• EU net migration continues to decline as UK heads towards the general election, but impact of manifesto promises on migration can’t be predicted

    Today’s data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) (https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/populationandmigration/internationalmigration/bulletins/migrationstatisticsquarterlyreport/november2019) show that EU net migration had continued to decline, reaching the lowest level since before EU enlargement, as the UK heads towards the general election, the Migration Observatory at the University of Oxford said today.

    Today’s data suggest that net migration of EU citizens in the year ending June 2019 was 48,000, 78% below the pre-referendum peak of 218,000 in 2015. In separate population estimates also published today, Poland lost its place as the top country of birth for migrants living in the UK (although the difference between Poland, at 827,000 residents in YE June 2019, was not statistically different for figures from India, at 837,000).

    Non-EU net migration was broadly stable at 229,000 in the year ending June 2019, after steady increases since 2013. This makes non-EU considerably higher than EU net migration, although the precise contribution of EU vs. non-EU to the total remains uncertain due to problems identified in the data (see editor’s notes, below).

    Madeleine Sumption, Director of the Migration Observatory at the University of Oxford said: “EU net migration has fallen dramatically since before the referendum, and is now at its lowest level since before EU enlargement. The reasons for this will include things like the lower value of the pound making the UK less attractive, improving economic prospects in EU countries of origin, and potentially the political uncertainty of the prolonged Brexit process.”

    There has been much discussion of migration policies outlined by the main political parties as the general election approaches. The Conservatives and the Brexit party have committed to ending free movement and introducing an “Australian style” points based system, the features of which are yet to be announced; Labour has signalled that it would consider free movement as part of a negotiations on the future UK-EU relationship, while the Liberal Democrats have promised to end the Brexit process and maintain free movement.

    Sumption added: “What will happen to migration in the coming years is highly uncertain, regardless of which party is power. It’s easy to imagine that migration policies are the only things that affect migration, but in reality, policies act more like a filter than a tap. The state of the economy, demand for workers by UK employers, conditions in countries of origin can have a big impact on migration, in some cases even more than changes in policy. That’s one reason why we’ve seen such a big drop in EU migration since 2016, despite the fact that policy has not yet changed at all.”

    Currently, the relatively low levels of EU net migration mean that restricting free movement now would be expected to have a much smaller impact on overall migration levels than it would have done in the past. However, this will not always be the case. EU migration has fluctuated up and down over time, and there is no reason to assume this would not continue to happen if the UK were to maintain free movement in the future. Recently revised ONS figures suggest that EU net migration made up a majority of the total from YE June 2013 to YE June 2016.

    #migrations #Brexit #UK #Angleterre #statistiques #chiffres #citoyens_européens #migrants_européens

  • The Guardian view on university strikes: a battle for the soul of the campus

    The market model in higher education has created an intellectual precariat who are right to fight back.


    In his classic work The Idea of a University, the recently canonised St John Henry Newman described the core goal of higher education as “the cultivation of the intellect, as an end which may reasonably be pursued for its own sake”. Most of the lecturers who began just over a week of strike action on Monday will have entered academia hoping to play their part in that noble enterprise. Instead they find themselves in the vanguard of perhaps the most concerted and widespread wave of industrial action that our university campuses have known.

    In February and March last year, staff at 65 universities voted to strike over changes to their pensions, which could have seen many lose considerable sums in retirement. That ongoing dispute is part of the explanation why lecturers are back on the picket line. But this year they are also protesting in large numbers at stagnating pay, insecure contracts, and an ever-growing workload driven by often unachievable targets. An argument that began on the arcane territory of pensions investment has morphed into a full-blown challenge to a marketisation process that has, over the last decade, transformed university life for those who study in it and those who teach in it.

    From 2010 onwards, student tuition fees, introduced by Labour in 1998, became the chosen vehicle for an ideological revolution on campus. Tripling the cap to £9,000, David Cameron’s coalition government launched the era of the student consumer, tasked with shopping around for the best education deal. Universities, faced with huge cuts in funding from Westminster, responded accordingly by diverting huge resources into marketing and upmarket student accommodation. An architecture of competition was built, as limits on student numbers were lifted, pitting institutions against each other via a new bureaucracy of audits, assessments and satisfaction surveys.

    The new emphasis on student experience was overdue and welcome; it gave undergraduates power and voice. But the perverse consequences of the marketisation process have become familiar. Huge levels of student debt built up, to be paid back at exorbitant interest rates by either the student or the taxpayer; a new breed of vice-chancellor emerged, aping the language and drawing the salary of a business CEO, and attended by a court of financial managers and marketing experts. There was a huge diversion of resources to sometimes risky investment in real estate.

    In this brave new world, the almost forgotten fall-guys have been the academics whose job it is to deliver “the product”. According to research by the University and College Union, average academic pay has fallen by 17% in real terms since 2009, as investment priorities have been diverted elsewhere. An intellectual precariat has come of age, made up of millennials who stumble from year to year on temporary contracts, often part-time, wondering where the next teaching gig is coming from. The drive to keep student numbers buoyant has led to relentless micro-management of academic performance, much of it driven by questionable assumptions such as those of the teaching excellence framework, which a recent study found constructed “excellence” as the development of employability in students.

    The world of our universities has become anxious, tense and, for many, chronically insecure. A YouGov poll found that four out of 10 academics had considered leaving the sector as a result of health pressures. In a sector intended to promote the life of the mind, this does not seem to be a good way to do business. So far these strikes have received an encouraging level of support from students, some of whom have reportedly been warned by university authorities to stay away from picket lines. Overturning the wrong-headed priorities of our universities would certainly have the support of St John Henry Newman.


    #grève #UK #Angleterre #université #précarité #travail #retraite #néolibéralisme #néo-libéralisme #taxes_universitaires #compétition #marchandisation

  • #Suisse : La NSA espionne-t-elle le monde depuis le Valais ?

    A Loèche se côtoient 10 antennes du système d’écoute du Département fédéral de la défense (DDPS) et 25 antennes de la société Signalhorn, dont certains clients sont proches de l’agence américaine du renseignement (NSA). Comment est-ce possible et quels sont les risques ? Le 2e épisode de la web-série « La Suisse sous couverture » tente d’y répondre.

    Depuis 1974, les PTT (devenus Swisscom) et la Confédération gèrent un parc d’antennes paraboliques à Loèche, un site considéré comme le cœur du système de renseignement suisse. En l’an 2000, ils créent la surprise en cédant une grande partie des paraboles à l’entreprise américaine Verestar, qui a des liens indirects avec la NSA. Depuis, plusieurs entreprises ont défilé à Loèche, mais elles ont toujours compté parmi leurs clients des sociétés susceptibles d’entretenir des rapports avec les services de renseignements américains.

    Du côté de la Berne fédérale, on assure que tout va bien. En 2001, le Conseil fédéral exprime sa confiance à l’exploitant Verestar. En 2012, le Département fédéral de la défense (DDPS) prend le relais, et affirme, à propos du nouvel exploitant, Signalhorn, que l’indépendance est assurée. L’armée et l’entreprise ne partagent que les charges d’eau et d’électricité.

    RTSinfo diffuse cette semaine la web-série « La Suisse sous couverture », consacrée aux liens entre la Confédération et le renseignement international. Replongez dans cette affaire d’antennes valaisannes en regardant le deuxième épisode « Les grandes oreilles de la Confédération » (ci-dessus) avec son complément d’informations (ci-dessous). #Radio #vidéo
    . . . . . . . .
    A la suite de l’interpellation du conseiller national Bernhard Hess (Démocrates Suisses/BE), le Conseil fédéral indique que Verestar exploite « des réseaux de satellites d’envergure internationale, soit 170 antennes ainsi qu’une cinquantaine de satellites » mais que l’entreprise « n’a jamais compté la NSA au nombre de ses clients ». Pourtant, Verestar possède la Maritime Telecommunications Network (MTN), qui compte parmi ses clients... l’US Navy. Le Conseil fédéral l’admet : « MTN travaille pour le compte de la Defense Information System Agency et du Space and Naval Warfare System Center, tous deux rattachés au Département de la défense, et susceptibles de ce fait d’entretenir des rapports avec les services de renseignements américains ».
    . . . . . . . . .
    2013 - les révélations d’Edward Snowden
    Ex-chargé de sécurité informatique à la CIA et administrateur système pour la NSA, Edward Snowden dévoile à différents médias des documents top-secrets de la NSA. La surveillance massive des communications et d’internet par Washington et Londres apparaît au grand jour. Swisscom, détenue à 51% par la Confédération, figure en rouge dans le programme « Treasure Map », une carte en temps réel du Web global. Les noeuds rouges représentent les réseaux d’entreprise où la NSA peut observer les données qui y circulent. Les flèches bleues illustrent les principaux chemins empruntés par les communications internet et mobiles. Est-ce que Swisscom a donné son consentement à un logiciel d’espionnage ?

    #nsa #surveillance #snowden #prism #internet #vie_privée #espionnage #privacy #edward_snowden #écoutes #usa #contrôle #etats-unis #Angleterre #Swisscom #Verestar #MTN #us_navy #DDPS #Loèche #ATC_Teleports #Onyx #Luxembourg

  • A l’ombre du Brexit, l’effondrement de l’atome

    Business as usual… derrière les convulsions du Brexit qui déchirent le Royaume-Uni, les affaires continuent d’aller de mal en pis pour l’industrie #nucléaire du pays. Sous l’ombre portée de #fukushima, Lire la suite...

    #Destruction_de_la_planète #Fin_du_pétrole #Réchauffement_climatique #angleterre #business #énergie #japon

  • La BBC accuse les GAFA de participer à un système d’esclavage moderne Katja Schaer/jfe - 2 Novembre 2019 - RTS

    #Google, #Apple et #Facebook sont au coeur d’une polémique lancée par la BBC. Ils sont accusés, par les enquêteurs du média britannique, de participer à un système d’esclavage moderne.

    L’enquête a été menée par le média britannique au Koweit - un pays dans lequel la majorité des ménages ont des domestiques, généralement des femmes, venues notamment du continent africain. Ces travailleuses domestiques entrent au Koweït avec un visa qui nécessite un employeur ou un sponsor officiel. Mais souvent, ces sponsors retirent ensuite leur passeport à ces femmes, qui n’ont dès lors plus le droit de changer d’emploi sans l’accord de ces mêmes sponsors.

    Selon la BBC, ces femmes deviennent souvent des travailleuses invisibles et non payées. Les enquêteurs ont également constaté qu’il existait un marché illégal de revente sur internet de plusieurs milliers de femmes. Ces petites annonces proposent par exemple : « une domestique africaine, propre et souriante ».

    Plateformes de vente
    Les géants du web sont au coeur de la tourmente. En effet, dans cette affaire, Google et Apple ont validé et fourni un accès à des applications servant de plateforme de vente et d’achat. Pour Urmila Boohly, rapporteuse spéciale de l’ONU interrogée par la BBC, les géants du web doivent être tenus pour responsables. « C’est l’exemple par excellence de l’esclavage moderne. Google, Apple, Facebook et toute autre entreprise qui hébergent ce type d’application doivent être tenues pour responsables. Elles font la promotion d’un marché en ligne d’esclaves ».

    Ce point de vue fait débat. D’autres estiment que les GAFA ne peuvent être tenus responsables des contenus des applications qu’ils ne gèrent pas et ne détiennent pas.

    Réaction des GAFA
    Quoi qu’il en soit, Instagram, propriété de Facebook, a supprimé le hastag équivalent à « bonnes à transférer ». Une autre application, 4Sale, a supprimé la catégorie d’offres de ce type. Pour sa part, Google s’est dit alarmé par cette affaire. A l’heure actuelle, cette polémique n’a mené à aucune action en justice contre les géants californiens.

    #esclavage #gafa #femmes #business_&_internet #esclavage_moderne #exploitation #capitalisme #néo-esclavage #BBC #ONU #Koweit ( pas en #France ? Pas aux #USA ? Pas en #Angleterre Etonnant) #application

  • Germany wants asylum seekers assessed before reaching Europe

    The German interior minister #Horst_Seehofer has called for a new European migration system which would see asylum applications decided outside Europe’s borders.

    Germany has called on the European Union to change its approach to asylum applications. The interior minister, Horst #Seehofer, said on Tuesday that applicants should undergo initial assessment at Europe’s external borders and be sent home from there as well.

    “We have to realize that the Dublin system has failed,” Seehofer told the interior ministers of France, Italy, Poland, Spain, and the United Kingdom at a meeting of the so-called #G6 group in the southern German city of Munich on Tuesday.

    The Dublin regulation refers to European Union rules which state that the EU country in which a person seeking asylum first sets foot should handle the asylum application.

    External processing

    “(This) system cannot be the basis for the EU’s future asylum policy,” Seehofer said. “We need a new philosophy that starts at the external borders.”


    “Our proposition: Effective protection of Europe’s external borders, where we check whether someone has a need for protection or has to be returned immediately. This means we need a unified set of rules.”

    Under Seehofer’s proposal, only asylum seekers with prospects for receiving protection in Europe should be distributed among a group of willing EU countries. Their asylum issues would then be addressed there.

    If the initial assessment at the European external borders is negative, the EU border agency Frontex should return the asylum seeker to his or her home country.

    Most support Seehofer

    The EU migration commissioner, Dimitris Avrampoulos, who also attended the G6 meeting, welcomed the proposal and called the discussions “constructive”. He said most of the G6 ministers supported Seehofer.


    Seehofer also wants to bring forward a planned strengthening of the European border agency, Frontex. Officials in Brussels on Wednesday approved plans to deploy 10,000 uniformed border guards and officers across the EU by 2027, the AFP news agency reports.

    #externalisation #asile #migrations #réfugiés #externalisation #asile #migrations #réfugiés #procédure_d'asile

    Je répète ici les mots de Seehofer, car on va probablement encore et encore les réutiliser...

    “We have to realize that the Dublin system has failed, (...) (This) system cannot be the basis for the EU’s future asylum policy,” Seehofer said. “We need a new philosophy that starts at the external borders. (...) Our proposition: Effective protection of Europe’s external borders, where we check whether someone has a need for protection or has to be returned immediately. This means we need a unified set of rules.”


    Ceci est à mettre en lien aussi avec le même genre de proposition (celle d’une externalisation non seulement des #contrôles_frontaliers, mais aussi de la #procédure_d'asile, et du #tri et de la #catégorisation) de #Macron en 2017 :
    Macron veut « identifier » les demandeurs d’asile au #Tchad et au Niger
    #France #hub


    Mais Macron lui-même n’avait rien inventé... C’était une proposition qui arrivait de l’#Angleterre de #Tony_Blair :

    The idea of establishing reception centres in third countries, however, is not new. It was first suggested, unsuccessfully, by Tony Blair in 2003 [https://www.theguardian.com/society/2003/feb/05/asylum.immigrationasylumandrefugees] It was then taken over by the former German Interior Minister Otto Schily in 2005,[ “German Interior Ministry, Effektiver Schutz für Flüchtlinge, wirkungsvolle Bekämpfung illegaler Migration – Überlegungen des Bundesministers des Innern zur Einrichtung einer EU-Aufnahmeeinrichtung in Nordafrika 9 September 2005.”] who proposed to establish asylum centres in North Africa, and more recently Italy. The original 2003 Blair proposal was that any third-country national who sought asylum in the EU would be returned immediately to a centre in a third country where his or her application would be considered.


    v. aussi :
    #Transit_Processing_Centres (#TPCs) #UK

    ping @_kg_ @isskein @karine4 @visionscarto

    • Austrian Presidency document: “a new, better protection system under which no applications for asylum are filed on EU territory”

      A crude paper authored by the Austrian Presidency of the Council of the EU and circulated to other Member States’s security officials refers disparagingly to “regions that are characterised by patriarchal, anti-freedom and/or backward-looking religious attitudes” and calls for “a halt to illegal migration to Europe” and the “development of a new, better protection system under which no applications for asylum are filed on EU territory,” with some minor exceptions.

      See: Austrian Presidency: Informal Meeting of COSI, Vienna, Austria, 2-3 July 2018: Strengthening EU External Border Protection and a Crisis-Resistant EU Asylum System (https://www.statewatch.org/news/2018/jul/EU-austria-Informal-Meeting-%20COSI.pdf)

      The document was produced for an ’Informal Meeting of COSI’ (the Council of the EU’s Standing Committee on Operational Cooperation on Internal Security) which took place on 2 and 3 July in Vienna, and the proposals it contains were the subject of numerous subsequent press articles - with the Austrian President one of the many who criticised the government’s ultra-hardline approach.

      See: Austrian president criticises government’s asylum proposals (The Local, https://www.thelocal.at/20180715/austrian-president-criticises-governments-asylum-proposals); Austrian proposal requires asylum seekers to apply outside EU: Profil (Reuters, https://www.reuters.com/article/us-europe-migrants-austria/austrian-proposal-requires-asylum-seekers-to-apply-outside-eu-profil-idUSKB); Right of asylum: Austria’s unsettling proposals to member states (EurActiv, https://www.euractiv.com/section/global-europe/news/right-of-asylum-austrias-unsettling-proposals-to-member-states)

      Some of the proposals were also discussed at an informal meeting of the EU’s interior ministers on Friday 13 July, where the topic of “return centres” (http://statewatch.org/news/2018/jul/eu-ciuncil-returns.htm) was also raised. The Luxembourg interior minister Jean Asselborn reportedly said that such an idea “shouldn’t be discussed by civilized Europeans.” See: No firm EU agreement on Austrian proposals for reducing migration (The Local, https://www.thelocal.at/20180713/no-firm-eu-agreement-on-austrian-proposals-for-reducing-migration)

      The Austrian Presidency paper proposes:

      "2.1. By 2020

      By 2020 the following goals could be defined:

      Saving as many human lives as possible;
      Clear strengthening of the legal framework and the operational capabilities of FRONTEX with respect to its two main tasks: support in protecting the Union’s external border and in the field of return;
      Increasing countering and destruction of people smugglers’ and human traffickers‘ business models;
      Significant reduction in illegal migration;
      More sustainable and more effective return measures as well as establishment of instruments that foster third countries’ willingness to cooperate on all relevant aspects, including the fight against people smuggling, providing protection and readmission;
      Development of a holistic concept for a forward-looking migration policy (in the spirit of a “whole of government approach“) and a future European protection system in cooperation with third countries that is supported by all and does not overburden all those involved – neither in terms of resources nor with regard to the fundamental rights and freedoms they uphold.

      2.2. By 2025

      By 2025 the following goals could be realised:

      Full control of the EU’s external borders and their comprehensive protection have been ensured.
      The new, better European protection system has been implemented across the EU in cooperation with third countries; important goals could include:
      no incentives anymore to get into boats, thus putting an end to smuggled persons dying in the Mediterranean;
      smart help and assistance for those in real need of protection, i.e. provided primarily in the respective region;
      asylum in Europe is granted only to those who respect European values and the fundamental rights and freedoms upheld in the EU;
      no overburdening of the EU Member States’ capabilities;
      lower long-term costs;
      prevention of secondary migration.
      Based on these principles, the EU Member States have returned to a consensual European border protection and asylum policy.”

      And includes the following statements, amongst others:

      “...more and more Member States are open to exploring a new approach. Under the working title “Future European Protection System” (FEPS) and based on an Austrian initiative, a complete paradigm shift in EU asylum policy has been under consideration at senior officials’ level for some time now. The findings are considered in the “Vienna Process” in the context of which the topic of external border protection is also dealt with. A number of EU Member States, the EU Commission and external experts contribute towards further reflections and deliberations on these two important topics.”

      “...ultimately, there is no effective EU external border protection in place against illegal migration and the existing EU asylum system does not enable an early distinction between those who are in need of protection and those who are not.”

      “Disembarkment following rescue at sea as a rule only takes place in EU Member States. This means that apprehensions at sea not only remain ineffective (non-refoulement, examination of applications for asylum), but are exploited in people smugglers’ business models.”

      “Due to factors related to their background as well as their poor perspectives, they [smuggled migrants] repeatedly have considerable problems with living in free societies or even reject them. Among them are a large number of barely or poorly educated young men who have travelled to Europe alone. Many of these are particularly susceptible to ideologies that are hostile to freedom and/or are prone to turning to crime.

      As a result of the prevailing weaknesses in the fields of external border protection and asylum, it is to be expected that the negative consequences of past and current policies will continue to be felt for many years to come. As experience with immigration from regions that are characterised by patriarchal, anti-freedom and/or backward-looking religious attitudes has shown, problems related to integration, safety and security may even increase significantly over several generations.”

      See: Austrian Presidency: Informal Meeting of COSI, Vienna, Austria, 2-3 July 2018: Strengthening EU External Border Protection and a Crisis-Resistant EU Asylum System (pdf)



    • Germany proposed a new automatic relocation scheme for asylum seekers (https://www.politico.eu/article/germany-sets-out-plan-for-automatic-relocation-of-asylum-seekers), according to which requests for international protection would be evaluated at the external borders of the European Union. The proposal was presented last week to EU member states, with the aim of making progress in the reforming of the Common European Asylum System (CEAS), ahead of the German Presidency of the Council of the EU in the second part of next year. The document proposes the initial evaluation of cases at EU’s external borders, a new regime for determining which member state is responsible for the further processing of the application, and measures to prevent asylum seekers’ migration from one member state to another. The proposal that initial assessments of all cases should be made at the external borders is very problematic, since it determines that “clearly false and unfounded” requests would be denied immediately at the external border, as well as the fact that measures including restricting freedom of movement could be used in such proceedings. Moreover, the question of what would be the exact procedure of determining which states are responsible for processing applications for asylum also arises. According to the German plan, the key role in this would be reserved for European Asylum Support Office (EASO), which the Commission already proposes to transform into the European Union Agency for Asylum (EUAA), that would then decide which member state is responsible for the further processing of applications. This decision would be based on factors such as the size of the population of the member state, their GDP and so on.

