• Ry Cooder - No Banker Left Behind (2011)

    My telephone rang one evening my buddy called for me
    Said the bankers are all leaving better you come ’round and see
    It’s a startling revelation they robbed the nation blind
    They’re all down at the station no banker left behind

    No banker no banker no banker could I find
    They were all down at the station no banker left behind

    Well the bankers called a meeting to the White House they went one day
    They was going to call on the President in a quiet and a sociable way
    And the afternoon was sunny and the weather it was fine
    They counted out our money and no banker was left behind

    No banker no banker no banker could I find
    They were all down at the White House no banker was left behind

    Well I hear the whistle blowing it plays a happy tune
    The conductor’s calling all aboard we’ll be leaving soon
    With champagne and shrimp cocktails and that’s not all you’ll find
    There’s a billion dollar bonus and no banker left behind

    No banker no banker no banker could I find
    When the train pulled out next morning no banker was left behind
    No banker no banker no banker could I find
    When the train pulled out next morning no banker was left behind
    No banker no banker no banker could I find
    When the train pulled out next morning no banker was left behind
    No banker no banker no banker could I find
    When the train pulled out next morning no banker was left behind

    Leyla McCalla - The Capitalist Blues (2018)

    You keep telling me
    To climb this ladder
    I’ve got to pay my dues
    But as I rise
    The stakes get higher
    I’ve got the capitalist blues
    When I give everything
    I won’t have much more to lose
    I am swimming in an ocean of sharks
    They are telling me how I’m gonna make my little mark
    In this cold cold world
    It can be such a cold cold world

    You keep telling me to go a little higher
    Try to take a different view
    But you can see
    I’m not inspired
    I’ve got the capitalist blues
    And if I give everything
    I won’t have much more to lose
    It’s not fair
    It’s not right
    I don’t know what I’m gonna do with my life
    It’s not fair
    It’s not right
    I wasn’t born to just endure all this strive
    Trying to make my way
    In this cold cold world
    I can be such a cold cold world

    Mais aussi : Leyla McCalla - Aleppo (2018)

    #Musique #Musique_et_politique #Ry_Cooder #Leyla_McCalla #Capitalisme #Banques #USA #Syrie #Alep

  • BBC series falsely portrays Turkish beggar as Syrian refugee - Daily Sabah

    A Turkish journalist’s investigation into doubtful scenarios portrayed in a BBC documentary series has revealed that a woman interviewed in Istanbul’s Aksaray who was portrayed as a Syrian refugee from Aleppo is actually a Turkish beggar.

    Hürriyet journalist Ilker Sezer was prompted to investigate suspicious scenes in the episode on Turkey after former journalist Claas Relotius of Germany’s Der Spiegel confessed that news he published about immigrant children in Turkey was false.

    In the BBC documentary series called “Sex in Strange Places,” aired on BBCThree, a woman named Fatma is described as a 35-year-old Syrian who fled Aleppo by paying human smugglers at the Turkish border and was forced to resort to begging and prostitution after failing to receive “any support” in Turkey.

    BBC presenter Stacey Dooley claimed Fatma was forced to prostitute herself because she couldn’t earn enough by begging during the day.

    Sezer, however, upon investigating the story, was told by a tradesman in Aksaray that he knew the woman to be a beggar from Harran in Turkey’s southeastern Şanlıurfa province.

    In the episode, Dooley slams what she calls “racist” treatment against Fatma, claiming Turkey has not given Syrian refugees any support or rights.

    “This treatment is because this woman is Syrian. This is very racist behavior. Unacceptable,” Dooley says after her film team is denied permission to film in the Vakıflar Çarşısı marketplace.

    But when Sezer went to Vakıflar Çarşısı, he heard a different story. One longtime tradesman, Veysel Gül, said he has seen the woman, who he estimated to be about 50 years old, at the marketplace for 15 or 20 years. He said she speaks Turkish, Kurdish and Arabic, and spoke to the BBC for money.

    Sezer also talked to Ishan Ünal, a tradesman shown in the BBC episode. Ünal also said Fatma was immediately recognized as the Turkish beggar, even with her face covered in the documentary. He said the team was not allowed to film in the marketplace for the sole reason that they did not obtain permission to do so.

    The producer of the BBC documentary, Julia Rooke, said that the woman who claimed to be a prostitute in Aksaray was an ethnic Turkmen, and didn’t have any identity documents because of her illegal flight from Aleppo to Hatay. She went onto claim that a local had helped find the supposedly Syrian woman in an effort to pin the blame on someone else.

    #syrie #fakenews et même la très célébrée #bbc


    Le ministre de l’Intérieur turc déclare que les provinces syriennes d’Alep et d’Idleb, ainsi que des parties des provinces de Deir Ezzor et Rakka, faisaient partie de la Turquie avant l’intervention des forces coloniales françaises et anglaises...

    El analista político y escritor turco de origen sirio Adel Hamid Daud se ha referido en un artículo a una frase pronunciada por el ministro del Interior turco, Suleiman Soylu, que parece haber pasado sin importancia a pesar de su relevancia.

    En un vídeo, Soylu alabó a los refugiados sirios en Turquía e incluyó una frase que dijo que el 62% de dichos refugiados procedían de áreas sirias que Ankara considera que formaron parte de Turquía, pero que le fueron arrebatadas “por la acción de los colonizadores franceses e ingleses”.

    Entre estas áreas él citó las actuales provincias sirias de Alepo e Idleb y partes de las provincias de Raqqa y Deir Ezzor, así como la totalidad del área fronteriza entre Turquía y Siria.

    Estas ambiciones neo-otomanas turcas resultan significativas en la actualidad, cuando Turquía quiere establecer una zona segura en la frontera de 32 kms. Siria ha denunciado tales intentos como un intento turco de buscar anexionar partes de su territorio.

    Soylu añadió que el Ejército turco “está desplegado en toda la frontera con Siria y no para una operación limitada. Se trata de todo un ejército con las últimas armas y equipos militares de tierra y aire, así como logísticos”.

    En todo caso, tales ambiciones llevarán a Turquía a un choque con el Ejército y el pueblo sirios, que rechazan el colonialismo y expansionismo turcos. De hecho, Damasco y las milicias kurdas han iniciado conversaciones con vistas a hacer fracasar el plan turco de establecer una zona de seguridad en la frontera con Siria.


  • Rare Photos: European Refugee Camps in Syria — At The Height of World War II

    The whole world is aware that Europe is buckled under the biggest refugee crisis since World War II, with millions of people fleeing civil war and oppression in the Middle East, North Africa, and Western Asia, and landing on the continent’s shores by land and by sea. The UN estimates that more people have been displaced than at any time since the Second World War — there are close to 60 million war refugees, according to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.

    While there is no denying the fact that the current humanitarian crisis is the worst refugee crisis of our generation; with continuous comparison to World War II, it is imperative that we share a small yet important fact with you: at the height of World War II, the Middle East Relief and Refugee Administration (MERRA) operated camps in Syria, Egypt and Palestine, where tens of thousands of people from across Europe sought refuge.

    Yes, you read it right. Refugees crossed the same passageways [which the Syrians, the Africans, and the Asians are taking to reach Europe TODAY] 70 years ago — BUT they were the Europeans (largely from Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Turkey and Yugoslavia) trying to find solace in the Middle East.

    How The Refugees Entered The Camps:

    According to the International Social Service records, refugees from Europe had to register at one of several camps in Egypt, Palestine and Syria and obtain camp-issued identification cards, which contained their full name, gender, marital status, passport number, and their educational and work history.

    After registration, they had to undergo a refugee medical examination at makeshift hospital facilities — where they took off their clothes, their shoes and were washed until officials believed they were sufficiently disinfected. When they were declared fit enough to join the refugee camp, they were divided into living quarters for families, unaccompanied children, single men and single women.

    How They Survived:

    Refugees in MERRA camps received a half portion of Army rations each day; sometimes supplemented with foods that reflected refugees’ national customs and religious practices. ‘Rich’ refugees could buy beans, olives, oil, fruit, tea, coffee and other staples from camp canteens. On the rare occasion, during supervised visits to local shops, they could buy soap, razor blades, pencils, paper, stamps and other items. Some camps provided space for refugees to prepare meals; one camp in Aleppo reserved a room for women so they could make macaroni with flour, which they received from camp officials.

    How They Found Work & Developed Skills:

    Some, but not all, camps required refugees to work — though they were not forced to earn to make ends meet. GlobalPost reports:

    In Aleppo, refugees were encouraged, but not required, to work as cooks, cleaners and cobblers. Labor wasn’t mandatory in Nuseirat, either, but camp officials did try to create opportunities for refugees to use their skills in carpentry, painting, shoe making and wool spinning so that they could stay occupied and earn a little income from other refugees who could afford their services. At Moses Wells, all able-bodied, physically fit refugees worked as shopkeepers, cleaners, seamstresses, apprentices, masons, carpenters or plumbers, while “exceptionally qualified persons” served as school masters or labor foremen. Women performed additional domestic work like sewing, laundry, and preparing food on top of any other work they had.

    How They Acquired Knowledge:

    Margaret G. Arnstein, a prominent nurse practitioner notes that students in a few camps at El Shatt and Moses Wells were taught practical nursing, anatomy, physiology, first aid, obstetrics, pediatrics, as well as the military rules and regulations that governed wartime refugee camps.

