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

/turkish-computer-science-student-missin

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

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

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

    Place of Incident: Aegean Sea

    Summary of the Case:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • Greece accused of migrant ’pushbacks’ at Turkey border

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

    • Greece: Violent Pushbacks at Turkey Border

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      Pushbacks in Evros

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      Capture

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

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

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

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

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

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

      Masked men took him to the border the next evening:

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

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

      Detention

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      Pushbacks across the Evros River

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • El oscuro secreto de la frontera oriental de Europa

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

      #réfugiés_turcs

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

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

      L’Evros, région délaissée par les garde-frontières

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

      Un effet de vases communicants

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      Renvoyés en Turquie sur des bateaux

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

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

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

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

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

      Des bateaux et des chaussures d’enfants

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      Απαξίωση της ανθρώπινης ζωής και της νομιμότητας οι επαναπροωθήσεις στον Έβρο

      Αθήνα, 2 Μαΐου 2019

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

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

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

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

      Ζητάμε να δοθούν απαντήσεις από τις αρχές :

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

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

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

      Reçu via la mailing-list Migreurop avec ce commentaire :

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

      Pour télécharger le #rapport:


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

    • Απάντηση Γεροβασίλη για τις επαναπροωθήσεις

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      Traduction de Vicky Skoumbi via la mailing-list Migreurop :

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      Avec ce commentaire :

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

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

    • Εvros Pushbacks

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

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


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

      Le #cimetière :


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

    • Ces migrants mystérieusement refoulés de Grèce en Turquie

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


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

      Je copie-colle ici le thread twitter:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      ’Violently pushed back’

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • Greece continues to push asylum seekers back to Turkey

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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