• Europe spends billions stopping migration. Good luck figuring out where the money actually goes

    How much money exactly does Europe spend trying to curb migration from Nigeria? And what’s it used for? We tried to find out, but Europe certainly doesn’t make it easy. These flashy graphics show you just how complicated the funding is.
    In a shiny new factory in the Benin forest, a woman named Blessing slices pineapples into rings. Hundreds of miles away, at a remote border post in the Sahara, Abubakar scans travellers’ fingerprints. And in village squares across Nigeria, Usman performs his theatre show about the dangers of travelling to Europe.

    What do all these people have in common?

    All their lives are touched by the billions of euros European governments spend in an effort to curb migration from Africa.

    Since the summer of 2015,
    Read more about the influx of refugees to Europe in 2015 on the UNHCR website.
    when countless boats full of migrants began arriving on the shores of Greece and Italy, Europe has increased migration spending by billions.
    Read my guide to EU migration policy here.
    And much of this money is being spent in Africa.

    Within Europe, the political left and right have very different ways of framing the potential benefits of that funding. Those on the left say migration spending not only provides Africans with better opportunities in their home countries but also reduces migrant deaths in the Mediterranean. Those on the right say migration spending discourages Africans from making the perilous journey to Europe.

    However they spin it, the end result is the same: both left and right have embraced funding designed to reduce migration from Africa. In fact, the European Union (EU) plans to double migration spending under the new 2021-2027 budget, while quadrupling spending on border control.

    The three of us – journalists from Nigeria, Italy and the Netherlands – began asking ourselves: just how much money are we talking here?

    At first glance, it seems like a perfectly straightforward question. Just add up the migration budgets of the EU and the individual member states and you’ve got your answer, right? But after months of research, it turns out that things are nowhere near that simple.

    In fact, we discovered that European migration spending resembles nothing so much as a gigantic plate of spaghetti.

    If you try to tease out a single strand, at least three more will cling to it. Try to find where one strand begins, and you’ll find yourself tangled up in dozens of others.

    This is deeply concerning. Though Europe maintains a pretence of transparency, in practice it’s virtually impossible to hold the EU and its member states accountable for their migration expenditures, let alone assess how effective they are. If a team of journalists who have devoted months to the issue can’t manage it, then how could EU parliament members juggling multiple portfolios ever hope to?

    This lack of oversight is particularly problematic in the case of migration, an issue that ranks high on European political agendas. The subject of migration fuels a great deal of political grandstanding, populist opportunism, and social unrest. And the debate surrounding the issue is rife with misinformation.

    For an issue of this magnitude, it’s crucial to have a clear view of existing policies and to examine whether these policies make sense. But to be able to do that, we need to understand the funding streams: how much money is being spent and what is it being spent on?

    While working on this article, we spoke to researchers and officials who characterised EU migration spending as “opaque”, “unclear” and “chaotic”. We combed through countless websites, official documents, annual reports and budgets, and we submitted freedom of information requests
    in a number of European countries, in Nigeria, and to the European commission. And we discovered that the subject of migration, while not exactly cloak-and-dagger stuff, is apparently sensitive enough that most people preferred to speak off the record.

    Above all, we were troubled by the fact that no one seems to have a clear overview of European migration budgets – and by how painfully characteristic this is of European migration policy as a whole.
    Nigeria – ‘a tough cookie’

    It wasn’t long before we realised that mapping out all European cash flows to all African countries would take us years. Instead, we decided to focus on Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country and the continent’s strongest economy, as well as the country of origin of the largest group of African asylum seekers in the EU. “A tough cookie” in the words of one senior EU official, but also “our most important migration partner in the coming years”.

    But Nigeria wasn’t exactly eager to embrace the role of “most important migration partner”. After all, migration has been a lifeline for Nigeria’s economy: last year, Nigerian migrants living abroad sent home $25bn – roughly 6% of the country’s GNP.

    It took a major European charm offensive to get Nigeria on board – a “long saga” with “more than one tense meeting”, according to a high-ranking EU diplomat we spoke to.

    The European parliament invited Muhammadu Buhari, the Nigerian president, to Strasbourg in 2016. Over the next several years, one European dignitary after another visited Nigeria: from Angela Merkel,
    the German chancellor, to Matteo Renzi,
    the Italian prime minister, to Emmanuel Macron,
    the French president, to Mark Rutte,

    the Dutch prime minister.

    Three guesses as to what they all wanted to talk about.
    ‘No data available’

    But let’s get back to those funding streams.

    The EU would have you believe that everything fits neatly into a flowchart. When asked to respond to this article, the European commission told us: “We take transparency very seriously.” One spokesperson after another, all from various EU agencies, informed us that the information was “freely available online”.

    But as Wilma Haan, director of the Open State Foundation, notes: “Just throwing a bunch of stuff online doesn’t make you transparent. People have to be able to find the information and verify it.”

    Yet that’s exactly what the EU did. The EU foundations and agencies we contacted referred us to dozens of different websites. In some cases, the information was relatively easy to find,
    but in others the data was fragmented or missing entirely. All too often, our searches turned up results such as “data soon available”
    or “no data available”.

    The website of the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF) – worth around €3.1bn – is typical of the problems we faced. While we were able to find a list of projects funded by AMIF online,

    the list only contains the names of the projects – not the countries in which they’re carried out. As a result, there’s only one way to find out what’s going on where: by Googling each of the project names individually.

    This lack of a clear overview has major consequences for the democratic process, says Tineke Strik, member of the European parliament (Green party). Under the guise of “flexibility”, the European parliament has “no oversight over the funds whatsoever”. Strik says: “In the best-case scenario, we’ll discover them listed on the European commission’s website.”

    At the EU’s Nigerian headquarters, one official explained that she does try to keep track of European countries’ migration-related projects to identify “gaps and overlaps”. When asked why this information wasn’t published online, she responded: “It’s something I do alongside my daily work.”
    Getting a feel for Europe’s migration spaghetti

    “There’s no way you’re going to get anywhere with this.”

    This was the response from a Correspondent member who researches government funding when we announced this project several months ago. Not exactly the most encouraging words to start our journey. Still, over the past few months, we’ve done our best to make as much progress as we could.

    Let’s start in the Netherlands, Maite’s home country. When we tried to find out how much Dutch tax money is spent in Nigeria on migration-related issues, we soon found ourselves down yet another rabbit hole.

    The Dutch ministry of foreign affairs, which controls all funding for Dutch foreign policy, seemed like a good starting point. The ministry divides its budget into centralised and decentralised funds. The centralised funds are managed in the Netherlands administrative capital, The Hague, while the decentralised funds are distributed by Dutch embassies abroad.

    Exactly how much money goes to the Dutch embassy in the Nigerian capital Abuja is unclear – no information is available online. When we contacted the embassy, they weren’t able to provide us with any figures, either. According to their press officer, these budgets are “fragmented”, and the total can only be determined at the end of the year.

    The ministry of foreign affairs distributes centralised funds through its departments. But migration is a topic that spans a number of different departments: the department for stabilisation and humanitarian aid (DSH), the security policy department (DVB), the sub-Saharan Africa department (DAF), and the migration policy bureau (BMB), to name just a few. There’s no way of knowing whether each department spends money on migration, let alone how much of it goes to Nigeria.

    Not to mention the fact that other ministries, such as the ministry of economic affairs and the ministry of justice and security, also deal with migration-related issues.

    Next, we decided to check out the Dutch development aid budget
    in the hope it would clear things up a bit. Unfortunately, the budget isn’t organised by country, but by theme. And since migration isn’t one of the main themes, it’s scattered over several different sections. Luckily, the document does contain an annex (https://www.rijksoverheid.nl/documenten/begrotingen/2019/09/17/hgis---nota-homogene-groep-internationale-samenwerking-rijksbegroting-) that goes into more detail about migration.

    In this annex, we found that the Netherlands spends a substantial chunk of money on “migration cooperation”, “reception in the region” and humanitarian aid for refugees.

    And then there’s the ministry of foreign affairs’ Stability Fund,
    the ministry of justice and security’s budget for the processing and repatriation of asylum seekers, and the ministry of education, culture and science’s budget for providing asylum seekers with an education.

    But again, it’s impossible to determine just how much of this funding finds its way to Nigeria. This is partly due to the fact that many migration projects operate in multiple countries simultaneously (in Nigeria, Chad and Cameroon, for example). Regional projects such as this generally don’t share details of how funding is divided up among the participating countries.

    Using data from the Dutch embassy and an NGO that monitors Dutch projects in Nigeria, we found that €6m in aid goes specifically to Nigeria, with another €19m for the region as a whole. Dutch law enforcement also provides in-kind support to help strengthen Nigeria’s border control.

    But hold on, there’s more. We need to factor in the money that the Netherlands spends on migration through its contributions to the EU.

    The Netherlands pays hundreds of millions into the European Development Fund (EDF), which is partly used to finance migration projects. Part of that money also gets transferred to another EU migration fund: the EUTF for Africa.
    The Netherlands also contributes directly to this fund.

    But that’s not all. The Netherlands also gives (either directly or through the EU) to a variety of other EU funds and agencies that finance migration projects in Nigeria. And just as in the Netherlands, these EU funds and agencies are scattered over many different offices. There’s no single “EU ministry of migration”.

    To give you a taste of just how convoluted things can get: the AMIF falls under the EU’s home affairs “ministry”

    (DG HOME), the Development Cooperation Instrument (DCI) falls under the “ministry” for international cooperation and development (DG DEVCO), and the Instrument contributing to Stability and Peace (IcSP) falls under the European External Action Service (EEAS). The EU border agency, Frontex, is its own separate entity, and there’s also a “ministry” for humanitarian aid (DG ECHO).

    Still with me?

    Because this was just the Netherlands.

    Now let’s take a look at Giacomo’s country of origin, Italy, which is also home to one of Europe’s largest Nigerian communities (surpassed only by the UK).

    Italy’s ministry of foreign affairs funds the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (AICS), which provides humanitarian aid in north-eastern Nigeria, where tens of thousands of people have been displaced by the Boko Haram insurgency. AICS also finances a wide range of projects aimed at raising awareness of the risks of illegal migration. It’s impossible to say how much of this money ends up in Nigeria, though, since the awareness campaigns target multiple countries at once.

    This data is all available online – though you’ll have to do some digging to find it. But when it comes to the funds managed by Italy’s ministry of the interior, things start to get a bit murkier. Despite the ministry having signed numerous agreements on migration with African countries in recent years, there’s little trace of the money online. Reference to a €92,000 donation for new computers for Nigeria’s law enforcement and immigration services was all we could find.

    Things get even more complicated when we look at Italy’s “Africa Fund”, which was launched in 2017 to foster cooperation with “priority countries along major migration routes”. The fund is jointly managed by the ministry of foreign affairs and the ministry of the interior.

    Part of the money goes to the EUTF for Africa, but the fund also contributes to United Nations (UN) organisations, such as the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM), as well as to the Italian ministry of defence and the ministry of economy and finance.

    Like most European governments, Italy also contributes to EU funds and agencies concerned with migration, such as Frontex, Europol, and the European Asylum Support Office (EASO).

    And then there are the contributions to UN agencies that deal with migration: UNHCR, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), IOM, the UN Development Programme (UNDP), and the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), to name just a few.

    Now multiply all of this by the number of European countries currently active in Nigeria. Oh, and let’s not forget the World Bank,

    which has only recently waded into the waters of the migration industry.

    And then there are the European development banks. And the EU’s External Investment Plan, which was launched in 2016 with the ambitious goal of generating €44bn in private investments in developing countries, with a particular focus on migrants’ countries of origin. Not to mention the regional “migration dialogues”
    organised in west Africa under the Rabat Process and the Cotonou Agreement.

    This is the European migration spaghetti.
    How we managed to compile a list nonetheless

    By now, one thing should be clear: there are a staggering number of ministries, funds and departments involved in European migration spending. It’s no wonder that no one in Europe seems to have a clear overview of the situation. But we thought that maybe, just maybe, there was one party that might have the overview we seek: Nigeria. After all, the Nigerian government has to be involved in all the projects that take place there, right?

    We decided to ask around in Nigeria’s corridors of power. Was anyone keeping track of European migration funding? The Ministry of Finance? Or maybe the Ministry of the Interior, or the Ministry of Labour and Employment?

    Nope.

    We then tried asking Nigeria’s anti-trafficking agency (NAPTIP), the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, and the National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons (NCFRMI).

    No luck there, either. When it comes to migration, things are just as fragmented under the Nigerian government as they are in Europe.

    In the meantime, we contacted each of the European embassies in Nigeria.
    This proved to be the most fruitful approach and yielded the most complete lists of projects. The database of the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI)
    was particularly useful in fleshing out our overview.

    So does that mean our list is now complete? Probably not.

    More to the point: the whole undertaking is highly subjective, since there’s no official definition of what qualifies as a migration project and what doesn’t.

    For example, consider initiatives to create jobs for young people in Nigeria. Would those be development projects or trade projects? Or are they actually migration projects (the idea being that young people wouldn’t migrate if they could find work)?

    What about efforts to improve border control in northern Nigeria? Would they fall under counterterrorism? Security? Institutional development? Or is this actually a migration-related issue?

    Each country has its own way of categorising projects.

    There’s no single, unified standard within the EU.

    When choosing what to include in our own overview, we limited ourselves to projects that European countries themselves designated as being migration related.

    While it’s certainly not perfect, this overview allows us to draw at least some meaningful conclusions about three key issues: where the money is going, where it isn’t going, and what this means for Nigeria.
    1) Where is the money going?

    In Nigeria, we found

    If you’d like to work with the data yourself, feel free to download the full overview here.
    50 migration projects being funded by 11 different European countries, as well as 32 migration projects that rely on EU funding. Together, they amount to more than €770m in funding.

    Most of the money from Brussels is spent on improving Nigerian border control:
    more than €378m. For example, the European Investment Bank has launched a €250m initiative

    to provide all Nigerians with biometric identity cards.

    The funding provided by individual countries largely goes to projects aimed at creating employment opportunities

    in Nigeria: at least €92m.

    Significantly, only €300,000 is spent on creating more legal opportunities to migrate – less than 0.09% of all funding.

    We also found 47 “regional” projects that are not limited to Nigeria, but also include other countries.
    Together, they amount to more than €775m in funding.
    Regional migration spending is mainly focused on migrants who have become stranded in transit and is used to return them home and help them to reintegrate when they get there. Campaigns designed to raise awareness of the dangers of travelling to Europe also receive a relatively large proportion of funding in the region.

    2) Where isn’t the money going?

    When we look at the list of institutions – or “implementing agencies”, as they’re known in policy speak – that receive money from Europe, one thing immediately stands out: virtually none of them are Nigerian organisations.

    “The EU funds projects in Nigeria, but that money doesn’t go directly to Nigerian organisations,” says Charles Nwanelo, head of migration at the NCFRMI.

    See their website here.
    “Instead, it goes to international organisations, such as the IOM, which use the money to carry out projects here. This means we actually have no idea how much money the EU is spending in Nigeria.”

    We hear the same story again and again from Nigerian government officials: they never see a cent of European funding, as it’s controlled by EU and UN organisations. This is partially a response to corruption within Nigerian institutions – Europe feels it can keep closer tabs on its money by channelling it through international organisations. As a result, these organisations are growing rapidly in Nigeria. To get an idea of just how rapidly: the number of people working for the IOM in Nigeria has more than quadrupled over the past two years.

    Of course, this doesn’t mean that Nigerian organisations are going unfunded. Implementing agencies are free to pass funding along to Nigerian groups. For example, the IOM hires Nigerian NGOs to provide training for returning migrants and sponsors a project that provides training and new software to the Nigerian immigration service.

    Nevertheless, the system has inevitably led to the emergence of a parallel aid universe in which the Nigerian government plays only a supporting role. “The Nigerian parliament should demand to see an overview of all current and upcoming projects being carried out in their country every three months,” says Bob van Dillen, migration expert at development organisation Cordaid.

    But that would be “difficult”, according to one German official we spoke to, because “this isn’t a priority for the Nigerian government. This is at the top of Europe’s agenda, not Nigeria’s.”

    Most Nigerian migrants to Europe come from Edo state, where the governor has been doing his absolute best to compile an overview of all migration projects. He set up a task force that aims to coordinate migration activities in his state. The task force has been largely unsuccessful because the EU doesn’t provide it with any direct funding and doesn’t require member states to cooperate with it.

    3) What are the real-world consequences for Nigeria?

    We’ve established that the Nigerian government isn’t involved in allocating migration spending and that local officials are struggling to keep tabs on things. So who is coordinating all those billions in funding?

    Each month, the European donors and implementing agencies mentioned above meet at the EU delegation to discuss their migration projects. However, diplomats from multiple European countries have told us that no real coordination takes place at these meetings. No one checks to see whether projects conflict or overlap. Instead, the meetings are “more on the basis of letting each other know”, as one diplomat put it.

    One German official noted: “What we should do is look together at what works, what doesn’t, and which lessons we can learn from each other. Not to mention how to prevent people from shopping around from project to project.”

    Other diplomats consider this too utopian and feel that there are far too many players to make that level of coordination feasible. In practice, then, it seems that chaotic funding streams inevitably lead to one thing: more chaos.
    And we’ve only looked at one country ...

    That giant plate of spaghetti we just sifted through only represents a single serving – other countries have their own versions of Nigeria’s migration spaghetti. Alongside Nigeria, the EU has also designated Mali, Senegal, Ethiopia and Niger as “priority countries”. The EU’s largest migration fund, the EUTF, finances projects in 26 different African countries. And the sums of money involved are only going to increase.

    When we first started this project, our aim was to chart a path through the new European zeal for funding. We wanted to track the flow of migration money to find answers to some crucial questions: will this funding help Nigerians make better lives for themselves in their own country? Will it help reduce the trafficking of women? Will it provide more safe, legal ways for Nigerians to travel to Europe?

    Or will it primarily go towards maintaining the international aid industry? Does it encourage corruption? Does it make migrants even more vulnerable to exploitation along the way?

    But we’re still far from answering these questions. Recently, a new study by the UNDP

    called into question “the notion that migration can be prevented or significantly reduced through programmatic and policy responses”.

    Nevertheless, European programming and policy responses will only increase in scope in the coming years.

    But the more Europe spends on migration, the more tangled the spaghetti becomes and the harder it gets to check whether funds are being spent wisely. With the erosion of transparency comes the erosion of democratic oversight.

    So to anyone who can figure out how to untangle the spaghetti, we say: be our guest.

    https://thecorrespondent.com/154/europe-spends-billions-stopping-migration-good-luck-figuring-out-where-the-money-actually-goes/171168048128-fac42704
    #externalisation #asile #migrations #réfugiés #Nigeria #EU #EU #Union_européenne #externalisation #frontières #contrôles_frontaliers #Frontex #Trust_fund #Pays-Bas #argent #transparence (manque de - ) #budget #remittances #AMIF #développement #aide_au_développement #European_Development_Fund (#EDF) #EUTF_for_Africa #European_Neighbourhood_Instrument (#ENI) #Development_Cooperation_Instrument (#DCI) #Italie #Banque_mondiale #External_Investment_Plan #processus_de_rabat #accords_de_Cotonou #biométrie #carte_d'identité_biométrique #travail #développement #aide_au_développement #coopération_au_développement #emploi #réintégration #campagnes #IOM #OIM

    Ajouté à la métaliste sur l’externalisation des frontières :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/731749
    Et ajouté à la métaliste développement/migrations :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/733358

    ping @isskein @isskein @pascaline @_kg_

  • Sur jefklak.org : Strasbourg, capitale de la clôture.Chronique d’un campement précaire
    Par Justine Partout

    Un peu partout, des gens dans la misère s’installent et vivent dans des campements de fortune. Parfois aussi, ils y meurent. C’est ce qui s’est passé le 25 mai 2019 à Strasbourg, dans le campement du parc des glacis, à proximité de la rue du rempart, où précarité sociale et transformation urbaine se télescopent.

    Cet article est issu du sixième numéro de la revue papier Jef Klak, Pied à terre , disponible en librairie.
    https://www.jefklak.org/strasbourg-capitale-de-la-cloture
    #campement #migrants #Strasbourg

  • Des documents révèlent le fonctionnement des #camps_de_détention chinois au #Xinjiang

    Des documents révélés dimanche par un consortium de journalistes montrent le contrôle absolu exercé par le régime chinois dans ses immenses camps de détention de la région à majorité musulmane du Xinjiang, où sont internées plus d’un million de personnes.

    Ces documents, obtenus par le Consortium international des journalistes d’investigation (ICIJ) et publiés par 17 organes de presse à travers le monde, détaillent les règlements draconiens, de la fréquence des coupes de cheveux aux horaires de verrouillage des portes, régissant ces camps installés dans la région du nord-ouest de la Chine.

    D’après des organisations de défense des droits humains, plus d’un million de #musulmans, principalement d’ethnie ouïghoure, sont détenus dans des camps de #rééducation politique au Xinjiang. Pékin récuse ce chiffre et évoque des « #centres_de_formation_professionnelle » destinés à lutter contre la radicalisation islamiste.

    Ces informations sont publiées une semaine après l’annonce du quotidien américain New York Times qu’il avait réussi à se procurer plus de 400 pages de documents internes au pouvoir chinois, dont des discours secrets du président Xi Jinping appelant dès 2014 à lutter « sans aucune pitié » contre le terrorisme et le séparatisme au Xinjiang.

    Les dernières révélations concernent une série de directives de gestion des camps de détention, approuvées en 2017 par le chef des forces de sécurité aux Xinjiang, ainsi que des rapports des services de renseignement montrant comment la police utilise l’intelligence artificielle et la collecte de données pour cibler les personnes à interner.

    Les directives qualifient les détenus d’"étudiants" devant « obtenir leur diplôme ».

    Elles décrivent avec une grande précision comment les gardiens doivent gérer la vie quotidienne des détenus, de l’interdiction d’entrer en contact avec le monde extérieur à la marche à suivre en cas de maladie, selon une traduction en anglais des documents publiée par l’ICIJ. Les directives instaurent notamment un système de points pour évaluer « la transformation idéologique » des détenus, leur « respect de la discipline » et leur ardeur à « l’étude ».

    « Les portes des dortoirs, des couloirs et des étages doivent être fermées à double tour immédiatement après avoir été ouvertes et refermées », détaillent les auteurs. « Une vidéosurveillance complète doit être établie dans les dortoirs et les salles de classe, sans angles morts, de façon à ce que les gardiens puissent exercer leur surveillance en temps réel, enregistrer les choses dans le détail et rapporter immédiatement tout événement suspect ».

    Les directives prévoient que les « étudiants » doivent rester en détention pendant au moins un an, même si cette règle n’est pas toujours appliquée, selon les témoignages d’anciens prisonniers recueillis par l’ICIJ.

    A Londres, l’ambassade de Chine a nié l’authenticité des documents publiés, les qualifiant de « pure falsification » et de « fausses informations ». « Il n’existe aucun document ou ordres pour de soi-disant +camps de détention+. Des centres de formation et d’entraînement professionnels ont été établis à des fins de prévention du terrorisme », a-t-elle affirmé dans un communiqué au quotidien The Guardian, qui fait partie des médias ayant publié les documents.

    https://www.courrierinternational.com/depeche/des-documents-revelent-le-fonctionnement-des-camps-de-detenti
    #détention #Chine #islamophobie #Ouïghours

  • Le #campement sauvage près de la gare de #Grenoble sur le point d’être démantelé

    #Lionel_Beffre, le préfet de l’#Isère a annoncé ce mardi 19 novembre l’#évacuation imminente du campement de migrants situé entre la gare de Grenoble et le quartier Saint-Bruno. Une annonce intervenue lors de la présentation du dispositif mis en place dans le cadre du plan d’#hébergement_d’urgence hivernal. D’après Droit au logement, l’expulsion est imminente et aura lieu dès ce jeudi matin à 7 h 30.

    Alors qu’il présentait le plan d’hébergement d’urgence hivernal 2019-2020, Lionel Beffre, le préfet de l’Isère a annoncé le prochain démantèlement du camp de migrants situé sous l’estacade entre la gare de Grenoble et le quartier Saint-Bruno.


    Ce campement, déjà plusieurs fois évacué, notamment au mois de juin, abrite sous des tentes plusieurs dizaines de personnes, dont des enfants. Leurs profils ? Des demandeurs d’asile et des migrants, arrivés pour la plupart des Balkans, n’ayant pas encore fait de demande administrative d’asile.

    En toile de fond, un nouveau duel à fleurets mouchetés entre le représentant de l’État et la #Ville_de_Grenoble. La #municipalité demandant au préfet « de respecter les compétences de l’État et de la loi pour mettre toutes les personnes à l’abri à Grenoble […] pour que personne ne reste dans le plus grand dénuement après l’évacuation […] », rapporte le Dauphiné libéré.

    « Les services de l’État seront mobilisés pour procéder à l’évacuation »

    « Nous serons amenés prochainement à prendre nos responsabilités parce que ce campement devient dangereux à bien des égards », a ainsi prévenu Lionel Beffre. « Des immondices en tous genres, des braséros de fortune dans lesquels sont brûlés du bois, des cartons... Sans oublier la production de fumées incommodantes », liste le haut fonctionnaire. De surcroît, ajoute-t-il, « il y a parmi les occupants des passeurs, voire des dealers. Mais aussi et surtout la présence d’enfants dans une situation préoccupante ».

    Devant l’état sanitaire déplorable du campement, Corinne Torre. cheffe de mission à Médecins sans frontières (MSF) venue à Grenoble le visiter, avait rappelé à l’État ses responsabilités. Pour mémoire, Eric Piolle avait signé, en avril dernier avec treize autres édiles, une lettre adressée au gouvernement dénonçant les conditions d’accueil des migrants.

    « J’ai fait savoir au maire de Grenoble, puisque le pouvoir de police lui appartient, qu’il pouvait prendre un arrêté pour mettre un terme à cette situation et mettre ces personnes à l’abri », déclare Lionel Beffre. Une décision dont il pense « qu’elle ne viendra pas » et qu’en conséquence, « les services de l’État procéderont à l’évacuation ».

    Par ailleurs, le préfet assure qu’il prendra « des mesures empêchant que d’autres personnes en difficulté se réinstallent sur le site ». De quoi rappeler, dans un autre registre, les dix-neuf blocs rocheux destinés à dissuader « les passeurs et les locataires d’emplacements » installés par la mairie de Grenoble au mois de juillet dernier.

    « Nous ne reconduisons pas assez vite à la frontière les demandeurs d’asile déboutés »

    Pourquoi des demandeurs d’asile se retrouvent-ils dans ce genre ce campement ? « Parce que nous n’avons pas assez de places d’hébergement et n’arrivons pas à reconduire assez vite à la frontière les demandeurs d’asile déboutés ». Si c’était le cas, « ces derniers n’occuperaient pas des places indument, pérennisant ainsi au fil du temps leur situation », explique le préfet.

    « Aujourd’hui nous sommes dans une situation où le droit d’asile est très clairement dévoyé », lance Lionel Beffre. Qui s’en explique. « Une partie non négligeable des ces demandeurs d’asile sont originaires des Balkans. Or, dans ces pays-là, même si ça a été le cas dans le passé, il n’y a plus de dictatures, persécutions ou oppressions qui sont le fondement du droit d’asile », expose le préfet.