    How They Entertained Themselves:

    In their free time, the men played handball, football and socialized over cigarettes, beer and wine in camp canteens. In their free time, children played with swings, slides and seesaws.

    How They Prepared For A Brighter Future:

    Education was a crucial part of camp routines. GlobalPost writes:

    Classrooms in Middle Eastern refugee camps had too few teachers and too many students, inadequate supplies and suffered from overcrowding. Yet not all the camps were so hard pressed. In Nuseirat, for example, a refugee who was an artist completed many paintings and posted them all over the walls of a kindergarten inside the camp, making the classrooms “bright and cheerful.” Well-to-do people in the area donated toys, games, and dolls to the kindergarten, causing a camp official to remark that it “compared favorably with many in the United States.”

    #quand_eux_c'était_nous #réfugiés_européens #histoire #syrie #camps_de_réfugiés #WWII #seconde_guerre_mondiale #photographie #deuxième_guerre_moniale
    ping @albertocampiphoto @philippe_de_jonckheere

  • Tale of Swiss-based Syrian torture survivor highlights Dublin flaws

    Jalal last saw his youngest son was when the boy was a baby. Now Hamude is almost five. The asylum seeker from Syria is caught up in a complicated international case based on the Dublin accord, a regulation that Switzerland applies more strictly than any other country in Europe, according to critics.

    Jalal has been living in limbo, unable to plan more than a few months in advance, since 2014.

    “I spent five years in a Syrian prison and now I have spent [almost] another five years in an open prison,” Jalal told in November.

    The father leads an isolated life in a tiny studio on the outskirts of Lucerne in central Switzerland.

    Hamude, along with his mother and two siblings, live equally isolated in a rundown caravan camp a couple thousand kilometres away in Greece. Their relationship unfolds largely over Whatsapp. Living with no sense of when or where they will all see each other again has both parents on the edge of a nervous breakdown.

    Despite the efforts of lawyers in both countries, the family has been unable to reunite, victims of a Dublin accord that member states including Switzerland prefer to invoke to expel people rather than evaluate their cases. Under the regulation, Switzerland can automatically deport individuals to the first country of arrival in the Schengen area. As a Kurd, who says he suffered torture and prolonged detention in Syria as well as a dangerous war wound, Jalal’s asylum claim warrants evaluation.

    But Jalal faced a classic problem — one confronting asylum-seekers in Switzerland and across Europe. The only aspect of his journey the Swiss authorities cared about at the time of his arrival was through which country he entered Europe’s open borders Schengen area, not why he was seeking asylum. On that basis, the decision to expel him to Italy was made in early 2015.

    “Switzerland has never lived through a war, so the Swiss are not able to empathize with people who are fleeing a war,” concluded Jalal in a moment of deep uncertainty about his future. “If they had any sense of what we have been through they would not deal with us like this.”

    Switzerland prides itself on its strong humanitarian tradition but policies relating to asylum and migration have hardened in recent years as elsewhere in Europe. The Swiss Secretariat for Migration (SEM) declined to comment, saying it does not provide details on individual cases for “data protection” reasons.

    A Syrian nightmare

    Back in Syria, in 2004, Jalal says he found himself on the wanted list of the Syrian regime for participating in a protest demanding greater rights for the Kurdish minority population. He and his father were targeted in a knife attack by pro-regime thugs three years later, in 2007. Jalal incurred 12 cuts while his father was killed on the spot.

    According to his story, Kurdish rights activism landed him behind bars. He was held in a prison in the northern city of Aleppo where one of the many grisly tasks assigned to him was cleaning the basement room used for executions — punishment for dodging military service. He was still behind bars as a popular revolt against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad gave way to large scale massacres and war.

    He says he eventually managed to escape during a rebel attack on the prison, seized the opportunity to flee to Turkey and had to return to Syria to borrow money to pay smugglers to get his family to Europe. On that journey, he sustained a grenade injury. Neither surgeons at the field clinic that treated him that day nor those later in Switzerland were able to extract all of the fragments.
    Getting to Europe

    Badly wounded, he boarded a naval ship from the Turkish coastal town of Mersin and travelled with hundreds of others to Italy. Time in Italy was brief but long enough for the authorities to take his fingerprints — an act that would underpin the Swiss decision to send him back.

    “The Italian authorities put us on buses and took us straight to the train station in Milan, so we could continue to Europe,” says Jalal, who picked Switzerland over Germany because his two brothers were already living in the Alpine nation. “A return to Italy would mean starting from scratch and god knows how many years until I see my wife and children.”

    In Switzerland, he now gets by on emergency aid and found accommodation — a spartan but clean studio — through the Caritas charity. Every two weeks he must report to the local migration authorities. The one thing he is deeply grateful for is the medical and psychological treatment he has received here.
    Navigating Swiss and international laws

    Gabriella Tau and Boris Wijkström are his lawyers at the Centre suisse pour la défense des droits de migrants (CSDM), an organisation focused on defending the rights of migrants. CSDM took up his case and brought it to the attention the Committee Against Torture (CAT) at the United Nations, which suspended his expulsion pending a ruling on the merits of the case.

    During an October interview in his small office in Geneva, where dozens wait in the stairway in the hope of getting legal assistance, Wijkström said they are “very careful” of which cases they defend. The lawyers only take up a few per year, selecting the ones where they feel there has been a real miscarriage of justice.

    “They are very sensitive to any possible limitations imposed on Dublin expulsions to Italy,” he said about the Swiss position on asylum cases that have reached CAT.

    Switzerland has a reputation for being a highly efficient user of the Dublin system, a “blindly” mechanical efficiency that human rights groups including Amnesty Internationalexternal link say ride roughshod over the most vulnerable of individuals. The Swiss Refugee Councilexternal link wants Switzerland to stop sending vulnerable asylum seekers back to Italy because “adequate reception is not guaranteed there”.

    In 2017, Switzerland made 2,297 transfers invoking The Dublin III Regulation to neighbouring Italy, Germany and France and received 885 transfers from those countries, accordingexternal link to the Council.

    “Switzerland stands out as one of the biggest users of the Dublin system, even though volumes are, for instance, much smaller than those of Germany,” notes Francesco Maiani, an expert on European asylum policy and law. “Switzerland is one of the countries that consistently had more transfers to other countries than transfers from other countries.”

    However, two clauses with the Dublin Regulation III actively encourage a softer approach. One is the sovereignty clause. The other is the humanitarian clause.

    The SEM told it applies the “sovereignty clause” when a transfer “would contravene mandatory provisions of international law or in the presence of humanitarian grounds indicating that a transfer is a particularly rigorous measure.”

    It also rejected the notion that it applies the Dublin Regulation “blindly.”

    “The whole ethos of the Dublin system is quite problematic,” said Maiani, a member of the faculty of law at Lausanne University in a phone interview. “It tends to underscore that if you send asylum applicants away you win the game. If you admit them, you lose the game. And this of course introduces a lot of distortions in the process.”

    In an October letter to UN special rapporteur on torture Nils Melzer, CSDM outlined its concerns over “the systematic expulsion of torture victims and other vulnerable asylum seekers under the Dublin Regulation from Switzerland to European Union countries where dysfunctional asylum systems that expose them to a real risk of inhuman and degrading treatment”.

    A SEM spokesperson explained that Switzerland wants to see the Dublin III regulation reformed so that procedures are “faster and more efficient”, secondary migration prevented and responsibility between countries distributed more fairly. “Switzerland regularly takes this position at the European level and in bilateral talks with government representatives of EU member states and EU institutions,” the spokesperson said.
    Not one, but two Dublin proceedings

    For now, Jalal’s best shot at family reunification would be a Swiss decision to grant him asylum. But that risks being a lengthy process. The family got tangled in two Dublin proceedings — one to expel Jalal from Switzerland to Italy, the other a bid by Greece to see the family reunited in Switzerland.

    “Sometimes a Dublin reunification can take up to two or three years although on paper things should move more quickly,” notes Michael Kientzle, who works with the refugee aid group in Greeceexternal link that filed a request for Switzerland to take charge of Jalal’s family. The request was rejected and is now being appealed.

    The rest in limbo just like Jalal.

    When asked about the case, SEM said it takes into account the arguments put forward in decisions made by CAT [which recently ruled in favour of an Eritrean asylum-seeker and torture survivor presenting similar circumstances.] “[If SEM] concludes that a transfer to a Dublin state would endanger a person, it will conduct the asylum procedure in Switzerland,” it said.

    Shortly after being contacted by, SEM finally decided to examine his asylum claim. “The facts of his case have not changed,” noted Wijkström. “It’s great news for him but it underscores the arbitrariness of the whole system.”

    Adding to the absurdity of it all, he added, the Lucerne prosecutor has kept open a case against Jalal over illegal entry and illegal stay.

    Arbitrary or not — the decision by authorities to hear him out has filled Jalal with a new sense of purpose and hope for a fresh start in Switzerland.

    On the chilly morning of December 12, he met with a Caritas lawyer who will join him during his asylum hearing. He came prepared with all his documents, including X-rays and family identification booklet.

