• The Extrajudicial Execution Of Ahmad Erekat ← Forensic Architecture

    On 23 June 2020, Ahmad Erekat, a 26-year-old Palestinian, was shot by Israeli occupation forces after his car crashed into a booth at the ‘Container’ checkpoint between Jerusalem and Bethlehem in the occupied West Bank. Working in collaboration with the Palestinian human rights organisation Al-Haq, Forensic Architecture’s Palestine Unit was asked by the Erekat family to examine the incident. Using 3D modeling, shadow analysis and open-source investigation, we established the circumstances of the crash of Ahmad’s car, the use of lethal force, the denial of medical aid that followed, and the degrading treatment of Ahmad’s body. Our analysis raises major questions about Ahmad’s killing that raise doubts in the Israeli army’s claims and call for further investigation.

    Working in collaboration with the Palestinian human rights organisation Al-Haq, Forensic Architecture’s Palestine Unit was asked by the Erekat family to examine the incident.

    We sought to establish:
    1. the circumstances of the crash of Ahmad’s car,
    2. the use of lethal force,
    3. the denial of medical aid that followed, and
    4. the degrading treatment of Ahmad’s body.

    The available evidence included images and videos taken by bystanders and journalists, a recording of a security camera operated by the Israeli army, and testimonies of bystanders and medical staff.

    Based on a survey of the checkpoint, we built a detailed 3D model.

  • The Killing of Zineb Redouane


    On 1 December 2018, on the margins of a gilets jaunes protest in Marseille, 80-year-old Zineb Redouane was struck in the face by a tear gas grenade as she was standing at the window of her fourth-floor apartment. The following day, she died in hospital.

    In May 2020, a new element was added to judicial investigation that was ongoing: the report of a ballistics expert, intended to establish whether the officer who fired the shot, a member of France’s CRS riot police, had followed procedure. The report clears the officer, who has still not been identified. Using elements of that report, and a detailed 3D model of the scene, Disclose and Forensic Architecture re-examined the case, reconstructing the precise sequence of events before, during, and after the killing


  • Police Brutality At The Black Lives Matter Protests ← Forensic Architecture

    This is an ongoing, collaborative archiving project. Share your footage with us here.

    Read more about police violence during the US ‘Black Lives Matter’ protests on Bellingcat and the Guardian.

    In May and June 2020, protests against police brutality swept across the US, following the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Those protests were themselves met with further brutality, against protesters and journalists.

    Forensic Architecture and Bellingcat are working together to locate, record, and classify incidents of violence by police at those protests within an interactive cartographic platform.

    The first phase of this ongoing project will record evidence of violence documented against journalists; the second phase will crowd-source and record evidence of violence against protesters and bystanders.

    We need your support to create the most comprehensive archive of police violence at the recent Black Lives Matter protests in the US, which will support advocacy, reporting, activist work, and even legal proceedings, toward accountability for violent acts carried out by police officers against civilians exercising their right to protest.

    If you have footage of police brutality, please consider sharing it with us here.

  • Pushbacks in Melilla : ND and NT v. Spain

    On 13 February 2020, the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) rendered a judgment in the case of ND and NT v. Spain, the first trial to address ‘pushbacks’—the cross-border expulsion of refugees and migrants—at Europe’s land borders.

    The case concerns the pushback of two men from Mali and Ivory Coast at the Spanish-Moroccan border in Melilla in August 2014. ND and NT had crossed into the Spanish enclave of Melilla by climbing a series of fences at its border, along with a group of other migrants.

    The group, including ND and NT, were handcuffed and returned to Morocco by Spain’s paramilitary Guardia Civil, without the opportunity to explain their circumstances or speak to a lawyer

    In its judgment, the Court found that those pushbacks did not violate the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). In doing so, the Court introduced a new legal exception to human rights at Europe’s borders, creating a dangerous precedent: the Court stated that climbing the border fences was ‘culpable conduct’ on the part of ND and NT, who should have used legal entry procedures instead. The Court accepted that Spain had provided ‘several possible means of seeking admission’, in particular:

    – by applying for international protection at the Beni Enzar border crossing point,

    – or in Spain’s diplomatic and consular representations.

