They have violently pushed them back to Belarus, where they have no chance of seeking protection. These actions have nothing to do with border protection and are brazen violations of international and EU law.”

    On 10 August 2021, Latvia introduced a state of emergency following an increase in numbers of people encouraged to come to the border by Belarus. In contrast with EU and international law and the principle of non-refoulement, the emergency rules suspended the right to seek asylum in four border areas and allowed Latvian authorities to forcibly and summarily return people to Belarus.

    Latvian authorities have repeatedly extended the state of emergency, currently until November 2022, despite the decrease of movements over time, and their own admission that the number of attempted entries were the result of multiple crossings by the same people.

    Dozens of refugees and migrants have been arbitrarily held in tents at the border in unsanitary conditions, A small percentage of people were allowed into Latvia, the vast majority of whom were placed in detention centres and offered limited or no access to asylum processes, legal assistance or independent oversight.

    Amnesty’s report on Latvia follows and supplements similar reports focussing on abuses against refugees and migrants by Belarus, Poland and Lithuania.
    Violent pushbacks, arbitrary detention and possible enforced disappearances

    Under the state of emergency, Latvian border guards, in cooperation with unidentified “commandos”, the army and the police, repeatedly subjected people to summary, unlawful and violent forced returns. In response, Belarusian authorities would then systematically push people back to Latvia.

    Zaki, a man from Iraq who was stranded at the border for around three months, told Amnesty International that he had been pushed back more than 150 times, sometimes eight times in a single day.

    Hassan, another man from Iraq who spent five months at the border, said: “They forced us to be completely naked, sometimes they beat us when naked and then they forced us to cross back to Belarus, sometimes having to cross a river which was very cold. They said they would shoot us if we didn’t cross.”

    In between pushbacks, people were forced to spend prolonged periods stranded at the border or in tents set up by the authorities in isolated areas of the forest. Latvian authorities have so far denied using tents for anything other than providing “humanitarian assistance”, but Amnesty International’s findings show that tents were heavily guarded sites used to arbitrarily hold refugees and migrants and as outposts for illegal returns.

    Those not held in tents sometimes ended up stranded in the open at the border, as winter temperatures at times fell to -20C. Adil, a man from Iraq, who spent several months in the forest since August 2021, told Amnesty International: “We used to sleep in the forest on the snow. We used to light fire to get warm, there were wolves, bears.”

    At the border and in the tents, authorities confiscated people’s mobile phones to prevent any communication with the outside world. Some families searched for people who were last known to be in Latvia but could not be reached by phone. A Latvian NGO reported that between August and November 2021, they were contacted by the relatives of more than 30 refugees and migrants feared to have gone missing.

    Holding migrants and refugees in tents in undisclosed locations or leaving them stranded at the border without access to communication or safe alternatives to being continuously shuttled back and forth between Latvia and Belarus constitutes ‘secret detention’ and could amount to enforced disappearance.
    Forced returns, abuse and torture

    With no effective access to asylum under the state of emergency, Latvian officers coerced some people held at the border into agreeing to return ‘voluntarily’ to their countries of origin as the only way to be taken out of the forest.

    Others were coerced or misled into accepting voluntary returns in detention centres or police stations.

    Hassan, from Iraq, told Amnesty International that he tried to explain that his life would be in danger if he was returned: “The commando responded: ‘You can die here too’”.

    Another Iraqi, Omar, described how an officer hit him from behind and forced him to sign a return paper: “He held my hand and said you should do the signature, and then with force, he made me do the signature.”

    In some cases, the IOM representative for Latvia ignored evidence that people transferred as part of “voluntary” return procedures had not provided their genuine consent to returning.

    “Latvia, Lithuania and Poland, continue to commit grave abuses, under the pretext of being under a ‘hybrid attack’ from Belarus. As winter approaches and movements at the border have resumed, the state of emergency continues to allow Latvian authorities to unlawfully return people to Belarus. Many more could be exposed to violence, arbitrary detention and other abuses, with limited or no independent oversight,” said Eve Geddie.

    “Latvia’s shameful treatment of people arriving at its borders presents a vital test for European institutions, which must take urgent measures to ensure that Latvia ends the state of emergency and restores the right to asylum across the country for everyone seeking safety, irrespective of their origin or how they crossed the border.”
    Background

    As pushbacks at the Belarus border with Latvia, Lithuania and Poland re-intensify, the EU Council is prioritizing the adoption of a Regulation on the “instrumentalization” of migrants and asylum seekers. This would allow member states facing situations of “instrumentalization” – as experienced by Latvia – to derogate from their obligations under EU asylum and migration law. The proposal disproportionately impacts the rights of refugees and migrants and risks undermining the uniform application of EU asylum law.

    In June, the Court of Justice of the EU ruled that the Lithuanian law on asylum and migration, which limited people’s ability to make asylum applications under the state of emergency and provided for the automatic detention of asylum seekers, was incompatible with EU law.

    The Court’s analysis and conclusions should apply directly to the situation in Latvia, where, since August 2021, the state of emergency effectively prevents most people entering or attempting to enter “irregularly” from Belarus from accessing asylum.

    https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2022/10/latvia-refugees-and-migrants-arbitrarily-detained-tortured-and-forced-to-vo

    #Lettonie #réfugiés #asile #migrations #détention #détention_arbitraire #torture #retour_volontaire (sic) #renvois_forcés #pays_baltes #rapport #Amnesty #Amnesty_international #Biélorussie #forêt #push-backs #refoulements #état_d'urgence #police #gardes-frontière #armée #militarisation_des_frontières #violence #abandon #limbe #encampement #commando #milices

    ping @isskein @reka

    • Asylum seekers who claimed torture and abuse in Latvia are using the courts to fight back

      Some of the people looking to take the Latvian state to court have alleged ill-treatment including beatings, electric shocks and cigarette burns.

      Earlier this year, Sidya Sompare, 20, a Guinean man who had attempted to claim asylum in Latvia, tried to end his life in a Latvian detention centre by drinking shampoo in his toilet stall.

      Having fled Guinea in the wake of threats against his safety due to his participation in anti-government protests, Sompare arrived in Belarus in September 2021 on a quest to find a secure life in Europe, before spending six months in the forested border zone between the country and Latvia.

      There, in addition to being pushed back and forth across the border by authorities in both countries, he alleges he was severely beaten, verbally abused, and given barely any food for days on end by Latvian border guards. Sompare then spent eight months in the closed detention center after he lost his passport in the woods and his asylum efforts were denied.

      When Sompare was found on the floor of his toilet stall after his suicide attempt, detention center authorities promptly took him to a hospital.

      “I’m not sick, I’m alright,” he recalled saying to a doctor during an interview with Euronews. “Just I need to be free.”

      He was finally released from detention in April with the help of Doctors Without Borders, an NGO, and a local Latvian human rights group. But Sompare didn’t stop there — having previously filed two unsuccessful complaints against the Latvian state last year for his detention and the dehumanizing treatment he experienced in the forest along the border, he has taken his fight to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), where his case was formally registered on July 5.

      Beatings and electric shocks

      Sompare is not alone in turning to legal pathways to seek justice for ill-treatment by Latvian border authorities during the migrant crisis along the Belarusian border.

      As allegations of torture and ill-treatment by Latvian authorities have continued to emerge since last year, an increasing number of migrants and refugees who say they have experienced life-altering trauma at the hands of Latvian security forces have been mounting court challenges against them over the last few months, aiming to hold their former tormentors and the Latvian state accountable.

      These cases, which are mostly taking place at the national level with the exception of Sompare’s, represent some of the first legal efforts in Latvia since the start of the border crisis in 2021 that are specifically focused on the harrowing abuse that border authorities have allegedly inflicted on people crossing the border.

      “All the Latvian institutions, even the ombudsperson of Latvia, they deny that Latvia did anything illegal with those migrants,” said Nikita Matyushchenkov, a human rights lawyer at Respect, Protect, Fulfill (RPF), the legal organisation that helped Sompare file his ECHR case. “So these will be very important judgements.”

      In addition to challenging ongoing deportation procedures against him, Sompare’s ECHR case is focused on the ill-treatment he received in Latvian custody in the forests of the border area, which he and RPF claim was illegal. RPF has also filed three cases at the national level in Latvia, two in March and one in June of this year, on behalf of individuals who claim they were abused by Latvian border authorities between August 2021 and March 2022.

      But these may not be the only cases that will be brought to bear against the Latvian state — Matyushchenkov said that RPF has identified up to 100 people who were abused in one way or another by Latvian border guards while in the forest in the border area.

      Some of Matyushchenkov’s clients have told him that they were beaten with electric shock devices — claims that are consistent with findings documented in 2022 in an Amnesty International report on Latvia’s border. In another report published this month, the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment stated that it had received several claims of “severe ill-treatment” from people who were detained after crossing into Latvia, again recounting beatings and electric shocks to areas of the body “including the genitals.”

      ’I got sick physically and mentally’

      The ongoing migrant border crisis has, according to European states, been manufactured by Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko, whose government has incentivised people from the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia to journey to Belarus before forcing them to cross the borders of Poland, Lithuania, and Latvia illegally as a means of putting pressure on the European Union.

      After establishing a state of emergency along its border in August 2021, Latvia adopted new amendments to its border laws in June of this year that have been denounced by Amnesty International, the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, and the UNHCR as legalising internationally-condemned pushbacks. Crucially, these amendments have also enshrined into law the State Border Guard’s broadly defined use of force to prevent illegal entry into Latvia.

      Although Poland and Lithuania have both faced accusations of ill-treatment of migrants as well, Matyushchenkov said that Latvia has been much more extreme in its abuse of people crossing its border.

      In one particularly gruesome case that has previously been reported in international media, Abdulrahman Kiwan, a humanitarian worker who fled Syria following pressure from the government of Bashar al-Assad, has alleged that he not only received electric shocks from Latvian guards, but that they extinguished cigarettes in the places where he had previously been injured.

      Now, Kiwan said he is in touch with a Latvian human rights group about filing his own complaint against the Latvian state — and if it fails, he is also ready to escalate his efforts to the ECHR with the help of legal NGOs.

      “I got sick physically and mentally because of them,” Kiwan, 28, who is now based in Germany, said of the Latvian border authorities. “I want my voice to reach the world and other migrants, that the Latvian Border Guards are liars and are extremely racist.”

      A Latvian human rights group is currently working on preparing a complaint for another refugee based in Germany, Hadi, 26, from Yemen, who told Euronews that Latvian guards beat him, violently struck him in the head, and shocked him with an electric baton. In addition to seeking compensation for crimes committed against him, Hadi, who requested to use an alias due to his ongoing asylum case in Germany, also wants his experience to be a cautionary tale.

      “Legally, I want this complaint [to ensure] that no human being will be harmed after me,” he told Euronews.

      ’The government is scared of me’

      Although Matyushchenkov said the chances of success for migrant cases like these at the ECHR may be significant, the same cannot be said for complaints within the Latvian system.

      “From the way it was investigated at the national level, it seems like the authorities are not willing to investigate such complaints properly,” he said, referencing Sompare’s initial complaint procedure. “In the response to his complaint, they identified a person who allegedly beat the complainant, and they interviewed that person. That security official said he didn’t beat this person, and this was basically the end of the investigation.”

      The Latvian government, including the Latvian State Border Guard, have previously denied any claims of abuse and torture from migrants. As of the writing of this article however, the Latvian State Border Guard, together with the country’s Internal Security Bureau and Prosecution Office which handle legal complaints from people crossing the border, were unavailable for comment.

      Sompare, who is currently living in Latvia’s capital Riga, has no plans to leave Latvia anytime soon. As he fights his still ongoing deportation procedure and the traumatic abuse he suffered in the country, he can feel he is already making an impact.

      “Something is going to change in Latvia,” he said. “Right now for sure the government is scared of me.”

      Despite being severely disappointed in Europe’s capacity to help desperate people like himself, Sompare said he wants to continue his university studies after he wins his case, and hopes to find work at a human rights organization for refugees in Latvia. Until then however, he understands that he is fighting an uphill battle not only to save himself, but also many other asylum seekers who are in the same situation.

      “I want to be an example for the people [to whom] the Latvian government did something illegal,” Sompare said. “The things that I started, I will finish them in Latvia.

      https://www.euronews.com/my-europe/2023/08/01/asylum-seekers-who-claimed-torture-and-abuse-in-latvia-are-using-the-court

      #justice #CEDH #cour_européenne_des_droits_de_l'homme

  • Hungary, Austria and Serbia leaders outline plan to curb migration Access to the comments

    The leaders of Hungary, Austria and Serbia met Monday in Budapest to find solutions on how to stem what they claim is the increasing number of migrants arriving in Europe.

    The three leaders agreed to take joint action to control the new arrivals along the migration route that leads through Serbia.

    Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer told reporters after the meeting that the joint action plan would include increased police cooperation along the borders as well as supporting Serbia when it comes to deporting migrants back to their home countries.

    "We will directly support Serbia to carry out repatriations and not only support technical know-how, but also do everything possible that is necessary, and financially support them,” Nehammer said.

    The Austrian chancellor lauded Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić’s announcement that by the end of the year, Serbia would align its visa policies with the European Union so that the visa-free regime with some non-EU countries is no longer used for migration purposes.

    Serbia is a candidate country for full-fledged membership in the bloc.

    “We will thus prevent the situation when someone uses Serbia as a country of arrival but not because of their real needs but for illegal migration toward the west,” Vučić said.

    Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban called for an overall political change in how to approach migration and suggested so-called hot spot centres outside the European Union where asylum-seeker requests should be processed. He added that "we are not satisfied at all with the situation that has developed.”

    That procedure would, however, undermine the national laws of some European countries. Among them is Germany, which has enshrined in its constitution every foreigner’s right to apply for political asylum and have his or her request individually checked while staying in the country.

    Among the migrants recently detained in Austria who have applied for asylum to avoid immediate deportation, Indian nationals accounted for the biggest group in September, according to government data.

    Indian nationals need a visa to enter the EU but can enter Serbia without one. From there, many are trying to reach Western European countries with the help of traffickers, according to government claims.

    Monday’s meeting in the Hungarian capital came after announcements by the Czech Republic and Austria last week that they would launch temporary border controls at their crossings with Slovakia to stop migrants from entering.

    In addition to the meeting in Budapest, the interior ministers of Austria, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia called on the EU on Monday to better protect the outer borders to curb the latest increase in migration.

    “We’re facing problems that affect all of Europe,” said Czech Interior Minister Vit Rakušan.

    While Serbia has not had any major incidents in handling prior waves of migration, Hungary has been accused of serious human rights violations in the past, including becoming the only EU country that has legalised pushbacks, some of which were said to have been violent.

    Orban is one of the most vocal anti-migration politicians in Europe, known for publically labelling non-European immigrants “Muslim invaders” in an interview with the German newspaper Bild in 2018 and stating migration was “poison” in 2016.

    https://www.euronews.com/2022/10/04/hungary-austria-and-serbia-leaders-outline-plan-to-curb-migration

    #Hongrie #Autriche #Serbie #Balkans #route_des_Balkans #asile #migrations #réfugiés #frontières #fermeture_des_frontières #coopération_policière #police #renvois #expulsions #visa #visas #Slovaquie #République_Tchèque

  • George Floyd murder: A year on, did the protests it inspired in Europe change anything? | Euronews
    https://www.euronews.com/my-europe/2021/05/24/george-floyd-murder-a-year-on-did-the-protests-it-inspired-in-europe-chang

    In short yes some things did change but too little:
    – “the European Parliament passed a resolution on the George Floyd protests, tackling structural racism and police brutality in Europe”.
    – “there is a “major data gap” across the continent when it comes to recording police violence against minority groups.”
    – “appointment of the EU’s first anti-racism coordinator - Michaela Moua”
    – “The protests put anti-racism and racial justice on the policy agenda, where policymakers could no longer ignore the issue”

    Black Lives Matter protests erupted across Europe after the murder of George Floyd - Copyright Markus Schreiber/AP

    One year ago on Tuesday (May 25th), George Floyd was murdered by a police officer in the city of Minneapolis in the US.

    The city was subsequently rocked by huge racial justice protests, which spread first across the US, and then further afield, with massive demonstrations taking place in many major European cities.

    These protests didn’t just centre on police brutality. As the Black Lives Matter movement gained recognition in Europe, the issues of systemic discrimination and even Europe’s colonial past started to be raised .

    A year on since the murder that sparked a summer of protest, how much has actually changed in Europe?
    Police brutality ‘a problem in Europe too’

    “Where there have been promising changes, we’re still in the implementation stage, but the impact hasn’t yet been felt on the ground,” says Ojeaku Nwabuzo, a senior research officer at the European Network Against Racism.

    She tells Euronews the Black Lives Matter uprising “was the spark of a lot of development and discussion in Europe around police violence,” but concrete changes are yet to be seen.

    Nwabuzo is in the midst of researching police brutality in Europe between the years 2015 and 2020, and points out there is a “major data gap” across the continent when it comes to recording police violence against minority groups.

    “What we do know is there is a problem with police and law enforcement disproportionately brutalising, profiling and surveilling racialised groups,” she says.

    But many of the demands organisations like hers have been working on for years - “such as looking at structural, systemic forms of racism” - were quickly listened to and acted upon following the outbreak of protests, she says, “specifically in the EU”.
    EU ‘action plan’ on racism

    In June last year, the European Parliament passed a resolution on the George Floyd protests, tackling structural racism and police brutality in Europe.

    This was quickly followed up by a Commission anti-racism action plan - drawing some praise from campaigners.

    “This is a direct response to the Black Lives Matter movement,” says Nwabuzo. “The way in which these plans were developed, the language used, acknowledging structural and systemic racism in a way we have not seen the Commission do before.”

    Evin Incir MEP, a co-president of the European Parliament’s Anti-Racism and Diversity Intergroup, tells Euronews the action plan was “an important sign the Commission immediately took this situation seriously”.

    She says the protests put pressure on politicians “even we thought might not vote for such wording that the resolution contained,” and says the recent appointment of the EU’s first anti-racism coordinator - Michaela Moua - is “very important”.

    EU needs ’holistic approach’ if they want to tackle racial discrimination
    Analysis: Is Europe any better than the US when it comes to racism?

    Moua’s role is to coordinate the implementation of the action plan, which Incir says hasn’t yet borne fruit in people’s everyday lives.

    The action plan contains proposals for improving law enforcement policies, security from extremists, and greater equality in areas such as employment, health and housing - but additional legislation to fill any gaps won’t be until 2022.

    ENAR’s Nwabuzo says the protests in Europe were “really significant” in forcing concrete action on a legislative level.

    “The protests put anti-racism and racial justice on the policy agenda, where policymakers could no longer ignore the issue,” she says.

    “It’s important we continue making our voices loud on the matter, that we don’t stop,” Incir says.

