company:frontex

  • AFM rescues 87 migrants as another group leaves Malta for France

    An AFM patrol boat rescued 87 migrants off Lampedusa overnight and brought them to Malta on Wednesday morning.

    The Armed Forces of Malta said it was informed by Rome rescue centre on Monday evening about the presence of the wooden boat with 87 migrants on board. The boat was located some 30NM south of Lampedusa.

    An Italian naval asset operating under Frontex, the EU border control agency, was dispatched to assist. However the vessel was unable to provide any assistance due to technical faults.

    Times Talk: ’They say we help smugglers... but they’re the ones financing them’

    An AFM patrol craft rescued the migrants last night.

    This was the first major rescue of migrants by the AFM since 180 were picked up at the end of December and 69 more were rescued a few days previously. Most were later transferred to other EU countries along with other migrants rescued by NGO rescue ships.

    Prime Minister Joseph Muscat announced on Wednesday morning that another group of migrants brought to Malta a few weeks ago had left for France.

    No further details were immediately available.


    https://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20190306/local/afm-rescues-87-migrants-bringing-them-to-malta.703733
    #Malte #France #sauvetage #naufrage #Méditerranée #asile #migrations #réfugiés
    Dans le cadre des #relocalisations ?
    On ne sait d’ailleurs pas combien ont été transféré à Malte parmi les 87 migrants sauvés.

    signalé par @isskein


  • Drone Surveillance Operations in the Mediterranean: The Central Role of the Portuguese Economy and State in EU Border Control

    Much has been written in the past years about the dystopic vision of EU borders increasingly equipped with drone surveillance (see here: http://www.europeanpublicaffairs.eu/high-tech-fortress-europe-frontex-and-the-dronization-of-borde, here: http://eulawanalysis.blogspot.com/2018/10/the-next-phase-of-european-border-and.html, here: https://www.heise.de/tp/features/EU-startet-Langstreckendrohnen-zur-Grenzueberwachung-4038306.html and here: https://www.law.ox.ac.uk/research-subject-groups/centre-criminology/centreborder-criminologies/blog/2018/11/role-technology). Yet, when the first joint drone surveillance operation of #Frontex, the #European_Maritime_Safety_Agency (#EMSA) and Portuguese authorities was launched on 25 September 2018, there was a lack of response both from the media and concerned activists or researchers. Yet, the EMSA offered details about the operation on its website, and Frontex as well. In addition, Frontex mentioned in its press statement parallel operations undertaken in Italy and Greece in the same period.

    These operations were a crucial step for the setup of the joint European information system for border surveillance, #EUROSUR. The drone surveillance program in the context of Frontex operations is a major step in the operational setup of the EUROSUR program that aims to integrate databases and national coordination centres of 24 European countries. EUROSUR was officially introduced with a policy paper in 2008, and the system itself was launched on 1 December 2013 as a mechanism of information exchange among EU member states. But it is not yet fully operational, and drone surveillance is commonly seen as a central component for full operationability. Thus, the cooperation between the EMSA, Frontex and the Portuguese state in the recent operation is a crucial milestone to achieve the aim of EUROSUR to create a unified European border surveillance system.

    This is why the operation launched in Portugal in September 2018 is of higher significance to the ones in Italy and Greece since it includes not only national authorities but also the EMSA, located in Lisbon, as a new key actor for border surveillance. EMSA was founded in 2002 as a response to various shipping disasters that lead to environmental pollution and originally focuses on monitoring the movement of ships, with a focus on the safety of shipping operations, environmental safety at sea and the trading of illegal goods via maritime transport.

    In 2016 the EMSA was allocated 76 million Euros in a bid for the production of drones for the surveillance of the Mediterranenan in the context of Frontex missions. EMSA`s bid foresaw that drones would be hired by EMSA itself. EMSA would run the operation of drones and share real-time data with Frontex. The largest part of this bid, 66 million Euros, went to the Portuguese company #Tekever, while smaller portions went to the Italian defence company #Leonardo and to the Portuguese air force that will operate drones produced by the Portuguese company #UA_Vision. At the same time, the successful bid of Tekever and the integration of Portuguese authorities in surveillance operations catapults Portugal onto the map of the defence and surveillance industry that profits immensely from the recent technological craze around border surveillance (see here, here and here).

    Lisbon-based Tekever set up a factory for the production of drones in the Portuguese mainland in #Ponte_de_Sor, an emerging new hub for the aerospace industry. Together with French #Collecte_Localisation_Service, which specialises in maritime surveillance, Tekever founded the consortium #REACT in order to produce those specific drones. Under the Portuguese operation, ground control, i.e. the technical coordination of the flight of the drones, was located in Portugal under the authority of the Portuguese air force, while the operation was coordinated remotely by Frontex experts and Portuguese authorities in the #Frontex_Situational_Centre in Poland where data were shared in real-time with EMSA. This first operation is a crucial step, testing the technical and administrative cooperation between EMSA and Frontex, and the functionality of the drones that were specifically produced for this purpose. These drones are lighter than the ones used in Greece and Italy, and they are equipped with special cameras and #radars that can detect ship movements and receive emergency calls from the sea. This allows to run data collected by the drones through an algorithm that is programmed to distinguish so-called ´#migrant_vessels´ from other ships and boats.

    The Portuguese government has set up a number of initiatives to foster this industry. For example, a national strategy called #Space_2030 (#Estratégia_Portugal_Espaço_2030) was launched in 2018, and the newly founded #Portuguese_Space_Agency (#Agência_Espacial_Portuguesa) will begin to work in the first months of 2019. The fact that border surveillance is one of the larger European programs boosting the defence and surveillance industry financially has not generated any controversy in Portugal; neither the fact that a center-left government, supported by two radical left parties is propping up surveillance, aerospace and defence industries. The colonial continuities of this industrial strategy are all too visible since narratives like ‘from the discovery of the sea to the technology of space’ are used not only by industry actors, but also, for example, by the Portuguese Chamber of Commerce in the UK on its website. In this way, social and political #domination of non-European territories and the control of the movement of racialized bodies are reduced to the fact of technological capability – in the colonial period the navigation of the seas with optical instruments, astronomic knowledge and ships, and today the electronic monitoring of movements on the sea with drones and integrated computer systems. The Portuguese aerospace industry is therefore presented as a cultural heritage that continues earlier technological achievements that became instruments to set up a global empire.

    The lack of any mention about the start of the drone surveillance programme does not only demonstrate that border surveillance goes largely unquestioned in Europe, but also that the sums spent for surveillance and defence by EU agencies create incentives to engage more in the defence and surveillance industry. This goes all the more for countries that have been hit hard by austerity and deindustrialisation, such as Portugal. The recent increase of 9.3 billion Euros for the period 2021 to 2027 for border surveillance funding in the EU with the creation of the #Integrated_Border_Management_Fund focused on border protection, is a telling example of the focus of current EU industrial policies. For the same period, the European Commission has earmarked 2.2 billion Euro for Frontex in order to acquire, operate and maintain surveillance assets like drones, cameras, fences, and the like. In this situation, the political consensus among EU governments to restrict migration reinforces the economic interests of the defence industry and vice versa, and the interest of national governments to attract #high-tech investment adds to this. Those lock-in effects could probably only be dismantled through a public debate about the selective nature of the entrepreneurial state whose funding has decisive influence on which industries prosper.

    While the Portuguese government does not currently have a single helicopter operating in order to control and fight forest fires that have caused more than 100 deaths in the past two years, much EU and national public funding goes into technology aimed at the control of racialized bodies and the observation of earth from space. At the same time, there is considerable concern among experts that surveillance technology used for military means and border security will be rolled out over the entire population in the future for general policing purposes. For this reason, it remains important to keep an eye on which technologies are receiving large public funds and what are its possible uses.


    https://www.law.ox.ac.uk/research-subject-groups/centre-criminology/centreborder-criminologies/blog/2019/02/drone
    #drones #contrôles_frontaliers #frontières #technologie #complexe_militaro-industriel #technologie_de_la_surveillance #externalisation #business #algorithme #colonialisme #néo-colonialisme #impérialisme #héritage_culturel #austérité #désindustrialisation

    ping @daphne @marty @albertocampiphoto @fil


  • #Chronologie des #politiques_migratoires européennes

    En octobre #2013, l’#Italie lance l’opération #Mare_Nostrum suite au naufrage survenu à quelques kilomètres de l’île de Lampedusa en Sicile où 366 personnes ont perdu la vie. Elle débloque alors des moyens matériels (hélicoptères, bateaux, garde-côtes, aide humanitaire) et des fonds considérables (environ 9 millions d’euros par mois) pour éviter de nouveaux naufrages et contrôler les migrants arrivant au sud de l’Italie.

    Au sein de l’Union Européenne, les États votent la résolution #Eurosur qui met en place système européen de surveillance des frontières qui sera assuré par l’agence #Frontex. Frontex est chargée d’assister techniquement les pays pour protéger leurs frontières extérieures et former leurs garde-côtes. En 2018, son siège à Varsovie lui a accordé un budget de 320 millions d’euros. Elle dispose à ce jour (février 2019) de 976 agents, 17 bateaux, 4 avions, 2 hélicoptères, et 59 voitures de patrouille, des moyens qui seront accrus d’ici 2020 avec la formation d’un corps permanent de 10 000 agents et un pouvoir d’exécution renforcé et souhaité par la Commission européenne d’ici 2027.

    Dans le cadre de leur mission de surveillance de la mer, les agents de Frontex interceptent les embarcations d’exilés, contrôlent les rescapés et les remettent aux autorités du pays où ils sont débarqués. Les bateaux Frontex sillonnent ainsi les eaux internationales du Maroc à l’Albanie. Les ONG humanitaires l’accusent de vouloir repousser les migrants dans leurs pays d’origine et de transit comme le prévoient les États de l’Union Européenne.