    “Maybe things finally work out and I get to see my family,” he tells swissinfo.chexternal link, consumed by nerves both about the outcome of his interview and the conditions of his mother and brother struggling to get on in a war-torn pocket of Syria.” All I can do is retell my story. They already have all the evidence.”
    #torture #Suisse #Dublin #renvois_Dublin #asile #migrations #réfugiés #réfugiés_syriens #Italie #expulsions #renvois

    ping @isskein

  • Pierre Le Corf depuis Alep : « Les roquettes à l’arme chimique, on les a reçues d’Idlib »

    C’est une situation que l’ont essaye de vous expliquer depuis le début du conflit, mais personne ne semble nous croire ou y prêter attention, aussi voici un témoignage rare en vidéo ci-dessous que je vous conseille humblement de regarder, car Pierre le Corf est sur place, encore une fois des compléments d’informations en informations complémentaires sous l’article. Partagez massivement....

    Jugeant que tous les jours les médias mainstream mentent sur ce qui se passe en Syrie, Pierre Le Corf, humanitaire français vivant à Alep, souligne que l’attaque aux substances toxiques menée samedi soir par les terroristes sur cette ville syrienne n’est point la seule et a donné sa vision du développement de la situation dans les mois à venir.

    La guerre en Syrie ne s’arrêtera (...)

  • Quand on travaille dans l’asile, la #guerre devient une possibilité.

    Je sors du bureau et tandis que je marche dans les rues de Genève résonnent encore dans ma tête le bruit des obus d’Alep. Certains passants entendent le marteau-piqueur et se demandent combien de temps vont encore durer ces maudits travaux, moi je me demande à quels carrefours se posteraient les blindés si l’armée devait reprendre le contrôle de mon quartier. J’ai lu toute la journée des auditions de demandeurs d’asile : tortures, viols, vengeances sanglantes. Au bistrot je picore les cacahuètes et écoute d’une oreille distraite mes amis qui discutent du meilleur plan hébergement à Copenhague, moi je pense à une jeune femme qui doit se cacher de l’État islamique en attendant la réponse à sa demande de visa.
    Quand on travaille dans l’asile, la guerre devient une possibilité. On est obligé d’ouvrir les yeux sur cette vérité : la démocratie, la stabilité, les montagnes de bouffe alignées dans les rayons des supermarchés, l’État de droit, tout ça ne tient qu’à quelques fils plutôt minces. Dans certains pays, on vous réquisitionne et vous n’avez rien à dire. Pour le front, pour vous faire sauter à un barrage routier, pour surveiller une frontière et tirer aujourd’hui sur le fuyard que vous serez demain. Dans d’autres coins, on vous pourchasse d’office parce que vous appartenez à la mauvaise ethnie ou au mauvais clan.
    Dans une région la paix s’évanouit en quelques semaines, et tout ce qui fait le quotidien s’effondre soudainement. Les gens sont happées comme des brindilles par un feu immense. J’ai vu dans mon bureau des ingénieurs, des employés de banque, des médecins, qui six mois plus tôt vivaient une vie pas différente de la mienne.
    Qui ferait la loi dans ma rue si la police disparaissait ? Qui s’enfuirait et qui resterait ? Qui de mon entourage serait tué en premier ?
    Dans certains pays les femmes sont violées par représailles, pour leur appartenance clanique ou confessionnelle. Et quand elles retournent vers leurs frères et leur père alors ceux-ci veulent les tuer pour « laver l’honneur de la famille ».
    Quelle durée de détention et quels sévices supporterais-je ? À partir de quel moment perdrais-je la tête ? Est-ce que je résisterais aux tortures pour défendre mes convictions ? Est-ce qu’après avoir traversé tout ça j’arriverais à répondre avec suffisamment de précision aux questions des fonctionnaires du pays auquel j’aurais demandé l’asile ?
    Quand on travaille dans l’asile, tout ça n’est plus seulement la lointaine rumeur des infos, de posts sur les réseaux sociaux ou de pétitions. Ça s’assied devant vous et ça vous regarde dans les yeux. Ça sent la mort et la folie. Ça bousille toutes vos certitudes, les ça n’arrivera jamais. Un médecin urgentiste sait qu’il suffit d’un chauffeur de camion mal réveillé pour effacer votre nom du répertoire, moi je sais qu’il suffit de deux semaines d’instabilité pour que notre fière civilisation se fasse souffler comme un vieux mouchoir. Alors ceux qui appellent à l’insurrection à cause de l’augmentation du prix de l’essence, qui discréditent les droits humains ou attaquent une minorité sur la base de faits divers, bruyamment parce qu’il ne faut plus se soumettre au « politiquement correct », et tant pis si sont élus des gens qui ont des méthodes fortes, au moins ils remettront de l’ordre, on est en bonne santé on a à manger on est libre de dire ce qu’on veut sur Facebook mais tout va mal et tout était mieux avant, ceux-là je les regarde avec des yeux grands ouverts, effarés, des yeux qui ne peuvent pas oublier, qui ne se ferment plus, souvent même plus la nuit, quand tout le monde dort.
    PAH-PAH-PAH-PAH... – marteau-piqueur Aldo, c’est un marteau-piqueur.

    Mon commentaire

    #De_la_possibilité_d'une guerre. J’en ai aussi la peur au ventre depuis quelques temps. Je me dis : serais-je assez intelligente pour partir avant que le pays s’enflamme ? Car moi, la guerre, je ne veux pas la vivre. La possibilité d’une guerre, en seulement quelques jours, c’est la leçon apprise en arpentant les pays d’ex-Yougoslavie. Si c’est arrivé en Bosnie et Croatie, pourquoi cela ne peut pas arriver chez moi ? La possibilité d’une guerre, depuis, c’est un fantôme qui me hante.


    • Oui, même chose pour mes voyages en Roumanie pendant la révolution de 89 et à Sarajevo mais cette fois 10 ans après la guerre. Une charmante ville de seulement 100.000 habitants et ses flots de morts qui descendent par les cimetières comme des coulées de lave au milieu des immeubles encore criblés de balles. Je garde toujours cette stupeur qui m’a saisit quand ma copine bosniaque qui avait dix ans alors me confiait que les voisins jouaient au foot avec une tête humaine. Restés tous traumatisés. Effectivement n’importe quand ça peut basculer.

      Je n’ai pas pris toute la mesure des témoignages qui m’étaient donnés, et Airfrance m’a fait disparaitre toutes ces vidéos, j’en pleure encore car je n’ai plus trouvé le courage de raconter cela.

  • Finlande : Le « passeur de jouets » d’Alep est un escroc - Monde -

    Un finno-syrien, devenu célèbre pour avoir distribué des jouets à des orphelins en Syrie, a été condamné à dix mois de prison ferme par un tribunal finlandais mercredi, pour blanchiment d’argent et fraude.

    Rami Adham est surnommé « le passeur de jouets » en raison de ses bonnes oeuvres en faveur des orphelins d’Alep, ville syrienne ravagée par la guerre. Il a été condamné pour avoir détourné des collectes de fonds au profit d’organismes caritatifs et réuni plus de 300’000 euros de dons sans les autorisations requises.


    Pour mémoire : Rami Adham, le livreur de bonheur, Le Figaro, 21/10/2016, signé par Delphine Minoui !!! Rami Adham,

  • U.S.-led coalition kills over 3,000 civilians since 2014: war monitor - Xinhua |

    DAMASCUS, Oct. 23 (Xinhua) — The U.S.-led coalition has killed as many as 3,222 civilians since its operations started in Syria in 2014, a war monitor reported Tuesday.

    A total of 768 children and 562 women were among those killed by the strikes of the U.S.-led coalition in the northern provinces of Hasakah, Raqqa, Aleppo, Idlib and the eastern province of Deir al-Zour, said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

    #civils #victimes_civiles #Syrie #Etats-Unis

  • The Vulnerability Contest

    Traumatized Afghan child soldiers who were forced to fight in Syria struggle to find protection in Europe’s asylum lottery.

    Mosa did not choose to come forward. Word had spread among the thousands of asylum seekers huddled inside Moria that social workers were looking for lone children among the general population. High up on the hillside, in the Afghan area of the chaotic refugee camp on the Greek island of Lesbos, some residents knew someone they suspected was still a minor. They led the aid workers to Mosa.

    The boy, whose broad and beardless face mark him out as a member of the Hazara ethnic group, had little reason to trust strangers. It was hard to persuade him just to sit with them and listen. Like many lone children, Mosa had slipped through the age assessment carried out on first arrival at Moria: He was registered as 27 years old. With the help of a translator, the social worker explained that there was still time to challenge his classification as an adult. But Mosa did not seem to be able to engage with what he was being told. It would take weeks to establish trust and reveal his real age and background.

    Most new arrivals experience shock when their hopes of a new life in Europe collide with Moria, the refugee camp most synonymous with the miserable consequences of Europe’s efforts to contain the flow of refugees and migrants across the Aegean. When it was built, the camp was meant to provide temporary shelter for fewer than 2,000 people. Since the European Union struck a deal in March 2016 with Turkey under which new arrivals are confined to Greece’s islands, Moria’s population has swollen to 9,000. It has become notorious for overcrowding, snowbound tents, freezing winter deaths, violent protests and suicides by adults and children alike.

    While all asylum systems are subjective, he said that the situation on Greece’s islands has turned the search for protection into a “lottery.”

    Stathis Poularakis is a lawyer who previously served for two years on an appeal committee dealing with asylum cases in Greece and has worked extensively on Lesbos. While all asylum systems are subjective, he said that the situation on Greece’s islands has turned the search for protection into a “lottery.”