    “Some part of the knowledge has reached the legislators, but also the people need to continue rising up for anti-racism because otherwise, unfortunately, there are some legislators who have a very short memory.”
    Colonial commemorations

    The protests also forced some European countries into a reckoning with their colonial pasts.

    Demonstrators targeted statues in public places commemorating figures linked to colonial violence and the slave trade.

    In Bristol in the UK, a crowd tore down the statue of Edward Colston - a wealthy ‘philanthropist’ who made the bulk of his fortune in the slave trade - and threw it in the river.

    Similar acts occurred in Belgium, where many statues of King Leopold II - notorious for his rule over the Congo Free State - adorn the streets.

    Daphné Budasz, a PhD researcher at the European University Institute, says the debate over statues existed long before the protests in 2020, especially in countries such as the UK and Belgium.

    But it did widen the debate, opening up similar conversations in countries that until then hadn’t paid it much attention.

    “Living in Switzerland, Swiss people don’t usually consider they have a link to colonial history, but even here last year we had a debate about a statue in Neuchâtel, a guy called David de Pury, who made his fortune from the slave trade,” she tells Euronews.

    “This was a non-existent debate, and suddenly because of Black Lives Matter it became visible even here.”

    However, the momentum around this issue appears to have stalled. Just last week in the UK, the long-running campaign to have a statue of colonialist Cecil Rhodes removed from a college at the University of Oxford saw defeat once again.

    Oxford University to keep Cecil Rhodes statue despite recommendation to remove it

    Despite Oriel College claiming it agreed the statue — at the centre of a years’ long #RhodesMustFall campaign — should be removed, it said high costs and complex heritage planning rules meant it won’t be taken down.

    It said instead it will work on the “contextualisation” of the college’s relationship with Rhodes.

    “I have the impression there’s no real political willingness to properly discuss this question,” says Budasz, who points to French President Emmanuel Macron’s response to calls for statues to come down.

    “The Republic will not erase any trace or name from its history,” he said in a television address last year.

    “It will not forget any of its works, it will not remove any of its statues.”

    “What they’re suggesting is that the people asking for removal are the reactionary ones, the ones who want to change history,” says Budasz.

    “We don’t want to change history. The debate is too polarised and there’s a kind of refusal to understand the symbolic element in monuments and the meaning in commemoration,” she adds.

    Her view is that the debate over statues was perhaps more of “a buzz”, which did reach a wider audience at the time, but now those still fighting for [the] removal of colonial relics are in the minority again.

    “We still use history as a tool to build or reinforce national identities, when history should be a critical tool to understand today’s society,” she argues, pointing out monuments are for the purpose of commemoration.

    “A statue is not an historical artefact, it’s not an archive, it’s a narrative of history. It’s been put there on purpose.”

    Every weekday, Uncovering Europe brings you a European story that goes beyond the headlines. Download the Euronews app to get a daily alert for this and other breaking news notifications. It’s available on Apple and Android devices.

    #BLM #Contestedmonuments #police #police_violence #violence_policière #eslavage #statue #monument

  • Covid-19 et Omicron : face au coût exorbitant des tests, faut-il se tourner vers l’analyse des eaux usées ? - ladepeche.fr
    https://www.ladepeche.fr/2022/02/13/covid-19-et-omicron-face-au-cout-exorbitant-des-tests-faut-il-se-tourner-v

    En janvier, selon Vincent Maréchal, professeur de virologie à la Sorbonne intervenant pour nos confrères de franceinfo, « le coût des tests s’est élevé à plus de 1,6 milliard d’euros » pour l’État. Un chiffre exorbitant au regard de la circulation très importante du virus, boosté par l’arrivée du variant Omicron. C’est pourquoi ce scientifique a la volonté de mettre en avant une autre méthode de suivi de l’épidémie, à travers son projet Obépine (Observatoire épidémiologique dans les eaux usées), dont il est le cofondateur.

    • Les tests servent à informer chacun s’il est ou non positif, et ainsi d’éviter d’aller contaminer les autres. Ce n’est pas du tout du même registre que le suivi de l’épidémie via les eaux usées.

      L’abandon des tests, c’est à partir du moment où l’on considère qu’il n’y a plus aucun intérêt à limiter la propagation du virus en isolant les personnes positives.

    • Ce qui reviendrait à dire qu’il n’y a plus aucune politique de santé publique dans ce pays. Remarquez, quand on voit dans quel état de délabrement s’est retrouvé l’hôpital public, et ce bien avant la crise du Covid, on est en droit de se dire que depuis une bonne vingtaine d’années, toutes ces crapules gestionnaires illébérales nous ont mis dans une béchamelle verdâtre.

      [edit] Mais là où l’on pourrait se marrer si la situation n’était pas aussi grave, c’est que les gestionnaires du « vivre avec », et bien, ils l’ont dans le vase :

      Thread by C_A_Gustave on Thread Reader App – Thread Reader App
      https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/1492868314762252298.html

      1/9
      Avec le recul, la politique sanitaire ZeroCovid restera la meilleure option.
      Sur le plan économique, le monde occidental du "vivre avec" aura eu les mêmes fermetures généralisées ou ciblées, et les dépenses+++ pour compenser la ↘️↘️ de la demande...
      2/9
      Sur le plan sociologique, le monde occidental du vivre avec se retrouve avec les mêmes protestations populaires que les récentes protestations observées en Extrême-Orient :
      Exemple en nouvelle Zélande :
      A) bbc.com/news/world-asi…
      B)
      New Zealand anti-vax protesters inspired by Canada truckers camp outside parliament
      PM Ardern dismisses anti-vax demonstrators camped outside parliament as minority.
      https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-60314091
      New Zealand plays Barry Manilow to repel parliament protesters
      Protesters opposed to Covid-19 vaccine mandates remain camped outside parliament.
      https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-60362529
      3/9
      Exemple en Australie :
      A) bbc.com/news/world-aus…
      B)
      Violent anti-vaccine protests continue in Melbourne
      Demonstrators have been marching against lockdowns and mandatory vaccines in Australia’s second largest city.
      https://www.bbc.com/news/av/world-australia-58647483
      Australia : Protesters set Old Parliament House in Canberra on fire
      The blaze was quickly put out but marks an escalation in indigenous protests in Canberra.
      https://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-59824914
      4/9
      Exemple en Corée du Sud :
      South Korean business owners shave heads to protest restrictions
      Hundreds of South Korean business owners shaved their heads to protest the South Korean government’s virus restrictions
      https://www.euronews.com/2022/01/25/south-korean-business-owners-shave-heads-to-protest-restrictions
      5/9
      Sauf que ces pays auront beaucoup mieux préserver leur économie, leur activité :
      A) lemonde.fr/idees/article/…
      B) institutmolinari.org/wp-content/upl…
      « La stratégie zéro Covid a montré sa supériorité sur les plans sanitaire et économique »
      TRIBUNE. Les pays ayant appliqué le « tester, tracer, isoler » ont enrayé la circulation du Covid-19, et ceux qui, comme la France, ont choisi le « stop and go », n’y arrivent pas, notent les économis…
      https://www.lemonde.fr/idees/article/2021/02/24/philippe-aghion-et-patrick-artus-la-strategie-zero-covid-a-montre-sa-superio
      6/9
      Également mieux protégé la santé mentale de leur population
      thelancet.com/journals/lance… ImageImage
      7/9
      Y compris vis-à-vis des enfants, dont la santé mentale ne se dégrade pas à cause des confinement, mais, contrairement au story telling de la SFP et des pro-GBD, durant les vagues épidémiques !
      Unroll available on Thread Reader
      8/9
      Et surtout le ZeroCovid aura bien mieux protégé les populations et leur santé en attendant l’arrivée des vaccins permettant une réouverture sous protection immunitaire !
      A noter, leur mortalité n’↗️ que depuis l’abandon du ZeroCovid à cause des variants venant de chez nous ! Image
      9/9
      L’Histoire ne le retiendra pas car elle sera construite sur l’auto-congratulation des occidentaux s’évaluant sur des critères subjectifs internes.
      Mais les faits et la comparaison exogène à l’échelle mondiale seront têtus ! 😉

      • • •

  • Italian town faces backlash for ’sexist’ bronze statue of ’#La_Spigolatrice'

    Italian authorities in Sapri have defended a new bronze statue of a woman wearing a transparent dress.

    The sculpture is a tribute to La Spigolatrice di Sapri (The Gleaner of Sapri), an 1857 poem written by Luigi Mercantini.

    The poem refers to a female gleaner who leaves her job to join Italian revolutionary Carlo Pisacane’s failed expedition against the Kingdom of Naples.

    It was unveiled at a ceremony on Saturday in the province of Salerno, at a ceremony featuring local officials and former Italian prime minister Giuseppe Conte.

    But the statue has generated some backlash on social media, with many labeling its design “sexist” and others calling for it to be taken down.

    Italian authorities in Sapri have defended a new bronze statue of a woman wearing a transparent dress.

    Laura Boldrini, an MP with the centre-left Democratic party, said the monument was “an offense to women and to the history it is supposed to celebrate”.

    “How can even the institutions accept the representation of women as sexualised bodies,” she added on Twitter.


    https://twitter.com/MonicaCirinna/status/1442204598190714891

    Monica Cirinnà, a member of the Italian Senate, also stated that it was a “slap in the face to history and to women who are still only sexualised bodies.”

    “This statue of the Gleaner says nothing about the self-determination of the woman who chose not to go to work in order to stand up against the Bourbon oppressor”.

    The mayor of Sapri has defended the statue as “a very important work of art which will be a great tourist attraction for our town”.

    In a post on Facebook, Antonio Gentile said that critics of the statue held “a lack of knowledge of local history”.

    “Our community...has always been committed to combating all forms of gender violence,” he added.

    La nuova statua della Spigolatrice di Sapri è stata realizzata con maestria e impeccabile interpretazione dall’artista...

    –—

    Meanwhile, the sculptor #Emanuele_Stifano stated that he was “appalled and disheartened” by the criticism.

    “All kinds of accusations have been made against me which have nothing to do with my person and my story,” Stifano said on Facebook.

    “When I make a sculpture, I always tend to cover the human body as little as possible, regardless of gender.”

    https://www.euronews.com/2021/09/28/italian-town-of-sapri-faces-backlash-for-sexist-bronze-statue-of-la-spigol
    #image #femmes #travailleuses #statue #Italie #commémoration #sexisme #espace_public #spigolatrice #corps

    ping @cede

    • Anche no

      Sui social da qualche giorno è in atto una forte polemica su una statua commissionata dal Comune di Sapri (Salerno) allo scultore Emanuele Stifano. Raffigura una giovane donna voluttuosa, coperta solo da un abito succinto e trasparente, in stile camicia bagnata vedo/non vedo che mette in risalto seni e glutei. Ricordo una polemica simile per la statua discinta della Violata ad Ancona, commissionata per portare l’attenzione sulla violenza maschile sulle donne.

      Il riferimento stavolta è alla spigolatrice protagonista di una notissima poesia di #Luigi_Mercantini ispirata a un tragico episodio del Risorgimento italiano: la spedizione del socialista Carlo Pisacane, che aveva lo scopo di innescare una rivoluzione antiborbonica nel Regno delle Due Sicilie, ma al posto delle masse rivoluzionarie trovò una popolazione ostile che si unì alla gendarmeria borbonica per trucidarli. La contadina immaginata dal poeta assiste allo sbarco, affascinata da una speranza di libertà lascia il lavoro per seguirli e inorridita e incredula piange i trecento giovani morti.
      Siamo in presenza di un’opera a destinazione pubblica, esposta in pubblico, pagata con fondi pubblici, che ha una dichiarata funzione celebrativa.  Poteva essere il simbolo della presenza femminile nelle battaglie, nella storia, nella letteratura. È diventata l’ennesimo triste ammiccante tributo non alla rappresentazione artistica del nudo femminile, ma agli stereotipi che l’accompagnano.
      Giunta e scultore ovviamente difendono l’iniziativa. La perversione è nell’occhio di chi guarda, dicono.
      L’inaugurazione avviene alla presenza delle autorità locali e del presidente M5s Giuseppe Conte in tour elettorale nella zona. Uomini con responsabilità di governo, noti e applauditi, si fanno fotografare compunti, con la mano sul cuore, di fronte a una statua di donna che stimola reazioni pruriginose e a noi pare ridicola per la storia, per la dignità, per il buonsenso e per il buon gusto.
      Non si pongono alcun problema, sembra che la banalità di questa iconografia non li riguardi.
      Le intenzioni non bastano quando il messaggio è sbagliato.
      No, Prassitele o Canova non c’entrano. Non c’entrano «le fattezze fisiche delle donne meridionali», come sostiene un arguto senatore. Figuriamoci se pensiamo che il nudo in sé rechi offesa. Non è la presenza di modelle più o meno vestite a determinare una lesione alla persona, ma l’uso del loro corpo e il senso della posa e dell’atteggiamento, troppo spesso evidentemente allusivi a una disponibilità sul piano sessuale.
      Dietro alla statua bronzea di Sapri c’è la plastica rappresentazione non della forza femminile o del risveglio della coscienza popolare (come pretende l’autore) ma dei più scontati sogni erotici maschili.

      Non c’entrano la censura né la cancel culture, né il puritanesimo. Le opere d’arte non devono per forza essere “politicamente corrette”, né pudiche, né rappresentare fedelmente una scena storica. Tuttavia per un’opera pubblica il problema del contesto culturale è importante (già Facebook sta riportando autoscatti orgogliosi di maschietti che palpano il sedere della statua. E ve le immaginate le gite scolastiche con ragazzini in pieno tumulto ormonale?).
      Lo scultore afferma di «prescindere dal sesso», ma eroi risorgimentali in perizoma nelle piazze italiane o nei parchi io non ne ho visti mai.
      Rompere l’assuefazione.
      Si possono raccontare le donne senza spogliarle, senza ridurle allo stereotipo della fanciulla sexy offerta agli sguardi, inchiodata al ruolo-gabbia di oggetto di piacere che i maschi hanno costruito per lei? Si può prescindere dalla ricca elaborazione che studiose di molte discipline hanno prodotto sulla mercificazione a scopi promozionali e pubblicitari dei corpi femminili? Può chi ha responsabilità pubbliche non interrogarsi sulle condizioni del discorso, ignorare il risultato sull’immaginario collettivo di decenni di offerte di immagini scollacciate?
      Oppure la rappresentazione stereotipata della donna è considerata in Italia un tratto antropologico così radicato che non si pensa valga la pena di contrastarlo con politiche evolutive?
      I commentatori si appiattiscono su quell’altro cliché, “che noia queste femministe”. Nessuno sa o comprende che molte delle voci che si levano sono di persone che sul tema riflettono da anni. Probabilmente ben pochi leggono, molti rifuggono da firme femminili. L’importante è ridurre tutto a un quadro di donne frustrate che polemizzano su qualsiasi cosa.

      Il sessismo: c’è chi lo riconosce e chi no. C’è chi pensa, parla e agisce per contrastarlo e chi per preservarlo. C’è chi fa l’indifferente, perché gli va bene così.

      In copertina, Jean-François Millet, Le spigolatrici (Des glaneuses), 1857, Parigi, Musée d’Orsay.

      https://vitaminevaganti.com/2021/10/02/anche-no

    • Italy: bronze statue of scantily dressed woman sparks sexism row

      Sculpture based on the poem The Gleaner of Sapri was unveiled by former PM Giuseppe Conte on Saturday

      https://i.guim.co.uk/img/media/6e3f31968859d9d7365fb84bdc985fa5432a7582/146_54_1486_892/master/1486.jpg?width=620&quality=85&auto=format&fit=max&s=d07d56bfc81ea233dc82fb

      A statue depicting a scantily dressed woman from a 19th-century poem has sparked a sexism row in Italy.

      The bronze statue, which portrays the woman in a transparent dress, was unveiled on Saturday during a ceremony attended by the former prime minister Giuseppe Conte in Sapri, in the southern Campania region.

      The work by the sculptor Emanuele Stifano is a tribute to La Spigolatrice di Sapri (The Gleaner of Sapri), written by the poet Luigi Mercantini in 1857. The poem is based on the story of a failed expedition against the Kingdom of Naples by Carlo Pisacane, one of the first Italian socialist thinkers.


      https://twitter.com/lauraboldrini/status/1442235735478702081

      Laura Boldrini, a deputy with the centre-left Democratic party, said the statue was an “offence to women and the history it should celebrate”. She wrote on Twitter: “But how can even the institutions accept the representation of a woman as a sexualised body?”

      A group of female politicians from the Democratic party’s unit in Palermo called for the statue to be knocked down. “Once again, we have to suffer the humiliation of seeing ourselves represented in the form of a sexualised body, devoid of soul and without any connection with the social and political issues of the story,” the group said in a statement.

      They argued that the statue reflected nothing of the anti-Bourbon revolution nor the “self-determination of a woman who chooses not to go to work in order to take sides against the oppressor”.

      Stifano defended his work, writing on Facebook that if it had been up to him the statue would have been “completely naked … simply because I am a lover of the human body”. He said it was “useless” to try to explain artwork to those “who absolutely only want to see depravity”.

      Antonio Gentile, the mayor of Sapri, said that until the row erupted “nobody had criticised or distorted the work of art”.

      In photos of the ceremony, Conte, now the leader of the Five Star Movement, appeared puzzled as he looked at the statue, surrounded by a mostly male entourage.

      https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/sep/27/italy-bronze-statue-of-scantily-dressed-woman-sparks-sexism-row

  • Turkey builds a border wall to stop refugees from Afghanistan

    Fearing a new refugee crisis, Turkey is reinforcing its border with Iran to stop a potential influx of Afghans fleeing Taliban rule.

    Some refugees who fled weeks and months ago have already started to show up at the rugged border area.

    Now, three-metre-high concrete slabs are being installed to stop them.

    According to Turkish authorities, security forces have prevented the passage of over 69 thousand irregular migrants and arrested 904 suspects accused of being human traffickers.

    Local media report a 155-kilometre stretch of a planned 241-kilometre wall has already been erected at the border.

    Turkey has been a key transit point for asylum seekers heading to Europe to flee war and persecution.
    We won’t become Europe’s ’refugee warehouse’, says Erdogan

    Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government had brushed off warnings and criticism from opposition parties about an increase in the number of migrants from Afghanistan.

    This week, he admitted that Turkey faces a new refugee wave from Afghanistan and said his cabinet would work with Pakistan to try and bring stability to the war-ravaged country.