    Octobre 2014, l’opération Mare Nostrum qui a pourtant permis de sauver 150 000 personnes en un an et d’arrêter 351 passeurs, est stoppée par l’Italie qui investit 9 millions d’euros par mois et ne veut plus porter cette responsabilité seule. L’agence européenne Frontex via l’opération Triton est chargée de reprendre le flambeau avec des pays membres. Mais elle se contente alors de surveiller uniquement les eaux territoriales européennes là où Mare Nostrum allait jusqu’aux côtes libyennes pour effectuer des sauvetages. La recherche et le sauvetage ne sont plus assurés, faisant de ce passage migratoire le plus mortel au monde. L’Italie qui est alors pointée du doigts par des États membres car elle n’assure plus sa mission de sauvetage, de recherche et de prise en charge au large de ses côtes est dans le même temps accusée par les mêmes d’inciter les traversées « sécurisées » en venant en aide aux exilés et de provoquer un appel d’air. Une accusation démentie très rapidement par le nombre de départs qui est resté le même après l’arrêt de l’opération Mare Nostrum.

    L’Italie qui avait déployé un arsenal impressionnant pour le sauvetage durant cette période n’avait pas pour autant assuré la prise en charge et procédé à l’enregistrement des dizaines de milliers d’exilés arrivant sur son sol comme le prévoit l’accord de Dublin (prise empreintes et demande d’asile dans le premier pays d’accueil). Le nombre de demandes d’asile enregistrées fut bien supérieur en France, en Allemagne et en Suède à cette même période.

    #2015 marque un tournant des politiques migratoires européennes. Le corps du petit syrien, #Aylan_Kurdi retrouvé sans vie sur une plage turque le 2 septembre 2015, a ému la communauté européenne seulement quelques semaines, rattrapée ensuite par la peur de ne pas pouvoir gérer une crise humanitaire imminente. « Elle n’a jusqu’ici pas trouvé de réponse politique et collective à l’exil », analysent les chercheurs. Les pays membres de l’Union Européenne ont opté jusqu’à ce jour pour des politiques d’endiguement des populations de migrants dans leurs pays d’origine ou de transit comme en Turquie, en Libye ou au Maroc, plutôt que pour des politiques d’intégration.

    Seule l’#Allemagne en 2015 avait opté pour une politique d’accueil et du traitement des demandes d’asile sans les conditions imposées par l’accord de #Dublin qui oblige les réfugiés à faire une demande dans le premier pays d’accueil. La chancelière allemande avait permis à un million de personnes de venir en Allemagne et d’entamer une demande d’asile. « Elle démontrait qu’on peut être humaniste tout en légalisant le passage de frontières que l’Europe juge généralement indésirables. Elle a aussi montré que c’est un faux-semblant pour les gouvernements de brandir la menace des extrêmes-droites xénophobes et qu’il est bien au contraire possible d’y répondre par des actes d’hospitalité et des paroles », décrit Michel Agier dans son livre “Les migrants et nous”.

    En mars #2016, la #Turquie et l’Union européenne signent un #accord qui prévoit le renvoi des migrants arrivant en Grèce et considérés comme non éligibles à l’asile en Turquie. La Turquie a reçu 3 milliards d’aide afin de garder sur son territoire les candidats pour l’Europe. A ce jour, des réseaux de passeurs entre la Turquie et la #Grèce (5 kms de navigation) sévissent toujours et des milliers de personnes arrivent chaque jour sur les îles grecques où elles sont comme à Lesbos, retenues dans des camps insalubres où l’attente de la demande d’asile est interminable.
    #accord_UE-Turquie

    En #2017, l’OIM (Office international des migrations), remarque une baisse des arrivées de réfugiés sur le continent européen. Cette baisse est liée à plusieurs facteurs qui vont à l’encontre des conventions des droits des réfugiés à savoir le renforcement des contrôles et interceptions en mer par l’agence Frontex, le refus de l’Europe d’accueillir les rescapés secourus en mer et surtout la remise entre les mains des garde-côtes libyens des coordinations de sauvetages et de leur mise en place, encouragés et financés par l’UE afin de ramener les personnes migrantes en #Libye. Cette baisse ne signifie pas qu’il y a moins de personnes migrantes qui quittent leur pays, arrivent en Libye et quittent ensuite la Libye : 13 185 personnes ont été ainsi interceptées par les Libyens en Méditerranée en 2018, des centaines ont été secourues par les ONG et plus de 2 250 seraient mortes, sans compter celles dont les embarcations n’ont pas été repérées et ont disparu en mer.

    En avril #2018, le président Macron suggérait un pacte pour les réfugiés pour réformer le système de #relocalisation des migrants en proposant un programme européen qui soutienne directement financièrement les collectivités locales qui accueillent et intègrent des réfugiés : « nous devons obtenir des résultats tangibles en débloquant le débat empoisonné sur le règlement de Dublin et les relocalisations », déclarait-il. Mais les pourparlers qui suivirent n’ont pas fait caisse de raisonnance et l’Europe accueille au compte goutte.

    La #Pologne et la #Hongrie refuse alors l’idée de répartition obligatoire, le premier ministre hongrois
    Victor #Orban déclare : « Ils forcent ce plan pour faire de l’Europe un continent mixte, seulement nous, nous résistons encore ».

    Le 28 juin 2018, lors d’un sommet, les 28 tentent de s’accorder sur les migrations afin de répartir les personnes réfugiées arrivant en Italie et en Grèce dans les autres pays de l’Union européenne. Mais au terme de ce sommet, de nombreuses questions restent en suspend, les ONG sont consternées. La politique migratoire se durcit.

    Juillet 2018, le ministre italien Matteo #Salvini fraîchement élu annonce, en totale violation du droit maritime, la #fermeture_des_ports italiens où étaient débarquées les personnes rescapées par différentes entités transitant en #Méditerranée dont les #ONG humanitaires comme #SOS_Méditerranée et son bateau l’#Aquarius. Les bateaux de huit ONG se retrouvent sans port d’accueil alors que le droit maritime prévoit que toute personne se trouvant en danger en mer doit être secourue par les bateaux les plus proches et être débarquées dans un port sûr (où assistance, logement, hygiène et sécurité sont assurés). Malgré la condition posée par l’Italie de ré-ouvrir ses ports si les autres États européens prennent en charge une part des migrants arrivant sur son sol, aucun d’entre eux ne s’est manifesté. Ils font aujourd’hui attendre plusieurs jours, voir semaines, les bateaux d’ONG ayant à leur bord seulement des dizaines de rescapés avant de se décider enfin à en accueillir quelques uns.

    Les 28 proposent des #zones_de_débarquement hors Europe, dans des pays comme la Libye, la Turquie, le Maroc, le Niger où seraient mis en place des centres fermés ou ouverts dans lesquels serait établie la différence entre migrants irréguliers à expulser et les demandeurs d’asile légitimes à répartir en Europe, avec le risque que nombre d’entre eux restent en réalité bloqués dans ces pays. Des pays où les droits de l’homme et le droit à la sécurité des migrants en situation de vulnérabilité, droits protégés en principe par les conventions dont les Européens sont signataires, risquent de ne pas d’être respectés. Des représentants du Maroc, de la Tunisie et d’Albanie, pays également évoqués par les Européens ont déjà fait savoir qu’ils ne sont pas favorables à une telle décision.
    #plateformes_de_désembarquement #disembarkation_paltforms #plateformes_de_débarquement #regional_disembarkation_platforms

    Malgré les rapports des ONG, Médecins sans frontières, Oxfam, LDH, Amnesty International et les rappels à l’ordre des Nations Unies sur les conditions de vie inhumaines vécues par les exilés retenus en Grèce, en Libye, au Niger, les pays de l’Union européenne, ne bougent pas d’un millimètre et campent sur la #fermeture_des_frontières, avec des hommes politiques attachés à l’opinion publique qui suit dangereusement le jeu xénophobe de la Hongrie et de la Pologne, chefs de file et principaux instigateurs de la peur de l’étranger.

    Réticences européennes contre mobilisations citoyennes :
    Malgré les positions strictes de l’Europe, les citoyens partout en Europe poursuivent leurs actions, leurs soutiens et solidarités envers les ONG. SOS Méditerranée active en France, Allemagne, Italie, et Suisse est à la recherche d’une nouveau bateau et armateur, les bateaux des ONG Sea Watch et Sea Eye tentent leur retour en mer, des pilotes solidaires originaires de Chamonix proposent un soutien d’observation aérienne, la ligne de l’association Alarm Phone gérée par des bénévoles continue de recevoir des appels de détresse venant de la Méditerranée, ils sont ensuite transmis aux bateaux présents sur zone. Partout en Europe, des citoyens organisent la solidarité et des espaces de sécurité pour les exilés en mal d’humanité.

    https://www.1538mediterranee.com/2019/02/28/politique-migratoire-europeenne-chronologie
    #migrations #asile #réfugiés #EU #UE #frontières

    ping @reka


  • Au #Niger, l’UE mise sur la #police_locale pour traquer les migrants

    Au Niger, l’Union européenne finance le contrôle biométrique des frontières. Avec pour objectif la lutte contre l’immigration, et dans une opacité parfois très grande sur les méthodes utilisées.