      Reçu via Inicijativa dobrodosli, mail du 04.11.2019.

  • #Calais : huit migrants, dont des enfants, trouvés en hypothermie dans un camion frigorifique

    Tôt ce dimanche 27 octobre, la Border Force britannique a trouvé huit migrants en état d’#hypothermie dans un #camion_frigorifique, au terminal ferry du port de Calais. Parmi eux, deux enfants en bas âge.


    #asile #migrations #frontières #France #Angleterre #UK #camion #décès #morts #mourir_aux_frontières #mourir_dans_la_forteresse_européenne


    Mise à jour du 29.10.2019...
    Je pense que les 8 personnes qui ont été retrouvées dans le camion ne sont pas mortes (ouf !) :

    Huit migrants afghans, dont quatre mineurs ont été hospitalisés à Calais après avoir été retrouvés dimanche 27 octobre en état de « légère hypothermie » dans un camion frigorifique dans le port de cette ville du Pas-de-Calais.


    • Une trentaine de migrants découverts dans des camions en Belgique et à Calais

      Quelque 28 migrants, dont des mineurs, ont été retrouvés depuis samedi dans plusieurs camions en partance de Calais et du nord de la Belgique vers le Royaume-Uni. La plupart sont Afghans, Irakiens et Érythréens. L’un des transporteurs avait caché les migrants sous un trappe verrouillée, derrière des poulets surgelés.

      Huit migrants afghans, dont quatre mineurs ont été hospitalisés à Calais après avoir été retrouvés dimanche 27 octobre en état de « légère hypothermie » dans un camion frigorifique dans le port de cette ville du Pas-de-Calais.

      Ils étaient cachés derrière des poulets surgelés, dans le double fond de la cellule frigorifique qui se trouvait sous une trappe.

      Ils ne pouvaient pas s’échapper en cas de problème

      La trappe était verrouillée de l’extérieur, un dispositif extrêmement dangereux puisque les personnes transportées ne pouvaient pas s’échapper seules en cas de problème.

      La semaine dernière, trente-neuf migrants vietnamiens sont morts piégés dans des conditions similaires, dans un camion frigorifique dont le conteneur était arrivé de Zeebruges jusqu’à Londres.

      Dimanche, le petit camion de 3,5 tonnes qui transportait les migrants afghans, a été contrôlé au moment d’embarquer sur un ferry à destination du Royaume-Uni. « Tout le contenant n’était pas rempli, ce qui prouve bien que ce n’était pas un véritable transport de marchandises », a indiqué une source judiciaire.

      Vingt migrants découverts à bord de deux camions en Belgique

      La veille, vingt migrants ont été découverts dans deux camions en route pour le Royaume-Uni depuis la Belgique. Ils ont tous été retrouvés en bonne santé.

      Le premier véhicule transportait onze personnes, dont des femmes et des enfants d’origine africaine, a priori érythréenne, a précisé le parquet du Limbourg. Le chauffeur a découvert ces passagers clandestins lors d’un arrêt technique dans un garage de Saint-Trond, situé à proximité de la frontière avec l’Allemagne (environ 65 km à l’est de Bruxelles).

      Par ailleurs, la police a trouvé samedi matin neuf hommes se disant de nationalité irakienne. Ils étaient cachés dans un camion qui circulait sur une voie rapide à Bruges en direction du port de #Zeebruges, a indiqué le parquet de Flandre occidentale. Les policiers sont intervenus après avoir été avertis de la présence de migrants dans ce camion.


  • Après la mort de deux migrants dans la Manche, les associations alertent sur cette nouvelle route migratoire

    Pour la première fois, les corps de deux migrants ont été retrouvés lundi sur une plage du #Touquet, dans le #Pas-de-Calais. Un drame qui souligne l’augmentation préoccupante du nombre d’exilés qui tentent de rejoindre les côtes britanniques par la #voie_maritime.

    Les dépouilles de deux Irakiens ont été retrouvées lundi sur une plage du Touquet, dans le Pas-de-Calais. Ils avaient 17 et 22 ans. Ces jeunes hommes auraient tenté de traverser la Manche pour rejoindre le Royaume-Uni, selon les premiers éléments recueillis par la préfecture. Une petite embarcation semi-rigide a en effet été retrouvée à proximité. Ce drame porterait donc à quatre le nombre de migrants morts en tentant de rejoindre les côtes anglaises par la voie maritime.

    Le 9 août, une Iranienne de 30 ans avait perdu la vie après être tombée d’un bateau surchargé. Le 23 août, le corps d’un Irakien avait été retrouvé au large de Zeebruges, en Belgique. Il pourrait s’agir d’un homme repéré par les secours français en train de tenter la traversée à la nage. Des morts prévisibles, selon les associations d’aide aux migrants. Depuis 2018, elles alertent régulièrement sur l’augmentation des traversées clandestines de la Manche.
    Les traversées ont plus que doublé entre 2018 et 2019

    Depuis le début de l’année 2019, la préfecture maritime de la Manche et de la mer du Nord, contactée par le JDD, a dénombré 206 cas de tentatives ou de traversées. Soit environ 2.000 migrants. Lundi matin encore, huit migrants ont été secourus sur une plage près de Calais, selon le parquet de Boulogne-sur-Mer.

    Rien à voir avec les chiffres en Méditerranée où 69.962 personnes ont gagné l’Europe en bateau cette année, d’après les données de l’UNHCR au 14 octobre 2019. Et 1.071 y ont laissé leur vie ou sont portés disparus.

    Il n’empêche. Si la plupart des candidats à l’immigration continuent de tenter de se faufiler dans un camion (souvent en risquant leur vie, 4 personnes étant décédées en 2018 selon la Cimade), de plus en plus d’entre eux choisissent la voie maritime. Le phénomène a été repéré pour la première fois par les autorités en 2016 et connaît, depuis, une croissance exponentielle. Cette année-là, 23 tentatives ou traversées sont comptabilisées par la préfecture maritime. Puis 12 cas en 2017 et… 78 en 2018, impliquant 586 migrants. En 2019, ce chiffre a donc plus que doublé, et l’année n’est pas finie.
    Une bouée avec des bouteilles en plastique

    Une nouvelle route migratoire d’autant plus préoccupante qu’elle est extrêmement dangereuse. Car la Manche est « une autoroute de la mer », rappelle la préfecture maritime, « 25% du trafic maritime international passe par le détroit du Pas-de-Calais ». Et de comparer cette traversée au fait de franchir une voie express de nuit et à pied.

    Les exilés doivent naviguer de nuit entre ferrys et cargos, avec bien souvent des embarcations de fortune et un matériel de sauvetage insuffisant. L’Irakien repêché fin août près de Zeebruges portait une ceinture de flottaison bricolée avec des bouteilles en plastique.

    A ces difficultés, il faut ajouter les courants forts et les températures glaciales. A bord, les passagers se retrouvent vite trempés, risquant l’hypothermie. Et s’ils tombent, leurs chances de s’en sortir se réduisent drastiquement. Les conditions météorologiques ne semblent pas dissuader les départs : la préfecture a enregistré un pic à l’hiver 2018, la pire période pour naviguer.
    1.200 migrants auraient réussi la traversée, selon les médias britanniques

    Alors, pourquoi prendre ce risque, au péril de sa vie ? "Parce que certains réussissent, avance Antoine Nehr, coordinateur de l’antenne d’Utopia 56 à Calais, « c’est un mélange de désespoir et d’espoir ». La préfecture maritime ne communique aucun chiffre sur le nombre de migrants ayant réussi à atteindre les cotes anglaises mais, côté britannique, la BBC, citant le ministère de l’Intérieur estime que plus de 1.200 personnes ont réussi la traversée cette année, dont 336 en août.

    Autre facteur explicatif, selon ces associatifs : les conditions de vie toujours plus dures sur place. Depuis le démantèlement en 2016 de la « jungle » de Calais, « la politique est d’empêcher toute fixation, explique Antoine Nehr d’Utopia 56. Il y a des démantèlements des campements de fortune tous les deux jours, les forêts sont coupées pour empêcher de créer des lieux de vie, les tentes ou matériels sont jetés ». Ce qui pousserait les exilés à vouloir à tout prix parvenir au Royaume-Uni.
    Plus de contrôles et plus de risques

    « Ça ne va pas s’arrêter ! », prévient Claire Millot, secrétaire générale de l’association Salam, à l’AFP. « Parce que les conditions à Calais et Grande-Synthe sont épouvantables, avec des démantèlements réguliers, ils sont prêts à tout pour passer. » Pour elle, « ils ne sont pas prêts à entendre ce qu’on pourrait leur dire car ils sont déterminés. »

    En fait, les migrants prennent de plus en plus de risques, en camions ou par bateaux. C’est en tout cas ce qu’observent les associations interrogées. « Les contrôles se sont renforcés sur le littoral nord entre Calais et Grande-Synthe, raconte Antoine Nehr au JDD. Il y a de plus en plus de murs, de barrières. » Il ajoute que ces personnes sont souvent « des déboutés du droit d’asile, en fin de parcours, qui n’ont plus d’autre choix et tentent le tout pour le tout ». En 2019, les contrôles ont également été accrus en mer et sur les côtes. Conséquence : « On observe qu’ils partent de plus loin et sur des canots surchargés », déclare Antoine Nehr.

    Même constat pour Eva Ottavy, responsable des questions internationales à la Cimade. « Les camions n’ont plus le droit de s’arrêter dans les parkings entre Arras et Calais, indique-t-elle au JDD, pour éviter que les migrants n’y grimpent. Alors ils partent plus en amont sur la route ou prennent la mer. » Pour elle, « le renforcement des contrôles ne fait que déplacer les routes migratoires ». Tous craignent que d’autres drames soient passés sous les radars.

    #route_migratoire #asile #migrations #réfugiés #France #Angleterre #UK #Calais #parcours_migratoire #décès #mort #mourir_dans_la_forteresse_Europe #frontières

  • #Camion_de_la_honte : les 39 victimes sont chinoises

    L’enquête semble se diriger vers un nouveau drame d’esclavage moderne, avec la révélation de la nationalité chinoise des 39 victimes, 8 femmes et 31 hommes.

    Ils n’ont pas encore de noms, d’âge et encore moins de sépultures. Mais on sait déjà que leur voyage cauchemardesque a commencé loin, très loin, à l’autre bout du monde. Les 39 personnes retrouvées sans vie dans la nuit de mardi à mercredi dans le conteneur d’un camion réfrigéré sur une zone industrielle de l’Essex, à l’est de l’Angleterre, venaient de Chine. Il y avait 8 femmes, dont une très jeune adulte, et 31 hommes, a confirmé jeudi la police d’Essex.

    L’ambassade de Chine au Royaume-Uni a immédiatement réagi. « C’est avec un cœur lourd que nous lisons ces informations », a tweeté un porte-parole en indiquant « travailler avec la police pour éclaircir et confirmer la situation ». Ce n’est pas la première fois, sans doute pas la dernière, que des Chinois sont les victimes d’un drame de l’esclavage moderne au Royaume-Uni, les otages de gangs ultra-organisés, aux ramifications mondiales, des triades chinoises aux réseaux criminels d’Europe centrale et à ceux d’Europe occidentale. Ces criminels vendent, très cher et sans scrupule, la promesse d’un eldorado qui n’existe pas.

    L’enquête le confirmera, mais la National Crime Agency (NCA), qui travaille en coordination avec la police de l’Essex et celle d’Irlande du Nord d’où est originaire le chauffeur du camion, a indiqué chercher à identifier « des groupes de crime organisé qui pourraient avoir joué un rôle » dans cette tragédie. La garde à vue du chauffeur, un homme de 25 ans, a été prolongée de vingt-quatre heures et des perquisitions étaient en cours dans trois résidences en Irlande du Nord, dans le comté d’Armagh. Selon le Daily Mail, qui cite un proche, le jeune homme aurait lui-même prévenu les secours après avoir ouvert l’arrière du camion pour y récupérer des papiers. La police n’a pas confirmé ces informations.
    En 2000, 58 Chinois retrouvés morts dans un camion

    Le 18 juin 2000 déjà, 58 Chinois avaient été retrouvés morts asphyxiés à l’arrière d’un camion, dans le port de Douvres. Seules 2 personnes avaient survécu. Grâce à elles, le périple infernal des victimes avait été retracé. Partis de la province chinoise de Fujian, sur le littoral du sud-est de la Chine, en face de l’île de Taiwan, ils avaient pris un avion depuis Pékin, avec leurs passeports légaux, jusqu’à Belgrade en Yougoslavie.

    Des passeports volés, coréens pour la plupart, leur avaient alors été fournis. De Belgrade, ils avaient été acheminés par petits groupes dans des camionnettes vers la Hongrie, puis l’Autriche et la France. De là, ils avaient pris un train vers les Pays-Bas où ils avaient été « cueillis » par la branche européenne du gang de trafiquants, à Rotterdam. Enfermés à 60 dans un camion, dont le sas de ventilation avait été fermé, avec seulement quatre seaux d’eau, ils étaient morts étouffés lors de la traversée de Zeebruges en Belgique à Douvres. Le chauffeur, un Néerlandais, et une interprète chinoise, le contact des immigrés au Royaume-Uni, avaient été condamnés respectivement à seize et six ans de prison.
    « On coule »

    C’est aussi de la province de Fujian que venaient la plupart des 23 immigrés illégaux chinois, retrouvés noyés quatre ans plus tard, le 5 février 2004, dans la baie de Morecambe, dans le Lincolnshire (nord-ouest de l’Angleterre). Ils avaient été embauchés pour pêcher à marée basse des coques. Payés la misérable somme de 5 pounds (6 euros) pour 25 kg de coquillages. Cette baie est immense, sujette à de grands mouvements de marée. Les Chinois ne parlaient pas ou très peu anglais, ne connaissaient pas le coin, le danger de l’eau montante.

    C’était l’hiver, ils étaient à pied d’œuvre dans la soirée, dans l’obscurité. Un pêcheur chinois avait donné l’alerte en appelant les secours sur son téléphone portable et en criant, dans un anglais approximatif : « On coule, on coule dans l’eau, beaucoup, beaucoup, on coule dans l’eau. » 23 personnes s’étaient noyées. Le crâne d’une femme avait été rejeté sur la plage six ans plus tard. Le corps d’une des victimes n’a jamais été retrouvé.

    Un seul homme, Li Hua, a survécu. Dix ans plus tard, en 2014, il se confiait à la BBC. « Il faisait un noir d’encre et j’étais terrifié. Je me suis dit que je n’avais plus qu’à me laisser mourir et puis, je ne sais pas, une vague m’a retourné… J’étais seul et soudain, un hélicoptère m’a repéré. » Son témoignage avait permis la condamnation d’un trafiquant, Lin Liang Ren, à quatorze ans de prison. Pour éviter toutes représailles, Li Hua avait été placé sous la protection spéciale du gouvernement britannique. « Nous sommes tous venus ici pour la même raison. Nous avons laissé derrière nous nos familles pour construire une vie meilleure. Et tous ont disparu d’un coup, juste comme ça. J’ai juste eu de la chance. »
    L’identification de chacun « pourrait prendre du temps »

    Jeudi en milieu de journée, le camion et ses 39 victimes étaient dissimulés dans un hangar du port de Tilbury Docks, à quelques centaines de mètres de là où le conteneur a été débarqué mardi dans la nuit en provenance de Zeebruges. Les autorités belges ont précisé que le conteneur était arrivé dans le port ce même mardi, à 14h29, avant d’être embarqué sur un ferry dans la soirée. Pour le moment, les enquêteurs ne savent pas à quel moment, ni où exactement les victimes ont été enfermées dans le conteneur.

    A l’abri des regards, les médecins légistes ont entrepris la lourde tâche d’examiner les corps un à un pour déterminer les causes du décès. Ensuite, les autorités tenteront « d’établir l’identité de chacun, une opération qui pourrait prendre du temps », a précisé la police. Alors, ces âmes auront peut-être enfin un nom, un visage et quelqu’un pour les pleurer, loin très loin de ce triste hangar.


    –-> On sait depuis que probablement les victimes ne sont pas chinoises, mais vietnamiennes...

    #UK #Angleterre #Essex #asile #migrations #réfugiés #frontières #Manche #La_Manche #22_octobre_2019 #camion #décès #morts #mourir_dans_la_forteresse_Europe

    • #Pham_Thi_Trà_My

      “Mi dispiace mamma. Il mio viaggio all’estero non è riuscito. Mamma ti voglio tanto bene!
      Sto morendo perché non riesco a respirare …
      Vengo da Nghen, Can Loc, Ha Tinh, Vietnam …
      Mi dispiace, mamma.”

      Questo è l’ultimo, straziante, SMS che una ragazza ventiseienne vietnamita, di nome Pham Thi Trà My ha inviato, presumibilmente dall’interno del TIR dell’orrore, martedì scorso, 22 Ottobre 2019.

      Un messaggio carico di disperazione, un ultimo pensiero per la persona a lei più cara, la mamma.

      La sua mamma.

      E’ drammatico questo messaggio, perché ci fa comprendere che quei 39 migranti asiatici hanno sentito giungere la loro morte; ne hanno sofferto; hanno pensato; hanno avuto tutto il tempo per comprendere che la loro fine si andava, inesorabilmente, avvicinando.

      E tutto questo è terribile. Terribile. Terribile.

      Non sopporto più questa disumanità, non sopporto chi continua a dire aiutiamoli a casa loro, non sopporto chi continua a gioire (ma come cazzo si fa a gioire?) di questi tragici eventi.

      Io, lo dico francamente, sto imparando ad odiare!

      Ad odiare voi indifferenti, voi complici, voi misera gente che vi girate dall’altra parte.

      Ci state riuscendo.

      State riuscendo a trasformarmi, piano piano.

      State riuscendo a trasmettermi il vostro odio ma, sappiate, lo utilizzerò solo contro voi.

      Contro voi che pensate di essere gli unici ad avere diritto alla vita e spero, per questo, un giorno siate puniti!

      Perdonaci, se puoi, Pham Thi Trà My…

      #migrants_vietnamiens #Vietnam #22_octobre_2019

    • Essex lorry deaths: Vietnamese families fear relatives among dead

      At least six of the 39 people found dead in a lorry trailer in Essex may have been from Vietnam.

      The BBC knows of six Vietnamese families who fear their relatives are among the victims.

      They include Pham Thi Tra My, 26, who has not been heard from since she sent text messages on Tuesday saying she could not breathe.

      A man was earlier arrested at Stansted Airport on suspicion of manslaughter and conspiracy to traffic people.

      The 48-year-old from Northern Ireland is the fourth person to be arrested in connection with the investigation.

      Two people from Warrington are being held on suspicion of manslaughter and conspiracy to traffic people and the lorry driver is in custody on suspicion of murder.

      Ms Tra My’s brother, Pham Ngoc Tuan, said some of the £30,000 charge for getting his sister to the UK had been paid to people smugglers and her last-known location had been Belgium.

      The smugglers are understood to have returned money to some families.

      Meanwhile, relatives of Nguyen Dinh Luong, 20, have also said they fear he is among the 39 victims.

      Ms Tra My’s brother told the BBC: "My sister went missing on 23 October on the way from Vietnam to the UK and we couldn’t contact her. We are concerned she may be in that trailer.

      “We are asking the British police to help investigate so that my sister can be returned to the family.”

      The last message received from Ms Tra My was at 22:30 BST on Tuesday - two hours before the trailer arrived at the Purfleet terminal from Zeebrugge in Belgium.

      Her family have shared texts she sent to her parents which translated read: "I am really, really sorry, Mum and Dad, my trip to a foreign land has failed.

      “I am dying, I can’t breathe. I love you very much Mum and Dad. I am sorry, Mother.”

      Ms Tra My’s brother told the BBC her journey to the UK had begun on 3 October. She had told the family not to contact her because “the organisers” did not allow her to receive calls.

      “She flew to China and stayed there for a couple days, then left for France,” he said.

      “She called us when she reached each destination. The first attempt she made to cross the border to the UK was 19 October, but she got caught and turned back. I don’t know for sure from which port.”

      The BBC has passed details of Ms Tra My, who is from Nghen town in Can Loc district of Ha Tinh province area of Vietnam, to Essex Police, along with details of other people claiming to have information.

      The BBC also knows of two other Vietnamese nationals who are missing - a 26-year-old man and a 19-year-old woman.

      The brother of the 19-year-old said his sister called him at 07:20 Belgian local time (06:20 BST) on Tuesday, saying she was getting into a container and was turning off her phone to avoid detection.

      He has not heard from her since.

      He said a people smuggler returned money to the family overnight, and the family of the 26-year-old who she was travelling with also received money back.

