• 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

  • « 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • « C’est fou à quel point ces #murs et ces #grilles sont hautes. On côtoie ces murs en permanence.
    Ils limitent notre quotidien. Ils sont l’affirmation de la négation de l’autre.
    Mais on les a intégrés, leur #violence a été assimilée. On accepte sans le percevoir le #pouvoir de contrainte, la #dépossession de l’#espace qu’ils représentent »

    #géographie_urbaine #villes #urban_matter #barrières

    Source : une #BD de #Margot_Gustaedt dont le titre est "Les renards sans pelage" , qui n’a pas été publiée. C’est son travail de diplôme.

    La BD porte sur les #violences_policières et sur l’affaire du #lycée_Arago

    D’autres travaux de Margot, que j’ai rencontrée en Grèce lors d’une summer school à Athènes sur les villes-refuge, car elle travaillait à une nouvelle BD avec une étudiante qui suivait la summer school :
    https://margotgustaedt.tumblr.com

    ping @reka @davduf @isskein

  • Breve nota semantica.

    Le merci si «fanno sbarcare», le persone si «accolgono»;
    Le caramelle si «distribuiscono», le persone si «smistano»;
    Le palle si «prendono», le persone si «ospitano»;
    Nei «campi» ci stanno le patate, le persone vivono in «insediamenti», temporanei o permanenti;
    I relitti vengono «recuperati» in mare, le persone «salvate»;
    Si «rispedisce» un pacco al mittente, si «riportano a casa» le persone.

    La semantica cambia, senza che ce ne rendiamo conto, la percezione dei fatti.

    Quando si prendono dei verbi generalmente impiegati per cose inanimate e si usano per parlare di una categoria di esseri umani (oggi africani, ieri ebrei, domani chissà), consapevolmente o inconsapevolmente, si compie un’azione spregevole.

    «49 migranti sono stati RECUPERATI nel Canale di Sicilia. Verranno FATTI SBARCARE e TRASPORTATI a Lampedusa per una prima identificazione. Gli aventi diritto d’asilo verranno REDISTRIBUITI nei diversi paesi UE, gli altri RISPEDITI nei paesi di provenienza».

    Una frase del genere, apparentemente neutra perchè non dà giudizi ma sembra riportare fedelmente dei semplici fatti, è in realtà disumanizzante, perchè a livello di metalinguaggio, sta dicendo «queste non sono persone, sono pacchi postali».

    source : https://www.facebook.com/lorenzo.fontana.391/posts/10157593091789555

    #terminologie #migrations #asile #réfugiés #mots #vocabulaire #accueil #débarquement #marchandises #personnes #sauvetage #camps #paquets_de_la_poste #lmsi

  • Le Niger, #nouvelle frontière de l’Europe et #laboratoire de l’asile

    Les politiques migratoires européennes, toujours plus restrictives, se tournent vers le Sahel, et notamment vers le Niger – espace de transit entre le nord et le sud du Sahara. Devenu « frontière » de l’Europe, environné par des pays en conflit, le Niger accueille un nombre important de réfugiés sur son sol et renvoie ceux qui n’ont pas le droit à cette protection. Il ne le fait pas seul. La présence de l’Union européenne et des organisations internationales est visible dans le pays ; des opérations militaires y sont menées par des armées étrangères, notamment pour lutter contre la pression terroriste à ses frontières... au risque de brouiller les cartes entre enjeux sécuritaires et enjeux humanitaires.

    On confond souvent son nom avec celui de son voisin anglophone, le Nigéria, et peu de gens savent le placer sur une carte. Pourtant, le Niger est un des grands pays du Sahel, cette bande désertique qui court de l’Atlantique à la mer Rouge, et l’un des rares pays stables d’Afrique de l’Ouest qui offrent encore une possibilité de transit vers la Libye et la Méditerranée. Environné par des pays en conflit ou touchés par le terrorisme de Boko Haram et d’autres groupes, le Niger accueille les populations qui fuient le Mali et la région du lac Tchad et celles évacuées de Libye.

    « Dans ce contexte d’instabilité régionale et de contrôle accru des déplacements, la distinction entre l’approche sécuritaire et l’approche humanitaire s’est brouillée », explique la chercheuse Florence Boyer, fellow de l’Institut Convergences Migrations, actuellement accueillie au Niger à l’Université Abdou Moumouni de Niamey. Géographe et anthropologue (affiliée à l’Urmis au sein de l’IRD, l’Institut de recherche pour le Développement), elle connaît bien le Niger, où elle se rend régulièrement depuis vingt ans pour étudier les migrations internes et externes des Nigériens vers l’Algérie ou la Libye voisines, au nord, et les pays du Golfe de Guinée, au sud et à l’ouest. Sa recherche porte actuellement sur le rôle que le Niger a accepté d’endosser dans la gestion des migrations depuis 2014, à la demande de plusieurs membres de l’Union européenne (UE) pris dans la crise de l’accueil des migrants.
    De la libre circulation au contrôle des frontières

    « Jusqu’à 2015, le Niger est resté cet espace traversé par des milliers d’Africains de l’Ouest et de Nigériens remontant vers la Libye sans qu’il y ait aucune entrave à la circulation ou presque », raconte la chercheuse. La plupart venaient y travailler. Peu tentaient la traversée vers l’Europe, mais dès le début des années 2000, l’UE, Italie en tête, cherche à freiner ce mouvement en négociant avec Kadhafi, déplaçant ainsi la frontière de l’Europe de l’autre côté de la Méditerranée. La chute du dictateur libyen, dans le contexte des révolutions arabes de 2011, bouleverse la donne. Déchirée par une guerre civile, la Libye peine à retenir les migrants qui cherchent une issue vers l’Europe. Par sa position géographique et sa relative stabilité, le Niger s’impose progressivement comme un partenaire de la politique migratoire de l’UE.

    « Le Niger est la nouvelle frontière de l’Italie. »

    Marco Prencipe, ambassadeur d’Italie à Niamey

    Le rôle croissant du Niger dans la gestion des flux migratoires de l’Afrique vers l’Europe a modifié les parcours des migrants, notamment pour ceux qui passent par Agadez, dernière ville du nord avant la traversée du Sahara. Membre du Groupe d’études et de recherches Migrations internationales, Espaces, Sociétés (Germes) à Niamey, Florence Boyer observe ces mouvements et constate la présence grandissante dans la capitale nigérienne du Haut-Commissariat des Nations-Unies pour les réfugiés (HCR) et de l’Organisation internationale des migrations (OIM) chargée, entre autres missions, d’assister les retours de migrants dans leur pays.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dlIwqYKrw7c

    « L’île de Lampedusa se trouve aussi loin du Nord de l’Italie que de la frontière nigérienne, note Marco Prencipe, l’ambassadeur d’Italie à Niamey, le Niger est la nouvelle frontière de l’Italie. » Une affirmation reprise par plusieurs fonctionnaires de la délégation de l’UE au Niger rencontrés par Florence Boyer et Pascaline Chappart. La chercheuse, sur le terrain à Niamey, effectue une étude comparée sur des mécanismes d’externalisation de la frontière au Niger et au Mexique. « Depuis plusieurs années, la politique extérieure des migrations de l’UE vise à délocaliser les contrôles et à les placer de plus en plus au sud du territoire européen, explique la postdoctorante à l’IRD, le mécanisme est complexe : les enjeux pour l’Europe sont à la fois communautaires et nationaux, chaque État membre ayant sa propre politique ».

    En novembre 2015, lors du sommet euro-africain de La Valette sur la migration, les autorités européennes lancent le Fonds fiduciaire d’urgence pour l’Afrique « en faveur de la stabilité et de la lutte contre les causes profondes de la migration irrégulière et du phénomène des personnes déplacées en Afrique ». Doté à ce jour de 4,2 milliards d’euros, le FFUA finance plusieurs types de projets, associant le développement à la sécurité, la gestion des migrations à la protection humanitaire.

    Le président nigérien considère que son pays, un des plus pauvres de la planète, occupe une position privilégiée pour contrôler les migrations dans la région. Le Niger est désormais le premier bénéficiaire du Fonds fiduciaire, devant des pays de départ comme la Somalie, le Nigéria et surtout l’Érythrée d’où vient le plus grand nombre de demandeurs d’asile en Europe.

    « Le Niger s’y retrouve dans ce mélange des genres entre lutte contre le terrorisme et lutte contre l’immigration “irrégulière”. »

    Florence Boyer, géographe et anthropologue

    Pour l’anthropologue Julien Brachet, « le Niger est peu à peu devenu un pays cobaye des politiques anti-migrations de l’Union européenne, (...) les moyens financiers et matériels pour lutter contre l’immigration irrégulière étant décuplés ». Ainsi, la mission européenne EUCAP Sahel Niger a ouvert une antenne permanente à Agadez en 2016 dans le but d’« assister les autorités nigériennes locales et nationales, ainsi que les forces de sécurité, dans le développement de politiques, de techniques et de procédures permettant d’améliorer le contrôle et la lutte contre les migrations irrégulières ».

    « Tout cela ne serait pas possible sans l’aval du Niger, qui est aussi à la table des négociations, rappelle Florence Boyer. Il ne faut pas oublier qu’il doit faire face à la pression de Boko Haram et d’autres groupes terroristes à ses frontières. Il a donc intérêt à se doter d’instruments et de personnels mieux formés. Le Niger s’y retrouve dans ce mélange des genres entre la lutte contre le terrorisme et la lutte contre l’immigration "irrégulière". »

    Peu avant le sommet de La Valette en 2015, le Niger promulgue la loi n°2015-36 sur « le trafic illicite de migrants ». Elle pénalise l’hébergement et le transport des migrants ayant l’intention de franchir illégalement la frontière. Ceux que l’on qualifiait jusque-là de « chauffeurs » ou de « transporteurs » au volant de « voitures taliban » (des 4x4 pick-up transportant entre 20 et 30 personnes) deviennent des « passeurs ». Une centaine d’arrestations et de saisies de véhicules mettent fin à ce qui était de longue date une source légale de revenus au nord du Niger. « Le but reste de bloquer la route qui mène vers la Libye, explique Pascaline Chappart. L’appui qu’apportent l’UE et certains pays européens en coopérant avec la police, les douanes et la justice nigérienne, particulièrement en les formant et les équipant, a pour but de rendre l’État présent sur l’ensemble de son territoire. »

    Des voix s’élèvent contre ces contrôles installés aux frontières du Niger sous la pression de l’Europe. Pour Hamidou Nabara de l’ONG nigérienne JMED (Jeunesse-Enfance-Migration-Développement), qui lutte contre la pauvreté pour retenir les jeunes désireux de quitter le pays, ces dispositifs violent le principe de la liberté de circulation adopté par les pays d’Afrique de l’Ouest dans le cadre de la Cedeao. « La situation des migrants s’est détériorée, dénonce-t-il, car si la migration s’est tarie, elle continue sous des voies différentes et plus dangereuses ». La traversée du Sahara est plus périlleuse que jamais, confirme Florence Boyer : « Le nombre de routes s’est multiplié loin des contrôles, mais aussi des points d’eau et des secours. À ce jour, nous ne disposons pas d’estimations solides sur le nombre de morts dans le désert, contrairement à ce qui se passe en Méditerranée ».