    Pour le haut fonctionnaire, les chances qu’ont donc leurs ressortissant d’obtenir le sésame du droit d’asile est très minime, « de l’ordre de 10 à 15 % ». Pour les autres, « notre devoir c’est de les accueillir dans des lieux spécialisés », conclut le préfet. Notamment pour les accompagner dans la constitution de leur dossier de l’Office français de protection des réfugiés et apatrides (Ofpra).

    Si aucune date n’a été officiellement annoncée pour l’expulsion, elle aura lieu ce jeudi 21 novembre au matin selon Droit au logement. Qui déplore qu’« au moins un tiers des familles, si ce n’est plus, ne seront pas relogées, et laissées dans le froid, sans tente ni lieu ou s’installer, après un tri humain effectué par l’État. » Le Dal appelle ainsi à un rassemblement en solidarité à 7 h 30 en face du camp, côté Saint-Bruno.

    https://www.placegrenet.fr/2019/11/20/campement-gare-de-grenoble-demantele/268584
    #SDF #sans-abrisme #sans-abri #démantèlement #destruction #campement_sauvage #préfecture #migrations #asile #réfugiés #hébergement #logement #déboutés #expulsions #renvois

    ping @karine4 @albertocampiphoto

  • Du Joker à Daesh - Représentations de la violence - Juan Branco face à Jean-Louis Comolli

    Conférence à la Colonie, le 29 avril 2019, avec introduction de Juan Branco, pour comprendre une question fondamentale, qui trouble notre pays, à partir d’un « film de vacances » d’Abaaoud : quid de la représentation de la violence politique, nos mythes fondateurs, et en particulier pourquoi la Shoah en est-il devenu un ? Le débat commence à 5:02

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P2cMiBJ0Stk

    #cinéma #société_du_spectacle #mort #violence #mise_en_scène #propagande #daesh #nazisme #histoire #nazisme #image #camps_de_concentration #vérité #mensonge #film

  • Sur les #îles grecques... un nouvel #hiver...

    Winter warnings for Europe’s largest refugee camp

    ‘This year it’s worse than ever because so many people came.’

    With winter approaching, aid workers and refugee advocates on Lesvos are worried: there doesn’t appear to be a plan in place to prepare Moria – Europe’s largest refugee camp – for the rain, cold weather, and potential snow that winter will bring.

    The road leading to Moria runs along the shoreline on the Greek island of Lesvos, passing fish restaurants and a rocky beach. On sunny days, the water sparkles and dances in the 20-kilometer stretch of the Aegean Sea separating the island from the Turkish coast. But in the winter, the weather is often grey, a strong wind blows off the water, and the temperature in bitingly cold.

    Moria was built to house around 3,000 people and was already over capacity in May this year, holding around 4,500. Then, starting in July, the number of people crossing the Aegean from Turkey to Greece spiked, compared to the past three years, and the population of asylum seekers and migrants on the Greek islands exploded. Following a recent visit, the Council of Europe’s Commissioner for Human Rights, Dunja Mijatovic, called the situation on the islands “explosive”.

    By the beginning of October, when TNH visited, around 13,500 people were living in Moria – the highest number ever, up to that point – and conditions were like “hell on Earth”, according to Salam Aldeen, an aid worker who has been on Lesvos since 2015 and runs an NGO called Team Humanity.

    Every year, when summer comes, the weather gets better and the number of people crossing the Aegean increases. But this year, more people have crossed than at any time since the EU and Turkey signed an agreement, known as the EU-Turkey deal, in March 2016 to curb migration from Turkey to Greece.

    So far this year, more than 47,000 people have landed on the Greek islands compared to around 32,500 all of last year – led by Afghans, accounting for nearly 40 percent of arrivals, and Syrians, around 25 percent. Even though numbers are up, they are still a far cry from the more than one million people who crossed the Aegean between the beginning of 2015 and early 2016.

    “People are going to die. It’s going to happen. You have 10,000 people in tents.”

    In Moria, the first home in Europe for many of the people who arrive to Greece, there’s a chronic shortage of toilets and showers; the quality of the food is terrible; people sleep rough outside or in cramped, flimsy tents; bed bugs, lice, scabies, and other vermin thrive in the unsanitary environment; raw sewage flows into tents; people’s mental health suffers; fights break out; there are suicide attempts, including among children; domestic violence increases; small sparks lead to fires; people have died.

    “Every year it’s like this,” Aldeen said. “[But] this year it’s worse than ever because so many people came.”

    The lack of preparation for winter is unfortunately nothing new, according to Sophie McCann an advocacy manager for medical charity Médecins Sans Frontières. “It is incredible how the Greek authorities have... completely failed to put in place any kind of system [to] manage it properly,” McCann said. “Winter is not a surprise to anyone.”

    The severe overcrowding this year will likely only make the situation in Moria even more miserable and dangerous than it has been in the past. “People are going to die,” Aldeen said. “It’s going to happen. You have 10,000 people in tents.”
    ‘A policy-made humanitarian crisis’

    Moria has been overcrowded and plagued by problems since the signing of the EU-Turkey, which requires Greece to hold people on the islands until their asylum claims can be processed – something that can take as long as two years.

    Read more → Briefing: How will Greece new asylum law affect refugees?

    “It’s very predictable what is happening,” said Efi Latsoudi, from the NGO Refugee Support Aegean, referring to the overcrowding and terrible conditions this year.

    RSA released a report in June calling the situation on the islands “a policy-made humanitarian crisis” stemming from “the status quo put in place by the EU-Turkey [deal]”. The report predicted that Greece’s migration reception system “would not manage to absorb a sudden and significant increase in refugee arrivals”, which is exactly what happened this summer.

    “It’s very predictable what is happening.”

    According to the report, Greek authorities have failed to adopt a comprehensive and proactive strategy for dealing with the reality of ongoing migration across the Aegean. Bureaucratic deficiencies, political expediency, a lack of financial transparency and the broader EU priority of reducing migration have also contributed to the “structural failure” of Greece’s migration reception system, it says.

    As a result, Moria today looks more like a chaotic settlement on the edge of a war zone than an organised reception centre in a European country that has received almost $2.5 billion in funding from the EU since 2015 to support its response to migration.
    Tents a luxury for new arrivals

    Inside the barbed wire fences of the official camp, people are housed in trailer-like containers, each one holding four or five families. Outside, there is a sea of tents filling up the olive groves surrounding the camp. The more permanent tents are basic wooden structures covered in tarps bearing the logos of various organisations – the UN’s refugee agency, European Humanitarian Aid, the Greek Red Cross.

    Newer arrivals have been given small, brightly coloured camping tents as temporary shelters that aren’t waterproof or winterised. These are scattered, seemingly at random, between the olive trees, and even these appear to be a luxury for the newly arrived.

    Most of the asylum seekers TNH spoke to said they spent days or weeks sleeping outside before they were given a tent.

    Large mounds of blue and black garbage bags are piled up along the main arteries of Moria. The air stinks of the garbage and is thickened by cooking smoke laced with plastic. Portable toilets with thin streams of liquid trickling out from under them line the edge of one road.

    Hundreds of children wander around in small clusters. A mother hunches over her small daughter, picking lice from her hair. Other women squat on their heels and plunge their arms into basins of soapy water, washing clothes. Hundreds of clothes lines criss-cross between trees and blankets, and clothing is draped over fences and tree branches to dry. A tangle of electrical wires from a makeshift grid runs haywire between the tents. A faulty connection or errant spark could lead to a blaze.

    Drainage ditches and small berms have been dug in preparation for rain.

    There are people everywhere: carrying fishing poles that they take to the sea to catch extra food; bending to pray between the trees; resting in their tents; collecting dry tree branches to build cooking fires; baking bread in homemade clay ovens dug into the dirt; jostling and whittling away time in the hours-long food line; wandering off on their own for a moment’s respite.
    ‘Little by little, I’ll die’

    “Staying in this place is making us crazy,” said Hussain, a 15-year-old Afghan asylum seeker. An amateur guitarist in Afghanistan, he was threatened by the Taliban for his music playing and fled with his family, but was separated from them while crossing the border from Iran to Turkey. “The situation [in Moria] is not good,” he said. “Every[body has] stress here. They want to leave… because it is not a good place for a child, for anyone.”

    “The situation here is hard,” said Mohammad, an Iraqi asylum seeker who has been in the camp with his pregnant wife since the end of July. “It’s harder than it is in Iraq.”

    “[My wife] is going to have a baby. Is she going to have it here?” Mohammad continued. “Where will [the baby] live? When they child comes, it’s one day old and we’re going to keep it in a tent? This isn’t possible. But if you return to Iraq, what will happen?”

    “If I go back to Iraq, I’ll die.” Mohammad said, answering his own question. “[But] if I stay here I’ll die… Right now, I won’t die. But little by little, I’ll die.”
    More arrivals than relocations

    People have been dying in Moria almost since the camp began operating. In November 2016, a 66-year-old woman and her six-year-old granddaughter were killed when a cooking gas container exploded, setting a section of the camp ablaze. In January 2017, three people died in one week due to cold weather. And in January this year, another man died during a cold snap.

    At the end of September, shortly before TNH’s visit, a toddler playing in a cardboard box was run over by a garbage truck outside of Moria. A few days later a fire broke out killing a woman and sparking angry protests over the dismal living conditions.

    Greece’s centre-right government, which took office in July, responded to the deaths and protests in Moria by overhauling the country’s asylum system to accelerate the processing of applications, cutting out a number of protections along the way, promising to return more people to Turkey under the terms of the EU-Turkey deal and pledging to rapidly decongest the islands by moving 20,000 people to the mainland by the end of the year.

    As of 12 November, just over 8,000 people have been transported from the islands to the mainland by the Greek government since the fire. Over the same period of time, nearly 11,000 people arrived by sea, and the population of Moria has continued to grow, reaching around 15,000.

    With winter rapidly approaching, the situation on the islands is only growing more desperate, and there’s no end in sight.

    Transfers to the mainland won’t be able to solve the problem, according to Latsoudi from RSA. There simply aren’t enough reception spaces to accommodate all of the people who need to be moved, and the ones that do exist are often in remote areas, lack facilities, and will also be hit by harsh winter weather.

    “[The] mainland is totally unprepared to receive people,” Latsoudi said. “It’s not a real solution… The problems are still there [in Moria] and other problems are created all over Greece.”

    https://www.thenewhumanitarian.org/news-feature/2019/11/14/Greece-Moria-winter-refugees
    #migrations #camps_de_réfugiés #réfugiés #asile #Grèce #île #Lesbos #Moria #froid

  • Le #Bangladesh veut-il noyer ses #réfugiés_rohingyas ?

    Confronté à la présence sur son territoire d’un million de réfugiés musulmans chassés de Birmanie par les crimes massifs de l’armée et des milices bouddhistes, Dacca envisage d’en transférer 100 000 sur une île prison, dans le golfe du Bengale, menacée d’inondation par la mousson. Ce projet vient relancer les interrogations sur le rôle controversé de l’Organisation des Nations unies en #Birmanie.
    Dans les semaines qui viennent, le gouvernement du Bangladesh pourrait transférer plusieurs milliers de réfugiés rohingyas, chassés de Birmanie entre 2012 et 2017, dans une #île du #golfe_du_Bengale menacée de submersion et tenue pour « inhabitable » par les ONG locales. Préparé depuis des mois par le ministère de la gestion des catastrophes et des secours et par la Commission d’aide et de rapatriement des réfugiés, ce #transfert, qui devrait dans un premier temps concerner 350 familles – soit près de 1 500 personnes – puis s’étendre à 7 000 personnes, devrait par la suite être imposé à près de 100 000 réfugiés.

    Selon les agences des Nations unies – Haut-Commissariat aux réfugiés (HCR) et Organisation internationale pour les migrations (OIM) –, plus de 950 000 s’entassent aujourd’hui au Bangladesh dans plusieurs camps de la région de #Cox’s_Bazar, près de la frontière birmane. Près de 710 000 membres de cette minorité musulmane de Birmanie, ostracisée par le gouvernement de #Naypidaw, sont arrivés depuis août 2017, victimes du #nettoyage_ethnique déclenché par l’armée avec l’appui des milices villageoises bouddhistes.

    Les #baraquements sur #pilotis déjà construits par le gouvernement bangladais sur l’#île de #Bhasan_Char, à une heure de bateau de la terre ferme la plus proche, dans le #delta_du_Meghna, sont destinés à héberger plus de 92 000 personnes. En principe, les réfugiés désignés pour ce premier transfert doivent être volontaires.

    C’est en tout cas ce que les autorités du Bangladesh ont indiqué aux agences des Nations unies en charge des réfugiés rohingyas. Mais l’ONG régionale Fortify Rights, qui a interrogé, dans trois camps de réfugiés différents, quatorze personnes dont les noms figurent sur la liste des premiers transférables, a constaté qu’en réalité, aucune d’entre elles n’avait été consultée.

    « Dans notre camp, a déclaré aux enquêteurs de Fortify Rights l’un des délégués non élus des réfugiés chargé des relations avec l’administration locale, aucune famille n’accepte d’être transférée dans cette île. Les gens ont peur d’aller vivre là-bas. Ils disent que c’est une île flottante. » « Île qui flotte », c’est d’ailleurs ce que signifie Bhasan Char dans la langue locale.

    Les réfractaires n’ont pas tort. Apparue seulement depuis une vingtaine d’années, cette île, constituée d’alluvions du #Meghna, qui réunit les eaux du Gange et du Brahmapoutre, émerge à peine des eaux. Partiellement couverte de forêt, elle est restée inhabitée depuis son apparition en raison de sa vulnérabilité à la mousson et aux cyclones, fréquents dans cette région de la mi-avril à début novembre. Cyclones d’autant plus redoutés et destructeurs que l’altitude moyenne du Bangladesh ne dépasse pas 12 mètres. Selon les travaux des hydrologues locaux, la moitié du pays serait d’ailleurs submergée si le niveau des eaux montait seulement d’un mètre.

    « Ce projet est inhumain, a confié aux journalistes du Bangla Tribune, un officier de la marine du Bangladesh stationné dans l’île, dont l’accès est interdit par l’armée. Même la marée haute submerge aujourd’hui une partie de l’île. En novembre1970, le cyclone Bhola n’a fait aucun survivant sur l’île voisine de Nijhum Dwip. Et Bhasan Char est encore plus bas sur l’eau que Nijhum Dwip. » « Un grand nombre de questions demeurent sans réponses, observait, après une visite sur place en janvier dernier, la psychologue coréenne Yanghee Lee, rapporteure spéciale de l’ONU pour la situation des droits de l’homme en Birmanie. Mais la question principale demeure de savoir si cette île est véritablement habitable. »

    « Chaque année, pendant la mousson, ont confié aux enquêteurs de Human Rights Watch les habitants de l’île voisine de Hatiya, une partie de Bhasan Char est érodée par l’eau. Nous n’osons même pas y mettre les pieds. Comment des milliers de Rohingyas pourraient-ils y vivre ? » Par ailleurs, la navigation dans les parages de l’île est jugée si dangereuse, par temps incertain, que les pêcheurs du delta hésitent à s’y aventurer. Les reporters d’un journal local ont dû attendre six jours avant que la météo devienne favorable et qu’un volontaire accepte de les embarquer.

    À toutes ces objections des ONG, d’une partie de la presse locale et de plusieurs agences des Nations unies, le gouvernement bangladais répond que rien n’a été négligé. Une digue, haute de près de trois mètres et longue de 13 km, a été érigée autour de l’enclave de 6,7 km² affectée à l’hébergement des Rohingyas. Chacune des 120 unités de logement du complexe comprend douze bâtiments sur pilotis, une mare et un abri en béton destiné à héberger 23 familles en cas de cyclone et à recevoir les réserves de produits alimentaires. Conçus, selon les architectes, pour résister à des vents de 260 km/h, les abris pourront aussi être utilisés comme salles de classe, centres communautaires et dispensaires.

    Construit en parpaings, chaque bâtiment d’habitation contient, sous un toit de tôle métallique, seize chambres de 3,5 m sur 4 m, huit W.-C., deux douches et deux cuisines collectives. Destinées à héberger des familles de quatre personnes, les chambres s’ouvrent sur une coursive par une porte et une fenêtre à barreaux. Un réseau de collecte de l’eau de pluie, des panneaux solaires et des générateurs de biogaz sont également prévus. Des postes de police assureront la sécurité et 120 caméras de surveillance seront installées par la marine.

    Compte tenu des conditions de navigation très difficiles dans l’estuaire de la Meghna et du statut militarisé de l’île, la liberté de mouvement des réfugiés comme leur aptitude à assurer leur subsistance seront réduites à néant. « Bhasan Char sera l’équivalent d’une prison », estimait en mars dernier Brad Adams, directeur pour l’Asie de Human Rights Watch.
    Aung San Suu Kyi n’a pas soulevé un sourcil

    Aucun hôpital n’est prévu sur l’île. En cas d’urgence, les malades ou les blessés devront être transférés vers l’hôpital de l’île de Hatiya, à une heure de bateau lorsque le temps le permet. Faute de production locale, la quasi-totalité de l’alimentation devra être acheminée depuis le continent. La densité de population de ce complexe dont les blocs, disposés sur un plan orthogonal, sont séparés par d’étroites allées rectilignes, dépassera, lorsqu’il sera totalement occupé, 65 000 habitants au kilomètre carré, soit six fois celle du cœur de New York.

    On le voit, ce « paradis pour les Rohingyas », selon le principal architecte du projet, Ahmed Mukta, qui partage son activité entre Dacca et Londres, tient davantage du cauchemar concentrationnaire submersible que du tremplin vers une nouvelle vie pour les réfugiés birmans du Bangladesh. Ce n’est pourtant pas faute de temps et de réflexion sur la nature et la gestion du complexe. L’idée de transférer les réfugiés birmans sur Bhasan Char circulait depuis 2015 parmi les responsables birmans. À ce moment, leur nombre ne dépassait pas 250 000.

    Alimentés depuis 1990 par un chapelet de flambées de haine anti-musulmanes que le pouvoir birman tolérait quand il ne les allumait pas lui-même, plusieurs camps s’étaient créés dans la région de Cox’s Bazar pour accueillir les réfugiés chassés par la terreur ou contraints à l’exil par leur statut spécial. Musulmans dans un pays en écrasante majorité bouddhiste, les Rohingyas se sentent depuis toujours, selon l’ONU, « privés de leurs droits politiques, marginalisés économiquement et discriminés au motif de leur origine ethnique ».

    Le projet s’était apparemment endormi au fond d’un tiroir lorsqu’en août 2017, après la véritable campagne de nettoyage ethnique déclenchée par Tatmadaw (l’armée birmane) et ses milices, près de 740 000 Rohingyas ont fui précipitamment l’État de Rakhine, (autrefois appelé Arakan) où ils vivaient pour se réfugier de l’autre côté de la frontière, au Bangladesh, auprès de leurs frères, exilés parfois depuis plus de vingt-cinq ans. En quelques jours, le nombre de Rohingyas dans le district de Cox’s Bazar a atteint un million de personnes et le camp de réfugiés de Kutupalong est devenu le plus peuplé de la planète.

    Nourrie par divers trafics, par le prosélytisme des émissaires islamistes, par la présence de gangs criminels et par l’activisme des agents de l’Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) à la recherche de recrues pour combattre l’armée birmane, une insécurité, rapidement jugée incontrôlable par les autorités locales, s’est installée dans la région. Insécurité qui a contribué à aggraver les tensions entre les réfugiés et la population locale qui reproche aux Rohingyas de voler les petits boulots – employés de restaurant, livreurs, conducteurs de pousse-pousse – en soudoyant les policiers et en acceptant des salaires inférieurs, alors qu’ils ne sont officiellement pas autorisés à travailler.

    Cette situation est d’autant plus inacceptable pour le gouvernement de Dacca que Cox’s Bazar et sa plage de 120 km constituent l’une des rares attractions touristiques du pays.

    Pour mettre un terme à ce chaos, le gouvernement de Dacca a d’abord compté sur une campagne de retours volontaires et ordonnés des Rohingyas en Birmanie. Il y a un an, 2 200 d’entre eux avaient ainsi été placés sur une liste de rapatriement. Tentative vaine : faute d’obtenir des garanties de sécurité et de liberté du gouvernement birman, aucun réfugié n’a accepté de rentrer. Le même refus a été opposé aux autorités en août dernier lorsqu’une deuxième liste de 3 500 réfugiés a été proposée. Selon les chiffres fournis par le gouvernement birman lui-même, 31 réfugiés seulement sont rentrés du Bangladesh entre mai 2018 et mai 2019.

    Les conditions, le plus souvent atroces, dans lesquelles les Rohingyas ont été contraints de fuir en août 2017 et ce qu’ils soupçonnent de ce qui les attendrait au retour expliquent largement ces refus. Selon le rapport de la Mission d’établissement des faits de l’ONU remis au Conseil des droits de l’homme le 8 août 2019 [on peut le lire ici], les Rohingyas ont été victimes, un an plus tôt, de multiples « crimes de droit international, y compris des crimes de génocide, des crimes contre l’humanité et des crimes de guerre ».

    Selon ce document, « la responsabilité de l’État [birman – ndlr] est engagée au regard de l’interdiction des crimes de génocide et des crimes contre l’humanité, ainsi que d’autres violations du droit international des droits de l’homme et du droit international humanitaire ».

    Le rapport précise que « la mission a établi une liste confidentielle de personnes soupçonnées d’avoir participé à des crimes de droit international, y compris des crimes de génocide, des crimes contre l’humanité et des crimes de guerre, dans les États de Rakhine, kachin et shan depuis 2011. Cette liste […] contient plus d’une centaine de noms, parmi lesquels ceux de membres et de commandants de la Tatmadaw, de la police, de la police des frontières et des autres forces de sécurité, y compris de fonctionnaires de l’administration pénitentiaire, ainsi que les noms de représentants des autorités civiles, au niveau des districts, des États et du pays, de personnes privées et de membres de groupes armés non étatiques. […] La liste mentionne aussi un grand nombre d’entités avec lesquelles les auteurs présumés de violations étaient liés, notamment certaines unités des forces de sécurité, des groupes armés non étatiques et des entreprises ».

    On comprend dans ces conditions que, rien n’ayant changé depuis cet été sanglant en Birmanie où Aung San Suu Kyi, prix Nobel de la paix 1991, n’a pas levé un sourcil devant ces crimes, les Rohingyas préfèrent l’incertain chaos de leur statut de réfugiés à la certitude d’un retour à la terreur. Et refusent le rapatriement. Ce qui a conduit, début 2018, la première ministre bangladaise Sheikh Hasina à sortir de son tiroir le projet de transfert, en sommeil depuis 2015, pour le mettre en œuvre « en priorité ».

    Près de 300 millions de dollars ont été investis par Dacca dans ce projet, destiné dans un premier temps à réduire la population des camps où la situation est la plus tendue. Selon le représentant du gouvernement à Cox’s Bazar, Kamal Hossain, les opérations de transfert pourraient commencer « fin novembre ou début décembre ».

    Au cours d’une récente réunion à Dacca entre des représentants du ministère des affaires étrangères du Bangladesh et des responsables des Nations unies, les officiels bangladais auraient « conseillé » à leurs interlocuteurs d’inclure Bhasan Char dans le plan de financement de l’ONU pour 2020, sans quoi le gouvernement de Dacca pourrait ne pas approuver ce plan. Les responsables des Nations unies à Dacca ont refusé de confirmer ou démentir, mais plusieurs d’entre eux, s’exprimant officieusement, ont indiqué qu’ils étaient soumis « à une forte pression pour endosser le projet de Bhasan Char ».

    Interrogé sur la possibilité d’organiser le transfert des réfugiés sans l’aval des Nations unies, le ministre bangladais des affaires étrangères Abul Kalam Abdul Momen a répondu : « Oui, c’est possible, nous pouvons le faire. » La première ministre, de son côté, a été plus prudente. En octobre, elle se contentait de répéter que son administration ne prendrait sa décision qu’après avoir consulté les Nations unies et les autres partenaires internationaux du Bangladesh.

    L’un de ces partenaires, dont l’aide en matière d’assistance humanitaire est précieuse pour Dacca, vient de donner son avis. Lors d’une intervention fin octobre à la Chambre des représentants, Alice G. Wells, secrétaire adjointe du bureau de l’Asie du Sud et du Centre au Département d’État, a demandé au gouvernement du Bangladesh d’ajourner tout transfert de réfugiés vers Bhasan Char jusqu’à ce qu’un groupe d’experts indépendants détermine si c’est un lieu approprié. Washington ayant versé depuis août 2017 669 millions de dollars d’aide à Dacca, on peut imaginer que cette suggestion sera entendue.
    Les « défaillances systémiques » de l’ONU

    Les Nations unies sont pour l’instant discrètes sur ce dossier. On sait seulement qu’une délégation doit se rendre sur l’île les jours prochains. Il est vrai que face à ce qui s’est passé ces dernières années en Birmanie, et surtout face à la question des Rohingyas, la position de l’ONU n’a pas toujours été claire et son action a longtemps manqué de lucidité et d’efficacité. C’est le moins qu’on puisse dire.

    Certes l’actuel secrétaire général, António Guterres, a réagi rapidement et vigoureusement au sanglant nettoyage ethnique qui venait de commencer en Birmanie en adressant dès le 2 septembre 2017 une lettre au Conseil de sécurité dans laquelle il demandait un « effort concerté » pour empêcher l’escalade de la crise dans l’État de Rakhine, d’où 400 000 Rohingyas avaient déjà fui pour échapper aux atrocités.

    Mais il n’a pu obtenir de réaction rapide et efficace du Conseil. Il a fallu discuter deux semaines pour obtenir une réunion et 38 jours de plus pour obtenir une déclaration officielle de pure forme. Quant à obtenir l’envoi sur place d’une équipe d’observateurs de l’ONU en mesure de constater et dénoncer l’usage de la violence, il en était moins question que jamais : la Birmanie s’y opposait et son allié et protecteur chinois, membre du Conseil et détenteur du droit de veto, soutenait la position du gouvernement birman. Et personne, pour des raisons diverses, ne voulait s’en prendre à Pékin sur ce terrain.

    En l’occurrence, l’indifférence des États membres, peu mobilisés par le massacre de Rohingyas, venait s’ajouter aux divisions et différences de vues qui caractérisaient la bureaucratie de l’ONU dans cette affaire. Divergences qui expliquaient largement l’indifférence et la passivité de l’organisation depuis la campagne anti-Rohingyas de 2012 jusqu’au nettoyage ethnique sanglant de 2017.

    Incarnation de cette indifférence et de cette passivité, c’est-à-dire de la priorité que le système des Nations unies en Birmanie accordait aux considérations politiques et économiques sur la sécurité et les besoins humanitaires des Rohingyas, Renata Lok-Dessallien, la représentante de l’ONU en Birmanie depuis 2014, a quitté ses fonctions en octobre 2017, discrètement appelée par New York à d’autres fonctions, en dépit des réticences du gouvernement birman. Mais il était clair, à l’intérieur de l’organisation, qu’elle n’était pas la seule responsable de cette dérive désastreuse.