    Niger, envoyé spécial.– Deux semaines après une attaque meurtrière attribuée aux groupes armés djihadistes, un silence épais règne autour du poste de la gendarmerie de Makalondi, à la frontière entre le Niger et le Burkina Faso. Ce jour de novembre 2018, un militaire nettoie son fusil avec un torchon, des cartouches scintillantes éparpillées à ses pieds. Des traces de balles sur le mur blanc du petit bâtiment signalent la direction de l’attaque. Sur le pas de la porte, un jeune gendarme montre son bras bandé, pendant que ses collègues creusent une tranchée et empilent des sacs de sable.
    L’assaut, à 100 kilomètres au sud de la capitale Niamey, a convaincu le gouvernement du Niger d’étendre les mesures d’état d’urgence, déjà adoptées dans sept départements frontaliers avec le Mali, à toute la frontière avec le Burkina Faso. La sécurité a également été renforcée sur le poste de police, à moins d’un kilomètre de distance de celui de la gendarmerie, où les agents s’affairent à une autre mission : gérer les flux migratoires.
    « On est les pionniers, au Niger », explique le commissaire Ismaël Soumana, montrant les équipements installés dans un bâtiment en préfabriqué. Des capteurs d’empreintes sont alignés sur un comptoir, accompagnés d’un scanneur de documents, d’une microcaméra et d’un ordinateur. « Ici, on enregistre les données biométriques de tous les passagers qui entrent et sortent du pays, on ajoute des informations personnelles et puis on envoie tout à Niamey, où les données sont centralisées. »
    Makalondi est le premier poste au Niger à avoir installé le Midas, système d’information et d’analyse de données sur la migration, en septembre 2018. C’est la première étape d’un projet de biométrisation des frontières terrestres du pays, financé par l’UE et le #Japon, et réalisé conjointement par l’#OIM, l’Organisation internationale pour les migrations – créatrice et propriétaire du système #Midas –, et #Eucap_Sahel_Niger, la mission de sécurité civile de Bruxelles.


    Au cœur de ce projet, il y a la Direction pour la surveillance du territoire (DST), la police aux frontières nigérienne, dont le rôle s’est accru au même rythme que l’intérêt européen à réduire la migration via le Niger. Dans un quartier central de Niamey, le bureau du directeur Abdourahamane Alpha est un oasis de tranquillité au milieu de la tempête. Tout autour, les agents tourbillonnent, en se mêlant aux travailleurs chinois qui renouvellent leur visa et aux migrants ouest-africains sans papiers, en attente d’expulsion.
    Dessinant une carte sur un morceau de papier, le commissaire Alpha trace la stratégie du Niger « pour contrôler 5 000 kilomètres de frontière avec sept pays ». Il évoque ainsi les opérations antiterrorisme de la force G5 Sahel et le soutien de l’UE à une nouvelle compagnie mobile de gardes-frontières, à lancer au printemps 2019.
    Concernant le Midas, adopté depuis 2009 par 23 pays du monde, « le premier défi est d’équiper tous les postes de frontière terrestre », souligne Alpha. Selon l’OIM, six nouveaux postes devraient être équipés d’ici à mi-2020.

    Un rapport interne réalisé à l’été 2018 et financé par l’UE, obtenu par Mediapart, estime que seulement un poste sur les douze visités, celui de Sabon Birni sur la frontière avec le Nigeria, est apte à une installation rapide du système Midas. Des raisons de sécurité, un flux trop bas et composé surtout de travailleurs frontaliers, ou encore la nécessité de rénover les structures (pour la plupart bâties par la GIZ, la coopération allemande, entre 2015 et 2016), expliquent l’évaluation prudente sur l’adoption du Midas.
    Bien que l’installation de ce système soit balbutiante, Abdourahamane Alpha entrevoit déjà le jour où leurs « bases de données seront connectées avec celles de l’UE ». Pour l’instant, du siège de Niamey, les agents de police peuvent consulter en temps quasi réel les empreintes d’un Ghanéen entrant par le Burkina Faso, sur un bus de ligne.
    À partir de mars 2019, ils pourront aussi les confronter avec les fichiers du Pisces, le système biométrique du département d’État des États-Unis, installé à l’aéroport international de Niamey. Puis aux bases de données d’Interpol et du Wapis, le système d’information pour la police de l’Afrique de l’Ouest, un fichier biométrique financé par le Fonds européen de développement dans seize pays de la région.
    Mais si le raccordement avec des bases de données de Bruxelles, envisagé par le commissaire Alpha, semble une hypothèse encore lointaine, l’UE exerce déjà un droit de regard indirect sur les écrans de la police nigérienne, à travers Frontex, l’agence pour le contrôle des frontières externes.

    Frontex a en effet choisi le Niger comme partenaire privilégié pour le contrôle migratoire sur la route dite de la Méditerranée centrale. En août 2017, l’agence y a déployé son unique officier de liaison en Afrique et a lancé, en novembre 2018, la première cellule d’analyse de risques dans le continent. Un projet financé par la coopération au développement de l’UE : 4 millions d’euros destinés à ouvrir des cellules similaires dans huit pays subsahariens.
    L’agence n’a dévoilé à Mediapart que six documents sur onze relatifs à ses liens avec le Niger, en rappelant la nécessité de « protéger l’intérêt public concernant les relations internationales ». Un des documents envoyés concerne les cellules d’analyse de risques, présentées comme des bureaux équipés et financés par Frontex à l’intérieur des autorités de contrôle des frontières du pays, où des analystes formés par l’agence – mais dépendants de l’administration nationale – auront accès aux bases de données.
    Dans la version intégrale du document, que Mediapart a finalement pu se procurer, et qui avait été expurgée par Frontex, on apprend que « les bases de données du MIDAS, PISCES et Securiport [compagnie privée de Washington qui opère dans le Mali voisin, mais pas au Niger – ndlr] seront prises en considération comme sources dans le plan de collecte de données ».
    En dépit de l’indépendance officielle des cellules par rapport à Frontex, revendiquée par l’agence, on peut y lire aussi que chaque cellule aura une adresse mail sur le serveur de Frontex et que les informations seront échangées sur une plateforme digitale de l’UE. Un graphique, également invisible dans la version expurgée, montre que les données collectées sont destinées à Frontex et aux autres cellules, plutôt qu’aux autorités nationales.
    Selon un fonctionnaire local, la France aurait par ailleurs fait pression pour obtenir les fichiers biométriques des demandeurs d’asile en attente d’être réinstallés à Paris, dans le cadre d’un programme de réinstallation géré par le UNHCR.
    La nouvelle Haute Autorité pour la protection des données personnelles, opérationnelle depuis octobre 2018, ne devrait pas manquer de travail. Outre le Midas, le Pisces et le Wapis, le Haut Commissariat pour les réfugiés a enregistré dans son système Bims les données de presque 250 000 réfugiés et déplacés internes, tandis que la plus grande base biométrique du pays – le fichier électoral – sera bientôt réalisée.
    Pendant ce temps, au poste de frontière de Makalondi, un dimanche de décembre 2018, les préoccupations communes de Niamey et Bruxelles se matérialisent quand les minibus Toyota laissent la place aux bus longue distance, reliant les capitales d’Afrique occidentale à Agadez, au centre du pays, avec escale à Niamey. Des agents fouillent les bagages, tandis que les passagers attendent de se faire enregistrer.
    « Depuis l’intensification des contrôles, en 2016, le passage a chuté brusquement, explique le commissaire Ismaël Soumana. En parallèle, les voies de contournement se sont multipliées : si on ferme ici, les passeurs changent de route, et cela peut continuer à l’infini. »
    Les contrôles terminés, les policiers se préparent à monter la garde. « Car les terroristes, eux, frappent à la nuit, et nous ne sommes pas encore bien équipés », conclut le commissaire, inquiet.

    https://www.mediapart.fr/journal/international/280219/au-niger-l-ue-mise-sur-la-police-locale-pour-traquer-les-migrants
    #migrations #réfugiés #asile #traque #externalisation #contrôles_frontaliers #EU #UE #Eucap #biométrie #organisation_internationale_contre_les_migrations #IOM

    J’ajoute à la métaliste :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/731749


  • Europe’s deadly migration strategy. Officials knew EU military operation made Mediterranean crossing more dangerous.

    Since its creation in 2015, Europe’s military operation in the Mediterranean — named “#Operation_Sophia” — has saved some 49,000 people from the sea. But that was never really the main objective.

    The goal of the operation — which at its peak involved over a dozen sea and air assets from 27 EU countries, including ships, airplanes, drones and submarines — was to disrupt people-smuggling networks off the coast of Libya and, by extension, stem the tide of people crossing the sea to Europe.

    European leaders have hailed the operation as a successful joint effort to address the migration crisis that rocked the bloc starting in 2015, when a spike in arrivals overwhelmed border countries like Greece and Italy and sparked a political fight over who would be responsible for the new arrivals.

    But a collection of leaked documents from the European External Action Service, the bloc’s foreign policy arm, obtained by POLITICO (https://g8fip1kplyr33r3krz5b97d1-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/OperationSophia.pdf), paint a different picture.

    In internal memos, the operation’s leaders admit Sophia’s success has been limited by its own mandate — it can only operate in international waters, not in Libyan waters or on land, where smuggling networks operate — and it is underfunded, understaffed and underequipped.

    “Sophia is a military operation with a very political agenda" — Barbara Spinelli, Italian MEP

    The confidential reports also show the EU is aware that a number of its policies have made the sea crossing more dangerous for migrants, and that it nonetheless chose to continue to pursue those strategies. Officials acknowledge internally that some members of the Libyan coast guard that the EU funds, equips and trains are collaborating with smuggling networks.

    For the operation’s critics, the EU’s willingness to turn a blind eye to these shortcomings — as well as serious human rights abuses by the Libyan coast guard and in the country’s migrant detention centers — are symptomatic of what critics call the bloc’s incoherent approach to managing migration and its desire to outsource the problem to non-EU countries.