    Partenaire de la politique migratoire de l’Union européenne, le Niger a également développé une politique de l’asile. Il accepte de recevoir des populations en fuite, expulsées ou évacuées des pays voisins : les expulsés d’Algérie recueillis à la frontière, les rapatriés nigériens dont l’État prend en charge le retour de Libye, les réfugiés en lien avec les conflits de la zone, notamment au Mali et dans la région du lac Tchad, et enfin les personnes évacuées de Libye par le HCR. Le Niger octroie le statut de réfugié à ceux installés sur son sol qui y ont droit. Certains, particulièrement vulnérables selon le HCR, pourront être réinstallés en Europe ou en Amérique du Nord dans des pays volontaires.
    Une plateforme pour la « réinstallation »
    en Europe et en Amérique

    Cette procédure de réinstallation à partir du Niger n’a rien d’exceptionnel. Les Syriens réfugiés au Liban, par exemple, bénéficient aussi de l’action du HCR qui les sélectionne pour déposer une demande d’asile dans un pays dit « sûr ». La particularité du Niger est de servir de plateforme pour la réinstallation de personnes évacuées de Libye. « Le Niger est devenu une sorte de laboratoire de l’asile, raconte Florence Boyer, notamment par la mise en place de l’Emergency Transit Mechanism (ETM). »

    L’ETM, proposé par le HCR, est lancé en août 2017 à Paris par l’Allemagne, l’Espagne, la France et l’Italie — côté UE — et le Niger, le Tchad et la Libye — côté africain. Ils publient une déclaration conjointe sur les « missions de protection en vue de la réinstallation de réfugiés en Europe ». Ce dispositif se présente comme le pendant humanitaire de la politique de lutte contre « les réseaux d’immigration économique irrégulière » et les « retours volontaires » des migrants irréguliers dans leur pays effectués par l’OIM. Le processus s’accélère en novembre de la même année, suite à un reportage de CNN sur des cas d’esclavagisme de migrants en Libye. Fin 2017, 3 800 places sont promises par les pays occidentaux qui participent, à des degrés divers, à ce programme d’urgence. Le HCR annonce 6 606 places aujourd’hui, proposées par 14 pays européens et américains1.

    Trois catégories de personnes peuvent bénéficier de la réinstallation grâce à ce programme : évacués d’urgence depuis la Libye, demandeurs d’asile au sein d’un flux dit « mixte » mêlant migrants et réfugiés et personnes fuyant les conflits du Mali ou du Nigéria. Seule une minorité aura la possibilité d’être réinstallée depuis le Niger vers un pays occidental. Le profiling (selon le vocabulaire du HCR) de ceux qui pourront bénéficier de cette protection s’effectue dès les camps de détention libyens. Il consiste à repérer les plus vulnérables qui pourront prétendre au statut de réfugié et à la réinstallation.

    Une fois évacuées de Libye, ces personnes bénéficient d’une procédure accélérée pour l’obtention du statut de réfugié au Niger. Elles ne posent pas de problème au HCR, qui juge leur récit limpide. La Commission nationale d’éligibilité au statut des réfugiés (CNE), qui est l’administration de l’asile au Niger, accepte de valider la sélection de l’organisation onusienne. Les réfugiés sont pris en charge dans le camp du HCR à Hamdallaye, construit récemment à une vingtaine de kilomètres de la capitale nigérienne, le temps que le HCR prépare la demande de réinstallation dans un pays occidental, multipliant les entretiens avec les réfugiés concernés. Certains pays, comme le Canada ou la Suède, ne mandatent pas leurs services sur place, déléguant au HCR la sélection. D’autres, comme la France, envoient leurs agents pour un nouvel entretien (voir ce reportage sur la visite de l’Ofpra à Niamey fin 2018).

    Parmi les évacués de Libye, moins des deux tiers sont éligibles à une réinstallation dans un pays dit « sûr ».

    Depuis deux ans, près de 4 000 personnes ont été évacuées de Libye dans le but d’être réinstallées, selon le HCR (5 300 autres ont été prises en charge par l’OIM et « retournées » dans leur pays). Un millier ont été évacuées directement vers l’Europe et le Canada et près de 3 000 vers le Niger. C’est peu par rapport aux 50 800 réfugiés et demandeurs d’asile enregistrés auprès de l’organisation onusienne en Libye au 12 août 2019. Et très peu sur l’ensemble des 663 400 migrants qui s’y trouvent selon l’OIM. La guerre civile qui déchire le pays rend la situation encore plus urgente.

    Parmi les personnes évacuées de Libye vers le Niger, moins des deux tiers sont éligibles à une réinstallation dans un pays volontaire, selon le HCR. À ce jour, moins de la moitié ont été effectivement réinstallés, notamment en France (voir notre article sur l’accueil de réfugiés dans les communes rurales françaises).

    Malgré la publicité faite autour du programme de réinstallation, le HCR déplore la lenteur du processus pour répondre à cette situation d’urgence. « Le problème est que les pays de réinstallation n’offrent pas de places assez vite, regrette Fatou Ndiaye, en charge du programme ETM au Niger, alors que notre pays hôte a négocié un maximum de 1 500 évacués sur son sol au même moment. » Le programme coordonné du Niger ne fait pas exception : le HCR rappelait en février 2019 que, sur les 19,9 millions de réfugiés relevant de sa compétence à travers le monde, moins d’1 % sont réinstallés dans un pays sûr.

    Le dispositif ETM, que le HCR du Niger qualifie de « couloir de l’espoir », concerne seulement ceux qui se trouvent dans un camp accessible par l’organisation en Libye (l’un d’eux a été bombardé en juillet dernier) et uniquement sept nationalités considérées par les autorités libyennes (qui n’ont pas signé la convention de Genève) comme pouvant relever du droit d’asile (Éthiopiens Oromo, Érythréens, Iraquiens, Somaliens, Syriens, Palestiniens et Soudanais du Darfour).

    « Si les portes étaient ouvertes dès les pays d’origine, les gens ne paieraient pas des sommes astronomiques pour traverser des routes dangereuses. »

    Pascaline Chappart, socio-anthropologue

    En décembre 2018, des Soudanais manifestaient devant les bureaux d’ETM à Niamey pour dénoncer « un traitement discriminatoire (...) par rapport aux Éthiopiens et Somaliens » favorisés, selon eux, par le programme. La représentante du HCR au Niger a répondu à une radio locale que « la plupart de ces Soudanais [venaient] du Tchad où ils ont déjà été reconnus comme réfugiés et que, techniquement, c’est le Tchad qui les protège et fait la réinstallation ». C’est effectivement la règle en matière de droit humanitaire mais, remarque Florence Boyer, « comment demander à des réfugiés qui ont quitté les camps tchadiens, pour beaucoup en raison de l’insécurité, d’y retourner sans avoir aucune garantie ? ».

    La position de la France

    La question du respect des règles en matière de droit d’asile se pose pour les personnes qui bénéficient du programme d’urgence. En France, par exemple, pas de recours possible auprès de l’Ofpra en cas de refus du statut de réfugié. Pour Pascaline Chappart, qui achève deux ans d’enquêtes au Niger et au Mexique, il y a là une part d’hypocrisie : « Si les portes étaient ouvertes dès les pays d’origine, les gens ne paieraient pas des sommes astronomiques pour traverser des routes dangereuses par la mer ou le désert ». « Il est quasiment impossible dans le pays de départ de se présenter aux consulats des pays “sûrs” pour une demande d’asile », renchérit Florence Boyer. Elle donne l’exemple de Centre-Africains qui ont échappé aux combats dans leur pays, puis à la traite et aux violences au Nigéria, en Algérie puis en Libye, avant de redescendre au Niger : « Ils auraient dû avoir la possibilité de déposer une demande d’asile dès Bangui ! Le cadre législatif les y autorise. »

    En ce matin brûlant d’avril, dans le camp du HCR à Hamdallaye, Mebratu2, un jeune Érythréen de 26 ans, affiche un large sourire. À l’ombre de la tente qu’il partage et a décorée avec d’autres jeunes de son pays, il annonce qu’il s’envolera le 9 mai pour Paris. Comme tant d’autres, il a fui le service militaire à vie imposé par la dictature du président Issayas Afeworki. Mebratu était convaincu que l’Europe lui offrirait la liberté, mais il a dû croupir deux ans dans les prisons libyennes. S’il ne connaît pas sa destination finale en France, il sait d’où il vient : « Je ne pensais pas que je serais vivant aujourd’hui. En Libye, on pouvait mourir pour une plaisanterie. Merci la France. »

    Mebratu a pris un vol pour Paris en mai dernier, financé par l’Union européenne et opéré par l’#OIM. En France, la Délégation interministérielle à l’hébergement et à l’accès au logement (Dihal) confie la prise en charge de ces réinstallés à 24 opérateurs, associations nationales ou locales, pendant un an. Plusieurs départements et localités françaises ont accepté d’accueillir ces réfugiés particulièrement vulnérables après des années d’errance et de violences.

    Pour le deuxième article de notre numéro spécial de rentrée, nous nous rendons en Dordogne dans des communes rurales qui accueillent ces « réinstallés » arrivés via le Niger.

    http://icmigrations.fr/2019/08/30/defacto-10
    #externalisation #asile #migrations #réfugiés #frontières #Europe #UE #EU #sécuritaire #humanitaire #approche_sécuritaire #approche_humanitaire #libre_circulation #fermeture_des_frontières #printemps_arabe #Kadhafi #Libye #Agadez #parcours_migratoires #routes_migratoires #HCR #OIM #IOM #retour_au_pays #renvois #expulsions #Fonds_fiduciaire #Fonds_fiduciaire_d'urgence_pour_l'Afrique #FFUA #développement #sécurité #EUCAP_Sahel_Niger #La_Valette #passeurs #politique_d'asile #réinstallation #hub #Emergency_Transit_Mechanism (#ETM) #retours_volontaires #profiling #tri #sélection #vulnérabilité #évacuation #procédure_accélérée #Hamdallaye #camps_de_réfugiés #ofpra #couloir_de_l’espoir

    co-écrit par @pascaline

    ping @karine4 @_kg_ @isskein

    Ajouté à la métaliste sur l’externalisation des frontières :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/731749#message765325

  • Au #Bangladesh, deux ans après l’afflux de #réfugiés_rohingyas, l’#hostilité grandit

    Quand des centaines de milliers de musulmans rohingyas, victimes d’exactions en #Birmanie, ont fui pour se réfugier à partir de l’été 2017 au Bangladesh, les populations locales les ont souvent bien accueillies. Mais deux ans après l’afflux de réfugiés, l’hostilité grandit.

    « Au départ, en tant que membres de la communauté musulmane, nous les avons aidés », raconte Riazul Haque. Cet ouvrier qui habite près de la ville frontalière d’Ukhiya, dans le district de Cox’s Bazar (sud-est du Bangladesh), a permis à une soixantaine de familles de s’établir sur un lopin de terre lui appartenant, pensant qu’elles allaient rester deux ou trois mois maximum.

    « Aujourd’hui, on a l’impression que les Rohingyas encore établis en Birmanie vont bientôt arriver au Bangladesh », s’inquiète-t-il.

    Ukhiya comptait environ 300.000 habitants, mais l’arrivée massive de réfugiés, à partir d’août 2017, a plus que triplé la population.

    La plupart des réfugiés sont logés dans le camp tentaculaire de Kutupalong. D’autres, qui disposent de davantage de ressources, ont tenté de se faire une place dans la société bangladaise.

    Pollution et criminalité en hausse, perte d’emplois : les locaux les accusent de tous les maux.