    Dans un rapport de 36 pages, commandé début 2018 par le secrétaire général et remis en mai dernier, l’économiste et diplomate guatémaltèque Gert Rosenthal, chargé de réaliser un diagnostic de l’action de l’ONU en Birmanie entre 2010 et 2018, constate qu’en effet, l’organisation n’a pas été à son meilleur pendant les années qui ont précédé le nettoyage ethnique d’août 2017 au cours duquel 7 000 Rohingyas au moins ont été tués, plus de 700 000 contraints à l’exil, des centaines de milliers d’autres chassés de leurs villages incendiés et enfermés dans des camps, le tout dans un climat de violence et de haine extrême [le rapport – en anglais – peut être lu ici].

    Selon Gert Rosenthal, qui constate des « défaillances systémiques » au sein de l’ONU, nombre d’agents des Nations unies ont été influencés ou déroutés par l’attitude de Aung San Suu Kyi, icône du combat pour la démocratie devenue, après les élections de 2015, l’alliée, l’otage et la caution des militaires et du clergé bouddhiste. C’est-à-dire la complice, par son silence, des crimes commis en 2017. Mais l’auteur du rapport pointe surtout la difficulté, pour les agences de l’ONU sur place, à choisir entre deux stratégies.

    L’une est la « diplomatie tranquille » qui vise à préserver dans la durée la présence et l’action, même limitée, de l’organisation au prix d’une certaine discrétion sur les obligations humanitaires et les droits de l’homme. L’autre est le « plaidoyer sans concession » qui entend faire respecter les obligations internationales par le pays hôte et implique éventuellement l’usage de mesures « intrusives », telles que des sanctions ou la menace de fermer l’accès du pays aux marchés internationaux, aux investissements et au tourisme.

    À première vue, entre ces deux options, le secrétaire général de l’ONU a fait son choix. Après une visite à Cox’s Bazar, en juillet 2018, il affirmait qu’à ses yeux, « les Rohingyas ont toujours été l’un des peuples, sinon le peuple le plus discriminé du monde, sans la moindre reconnaissance de ses droits les plus élémentaires, à commencer par le droit à la citoyenneté dans son propre pays, le Myanmar [la Birmanie] ».

    Il reste à vérifier aujourd’hui si, face à la menace brandie par Dacca de transférer jusqu’à 100 000 réfugiés rohingyas sur une île concentrationnaire et submersible, les Nations unies, c’est-à-dire le système onusien, mais aussi les États membres, choisiront le « plaidoyer sans concession » ou la « diplomatie tranquille ».

    https://www.mediapart.fr/journal/international/131119/le-bangladesh-veut-il-noyer-ses-refugies-rohingyas?onglet=full

    #réfugiés #asile #migrations #rohingyas #Bangladesh #camps_de_réfugiés

    ping @reka

    • Bangladesh Turning Refugee Camps into Open-Air Prisons

      Bangladesh Army Chief Gen. Aziz Ahmed said this week that a plan to surround the Rohingya refugee camps in #Cox’s_Bazar with barbed wire fences and guard towers was “in full swing.” The plan is the latest in a series of policies effectively cutting off more than 900,000 Rohingya refugees from the outside world. The refugees have been living under an internet blackout for more than 75 days.

      Bangladesh is struggling to manage the massive refugee influx and the challenges of handling grievances from the local community, yet there is no end in sight because Myanmar has refused to create conditions for the refugees’ safe and voluntary return. But fencing in refugees in what will essentially be open-air prisons and cutting off communication services are neither necessary nor proportional measures to maintain camp security and are contrary to international human rights law.

      Humanitarian aid workers reported the internet shutdown has seriously hampered their ability to provide assistance, particularly in responding to emergencies. The fencing will place refugees at further risk should they urgently need to evacuate or obtain medical and other humanitarian services.

      Refugees told Human Rights Watch the fencing will hinder their ability to contact relatives spread throughout the camps and brings back memories of restrictions on movement and the abuses they fled in Myanmar.

      The internet shutdown has already hampered refugees’ efforts to communicate with relatives and friends still in Myanmar, which is critical for gaining reliable information about conditions in Rakhine State to determine whether it is safe to return home.

      The Bangladesh government should immediately stop its plans to curtail refugees’ basic rights or risk squandering the international goodwill it earned when it opened its borders to a desperate people fleeing the Myanmar military’s brutal campaign of ethnic cleansing.

      https://www.hrw.org/news/2019/11/26/bangladesh-turning-refugee-camps-open-air-prisons
      #internet #barbelés #liberté_de_mouvement

  • Chèr·es ami·es seenthisien·nes...
    Si vous avez des informations sur la situation des #palestiniens au #Liban... je suis preneuse...
    Ceci afin de constituer un dossier pour qu’une famille palestinienne en France ne soit pas renvoyée au Liban suite à la décision négative concernant leur demande d’#asile.
    Il s’agit surtout d’informations sur l’augmentation des dangers pour la communauté palestinienne (et dans les #camps plus précisément) au Liban qui nous intéresse...

    ping @rumor

    #OQTF

  • NS-Prozess: „Ich hörte die Schreie aus der Gaskammer“ - WELT
    https://www.welt.de/regionales/hamburg/article202510698/NS-Prozess-Ich-hoerte-die-Schreie-aus-der-Gaskammer.html

    Im letzten Kriegsjahr war Bruno D. Wachmann in einem KZ bei Danzig. Im Hamburger NS-Prozess räumt er ein, dass er die Morde in der Gaskammer beobachtet hat. Doch zu einem Detail schweigt er.
    168

    Es geht doch. Er kann sich erinnern, auch an diesen schrecklichsten Teil seiner Erlebnisse im Konzentrationslager Stutthof bei Danzig, in dem Bruno D. von August 1944 bis April 1945 eingesetzt war. „Vom Wachturm habe ich die Gaskammer gesehen“, berichtet er. „Und Schreie und Poltern habe ich gehört, das war nach ein paar Minuten vorbei.“

    Der junge SS-Mann, der im letzten Kriegsjahr mit einem Gewehr bewaffnet auf dem Wachturm seinen Dienst versah, war also gerade Zeuge der Ermordung von Gefangenen mittels Gas geworden. Er hat ihre Todesschreie gehört und den verzweifelten wie aussichtslosen Kampf der Sterbenden wahrgenommen. Doch das will Bruno D. damals nicht verstanden haben.

    „Ich wusste nicht, was mit den Leuten geschah. Ich habe gedacht: Was machen sie da mit denen, aber hatte keine Vorstellung gehabt.“

    „Ich konnte nicht hundertprozentig sagen, die werden jetzt vergast, weil ich es nicht gesehen habe“, entgegnet der Greis. „Ich habe häufig gedacht: Hoffentlich passiert da heute nichts. Hoffentlich werden heute keine in die Gaskammer hineingeführt.“

    Bruno D. berichtet, wie jeweils 20 bis 30 Männer und Frauen in den Raum hineingeführt worden sind, ohne Gegenwehr, ein Mann in einem weißen Kittel habe sie begleitet. „Ihnen wurde gesagt, die sollen zur Untersuchung, weil sie zu einem Arbeitseinsatz außerhalb des Lagers eingeteilt werden sollten.“ Die Legende, mit denen die Gefangenen in Sicherheit gewiegt werden sollten, hätten seine Kameraden ihm erzählt.

    Und Bruno D. erinnert sich auch daran, wie Wachmänner von Eisenbahnwaggons berichtet hätten, die abgedichtet und als Gaskammer benutzt worden seien. „Da wurde mal gesagt, dass das gemacht wurde.“ Gesehen habe er es nicht.

    Dass den dort Eingesperrten ein grausiges Schicksal bevorstand, wusste er also. „Die Menschen, die dort eingesperrt waren, hatten nichts verbrochen“, sagt er. „Aber was konnte ich dagegen machen?“

    Mit zwei Sätzen verteidigt sich Bruno D. immer wieder: Er habe sich nicht freiwillig zum Lagerdienst gemeldet, sondern sei zur Wehrmacht eingezogen worden, die ihn dann in den Wachdienst der SS überstellt habe. Und er habe nichts ausrichten können, obwohl er mit den „Taten nicht einverstanden war“.

    Letztlich nimmt er, der ein Rädchen in der Menschenvernichtungsmaschine gewesen war, für sich in Anspruch, Pech gehabt zu haben. Und daher, folgert er, sei er berechtigt gewesen, all das Erlebte nach dem Krieg zu vergraben und zu vergessen.

    Doch mit dieser Haltung nimmt er den Blick der Opfer aus dem Blick, die er zu bewachen hatte, die er beim Gang in die Gaskammer beobachtete und die unter seinen Kameraden zu leiden hatten. Richterin Meier-Göring nimmt sich seine Gewissensbisse vor. „Mit wem haben Sie das besprochen, wenn Sie nicht einverstanden waren?“ „Ich habe alles in mich hineingefressen. Das hat mich damals sehr belastet, und das belastet mich heute noch.“
    Soll er konkret werden, bleibt er vage

    Aber was genau belastet ihn denn heute noch? Dass die Menschen ermordet worden sind? Dass er dabei zusehen musste? Oder dass er mitgeholfen hat? Immer, wenn er konkrete Situationen oder Wahrnehmungen schildern soll, die seine angebliche Belastungen erklären und unterfüttern könnten, bleibt er vage. Selbst bei Fragen nach seinem Wachdienst, den er ja gute achte Monate jeden Tag ausführte, kommt nur Schemenhaftes zutage.

    „Wie sollten Sie ihren Wachdienst ausführen, was wurde Ihnen gesagt“, will Meier-Göring wissen.

    „Den Zaun beobachten und aufpassen, dass sich keiner dem Zaun nähert.“

    „Haben Sie keine Broschüre bekommen?“

    „Nein.“

    Meier-Göring will wissen, ob er sich an seinen Ausbilder, den Kompanieführer Reddig erinnert; der Angeklagte verneint. Dabei war er der oberste und bekannteste Ausbilder im Lager. Als sie nach der Broschüre fragt, meint sie ein Ausbildungsheftchen namens „Richtig – falsch“, das Wachmannschaften in den Konzentrationslagern als bebilderte Dienstvorschrift überreicht wurde. Dort sollten die Wachleute lernen, wie sie Gefangene zu beaufsichtigen hatten und was bei Fluchtversuchen zu tun ist – nämlich Erschießen des Flüchtenden.

    „Was sollten Sie machen, wenn sich jemand dem Zaun nähert?“

    „Ich weiß nicht mehr, wie die Befehle da lauteten. Wir sollten auf auf dem Turm Wache stehen und aufpassen, dass nichts passiert.“

    „Hat sich mal jemand dem Zaun genähert?“

    „Nein“, sagt Bruno D. Sonst hätte er „Alarm“ gegeben; was das bedeutet hätte, wisse er aber angeblich nicht mehr.

    Zur Gaskammer hatte Meier-Göring noch eine Frage. „Gab es da nur eine Tür? Oder einen Ausgang?“

    Da muss Bruno D., nicht lange überlegen. „Ich habe nie gesehen, dass da jemand herausgekommen wäre.“

    #justice #nazis #Allemagne #Stutthof #camps

  • Using Fear of the “Other,” Orbán Reshapes Migration Policy in a Hungary Built on Cultural Diversity

    In summer 2015, more than 390,000 asylum seekers, mostly Muslim, crossed the Serbian-Hungarian border and descended on the Keleti railway station in Budapest. For Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and his Fidesz party, the arrival of these asylum seekers was not a humanitarian issue but a Muslim invasion threatening the national security, social cohesion, and Christian identity of the Hungarian nation. In the four years since this episode, the fear of the “other” has resulted in a string of anti-immigrant actions and policies.

    For example, barbed wire fences were constructed to deter asylum seekers from entering Hungarian territory. Transit zones on the same Serbian-Hungarian border followed, and since the end of March 2017, anyone applying for asylum in Hungary can only do so from a transit zone and is detained there for the duration of the asylum procedure. Conditions there have been grim. The Hungarian Helsinki Committee (HHC) contends rejected asylum seekers inside the transit zones are denied food, to the point of starvation.

    Furthermore, the Orbán government is fighting anti-immigrant battles not just at the border, but also in Brussels. Under the EU burden-sharing scheme, Hungary was supposed to accept 1,294 refugees. However, the prime minister said that while Hungarians have “no problems” with the local Muslim community, any EU plan to relocate asylum seekers, including many Muslims, would destroy Hungary’s Christian identity and culture. In his attempt to quash admissions, Orbán signaled that his party may split with Europe’s main conservative group and join an anti-immigrant, nationalist bloc in the EU Parliament led by Italy’s Matteo Salvini. Finally, Hungary’s latest anti-immigrant law criminalizes assistance to unauthorized migrants by civil-society organizations and good Samaritans.

    These anti-immigrant sentiments are relatively new. Given Hungary’s geopolitical location, immigration and emigration have been a reality since the birth of the country. At times, Hungary has been quite a multicultural society: for example, during the Habsburg Empire, Hungarians coexisted with Germans, Slavs, Italians, Romanians, and Jews originating in Germany, Poland, and Russia. Later, in the aftermath of World War II, significant population movements greatly modified the ethnic map of Eastern and Central Europe, and many ethnic Hungarians ended up in neighboring countries, some of whom would return later.

    Yet, it is strange to write about multicultural Hungary in 2019. Despite population movements in the postwar and communist eras and significant refugee arrivals during the Yugoslav wars in the late 1980s and throughout the 1990s, the country has only recently been grappling with the arrival of migrants and asylum seekers from beyond Europe. Now several years out from the 2015-16 European migrant and refugee crisis, the Orbán administration continues to pursue policies to limit humanitarian and other arrivals from beyond Europe, while welcoming those of Hungarian ancestry. Hungarian civil society has attempted to provide reception services for newcomers, even as the number of asylum seekers and refugees has dwindled: just 671 asylum seekers and 68 refugees were present in Hungary in 2018, down from 177,135 and 146, respectively, in 2015.

    This article examines historical and contemporary migration in Hungary, from its multicultural past to recent attempts to criminalize migration and activities of those who aim to help migrants and asylum seekers.

    Immigrants and Their Reception in Historic Hungary

    In the 11th century, the Carpathian Basin saw both organized settlement of certain peoples and a roaming population, which was in reaction to certain institutional changes in the medieval Hungarian kingdom. Historians note that newcomers came to historic Hungary searching for a better life: first across the entire Carpathian Basin and later in the Danube Valley. In the 12th century, Hungarian King Géza II invited Saxons to settle in Transylvania and later, when the Teutonic Knights were expelled from Burzenland (in modern-day Romania), they were welcomed in Brasov. The aftermath of the Tartar invasion in 1241 was followed by settlement of immigrants from Slovakia, Poland, and Russia. Ethnic minority groups fleeing Bulgaria settled between the Duna and Tisza rivers, while Romanians found new homes in Transylvania. King Bela IV erected new cities populated predominantly by German, Italian, and Jewish immigrants hailing from Central Europe and Germany.

    The 15th century saw a large settlement of Southern Slavs. The desertification of Transdanubia (the part of Hungary west of the Danube River) was remedied with a settlement of Croats and large groups of Serbians. When the medieval Kingdom of Hungary fell to the Ottoman Empire in 1526, some of the Southern Slavs moved to the parts under the Ottoman occupation voluntarily, while those who participated in the conquest were dispatched by the Ottoman rulers. At the same time, large number of ethnic Hungarians fled north and settled in the area of contemporary Slovakia.

    The next large group, of Germans, arrived in the 18th century during the Habsburg dynasty. The German settlement was part of the Habsburg population policy aimed at filling the void left by the Hungarians who perished during Ottoman rule, especially in the southern territories, around Baranya County and the Banat region. Germans also settled in Pest, Vecees, Buda, Esztergom, and the Pilis Mountains. By 1790, an estimated 70,000 ethnic Germans lived in Southern Hungary.

    While German immigrants were largely welcomed in 18th century Hungary, the same cannot be said about Romanians. During the reign of Empress Maria Theresa, Hungarian nobility voiced serious concerns about the rapid increase of the Romanian population. The nobles thought Romanians would ruin Transylvania.

    The Habsburg administration did not want to repeat the mistakes of the Ottomans and decided to control population movement along the Serbian border. A census conducted in the 13 villages of the Tisza region and 24 villages along the Maros river identified 8,000 border guards on duty. Despite these precautions, large-scale emigration from Serbia continued during the Habsburg era, with approximately 4,000 people crossing over to Hungary.

    Jews were the largest immigrant group in Hungary in the 19th century. Some came from the western territories of the Habsburg Empire—Germany, Bohemia, and Moravia—while others fled persecution in Russia. The arrival of Jews to the Hungarian territory was viewed favorably by Emperor Franz Josef I and Hungarian liberal politicians. Well-heeled Jewish families acquired noble status and rose in the aristocratic ranks, and many became patrons of the arts. At the beginning of World War I, an estimated 1 million Jews lived within the boundaries of what is present-day Hungary. However, the early appreciation of the contributions of the Jewish people did not last. Anti-Semitic sentiments flared up, culminating in the notorious Tiszaeszlár affair, in which Jews were accused of kidnapping and murdering Christian children in order to use their blood as part of religious rituals. Later, the violent repression known as the White Terror (1919-21) victimized many Jews, who were blamed by the right-wing camp for the severe sanctions placed on Hungary under the Treaty of Trianon in the aftermath of World War I.

    Refugees During and After World War II

    During World War II, Hungary was well disposed towards refugees, especially from Poland. Prime Minister Pál Teleki gave refugee status to some 70,000 Polish soldiers and nearly 40,000 civilians when Hitler invaded Poland. Ninety-one refugee camps for military personnel and 88 camps for civilians were established. A joint effort by Hungarian and international aid organizations and the Red Cross resulted in the establishment of the Committee for Hungarian-Polish Refugee Affairs. As the war escalated, most Polish officers and soldiers departed Hungary to join the Polish Home Army fighting Germany alongside Britain and France. In late 1940, a group of French refugees arrived in Hungary. By 1942, there were 600 French refugees in the country.

    The immediate post-WWII period—with its ensuing peace treaties, evictions, and forced settlements—resulted in considerable population movements, significantly modifying the ethnic map in Eastern and Central Europe. Some 200,000 ethnic Germans were evicted from Hungary, and 73,000 Slovaks left as part of what was described as a “population exchange.” Judit Juhász estimated that in the three years following the end of the war more than 100,000 people left Hungary. At the same time, 113,000 ethnic Hungarians were resettled in Hungary from Czechoslovakia, 125,000 from Transylvania, 45,500 from Yugoslavia, and 25,000 from the Soviet Union. Technically, ethnic Hungarians coming to Hungary were not considered migrants, but rather returning citizens.

    When the communist regime took over in 1947, the borders were closed and the government prohibited migration. Illegal departure from the country and failure to return from abroad became a crime. The borders opened briefly in 1956 when nearly 200,000 people fled Hungary during the uprising against the communist government. Most went to nearby Austria, but 38,000—mainly students and scientists—were airlifted to the United States, in a mobilization sponsored by the U.S. government and National Academy of Sciences. Their integration into American society was relatively easy due to their young age and high educational attainment. The Hungarian government tried to encourage the refugees to return by offering them amnesty, but only about 147 decided to return to Hungary from the United States.

    Migration in the Post-Socialist Period

    Although Hungary allowed some refugees to settle in its territory—Greeks after World War II, Chileans after the fall of the Allende government, and Kurds during the Iran-Iraq war—the country did not witness a large number of asylum seekers until the late 1980s, just months before the fall of communism in Hungary in 1989. Starting in mid-1987, ethnic Hungarians, discriminated by the Ceausescu regime, fled Romania to seek refuge in Hungary. By the beginning of 1988, some 40,000 Romanian citizens, primarily of Hungarian ancestry, arrived. By the fall of the same year, the number doubled, an exodus the author witnessed firsthand.

    For the most part, the central government left the responsibility for assisting refugees to private and municipal authorities. The Hungarian Red Cross opened a special information bureau in Budapest and mounted a national relief appeal called Help to Help. Twelve million forints (the equivalent of approximately US $250,000 at the time) were raised, including 1 million from foreign donations. Assistance programs were established in Budapest and in Debrecen, a town on the border with Romania, where most of the refugees came first. Local Red Cross chapters, municipal and county agencies, and local churches—especially the Hungarian Reformed Church—were also involved in the relief program. The assistance included cash grants, job placements, and Hungarian language training for ethnic Romanians. Clothing, blankets, dishes, and utensils were also provided. When the author visited Debrecen in 1988, most refugees were kept in school dormitories as housing in socialist Hungary was scarce.

    At the time, there was no formal procedure to separate refugees from other migrants. Many of the service providers interviewed by the author indicated that ethnic Hungarians and Baptist Romanians were persecuted and therefore were bona fide refugees, while all others were fleeing because of deteriorating economic conditions. The majority fleeing Romania were skilled workers and professionals. Very few ethnic Hungarian peasants from Transylvania migrated to Hungary, and neither did the cultural leaders of the Hungarian community in Romania. Additionally, the sudden arrival of asylum seekers and migrants from Romania was followed by a considerable return of ethnic Hungarians and ethnic Romanians to Romania.

    Refugees from the Yugoslav Wars

    In the summer of 1991, war broke out on Hungary’s southern border between Croatia and Serbia. Hungarian border guards faced large groups of civilians fleeing the fighting. Most were from the Baranyi triangle, an area of Croatia near Vukovar. More than 400,000 refugees fled to countries outside the former Yugoslavia’s borders. Germany admitted the largest number, 200,000, followed by Hungary, with 60,000. However, by late 1994 the refugee population registered in Hungary had dwindled to fewer than 8,000 people. The situation changed in 1995. New ethnic cleansing and renewed combat in Bosnia sent more refugees to Hungary in the spring and summer of 1995, and the Hungarian government reopened a refugee camp that had been long closed.

    The total number of refugees registered in Hungary between 1988 and 1995 reached more than 130,000 people and transformed the country from a refugee-producing country to a refugee-receiving country. However, up until the 2015-16 European refugee and migrant crisis, 75 percent of immigrants and refugees who entered the country post-1988 were ethnic Hungarians. This phenomenon has significantly influenced the development of Hungarian refugee law and policy.

    Refugee and Asylum Law since 1989

    The 1951 Geneva Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees constitutes the foundation of Hungarian refugee law. Hungary became a party to the Refugee Convention in early 1989—the first East bloc country to do so—and it also ratified the 1967 Protocol. Although its accession to the Refugee Convention signaled that Hungary was willing to accept the international definition of refugee, Hungary conditioned its ratification on a narrow definition of those who qualify as refugees, recognizing only those who fear persecution in Europe. According to Maryellen Fullerton, “known as the geographic reservation, this provision allows Hungary to limit its obligations under the Convention to a small (and totally European) subset of all the refugees in the world.”

    Refugees who came to Hungary in the late 1980s and in the 1990s entered a country “with an undeveloped refugee policy and a patchwork of legislation and government decrees concerning refugees and migrants,” according to Fullerton. Legal scholars indicate that the government’s attempt to establish a modern refugee system was affected by a powerful preference for protecting refugees of Hungarian ancestry. This preference has permeated both existing law and the administration of the refugee system, resulting in a de facto law of return. While there is nothing intrinsically wrong with wanting to protect fellow co-ethnics—many countries, including Israel, Germany, France, and Poland, among others, have similar laws—what seems objectionable is the desire to accomplish this goal by misusing the refugee process. Ethnic Hungarians who entered Hungary seeking refuge were not only channeled into the refugee system but were also eligible for Hungarian citizenship within one year, and all the rights that citizenship accords, while others who needed refuge were mainly provided temporary protection status. They received food, shelter, and other necessities, although in recent years these too are becoming scarce, but they lacked any substantial legal protection.

    Since joining the European Union in 2004, Hungary has broadly transposed the relevant EU asylum-related directives into national legislation. In June 2007, the Law on Asylum was adopted and the Office of Immigration and Nationality became responsible for asylum and statelessness determination procedures, the provision of reception services, and (very) limited integration services to asylum seekers and refugees, respectively. Three years later, in December 2010, amendments to the legislation relevant to asylum seekers and refugees were enacted. The maximum length of administrative detention from six to 12 months and the detention of up to 30 days of families with children were introduced. While the minimum standards of refugee protection were implemented—at least on paper in the early 2000s—xenophobic attitudes towards refugees, especially Muslims, are on the rise and the protection for asylum seekers and refugees is virtually nonexistent. At the same time, support for ethnic Hungarian refugees such as those from Venezuela, is flourishing.

    Weaponizing Xenophobia: No to Muslim Refugees

    During the 2015-16 European migrant and refugee crisis, the European Union asked Hungary to find homes for 1,294 refugees. Rather than accepting the EU decision, the Hungarian government spent approximately 28 million euros on a xenophobic anti-immigrant campaign. The government called on voters to defend Christian values and Hungarian national identity in order to stop Hungary from becoming a breeding ground for terrorism. The fear that Muslim women will bear many children and the local population will be outnumbered, somehow diluted or “discolored” by Muslims and multiculturalism was palpable in pro-government media. By the end of 2015, a total of 391,384 refugees and asylum seekers entered Hungary through its southern border, most intent on transiting the country to get elsewhere in Europe. This means that the government spent around 70 euros per refugee on a campaign of intolerance, in a country where the monthly welfare check is around the same amount. Undoubtedly this amount could have been used more effectively either to provide transitional assistance to refugees or to facilitate integration of asylum seekers who wanted to settle in Hungary. Attracting migrants to stay would been in line with Fidesz’s strategic goal to stop the long-declining Hungarian birth rate and the aging of the Hungarian society.

    Instead, Hungary decided to go a step further and in September 2015 amended its Criminal Code to make unauthorized crossing of the border closure (fence), damaging the border closure, and obstruction of the construction works related to the border closure punishable by three to ten years imprisonment. The Act on Criminal Proceedings was also amended with a new fast-track provision to bring the defendant to trial within 15 days after interrogation, or within eight days if caught in flagrante. With these new provisions, the Hungarian government declared a “state of crisis due to mass migration,” during which these criminal proceedings are conducted prior to all other cases. Between September 2015 and March 2016, 2,353 people were convicted of unauthorized border crossing. These people generally remained in immigration detention pending removal to Serbia, which Hungary deemed a safe country to which asylum seekers could return. HHC argued that Serbia could not be regarded as safe third country as it recognized virtually no asylum seekers. Applications for a stay of proceedings referring to the nonpenalization principle of the 1951 Convention were systematically dismissed on the grounds that “eligibility for international protection was not a relevant issue to criminal liability.” In order to gain the public’s support for criminalizing migration and rejecting the European Union’s request to admit a few hundred refugees, the Hungarian government organized a national referendum.

    The Referendum

    On October 2, 2016, the citizens of Hungary were asked a simple question: “Do you want the European Union to prescribe the mandatory settlement of non-Hungarian citizens in Hungary without the consent of the National Assembly?”

    Voter turnout was only 39 percent, far short of the 50 percent participation required to make the referendum valid under Hungarian law. Never one to let facts get in the way of politics, Orbán, whose eurosceptic Fidesz party has more support than all opposition parties combined, said in a televised speech:

    “The European Union’s proposal is to let the migrants in and distribute them in mandatory fashion among the Member States and for Brussels to decide about this distribution. Hungarians today considered this proposal and they rejected it. Hungarians decided that only we Hungarians can decide with whom we want to live. The question was ‘Brussels or Budapest’ and we decided this issue is exclusively the competence of Budapest.”