    Asylum claims on Lesbos can take anywhere between six months and more than two years to be resolved. In the second quarter of 2018, Greece faced nearly four times as many asylum claims per capita as Germany. The E.U. has responded by increasing the presence of the European Asylum Support Office (EASO) and broadening its remit so that EASO officials can conduct asylum interviews. But the promises that EASO will bring Dutch-style efficiency conceal the fact that the vast majority of its hires are not seconded from other member states but drawn from the same pool of Greeks as the national asylum service.

    Asylum caseworkers at Moria face an overwhelming backlog and plummeting morale. A serving EASO official describes extraordinary “pressure to go faster” and said there was “so much subjectivity in the system.” The official also said that it was human nature to reject more claims “when you see every other country is closing its borders.”

    Meanwhile, the only way to escape Moria while your claim is being processed is to be recognized as a “vulnerable” case. Vulnerables get permission to move to the mainland or to more humane accommodation elsewhere on the island. The term is elastic and can apply to lone children and women, families or severely physically or mentally ill people. In all cases the onus is on the asylum seeker ultimately to persuade the asylum service, Greek doctors or the United Nations Refugee Agency that they are especially vulnerable.

    The ensuing scramble to get out of Moria has turned the camp into a vast “vulnerability contest,” said Poularakis. It is a ruthless competition that the most heavily traumatized are often in no condition to understand, let alone win.

    Twice a Refugee

    Mosa arrived at Moria in October 2017 and spent his first night in Europe sleeping rough outside the arrivals tent. While he slept someone stole his phone. When he awoke he was more worried about the lost phone than disputing the decision of the Frontex officer who registered him as an adult. Poularakis said age assessors are on the lookout for adults claiming to be children, but “if you say you’re an adult, no one is going to object.”

    Being a child has never afforded Mosa any protection in the past: He did not understand that his entire future could be at stake. Smugglers often warn refugee children not to reveal their real age, telling them that they will be prevented from traveling further if they do not pretend to be over 18 years old.

    Like many other Hazara of his generation, Mosa was born in Iran, the child of refugees who fled Afghanistan. Sometimes called “the cursed people,” the Hazara are followers of Shia Islam and an ethnic and religious minority in Afghanistan, a country whose wars are usually won by larger ethnic groups and followers of Sunni Islam. Their ancestry, traced by some historians to Genghis Khan, also means they are highly visible and have been targets for persecution by Afghan warlords from 19th-century Pashtun kings to today’s Taliban.

    In recent decades, millions of Hazara have fled Afghanistan, many of them to Iran, where their language, Dari, is a dialect of Persian Farsi, the country’s main language.

    “We had a life where we went from work to home, which were both underground in a basement,” he said. “There was nothing (for us) like strolling the streets. I was trying not to be seen by anyone. I ran from the police like I would from a street dog.”

    Iran hosts 950,000 Afghan refugees who are registered with the U.N. and another 1.5 million undocumented Afghans. There are no official refugee camps, making displaced Afghans one of the largest urban refugee populations in the world. For those without the money to pay bribes, there is no route to permanent residency or citizenship. Most refugees survive without papers on the outskirts of cities such as the capital, Tehran. Those who received permits, before Iran stopped issuing them altogether in 2007, must renew them annually. The charges are unpredictable and high. Mostly, the Afghan Hazara survive as an underclass, providing cheap labor in workshops and constructions sites. This was how Mosa grew up.

    “We had a life where we went from work to home, which were both underground in a basement,” he said. “There was nothing (for us) like strolling the streets. I was trying not to be seen by anyone. I ran from the police like I would from a street dog.”

    But he could not remain invisible forever and one day in October 2016, on his way home from work, he was detained by police for not having papers.

    Sitting in one of the cantinas opposite the entrance to Moria, Mosa haltingly explained what happened next. How he was threatened with prison in Iran or deportation to Afghanistan, a country in which he has never set foot. How he was told that that the only way out was to agree to fight in Syria – for which they would pay him and reward him with legal residence in Iran.

    “In Iran, you have to pay for papers,” said Mosa. “If you don’t pay, you don’t have papers. I do not know Afghanistan. I did not have a choice.”

    As he talked, Mosa spread out a sheaf of papers from a battered plastic wallet. Along with asylum documents was a small notepad decorated with pink and mauve elephants where he keeps the phone numbers of friends and family. It also contains a passport-sized green booklet with the crest of the Islamic Republic of Iran. It is a temporary residence permit. Inside its shiny cover is the photograph of a scared-looking boy, whom the document claims was born 27 years ago. It is the only I.D. he has ever owned and the date of birth has been faked to hide the fact that the country that issues it has been sending children to war.

    Mosa is not alone among the Hazara boys who have arrived in Greece seeking protection, carrying identification papers with inflated ages. Refugees Deeply has documented the cases of three Hazara child soldiers and corroborated their accounts with testimony from two other underage survivors. Their stories are of childhoods twice denied: once in Syria, where they were forced to fight, and then again after fleeing to Europe, where they are caught up in a system more focused on hard borders than on identifying the most damaged and vulnerable refugees.

    From Teenage Kicks to Adult Nightmares

    Karim’s descent into hell began with a prank. Together with a couple of friends, he recorded an angsty song riffing on growing up as a Hazara teenager in Tehran. Made when he was 16 years old, the song was meant to be funny. His band did not even have a name. The boys uploaded the track on a local file-sharing platform in 2014 and were as surprised as anyone when it was downloaded thousands of times. But after the surprise came a creeping sense of fear. Undocumented Afghan refugee families living in Tehran usually try to avoid drawing attention to themselves. Karim tried to have the song deleted, but after two months there was a knock on the door. It was the police.

    “I asked them how they found me,” he said. “I had no documents but they knew where I lived.”

    Already estranged from his family, the teenager was transported from his life of working in a pharmacy and staying with friends to life in a prison outside the capital. After two weeks inside, he was given three choices: to serve a five-year sentence; to be deported to Afghanistan; or to redeem himself by joining the Fatemiyoun.

    According to Iranian propaganda, the Fatemiyoun are Afghan volunteers deployed to Syria to protect the tomb of Zainab, the granddaughter of the Prophet Mohammad. In reality, the Fatemiyoun Brigade is a unit of Iran’s powerful Revolutionary Guard, drawn overwhelmingly from Hazara communities, and it has fought in Iraq and Yemen, as well as Syria. Some estimates put its full strength at 15,000, which would make it the second-largest foreign force in support of the Assad regime, behind the Lebanese militia group Hezbollah.

    Karim was told he would be paid and given a one-year residence permit during leave back in Iran. Conscripts are promised that if they are “martyred,” their family will receive a pension and permanent status. “I wasn’t going to Afghanistan and I wasn’t going to prison,” said Karim. So he found himself forced to serve in the #Fatemiyoun.

    His first taste of the new life came when he was transferred to a training base outside Tehran, where the recruits, including other children, were given basic weapons training and religious indoctrination. They marched, crawled and prayed under the brigade’s yellow flag with a green arch, crossed by assault rifles and a Koranic phrase: “With the Help of God.”

    “Imagine me at 16,” said Karim. “I have no idea how to kill a bird. They got us to slaughter animals to get us ready. First, they prepare your brain to kill.”

    The 16-year-old’s first deployment was to Mosul in Iraq, where he served four months. When he was given leave back in Iran, Karim was told that to qualify for his residence permit he would need to serve a second term, this time in Syria. They were first sent into the fight against the so-called Islamic State in Raqqa. Because of his age and physique, Karim and some of the other underage soldiers were moved to the medical corps. He said that there were boys as young as 14 and he remembers a 15-year-old who fought using a rocket-propelled grenade launcher.

    “One prisoner was killed by being hung by his hair from a tree. They cut off his fingers one by one and cauterized the wounds with gunpowder.”

    “I knew nothing about Syria. I was just trying to survive. They were making us hate ISIS, dehumanizing them. Telling us not to leave one of them alive.” Since media reports revealed the existence of the Fatemiyoun, the brigade has set up a page on Facebook. Among pictures of “proud volunteers,” it shows stories of captured ISIS prisoners being fed and cared for. Karim recalls a different story.

    “One prisoner was killed by being hung by his hair from a tree. They cut off his fingers one by one and cauterized the wounds with gunpowder.”

    The casualties on both sides were overwhelming. At the al-Razi hospital in Aleppo, the young medic saw the morgue overwhelmed with bodies being stored two or three to a compartment. Despite promises to reward the families of martyrs, Karim said many of the bodies were not sent back to Iran.

    Mosa’s basic training passed in a blur. A shy boy whose parents had divorced when he was young and whose father became an opium addict, he had always shrunk from violence. He never wanted to touch the toy guns that other boys played with. Now he was being taught to break down, clean and fire an assault rifle.

    The trainees were taken three times a day to the imam, who preached to them about their holy duty and the iniquities of ISIS, often referred to as Daesh.

    “They told us that Daesh was the same but worse than the Taliban,” said Mosa. “I didn’t listen to them. I didn’t go to Syria by choice. They forced me to. I just needed the paper.”