    Erdogan also called on European nations on Thursday to shoulder the responsibility for Afghans fleeing the Taliban and warned that his country won’t become Europe’s “refugee warehouse.”

    https://www.euronews.com/2021/08/20/turkey-builds-a-border-wall-to-stop-refugees-from-afghanistan

    #murs #barrières_frontalières #Iran #asile #migrations #réfugiés #réfugiés_afghans #Turquie

    • Turkey’ eastern Iran border to be safer with modular wall system

      To ensure the safety and security of the Turkish-Iranian border, a 295-kilometer (183-mile) long wall will be constructed along the entire shared border, Emin Bilmez, the governor of the eastern province of #Van, said Tuesday. It is hoped that the wall will help to prevent illegal crossings and the trafficking of contraband and that it will also hinder terrorists from infiltrating.

      “Due to the increasing waves of migration, our land forces have dispatched two reconnaissance and two commando companies along with armed vehicles to the region. The Ministry of the Interior has allocated 35 special operations teams and 50 armed vehicles to the zone to assist the troops guarding the border,” Bilmez said.

      “We have been digging ditches for the past two years at a width of 4 meters (13 feet) and a depth of 4 meters. Barbed wire will enclose the entrance of these ditches,” Bilmez added.

      “Along the whole 295-kilometer long border, we will put up a wall. We foresee that a section of 64 kilometers will be readied by the end of the year. A tender is being prepared for an additional 63 kilometers of wall. We expect the process to be finalized within this year. The remaining sections will be finished in the upcoming years. In addition to the wall construction, there will be 58 watchtowers and 45 communication towers. Towers will be equipped with thermal cameras, radars, sensors and fire control systems,” Bilmez said.
      300 organizers arrested

      Both armed and unarmed UAVs have been deployed on the border, conducting reconnaissance missions 24/7. Gathered images are being transferred to relevant departments. 105,000 irregular migrants have been either prevented from crossing the border or apprehended on Turkish soil over the last year, Bilmez added.

      “This year alone, we have captured and processed over 55,000 irregular migrants on our borders. 783 organizers (traffickers who make arrangements for migrants to cross illegally) have been processed and around 300 of them have been arrested, from January 2021 until July 2021. The sum of all organizers processed last year was 599."

      https://www.dailysabah.com/politics/turkey-eastern-iran-border-to-be-safer-with-modular-wall-system/news
      #modules #mur_modulaire

    • La Turquie construit un mur pour bloquer les réfugiés afghans à la frontière iranienne

      Dans la région de Van située à l’Est de la Turquie, les autorités ont érigé un mur en béton de 150 kilomètres le long de la frontière avec l’Iran. Le retour au pouvoir des Taliban suscite l’inquiétude des dirigeants et de la population turque. Ces derniers craignent une nouvelle crise migratoire, dans un pays qui accueille déjà 3,7 millions de Syriens ayant fui la guerre.

      Un mur en béton haut de quatre mètres s’élève désormais entre la Turquie et l’Iran, dans la région de Van, pour empêcher les migrants de passer. Quelque 500 km de frontières séparent les deux États traversés par des milliers de migrants, principalement afghans, en route vers l’Europe.

      Depuis la chute de Kaboul tombée aux mains des Taliban, le 15 août, les autorités turques craignent une augmentation des arrivées. Le pays accueille déjà 3,7 millions de Syriens ayant fui la guerre.

      Les patrouilles se multiplient pour protéger une frontière poreuse qui s’étend à flan de montagnes. Le nouveau mur se dresse sur 150 km et Ankara affirme que d’ici la fin de l’année, 50 km supplémentaires seront construits. Une équipe de journalistes de France 24 s’est rendue sur place.

      https://www.france24.com/fr/moyen-orient/20210906-la-turquie-construit-un-mur-pour-bloquer-les-r%C3%A9fugi%C3%A9s-a

  • Six countries urge EU to continue Afghan deportations

    Stopping deportations would “motivate even more Afghan citizens to leave their home,” the six states say. Afghan authorities have asked deportations to stop until October.

    Six EU countries have asked the European Commission not to stop the deportations of unsuccessful asylum migrants back to Afghanistan as thousands flee the Taliban’s takeover.

    Ministers from Germany, Austria, Belgium, Greece, Netherlands and Denmark said “stopping returns sends the wrong signal and is likely to motivate even more Afghan citizens to leave their home.”

    The move follows a plea from the Afghan Ministry of Refugees and Repatriation on July 8 to stop EU returns of its nationals for three months during the current resurgence of the Taliban.
    What did the letter say?

    The letter signed by the six states said that more moves should be made on the ground to support Afghanistan and neighboring countries rather than halt deportation from the EU.

    “We fully recognise the sensitive situation in Afghanistan in light of the foreseen withdrawal of international troops,” said the joint statement.


    https://twitter.com/kmlvrmln/status/1424646282505822210

    It recognized that there were 4.6 million Afghans that had already been displaced by the conflict with 570,000 asylum applications from the country lodged in the EU since 2015.

    “In view of of the expected likelihood that Afghanistan will continue to be a significant source of irregular migration to the EU, we would like to underline the importance of returning home those without genuine protection needs,” said the six countries.

    They urged “the Commission to intensify talks with the Afghan government on how returns to Afghanistan can and will be continue in the coming months.”

    EU countries have come under increasing attack from human rights groups for the decision to continue returning unsuccessful asylum applicants. On August 3 the European Court for Human Rights ruled not to send one of these migrants back to Afghanistan at least until the end of August.

    “That regions of a country are not safe does not mean that each national of that country automatically is entitled to protection,” added Belgium’s secretary for asylum and migration, Sammy Mahdi.
    What has the EU said?

    A spokesman for The European Commission said: "At an EU level there isn’t a list of countries considered safe relating to asylum applications or for returns.

    “It’s up to each member state to assess... the country of origin and the

    situation of the person concerned,” he said.

    But a senior EU official said on Tuesday that it wants to avoid “a massive flow of migration from Afghanistan.”

    According to the official, 80% of deportations to the war-torn country are “voluntary.”

    The official said the situation in the Middle Eastern country is “challenging” although it is not yet “desperate” in that it still had a solid government unlike Syria and Iraq in past refugee crises.

    But the EU was concerned about fighting stifling the arrival of humanitarian aid in the country, Doctors without Borders (MSF) said on Tuesday that the situation has “deteriorated” to the point that some cities have “medical facilities on the front lines.”
    What is the situation in Afghanistan?

    By Tuesday the Taliban had taken six Afghan provincial capitals forcing thousands to move to Kabul and other safer areas.

    The insurgents, who want to establish Sharia law in the country, are now looking to take Mazar-i-Sharif, the largest city in the north of Afghanistan.

    Its fall would mean an area that has voiced strongest opposition to the Taliban could now be out of government control.

    The US, which aims to withdraw all its troops by the end of August, has sent a special envoy, Zalmay Khalilzad to Qatar to try to get a ceasefire with the Taliban.

    But Pentagon spokesman John Kirby admitted there was “not much” the US could do but trust the Afghan government forces to turn the tide.

    “Taliban forces advancing in Ghazni, Kandahar, and other Afghan provinces have summarily executed detained soldiers, police, and civilians with alleged ties to the Afghan government,” said Human Rights Watch on August 3.

    With the Taliban advancing through the country at an alarming rate, experts believe more revenge killings could be on the way.

    https://www.infomigrants.net/en/post/34221/six-countries-urge-eu-to-continue-afghan-deportations

    #Afghanistan #renvois #expulsions

    Et voilà, encore une fois, apparaître la belle #rhétorique de l’#appel_d'air :

    Stopping deportations would “motivate even more Afghan citizens to leave their home,” the six states say.

    ping @isskein @karine4

    • Six EU countries want to keep forced return of Afghans despite Taliban offensive Access to the comments

      At least six EU countries insist that the forced deportation of migrants back to Afghanistan continues despite the Taliban’s alarming gains in recent weeks.

      Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Greece, and the Netherlands wrote to the European Commission claiming that halting returns "sends the wrong signal and is likely to motivate even more Afghan citizens to leave their home for the EU.’’

      Adalbert Jahnz, the Commission’s spokesman for home affairs explained that “it’s up to each member state to make an individual assessment of whether the return is possible in a specific set of circumstances, that needs to take into account the principles, notable the principle of rule of law and other fundamental rights.”

      “But it’s not something that the EU specifically regulates,” he added.

      The call by the six member states comes a week after the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) urged Austrian authorities not to proceed with the expulsion of an Afghan national until late August at the earliest because of “a clear risk of irreparable harm to the complainant”.

      Afghanistan had in July urged Europe to stop deportations for three months, as Finland, Sweden and Norway had done, due to the deteriorating security situation on the grounds.

      Taliban insurgents have captured five out of the country’s 34 provincial capitals in less than a week in a relentless campaign against government forces.

      They have been emboldened by the withdrawal of US and NATO troops from the country.

      Cities claimed by the Taliban include strategically important Kunduz in the north that has transport links to many other cities including the capital Kabul.

      Afghan security forces, which have been backed, trained, and financed with billions of dollars in a 20-year-long Western military effort that included many EU countries, appear unable to cope with the offensive.

      https://www.euronews.com/2021/08/10/six-eu-countries-want-to-keep-forced-return-of-afghans-despite-taliban-off

      #réfugiés_afghans #asile #migrations #réfugiés #retour #renvois #expulsions
      #Austriche #Belgique #Danemark #Allemagne #Grèce #Pays_Bas

      #machine_à_expulser

    • Réfugiés afghans : l’hypocrisie européenne

      La plupart des pays de l’Union européenne ont attendu le dernier moment pour suspendre les expulsions d’Afghans venus demander l’asile sur leur sol. Alors que les talibans ont pris le pouvoir à Kaboul, les vingt-sept ministres des affaires étrangères se réunissent en urgence ce mardi pour décider des suites à donner à leur action. Accueillir dignement les exilés déjà arrivés sur leur sol serait un premier pas en matière de solidarité.

      https://www.mediapart.fr/journal/international/160821/refugies-afghans-l-hypocrisie-europeenne#at_medium=custom7&at_campaign=104

  • Data et nouvelles technologies, la face cachée du contrôle des mobilités

    Dans un rapport de juillet 2020, l’#Agence_européenne_pour_la_gestion_opérationnelle_des_systèmes_d’information_à_grande_échelle (#EU-Lisa) présente l’#intelligence_artificielle (#IA) comme l’une des « #technologies prioritaires » à développer. Le rapport souligne les avantages de l’IA en matière migratoire et aux frontières, grâce, entre autres, à la technologie de #reconnaissance_faciale.

    L’intelligence artificielle est de plus en plus privilégiée par les acteurs publics, les institutions de l’UE et les acteurs privés, mais aussi par le #HCR et l’#OIM. Les agences de l’UE, comme #Frontex ou EU-Lisa, ont été particulièrement actives dans l’expérimentation des nouvelles technologies, brouillant parfois la distinction entre essais et mise en oeuvre. En plus des outils traditionnels de #surveillance, une panoplie de technologies est désormais déployée aux frontières de l’Europe et au-delà, qu’il s’agisse de l’ajout de nouvelles #bases_de_données, de technologies financières innovantes, ou plus simplement de la récupération par les #GAFAM des données laissées volontairement ou pas par les migrant·e·s et réfugié∙e∙s durant le parcours migratoire.

    La pandémie #Covid-19 est arrivée à point nommé pour dynamiser les orientations déjà prises, en permettant de tester ou de généraliser des technologies utilisées pour le contrôle des mobilités sans que l’ensemble des droits des exilé·e·s ne soit pris en considération. L’OIM, par exemple, a mis à disposition des Etats sa #Matrice_de_suivi_des_déplacements (#DTM) durant cette période afin de contrôler les « flux migratoires ». De nouvelles technologies au service de vieilles obsessions…

    http://migreurop.org/article3021.html

    Pour télécharger la note :
    migreurop.org/IMG/pdf/note_12_fr.pdf

    #migrations #réfugiés #asile #frontières #mobilité #mobilités #données #technologie #nouvelles_technologies #coronavirus #covid #IOM
    #migreurop

    ping @etraces

    voir aussi :
    Migreurop | Data : la face cachée du contrôle des mobilités
    https://seenthis.net/messages/900232

    • European funds for African IDs: migration regulation tool or privacy risk?

      The first person you meet after you land at Blaise Diagne Airport in Dakar is a border guard with a digital scanner.

      The official will scan your travel document and photograph and take a digital print of your index fingers.

      It’s the most visible sign of the new state-of-the-art digital biometrics system that is being deployed in the airport with the help of EU funding.

      The aim is to combat the increasingly sophisticated fake passports sold by traffickers to refugees.

      But it also helps Senegal’s government learn more about its own citizens.

      And it’s not just here: countries across West Africa are adopting travel documentation that has long been familiar to Europeans.

      Passports, ID cards and visas are all becoming biometric, and a national enrolment scheme is underway.

      In Europe too, there are proposals to create a biometric database of over 400 million foreign nationals, including fingerprints and photographs of their faces.

      The new systems are part of efforts to battle illegal migration from West Africa to the EU.

      ‘Fool-proof’ EU passport online

      Many are still plying the dangerous route across the Sahara and the Mediterranean to reach Europe, but a growing number are turning to the criminal gangs selling forged passports to avoid the treacherous journey over desert and sea.

      There’s a burgeoning market in travel documents advertised as ‘fake but real”.

      Prices vary according to the paperwork: an EU Schengen transit visa costs €5,000, while a longer-stay visa can be twice as high.

      Some forgers have even mastered the ability to incorporate holograms and hack the biometric chips.

      “Morphing” is an image processing technique that merges two people’s photographs into a single new face that appears to contain entirely new biometric data.

      Frontex, the EU’s border guard agency, says 7,000 people were caught trying to enter the Schengen area in 2019 carrying such documents — but it admits the true figure could be much higher.

      Sending migrants back

      Last year, the largest number of travellers with fake documents arrived via Turkish and Moroccan international airports.

      Many were caught in Italy, having arrived via Casablanca from sub-Saharan countries like Ghana, Mali, Nigeria and Senegal.

      A Frontex team responsible for deporting migrants without the correct paperwork was deployed this year at Rome’s Fiumicino Airport.

      It’s the first sign of a new European Commission regulation expanding the agency’s role, which includes access to biometric data held by member states, according to Jane Kilpatrick, a researcher at the civil liberties think-tank Statewatch.

      “The agency’s growing role in the collection of data, it links overtly to the agency’s role in deporting individuals from the EU,” she said.

      Over 490,000 return decisions were issued by member states last year, but only a third were actually sent back to a country outside the EU.

      There are multiple reasons why: some countries, for example, refuse to accept responsibility for people whose identity documents were lost, destroyed or stolen.

      Legally binding readmission agreements are now in place between the EU and 18 other countries to make that process easier.
      There are no records

      But a bigger problem is the fact that many African countries know very little about their own citizens.

      The World Bank estimates the continent is home to roughly half of the estimated one billion people on the planet who are unable to prove their identities.

      An absence of digitisation means that dusty registers are piling up in storage rooms.

      The same goes for many borders: unlike the scene at Dakar’s airport, many are still without internet access, servers, scanners and cameras.

      That, the Commission says, is why EU aid funds are being used to develop biometric identity systems in West African countries.

      The EU Trust Fund for Africa has allotted €60 million to support governments in Senegal and Côte d’Ivoire in modernising their registry systems and creating a national biometric identity database.

      Much of the funding comes through Civipol, a consulting firm attached to France’s interior ministry and part-owned by Milipol, one of the most important arms trade fairs in the world.

      It describes the objective of the programme in Côte d’Ivoire as identifying “people genuinely of Ivorian nationality and organising their return more easily”.
      Data security concerns

      European sources told Euronews that the EU-funded projects in West Africa were not designed to identify potential migrants or deport existing ones.

      A Commission spokesperson insisted no European entity — neither Frontex, nor member states, nor their partners — had access to the databases set up by West African countries.

      But the systems they are funding are intimately connected to anti-migration initiatives.

      One is the Migrant Information and Data Analysis System (MIDAS), a migration database that can send automatic queries to Interpol watchlists to detect travel documents and people possibly linked to organised crime, including human trafficking.

      Connections like these, and the role of French arms giants like Thales in the growing biometric market, has led data protection experts to become worried about possible abuses of privacy.
      World’s newest biometric market

      As Africa becomes the coveted market for biometric identification providers, the watchdog Privacy International has warned it risks becoming a mere testing ground for technologies later deployed elsewhere.

      So far 24 countries on the continent out of 53 have adopted laws and regulations to protect personal data.

      A letter by Privacy International, seen by Euronews, says EU must “ensure they are protecting rights before proceeding with allocating resources and technologies which, in absence of proper oversight, will likely result in fundamental rights abuses.”

      It has published internal documents tracking the development of Senegal’s system that suggest no privacy or data protection impact assessments have been carried out.

      Civipol, the French partner, denies this: it told Euronews that the Senegalese Personal Data Commission took part in the programme and Senegalese law was respected at every stage.

      Yet members of Senegal’s independent Commission of Personal Data (CDP), which is responsible for ensuring personal data is processed correctly, admit implementation and enforcement remained a challenge — even though they are proud of their country’s pioneering role in data governance in Africa.

      For the Senegalese cyber activist Cheick Fall, the charge is more serious: “Senegal has sinned by entrusting the processing of these data to foreign companies.”

      https://www.euronews.com/2021/07/30/european-funds-for-african-ids-migration-regulation-tool-or-privacy-risk

      #biométrie #aéroport #Afrique #étrangers #base_de_données_biométrique #empreintes_digitales #passeports #visas #hologramme #Morphing #image #photographie #Frontex #EU_Trust_Fund_for_Africa #Trust_Fund #Civipol #Milipol #armes #commerce_d'armes #Côte_d’Ivoire #Afrique_de_l'Ouest #Migrant_Information_and_Data_Analysis_System (#MIDAS) #Interpol #Thales #Sénégal #Senegalese_Personal_Data_Commission #Commission_of_Personal_Data (#CDP)

    • EU Watchdog Finds Commission Failed to Protect Human Rights From its Surveillance Aid to African Countries

      The European #Ombudsman has found that the European Commission failed to take necessary measures to ensure the protection of human rights in the transfers of technology with potential surveillance capacity supported by its multi-billion #Emergency_Trust_Fund_for_Africa

      The decision by the EU’s oversight body follows a year-long inquiry prompted by complaints outlining how EU bodies and agencies are cooperating with governments around the world to increase their surveillance powers filed by Privacy International, Access Now, the Border Violence Monitoring Network, Homo Digitalis, International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), and Sea-Watch.

      The complainants welcome the decision by the European Ombudsman and call on the Commission to urgently review its support for surveillance in non-EU countries and to immediately implement the Ombudsman’s recommendations in their entirety. 

      The inquiry, which investigated the support of projects across Africa aimed at bolstering surveillance and tracking powers and involved extensive evidence-gathering from the Commission and complainants, found that “the Commission was not able to demonstrate that the measures in place ensured a coherent and structured approach to assessing the human rights impacts”.