      A spokesman from the Vietnamese Embassy in London confirmed they had been in contact with Essex police since Thursday.

      They said Vietnamese families had appealed to them for help finding out if their relatives were among the victims but added they had not yet received any official confirmation.

      The victims of the trailer were 31 men and eight women and Essex Police initially said they were all believed to be Chinese.

      They were found at an industrial estate in Grays at 01:40 BST on Wednesday.

      At a press conference on Friday evening Deputy Chief Constable Pippa Mills said the force was working with the National Crime Agency, the Home Office, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Border Force and Immigration Enforcement.

      She said she would not be drawn on any further detail about the nationalities of the victims until formal identification processes had taken place.

      “We gave an initial steer on Thursday on nationality, however, this is now a developing picture,” she said.

      Police have confirmed the scene at Waterglade Industrial Estate in Eastern Avenue was closed on Friday.

      Essex Police also urged anyone fearing their loved ones may have been in the lorry to get in touch.

      “I can’t begin to comprehend what some of you must be going through right now. You have my assurance that Essex Police will be working tirelessly to understand the whole picture to this absolute tragedy,” said Det Ch Con Mills.

      She also urged anyone living illegally in the UK who may have information to come forward, without fear of criminal action being taken against them.

      GPS data shows the refrigerated container trailer crossed back and forth between the UK and Europe in the days before it was found.

      It was leased from the company Global Trailer Rentals on 15 October. The company said it was “entirely unaware that the trailer was to be used in the manner in which it appears to have been”.

      Essex Police said the tractor unit (the front part of the lorry) had entered the UK via Holyhead - an Irish Sea port in Wales - on Sunday 20 October, having travelled over from Dublin.

      Police believe the tractor unit collected the trailer in Purfleet on the River Thames and left the port shortly after 01:05 on Thursday. Police were called to the industrial park where the bodies were discovered about half an hour later.

      Temperatures in refrigerated units can be as low as -25C (-13F). The lorry now is at a secure site in Essex.

      A spokesman for the UN International Organization for Migration said the discovery of bodies in Essex did not necessarily indicate a major shift in migration patterns.

      “These are the kind of random crimes that occur every day in the world somewhere,” he said. “They get huge attention when they do but they don’t necessarily indicate a big shift in migration or patterns in any place in particular. It’s just the condition of what happens when this many people are engaging this many criminal groups to reach a destination, which of course we deplore.”

      Detectives are still questioning the lorry driver, Mo Robinson, of County Armagh in Northern Ireland, on suspicion of murder. He was arrested on Wednesday.

      Two other people were also earlier arrested on suspicion of manslaughter.

      The man and woman, both 38, from Warrington, Cheshire, are also being held on suspicion of conspiracy to traffic people.

      Police officers were seen at the couple’s home address in Warrington, with a police van and two squad cars parked outside.

      Sources say the GPS data shows it left Monaghan in the Republic of Ireland on 15 October before crossing over to Northern Ireland and then returning south to Dublin
      From Dublin, it crossed over to Holyhead in Wales overnight on 16 October
      That evening, it travelled to continental Europe from Dover to Calais in France
      Between 17 and 22 October, it moved between various cities in Belgium and France, including Dunkirk, Bruges and Lille
      On 22 October, it made its final crossing from #Zeebrugge to #Purfleet


    • *Essex lorry deaths: The Vietnamese risking it all to get to the


      An hour’s drive inland from the French coast, a dozen Vietnamese men nurse tea over a smoking campfire, as they wait for a phone call from the man they call “the boss”. An Afghan man, they say, who opens trailers in the lorry-park nearby and shuts them inside.

      Duc paid €30,000 ($33,200; £25,000) for a prepaid journey from Vietnam to London - via Russia, Poland, Germany and France. It was organised, he says, by a Vietnamese contact back home.

      “I have some Vietnamese friends in UK, who will help me find jobs when I get there,” he told me. “These friends help me get on lorries or container trucks to go across the border.”

      Security is much less tight in the nearby lorry park than around the ports further north. But few people here have managed to get past the border controls.

      We were told there is a two-tier system in operation here; that those who pay more for their passage to Britain don’t have to chance their luck in the lorries outside, but use this base as a transit camp before being escorted on the final leg of their journey.

      A Vietnamese smuggler, interviewed by a French paper several years ago, reportedly described three levels of package. The top level allowed migrants to ride in the lorry cab and sleep in hotels. The lowest level was nicknamed “air”, or more cynically “CO2” - a reference to the lack of air in some trailers.

      A local volunteer in the camp told us that they’d seen Vietnamese and British men visiting migrants here in a Mercedes. And that once migrants arrived in the UK, some went to work in cannabis farms, after which all communication stopped.

      Duc tells me he needs a job in the UK to pay back the loan for his journey.

      “We can do anything,” he says, “construction work, nail bars, restaurants or other jobs.”

      A report by one of France’s biggest charities described smugglers telling Vietnamese migrants that refrigerated lorries gave them more chance of avoiding detection, and giving each of them an aluminium bag to put over their heads while passing through scanners at the border.

      No one here had heard about the 39 people found dead this week.

      This journey is about freedom, one said.


    • More Vietnamese families fear relatives are among the 39 UK truck victims

      Two Vietnamese families have said they are scared relatives may be among the dead. Both of the suspected victims come from Ha Tinh, an impoverished province where many of the country’s illegal migrants come from.

      More Vietnamese families came forward Saturday saying their relatives may be among the 39 people found dead in a container truck east of London.

      Police initially believed all victims were Chinese but later announced this may not be accurate and that investigations were still a “developing picture.”

      At least two Vietnamese families have now said they are worried their relatives, who may have been carrying falsified Chinese passports, are among the dead.

      The Vietnamese Embassy in London said Friday it contacted police about a missing woman believed to be one of the dead after a family in Vietnam informed them about their daughter who had been missing since the lorry was found.

      The Embassy said it was working with British authorities over the case, Vietnamese media reported.

      Up to 10 of the victims may have originally come from Vietnam, according to unconfirmed reports. The BBC reported it had been in contact with six Vietnamese families, all who believe their relatives are among the 39 victims found in Grays, Essex on Wednesday.

      Read more: Opinion: It’s time to end human trafficking

      ’Something unexpected happened’

      The father of a 20-year-old Vietnamese man said he is scared his son is among the dead. He told the Associated Press that he had not been able to reach his son Nguyen Dinh Luong since last week.

      “He often called home but I haven’t been able to reach him since the last time we talked last week,” Nguyen Dinh Gia said. “I told him that he could go to anywhere he wants as long as it’s safe. He shouldn’t be worry about money, I’ll take care of it.”

      Gia said his son left home in Ha Tinh province, central Vietnam, to work in Russia in 2017 then on to Ukraine. He arrived in Germany in April 2019 before making his way to France. He had been living in France illegally since 2018.

      The 20-year-old told his family he wanted to go to the United Kingdom (UK), and that he would pay £11,000 (€12,700). Last week, he told his father he wanted to join a group in Paris that was trying to enter England.

      Several days ago, his father received a call from a Vietnamese man saying, “Please have some some sympathy, something unexpected happened,” Gia told AFP.

      “I fell to the ground when I heard that,” Gia said. “It seemed that he was in the truck with the accident, all of them dead.”

      The family said they shared the information with Vietnamese authorities.

      Read more: Opinion: EU’s immigration policy is stuck in a rut

      ’I’m dying because I can’t breathe’

      Hoa Nghiem, a human rights activist from Vietnamese civic network, Human Rights Space, said on Friday one of the victims may have been 26-year-old Pham Thi Tra My.

      Tra My had sent a text message to her mother saying she was struggling to breathe at around the same time as the truck was en route from Belgium to the UK.

      “I’m so sorry mom and dad....My journey abroad doesn’t succeed,” she wrote. “Mom, I love you and dad very much. I’m dying because I can’t breathe .... Mom, I’m so sorry,” she said in a message confirmed by her brother Pham Manh Cuong.

      Cuong had received a message from his sister on Wednesday saying, “Please try to work hard to pay the debt for mummy, my dear.”

      No confirmation

      Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told a press briefing Friday in Beijing that Britain has not officially confirmed the identities or nationalities of the victims. She added that China is also working with Belgium police since the shipping container in which the bodies were found was sent from England to the Belgian port of Zeebrugge.

      “The police said that they were urgently carrying out the verification work and the identities of the victims cannot be confirmed at present,” said Tong Xuejun, a Chinese consular official in London.

      Both suspected victims come from the impoverished province of Ha Tinh where many of the country’s illegal migrants come from. Many who try to reach the UK end up working in nail salons or cannabis farms.


    • Vietnamese woman suspected killed in UK truck disaster

      A father has reported to Vietnamese authorities that his 26-year-old daughter may have been one of the 39 found dead in a container truck in England.

      #Pham_Van_Thin, of Can Loc District in the central Ha Tinh Province, sent a letter Friday to the People’s Committee of Nghen Town, saying his daughter was likely one of the 39 people found dead in a container truck in the Waterglade Industrial Park, Grays Town.

      “My daughter, Pham Thi Tra My, left Vietnam on October 3, 2019, then travelled to China, France and England,” Thin wrote in the letter, which had My’s photo attached. She was described as 1.5 meters tall and weighing around 46 kilograms.

      Thin asked the Nghen People’s Committee to verify that he is My’s father, in order to initiate legal procedures to identify and bring his daughter’s body back to Vietnam.

      At his home in Nghen Town, Thin’s family members confirmed that he had indeed submitted an application to the authorities to verify that My was missing, but refused to provide further information on her overseas travel.

      The Nghen Town People’s Committee has passed on Thin’s letter to the Can Loc District’s Department of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs, which, in turn, will report to authorities with jurisdiction over the matter, said Bui Viet Hung, Vice Chairman of the committee.

      “Thin’s family has three children, of which My is the youngest. My had worked overseas in Japan for three years, and only last month completed procedures to go to China,” Hung said.

      A senior official of the Ha Tinh Provincial Department of Foreign Affairs, who did not wish to be named, said Friday afternoon that he had received a phone call from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Consular Department asking to verify the case of a Vietnamese worker from Ha Tinh Province suspected missing in the UK.

      The Ha Tinh Provincial Department of Foreign Affairs has contacted authorities of Can Loc District, where a person has allegedly been reported missing, to verify the information.

      According to an authorized source, My had used an emigration ring led by a resident of Nghe An Province to go to China. After getting there, she obtained forged Chinese citizenship documents and left for Europe.

      One of My’s relatives has reportedly contacted the Vietnamese Association in the U.K., a non-profit organization, to request their assistance in bringing her body home.

      In the early hours of Wednesday morning, U.K. emergency services discovered the bodies of 38 adults and one teenager, suspected immigrants, after being alerted that there were people in a refrigerated container truck at the Waterglade Industrial Park in Grays, Essex County, east of London.

      Staff of the Chinese Embassy in London have arrived at the scene to help police verify whether the victims were Chinese citizens.

      Three people, including truck driver, were arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to traffic people and manslaughter, the British police said on Friday, the first indication from officials that the deaths were linked to human smuggling.

      In 2000, 58 Chinese migrants were found dead in a refrigerated truck in Dover, Britain’s busiest port. The authorities said they had asphyxiated in the container, in which cooling and ventilation were switched off.


    • https://www.facebook.com/ndt105/posts/10218065950232006

      Traduction et commentaire d’une étudiante de mon master, vietnamienne :

      He said: "It is possible that all 39 “Chinese-like-people” who were suffocated in the car in the UK were Vietnamese. Even the majority of them are probably Nghe An-Ha Tinh by participating in a smuggling transfer service. If they send a message to their family, the family will pay about 1 billion VND (35.000£) for the Vietnamese smugglers. If they NEVER text again, it looks like family members get a refund for the deposit. A terrible contract."
      The photos are captured in a Facebook group for recruiting and supporting Vietnamese in a foreign country (maybe England, I’m not sure). People are posting information of their relatives who left at the same time with the lorry and didn’t contact anymore. All of them were born in 1999, 2000 and from Ha Tinh, Nghe Anh (2 poor cities in the center of Vietnam). The last photo is a message of a woman saying that she has people in contact with the invesgators and there are already 20 people identified as Vietnamese.

    • Majority of 39 UK truck victims likely from Vietnam - priest

      YEN THANH, Vietnam (Reuters) - The majority of the 39 people found dead in the back of a truck near London were likely from Vietnam, a community leader from the rural, rice-growing community where many of the victims are believed to have come from told Reuters on Saturday.

      The discovery of the bodies - 38 adults and one teenager - was made on Wednesday after emergency services were alerted to people in a truck container on an industrial site in Grays, about 32km (20 miles) east of central London.

      Police have said they believe the dead were Chinese but Beijing said the nationalities had not yet been confirmed. Chinese and Vietnamese officials are now both working closely with British police, their respective embassies have said.

      Father Anthony Dang Huu Nam, a catholic priest in the remote town of Yen Thanh in northern-central Vietnam’s Nghe An province, 300km (180 miles) south of Hanoi, said he was liaising with family members of the victims.

      “The whole district is covered in sorrow,” Nam said, as prayers for the dead rang out over loudspeakers throughout the misty, rain-soaked town on Saturday.

      “I’m still collecting contact details for all the victim’s families, and will hold a ceremony to pray for them tonight.”

      “This is a catastrophe for our community.”

      Nam said families told him they knew relatives were travelling to the UK at the time and had been unable to contact their loved ones.

      Vietnam’s foreign ministry said in a statement on Saturday that it had instructed its London embassy to assist British police with the identification of victims.

      The ministry did not respond to a request for further comment regarding the nationalities of the dead.

      Essex Police declined to elaborate as to how they first identified the dead as Chinese.

      In Yen Thanh, Nghe An province, dozens of worried relatives of 19-year-old Bui Thi Nhung gathered in the family’s small courtyard home where her worried mother has been unable to rise from her bed.

      “She said she was in France and on the way to the UK, where she has friends and relatives,” said Nhung’s cousin, Hoang Thi Linh.

      “We are waiting and hoping it’s not her among the victims, but it’s very likely. We pray for her everyday. There were two people from my village travelling in that group”.

      In comments under a photo uploaded to Nhung’s Facebook account on Monday, two days before the doomed truck was discovered, one friend asked how her journey was going.

      “Not good,” Nhung replied. “Almost spring,” she said, using a term in Vietnamese meaning she had almost reached her destination.

      Other photos on her account show her sightseeing in Brussels on Oct. 18.

      “Such a beautiful day,” Nhung posted.

      Nghe An is one of Vietnam’s poorest provinces, and home to many victims of human trafficking who end up in Europe, according to a March report by the Pacific Links Foundation, a U.S.-based anti-trafficking organisation.

      Other victims are believed to come from the neighbouring province of Ha Tinh, Nam said, where in the first eight months of this year, 41,790 people left looking for work elsewhere, including overseas, according to state media.

      The province was ravaged by one of Vietnam’s worst environmental disasters in 2016 when a steel mill owned by Taiwan’s Formosa Plastics contaminated coastal waters, devastating local fishing and tourism industries and sparking widespread protests.

      Another suspected victim from Ha Tinh, 26-year-old Pham Thi Tra My, had sent a text message to her mother saying she could not breathe at about the time the truck container was en route from Belgium to Britain.

      “That girl who said in her message that she couldn’t breathe in the truck? Her parents can’t breathe here at home,” Nam said.


    • « Désolée maman, je suis en train de mourir, je ne peux plus respirer » : les SMS déchirants d’une jeune victime à l’agonie dans le camion de l’Essex

      La jeune vietnamienne Pham Thi Tra My, 26 ans, avait parcouru la Chine puis la France dans ses tentatives pour atteindre la Grande Bretagne. Son périple se terminera dans le camion de Mo Robinson, comme celui de 38 autres ressortissants asiatiques.


    • UK police: man arrested in Ireland is of interest in truck death investigation

      British police said a man arrested in Dublin on Saturday is a person of interest in their investigation into the deaths of 39 people who were found in a truck container.

      “A man arrested by the Garda at Dublin Port on Saturday 26 October is a person of interest in our murder investigation regarding the 39 people found dead in a lorry in Purfleet on Wednesday 23 October,” Essex Police said.


    • The 39 people who died in the lorry were victims. Why does the law treat them as criminals?

      As long as the justice system is focused on immigration status, not on ending modern-day slavery, desperate people will suffer.

      What leads someone down the route where they find themselves locked into the back of a lorry, a beating heart in a metal box? What choices – or lack of them – have led someone to be reduced to a piece of human cargo? Can anyone who read the story of the 39 bodies found in the back of a lorry last week not feel the visceral terror of that cold, dark death and wonder at how we live in a world where a business model exists that thrives off this level of human desperation?

      At the moment it is unclear whether this tragedy is the work of smuggling gangs – who are in a transactional arrangement with the people they are moving from place to place – or human traffickers, who are exploiting and profiting from their human cargo. In the end, does it even matter? Both are looking to profit from the very human desire to not only survive but to thrive. Across the world, trafficking and smuggling gangs are flogging promises and dreams and then using fear – of pain, of the authorities, of their debts, of their failure – to make vast amounts of money in the knowledge that they’re unlikely to get caught, and in the certainty that their victims are expendable.

      One Vietnamese teenager I interviewed last year had, like last week’s victims, crossed the Channel in the back of a lorry. He described the experience to me: the pain of the jolting metal that tore into his skin; the stench of other silent bodies he was pressed up against; the poisonous diesel fumes; and the hunger and thirst that gnawed at his insides.

      His journey towards that point had begun with a childhood of crippling and monotonous poverty and the belief that the only way to escape and honour his filial responsibility to provide for his parents was to follow the promise of work in the UK. He embarked on an overland journey across Europe where he was smuggled from safe house to safe house, fell under the control of criminal gangs and was raped, beaten and brutalised. By the time he reached France, he was told he had to pay back £20,000 – an amount he couldn’t even comprehend. His parents would be the ones who would suffer if he didn’t pay them back.

      By his point his life was not in his hands. A chain of events had been set in motion that he had no control over. There was no way back: his only future was one where his sole reason for survival was to pay off his debts. He ended up being trafficked into a cannabis farm in Derbyshire.

      In the eyes of the law there is a distinction between illegal work and modern slavery – with the former you are a criminal, and the latter a victim – but in reality the line is not so clearly defined. Many who are here to work move between the two. Across the UK, thousands end up being exploited and unpaid in our restaurants, car washes, agricultural fields, care homes, hotels and nail bars – visible but unseen.

      Official statistics say up to 15,000 people are trapped in a form of modern slavery in the UK – although those working on the frontline believe this figure to be a huge underestimate. Our government says that with the 2015 Modern Slavery Act it is a global leader in cracking down on this practice, yet prosecutions remain low. In 2017-18 there were only 185 convictions for slavery and trafficking crimes – a fraction of the cases reported to the authorities.

      Crucially, prosecutions require victims to come forward and testify. Yet their immigration status is often considered more of a priority than their exploitation. Traffickers tell their victims if they go to the police they will be arrested and detained, and more often than not they’re right. Recent research found over 500 victims of trafficking were arrested and sent to immigration detention centres last year. Even though police guidance tells officers how to identify cases of modern slavery, Vietnamese children found in nail bars or cannabis farms are still routinely arrested, charged and detained.

      Even those who are recognised as victims of trafficking by the authorities are in for a rough ride. The government’s national referral mechanism, the framework for identifying and protecting victims of slavery, is sometimes considered by victims to be as traumatising as their trafficking. They can find themselves trapped in a legal limbo in a complex and under-resourced system for years at a time. And in the end victims are probably going to be removed back to the country where they were trafficked: according to the government’s own figures only 12% of victims of slavery are granted discretionary leave to remain.

      All of this matters because it creates an environment in which the business of exploiting the desperation of human beings can thrive. Where the gangs know that British people will pay £8 in cash for a pedicure, or to get our car hand washed, without thinking too much about why. It’s a business model where people can be exploited for profit over and over again with the near certainty that in the end it will be the victim who the system comes down upon, for making the journey in the first place.

      In 2004 the death of 23 Chinese cockle pickers in Morecambe Bay was a moment of reckoning – a human tragedy that, for many people, raised the spectre of modern slavery in the UK for the first time. Today, 15 years later, maybe these 39 deaths might do the same and remind us that our only chance of beating the business in flogging human lives is to try to understand how people come to be locked inside the backs of lorries in the first place.


    • En route vers le Royaume-Uni, enquête de terrain auprès des migrants vietnamiens

      #France_terre_d'asile a réalisé une enquête de terrain auprès des migrants vietnamiens en transit dans le département du Pas-de-Calais, dans le cadre du projet d’aide aux victimes de traite des êtres humains mené par l’association.

      L’étude analyse les parcours migratoires de ces migrants, les raisons de leur départ, leurs profils, leurs relations avec les réseaux de passeurs, les moyens d’emprise et de coercition exercés sur eux et leurs besoins afin d’améliorer leur accompagnement en France et en Europe.


    • Precarious journeys: Mapping vulnerabilities of victims of trafficking from Vietnam to Europe

      New research by ECPAT UK, Anti-Slavery International and Pacific Links Foundation traces the journeys made by Vietnamese children and adults migrating irregularly from Vietnam to the UK via Europe. The report, Precarious Journeys: Mapping Vulnerabilities of Victims of Trafficking from Vietnam to Europe, finds that the governments of countries on key trafficking routes routinely fail to protect Vietnamese children from trafficking, leaving them vulnerable to continued exploitation and abuse.