    Orbán decided that the 3.3 million Hungarians who voted “no” in the referendum spoke for all 10 million Hungarians. After his speech, there were fireworks over the Danube river in the colors of the Hungarian flag.

    In order to prevent the European Union from sending refugees to Hungary, Orbán proposed a constitutional amendment to reflect “the will of the people.” It was presented to the Parliament on October 10, 2016, but the bill was rejected by a narrow margin. The far-right Jobbik party, which contends that some of the new arrivals pose a national security threat, sealed the bill’s rejection by boycotting the vote. However, it held out a lifeline to Orbán by indicating that it would support the ban if Orbán scrapped a separate investor visa scheme under which foreigners could effectively buy the right to live in Hungary (and move freely within the Schengen area) in exchange for buying at least 300,000 euros in government bonds with a five-year maturity. Some 10,000 Chinese utilized this scheme, at this writing, to move to Hungary, as did smaller numbers of affluent investors from Russia and the Middle East.

    The Orbán government feared that the referendum alone would not deter potential asylum seekers from trying to enter Hungary. In order to ensure that the situation from the summer of 2015 would not be repeated, the government begun to further strengthen the borders and to close existing refugee camps.

    Border Hunters

    In 2016, the Hungarian police started recruiting 3,000 “border hunters” to join some 10,000 police and soldiers patrolling a 100-mile-long, four-meter-high, razor-wire-topped fence erected on Hungary’s southern borders with Serbia and Croatia to keep refugees out. The recruitment posts were scattered all over Budapest, including the Keleti railway station that became a de facto refugee camp for tens of thousands of people fleeing violence in the Middle East in 2015. Today, the thousands of police and border hunters deal with fewer than 200 refugees who reach Hungary’s southern border with Serbia every day.

    The border hunters must have a high school diploma and receive six months of training. They earn approximately HUF 200,000 (US $709) a month, and receive other perks: housing and clothing allowances, and discount on travel and cell phones. During a recruiting fair in early October 2016, a pack of teenagers ogled a display of machine guns, batons, and riot gear. A glossy flier included a picture of patrols in 4x4s, advanced equipment to detect body heat, night-vision goggles, and migrant-sniffing dogs.

    At a swearing-in ceremony in Budapest for border hunters in spring 2017, Orbán said Hungary had to act to defend itself. The storm has not died, it has only subsided temporarily, he said. There are still millions waiting to set out on their journey in the hope of a better life (in Europe).

    Refugee Camp Closures

    Erecting fences and recruiting border hunters to keep refugees out is one strategy; closing existing refugee camps is another. Beginning in December 2016, Orbán moved to close most refugee camps. The camp in Bicske operated as a refugee facility for more than two decades. In the little museum established by refugees on the premises of the reception center one could see artifacts, coins, and paintings from many parts of the world: several countries in Africa, the Middle East, Bosnia, Kosovo, and Afghanistan, to name a few. However, in December 2016, the camp was shut down as part of the wave of closures. When the author visited the camp a few days before it closed, 75 individuals, hailing from Cuba, Nigeria, Cameroon, Iraq, Pakistan, and Afghanistan, lived there.

    At the time of the author’s visit, Bicske, which can house as many as 460 refugees, was operating well below capacity. The number of asylum applicants also decreased dramatically. According to HHC data, in October 2016, 1,198 refugees registered for asylum in Hungary compared with 5,812 in April 2016. As of October 2016, there were 529 asylum seekers staying in Hungarian refugee reception facilities: 318 at open reception centers such as Bicske and 211 in detention centers.

    The refugees who the author spoke with, including a couple from Nigeria and a young family from Cuba among others, were no terrorists. Jose and his family fled persecution in Cuba in hopes of reuniting with his elderly mother, who had received permission to stay in Budapest a couple of years earlier. Jose is a computer programmer and said he was confident that he would have no problem finding a job. In addition to his native Spanish, he speaks English, and was also learning Hungarian. The Nigerian couple fled northern Nigeria when Boko Haram killed several members of their family. They told the author mean no harm to anybody; all they want is to live in peace.

    When the camp in Bicske closed, the refugees were relocated to Kiskunhalas, a remote camp in southern Hungary, some 2 ½ hours by train from Budapest. The Bicske camp’s location offered its residents opportunities to access a variety of educational and recreational activities that helped them adjust to life in Hungary. Some refugees commuted to Budapest to attend classes at the Central European University (CEU) as well as language courses provided by nongovernmental organizations (NGOs). Bicske residents often attended events and met with Hungarian mentors from groups such as Artemisszió, a multicultural foundation, and MigSzol, a migrant advocacy group. Christian refugees were bused to an American church each Sunday morning. Moving the residents to Kiskunhalas has deprived them of these opportunities. The Hungarian government offers very few resources to refugees, both to those in reception facilities awaiting decisions on their cases and those who have received asylum, so it is clear that access to the civil-society organizations helping refugees prepare for their new lives is important.

    Magyar abszurd: Assistance to Venezuelan Refugees of Hungarian Ancestry

    While third-country nationals—asylum seekers or labor migrants—receive virtually no assistance from the government, ethnic Hungarians from faraway places such as Venezuela continue to enjoy a warm welcome as well as financial assistance and access to programs aimed at integrating them speedily.

    Recently, Hungary accepted 300 refugees from Venezuela. The Hungarian Charity Service of the Order of Malta led the resettlement effort. The refugees must prove some level of Hungarian ancestry in order to qualify for the resettlement scheme. About 5,000 Hungarians emigrated to Venezuela in the 20th century, mostly after World War II and in 1956.

    By Hungarian law, everyone who can prove Hungarian ancestry is entitled to citizenship. As Edit Frenyó, a Hungarian legal scholar, said, “Of course process is key, meaning political and administrative will are needed for successful naturalization.” According to media reports, the Venezuelan refugees are receiving free airfare, residency and work permits, temporary housing, job placement, and English and Hungarian language courses.

    Apparently, the refugees have been directed not to talk about their reception, perhaps in an effort to bolster the official narrative: an ethnonational story of homecoming, in which they are presented as Hungarians, not refugees or migrants. As Gergely Gulyás, Chancellor of the Republic of Hungary, declared, “We are talking about Hungarians; Hungarians are not considered migrants.” Frenyó posits that the Hungarian government must present the refugees as Hungarians seeking to come home to avert political backlash and to make sure the controversial immigration tax law is not levied on the Malta Order.

    Anti-Refugee Policy and the Role of Civil Society: Views on the Ground

    In contradiction to the government’s anti-refugee policies of recent years, civil-society organizations and civilians offered assistance to refugees who descended on the Keleti railway station in summer 2015. As Migration Aid volunteers recount, volunteers brought toys and sweets for the refugee children and turned the station into a playground during the afternoons. However, when Migration Aid volunteers started to use chalk to draw colorful pictures on the asphalt as a creative means to help children deal with their trauma, the Hungarian police reminded the volunteers that the children could be made liable for the “violation of public order.”

    In contrast to civil society’s engagement with children, the Hungarian government tried to undermine and limit public sympathy towards refugees. Hungarian state television employees were told not to broadcast images of refugee children. Ultimately, the task of visually capturing the everyday life of refugee families and their children, as the only means to bridge the distance between the refugees and the receiving societies, was left to volunteers and Facebook activists, such as the photo blog Budapest Seen. Budapest Seen captured activities at the train station, at the Slovenian and Serbian border, and elsewhere in the country, where both NGO workers and regular citizens were providing much needed water, food, sanitary napkins for women, diapers for babies, and medical assistance.

    Volunteers came in droves also in Debrecen, among them Aida el-Seaghi, half Yemeni and half Hungarian medical doctor, and Christina, a trained psychotherapist, and several dozen others who communicated and organized assistance to needy refugees through a private Facebook page, MigAid 2015.

    There were many other volunteer and civil-society groups, both in Budapest and Debrecen, who came to aid refugees in 2015. Among them, MigSzol, a group of students at the Central European University (CEU), Menedék (Hungarian Association for Migrants), established in January 1995 at the height of the Balkan wars, HHC, Adventist Development and Relief Agency, and several others.

    At the time of writing, many of these organizations are no longer operational as a result of the “Stop Soros” bill, passed in June 2018, which criminalizes assistance to irregular migrants, among other things. However, organizations such as the HHC continue to provide legal aid to migrants and refugees. Many volunteers who worked with refugees in 2015 continue their volunteer activities, but in the absence of refugees in Hungary focused their efforts on the Roma or the homeless. In interviews the author conducted in spring 2019, they expressed that they stand ready should another group of asylum seekers arrive in Hungary.

    Acknowledgments

    This article was prepared using funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Program under grant agreement No. 770330.

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    https://www.migrationpolicy.org/article/orban-reshapes-migration-policy-hungary

    #réfugiés #asile #migrations #Hongrie #xénophobie #anti-réfugiés #islamophobie #société_civile #solidarité #zones_de_transit #nourriture #camps_de_réfugiés #peur #histoire #milices #frontières #fermeture_des_frontières

    ping @isskein

  • l’histgeobox : Avec « les Oubliés », Gauvain chante les campagnes confrontées à la disparition des services publics.
    http://lhistgeobox.blogspot.com/2019/10/avec-les-oublies-gauvain-chante-les.html
    https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/proxy/MHkvQqj1zAaxS6S72Uh5jbPJqL4TRvj9m93_1pA6vh7qMQByf0iqthyMw-v_G

    Certains habitants des espaces ruraux marginalisés constatent, dépités, que tout se passe ailleurs, en ville. Ceux qui n’ont pas les moyens économiques, culturels, matériels de s’y rendre, vivent cette situation comme une assignation à résidence. Dans le cadre de la mondialisation, dans lequel seules les grandes métropoles semblent tirer leur épingle du jeu, cette situation attise - à tort ou à raison - un sentiment de marginalisation chez de nombreux acteurs des mondes ruraux qui subissent, depuis de nombreuses années, des politiques participant au détricotage des services publics et des liens sociaux. Si la décision de fermer un établissement scolaire répond à des logiques comptables et budgétaires nationales ; elle passe très mal auprès des populations locales concernées, leur donnant l’impression d’être abandonnées et méprisées, à l’instar des figures de la ruralité, souvent associées à la beauferie ou à l’arriération culturelle.

  • Le #Trièves, terre d’accueil des réfugiés

    Le Trièves, c’est un joli coin de campagne niché entre l’Obiou et le Mont-Aiguille, à une cinquantaine de kilomètres au Sud de Grenoble. Depuis cinq ans, une centaine d’habitants se sont regroupés dans le #CART, le « #Collectif_d'Accueil_de_Réfugiés_du_Trièves ». A #Mens, #Chichilianne et #Monestier_de_Clermont, ils hébergent et accompagnent ceux qui se sont « exilés », qui ont du quitter leur pays pour échapper à la mort ou à la misère.


    https://france3-regions.francetvinfo.fr/auvergne-rhone-alpes/isere/grenoble/trieves-terre-accueil-1734021.html
    #accueil #solidarité #asile #migrations #réfugiés #hébergement #campagne #rural #Isère #audio

    ping @karine4 @isskein

  • « 7 giorni con i curdi » : il mio diario dal campo profughi di #Makhmour

    Una settimana nell’Iraq settentrionale per toccare con mano un modello di democrazia partecipata messo in piedi da 13mila profughi. Che sperano in un futuro diverso.

    Questi non sono appunti di viaggio, ma di un’esperienza in un campo profughi che in questi mesi è diventato un campo di prigionia. Il campo di Makhmour è sorto nel 1998, su un terreno arido assegnato dall’Iraq all’ONU per ospitare i profughi di un viaggio infinito attraverso sette esodi, dopo l’incendio dei villaggi curdi sulle alture del Botan nel 1994 da parte della Turchia.

    Niente di nuovo sotto il sole, con Erdogan.

    Quei profughi hanno trasformato quel fazzoletto di terra senza un filo d’erba in un’esperienza di vita comune che è diventata un modello di democrazia partecipata del confederalismo democratico, l’idea di un nuovo socialismo elaborata da Apo Ocalan nelle prigioni turche, attorno al pensiero del giovane Marx e di Murray Bookchin.

    Il campo di Makhmour non è un laboratorio, è una storia intensa di vita.

    Da vent’anni questi tredicimila profughi stanno provando a realizzare un sogno, dopo aver pagato un prezzo molto, troppo elevato, in termini di vite umane. Nel campo vi sono tremilacinquecento bambini e il 70% della popolazione ha meno di 32 anni. La loro determinazione a vivere una vita migliore e condivisa ha superato finora tutti gli ostacoli. Anche l’assalto da parte dell’ISIS, respinto in pochi giorni con la riconquista del campo. Il loro campo.

    Da alcuni mesi sono sottoposti a un’altra dura prova. Il governo regionale del Kurdistan iracheno ha imposto, su istigazione del regime turco, un embargo sempre più restrittivo nei loro confronti. Nessuno può più uscire, né per lavoro né per altri motivi.

    Siamo stati con loro alcuni giorni, in un gruppo di compagni e compagne dell’Associazione Verso il Kurdistan, condividendo la loro situazione: dalla scarsità di cibo, che si basa ormai solo sull’autoproduzione, alla difficoltà di muoversi al di fuori del perimetro delimitato e dimenticato anche dall’ONU, sotto la cui tutela il campo dovrebbe ancora trovarsi.

    Le scritte dell’UNHCR sono sempre più sbiadite. In compenso, le scritte e gli stampi sui muri del volto e dello sguardo di Apo Ocalan sono diffusi ovunque.

    Anche nella Casa del Popolo in cui siamo stati ospiti, dormendo per terra e condividendo lo scarso cibo preparato con cura dagli uomini e dalle donne che ci ospitavano.

    Ma per noi ovviamente questo non è nulla, vista la breve temporaneità della nostra presenza. Per loro è tutto.

    In questi anni hanno provato a trasformare il campo nella loro scelta di vita, passando dalle tende alla costruzione di piccole unità in mattoni grigi, quasi tutte con un piccolo orto strappato al deserto. E, in ogni quartiere, con l’orto e il frutteto comune.

    Ci sono le scuole fino alle superiori, con un un indirizzo tecnico e uno umanistico, suddivise in due turni per l’alto numero degli alunni. Fino a tre mesi fa, terminate le superiori, potevano andare all’università a Erbil, il capoluogo del Kurdistan iracheno.

    Al mattino li vedi andare a scuola, a partire dalle elementari, con la camicia bianca sempre pulita e i pantaloni neri. E uno zaino, quando c’è, con pochi libri essenziali. Ragazzi e ragazze insieme: non è per niente scontato, in Medio Oriente.

    Durante le lezioni non si sente volare una mosca: non per disciplina, ma per attenzione. Non vanno a scuola, per decisione dell’assemblea del popolo, per più di quattro ore al giorno, proprio per evitare che il livello di attenzione scenda fino a sparire. Dovrebbe essere una cosa logica ovunque, ma sappiamo bene che non è così, dove si pensa che l’unico obiettivo sia accumulare nozioni. Le altre ore della giornata sono impegnate in diverse attività di gruppo: dalla cultura al teatro, dalla musica allo sport, autoorganizzate o seguite, in base all’età, da giovani adulti che hanno studiato e che non possono vedere riconosciuto il loro titolo. Perché sono persone senza alcun documento, da quando sono state cacciate dalla loro terra.

    Tenacemente, soprattutto le donne svolgono queste attività, lavorando alla formazione continua per ogni età, dai bambini agli anziani.

    Difficile è capire, se non si tocca con mano, il livello di protagonismo delle donne nell’Accademia, nella Fondazione, nell’Assemblea del popolo, nella municipalità e nelle altre associazioni.

    Si sono liberate dai matrimoni combinati e hanno eliminato il fenomeno delle spose bambine: non ci si può sposare prima dei 18 anni.

    Tutto viene deciso assemblearmente, tutto viene diviso equamente.

    Uno slancio di vitalità comune, in un dramma che dura da vent’anni e in un sogno di futuro che richiede anche di essere difeso, quando necessario, con le armi.

    I giovani armati vegliano sul campo dalle montagne.

    Questo esperimento di democrazia partecipata negli ultimi anni è stato adottato in Rojava, la parte di Siria abitata prevalentemente dal popolo curdo e liberata con il contributo determinante delle donne: un’esperienza da seguire e da aiutare a rimanere in vita, soprattutto in questo momento in cui la Turchia vuole distruggerla.

    Lì abitano tre milioni di persone, le etnie e le religioni sono diverse. Eppure il modello del confederalismo democratico sta funzionando: per questo rappresenta un esempio pericoloso di lotta al capitalismo per i regimi autoritari ma anche per le cosiddette democrazie senza contenuto.

    Nel caos e nel cuore del Medio Oriente è fiorito di nuovo un sogno di socialismo. Attuale, praticato e condiviso.

    Dobbiamo aiutarlo tutti non solo a sopravvivere e a resistere all’invasione da parte della Turchia, ma a radicarsi come forma di partecipazione attiva ai beni comuni dell’uguaglianza e dell’ecologia sociale e ambientale.

    L’obiettivo della missione era l’acquisto a Erbil e la consegna di un’ambulanza per il campo. Non è stato facile, vista la situazione di prigionia in cui vivono gli abitanti, ma alla fine ce l’abbiamo fatta. Il giorno dopo la nostra partenza è stato impedito dal governo regionale l’ingresso a un gruppo di tedeschi, con alcuni parlamentari, che doveva sostituirci.

    Di seguito trovate gli appunti sugli incontri, dal mio punto di vista, più significativi.

    Mercoledì 2 ottobre: il protagonismo delle donne

    Al mattino partecipiamo all’incontro delle madri al Sacrario dei caduti. Sala piena, chiamata a convalidare i risultati dell’assemblea di sabato scorso. Interviene Feliz, una giovane donna copresidente dell’assemblea del popolo, che ci sta accompagnando negli incontri in questi giorni. Il suo è un intervento forte, da leader politico. Questa ragazza è sempre in movimento, instancabile. Attorno, sulle pareti, spiccano le fotografie di almeno millecinquecento uomini e donne, spesso giovani, morti nelle varie lotte di difesa del campo. Millecinquecento su dodicimila abitanti: praticamente non esiste una famiglia che non sia stata coinvolta nella difesa drammatica dei valori comuni. Anche da qui si capisce l’identità forte dei sentimenti condivisi di una comunità.

    Le donne elette per rappresentare l’Associazione si impegnano a rispettarne i principi, tra cui difendere i valori della memoria e non portare avanti interessi personali o familiari.

    Sempre in mattinata, andiamo alla sede della Fondazione delle donne. Gestiscono cinque asili, una sartoria e l’atelier di pittura. La loro sede è stata rimessa a nuovo dopo la distruzione avvenuta nei giorni di occupazione dell’ISIS. Sulla parte bianca, spicca una frase di Apo Ocalan: “Con le nostre speranze e il nostro impegno, coltiviamo i nostri sogni”. L’impegno principale della Fondazione è per il lavoro e la dignità di donne e bambini. Nei loro laboratori sono impegnate sessanta persone. Seguono poi duecento giovani, bambini e ragazzi, dai sei ai diciassette anni, al di fuori dell’orario scolastico, che si autoorganizzano autonomamente: decidono insieme giochi, regole, organizzano teatri e feste.

    La Fondazione è gestita collettivamente, da un coordinamento, che si trova una volta alla settimana; una volta all’anno l’assemblea generale fa il punto sui risultati, i problemi, le prospettive.

    Vengono seguite anche le famiglie con problemi e si affrontano anche le situazioni di violenza domestica, ricomponibili anche con il loro intervento. Per le situazioni più drammatiche e complesse si porta il problema all’assemblea delle donne, che decide in merito. Ma il loro lavoro sul riconoscimento, il rispetto e il protagonismo delle donne avviene con tutti, anche con gli uomini, e si svolge ovunque, anche con l’educativa di strada.

    La promotrice della Fondazione, Sentin Garzan, è morta combattendo in Rojava. A mezzogiorno siamo ospiti di un pranzo preparato da chi lavora al presidio ospedaliero.

    Nel tardo pomeriggio, in un clima dolce e ventilato con vista sulla pianura e la cittadina di Makhmour, incontriamo l’Accademia delle donne. Tutto, o quasi, al campo di Makhmour, parla al femminile. Bambini e bambine giocano insieme. Le ragazze e le donne giovani non portano nessun velo, se non, a volte, durante le ore più calde della giornata. Ma è un fatto di clima, non di costume o di storia o di costrizione. Le donne più anziane portano semplici foulards.

    All’Accademia le ragazze molto giovani, in particolare psicologhe, sociologhe, insegnanti. Ma soprattutto militanti.

    Per comprendere una storia così intensa, bisogna partire dalle origini del campo, costituito, dopo sette peregrinazioni imposte a partire dal 1995, nel 1998 da rifugiati politici della stessa regione montuosa del Kurdistan in Turchia, il Botan.

    Dopo, si sono aggiunti altri rifugiati. La loro è la storia intensa dell’esodo, con i suoi passaggi drammatici. Ma anche con l’orgoglio dell’autoorganizzazione.

    Le donne dell’Accademia ci parlano del lungo e faticoso percorso svolto dall’inizio dell’esodo fino a oggi. Una delle figure di riferimento più importanti rimane Yiyan Sîvas, una ragazza volontaria uccisa nel 1995 nel campo di Atrux, uno dei passaggi verso Makhmour.

    Era molto attiva nella lotta per i diritti civili e sociali. Soprattutto delle donne. E nella difesa della natura: anticipava i tempi.

    Yiyan Sîvas è stata uccisa, colpita al cuore in una manifestazione contro un embargo simile a quello attuale. Il vestito che indossava, con il buco del proiettile e la macchia di sangue rappreso, è custodito gelosamente nella sede dell’Accademia, aperta nel 2003.

    All’Accademia si occupano di formazione: dall’alfabetizzazione delle persone anziane che non sanno leggere e scrivere, all’aiuto nei confronti di chi incontra difficoltà a scuola, lavorando direttamente nei quartieri.

    Ma il loro scopo principale è la formazione attraverso i corsi di gineologia (jin in curdo significa donna), sulla storia e i diritti di genere; e sulla geografia, che parla da sola delle loro origini. Si confrontano con le differenze, per far scaturire il cambiamento. Che consiste in decisioni concrete, prese dall’assemblea del popolo, come l’abolizione dei matrimoni combinati, il rifiuto del pagamento per gli stessi, il divieto del matrimonio prima dei diciotto anni.

    Per una vita libera, l’autodifesa delle donne è dal maschio, ma anche dallo Stato. Sono passaggi epocali nel cuore del Medio Oriente.

    «Se c’è il problema della fame», dice una di loro, «cerchi il pane. Il pane, per le donne in Medio Oriente, si chiama educazione, protagonismo, formazione. Che è politica, culturale, ideologica. Con tutti, donne e uomini».

    L’Accademia forma, l’Assemblea decide: è un organismo politico. Che si muove secondo i principi del confederalismo democratico, il modello di partecipazione ideato da Apo Ocalan, con riferimento al giovane Marx da una parte e a Murray Bookchin, da “L’Ecologia della Libertà”, a “Democrazia diretta” e a “Per una società ecologica. Tesi sul municipalismo libertario”.

    Ma il confederalismo democratico conosce una storia millenaria. Appartiene alla tradizione presumerica, che si caratterizzava come società aperta: con la costruzione sociale sumerica è iniziata invece la struttura piramidale, con la relativa suddivisione in caste.

    Si parla di Mesopotamia, non di momenti raggrinziti in tempi senza storia.
    Giovedì 3 ottobre: il confederalismo democratico

    Questa mattina incontriamo i rappresentanti dell’Assemblea del popolo. Ci sono la copresidente, Feliz, e alcuni consiglieri. Verso la fine della riunione arriva anche l’altro copresidente, reduce dal suo lavoro di pastore. Di capre e, adesso, anche di popolo.

    Feliz spiega i nove punti cardine del confederalismo democratico:

    La cultura. Si può dire che nel campo di Makhmour da mattina fino a notte si respira cultura in tutte le sue espressioni e a tutte le età;
    La stampa, per diffondere le idee, i progetti e le iniziative che il campo esprime;
    La salute: da qui l’importanza del presidio ospedaliero e dell’attività di informazione e prevenzione;
    La formazione, considerata fondamentale per condividere principi, valori e stili di vita comuni;
    La sicurezza della popolazione: la sicurezza collettiva garantisce quella individuale, non viceversa;
    I comitati sociali ed economici per un’economia comune e anticapitalista;
    La giustizia sociale;
    La municipalità, quindi il Comune, con sindaca, cosindaco o viceversa, con il compito di rendere esecutivi i progetti decisi dall’Assemblea; e, insieme, alla municipalità, l’ecologia sociale, considerata come un carattere essenziale della municipalità.
    L’ecologia sociale va oltre l’ecologia ambientale: è condizione essenziale per il benessere collettivo;
    La politica.

    Ognuno di questi punti viene declinato nelle cinque zone del campo, ognuna composta da quattro quartieri. Il confederalismo democratico parte da lì, dai comitati di quartiere, che si riuniscono una volta alla settimana e ogni due mesi scrivono un rapporto su problemi e proposte, scegliendo alcune persone come portavoce per l’Assemblea del popolo.

    L’Assemblea del popolo è composta dalla presidente, dal copresidente e da 131 consiglieri. Presidente e copresidente sono presenti tutti i giorni, a tempo pieno.

    Le cariche durano due anni, rinnovabili per un mandato. La municipalità viene eletta dal popolo. Non sempre è facile arrivare alle decisioni, perché tutto deve essere condiviso.

    L’incontro non è formale: si discute infatti di come utilizzare il luogo individuato per l’ospedale, a partire dall’ampliamento del poliambulatorio. Si tratta di coprire la struttura e, allo stesso tempo, di decidere come utilizzare gli spazi, visto che sono troppo grandi per un ospedale di comunità. Viene esclusa l’ipotesi della scuola per la dimensione dei locali; vengono prese in considerazione altre ipotesi, come la nuova sede per le attività dell’Associazione che si prende cura dei bambini down, che ha elaborato un proprio progetto, e il laboratorio di fisioterapia. Ma il primo passo, concreto, è l’avvio dei lavori per la copertura della struttura.

    Il confederalismo democratico ritiene che le comunità, per poter coinvolgere tutti, debbano avere una dimensione ottimale di diecimila persone. Il campo è abitato da tredicimila persone e il modello, con le sue fatiche, funziona.

    Il modello in questi anni è stato adottato in Rojava, dove vi sono oltre tre milioni di persone di etnie diverse e lì il banco di prova è decisivo. Se la Turchia non riuscirà a distruggerlo.

    Ma chi lo ha proposto e lo vive non solo ci crede, lo pratica con la grande convinzione che sia il modo per cambiare dalla base la struttura sociale del Medio Oriente.

    Venerdì 4 ottobre: Incontro con “M”

    Incontriamo una rappresentante che ci parla delle donne che hanno combattuto a Kobane. Nel suo racconto, nell’analisi della situazione e nella valutazione delle prospettive, alterna passaggi piani a momenti di forte impatto emotivo.