      It recommends that the Commission now require that an “assessment of the potential human rights impact of projects be presented together with corresponding mitigation measures.” The lack of such protections, which the Ombudsman called a “serious shortcoming”, poses a clear risk that these surveillance transfer might cause serious violations of or interferences with other fundamental rights. 

       

      Ioannis Kouvakas, Senior Legal Officer at Privacy International, commenting on the decision:

      “This landmark decision in response to our complaint marks a turning point for the European Union’s external policy and sets a precedent that will hopefully protect the rights of communities in some of the most vulnerable situations for the years to come.”

      An FIDH Spokesperson said:

      “Indeed, this decision warns once again the European Commission about its failure to comply with its human rights obligations. The decision makes clear that the EU has to better develop its processes to effectively put the protection of human rights at core of the design and the implementation of its policies and external activities. All human rights and all activities are at stake.”

      Marwa Fatafta from Access Now said:

      “We welcome the Ombudsman’s decision which scrutinises the EU’s failure to protect and respect the human rights of people living off its shores. The EU’s ongoing surveillance transfers to authoritarian regimes in Africa and elsewhere cannot continue business as usual. We hope this decision will help hold the EU accountable to its values overseas, and protect the rights and freedoms of vulnerable communities from intrusive tracking and government surveillance.”

      Homo Digitalis said:

      “The shortcomings that the Ombudsman has identified prove that the Commission is not able to demonstrate that the measures in place ensure a coherent and structured approach to assessing the human rights impacts of #EUTFA projects. This is an important first step, but we need specific accountability mechanisms in place to address violations of rights and freedoms in EUTFA projects. This cannot be ensured via just some revised templates.”

      https://privacyinternational.org/press-release/4992/eu-watchdog-finds-commission-failed-protect-human-rights-its-s
      #EUTF_for_Africa

  • Forget build back better - what if crisis is the new normal?
    New disasters are materialising in the form of deadly floods in Western Europe, India and China; forest fires are burning out of control around the Mediterranean, the West Coast of the USA and even Siberia; serious droughts are affecting Brazil, Madagascar and Mexico.

    High-temperature records are broken in Canada and other places. The human fatalities from these disasters may be smaller compared to those of the pandemic but the impact on lives, livelihoods and infrastructure is significant and growing.

    Polycrisia
    Welcome to “Polycrisia”, the period of human history when there is a succession of crises, one after another but also overlapping, straining the assets meant for emergency response and forcing a different kind of planning and implementation cycle on public administrations, private companies and individual households alike; or so it should.

    In Siberia, volunteers wage war on Russia’s wildfires with shovels and saws
    Spain’s emergency services hope rain will help extinguish Catalonia forest fires
    There is remarkable inertia, though, and hope against hope that the world will soon be able to get out of these continuous and interconnected crises. Thus, the talk about returning to strong GDP growth, with recovery and rehabilitation at all levels, “normalcy” eventually settling back and everybody going about their usual business like before. Comforting as this may sound, it is a fallacy and the sooner we turn our minds away from it the better.

    Political and economic thinking and decision-making are still done with a quick return to normalcy fixation in mind
    There is a huge difference between contemplating a “normal” world without pandemics, climate catastrophes and financial collapses, and a world that prepares itself for more of the above and even other calamities. In the first, “normal” world, one would try to restore global supply chains, move to industrial-scale renewable energy sources as a growth strategy, and rely again on the global financial system to provide the necessary resources with an emphasis on efficiency and profits.

    In the second world, one would ensure minimum local supply of key goods, promote energy communities that establish local energy sufficiency via locally relevant renewable energy sources, and would readjust finance to cater to the needs of small and medium enterprises, individuals and communities.

    In this second, “Polycrisian” world, there would be a lot more tolerance for positive inefficiencies, like undeveloped natural spaces and other adaptation measures to secure homes and key infrastructures against floods, local food production to minimise carbon footprint and ensure survival in case of supply cut-offs, water stocks in case of droughts.

    Adaptation would thus be on a par with mitigation, instead of remaining the neglected child of the international climate action regime and of commitments made by state and non-state actors.

    In the spirit of preparedness one should also ensure resilience against multiple other crises looming in the horizon, such as small or big telecommunication and internet disruptions, due to infrastructure problems or cyberattacks. Among the worst and most difficult potential crises to plan around are those associated with the apparent cracks in the fabric of societies, including authoritarian measures by governments, civil disobedience and “culture wars”. With the successive crises and the globalised economic system marginalising more and more people, exacerbating their precarious situation and increasing relative inequalities, the crisis of democratic governance will be a major challenge to tackle even in previously stable countries and regions.

    Unfortunately, despite the clear alarming signs and the prolific talk about resilience, the sense is that political and economic thinking and decision-making are still done with a quick return to normalcy fixation in mind.

    The assumption is that the mega-crisis we just faced (and are still facing) was a one-off phenomenon, a freak occurrence that will not repeat itself in any comparable way any time soon. So the talk about resilience is directed towards the past, dealing with unfinished business keeping us from returning to normalcy, or even “building back better”.

    Reality and the big picture, though, call for a much more cautionary approach in “building forward better”, which should be our goal. In the era of Polycrisia that has dawned, those who prepare – countries, regions, companies, people – will reap the benefits of resilience and decent survival, while the others will keep tormenting themselves and the world.

    Georgios Kostakos is Executive Director of the Brussels-based Foundation for Global Governance and Sustainability (FOGGS). He has been extensively involved in global governance, sustainability and climate-related activities with the United Nations and beyond.

    https://www.euronews.com/2021/07/27/forget-build-back-better-what-if-crisis-is-the-new-normal-view?utm


    https://pbs.twimg.com/card_img/1419979404575272963/6hiiwEkE?format=jpg&name=small

  • Revealed: 2,000 refugee deaths linked to illegal EU pushbacks

    A Guardian analysis finds EU countries used brutal tactics to stop nearly 40,000 asylum seekers crossing borders

    EU member states have used illegal operations to push back at least 40,000 asylum seekers from Europe’s borders during the pandemic, methods being linked to the death of more than 2,000 people, the Guardian can reveal.

    In one of the biggest mass expulsions in decades, European countries, supported by EU’s border agency #Frontex, has systematically pushed back refugees, including children fleeing from wars, in their thousands, using illegal tactics ranging from assault to brutality during detention or transportation.

    The Guardian’s analysis is based on reports released by UN agencies, combined with a database of incidents collected by non-governmental organisations. According to charities, with the onset of Covid-19, the regularity and brutality of pushback practices has grown.

    “Recent reports suggest an increase of deaths of migrants attempting to reach Europe and, at the same time, an increase of the collaboration between EU countries with non-EU countries such as Libya, which has led to the failure of several rescue operations,’’ said one of Italy’s leading human rights and immigration experts, Fulvio Vassallo Paleologo, professor of asylum law at the University of Palermo. ‘’In this context, deaths at sea since the beginning of the pandemic are directly or indirectly linked to the EU approach aimed at closing all doors to Europe and the increasing externalisation of migration control to countries such as Libya.’’

    The findings come as the EU’s anti-fraud watchdog, Olaf, has launched an investigation into Frontex (https://www.euronews.com/2021/01/20/eu-migration-chief-urges-frontex-to-clarify-pushback-allegations) over allegations of harassment, misconduct and unlawful operations aimed at stopping asylum seekers from reaching EU shores.

    According to the International Organization for Migration (https://migration.iom.int/europe?type=arrivals), in 2020 almost 100,000 immigrants arrived in Europe by sea and by land compared with nearly 130,000 in 2019 and 190,000 in 2017.

    Since January 2020, despite the drop in numbers, Italy, Malta, Greece, Croatia and Spain have accelerated their hardline migration agenda. Since the introduction of partial or complete border closures to halt the outbreak of coronavirus, these countries have paid non-EU states and enlisted private vessels to intercept boats in distress at sea and push back passengers into detention centres. There have been repeated reports of people being beaten, robbed, stripped naked at frontiers or left at sea.

    In 2020 Croatia, whose police patrol the EU’s longest external border, have intensified systemic violence and pushbacks of migrants to Bosnia. The Danish Refugee Council (DRC) recorded nearly 18,000 migrants pushed back by Croatia since the start of the pandemic. Over the last year and a half, the Guardian has collected testimonies of migrants who have allegedly been whipped, robbed, sexually abused and stripped naked (https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2020/oct/21/croatian-police-accused-of-sickening-assaults-on-migrants-on-balkans-tr) by members of the Croatian police. Some migrants said they were spray-painted with red crosses on their heads by officers who said the treatment was the “cure against coronavirus” (https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2020/may/28/they-made-crosses-on-our-heads-refugees-report-abuse-by-croatian-police).

    According to an annual report released on Tuesday by the Border Violence Monitoring Network (BVMN) (https://www.borderviolence.eu/annual-torture-report-2020), a coalition of 13 NGOs documenting illegal pushbacks in the western Balkans, abuse and disproportionate force was present in nearly 90% of testimonies in 2020 collected from Croatia, a 10% increase on 2019.

    In April, the Guardian revealed how a woman from Afghanistan was allegedly sexually abused (https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2021/apr/07/croatian-border-police-accused-of-sexually-assaulting-afghan-migrant) and held at knifepoint by a Croatian border police officer during a search of migrants on the border with Bosnia.

    “Despite the European Commission’s engagement with Croatian authorities in recent months, we have seen virtually no progress, neither on investigations of the actual reports, nor on the development of independent border monitoring mechanisms,” said Nicola Bay, DRC country director for Bosnia. “Every single pushback represents a violation of international and EU law – whether it involves violence or not.”

    Since January 2020, Greece has pushed back about 6,230 asylum seekers from its shores, according to data from BVMN. The report stated that in 89% of the pushbacks, “BVMN has observed the disproportionate and excessive use of force. This alarming number shows that the use of force in an abusive, and therefore illicit, way has become a normality […]

    “Extremely cruel examples of police violence documented in 2020 included prolonged excessive beatings (often on naked bodies), water immersion, the physical abuse of women and children, the use of metal rods to inflict injury.”

    In testimonies, people described how their hands were tied to the bars of cells and helmets put on their heads before beatings to avoid visible bruising.

    A lawsuit filed against the Greek state in April at the European court of human rights (https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/apr/26/greece-accused-of-shocking-pushback-against-refugees-at-sea) accused Athens of abandoning dozens of migrants in life rafts at sea, after some had been beaten. The case claims that Greek patrol boats towed migrants back to Turkish waters and abandoned them at sea without food, water, lifejackets or any means to call for help.

    BVMN said: “Whether it be using the Covid-19 pandemic and the national lockdown to serve as a cover for pushbacks, fashioning open-air prisons, or preventing boats from entering Greek waters by firing warning shots toward boats, the evidence indicates the persistent refusal to uphold democratic values, human rights and international and European law.”

    According to UNHCR data, since the start of the pandemic, Libyan authorities – with Italian support since 2017, when Rome ceded responsibility (https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/jul/23/mother-and-child-drown-after-being-abandoned-off-libya-says-ngo) for overseeing Mediterranean rescue operations to Libya – intercepted and pushed back to Tripoli about 15,500 asylum seekers. The controversial strategy has caused the forced return of thousands to Libyan detention centres where, according to first hand reports, they face torture. Hundreds have drowned when neither Libya nor Italy intervened.

    “In 2020 this practice continued, with an increasingly important role being played by Frontex planes, sighting boats at sea and communicating their position to the Libyan coastguard,” said Matteo de Bellis, migration researcher at Amnesty International. “So, while Italy at some point even used the pandemic as an excuse to declare that its ports were not safe for the disembarkation of people rescued at sea, it had no problem with the Libyan coastguard returning people to Tripoli. Even when this was under shelling or when hundreds were forcibly disappeared immediately after disembarkation.”

    In April, Italy and Libya were accused of deliberately ignoring a mayday call (https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2021/apr/25/a-mayday-call-a-dash-across-the-ocean-and-130-souls-lost-at-sea) from a migrant boat in distress in Libyan waters, as waves reached six metres. A few hours later, an NGO rescue boat discovered dozens of bodies (https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2021/apr/25/a-mayday-call-a-dash-across-the-ocean-and-130-souls-lost-at-sea) floating in the waves. That day 130 migrants were lost at sea.

    In April, in a joint investigation with the Italian Rai News and the newspaper Domani, the Guardian saw documents from Italian prosecutors detailing conversations between two commanders of the Libyan coastguard and an Italian coastguard officer in Rome. The transcripts appeared to expose the non-responsive behaviour (https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/apr/16/wiretaps-migrant-boats-italy-libya-coastguard-mediterranean) of the Libyan officers and their struggling to answer the distress calls which resulted in hundreds of deaths. At least five NGO boats remain blocked in Italian ports as authorities claim administrative reasons for holding them.

    “Push- and pull-back operations have become routine, as have forms of maritime abandonment where hundreds were left to drown,’’ said a spokesperson at Alarm Phone, a hotline service for migrants in distress at sea. ‘’We have documented so many shipwrecks that were never officially accounted for, and so we know that the real death toll is much higher. In many of the cases, European coastguards have refused to respond – they rather chose to let people drown or to intercept them back to the place they had risked their lives to escape from. Even if all European authorities try to reject responsibility, we know that the mass dying is a direct result of both their actions and inactions. These deaths are on Europe.’’

    Malta, which declared its ports closed early last year, citing the pandemic, has continued to push back hundreds of migrants using two strategies: enlisting private vessels to intercept asylum seekers and force them back to Libya or turning them away with directions to Italy (https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2020/may/20/we-give-you-30-minutes-malta-turns-migrant-boat-away-with-directions-to).

    “Between 2014 and 2017, Malta was able to count on Italy to take responsibility for coordinating rescues and allowing disembarkations,” said De Bellis. “But when Italy and the EU withdrew their ships from the central Mediterranean, to leave it in Libya’s hands, they left Malta more exposed. In response, from early 2020 the Maltese government used tactics to avoid assisting refugees and migrants in danger at sea, including arranging unlawful pushbacks to Libya by private fishing boats, diverting boats rather than rescuing them, illegally detaining hundreds of people on ill-equipped ferries off Malta’s waters, and signing a new agreement with Libya to prevent people from reaching Malta.”

    Last May, a series of voice messages obtained by the Guardian (https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2020/may/19/exclusive-12-die-as-malta-uses-private-ships-to-push-migrants-back-to-l) confirmed the Maltese government’s strategy to use private vessels, acting at the behest of its armed forces, to intercept crossings and return refugees to Libyan detention centres.

    In February 2020, the European court of human rights was accused of “completely ignoring the reality” after it ruled Spain did not violate the prohibition of collective expulsion (https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/feb/13/european-court-under-fire-backing-spain-express-deportations), as asylum applications could be made at the official border crossing point. Relying on this judgment, Spain’s constitutional court upheld “border rejections” provided certain safeguards apply.

    Last week, the bodies of 24 migrants from sub-Saharan Africa were found by Spain’s maritime rescue (https://apnews.com/article/atlantic-ocean-canary-islands-coronavirus-pandemic-africa-migration-5ab68371. They are believed to have died of dehydration while attempting to reach the Canary Islands. In 2020, according to the UNHCR, 788 migrants died trying to reach Spain (https://data2.unhcr.org/en/country/esp).

    Frontex said they couldn’t comment on the total figures without knowing the details of each case, but said various authorities took action to respond to the dinghy that sunk off the coast of Libya (https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2021/apr/25/a-mayday-call-a-dash-across-the-ocean-and-130-souls-lost-at-sea) in April, resulting in the deaths of 130 people.

    “The Italian rescue centre asked Frontex to fly over the area. It’s easy to forget, but the central Mediterranean is massive and it’s not easy or fast to get from one place to another, especially in poor weather. After reaching the area where the boat was suspected to be, they located it after some time and alerted all of the Maritime Rescue and Coordination Centres (MRCCs) in the area. They also issued a mayday call to all boats in the area (Ocean Viking was too far away to receive it).”

    He said the Italian MRCC, asked by the Libyan MRCC, dispatched three merchant vessels in the area to assist. Poor weather made this difficult. “In the meantime, the Frontex plane was running out of fuel and had to return to base. Another plane took off the next morning when the weather allowed, again with the same worries about the safety of the crew.

    “All authorities, certainly Frontex, did all that was humanly possible under the circumstances.”

    He added that, according to media reports, there was a Libyan coast guard vessel in the area, but it was engaged in another rescue operation.

    https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2021/may/05/revealed-2000-refugee-deaths-linked-to-eu-pushbacks

    #push-backs #refoulements #push-back #mourir_aux_frontières #morts_aux_frontières #décès #morts #asile #migrations #réfugiés #frontières #responsabilité #Croatie #viols #Grèce #Italie #Libye

    ping @isskein

  • Incendie dans le hotspot de Lesbos (septembre 2020)

    12.500 demandeurs d’asile fuient les flammes et errent dans la nuit tandis que le feu pourrait réduire le camp entier en cendres, voir les vidéos sur le site d’efsyn :

    Πύρινη κόλαση στο ΚΥΤ της Μόριας - Εκκενώθηκε ο καταυλισμός

    Στις φλόγες για ακόμα μια φορά ο προσφυγικός καταυλισμός. Επεισόδια μετά την ανακοίνωση των 35 θετικών κρουσμάτων κορονοϊού. Χιλιάδες πρόσφυγες και μετανάστες σε αναζήτηση στέγης.

    Μεγάλες φωτιές καίνε από τα μεσάνυχτα όλο τον προσφυγικό καταυλισμό της Μόριας. Χιλιάδες πρόσφυγες και μετανάστες βρίσκονται αυτή την ώρα άστεγοι, κυριολεκτικά μέσα στους δρόμους.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bc-mFZTobB0&feature=emb_logo

    Περίπου 12.500 κόσμος που διέμεναν στη Μόρια εγκατέλειψαν τη δομή και αρχικά κινήθηκαν προς τον οικισμό της Παναγιούδας, ενώ μέρος τους κινήθηκε και προς άλλες κατευθύνσεις. Την ίδια ώρα διμοιρίες ΜΑΤ με κλούβες δημιούργησαν φραγμό στο ύψος του Καρά Τεπέ αποτρέποντας τους από το να μπουν στην πόλη.

    Η Πυροσβεστική Υπηρεσία προς ώρας επιβεβαιώνει ότι δεν υπάρχουν αναφορές για θύματα.

    Πώς ξεκίνησε η φωτιά
    Σύμφωνα με τις πρώτες πληροφορίες, της φωτιάς προηγήθηκαν επεισόδια που ξεκίνησαν γύρω στις έντεκα το βράδυ. Η ένταση προκλήθηκε μετά την ανακοίνωση των 35 θετικών κρουσμάτων κορονοϊού στον καταυλισμό και την άρνηση κάποιων εξ αυτών να μπουν σε καραντίνα.


    https://twitter.com/Eva_Cosse/status/1303471253802582024

    Γρήγορα οι αρνητές της καραντίνας ήρθαν σε σύγκρουση με άλλους που επεσήμαναν το κίνδυνο για όλο το καμπ ενώ ομάδες προσφύγων προσπάθησαν να διαφύγουν μέσα από το ΚΥΤ φοβούμενοι την μετάδοση του ιού.