    « Ils nous volent les petits boulots en soudoyant les forces de l’ordre », assure Mohammad Sojol, qui a perdu son emploi de conducteur de pousse-pousse car, selon lui, les propriétaires des véhicules préfèrent désormais embaucher des réfugiés contre un salaire inférieur, même si ces derniers ne sont officiellement pas autorisés à travailler.

    A la suite de protestations, certains Rohingyas qui s’étaient installés en dehors des camps officiels sont maintenant obligés d’y retourner et leurs enfants sont expulsés des écoles locales.

    – Gangs de la drogue -

    Les Rohingyas, une minorité ethnique musulmane, ont fui les exactions - qualifiées de « génocide » par des enquêteurs de l’ONU - de l’armée birmane et de milices bouddhistes.

    Seule une poignée d’entre eux sont rentrés, craignant pour leur sécurité dans un pays où ils se voient refuser la citoyenneté et sont traités comme des clandestins.

    Le fait que ces réfugiés soient « inactifs dans les camps (les rend) instables », estime Ikbal Hossain, chef intérimaire de la police du district de Cox’s Bazar.

    « Ils reçoivent toutes sortes d’aides, mais ils ont beaucoup de temps libre », relève-t-il, ajoutant que beaucoup sont tombés entre les mains de trafiquants de drogue.

    Des dizaines de millions de comprimés de méthamphétamine (yaba) entrent depuis la Birmanie, un des premiers producteurs au monde de cette drogue de synthèse, au Bangladesh via les camps.

    Et les trafiquants utilisent les Rohingyas comme mules, chargées d’acheminer les stupéfiants dans les villes voisines.

    Au moins 13 Rohingyas, soupçonnés de transporter des milliers de yaba, ont été abattus au cours d’affrontements avec la police.

    Et la présence des gangs de la drogue dans les camps a renforcé l’insécurité et les violences, incitant le Bangladesh à accroître la présence policière.

    Selon la police, le taux de criminalité est ici supérieur aux statistiques nationales du pays, qui enregistre quelque 3.000 meurtres par an pour 168 millions d’habitants.

    318 plaintes au pénal ont été déposées contre des Rohingyas depuis août 2017, dont 31 pour meurtres, d’après Ikbal Hossain. Mais selon des experts, le nombre de crimes dans les camps serait bien supérieur aux chiffres de la police.

    « Nous ne nous sentons pas en sécurité la nuit, mais je ne peux pas quitter ma maison, sinon le reste de mes terres sera également occupé par des réfugiés », déplore Rabeya Begum, une femme au foyer vivant dans le hameau de Madhurchhara, à proximité du camp de Kutupalong.

    Mohib Ullah, un responsable de la communauté rohingya, réfute entretenir de mauvaises relations avec la population locale. « Nous nous entraidons car nous sommes voisins (...) Nous ferions la même chose pour eux ».

    Quelque 3.500 Rohingyas ont été autorisés à rentrer du Bangladesh en Birmanie à compter de jeudi, s’ils le souhaitent.

    En novembre 2018, une précédente tentative de placer quelque 2.200 d’entre eux sur une liste de rapatriement avait échoué, les réfugiés, sans garantie de sécurité en Birmanie, refusant de quitter les camps.

    https://www.liberation.fr/depeches/2019/08/21/au-bangladesh-deux-ans-apres-l-afflux-de-refugies-rohingyas-l-hostilite-g
    #réfugiés #asile #migrations #Rohingyas #camps #camps_de_réfugiés

  • South Sudanese Refugees Transform a Camp Into a City in Uganda

    #Bidi_Bidi refugee camp is home to nearly a quarter-million South Sudanese who fled the violence of civil war in their home country. Its progressive policies allow refugees to live, farm and work together while they wait to return to their home country. But, as conditions are slow to improve in South Sudan, many refugees are opting to stay.

    U.S. Democratic Senators Chris Coons and Chris Van Hollen visited the camp recently. The two lawmakers were touring several refugee settlements throughout Uganda last month, including Bidi Bidi — one of the world’s largest.

    Speaking by phone, Senator Van Hollen called the settlements an “important model” that other countries should consider when housing the displaced.

    “Obviously a key ingredient to the success of that model has been significant international support,” he said.

    When Bidi Bidi was opened in 2016, it was a rural piece of land in northern Uganda, where South Sudanese refugees, mostly women and children, fled to avoid violence during their country’s civil war.

    As is often the case, tensions are common between refugees and the local population, who feel that the refugees are taking resources that might have been available for them.

    But, Uganda decided to do something different, earmarking a percentage of the country’s international funding to go toward local amenities. Refugee families were given plots of land to build family-style clusters of homes with room to grow their own fruits and vegetables. As a result, a small-scale economy began to flourish in the camp, with some refugees starting their own businesses.

    Last year, following a peace deal between warring South Sudan leaders, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni said he hoped the refugees would begin returning home.

    But, that’s not the case.

    According to a new report published this week by several humanitarian agencies, including Oxfam, refugees — especially women — are hesitant to return home. They fear the peace won’t last.

    As a result, settlement official Michael Joelle says Bidi Bidi has reached capacity, and refugees are being turned away and settlements are feeling the strain.

    “Before the 2016 emergency, we were offering a plot of 50 by 100, so the number has been decreasing as the number of refugees increase,” said Joelle.

    The situation has become more dire after international donors suspended their funding earlier this year after it was reported that funds for refugees in Uganda had been mismanaged.

    Grace, a refugee at Bidi Bidi, fled her home country with her children four years ago. Her husband finally joined the family last year.

    The former teacher said she doesn’t see herself moving back to South Sudan anytime soon.

    “Even we’re receiving bad news, so and so has been killed, so and so has been raped, so many things are happening.”

    https://www.voanews.com/africa/south-sudanese-refugees-transform-camp-city-uganda

    #Soudan_du_Sud #Ouganda #camps_de_réfugiés #réfugiés #asile #migrations #ville

    Et commentaire de Jeff Crisp sur twitter :

    It’s not a question of whether a camp looks like a city or not. It’s a question of what rights the refugees are able to exercise.

    https://twitter.com/JFCrisp/status/1170460384513466368

  • The Invisible Wall of #Lampedusa: Landscaping Europe’s Outer Frontier

    Two people are standing by a beaten-up Toyota on an arid, scrub-covered hilltop in the middle of nowhere. They are looking at the valley, keeping a safe distance from the edge. They have to make sure they are not visible from down there, to avoid any trouble. From where they stand, they can see only the roofs of the buildings at the bottom of the valley, some red and white prefabs making their way out of the green vegetation. Getting closer to the edge, they can probably see people walking between the buildings, hanging clothes out to dry on their fences, maybe playing football or talking outside. We’ve all seen these scenes on TV. But they can’t get any closer, otherwise the soldiers might confiscate their cameras. Instead, they will just take nice pictures of the valley, the prickly pears and the scattered agaves lining the hillsides. Even of the sea, in the background.


    https://failedarchitecture.com/the-invisible-wall-of-lampedusa-landscaping-europes-outer-fronti
    #séparation #division #murs #frontières #in/visibilité #ségrégation #migrations #asile #réfugiés #camps #paysage #CPSA #Centro_di_Primo_Soccorso_e_Accoglienza #Porta_d’Europa #monument #port #Molo_Favaloro

    via @isskein
    ping @mobileborders @reka

    Et la conclusion:

    Broadly speaking, Lampedusa serves as evidence of the complexity of the spatial implications of political borders, when they do not translate into physical barriers. The narrative around migration that currently permeates Europe has not necessitated a physical wall in Lampedusa, but it has taken the form of a network of artefacts, whose collective purpose is to produce the spectacle of a border.

  • Διαμαρτυρία ανηλίκων στη Μόρια

    Oλοένα και αυξάνεται η πίεση στο καζάνι της Μόριας. Μόλις μία μέρα μετά την αναχώρηση σχεδόν 1.500 προσφύγων από το ΚΥΤ, μια μίνι εξέγερση των ανήλικων εγκλωβισμένων ήρθε να υπενθυμίσει ότι η κατάσταση συνεχίζει να είναι απελπιστική. Και θα συνεχίσει, όσο σε έναν χώρο που είναι φτιαγμένος για 3.000 ανθρώπους στοιβάζονται αυτή τη στιγμή πάνω από 9.400 ψυχές, εκ των οποίων οι 750 είναι ανήλικοι.

    Μερίδα αυτών των ανηλίκων και ειδικότερα των νεοεισερχομένων ήταν αυτή που ξεκίνησε τη χθεσινή διαμαρτυρία, ζητώντας την άμεση αναχώρησή τους από τη Λέσβο ή έστω τη μεταφορά τους σε ξενοδοχεία, αφού από τη μέρα που πάτησαν το πόδι τους στο ΚΥΤ είναι υποχρεωμένοι να ζουν όλοι μαζί στοιβαγμένοι σε μια μεγάλη σκηνή που έχει στηθεί στον χώρο της Πρώτης Υποδοχής και η οποία μέχρι πρόσφατα έπαιζε τον ρόλο της ρεσεψιόν για όλους τους νεοαφιχθέντες, αλλά πλέον έχει μετατραπεί σε χώρο προσωρινής διαμονής ανηλίκων, έως ότου δοθεί κάποια λύση.

    Η ένταση ξεκίνησε το μεσημέρι της Τετάρτης, όταν ομάδα ανηλίκων έσπασε την πόρτα της σκηνής και ορισμένοι επιχείρησαν να βάλουν φωτιά σε κάδους απορριμμάτων. Παράλληλα, άλλη ομάδα από τους 300 ανήλικους που βρίσκονται στην τέντα κινήθηκε προς την έξοδο και μπλόκαρε τον δρόμο έξω από την πύλη, φωνάζοντας συνθήματα όπως Athens-Athens και Hotel-Hotel, θέλοντας έτσι να κάνουν κατανοητά τα αιτήματά τους.

    Σύντομα, στον χώρο επενέβη η Αστυνομία, που απώθησε με δακρυγόνα τους ανήλικους, και όταν η κατάσταση ηρέμησε ξεκίνησαν κάποιες διαπραγματεύσεις μεταξύ των δύο πλευρών, χωρίς να καταγραφούν μέχρι αυτή την ώρα συλλήψεις ή τραυματισμοί.

    Παρών στη Μόρια κατά τη διάρκεια των επεισοδίων ήταν και ο ύπατος αρμοστής της UNHR, Φίλιπ Λεκλέρκ, που έφθασε στη Μυτιλήνη προκειμένου να έχει προσωπική εικόνα της κατάστασης που έχει δημιουργηθεί, αλλά και για να συμμετάσχει σε σύσκεψη όλων των δημάρχων του Βορείου Αιγαίου που πραγματοποιήθηκε υπό τον νέο περιφερειάρχη, Κώστα Μουτζούρη.
    Ακροδεξιά λογική Μουτζούρη και δημάρχων

    Σε αυτήν, κυριολεκτικά επικράτησε η ακροδεξιά λογική, με τους συμμετέχοντες να καταλήγουν σε ένα πλαίσιο που βρίθει ξενοφοβικών και ρατσιστικών στερεοτύπων. Στην τετράωρη σύσκεψη -και με τη συμμετοχή των περιφερειακών διευθυντών Αστυνομίας και Λιμενικού-, οι δήμαρχοι με τον περιφερειάρχη κατέληξαν ομόφωνα σε ένα κείμενο με αιτήματα που θα αποσταλεί στο υπουργείο Προστασίας του Πολίτη, όπου θα ζητούν την εφαρμογή όσων υποσχόταν προεκλογικά η Ν.Δ. Αναλυτικά οι αυτοδιοικητικοί ζητούν :

    ● Να μη δημιουργηθεί καμία νέα δομή για πρόσφυγες και μετανάστες στα νησιά της περιφέρειας.