    • Vietnamese migrants are not ‘lured’ by traffickers. They just want a better future

      The risks are known and won’t deter people. There will be more deaths in lorries unless Britain changes its immigration policy.


      Thirty-nine bodies found in the back of a refrigerated lorry in an Essex industrial park. Apart from shock and rage, this tragic news feels like deja vu. Almost two decades ago, in 2000, 58 Chinese people were found suffocated to death in Dover, in similar horrific circumstances. Those men and women banged on doors and screamed for their lives, the only two survivors revealed. The tragic deaths left families behind and communities back in Fujian province devastated.

      Today, many of the 39 people, eight women and 31 men, are believed to have come from Vietnam, as families there desperately look for their missing loved ones.
      The 39 people who died in the lorry were victims. Why does the law treat them as criminals?
      Annie Kelly
      Read more

      I also felt deja vu listening to the response from British politicians and media. “Stop evil human traffickers”; “Stop international criminal networks”. I heard such phrases two decades ago from the home secretary, Jack Straw, and today his successor, Priti Patel, repeats the sentiment. While formal identification of the victims continues, Vietnamese people have mostly been portrayed as “unaware” trafficking victims sent to fill the nail bars and cannabis factories – as having no agency of their own and no control over their migratory decisions.

      In reality, the Vietnamese young men and women who choose to travel on these dangerous routes only do so when they cannot come to Britain in formal ways. Having no alternatives, they contact “snakeheads” (smugglers), who are often perceived as “migration brokers” rather than criminals, who organise their transportation to Britain.

      It appears that many of the 39 people may have come from the Nghe An and Ha Tinh provinces of Vietnam, which have been hit by economic reforms. Three decades ago, in 1986, the Vietnamese government launched the Doi Moi economic reforms, which aimed to facilitate a transition from a centralised planning to a “socialist-oriented” market economy. From the 1990s onwards, the government boasted of Vietnam’s rise in GDP – what was not said was that the growth was built upon the low-cost labour of millions of Vietnamese, toiling in processing factories and assembling products for overseas companies. The inflow of foreign investment has been a big part of Vietnam’s economic liberalisation. In recent years, it has brought cash to the high-tech processing, manufacturing, agriculture, education and healthcare sectors. Since the start of this year, Vietnam has attracted foreign direct investment of more than $1.1bn (£850m), China alone bringing in $222m.


      Many of these changes have not been popular: large waves of anti-China protests happened in May 2014, in Ha Tinh and other places. And in 2018 there was popular opposition to legislation enabling special economic zones to grant land leases to foreign businesses for up to 99 years.

      In 2016 Ha Tinh was also the site of the country’s worst environmental disaster, caused by a chemical spill from a steel factory, owned by a Taiwanese company, Formosa Plastics, that poisoned up to 125 miles of the northern coastline and ruined the fishing industry. Formosa Plastics was fined $500m by the Vietnamese government, but much of the compensation did not reach the affected fishermen.

      The low labour cost in these provinces is the main attraction for Chinese and other foreign investors. For instance, a factory worker here earns around two-thirds of what a similar worker earns in China, and half the local population are under the age of 30.

      Rather than wealth, foreign investment has brought mainly dead-end, low-paid jobs with few long-term prospects for young locals. The average wage in Vietnam is around $150 a month; in these provinces many don’t even earn that. Besides, unemployment is severe. Last year, GDP per capita in both Nhge An ($1,600) and Ha Tinh ($2,200) fell below the national average of $2,500. This is the context compelling tens of thousands of Vietnamese from these impoverished provinces to choose to migrate, to seek livelihoods for themselves and their families.

      Families often depend on sons and daughters to find their way into advanced capitalist countries in the west, to work and be the breadwinners. Remittances from abroad also help sustain communities – Nghe An, for instance, brought in $225m a year, according to official estimates.

      The 39 people were not “unthinking migrants” lured by traffickers, as the media has suggested. They were fighting for a future for their families, and lost their precious lives as Britain firmly kept its doors locked shut.

      If the tragic deaths of these men and women truly sadden you, the best thing to do is oppose Britain’s anti-migrant policies. We need to dismantle the false categories of “economic migrants” and “genuine refugees”. Let our fellow human beings have the opportunity to live and work in the open – that is the only way forward.


    • Essex lorry deaths should be wake-up call for ministers, MPs say

      Policies focused on closing borders counterproductive, says foreign affairs committee

      The deaths of 39 people found in the back of a lorry in Essex should be wake-up call for the government to rethink its approach to migration, MPs have said.

      Policies focused on closing borders will drive migrants to take more dangerous routes and push them into the hands of smugglers, the foreign affairs select committee says in a new report.

      The human cost of irregular migration made international partnerships essential, including with the EU, the committee said.

      The report comes just over a week after 39 people, now understood to be Vietnamese nationals, were found dead in the back of a lorry that had arrived in the UK via the port of Zeebrugge.

      The driver, Maurice Robinson, has been charged with manslaughter and trafficking offences, and a police investigation into a suspected wider trafficking network continues.

      Tom Tugendhat, the chair of the influential committee, said that until the UK left the EU it should continue to attend EU meetings on migration.

      “The case of 39 people found dead in a lorry in Essex shocked us all. The full story won’t be clear for some time but this tragedy is not alone,” he said.

      “Today, hundreds of families across the world are losing loved ones who felt driven to take the fatal gamble to entrust their lives to smugglers. This case should serve as a wake-up call to the Foreign Office and to government.

      “The UK has been relatively isolated from the different migrant crises in recent years, but it’s wrong to assume that we are protected from their impact. The UK has a proud history of helping those fleeing conflict and persecution and cooperating with others to protect human rights. We should lead by example.”

      The report also raised concern that deals with countries such as Libya, Niger and Sudan to limit migration risked fuelling human rights abuses.

      It said such deals could be used as leverage by partner governments, as the Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, had done recently when he threatened to “reopen the gates”.

      The committee also said the fact that the Home Office was responsible for the UK’s response to irregular migration could lead to the “error of focusing on preventing migration to the exclusion of other goals such as preventing conflict and promoting stability and respect for fundamental human rights”.

      It called for more effort to negotiate future close cooperation on migration policy with the EU and an immediate return of UK officials to EU-level meetings where irregular migration is discussed.

      Other recommendations included the expansion of legal pathways to apply for asylum outside Europe and robust monitoring and safeguards to ensure UK funding for migration programmes in Libya did not contribute to human rights abuses.

      Tugendhat said the committee’s inquiry had been cut short by the “uncertain nature of parliamentary business”, but that it hoped to return to the issues in the future.

      Irregular migration is defined by the International Organization for Migration as the “movement of persons that takes place outside the laws, regulations, or international agreements governing the entry into or exit from the state of origin, transit or destination”.


    • France: Dozens of migrants found in back of truck near Italian border

      The truck had been carrying 31 people, reportedly from Pakistan, when it was inspected by authorities in southern France. The latest discovery comes after dozens of migrants were found dead in a truck near London.

      Officers carrying out a routine traffic check in southern France uncovered dozens of migrants in the back of a truck on Saturday, the public prosecutor’s office in Nice said.

      Some 31 people, including three unaccompanied minors, were found in the truck during a vehicle spot-check at a toll booth near La Turbie, near the border with Italy.

      Prosecutors said that all 31 people on board were Pakistani nationals. The driver of the truck, who is also from Pakistan, was arrested by French authorities.

      The migrants were handed over to Italian authorities, the Nice-Matin newspaper reported.

      Prosecutors will now try to determine whether a human smuggling ring is behind the operation. Should that prove not to be the case, the driver of the truck will be charged with aiding and abetting illegal immigration, news agency AFP reported.

      Concerns after UK migrant truck deaths

      The discovery comes just days after French authorities in the northern port city of Calais pulled over a refrigerated truck carrying eight migrants. All those inside the truck, including four children, were taken to the hospital after exhibiting signs of hypothermia.

      Border control agencies have been on high alert following the deaths of 39 migrants in the UK on October 23.

      The migrants, who were determined to be Vietnamese nationals, had also been transported in a refrigerated truck when the vehicle was found east of London.

      The alleged driver of the truck, a 25-year-old from Northern Ireland, has already been charged over the deaths. He faces 39 counts of manslaughter as well as human trafficking and immigration offenses.

      #ceux_qui_restent #vidéo #celles_qui_restent

    • #Spare_me_the_tears - Britain would have treated the Vietnamese nationals as criminals if they had not died in the lorry

      Had the police found the desperate migrants in the back of the truck they would have been arrested and deported

      I waited a while before writing this column. The deferral was out of respect for the dead, grieving relatives and the shocked Essex officers who discovered the bodies.

      But now it is time for uncomfortable, troublesome, questions: What if those thirty nine Vietnamese migrants found in the back of truck had been discovered still alive?

      Would the tabloids have published those tender pictures of young victims, smiling, buoyant, sons and daughters, grandsons and granddaughters, nieces and nephews, fathers and mothers?

      Would Boris Johnson and Home Secretary Priti Patel have been as compassionate as they have been?

      Would nationalist Brits have held back from their usual bellyaches about ‘uncontrolled migration’? Let’s not belabour the obvious. We know the answers.

      It is believed that all of those who were found were Vietnamese. On Saturday, around one hundred people attended the service at the Church of the Holy Name and Our Lady of the Sacred Heart in east London.

      The Reverend Simon Nguyen remembered the 39 who were ‘seeking freedom, dignity and happiness’. Such a low attendance is indicative. The victims are only numbers in the current news cycle.

      In 2000 when 58 bodies of Chinese migrants were found in the back of a lorry in Dover, some of us journalists and concerned actors such as Corin Redgrave and Frances de la Tour organised a vigil near Downing St. We wanted to remind people that behind the numbers were names, individual, special lives.

      Nothing has been learnt since then. One Vietnamese contact tells me her people are now petrified: ‘Police will come to ask us questions maybe. We know nothing. We are the children of the boat people. Mrs Thatcher asked them to come during the war. Now we are afraid again’.

      Thatcher did indeed invite these migrants to settle in Britain and made sure that the tabloids ran their arrival as a good news story. It was a strategic move, her way of winning the PR battle against Vietnamese communists.

      The refugees were welcomed and helped to settle. That was the only time I praised the iron lady. No Tory PM would dare to be that bold today.

      In the UK, Australia, the US, many eastern European and EU nations too, most citizens and politicians feel for refugees, asylum seekers and migrants only when they perish at sea or in airless, light-less vehicles.

      Alive they are a pestilence, dead they become pitiful innocents preyed on by traffickers. There are of course kind and generous people too, who do what they can, for the global wanderers desperately seeking a better life. But millions of others can only raise sympathy for bodies and really get exercised about the crimes, not the victims.

      Journalists, politicians and commentators are now well into the whodunnit, madly exhilarating murder mystery, identifying the traffickers, the arrests and extraditions. They are sniffing around for other ploys that could be being used by criminal people smugglers.

      A Times investigation this week revealed that at least 15 pupils from Vietnam had vanished after enrolling at private schools. Apparently, this is something that the Human Trafficking Foundation is worried about too.

      It fell upon Catherine Baker, the senior campaigns officer at Every Child Protected Against Trafficking to challenge the narrative: ‘ Victims are often criminalised instead of being protected and a hostile environment for people in the UK without immigration status makes those still trapped in exploitative situations nervous to seek help’.

      Mercy is in short supply at the Home Office and Ms Patel, utterly benighted and scarily ideological, wants officials to get even tougher because she thinks suffering helps to deter others.

      Charities are raising concerns about some devious new tactics being used by the Home office to catch and repatriate undocumented men and women.

      Rapar, a Manchester based human rights charity has just discovered that minority community groups are being co-opted and paid thousands of pounds to help find and expel illegal migrants.

      Fizza Qureshi, co-chief executive of the Migrants Rights Networks rightly warns that ‘these kinds of practices destroy trust within and between communities. It will leave many marginalised people wondering who they can turn to and trust in their time of need’.

      Had the police found the distressed 39 in the back of the truck before they expired, they would all have been treated as criminals, interrogated, detained in abominable centres and sent back.

      Few legal options are available to them. People will keep on trying and these inconvenient truths will continue to be avoided by Britain and other receiving nations.

      And so the tragedies will go on.


    • Grieve the Essex 39, but recognise the root causes

      In the wake of the deaths of 39 migrants in a lorry container, daikon*’s Kay Stephens writes on the global structures of capitalism and imperialism and the deadly border regimes that led to their deaths.

      On 24 October, daikon*, a group of anti-racist creatives of east and south east Asian descent, organised a vigil outside the Home Office with SOAS Detainee Support and members of the Chinese community to grieve for the 39 people found dead in a truck container in Essex – 39 people who died horrific deaths in miserable conditions in a desperate attempt to reach the UK.

      These deaths are no accident, but the direct result of global structures of capitalism and imperialism that marginalise, if not violently exclude, working-class undocumented migrants and people of colour. The mainstream’s response – calling for harsher borders, criminal justice for ‘greedy and unscrupulous’ traffickers and safe passage for ‘genuine’ refugees –fails to interrogate the global conditions that lead people to risk dangerous travel, and the deadly effects of border controls on all migrants.

      The global context

      Although initially identified as Chinese nationals, news is emerging that the majority of victims were from the neighbouring Vietnamese provinces of Nghệ An and Hà Tĩnh, both amongst the poorest regions in the country. In 2016, Hà Tĩnh suffered a water pollution disaster affecting over 200km of coastline, resulting in at least 70 tonnes of dead fish washing up on local shores. It was found that the Hà Tĩnh steel plant – a joint venture between the Taiwanese company Formosa, China Steel Corporation and Japan’s JFE Steel – had been discharging toxic waste into the ocean, devastating local marine life and directly affecting some 40,000 workers who relied on fishing and tourism for their livelihood. The affected communities have faced crackdowns on protest and are still seeking justice. Today, the region is a key site of people-smuggling to the UK.

      We can see neo-colonial dynamics playing out here. Big corporations from richer countries come in to exploit resources and low labour costs to produce wealth for themselves. When they cut corners to maximise profit, local working-class communities bear the brunt of the fallout, often in the form of irreparable environmental damage. These same countries then benefit from a hyper-exploitable migrant workforce: Taiwan and Japan, for instance, are on the receiving end of Vietnamese labour export programmes. These are effectively systems of debt servitude, whereby migrants work long hours for low pay in often poor conditions in order to send remittances to support their families back home, on top of repaying debts incurred to obtain work abroad. In Taiwan, low wages and rampant abuse drive many workers to break away from their contracts and seek criminalised forms of work. In Japan, Vietnamese workers commonly report experiences of racism and social exclusion, with many even dying of overwork.

      This year, we also saw the inclusion of an investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) style mechanism in EU-Vietnam trade deals. This effectively gives foreign investors the power to sue host governments when their court rulings, laws and regulations – many of which serve the public interest – undermine their investments. Globally, ISDS has been used by corporations to sue governments when hard-won social and environmental protections negatively impact their production and profits. Currently, two British oil firms are using ISDS to sue the Vietnamese government to avoid paying taxes in the country. With the EU-Vietnam trade deal, we can expect European corporations to continue to exploit this mechanism at the expense of the local environment and people, who may increasingly seek to build their lives elsewhere.

      The UK response

      It is in this context that smuggling networks develop and operate. Those seeking the prospect of a better life abroad may hire the services of smugglers who facilitate illegalised movement across borders. Many will incur debts to finance their journeys, and expect to undertake difficult work upon arrival at their destination. One response of the UK Home Office is to support IOM (International Organization for Migration) Vietnam, both in delivering propaganda campaigns that attempt to deter people from illegalised migration, and in criminal investigations aimed at prosecuting smugglers and traffickers – policies that do nothing to address the conditions that lead people to migrate. Politicians and commentators are also insisting that to avoid tragedies like the Essex 39, we need increased border security and continued collaboration with EU law enforcement and anti-trafficking units. Yet we have witnessed the prosecution of aid workers helping migrants to safety under EU trafficking laws, and there are countless reports of police brutality against migrants in EU border enforcement operations. In reality, tougher borders only lead migrants and smugglers to risk increasingly deadly and secretive migration routes in order to evade detection by improved security technology. Securitised responses also shift the smuggling industry away from community-based networks towards increasingly violent and highly organised criminal networks that are able to maximally exploit migrants’ vulnerability to increase their profit margins. In short, borders kill. If we want to prevent migrant deaths, we need to work towards the abolition of borders, starting with practical solidarity resisting borders in public life and our communities – refusing complicity in the hostile environment, visiting people in detention, and resisting immigration raids.

      The impact of criminalisation

      We should also be concerned about how an increased emphasis on anti-trafficking legislation may further endanger precarious migrant workers in the UK. In 2016, we saw ‘anti-trafficking’ police raids on massage parlours in Soho and Chinatown lead to the violent arrest of many migrant sex workers on immigration grounds. Whilst ostensibly aimed at addressing exploitation, these kinds of ‘rescue’ raids on brothels, nail bars and cannabis farms are basically indistinguishable from immigration raids, leading as they often do to the detention of migrant workers, who then either face deportation or a protracted legal battle to remain. Often underlying such operations are gendered and racialised assumptions of Asian migrant women as passive and helpless victims in need of rescue, and Asian men as unscrupulous and predatory traffickers, who control and exploit those helpless victims. The reality is that in the context of border regimes that push them into debt and underground economies, many migrants make a constrained choice to work under conditions that are to varying degrees exploitative or abusive in order to pay off debts to smugglers, send money to dependants, and indeed, to survive. The fact that the British state does not guarantee indefinite leave to remain, nor adequate social support to those it identifies as survivors of trafficking shows its fundamental failure to grasp the central role that borders and capitalism, rather than individual traffickers, play in producing conditions for exploitation and abuse.

      Whatever their circumstances, we need to ensure migrants are able to assert labour rights and access safe housing, work, healthcare and other public, legal and social services – all without fear of immigration sanctions or criminal convictions. At a minimum, this means ending the ‘hostile environment’ which embeds immigration checks throughout public life, and decriminalising industries such as sex work whose criminalisation only pushes undocumented workers deeper into secrecy and silence.

      As heart-breaking stories of victims continue to emerge, we must recognise that such deaths are an inevitability of the neo-colonial, securitised regimes being built globally, designed to marginalise working-class migrants and people of colour, who are rendered exploitable or disposable. Systemic analyses that centre anti-capitalism, no borders, building migrant workers’ rights globally, and the decriminalisation of sex work are not distractions but central to bringing an end to senseless deaths such as those of the Essex 39.


    • Lorry driver pleads guilty over role in Essex deaths

      #Maurice_Robinson, 25, admits plotting to assist illegal immigration
      A lorry driver charged with the manslaughter of 39 Vietnamese migrants found dead in a refrigerated trailer has pleaded guilty to plotting to assist illegal immigration.

      Maurice Robinson, 25, who is known as Mo, was allegedly part of a global smuggling ring. He was arrested shortly after the bodies of eight females and 31 males were found in a trailer attached to his Scania cab in an industrial park in Grays, Essex, on 23 October.

      The victims were identified later as Vietnamese nationals, with the youngest being two boys aged 15.

      Robinson appeared at the Old Bailey in London via video link from Belmarsh prison for a plea hearing. He spoke to confirm his identity and British nationality.

      Robinson admitted conspiracy to assist unlawful immigration between 1 May 2018 and 24 October 2019. The charge states that he plotted with others to do “an act or series of acts which facilitated the commission of a breach of immigration law by various persons”.

      During the hearing before Mr Justice Edis, Robinson also admitted acquiring criminal property – namely cash – on the same dates. He was not asked to enter pleas to other charges, including 39 counts of manslaughter.

      Police formally identified all 39 victims this month and informed their families. It has emerged, however, that relatives of the migrants found dead were told that neither the British nor Vietnamese governments would bear the costs of repatriating the bodies.

      Police in Vietnam have arrested eight people suspected of being part of a ring responsible for smuggling Vietnamese people to Britain.

      Essex police have launched extradition proceedings to bring Eamonn Harrison, 22, from Ireland to the UK. He appeared at Dublin’s central criminal court last Thursday after he was arrested on a European arrest warrant in respect of 39 counts of manslaughter, one count of a human trafficking offence and one count of assisting unlawful immigration.

      Harrison is accused of driving the lorry with the refrigerated container to Zeebrugge in Belgium before it was collected in Essex by Robinson.

      Robinson was remanded into custody until a further hearing on 13 December.


    • Don’t call the Essex 39 a ‘tragedy’

      Jun Pang on why the deaths of 39 undocumented migrants were entirely avoidable, and why borders are to blame.

      On 23 October, 39 people were found dead in the back refrigerated lorry in Essex, South East England, with media outlets reporting that the victims may have frozen to death in temperatures as low as -25°C.

      The truck had crossed The Channel from Belgium, a route that has been used increasingly by migrants after the French government tightened restrictions on departures from Calais.

      These 39 deaths were not a ‘tragedy’. They were not unavoidable. They were the direct result of British government policies that have made it impossible to enter the country using safe and legal means.

      The conditions that produced these 39 deaths emerge from the same set of policies that deny asylum, justify indefinite immigration detention, charter deportation flights, and restrict migrants’ access to fundamental rights – that is, the so-called ‘Hostile Environment’.