    Γύρω στις 11.00 έκαναν την εμφάνιση τους οι πρώτες φλόγες περιμετρικά του ΚΥΤ και προς τη πλευρά του Ελαιώνα.

    Γρήγορα η φωτιά πέρασε μέσα στο ΚΥΤ και εκεί ομάδα αιτούντων παρεμπόδισε την Πυροσβεστική Υπηρεσία να εισέλθει. Τότε επενέβησαν τα ΜΑΤ που με τη χρήση δακρυγόνων και κρότου-λάμψης διέλυσαν το συγκεντρωμένο πλήθος, αλλά η φωτιά είχε αρχίσει να καίει όλες τις κρίσιμες εγκαταστάσεις όπως τα γραφεία της Ευρωπαϊκής Υπηρεσίας Ασύλου κ.α

    Φόβοι εκφράζονται και για την νέα δομή υγείας που δώρισε η Ολλανδική κυβέρνηση μιας και οι φλόγες βγήκαν έξω από το ΚΥΤ και κινήθηκαν προς όλες τις κατευθύνσεις.

    Αξίζει να σημειωθεί ότι την ώρα που ξέσπασε η πυρκαγιά, όλες οι πυροσβεστικές δυνάμεις της Λέσβου ήταν σε απόσταση 70 χιλιομέτρων προσπαθώντας να ελέγξουν το διπλό πύρινο μέτωπο που είχε ξεσπάσει νωρίτερα στην Άντισσα και την Βατούσσα αφήνοντας περί τα δέκα οχήματα στο ΚΥΤ που ήταν αδύνατον να ανταπεξέλθουν.

    https://www.efsyn.gr/ellada/koinonia/258965_pyrini-kolasi-sto-kyt-tis-morias-ekkenothike-o-kataylismos

    #Moria #feu #incendie #hotspot #asile #migrations #réfugiés #camps_de_réfugiés #Lesbos #Grèce

    (incendie qui a eu lieu le 9 septembre 2020, je suis en retard sur cet événement, j’essaie de mettre les nouvelles arrivées ensuite, notamment sur la mailing-list Migreurop, dans les prochains jours sur ce fil de discussion)

    –—

    Ajouté à la métaliste sur les incendies qui ont eu lieu en Grèce dans des camps de réfugiés :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/851143

    ping @karine4 @isskein

    • Moria 09/09/20

      OFFICIEL : Lesbos est en état d’urgence depuis 4 mois
      09/09/2020 12:24:00 Société, Lesbos, Immigrants, Incendie, EKTAKTO

      Par arrêté du vice-ministre de la Protection civile et de la gestion des crises, Nikos Hardalia et décision du secrétaire général de la protection civile, Vassilios Papageorgiou, l’unité régionale de Lesbos est déclarée en état d’urgence de la protection civile, pour des raisons de santé publique.

      Cette déclaration est valable à partir d’aujourd’hui 09-09-2020 et pendant quatre (4) mois.

      Les ministres de l’Intérieur T. Theodorikakos, de l’Immigration et de l’Asile N. Mitarakis et le président d’EODY Pan. Arkoumaneas se rend à Lesbos, afin d’être informé de la situation à Moria, comme l’a déclaré le porte-parole du gouvernement St. Petsas, après la fin de la réunion gouvernementale au Palais Maximos.

      Pendant ce temps, des renforts d’Athènes ont été envoyés par la police à Lesbos, afin de faire face au problème qui s’est créé depuis la nuit après les incendies qui se sont déclarés à Moria et ont détruit une très grande partie du KYT. En particulier, trois escouades MAT ont quitté Elefsina à 7 heures du matin sur un avion militaire C-130 et devraient arriver sur l’île à 9 heures.

      Comme il est devenu connu du siège de EL.AS. Il y a déjà des forces fortes sur l’île, cependant tous les étrangers qui étaient dans le KYT après les incendies sont concentrés à l’extérieur de la structure, où ils sont gardés et cherchent des solutions pour leur logement.

      La lumière du jour montre l’ampleur de la destruction du camp - « ville » de 13 000 réfugiés et migrants à Moria. La totalité de la partie extérieure du KYT a été complètement détruite, tandis qu’une grande partie à l’intérieur du camp KYT qui continue de brûler a également été détruite. Les informations indiquent que les infrastructures d’administration et d’identification n’ont pas été incendiées, mais que le service d’asile et son équipement ont été complètement incendiés. En outre, des dommages ont été causés dans la zone de l’unité de soins intensifs et de l’unité de soins intensifs et dans la climatisation de l’unité de santé qui a été faite grâce à un don du gouvernement néerlandais.

      Une grande partie de la population de Moria a fui vers les domaines environnants, tandis qu’une autre partie s’est déplacée vers la ville de Mytilène où à la hauteur de Kara Tepe, juste avant l’usine PPC, une force de police forte a été alignée qui ne leur permet pas d’entrer dans la ville.

      L’incendie s’est déclaré vers minuit, lorsque les réfugiés et les migrants qui avaient été testés positifs pour le coronavirus ou avaient été détectés comme cas de contact ont refusé d’être isolés. Des affrontements se sont ensuivis avec d’autres réfugiés et migrants qui les ont poussés hors du camp. Ce conflit a pris à un moment donné un caractère tribal avec le résultat que des incendies ont éclaté, qui bientôt, en raison du vent fort, ont pris des dimensions.

      Il est à noter que, comme indiqué, les forces des pompiers, arrivées au camp pour tenter, ont été attaquées par des groupes de demandeurs d’asile qui ont entravé leur travail. En ce moment, les pompiers opèrent dans le camp avec le renforcement des moyens aériens, afin d’éteindre complètement le feu puis de contrôler la zone.

      Source : skai.gr

      https://www.lesvospost.com/2020/09/blog-post_50.html

      On craint une propagation du coronavirus dans tout Mytilène si les quelque 12000 réfugiés et immigrants ne sont pas expulsés immédiatement et dans une zone éloignée du tissu urbain après l’incendie qui s’est déclaré peu avant minuit mardi à Moria, exprime le maire de Mytilene S.

      « Les quelque 12 000 réfugiés ne peuvent pas rester un deuxième jour à ce moment-là. Dix ans nous ont laissés seuls sur la question des réfugiés. Les immigrants doivent être expulsés ici et maintenant. "Sinon, il y aura une propagation du virus dans toute la région", a déclaré le maire de Mytilène, Stratis Kytelis, à ethnos.gr.

      12000 réfugiés et migrants restent sur la route nationale

      Les réfugiés et les migrants restent sur la route nationale à la hauteur de Panagouda et se trouve à seulement six kilomètres de Mytilène tandis que les forces de police ont créé un barrage pour les empêcher de s’y déplacer. Trois escouades MAT avec une force totale de 60 personnes sont déjà parties du Pirée à Lesbos les forces de l’île. Il est à noter qu’à partir du contrôle des échantillons de liquide pharyngien reçus les trois jours de jeudi, vendredi et samedi par les équipes d’EODY parmi 1900 résidents de l’hôpital de Moria et 100 employés, un total de 35 cas positifs pour le virus ont été trouvés, au total des réfugiés et autres demandeurs d’asile. . Il est à noter qu’en plus des 35 réfugiés en quarantaine, 100 autres personnes étaient entrées en contact avec eux.

      Reçu via la mailing-list Migreurop, le 09.09.2020

    • Moria : “Time bomb” exploded, burned down Hotspot & “European values”


      It was short before Tuesday midnight when fires broke out in several parts in- and outside the Moria camp. The powerful winds quickly spread the flames around, through containers and tents. Total destruction. 13,000 people on the streets. The island of Lesvos has declared in “state of emergency.” Authorities investigate arson. Alarm for the 35 confirmed coronavirus cases that authorities do not know their whereabouts. No reports of fatalities or injuries.

      https://twitter.com/f_grillmeier/status/1303478067348803584

      The worst scenario happened – and while there was a scenario, plans to deal with it equaled to zero.

      https://twitter.com/th1an1/status/1303452650663370752

      A large part of the refugees and asylum seekers fled to the surrounding areas, while another part has moved to the city of Mytilene. However, strong police forces have been lined up in the area of Kara Tepe and do not allow them to enter the city.

      https://twitter.com/veramagalik/status/1303571532992712704

      Others entered the camp in the morning apparently seeking to save some of their belongings.

      https://twitter.com/KallergisK/status/1303554698083995650

      The entire camp outside the camp including thousands of olive trees have been destroyed, also a large part inside the hotspot.

      According to information the administration and identification infrastructures were not burned, but the Asylum Service and its equipment were completely burned.

      Damaged are also the area of ​​the Intensive Care Unit as wells as the new health Care unit recently donated by the Dutch Government.

      According to local media stonisi, that speaks of “uprising and fire“, clashes erupted in the camp after 35 people were confirmed positive to coronavirus on Tuesday. They, their families and their contacts refused to go in isolation in a warehouse just outside the camp. Others started to leave out of fear to contract the virus.

      The clashes “soon led to fires initially around the camp that burned all the tents outside and around the KYT and containers inside,” notes the local news website.

      https://twitter.com/SEENOTRETTUNG/status/1303445925524910086

      Three squads of riot police have been reportedly deployed from Athens to Moria.

      Authorities seek accommodation solutions for the thousands of people.

      Residents of overcrowded Moria camp have been in lockdown for several months due to the coronavirus.

      Chief of Fire Service, Konstantinos Theofilopoulos, told state broadcaster ERT on Wednesday morning, that several fires started around 10:30 at night and that they were initially hindered with thrown stones.

      He added that the fire has been largely extinguished except from the containers that are still burning inside.

      Citing sources of the National Intelligence Service, ERT reported that initially the tents outside the camp were set on fire.

      Quick are the far-right conspiracy theorists who see in the blaze “act of asymmetric warfare” against Greece and blame “Erdogan’s soldiers” for the fire.

      Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakisis currently chair an emergency meeting with the ministers of Citizen Protection, Migration Policy and Asylum and Interior, the chiefs of National Intelligence and the General Staff of Armed Forces, and the head of the Civil Protection.

      The vice president of the European Commission and Commissioner for the Promotion of the European way of Life, Margaritis Schinas, expressed the Commission’s intention to assist Greece at all levels.

      EU Commissioner for Home Affairs, Ylva Johansson, said that she had agreed to fund the immediate transfer and accommodation on the Greek mainland of the 400 unaccompanied migrant children and teenagers.

      PS The fire in Moria burned down not only the camp but also the “European values”…

      https://www.keeptalkinggreece.com/2020/09/09/moria-fire-camp-burned-down-pictures-videos

    • Grèce : un important incendie ravage le camp de Moria, des milliers de personnes à évacuer

      Un énorme incendie a ravagé dans la nuit de mardi à mercredi le camp de Moria sur l’île grecque de Lesbos. Le site, qui héberge plus de 12 000 personnes, a été « détruit à 99% » selon les pompiers. La tension est à son comble sur l’île : des migrants ont empêché les pompiers de rentrer dans le camp et des membres de l’extrême droite ont « attaqué » les ONG qui tentaient de venir en aide aux exilés.

      Le camp de Moria où s’entassent plus de 12 000 migrants a pris feu dans la nuit du mardi 8 au mercredi 9 septembre. Selon les pompiers, le site a été presque entièrement détruit. « La quasi-totalité du camp est en feu, aussi bien à l’intérieur que les tentes qui se trouvent à l’extérieur dans l’oliveraie », a observé un photographe de l’AFP présent sur place. « Tout brûle », a déclaré sur Twitter une association d’aide aux migrants, Stand by me Lesvos.

      Plusieurs heures après le début de l’incendie, une fumée noire continuait à s’élever au dessus du camp. Le président du syndicat des pompiers de Lesbos, Yorgos Ntinos, a indiqué mercredi matin que le camp « a brûlé à 99% et le feu continue ».

      https://twitter.com/iwatnew/status/1303488090716205056

      Des centaines de demandeurs d’asile fuyaient à pied dans la nuit vers le port de Mytilène mais ont été bloqués par les véhicules des forces de l’ordre, raconte à InfoMigrants Alpha*, un migrant vivant dans un conteneur du camp de Moria. « On n’a pas dormi de la nuit et personne ne nous a donné à manger ou à boire. Il y a beaucoup de femmes et d’enfants », précise-t-il.

      D’autres personnes se sont abritées dans les collines environnant le camp. « Certains témoignages rapportent que des locaux bloquent le passage (des migrants) dans le village voisin », rapporte encore Stand by me Lesvos.

      Le site d’information locale Lesvospost explique que plus de 3 000 tentes, des milliers de conteneurs, des bureaux de l’administration et une clinique au sein du camp ont également été brûlés.

      https://twitter.com/dfherman/status/1303491672685318149

      Pour l’heure, les pompiers précisent qu’"il n’y a pas de victimes, mais quelques blessés légers avec des problèmes respiratoires dus à la fumée". Des rumeurs annonçaient mercredi matin le décès d’au moins cinq personnes - une information que n’a pas pu vérifier InfoMigrants."Je pense que d’autres morts seront à déplorer car Moria est à terre", souffle Alpha.
      État d’urgence déclaré

      La tension est à son comble sur l’île. Les pompiers affirment dans leur communiqué avoir « été empêchés d’entrer dans le camp pour intervenir » par certains groupes de réfugiés, et avoir fait appel aux forces de l’ordre pour pouvoir poursuivre l’opération de secours. Plusieurs associations racontent avoir été « attaquées » par des membres de l’extrême droite alors qu’elles tentaient de venir en aide aux migrants.

      « L’île de Lesbos est déclarée en état d’urgence » a affirmé sur la chaîne de télévision publique ERT, le porte-parole du gouvernement grec, Stelios Petsas. Une réunion gouvernementale, avec le Premier ministre et le chef de l’état-major, doit se tenir mercredi matin « pour examiner la situation à Moria et les mesures qui vont être prises ».

      https://twitter.com/f_grillmeier/status/1303446446734274565

      D’après l’agence de presse grecque ANA, les feux auraient été déclenchés à la suite de la révolte de certains demandeurs d’asile qui devaient être placés en isolement, ayant été testés positifs au coronavirus ou proches d’une personne détectée positive. « Il y a 35 cas positifs et ils doivent être isolés (...) pour empêcher la propagation » du virus, a déclaré Selios Petsas à la chaîne publique TV ERT. Tous les réfugiés du camp ont l’interdiction de quitter l’île, a-t-il ajouté.

      Selon Alpha, « des Afghans ont refusé que des agents procèdent à des tests de coronavirus ». La situation a rapidement dégénéré et « les forces de l’ordre ont lancé des gaz lacrymogènes ». « J’étais dans mon conteneur quand j’ai entendu du bruit à l’extérieur. Je n’ai pas voulu sortir. Mais des flammes ont commencé à entrer dans mon habitation alors je me suis enfui en courant. Le feu était juste à côté de moi, j’ai eu très peur », continue le jeune homme.

      « La zone paie le prix de l’indifférence et de l’abandon », estime sur Facebook Facebook l’association des habitants de Moria et des autres villages environnants qui appelle les autorités à agir rapidement pour trouver une solution pour les demandeurs d’asile qui se retrouvent sans abri.

      La semaine dernière, les autorités ont détecté un premier cas de coronavirus à Moria et ont mis le camp en quarantaine pour quinze jours. Après la réalisation de 2 000 tests de dépistage, 35 personnes ont été détectées positives au Covid-19 à Moria et mises à l’isolement.

      De strictes mesures de circulation ont été imposées dans les camps de migrants depuis la mi-mars. Le gouvernement n’a jamais levé ces restrictions malgré les critiques des ONG de droits de l’homme jugeant ces mesures « discriminatoires » alors que la décision a été prise de déconfiner le pays début mai. « Depuis des mois, on est bloqués à l’intérieur du camp, on ne peut pas en sortir. Cela fait un moment que la tension est palpable, les gens ont en marre d’être privés de leur liberté », dit encore Alpha.

      *Le prénom a été modifié

      https://www.infomigrants.net/fr/post/27131/grece-un-important-incendie-ravage-le-camp-de-moria-des-milliers-de-pe

    • Après l’incendie de Moria, la Commissaire appelle les autorités grecques à venir en aide à tous les sinistrés

      « Dans la nuit de mardi à mercredi, le feu a détruit en grande partie le centre d’enregistrement et d’identification de Moria et les campements informels qui l’entourent, sur l’île grecque de Lesbos. Cet incendie a considérablement dégradé les conditions de vie des plus de 12 000 demandeurs d’asile et migrants, dont plus de 4 000 enfants, qui sont retenus dans un centre d’une capacité inférieure à 2 800 places », a déclaré la Commissaire.

      « L’intervention rapide des autorités locales et des pompiers a permis d’éviter une tragédie. Toutefois, la situation reste tendue, en ce qui concerne à la fois les migrants et la population locale qui vit à proximité du camp.

      J’appelle les autorités grecques à fournir d’urgence un hébergement à toutes les personnes privées d’#abri à la suite de l’incendie, en veillant à ce qu’elles aient accès à des soins, à des installations sanitaires, à un soutien psychologique et à de la nourriture. Il faudrait accorder une attention particulière aux personnes contaminées par le coronavirus et leur dispenser les soins nécessaires.

      Il importe également que les autorités grecques de tous niveaux protègent les demandeurs d’asile et les migrants contre les agressions et s’abstiennent de tenir des propos qui pourraient attiser les tensions.

      La situation sur les autres îles grecques où sont hébergés des réfugiés, des demandeurs d’asile et des migrants n’est guère différente de celle qui prévaut à Lesbos ; sur ces autres îles aussi, les difficultés pourraient s’aggraver. Comme beaucoup, je ne cesse de répéter qu’une aggravation de la situation semble inévitable si la Grèce et les autres États membres du Conseil de l’Europe ne changent pas de stratégie. Certes, la priorité est actuellement de répondre aux besoins humanitaires des sinistrés, mais l’incendie de Moria montre l’urgence de repenser entièrement la stratégie appliquée ces dernières années, qui a conduit à la création de camps surpeuplés, caractérisés par des conditions de vie inhumaines et intenables, à Moria et sur d’autres îles de la mer Égée. Il n’est tout simplement pas possible d’héberger les demandeurs d’asile et les migrants sur des bateaux, ou de recourir à d’autres formes d’hébergement d’urgence, en attendant que le camp de Moria soit remis en état, puis de continuer comme avant.