    “Sophia is a military operation with a very political agenda,” said Barbara Spinelli, an Italian MEP and member of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs in the European Parliament. “It has become an instrument of refoulement, legitimizing militias with criminal records, dressed up as coast guards.”

    Now the operation, which is managed by Italy and has been dogged by political disagreements since it began, is coming under increasing pressure as the deadline for its renewal approaches in March.

    Italy’s deputy prime minister, far-right leader Matteo Salvini, has said the operation should only be extended if there are new provisions to resettle rescued people across the bloc. Last month, Germany announced it would be discontinuing its participation in the program, claiming that Italy’s refusal to allow rescued migrants to disembark is undermining the mission.

    Named after a baby girl born on an EU rescue ship, Sophia is the uneasy compromise to resolve a deep split across the bloc: between those who pushed for proactive search-and-rescue efforts to save more lives and those who favored pulling resources from the sea to make the crossing more dangerous.

    The naval operation sits uncomfortably between the two, rescuing migrants in distress at sea, but insisting its primary focus is to fight smugglers off the coast of Libya. The two activities are frequently in conflict.

    The operation has cycled through a number of strategies since its launch: a campaign to destroy boats used by smugglers; law-enforcement interviews with those rescued at sea; extensive aerial surveillance; and training and funding a newly consolidated Libyan coast guard.

    But the success of these approaches is highly disputed, and in some cases they have put migrants’ lives at greater risk.

    The EU’s policy of destroying the wooden boats used by smugglers to avoid them being reused, for example, has indeed disrupted the Libyan smuggling business, but at a substantial human cost.

    As Libyan smugglers lost their wooden boats, many started to rely more heavily on smaller, cheaper rubber boats. The boats, which smugglers often overfill to maximize profit, are not as safe as the wooden vessels and less likely to reach European shores. Instead, Libyan smugglers started to abandon migrants in international waters, leaving them to be pulled out of peril by European rescue ships.

    Sophia officials tracked the situation and were aware of the increased risk to migrants as a result of the policy. “Smugglers can no longer recover smuggling vessels on the high seas, effectively rendering them a less economic option for the smuggling business and thereby hampering it,” they wrote in a 2016 status report seen by POLITICO.

    The report acknowledged however that the policy has pushed migrants into using rubber boats, putting them in greater danger. “Effectively, with the limited supply and the degree of overloading, the migrant vessels are [distress] cases from the moment they launch,” it said.

    These overfilled rubber boats, which officials described as shipwrecks waiting to happen, also present a problem for the EU operation.

    International maritime law compels vessels to respond to people in distress at sea and bring the rescued to a nearby safe port. And because European courts have held that Libya has no safe port, that means bringing migrants found at sea to Europe — in most cases, Italy.

    This has exacerbated political tensions in the country, where far-right leader Salvini has responded to the influx of new arrivals by closing ports to NGO and humanitarian ships carrying migrants and threatening to bar Sophia vessels from docking.

    Meanwhile, Sophia officials have complained that rescuing people from leaking, unseaworthy boats detracted from the operation’s ability to pursue its primary target: Libyan smugglers.

    In a leaked status report from 2017, Sophia officials made a highly unusual suggestion: that the operation be granted permission to suspend its rescue responsibilities in order to focus on its anti-smuggling operations.

    “Consideration should be given to an option that would allow the operation to be authorized for being temporarily exempt from search and rescue when actively conducting anti-smuggling operations against jackals in international waters,” the report read.

    The EU has also wilfully ignored inconvenient aspects of its policies when it comes to its collaboration with Libya’s municipal coast guard.

    The intention of the strategy — launched one year into the Sophia operation — was to equip Libyan authorities to intercept migrant boats setting off from the Libyan coast and bring people back to shore. This saved Europe from sending its own ships close to coast, and meant that people could be brought back to Libya, rather than to Europe, as required by international maritime law — or more specifically, Italy.

    Here too, the EU was aware it was pursuing a problematic strategy, as the Libyan coast guard has a well-documented relationship with Libyan smugglers.

    A leaked report from Frontex, the EU’s coast guard, noted in 2016: “As mentioned in previous reports, some members of Libya’s local authorities are involved in smuggling activities.” The report cited interviews with recently rescued people who said they were smuggled by Libyans in uniform. It also noted that similar conclusions were reported multiple times by the Italian coast guard and Operation Sophia.

    “Many of [the coast guard officers] were militia people — many of them fought with militias during the civil war" — Rabih Boualleg, Operation Sophia translator

    In Sophia’s leaked status report from 2017, operation leaders noted that “migrant smuggling and human trafficking networks remain well ingrained” throughout the region and that smugglers routinely “pay off authorities” for passage to international waters.

    “Many of [the coast guard officers] were militia people — many of them fought with militias during the civil war,” said Rabih Boualleg, who worked as a translator for Operation Sophia in late 2016 on board a Dutch ship involved in training the coast guard from Tripoli.

    “They were telling me that many of them hadn’t gotten their government salaries in eight months. They told me, jokingly, that they were ‘forced’ to take money from smugglers sometimes.”

    The coast guards talked openly about accepting money from smuggling networks in exchange for escorting rubber boats to international waters instead of turning them back toward the shore, Boualleg said.

    “If the [on-duty] coast guard came,” Boualleg added, “they would just say they were fishermen following the rubber boats, that’s all.”

    Frontex’s 2016 report documents similar cases. Two officials with close knowledge of Sophia’s training of the Libyan coast guard also confirmed that members of the coast guard are involved in smuggling networks. A spokesperson for the Libyan coast guard did not return repeated requests for comment.

    EU governments have, for the most part, simply looked the other way.

    And that’s unlikely to change, said a senior European official with close knowledge of Operation Sophia who spoke on condition of anonymity. For the first time since the start of the operation, Libyan authorities are returning more people to Libya than are arriving in Italy.

    “If Italy decides — since it is the country in command of Operation Sophia — to stop it, it is up to Italy to make this decision" — Dimitris Avramopoulos, immigration commissioner

    “Europe doesn’t want to upset this balance,” the official said. “Any criticism of the coast guards could lead to resentment, to relaxing.”

    Two years into the training program, leaked reports also show the Libyan coast guard was unable to manage search-and-rescue activities on its own. Sophia monitors their operations with GoPro cameras and through surveillance using ships, airplanes, drones and submarines.

    The operation is limited by its mandate, but it has made progress in difficult circumstances, an EEAS spokesperson said. Operation Sophia officials did not respond to multiple interview requests and declined to answer questions via email.

    “The provision of training the Libyan coast guard and navy, as well as continued engagement with them have proven to be the most effecting complementary tool to disrupt the activities of those involved in trafficking,” the EEAS spokesperson said in an email.

    The spokesperson maintained that Libyan coast guards who are trained by Operation Sophia undergo a “thorough vetting procedure." The spokesperson also stated that, while Operation Sophia does advise and monitor the Libyan coast guard, the operation is not involved “in the decision-making in relation to operations.”

    *

    With the March deadline for the operation’s renewal fast approaching, pressure is mounting to find a way to reform Sophia or disband it altogether.

    When Salvini closed Italy’s ports to NGO and humanitarian ships last July, the country’s foreign minister turned to the EU to negotiate a solution that would ensure migrants rescued as part of Operation Sophia would be resettled among other countries. At the time, Italy said it expected results “within weeks.” Six months later, neither side has found a way through the impasse.

    “The fate of this operation is not determined yet,” European Commissioner for Immigration Dimitris Avramopoulos told reporters last month, adding that discussions about allowing migrants to disembark in non-Italian ports are still underway among member countries.

    “If Italy decides — since it is the country in command of Operation Sophia — to stop it, it is up to Italy to make this decision.”

    The political fight over the future of the operation has been made more acute by an increase in criticism from human rights organizations. Reports of violence, torture and extortion in Libyan detention centers have put the naval operation and EEAS on the defensive.

    A Human Rights Watch report published in January found that Europe’s support for the Libyan coast guard has contributed to cases of arbitrary detention, and that people intercepted by Libyan authorities “face inhuman and degrading conditions and the risk of torture, sexual violence, extortion, and forced labor.” Amnesty International has also condemned the conditions under which migrants are being held, and in an open letter published earlier this month, 50 major aid organizations warned that “EU leaders have allowed themselves to become complicit in the tragedy unfolding before their eyes.”

    These human rights violations have been well documented. In 2016, the U.N. Human Rights Office said it considered “migrants to be at high risk of suffering serious human rights violations, including arbitrary detention, in Libya and thus urges States not to return, or facilitate the return of, persons to Libya.”

    Last June, the U.N. sanctioned six men for smuggling and human rights violations, including the head of the coast guard in Zawiya, a city west of Tripoli. A number of officials under his command, a leaked EEAS report found, were trained by Operation Sophia.

    An EEAS spokesperson would not comment on the case of the Zawiya coast guards trained by Operation Sophia or how the officers were vetted. The spokesperson said that none of the coast guards “trained by Operation Sophia” are on the U.N. sanctions list.

    The deteriorating human rights situation has prompted a growing chorus of critics to argue the EU’s arrangement with Libya is unsustainable.

    “What does the EU do in Libya? They throw money at projects, but they don’t have a very tangible operation on the ground" — Tarek Megerisi, Libyan expert

    “Returning anyone to Libya is against international law,” said Salah Margani, a former justice minister in Libya’s post-civil war government. “Libya is not a safe place. They will be subject to murder. They will be subjected to torture.”

    “This is documented,” Margani added. “And [Europe] knows it.”