      The aim is to make the UK so inhospitable for migrants that they will not make the effort to try to enter. They are also the conditions that allow the Global North to continue to thrive off the exploitation of undocumented migrant workers.

      ‘The brutality of capitalism’

      When I first heard of the deaths, I was reminded of the 2004 Morecambe Bay disaster, when 23 undocumented Chinese workers drowned while picking cockles off the Lancashire coast. These workers did not die of ‘natural causes’, they died because their gangmaster did not give them any information about how to work safely in the notoriously dangerous bay. He was willing to sacrifice these undocumented workers’ lives for the sake of a higher yield.

      Chinese workers were described by one gangmaster as ‘a half-price... more punctual and productive workforce’. Did their employers imagine that Chinese people’s racialized ‘productivity’ somehow meant that they were also immune to the elements? One Morecambe Bay cockler later told journalist Hsiao-Hung Pai (who later wrote a book about Chinese migrant workers’ lives in the UK) that ‘he blamed the brutality of capitalism for the tragedy’.

      At the end of 2018, China was one of the countries with the highest numbers of citizens in UK detention centres. Earlier this year, I visited a Chinese man in detention, who had come to the UK with the help of so-called ‘snakehead’ smugglers, who are often blamed for the deaths of undocumented migrants like the Essex 39. The man had fled to the UK for fear that he would be killed; he did not know how else he could enter.

      The Home Office rejected his refugee application, detained him for more than a year (despite bundles of evidence from experts on his situation) and ended up deporting him – but not before first mistakenly deporting another man with the same surname.

      One of the most heartbreaking things he had said to me was that he would rather work for £1 an hour in the detention centre for the rest of his life, than go home and face persecution.
      Hierarchy of ‘desert’

      It is not useful to speculate on the reasons why these 39 Vietnamese nationals decided to try to enter the UK. More important is to recognize that the UK border has long been a site of racialized, classed, and gendered violence for all migrants, regardless of the reasons for entering. In 1998, the New Labour government published ‘Fairer, Faster, and Firmer – A Modern Approach to Immigration and Asylum’, a White Paper which warned that ‘economic migrants will exploit whatever route offers the best chance of entering or remaining within the UK’. Two years later, in 2000, 58 Chinese nationals were found dead, having suffocated in the back of a lorry at Dover docks.

      States often attempt to distinguish ‘economic migrants’ from ‘real refugees’ as a way to restrict legal entry at the border. Such categorization creates an arbitrary hierarchy of entitlement to international protection, absent of any consideration of the unequal distribution of resources across the Global North and Global South that often makes seeking employment overseas the only way that some people – and their families – can survive.

      In theory, this hierarchy of ‘desert’ is illegitimate because human rights violations, including deprivation of socioeconomic rights, are not subject to ranking. In practice, the hierarchy also fails to give ‘priority’ to ‘real refugees’ due to the culture of disbelief around asylum applications. So migrants are forced to rely on smugglers to gain entry.

      Smugglers facilitate the entry of migrants through different pathways. This entails significant risks, as states establish stronger barriers to entry, including visa restrictions, carrier sanctions, and interceptions at sea. The journeys do not stop; the conditions simply become more and more deadly.

      Smuggling is different to trafficking, which is the forced movement of a person for the purpose of exploitation, including labour and sexual exploitation. Anti-trafficking policies, however, are often criticized for failing to protect, and sometimes causing direct harm to, undocumented migrants. In the UK survivors of trafficking are detained and in some cases deported; even after being recognized as survivors, they often do not receive adequate social support.

      Part of the ‘anti-trafficking’ movement is also rooted in an anti-sex work politics that conflates sex work with sexual exploitation. This perspective presents all migrant sex workers as ‘victims’ requiring ‘saving’. In the end, this only pushes migrant sex workers into more insecure working conditions, subjecting them to the threat of arrest, detention, and deportation.

      States often conflate smuggling and trafficking to introduce blanket restrictions on entry and to criminalize particular forms of work in order to eject unwanted migrants. But blaming migrants’ deaths on smugglers and traffickers does nothing but mask the structures of racism and capitalism that both restrict the movement of, and exploit, undocumented workers.

      We do not at the time of writing know if the 39 people in the back of the lorry were hoping to come to the UK as workers; or whether they were being trafficked into labour exploitation. But the objectification of their ‘bodies’ reminded me of the way that migrants are only useful until they are not; and then, they are, quite literally, disposable.

      A man is being questioned in connection with the murder of the Essex 39; but the blood is ultimately on the hands of the British state, and the global system of borders that entrenches exploitative and deadly relations of power.

      #terminologie #vocabulaire #mots #tragédie #pouvoir #capitalisme

  • A Calais, la frontière tue ! In Calais, the border kills !


    Deaths at the Calais Border

    Uncountable lives are wasted and suffer at the hands of the Calais border regime. There is no accurate count of how many people have died. This is a list of people known in Calais or from news reports.

    For sure there will have been more, their deaths ignored, the facts covered up or altogether unreported. Many already go unnamed, without vigils and protests, without families or friends to advocate on their behalf.

    But we will never let these deaths be silenced. We will not forgive and we will never forget.

    These borders kill! One death is too many!


    #morts #décès #mourir_aux_frontières #Calais #France #frontières #Angleterre #UK #migrations #asile #réfugiés #base_de_données #database #liste #timeline #ligne_du_temps #mourir_dans_la_forteresse_Europe #visualisation #infographie #frise #frise_chronologique #time-line

    ping @reka @simplicissimus @karine4

    • Un article de février 2018

      The deadly roads into Calais

      Since 1999, an estimated 170 migrants desperately seeking a clandestine passage across the Channel to Britain have died in road accidents in and around the port of Calais in northern France, 37 of them since 2015. One former police officer said the situation became so grim “it was humanly impossible to pick up more bodies from the road”. One of the most recent victims was a 22-year-old Eritrean whose mutilated body was found on a motorway last month after he was run over by a truck whose driver fled the scene. Elisa Perrigueur reports from Calais, where she met with Biniam’s relatives as they prepared the return of his body home to north-east Africa.
      The temperature was below freezing point on a bleak dawn last month when Biniam’s remains were found near the port of Calais, lying on the smooth tarmac of the A16 motorway that runs parallel to the Channel coast. According to statements given to the police afterwards by those who knew him, Biniam L. (full last name withheld here), a 22-year-old Eritrean, had probably spent all night looking for a truck he could climb onto in the hope of smuggling his way to England.

      He was successful, at first. He had managed to mount one of them, hiding in its cargo hold, most certainly hoping, like so many others who attempt the same, that once it passed through the fortified perimeter of the port, which is surrounded by 39 kilometres of fencing, it would be one of the vehicles that occasionally escapes the heat scanners and sniffer-dog searches, first in Calais and then, after the brief sea passage, through the British port of Dover. With no ID documents and no baggage, just the clothes he would hope could adequately keep out the biting cold.

      But on that early morning of January 9th this year, his plan went horribly wrong. The truck he had hidden in did not turn off the motorway into Calais, but instead continued its route eastwards. The young man must have panicked when he realised the fact, for he tried to jump from the truck onto the motorway despite the speeding traffic. According to members of the local French migrant aid association, l’Auberge des migrants, who spoke to police afterwards, Biniam landed on his head and was run over by another truck following behind. But neither vehicle stopped, and there remains doubt over the exact circumstances of his final moments.

      Between December 2017 and January this year two other migrants, 15-year-old Abdullah Dilsouz and Hussein Abdoullah, 32, both Afghan nationals, lost their lives in accidents on the roads around Calais. “Since 2015, there have been 37 migrants who have died in [and around] Calais,” said a spokesperson for the local prefecture. “The highest number date back to 2015 and 2016, the great majority are road accidents.” In 2015, the death toll reached 18, followed by 14 in 2016.

      Maël Galisson, a coordinator for the network of associations in the region providing aid for migrants, the Plate-forme de services aux migrants, has carried out research to establish the number of victims over the past almost 20 years and, where possible, to record their identities. “Since 1999, we estimate that at least 170 people have died while trying to cross this frontier area,” he said. The majority of road accidents occur on the stretches of the A16 and A26 motorways close to Calais, and the ring road into the port centre.

      The day after his death, Biniam’s brother Bereket, 26, arrived in Calais from Germany, accompanied by a cousin and uncle who had travelled from Norway. “He had no ‘dream’ as people put it, he just wanted a country where he was accepted,” said Bereket, who said he had difficulty believing the news that his brother, who he said was “so young to die”, had been killed in a road accident, which he received in a phone call from a friend.

      Bereket said he was not aware of the daily reality of the migrants in Calais, the road blocks migrants mount to try and slow traffic and the clandestine crossings in trucks. In his case, he had crossed to Europe by boat across the Mediterranean Sea. Biniam, he explained, had left the family village in Eritrea, north-east Africa, one-and-a-half years ago, to escape conscription into the army. At one point, he joined up with his brother Bereket in Germany, where the latter had been granted residence. “I obtained [official residency] papers close to Stuttgart and today I work in Germany, I had begun to have a stable life,” recounted Bereket. “His asylum demand was rejected, I don’t understand why.” Biniam had re-applied a second time for right of asylum, but was again turned down. It was after that, in November, that he set off for Calais, where between 550 and 800 migrants – according to figures respectively from the prefecture and the migrant aid associations – live rough, mostly in surrounding woodland.

      The few friends of Biniam who Bereket met with in Calais were little forthcoming about his time there. Loan Torondel of the Auberge des migrants association, which had offered Biniam shelter, said he was never seen at the daily distribution of meals. “A month here is not very long for finding a truck,” he said. “Often, migrants spend months before succeeding, for those who manage to.”

      During his visit to Calais on February 2nd, French interior minister Gérard Collomb, hoping to dissuade migrants from gathering there, described the frontier point as “a wall” and “a mirage”. But from the beach, the migrants can see the English coast, where some have family and friends they hope to join, in a country with lower unemployment than in France and where finding work, undeclared, is easier. Others say they would stay in France but fear that, if they engaged in the official procedures, because their fingerprints are registered in the first European Union (EU) country they reached before travelling to France they would be sent back there, in accordance with the regulations of the EU’s so-called Dublin Agreement.

      The victims are often young men’

      For the migrants hoping to cross to Britain from Calais there are few options in how to do so. The British government has handed France about 140 million euros over the past three years to part fund the increased security measures at the port, which is the frontier point before departure for the English coast. On January 18th, at a summit meeting between British Prime Minister Theresa May and French President Emmanuel Macron, London announced that it was to provide a further 50.5 million euros, for a further beefing up of security and for establishing a centre for migrants at a site distanced from the town.

      For the migrants who can afford their fees, one option is to use the services of people smugglers. They charge between 1,500 euros and 10,000 euros per person for a clandestine passage in a truck, operating out of vehicle parks which they reign over as their own territory. Clashes which broke out in Calais on February 1st between Afghan and Eritrean migrants, which left 22 needing medical treatment, including four teenagers wounded by gunfire, appear to have been linked to turf wars between people smugglers.

      Others try blocking trucks on the approach roads to the port, operating in small groups to lay down obstacles to slow or even halt the vehicles in order to jump on. The method is a dangerous one, for both the migrants and the drivers. In June 2017, the polish driver of a truck died after his vehicle crashed into another truck that was blocked by migrants on the A16 motorway, burned alive in his cabin.

      Then there are those, and who probably included Biniam, who try to mount the vehicles on their own. Eupui is a 19-year-old migrant from Cameroun, in West Africa, and has lived since 2016 on the ‘Dunes’ industrial zone of the port, the site of the notorious and now razed migrant camp known as “the Jungle”. His solitary sorties to find a truck that would take him across the Channel somehow allow him “to keep going”, he told Mediapart. “I sleep three hours and then I try,” he said. “As soon as I see a truck that isn’t going too fast, even a car, I see if I can get into the boot.” He said he hides “near the bends of the motorways” because vehicles reduce speed there. “I’m not afraid, I’ve lived much worse,” he added. “I crossed the Sahara in horrible conditions to come here. I have nothing left to lose. I’ve injured my knee, but never mind.”

      Biniam’s brother Bereket said his brother did not realise the danger in the risks he was taking. “I spoke to him three weeks before he died,” said Bereket. “He told me that everything was fine for him in France. But he lied to me, he didn’t tell me he was at Calais. If I had known, I would have told him to get out of this dangerous place.”

      Bereket said he was “disappointed” by what he saw on this, his first trip to France. He has been supported by local charitable associations, including the Réveil voyageur and the Secours catholique, who usually look after relatives of those who have died. “You don’t see many officials, politicians, as if Biniam’s death had no importance,” he said bitterly.

      “The associations have been managing this for years,” said Sabriya Guivy from the Auberge des migrants group. “When relatives arrive in Calais they are disappointed at not seeing many officials. They have the impression that they are not taken into account. Mr Macron referred to the death of the Polish driver, but not that of migrants,” she added, referring to a speech by the French president during his visit to Calais on January 16th.

      Undertaker Brahim Fares, based in nearby Grande-Synthe, says he charges a “lower than average” price to migrant families out of solidarity. “The dead are repatriated to Afghanistan for between about 3,400-3,500 euros, depending on the weight and the size,” he detailed. “For Eritrea, it begins at around 3,200 euros. Burials in Calais are about 1,600 euros, as opposed to a usual 2,400 euros.” Since 2015, Fares says he has organised the return home of about 15 bodies of migrants, and also the burials of about the same number in the north Calais cemetery managed by the Town Hall. The burial spots are simple ones, covered in earth and marked by crosses made of oak. “The victims are often young men, almost all of them identified,” he added. “I once had an Ethiopian woman. Not all the families can come all the way here. Those who manage to are very shocked, because the bodies are sometimes very damaged, as those in road accidents are.”

      Fares was given charge of Biniam’s body, which he recalled had “the hands cut off, the arms smashed up”. The corpse will be returned to Eritrea, where his parents live. Bereket, with his uncle and cousin, made up a large wreath of plastic flowers. “It’s really not so good but we had only that,” he said. But at the hospital in Lille where the body was placed in the coffin, they were told that they could not place the wreath on top of it, nor the white drape they had wanted to cover it with, according to their custom. “The airport authorities will end up throwing the wreath away, it’s not allowed in the hold,” Fares explained to them. After a poignant moment of silence, they asked him why it would be so complicated to do so.

      Biniam’s relatives spent two weeks attempting to find out the exact circumstances of what happened to him. At the police station in Calais, they were shown a photo of his injured face. Members of the motorway patrol police gave them the few details they had, which were the approximate time of the accident, a statement from a witness who had not seen very much, and the fact that the driver of the truck that ran over Biniam had fled the scene. “France is a developed country […] so why can’t the driver who did that be found?” asked Bereket. “Even in Eritrea we’d have found the killer of my brother.”

      Loan Torondel of the association l’Auberge des migrants said he had seen similar outrage by relatives before. “Many don’t understand why their close family member died under a lorry and that the driver did not act voluntarily,” he said. “Biniam’s family thought that there would be the launch of an investigation, like in American films. They think that the police is not [bothered into] carrying out an investigation, but in reality there are few witnesses.”

      Meanwhile, Bereket has lodged an official complaint over his brother’s death “against persons unknown”, explaining: “I won’t be able to sleep as long as I don’t know how he died, and while the person responsible is free.”

      ’It’s incredible that nobody saw anything’

      While the police systematically open investigations into the road deaths of migrants, they are often complex, beginning with the identification of the victim. Patrick Visser-Bourdon, a former Calais-based police detective, recalled the death of a Sudanese migrant whose body was found one morning in 2016 close to the port’s ring road, with “the head opened, abandoned, wearing a pair of jeans and a long-sleeved T-shirt”.

      During his enquiries, Visser-Bourdon approached the head of the Sudanese community of migrants living in the camp known as “the Jungle”, but nobody recognised the body. “We also put out his photo in the police stations,” he said. “In the majority of such cases, we mostly called on the NGOs for help.” As in the case of Biniam, the driver of what was apparently a truck that had hit the Sudanese man had not stopped. “There was blood on the road, there was necessarily some on the bumpers of the truck,” said Visser-Bourdon. “The driver therefore must have stopped his vehicle at some point to clean it, between the Jungle and the port. It’s incredible that nobody saw anything.”

      Sabriya Guivy from the Auberge des migrants group added that because some local sections of the motorways are unlit, “It is entirely possible to not realise that one has hit someone and to carry on”.

      A section of the numerous investigations into such events end up being closed, unsolved. Someone who is charged with involuntary homicide in France faces a sentence of three years in prison, and up to five years in jail in the case of aggravating circumstances such as fleeing the scene. “Sometimes, some of them don’t remain at the scene of the accident, notably in the case of dangerous [migrant] road blocks, but they go directly to present themselves to the police,” said Pascal Marconville, public prosecutor of the nearby port of Boulogne-sur-Mer, whose services have jurisdiction for events in Calais. “In that case, it’s regarded more as a hit-and-run offence which is exonerated by the circumstances.”

      Patrick Visser-Bourdon said he had welcomed the building of a wall surrounding the ring road in 2016 aimed at deterring migrants from the traffic. “It was humanly impossible to pick up more bodies from the road,” he said.



      En français :
      A Calais, les routes de la mort pour les migrants

  • Le #gorafi encore plagié : Brexit, Bruxelles : “Ce n’est pas fini !”, crient les partisans du maintien dans l’UE au rond-point Schuman 17 octobre 2019 - 17 Octobre 2019 - Belga - BX1

    Quelques dizaines de partisans du maintien du Royaume-Uni dans l’Union européenne se sont rassemblés jeudi en début d’après-midi au rond-point Schuman à Bruxelles, au pied de la Commission européenne, pour affirmer leur conviction que l’accord engrangé ce midi entre l’exécutif européen et le gouvernement britannique ne signifiait pas la fin de leurs espoirs.

    “Ce n’est pas fini, continuons à nous battre“, haranguait un orateur sur un podium aux couleurs du “Stop Brexit”. D’aucuns rappelaient que la situation n’était pas si différente d’il y a quelques mois, lorsque la Première ministre Theresa May avait engrangé un accord de retrait avec le reste de l’UE, mais n’avait pu lui faire passer l’obstacle de la Chambre des Communes. C’est l’heure maintenant de “mobiliser le Parlement”, soulignaient les “remainers” présents.

    #brexit #europe #royaume-uni #international #union_européenne #ue #grande-bretagne #angleterre #uk #référendum

  • Calais : « Le Brexit dur ne serait pas synonyme de chaos » Annick Capelle - 16 Octobre 2019 - RTBF

    Entre 4 et 6000 : c’est le nombre de poids lourds qui, chaque jour, transitent par Calais. Dans une fluidité impressionnante, les ferries embarquent ou débarquent ces véhicules chargés de marchandises destinées au Royaume-Uni ou au continent européen. En cas de Brexit dur, les formalités douanières seront rétablies… Du jour au lendemain. Faut-il donc craindre la paralysie ? Non, si l’on en croit les douaniers et les exploitants du port de Calais, qui depuis des mois, se préparent au rétablissement du poste-frontière. Il y a quelques jours, ils organisaient une répétition générale. Objectif : tester leur « frontière intelligente », un dispositif censé éviter les bouchons en cas de sortie brutale du Royaume-Uni.

    La clé de voûte de ce dispositif, c’est l’anticipation, souligne Eric Meunier, directeur interrégional des douanes et droits indirects des Hauts de France. « L’entreprise qui importe ou exporte de la marchandise devra effectuer préalablement une déclaration de douane sur internet, et recevra un code-barres. Muni de ce code-barres, le chauffeur de poids lourd se présentera ensuite à la frontière, où notre nouveau système informatique établira automatiquement un lien entre le code-barres, la plaque d’immatriculation et la marchandise transportée. C’est ce qu’on appelle l’appairage. »

    Le temps d’attente sera réduit au minimum, puisque, une fois son code-barres scanné, le chauffeur de poids lourd montera directement sur le ferry : « C’est pendant la traversée de la Manche que le système traitera la déclaration de douane ».

    Des panneaux verts et orange
    Dans le port de Calais, une nouvelle signalétique verte et orange a été mise en place pour aiguiller les poids lourds qui débarquent des ferries en provenance du Royaume-Uni. « Avant même de quitter le ferry, le chauffeur saura quelle voie il doit emprunter à son arrivée », explique Benoît Rochet, directeur général délégué de la SEPD, la société d’exploitation des ports du Détroit. « Si la sortie est autorisée par la douane, le poids lourd prend la ligne verte – une sortie aussi fluide qu’aujourd’hui. En moins de deux minutes, le camion est sur l’autoroute. Si le poids lourd doit emprunter la file orange, cela veut dire qu’il doit se soumettre à un contrôle. »

    Plus de 150 places de parking
    Les panneaux orange mènent, un peu plus loin, vers des parkings de délestage pouvant accueillir plus de 150 poids lourds en attente de régularisation douanière. Deux nouvelles plateformes y ont été construites. Elles disposent ensemble de dix quais de déchargement. C’est là que les contrôles seront effectués.

    Un des poids lourds participant au test, rejoint la première plateforme. Il transporte du ciment. Deux agents de douane vérifient aussitôt la conformité de la marchandise avec la déclaration de douane. Quelques minutes plus tard, le chauffeur peut repartir. Le dispositif semble bien rodé.