    Si parla del protagonismo delle donne nella liberazione del Rojava. «La guerra non è mai una bella cosa», racconta, «ma la nostra è stata, è una guerra per l’umanità. Per la difesa della dignità umana. Le donne sono partite in poche: quattro o cinque di nazionalità diverse, ma unite dall’idea che fosse necessario armarsi, addestrarsi e combattere l’oppressione e il fondamentalismo per affermare la possibilità di una vita migliore. Per le donne, ma anche per gli uomini». Per tutti.

    «A Kobane la popolazione aveva bisogno di essere difesa dall’attacco dell’ISIS: da un problema di sicurezza è scaturita una rivoluzione vera. Una rivoluzione che non è solo curda, o araba, ma è una rivoluzione popolare, che sta costruendo un nuovo modello di democrazia partecipata».

    In Medio Oriente, cuore della Terza Guerra Mondiale scatenata dai conflitti interni e orchestrata dalle potenze mondiali.

    «Quando ci si crede, si può arrivare a risultati impensabili. Non importava essere in poche. All’inizio non è stato facile, nel rapporto con le altre donne: per la prima volta si trovavano davanti alla scelta della lotta armata in prima persona, dal punto di vista femminile. Poi hanno compreso, quando hanno visto le loro figlie venire con noi, crescere nella consapevolezza e nella determinazione per organizzare la resistenza popolare. L’organizzazione popolare è diventata determinante, non solo a Kobane, ma in tutto il Rojava.

    Le donne, quando vogliono raggiungere un obiettivo, sono molto determinate. E sono molto più creative degli uomini.

    Così hanno trasformato una guerra di difesa in una possibilità di cambiamento rivoluzionario, in cui tutti possono partecipare alla costruzione di un destino comune, provando a superare anche le divisioni imposte nei secoli dalle diverse religioni». Nel caos del Medio Oriente, dove in questo momento l’Iraq è di nuovo in fiamme.

    «Oggi il nemico per noi rimane l’ISIS: l’YPG (la nostra formazione guerrigliera maschile) e l’YPJ (la nostra formazione guerrigliera femminile) lo hanno sconfitto, ma rimangono sacche sparse dell’ISIS e cellule dormienti all’interno dei territori liberati. Il nemico però è soprattutto la Turchia, la cui strategia sullo scacchiere del Medio Oriente, dove tutte le potenze mondiali vogliono dare scacco al re, è l’occupazione della striscia di terra che corre sotto il confine con la Siria e che collega storicamente l’Occidente e l’Oriente.

    Questo territorio è il Rojava: per questo il regime di Erdogan vuole distruggerci. Sostiene, come ad Afrin, di volersi presentare con il ramoscello d’ulivo: in realtà, ad Afrin ha portato forme di repressione sempre più aspre, nuove forme di violenza etnica, una nuova diffusione dei sequestri di persona. Per arrivare al suo obiettivo, la Turchia sta costruendo un altro ISIS, come ha fatto con l’originale. Solo una parte delle tre milioni di persone presenti in Turchia è costituita da profughi: sono quelli che il regime vuole cacciare e spinge a viaggi disperati e rischiosi verso l’Europa. Gli altri sono integralisti, diretti o potenziali, che il regime di Erdogan intende tenere, avviandoli a scuole di formazione religiosa e militare, fino a quando li manderà di nuovo in giro a seminare il terrore.

    La Turchia utilizza i miliardi di dollari forniti dall’Europa per ricostituire un nuovo ISIS da utilizzare nello scenario della Terza Guerra mondiale». La vecchia strategia di destabilizzare per stabilizzare con il terrore.

    «La Turchia utilizza la Russia, la Russia la Turchia, la Turchia gli Europei. L’Europa, aiutando la Turchia, sta diffondendo dei nuovi veicoli di infezione.

    La vittima designata è il popolo curdo, ma il popolo curdo ha la testa dura.

    La minaccia principale incombe sul territorio libero del Rojava, dove è in corso un esperimento concreto di confederalismo democratico, con la partecipazione di tutte le etnie. Lo stiamo facendo con un forte impegno e una grande fatica, ma questa è la via per portare una vita migliore in una regione devastata dai conflitti etnici e religiosi, interni e scatenati dall’esterno».

    Particolarmente importante, in questa situazione, è la condizione della donna. «Quando le condizioni della donna migliorano, migliora la situazione per tutti, perché vincono i principi e l’ideologia della vita contro i nazionalismi e le strumentalizzazioni del capitalismo internazionale.

    Prima tutti dicevano di volerci dare una mano. Ma la memoria di molti è troppo corta. Le organizzazioni umanitarie ufficiali si schierano sempre con gli Stati, non con i movimenti di liberazione.

    Il nostro obiettivo è mantenere il Rojava libero di fronte alla minaccia dell’occupazione. Dobbiamo sensibilizzare l’opinione pubblica mondiale attorno a questa nuova speranza per il Medio Oriente e costruire un ponte tra il Kurdistan e l’Europa.

    Il potere della società è come un fiume che, scorrendo, cresce in maniera sempre più ampia. Noi vogliamo resistere per creare una vita migliore.

    Voi, delle associazioni non legate al potere degli Stati, potete aiutarci contribuendo a diffondere le nostre idee, la nostra esperienza, la nostra storia».

    Sabato 5 ottobre: incontro con i giovani che difendono il campo

    Nel tardo pomeriggio incontriamo la Guardia Armata del Campo. Ci raccontano che dopo il bombardamento con i droni dell’aprile scorso, non ci sono state altre incursioni da parte dei turchi. La tensione però rimane alta anche perché nelle vicinanze ci sono ancora gruppi sparsi dell’Isis. Facciamo qualche domanda a proposito della loro vita. Ci dicono che chi si dedica alla causa curda può arruolarsi dai 18 anni in poi, anche per sempre. Se si vuol lasciare un impegno così pieno si può farlo senza problemi, anche se i casi sono rari.

    Li vediamo al tramonto. Appartengono alla formazione che ha liberato Makhmour e soprattutto Kirkuk, dove i peshmerga, l’organizzazione armata del governo regionale del Kurdistan iracheno, si trovavano in difficoltà e stavano per essere sopraffatti dall’avanzata dell’ISIS.

    A Makhmour hanno liberato sia il campo che la città, sede del più grande deposito di grano dell’Iraq. Poi sono tornati sulle montagne.

    Con noi parla con grande convinzione uno dei ragazzi, il portavoce: gli altri condividono con gesti misurati le sue parole. Nessuno di loro ha più di venticinque anni, ma tutti e tre ne dimostrano meno.

    Il ragazzo dice che la loro scelta è stata spontanea, e che li guida l’idea della difesa del popolo dall’oppressione degli Stati: non solo quelli che incombono sul popolo curdo (Turchia, Siria, Iraq, Iran), ma sul popolo in generale. In questi giorni stanno dalla parte delle proteste popolari contro il governo che sono in atto a Bagdad: la loro lotta è contro il capitalismo e durerà fino all’affermazione del socialismo che, nella loro visione, oggi si esprime attraverso il confederalismo democratico.

    L’atmosfera è coinvolgente. Sotto, nella pianura, le prime luci si diffondono sul campo. Sopra, sulla montagna, loro proteggono e tutelano la serenità di bambini, donne e uomini.

    I bambini del campo sono tanti e cantano insieme con un’allegria contagiosa, a ripetere giochi antichi e sempre attuali: insieme, bambini e bambine.

    Loro si alzano alle quattro, poi dedicano il mattino alla formazione politica e all’addestramento fisico per chiudere la giornata con l’addestramento militare. Militanti a tempo pieno.

    Sono convinti che o il futuro del mondo è il socialismo come forma di democrazia diretta e partecipata, o sarà solo morte e distruzione, come da troppi anni è in Medio Oriente, in mano alle oligarchie di potere manovrate dagli interessi del capitalismo internazionale.

    Alla domanda se non li ferisce il fatto che la propaganda turca e di altri Paesi occidentali li chiama terroristi, la loro risposta è: «A noi interessa quello che pensa il popolo, non quello che dicono questi signori».

    Nella quotidianità questi ragazzi non conoscono giorni di riposo o di vacanza, hanno sporadici rapporti con le famiglie per motivi di sicurezza, non sono sposati.

    Proprio adesso, nel momento dell’incontro, dalla pianura salgono le musiche popolari di un matrimonio, alla cui festa vanno tutti quelli che vogliono partecipare, con le danze tradizionali e i costumi rivisitati in chiave attuale.

    Ieri, a un altro matrimonio, ci siamo stati anche noi. Si respirava un’aria autentica, come erano queste feste anche in Occidente prima di diventare un’espressione inautentica di lusso ostentato e volgare.

    I giovani guerriglieri intendono continuare fino a quando momenti come questo, di partecipazione popolare, saranno la regola di pace e non l’eccezione in un clima di guerra.

    Nelle parole e nei gesti sono sobri e austeri, quasi oltre la loro età.

    Dopo un’ora si alzano dalle rocce su cui ci siamo trovati e, dopo averci salutato con un abbraccio intenso, si avviano verso la montagna, veloci e leggeri.

    Non esibiscono le armi; appartengono loro come uno strumento di difesa e di protezione. Come il bastone del pastore, che vigila sul suo gregge.

    Non sono ombre, ma appaiono solari nel tramonto che scende lentamente verso la Siria.
    Domenica 6 ottobre: l’uscita dal campo

    Oggi tocchiamo con mano che cosa vuol dire l’embargo per il campo di Makhmour imposto dal governo regionale del Kurdistan iracheno, in accordo con la Turchia. Il popolo del campo da tre mesi non può uscire, né per lavoro, né per altri motivi. Il rappresentante delle relazioni esterne ha chiesto il permesso per poterci accompagnare fino a Erbil, ma il permesso è stato negato. Potranno accompagnarci solo fino al primo check point, dove ci aspettano dei tassisti della città di Makhmour. Da lì in avanti è una sequenza di controlli: sbrigativi quelli ai due posti di controllo iracheni, sempre più lunghi e insistenti ai tre posti di controllo del governo regionale.

    Tra il campo e l’esterno è stata posta una serie di barriere a ostacoli.

    Ci vogliono oltre due ore per arrivare ad Erbil, dove arriviamo in un normale albergo dopo dieci notti sul pavimento della casa del popolo. Non mi piace per nulla questo passaggio: ho già nostalgia di quei giorni, con il poco cibo curato con grande attenzione, e di quelle notti in sette per stanza, su dei tappeti stesi a terra.

    Lucia e altri compagni del gruppo vanno a chiudere la pratica di acquisto dell’autoambulanza. Finalmente, dopo giorni estenuanti per la difficoltà di comunicare con l’esterno dal campo. La pratica viene risolta subito e inaspettatamente, anche con l’aiuto di alcuni compagni dell’HDP, il partito di sinistra nel Kurdistan iracheno. L’ambulanza, nuovissima, viene portata dallo stesso concessionario, una persona sensibile alla questione curda, al campo (lui, essendo un cittadino di Erbil, può muoversi), dove un video registra l’ingresso al presidio ospedaliero. Missione compiuta.

    Con gli altri del gruppo andiamo a fare un giro in città, verso la cittadella. Ma Erbil mi ricorda troppo il nostro mondo, tra l’inquinamento dei pozzi petroliferi alla periferia, le centinaia di autocisterne in fila per il rifornimento, un traffico caotico. Unica differenza con le città occidentali, il suk mischiato alle firme della moda che hanno infettato le città di tutti i continenti. Torno in albergo e guardo lo scorrere delle code dalle vetrate: ho bisogno ancora di una barriera per affrontare questo mondo. Se è ancora un mondo.
    Lunedì 7 ottobre: la differenza

    Saliamo in gruppo alla cittadella di Erbil, patrimonio mondiale dell’Unesco. La più antica cittadella fortificata del mondo, costruita su undici strati successivi. Incontriamo il direttore del sito, che ci accoglie come dei vecchi amici e ci porta a visitare i luoghi ancora chiusi al pubblico per i lavori di scavo.

    Parla fluentemente tedesco e inglese, ha abitato in Germania; poi, in piena guerra, nel 2002 è stato chiamato a ricoprire il ruolo di sindaco della città.

    Lo ha fatto fino al 2016. Erbil ha più di un milione di abitanti, il Kurdistan iracheno non supera i quattro milioni di abitanti. Eppure negli anni scorsi sono stati accolti oltre due milioni di profughi fuggiti di fronte all’avanzata dell’ISIS. E loro li hanno ospitati senza alcun problema. E chi ha voluto rimanere, è rimasto. Mi viene in mente che da noi, noi?, si parla indecentemente di invasione di fronte a poche migliaia di migranti che rischiano la vita attraversando il mare. C’è chi guarda avanti, e forse ha un futuro; e c’ è chi non sa guardare da nessuna parte, e non ha passato, presente e futuro.

    Nella notte tra il 7 e l’8 ottobre si parte. Verso la notte dell’Occidente.

    https://valori.it/curdi-diario-viaggio-campo-profughi
    #camp_de_réfugiés #camps_de_réfugiés #Kurdes #Irak #réfugiés_kurdes #asile #migrations #réfugiés #Öcalan #Apo_Ocalan #Ocalan #Confédéralisme_démocratique #utopie #rêve #jardins_partagés #agriculture #éducation #écoles #jardins_potagers #formation_continue #femmes #démocratie_participative #égalité #écologie_sociale #Assemblée_du_peuple #Rojava #Kurdistan_irakien

  • « Les Kurdes nous ont dit "sortez, courez !" » : le témoignage de djihadistes françaises

    Prises sous le feu de l’armée turque, les forces kurdes ouvrent les portes des camps de #prisonniers #djihadistes. Témoignages recueillis par deux journalistes qui les avaient suivies dans le cadre d’un livre.

    Dix Françaises, membres de l’organisation Etat islamique (EI), sont libres en Syrie, après avoir pu sortir du camp d’Aïn Issa, à 50 km au nord de Raqqa. Selon nos informations, les forces kurdes, qui les détenaient, ne pouvaient plus les garder.

    Ces dix Françaises et leurs 25 enfants ont été sortis du camp, dimanche 13 octobre au matin, alors que l’armée turque prenait pour cible Aïn Issa, ville sous contrôle kurde dans le nord de la #Syrie. Dans l’incapacité de gérer ces centaines de femmes djihadistes étrangères retenues dans cette prison, les gardes kurdes ont quitté les lieux, les laissant libres.

    Comme les autres, les dix Françaises sont donc sorties dans la précipitation avec leurs enfants. Toutes sont connues des services de renseignement et sont sous le coup d’un mandat international pour avoir rejoint #Daech.

    http://www.leparisien.fr/international/en-syrie-les-kurdes-laissent-s-echapper-des-djihadistes-francaises-14-10-
    #femmes #camps #Kurdistan #EI #ISIS #Etat_islamique #prison #Aïn_Issa #France #françaises #fuite

  • What is a Concentration Camp ?

    ‘Concentration camps’ are difficult to define. Even the survivors of the most notorious and universally recognised camps in history discovered this problem in the aftermath of the Second World War.

    https://www.historytoday.com/miscellanies/what-concentration-camp
    #camps #camps_de_concentration #définition #CPA_camps #histoire #WWII #deuxième_guerre_mondiale #seconde_guerre_mondiale

  • British orphans found trapped in Syria IS camp

    The war in Syria has been reignited on new fronts by Turkey’s incursion into the north east of the country.

    In camps across the regions are thousands of terrified children whose parents supported the Islamic State group, but most of their countries don’t want them home.

    In one camp, the BBC has discovered three children, believed to be from London, whose parents joined IS five years ago, and were subsequently killed in the fighting.

    The children - Amira, Heba and Hamza - are stranded, in danger and they want to come home.

    https://www.bbc.com/news/av/world-middle-east-50030567/british-orphans-found-trapped-in-syria-is-camp
    #enfants #enfance #ISIS #EI #Etat_islamique #camps #orphelins #Syrie #conflit #guerre #combattants_étrangers

    • Gli svizzeri della Jihad

      Chi sono gli jihadisti elvetici, di che reti facevano parte e cosa li ha spinti a partire? Da Winterthur a Ginevra, dai palazzi popolari ai quartieri borghesi, siamo andati a cercare i giovani che si sono uniti all’ISIS.

      Sono svizzeri e sono partiti per fare la jihad. Molti di loro hanno combattuto per lo stato islamico, altri sono entrati in contatto con gli attentatori che hanno colpito l’Europa. Sono stati catturati in Siria e adesso si trovano nelle prigioni nel nord del paese.Con loro ci sono donne e bambini. Per ora nessun tribunale sta giudicando i loro crimini, tutti quanti sono in attesa che i rispettivi paesi d’origine decidano come procedere nei loro confronti. Uno stallo che sembra però sbloccarsi: secondo alcune indiscrezioni Berna starebbe considerando l’ipotesi di far rientrare le donne e i bambini.Una squadra di Falò è stata nei campi di prigionia che ospitano donne e bambini dell’ISIS; tendopoli al collasso in cui l’ideologia radicale sta risorgendo. Ma ci sono anche svizzeri che hanno fatto parte dello Stato Islamico e sono già rientrati in Svizzera.Chi sono questi jihadisti elvetici, di che reti facevano parte e cosa li ha spinti a partire? Da Winterthur a Ginevra, dai palazzi popolari ai quartieri borghesi, siamo andati a cercare i giovani che si sono uniti all’ISIS. Alcuni si dicono pentiti, altri sembrano aver mantenuto dei legami con gli ambienti radicalizzati. A che punto stanno i processi nei loro confronti? Chi si occupa di sorvegliare le loro attività? Quanto pericolosi li dobbiamo considerare?

      https://www.rsi.ch/play/tv/falo/video/gli-svizzeri-della-jihad----------?id=12256843
      #documentaire #film #suisse #femmes #al-Hol #camps_de_réfugiés #détention #prison

    • UK special forces may help British orphans escape Syria

      Home Office reverses stance and says it will consider repatriating children in camps.
      https://i.guim.co.uk/img/media/d0a1d88ba6202391e12730afd5aac7dc8694af18/0_235_5616_3370/master/5616.jpg?width=620&quality=85&auto=format&fit=max&s=204f73a9482a4debc42258

      Britain will consider repatriating orphans and unaccompanied children in north-east Syria if they are alerted to their presence by local military or aid agencies.

      Home Office officials said the UK would assist British orphans trapped in Syria after the Turkish invasion, reversing a previous policy that children had to be taken out of the country before they might get any help.

      Officials would not say exactly how children might be extracted from the country, implying that SAS or other special forces, still understood to be based in the region, could be involved in the repatriations.

      They said children thought to be British would be assessed on a case-by-case basis once removed from Syria and only orphans and unaccompanied children would be eligible to be brought back to the UK.

      The shift in policy comes after a BBC reporting team found three English-speaking orphans aged 10 or under in a Syria camp over the weekend. The children are believed to have been taken by their parents to live under Islamic State five years ago.

      The eldest, Amira, 10, told the film crew that their parents and other immediate adult family members were killed in an air assault on Baghouz, the last Isis stronghold, which fell in March, and she wanted to return to the UK.

      Save the Children, one of the few charities operating in north-east Syria, said the Home Office developments were a step in the right direction but more detail was required.

      “For this to translate into a real change of policy, we need to know that the government is working on how to bring all British children to the UK while we still can, not just those featured in the media,” the charity said.

      It is not clear how many British unaccompanied children remain in the crowded refugee camps in the Kurdish region of Syria. Some unofficial estimates put the figure at around 30.

      Any child born to a Briton – whether inside or outside the UK – is a British citizen. Before the Turkish invasion the government had said it was too risky to try to attempt any rescue children with a legitimate claim.

      When Shamima Begum was deprived of her UK citizenship in February, the British government said her infant son was still British. After the child died at a Syrian refugee camp at the age of three weeks, Jeremy Hunt, then foreign secretary, said it had been too dangerous for British officials to attempt to a rescue.

      Opposition MPs questioned whether the change in stance would lead to more orphaned children getting help. Stephen Gethins, the SNP’s foreign affairs spokesman, said: “We know the UK government’s record on resettling refugees and vulnerable people leaves a lot to be desired. Beyond the rhetoric there is very little substance from the UK government.”

      On Tuesday the foreign secretary, Dominic Raab, had hinted at a change of policy when, during an urgent debate on the Syrian crisis, he said: “We are looking at whether orphans and unaccompanied minors who bear UK nationality can be given safe passage to return to the UK.”

      Further details were spelled out on Wednesday by the Home Office, which has been leading on repatriations from Syria.

      The government does not want former Isis fighters and adult supporters to return to the UK, although around 450 are thought to have previously done so, and it is suggesting they could be put on trial in the region.

      https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/oct/16/uk-shifts-stance-on-helping-british-orphans-escape-syria?CMP=Share_iOSA
      #orphelins #rapatriement

  • Syria-Turkey briefing: The fallout of an invasion for civilians

    Humanitarians are warning that a Turkish invasion in northeast Syria could force hundreds of thousands of people to flee their homes, as confusion reigns over its possible timing, scope, and consequences.

    Panos Moumtzis, the UN’s regional humanitarian coordinator for Syria, told reporters in Geneva on Monday that any military operation must guard against causing further displacement. “We are hoping for the best but preparing for the worst,” he said, noting that an estimated 1.7 million people live in the country’s northeast.

    Some residents close to the Syria-Turkey border are already leaving, one aid worker familiar with the situation on the ground told The New Humanitarian. Most are staying with relatives in nearby villages for the time-being, said the aid worker, who asked to remain anonymous in order to continue their work.

    The number of people who have left their homes so far remains relatively small, the aid worker said, but added: “If there is an incursion, people will leave.”

    The International Rescue Committee said “a military offensive could immediately displace at least 300,000 people”, but analysts TNH spoke to cautioned that the actual number would depend on Turkey’s plans, which remain a major unknown.

    As the diplomatic and security communities struggle to get a handle on what’s next, the same goes for humanitarians in northeastern Syria – and the communities they are trying to serve.

    Here’s what we know, and what we don’t:
    What just happened?

    Late on Sunday night, the White House said that following a phone call with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, “Turkey will soon be moving forward with its long-planned operation into Northern Syria,” adding that US soldiers would not be part of the move, and “will no longer be in the immediate area”.

    The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) – the Syrian-Kurdish-led militia that until now had been supported by the United States and played a major role in wresting territory back from the so-called Islamic State (IS) group in Syria – vowed to stand its ground in the northeast.

    An SDF spokesperson tweeted that the group “will not hesitate to turn any unprovoked attack by Turkey into an all-out war on the entire border to DEFEND ourselves and our people”.

    Leading Republicans in the US Congress criticised President Donald Trump’s decision, saying it represents an abandonment of Kurdish allies in Syria, and the Pentagon appeared both caught off-guard and opposed to a Turkish incursion.

    Since then, Trump has tweeted extensively on the subject, threatening to “totally destroy and obliterate the economy of Turkey” if the country does anything he considers to be “off limits”.

    On the ground, US troops have moved out of two key observation posts on the Turkey-Syria border, in relatively small numbers: estimates range from 50 to 150 of the total who would have been shifted, out of around 1,000 US soldiers in the country.
    What is Turkey doing?

    Erdogan has long had his sights on a “safe zone” inside Syria, which he has said could eventually become home to as many as three million Syrian refugees, currently in Turkey.

    Turkish Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu said in August that only 17 percent of Turkey’s estimated 3.6 million Syrian refugees come from the northeast of the country, which is administered by the SDF and its political wing.

    Turkish and US forces began joint patrols of a small stretch of the border early last month. While Turkey began calling the area a “safe zone”, the United States referred to it as a “security mechanism”. The terms of the deal were either never made public or not hammered out.

    In addition to any desire to resettle refugees, which might only be a secondary motive, Turkey wants control of northeast Syria to rein in the power of the SDF, which it considers to be a terrorist organisation.

    One of the SDF’s main constituent parts are People’s Defense Units – known by their Kurdish acronym YPG.

    The YPG are an offshoot of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK – a Turkey-based Kurdish separatist organisation that has conducted an insurgency against the Turkish government for decades, leading to a bloody crackdown.

    While rebels fight for the northwest, and Russian-backed Syrian government forces control most of the rest of Syria, the SDF currently rules over almost all of Hassakeh province, most of Raqqa and Deir Ezzor provinces, and a small part of Aleppo province.
    How many civilians are at risk?

    There has not been a census in Syria for years, and numbers shift quickly as people flee different pockets of conflict. This makes estimating the number of civilians in northeast Syria very difficult.

    The IRC said in its statement it is “deeply concerned about the lives and livelihoods of the two million civilians in northeast Syria”; Moumtzis mentioned 1.7 million people; and Save the Children said “there are 1.65 million people in need of humanitarian assistance in this area, including more than 650,000 displaced by war”.

    Of those who have had to leave their homes in Raqqa, Deir Ezzor, and Hassakeh, only 100,000 are living in camps, according to figures from the International Committee of the Red Cross. Others rent houses or apartments, and some live in unfinished buildings or tents.

    “While many commentators are rightly focusing on the security implications of this policy reversal, the humanitarian implications will be equally enormous,” said Jeremy Konyndyk, senior policy fellow at the Center for Global Development, and a former high-ranking Obama administration aid official.

    “All across Northern Syria, hundreds of thousands of displaced and conflict-affected people who survived the horrors of the… [IS] era will now face the risk of new violence between Turkish and SDF forces.”
    Who will be first in the firing line?

    It’s unlikely all of northeast Syria would be impacted by a Turkish invasion right away, given that so far the United States has only moved its troops away from two border posts, at Tel Abyad (Kurdish name: Gire Spi), and roughly 100 kilometres to the east, at Ras al-Ayn (Kurdish name: Serê Kaniyê).

    Depending on how far into Syria one is counting, aid workers estimate there are between 52,000 to 68,000 people in this 100-kilometre strip, including the towns of Tel Abyad and Ras al-Ayn themselves. The aid worker in northeast Syria told TNH that if there is an offensive, these people are more likely, at least initially, to stay with family or friends in nearby villages than to end up in camps.

    The aid worker added that while humanitarian operations from more than 70 NGOs are ongoing across the northeast, including in places like Tel Abyad, some locals are avoiding the town itself and, in general, people are “extremely worried”.
    What will happen to al-Hol camp?

    The fate of the rest of northeast Syria’s population may also be at risk.

    Trump tweeted on Monday that the Kurds “must, with Europe and others, watch over the captured ISIS fighters and families”.

    The SDF currently administers al-Hol, a tense camp of more than 68,000 people – mostly women and children – deep in Hassakeh province, where the World Health Organisation recently said people are living “in harsh and deplorable conditions, with limited access to quality basic services, sub-optimal environment and concerns of insecurity.”

    Many of the residents of al-Hol stayed with IS through its last days in Syria, and the camp holds both these supporters and people who fled the group earlier on.

    Last week, Médecins Sans Frontières said security forces shot at women protesting in a part of the camp known as “the annex”, which holds around 10,000 who are not Syrian or Iraqi.

    The SDF also holds more than 10,000 IS detainees in other prisons, and the possible release of these people – plus those at al-Hol – may become a useful bargaining chip for the Kurdish-led group.

    On Monday, an SDF commander said guarding the prisoners had become a “second priority” in the wake of a possible Turkish offensive.