    ● Την άμεση μεταφορά των υφισταμένων δομών εκτός των αστικών ιστών και την οριστική διακοπή λειτουργίας των ΚΥΤ της Σάμου, της Μόριας και της ΒΙΑΛ στη Χίο.

    ● Την αναλογική διασπορά των προσφύγων στο σύνολο της χώρας, με άμεση αποσυμφόρηση των νησιών και μαζικές επιστροφές στην Τουρκία, στο πλαίσιο της κοινής δήλωσης Ε.Ε. – Τουρκίας, ώστε η σημερινή αναλογία του 1:7 (μετανάστες προς γηγενείς) των νησιών να μειωθεί στο 1:170 της ηπειρωτικής χώρας.

    ● Την άμεση και πλήρη αποζημίωση των κατοίκων που έχουν υποστεί καταπάτηση και ζημιές στο φυτικό και ζωικό κεφάλαιο από τους πρόσφυγες και μετανάστες.

    ● Την άμεση καταγραφή και τον έλεγχο των ΜΚΟ που δραστηριοποιούνται στην περιφέρεια.

    ● Την αποτελεσματική φύλαξη των θαλάσσιων συνόρων και την άμεση υλοποίηση των προεκλογικών δεσμεύσεων της κυβέρνησης και των πρόσφατων αποφάσεων του ΚΥΣΕΑ.

    ● Τη στήριξη των εμπλεκόμενων δημόσιων υπηρεσιών και πρωτίστως του Λιμενικού Σώματος, της ΕΛ.ΑΣ. και των ενόπλων δυνάμεων για την καθοριστική συμβολή τους στην αντιμετώπιση του προβλήματος και την απαίτηση για άμεση ενίσχυσή τους με προσωπικό και μέσα.


    https://www.efsyn.gr/ellada/dikaiomata/209598_diamartyria-anilikon-sti-moria

    Avec ce commentaire de Vicky Skoumbi via la mailing-list Migreurop, reçu le 05.09.2019 :

    Le reportage du quotidien grec Efimerida tôn Syntaktôn donne plus des précisions sur les incidents qui ont éclaté hier mercredi au hot-spot de Moria à Lesbos. Il s’agissait d’une mini-révolte des mineurs bloqués sur l’île, qui demandaient d’être transférés à Athènes ou du moins d’être logés à l’hôtel. Même après le transfert 1.500 personnes au continent, il y a actuellement à Moria 9.400 personnes dont 750 mineurs pour une capacité d’accueil de 3.000. Les mineurs qui arrivent depuis quelques jours sont entassés dans une grande #tente qui servait jusqu’à maintenant de lieu de Premier Accueil, une sorte de réception-desk pour tous les arrivants, qui s’est transformé en gîte provisoire pour 300 mineurs. Hier,vers midi, un groupe de mineurs ont cassé la porte de la tente et ont essayé de mettre le feu à des poubelles, tandis qu’un deuxième groupe de mineurs avait bloqué la route vers la porte du camp en criant Athens-Athens et Hotel-Hotel, faisant ainsi comprendre qu’ils réclament leur transfert à Athènes ou à défaut à des chambres d’hôtel. La police est intervenue en lançant de gaz lacrymogènes, et une fois le calme répandu ; des pourparlers se sont engagés avec les deux groupes. Il n’y a pas eu ni arrestations ni blessés.

    En même temps la situation est encore plus désespérante au hot-spot de Samos où pour une capacité d’accueil de 648 personnes y sont actuellement entassées presque 5.000 dans des conditions de vie inimaginables. Voir le tableau édité par le Ministère de Protection du Citoyen (alias de l’Ordre Public) (https://infocrisis.gov.gr/5869/national-situational-picture-regarding-the-islands-at-eastern-aegean-sea-4-9-2019/?lang=en)

    #Moria #Lesbos #Lesvos #migrations #asile #réfugiés #camps_de_réfugiés #Grèce #hotspot #révolte #résistance #mineurs #MNA #enfants #enfance #violence

    • Διαμαρτυρία εκατοντάδων ανηλίκων για τις απάνθρωπες συνθήκες διαβίωσης στη Μόρια

      Ένταση επικράτησε το μεσημέρι της Τετάρτης στο Κέντρο Υποδοχής και Ταυτοποίησης Προσφύγων στην Μόρια, καθώς περίπου 300 ανήλικοι πρόσφυγες και μετανάστες διαμαρτυρήθηκαν για τις απάνθρωπες συνθήκες διαβίωσης στο κέντρο, που έχουν γίνει ακόμα χειρότερες τις τελευταίες μέρες λόγω της άφιξης εκατοντάδων νέων ανθρώπων.

      Όπως αναφέρουν πληροφορίες της ιστοσελίδας stonisi.gr, περίπου 300 ανήλικοι πρόσφυγες και μετανάστες προχώρησαν σε συγκέντρωση διαμαρτυρίας έξω από το κέντρο της Μόριας, θέλοντας να διαμαρτυρηθούν για τις απάνθρωπες συνθήκες διαβίωσης.

      Οι ίδιες πληροφορίες αναφέρουν ότι πάρθηκε απόφαση να εκκενωθεί η πτέρυγα των ανηλίκων ενώ έγινε και περιορισμένη χρήση χημικών από την αστυνομία. Σημειώνεται ότι τη Δευτέρα έφτασαν στο νησί εκατοντάδες άνθρωποι, που πλέον κατευθύνθηκαν σε δομές της Βόρειας Ελλάδας, όπου είναι ήδη αδύνατη η στέγαση περισσότερων ανθρώπων.

      https://thepressproject.gr/diamartyria-ekatontadon-anilikon-gia-tis-apanthropes-synthikes-diavi

      –------

      Avec ce commentaire de Vicky Skoumbi (05.09.2019) :

      Des centaines de mineurs protestent contre les conditions de vie inhumaines en Moria
      La tension a monté d’un cran mercredi à midi au centre de réception et d’identification des réfugiés de Moria. Environ 300 réfugiés et immigrants ont protesté contre les conditions de vie inhumaines dans le centre, qui se sont encore aggravées ces derniers jours avec l’arrivée de centaines de personnes.

      Selon des informations du site Internet stonisi.gr , quelque 300 réfugiés et migrants mineurs se sont rassemblés hors du centre de la Moria, dans le but de protester contre ces conditions de vie inhumaines.

      La même source d’’information indique qu’une décision a été prise d’évacuer l’aile des mineurs tandis que la police a fait un usage moderé de gaz chimiques. Il est à noter que lundi, des centaines de personnes sont arrivées sur l’île, se dirigeant maintenant vers des structures situées dans le nord de la Grèce, où il est déjà impossible d’accueillir plus de personnes.

  • Male rape survivors go uncounted in #Rohingya camps

    ‘I don’t hear people talk about sexual violence against men. But this is also not specific to this response.’
    Nurul Islam feels the pain every time he sits: it’s a reminder of the sexual violence the Rohingya man endured when he fled Myanmar two years ago.

    Nurul, a refugee, says he was raped and tortured by Myanmar soldiers during the military purge that ousted more than 700,000 Rohingya from Rakhine State starting in August 2017.

    “They put me like a dog,” Nurul said, acting out the attack by bowing toward the ground, black tarp sheets lining the bamboo tent around him.

    Nurul, 40, is one of the uncounted male survivors of sexual violence now living in Bangladesh’s cramped refugee camps.

    Rights groups and aid agencies have documented widespread sexual violence against women and girls as part of the Rohingya purge. UN investigators say the scale of Myanmar military sexual violence was so severe that it amounts to evidence of “genocidal intent to destroy the Rohingya population” in and of itself.

    But boys and men like Nurul were also victims. Researchers who study sexual violence in crises say the needs of male survivors have largely been overlooked and neglected by humanitarian programmes in Bangladesh’s refugee camps.

    “There’s a striking division between aid workers and the refugees,” said Sarah Chynoweth, a researcher who has studied male survivors of sexual violence in emergencies around the world, including the Rohingya camps. “Many aid workers say we haven’t heard about it, but the refugees are well aware of it.”

    A report she authored for the Women’s Refugee Commission, a research organisation that advocates for improvements on gender issues in humanitarian responses, calls for aid groups in Bangladesh to boost services for all survivors of sexual violence – recognising that men and boys need help, in addition to women and girls.

    Rights groups say services for all survivors of gender-based violence are “grossly inadequate” and underfunded across the camps – including care for people attacked in the exodus from Myanmar, as well as abuse that happens in Bangladesh’s city-sized refugee camps.

    Stigma often prevents Rohingya men and boys from speaking up, while many aid groups aren’t asking the right questions to find out.

    But there are even fewer services offering male victims like Nurul specialised counselling and healthcare.

    Chynoweth and others who work on the issue say stigma often prevents Rohingya men and boys from speaking up, while many aid groups aren’t asking the right questions to find out – leaving humanitarian groups with scarce data to plan a better response, and male survivors of sexual violence with little help.

    In interviews with organisations working on gender-based violence, health, and mental health in the camps, aid staff told The New Humanitarian that the needs of male rape survivors have rarely been discussed, or that specialised services were unnecessary.

    Mercy Lwambi, women protection and empowerment coordinator at the International Rescue Committee, said focusing on female survivors of gender-based violence is not intended to exclude men.

    “What we do is just evidence-informed,” she said. “We have evidence to show it’s for the most part women and girls who are affected by sexual violence. The numbers of male survivors are usually low.”

    But according to gender-based violence case management guidelines compiled by organisations including the IRC, services should be in place for all survivors of sexual violence, with or without incident data.

    And in the camps, Rohingya refugees know that male survivors exist.

    TNH spoke with dozens of Rohingya refugees, asking about the issue of ”torture against private parts of men”. Over the course of a week, TNH met 21 Rohingya who said they were affected, knew other people who were, or said they witnessed it themselves.

    When fellow refugees reached out to Nurul on behalf of TNH, he decided to share his experiences as a survivor of sexual violence: “Because it happened to men too,” he said.
    Asking the right questions

    After his attack in Myanmar, Nurul said other Rohingya men dragged him across the border to Bangladesh’s camps. When he went to a health clinic, the doctors handed him painkillers. There were no questions about his injury, and he didn’t offer an explanation.

    “I was too ashamed to tell them what had happened,” he said.

    When TNH met him in June, Nurul said he hadn’t received any counselling or care for his abuse.

    But Chynoweth says the problem is more complicated than men being reluctant to out themselves as rape victims, or aid workers simply not acknowledging the severity of sexual violence against men and boys.

    She believes it’s also a question of language.

    When Chynoweth last year started asking refugees if they knew of men who had been raped or sexually abused, most at first said no. When she left out the words “sexual” and “rape” and instead asked if “torture” was done against their “private parts”, people opened up.

    “Many men have no idea that what happened to them is sexual violence,” she said.

    Similarly, when she asked NGO workers in Bangladesh if they had encountered sexual violence against Rohingya men, many would shake their heads. “As soon as I asked if they had treated men with genital trauma, the answer was: ‘Yes, of course,’” she said.

    This suggests that health workers must be better trained to ask the right questions and to spot signs of abuse, Chynoweth said.
    Challenging taboos

    The undercounting of sexual violence against men has long been a problem in humanitarian responses.