    FA and ECCHR investigated whether the legal entry procedures presented to the Court by Spain were in fact available to Sub-Saharan nationals, using spatial analysis, official data from the Spanish government, human rights reports, and testimony.

    Our investigation demonstrates that both Spain’s claims and the Court’s conclusions are false, and that Black people from Sub-Saharan Africa are systematically discriminated against at the Melilla border.

    In fact, Black people trying to reach the Spanish border in Melilla have to evade a special Moroccan border police force and bypass three Moroccan border checkpoints, at which they are consistently denied passage.

    Spain made the claim that legal routes to apply for asylum are available to Sub-Saharan nationals however, gave no evidence to support this claim. In fact, there were only two applications made by Sub-Saharan nationals at the Melilla and Ceuta border posts between September 2014 and May 2017, both of them were women ‘camouflaged with typical Moroccan clothes’ to obscure their skin. According to witness testimony, the consulate in Nador is not accessible to Black Sub-Saharan nationals and there were no applications by Sub-Saharan nationals at any Spanish embassies in Morocco between 2015 and 2018. Nevertheless, the Court accepted Spain’s claims.

    The case of ND and NT reveals the mechanisms of structural racism embedded in Europe’s border policies. During the trial, Spain made misleading claims which were contradicted not only by multiple reports and testimonies, but also by their own data. Nevertheless, the Court accepted these arguments, and dismissed those of the claimants. The resulting judgment is a gross distortion of the facts, and fails to acknowledge the realities at Europe’s borders.

    This video investigation was submitted to the ECtHR as part of a further case relating to pushbacks at the EU’s borders, ‘Danny’ v Spain.

    #push-backs #refoulements #Melilla #Espagne #Maroc #frontières #migrations #asile #réfugiés #CourEDH #CEDH #justice #architecture_forensique #forensic_architecture

    ping @isskein @reka

  • Privatised Push-Back of the #Nivin

    In November 2018, five months after Matteo Salvini was made Italy’s Interior Minister, and began to close the country’s ports to rescued migrants, a group of 93 migrants was forcefully returned to Libya after they were ‘rescued’ by the Nivin, a merchant ship flying the Panamanian flag, in violation of their rights, and in breach of international refugee law.

    The migrants’ boat was first sighted in the Libyan Search and Rescue (SAR) Zone by a Spanish surveillance aircraft, part of Operation EUNAVFOR MED – Sophia, the EU’s anti-smuggling mission. The EUNAVFOR MED – Sophia Command passed information to the Italian and Libyan Coast Guards to facilitate the interception and ‘pull-back’ of the vessel to Libya. However, as the Libyan Coast Guard (LYCG) patrol vessels were unable to perform this task, the Italian Coast Guard (ICG) directly contacted the nearby Nivin ‘on behalf of the Libyan Coast Guard’, and tasked it with rescue.

    LYCG later assumed coordination of the operation, communicating from an Italian Navy ship moored in Tripoli, and, after the Nivin performed the rescue, directed it towards Libya.

    While the passengers were initially told they would be brought to Italy, when they realised they were being returned to Libya, they locked themselves in the hold of the ship.

    A standoff ensured in the port of Misrata which lasted ten days, until the captured passengers were violently removed from the vessel by Libyan security forces, detained, and subjected to multiple forms of ill-treatment, including torture.

    This case exemplifies a recurrent practice that we refer to as ‘privatised push-back’. This new strategy has been implemented by Italy, in collaboration with the LYCG, since mid-2018, as a new modality of delegated rescue, intended to enforce border control and contain the movement of migrants from the Global South seeking to reach Europe.

    This report is an investigation into this case and new pattern of practice.

    Using georeferencing and AIS tracking data, Forensic Oceanography reconstructed the trajectories of the migrants’ vessel and the Nivin.

    Tracking data was cross-referenced with the testimonies of passengers, the reports by rescue NGO WatchTheMed‘s ‘Alarm Phone’, a civilian hotline for migrants in need of emergency rescue; a report by the owner of the Nivin, which he shared with a civilian rescue organisation, the testimonies of MSF-France staff in Libya, an interview with a high-ranking LYCG official, official responses, and leaked reports from EUNAVFOR MED.