    “All their families are located in the border area,” General Mazloum Kobani Abdi told NBC News of the SDF fighters who had been guarding the prisoners. “So they are forced to defend their families.”

    https://www.thenewhumanitarian.org/news/2019/10/08/syria-turkey-briefing-fallout-invasion-civilians
    #Syrie #Turquie #guerre #conflit #civiles #invasion #al-Hol #Kurdistan #Kurdes #camps #camps_de_réfugiés
    ping @isskein

    • Il faut stopper Erdogan

      Les Kurdes de Syrie ont commencé à payer le prix de la trahison de l’Occident. Une pluie de bombes s’est abattue mercredi après-midi sur les villes frontière, précédant de peu une offensive terrestre de l’armée turque et de ses alliés islamistes de Syrie. Le macabre décompte des victimes peut débuter. On imagine l’effroi qui a saisi les habitants du #Rojava déjà durement éprouvés par plusieurs années de guerre contre les djihadistes.

      Le tweet dominical de Donald Trump avait annoncé la trahison ultime des Etats-Unis. Mais l’offensive turque répond à une logique plus profonde. A force de voir l’Union européenne lui manger dans la main, à force de jouer sans trop de heurts la balance géopolitique entre Moscou et Washington au gré de l’opportunisme des deux grandes puissances, Recep Tayyip Erdogan a des raisons de se sentir intouchable. Lorsqu’en 2015 et 2016, il faisait massacrer sa propre population dans les villes kurdes de Cizre, Nusaybin, Silopi ou Sur, le silence était de plomb.

      L’offensive débutée hier, le sultan l’annonce de longue date, sans provoquer de réaction ferme des Européens. La girouette Trump a bon dos : en matière d’allégeance à Ankara, les Européens sont autrement plus constants.

      Il faudra pourtant stopper Erdogan. Laisser le #Kurdistan_syrien tomber aux mains des milices islamistes et de l’armée turque reviendrait à cautionner un crime impardonnable. A abandonner des centaines de milliers de civils, dont de très nombreux réfugiés, et des milliers de combattants de la liberté à leurs bourreaux. Ce serait également la certitude d’une guerre de longue durée entre la Turquie et sa propre minorité kurde, environ un cinquième de sa population.

      Plusieurs pays européens ont réclamé une réunion du Conseil de sécurité de l’ONU. Le signe d’un sursaut ? L’espoir d’un cessez-le-feu rapide ? Ou des jérémiades d’arrière-garde, qui cesseront dès que la Turquie aura atteint ses objectifs ?

      Comme souvent, la superpuissance étasunienne détient les cartes maîtresses. Et Donald Trump n’en est pas à son premier virage intempestif. S’il a donné son feu vert à Erdogan, le républicain se retrouve coincé entre les interventionnistes et les isolationnistes de son propre parti. Hier, le premier camp s’indignait bruyamment. Exerçant une pression redoutable pour un président déjà affaibli par le dossier ukrainien.

      Il faudra qu’elle pèse aussi sur les dirigeants européens. La solidarité avec le Rojava doit devenir une priorité du mouvement social et des consciences.

      https://lecourrier.ch/2019/10/09/il-faut-stopper-erdogan

    • #Al-Hol detainees attack guards and start fires as Turkish assault begins

      Camp holding thousands of Islamic State suspects thrown into ’chaos’, says Kurdish official

      The Turkish assault on northeast Syria has prompted Islamic State group-affiliated women and youth in al-Hol’s camp to attack guards and start fires, a Kurdish official told Middle East Eye.

      Kurdish-held northeastern Syria has been on high alert since the United States announced on Sunday it would leave the area in anticipation of a Turkish offensive.

      Over the three days since the US announcement, chaos has broken out in the teeming al-Hol camp, Mahmoud Kro, an official that oversees internment camps in the Kurdish-run autonomous area, told MEE.

      Some 60,000 people suspected of being affiliated or linked to the Islamic State (IS) group, the majority women and children, are being held in the camp.

      “There are attacks on guards and camp management, in addition to burning tents and preparing explosive devices,” Kro told MEE from Qamishli.

      The status of al-Hol’s detainees has been a major concern since Turkey began making more threats to invade northeast Syria this year.

      In the phone call between Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Donald Trump on Sunday that precipitated the United States’ pullout, the US president pressed his Turkish counterpart on the fate of foreign IS suspects in Kurdish custody, MEE revealed.
      ‘Targeting our existence as Kurds’

      Turkey launched its assault on northeastern Syria on Wednesday alongside its Syrian rebel allies, aiming, it says, to push the Kurdish YPG militia at least 32km from the border.

      Ankara views the YPG as an extension of the outlawed PKK militant group.

      However, the YPG is a leading component of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) militia, which has been Washington’s principal partner on the ground in the fight against IS.

      SDF fighters guard al-Hol, but Kro said the Turkish attack would draw them away to join the battle.

      “Any war in the region will force the present forces guarding the camp to go defend the border,” he said. “This will increase the chance of chaos in the camp.”

      Kro said that the administration in al-Hol has not made any preparations for a war with Turkey because the SDF’s priority is protecting northeast Syria and Kurds.

      “In terms of preparations, our first priority is protecting our region and existence,” he said. “The Turks are targeting our existence as Kurds to the first degree.”

      Some officials from the Syrian Democratic Council (SDC), the political wing of the SDF, agree with Kro’s assessment that the detainees in al-Hol could get out.

      “If fighting breaks out between the SDF and Turkey, security at prisons will relax and prisoners could escape,” Bassam Ishak, the co-chair of the SDC in the US, told MEE ahead of the offensive.

      Meanwhile, SDC spokesman Amjad Osman said, as other Syrian Kurdish officials have, that a Turkish attack on northeast Syria would negatively affect the continuing war on IS in the country.

      “We are committed to fighting terrorism,” he told MEE. “But now our priority is to, first of all, confront the Turkish threats. And this will have a negative effect on our battle against Daesh,” using the Arabic acronym for IS.

      However, Turkey has bristled at the suggestion that the camps and fight against IS will be endangered by Ankara’s offensive.

      “This blackmail reveals the true face of the YPG and demonstrates how it has no intent of fighting against IS,” a Turkish official told MEE.

      Some residents of northeast Syria are already starting to flee. Many fear yet another war in the country that is still dealing with the conflict between government and rebel forces, and lingering IS attacks.

      Osman stopped short of saying the SDF would pack up and leave al-Hol. However, it will be hard for the group to keep holding the Syrian, Iraqi and international detainees during such a war, he said.

      “We are trying as much as possible to continue protecting the camps,” Osman said. “But any attempt to drag us into a military battle with Turkey will have a dangerous impact.”

      https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/al-hol-detainees-attack-guards-and-start-fires-turkish-assault-begins
      #ISIS #Etat_islamique #EI

  • #Village_Global

    #Mazé, petite commune paisible…jusqu’à ce que le maire annonce la rénovation de la vieille chapelle… dans le but d’accueillir des réfugiés ! Les réactions ne tardent pas. Bien décidés à s’opposer à cette décision, certains habitants fondent le #G.R.I.N.C (#Groupe_de_Résistance_à_l’Invasion_de_Nos_Campagnes) tandis que d’autres organisent l’#accueil…Toute ressemblance, ou similitude avec des personnages et des faits existants ou ayant existé, ne serait que pure coïncidence !


    http://steinkis.com/village-global-3-99.html

    Dans le livre, il y a des #cartes intéressantes, qui représentent les #itinéraires_migratoires :

    #BD #asile #migrations #réfugiés #France #préjugés #rural #campagne #accueil #livre #parcours_migratoires

    ping @karine4 @reka @isskein @fbahoken

  • UNHCR in Libya Part 1 : From standing #WithRefugees to standing #WithStates ?

    October 3rd is a day upon which the UNHCR “remember and commemorate all the victims of immigration and promote awareness-raising and solidarity initiatives.”

    With that very sentiment in mind, Euronews has undertaken an investigation into the UNHCR’s operation in Libya, where tens of thousands of migrants live in detainment camps, hoping to make it to Europe.

    We uncover the extent of neglect in terms of care that can be found where migrants wait to be processed. We ask why the UN’s humanitarian agency cannot have the required access in Libya when the mother organisation - The United Nations - is working with the Tripoli-based government. We ask why there is a severe lack of transparency surrounding the agency’s operation and we talk to some of the migrants involved in the process and allow them to tell their stories.


    https://www.euronews.com/2019/10/02/unhcr-in-libya-part-1-from-standing-withrefugees-to-standing-withstates
    #Libye #HCR #UNCHR #responsabilité #camps_de_réfugiés #réfugiés #asile #migrations #ONU #nations_unies #transparence #droits_humains #droits_fondamentaux #réinstallation #inefficacité #argent #financement #aide_humanitaire #indépendance

    ping @isskein @karine4 @reka

    • UNHCR in Libya Part 2 : Migrants in detention centres : ’Why does UNHCR want to keep us in prison ?’

      In this, the second part of our four-part investigation into the UNHCR’s operation in Libya, we talk to those migrants actually involved in the registration and detainment process. They tell Euronews their stories.

      Despite increased EU funding to the Libyan coastguard, and an Italian memorandum of understanding with the DCIM (the body responsible for running migrant detention centres) no effective provision has been made by the EU to implement migrants’ human rights and living conditions in Libya.

      The migrant experience in the embattled North African nation is deteriorating. Many people in that position who spoke to Euronews have reported abuses after being thrown into detention centres with the hope of being registered by UNHCR. Testimonies include instances of torture, rape and extortion at the hands of local militias and when this leads to an attempt to cross the Mediterranean sea, reports also detail how they have been intercepted by the Libyan coastguards and automatically re-incarcerated into the detention centres.

      “It has become an infinite, terrible circle from which there is no way out”, Julien Raickman, head of the MSF-France’s Libyan operation, told The Times.

      UNHCR’s main mission in Libya is to register migrants and find a solution to get them out of the country. However, as Raickman adds, “the resettlement procedure is totally blocked”.


      https://www.euronews.com/2019/10/02/unhcr-in-libya-part-2-migrants-in-detention-centres-why-does-unhcr-want-to
      #centres_de_détention #détention #Qasr_Bin_Gashir #Zintan #Az-Zāwiyah #Abu_Salim ##Az-Zawiyah

    • UNHCR in Libya Part 3: Former staffer blows whistle on favouritism and ’culture of impunity’

      Libya’s United Nations Refugee Agency has been branded “the worst in the region” by a former staff member who has alleged corruption, mismanagement and incompetence in its dealings with tens of thousands of vulnerable refugees and asylum seekers.

      The former staff member, who spoke to Euronews on condition of anonymity, painted an image of an agency overstretched and out of its depth, with asylum seekers left homeless, deprived of medical care and in legal limbo in an increasingly violent and unstable Libya.

      Migrants and refugees on the ground told Euronews that they had even bribed their way into Libya’s notorious detention centres in an effort to speed up their asylum claims. There they face exploitation at the hands of militia groups, which run the centres in all but name.

      The former staff member described a chaotic infrastructure at UNHCR, where he worked for several years, with asylum seekers registered under incorrect nationalities and others forced to wait for months to hear the status of their applications.

      Meanwhile, questions about UNHCR in Libya have stretched to procurement. An internal audit found that the agency had purchased laptop computers at inflated prices (eight laptops for just under $50,000) and used two travel agents to purchase almost $200,000 worth of flight tickets. The audit also notes that “no competitive bidding was conducted for the travel services” (sect. D of OIOS report 2019/007).
      Medical care

      Euronews has spoken to dozens of asylum seekers on the ground in Libya, including a man suffering from pulmonary tuberculosis. Asyas, 30, was discharged from the hospital by a UN medical partner, the International Medical Corps (IMC), and was now living in a private home in Tripoli.

      “I’m just waiting to die,” he told us.

      A medical source in Tripoli said that the hospitalisation of migrants and refugees - especially those cases with tuberculosis - is expensive, and some public hospitals lack the equipment to correctly diagnose the cases.

      As a result, NGOs have to find a balance between paying very high bills to private hospitals or discharging patients too early, the source concludes.

      The IMC told Euronews it cannot comment on the case.

      The feeling on the streets is one of abandonment by international institutions. Asylum seekers in urban areas believe that the UN agency will be there to help them find accommodation for example but the UNHCR are not obligated to do so.

      In one case, a group of Sudanese refugees – including expectant mothers and newborn babies - have been living for several months in an abandoned warehouse in an area of Tripoli known as al-Riyadiya.

      The group were since evicted from the warehouse and are now sleeping in front the UNHCR community day centre, waiting to be moved to safer housing.

      Commenting on the experiences Euronews uncovered, a spokesperson for the UNHCR, Charlie Yaxley, said: “Life for many refugees is extremely difficult and what we can do is at times very limited.”
      Libya in the eye of the storm

      Libya has been at the forefront of the migrant crisis and is the embarkation point for many boats that attempt to cross the Mediterranean to Italy.

      Libya’s lawlessness since the 2011 war that followed the overthrow of Colonel Gaddafi has seen the rise of numerous militia groups, all competing for a piece of the lucrative migrant trade.

      A large part of that trade is the operation of detention centres, officially run by the government but effectively controlled by militia groups. Asylum seekers detained in Libya are held at the centres, where they are often subject to abuse and violence.

      The conditions at detention centres has got so bad that the UNHCR prioritise the processing of refugees and migrants that are held in them - as they are considered among the most vulnerable. This has led to asylum seekers actually bribing their way into centres, sources say.

      In December, migrants and refugees detained in Khoms Suq al-Khamis started a hunger strike to persuade UNHCR to visit the centre and register them in the hope that this might stop them from being sold and disappeared.

      Amina, a Somali refugee now in Triq al-Sikka facility in Tripoli confirmed to Euronews that she paid money to be “accepted into detention and have a better chance to be registered and evacuated".

      The former UN staff member detailed one case where he claims a pregnant rape victim had opted to return to a detention centre in order to be considered for evacuation.

      At the Abu Salim detention centre, Eritrean refugees have been begging the detention centre manager to admit them, with the sole hope of being evacuated.

      Others are paying to get themselves in to the UNHCR’s Gathering and Departure Facility (GDF) - managed by the Libyan Ministry of Interior, UNHCR and UNHCR’s partner LibAid - in Tripoli, where refugees are normally hosted until their transfer to another state is confirmed.

      There, one refugee awaiting evacuation told Euronews: “The guards who are working at the gate, brought inside Somalian and Eritrean women; they paid 2000 dinars (around 430€) each. We told this to UNHCR, and they asked us not to tell anyone”.

      Commenting on the allegations, Yaxley said: “UNHCR takes any claims of misconduct very seriously. Any claim that is found to be valid following an investigation is followed by a zero tolerance approach. We strongly encourage any victims to directly contact our Inspector General’s Office.”.
      Lack of information

      Aside from bribery, the former employee said that the fate of individual asylum seekers and their families in Libya largely relies on luck.

      “It’s up to the office,” the source said.

      “At the beginning of 2019, the UNHCR registered a woman from Ivory Coast (which is not among the 9 nationalities that are prioritised according to Cochetel), only because there was a recommendation letter from a higher rank.

      “Sometimes you may wait months to register a case because no one will give you approval; there are cases of favouritism and a lazy attitude. All registration processes are unclear.”

      Many refugees and asylum seekers in Tripoli complained to Euronews about the lack of information available to them about their personal case. The former employee said that this is part of a strategy at the agency in order to avoid having to deal with the huge amount of admin involved.

      “It’s a general attitude not to answer refugees and keep them blind to avoid more requests. In Tripoli, refugees or asylum seekers are left without a clue. They don’t know if they are accepted or rejected.

      “They receive very little information about their file and most of the time, no proper update about the process, or in case they have to appeal if their request has been rejected.”

      The source said that since September 2017 there is no system in place to appeal against rejection on their refugee status, and asylum seekers don’t know they have the right to appeal the decision within 30 days.

      One family from Nigeria, now detained in Az-Zāwiyah detention centre, described their experience.

      “The first time we managed to meet UNHCR was secretly in Tarik Al Matar centre in July 2018. Since that time UNHCR is refusing to register us. When we try to ask about our cases they kept telling us later, next time, next time,” the father said.

      “Sometimes they avoid us totally. Once, UNHCR has even advised us to return home. My youngest girl has been born in detention and the eldest have some traumatic effects due to a whole lot of horrible stuff they’ve experienced.”

      Meanwhile the situation in Libya is only likely to get worse, with a bottleneck in some states like Niger slowing down the evacuation plan from Libya.

      There are currently 1,174 evacuees from Libya staying in Niger, including 192 evacuated unaccompanied children, according to UNHCR. With the Emergency Transit Mechanism (ETM) at full capacity, many cases are still pending a decision.

      “The Government of Niger has generously offered additional space for up to 1,500 refugees in the Emergency Transit Mechanism run by UNHCR in Niamey with financial support from the European Union,” writes Cochetel in May 2018.

      Mistakes

      To make the situation worse, according to the former employee, many mistakes have been made including nationalities wrongly assigned to individuals.

      “UNHCR was registering Chadians as Sudanese, or Ethiopians as Eritreans. The UNHCR staff in Libya was not qualified to properly understand the situation,” the source said.

      Commenting on that claim, Yaxley said: “UNHCR staff are selected through the same processes as in all other operations worldwide, following human resources rules. There are over 100 national staff working in Libya. UNHCR does not work with external contractors.”

      The aforementioned concentration on nine specified nationalities was put in place in order to keep numbers down, the former staff member said.

      Libya’s Undersecretary of the Ministry of Interior for Migration, Mohammed Al-Shibani, said that on the contrary the Libyan government is not refusing to register other nationalities. “The nationalities are determined by the UN not by us,” he said.

      Procurement

      On issues with procurement, the former staff member points Euronews at the internal UN audit of the operations in Libya, which found that UNHCR designated procurements to 12 partners worth $4.7 million and $4.0 million in 2017 and 2018 respectively.

      But the mission “did not conduct any cost-benefit analysis”, opting instead for direct procurement “despite the significant differences between official and market exchange rates.

      In 2017 and 2018, “the mission designated procurement exceeding $100,000 to three partners without them being pre-qualified by the Procurement Service at headquarters”. A lack of procurement plans resulted in ’’unnecessary and higher” costs.

      For example, the audit found a transaction for eight laptops with total expenditure of $47,067 (equivalent to a unit cost per laptop of $5,883). Moreover, flight tickets amounting to $128,000 and $66,000 during 2017 and 2018 were bought from two different travel agencies without any clear process for selection, as mentioned in the audit and confirmed by a former UN source.

      “The mission was unable to demonstrate it used its resources effectively and efficiently in providing for the essential needs of persons of concern. The lack of reporting also increased UNHCR’s reputational risk”, reads the audit.

      https://www.euronews.com/2019/10/03/unhcr-in-libya-part-3-former-staffer-blows-whistle-on-favouritism-and-cult
      #impunité

    • UNHCR in Libya Part 4: The detention centres - the map and the stories

      When NGO workers arrived at the Janzoor detention centre in Libya in October 2018 to collect 11 unaccompanied minors due to be returned to their country of origin, they were shocked to find that the young people had completely disappeared.

      The failed asylum seekers were registered and ready to go, a staff member at the International Organisation of Migration, who wished to remain anonymous, told Euronews. It took six months to find out what had happened to the group.

      “They were sold and their families were asked for ransom”, the former staff member said.

      In February 2019, the Libyan government revealed that there were 23 detention centres operating in Libya, holding over 5,000 asylum seekers. While they are officially run by the government, in reality it is Libya’s complex patchwork of militias that are in control.

      Even those ostensibly run by Libya’s Directorate for Combatting Illegal Migration (DCIM) are effectively under the control of whichever armed group controls the neighbourhood where a centre is located.
      Rule of militias

      Militias, also known as “katibas”, are de-facto in control of the gates of the centres and the management. In many cases, migrants and refugees are under arrest in locations which are not considered official detention facilities, but “holding places” for investigation.

      By correct protocol, they should be sent to proper detention facilities, but in reality procedures are seldom respected and asylum seekers are detained with no legal review or rights.

      For many migrants and refugees, the ordeal begins at sea.

      According to the Libyan coast guard, from January to August 2019, nearly 6,000 people were intercepted and brought back to Libya.

      On September 19, a man from Sudan died after being shot in the stomach hours after being returned to shore.

      The IOM, whose staff witnessed the attack, said it occurred at Abusitta disembarkation point in Tripoli, when 103 people that had been returned to shore were resisting being sent back to detention centres.

      IOM staff who were on the scene, reported that armed men began shooting in the air when several migrants tried to run away from their guards.

      “The death is a stark reminder of the grim conditions faced by migrants picked up by the Coast Guard after paying smugglers to take them to Europe, only to find themselves put into detention centres” said IOM Spokesperson Leonard Doyle.

      With conflict escalating in Tripoli and many detention centres located on the frontline, the majority of the people intercepted by Libyan coast guards are brought to al-Khoms, a coastal city 120km east of the Libyan capital.

      Tortured, sold, and released

      According to UN sources, guards at the city’s two detention facilities - al-Khoms and Souq al-Khamis - have either facilitated access to the militias or were afraid to deny them access.

      “Let me be honest with you, I don’t trust anyone in al-Khoms centre,” a former DCIM official told Euronews.

      “The detention centre has been officially closed by the DCIM but the militia there do whatever they want and they don’t respect the orders given by the Ministry of Interior.

      “People have been tortured, sold and released after paying money. The management and the militia in al-Khoms, they act independently from the government”.

      Last June, during the protection sector coordination meeting in Tripoli, UN agencies and international organisations raised the question of people disappearing on a daily basis.

      “In one week at least 100 detainees disappeared and despite the closure of the centre, the Libyan coast guard continued to bring refugees to al-Khoms detention centre” according to a note of the meeting seen by Euronews.

      The head of an international organisation present at the meeting, who asked to remain anonymous, said: “Many organisations have been turning their back on the situation, as they were not visiting the centre anymore.

      “19 people from Eritrea were at risk, including young ladies between 14 and 19 years old”.

      During a press briefing last June, the spokesman for UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Rupert Colville, reported that women held in detention have been sold into sexual exploitation.

      David, a migrant who had been detained in Misrata detention centre was able to get out after transiting from a safe house in al-Khoms. He said that centre staff “had been extorting money from detainees for months.

      “I didn’t have a choice as the UN refused to register me because I come from Central African Republic and my nationality is not among the one recognised by UNHCR.”

      Detention centres are still open

      In August 2019, Libyan authorities in Tripoli confirmed the shutdown of three detention centres in Misrata, Khoms and Tajoura, but DCIM officers and migrants held in detention confirmed to Euronews that the centres are still open.

      While it is impossible to independently verify the current status of the facilities - as as the Ministry of Interior in Tripoli does not authorise access to them - Euronews was able to speak on the phone with detainees.

      “Just bring a letter with the authorisation from the Ministry of Interior and I will let you enter,” said one commander from Tajoura on the phone, confirming that the centre was still running.

      Another source at the DCIM in Tripoli mentioned that Tajoura was still running and the militia was mainly arresting people from street to fill the hangars again.

      The decision to close the Az-Zāwiyah detention centre - mentioned in PART 1 and 2 - was taken in April 2018 by former head of DCIM Colonel Mohamed Besher. But the centre has instead been transformed into an arrest and investigation centre.

      Located at the Az-Zāwiyah Refinery, which is secured by Al-Nasser brigade since 2011, it is close to the base of the Az-Zāwiyah coastguard

      Both the commander of the Libyan Coast Guard’s Unit and the head of Al-Nasr brigade are sanctioned by UN and the United States for alleged involvement in human trafficking and migrant smuggling.

      Mohammed Kushlaf is working in cooperation with “Osama” (➡️ SEE PART 2), who is in charge of the detention facility. His name appears 67 times in the recent investigation conducted by Italian prosecutor Luigi Patronaggio.

      ‘Inhumane conditions’

      The investigation had “confirmed the inhumane conditions” endured by many migrants and “the need to act, at an international level, to protect their most basic human rights.”

      The Government of National Accord has supported the UN sanctions and issued public statements of condemnation against the trafficking and smuggling of migrants.

      The Libyan prosecutor has also issued an order to suspend the commander of the Libyan Coast Guard and bring him into custody for investigations, although this was never implemented, confirmed a Libyan lawyer working at the Ministry of Justice.

      Sources at the DCIM mentioned that between September 2018 and April 2019 - when the Libyan National Army (LNA) troops guided by the general Khalifa Haftar seized Tripoli’s southern suburbs – many detention centres were located near the clashes.

      Salaheddin, Ain Zara, Qasr Bin Ghashir and Tariq Al Matar detention centres have been closed because of the conflict.

      As a result, large groups of refugees and migrants have been displaced or transferred to other locations. A DCIM officer in Tripoli mentioned that “The Tariq Al Matar centre was in the middle of the clashes and many refugees left to find safety in other areas after a few people were injured. A group was transferred to Ain Zara and another to Janzour detention centre, some 20 kilometres southwest of Tripoli’s centre.”

      Migrants being recruited to help militia in Libya’s civil war

      In September and several times in December and January, refugees say they were forced to move and pack weapons as fighting between rival armed groups in the capital of Tripoli flared up.

      They also engaged directly with local militia, from the Tripoli suburb of Tarhouna, that was controlling Qasr Bin Ghashir detention centre at the time.

      “No one was fighting on the front but they would ask us to open and close the gate and move and pack weapons”, said Musa, a Sudanese refugee who left Qasr Bin Ghashir in April following the attack.

      On October 2, Abdalmajed Adam, a refugee from South Sudan was also injured by a random bullet on his shoulder and was taken to a military hospital,” adds Musa.

      The militia who is controlling the area where Abu Salim detention centre is located is known as Ghaniwa and is aligned to the GNA.

      The group has been asking refugees, especially Sudanese – as they speak Arabic - to follow them to the frontline.

      “Last August they bought us to Wadi Al-Rabea in southern Tripoli, and asked us to load weapons. I was one of them. They took five of us from the centre,” said Amir, a Sudanese asylum seeker who is detained in Abu Salim.

      A former DCIM officer confirmed that in June 2018, the head of Abu Salim DCIM, Mohamed al-Mashay (aka Abu Azza), was killed by an armed group following internal disputes over power.

      The Qasr Bin Ghashir detention centre, in which 700 people were locked up, was attacked on April 23. Video and photographic evidence shows refugees and migrants trapped in detention having incurred gunshot wounds.

      Multiple reports suggested several deaths and at least 12 people injured. A former DCIM officer mentioned that behind the attack there was a dispute over the control of the territory: it is a very strategic point being the main road to enter to Tripoli.


      https://www.euronews.com/2019/10/03/unhcr-in-libya-part-4-the-detention-centres-the-map-and-the-stories

      #torture #traite_d'êtres_humains #cartographie #visualisation #localisation

  • Répression anti-Bahaïs en Iran et Street art à #Naplouse

    Le ministre iranien de l’Éducation a rappelé que l’interdiction de scolarité qui frappe les étudiants qui se déclarent d’une religion non reconnue, cela vise essentiellement les #Bahaïs, nous dira Ehsan Manoochehri, responsable de la rédaction persane de RFI.
    À Naplouse, des artistes du monde entier et des artistes palestiniens sont actuellement en train de peindre des #fresques murales dans le #camp_de_réfugiés de #Balata en périphérie de la ville. C’est un projet lancé par un Américain qui a des origines palestiniennes pour faire vivre l’#art dans une zone défavorisée, où les peintures présentes sur les murs rappellent le conflit israélo-palestinien. Reportage de Guilhem Delteil.

    http://www.rfi.fr/emission/20190928-iran-repression-bahais-street-art-naplouse-balata?ref=tw
    #street-art #art_de_rue #graffitis #Palestine #réfugiés_palestiniens

  • Migranti, incendio e rivolta nel campo di Lesbo: muoiono una donna e un bambino, 15 feriti

    Scontri con la polizia nel campo dove sono ospitati 13mila migranti a fronte di una capienza di 3mila.