    Mosa was born in 2001. Before being deployed to Syria, the recruits were given I.D. tags and papers that deliberately overstated their age: In 2017, Human Rights Watch released photographs of the tombstones of eight Afghan children who had died in Syria and whose families identified them as having been under 18 years old. The clerk who filled out Mosa’s forms did not trouble himself with complex math: He just changed 2001 to 1991. Mosa was one of four underage soldiers in his group. The boys were scared – their hands shook so hard they kept dropping their weapons. Two of them were dead within days of reaching the front lines.

    “I didn’t even know where we were exactly, somewhere in the mountains in a foreign country. I was scared all the time. Every time I saw a friend dying in front of my eyes I was thinking I would be next,” said Mosa.

    He has flashbacks of a friend who died next to him after being shot in the face by a sniper. After the incident, he could not sleep for four nights. The worst, he said, were the sudden raids by ISIS when they would capture Fatemiyoun fighters: “God knows what happened to them.”

    Iran does not release figures on the number of Fatemiyoun casualties. In a rare interview earlier this year, a senior officer in the Iranian Revolutionary Guard suggested as many as 1,500 Fatemiyoun had been killed in Syria. In Mashhad, an Iranian city near the border with Afghanistan where the brigade was first recruited, video footage has emerged of families demanding the bodies of their young men believed to have died in Syria. Mosa recalls patrols in Syria where 150 men and boys would go out and only 120 would return.

    Escaping Syria

    Abbas had two weeks left in Syria before going back to Iran on leave. After 10 weeks in what he describes as a “living hell,” he had begun to believe he might make it out alive. It was his second stint in Syria and, still only 17 years old, he had been chosen to be a paramedic, riding in the back of a 2008 Chevrolet truck converted into a makeshift ambulance.

    He remembers thinking that the ambulance and the hospital would have to be better than the bitter cold of the front line. His abiding memory from then was the sound of incoming 120mm shells. “They had a special voice,” Abbas said. “And when you hear it, you must lie down.”

    Following 15 days of nursing training, during which he was taught how to find a vein and administer injections, he was now an ambulance man, collecting the dead and wounded from the battlefields on which the Fatemiyoun were fighting ISIS.

    Abbas grew up in Ghazni in Afghanistan, but his childhood ended when his father died from cancer in 2013. Now the provider for the family, he traveled with smugglers across the border into Iran, to work for a tailor in Tehran who had known his father. He worked without documents and faced the same threats as the undocumented Hazara children born in Iran. Even more dangerous were the few attempts he made to return to Ghazni. The third time he attempted to hop the border he was captured by Iranian police.

    Abbas was packed onto a transport, along with 23 other children, and sent to Ordugah-i Muhaceran, a camplike detention center outside Mashhad. When they got there the Shia Hazara boys were separated from Sunni Pashtuns, Afghanistan’s largest ethnic group, who were pushed back across the border. Abbas was given the same choice as Karim and Mosa before him: Afghanistan or Syria. Many of the other forced recruits Abbas met in training, and later fought alongside in Syria, were addicts with a history of substance abuse.

    Testimony from three Fatemiyoun child soldiers confirmed that Tramadol was routinely used by recruits to deaden their senses, leaving them “feeling nothing” even in combat situations but, nonetheless, able to stay awake for days at a time.

    The Fatemiyoun officers dealt with withdrawal symptoms by handing out Tramadol, an opioid painkiller that is used to treat back pain but sometimes abused as a cheap alternative to methadone. The drug is a slow-release analgesic. Testimony from three Fatemiyoun child soldiers confirmed that it was routinely used by recruits to deaden their senses, leaving them “feeling nothing” even in combat situations but, nonetheless, able to stay awake for days at a time. One of the children reiterated that the painkiller meant he felt nothing. Users describe feeling intensely thirsty but say they avoid drinking water because it triggers serious nausea and vomiting. Tramadol is addictive and prolonged use can lead to insomnia and seizures.

    Life in the ambulance had not met Abbas’ expectations. He was still sent to the front line, only now it was to collect the dead and mutilated. Some soldiers shot themselves in the feet to escape the conflict.

    “We picked up people with no feet and no hands. Some of them were my friends,” Abbas said. “One man was in small, small pieces. We collected body parts I could not recognize and I didn’t know if they were Syrian or Iranian or Afghan. We just put them in bags.”

    Abbas did not make it to the 12th week. One morning, driving along a rubble-strewn road, his ambulance collided with an anti-tank mine. Abbas’ last memory of Syria is seeing the back doors of the vehicle blasted outward as he was thrown onto the road.

    When he awoke he was in a hospital bed in Iran. He would later learn that the Syrian ambulance driver had been killed and that the other Afghan medic in the vehicle had lost both his legs. At the time, his only thought was to escape.

    The Toll on Child Soldiers

    Alice Roorda first came into contact with child soldiers in 2001 in the refugee camps of Sierra Leone in West Africa. A child psychologist, she was sent there by the United Kingdom-based charity War Child. She was one of three psychologists for a camp of more than 5,000 heavily traumatized survivors of one of West Africa’s more brutal conflicts.

    “There was almost nothing we could do,” she admitted.

    The experience, together with later work in Uganda, has given her a deep grounding in the effects of war and post-conflict trauma on children. She said prolonged exposure to conflict zones has physical as well as psychological effects.

    “If you are chronically stressed, as in a war zone, you have consistently high levels of the two basic stress hormones: adrenaline and cortisol.”

    Even after reaching a calmer situation, the “stress baseline” remains high, she said. This impacts everything from the immune system to bowel movements. Veterans often suffer from complications related to the continual engagement of the psoas, or “fear muscle” – the deepest muscles in the body’s core, which connect the spine, through the pelvis, to the femurs.

    “With prolonged stress you start to see the world around you as more dangerous.” The medial prefrontal cortex, the section of the brain that interprets threat levels, is also affected, said Roorda. This part of the brain is sometimes called the “watchtower.”

    “When your watchtower isn’t functioning well you see everything as more dangerous. You are on high alert. This is not a conscious response; it is because the stress is already so close to the surface.”

    Psychological conditions that can be expected to develop include post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Left untreated, these stress levels can lead to physical symptoms ranging from chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS or ME) to high blood pressure or irritable bowel syndrome. Also common are heightened sensitivity to noise and insomnia.

    The trauma of war can also leave children frozen at the point when they were traumatized. “Their life is organized as if the trauma is still ongoing,” said Roorda. “It is difficult for them to take care of themselves, to make rational well informed choices, and to trust people.”

    The starting point for any treatment of child soldiers, said Roorda, is a calm environment. They need to release the tension with support groups and physical therapy, she said, and “a normal bedtime.”

    The Dutch psychologist, who is now based in Athens, acknowledged that what she is describing is the exact opposite of the conditions at #Moria.


    Karim is convinced that his facility for English has saved his life. While most Hazara boys arrive in Europe speaking only Farsi, Karim had taught himself some basic English before reaching Greece. As a boy in Tehran he had spent hours every day trying to pick up words and phrases from movies that he watched with subtitles on his phone. His favorite was The Godfather, which he said he must have seen 25 times. He now calls English his “safe zone” and said he prefers it to Farsi.

    When Karim reached Greece in March 2016, new arrivals were not yet confined to the islands. No one asked him if he was a child or an adult. He paid smugglers to help him escape Iran while on leave from Syria and after crossing through Turkey landed on Chios. Within a day and a half, he had passed through the port of Piraeus and reached Greece’s northern border with Macedonia, at Idomeni.

    When he realized the border was closed, he talked to some of the international aid workers who had come to help at the makeshift encampment where tens of thousands of refugees and migrants waited for a border that would not reopen. They ended up hiring him as a translator. Two years on, his English is now much improved and Karim has worked for a string of international NGOs and a branch of the Greek armed forces, where he was helped to successfully apply for asylum.

    The same job has also brought him to Moria. He earns an above-average salary for Greece and at first he said that his work on Lesbos is positive: “I’m not the only one who has a shitty background. It balances my mind to know that I’m not the only one.”

    But then he admits that it is difficult hearing and interpreting versions of his own life story from Afghan asylum seekers every day at work. He has had problems with depression and suffered flashbacks, “even though I’m in a safe country now.”

    Abbas got the help he needed to win the vulnerability contest. After he was initially registered as an adult, his age assessment was overturned and he was transferred from Moria to a shelter for children on Lesbos. He has since been moved again to a shelter in mainland Greece. While he waits to hear the decision on his protection status, Abbas – like other asylum seekers in Greece – receives 150 euros ($170) a month. This amount needs to cover all his expenses, from food and clothing to phone credit. The money is not enough to cover a regular course of the antidepressant Prozac and the sleeping pills he was prescribed by the psychiatrist he was able to see on Lesbos.

    “I save them for when it gets really bad,” he said.

    Since moving to the mainland he has been hospitalized once with convulsions, but his main worry is the pain in his groin. Abbas underwent a hernia operation in Iran, the result of injuries sustained as a child lifting adult bodies into the ambulance. He has been told that he will need to wait for four months to see a doctor in Greece who can tell him if he needs another operation.

    “I would like to go back to school,” he said. But in reality, Abbas knows that he will need to work and there is little future for an Afghan boy who can no longer lift heavy weights.