    Together, these pieces of evidence corroborate one other, and together form and clarify an overall picture: a system of strategic delegation of rescue, operated by a complex of European actors for the purpose of border enforcement.

    When the first–and preferred–modality of this strategic delegation, which operates through LYCG interception and pull-back of the migrants, did not succeed, those actors, including the Maritime Rescue Co-ordination Centre in Rome, opted for a second modality: privatised push-back, implemented through the LYCG and the merchant ship.

    Despite the impression of coordination between European actors and the LYCG, control and coordination of such operations remains constantly within the firm hands of European—and, in particular, Italian—actors.

    In this case, as well as in others documented in this report, the outcome of the strategy was to deny migrants fleeing Libya the right to leave and request protection in Italy, returning them to a country in which they have faced grave violations. Through this action, Italy has breached its obligation of non-refoulement, one of the cornerstones of international refugee law.

    This report is the basis for a legal submission to the United Nations Human Rights Committee by Global Legal Action Network (GLAN) on behalf of an individual who was shot and forcefully removed from the Nivin.

    #Méditerranée #rapport #Charles_Heller #asile #frontières #migrations #réfugiés #mer_Méditerranée #push-back #push-backs #refoulement #refoulements #privatisation #Italie #Libye #operation_sophia #EUNAVFOR_Med #gardes-côtes_libyens #sauvetage #Misrata #torture #privatised_push-back #push-back_privatisé #architecture_forensique #externalisation #navires_marchands #Salvini #Matteo_Salvini

    Pour télécharger le rapport :


    Sur le cas du Nivin, voir aussi, sur seenthis, ce fil de discussion :

    • Migrants refoulés en Libye : l’Italie accusée d’embrigader la marine marchande

      En marge du Forum mondial sur les réfugiés, plusieurs ONG ont annoncé mercredi saisir un comité de l’ONU dans l’espoir de faire cesser les refoulements de migrants vers la Libye .

      De son identité il n’a été révélé que ses initiales. SDG a fui la guerre au Soudan du Sud. En novembre 2018, avec une centaine d’autres migrants embarqués sur un canot pour traverser la Méditerranée, il est secouru par un cargo battant pavillon panaméen, le Nivin. Mais l’équipage, suivant ainsi les instructions des autorités italiennes, ramène les naufragés vers la Libye et le port de Misrata. Les migrants refusent de débarquer, affirmant qu’ils préfèrent mourir sur le navire plutôt que de retourner dans les centres de détention libyens.

      Il s’ensuit un bras de fer d’une dizaine de jours. Finalement, les Libyens donnent l’assaut et les migrants sont débarqués de force. SDG est blessé, puis emprisonné et maltraité. Il restera avec une balle en plastique dans la jambe pendant six mois. Le jeune homme est aujourd’hui à Malte, où il a pu déposer une demande d’asile. Il a finalement réussi la traversée, à sa huitième tentative.

      C’est en son nom que plusieurs ONG ont déposé une plainte contre l’Italie mercredi auprès du Comité des droits de l’homme de l’ONU. Cet organe, composé de 18 experts, n’émet que des avis consultatifs. « Cela ira plus vite que devant la Cour européenne des droits de l’homme (CEDH). Nous visons l’Italie, car le comité de l’ONU ne se prononce que sur les violations commises par des Etats, nous ne pourrions attaquer l’Union européenne », justifie Violeta Moreno-Lax, de l’ONG Global Legal Action. L’Italie, en première ligne face à l’arrivée de boat people, avait déjà été condamnée par la CEDH en 2012 pour le refoulement de migrants en Libye. « Depuis, Rome fait tout pour contourner cet arrêt », dénonce la juriste.