      Les autorités grecques n’ont toujours pas réglé une série de problèmes majeurs, comme le cantonnement des demandeurs d’asile et des migrants sur les îles de la mer Égée, le manque de structures d’accueil, sur les îles et sur le continent, et les insuffisances des politiques d’intégration et d’asile. La situation catastrophique dénoncée depuis des années par de nombreuses instances nationales et internationales est cependant aussi imputable à l’attitude des autres États membres, qui n’aident guère la Grèce en matière de relocalisation, et plus largement au manque de solidarité européenne. Ce n’est pas seulement un problème grec, c’est aussi un problème européen.

      Il n’y a plus de temps à perdre. La Grèce a besoin d’une aide concrète et de grande ampleur de la part des autres États membres du Conseil de l’Europe. Si de nombreuses collectivités locales se sont déclarées prêtes à apporter leur contribution, les autorités nationales, en revanche, se montrent trop frileuses. Je me réjouis que certains États membres semblent vouloir intensifier leurs efforts de relocalisation, mais il est urgent qu’ils agissent et que d’autres gouvernements européens suivent cette voie.

      La Grèce et ses partenaires doivent enfin se décider à régler les problèmes structurels d’une politique migratoire qui a déjà causé tant de souffrances inutiles. Attendre encore, c’est prendre le risque que d’autres drames se produisent. »

      https://www.coe.int/fr/web/commissioner/-/commissioner-calls-on-the-greek-authorities-to-provide-adequate-support-to-all-

      #sans-abri #SDF

    • ’Catastrophe’ warning as thousands left homeless by Lesbos refugee camp fire

      NGOs accuse police of blocking access to hospital for families and vulnerable migrants injured in Moria blaze.

      NGOs in Lesbos have warned that a humanitarian catastrophe is unfolding on the roads around the still burning Moria camp, where thousands of migrants are allegedly being held by police without shelter or adequate medical help.

      Annie Petros, head coordinator of of the charity Becky’s Bathhouse, said she was blocked by police from taking injured people to hospital as she drove them away from the fire.

      “When we saw there was a fire we drove as fast as we could with water to the camp, intending to take sick people to hospital. I can’t describe properly the scene we saw. There were streams of people, thousands of them, walking away from the camp. They were totally silent, terrified and traumatised, walking through thick smoke and the awful smell of burning plastic,” she said.

      “We picked up some pregnant women who needed urgent help and a teenage boy with a broken leg. When we neared the town of Mytilene there were riot police blocking the way to stop anyone reaching the town. I begged the police but their commander wouldn’t let us through. We called an ambulance and it refused to come to the roadblock.”

      Petros said she was sent along back roads, that brought them into contact with a group of anti-migrant protesters.

      She learned later that some people were attacked.

      She said the people she took to the hospital were the only ones who managed to make it through. “There are many people who need help with burns, with smoke inhalation.”

      Other aid organisations in the area said urgent work was needed to get people shelter before night fell.

      Omar Alshakal, a former refugee and founder of Refugees4Refugees, said: “The situation is out of control. We were looking after minors here and the safe place for them was lost in the fire. We lost 30 children. We are looking for them now.”

      Alshakal said the Greek government was making some effort, but the situation was severe. “We now have 12,000 people with no shelter, homeless on the main road. I have been called just now by the army, they want to get food to people and masks, sanitisation.”

      He said he was concerned that the isolation unit for Covid-19 patients was now abandoned. “We had 19 positive cases all in isolation, now they have left the camp. We have the fear they will spread the virus further.”

      The cause of the fire is unclear. Alshakal believes it was started by refugees in protest at conditions.

      The overcrowded camp is known to be a dangerous space, with small fires being lit to cook and no safe distancing between ramshackle tarpaulins used as tents.

      Moira was opened at the height of the refugee crisis in 2015. It was originally intended to hold 3,000 people. The charity MSF has been pushing the Greek authorities to improve conditions at the camp for years.

      Amir, a 19-year-old migrant from Afghanistan who teaches English in the School of Peace in the camp, said: “At about 11 last night I saw people starting fires deliberately. It was refugees who were very, very angry about the situation in this camp. We have been a long time in quarantine, you know we are under a lockdown while there are no such rules or laws for Greek people. It is racist, they are treating people like we are animals. We have needs, but we can’t leave this camp to get medicine or food.”

      He added: “The situation will now be worse for refugees. Our school is completely burned down. We had started to have hope that we could continue our learning but all that is gone now.”

      Aid groups are meeting on Wednesday evening to discuss an urgent response. They want people moved from the roadside immediately.

      Philippa Kempson of the Hope Project, said a government-ordered 3.5-mile (6km) cordon around the camp meant she couldn’t get to her supplies.

      “We have a building full of aid, nappies, water, very near Moria,” she said. “People can’t reach the city, they are out on an exposed road in 32C with children and babies. These people left the camp with what they had. We are 10km away and I had an asthma attack this morning due to the toxic smoke. Everything in there is plastic: the tents, the temporary housing blocks. And fires are still breaking out, the fire helicopter is still overhead.”

      She said the only light in the dark situation was that in two months the camp was due to be completely locked down. “Can you imagine if the fire had started in a couple of months when they had fenced it in with razor wire as they were planning to do? You would have had 12,000 people trapped in an inferno.”

      The UNHCR is working with the authorities to move people to safety. The agency said the authorities have blocked the road to stop uncontrolled movement but that vulnerable groups were being prioritised for shelter across the island and in accommodation in Mytilene, the island’s capital.

      Ylva Johansson, EU commissioner for home affairs, tweeted she had “agreed to finance the immediate transfer and accommodation on the mainland of the remaining 400 unaccompanied children and teenagers. The safety and shelter of all people in Moria is the priority.”

      The police have been approached for comment.


      https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2020/sep/09/catastrophe-warning-as-thousands-left-homeless-by-lesbos-refugee-camp-f

    • FIRE DESTROYS MUCH OF MORIA CAMP, FOLLOWING FOUR YEARS’ EUROPEAN TOLERANCE OF FATAL RISKS TO MIGRANTS

      In the early hours of this morning, a large fire broke out in Moria Refugee Camp, which has left much of the camp destroyed, and many of the approximately 13, 000 residents displaced.

      This comes a week after the first person tested positive for COVID-19 in the camp, which was immediately followed by the government’s official initiation of works to transform Moria refugee camp to a closed controlled centre. In the days that followed, at least 30 other people have tested positive for COVID-19 – in a camp that is currently at four times’ its stated capacity, where basic preventative measures are a practical impossibility and where there was no functioning COVID-19 isolation clinic.

      The dehumanisation of migrants at the European border and apparent indifference to the impact of this protracted, unsustainable situation on the local population have had repeatedly devastating consequences. Migrants have been consistently confined to overcrowded, insecure and fundamentally inhuman conditions, where fires – often fatal – are a regular occurrence. This was not the first fire in Moria camp; it was not even the first fire in the camp this year. Such fatal risks to – and loss of – migrant lives are instead tolerated as part of the European border regime.

      Following the near destruction of Moria Camp, this morning the Greek government placed the island of Lesvos under a four month state of emergency. The police and army have been on the streets around Moria camp since the fire broke out, and three riot police squads (known as the Units for the Reinstatement of Order) were flown in from Athens this morning. As far as we know, no additional medical capacity or humanitarian aid has been mobilised or provided. The government’s immediate dispatch of security forces, before or without humanitarian assistance, continues their policy of framing migrants as a question of public order – and prioritising their securitisation as opposed to the provision of urgent assistance.

      The Greek authorities’ main priority so far seems to be the prevention of migrants’ access to Mytiline: a police blockade was established next to Kara Tepe camp in the early hours of this morning, to prevent migrants who had fled the fire from reaching the city, and it remains there to this point. Police units have also blocked the main access road to Moria camp. People who had been living in the camp are spread out on the roads around Moria camp, in the surrounding forests, and in the car park of a nearby supermarket. From what migrants have told us, there have been no state provisions – whether of essentials such as food or water, or other necessities such as hygiene facilities – in those locations.

      There has never been an evacuation plan for Moria Camp residents, and when the fire broke out last night, people were left to flee on their own – including those who had been held in the pre-removal detention centre inside Moria Camp (PRO.KE.KA.). Some of those living in the sections for vulnerable people (including unaccompanied children and single women) were woken up by police, but given no instruction of where they could or should go. At present, there remains a profound lack of information regarding the safeguarding or protection response for such groups. When we spoke with vulnerable individuals supported by Legal Centre Lesvos in the early hours of this morning, they were scattered in the forests and roads surrounding the camp, without any state support.

      There is still no official confirmation of casualties, or even hospitalisations.

      Those who have returned to Moria camp this morning have sent photos of the destroyed camp, including the remains of their tents and shelters. Residents have emphasised that the many of the facilities – including toilets and sanitation spaces – have been burnt. The already-inadequate provisions to prevent or slow the spread of COVID-19 among the camp’s population have now been destroyed, and given that over thirty residents of the camp have tested positive for the virus in recent days, a failure to implement a rapid and health-oriented response for displaced residents will no doubt increase the number of cases – and will likely overwhelm the stretched public healthcare system.

      “This fire is a visceral manifestation of European policies, which have for years tolerated the containment of migrants in dangerous, overcrowded and insecure conditions,” said Amelia Cooper, of the Legal Centre Lesvos. “Repeated fatal incidents – including the death of a seven-year-old child in a fire in Moria camp, just six months ago – have not been enough to prompt the evacuation of Moria refugee camp; neither has been the outbreak of a global pandemic, nor the detection of positive cases, nor the Greek government’s instrumentalisation of these facts to impose mass detention on camp residents. Residents of Moria camp, and migrants in hotspots across Europe, are in situations of manufactured and state-sanctioned vulnerability. This fire was not an accident, it was an inevitability.”

      https://legalcentrelesvos.org/2020/09/09/fire-destroys-much-of-moria-camp-following-four-years-european-to

    • Joint statement of 31 NGOs regarding the fire at the Registration and Identification Centre at Moria

      Greece: Transfer Refugees and Asylum seekers to Safety on Mainland

      Respect for Human Rights should Prevail over Use of Force

      Following yesterday’s fire in Moria, on Lesvos, which destroyed the Reception and Identification Centre, 31 civil society organizations call on the Greek Government to immediately provide assistance to people who lost their shelter. Those affected, among them many children and at-risk groups, must be carefully transferred to safety on the mainland.

      The transfer of at-risk groups, including unaccompanied children, pregnant women, people with disabilities, people with medical and mental health conditions, and older people should be prioritized. People who tested positive for Covid-19 should be given safe housing for the quarantine period, healthcare, and hospitalization if necessary.

      Moving people from Lesvos to mainland Greece requires finding urgent solutions to address the fact that many current housing facilities for refugees and asylum seekers are at full capacity. We urge the Greek authorities to work on a coherent plan that maximises all available resources including those from the EU and we renew our call to European leaders to share the responsibility for the reception and support of asylum seekers now more than ever.

      In these difficult times, it is of outmost importance that respect for human rights is at the centre of the response to the fire at Moria, and that authorities do not resort to use of force or inflammatory language, but take appropriate steps to de-escalate any risk of violence.

      ActionAid Hellas

      Amnesty International

      Boat Refugee Foundation

      CRWI Diotima

      ECHO100PLUS

      ELIX

      Equal Rights Beyond Borders

      Fenix - Humanitarian Legal Aid

      Greek Council for Refugees (GCR)

      Hellenic League for Human Rights

      Hellenic Platform for Development (Ελληνική Πλατφόρμα για την Ανάπτυξη)

      Help Refugees

      Hias Greece

      HumanRights360

      Humanitarian Legal Aid

      Human Rights Watch

      International Rescue Committee (IRC)

      INTERSOS Hellas

      Legal Centre Lesvos

      Médecins Sans Frontières

      Melissa

      Network for Children’s Rights

      Omnes

      Refugee Legal Support (RLS)

      Refugee Rights Europe (RRE)

      Refugee Support Aegean (RSA)

      Refugee Trauma Initiative

      Solidarity Now

      Symbiosis-School of Political Studies in Greece

      Terre des hommes Hellas

      The HOME Project

      https://www.gcr.gr/en/news/press-releases-announcements/item/1499-joint-statement-of-31-ngos-regarding-moria-refugee-camp-fire

    • New fire breaks out in Moria camp on Wed evening

      A new large fire broke out at the Reception and Identification Center in Moria early Wednesday evening, just hours after the overcrowded hotspot on the island of Lesvos was largely destroyed by the fire the previous night.

      The fire is reportedly burning in the area of ​​Eleonas, the olive grove, outside the camp, where thousands of people of who do fit in live in tents.

      https://twitter.com/g_christides/status/1303744178053165056

      Media report that the fire started in some of the 200 tents that were not burned down on Tuesday night. Explosion sounds were heard, and they probably came form the cooking devices the refugees used.

      https://twitter.com/th_voulgarakis/status/1303738169729441795

      Hundreds of people among them many families with children, were leaving the area.

      https://twitter.com/g_christides/status/1303737094704070657

      Firefighters have rushed to the scene but the blaze went out of control due to the strong winds.

      https://twitter.com/News247gr/status/1303739366179835906

      STAR TV reported from the spot that the firefighters are now trying to protect the nearby forest.

      Thousands left the camp that hosted 12,800 people.

      It remains unclear whether it is a new fire or a resurgence of the one that already destroyed much of the Moria hotspot the other night.

      https://www.keeptalkinggreece.com/2020/09/09/moria-new-fire-wednesday-evening

    • All people in Moria camp must be evacuated to safety in wake of destructive fire

      Nearly 12,000 men, women and children have been forced to evacuate Moria refugee camp, on the island of Lesbos, Greece, after a fire tore through the camp during the night of 8 September. While the fire is not believed to have caused any deaths, the camp was almost completely burned down, and people are now on the streets, with nowhere to stay. Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) urges Greek and EU authorities to immediately evacuate people off the island to safety.

      “Our teams saw the fire spread across Moria and rage all night long. The whole place was engulfed in flames, we saw an exodus of people from a burning hell with no direction,” says Marco Sandrone, MSF field coordinator in Lesbos. “Children were scared, and parents are in shock. We are relieved that there seem to be no victims and we are working now to address the immediate needs of the people.”

      All medical services available for the refugees and asylum seekers have been interrupted, including services at the MSF paediatric clinic.

      Almost five years of trapping people in dire conditions has led to tensions and despair. This has only increased over the last five months due to restricted movements in the camp, hastily justified as a public health measure amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Following the recent confirmation of positive cases of COVID-19 among the camp’s residents, the increasing restrictions on people have made the situation unbearable.

      MSF has been pushing the Greek health and migration authorities to set up an adequate COVID-19 response plan for Moria, that counts on people’s collaboration and which offers dignity to the sick and to those who are infectious.

      “The Greek authorities have failed to put such a response in place, and the EU and other EU member states have disclaimed responsibility and have done close to nothing to resolve this situation,” says Aurelie Ponthieu, MSF Humanitarian Advisor on Displacement. “The years-long orchestration of human suffering and violence produced by European and Greek migration policies are to blame for the fire, and we can only hope that the same system of inhumane containment will not be reborn from the ashes in Moria.”

      MSF calls on the Greek authorities to immediately adopt an emergency response plan and to evacuate all these people to a safe place on the mainland or to other European countries. We are ready to provide the support that is needed during the emergency response.

      https://www.msf.org/refugees-moria-must-be-evacuated-wake-destructive-fire

      #MSF

    • Incendie à Moria - Evacuer MAINTENANT !

      Incendie à Moria - Evacuer MAINTENANT !

      La nuit dernière, un incendie a détruit le camp de réfugié.e.s surpeuplé de Moria. Près de 13 000 personnes vivaient dans le camp dont la capacité officielle n’est que de 2 757 personnes. Suite à ces incendies, aucune évacuation n’a été organisée. Par ailleurs, il n’y a jamais eu de plan d’évacuation pour l’ensemble du camp malgré les dangers et les conditions inhumaines. Au printemps 2020, l’Europe et la Suisse n’ont pas réussi à réaliser l’évacuation des camps et la redistribution des personnes entre les différents États européens, alors que la situation l’exigeait et malgré les mobilisations.

      Le 2 septembre, une première personne a été testée positive au Covid-19 à Moria. Au lieu d’identifier de manière systématique les possibilités d’infection, le camp entier a été mis en quarantaine. Toutes les personnes ont donc été fortement exposées au risque d’infection. La seule réponse a été leur enfermement aux frontières de l’Europe.

      Le 23 juin 2020, plus de 50 000 personnes ont demandé au Conseil fédéral de participer à des opérations d’accueil humanitaire pour évacuer les camps des îles grecques. Le 16 juin 2020, le Conseil national a approuvé la motion visant à accepter des réfugiés de Grèce et les huit plus grandes villes de Suisse ont accepté d’accueillir des réfugié.e.s directement de Grèce. Nous demandons une nouvelle fois au Conseil fédéral, à Karin Keller-Sutter en tant que cheffe du département du DFJP et au SEM d’accueillir les réfugié.e.s de Grèce et de fournir une aide d’urgence immédiate sur le terrain.

      https://www.sosf.ch/fr/sujets/schengen-europe/informations-articles/incendie-a-moria.html?zur=41

    • Thousands Moria refugees on the streets, locals set blockades, new fires

      The situation on the island of Lesvos remain tense on Thursday, with thousands of refugees and asylum-seekers to have spent the night on roadsides, fields and even cemeteries, waiting for aid and a provisional shelter. Led by the Mayor of Mytilene, locals have set blockades to hinder the government from repairing fire damages in the Moria camp or embark the vulnerable among the homeless on a ferry.

      “People that lost their shelters in #MoriaCamp due to the fires are finding shade and temporary resting ground between graves in a Greek orthodox cemetery.” via @daphnetolis.

      At the same time, new fires broke out in the camp also early Thursday afternoon to burn down what was not damage din the last two days.

      While signs hind to an “arson plan,” so far, no perpetrators have been captured, no report by the Fire Service has been issued.

      The government desperate tries to find solutions to the crisis that has emerged on the island but it is extremely difficult without the support by the local authorities and the people.

      Refugees and locals seem to agree on one point: This is “hell on earth” for both sides.

      The island has been declared a state of emergency for four months.

      New fires show “arson plan”

      Fires broke out again inside the camp early Thursday afternoon. According to state news agency amna, the fire broke οut simultaneously in three different points of the hotspot.

      The fires broke in a camp section that was not damaged by the fires on Tuesday and Wednesday, and where refugees were still living.

      The latest fire shows that despite the fact that the government has deployed several squads of police there, there is not policing in the area, which is an arson crime scene, after all, as the government says.

      According to local media stonisi, “the new fires today now prove the existence of an organized arson plan by unknown centers and for reasons currently unknown. A plan that the Police seems to not be able to deal with.”