    A December 2013 report by the Office of the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict notes that sexual and gender-based violence is often seen as a women’s issue, yet “the disparity between levels of conflict-related sexual violence against women and levels against men is rarely as dramatic as one might expect”.

    A Security Council resolution this year formally recognised that sexual violence in conflict also targets men and boys; Human Rights Watch called it “an important step in challenging the taboos that keep men from reporting their experiences and deny the survivors the assistance they need”.

    But in the Rohingya refugee camps, the issue still flies under the radar.

    Mwajuma Msangi from the UN Population Fund, which chairs the gender-based violence subsector for aid groups in the camps, said sexual violence against men and boys is usually only raised, if at all, during the “any other business” section that ends bimonthly coordination meetings.

    “It hasn’t really come up,” Msangi said in an interview. “It’s good you are bringing this up, we should definitely look into it.”

    TNH asked staff from other major aid groups about the issue, including the UN’s refugee agency UNHCR, which co-manages UN and NGO efforts in the camps, and the World Health Organisation, which leads the health sector. There were few programmes training staff on how to work with male survivors of sexual violence, or offering specialised healthcare or counselling.

    “The [gender-based violence] sector has not been very proactive in training health workers to be honest,” said Donald Sonne Kazungu, Médecins Sans Frontières’ medical coordinator in Cox’s Bazar. “I don’t hear people talk about sexual violence against men. But this is also not specific to this response.”

    "The NGO world doesn’t acknowledge that it happened because there is no data, and there is no data because nobody is asking for it.”

    No data, no response

    For the few organisations that work with male survivors of sexual violence in the camps, the failure to assess the extent of the problem is part of a cycle that prevents solutions.

    "The NGO world doesn’t acknowledge that it happened because there is no data, and there is no data because nobody is asking for it,” said Eva Buzo, country director for Legal Action Worldwide, a European NGO that offers legal support to people in crises, including a women’s organisation in the camps, Shanti Mohila.

    LAW trains NGO medical staff and outreach workers, teaching them to be aware of signs of abuse among male survivors. It’s also trying to solidify a system through which men and boys can be referred for help. Through the first half of the year, the organisation has interacted with 25 men.

    "It’s really hardly a groundbreaking project, but unfortunately it is,” Buzo said, shrugging her shoulders. “Nobody else is paying attention.”

    But she’s reluctant to advertise her programme in the camps: there aren’t enough services where male victims of sexual violence can access specialised health and psychological care. Buzo said she trusts two doctors that work specifically with male survivors; both were trained by her organisation.

    “It’s shocking how ill-equipped the sector is,” she said, frustrated about her dilemma. “If we identify new survivors, I don’t even know where to refer them to.”

    The issue also underscores a larger debate in the humanitarian sector about whether gender-based violence programmes should focus primarily on women and girls, who face added risks in crises, or also better include men, boys, and the LGBTI community.

    “If we identify new survivors, I don’t even know where to refer them to.”

    Buzo says the lack of services for male survivors in the Rohingya camps points to a reluctance to recognise the need for action out of fear it might come at the expense of services for women – which already suffer from funding shortfalls.

    The Rohingya response could have been a precedent for the humanitarian sector as a whole to better respond to male survivors of sexual violence, according to an aid worker who worked on protection issues in the camps in 2017 as the massive refugee outflow was unfolding.

    When she questioned incoming refugees about sexual violence against women, numerous Rohingya asked what could be done for men who had also been raped, said the aid worker, who asked not to be named as she didn’t have permission to speak on behalf of her organisation.

    “We missed yet another chance to open this issue up,” she said.

    Chynoweth believes health, protection, and counselling programmes for all survivors – female and male – must improve.

    “There aren’t many services for women and girls. The response to all survivors is really poor,” she said. “But we should, and we can do both.”

    http://www.thenewhumanitarian.org/news-feature/2019/09/04/Rohingya-men-raped-Myanmar-Bangladesh-refugee-camps-GBV
    #viol #viols #violences_sexuelles #conflits #abus_sexuels #hommes_violés #réfugiés #asile #migrations #camps_de_réfugiés #Myanmar #Birmanie

  • #Migrerrance... de camp en camp en #Grèce...
    Des personnes traitées comme des #paquets de la poste

    Greece moves 1400 asylum-seekers from crowded Lesbos camp as migrant numbers climb

    Greek officials and aid workers on Monday began an emergency operation to evacuate 1,400 migrants from a dangerously overcrowded camp on Lesbos as numbers of arrivals on the island continue to climb.

    Six hundred and forty people were bussed away from Moria camp, which has become notorious for violence and poor hygiene, with 800 more following.

    “I hope to get out of this hell quickly,” 21-year-old Mohamed Akberi, who arrived at the camp five days earlier, told Agence-France Presse.

    Lesbos has been hit hard by the migrant crisis, with authorities deadlocked over what to do with new arrivals. Some 11,000 have been put in Moria camp, an old army barracks in a remote part of the island which has a capacity of around 3,000.

    The camp has been criticised sharply by human rights organisations for its squalid living conditions and poor security. Last month, a 14-year-old Afghan boy was killed in a fight and women in the camp are targets for sexual violence.

    The migrants removed from Moria on Monday will be taken by ferry to Thessaloniki, where they will be transported to Nea Kavala, a small camp in northern Greece near the border with North Macedonia.

    Lesbos saw 3,000 new arrivals in August, with around 650 arriving in just one day last week, and another 400 over the weekend.

    The emergency transfer from Moria was agreed by the government at an emergency meeting on Saturday, with unaccompanied minors and other vulnerable people given priority.

    The Greek government agreed to do away with the appeal procedures for asylum seekers to facilitate their swift return to Turkey.

    Greece will also step up border patrols with the help of the EU border control agency Frontex.

    Nearly 1,900 migrants have been forcibly returned to Turkey under a deal brokered by the European Union in 2016, and 17,000 migrants have voluntarily left Greece for their home countries over the last three years.

    Aid workers have questioned whether the emergency move provides a meaningful solution to Greece’s migrant problem.

    “While the situation in Moria is certainly diabolical, the government’s response to move people doesn’t solve the problem of overcrowding and is more of a PR exercise without addressing the issues that will be exacerbated by the move,” one aid worker with Nea Kavala, who wished to remain anonymous, told the Telegraph. “It’s very much an out-of-the-frying-pan-into- the-fire situation.”

    Stella Nanou, a spokesperson at the UNHCR in Greece, told the Daily Telegraph: “The situation is an urgent one in Moria and requires urgent relief. It is obvious more needs to be done in the short term. In the long term, solutions need to be provided to decongest and relieve the situation on the islands. We stand ready to help.”

    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2019/09/02/greece-moves-1400-asylum-seekers-crowded-lesbos-camp-migrant
    #Moria #Lesbos #Lesvos #camps_de_réfugiés #Grèce_du_Nord #déplacement #asile #migrations #réfugiés
    #paquets_postaux
    ping @isskein

    • Grèce : Plus de 1 000 migrants transférés de l’île de Lesbos vers le continent

      Un premier groupe de 600 migrants ont été transférés lundi matin du camp de Moria, à Lesbos, vers le continent. Un deuxième contingent de 700 personnes devraient aussi être acheminé vers le continent grec dans l’après-midi. Ce week-end, le gouvernement avait annoncé une série de mesure pour faire face à l’afflux de migrants, notamment le transfert rapide des mineurs non accompagnés et des personnes les plus vulnérables des îles vers le continent.

      Les premières évacuations de l’île grecque de Lesbos vers le continent ont débuté lundi 2 septembre. Un premier contingent de 600 migrants installés dans le camp saturé de Moria ont été évacués lundi matin.

      Six cent trente-cinq Afghans, transportant des bagages encombrants, se sont précipités pour monter dans les bus de la police, sous la supervision du Haut-commissariat des Nations unies aux réfugiés (#HCR).

      Dans la cohue générale, ils ont ensuite embarqué sur le navire « Caldera Vista » vers le port de Thessalonique, où ils doivent être acheminés vers le camp de réfugiés de Nea Kavala, dans la ville de Kilkis situé dans le nord de la Grèce.

      Un autre groupe de 700 migrants devaient également être transférés dans l’après-midi vers le même lieu, dans le cadre de la décision du gouvernement grec de désengorger le camp de Moria.

      « 3 000 arrivées rien qu’au mois d’août »

      Samedi 31 août, le gouvernement grec a annoncé une série de mesure pour faire face à l’afflux de migrants, notamment le transfert rapide des mineurs non accompagnés et des personnes les plus vulnérables des îles vers le continent mais aussi la suppression des procédure d’appels aux demandes d’asile pour faciliter les retours des réfugiés en Turquie.

      Le camp de Moria, centre d’enregistrement et d’identification de Lesbos, héberge déjà près de 11 000 personnes, soit quatre fois la capacité évaluée par le HCR.

      Le nombre de migrants n’a cessé de grossir cet été. L’agence onusienne parle de « plus de 3 000 arrivées rien qu’au mois d’août ». Jeudi soir, 13 bateaux sont arrivés à Lesbos avec plus de 540 personnes dont 240 enfants, une hausse sans précédent qui inquiète le gouvernement conservateur arrivé au pouvoir le 7 juillet dernier.

      Ce week-end, 280 autres migrants sont arrivés en Grèce, souvent interceptés en pleine mer par les garde-côtes de l’Union européenne et de la Grèce.

      Sur la côte nord de l’île où les canots pneumatiques chargés de migrants débarquent le plus souvent, la surveillance a été renforcée dimanche. Une équipe de l’AFP a pu constater les allers et venues des patrouilleurs en mer, et la vigilance accrue des policiers sur les rives grecques.
      Depuis l’accord UE-Turquie signé en mars 2016, le contrôle aux frontières a été renforcé, rendant l’accès à l’île depuis la Turquie de plus en plus difficile. Mais, ces derniers mois près de 100 personnes en moyenne parviennent chaque jour à effectuer cette traversée.

      https://www.infomigrants.net/fr/post/19227/grece-plus-de-1-000-migrants-transferes-de-l-ile-de-lesbos-vers-le-con

    • Message de Vicky Skoumbi reçu via la mailing-list de Migreurop, 03.09.2019:

      Des scènes qui rappellent l’été 2015 se passent actuellement à Lesbos.

      Le nombre particulièrement élevé d’arrivées récentes à Lesbos (Grèce) – plus que 3.600 pour le seul mois d’août- a obligé le nouveau gouvernement de transférer 1.300 personnes vulnérables vers le continent et notamment vers la commune Nouvelle Kavalla à Kilkis, au nord-ouest du pays. Il s’agit juste d’un tiers de réfugiés reconnus comme vulnérables qui restent bloqués dans l’île, malgré la levée de leur confinement géographique. Jusqu’à ce jour le gouvernement Mitsotakis avait bloqué tout transfert vers le continent, même au moment où la population de Moria avait dépassé les 10.000 dont 4.000 étaient obligés de vivre en dehors du camp, dans des abris de fortune sur les champs d’alentours. Le service médical à Moria y est désormais quasi-inexistant, dans la mesure où des 40 médecins qui y travaillaient, il ne reste actuellement que deux qui ne peuvent s’occuper que des urgences – et encore-, tandis qu’il n’y a plus aucune ambulance disponible sur place. Ceci a comme résultant que les personnes qui arrivent ne passent plus de contrôle médical avec tous les risques sanitaires que cela puisse créer dans un camp si surpeuplé.