      « Le choix impossible des équipages »

      L’une des tactiques, ont exposé les ONG lors d’une conférence de presse, est d’embrigader la marine marchande pour qu’elle ramène les naufragés en Libye. « La décision de l’ancien ministre de l’Intérieur Matteo Salvini de fermer les ports italiens aux navires de sauvetage en juin 2018 a créé une onde de choc en Méditerranée, décrit le chercheur suisse Charles Heller, qui documente la disparition de migrants en mer. Les autres pays européens ont retiré leurs bateaux, parce qu’ils risquaient d’être bloqués faute de ports où débarquer les migrants. Ce sont donc les navires marchands qui sont appelés à remplir le vide. Ces équipages sont face à un choix impossible. Soit ils se conforment aux instructions des autorités maritimes italiennes et violent le droit de la mer, qui oblige les marins à débarquer les naufragés vers un port sûr. Soit ils résistent et s’exposent à des poursuites judiciaires. Dans les faits, beaucoup de navires évitent de porter secours aux embarcations en détresse. »

      Ces derniers mois, Charles Heller a recensé 13 navires marchands qui ont refoulé des migrants en Libye. Parmi ces cas, deux tentatives n’ont pas réussi, les naufragés se rebellant contre un retour en Libye. « Il faut comprendre qu’une fois débarqués en Libye, les migrants sont détenus de façon totalement arbitraire. Les centres sont inadaptés, la nourriture est insuffisante, les maladies comme la tuberculose y font des ravages et les disparitions ne sont pas rares, en particulier les femmes », détaille Julien Raickman, le chef de mission de Médecins sans frontières en Libye.


    • Migranti, un report accusa l’Italia: «Respingimento illegale dei 93 salvati dal mercantile Nivin e riportati in Libia con la forza»

      Le prove in un documento della Forensic Oceanography presso la Goldsmith University of London. Nell’ultimo anno, chiamando navi commerciali a soccorrere barche in difficoltà, sarebbero stati 13 i casi analoghi.

      «Qui MRCC Roma. A nome della Guardia costiera libica per la salvezza delle vite in mare vi preghiamo di procedere alla massima velocità per dare assistenza ad una barca in difficoltà con circa 70 persone a bordo. Vi preghiamo di contattare urgentemente la Guardia costiera libica attraverso questo centro di ricerca e soccorso ai seguenti numeri di telefono». Ai quali rispondono sempre gli italiani.

      Un dispaccio del centro di ricerca e soccorso di Roma delle 19.39 del 7 novembre del 2018 dimostra che a coordinare l’operazione di salvataggio di un gruppo di migranti poi riportati in Libia dal mercantile Nivin battente bandiera panamense fu l’Italia. In 93, segnalati prima da un aereo di Eunavformed, poi dal centralino Alarmphone, furono presi a bordo dal Nivin e, con l’inganno, sbarcati con la forza a Misurata dall’esercito libico dopo essere rimasti per dieci giorni asserragliati sul ponte del mercantile. Picchiati, feriti, rinchiusi di nuovo nei centri di detenzione in un paese in guerra.

      Un respingimento di massa illegittimo, contrario al diritto internazionale, che sarebbe stato dunque coordinato dall’Italia secondo una strategia di salvataggio delegato ai privati per applicare il controllo delle frontiere. Un «modello di pratica» che - secondo un rapporto redatto da Charles Heller di Forensic Oceanography, ramo della Forensic Architecture Agency basata alla Goldsmiths University of London - l’Italia e l’Europa avrebbero applicato ben 13 volte nell’ultimo anno, in coincidenza con la politica italiana dei porti chiusi.

      Caso finora unico, alcune delle persone riportate in Libia sono state rintracciate nei centri di detenzione da Msf che ne ha raccolto le testimonianze che - incrociate con i documenti e le risposte alle richieste di informazione date da Eunavformed e dalla stessa Guardia costiera libica - hanno consentito di ricostruire quello che viene definito nello studio «una pratica ricorrente di respingimenti, una nuova modalità di soccorso delegato ai privati» che verrebbe attuato quando le motovedette della guardia costiera libica, come avvenne nel caso del 7 novembre 2018, sono impegnate in altri interventi. «Impegnandosi in questa pratica - è l’accusa del report - l’Italia usa violenza extraterritoriale per contenere i movimenti dei migranti e viola l’obbligo di non respingimento». Per questo il Glan, l’organizzazione di avvocati, accademici e giornalisti investigativi Global Legal Action Network ha presentato una denuncia contro l’Italia al Comitato per i diritti umani delle Nazioni Unite per conto di uno dei migranti riportati indietro. E’ la prima volta che accade.