    Walking into an Afghan restaurant in downtown Athens – near Victoria Square, where the people smugglers do business – Abbas is thrilled to see Farsi singers performing on the television above the door. “I haven’t been in an Afghan restaurant for maybe three years,” he said to explain his excitement. His face brightens again when he catches sight of Ghormeh sabzi, a herb stew popular in Afghanistan and Iran that reminds him of his mother. “I miss being with them,” he said, “being among my family.”

    When the dish arrives he pauses before eating, taking out his phone and carefully photographing the plate from every angle.

    Mosa is about to mark the end of a full year in Moria. He remains in the same drab tent that reminds him every day of Syria. Serious weight loss has made his long limbs – the ones that made it easier for adults to pretend he was not a child – almost comically thin. His skin is laced with scars, but he refuses to go into detail about how he got them. Mosa has now turned 18 and seems to realize that his best chance of getting help may have gone.

    “Those people who don’t have problems, they give them vulnerability (status),” he said with evident anger. “If you tell them the truth, they don’t help you.”

    Then he apologises for the flash of temper. “I get upset and angry and my body shakes,” he said.

    Mosa explained that now when he gets angry he has learned to remove himself: “Sometimes I stuff my ears with toilet paper to make it quiet.”

    It is 10 months since Mosa had his asylum interview. The questions he expected about his time in the Fatemiyoun never came up. Instead, the interviewers asked him why he had not stayed in Turkey after reaching that country, having run away while on leave in Iran.

    The questions they did ask him point to his likely rejection and deportation. Why, he was asked, was his fear of being persecuted in Afghanistan credible? He told them that he has heard from other Afghan boys that police and security services in the capital, Kabul, were arresting ex-combatants from Syria.

    Like teenagers everywhere, many of the younger Fatemiyoun conscripts took selfies in Syria and posted them on Facebook or shared them on WhatsApp. The images, which include uniforms and insignia, can make him a target for Sunni reprisals. These pictures now haunt him as much as the faces of his dead comrades.

    Meanwhile, the fate he suffered two tours in Syria to avoid now seems to be the most that Europe can offer him. Without any of his earlier anger, he said, “I prefer to kill myself here than go to Afghanistan.”

    #enfants-soldats #syrie #réfugiés #asile #migrations #guerre #conflit #réfugiés_afghans #Afghanistan #ISIS #EI #Etat_islamique #trauma #traumatisme #vulnérabilité

    ping @isskein

  • Le Quay d’Orsay : une diplomatie de niveau international. Assaut sur Idlib  : Le Drian craint une dispersion des djihadistes

    Jean-Yves Le Drian a exprimé ses craintes, ce mardi, face à la perspective d’un assaut du régime syrien sur la province d’Idlib, ultime fief insurgé. «  Il y a un risque sécuritaire dans la mesure où dans cette zone se trouvent beaucoup de djihadistes, se réclamant plutôt d’Al-Qaïda, qui sont entre 10 000 et 15 000 et qui sont des risques pour demain pour notre sécurité  », a-t-il dit sur BFMTV, évaluant à «  quelques dizaines  » le nombre de combattants français parmi eux.

    «  (Ils) risquent de se trouver dispersés si l’offensive syrienne et russe se mettait en œuvre dans les conditions que l’on imagine aujourd’hui  », a relevé le chef de la diplomatie française. Évoquant aussi le risque de catastrophe humanitaire dans cette zone où se concentrent trois millions de personnes, il a averti que le précédent d’Alep, autre bastion rebelle repris par le régime en décembre 2016, ne serait «  rien par rapport à l’horreur que cela peut représenter  ».

  • « Ceux qui disent qu’Idleb est effectivement une zone de désescalade ne savent pas de quoi ils parlent ! » - RipouxBliquedesCumulardsVentrusGrosQ

    "Ceux qui disent qu’Idleb est effectivement une zone de désescalade ne savent pas de quoi ils parlent !"
    Publié le 11 septembre 2018 par S. Sellami

    Pour mémoire, intervention du délégué permanent de la Syrie auprès des Nations Unies le 7 septembre 2018 devant le Conseil de sécurité, présidé jusqu’à la fin du mois par la déléguée permanente des États-Unis ; les discussions ayant porté quasi exclusivement sur la situation « humanitaire » à Idleb...

    Merci Madame la Présidente,

    Permettez que je commence par un petit clin d’œil éducatif pour expliquer à mes collègues ce que signifient les accords d’Astana.

    L’Accord d’Astana 4, aux délibérations duquel j’ai participé, avait pour objectif la création de « zones de désescalade » en Syrie, était limité à six mois, renouvelable si les « groupes armés » concernés par l’accord respectaient le cessez-le-feu et se séparaient des « groupes terroristes armés » exclus de ce même accord. Ce qui ne fut pas le cas à Idleb, puisque les groupes armés ont refusé de se séparer des groupes terroristes armés ou, plus exactement, puisque leurs sponsors ont refusé que cette séparation ait lieu.

    De plus, les terroristes d’Idleb ont lancé 400 drones sur la base russe de Hmeimim, à Lattaquié, et ont bombardé quasi quotidiennement la ville d’Alep depuis environ un an et demi, en dépit de ces accords. C’est pourquoi, celui qui dit qu’Idleb est une zone de désescalade est dans l’erreur et ne sait pas de quoi il parle. Cette zone est tombée parce que les groupes armés n’ont pas respecté les conditions de l’Accord d’Astana 4.

    Cette simple introduction devrait donc expliquer aux membres de ce Conseil pourquoi les choses en sont arrivées là où elles sont à Idleb. Mais, naturellement, le problème remonte à plus loin et a commencé avec la « Conférence de Vienne » de novembre 2015, conférence à laquelle la Syrie n’était pas invitée et n’a donc pas participé.

    Pour rappel [*], les participants à cette conférence ont décidé de charger la Jordanie d’établir la liste des terroristes et des non terroristes, puis ont demandé à l’Arabie saoudite de préciser qui était dans l’opposition et qui ne l’était pas. Ce qui n’a toujours pas été fait, parce que les États protecteurs du terrorisme refusent de distinguer le terroriste de l’opposant armé.

    Le processus d’Astana a tenté de résoudre ce problème par la création des zones de désescalade. Mais l’expérience a échoué à Idleb, les groupes armés et les groupes terroristes armés n’ayant respecté ni les conditions de la Conférence de Vienne, ni les accords d’Astana.

    Ma collègue déléguée de la Grande-Bretagne et M. de Mistura ont estimé qu’une faible minorité de combattants armés étaient présents à Idleb. C’est vrai. Mais cette faible minorité correspond à 50 000 terroristes ! Que diriez-vous, chère collègue déléguée de la Grande-Bretagne, si l’un de ces quatre matins 50 000 terroristes se répandaient dans Manchester pour y semer leurs méfaits, tandis que nous en parlerions comme d’une « opposition britannique armée modérée » et que l’OCHA [le Bureau de la coordination des affaires humanitaires] se mettait à leur envoyer des aides pour les garder en vie ?

    Telle est l’exacte absurdité de la situation à Idleb.


  • En Syrie, réhabiliter le chemin de fer pour reconstruire le pays
    Maher AL MOUNES - AFP - 9 septembre 2018

    Damas (AFP) - Près de Damas, dans sa locomotive, Abou Abdou déborde d’enthousiasme à l’idée de tester des rails fraîchement installés. En Syrie, le gouvernement de Bachar al-Assad veut réhabiliter des centaines de kilomètres de chemins de fer.

    L’initiative doit contribuer aux efforts de reconstruction dans un pays ravagé par la guerre depuis 2011, mais aussi relancer le commerce régional, assurent les autorités, au moment où le pouvoir d’Assad a consolidé son emprise sur près des deux tiers du territoire.

    Avant le conflit, les voyageurs pouvaient parcourir en train des centaines de kilomètres en Syrie, de Damas jusqu’à Homs, Alep, Lattaquié ou encore Deir Ezzor. Mais, dès 2012, les combats dans un pays morcelé ont mis les locomotives à l’arrêt.

    « Quand je conduis un train, j’ai l’impression de piloter un avion ! », se réjouit Abou Abdou, cheminot de 42 ans qui a retrouvé son bleu de travail.

    « J’attends ce jour depuis six ans », s’exclame-t-il en pianotant sur le tableau de commande devant lui pour man ?uvrer sa locomotive.(...)

  • Turkey connecting Syria’s al-Bab to its power supply

    Delegates from the Turkey’s State Electricity Generating Company, on Aug. 19 visited the local council for the city of al-Bab, in the opposition-held northeastern Aleppo countryside. The delegates then toured the city to conduct a study to develop a plan to supply it with electricity in agreement with the local council.

    The inspection tour was scheduled to continue throughout August, with the aim of assessing the status of the city’s existing electricity network infrastructure and determining the requirements for its restoration.

    Suite d’une longue série de mesures visant à l’annexion de ce gros bourg entre Alep et la frontière turque.


  • “La justice, ce n’est pas ça”

    Cela fait des mois que Mohamed ne dort plus. Il tourne comme un lion en cage depuis que les tribunaux helvétiques ont refusé sa demande d’asile, après qu’il a déserté l’armée syrienne et que sa famille, à Alep, subit à la fois les persécutions de l’armée turque et celles des forces gouvernementales de Bachar el-Assad. Ce jeune informaticien de 29 ans, polyglotte, toujours prêt à rendre service, est convaincu que s’il devait rentrer en Syrie, ce serait sa condamnation à mort ou, au minimum, à la prison. Mais pas de quoi émouvoir la justice helvétique qui, selon les organisations d’aide aux réfugiés, interprète le droit d’asile de manière toujours plus restrictive à l’égard des déserteurs.