    Sophia is also indicative of a larger, ineffective European policy toward Libya, said Tarek Megerisi, a Libya specialist at the European Council on Foreign Relations.

    “What does the EU do in Libya? They throw money at projects, but they don’t have a very tangible operation on the ground. They really struggle to convert what they spend into political currency — Operation Sophia is all they’ve got,” he said.

    The project, he added, is less a practical attempt to stop smuggling or save migrants than a political effort to paper over differences within the EU when it comes to migration policy.

    With Sophia, he said, Europe is “being as vague as possible so countries like Italy and Hungary can say this is our tool for stopping migration, and countries like Germany and Sweden can say we’re saving lives.”

    “With this operation, there’s something for everyone,” he said.

    https://www.politico.eu/article/europe-deadly-migration-strategy-leaked-documents

    Commentaire ECRE :

    Leaked documents obtained by @POLITICOEurope show that the #EU knew its military operation “Sophia” in the Mediterranean made sea crossing more dangerous.

    https://twitter.com/ecre/status/1101074946057482240

    #responsabilité #Méditerranée #mourir_en_mer #asile #migrations #réfugiés #mer_Méditerranée #Frontex #EU #UE
    #leaks #sauvetage #externalisation #frontières

    –-----------------------------------------

    Mise en exergue de quelques passages de l’article qui me paraissent particulièrement intéressants :

    The confidential reports also show the EU is aware that a number of its policies have made the sea crossing more dangerous for migrants, and that it nonetheless chose to continue to pursue those strategies. Officials acknowledge internally that some members of the Libyan coast guard that the EU funds, equips and trains are collaborating with smuggling networks.

    Named after a baby girl born on an EU rescue ship, Sophia is the uneasy compromise to resolve a deep split across the bloc: between those who pushed for proactive search-and-rescue efforts to save more lives and those who favored pulling resources from the sea to make the crossing more dangerous.
    The naval operation sits uncomfortably between the two, rescuing migrants in distress at sea, but insisting its primary focus is to fight smugglers off the coast of Libya. The two activities are frequently in conflict.

    The report acknowledged however that the policy has pushed migrants into using rubber boats, putting them in greater danger. “Effectively, with the limited supply and the degree of overloading, the migrant vessels are [distress] cases from the moment they launch,” it said.

    In a leaked status report from 2017 (https://g8fip1kplyr33r3krz5b97d1-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/ENFM-2017-2.pdf), Sophia officials made a highly unusual suggestion: that the operation be granted permission to suspend its rescue responsibilities in order to focus on its anti-smuggling operations.

    “Consideration should be given to an option that would allow the operation to be authorized for being temporarily exempt from search and rescue when actively conducting anti-smuggling operations against jackals in international waters,” the report read.

    A leaked report from #Frontex (https://theintercept.com/2017/04/02/new-evidence-undermines-eu-report-tying-refugee-rescue-group-to-smuggl), the EU’s coast guard, noted in 2016: “As mentioned in previous reports, some members of Libya’s local authorities are involved in smuggling activities.” The report cited interviews with recently rescued people who said they were smuggled by Libyans in uniform. It also noted that similar conclusions were reported multiple times by the Italian coast guard and Operation Sophia.

    In Sophia’s leaked status report from 2017, operation leaders noted that “migrant smuggling and human trafficking networks remain well ingrained” throughout the region and that smugglers routinely “pay off authorities” for passage to international waters. “Many of [the coast guard officers] were militia people — many of them fought with militias during the civil war,” said Rabih Boualleg, who worked as a translator for Operation Sophia in late 2016 on board a Dutch ship involved in training the coast guard from Tripoli. The coast guards talked openly about accepting money from smuggling networks in exchange for escorting rubber boats to international waters instead of turning them back toward the shore, Boualleg said.

    Frontex’s 2016 report documents similar cases. Two officials with close knowledge of Sophia’s training of the Libyan coast guard also confirmed that members of the coast guard are involved in smuggling networks. A spokesperson for the Libyan coast guard did not return repeated requests for comment.

    Two years into the training program, leaked reports (https://g8fip1kplyr33r3krz5b97d1-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/ENFM-Monitoring-of-Libyan-Coast-Guard-and-Navy-Report-October-2017-January-2018.pdf) also show the Libyan coast guard was unable to manage search-and-rescue activities on its own. Sophia monitors their operations with GoPro cameras and through surveillance using ships, airplanes, drones and submarines.

    A Human Rights Watch report (https://www.hrw.org/report/2019/01/21/no-escape-hell/eu-policies-contribute-abuse-migrants-libya) published in January found that Europe’s support for the Libyan coast guard has contributed to cases of arbitrary detention, and that people intercepted by Libyan authorities “face inhuman and degrading conditions and the risk of torture, sexual violence, extortion, and forced labor.” Amnesty International has also condemned (https://www.ohchr.org/Documents/Countries/LY/DetainedAndDehumanised_en.pdf) the conditions under which migrants are being held, and in an open letter published earlier this month, 50 major aid organizations warned that “EU leaders have allowed themselves to become complicit in the tragedy unfolding before their eyes.”

    “Returning anyone to Libya is against international law,” said Salah Margani, a former justice minister in Libya’s post-civil war government. “Libya is not a safe place. They will be subject to murder. They will be subjected to torture.”

    “This is documented,” Margani added. “And [Europe] knows it.”
    Sophia is also indicative of a larger, ineffective European policy toward Libya, said Tarek Megerisi, a Libya specialist at the European Council on Foreign Relations.
    “What does the EU do in Libya? They throw money at projects, but they don’t have a very tangible operation on the ground. They really struggle to convert what they spend into political currency — Operation Sophia is all they’ve got,” he said.

    With Sophia, he said, Europe is “being as vague as possible so countries like Italy and Hungary can say this is our tool for stopping migration, and countries like Germany and Sweden can say we’re saving lives.”
    “With this operation, there’s something for everyone,” he said.

    #flou


  • Un projet de fichage géant de citoyens prend forme en Europe

    https://www.mediapart.fr/journal/international/250219/un-projet-de-fichage-geant-de-citoyens-prend-forme-en-europe

    Des appareils portables équipés de lecteurs d’empreintes digitales et d’images faciales, pour permettre aux policiers de traquer des terroristes : ce n’est plus de la science-fiction, mais un projet européen en train de devenir réalité. Le 5 février 2019, un accord préliminaire sur l’interopérabilité des systèmes d’information au niveau du continent a ainsi été signé.

    Il doit permettre l’unification de six registres avec des données d’identification alphanumériques et biométriques (empreintes digitales et images faciales) de citoyens non membres de l’UE. En dépit des nombreuses réserves émises par les Cnil européennes.

    Giovanni Buttarelli, contrôleur européen de la protection des données, a qualifié cette proposition de « point de non-retour » dans le système de base de données européen. En substance, les registres des demandeurs d’asile (Eurodac), des demandeurs de visa pour l’Union européenne (Visa) et des demandeurs (système d’information Schengen) seront joints à trois nouvelles bases de données mises en place ces derniers mois, toutes concernant des citoyens non membres de l’UE.

    Pourront ainsi accéder à la nouvelle base de données les forces de police des États membres, mais aussi les responsables d’Interpol, d’Europol et, dans de nombreux cas, même les gardes-frontières de l’agence européenne Frontex. Ils pourront rechercher des personnes par nom, mais également par empreinte digitale ou faciale, et croiser les informations de plusieurs bases de données sur une personne.

    L’infographie diffusée par le Conseil pour défendre son projet. L’infographie diffusée par le Conseil pour défendre son projet.

    « L’interopérabilité peut consister en un seul registre avec des données isolées les unes des autres ou dans une base de données centralisée. Cette dernière hypothèse peut comporter des risques graves de perte d’informations sensibles, explique Buttarelli. Le choix entre les deux options est un détail fondamental qui sera clarifié au moment de la mise en œuvre. »

    Le Parlement européen et le Conseil doivent encore approuver officiellement l’accord, avant qu’il ne devienne législation.

    Les risques de la méga base de données

    « J’ai voté contre l’interopérabilité parce que c’est une usine à gaz qui n’est pas conforme aux principes de proportionnalité, de nécessité et de finalité que l’on met en avant dès lors qu’il peut être question d’atteintes aux droits fondamentaux et aux libertés publiques, assure Marie-Christine Vergiat, députée européenne, membre de la commission des libertés civiles. On mélange tout : les autorités de contrôle aux frontières et les autorités répressives par exemple, alors que ce ne sont pas les mêmes finalités. »

    La proposition de règlement, élaborée par un groupe d’experts de haut niveau d’institutions européennes et d’États membres, dont les noms n’ont pas été révélés, avait été présentée par la Commission en décembre 2017, dans le but de prévenir les attaques terroristes et de promouvoir le contrôle aux frontières.

    Les institutions de l’UE sont pourtant divisées quant à son impact sur la sécurité des citoyens : d’un côté, Krum Garkov, directeur de Eu-Lisa – l’agence européenne chargée de la gestion de l’immense registre de données –, estime qu’elle va aider à prévenir les attaques et les terroristes en identifiant des criminels sous de fausses identités. De l’autre côté, Giovanni Buttarelli met en garde contre une base de données centralisée, qui risque davantage d’être visée par des cyberattaques. « Nous ne devons pas penser aux simples pirates, a-t-il déclaré. Il y a des puissances étrangères très intéressées par la vulnérabilité de ces systèmes. »

    L’utilité pour l’antiterrorisme : les doutes des experts

    L’idée de l’interopérabilité des systèmes d’information est née après le 11-Septembre. Elle s’est développée en Europe dans le contexte de la crise migratoire et des attentats de 2015, et a été élaborée dans le cadre d’une relation de collaboration étroite entre les institutions européennes chargées du contrôle des frontières et l’industrie qui développe les technologies pour le mettre en œuvre.