      Refugees for a second time

      Over 12,000 people spend the second night on the streets, slept next to garbage bins and police buses. Some found no other place to spend the night other than between graves of a cemetery.

      Helpless without shelter and food, after the fire damage, they grabbed their children, helped their elderly, packed whatever they could save and left again for the Unknown and a new nightmare.

      Tear gas against children

      Riot police does not allow the refugees to reach the island capital Mytiline and set blockades at the road to Kara Tepe, where another camp operates.

      In the early morning hours of Thursday, the crowd threw stones at the police forces that responded with tear gas.

      Among the tear gas target are also children that scream in fear.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xYUwNV-0oJw&feature=emb_logo

      Locals set up blockades

      At the same time, residents and members of local authorities are opposing the government’s attempt to repair the damage in the camp and make it available again for the refugees and asylum seekers.

      Local authorities of East Lesvos had repeatedly called for de-congestion of the camp. They belive that the new situation that emerged after the fire will have them relocate to the mainland.

      They reject any government proposals to have the refugees accommodated in two military camps or in the area surrounding the Moria camp.

      Trucks and other machinery deployed by the municipality hinders the cleaning of Moria by the Armed forces, while the mayor reportedly keeps calling on locals to strengthen the blockades.

      Mayor of Mytilene, Stratis Kytelis has been reiterating that he does not accept the reopening of Moria, the establishment creation of any other accommodation structure, even a temporary one.

      He demands “the immediate refugees’ and migrants’ departure from the island in any way.”

      “We have been insisting for a long time that there should be an immediate and massive de-congestion of the camp. It is not possible for a structure designed for 2,800 people to accommodate 12,000 people,” he repeated.

      406 minors relocated to northern Greece

      With three separate flights, 406 unaccompanied refugee children were transferred from the destroyed Moria center to Thessaloniki over night.

      The children are temporary accommodated in hotels. Some of them will be transferred to other structures and some will be relocated to European countries in accordance with the relevant program.

      Before their departure form Lesvos, all minors were tested for Covid-19. For precautionary reasons, they ill stay in quarantine for 10 days. facilities in which they will be housed will be quarantined for 10 days.

      The flights were organized by the International Organization for Migration, funded by the European Commission and coordinated by the Special Secretariat for Unaccompanied Minors at the Ministry of Migration.

      Gov’t housing plan about to fail

      The ferry donated by the shipping company Blue Star Ferries for the accommodation of some 1,000 vulnerable groups docked at the port of Sigri and not at the port of Mytilene on Thursday morning. Immediately locals called for a blockade of the road.

      The two Navy landing ships for the temporary accommodation of another 1,000 vulnerable people may never come. The Defense ministry has allegedly refused to deploy them amid a Greek standoff with Turkey.

      The government is in an extreme difficult situation and is looking for other solutions.

      The Migration Ministry said in a statement on Thursday that “all the necessary actions for the immediate housing of vulnerable people and families of the Moria hotspot in specially designed areas will be carried out within the day.”, a migration and asylum ministry announcement said on Thursday.

      “The primary concern of the government is the safety of all concerned,” the announcement added, and concluded that “Behavior aiming to blackmail will not be tolerated.”

      https://www.keeptalkinggreece.com/2020/09/10/moria-greece-refugees-locals-new-fires-housing

    • Incendies à Lesbos : « Nous créons une zone de guerre au milieu de l’Europe »

      #Efi_Latsoudi s’insurge contre le gouvernement grec, la situation dans le camp de Moria étant prévisible selon elle. L’humanitaire appelle à une réaction de la communauté internationale.

      Le camp de Moria, à Lesbos, a été en grande partie détruit par un incendie dans la nuit de mardi à mercredi. Efi Latsoudi, figure de proue de l’aide humanitaire sur l’île et lauréate du prix humanitaire Nansen Refugee Award 2016 du Haut-Commissariat des Nations unies pour les réfugiés (HCR), craint que la situation des 13 000 candidats à l’asile qui y vivaient se dégrade.
      L’incendie qui ravage Moria était-il prévisible ?

      Il fallait s’y attendre. Politiquement, on se dirigeait vers ça. On opérait sans plan d’action depuis des mois. Le gouvernement grec présente la situation migratoire dans les camps comme une réussite depuis que les chiffres d’arrivées sur les îles sont en baisse. Mais les conditions de vie des migrants sont toujours aussi désastreuses. Elles ne sont que les conséquences des politiques mises en place par Athènes.
      Vous êtes actuellement à Lesbos. Que s’est-il passé hier soir ?

      C’était la guerre. Il y a eu des manifestations de migrants dans le camp en réaction au confinement total, la police a usé de gaz lacrymogène. On s’attendait à de tels mouvements de contestation : voilà six mois que les forces de l’ordre ont enfermé ces gens dans ce camp. C’est de la discrimination ! Pour essayer de protéger les mineurs face aux manifestations, ils ont été placés dans une partie isolée du camp. Et quand le feu s’est déclaré [les causes de l’incendie ne sont pas encore clairement connues, ndlr], personne n’arrivait à les sortir de là. La porte a dû être défoncée pour les évacuer.
      Comment se présente la situation au lendemain du drame ?

      Les migrants sont encerclés par les policiers sur la route qui va de Moria à la ville. Ils sont dehors, sans rien. Les autorités sont en train d’acheminer trois troupes de policiers antiémeutes d’Athènes en bateau. Le ministre a parlé des émeutes, on craint que ces événements le poussent à créer des camps totalement fermés. Il y a aussi beaucoup de réactions de la part des groupes fascistes, qui pensent que Moria est une « bombe sanitaire » [35 cas de Covid-19 ont officiellement été déclarés à Moria, ndlr] alors qu’il y a plus de contaminations au sein de la population locale que chez les migrants. Certains médias enveniment la situation. Nous sommes en train de créer une zone de guerre au milieu de l’Europe.
      Comment imaginez-vous les prochains jours ?

      Tout le monde va envoyer de l’argent et des ressources sans aucune organisation. La situation ne va pas s’améliorer et tout cela ira alimenter la rhétorique des fascistes. Nous ferons au mieux pour aider les migrants. S’il n’y a pas de réaction de la part de la communauté internationale, la population locale et les groupes xénophobes vont nous tomber dessus.

      A lire aussiLesbos, le confinement sans fin

      Le gouvernement ne considère à aucun instant que la situation puisse être le résultat de sa politique. Il a pointé du doigt les ONG internationales : c’est hypocrite. Toute l’organisation des camps comme celui de Moria ne tient que grâce aux humanitaires. Les vrais victimes de ces drames à répétition, ce sont les migrants psychologiquement traumatisés et qui ne se sentent plus humains.

      https://www.liberation.fr/planete/2020/09/09/incendies-a-lesbos-nous-creons-une-zone-de-guerre-au-milieu-de-l-europe_1

    • Four face criminal charges over Moria blaze, two minors to return to Lesvos

      Four Afghan migrants linked to the catastrophic fires that razed the Moria reception center on Lesvos last week were charged on Wednesday with arson and membership of a criminal organization and given until Saturday to prepare their defense before an investigating magistrate.

      Another two Afghans implicated in the same incident, both unaccompanied minors who were transferred to the mainland the day after the first blaze, are to return to Lesvos where they are to face a magistrate on Monday.

      The six suspects were identified on video footage of the fires that circulated on social media.

      Meanwhile most of the 13 suspects detained in connection with a fire that broke out late on Tuesday near a migrant reception center on Samos have been released due to a lack of evidence linking them to the blaze, which was extinguished before it could affect the camp.

      On Wednesday, 20 officers who are to form part of a special police service on Lesvos for a temporary camp that has been set up there arrived on the island. Although the new camp has the capacity to host up to 8,000 people, only around 1,200 had moved in by Wednesday night.

      Thousands of former Moria residents continued to sleep on the streets and in olive groves on Wednesday.

      https://www.ekathimerini.com/257058/article/ekathimerini/news/four-face-criminal-charges-over-moria-blaze-two-minors-to-return-to-le

    • Communique from the Working Group mobilisation on 45th Session of the PPT

      MORIA burns, again. This documented horror in the heart of Europe, has been denounced from its beginning (2015) by dozens of reports from human rights, humanitarian and other non-governmental organisations. Almost 20,000 (at peak last February) and at the time of the fire, 13,000 human beings were parked in a prison of mud, rubbish and violence, behind barbed wire. MORIA is a planned limbo, where refugees are being denied their right to asylum, freedom and dignity, unable to perform even the most basic daily activities, such as sleeping, eating or communicating. It was a place where health care and education were denied to 4,000 children – left without dreams; adolescents whom the abnormal rates of suicide attempts should have been an alert of the level of despair in the camp (MSF); women terrorized by daily rapes, lack of hygiene and rampant violence. Hundreds of testimonies revealing the levels of unbearable “non-life” in MORIA, were kept unheard for years.

      Now the fenced camp, which was about to be closed, has burned to the ground. But how could this construction – the abandonment of human beings reduced to “numbers and bodies” – re-emerge as an island-lager in the heart of 20th Century Europe? How has this apartheid andsuffering as planned management of the “other”, of the “migrant” been accepted and tolerated in the long silence of 5 years? This inhumane “containment” had been erected as a model for migration policies by the European Commission and the EU Member States. MORIA has been the essence of the deterrence model aimed at discouraging the flight of potential asylum seekers from countries at war and to push them back to the ruins, sealed by the EU-Turkey agreement in 2016. It is documented that on Greek islands, the Geneva Convention was being constantly violated on a daily basis. Has it been buried in Lesbos?

      The most disturbing reality of all is that MORIA is not exceptional – but part of a chain of Camps and Hotspots across Europe constructed as sites “without rights” and a systematic planned annihilation of the “other”, psychically destroyed in camps, where they could have even burned alive. The EU borders, as well as the maritime routes have also become sites of death where thousands have drowned. This situation is indicative of the overall policy of necropolitics practiced by the European Union and its member states towards migrant and refugee peoples and is combined with the policy of militarised externalisation of borders. And inside the Fortress Europe – as is graphically shown in this time of COVID-19 – the migrant workers who make up a big part of the “essential workers’ in agriculture, care and domestic work – are also denied fundamental rights, subjected to daily racism and deprived of the conditions to live a decent human life.

      As part of that Europe that still recognizes itself first of all as “human”, and joining all the movements that in these hours are making their voice heard, we, the signatories, who have been witnessing for years the tragic fate of the migrant and refugee peoples, denounce even more the fire of MORIA as a symbolic and highly visible expression of the silent, permanent, planned crime against humanity for which the European Commission the European States are responsible, as highlighted by the Permanent People’s Tribunal sentence (Hearings 2017-2019). The humanitarian interventions of these hours – already minimal in itself – can only appear as a saving face operation. Once again these pronouncements refer to a time without deadlines, and therefore confirm the existing genocidal policy – as the European Commission, and the EU governments, opt for an identity that declares itself exempt from the obligations of the civilization of law. These obligations were meant to be consistent with the ‘never again’ commitment against the extermination camps and had made Europe a place of welcome and an indicator of its own development project.

      We therefore call on the EC and all the European States:

      To urgently evacuate the island and re-locate to safety and dignity the MORIA migrant and refugee peoples.
      To end the criminalisation of migrants and refugees and the criminalisation of solidarity.

      It is Not a Crime to Migrate or to seek Asylum! It is a Human Right!

      September 14, 2020
      The movements & oganisations convening the 45th PPT Migrant & Refugee Session

      https://transnationalmigrantplatform.net/campaigns-advocacy

    • Questions arise as Greece vows to “empty Lesvos of all refugees by Easter”

      Questions arise as Greece’s Citizens Protection Minister has vowed to empty the island of Lesvos of all refugees by Easter.One main question is, of course, that if all 12,000 refugees leave in the next 6 months, why does Greece build a permanent camp on the island, expected to be in operation until 2025 and it looks as if it is going to be “the largest in Greece” if not in the whole European Union? Where will these 12,000 people stay when they leave Lesvos? How about the refugees and asylum-seekers in overcrowded camps on other islands? At the same time, it looks as if the hastily set up temporary camp in Kara Tepe, hastily due to the Moria fires, is violating rules of constructions and other issues.

      In an exclusive interview with UK’s daily The Guardian, Minister Michalis Chrysochoidis said following the fires that destroyed the overcrowded Moria camp last week, that plans would be accelerated to decongest the outpost.
      Minister: Lesvos will be empty of all refugees by Easter”

      “They will all leave,” Citizens protection Minister Michalis Chrysochoidis told UK’s daily the Guardian on Tuesday. “Of the roughly 12,000 refugees here currently, I foresee 6,000 being transferred to the mainland by Christmas and the rest by Easter. The people of this island have gone through a lot. They’ve been very patient.”

      About 70% of asylum seekers on the island were Afghans who would be awarded refugee status and given travel papers, he said. Recognised refugees can move to another EU member state for up to three months using the documents.

      Chrysochoidis, who flew into Lesbos to help oversee relief efforts, welcomed reports that Germany was prepared to take in as many as 1,500 people from Moria.

      “It’s very generous, very brave,” Chrysochoidis said of the goodwill gesture. “All over Europe, countries have their own internal political problems around this issue but I also think they [EU states] can see we are protecting the bloc’s borders, we have greatly minimised flows.”

      On the problem that stranded refugees and asylum-seekers refuse to settle in the new temporary tents camp in Kara Tepe, Chrysochoidis blamed Afghan asylum-seekers and even some NGOs.

      “There are groups of Afghans and I am afraid even some human rights organisations who are encouraging thousands of people not to go in,” said Chrysochoidis.

      “It’s non-negotiable. They will leave the island but they have to go through this new facility and get the requisite legal documents first,” the minister stressed speaking to the Guardian.

      If refugees go, why a permanent refugee camp?

      Of course, in order to have 6,000 refugees relocated to the mainland by Christmas, that is in 3 months, you have to have structures to host them. Where are they? Where are the government plans for them? And where will the remaining 6,000 people go “by Easter”? Most likely, they will also found themselves on the mainland – because so far, the famous “EU solidarity” was never strong enough to take some burden from Greece’s shoulders – and neither will it be, I’m afraid.

      And how about the refugees and asylum-seekers in the overcrowded camps on the islands like Samos and Chios and Kos? Will they be transferred to the new camp on the island where “the people have gone through a lot and have be very patient,” as the Minister said?

      Minister Chrysochoidis and the government is general is proud to have minimized the refugees flows – even though often with questionable means such as “pushbacks” that are illegal.

      So the question that arises is near: If the plan is to have all 12,000 refugees relocated away from Lesvos within the next six months, then why does Greece build a new permanent camp –the largest in the EU! – on the island of Lesvos and thus with the assistance of the European Commission?

      Will the new camp host refugees currently on the other islands and also display Greece’s readiness should an influx turn into a problem again?

      President Ursula von der Leyen said on Wednesday during her speech at the European Palriament speech that “the Commission is now working on a plan, for a joint plan with the Greek authorities for a new camp in Lesvos. We can help with asylum and return procedures and significantly improve conditions for refugees.”

      Permanent camp until 2025

      With two decisions on September 14, the Ministry for Migration and Asylum has secured the amount for the lease of land plots on Lesvos for the permanent camp until 2025.

      According to an exclusive report by local media stonisi, the Ministry uploaded on state website for public expenditures Diavgeia, the amounts needed to be paid for the lease from September 2020 until 31. December 2025. The total price to be paid is 2.9 million euros.

      €142,051 for the lease of the land plots for the operation of the temporary camp in Kara Tepe until 31. December 2020.

      €2,750,000 (550,000 euros per year) for the lease of the same land plots in Kara Tepe from 2021 until 2025.

      According to the exclusive story, the size of the whole area, extending over several hundreds of acres and including the area of ​​the Ministry of National Defense [the firing range where the temporary camp is], shows the new refugee center will be much larger than that of Moria, the largest in Greece and in the whole European Union.”

      The camp will be in direct contact with residential areas and many dozens of businesses, a few hundred meters from the village of Panagiouda, the news website notes.

      Camp set up without necessary approvals

      At he same time, regarding the temporary camp, the Technical Chamber of Northern Aegean region (TEE) denounces “massive arbitrariness” and violations of construction and others laws.

      The Mavrovouni Firing Range (Kara Tepe) for the temporary settlement of refugees and immigrants belong to the Ministry of Defense but not the coastline and the shore lines, the TEE says among others..

      In an announcement, the TEE says that the concession of the area for a camp needed approval by Environmental services, by the Marine Antiquities Authority, the Forest Service and General Staff of the Navy as well as some other departments of the state.

      The TEE raises the issue of the “highest National Security” and of the “defense of the island” that is closed to the Turkish coast.

      https://www.keeptalkinggreece.com/2020/09/16/greece-refugees-lesvos-permanent-camp

    • Greece vows to empty Lesbos of all refugees by Easter after fire

      Exclusive: minister says island ‘has been through a lot’ as he welcomes new German offer.

      The island of Lesbos will be emptied of refugees by next Easter, the Greek government has vowed, as it welcomed Germany’s offer to take in 1,500 people left without shelter.

      Following the devastating fires that destroyed the notoriously overcrowded Moria facility last week, Greece’s top public order official said plans would be accelerated to decongest the outpost.

      “They will all leave,” the civil protection minister, Michalis Chrysochoidis, told the Guardian. “Of the roughly 12,000 refugees here currently, I foresee 6,000 being transferred to the mainland by Christmas and the rest by Easter. The people of this island have gone through a lot. They’ve been very patient.”

      About 70% of asylum seekers on Lesbos were Afghans who would be awarded refugee status and given travel papers, he said. Recognised refugees can move to another EU member state for up to three months using the documents.

      Greek police detained five people on Tuesday in connection with the blazes at the camp, and are searching for one other. No more details were given but from the outset officials have attributed the fires to camp residents pressuring authorities to leave.

      Chrysochoidis, who flew into Lesbos to help oversee relief efforts, welcomed reports that Germany was prepared to take in as many as 1,500 people from Moria.

      The German coalition government on Tuesday agreed to take in a total of 1,553 people from 408 families whose protected status has been confirmed by Greek authorities, Angela Merkel’s spokesperson said.

      Last Friday, Germany said it would take up to 150 out of approximately 400 unaccompanied minors from the camp, where more than 12,000 people were left homeless by the fire in the early hours of 9 September.

      “It’s very generous, very brave,” Chrysochoidis said of the goodwill gesture. “All over Europe, countries have their own internal political problems around this issue but I also think they [EU states] can see we are protecting the bloc’s borders, we have greatly minimised flows.”

      Merkel insisted on Monday any transfer of migrants to Germany would need to go hand-in-hand with a broader European initiative, emphasising her support for Greek plans for a new reception centre on Lesbos.