      La partenza
      Nella notte tra il 6 e 7 novembre 2018 dalla costa di Zlitan parte un gommone con 93 persone a bordo di sette nazionalità diverse. C’è anche una donna con un bimbo di quattro mesi. Alle 15.25 del 7 novembre la barca viene avvistata in zona Sar libica da un aereo spagnolo dell’operazione Sophia che - secondo quanto riferito da Eunavformed - «dichiara che non c’erano assetti navali nelle vicinanze». Tramite il quartier generale della missione che, in quel momento, era sulla nave San Marco della marina italiana, l’informazione con le coordinate navali della posizione della barca viene passata al centro di ricerca e soccorso di Roma che le trasmette a quello libico. Il commodoro libico Masoud Abdalsamd riferisce che le motovedette libiche sono impegnate in altre attività e il gommone continua la sua navigazione.

      La richiesta di soccorso
      Due ore dopo, alle 17.18, dal gommone un primo contatto con il centralino Alarm Phone che comunica le coordinate al centro di soccorso di Roma e monitora la zona: non ci sono navi vicine e l’unica Ong presente, la Mare Jonio, è a Lampedusa. Roma ( che era già informata) chiama Tripoli, la guardia costiera libica identifica la Nivin, un mercantile già in rotta verso Misurata ma le manca l’attrezzatura per comunicare e dirigere la Nivin e chiede a Roma di farlo «a suo nome». Da quel momento è MRCC a prendere in mano il coordinamento, dà istruzioni al comandante della Nivin e dirige il soccorso.

      L’arrivo dei libici
      Alle 21.34, un dispaccio del centro di ricerca e soccorso dei libici annuncia la presa del coordinamento delloperazione ma la comunicazione parte dallo stesso numero nella disponibilità della Marina italiana sulla nave di stanza a Tripoli. Alle 3.30 la Nivin soccorre i migranti. Saliti a bordo i marinai li tranquillizzano dicendo loro che saranno portati in Italia. Ma quando vedono arrivare una motovedetta libica i migranti capiscono di essere stati ingannati, rifiutano il trasbordo e si barricano sulla tolda della nave. I libici dopo un poò rinunciano e la Nivin prosegue verso Misurata dicendo ai migranti di essere in rotta verso Malta. Un’altra bugia.

      Lo sbarco a Misurata
      I migranti rimangono asserragliati anche quando la nave entra nel porto libico. Ci resteranno dieci giorni chiedendo disperatamente aiuto ai media internazionali con i telefoni cellulari. Il 20 novembre l’intervento di forza dei militari libici armati pone fine alla loro odissea. Alcuni migranti vengono picchiati, feriti, ricondotti nei centri di detenzione dove alcuni di loro vengono intercettati dall’equipe di Medici senza frontiere che raccoglie le loro testimonianze che si incrociano perfettamente con i documenti recuperati.

      Il ruolo dell’Italia
      Ne viene fuori un quadro che combacia perfettamente con quanto già evidenziato da un’inchiesta in via di conclusione della Procura di Agrigento coordinata dal procuratore aggiunto Salvatore Vella. Un quadro in cui l’Italia, nonostante gli accordi con la Libia, prevedono un ruolo di semplice assistenza e supporto tecnico alla Guardia costiera libica, di fatto svolge - tramite la nave della Marina militare di stanza a Tripoli - svolge una funzione di centro di comunicazione e coordinamento «dando un contributo decisivo - si legge nel report - alla capacità di controllo e coordinamento che ha saldamente in mano».
      «Quando i libici non sono in grado di intervenire - è l’accusa di Forensic Oceanography - Roma opta per una seconda modalità, quella del respingimento privato attraverso le mavi mercantili che - secondo un recente report semestrale di Eunavformed - ha prodotto 13 casi nell’ultimo anno con un aumento del 15-20 per cento».


  • Métaliste
    Les « #left-to-die in the Sahara desert »...

    (évidente référence à un rapport de Charles Heller et Lorenzo Pezzani sur le Left-to-die boat : https://forensic-architecture.org/investigation/the-left-to-die-boat)

    Essai de #métaliste sur les expulsions de migrants depuis les pays du #Maghreb (#Tunisie et #Algérie pour le moment) vers leur frontières méridionales, soit en plein #désert...