    « L’objectif de lutte contre le terrorisme a disparu : on parle maintenant de “fraude à l’identité”, et l’on mélange de plus en plus lutte contre la criminalité et lutte contre l’immigration dite irrégulière, ajoute Vergiat. J’ai participé à la commission spéciale du Parlement européen sur la lutte contre le terrorisme ; je sais donc que le lien entre terrorisme et immigration dite irrégulière est infinitésimal. On compte les cas de ressortissants de pays tiers arrêtés pour faits de terrorisme sur les doigts d’une main. »

    Dans la future base de données, « un référentiel d’identité unique collectera les données personnelles des systèmes d’information des différents pays, tandis qu’un détecteur d’identités multiples reliera les différentes identités d’un même individu », a déclaré le directeur d’Eu-Lisa, lors de la conférence annuelle de l’Association européenne de biométrie (European Association for Biometrics – EAB) qui réunit des représentants des fabricants des technologies de reconnaissance numérique nécessaires à la mise en œuvre du système.

    « Lors de l’attaque de Berlin, perpétrée par le terroriste Anis Amri, nous avons constaté que cet individu avait 14 identités dans l’Union européenne, a-t-il expliqué. Il est possible que, s’il y avait eu une base de données interopérable, il aurait été arrêté auparavant. »

    Cependant, Reinhard Kreissl, directeur du Vienna Centre for Societal Security (Vicesse) et expert en matière de lutte contre le terrorisme, souligne que, dans les attentats terroristes perpétrés en Europe ces dix dernières années, « les auteurs étaient souvent des citoyens européens, et ne figuraient donc pas dans des bases de données qui devaient être unifiées. Et tous étaient déjà dans les radars des forces de police ».

    « Tout agent des services de renseignement sérieux admettra qu’il dispose d’une liste de 1 000 à 1 500 individus dangereux, mais qu’il ne peut pas les suivre tous, ajoute Kreissl. Un trop-plein de données n’aide pas la police. »

    « L’interopérabilité coûte des milliards de dollars et l’intégration de différents systèmes n’est pas aussi facile qu’il y paraît », déclare Sandro Gaycken, directeur du Digital Society Institute à l’Esmt de Berlin. « Il est préférable d’investir dans l’intelligence des gens, dit l’expert en cyberintelligence, afin d’assurer plus de sécurité de manière moins intrusive pour la vie privée. »

    Le budget frontière de l’UE augmente de 197 %

    La course aux marchés publics pour la mise en place de la nouvelle base de données est sur le point de commencer : dans le chapitre consacré aux dépenses « Migration et contrôle des frontières » du budget proposé par la Commission pour la période 2021-2027, le fonds de gestion des frontières a connu une augmentation de 197 %, tandis que la part consacrée aux politiques de migration et d’asile n’a augmenté, en comparaison, que de 36 %.

    En 2020, le système Entry Exit (Ees, ou SEE, l’une des trois nouvelles bases de données centralisées avec interopérabilité) entrera en vigueur. Il oblige chaque État membre à collecter les empreintes digitales et les images de visages de tous les citoyens non européens entrant et sortant de l’Union, et d’alerter lorsque les permis de résidence expirent.

    Cela signifie que chaque frontière, aéroportuaire, portuaire ou terrestre, doit être équipée de lecteurs d’empreintes digitales et d’images faciales. La Commission a estimé que ce SEE coûterait 480 millions d’euros pour les quatre premières années. Malgré l’énorme investissement de l’Union, de nombreuses dépenses resteront à la charge des États membres.

    Ce sera ensuite au tour d’Etias (Système européen d’information de voyage et d’autorisation), le nouveau registre qui établit un examen préventif des demandes d’entrée, même pour les citoyens de pays étrangers qui n’ont pas besoin de visa pour entrer dans l’UE. Cette dernière a estimé son coût à 212,1 millions d’euros, mais le règlement, en plus de prévoir des coûts supplémentaires pour les États, mentionne des « ressources supplémentaires » à garantir aux agences de l’UE responsables de son fonctionnement, en particulier pour les gardes-côtes et les gardes-frontières de Frontex.

    C’est probablement la raison pour laquelle le budget proposé pour Frontex a plus que triplé pour les sept prochaines années, pour atteindre 12 milliards d’euros. Le tout dans une ambiance de conflits d’intérêts entre l’agence européenne et l’industrie de la biométrie.

    Un membre de l’unité recherche et innovation de Frontex siège ainsi au conseil d’administration de l’Association européenne de biométrie (EAB), qui regroupe les principales organisations de recherche et industrielles du secteur de l’identification numérique, et fait aussi du lobbying. La conférence annuelle de l’association a été parrainée par le géant biométrique français Idemia et la Security Identity Alliance.

    L’agente de recherche de Frontex et membre du conseil d’EAB Rasa Karbauskaite a ainsi suggéré à l’auditoire de représentants de l’industrie de participer à la conférence organisée par Frontex avec les États membres : « L’occasion de montrer les dernières technologies développées. » Un représentant de l’industrie a également demandé à Karbauskaite d’utiliser son rôle institutionnel pour faire pression sur l’Icao, l’agence des Nations unies chargée de la législation des passeports, afin de rendre les technologies de sécurité des données biométriques obligatoires pour le monde entier.

    La justification est toujours de « protéger les citoyens européens du terrorisme international », mais il n’existe toujours aucune donnée ou étude sur la manière dont les nouveaux registres de données biométriques et leur interconnexion peuvent contribuer à cet objectif.


  • Report to the EU Parliament on #Frontex cooperation with third countries in 2017

    A recent report by Frontex, the EU’s border agency, highlights the ongoing expansion of its activities with non-EU states.

    The report covers the agency’s cooperation with non-EU states (‘third countries’) in 2017, although it was only published this month.

    See: Report to the European Parliament on Frontex cooperation with third countries in 2017: http://www.statewatch.org/news/2019/feb/frontex-report-ep-third-countries-coop-2017.pdf (pdf)

    It notes the adoption by Frontex of an #International_Cooperation_Strategy 2018-2020, ‘an integral part of our multi-annual programme’ which:

    ‘guides the Agency’s interactions with third countries and international organisations… The Strategy identified the following priority regions with which Frontex strives for closer cooperation: the Western Balkans, Turkey, North and West Africa, Sub-Saharan countries and the Horn of Africa.’

    The Strategy can be found in Annex XIII to the 2018-20 Programming Document: http://www.statewatch.org/news/2019/feb/frontex-programming-document-2018-20.pdf (pdf).

    The 2017 report on cooperation with third countries further notes that Frontex is in dialogue with Senegal, #Niger and Guinea with the aim of signing Working Agreements at some point in the future.

    The agency deployed three Frontex #Liaison_Officers in 2017 - to Niger, Serbia and Turkey - while there was also a #European_Return_Liaison_Officer deployed to #Ghana in 2018.

    The report boasts of assisting the Commission in implementing informal agreements on return (as opposed to democratically-approved readmission agreements):

    “For instance, we contributed to the development of the Standard Operating Procedures with #Bangladesh and the ‘Good Practices for the Implementation of Return-Related Activities with the Republic of Guinea’, all forming important elements of the EU return policy that was being developed and consolidated throughout 2017.”

    At the same time:

    ‘The implementation of 341 Frontex coordinated and co-financed return operations by charter flights and returning 14 189 third-country nationals meant an increase in the number of return operations by 47% and increase of third-country nationals returned by 33% compared to 2016.’

    Those return operations included Frontex’s:

    ‘first joint return operation to #Afghanistan. The operation was organised by Hungary, with Belgium and Slovenia as participating Member States, and returned a total of 22 third country nationals to Afghanistan. In order to make this operation a success, the participating Member States and Frontex needed a coordinated support of the European Commission as well as the EU Delegation and the European Return Liaison Officers Network in Afghanistan.’

    http://www.statewatch.org/news/2019/feb/frontex-report-third-countries.htm
    #externalisation #asile #migrations #réfugiés #frontières #contrôles_frontaliers
    #Balkans #Turquie #Afrique_de_l'Ouest #Afrique_du_Nord #Afrique_sub-saharienne #Corne_de_l'Afrique #Guinée #Sénégal #Serbie #officiers_de_liaison #renvois #expulsions #accords_de_réadmission #machine_à_expulsion #Hongrie #Belgique #Slovénie #réfugiés_afghans

    • EP civil liberties committee against proposal to give Frontex powers to assist non-EU states with deportations

      The European Parliament’s civil liberties committee (LIBE) has agreed its position for negotiations with the Council on the new Frontex Regulation, and amongst other things it hopes to deny the border agency the possibility of assisting non-EU states with deportations.

      The position agreed by the LIBE committee removes Article 54(2) of the Commission’s proposal, which says:

      “The Agency may also launch return interventions in third countries, based on the directions set out in the multiannual strategic policy cycle, where such third country requires additional technical and operational assistance with regard to its return activities. Such intervention may consist of the deployment of return teams for the purpose of providing technical and operational assistance to return activities of the third country.”

      The report was adopted by the committee with 35 votes in favour, nine against and eight abstentions.

      When the Council reaches its position on the proposal, the two institutions will enter into secret ’trilogue’ negotiations, along with the Commission.

      Although the proposal to reinforce Frontex was only published last September, the intention is to agree a text before the European Parliament elections in May.

      The explanatory statement in the LIBE committee’s report (see below) says:

      “The Rapporteur proposes a number of amendments that should enable the Agency to better achieve its enhanced objectives. It is crucial that the Agency has the necessary border guards and equipment at its disposal whenever this is needed and especially that it is able to deploy them within a short timeframe when necessary.”