    La deuxième plateforme sera réservée aux contrôles vétérinaires et phytosanitaires. « Aujourd’hui, il existe déjà des contrôles vétérinaires et phytosanitaires, mais ils sont réalisés dans les Etats membres. En cas de Brexit, il faudra appliquer ces formalités ici, lors du passage à la frontière », explique Jean Michel Thillier, directeur général adjoint des douanes et droits indirects.

    Fins prêts
    Les douanes et les autorités portuaires sont convaincues que l’on peut éviter l’engorgement du terminal. Tout dépendra de la façon dont les entreprises jouent le jeu de l’anticipation. Eric Meunier : « Il existe une marge d’incertitude : c’est la proportion d’entreprises qui n’auraient pas réalisé les formalités préalables. Pour nous, il est très important que ces entreprises soient le moins nombreuses possible, parce qu’elles vont générer des retards pour elles-mêmes, mais également entraîner une charge de travail qui, sur le port, pourrait entraîner des retards pour l’ensemble des transporteurs. »

    Pourtant, Eric Meunier ne croit pas que le Brexit dur sera synonyme de chaos. Depuis plusieurs mois, les douanes françaises mènent une large campagne d’information auprès des entreprises, notamment via les réseaux sociaux. Cette campagne vise bien sûr les compagnies françaises, mais pas seulement : « Sur le franchissement à Calais, 80% des poids lourds ne sont pas français, mais viennent de l’Europe entière. C’est pourquoi, les douanes de tous les pays européens ont informé – et informent encore aujourd’hui – leurs opérateurs de la nécessité d’anticipation. Pour un opérateur, où qu’il soit, dans n’importe quel pays de l’Union, il sera tout à fait possible, de manière dématérialisée, via internet, de déclarer la marchandise préalablement, et une fois à Calais, de franchir la frontière de manière fluide. »

    La véritable inconnue, conclut Eric Meunier, concernera les petits opérateurs qui, à l’heure actuelle, ne travaillent qu’au sein de l’Union européenne, et qui ne sont pas habitués aux formalités douanières. Ce sont ces entreprises-là – françaises ou pas – qu’il faut impérativement toucher.

    #brexit #france #douane #europe #royaume-uni #international #union_européenne #ue #grande-bretagne #angleterre #uk #référendum #actualités_internationales #politique #frontières

  • IOM Organizes First Humanitarian #Charter Flight from Algeria to Niger

    This week (15/10), the International Organization for Migration (IOM) organized its first flight for voluntary return from the southern Algerian city of #Tamanrasset to Niger’s capital, #Niamey, carrying 166 Nigerien nationals, in close collaboration with the Governments of Algeria and Niger.

    This is the first movement of its kind for vulnerable Nigerien migrants through IOM voluntary return activities facilitated by the governments of Algeria and Niger and in close cooperation with Air Algérie. This flight was organized to avoid a long tiring journey for migrants in transit by using a shorter way to go home.

    For the first flight, 18 per cent of the returnees, including women and children were selected for their vulnerabilities, including medical needs.

    “The successful return of over 160 vulnerable Nigerien migrants through this inaugural voluntary return flight ensures, safe and humane return of migrants who are in need of assistance to get to their country of origin,” said Paolo Caputo, IOM’s Chief of Mission in Algeria. “This movement is the result of the combined efforts of both IOM missions and the Governments of Algeria and Niger.”

    IOM staff in Algeria provided medical assistance to more than 10 migrants prior to their flight and ensured that all their health needs were addressed during their travel and upon arrival in Niger.

    IOM also provides technical support to the Government of Niger in registering the returned Nigeriens upon arrival in Niger and deliver basic humanitarian assistance before they travel to their communities of origin.

    Since 2016, IOM missions in Niger and Libya have assisted over 7,500 Nigerien migrants with their return from Libya through voluntary humanitarian return operations.

    Upon arrival, the groups of Nigerien migrants returning with IOM-organized flights from both Algeria and Libya receive assistance, such as food and pocket money, to cover their immediate needs, including in-country onward transportation.

    After the migrants have returned to their communities of origin, IOM offers different reintegration support depending on their needs, skills and aspirations. This can include medical assistance, psychosocial support, education, vocational training, setting up an income generating activity, or support for housing and other basic needs.

    “This movement today represents a big step in the right direction for the dignified return of migrants in the region,” said Barbara Rijks, IOM’s Chief of Mission in Niger. “We are grateful for the financial support of the Governments of the United Kingdom and Italy who have made this possible,” she added.

    #IOM #OIM #Algérie #Niger #renvois #expulsions #retour_volontaire #retours_volontaires #migrations #asile #réfugiés #réfugiés_nigérians #Nigeria #Italie #UK #Angleterre #externalisation #frontières #charters_humanitaires

    Ajouté à cette métaliste sur les refoulements d’Algérie au Niger
    Ici il s’agit plutôt de migrants abandonnés dans le désert, alors que l’OIM parle de « dignified return », mais je me demande jusqu’à quel point c’est vraiment différent...

    signalé par @pascaline

    ping @karine4 @_kg_ @isskein

  • IOM Organizes First Humanitarian #Charter Flight from Algeria to Niger

    This week (15/10), the International Organization for Migration (IOM) organized its first flight for voluntary return from the southern Algerian city of #Tamanrasset to Niger’s capital, #Niamey, carrying 166 Nigerien nationals, in close collaboration with the Governments of Algeria and Niger.

    This is the first movement of its kind for vulnerable Nigerien migrants through IOM voluntary return activities facilitated by the governments of Algeria and Niger and in close cooperation with Air Algérie. This flight was organized to avoid a long tiring journey for migrants in transit by using a shorter way to go home.

    For the first flight, 18 per cent of the returnees, including women and children were selected for their vulnerabilities, including medical needs.

    “The successful return of over 160 vulnerable Nigerien migrants through this inaugural voluntary return flight ensures, safe and humane return of migrants who are in need of assistance to get to their country of origin,” said Paolo Caputo, IOM’s Chief of Mission in Algeria. “This movement is the result of the combined efforts of both IOM missions and the Governments of Algeria and Niger.”

    IOM staff in Algeria provided medical assistance to more than 10 migrants prior to their flight and ensured that all their health needs were addressed during their travel and upon arrival in Niger.

    IOM also provides technical support to the Government of Niger in registering the returned Nigeriens upon arrival in Niger and deliver basic humanitarian assistance before they travel to their communities of origin.

    Since 2016, IOM missions in Niger and Libya have assisted over 7,500 Nigerien migrants with their return from Libya through voluntary humanitarian return operations.

    Upon arrival, the groups of Nigerien migrants returning with IOM-organized flights from both Algeria and Libya receive assistance, such as food and pocket money, to cover their immediate needs, including in-country onward transportation.

    After the migrants have returned to their communities of origin, IOM offers different reintegration support depending on their needs, skills and aspirations. This can include medical assistance, psychosocial support, education, vocational training, setting up an income generating activity, or support for housing and other basic needs.

    “This movement today represents a big step in the right direction for the dignified return of migrants in the region,” said Barbara Rijks, IOM’s Chief of Mission in Niger. “We are grateful for the financial support of the Governments of the United Kingdom and Italy who have made this possible,” she added.

    #IOM #OIM #Algérie #Niger #renvois #expulsions #retour_volontaire #retours_volontaires #migrations #asile #réfugiés #réfugiés_nigérians #Nigeria #Italie #UK #Angleterre #externalisation #frontières

    Ajouté à cette métaliste sur les refoulements d’Algérie au Niger
    Ici il s’agit plutôt de migrants abandonnés dans le désert, alors que l’OIM parle de « dignified return », mais je me demande jusqu’à quel point c’est vraiment différent...

    signalé par @pascaline

    ping @karine4 @_kg_ @isskein

  • IOM Organizes First Humanitarian #Charter Flight from Algeria to Niger

    This week (15/10), the International Organization for Migration (IOM) organized its first flight for voluntary return from the southern Algerian city of #Tamanrasset to Niger’s capital, #Niamey, carrying 166 Nigerien nationals, in close collaboration with the Governments of Algeria and Niger.

    This is the first movement of its kind for vulnerable Nigerien migrants through IOM voluntary return activities facilitated by the governments of Algeria and Niger and in close cooperation with Air Algérie. This flight was organized to avoid a long tiring journey for migrants in transit by using a shorter way to go home.

    For the first flight, 18 per cent of the returnees, including women and children were selected for their vulnerabilities, including medical needs.

    “The successful return of over 160 vulnerable Nigerien migrants through this inaugural voluntary return flight ensures, safe and humane return of migrants who are in need of assistance to get to their country of origin,” said Paolo Caputo, IOM’s Chief of Mission in Algeria. “This movement is the result of the combined efforts of both IOM missions and the Governments of Algeria and Niger.”

    IOM staff in Algeria provided medical assistance to more than 10 migrants prior to their flight and ensured that all their health needs were addressed during their travel and upon arrival in Niger.

    IOM also provides technical support to the Government of Niger in registering the returned Nigeriens upon arrival in Niger and deliver basic humanitarian assistance before they travel to their communities of origin.

    Since 2016, IOM missions in Niger and Libya have assisted over 7,500 Nigerien migrants with their return from Libya through voluntary humanitarian return operations.

    Upon arrival, the groups of Nigerien migrants returning with IOM-organized flights from both Algeria and Libya receive assistance, such as food and pocket money, to cover their immediate needs, including in-country onward transportation.

    After the migrants have returned to their communities of origin, IOM offers different reintegration support depending on their needs, skills and aspirations. This can include medical assistance, psychosocial support, education, vocational training, setting up an income generating activity, or support for housing and other basic needs.

    “This movement today represents a big step in the right direction for the dignified return of migrants in the region,” said Barbara Rijks, IOM’s Chief of Mission in Niger. “We are grateful for the financial support of the Governments of the United Kingdom and Italy who have made this possible,” she added.

    #IOM #OIM #Algérie #Niger #renvois #expulsions #retour_volontaire #retours_volontaires #migrations #asile #réfugiés #réfugiés_nigérians #Nigeria #Italie #UK #Angleterre #externalisation #frontières

    Ajouté à cette métaliste sur les refoulements d’Algérie au Niger
    Ici il s’agit plutôt de migrants abandonnés dans le désert, alors que l’OIM parle de « dignified return », mais je me demande jusqu’à quel point c’est vraiment différent...

    signalé par @pascaline

    ping @karine4 @_kg_ @isskein

  • #Bruxelles : La gare du Midi se met à l’heure du Brexit Barbara Boulet - 15 Octobre 2019 RTBF

    Un divorce à l’amiable entre l’Union européenne et le Royaume-Uni est-il encore possible ? La Belgique en tout cas se prépare à un départ possible de la Grande-Bretagne à la fin du mois. La gare du Midi à Bruxelles en est un exemple. Les services de douane s’apprêtent à devoir gérer à tout moment l’accueil des voyageurs en provenance du Royaume-Uni et à aider ceux qui s’y rendent à remplir leurs formalités.

    Une équipe de 28 douaniers a été recrutée, elle est actuellement en formation. Deux locaux sont aussi en train d’être aménagés dans le terminal Eurostar. L’un, à l’arrivée, est déjà là ; il permet le contrôle des marchandises (drogues et armes, mais aussi les marchandises soumises à des taxes comme l’alcool ou le tabac). L’autre, un conteneur qui doit arriver d’ici la fin octobre dans la salle d’attente des départs, permettra le cas échéant de remplir les formalités. Par exemple pour le remboursement de la TVA.

    « On se prépare pour éventuellement au 1er novembre pouvoir accueillir des passagers en provenance du Royaume-Uni ou qui partent vers le Royaume-Uni, déclare Florence Angelici, porte-parole du SPF Finance (en charge de l’administration des douanes). Il faut pouvoir s’occuper de toutes les démarches et assurer les contrôles douaniers » 

    Qu’est ce qui changerait ? 
    Car, en cas de Brexit sans deal, il y aurait du changement pour les voyageurs. Pas en ce qui les concerne directement en tant que personne, donc leur droit à eux de circuler (puisque le Royaume-Uni ne fait déjà pas partie aujourd’hui de l’espace Schengen), mais une sortie sans accord de la Grande Bretagne impliquerait de facto une sortie de l’union douanière. Les marchandises ne pourraient alors plus circuler librement, explique Marianne Dony, professeure de droit européen à l’ULB. "Toute marchandise pour entrer dans l’Union européenne doit disposer d’un papier attestant qu’elle répond bien à la réglementation européenne. La douane doit vérifier ces attestations. Par ailleurs, en ce qui concerne les contrôles fiscaux, il faut bien se dire qu’une fois qu’on sort de l’Union, il peut y avoir des remboursements de TVA. On ne peut pas non plus exporter nécessairement la même quantité de marchandises qui ne soient pas taxées. Et il faut aussi vérifier que les marchandises en provenance du Royaume-Uni ont bien payé leur droit de douane".

    Autant de contrôles douaniers qu’on ne connaissait plus entre nos voisins du Nord et nous. Et qui devraient revoir le jour en cas de Brexit sans accord préalable. 

    #brexit #référendum #démocratie #europe #royaume-uni #international #union_européenne #ue #grande-bretagne #angleterre #uk #référendum #actualités_internationales #politique #frontières #Belgique #boris_johnson

  • Pour Julian Assange Monika Karbowska - Librairie-tropiques.over-blog.com - 14 Octobre 2019 La situation de Julian Assange, à la date du 10 octobre 2019

    Pour Julian Assange et tous ceux qui osent affronter la "Bête".
    Depuis qu’il s’est avisé de révéler à la "communauté internationale" les turpitudes de toutes les classes dirigeantes qui la composent, et singulièrement ses prétendus "démocrates" donneurs de leçons, du genre de ceux qui ont dévasté le monde ces dernières années ( voir : "la stratégie du chaos" ), et non plus seulement les croquemitaines qui leurs servent commodément d’exutoire, Julian Assange n’est plus (du tout) en odeur de sainteté parmi les médias "de référence" et l’appareil idéologique qu’ils servent, de FOX News à France Television, en passant Le Monde, le New-York Times, Libération, CNN, Mediapart et le Figaro.
Désormais, les "lanceurs d’alerte" sont vivement incités à remiser leurs sifflets, sauf si c’est pour siffler la mi-temps et protéger l’appareil d’État en alimentant l’enfumage généralisé qui le pérennise (voir dernièrement à ce propos : Eleanor Goldfield ou le reportage de Vincent Lenormant sur les "démocrates radicaux" qui ont maintenant la faveur de cet appareil idéologique).

    Aujourd’hui au déni de justice, au droit bafoué, risque fort de s’ajouter un crime d’État, qui ne semble pourtant guère émouvoir notre (go)gauche morale et ses "intellectuels d’influence", et pas davantage les donneurs de leçon, ordinairement si prompts à farouchement dénoncer les atteintes aux droits de l’homme (et du citoyen)...

    En pratique...

    La situation de Julian Assange, à la date du 10 octobre 2019
Julian Assange n’est pas en bonne santé, son moral n’est pas bon.

    Il est détenu à Belmarsh dans une cellule individuelle dans l’unité médicale dont il ne sort qu’une heure ou deux par jour.

    Il peut recevoir des visites :
- il rencontre ses avocats plusieurs fois par semaine et a accès régulièrement à eux.
- il peut également recevoir des visites de ses proches trois fois par semaine.

    Les visites de ses avocats comme celles de ses proches sont en "principe" privées.

    Il peut recevoir du courrier et en reçoit beaucoup, mais tout est lu dans les 2 sens.
On peut lui écrire et il peut correspondre si on lui envoie une enveloppe timbrée
avec adresse du destinataire.

    Pour lui rendre visite :
    Julian doit d’abord en faire la demande
et inscrire le nom sur une liste de "visiteurs
Ensuite, il faut en faire la demande à la prison ;
cela peut prendre deux semaines pour obtenir l’autorisation de la prison.
La demande doit mentionner le nom du visiteur, sa date de naissance,
son numéro de téléphone, son adresse, deux preuves de résidence.
Et montrer sa carte d’identité ou son passeport le jour de la visite.
Donc :
1) lui écrire pour lui proposer de lui rendre visite
2) attendre sa réponse
3) celle-ci reçue, faire une demande de visite à la prison.

    Julian a accès depuis peu à un ordinateur fourni par la prison, mais pas à internet.
Julian a toujours son passeport australien et n’est donc pas apatride.

    Historique des faits.
    Julian Assange était détenu depuis le 11 avril (date de son arrestation) pour avoir violé les termes de sa mise en liberté sous caution lorsqu’il est allé se réfugier à l’Ambassade de l’Equateur en 2012. 

    Pour cette violation mineure il a avait été condamné à 50 semaines de réclusion, ce qui était pratiquement la peine maximale (1 an).
Ses avocats avaient fait appel contre cette condamnation, mais comme le tribunal a traîné pour nommer un juge pour entendre l’appel et que ce dernier étai hostile à Julian, ses avocats ont retiré leur appel.

    D’autant que, passé la moitié de cette peine, il devait être libéré pour bon comportement.

    Le 22 septembre dernier, le tribunal en a jugé autrement...

    Alors qu’il aurait du être libéré sous caution en attendant le déroulement de la procédure judiciaire relative à sa demande d’extradition, le juge a décidé de le maintenir en détention provisoire,
rejetant préemptivement la mise en liberté sous caution - avant même que Julian n’en ait fait la demande.

    Le juge a argué du fait que vu que Julian Assange avait violé les conditions de sa liberté sous caution en 2012 en se réfugiant à l’Ambassade d’Equateur, sa parole n’avait pas de valeur car s’il était libéré, il risquerait probablement de s’enfuir de nouveau.

    Le juge n’a envisagé aucune mesure alternative permettant à Julian Assange de recouvrer au moins une semi-liberté, confirmant le parti pris évident de la justice britannique dans son cas.

    Tous les documents personnels de Julian Assange, ont été saisis à l’ambassade par le gouvernement de l’équateur puis remis avec le département américain de la justice.
L’avocat de Julian Assange en Équateur a reçu fin septembre une notification officielle de la justice équatorienne l’informant que le gouvernement équatorien remettrait le contenu des ordinateurs de Julian
(saisis arbitrairement par l’Ambassade équatorienne lors de son arrestation) au ministère de la Justice des États-Unis le 2 octobre 2019.

    Ce fait est confirmé de source officielle équatorienne.
C’est une nouvelle violation flagrante de son droit à la vie privée

    12 de la Déclaration universelle ;
    17 de la Convention internationale sur les droits civils et politiques ;
    11 de la Convention interaméricaine sur les droits de l’homme,auxquelles est tenu l’Equateur, mais le gouvernement actuel, dans la main des Etats-Unis,n’en a cure.
    Les documents saisis contiennent tout ce dont disposait Julian Assange à l’Ambassade depuis 2012 (ordinateurs, disques durs, carnets de notes, manuscrits, y compris ses notes d’entretien avec ses avocats quant à la préparation de sa défense).

    Remettre ces documents au gouvernement qui le persécute et cherche à le juger revient à mettre Julian Assange à la merci de ses futurs juges.

    Au vu de la saisie des documents personnels de Julian Assange et leur mise
à la disposition de la justice américaine, sans aucune procédure pour ce faire,
le Rapporteur spécial sur la vie privée Joseph Cannataci est intervenu
plusieurs fois auprès des Equatoriens, en privé et publiquement,
pour leur demander de remettre ces documents à ses ayants droits.
Sans succès.

    Du côté des Nations Unies, les 4 rapporteurs spéciaux (experts indépendants) qui se sont prononcés sur le cas de Julian Assange poursuivent leurs efforts, dans le cadre limité qui est le leur :

    le Groupe de travail sur la détention arbitraire,qui continue de demander sa libération ;

    Le rapporteur spécial sur la torture (Nils Melzer)

    Le rapporteur spécial sur le droit à la vie privée (Joseph Cannataci)

    Le rapporteur spécial sur les défenseurs des droits de l’homme (Michel Forst)

    Leur action se poursuit sur trois niveaux :
    – niveau diplomatique : le Rapporteur Spécial sur la torture a écrit
aux gouvernements suédois, britannique, US et équatorien,
arguant du fait que leur action conjuguée,
publique et juridique constitue une forme de torture psychologique incompatible
avec leurs engagements internationaux en vertu des conventions ratifiées
(Convention sur les droits civils et politiques et convention contre la torture).

    La Suède, les Etats-Unis et l’Equateur ont répondu par écrit.
Le Royaume Uni vient finalement de répondre à l’intervention (la semaine dernière)
du Rapporteur Spécial sur la torture ;

    Les lettres du Rapporteur Spécial et les réponses des 3 gouvernements sont
publiques (elles deviennent publiques automatiquement après 60 jours).
Donc à ce jour les 4 gouvernements ont répondu et les lettres de Nils Melzer
et leurs réponses sont publiques.
    – niveau juridique à travers la défense organisée par Gareth Peirce.

    Toujours au niveau juridique, une injonction du droit international des droits de l’homme et du droit européen des droits de l’homme lors de la défense de Julian Assange est indispensable.
La question est comment y procéder de la manière la plus efficace.
    – au niveau public : le Rapporteur Spécial sur la torture continue de s’exprimer publiquement comme en témoignent ses interviews aux différents médias afin de maintenir une mobilisation publique.