    A l’heure actuelle, être Kurde et Syrien équivaut à une double malédiction. Mohamed y a provisoirement échappé en venant en Suisse où il a demandé l’asile, en septembre 2015. Mais pas sa famille, pour laquelle il ne cesse de se ronger les sangs. Il y a peu, sa mère malade et ses deux sœurs sont retournées dans leur ville natale d’Alep (ouest), après que leur maison d’Afrin a été brûlée puis réquisitionnée par des soldats turcs. La même Alep qu’elles avaient fuie une première fois sous les bombes. Un de ses frères a disparu depuis plus de deux mois. Un autre aurait été enrôlé dans l’armée « pour le remplacer », et ses deux beaux-frères ont été tués du fait qu’ils étaient membres du Parti de l’union démocratique (PYD), le parti kurde de Syrie, raconte-t-il.
    Renvoi « pas raisonnablement exigible »

    Et quand sa mère lui demande au téléphone si lui au moins est en sécurité en Suisse, il se désole : « Je suis obligé de mentir. »

    En juillet 2017, sa demande d’asile a été rejetée par le Secrétariat d’Etat aux migrations (SEM), au motif qu’il n’était pas parvenu à apporter les preuves de sa désertion (perdues dans divers déménagements). Puis le Tribunal administratif fédéral a rejeté son recours sur sa demande de réexamen, en avril dernier, arguant cette fois que le fait d’avoir déserté n’est pas un motif suffisant en soi, du moment qu’il n’apparaît pas comme un opposant au régime, ni en Syrie ni en Suisse. Il bénéficie toutefois d’une admission provisoire, le tribunal ayant admis que son renvoi dans l’enfer syrien n’était pas « raisonnablement exigible ».

    « A moins qu’il dispose de moyens de preuves additionnels, très solides, la voie juridique est close », déplore Marie-Claire Kunz, juriste au Centre social protestant (CSP). « La question qui se pose ici est de savoir si la désertion en Syrie doit être considérée comme un délit politique ou non, ajoute-t-elle. La Cour européenne des droits de l’homme n’est pas compétente pour y répondre et il n’y a malheureusement pas de juridiction internationale contraignante dans le domaine. »
    Juges suisses particulièrement restrictifs

    Le jugement à l’encontre de Mohamed est particulièrement sévère, estime la juriste, mais de loin pas exceptionnel. Le CSP se bat actuellement pour faire reconnaître le statut de réfugiés à plusieurs déserteurs érythréens déboutés.

    La pratique des tribunaux, et de certains juges en particulier, s’est durcie depuis la révision de la loi sur l’asile (LAsi), en 2013, rapporte-t-elle. Désormais, le refus de servir ou la désertion ne sont plus suffisants pour obtenir l’asile. Toutefois, pour ne pas se mettre en porte-à-faux avec le droit international, la loi (art. 3 al. 3 LAsi) précise que les dispositions de la Convention relative au statut des réfugiés de 1951 demeurent réservées.

    Or, selon Marie-Claire Kunz, le « glissement » opéré par les juges helvétiques à l’égard des déserteurs ces dernières années viole ladite convention. L’Organisation suisse d’aide aux réfugiés (OSAR) ajoute qu’en Suisse seul un tiers des Syriens obtiennent le statut de réfugiés alors que l’Allemagne l’accorde dans la quasi-totalité des cas, eu égard à la situation effroyable qui règne dans le pays.

    Pendant ce temps, Mohamed s’accroche à ce qu’il peut, refusant de croire que « la Suisse, pays des droits de l’homme, pourrait se montrer aussi injuste ». Il a écrit au SEM pour obtenir un entretien, frappé aux portes de nombreuses associations. En vain. « Le seul espoir qu’il me reste, c’est la société protectrice des animaux », conclut-il amèrement.
    #justice #réfugiés_syriens #Syrie #asile #migrations #réfugiés #réfugiés_syriens #désertion #armée #droit_d'asile #Suisse

    Lien vers l’article dans Le Courrier :

    Et une comparaison avec l’Allemagne (#loterie_de_l'asile) :

    L’Organisation suisse d’aide aux réfugiés (OSAR) ajoute qu’en Suisse seul un tiers des Syriens obtiennent le statut de réfugiés alors que l’Allemagne l’accorde dans la quasi-totalité des cas, eu égard à la situation effroyable qui règne dans le pays.

  • دمشق تمهّد لمعركة إدلب بمجزرة في الريف وتحاور « داعش » لإطلاق مخطوفي السويداء - جريدة الحياة

    Juste avant la bataille d’Idlib, la presse rejoue un scénario bien connu (Alep, la Ghouta orientale, Deraa...).

    Syrie : Les raids aériens dans le nord ont tué 53 civils dont 28 enfants

    #syrie éternel recommencement

  • Syrian opposition arresting those who promote reconciling with regime

    Regime opponents have been cracking down on people it accuses of spreading rumors about or urging reconciliation with the government and its allies in northern Syria.

    Since mid-July, such rumors have been circulating in opposition-controlled parts of Idlib and neighboring areas in rural Aleppo, Hama and Latakia provinces, along with al-Ghab Plain in Idlib and Hama provinces. There have been reports that an increasing number of people in these areas are calling for reconciliation. The regime’s Ministry of Reconciliation also reports that dignitaries of these areas have contacted the ministry and officials at Khmeimim air base, which is operated by Russia in Latakia, to discuss their surrender.

    The rumors, according to regime opponents, broke out a few days before the regime took full control over the southern province of Daraa in a bloody mid-July campaign. President Bashar al-Assad said Idlib would be next, sparking concerns in opposition-held areas in the north.

    Capt. Abdel Salam Abdel Razzaq is a leader of the Syrian Liberation Front, which is affiliated with the opposition’s Free Syrian Army (FSA). He told Al-Monitor, “After the regime took over Daraa, we were expecting those collaborating with the regime [in the north] to come out and make their voices heard about the need to reconcile with the regime. … We also warned residents about people promoting reconciliation and stressed the need to track them down.”

  • Picking up the pieces

    yria’s war has transformed the country in both shattering and subtle ways. While many evolutions are for the worse, others inspire cautious optimism: Syrians have shown relentless ingenuity in adapting to every stage of a horrendous conflict, salvaging remnants of dignity, solidarity and vitality amid nightmarish circumstances.

    They have generally done so on their own terms, grappling with changes ignored by virtually everyone who claims to help or represent them. These transformations are far removed from peace talks and power politics, and rarely considered in aid efforts. They apparently elude the growing pool of outsiders able to visit Syria, who often remark that things are more “normal” than they thought: Damascene cafes are filled with people, shops have begun to reopen in Aleppo, and officials of varying nationalities buzz with over-optimistic plans for the future.


  • Syrie : l’armée déployée sur la ligne de démarcation avec le Golan - Moyen-Orient
    Avec notre correspondant à Beyrouth, Paul Khalifeh - RFI - Publié le 30-07-2018 Modifié le 30-07-2018 à 23:42

    L’armée syrienne a annoncé avoir repris le contrôle de la totalité de la ligne de démarcation avec les forces israéliennes sur le plateau du Golan. Le régime contrôle désormais tout le sud-ouest syrien.

    L’armée syrienne s’est redéployée sur l’ensemble de la ligne de démarcation avec le Golan occupé par Israël depuis 1967, allant de la frontière avec le Liban, à l’ouest, à la Jordanie, au sud.

    Cette ligne était contrôlée, depuis 2012, par des mouvements rebelles et une brigade extrémiste appelée l’Armée Khalid Ibn al-Walid, qui a prêté allégeance au groupe Etat islamique.

    Dans un premier temps, l’armée syrienne a repris toutes les régions qui étaient aux mains des rebelles dans les provinces de Daraa, frontalière de la Jordanie, et de Quneitra, au nord du Golan. Puis les troupes gouvernementales se sont attaquées à une enclave de 250 kilomètres carrés dans le bassin du Yarmouk, limitrophes du Golan, et contrôlée par les jihadistes.

    Ce lundi, l’armée syrienne a repris les dernières positions de la brigade affiliée au groupe Etat islamique, ce qui lui a permis d’arriver jusqu’à la clôture de sécurité installée par les Israéliens sur le plateau stratégique.

    Avec cette nouvelle victoire, l’armée syrienne contrôle désormais l’ensemble du sud-ouest syrien. Seuls la province d’Idleb, au nord-ouest, une partie de la voisine limitrophe d’Alep, et l’est du pays, aux mains des Kurdes, lui échappent encore.


  • La légendaire efficacité saoudienne : il faut à peine six mois pour qu’une énorme quantité d’armes de Bosnie soient livrées à l’Arabie séoudite et se retrouvent entre les mains d’Al Qaeda en Syrie : A Bosnian signs off weapons he says are going to Saudi Arabia – but how did his signature turn up in Aleppo ?