      European Parliament: Stronger European Border and Coast Guard to secure EU’s borders: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/news/en/press-room/20190211IPR25771/stronger-european-border-and-coast-guard-to-secure-eu-s-borders (Press release, link):

      “- A new standing corps of 10 000 operational staff to be gradually rolled out
      - More efficient return procedures of irregular migrants
      - Strengthened cooperation with non-EU countries

      New measures to strengthen the European Border and Coast Guard to better address migratory and security challenges were backed by the Civil Liberties Committee.”

      See: REPORT on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the European Border and Coast Guard and repealing Council Joint Action n°98/700/JHA, Regulation (EU) n° 1052/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council and Regulation (EU) n° 2016/1624 of the European Parliament and of the Council: http://www.statewatch.org/news/2019/feb/ep-libe-report-frontex.pdf (pdf)

      The Commission’s proposal and its annexes can be found here: http://www.statewatch.org/news/2018/sep/eu-soteu-jha-proposals.htm

      http://www.statewatch.org/news/2019/feb/ep-new-frontex-libe.htm


  • Germany pulls out of Mediterranean migrant mission Sophia

    Germany is suspending participation in Operation Sophia, the EU naval mission targeting human trafficking in the Mediterranean. The decision reportedly relates to Italy’s reluctance to allow rescued people to disembark.
    Germany will not be sending any more ships to take part in the anti-people smuggling operation Sophia in the Mediterranean Sea, according to a senior military officer.

    The decision means frigate Augsburg, currently stationed off the coast of Libya, will not be replaced early next month, Bundeswehr Inspector General Eberhard Zorn told members of the defense and foreign affairs committees in the German parliament.

    The 10 German soldiers currently working at the operation’s headquarters will, however, remain until at least the end of March.

    The European Union launched Operation Sophia in 2015 to capture smugglers and shut down human trafficking operations across the Mediterranean, as well as enforce a weapons embargo on Libya. Sophia currently deploys three ships, three airplanes, and two helicopters, which are permitted to use lethal force if necessary, though its mandate also includes training the North African country’s coast guard. The EU formally extended Operation Sophia by three months at the end of December.

    The Bundeswehr reported that, since its start, the naval operation had led to the arrest of more than 140 suspected human traffickers and destroyed more than 400 smuggling boats.

    But Operation Sophia’s efforts have largely focused on rescuing thousands of refugees from unseaworthy vessels attempting to get to Europe. According to the Bundeswehr, Operation Sophia has rescued some 49,000 people from the sea, while German soldiers had been involved in the rescue of 22,534 people.

    European impasse

    The operation has caused some friction within the EU, particularly with Italy, where the headquarters are located, and whose Interior Minister Matteo Salvini has threatened to close ports to the mission.

    Salvini, chairman of the far-right Lega Nord party, demanded on Wednesday that the mission had to change, arguing that the only reason it existed was that all the rescued refugees were brought to Italy. “If someone wants to withdraw from it, then that’s certainly no problem for us,” he told the Rai1 radio station, but in future he said the mission should only be extended if those rescued were distributed fairly across Europe. This is opposed by other EU member states, particularly Poland and Hungary.

    Italy’s position drew a prickly response from German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen, who accused Sophia’s Italian commanders of sabotaging the mission by sending the German ship to distant corners of the Mediterranean where there were “no smuggling routes whatsoever” and “no refugee routes.”

    “For us it’s important that it be politically clarified in Brussels what the mission’s task is,” von der Leyen told reporters at the Davos forum in Switzerland.

    Fritz Felgentreu, ombudsman for the Bundestag defense committee, told public broadcaster Deutschlandfunk that Italy’s refusal to let migrants rescued from the sea disembark at its ports meant the operation could no longer fulfill its original mandate.

    The EU played down Germany’s decision. A spokeswoman for the bloc’s diplomatic service, the EEAS, told the DPA news agency that Germany had not ruled out making other ships available for the Sophia Operation in future, a position confirmed by a German Defense Ministry spokesman.

    Decision a ’tragedy’

    The decision sparked instant criticism from various quarters in Germany. Stefan Liebich, foreign affairs spokesman for Germany’s socialist Left party, called the government’s decision to suspend its involvement a “tragedy.”

    “As long as Sophia is not replaced by a civilian operation, even more people will drown,” he told the daily Süddeutsche Zeitung.

    The Green party, for its part, had a more mixed reaction. “We in the Green party have always spoken out against the military operation in the Mediterranean and have consistently rejected the training of the Libyan coast guard,” said the party’s defense spokeswoman, Agnieszka Brugger. But she added that Wednesday’s announcement had happened “for the wrong reasons.”

    Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann, defense policy spokeswoman for the Free Democratic Party (FDP), called the decision a sign of the EU’s failure to find a common refugee policy.

    Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU), meanwhile, defended the decision. “The core mission, to fight trafficking crimes, cannot currently be effectively carried out,” the party’s defense policy spokesman, Henning Otte, said in a statement. “If the EU were to agree to common procedure with refugees, this mission could be taken up again.”

    Otte also suggested a “three-stage model” as a “permanent solution for the Mediterranean.” This would include a coast guard from Frontex, the European border patrol agency; military patrols in the Mediterranean; and special facilities on the North African mainland to take in refugees and check asylum applications.

    https://www.dw.com/en/germany-pulls-out-of-mediterranean-migrant-mission-sophia/a-47189097
    #Allemagne #résistance #Operation_Sophia #asile #migrations #réfugiés #retrait #espoir (petit mais quand même)

    • EU: Italy’s choice to end or continue Operation Sophia

      The European Commission says it is up to Italy to decide whether or not to suspend the EU’s naval operation Sophia.

      “If Italy decides, it is the country in command of operation Sophia, to stop it - it is up to Italy to make this decision,” Dimitris Avramopoulos, the EU commissioner for migration, told reporters in Brussels on Wednesday (23 January).

      The Italian-led naval operation was launched in 2015 and is tasked with cracking down on migrant smugglers and traffickers off the Libyan coast.

      It has also saved some 50,000 people since 2015 but appears to have massively scaled back sea rescues, according to statements from Germany’s defence minster.

      German defence minister Ursula von der Leyen was cited by Reuters on Wednesday saying that the Italian command had been sending the Germany navy “to the most remote areas of the Mediterranean where there are no smuggling routes and no migrant flows so that the navy has not had any sensible role for months.”

      Germany had also announced it would not replace its naval asset for the operation, whose mandate is set to expire at the end of March.

      But the commission says that Germany will continue to participate in the operation.

      “There is no indication that it will not make another asset available in the future,” said Avramopoulos.

      A German spokesperson was also cited as confirming Germany wants the mission to continue beyond March.

      The commission statements follow threats from Italy’s far-right interior minister Matteo Salvini to scrap the naval mission over an on-going dispute on where to disembark rescued migrants.

      Salvini was cited in Italian media complaining that people rescued are only offloaded in Italy.

      The complaint is part of a long-outstanding dispute by Salvini, who last year insisted that people should be disembarked in other EU states.

      The same issue was part of a broader debate in the lead up to a renewal of Sophia’s mandate in late December.

      https://euobserver.com/migration/143997

    • #Operazione_Sophia

      In riferimento alle odierne dichiarazioni relative all’operazione Sophia dell’UE, il Ministro degli Esteri e della Cooperazione Internazionale Enzo Moavero Milanesi ricorda che «L’Italia non ha mai chiesto la chiusura di Sophia. Ha chiesto che siano cambiate, in rigorosa e doverosa coerenza con le conclusioni del Consiglio Europeo di giugno 2018, le regole relative agli sbarchi delle persone salvate in mare». Infatti, gli accordi dell’aprile 2015 prevedono che siano sbarcate sempre in Italia, mentre il Consiglio Europeo del giugno scorso ha esortato gli Stati UE alla piena condivisione di tutti gli oneri relativi ai migranti.

      https://www.esteri.it/mae/it/sala_stampa/archivionotizie/comunicati/operazione-sophia.html



  • And Yet We Move - 2018, a Contested Year

    Alarm Phone 6 Week Report, 12 November - 23 December 2018

    311 people escaping from Libya rescued through a chain of solidarity +++ About 113,000 sea arrivals and over 2,240 counted fatalities in the Mediterranean this year +++ 666 Alarm Phone distress cases in 2018 +++ Developments in all three Mediterranean regions +++ Summaries of 38 Alarm Phone distress cases

    Introduction

    “There are no words big enough to describe the value of the work you are doing. It is a deeply human act and it will never be forgotten. The whole of your team should know that we wish all of you health and a long life and the best wishes in all the colours of the world.” These are the words that the Alarm Phone received a few days ago from a man who had been on a boat in the Western Mediterranean Sea and with whom our shift teams had stayed in touch throughout the night until they were finally rescued to Spain. He was able to support the other travellers by continuously and calmly reassuring them, and thereby averted panic on the boat. His message motivates us to continue also in 2019 to do everything we can to assist people who have taken to the sea because Europe’s border regime has closed safe and legal routes, leaving only the most dangerous paths slightly open. On these paths, over 2,240 people have lost their lives this year.

    While we write this report, 311 people are heading toward Spain on the rescue boat of the NGO Proactiva Open Arms. The travellers called the Alarm Phone when they were on a boat-convoy that had left from Libya. Based on the indications of their location, Al-Khums, the civil reconnaissance aircraft Colibri launched a search operation in the morning of the 21st of December and was able to spot the convoy of three boats which were then rescued by Proactiva. Italy and Malta closed their harbours to them, prolonging their suffering. Over the Christmas days they headed toward their final destination in Spain. The successful rescue operation of the 313 people (one mother and her infant child were flown out by a helicopter after rescue) highlights the chain of solidarity that activists and NGOs have created in the Central Mediterranean Sea. It is a fragile chain that the EU and its member states seek to criminalise and tear apart wherever they can.