    La première audience d’extradition serait prévue en février 2020.

    Quand le sort d’un homme se joue aux dés 
Julian Assange jugé le 11 octobre 2019
    WikiJustice Julian Assange - Vendredi 11 octobre 2019
    Monika Karbowska

    Comme le 20 septembre 2019 son nom figurait en premier des jugés pour être extradés, mais c’est parce qu’il commence à la lettre A et que la liste des 21 hommes, majoritairement Polonais et Roumains et d’une femme azerbaidjanaise, est alphabétique. A la Westminster Magistrate Court, ce 11 octobre 2019, le greffier et le secrétaire du greffe préparait la séance dans la petite salle numéro 3 alors que le public a vite rempli les dix chaises réservées derrière la vitre. Julian Assange figurait donc à la séance du jour parmi les migrants d’Europe de l’Est vivant en Grande Bretagne et réclamés par la justice de leur pays à grand renfort de Mandats d’Arrêt Européens. Comme sur la liste du 20 septembre, certains des prolétaires accusés de vols, escroqueries ou autre bagarres et délit de pauvres étaient aussi menacés d’être livrés aux USA. Et Julian Assange est sur la même liste. Etrange sensation de le savoir en compagnie du prolétariat européen le plus vulnérable, le moins conscient de ses droits, le moins politisé. Mais ce jour-là, après toutes les avanies de cette justice expéditive ou l’on juge les hommes en leur absence, les militants de l’Association Wikijustice, ne s’attendaient même pas à le voir comparaitre.

    Notre soucis était de savoir si un minimum de défense serai présent pour lui, contrairement au 20 septembre dernier. Les dix places du public ont été vite remplies par Wikijustice et par les membres du comité de soutien britannique. Andrej Hunko, député de die Linke, était également présent dans le public, lui le combattant de longue date pour la justice en Europe, notamment pour une enquête internationale indépendante sur l’assassinat de 100 personnes brulées vives dans la Maison des Syndicat à Odessa le 2 mai 2014 au cours du Maidan ukrainien. Les familles des autres prévenus ont du hélas se contenter de places debout. Malheureusement, pour leurs hommes comme pour Julian Assange, la justice britannique fut rapide, sèche et dénuée de la moindre analyse.

    Madame Emma Arbuthnot, juge et présidente du tribunal a pris place à l’estrade et nous nous sommes tous levés. Le greffier lui a présenté le plan de travail. Julian Assange figurait sur la liste comme le numéro 11, mais finalement c’est dans un ordre tout à fait différent que les « cas », les hommes, ont été présentés à la juge. Le secrétaire du greffe commença par le cas numéro 16, et après avoir dit son nom à haute voix, appela le prévenu polonais de la prison de Belmarsh après avoir actionné la vidéo. Sur l’écran apparait alors un gardien qui affirme que M. K. est trop malade pour comparaitre ce jour-là. Et c’est tout. Terrible justice dématérialisée ou l’étrange comparution en vidéo déporte le tribunal ipso facto en prison et nous ramène vers une forme d’ancien régime, tellement le détenu est devenu immatériel, caché, inaccessible.
    . . . . . . . . . . .
    Madame la juge se lève alors et nous nous levons car elle sort de la salle. Nous croyons à une pause et nous apprêtons à discuter de ce que nous avons vu. Mais le greffier annonce que le cas de Julian Assange est discuté. Nous nous levons car un autre juge, un homme de 45 ans, arrive. Et la sinistre farce politique peut commencer. La vidéo s’anime et Julian Assange apparait devant nos yeux. Il s’assied sur une chaise dans un espèce de box ou un petit local avec des cadres derrière lui comme des miroirs sans teints. Il parait amaigri, en s’asseyant il se crispe nerveusement sur la chaise, une jambe posée sur l’autre, les bras croisés, les mains cachées, repliées. Il porte une longue barbe et des cheveux longs gris et blancs, le même sweat-shirt bleu délavé et ce même pantalon gris que sur la vidéo de Wandsworth d’avril et fuitée en mai. J’ai l’impression qu’il a froid et il fait froid en cette matinée humide d’automne à Londres.

    Je ne peux m’empêcher de me demander si quelqu’un lui a quand même fourni des vêtements ou de l’argent pour en acheter à l’intérieur de la prison, des produits de première nécessité auxquels tout être humain a droit, même enfermé. Je me remémore mon voyage d’hier à la prison de Belmarsh ou les gardiens du « visitor center » ont refusé de certifier s’il avait bien reçu nos colis avec les chaussettes chaudes. C’est bouleversant de le voir ainsi et je pense alors que nos chaussettes envoyées ne sont pas superflues.

    Julian Assange dit juste une phrase, « Paul Julian Assange » et sa date de naissance. Puis il garde jusqu’au bout un air absent. Il est légèrement penché en avant, le regard fixant le sol, comme s’il refusait de participer à cette mascarade. Nous ne savons pas exactement ce qu’il peut voir de la salle, probablement uniquement son avocate, l’accusation au premier rang, le greffier et le juge. Nous ne le voyons pas en entier, la caméra le coupant à la taille. Justement son avocate, Gareth Peirce est là, arrivée à 10h mais absente de la salle pendant la présentation des autres cas. Elle dialogue avec le juge, cela dure quelques minutes. Il me frappe qu’elle ne regarde pas Julian Assange. Elle ne se tourne pas une seule fois vers la vidéo et il n’y a entre eux aucun regard ni signe de connivence. On a l’impression d’assister à une pièce de théâtre dont tous les acteurs connaissent le jeu, les ficelles du jeu et naturellement le dénouement de l’intrigue. Normal, ils se connaissent tous car ils jouent dans la même troupe du système judiciaire alors que nous assistons à la comédie humaine en spectateurs impuissants. Mais il s’agit d’un homme dont le sort se joue à pile ou à face… Nous comprenons que Gareth Peirce demande la comparution physique de Julian Assange au tribunal la semaine prochaine, le 21 octobre. Ce n’est pas une mauvaise idée, mais je pensais, suite à nos consultations juridiques avec les avocats spécialisés dans l’extradition, qu’à cette audience du 11 octobre seraient présentés les arguments de la défense et que le « management hearing » de la semaine suivante sert à lister les arguments des deux parties, défense et accusation. Puis le juge a 3 semaines pour trancher. Justement l’accusation est bien présente à l’audience en la personne d’une femme élégante qui parle en dernier, assise juste à côté de Gareth Peirce. Après l’audience elle m’explique qu’elle est la « request barrister », l’avocate de la « partie adverse », c’est-à-dire, me dit-elle, qu’elle défend les intérêts américains. Obligeamment elle me donne son nom,Clair Dobbin. Son CV fourni apparait immédiatement sur internet, et je remarque que ses bureaux d’avocat sont situés dans le même bâtiment que ceux de Matrix Chambers, le cabinet de barristers 1 dont l’un, Mark Summers, avait lu la fameuse lettre d’excuses de Julian Assange lors de l’audience du 2 mai.

    Le juge finit en demandant d’une voix forte à Gareth Peirce : pas « d’application » aujourd’hui ? Pas de requête, de demande de libération sous caution ? Non. Gareth Peirce, l’avocate de Julian Assange ne demande rien. Elle veut que tout se joue le 21 octobre. Son client fixe le sol de la prison et on ne sait s’il entend et comprend, ni s’il est d’accord. C’est fini. Le juge sort, nous nous levons et nous sortons dans le couloir ou se joue le reste de la comédie humaine et politique.

    Le 21 octobre ou le 18 octobre sont évoqués à l’audience. Nous savons maintenant qu’il faut nous précipiter au secrétariat du tribunal pour demander la confirmation des dates. Revenez demain, nous ne les avons pas encore dans l’ordinateur. Gareth Peirce reste un moment seule dans le couloir, à l’écart des Anglais des comités de soutien et des journalistes. Je me présente et je lui demande si je peux lui demander des explications. Elle commence à me parler, mais déjà le secrétaire du greffe la sollicite. Elle me propose de parler avec son assistante et le suit.

    Le 21 octobre une partie, ou tous les dés seront jetés.

    Que faire pour renforcer la défense de Julian Assange avant qu’il ne soit trop tard ?
    1- Dans le système anglais il existe une hiérarchie entre les avocats – les sollicitors sont les avocats en contact avec le clients qui peuvent plaider devant les tribunaux de première instance, les Magistrate Court. Mais pour aller à la Crown Court, tribunal de seconde instance il doivent louer les services d’avocats plus spécialisés, les barrister. Jennifer Robinson et Mark Summers ont été les barristers de Julian Assange alors que Gareth Peirce est son sollicitor.
    Monika Kabrowska

    Pour celles et ceux qui veulent écrire à la cour. Voici l’adresse, ainsi que le numéro de dossier de Julian Assange

    N°dossier European Arrest Warrant
AM 131226-10 :
N°dossier RCJ CO/1925/2011

    Mr/Mrs Président Magistrate of Westminster Court
181 Marylebone Road

    Julian Assange, éditeur de wikileaks. Participez à notre campagne de lettres de masse. Inondons la prison de Belmarsh de messages de soutien !

    Si vous pouvez joindre une photo d’actions ou le descriptif d’une action, ce n’est que mieux (une lettre envoyée à un parlementaire ou un ministre par exemple)
    Mr. Julian Assange (A 93 79 AY)
HMP Belmarsh
Western Way
London SE28 0EB

    Il faut préciser son nom et son adresse complète au dos de l’enveloppe sinon le courrier n’est pas distribué.
Joindre enveloppes, papiers et timbres pour la réponse.

    Si le numéro d’écrou n’est pas mentionné, le courrier n’est pas distribué.
Pour ceux qui veulent s’inscrire pour téléphoner ou envoyer un mail, il faut s’inscrire sur ce site.
Le numéro d’écrou doit être mentionné sans espace : A9379AY

    2 rue Frédéric Scheider, 75018 Paris
    Présidente Véronique Pidancet Barrière

     #assange #julian_assange #angleterre #prison #tribunal #justice #surveillance #nsa #etats-unis #en_vedette #activisme #usa #pouvoirs #politique #equateur #actualités_internationales #wikileaks #lanceurs_d'alerte #lanceur_d'alerte #répression #prison #prisons

  • Arrival of new customs cars in #Dundalk alarms Border group

    Community group urges Government to be open about future of Border in no-deal Brexit.

    A campaign group representing communities along the Border opposed to Brexit have reacted with concern at the arrival of a fleet of new Revenue customs cars in Dundalk, Co Louth.

    Border Communities Against Brexit posted two photographs online of seven brand new customs patrol cars arriving at a Revenue Commissioners yard in the Border town.

    The publication of the images online triggered alarm among Border residents and criticism of the Government’s response to Brexit on social media.

    The group called on the Government to be more open with communities along the Border about how it intends to manage the new EU border should the UK exit at the end of this month without a deal.

    “This is another example of how the Irish Government are preparing for Brexit,” said a spokesman for the group, referring to the photographs that were posted on its Facebook page on Tuesday afternoon.

    “Border communities need to be told now in clear and uncertain terms what the Border will look like following a no deal,” he said.

    “It’s certain that the Irish Government will be bound to follow EU rules pertaining to managing a Border with a third country,” he said, referring to the UK’s post-Brexit status.

    “The Taoiseach cannot allow communities to be left behind,” he added, warning that the 1998 Belfast Agreement and the Northern Ireland peace process were “under attack by Brexit.”
    ‘Getting real now’

    The Revenue said it was acquiring 16 new vehicles for its customs fleet, some to replace older vehicle and that the overall size of the fleet would increase to 242 from 229 at the start of last month.

    “These vehicles will be distributed at various locations nationwide based on operational requirements,” said the spokeswoman, who sidestepped a question on whether the additional vehicles in Dundalk were required to deal with changes as a result of Brexit.

    Images of the new cars arriving in Revenue appeared amid heightened concern about the uncertain future of the Border following Brexit after British prime minister Boris Johnson publicly distanced himself from reports that he was proposing new customs clearance centres on either side of the Border.

    Seamus Leheny, policy manager of the Freight Transport Association Northern Ireland, responded to the photos on social media, saying that the “reality of Border checks” were “getting real now.”

    The Government has said that there would have to be checks on goods crossing the Border in the event of a no-deal Brexit but has also said it is still in discussion with the EU on where those checks would take place.

    The Revenue has hired more than 450 people, including some 370 this year, to prepare for Brexit, as part of a phased recruitment of an additional 600 people to deal with the extra work resulting from the UK’s exit.

    Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe provided Revenue with an additional €10 million in last year’s budget for the recruitment of the staff. The uncertainty around the manner and timing of the UK’s departure from the EU and the possibility of a disorderly exit resulted in Revenue accelerating its recruitment plan.

    #frontières #fermeture_des_frontières #Brexit #Irlande #Irlande_du_Nord #UK #Angleterre

    ping @mobileborders

  • Channel migrants: Two boats found after 86 attempted crossing

    Two boats carrying 21 migrants have been intercepted off the Kent coast after a record 86 made the crossing in one day.

    One man was airlifted to hospital from a dinghy which was carrying 13 people, including three children.

    A second vessel carrying eight men was intercepted and taken to Dover.

    Eighty-six people were detained by Border Force on Tuesday. It is thought to be the highest number of migrants to make the crossing in one day.

    #frontières #Angleterre #UK #France #migrations #asile #réfugiés #Manche

    #statistiques #chiffres

    #routes_migratoires #parcours_migratoires

  • C’est la rentrée de Jef Klak

    L’École de la Grève de Burston

    Par Anonyme

    La plus longue grève de l’histoire d’Angleterre ne fut pas une grève de mineurs, quoiqu’à ses débuts, en 1914, ses acteurs et actrices principales n’avaient pas encore atteint l’âge de la majorité légale. À Burston, petite bourgade anglaise, suite au renvoi d’un couple de profs par une alliance d’élites locales et de propriétaires terriens à la tête de l’école communale, les enfants et les familles de la classe ouvrière ont initié un boycott qui a duré vingt-cinq ans…

    #greve #ecole #rentree #Burston #Angleterre

    Traduit de l’anglais par Judith Chouraqui et Lucile Dumont
    Texte original : « The Burston Strike School, 1914-1939 », paru sur The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy : Earth Edition.


  • Je fais appel aux magnifiques seenthisien·nes !

    Je me rappelle d’une #carte, que mon cher copain a prêté à quelqu’un et qui ne lui a jamais été retournée (sic), de #Sarajevo... une carte où on montrait la ville assiégée et les #jardins_potagers qui y étaient cultivés pour survivre...

    La question est la suivante : savez-vous si peut-être je peux retrouver cette carte quelque part ?
    Et autre question : je pense que ce phénomène de transformer les #parcs_urbains en jardins potagers lors de moments de crises n’est pas une spécialité de Sarajevo... Avez-vous d’autres exemples ? Dans d’autres lieux et/ou d’autres époques ?

    Merci !

    #alimentation #guerre #jardinage

    @simplicissimus @reka @odilon @fil

    • Je n’ai pas le temps de chercher @cdb_77 mais j’ai en tête des cas de sécheresse sévère où les éleveurs sont tentés d’emmener leurs troupeaux dans les parcs protégés pour qu’ils puissent s’alimenter. C’était l’an passé, au Kenya je crois, mais je ne sais pas s’ils ont obtenu satisfaction. Et en France aussi, certains éleveurs avaient exprimé une demande dans ce sens. Peut-être peut faire une recherche sur cette base.

    • Dans pas mal de villes, les interstices ont été utilisés pour une agriculture de subsistance. Marion Ernwein saura peut-être te donner des exemples. Baltimore et Detroit,...
      Pour la carte de Sarajevo, peut-être que Béatrice Tratnjek, qui a pas mal bossé sur la géo de la ville en guerre dans les Balkans, pourra t’aider ? http://geographie-ville-en-guerre.blogspot.com


    • Je ne sais pas s’il y a un rapport mais c’est intéressant :
      Inside London’s first underground farm | The Independent

      At a time when UK supermarkets haven taken to rationing vegetables as a result of a poor harvest in Southern Europe, one green-fingered duo have found a new solution to the healthy-eating problem: Grow your own greens, deep down below the City of London.

      If you get off the tube at Clapham Common and then step into a cage-like lift that takes you about 100ft below the bustling streets of South London, you’ll find yourself in Growing Underground, an urban farm, housed in a network of dark and dingy tunnels originally built as air-raid shelters during World War II.

    • A #Lisbonne, les parcs deviennent des #potagers_urbains

      A Lisbonne, la municipalité a réagi à la #crise en faisant le pari que l’agriculture urbaine pouvait avoir un rôle social. Des hectares d’espaces verts sont devenus des potagers urbains, et les parcelles attribuées sur critères sociaux à 500 familles. Une façon d’augmenter leurs revenus, tout en améliorant la résilience de la ville et en répondant au changement climatique.

      Et si l’agriculture urbaine pouvait avoir un rôle social ? C’est le pari qu’a fait la mairie de Lisbonne. Car avec la crise, « les gens quittaient la ville et la qualité de vie baissait », observe Duarte Mata, architecte et conseiller auprès du maire en espaces verts et développement durable.

      Depuis 2008, la municipalité a décidé de revoir son approche. Au programme : jardins, vergers et potagers urbains, parcs, corridors verts et pistes cyclables pour relier tous ces espaces de respiration.

      Sur 32 hectares d’espaces verts, 7 sont devenus des potagers ou des jardins urbains. Des parcelles de 50 mètres carrés pour les plus petites, 1500 mètres carrés pour les plus grandes, ont été attribuées à 500 familles. Le but est de doubler ce chiffre d’ici 2017.

      Compléter les revenus, améliorer l’alimentation

      Les plus grandes parcelles sont distribuées en priorité aux chômeurs ou personnes habitant des logements sociaux. « Elles ont vraiment un rôle social, insiste Duarte Mata. Elles permettent de compléter des revenus insuffisants et d’améliorer la qualité de l’alimentation de la famille. »

      Mais cela a aussi transformé le visage de la ville. Les pelouses vertes laissent peu à peu place à des jardins riches en biodiversité. Les occupants de parcelles ont l’obligation de laisser le passage aux promeneurs dans les allées. « Les parcs ont désormais plusieurs fonctions : récréative, mais aussi de production alimentaire, se félicite l’architecte. Et la présence de personnes dans les jardins crée un sentiment de sécurité pour tous. »

      Forte de ce succès, la ville est donc en train d’augmenter la surface des parcs, tout en diminuant les coûts d’entretien. Plus besoin d’arroser les pelouses tout l’été pour les garder bien vertes, ou d’arroser d’herbicides les allées. « Désormais, ce sont les citoyens qui s’occupent des parcs », se réjouit Duarte Mata. Des formations à l’agriculture biologique sont même proposées aux heureux occupants de parcelles.
      Faire face aux pénuries alimentaires et au changement climatique

      De quoi créer une ville plus verte, mais aussi plus résiliente. C’est ce que souligne un article des Centres de ressource en agriculture urbaine, qui résume le plan stratégique d’Agriculture urbaine de la capitale portugaise :

      « Ce plan souligne combien l’agriculture urbaine est importante pour une ville, principalement à cause de sa dépendance aux légumes frais, de la montée des cours internationaux, et du revenu supplémentaire que cela apporte aux familles. Un autre facteur (…) est que cela permet de faire face aux éventuelles pénuries alimentaires. (…) Vous ne savez jamais ce qui peut arriver – événements soudains, catastrophes naturelles ou guerres (…). Par exemple, Lisbonne est située dans une région sismique et subit fréquemment des tremblements de terre, dont un en 1755 qui fût l’un des pires de l’histoire humaine. »

      Résilience, et donc également adaptation au changement climatique. « Chaque année les pluies sont plus intenses, nous avons eu cinq inondations rien que cet hiver », souligne Duarte Mata. Les sols cultivés permettent d’absorber le trop plein d’eau et d’atténuer les conséquences des fortes averses. L’été, les jardins permettent à l’inverse de lutter contre les vagues de chaleur, elles aussi de plus en plus fréquentes.

      Lisbonne n’a donc pas l’intention de s’arrêter en si bon chemin. Trois hectares de vigne, situés dans la ville, sont entretenus par un vigneron de la région. « C’est beau, c’est agréable pour la population, et cela permet à la mairie de produire du vin de la ville », explique le conseiller.

      Mais surtout, d’ici un an c’est carrément une ferme urbaine qui devrait voir le jour. Six hectares de maraîchage seront consacrés à la formation des chômeurs. La production sera vendue sur le marché local.

      De quoi transformer le paysage social de la ville, mais aussi de « faire vivre les gens au rythme des saisons, de la nature », espère l’architecte.


    • Benjamin Vanderlick sur FB:

      je trouve une photo de terrasse potager à Sarajevo pendant le siège (mais n’ai pas de connaissance de carte qui les mentionnait). On a eu assez peu de sièges aussi long ces derniers temps pour qu’une agriculture urbaine s’organise au niveau urbain. Au moment de la 2e Guerre mondiale, il j’ai aussi eu des témoignages d’augmentation de surfaces cultivés dans les jardins, peut être même que cela était l’occasion de faire aussi un peu de business quand les revenus avaient chutés


    • Damascus Residents Build Gardens To Feed Themselves

      Disease and malnutrition run rampant and food is scarce in many rebel-held areas blockaded by the Syrian government.