    Five-hundred mortars is a massive shipment of weapons – most European armies don’t have that many in their individual inventories – and some of them at least appear to have ended up in the hands of Bashar al-Assad’s Islamist Nusrah Front/al-Qaeda enemies in northern Syria within six months of their dispatch from Bosnia 1,200 miles away. Because the mortars left Bosnia on 15 January 2016 under a BNT-TMiH factory guarantee for 24 months – numbered 779 and with a weapons series number of 3677 – the documents now in The Independent’s possession must have reached Aleppo by late July of 2016, when Syrian government troops totally surrounded the enclave held by armed factions including Nusrah, Isis and other Islamist groups condemned as “terrorists” by the United States.

    Si tu veux rigoler, tu essaies de faire livrer de telles armes, légalement, à l’armée libanaise en moins de cinq ans, et tu regardes comment ça se passe. (Apparemment, Israël, qui considère que des cerfs-volants aux mains des Palestiniens sont des armes de destruction massive, n’a pas de souci avec 500 mortiers livrés à des milices islamistes en Syrie.)

    Document important : parfaitement en phase avec ce qu’on avait « appris » en septembre 2016 : livrer des armes à Daech depuis la Bulgarie ou la Serbie via l’Arabie séoudite se fait de manière « quasiment directe » :

  • The Breaking of Syria’s Rebellion

    Throughout the war, rebels have engaged in looting, notably in eastern Aleppo city in 2012, Idlib city in 2015, Naseeb crossing in Daraa in 2015, al-Bab in northern Aleppo in late 2016 and Efrin in March 2018. While the phenomenon of looting by regime forces is much more systematic, this conduct by the rebels has angered many civilians who remained under the rule of the forces who looted their homes, businesses and factories.


    In areas where regime and Russian jets are (temporarily) not bombing, the main threats to civilians’ safety and livelihood stem from criminal gangs and rebel themselves. Phenomena of exorbitant transit fees, robbery, assassinations, carjackings, kidnappings for ransom, and murder are incredibly common across rebel-held Syria. In some cases the perpetrators are clearly rebels: for example in the collection of “taxes” in the rebel checkpoints, attacks on and robbing of NGOs, confiscation of private and public property, armed confrontation over minor issues, kidnappings and torture of suspected opponents and random unlucky civilians. Foreign donors invested heavily in setting up civilian-managed courts and “Free Police” departments, but civilians abused by rebels or criminal elements usually can not find recourse with the local courts or police, due to their ineptness, corruption, and dependence and subservience to the rebels, who are oftentimes the aggressors. One manifestation of rebels’ impunity is the habit of some rebel factions, and in particular Hayat Tahrir a-Sham, to wear balaclavas when interacting with the population under their control, enabling them to avoid identification, public opprobrium and justice. Rebels further undermine the civilian courts by operating a parallel “justice” system, in which the rebels serve as judges and executioners without proper proceedings.

    Hossam, a medical worker in Daraa told me “most civilians here hate the rebels”, due to abuses against civilians, in particular kidnappings for ransom and of people who voice opposition to them. Raed, an activist in western Aleppo said that rebels kidnap “anyone who disagrees with them or says anything bad about them, civilian or rebel.”

    Je l’ai écrit en 2012 : si on lance une guerre civile milicienne, qui plus est à forte composante sectaire, on se retrouve avec le modèle libanais, c’est-à-dire que rapidement, une fois les lignes de front stabilisées, les milices deviennent les bourreaux des populations qu’elles prétendaient initialement représenter et/ou défendre.

  • Comment Ankara veut empêcher la libération de la province d’Idleb par Damas ? – Site de la chaîne AlManar-Liban

    L’armée turque a mis en place 12 centres de supervision à Idlib et à Hama dans le cadre d’un accord signé au mois de septembre avec la Russie et l’Iran. Via ces centres de supervision, la Turquie est censée garder un œil sur les zones de désescalade où l’armée syrienne et les rebelles doivent respecter la cessation des hostilités.

    Le centre de supervision le plus proche de la Turquie se trouve à 500 mètres des frontières turques et le plus loin est à Tall Sawwanah, au nord de Hama, à 88 kilomètres de la Turquie.

    Par ailleurs, la Turquie a fait une nouvelle proposition à la Russie sur la mise en place d’une quatrième zone de désescalade qui couvre des parties des provinces de Lattaquié, de Hama, d’Alep et d’Idlib, cette dernière étant la région la plus importante que contrôlent les groupes armés en Syrie.

    Cette initiative turque intervient au moment où les habitants des deux localités loyalistes de Fouaa et de Kefraya ont été tous évacués.

    L’initiative turque prévoit le rétablissement de l’électricité et de l’eau, la réouverture de centres qui offrent des services vitaux, le déblocage de la route reliant Alep à Damas et la destruction de postes de contrôle et des remblais qui se trouvent sur une route reliant Dar Ta’izzah à Alep.

    Dans ce droit fil, la Turquie a demandé à tous les groupes armés opérant surtout dans le nord de la Syrie et dans d’autres régions de prendre part à une conférence générale avec pour thème l’avenir d’Idlib, étant donné les récentes évolutions dans le sud de la Syrie. Hayat Tahrir al-Cham, le Gouvernement de salut et la Coalition nationale syrienne comptent parmi les groupes armés qui prendront part à cette conférence de deux semaines.

    Selon les sources proches de cet événement, « Ankara va demander à tous ces groupes de déposer leurs armes lourdes et semi-lourdes en échange de la formation d’un nouveau groupe baptisé “Armée nationale” qui sera composé de tous les groupes armés ».

    Les mêmes sources réaffirment que la Turquie entend mettre sur pied une association homogène de groupes civils avec pour mission de s’occuper des activités sociales et de fournir les services nécessaires, sous la supervision d’Ankara.

    La réalisation de ce plan B turc nécessite des mois et beaucoup d’efforts et tout cela pour que le gouvernement d’Ankara puisse faire face à une opération militaire russo-syrienne à Idlib.

    D’autre part, le chef d’état-major de l’armée turque a annoncé que les militaires turcs et américains avaient déployé 17 patrouilles dans les localités entre la zone d’opération du Bouclier de l’Euphrate et la ville de Manbij, dans le nord de la Syrie, afin d’empêcher tout affrontement entre les Kurdes et les forces soutenues par la Turquie.

    farce de la #révolution_syrienne

      “Las fuerzas del gobierno sirio están obligadas a dar los pasos necesarios para responder a las acciones de los extremistas y restaurar la estabilidad”, ha anunciado el Ministerio de Defensa ruso. Para los analistas, esta declaración rusa constituye un respaldo abierto e incluso una invitación a Damasco de que inicie una operación militar en la provincia de Idleb para liberarla del yugo de los terroristas del Frente al Nusra y otros grupos, que en los últimos días han lanzado ataques, a través de drones, contra la base rusa de Hamaimim.

      El comunicado del Ministerio de Defensa ruso fue emitido el viernes (20 de julio) y en él se defiende una batalla futura para la liberación de Idleb y el desmantelamiento de los terroristas que están activos allí.

  • Patrick Cockburn · The War in Five Sieges · LRB 19 July 2018

    The decision to defend certain areas, or to besiege them, was often determined by sectarian or ethnic allegiances. Both the government (dominated by the Shia Alawi sect) and the opposition (dominated by Sunni Arabs) would play down the fact, but divisions between communities were at the heart of the Syrian civil war. These divisions decided the location of the military frontlines that snaked through Damascus and Homs, much as they had once done in Belfast and Beirut. The government-held districts were inhabited by the minority groups, Alawites, Kurds, Christians, Druze, Ismaili and Shia, which together make up about 40 per cent of the population. A businessman in Damascus told me that the weakness of the anti-Assad forces was that ‘the exiled opposition leaders have not developed a serious plan to reassure the minorities.’ Opposition enclaves were overwhelmingly Sunni Arab, though the Sunni community was itself divided between rich and poor and between rural and urban areas. Well-off secular Sunnis in government-held West Aleppo didn’t feel much sympathy for the poor, religiously minded Sunni in the rebel-held east of the city.

    #Syrie #classe #religions #environnement

  • الحكومة السورية تنقل مئات المعتقلين من سجون دمشق وحلب إلى معبر العيس للمبادلة بأهالي بلدتي كفريا والفوعة | رأي اليوم

    Vous vous souvenez de Bachar libérant en mai 2011 des centaines de djihadistes pour saper la révolution syrienne ? Eh bien il recommence ! Des centaines de détenus vont être libérés des prisons de Damas et d’Alep !

    Il s’agit de la rançon demandée par ceux qui assiègent les habitants des villages de Foua et Kafraya près d’Idleb, encerclés depuis mars 2015...

    #syrie compliquée

  •  » 9 Killed in Israeli Airstrike on Syria
    IMEMC News - July 16, 2018 9:13 PM

    Nine Syrian soldiers, on Sunday night, have been killed by an Israeli airstrike on Al-Nayrab military airbase, near Aleppo, according to Syria’s official news agency SANA.

    PNN reports that nine soldiers from among Syrian President Bashar Assad’s forces—six Syrians and three others whose nationality was not made known—were reportedly killed in an attack attributed to Israel in Aleppo on Sunday night, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

    “The Zionist enemy returned in its desperate attempts to support defeated terror organizations in Daraa and in Quneitra, and it attacked using missiles one of our military outposts north of the Al-Nayrab airport. Damage was caused to property only,” a Syrian statement said.

    The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the attack, which it too said was likely carried out by Israel, targeted a Syrian regime site.

    #Syrie #Israël