      Le nouveau président de la Région de l’Egée du Nord, M. Costas Moutzouris, de droite sans affiliation, avait déclaré que toutes les régions de la Grèce doivent partager le ‘fardeau’, car « les îles ne doivent pas subir une déformation, une altération raciale, religieuse, et ethnique ».

      Source (en grec) Efimerida tôn Syntaktôn (https://www.efsyn.gr/ellada/dikaiomata/209204_sti-moria-kai-sti-sykamnia-i-lesbos-anastenazei)

      C’est sans doute l’arrivée de 13 bateaux avec 550 personnes à Sykamia (Lesbos) samedi dernier, qui a obligé le gouvernement de céder et d’organiser un convoi vers le continent. Mais l’endroit choisi pour l’installation de personnes transférées est un campement déjà surchargé – pour une capacité d’accueil de 700 personnes, 924 y sont installés dans de containers et 450 dans des tentes. Avec l’arrivée de 1.300 de plus ni le réseau d’eau potable, ni les deux générateurs électriques ne sauraient tenir. La situation risque de devenir totalement chaotique, d’autant plus que le centre d’accueil en question est géré sans aucune structure administrative par une ONG, le Conseil danois pour les Réfugiés. En même temps, l’endroit est exposé aux vents et les tentes qui y sont montés pour les nouveaux arrivants risquent de s’envoler à la première rafale. D’après le quotidien grec Efimerida tôn Syntktôn (https://www.efsyn.gr/ellada/dikaiomata/209222_giati-i-boreia-ellada-kathistatai-afiloxeni-sto-neo-kyma-prosfygon) toutes les structures du Nord de la Grèce ont déjà dépassé la limite de leurs capacités d’accueil.

    • Greece to increase border patrols and deportations to curb migrant influx

      Greece is to step up border patrols, move asylum-seekers from its islands to the mainland and speed up deportations in an effort to deal with a resurgence in migrant flows from neighboring Turkey.

      The government’s Council for Foreign Affairs and Defence convened on Saturday for an emergency session after the arrival on Thursday of more than a dozen migrant boats carrying around 600 people, the first simultaneous arrival of its kind in three years.

      The increase in arrivals has piled additional pressure on Greece’s overcrowded island camps, all of which are operating at least twice their capacity.

      Arrivals - mostly of Afghan families - have picked up over the summer, and August saw the highest number of monthly landings in three years.

      Greece’s Moria camp on the island of Lesbos - a sprawling facility where conditions have been described by aid organizations as inhumane - is also holding the largest number of people since the deal was agreed.

      On Saturday, the government said it would move asylum-seekers to mainland facilities, increase border surveillance together with the European Union’s border patrol agency Frontex and NATO, and boost police patrols across Greece to identify rejected asylum seekers who have remained in the country.

      It also plans to cut back a lengthy asylum process, which can take several months to conclude, by abolishing the second stage of appeals when an application is rejected, and deporting the applicant either to Turkey or to their country of origin.

      “The asylum process in our country was the longest, the most time consuming and, in the end, the most ineffective in Europe,” Greece’s deputy citizen protection minister responsible for migration policy, Giorgos Koumoutsakos, told state television.

      Responding to criticism from the opposition that the move was unfair and unlawful, Koumoutsakos said:

      “Asylum must move quickly so that those who are entitled to international protection are vindicated ... and for us to know who should not stay in Greece.”

      The government was “determined to push ahead with a robust returns policy because that is what the law and the country’s best interest impose, in accordance with human rights,” he said.

      Greece was the main gateway to northern Europe in 2015 for nearly a million migrants and refugees from war-torn and poverty-stricken countries in the Middle East and Africa.

      A deal between the EU and Turkey in March 2016 reduced the influx to a trickle, but closures of borders across the Balkans resulted in tens of thousands of people stranded in Greece.

      Humanitarian organizations have criticized Greece for not doing enough to improve living conditions at its camps, which they have described as “shameful”.

      https://www.reuters.com/article/us-europe-migrants-greece/greece-to-increase-border-patrols-and-deportations-to-curb-migrant-influx-i

    • Grèce : les migrants de Lesbos désemparés dans leur nouveau camp

      « Nous avons quitté Moria en espérant quelque chose de mieux et finalement, c’est pire » : Sazan, un Afghan de 20 ans, vient d’être transféré, avec mille compatriotes, de l’île grecque de Lesbos saturée, dans le camp de #Nea_Kavala, dans le nord de la Grèce.

      Après six mois dans « l’enfer » de Moria sur l’île de Lesbos, Sazan se sent désemparé à son arrivée à Nea Kavala, où il constate « la difficulté d’accès à l’eau courante et à l’électricité ».

      A côté de lui, Mohamed Nour, 28 ans, entouré de ses trois enfants, creuse la terre devant sa tente de fortune pour fabriquer une rigole « pour protéger la famille en cas de pluie ».

      Mille réfugiés et migrants sont installés dans 200 tentes, les autres seront transférés « dans d’autres camps dans le nord du pays », a indiqué une source du ministère de la Protection du citoyen, sans plus de détails.

      L’arrivée massive de centaines de migrants et réfugiés la semaine dernière à Lesbos, principale porte d’entrée migratoire en Europe, a pris de court les autorités grecques, qui ont décidé leur transfert sur des camps du continent.

      Car le camp de Moria, le principal de Lesbos, l’un des plus importants et insalubres d’Europe, a dépassé de quatre fois sa capacité ces derniers mois.

      En juillet seulement, plus de 5.520 personnes ont débarqué à Lesbos - un record depuis le début de l’année - auxquelles se sont ajoutés 3.250 migrants au cours de quinze premiers jours d’août, selon l’Organisation internationale pour les migrations (OIM).

      – Tensions à Moria -

      Quelque 300 mineurs non accompagnés ont protesté mercredi contre leurs conditions de vie dans le camp de Moria et demandé leur transfert immédiat à Athènes. De jeunes réfugiés ont mis le feu à des poubelles et la police a dispersé la foule avec des gaz lacrymogènes, a rapporté l’agence de presse grecque ANA.

      « Nous pensions que Moria était la pire chose qui pourrait nous arriver », explique Mohamed, qui s’efforce d’installer sa famille sous une tente de Nea Kavala.

      « On nous a dit que notre séjour serait temporaire mais nous y sommes déjà depuis deux jours et les conditions ne sont pas bonnes, j’espère partir d’ici très vite », assène-t-il.

      Des équipes du camp œuvrent depuis lundi à installer des tentes supplémentaires, mais les toilettes et les infrastructures d’hygiène ne suffisent pas.

      Le ministère a promis qu’avant la fin du mois, les migrants seraient transférés dans d’autres camps.

      Mais Tamim, 15 ans, séjourne à Nea Kavala depuis trois mois : « On nous a dit la même chose (que nous serions transférés) quand nous sommes arrivés (...). A Moria, c’était mieux, au moins on avait des cours d’anglais, ici on ne fait rien », confie-t-il à l’AFP.

      Pour Angelos, 35 ans, employé du camp, « il faut plus de médecins et des infrastructures pour répondre aux besoins de centaines d’enfants ».

      – « Garder espoir » -

      Plus de 70.000 migrants et réfugiés sont actuellement bloqués en Grèce depuis la fermeture des frontières en Europe après la déclaration UE-Turquie de mars 2016 destinée à freiner la route migratoire vers les îles grecques.

      Le Premier ministre de droite Kyriakos Mitsotakis, élu début juillet, a supprimé le ministère de la Politique migratoire, créé lors de la crise migratoire de 2015, et ce dossier est désormais confié au ministère de la Protection du citoyen.

      Face à la recrudescence des arrivées en Grèce via les frontières terrestre et maritime gréco-turques depuis janvier 2019, le gouvernement a annoncé samedi un train de mesures allant du renforcement du contrôle des frontières et des sans-papiers à la suppression du droit d’appel pour les demandes d’asile rejetées en première instance.

      Des ONG de défense des réfugiés ont critiqué ces mesures, dénonçant « le durcissement » de la politique migratoire.

      La majorité des migrants arrivés en Grèce espère, comme destination « finale », un pays d’Europe centrale ou occidentale.

      « Je suis avec ma famille ici, nous souhaitons aller vivre en Autriche », confirme Korban, 19 ans, arrivé mardi à Nea Kavala.

      « A Moria, les rixes et la bousculade étaient quotidiennes, c’était l’enfer. La seule chose qui nous reste maintenant, c’est d’être patients et de garder espoir », confie-t-il.

      https://www.la-croix.com/Monde/Migrants-transferes-Grece-Ici-pire-Lesbos-2019-09-04-1301045157

  • En #Inde, près de deux millions de citoyens, la plupart #musulmans, déchus de leur #nationalité

    La Cour suprême exclut de nombreux citoyens des registres d’état civil de l’#Etat_de_l’Assam.


    https://www.lemonde.fr/international/article/2019/08/31/en-inde-pres-de-deux-millions-de-citoyens-la-plupart-musulmans-dechus-de-leu
    #citoyenneté #apatridie #Assam #apatrides

    –---------

    En 2018, le Courrier international titrait :
    Inde. Quatre millions d’habitants de l’Assam considérés comme apatrides
    https://seenthis.net/messages/712102

    • India builds detention camps for up to 1.9m people ‘stripped of citizenship’ in Assam

      Ten centres ‘planned’ across northeastern state after national register published
      The Indian government is building mass detention camps after almost two million people were told they could be effectively stripped of citizenship.

      Around 1.9m people in the north-eastern state of Assam were excluded when India published the state’s final National Register of Citizens (NRC) list in August.

      Those excluded from the register will have to appeal to prove they are citizens. The UN and other international rights groups have expressed concern that many could be rendered stateless.

      The citizenship list is part of a drive to detect illegal immigrants in Assam.

      The Indian government claims that the migrants have arrived from neighbouring Muslim-majority Bangladesh.

      Critics say that the register has upended the lives of Muslims who have lived legally in the state for decades.

      Record keeping in parts of rural India is poor and many, including those building the camps, have been caught out by the NRC’s stringent requirements.

      “We don’t have birth certificates,” Malati Hajong, one of the labourers working at a site near the village of Goalpara, told the Reuters news agency.

      The Goalpara camp is one of at least 10 planned detention centres, according to local media reports.

      It is around the size of seven football pitches and designed to hold 3,000 people.

      Officials plan to have a school and hospital at the centre, as well as a high boundary wall and watchtowers for the security forces.

      Critics have accused the Modi administration of using the NRC to target Assam’s large Muslim community.

      But the government says it is simply complying with an order from India’s Supreme Court, which said the NRC had been delayed for too long and set a strict deadline for its completion.

      Government sources say those excluded from the list retain their rights and have 120 days to appeal at local “Foreigners Tribunals”. If that fails, they can take their cases to the High Court of Assam and ultimately the Supreme Court. What happens to those who fail at all levels of appeal is yet to be decided, they said.

      Last month the local chapter of India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party expressed dismay after it became apparent that many Hindus had also been excluded from the list.

      Officials said the government may pass legislation to protect legitimate citizens.

      The government is already in the process of bringing legislation to grant citizenship to Hindu, Sikh and Buddhist immigrants from neighbouring countries.

      Muslim immigrants are not included in the law.

      The nationalist, hardline Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) group also called for genuine citizens to be included in the list after it emerged that Hindus had been affected. The RSS and BJP are closely affiliated.

      https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/assam-india-detention-camps-bangladesh-nrc-list-a9099251.html

      #camps_de_détention #détention

  • Réfugiés : du #Niger à la #Dordogne

    La France a adhéré en 2017 à l’#Emergency_Transit_Mechanism, programme humanitaire exceptionnel permettant à des réfugiés évacués d’urgence de #Libye (reconnus « particulièrement vulnérables ») d’être pris en charge dès le Niger, et réinstallés dans des #pays_sûrs. Comment cela passe-t-il aujourd’hui ?