      Green rooftops are popping up across Damascus in neighborhoods under government siege. With no sign of the blockade letting up and no available agricultural land, residents in the rebel-held areas of the capital are making use of open roofs, sunlight and seeds to feed their families

      Rebel-held areas on the outskirts of Damascus have endured more than two years of government blockades aimed at making them surrender or face the prospect of starvation. Disease and malnutrition run rampant and food is scarce.

      Like in many other such areas across the country, some residents of these besieged areas have mustered the will and energy to adapt and survive, often in ingeniously creative ways.

      Notably, rooftop gardens are popping up across the towns that are allowing people to find new ways of feeding themselves and their families. Green patches now dot the rooftops of southern Damascus neighborhoods like Yelda, Babila and Beit Sahem, areas of the capital that have been under government-imposed siege for nearly 24 months.


      #Syrie #Damas

    • "They tried to bury us, but they didn’t know we were SEEDS"

      The 15th Garden, a cross-border movement for food sovereignty in Syria

      Report of two presentations about “The 15th Garden” by Ansar Hevi. This report combines the presentation and discussions during a workshop at Reclaim the Seeds in Nijmegen on March 4 and a meeting in Amsterdam on March 6 2017.

      Ansar Hevi shared with us her story about the 15th Garden, a beautiful, inspiring project for food sovereignty in Syria, where people show their strength via self-organization in a country in war. “In order to understand this project, we have to understand what is happening in Syria”.

      Ansar showed a map of Syria - not one with occupied areas, which we always see in the news - but showing the agricultural produce. Based on this map the political situation and start of the was in Syria was explained. The media in Europe write about the violence and cruelties, but meanwhile the life goes on and so does the revolution. We were the first to watch the latest movie Field of Battle by Abou Naddara where we see farmers continuing their everyday work on the field, with the sounds of war - bombs and gunshots - close by. “They have to, because they are the ones who feed the people. If they stop farming, their community has no food.” and “Farming is about long term planning. Your work for the next 6 month.” Ansar explained how food is used as a weapon. But, as always, there is resistance from the people. She shows a picture from the south of Damascus which states: “One day we will blast the soil open with flowers. The Revolution continues.”

      In 2011, the uprising started in the countryside. On the 15th of March there was a demonstration in Damascus in solidarity with the people in Egypt. On the 18th of March, there were also demonstrations in the south. People were angry at the police. Children had sprayed graffiti on the walls of their schools with sentences they’d seen in Egypt. These children were taken away, tortured. Their parents protested and screamed hopelessly, but the governor told them: “Go home, and make new children.”

      It is remarkable that this were often regions were the Baath party from Assads father had been popular in the past because land reforms of this regime that was relatively socialistic in the ’70s. People had free health insurance, free education etc., but no political rights whatsoever. The government employed half of the working class. But in the meantime there were 17 secret services to control the population and each other. Also the agriculture sector was controlled by the state which is one of the reasons that it is so hard right now to start up local and an independent food production.

      Since the 1990s, Syria had become more and more liberal economically. There was a dictatorship with neo-liberal policies that aligned with the bourgeoisie elites of the country. Because of reduced financial support from abroad the regime had to reduce its expenses. This resulted in the dismantling of the social system. Still, Syria was food sovereign, but farmers had to produce more export, water-intense crops instead of food for the own population. Up until 2011, agriculture was the most important pillar of the economy with 27% of the GDP (in comparison with the industry, only 7% of the GDP). Before 2011, roughly 37% of the country was used for agriculture.

      But after the uprising in the countryside in 2011, everything changed. From the beginning food has been used as weapon to control the people. Around the first besieged cities the agricultural land was ruined. The army of Assad wrote on the walls “Starve or go down on your knees”. They started to undertake all kinds of methods to starve people and make them surrender. Food is used as weapon in various ways:

      – bakeries are bombed;
      – people in prison are starved;
      – fields are burned, right before harvest time;
      – seed banks are bombed, which makes many varieties, adapted to that specific climate over thousands of years, lost for ever;
      – agricultural fields around Kobani are mined;
      – fruit trees are cut and burned;
      – urban and rural communities are sieged;
      – ’policy of scorched earth’: the army goes to an area, burns the soil and forbids access to the area.

      In this way, farmers have been pushed to the cities more and more. They are unable to leave the city, and so they have no other option than to start urban city farms, often on a roof. “If you’re lucky, you have a taller building next to you, so you are protected against gunfire.” Syrians are proud people. “They don’t want to be objects of development aid - they want to be in charge of their own lives: that is food sovereignty.” In besieged areas, people even exchange their car for a kilo of rice.

      People do anything to obtain seeds, which they can sow in their (urban) gardens. These seeds have to be open pollinated seeds, so that the people can save more seeds for the next planting period.

      While the news is extensively covering the international refugee crisis, there is less attention to the people who remain in Syria, many of whom are living under siege. With their cities under attack, it can be extremely difficult to get basic necessities, like food and fresh products. The short movie ’Love during the siege’ gives a good impression of the life in a besieged neighbourhood.

      The 15th Garden is bringing life and vivacity back to these war-torn cities across Syria. It supports locals starting gardens in empty lots, teaching them skills, and provides assistance to existing urban and rural farms. Two main goals of 15th Garden is to get food to those trapped in cities while raising awareness about food sovereignty.

      In Europe the 15th Garden still has to explain people about the cruel situation in Syria. There is a lot of attention for IS. “But there is an important difference between IS and regime: IS is proud about their cruelties while the regime is hiding it. In the past years many more people have been killed and injured by the regime.” There are about 50 communities besieged by the regime and 2 by IS, in one case even together with the regime.

      One major obstacle has been the acquisition of seeds to get the garden projects started. The regime has always been centralised the distribution of seeds; farmers had to hand in their harvest and received new seeds the next season. And obviously the war situation and sieges made it even harder to get access the right seeds.

      Another problem at the start was the lack of knowledge. Many people in the urban areas didn’t know how to grow food. And this resulted in some disappointments as well. To spread the knowledge and to educate gardeners people in Syria publish and distribute newspapers, add tutorial on Youtube and use the radio to reach people.

      Ansar: “It’s beautiful to see the creativity of people, their passion, their will to make it work, and they manage!” Currently, the 15th Garden is also thinking on setting up ways to teach farmers to make and repair their own tools and machines. There are still many challenges, everybody in the network wants food sovereignty, during and after the war: decide about what you want to eat. access to land and to seeds.
      Support the 15th Garden

      In Amsterdam the presentation resulted in a talk about how people in the Netherlands can help and contribute to the network. Some ideas that have been mentioned:

      – Collect seeds to send to Syria. It is important to collect the right seeds: open pollinated, from crops that do grow in the Syrian climate and soil, preferably crops that people like to grow. It is better to have larger quantities of a few good crop than many small bags of many different crops. It would be best to organise the packaging and transport of the seeds before we start to collect them.

      – Help with the production of tutorials for the Syrian gardeners. A lot of info has already been shared on Youtube. There are still some topics uncovered.
      Similar support is also organised for other professions like fire fighters and doctors.

      – Spread the critical news about Syria. Also in the Netherlands people see the IS as the main problem in Syria while many more people are killed by the Assad regime. It would be good to spread the message that also Assad has to go to make peace possible. This can be done by contacting the media but as well by organising solidarity protests in the streets when something happened (again) in Syria and join Syrian protests in the cities in the Netherlands.
      At the meeting in Amsterdam there were as well people who could help with awareness programmes for schools or raise the topic within Syrian women organisations.

      – Raise money for the 15th Garden network. The network is doing a lot of good work but for some of their activities they need some money. A fundraiser can go well together with spreading information about the continuous struggle and revolution in Syria. This could for example be done by organising a benefit dinner. It is already possible to donate. Transfer money to:

      Bassateen e.V.
      IBAN: DE27 4306 0967 1182 7353 00 / BIC: GENODEM1GLS / GLS Bank
      (It is a German bank account. So it could be the case that there will be charges for international charges. Please check this with your bank!)

      – Invite Syrian refugees (and other refugees) to your existing garden project or start a new project with refugees. There are concrete plans to do this at a garden project at a refugees centre at the former Bijlmer Bajes.

      Please contact 15thgarden-nl@aseed.net if you would like to help with one of those ideas or if you have another idea to support the 15th Garden in the Netherlands.


    • Dig for Victory! New histories of wartime gardening in Britain

      Prompted by the curious fact that both progressive environmentalists and Conservative Party politicians have recently drawn on popular understandings of austerity associated with Britain?s wartime domestic gardening campaign, this article broadens the range of histories associated with #Dig_for_Victory. It suggests firstly that far from simply encouraging self-sufficiency, the government conceptualised Dig for Victory as requiring the extension of order and control into the domestic sphere. Second, it shows how the ideal figure of a national citizen digging for victory elided differentiated gender and class experiences of gardening, and finally the article demonstrates that statistics of food production were more about fostering trust than picturing the realities of vegetable growing. By so doing the paper illuminates the particular ways in which present-day articulations of Dig for Victory?s history are partial and selective.


      #UK #Angleterre

    • The kitchen garden movement on the Soviet home front, 1941–1945

      During World War II, Britain, the United States and the Soviet Union had thriving domestic gardening movements. Actively promoted by their governments, gardening was supposed to supplement diets and nourish the patriotic spirit. In the Soviet Union, however, gardening was much more than a patriotic duty; it was often a matter of survival, the primary means of supplementing near starvation bread rations. Amidst incomparable, catastrophic wartime conditions, the huge Soviet gardening movement was distinguished by the speed with which it was implemented and taken up, predominantly by women. Based on original archival and published sources, this article examines in depth the Soviet wartime legislative framework, material resources and propaganda that promoted individual kitchen gardens. The article analyzes the way the state organized and promoted individualist, small-scale urban horticulture – a politically risky initiative given that it conflicted with the Stalinist model of large-scale, industrialized agriculture – and argues that in promoting gardening self-sufficiency, the Soviet socialist state shifted much of its responsibilities for food production onto its citizenry. The article not only aims to shed new light on the crucial role gardening played in feeding a famished citizenry but also the distinctive way in which Soviet propaganda, in giving voice to the psychological satisfaction of gardening, tapped into women’s commitments to the family, in intimate alignment with patriotic, home front defence of the Soviet Motherland.


  • ’Where do I go ?’ EU citizens face legal limbo after decades in Britain

    Anna Amato was just two when she moved to Britain from Italy with her parents 55 years ago.

    She has lived in Britain ever since, attending school and university, working in a variety of jobs, and paying taxes. She has always lived in the city of Bristol in the west of England, marrying a British husband and raising two British children.

    Like thousands of European Union nationals who have made Britain their home after living in the country for decades, Amato always assumed she had earned the legal right to settle permanently.

    But the government didn’t agree. The interior ministry rejected her request for permanent residency last year, saying she did not have enough evidence to document her status.

    She was devastated.

    “You are in your country, it is a democracy, all of a sudden you are told after this time no one knows what is going to happen to you,” Amato, 57, told Reuters. “Where do I go? It is really, really scary.”

    Amato is one of a growing number of EU nationals denied the right to live indefinitely in Britain ahead of the country’s departure from the bloc, currently scheduled for October 31.

    For decades, Britain’s membership of the EU has guaranteed the bloc’s citizens the right to live and work in the country. But as Britain prepares to sever ties with Brussels after 46 years, EU citizens must apply for a new legal lifeline to remain, known as settled status.

    Under the government’s plans, EU citizens who can prove they have lived continuously in Britain for five years will be granted settled status, giving them the same rights to work, study and benefits they currently hold.

    But Reuters has spoken to six EU nationals, including a top French chef, who have been refused settled status, even though they should automatically qualify through continuous residency.

    Many EU nationals are concerned they could lose the right to free healthcare or employment. Others are worried about how they will prove they have the right to return if they travel abroad.

    The fate of EU migrants has been thrown further into confusion by the government’s announcement this month that their automatic right to live and work in Britain will end abruptly - and sooner than expected - in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

    The problems facing EU nationals asked to suddenly prove their status mirrors the Windrush scandal, in which British citizens of Caribbean origin were denied rights despite living lawfully in the country for decades. Some lost jobs, others were wrongly deported.

    Virendra Sharma, a lawmaker in the opposition Labour Party and a supporter of the pro-EU Best for Britain campaign group, said Amato’s case was a sign the government is ill-prepared for such a drastic overhaul of the immigration system.

    “Anna’s story is a tragic one,” he said. “How can somebody who has given so much of their life to the UK, who went to school here and got married here, have their existence in this country wiped? I think most people would say that can’t be right.”

    Amato, who speaks with a soft Bristol accent, began trying to unravel her immigration status in 2017. It was a year after Britain voted to leave the EU and the government was promising to tighten immigration rules for the bloc’s citizens. She spent about three months compiling documents to apply for settled status. They included tax returns, bank statements, her qualifications and social security number, known in Britain as a national insurance number.

    In a career spanning almost 40 years, Amato ran a pizza takeaway for almost 20 years and also worked as a personal assistant and counsellor. Amato, who says she’s apolitical, estimates she has paid more than half a million pounds ($615,000) in taxes.

    By the time she had finished collecting documents she filled a box, which was so heavy it cost her 35 pounds to post.

    But the interior ministry refused her application saying she had “failed to show you have a permanent right of residence in the UK,” according to a letter seen by Reuters.

    Amato then made a series of frantic calls to the ministry and sent almost a dozen emails complaining there had been a mistake. The government so far refused to change its decision.

    In one email which particularly riles Amato, a government official told her she had failed to prove herself as, “a qualified person either as a worker, a self-employed person, a student, a jobseeker, or a self-sufficient person”. “It is so insulting,” she said, wiping away tears. “You know we all need a basic need to feel a sense of belonging, wherever we are.”

    “All of a sudden, they snatch it away from you. You become unstable. It gives you anxiety, stress, you know it affects every aspect of your life. It is so upsetting,” she said.

    The interior ministry said Amato had not reapplied under its EU Settlement Scheme and that it had told her where to get assistance with the process.

    The government launched its EU Settlement Scheme for registering EU citizens in January this year.

    The status of British and EU nationals living in each other’s territories has been one of the most important issues in Brexit talks, which have dragged on for the past three years.

    Both sides have promised to ensure settled citizens do not lose any rights.

    In his first statement to parliament after becoming prime minister in July, Boris Johnson said he wanted to thank EU citizens living in Britain for their contribution and promised to ensure they could remain after Brexit.

    But Daniel Hannan, a prominent Brexit supporter and Conservative lawmaker in the European Parliament, has called on the government to do more, saying he had been contacted by EU nationals in his constituency denied long-term residency.

    “This is a breach of the assurances I and other Leavers gave during the referendum,” he said. “Please help sort this out.”

    Until recently, the government had been advising the estimated 3.5 million EU citizens living in Britain that they had until December 2020 to register to retain their rights. So far, only about 1 million people have applied.

    Richard Bertinet, a renowned French chef who has lived in Britain for the past 31 years, was denied settled status after applying earlier this month with the help of his British wife, a former lawyer.

    Bertinet, who has written two award-winning cookbooks, appeared on cookery television programmes and set up a bakery that supplies upmarket supermarket chain Waitrose, said he had only been granted pre-settled status.

    The ministry gave him the right to stay until 2024, when he will need to reapply for settled status.

    “It is painful and embarrassing,” he told Reuters. “I have spent more time in my life in this country than in France.”

    Bertinet said he fears more for vulnerable people, such as those who speak poor English or the elderly.

    “There are going to be a lot of tears for a lot of people.”

    The interior ministry said in response to a request for comment that it has been in touch with Bertinet to help him provide evidence to be granted settled status.But others may not be so fortunate. It can be particularly difficult to prove residency for stay-at-home parents or carers even if they have lived in Britain for years.

    Amato says she is not sure she will apply again to confirm her residency status - and will just deal with the consequences.

    She could apply for citizenship through her British husband. But she’s offended by the idea of having to sit an English and history test and paying more than a thousand pounds to get citizenship after living in Britain for over half a century.

    “I resent the fact I have to apply for settlement in my own country. If I apply again, I am enabling the system,” she said. “What is next? A badge, branding?”

    Amato says her Italian father, who had dementia in later life and died in March, would be upset at how EU migrants are being treated. He moved his family to Britain to work in a factory making washing machines in 1964, a time when Britain was looking abroad for workers.

    “He loved the UK because he thought it was a fair and decent nation. He was proud to be here,” she said. “I feel betrayed.”

    #citoyens_européens #UK #Angleterre #limbe #limbe_législatif #brexit

    Ajouté à la métaliste sur les conséquences du Brexit sur les citoyens européens vivant en UK :

    • How EU families in Britain are coping with Brexit uncertainty

      Mirela left Croatia in 1991 because of the civil war in Yugoslavia. Her husband Frank grew up in the Republic of Ireland. Both are worried Brexit has left a deep scar through British society, one that it will take years to heal. They also worry about the impact of Brexit on their mixed-nationality families and how to mitigate it.

      “It is a smart option to get as many passports as you can,” Mirela, who holds a passport from the newest EU member state, Croatia, told our team. For Frank, an Irish national, his Republic of Ireland passport is the best to have under current circumstances due to the additional arrangements between the Republic of Ireland and the UK regarding the status of their citizens.

      Mirela, who has seen how quickly a country can implode and how rapidly the value of a passport can change, is not persuaded. “Things can change quickly,” She says.

      These comments are a snapshot of the many, often animated and tense, conversations EU families have had since June 2016.

      Boris Johnson, the British prime minister, recently said the chances of a Brexit deal are now “touch and go”, having previously said the odds of a no-deal Brexit were “a million to one”. This has reopened the debate around the protections provided by the “EU settled status” arrangement, further igniting EU citizens’ anxieties and moving more people towards applying for a British passport via naturalisation.

      The latest Home Office immigration statistics released in August show that since March 2019, when the scheme was officially launched after a pilot phase, more than a million EU nationals have applied for “EU settled status” which allows them to continue living in the UK after Brexit.

      Data also reveal that the share of British citizenship applications by EU nationals has increased from 4% in 2007 to 30% in June 2019. At the time of the 2016 EU referendum, applications by EU citizens accounted for 12% of the total.

      Our study – EU families and Eurochildren in Brexiting Britain – shows that for some EU citizens, the result of the EU referendum has meant a sudden and even shocking realisation of the fragility of their legal position in the UK. Others, instead, had already encountered the UK government’s “hostile environment” and experienced being at the receiving end of the virulent anti-immigration rhetoric of some British newspapers.

      Indeed, research shows that Polish and other Central and Eastern EU nationals in the UK have felt negatively targeted by British populist media since much before the June 2016 EU referendum. This might explain why, similarly to Romanian citizens, they began to apply in sizeable numbers for British citizenship even before the referendum and are currently the two main countries of origin of citizenship applicants, followed by Italians, Germans and French.

      Given the above, it’s unsurprising, therefore, that while the increase in applications for British citizenship from citizens of so-called “old member states” (EU14) (Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Republic of Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and Sweden) has been steeper since June 2016, the increase among citizens of “new member states” – divided into EU8 (Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia) and EU2 (Romania, Bulgaria), according to their date of accession to the EU – began earlier.

      In 2013, 47% of all British citizenship applications by EU citizens came from EU8 nationals, 27% from EU2 nationals, and 25% from EU14 nationals. By contrast, in 2019, EU14 citizens accounted for 51% of all EU applications, with the EU8 accounting for 30%, and the EU2 18%.

      Newspaper reports often take this as evidence of EU nationals racing to secure their status in the UK. But there are an estimated 3.7m EU nationals in the UK, and only one third has so far applied for settled status and 130,000 for citizenship since the EU referendum.

      Our findings have highlighted how some EU citizens, particularly children, risk falling through the cracks of the settled status registration process and, as a consequence, may encounter insurmountable obstacles to later accessing citizenship.
      A hard decision

      There are a range of economic, social and legal considerations, including fees, eligibility restrictions, and the right to dual nationality that may preclude EU nationals from applying for citizenship. We also found that for those in the position to do it, it is rarely a decision that is taken lightly. Many going through the process feel like the decision has been forced upon them by circumstances, and ultimately decided to apply with family and the future of their children at the forefront of their minds.

      Family composition, in terms of the countries of birth of both parents and children, also plays a role in the decision-making process. We found that in mixed nationality families, including those with a UK-born partner, leaving the UK and “going home” is a rarely a realistic option and that naturalisation becomes the only viable way of keeping the family safe and together.

      We also found that attitudes towards naturalisation vary significantly among EU nationals. Better off and more educated EU nationals, for example, are more reluctant to apply to become British, on ideological and political grounds. Among EU14 nationals this response to naturalisation was more frequent.

      Others, like Mirela, take a more pragmatic approach to acquiring a British passport, particularly those who have previously experienced the constraints and difficulties of visa restrictions and come from countries with lower trust in state institutions and the rule of law (for example, Romania and Bulgaria).

      The outcome of the EU referendum is tearing some EU families apart, uprooting children and parents, spreading them across borders, and forcing families to reconsider their future in the UK. Under these circumstances, becoming a British citizen is often a defensive move – for those who can afford the £1,349 per person application fee – and a way for them to “take back control” over their lives after years of uncertainty.