    Tragedia nel campo profughi di Lesbo dove la situazione era già insostenibile da mesi con oltre 13.000 persone in una struttura che ne può ospitare 3500. Una donna e un bambino sono morti nell’incendio (sembra accidentale) di un container dove abitano diverse famiglie ma le vittime potrebbero essere di più. Una quindicina i feriti che sono stati curati nella clinica pediatrica che Medici senza frontiere ha fuori dal campo e che è stata aperta eccezionalmente.

    «Nessuno può dire che questo è un incidente - è la dura accusa di Msf - E’ la diretta conseguenza di intrappolare 13.000 persone in uno spazio che ne può contenere 3.000».

    Dopo l’incendio nel campo è esplosa una vera e propria rivolta con i migranti, costretti a vivere in condizioni disumane, che hanno dato vita a duri scontri con la polizia e hanno appiccato altri incendi all’interno e all’esterno del campo di Moria, chiedendo a gran voce di essere trasferiti sulla terraferma. Ancora confuse le notizie che arrivano dall’isola greca dove negli ultimi mesi gli sbarchi di migranti provenienti dalla Turchia sono aumentati in maniera esponenziale.

    https://www.repubblica.it/cronaca/2019/09/29/news/incendio_e_rivolta_nel_campo_di_moria_a_lesbo_muoiono_una_donna_e_un_bamb
    #Moria #révolte #incendie #feu #Lesbos #Grèce #réfugiés #asile #migrations #camps_de_réfugiés #hotspot #camp_de_réfugiés #îles #décès #morts

    • Μία γυναίκα νεκρή και ένα μωρό από τις αναθυμιάσεις στη Μόρια

      Φωτιά ξέσπασε το απόγευμα σε κοντέινερ στο ΚΥΤ Μόριας, με τις μέχρι τώρα πληροφορίες μια γυναίκα είναι νεκρή και ένα μωρό.

      Μετά τη φωτιά στο κοντέινερ, ξέσπασε εξέγερση. Η πυροσβεστική μπήκε να σβήσει τη φωτιά, ενώ αρχικά εμποδίστηκε από τα επεισόδια η αστυνομία αυτή τη στιγμή προσπαθεί να παρέμβει.

      Νεότερα εντός ολίγου.

      https://www.stonisi.gr/post/4319/mia-gynaika-nekrh-kai-ena-mwro-apo-tis-anathymiaseis-sth-moria-updated

    • Fire, clashes, one dead at crowded Greek migrant camp on Lesbos

      A fire broke out on Sunday at a container inside a crowded refugee camp on the eastern Greek island of Lesbos close to Turkey and one person was killed, emergency services said.

      Refugees clashed with police as thick smoke rose over the Moria camp, which currently houses about 12,000 people in overcrowded conditions and firefighters fought to extinguish the blaze.

      Police said one burned body was taken to hospital in the island’s capital Mytilini for identification by the coroner. Police sent reinforcements to the island along with the chief of police to help restore order.

      Police could not immediately reach an area of containers, where there were unconfirmed reports of another burned body.

      Greece has been dealing with a resurgence in refugee and migrant flows in recent weeks from neighboring Turkey. Nearly a million refugees fleeing war in Syria and migrants crossed from Turkey to Greece’s islands in 2015.

      More than 9,000 people arrived in August, the highest number in the three years since the European Union and Ankara implemented a deal to shut off the Aegean migrant route. More than 8,000 people have arrived so far in September.

      Turks have also attempted to cross to Greece in recent years following a failed coup attempt against Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan in 2016.

      On Friday seven Turkish nationals, two women and five children, drowned when a boat carrying them capsized near Greece’s Chios island.

      https://www.reuters.com/article/us-europe-migrants-greece-lesbos-moria/fire-clashes-at-crowded-migrant-camp-on-greek-island-lesbos-idUSKBN1WE0NJ

    • Incendio nel campo rifugiati di Moria. Amnesty: “Abbietto fallimento delle politiche di protezione del governo greco e dell’Ue”

      Incendio nel campo rifugiati di Moria. Amnesty International denuncia: “Abbietto fallimento delle politiche di protezione del governo greco e dell’Ue”

      “L’incendio di Moria ha evidenziato l’abietto fallimento del governo greco e dell’Unione europea, incapaci di gestire la deplorevole situazione dei rifugiati in Grecia“.

      Così Massimo Moratti, direttore delle ricerche sull’Europa di Amnesty International, ha commentato la notizia dell’incendio di domenica 29 settembre nel campo rifugiati di Moria, sull’isola greca di Lesbo, nel quale è morta una donna.

      “Con 12.503 persone presenti in un campo che potrebbe ospitarne 3000 e dati gli incendi già scoppiati nel campo, le autorità greche non possono sostenere che questa tragedia fosse inevitabile. Solo un mese fa erano morte altre tre persone“, ha aggiunto Moratti.

      “L’accordo tra Unione europea e Turchia ha solo peggiorato le cose, negando dignità a migliaia di persone intrappolate sulle isole dell’Egeo e violando i loro diritti“, ha sottolineato Moratti.

      “Il campo di Moria è sovraffollato e insicuro. Le autorità greche devono immediatamente evacuarlo, assistere, anche fornendo le cure mediche necessarie, le persone che hanno subito le conseguenze dell’incendio e accelerare il trasferimento dei richiedenti asilo e dei rifugiati in strutture adeguate in terraferma. Gli altri stati membri dell’Unione europea devono collaborare accettando urgentemente i programmi di ricollocazione che potrebbero ridurre la pressione sulla Grecia“, ha concluso Moratti.

      Ulteriori informazioni

      Nelle ultime settimane, Amnesty International ha riscontrato un drammatico peggioramento delle condizioni dei rifugiati sulle isole dell’Egeo, nelle quali si trovano ormai oltre 30.000 persone.

      Il sovraffollamento ha raggiunto il livello peggiore dal 2016. Le isole di Lesbo e Samo ospitano un numero di persone superiore rispettivamente di quattro e otto volte i posti a disposizione.

      La situazione dei minori è, a sua volta, drasticamente peggiorata. La morte di un afgano di 15 anni nella cosiddetta “zona sicura” del campo di Moria testimonia la fondamentale mancanza di sicurezza per le migliaia di minori costretti a vivere in quel centro.

      All’inizio di settembre il governo greco ha annunciato l’inizio dei trasferimenti dei richiedenti asilo e dei rifugiati sulla terraferma. Questi trasferimenti, effettuati in cooperazione con l’Organizzazione internazionale delle migrazioni, si sono rivelati finora una serie di iniziative frammentarie.

      All’indomani dell’incendio di Moria le autorità di Atene hanno espresso l’intenzione di arrivare a 3000 trasferimenti entro la fine di ottobre: un numero insufficiente a fare fronte all’aumento degli approdi da luglio, considerando che solo la settimana scorsa sono arrivate altre 3000 persone.

      La politica di trattenimento dei nuovi arrivati sulle isole dell’Egeo resta dunque immutata, poiché le misure adottate sono clamorosamente insufficienti a risolvere i problemi dell’insicurezza e delle condizioni indegne cui i richiedenti asilo e i rifugiati sono stati condannati a convivere a partire dall’attuazione dell’accordo tra Unione europea e Turchia.

      https://www.amnesty.it/incendio-campo-rifugiati-moria-grecia

    • This was not an accident!

      They died because of Europe’s cruel deterrence and detention regime!

      Yesterday, on Sunday 29 September 2019, a fire broke out in the so-called hotspot of Moria on Lesvos Island in Greece. A woman and probably also a child lost their lives in the fire and it remains unclear how many others were injured. Many people lost all their small belongings, including identity documents, in the fire. The people imprisoned on Lesvos have fled wars and conflicts and now experience violence within Europe. Many were re-traumatised by these tragic events and some escaped and spent the night in the forest, scared to death.

      Over the past weeks, we had to witness two more deaths in the hotspot of Moria: In August a 15-year-old Afghan minor was killed during a violent fight among minors inside the so-called “safe space” of the camp. On September 24, a 5-year-old boy lost his life when he was run-over by a truck in front of the gate.

      The fire yesterday was no surprise and no accident. It is not the first, and it will not be the last. The hotspot burned already several times, most tragically in November 2016 when large parts burned down. Europe’s cruel regime of deterrence and detention has now killed again.

      In the meantime, in the media, a story was immediately invented, saying that the refugees themselves set the camp on fire. It was also stated that they blocked the fire brigade from entering. We have spoken to many people who witnessed the events directly. They tell us a very different story: In fact, the fire broke out most probably due to an electricity short circuit. The fire brigade arrived very late, which is no surprise given the overcrowdedness of this monstrous hotspot. Despite its official capacity for 3,000 people, it now detains at least 12,500 people who suffer there in horrible living conditions. On mobile phone videos taken by the prisoners of the camp, one can see how in this chaos, inhabitants and the fire brigade tried their best together to at least prevent an even bigger catastrophe.

      There simply cannot be a functioning emergency plan in a camp that has exceeded its capacity four times. When several containers burned in a huge fire that generated a lot of smoke, the imprisoned who were locked in the closed sector of the camp started in panic to try to break the doors. The only response the authorities had, was to immediately bring police to shoot tear-gas at them, which created an even more toxic smoke.

      Anger and grief about all these senseless deaths and injuries added to the already explosive atmosphere in Moria where thousands have suffered while waiting too long for any change in their lives. Those who criminalise and condemn this outcry in form of a riot of the people of Moria cannot even imagine the sheer inhumanity they experience daily. The real violence is the camp itself, conditions that are the result of the EU border regime’s desire for deterrence.

      We raise our voices in solidarity with the people of Moria and demand once again: The only possibility to end this suffering and dying is to open the islands and to have freedom of movement for everybody. Those who arrive on the islands have to continue their journeys to hopefully find a place of safety and dignity elsewhere. We demand ferries to transfer the exhausted and re-traumatised people immediately to the Greek mainland. We need ferries not Frontex. We need open borders, so that everyone can continue to move on, even beyond Greece. Those who escape the islands should not be imprisoned once more in camps in mainland Greece, with conditions that are the same as the ones here on the islands.

      Close down Moria!

      Open the islands!

      Freedom of Movement for everyone!

      http://lesvos.w2eu.net/2019/09/30/this-was-not-an-accident

    • Grèce : quand s’embrase le plus grand camp de réfugiés d’Europe

      Sur l’île de Lesbos, le camp de Moria accueille 13 000 personnes dans des installations prévues pour 3000. Un incendie y a fait au moins deux morts et a déclenché un début d’"émeutes dimanche. En Autriche, les Verts créent la sensation aux législatives alors que l’extrême-droite perd 10 points.

      https://www.franceculture.fr/emissions/revue-de-presse-internationale/la-revue-de-presse-internationale-emission-du-lundi-30-septembre-2019

    • Riots at Greek refugee camp on Lesbos after fatal fire

      Government says it will step up transfers to the mainland after unrest at overcrowded camp.
      Greek authorities are scrambling to deal with unrest at a heavily overcrowded migrant camp on Lesbos after a fire there left at least one person dead.

      Officials said they had found the charred remains of an Afghan woman after the blaze erupted inside a container used to house refugees at the Moria reception centre on Sunday. The fire was eventually extinguished by plane.

      More than 13,000 people are now crammed into tents and shipping containers with facilities for just 3,000 at Moria, a disused military barracks outside Mytilene, the island’s capital, where tensions are rising.

      “A charred body was found, causing foreign [migrants] to rebel,” said Lefteris Economou, Greece’s deputy minister for citizen protection. “Stones and other objects were hurled, damaging three fire engines and slightly injuring four policemen and a fireman.”

      The health ministry said 19 people including four children were injured, most of them in the clashes. There were separate claims that a child died with the Afghan woman.

      Greece’s centre-right government said it would immediately step up transfers to the mainland. The camp is four times over capacity. “By the end of Monday 250 people will have been moved,” Economou said.

      Like other Aegean isles near the Turkish coast, Lesbos has witnessed a sharp rise in arrivals of asylum seekers desperate to reach Europe in recent months.

      “The situation was totally out of control,” said the local police chief, Vasillis Rodopoulos, describing the melee sparked by the fire. “Their behaviour was very aggressive, they wouldn’t let the fire engines pass to put out the blaze, and for the first time they were shouting: kill police.”

      https://i.guim.co.uk/img/media/ed39991b42492c24aba4f85e701b66e48521375c/0_178_3500_2101/master/3500.jpg?width=620&quality=85&auto=format&fit=max&s=356be51355ebcb04a111f2

      But NGO workers on Lesbos said the chaos reflected growing frustration among the camp’s occupants. There have been several fires at the facility since the EU struck a deal with Turkey in 2016 to stem the flow of migrants. A woman and child died in a similar blaze three years ago.

      “No one can call the fire and these deaths an accident,” said Marco Sandrone, a field officer with Médecins Sans Frontières. “This tragedy is the direct result of a brutal policy that is trapping 13,000 people in a camp made for 3,000.

      “European and Greek authorities who continue to contain these people in these conditions have a responsibility in the repetition of these dramatic episodes. It is high time to stop the EU-Turkey deal and this inhumane policy of containment. People must be urgently evacuated out of the hell that Moria has become.”

      Greece currently hosts around 85,000 refugees, mostly from Syria although recent arrivals have also been from Afghanistan and Africa. Close to 35,000 have arrived this year, outstripping the numbers in Italy and Spain.

      It is a critical issue for the prime minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, who won office two months ago promising to crack down on migration.
      Aid workers warn of catastrophe in Greek refugee camps
      Read more

      Mitsotakis raised the matter with Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, on the sidelines of the UN general assembly in New York last week, and Greece’s migration minister and the head of the coastguard will fly to Turkey for talks this week.

      Ministers admit the island camps can no longer deal with the rise in numbers.

      Government spokesman Stelios Petsas announced that a cabinet meeting called to debate emergency measures had on Monday decided to radically increase the number of deportations of asylum seekers whose requests are rejected.

      “There will be an increase in returns [to Turkey],” he said. “From 1,806 returned in 4.5 years under the previous Syriza government, 10,000 will be returned by the end of 2020.”

      Closed detention centres would also be established for those who had illegally entered the EU member state and did not qualify for asylum, he added.

      However, Spyros Galinos, until recently the mayor of Lesbos, who held the post when close to a million Syrian refugees landed on the island, told the Guardian: “This is a bomb that will explode. Decongestion efforts aren’t enough. You move more to the mainland and others come. It’s a cycle that will continue repeating itself with devastating effect until the big explosion comes.”

      https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/sep/30/riots-at-greek-refugee-camp-on-lesbos-after-fatal-fire

    • Grèce : incendie meurtrier à Moria suivi d’émeutes

      Au moins une personne a péri dans un incendie survenu dimanche dans le camp surpeuplé de Moria, sur l’île grecque de Lesbos. Ce drame a été suivi d’émeutes provoquées par la colère des habitants du camp, excédés par leurs conditions de vie indignes.

      Un incendie survenu, dimanche 29 septembre, au sein du camp de Moria sur l’île de Lesbos en Grèce a fait au moins un mort parmi les habitants. "Nous n’avons qu’une personne morte confirmée pour l’instant", a déclaré le ministre adjoint à la protection civile Lefteris Oikonomou, lundi. La veille, plusieurs sources ont indiqué que la victime était décédée avec son enfant portant le nombre de décès à au moins deux.

      Selon les médias grecs, une couverture brûlée retrouvée à côté de la femme morte, contiendrait des résidus de peau qui pourraient appartenir à l’enfant de la défunte, un nouveau-né. Des examens médico-légaux sont en cours.

      Selon l’Agence de presse grecque ANA, citant des sources policières, la femme a été transportée à l’hôpital de Lesbos, tandis que l’enfant a été remis aux autorités par les migrants qui l’avait recouvert d’une couverture. Un correspondant de l’AFP a confirmé avoir vu deux corps, l’un transporté au bureau de l’ONG Médecins sans frontières (MSF), l’autre devant lequel “sanglotaient des proches”.

      Il a fallu, d’après un témoin cité par l’AFP, plus de 30 minutes pour éteindre l’incendie et les pompier ont tardé à arriver. C’est un avion bombardier d’eau qui a permis de stopper le brasier qui aurait démarré dans un petit commerce ambulant avant de s’étendre aux conteneurs d’habitation voisins.

      Dans un communiqué, la police fait état de deux incendies, le premier à l’extérieur du camp, puis un autre à l’intérieur, à 20 minutes d’intervalle. Les émeutes ont débuté juste après que le second feu s’est déclaré.
      "Six ou sept conteneurs [hébergeant des migrants] étaient en flammes. On a appelé les pompiers qui sont arrivés après 20 minutes. On s’est mis en colère", a déclaré Fedouz, 15 ans, interrogé par l’AFP. Le jeune Afghan affirme avoir trouvé deux enfants “complètement carbonisés et une femme morte” en voulant essayer, avec ses proches, d’aider les personnes qui se trouvaient dans les conteneurs.

      Afin de reprendre le contrôle sur la foule en colère à cause de la lenteur des secours, la police a tiré des gaz lacrymogènes. Peu après 23h locales (20h GMT), le camp avait retrouvé son calme, selon des sources policières.

      Plus de 20 blessés dans les émeutes soignés par MSF

      “Nous sommes outrés”, a réagi Marco Sandrone, le coordinateur de Médecins sans frontières (MSF) en Grèce. “L’équipe médicale de notre clinique située juste à l’extérieur du camp a porté secours à au moins 15 personnes blessées à la suite des émeutes entre les migrants et la police, juste après l’incendie.” L’ONG a ensuite revu le nombre de patients à la hausse indiquant que 21 personnes avaient été prises en charge dans leur clinique.

      Pour Marco Sandrone cet incendie et ces émeutes n’ont rien d’un banal incident. “Cette tragédie est le résultat d’une politique brutale qui piègent 13 000 migrants dans un camp qui ne peut en accueillir que 3 000. Les autorités européennes et grecques qui maintiennent ces personnes dans ces conditions de vie ont une part de responsabilité dans ce genre d’épisode”, a-t-il déclaré.

      Moria est le plus grand camp de migrants en Europe. La Grèce compte actuellement 70 000 migrants, principalement des réfugiés syriens, qui ont fui leur pays depuis 2015 et risqué la traversée depuis les côtes turques voisines.

      Le gouvernement grec doit se pencher, à compter de lundi, sur une modernisation de la procédure d’asile afin d’essayer de désengorger ses camps de migrants. En vertu d’un accord conclu au printemps 2016 entre la Turquie et l’Union européenne, la Turquie avait mis un frein aux flux des départs de migrants vers les cinq îles grecques les plus proches de son rivage, en échange d’une aide de six milliards de dollars. Mais le nombre des arrivées en grèce est reparti à la hausse ces derniers mois.

      Quelque 3 000 migrants arrivés dans les îles grecques cette semaine

      Ainsi, en seulement 24 heures, entre samedi matin et dimanche matin, près de 400 migrants au total sont arrivés en Grèce, selon les autorités. En outre, le Premier ministre grec Kyriakos Mitsotakis a déclaré plus tôt cette semaine qu’environ 3 000 personnes étaient arrivées depuis la Turquie ces dernier jours, ce qui ajoute à la pression sur des installations d’accueil déjà surpeuplées.

      Début septembre, le président turc Recep Tayyip Erdogan, dont le pays accueille près de quatre millions de réfugiés, a menacé "d’ouvrir les portes" aux migrants vers l’Union européenne s’il n’obtient pas davantage d’aide internationale.

      “Il est grand temps d’arrêter cet accord entre la Grèce et la Turquie ainsi que cette politique de rétention des migrants dans les camps. Il faut évacuer d’urgence les personnes de cet enfer qu’est devenu Moria”, a commenté Marco Sandrone de MSF.

      Le gouvernement grec, pour sa part, a réitéré la nécessité de continuer à transférer vers le continent les migrants hébergés dans les centres d’enregistrement et d’identification sur les îles du nord de la mer Égée.

      https://www.infomigrants.net/fr/post/19850/grece-incendie-meurtrier-a-moria-suivi-d-emeutes

    • “Il y a au moins 500 manifestants en ce moment dans le camp de Moria, la police anti-émeute est sur place”

      InfoMigrants a recueilli le témoignage d’un habitant du camp de Moria sur l’île de Lesbos en Grèce au lendemain d’un incendie meurtrier et d’émeutes survenus dimanche 30 septembre. Les manifestations ont repris mardi et la situation semble se tendre d’heure en heure.

      Je m’appelle Lionel*, je viens d’Afrique de l’Ouest* et je vis dans le camp de Moria depuis le mois de mai. Depuis un mois, des vagues de nouvelles personnes se succèdent, la situation se dégrade de jour en jour. Ce sont surtout des gens qui arrivent depuis la Turquie. Il paraît que le gouvernement turc laisse de nouveau passer des gens à la frontière malgré l’accord [qui a été signé avec l’Union européenne au printemps 2016].

      Il y a eu un grave incendie suivi d’émeutes dimanche. J’habite juste en face de là où le feu a démarré. Les autorités disent qu’il y a eu un mort mais nous on en a vu plus.

      Hier soir [lundi], des personnes ont organisé une veillée musulmane sur les lieux de l’incendie en hommage aux victimes. Il y avait des bougies, c’était plutôt calme.

      Depuis ce matin, les Afghans, Irakiens et Syriens se sont mis à manifester en face de l’entrée principale du camp. Ils protestent contre les conditions de vie qui sont horribles ici. Ils veulent également transporter, eux-mêmes, le corps d’une autre victime de l’incendie jusqu’à Mytilène pour montrer à la population et aux dirigeants ce qu’il se passe ici.

      Il doit y avoir au moins 500 personnes rassemblées. La police anti-émeute est sur place et empêche les manifestants de sortir du camp pour porter le corps jusqu’à Mytilène. Un autre bus de policiers est arrivé ce matin mais en revanche, personne ne se soucie de comment on va.

      Moi j’ai trop peur que ça dégénère encore plus alors j’ai quitté le camp. Je fais les cent pas à l’écart pour rester en dehors des problèmes et pour me protéger. On ne sait pas ce qui va arriver, j’ai peur et cette situation est très frustrante.

      « Le matin, on part se cacher dans les oliviers pour rester à l’écart de la foule »

      Tous les matins, on doit se lever à 5h pour aller faire la queue et espérer avoir quelque chose à boire ou à manger. Après le petit-déjeuner, on part se cacher et s’abriter dans les oliviers pour rester à l’écart de la foule. Il y a tellement de gens que l’air est devenu irrespirable dans le camp.

      Je retourne dans ma tente en fin d’après-midi et j’essaie de dormir pour pouvoir me lever le plus tôt possible le matin, sinon je n’aurai pas à manger.

      On ne nous dit rien, la situation est désastreuse, je dirais même que je n’ai pas connu pire depuis mon arrivée à Moria il y a près de cinq mois. J’ai fait une demande d’asile mais je me sens totalement piégé ici et je ne vois pas comment je vais m’en sortir à moins d’un miracle.

      Au final, la situation est presque semblable à celle de mon pays d’origine. La seule différence, c’est qu’il n’y a pas les coups de feu. Ils sont remplacés par les tirs de gaz lacrymogènes de la police grecque. Cela me déclenche des flashback, c’est traumatisant.

      * Le prénom et le pays d’origine ont été changés à la demande du témoin, par souci de sécurité.

      https://www.infomigrants.net/fr/post/19879/il-y-a-au-moins-500-manifestants-en-ce-moment-dans-le-camp-de-moria-la

    • Greece must act to end dangerous overcrowding in island reception centres, EU support crucial

      This is a summary of what was said by UNHCR spokesperson Liz Throssell – to whom quoted text may be attributed – at today’s press briefing at the Palais des Nations in Geneva.

      UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, is today calling on Greece to urgently move thousands of asylum-seekers out of dangerously overcrowded reception centres on the Greek Aegean islands. Sea arrivals in September, mostly of Afghan and Syrian families, increased to 10,258 - the highest monthly level since 2016 – worsening conditions on the islands which now host 30,000 asylum-seekers.

      The situation on Lesvos, Samos and Kos is critical. The Moria centre on Lesvos is already at five times its capacity with 12,600 people. At a nearby informal settlement, 100 people share a single toilet. Tensions remain high at Moria where a fire on Sunday in a container used to house people killed one woman. An ensuing riot by frustrated asylum-seekers led to clashes with police.

      On Samos, the Vathy reception centre houses 5,500 people – eight times its capacity. Most sleep in tents with little access to latrines, clean water, or medical care. Conditions have also deteriorated sharply on Kos, where 3,000 people are staying in a space for 700.

      Keeping people on the islands in these inadequate and insecure conditions is inhumane and must come to an end.

      The Greek Government has said that alleviating pressure on the islands and protecting unaccompanied children are priorities, which we welcome. We also take note of government measures to speed up and tighten asylum procedures and manage flows to Greece announced at an exceptional cabinet meeting on Monday. We look forward to receiving details in writing to which we can provide comments.

      But urgent steps are needed and we urge the Greek authorities to fast-track plans to transfer over 5,000 asylum-seekers already authorized to continue their asylum procedure on the mainland. In parallel, new accommodation places must be provided to prevent pressure from the islands spilling over into mainland Greece, where most sites are operating at capacity. UNHCR will continue to support transfers to the mainland in October at the request of the government.

      Longer-term solutions are also needed, including supporting refugees to become self-reliant and integrate in Greece.

      The plight of unaccompanied children, who overall number more than 4,400, is particularly worrying, with only one in four in a shelter appropriate for their age.

      Some 500 children are housed with unrelated adults in a large warehouse tent in Moria. On Samos, more than a dozen unaccompanied girls take turns to sleep in a small container, while other children are forced to sleep on container roofs. Given the extremely risky and potentially abusive conditions faced by unaccompanied children, UNHCR appeals to European States to open up places for their relocation as a matter of priority and speed up transfers for children eligible to join family members.

      UNHCR continues to work with the Greek authorities to build the capacity needed to meet the challenges. We manage over 25,000 apartment places for some of the most vulnerable asylum-seekers and refugees, under the EU-funded ESTIA scheme. Some 75,000 people receive monthly cash assistance under the same programme. UNHCR is prepared, with the continuous support of the EU and other donors, to expand its support through a cash for shelter scheme which would allow authorized asylum-seekers to move from the islands and establish themselves on the mainland.

      Greece has received the majority of arrivals across the Mediterranean region this year, some 45,600 of 77,400 – more than Spain, Italy, Malta, and Cyprus combined.

      https://www.unhcr.org/news/briefing/2019/10/5d930c194/greece-must-act-end-dangerous-overcrowding-island-reception-centres-eu.html

    • Migration : Lesbos, un #échec européen

      Plus de 45 000 personnes ont débarqué en Grèce, en 2019. Au centre de la crise migratoire européenne depuis 2015, l’île de Lesbos est au bord de la rupture.
      Le terrain, un ancien centre militaire, est accidenté de toutes parts. Entre ses terrassements qu’ont recouverts des rangées de tentes et de conteneurs, des dénivelés abrupts. Sur les quelques pentes goudronnées, des grappes d’enfants dévalent en glissant sur des bouteilles de plastique aplaties. Leurs visages sont salis par la poussière que soulèvent des bourrasques de vent dans les oliveraies alentours. Ils courent partout, se faufilent à travers des grilles métalliques éventrées ici et là, et disparaissent en un mouvement. On les croirait seuls.