      Apart from Luxembourg, no other country has so far showed a willingness to partake in a pan-European solution to the crisis in Moria.

      Some countries, such as Austria, have categorically rejected taking in people from the destroyed camp. “If we give in to this pressure now, then we risk making the same mistake we made in 2015,” said chancellor, Sebastian Kurz, referring to Merkel’s decision to take in large numbers of refugees five years ago.

      Germany’s leader faces domestic pressure from two sides on the issue. Members of her own party, the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), have warned that any resettlement programme must be carried out in a way as to avoid chaotic scenes akin to those at the height of the 2015 refugee crisis. “We must not go alone,” said CDU delegate Mathias Middelberg.

      From the other side, Merkel faces calls from her coalition partner, the centre-left Social Democratic party (SPD), and a number of federal states and city mayors across Germany for Europe’s largest economy to step up its humanitarian efforts.

      The leadership of the SPD, which will need to approve Merkel and Seehofer’s decision, has pressured its senior coalition to take in more than 5,000 people to alleviate the situation in Greece.

      German calls for resettlement schemes have until now also faced resistance from Greece, where prime minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, accused some residents of Moria for trying to blackmail his government by deliberately setting the fires that destroyed their camp.

      Chrysochoidis insisted it was crucial Moria’s erstwhile occupants move into a temporary camp, close to Mytilene, the island’s port capital, that the government, with the aid of the army had rushed to build. Opposition is such that seven days after the first blaze, only 1,000 had so far agreed to enter the new facility.

      Athens’ centre-right government has enlisted NGOs and distributed multi-lingual notices in a bid to encourage relocation, saying the new site provides a safe place for asylum seekers to complete applications. Many have denounced the facility as “a new Moria, another prison.”

      As tensions mounted, the Greek migration minister Notis Mitarachi alluded to the possible use of force if the displaced migrants refused to go voluntarily.

      Nine riot police units and water cannon have been dispatched to the island. “If this is not possible through discussion, then the police will have to be used,” he told Mega TV. “It is their obligation to move to the new site,” he said acknowledging for the first time that families would likely spend the winter in tents.

      The Greek government has pledged to build a new structure on the island that will be co-managed by EU agencies but says construction of the camp in a place that has yet to be decided will require at least six months.

      Concerns over Covid-19 – more than 21 asylum seekers since the fires have tested positive for the virus in addition to 35 who were diagnosed with it before – have made resettlement even more pressing.

      Close to 12,500 men, women and children have been living out in the open, often in makeshift tents of tarps and bamboo reeds. Some 406 lone migrant children, also in the camp, were flown to the mainland immediately before continuing on to European states that have agreed to accept them.

      “There are groups of Afghans and I am afraid even some human rights organisations who are encouraging thousands of people not to go in,” said Chrysochoidis, who is seen as the face of the centre-right government’s tough public order policies. “It’s non-negotiable. They will leave the island but they have to go through this new facility and get the requisite legal documents first.”

      Efforts will be launched in the coming days to clear the charred remains of what had once been Europe’s largest refugee camp. Designed to host no more than 3,000, Moria accommodated almost 10 times that number at its height and was regularly condemned by aid groups for its deplorable conditions.

      “It was a camp of shame,” the politician admitted, denying that the government was also forcibly pushing back other refugees who were trying to get to Greece . “Now it belongs to history. It will be cleared up and replaced by olive groves.”

      https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/sep/15/after-fire-greece-vows-to-empty-lesbos-of-all-refugees-by-easter

    • Six arrested over Lesvos camp blaze

      Greek police have detained six migrants over a fire that razed the Moria refugee camp to the ground, the government said on Tuesday, as thousands of displaced people refused to move to a new facility and demanded to leave Lesbos island.

      More than 12,000 people, mostly refugees from Afghanistan, Africa and Syria, were left without shelter, proper sanitation or access to food and water after a fire tore through the overcrowded Moria migrant camp last Wednesday.

      Greek authorities believe the fire was deliberately lit by camp occupants after quarantine measures were imposed following the discovery of COVID cases on the site, but the incident has put the migrant issue firmly back on the European agenda.

      Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis repeated a call for more help from the European Union, which has struggled to find a unified approach to the migrant crisis at its borders, saying it was time for “tangible solidarity” from Europe.

      European Council President Charles Michel who visited Lesbos said the challenge was European not just Greek and urged for more commitment by EU members for a new migration policy to be effective.

      “This is difficult, a very complex situation, but on behalf of the European Union, I would want to say that I refuse to paper over this migration challenge. This is a common European challenge,” Michel said.

      Government officials in Berlin said Germany could take in up to 1,500 people stranded by the fire, in addition to 100-150 Berlin has already agreed to take in. But a wider solution has remained elusive.

      Mitsotakis said a permanent new reception facility would be built on Lesbos with EU support and that the notoriously overcrowded and squalid Moria camp “belongs to the past”.

      On the ground in Lesbos, however, thousands, including children, were still sleeping rough a week after the blaze.

      Officials were struggling to overcome resistance from migrants hoping to be allowed to leave the island who fear that life in temporary shelters being erected would be no better than the conditions they endured in Moria.

      Migrants wearing masks as a precaution against the coronavirus queued outside the camp gates to receive water, food and blankets from aid workers. The task was complicated by the need for COVID-19 tests, with at least 25 positive cases found among the displaced.

      “The big concern is that even though many thousands of places are available and will continue to be expanded, there are still less than 1,000 that have been occupied,” said Luciano Calestini, head of the Greece office of the United Nations childrens organisation UNICEF.

      Only a few hundred migrants, mainly unaccompanied minors, have been moved off Lesbos. Greek officials have said there will be no mass transfers and all asylum seekers will have to go into the new shelter.

      https://www.ekathimerini.com/257005/article/ekathimerini/news/six-arrested-over-lesvos-camp-blaze

      #arrestation

    • Reportage : une semaine après l’incendie de Moria, les migrants vivent toujours dans l’enfer de la rue

      Depuis une semaine, les quelque 13 000 personnes qui ont fui les incendies du camp de Moria, sur l’île de Lesbos, dorment à la rue. Au bord de la route de Mytilène, elles n’ont ni eau, ni nourriture, ni couverture.

      Il est environ 15h, le soleil écrase de toutes ses forces le camp qui s’est formé le long de la route qui mène de Moria à Mytilène, sur l’île grecque de Lesbos. Soudainement, des centaines de personnes cessent leurs activités, quittent leur abri et forment, en l’espace de quelques secondes, une queue qui s’étend à perte de vue. Au bout de la file, des bénévoles d’un collectif d’ONG débutent une distribution de nourriture.

      Treize mille repas vont être servis. Il risque de ne pas y en avoir pour tout le monde. « Les distributions n’ont lieu qu’une fois par jour et pour avoir à manger, il faut être costaud. Il y a un problème d’organisation », déplore Michaël, originaire de République démocratique du Congo (RDC).

      Lundi 14 septembre, sur la route de Mytilène, les migrants ont faim depuis près d’une semaine. Lorsque les résidents de Moria ont fui les flammes qui ont dévoré le camp dans la nuit du 8 au 9 septembre et qu’ils ont été bloqués par la police sur cette route, certains ont pu acheter de quoi manger au grand magasin Lidl, en bord de mer.

      Mais les policiers ont rapidement exigé du gérant qu’il tire le rideau. Les stations services ont fermé, elles aussi, ainsi que tous les autres commerces le long de cette route qui mène au centre-ville de Mytilène.

      Pour se nourrir, certains rescapés de Moria demandent à d’autres migrants qui vivent dans Mytilène de leur acheter de la nourriture et de la leur apporter au camp informel qui a vu le jour. D’autres ont réussi à sauver des flammes quelques aliments qu’ils avaient achetés à Moria, souvent des paquets de pâtes.

      Gertrude et Naomi préparent un plat de légumes dans une grande marmite posée sur un feu. Ces deux Congolaises ont tenté quelques fois de récupérer de la nourriture lors des distributions mais être servi relève du combat. « Pour avoir de la nourriture, il faut se bagarrer », affirme Naomi.
      « Aidez-nous ! »

      Assises sur une grande couverture grise flanquée du logo du HCR, deux jeunes Afghanes qui s’appellent toutes les deux Zahra donnent le biberon à leurs bébés de 5 et 7 mois. « On a ramené le lait de Moria », explique l’une d’elles, en brandissant un petit sac en plastique à moitié rempli de lait en poudre.

      Les deux jeunes mères manquent de nourriture et d’eau ainsi que de vêtements pour leurs enfants. C’est ce que dit aussi une autre jeune Afghane en montrant le foulard dans lequel elle a dû emmailloter sa fille de quelques mois. « Aidez-nous ! », supplie-t-elle.

      Le seul point d’eau du camp improvisé se trouve à quelques dizaines de mètres de là et n’a rien d’officiel. Dans une rue qui remonte vers les oliveraies, les tuyaux destinés à l’irrigation ont été percés. Autour de chaque trou, plusieurs personnes se pressent pour remplir des bouteilles vides, laver un vêtement ou se rincer le visage. L’eau ruisselle en permanence dans la petite rue en pente et charrie des ordures.

      Couvertures et sacs de couchage sont également très recherchés sur le camp car les nuits sont déjà fraîches. Michaël n’a que son sweat-shirt bleu pour dormir. Le Congolais guette la route car il a entendu dire que des bénévoles distribuaient quelques sacs de couchage dans le camp. Mais tellement de personnes en manquent qu’il n’y en a sûrement déjà plus. Cependant, « ce qui nous préoccupe le plus c’est de ne pas pouvoir se doucher et aller aux toilettes », explique Michaël.

      Le seul moyen de se laver, c’est d’aller dans la mer. La plage n’est qu’à quelques minutes de marche du parking Lidl. Michaël aimerait aller se laver mais il n’a pas de savon.
      Un tiers d’enfants

      Cet après-midi, des dizaines d’enfants jouent dans la mer. La chaleur étouffante a aussi poussé quelques adultes à se mettre à l’eau.

      Azim shampouine énergiquement la tête de son fils Moustapha, 3 ans, pendant que sa fille Rokhoya rayonne de bonheur en barbotant autour de lui. Après cinq mois de confinement dans le camp de Moria, c’est la première fois qu’ils peuvent approcher la mer.

      Le camp compte plus de 4 000 enfants, selon l’Unicef, soit un tiers des migrants de Lesbos. À la nuit tombée, quand les bruits des machines de chantier qui construisent le camp provisoire sur un terrain militaire en bord de mer se taisent, on n’entend plus que les cris des enfants qui jouent. Le parking du Lidl prend des airs de cour de récréation.

      Les parents s’inquiètent de voir leurs enfants ne pas aller à l’école. La vie dans les conditions indignes du camp de Moria, puis au bord de cette route, pourrait aussi avoir des conséquences psychologiques à long terme sur ces enfants, met en garde Dimitra Chasioti, psychologue pour Médecins sans frontières (MSF).

      L’environnement dans lequel ils ont grandi pourrait affecter « la manière dont ils gèrent les difficultés mais aussi leurs interactions avec les autres », décrit-elle devant la clinique mobile installée par l’ONG à deux pas des tentes.

      Parmi les adultes, c’est l’angoisse de ne pas avoir d’information sur leur avenir – et notamment sur le nouveau camp provisoire en construction - qui est le plus difficile à gérer.

      Dimanche matin, Notis Mitarachi, le ministre grec de la Migration a déclaré que « tous les demandeurs d’asile y seraient transférés ». Selon son ministère, quelque 800 exilés sont désormais logés dans ce camp temporaire, fermé à la presse. L’AFP a recueilli des témoignages de personnes à l’intérieur qui ont affirmé n’avoir ni douche, ni matelas.

      Naomi semble aussi terrifiée à l’idée d’aller dans ce nouveau camp que de rester à la rue. Cette mère d’une fille de 5 ans et d’un garçon de 7 mois interroge : « Comment est le camp là-bas ? Est-ce que nous devrions y aller ? »

      https://www.infomigrants.net/fr/post/27269/reportage-une-semaine-apres-l-incendie-de-moria-les-migrants-vivent-to

    • Une intervention intéressante sur Lesbos de la présidente de la Commission européenne ainsi que de la chancelière allemande en réponse aux journalistes lors d’une conférence de presse portant initialement sur un sommet UE-Chine...il faut vraiment faire du suivi sur tout pour avoir les informations ! 😉

      La chancelière a eu une parole que je trouve politiquement extrêmement forte en disant la chose suivante : « la #concentration des nombres n’est pas la bonne approche ». Ce qui est remarquable c’est qu’elle a parlé en allemand, et qu’elle a utilisé le mot « #Konzentration » ("Ich glaube, dass die Konzentration auf einer Zahl der falsche Ansatz ist"). Cette phrase porte en elle quelque chose de très fort que Migreurop dénonce depuis sa fondation, l’#encampement, la stratégie des #nasses. Ce genre de #terminologie reste, en allemand, évidemment très délicat vu l’usage du terme par le régime nazi, et je doute fort que l’on puisse imaginer la chancelière d’avoir omis cet élément l’espace d’un instant. Je pencherais plutôt pour une remarque volontaire, appelant les choses par leur nom. Nos ami.es allemand.es sur cette liste auront peut-être une autre lecture, je serais heureuse de les lire à ce sujet.

      Cela n’empêchera, en suite de cette intervention, ni la chancelière, ni la présidente de la Commission européenne, de justifier de la création à venir d’un « #centre_d'accueil_européen » géré par les agences européennes et les autorités grecques en lieu et place des #hotspots actuels en Grèce (un « projet pilote » selon Van der Layen)...Ce qui finalement correspondait au plan initial comme le dénonce Migreurop depuis le départ.

      Vidéo à partir de la minute 25 et 50 secondes (question du journaliste) : prise de parole #Merkel puis #Van_der_Layen. tout est doublé en anglais
      https://www.euronews.com/2020/09/14/watch-live-eu-chiefs-update-on-summit-with-china

      Message de Marie Martin reçu via la mailing-list Migreurop, le 15.09.2020

      #Angela_Merkel

    • For many migrants, the dream of freedom ends in Lesbos

      After the devastating fires in the Moria migrant camp on Lesbos, Muhammad spent days on a sealed-off section of road with thousands of others. His most fervent wish is to leave the island, as DW’s Max Zander reports.

      “We had some hope, but we have lost it. We thought the government would take us to Athens now,” says Muhammad Sator Massi. Muhammad, who is 19, is sitting alone on a curb in the blazing sun, looking down at the ground in resignation.

      Near him, Greek garbage collectors are at work, loading one blue garbage bag after the other onto their truck with a crane. Today, they have started getting rid of the traces left by the past week. The road leading from Lesbos’ capital, Mytilene, past the Moria migrant camp is littered with plastic bottles, packaging and the remnants of temporary shelters. The bushes at the side are full of rubbish. Even though the sea is just a few steps away, there is a terrible stench.

      Muhammad has fled from Afghanistan with his aunt and uncle and their six children. They have already been on Lesbos for nine months. He says that it has been a terrible time that has left deep marks on him. After the fires last week, he set off for the capital with the other camp residents. Police stopped them and sealed off the section of road they were on. Muhammad and his family were among those forced to sleep in the open air, some on cardboard cartons on the bare ground.

      They spent more than a week under these conditions, then the police began clearing the improvised camp bit by bit. This morning, they arrived at Muhammad’s tent. The family was eating at the time, he says. A police officer threw their belongings all over the place and yelled at them, then began demolishing their shelter, Muhammad says.

      Doubtful about conditions in the new camp

      Now there is a new camp, called Kara Tepe. “They are forcing us to go there. We don’t have a choice. I don’t think it will be better than Moria; it will just be a repeat,” says Muhammad.

      Like most people here, he is afraid that the conditions there will be just as unbearable or even more so than in Moria: thousands of people in a confined space without enough toilets and showers, too little to eat, barely any medical care and violence every night.

      A spokesman for the Greek Migration Ministry insists that the conditions in the new camp are good, with toilets, running water and electricity. And he says its capacities are being expanded.

      But people who are already in the camp have reported the opposite, saying that there are far too few toilets, meals just once a day and no mattresses or blankets in the big white tents provided by the UNHCR and the Red Cross. Many are also worried because the camp, set up in haste on a former army drill ground, is likely to be situated on soil full of toxic substances and munitions. While it was being constructed, soldiers with metal detectors could be seen searching the area around the tents. But the Migration Ministry spokesman declares that “everything is safe.”

      For refugees like Muhammad, the biggest problem is the uncertainty about whether they will be allowed to leave the camp later. Greek officials have announced that it is initially to be put under quarantine, after more than 200 cases of coronavirus infection were recorded in the past few days. After two weeks, residents will be allowed to leave the camp during the day, they say. But that is not certain, and Muhammad and others are worried.

      “We came here looking for protection. We aren’t prisoners. I have been on Lesbos, in Moria, for a year. I can’t bear it any longer,” he says.

      Lost time

      Muhammad slowly gets up, because he wants to go down the road to his aunt’s family and register in the new camp with them. He seems tired and worn out. The road around him is almost deserted. Apart from the Greek garbage collectors, only a few people occasionally come by: a family from Afghanistan laden with plastic bags, a young man from Congo carrying an old, dirty tent. Muhammad sets off in the same direction and walks slowly toward the new camp.

      He is smoking a cigarette. “I never used to do that; I was sporty and kept away from people who smoke. But now it calms me down,” he says.

      He says he has changed a lot in the time here and that he is mentally exhausted. “We are losing a part of our lives here. It doesn’t feel as if we are alive,” he says while going past a police bus.

      In Afghanistan, he was well-off financially, he says. His father is a member of the provincial council in Wardak province and owns a water company. His family had money but no security. One day, Muhammad recounts, he was on his way home from school when he was stopped by some men in a car. They said they were friends of his father and asked him to get in. When he refused, they tried to drag him into the car, but he was able to pull free and run away. “When you go to school, you don’t know if you will come home alive,” he says.

      He decided to flee to Europe with his aunt. But he has given up hopes of starting a new life here, perhaps in Germany. He wanted to learn the language, study medicine and play football, his great passion.

      Rather be deported than be a prisoner

      By now, Muhammad has arrived at the new camp. Next to the road, there are groups, mostly of men, sitting and waiting in the shade of low bushes. For the moment, only families are being allowed to join the queue before the entrance. They are standing tightly packed. The police, equipped with protective clothing and masks, keep at a distance. Each person is registered and given a coronavirus test.

      Muhammad said earlier on that he would rather be deported back to Afghanistan and die there than go to this prison. But now he has no choice. He sees his aunt standing at the front of the queue. Slowly, his head bowed, Muhammad pushes his way past the other families and disappears in the crowd.

      https://www.dw.com/en/for-many-migrants-the-dream-of-freedom-ends-in-lesbos/a-54989158?maca=en-rss_top_news-13961-xml-mrss