    De nouveaux naufrages cette semaine au large de la Libye nous rappellent à quel point est éprouvant et risqué le périple de ceux qui tentent de rejoindre l’Europe après avoir fui leur pays. Partagée entre des élans contradictoires, compassion et peur de l’invasion, les pays de l’Union européenne ont durci leur politique migratoire, tout en assurant garantir le droit d’asile aux réfugiés. C’est ainsi que la #France a adhéré à l’Emergency Transit Mechanism (#ETM), imaginé par le #HCR fin 2017, avec une étape de transit au Niger.

    Le Haut-Commissariat des Nations unies pour les Réfugiés (HCR) réinstalle chaque années des réfugiés présents dans ses #camps (Liban, Jordanie, Tchad ou encore Niger) dans des pays dits ‘sûrs’ (en Europe et Amérique du Nord). La réinstallation est un dispositif classique du HCR pour des réfugiés « particulièrement vulnérables » qui, au vu de la situation dans leur pays, ne pourront pas y retourner.

    Au Niger, où se rend ce Grand Reportage, cette procédure est accompagnée d’un dispositif d’#évacuation_d’urgence des #prisons de Libye. L’Emergency Transit Mechanism (ETM) a été imaginé par le HCR fin 2017, avec une étape de #transit au Niger. Nouvelle frontière de l’Europe, pour certains, le pays participe à la #sélection entre migrants et réfugiés, les migrants étant plutôt ‘retournés’ chez eux par l’Organisation Internationale des Migrants (#OIM).

    Sur 660 000 migrants et 50 000 réfugiés (placés sous mandat HCR) présents en Libye, 6 600 personnes devraient bénéficier du programme ETM sur deux ans.

    La France s’est engagé à accueillir 10 000 réinstallés entre septembre 2017 et septembre 2019. 7 000 Syriens ont déjà été accueillis dans des communes qui se portent volontaires. 3 000 Subsahariens, dont une majorité évacués de Libye, devraient être réinstallés d’ici le mois de décembre.

    En Dordogne, où se rend ce Grand Reportage, des communes rurales ont fait le choix d’accueillir ces réfugiés souvent abîmés par les violences qu’ils ont subis. Accompagnés pendant un an par des associations mandatées par l’Etat, les réfugiés sont ensuite pris en charge par les services sociaux locaux, mais le rôle des bénévoles reste central dans leur installation en France.

    Comment tout cela se passe-t-il concrètement ? Quel est le profil des heureux élus ? Et quelle réalité les attend ? L’accompagnement correspond-il à leurs besoins ? Et parviennent-ils à s’intégrer dans ces villages français ?

    https://www.franceculture.fr/emissions/grand-reportage/refugies-du-niger-a-la-dordogne
    #audio #migrations #asile #réfugiés #réinstallation #vulnérabilité #retour_volontaire #IOM #expulsions #renvois #externalisation #tri #rural #ruralité #accueil
    ping @isskein @pascaline @karine4 @_kg_ @reka

    Ajouté à cette métaliste sur l’externalisation :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/731749#message765335

  • UNHCR shocked at death of Afghan boy on #Lesvos; urges transfer of unaccompanied children to safe shelters

    UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, is deeply saddened by news that a 15-year-old Afghan boy was killed and two other teenage boys injured after a fight broke out last night at the Moria reception centre on the Greek island of Lesvos. Despite the prompt actions by authorities and medical personnel, the boy was pronounced dead at Vostaneio Hospital in Mytilene, the main port town on Lesvos. The two other boys were admitted at the hospital where one required life-saving surgery. A fourth teenager, also from Afghanistan, was arrested by police in connection with the violence.

    The safe area at the Moria Reception and Identification Centre, RIC, hosts nearly 70 unaccompanied children, but more than 500 other boys and girls are staying in various parts of the overcrowded facility without a guardian and exposed to exploitation and abuse. Some of them are accommodated with unknown adults.

    “I was shocked to hear about the boy’s death”, said UNHCR Representative in Greece, Philippe Leclerc. “Moria is not the place for children who are alone and have faced profound trauma from events at home and the hardship of their flight. They need special care in dedicated shelters. The Greek government must take urgent measures to ensure that these children are transferred to a safe place and to end the overcrowding we see on Lesvos and other islands,” he said, adding that UNHCR stands ready to support by all means necessary.

    Frustration and tensions can easily boil over in Moria RIC which now hosts over 8,500 refugees and migrants – four times its capacity. Access to services such as health and psychological support are limited while security is woefully insufficient for the number of people. Unaccompanied children especially can face unsafe conditions for months while waiting for an authorized transfer to appropriate shelter. Their prolonged stay in such difficult conditions further affects their psychology and well-being.

    Nearly 2,000 refugees and migrants arrived by sea to Greece between 12 and 18 August, bringing the number of entries this year to 21,947. Some 22,700 people, including nearly 1,000 unaccompanied and separated children, are now staying on the Greek Aegean islands, the highest number in three years.

    https://www.unhcr.org/gr/en/12705-unhcr-shocked-at-death-of-afghan-boy-on-lesvos-urges-transfer-of-unacco

    #MNA #mineurs #enfants #enfance #Moria #décès #mort #asile #migrations #réfugiés #Grèce #camps_de_réfugiés #Lesbos #bagarre #dispute #surpopulation

    • Cet article du HCR, m’a fait pensé à la #forme_camps telle qu’elle est illustrée dans l’article... j’ai partagé cette réflexion avec mes collègues du comité scientifique du Centre du patrimoine arménien de Valence.

      Je la reproduis ici :

      Je vous avais parlé du film documentaire « #Refugistan » (https://seenthis.net/messages/502311), que beaucoup d’entre vous ont vu.

      Je vous disais, lors de la dernière réunion, qu’une des choses qui m’avait le plus frappé dans ce film, c’est ce rapprochement géographique du « camp de réfugié tel que l’on se l’imagine avec des #tentes blanches avec estampillons HCR »... cet #idéal-type de #camp on le voit dans le film avant tout en Afrique centrale, puis dans les pays d’Afrique du Nord et puis, à la fin... en Macédoine. Chez nous, donc.

      J’ai repensé à cela, ce matin, en voyant cette triste nouvelle annoncée par le HCR du décès d’un jeune dans le camps de Moria à Lesbos suite à une bagarre entre jeunes qui a lieu dans le camp.

      Regardez l’image qui accompagne l’article :

      Des tentes blanches avec l’estampillons « UNHCR »... en Grèce, encore plus proche, en Grèce, pays de l’Union européenne...

      Des pensées... que je voulais partager avec vous.

      #altérité #cpa_camps #altérisation

      ping @reka @isskein @karine4

    • Greek refugee camp unable to house new arrivals

      Authorities on the Greek island of Lesvos say they can’t house more newly arrived migrants at a perpetually overcrowded refugee camp that now is 400 percent overcapacity.

      Two officials told AP the Moria camp has a population of 12,000 and no way to accommodate additional occupants.

      The officials say newcomers are sleeping in the open or in tents outside the camp, which was built to hold 3,000 refugees.

      Some were taken to a small transit camp run by the United Nations’ refugee agency on the north coast of Lesvos.

      The island authorities said at least 410 migrants coming in boats from Turkey reached Lesvos on Friday.

      The officials asked not to be identified pending official announcements about the camp.

      http://www.ekathimerini.com/244771/article/ekathimerini/news/greek-refugee-camp-unable-to-house-new-arrivals

  • Watching the clothes dry: How life in Greece’s refugee camps is changing family roles and expectations

    On the Greek Islands where refugees face long waiting times and a lack of adequate facilities, women are being pushed to the margins of camp society as children are deprived of education and safe places to play. While governments and the EU fail to provide satisfactory support, and NGOs fight to fill the gaps, how can we stop a generation of women and girls with high hopes of independence and careers from being forced back into domestic roles?

    “The days here are as long as a year.

    “In the camp I have to wash my clothes and dishes with cold water in the cold winter, and I have to watch my clothes dry because I lost almost all of my dresses and clothes after hanging them up.

    “As a woman I have to do these jobs – I mean because I am supposed to do them.”

    The boredom and hopelessness that Mariam* describes are, by now, common threads running through the messy, tragic tapestry of stories from the so called “migrant crisis” in Greece.

    Mariam is from Afghanistan, and had been studying business at university in Kabul, before increasing violence and threats from the Taliban meant that she was forced to flee the country with her husband. Soon after I met her, I began to notice that life in camp was throwing two distinct concepts of herself into conflict: one, as a young woman, ambitious to study and start a career, and the other, as a female asylum seeker in a camp with appallingly few facilities, and little freedom.

    While Mariam felt driven to continue her studies and love of reading, she could not escape the daily domestic chores in camp, a burden placed particularly on her because of her gender. I was familiar with Mariam the student: while managing the Alpha Centre, an activity centre run by Samos Volunteers, I would often come across Mariam sitting in a quiet spot, her head bent over a book for hours, or sitting diligently in language classes.

    The other side of her was one I rarely saw, but it was a life which dominated Mariam’s camp existence: hours and hours of her days spent cooking, cleaning, mending clothes, queuing for food, washing dishes, washing clothes, watching them dry.
    Women as caregivers

    Mariam’s experience of boredom and hardship in the camp on Samos is, unfortunately, not uncommon for any person living in the overcrowded and squalid facilities on the Greek islands.

    Many, many reports have been made, by newspapers, by Human Rights organisations such as Amnesty International, and NGOs such as Medécins Sans Frontières (MSF). All of them speak, to varying degrees, of the crushing boredom and despair faced by asylum-seekers in Greece, the dreadful conditions and lack of resources, and the mental health implications of living in such a situation. MSF describes the suffering on the Aegean islands as being on an “overwhelming scale.”

    While these issues apply indiscriminately to anyone enduring life in the island camps – and this undoubtedly includes men – there have been reports highlighting the particular hardships that women such as Mariam have to face while seeking asylum in Greece. In a 2018 report, “Uprooted women in Greece speak out,” Amnesty International comments on the additional pressures many women face in camp:

    The lack of facilities and the poor conditions in camps place a particularly heavy burden on women who often shoulder the majority of care responsibilities for children and other relatives. The psychological impact of prolonged stays in camps is profound. Women spoke of their anxiety, nightmares, lack of sleep and depression.

    The article recognises how much more likely women are than men to take on a caregiving role, an issue that is not unique to asylum-seeking populations. According to a report titled ‘Women’s Work’ released in 2016 by the Overseas Development Institute, women globally do on average over three times more unpaid work than men – work including childcare and domestic chores. This is across both ‘developed’ and ‘developing’ countries, and demonstrates inequality on a scale far beyond refugee and migrant populations.

    However, as Amnesty points out, it is not the perceived roles themselves which are the issue, but rather the glaring lack of facilities in camps – such as lack of food, ‘horrific’ sanitary conditions, and poor or non-existent washing facilities, as well as significant lack of access to education for children, and waiting times of up to two years. All of these factors exacerbate the gender divides which may or may not have been prevalent in the first place.

    The expectation for women to be primary caregivers was something I particularly noticed when running women’s activities on Samos. There was a stark difference between the daily classes – which would fill up with men attending alone, as agents distinct from their families in camp – and the women-only sessions, where accompanying children were almost always expected, and had to be considered in every session plan.