      Vue du camp de Moria sur l’île grecque de Lesbos, le 19 septembre. Samuel Gratacap pour Le Monde
      Ici, l’un s’est accroupi pour uriner, à la vue de tous. Un autre joue à plonger ses mains dans la boue formée au sol par un mélange d’eau sale et de terre. D’autres se jettent des cailloux. Alors que le jour est tombé, une gamine erre au hasard des allées étroites, dessinées par l’implantation anarchique de cabanes de fortune. Les flammes des fours à pain, faits de pierres et de terre séchée, éclairent par endroits la nuit qui a enveloppé Moria, sur l’île grecque de Lesbos.

      Article réservé à nos abonnés Lire aussi
      Migrants : A Bruxelles, un débat miné par l’égoïsme des Etats
      Un moment, à jauger le plus grand camp d’Europe, à détailler ses barbelés, sa crasse et le dénuement de ses 13 000 habitants – dont 40 % d’enfants –, on se croirait projetés quatre-vingts ans en arrière, dans les camps d’internement des réfugiés espagnols lors de la Retirada [l’exode de milliers de républicains espagnols durant la guerre civile, de 1936 à 1939]. Ici, les gens balayent les pierres devant leur tente pour sauvegarder ce qui leur reste d’hygiène, d’intimité. Depuis cet été, ils arrivent par centaines tous les jours, après avoir traversé en rafiot lesquelques kilomètres de mer Egée qui séparent Lesbos de la Turquie. Ce sont des familles afghanes, en majorité, qui demandent l’asile en Europe. Mais viennent aussi des Syriens, des Congolais, des Irakiens, des Palestiniens…

      « Ceci n’est pas une crise »

      Au fur et à mesure que les heures passent, les nouveaux venus apprennent qu’ils devront se contenter d’une toile de tente et d’un sol dur pour abri, qu’il n’y a pas assez de couvertures pour tous, qu’il faut faire la queue deux heures pour obtenir une ration alimentaire et que plusieurs centaines d’entre elles viennent à manquer tous les jours… Très vite, à parler avec les anciens, ils réalisent que beaucoup endurent cette situation depuis plus d’un an, en attendant de voir leur demande d’asile enfin examinée et d’être peut-être autorisés à rejoindre le continent grec.

      Lire aussi
      En Grèce, dans l’enfer du camp de réfugiés de Moria, en BD
      Plus de 45 000 personnes ont afflué en Grèce, en 2019, dont plus de la moitié entre juillet et septembre. « Ceci n’est pas une crise », répète Frontex, l’agence européenne de gardes frontières et de gardes-côtes, présente dans cette porte d’entrée en Europe. Les chiffres ne sont en effet guère comparables avec 2015, quand plus de 860 000 personnes sont arrivées sur les rivages grecs, provoquant une crise majeure dans toute l’Europe.

      C’est fin 2015 que le « hot spot » de Moria, nom donné à ces centres d’accueil contrôlés pour demandeurs d’asile, a été créé. D’autres centres de transit sont apparus sur les îles grecques de Chios, Samos, Leros, Kos ainsi qu’en Italie. Face à la « crise », l’Europe cherchait à s’armer. Dans les « hot spots », les personnes migrantes sont identifiées, enregistrées, et leur situation examinée. Aux réfugiés, l’asile. Aux autres, le retour vers des territoires hors de l’Union européenne (UE).

      L’accord UE-Turquie

      Pour soulager les pays d’entrée, un programme temporaire de relocalisations a été mis en place pour permettre de transférer une partie des réfugiés vers d’autres Etats membres. Une façon de mettre en musique une solidarité européenne de circonstance, sans toucher au sacro-saint règlement de Dublin qui fait de l’Etat d’entrée en Europe le seul responsable de l’examen de la demande d’asile d’un réfugié.

      Dans la foulée, en mars 2016, l’accord UE-Turquie prévoyait qu’Ankara renforce le contrôle de ses frontières et accepte le renvoi rapide de demandeurs d’asile arrivés sur les îles grecques, en contrepartie, notamment, d’un versement de 6 milliards d’euros et d’une relance du processus d’adhésion à l’UE.

      Quatre années se sont écoulées depuis le pic de la crise migratoire et ses cortèges de migrants traversant l’Europe à pied, le long de la route des Balkans, jusqu’à l’eldorado allemand. Si les flux d’arrivées en Europe ont considérablement chuté, Lesbos incarne plus que jamais l’échec du continent face aux phénomènes migratoires.

      Le mécanisme de relocalisation, une lointaine chimère

      Sur les 100 000 relocalisations programmées depuis l’Italie et la Grèce, à peine 34 000 ont eu lieu. « Les Etats n’ont pas joué le jeu », analyse Yves Pascouau, fondateur du site European Migration Law. Plusieurs pays (Hongrie, Pologne, République tchèque, Slovaquie, Autriche, Bulgarie) n’ont pas du tout participé à l’effort. Seuls Malte, le Luxembourg et la Finlande ont atteint leur quota. « Il y a aussi eu des difficultés techniques et organisationnelles liées à un processus nouveau », reconnaît M. Pascouau.

      L’ONG Lighthouse Relief accueille un groupe de réfugiés qui vient d’être intercepté en mer par Frontex puis transféré à terre par l’ONG Refugee Rescue, entre Skala Sikamineas et Molivos, sur l’île de Lesbos, le 19 septembre. Samuel Gratacap pour Le Monde

      Le 19 septembre au petit matin, 37 personnes, des familles et des mineurs tous originaires d’Afghanistan viennent de débarquer entre Skala Sikamineas et Molivos, sur l’île de Lesbos. Ils sont pris en charge et dirigés vers le camp de transit Stage 2 géré par l’UNHCR et administré par les autorités grecques. À l’horizon, la côte turque. Samuel Gratacap pour Le Monde
      Le mécanisme de relocalisation n’est plus aujourd’hui qu’une lointaine chimère, comme l’ont été les « hot spots » italiens, Rome choisissant de laisser ses centres ouverts et ses occupants se disperser en Europe. « On a été dans une double impasse côté italien, analyse l’ancien directeur de l’Office français de protection des réfugiés et apatrides (Ofpra), Pascal Brice. Les Italiens se sont satisfaits d’une situation où les migrants ne faisaient que passer, car ils ne voulaient pas s’installer dans le pays. Et les autres Etats, en particulier les Français et les Allemands, se sont accrochés à Dublin. C’est ce qui a provoqué cette dérive italienne jusqu’à Salvini et la fermeture des ports. »

      Le système est à l’agonie, les personnes qui arrivent aujourd’hui se voient donner des rendez-vous pour leur entretien d’asile… en 2021
      Seule la Grèce a continué de jouer le jeu des « hot spots » insulaires. Résultat : plus de 30 000 personnes s’entassent désormais dans des dispositifs prévus pour 5 400 personnes. « Nous n’avons pas vu autant de monde depuis la fermeture de la frontière nord de la Grèce et l’accord UE-Turquie, souligne Philippe Leclerc, représentant du Haut-Commissariat pour les réfugiés des Nations unies (HCR) en Grèce. Plus de 7 500 personnes devraient être transférées des îles vers le continent et ne le sont pas, faute de capacités d’accueil. On arrive à saturation. » Le système est à l’agonie, les personnes qui arrivent aujourd’hui se voient donner des rendez-vous pour leur entretien d’asile… en 2021.

      A Lesbos, 13 000 personnes s’agglutinent à l’intérieur et autour du camp de Moria, pour une capacité d’accueil officielle de 3 100 personnes. Les deux tiers de cette population sont sous tente. Et leur nombre enfle chaque jour. Cette promiscuité est mortifère. Dimanche 29 septembre, un incendie a ravagé plusieurs conteneurs hébergeant des demandeurs d’asile et tué au moins une femme. « Tous les dirigeants européens sont responsables de la situation inhumaine dans les îles grecques et ont la responsabilité d’empêcher toute nouvelle mort et souffrance », a réagi le jour même Médecins sans frontières (MSF). La même semaine, un enfant de 5 ans qui jouait dans un carton sur le bord d’une route a été accidentellement écrasé par un camion. Fin août, déjà, un adolescent afghan de 15 ans avait succombé à un coup de couteau dans une bagarre.

      Un bateau vient de débarquer entre Skala Sikamineas et Molivos, avec à son bord 37 personnes originaires d’Afghanistan. Samuel Gratacap pour Le Monde
      « Personne ne fait rien pour nous », lâche Mahdi Mohammadi, un Afghan de 27 ans arrivé il y a neuf mois. Il doit passer son entretien de demande d’asile en juin 2020. En attendant, il dort dans une étroite cabane, recouverte de bâches blanches estampillées Union européenne, avec trois autres compatriotes. A côté, une femme de plus de 60 ans dort sous une toile de tente avec son fils et sa nièce adolescente.

      « Nous n’avons aucun contrôle sur la situation »

      « Des années ont passé depuis la crise et on est incapables de gérer, se désespère une humanitaire de Lesbos. Les autorités sont dépassées. C’est de plus en plus tendu. » Un fonctionnaire européen est plus alarmiste encore : « Nous n’avons aucun contrôle sur la situation », confie-t-il.

      En Grèce, le sort des mineurs non accompagnés est particulièrement préoccupant. Ils sont 4 400 dans le pays (sur près de 90 000 réfugiés et demandeurs d’asile), dont près d’un millier rien qu’à Lesbos. La moitié dort en présence d’adultes dans une sorte de grand barnum. Sur l’île de Samos, des enfants sont obligés de dormir sur le toit des conteneurs.

      Le 19 septembre, dans la partie extérieure du camp de Moria appelée « Jungle », une famille Syrienne de 7 personnes originaire de la ville de Deir Ez Zor, en Syrie. Ils sont arrivés à Moria il y a deux jours. La jeune femme dans la tente attend un enfant. Samuel Gratacap pour Le Monde

      Dans la clinique pédiatrique de MSF, qui jouxte le camp de Moria, le personnel soignant mesure les effets d’un tel abandon. « Sur les deux derniers mois, un quart de nos patients enfants nous ont été envoyés pour des comportements d’automutilation, déclare Katrin Brubakk, pédopsychologue. Ça va d’adolescents qui se scarifient à des enfants de deux ans qui se tapent la tête contre les murs jusqu’à saigner, qui se mordent ou qui s’arrachent les cheveux. » « A long terme, cela va affecter leur vie sociale, leurs apprentissages et, in fine, leur santé mentale », prévient-elle. Présidente de l’ONG grecque d’aide aux mineursMETAdrasi, Lora Pappa s’emporte : « Ça fait des années qu’on dit que plus d’un tiers des mineurs non accompagnés ont un membre de leur famille en Allemagne ou ailleurs. Mais chaque enfant, c’est trente pages de procédure et, si tout se passe bien, ça prend dix mois pour obtenir une réunification familiale. Le service d’asile grec est saturé, et les Etats membres imposent des conditions de plus en plus insensées. »

      Dans le petit port de plaisance de Panayouda, à quelques kilomètres de Moria, des adolescents jouent à appâter des petits poissons argentés avec des boules de mie de pain. Samir, un Afghan de 21 ans, les regarde en riant. A Moria, il connaît des jeunes qui désespèrent de rejoindre leur famille en Suède. « Leur demande a déjà été rejetée trois fois », assure-t-il. Samir a passé deux ans sur l’île, avant d’être autorisé à gagner le continent. Il est finalement revenu à Lesbos il y a une semaine pour retrouver son frère de 14 ans. « Ça faisait cinq ans qu’on s’était perdus de vue, explique-t-il. Notre famille a été séparée en Turquie et, depuis, je les cherche. Je ne quitterai pas Athènes tant que je n’aurai pas retrouvé mes parents. »

      « Les “hot spots” sont la preuve de l’absurdité et de l’échec de Dublin »

      « Il faudrait repenser à des mécanismes de répartition, affirme Philippe Leclerc, du HCR. C’est l’une des urgences de solidarité, mais il n’y a pas de discussion formelle à ce sujet au niveau de l’UE. » « La relocalisation, ça n’a jamais marché parce que ça repose sur le volontariat des Etats, tranche Claire Rodier, directrice du Gisti (Groupe d’information et de soutien des immigrés). Les “hot spots” sont la preuve de l’absurdité et de l’échec de Dublin, qui fait peser tout le poids des arrivées sur les pays des berges de l’Europe. » Yves Pascouau appuie : « Les Etats ont eu le tort de penser qu’on pouvait jouir d’un espace de libre circulation sans avoir une politique d’asile et d’immigration commune. Ce qui se passe à Lesbos doit nous interroger sur toutes les idées qu’on peut avoir de créer des zones de débarquement et de traitement des demandes d’asile. » Marco Sandrone, coordinateur de MSF à Lesbos, va plus loin : « Il est grand temps d’arrêter cet accord UE-Turquie et sa politique inhumaine de confinement et d’évacuer de toute urgence des personnes en dehors de cet enfer qu’est devenu Moria. »

      Des policiers portugais de Frontex, l’agence européenne de garde-frontières et de garde-côtes surveillent la mer au large de la côte Nord de l’île, dans la nuit du 18 au 19 septembre. Samuel Gratacap pour Le Monde

      A Skala Sikamineas, les équipes de FRONTEX procèdent à la destruction sommaire d’un bateau clandestin. Samuel Gratacap pour Le Monde
      Dans les faits, l’accord UE-Turquie est soumis à « forte pression », a reconnu récemment le nouveau premier ministre grec, Kyriakos Mitsotakis. Jusqu’ici, en vertu de cet accord, Athènes a renvoyé moins de 2 000 migrants vers la Turquie, en majorité des ressortissants pakistanais (38 %), syriens (18 %), algériens (11 %), afghans (6 %) et d’autres. Mais le nouveau gouvernement conservateur, arrivé au pouvoir en juillet, envisage d’augmenter les renvois. Lundi 30 septembre, il a annoncé un objectif de 10 000 migrants d’ici à la fin 2020, en plus de mesures visant à accélérer la procédure d’asile, à augmenter les transferts vers le continent ou encore à construire des centres fermés pour les migrants ne relevant pas de l’asile.

      Dans le même temps, le président turc Recep Tayyip Erdogan n’a eu de cesse, ces derniers mois, de menacer d’« ouvrir les portes » de son pays aux migrants afin de les laisser rejoindre l’Europe. « Si nous ne recevons pas le soutien nécessaire pour partager le fardeau des réfugiés, avec l’UE et le reste du monde, nous allons ouvrir nos frontières », a-t-il averti.

      « Entre Erdogan qui montre les dents et le nouveau gouvernement grec qui est beaucoup plus dur, ça ne m’étonnerait pas que l’accord se casse la figure », redoute le fonctionnaire européen. Le thème migratoire est devenu tellement brûlant qu’il a servi de prétexte à la première rencontre, en marge de l’Assemblée générale des Nations unies à New York, entre le président turc et le premier ministre grec, le 26 septembre. A l’issue, M. Mitsotakis a dit souhaiter la signature d’« un nouvel accord », assorti d’un soutien financier supplémentaire de l’UE à la Turquie.

      La Turquie héberge officiellement 3,6 millions de réfugiés syriens, soit quatre fois plus que l’ensemble des Etats de l’UE. L’absence de perspectives pour un règlement politique en Syrie, le caractère improbable de la reconstruction, l’hostilité manifestée par Damas envers les éventuels candidats au retour, menacés d’expropriation selon le décret-loi 63 du gouvernement de Bachar Al-Assad, ont réduit à néant l’espoir de voir les réfugiés syriens rentrer chez eux. Le pays ne pourra assumer seul un nouvel afflux de déplacés en provenance d’Idlib, le dernier bastion de la rébellion syrienne actuellement sous le feu d’une offensive militaire menée par le régime et son allié russe.

      Un « ferrailleur de la mer » sur la côte entre Skala Sikamineas et Molivos, le 19 septembre. Après l’évacuation d’une embarcation de 37 réfugiés d’origine Afghane, un homme vient récupérer des morceaux du bateau. A l’horizon la côte turque, toute proche. Samuel Gratacap pour Le Monde
      Le président turc presse les Etats-Unis de lui accorder une « zone de sécurité » au nord-est de la Syrie, où il envisage d’installer jusqu’à 3 millions de Syriens. « Nous voulons créer un corridor de paix pour y loger 2 millions de Syriens. (…) Si nous pouvions étendre cette zone jusqu’à Deir ez-Zor et Raqqa, nous installerions jusqu’à 3 millions d’entre eux, dont certains venus d’Europe », a-t-il déclaré depuis la tribune des Nations unies à New-York.

      Climat de peur

      La population turque s’est jusqu’ici montrée accueillante envers les « invités » syriens, ainsi qu’on désigne les réfugiés en Turquie, dont le statut se limite à une « protection temporaire ». Mais récemment, les réflexes de rejet se sont accrus. Touchée de plein fouet par l’inflation, la perte de leur pouvoir d’achat, la montée du chômage, la population s’est mise à désapprouver la politique d’accueil imposée à partir de 2012 par M. Erdogan. D’après une enquête publiée en juillet par le centre d’étude de l’opinion PIAR, 82,3 % des répondants se disent favorables au renvoi « de tous les réfugiés syriens ».

      A la mi-juillet, la préfecture d’Istanbul a lancé une campagne d’arrestations et d’expulsions à l’encontre de dizaines de milliers de réfugiés, syriens et aussi afghans. Le climat de peur suscité par ces coups de filet n’est peut être pas étranger à l’augmentation des arrivées de réfugiés en Grèce ces derniers mois.

      « La plupart des gens à qui on porte secours ces derniers temps disent qu’ils ont passé un mois seulement en Turquie, alors qu’avant ils avaient pu y vivre un an, observe Roman Kutzowitz, de l’ONG Refugee Rescue, qui dispose de la seule embarcation humanitaire en Méditerranée orientale, à quai dans le petit port de Skala Sikamineas, distant d’une dizaine de kilomètres de la rive turque. Ils savent que le pays n’est plus un lieu d’accueil. »

      La décharge de l’île de Lesbos, située à côté de la ville de Molivos. Ici s’amassent des gilets de sauvetages, des bouées et des restes d’embarcations qui ont servi aux réfugiés pour effectuer la traversée depuis la Turquie. Samuel Gratacap pour "Le Monde"
      Au large de Lesbos, dans le mouchoir de poche qui sépare la Grèce et la Turquie, les gardes-côtes des deux pays et les équipes de Frontex tentent d’intercepter les migrants. Cette nuit-là, un bateau de la police maritime portugaise – mobilisé par Frontex – patrouille le long de la ligne de démarcation des eaux. « Les Turcs sont présents aussi, c’est sûr, mais on ne les voit pas forcément », explique Joao Pacheco Antunes, à la tête de l’équipe portugaise.

      Dix jours « sans nourriture, par terre »

      Sur les hauteurs de l’île, des collègues balayent la mer à l’aide d’une caméra thermique de longue portée, à la recherche d’un point noir suspect qui pourrait indiquer une embarcation. « S’ils voient un bateau dans les eaux turques, le centre maritime de coordination des secours grec est prévenu et appelle Ankara », nous explique Joao Pacheco Antunes. Plusieurs canots seront interceptés avant d’avoir atteint les eaux grecques.

      Sur une plage de galets, à l’aube, un groupe de trente-sept personnes a accosté. Il y a treize enfants parmi eux, qui toussent, grelottent. Un Afghan de 28 ans, originaire de la province de Ghazi, explique avoir passé dix jours « sans nourriture, par terre », caché dans les champs d’oliviers turcs avant de pouvoir traverser. « J’ai perdu dix kilos », nous assure-t-il, en désignant ses jambes et son buste amaigris. Un peu plus tard, une autre embarcation est convoyée jusqu’au port de Skala Sikamineas par des gardes-côtes italiens, en mission pour Frontex. « Il y a trois femmes enceintes parmi nous », prévient un Afghan de 27 ans, qui a fui Daech [acronyme arabe de l’organisation Etat islamique] et les talibans. Arrive presque aussitôt un troisième canot, intercepté par les gardes-côtes portugais de Frontex. Tous iront rejoindre le camp de Moria.

      https://www.lemonde.fr/international/article/2019/10/04/migration-lesbos-un-echec-europeen_6014219_3210.html

    • Grèce : une politique anti-réfugiés « aux relents d’extrême-droite »

      Suite à l’incendie mortel qui s’est déclenché dimanche dans le camp de Moria à Lesbos, le gouvernement grec a convoqué en urgence un conseil des ministres et annoncé des mesures pour faire face à la crise. Parmi elles, distinguer les réfugiés des migrants économiques. Revue de presse.
      Suite à l’incendie qui s’est déclenché dimanche dans le camp

      surpeuplé de Moria, sur l’île de Lesbos, et qui a fait une morte – une

      réfugiée afghane mère d’un nourrisson – le gouvernement s’est réuni en

      urgence lundi et a présenté un plan d’actions. Athènes veut notamment

      renvoyer 10 000 réfugiés et migrants d’ici à 2020 dans leur pays

      d’origine ou en Turquie, renforcer les patrouilles en mer, créer des

      camps fermés pour les immigrés illégaux et continuer à transférer les

      réfugiés des îles vers le continent grec pour désengorger les camps sur

      les îles de la mer Egée. D’après Efimerida Ton Syntakton, le

      Parlement doit voter dans les jours à venir un texte réformant les

      procédures de demande d’asile, en les rendant plus rapides.

      « L’immigration constitue une bombe pour le pays », estime le site

      iefimerida.gr. « Le gouvernement sait que c’est Erdoğan qui détient la

      solution au problème. Si le sultan n’impose pas plus de contrôles et ne

      veut pas diminuer les flux, alors les mesures prises n’auront pas plus

      d’effet qu’une aspirine. » Le quotidien de centre droit Kathimerini

      rappelle que la Grèce est « première en arrivées de migrants » en

      Europe. « La Grèce a accueilli cette année 45 600 migrants sur les

      77 400 arrivés en Méditerranée, devant l’Espagne et l’Italie », tandis

      qu’en septembre 10 258 arrivées ont été enregistrés par le

      Haut-commissariat des Nations unies pour les réfugiés.

      Comme à la loterie

      Dans l’édition du 1er octobre,

      une caricature d’Andreas Petroulakis montre un officiel tenant un

      papier près d’un boulier pour le tirage du loto. « Nous allons enfin

      différencier les réfugiés des immigrés ! Les réfugiés seront ceux qui

      ont les numéro 12, 31, 11... » Le dessin se moque des annonces du

      gouvernement qui a affirmé vouloir accepter les réfugiés en Grèce, mais

      renvoyer chez eux les migrants économiques, et selon qui la Grèce n’est

      plus confrontée à une crise des réfugiés mais des migrants. « De la

      désinformation de la part du gouvernement », estime Efimerida Ton Syntakton,

      car « les statistiques montrent bien que la majorité des personnes

      actuellement sur les îles sont originaires d’Afghanistan, de Syrie,

      d’Irak, du Congo, de pays en guerre ou en situation de guerre civile ».

      « Le nouveau dogme du gouvernement est que les réfugiés et les immigrés sont deux catégories différentes », souligne la chaîne de télévision Star.

      Le gouvernement veut « être plus sévère avec les immigrés, mais

      intégrer les réfugiés », précise le journal télévisé de mardi. Le

      journal de centre-gauche Ta Nea indique que « huit réfugiés sur

      dix seront transférés des îles vers des hôtels ou des appartements », le

      gouvernement souhaitant décongestionner au plus vite les îles de la mer

      Égée comme Lesbos.

      Pour le magazine LIFO, « la grande pression exercée sur le

      gouvernement Mitsotakis concernant l’immigration vient de ses

      électeurs ». « Les annonces selon lesquelles les demandes d’asile seront

      examinées immédiatement, tandis que ceux qui ne remplissent pas les

      critères seront renvoyés dans les trois jours, sont irréalistes car il y

      a des standards européens à respecter. Ces annonces sont faites

      uniquement pour soulager quelques électeurs. » Enfin, pour le site

      News247, « depuis longtemps à Moria un crime se déroule sous nos yeux,

      les responsables sont les décideurs à Bruxelles et les gouvernements en

      Grèce. Des mesures respectant les êtres humains doivent être prises ou

      bien l’avenir risque de nous réserver d’autres tragédies ».

      https://www.courrierdesbalkans.fr/Grece-le-gouvernement-grec-face-a-une-nouvelle-augmentation-des-f

  • Ce tweet, m’a donné envie de mettre ici les affiches dans lesquels le parti #UDC en #Suisse (mais pas que eux) utilise des images d’#animaux pour ses campagnes électorales...


    https://twitter.com/mathieuvonrohr/status/1178256562923692037
    En cette année 2019 c’est donc le #octopus qui est l’animal fétiche...
    #poulpe #pieuvre

    Il fut un temps il y a eu :
    des #requins...

    des #corbeaux :

    ... et évidemment des #moutons (noirs) :

    Et au #Tessin, un groupe probablement financé soit par l’UDC ou alors par la #Lega_dei_Ticinesi, avait utilisé des #rats...

    #affiche #campagne #animal #invasion #migrations #xénophobie #immigration_de_masse

    Pour celleux qui veulent en savoir un peu plus sur ce type de campagnes qui tapissent la Suisse, un article que j’avais écrit pour @visionscarto :
    En Suisse, pieds nus contre rangers


    https://visionscarto.net/en-suisse-pieds-nus-contre-rangers

    • Citation tirée du livre «Stranieri residenti. Una filosofia della migrazione» de Donatella Di Cesare (2017, p.221):

      Se il gesto è ancestrale, il razzismo tuttavia, questa invenzione occidentale, divenuta poi universale, ha una storia e persino un atto di nascita all’alba della modernità. Sono gli Estatutos de limpieza de sangre, stipulati a Toledo il 5 giugno 1449, con cui si stigmatizzavano gli ebrei convertiti, distinguendoli dai «cristiani di pura origine cristiana». Si indicava così per la prima volta quella immutabile essenza metafisica ebraica a cui non c’era acqua battesimale che potesse porre riparo. Lo schema sarà destinato a ripetersi, secondo forme e modalità diverse, fino a culminare nel mito del «sangue puro» che deve essere preservato da ogni contaminazione. Si sfalda l’unità umana, insegnata dalla Bibbia, mentre una visione evoluzionistica, dove emergono le «specie» classificate in una gerarchia, dà il via a una disumanizzazione degli «irrecuperabili», quei sottouomini, quasi bestie, per i quali diventa lecito parlare di «scimmie», «ratti», «pidocchi», «parassiti» ecc., secondo un’oscura lista di metafore che non ha smesso di incrementarsi. Natura e e cultura fanno tutt’uno per determinare il posto dei «subumani», per la cui inferiorità non c’è rimedio, destinati in ogni istante a essere definitivamente separati dal consorzio umano. In nome della purezza.

      https://www.bollatiboringhieri.it/libri/donatella-di-cesare-stranieri-residenti-9788833927350