    #asile #migrations #réfugiés #abandon #expulsions #renvois #déportation

    ping @isskein @_kg_ @visionscarto @pascaline @karine4

  • Herbicidal Warfare In Gaza
    Publication Date 19.07.2019← Forensic Architecture

    Over three decades, in tandem with the Madrid and Oslo negotiation processes, the occupied Gaza Strip has been slowly isolated from the rest of Palestine and the outside world, and subjected to repeated Israeli military incursions. These incursions intensified from September 2003 to the fall of 2014, during which Israel launched at least 24 separate military operations targeting Gaza, giving shape to its surrounding borders today. (...)

    #Gaza #Herbicides

  • #Art #Migration Un artiste suisse, Christoph Büchel, se fait remarquer à la Biennale de Venise en exposant l’épave d’un bateau à bord duquel un millier de migrant-e-s sont mort-e-s en Méditerrannée. Selon le président de la Biennale, ça serait « une invitation au silence et à la réflexion. » Cet intention, en apparence honorable, est néanmoins très problématique à l’heure où les énergies devraient plutôt être concentrées sur la communication et l’action. En effet, des migrant-e-s continuent à mourir en mer dans le silence le plus total de l’Europe alors que le gouvernement d’extrême-droite italien a fait bloquer ses ports aux bateaux qui transportent des migrant-e-s. Dans le domaine de l’art contemporain, la démarche et le discours de Forensic Oceanography (https://forensic-architecture.org/investigation/seawatch-vs-the-libyan-coastguard) paraissent plus intéressants que les provocations faciles de Christoph Büchel - qui voulait faire reconnaître les prototypes du mur de Trump à la frontière mexico-étasunienne comme des œuvres d’art.

    Source :

  • Torture and Detention in Cameroon - Forensic Architecture

    Since 2014, Cameroon has been at war with Boko Haram, the armed extremist group responsible for thousands of murders and abductions across the Lake Chad Basin.

    Trained and supported by U.S and European governments and armed by Israeli private companies, the Cameroonian security forces are acting with increasing impunity against civilians in the country’s impoverished Far North region.

    Amnesty International has collected evidence of over a hundred cases of illegal detention, torture and extra-judicial killing of Cameroonian citizens falsely accused of supporting or being a member of Boko Haram, at around twenty sites across the country.

    Using testimony and information supplied by Amnesty International, Forensic Architecture reconstructed two of these facilities – a regional military headquarters, and an occupied school – in order to confirm and illustrate the conditions of incarceration and torture described by former detainees.

    At the two sites, detainees were kept in degrading and inhumane conditions in dark, crowded, airless cells. All were fed poorly, and most were tortured routinely. Dozens of detainees report witnessing deaths at the hands of Cameroon’s elite military unit, the Rapid Intervention Battalion (BIR), or the Cameroonian intelligence agency, the DGRE.

    Cameroun. Un rapport d’Amnesty International met en lumière des crimes de guerre dans la lutte contre Boko Haram, dont le recours à la torture | Amnesty International

    • Des détenus passés à tabac, placés dans des positions insoutenables et soumis à des simulacres de noyade, parfois torturés à mort

    • Torture généralisée sur 20 sites, y compris quatre bases militaires, deux centres dirigés par les services de renseignement, une résidence privée et une école

    • Les États-Unis et les autres partenaires internationaux appelés à établir si leur personnel militaire a eu connaissance des actes de torture infligés sur l’une des bases

    Au Cameroun, des centaines de personnes accusées, souvent sans preuve, de soutenir Boko Haram sont violemment torturées par les forces de sécurité, a déclaré Amnesty International dans un nouveau rapport publié jeudi 20 juillet 2017.

    Sur la base de dizaines de témoignages corroborés par des images satellitaires, des photos et des vidéos, le rapport intitulé Chambres de torture secrètes au Cameroun : violations des droits humains et crimes de guerre dans la lutte contre Boko Haram rassemble des informations sur 101 cas de détention au secret et de torture qui auraient eu lieu entre 2013 et 2017 sur plus de 20 sites différents.