    The particular burden that I noticed so starkly in Mariam and many other women, was a constant battle to not be pushed to the margins of a society, which she desperately wanted to participate in, but had no opportunity to do so.

    Beyond lack of opportunities, many women speak of their great fear for themselves and their children in camp. Not only does a lack of facilities make life harder for people on the move, it also makes it incredibly dangerous in many ways, putting the most vulnerable at a severe disadvantage. This issue is particularly grave on Samos, where the camp only has one official doctor, one toilet per 70 people, and a gross lack of women-only bathrooms. This, alongside a volatile and violent environment – which is particularly dangerous at night – culminates in a widespread, and well-founded fear of violence.

    In an interview with Humans of Samos, Sawsan, a young woman from Syria, tells of the agonising kidney stones she experienced but was unable to treat, for fear of going to the toilet at night. “The doctor told me you need to drink a lot of water, but I can’t drink a lot of water, I am afraid to go outside in the night, is very dangerous,” she explained to my colleague.

    As Amnesty International reported last year, “women’s rights are being violated on a daily basis” in the Greek island hotspots. Their report features a list of ten demands from refugee women in Greece, including “full access to services,” “safe female only spaces,” and “livelihood opportunities.” All of these demands not only demonstrate a clear lack of such services currently, but also a real need and desire for the means to change their lives, as expressed by the women themselves.

    I remember the effect of this environment on Mariam, and the intense frustration she expressed at being forced to live an existence that she had not chosen. I have a vivid memory of sitting with her on a quiet afternoon in the centre: she was showing me photos on her phone of her and her friends at university in in Kabul. The photos were relatively recent but seemed another world away. I remember her looking up from the phone and telling me wearily, “life is so unexpected.”

    I remember her showing me the calluses on her hands, earned by washing her and her husband’s clothes in cold water; her gesturing in exasperation towards the camp beyond the walls of the centre. She never thought she’d be in this position, she told me, performing never ending domestic chores, while waiting out her days for an unknown life.

    Stolen childhoods

    Beyond speaking of their own difficulties, many people I approached told me of their intense concern for the children living in camps across Greece. As Mariam put it, “this situation snatches their childhoods by taking away their actual right to be children” – in many inhumane and degrading ways. And, as highlighted above, when children are affected, women are then far more likely to be impacted as a result, creating a calamitous domino effect among the most vulnerable.

    I also spoke to Abdul* from Iraq who said:

    The camp is a terrible place for children because they are used to going out playing, visiting their friends and relatives in the neighbourhood, and going to school but in the camp there is nothing. They can’t even play, and the environment is horrible.”

    Many asylum-seeking children do not have access to education in Greece. This is despite the government recognising the right of all children to access education, regardless of their status in a country, and even if they lack paperwork.

    UNHCR recently described educational opportunities for the 3,050 5-17 year olds living on Greece’s islands, as “slim.” They estimate that “most have missed between one and four years of school as a result of war and forced displacement” – and they continue to miss out as a result of life on the islands.

    There are several reasons why so many children are out of school, but Greek and EU policies are largely to blame. Based mistakenly on the grounds that people will only reside on the islands for brief periods before either being returned to Turkey or transferred to the mainland, the policies do not prioritise education. The reality of the situation is that many children end up waiting for months in the island camps before being moved, and during this time, have no access to formal education, subsequently losing their rights to play, learn, develop and integrate in a new society.

    In place of formal schooling, many children in camps rely on informal education and psychosocial activities provided by NGOs and grassroots organisations. While generally doing a commendable job in filling the numerous gaps, these provisions can sometimes be sporadic, and can depend on funding as well as groups being given access to camps and shelters.

    And while small organisations try their best to plug gaps in a faulty system, there will always, unfortunately, be children left behind. The ultimate result of Greek and EU policy is that the majority of children are spending months in limbo without education, waiting out their days in an unsafe and unstable environment.

    This not only deprives children of formative months, and sometimes years, of education and development, it can also put them at risk of exploitation and abuse. Reports by the RSA and Save the Children state that refugee children are at much higher risk of exploitation when they are out of school. Save the Children highlight that, particularly for Syrian refugee girls, “a lack of access to education is contributing to sexual exploitation, harassment, domestic violence and a significant rise in forced marriages”.

    There have also been numerous cases of children – often unaccompanied teenage boys – being forced into “survival sex,” selling sex to older, predatory men, for as little as €15 or even less, just in order to get by. The issue has been particularly prevalent in Greece’s major cities, Athens and Thessaloniki.

    While all children suffer in this situation, unaccompanied minors are especially at risk. The state has particular responsibilities to provide for unaccompanied and separated children under international guidelines, yet children in Greece, especially on Samos, are being failed. The failings are across the board, through lack of education, lack of psychological support, lack of appropriate guardians, and lack of adequate housing – many children are often placed in camps rather than in external shelters.

    This is a particular issue on Samos, as the designated area for unaccompanied minors in the reception centre, was not guarded at all until recently, and is regularly subject to chaos and violence from other camp residents, visitors or even police.

    Many refugee children in Greece are also at risk of violence not only as a result of state inactions, but at the hands of the state itself. Children are often subject to violent – and illegal – pushbacks at Greece’s border with Turkey.

    There have been multiple accounts of police beating migrants and confiscating belongings at the Evros river border, with one woman reporting that Greek authorities “took away her two young children’s shoes” in order to deter them from continuing their journey.

    The Council of Europe’s Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) spoke out earlier this year, criticising treatment in Greek camps and detention facilities, stating that conditions were “inhuman and degrading.” They have called for an end to the detention of children with adults in police facilities, as well as the housing of unaccompanied minors in reception and identification centres, such as the hotspot on Samos.

    Smaller organisations are also making their voices heard: Still I Rise, a young NGO on Samos providing education for refugee children, has just filed a lawsuit against the camp management at the refugee hotspot, for their ill treatment of unaccompanied minors. The organisation states:

    We are in a unique position to witness the inhumane living conditions and experiences of our students in the refugee hotspot. With the support of Help Refugees, we gathered evidence, wrote affidavits, and build a class action on behalf of all the unaccompanied minors past and present who suffered abuse in the camp.

    After witnessing the many failings of the camp management to protect the unaccompanied minors, the NGO decided to take matters into their own hands, raising up the voices of their students, students whose childhoods have been stolen from them as they flee war and persecution.
    “Without love I would give up”

    Every day on Samos, I worked with people who were battling the ever-consuming crush of hardship and boredom. People came to the activity centre to overcome it, through learning languages, reading, socialising, exercising, teaching and volunteering. They demonstrated amazing commitment and perseverance, and this should not be forgotten in the face of everything discussed so far.

    Nadine*, a young woman from Cameroon whose help at the centre became invaluable, told me that she ‘always’ feels bored, and that “the worst is a closed camp,” but that she has managed to survive by teaching:

    I teach the alphabet and sounds, letters for them to be able to read. I teach adult beginners, it’s not easy because some of them didn’t go to school and they are not able to write in their own language. So it’s hard work, patience and love because without love I would give up.”

    The perseverance demonstrated by Nadine, Mariam, and other women like them, is extraordinary. This is not only considering the challenges they had to confront before even reaching Greece, but in the face of such adversity once reaching the EU.

    Those refugees who are most vulnerable – particularly women and children, but also the silent voices of this article, those who are disabled, LGBTQ+ or otherwise a minority – are being pushed to the margins of society by the despicable policies and practices being inflicted on migrants in Greece. Refugees and migrants are being forced to endure immense suffering simply for asking for a place of safety.

    Yet despite everything, even those at the most disadvantage are continuing to fight for their right to a future. And while I know that, especially in this climate, we need more than love alone, I hang onto Nadine’s words all the same: “without love I would give up.”

    https://lacuna.org.uk/migration/watching-the-clothes-dry-how-life-in-greeces-refugee-camps-is-changing-fa
    #femmes #asile #migrations #réfugiés #rôles #Samos #Grèce #attente #tâches_domestique #lessive #marges #marginalisation #ennui #désespoir #détressse #déqualification #camps #camps_de_réfugiés #liberté #genre #cuisine #soins #caregiver #santé_mentale #fardeau

    #cpa_camps

  • India Plans Big Detention Camps for Migrants. Muslims Are Afraid. - The New York Times
    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/17/world/asia/india-muslims-narendra-modi.html

    NEW DELHI — More than four million people in India, mostly Muslims, are at risk of being declared foreign migrants as the government pushes a hard-line Hindu nationalist agenda that has challenged the country’s pluralist traditions and aims to redefine what it means to be Indian.

    The hunt for migrants is unfolding in Assam, a poor, hilly state near the borders with Myanmar and Bangladesh. Many of the people whose citizenship is now being questioned were born in India and have enjoyed all the rights of citizens, such as voting in elections.

    State authorities are rapidly expanding foreigner tribunals and planning to build huge new detention camps. Hundreds of people have been arrested on suspicion of being a foreign migrant — including a Muslim veteran of the Indian Army. Local activists and lawyers say the pain of being left off a preliminary list of citizens and the prospect of being thrown into jail have driven dozens to suicide.

    But the governing party of Prime Minister Narendra Modi is not backing down.

    Instead, it is vowing to bring this campaign to force people to prove they are citizens to other parts of India, part of a far-reaching Hindu nationalist program fueled by Mr. Modi’s sweeping re-election victory in May and his stratospheric popularity.

    The stated purpose of the citizenship dragnet in Assam is to find undocumented immigrants from Bangladesh — a predominantly Muslim country to its south. Amit Shah, India’s powerful home minister, has repeatedly referred to those immigrants as “termites.’’

    #Fascisme #Narandra_Modi #Inde #Camps_concentration #Immigration

  • Ai caduti dei #lager (1943-1973). Non più reticolati nel mondo

    Image prise le 10.05.2019 à #Forni_Avoltri (dans la province de Udine), en #Italie.

    Petite traduction... car on en est bien loin des espoirs de 1973, quand le #monument a été érigé :
    « Plus jamais de #clôtures dans le monde », disaient ce qui ont posé la pierre...

    Evidemment, je ne peux pas ne pas penser à tous ses systèmes de surveillance (y compris des clôtures) qui entourent toutes formes de #camps pour #migrants. Et notamment, les centres de #détention_administrative, #rétention.

    Tous ces endroits que Migreurop cherche de cartographier sur le site #Close_the_camps :
    https://closethecamps.org

    ping @isskein @reka @karine4

  • #Chatila, toute la misère du monde - Libération
    https://www.liberation.fr/planete/2018/12/16/chatila-toute-la-misere-du-monde_1695306

    Dans le camp de Chatila, à Beyrouth, en novembre 2018. Créé en 1949 pour accueillir les réfugiés palestiniens, le camp accueille aujourd’hui les victimes des autres tragédies de la région ou les travailleurs migrants de pays lointains.

  • Liban : sit-in dans les camps de réfugiés palestiniens pour l’emploi
    Paul Khalifeh, RFI, le 18 juillet 2019
    http://www.rfi.fr/moyen-orient/20190718-liban-sit-in-camps-refugies-palestiniens-emploi

    La baisse du degré de violence fait suite aux contacts intensifs entrepris à plus d’un niveau pour contenir la colère des réfugiés palestiniens, dans un pays aux lois protectionnistes, où 72 métiers leur sont interdits.

    #Palestine #Liban #Réfugiés #Camps #Discriminations #Xénophobie #métiers_interdits