    Throughout the year of 2018, we have witnessed and assisted contested movements across the Mediterranean Sea. Despite violent deterrence policies and practices, about 113,000 people succeeded in subverting maritime borders and have arrived in Europe by boat. We were alerted to 666 distress situations at sea (until December 23rd), and our shift teams have done their best to assist the many thousands of people who saw no other option to realise their hope for a better future than by risking their lives at sea. Many of them lost their lives in the moment of enacting their freedom of movement. Over 2,240 women, men, and children from the Global South – and probably many more who were never counted – are not with us anymore because of the violence inscribed in the Global North’s hegemonic and brutal borders. They were not able to get a visa. They could not board a much cheaper plane, bus, or ferry to reach a place of safety and freedom. Many travelled for months, even years, to get anywhere near the Mediterranean border – and on their journeys they have lived through hardships unimaginable for most of us. But they struggled on and reached the coasts of Northern Africa and Turkey, where they got onto overcrowded boats. That they are no longer with us is a consequence of Europe’s racist system of segregation that illegalises and criminalises migration, a system that also seeks to illegalise and criminalise solidarity. Many of these 2,240 people would be alive if the civil rescuers were not prevented from doing their work. All of them would be alive, if they could travel and cross borders freely.

    In the different regions of the Mediterranean Sea, the situation has further evolved over the course of 2018, and the Alarm Phone witnessed the changing patterns of boat migration first hand. Most of the boats we assisted were somewhere between Morocco and Spain (480), a considerable number between Turkey and Greece (159), but comparatively few between Libya and Italy (27). This, of course, speaks to the changing dynamics of migratory escape and its control in the different regions:

    Morocco-Spain: Thousands of boats made it across the Strait of Gibraltar, the Alboran Sea, or the Atlantic and have turned Spain into the ‘front-runner’ this year with about 56,000 arrivals by sea. In 2017, 22,103 people had landed in Spain, 8,162 in 2016. In the Western Mediterranean, crossings are organised in a rather self-organised way and the number of arrivals speaks to a migratory dynamism not experienced for over a decade in this region. Solidarity structures have multiplied both in Morocco and Spain and they will not be eradicated despite the wave of repression that has followed the peak in crossings over the summer. Several Alarm Phone members experienced the consequences of EU pressure on the Moroccan authorities to repress cross-border movements first hand when they were violently deported to the south of Morocco, as were several thousand others.

    Turkey-Greece: With about 32,000 people reaching the Greek islands by boat, more people have arrived in Greece than in 2017, when 29,718 people did so. After arrival via the sea, many are confined in inhumane conditions on the islands and the EU hotspots have turned into rather permanent prisons. This desperate situation has prompted renewed movements across the Turkish-Greek land border in the north. Overall, the number of illegalised crossings into Greece has risen due to more than 20,000 people crossing the land border. Several cases of people experiencing illegal push-back operations there reached the Alarm Phone over the year.

    Libya-Italy/Malta: Merely about 23,000[1] people have succeeded in fleeing Libya via the sea in 2018. The decrease is dramatic, from 119,369 in 2017, and even 181,436 in 2016. This decrease gives testament to the ruthlessness of EU deterrence policies that have produced the highest death rate in the Central Mediterranean and unspeakable suffering among migrant communities in Libya. Libyan militias are funded, trained, and legitimated by their EU allies to imprison thousands of people in camps and to abduct those who made it onto boats back into these conditions. Due to the criminalisation of civil rescuers, a lethal rescue gap was produced, with no NGO able to carry out their work for many months of the year. Fortunately, three of them have now been able to return to the deadliest area of the Mediterranean.

    These snapshots of the developments in the three Mediterranean regions, elaborated on in greater detail below, give an idea of the struggles ahead of us. They show how the EU and its member states not only created dangerous maritime paths in the first place but then reinforced its migrant deterrence regime at any cost. They show, however, also how thousands could not be deterred from enacting their freedom of movement and how solidarity structures have evolved to assist their precarious movements. We go into 2019 with the promise and call that the United4Med alliance of sea rescuers has outlined: “We will prove how civil society in action is not only willing but also able to bring about a new Europe; saving lives at sea and creating a just reception system on land. Ours is a call to action to European cities, mayors, citizens, societies, movements, organisations and whoever believes in our mission, to join us. Join our civil alliance and let us stand up together, boldly claiming a future of respect and equality. We will stand united for the right to stay and for the right to go.”[2] Also in the new year, the Alarm Phone will directly engage in this struggle and we call on others to join. It can only be a collective fight, as the odds are stacked against us.

    Developments in the Central Mediterranean

    In December 2018, merely a few hundred people were able to escape Libya by boat. It cannot be stressed enough how dramatic the decrease in crossings along this route is – a year before, 2,327 people escaped in December, in 2016 even 8,428. 2018 is the year when Europe’s border regime ‘succeeded’ in largely shutting down the Central Mediterranean route. It required a combination of efforts – the criminalisation of civil search and rescue organisations, the selective presence of EU military assets that were frequently nowhere to be found when boats were in distress, the closure of Italian harbours and the unwillingness of other EU member states to welcome the rescued, and, most importantly, the EU’s sustained support for the so-called Libyan coastguards and other Libyan security forces. Europe has not only paid but also trained, funded and politically legitimised Libyan militias whose only job is to contain outward migratory movements, which means capturing and abducting people seeking to flee to Europe both at sea and on land. Without these brutal allies, it would not have been possible to reduce the numbers of crossings that dramatically.

    The ‘Nivin case’ of November 7th exemplifies this European-Libyan alliance. On that day, a group of 95 travellers reached out to the Alarm Phone from a boat in distress off the coast of Libya. Among them were people from Ethiopia, Somalia, South Sudan, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Eritrea. Italy refused to conduct a rescue operation and eventually they were rescued by the cargo vessel Nivin. Despite telling the rescued that they would be brought to a European harbour, the crew of the Nivin returned them to Libya on November 10th. At the harbour of Misrata, most of the rescued refused to disembark, stating that they would not want to be returned into conditions of confinement and torture. The people, accused by some to be ‘pirates’, fought bravely against forced disembarkation for ten days but on the 20th of November they could resist no longer when Libyan security forces stormed the boat and violently removed them, using tear gas and rubber bullets in the process. Several of the protestors were injured and needed treatment in hospital while others were returned into inhumane detention camps.[3]

    Also over the past 6 weeks, the period covered in this report, the criminalisation of civil rescue organisations continued. The day that the protestors on the Nivin were violently removed, Italy ordered the seizure of the Aquarius, the large rescue asset operated by SOS Méditerranée and Médecins Sans Frontières that had already been at the docs in France for some time, uncertain about its future mission. According to the Italian authorities, the crew had falsely labelled the clothes rescued migrants had left on the Aquarius as ‘special’ rather than ‘toxic’ waste.[4] The absurdity of the accusation highlights the fact that Italy’s authorities seek out any means to prevent rescues from taking place, a “disproportionate and unfounded measure, purely aimed at further criminalising lifesaving medical-humanitarian action at sea”, as MSF noted.[5] Unfortunately, these sustained attacks showed effect. On the 6th of December, SOS Med and MSF announced the termination of its mission: “European policies and obstruction tactics have forced [us] to terminate the lifesaving operations carried out by the search and rescue vessel Aquarius.” As the MSF general director said: “This is a dark day. Not only has Europe failed to provide search and rescue capacity, it has also actively sabotaged others’ attempts to save lives. The end of Aquarius means more deaths at sea, and more needless deaths that will go unwitnessed.”[6]

    And yet, despite this ongoing sabotage of civil rescue from the EU and its member states, three vessels of the Spanish, German, and Italian organisations Open Arms, Sea-Watch and Mediterranea returned to the deadliest area of the Mediterranean in late November.[7] This return is also significance for Alarm Phone work in the Central Mediterranean: once again we have non-governmental allies at sea who will not only document what is going on along the deadliest border of the world but actively intervene to counter Europe’s border ‘protection’ measures. Shortly after returning, one of the NGOs was called to assist. Fishermen had rescued a group of travellers off the coast of Libya onto their fishing vessel, after they had been abandoned in the water by a Libyan patrol boat, as the fishermen claimed. Rather than ordering their rapid transfer to a European harbour, Italy, Malta and Spain sought out ways to return the 12 people to Libya. The fishing boat, the Nuestra Madre de Loreto, was ill-equipped to care for the people who were weak and needed medical attention. However, they were assisted only by Proactiva Open Arms, and for over a week, the people had to stay on the fishing boat. One of them developed a medical emergency and was eventually brought away in a helicopter. Finally, in early December, they were brought to Malta.[8]

    Around the same time, something rare and remarkable happened. A boat with over 200 people on board reached the Italian harbour of Pozzallo independently, on the 24th of November. Even when they were at the harbour, the authorities refused to allow them to quickly disembark – a irresponsible decision given that the boat was at risk of capsizing. After several hours, all of the people were finally allowed to get off the boat. Italy’s minister of the interior Salvini accused the Maltese authorities of allowing migrant boats to move toward Italian territory.[9] Despite their hardship, the people on the Nuestra Madre de Loreto and the 200 people from this boat, survived. Also the 33 people rescued by the NGO Sea-Watch on the 22nd of December survived. Others, however, did not. In mid-November, a boat left from Algeria with 13 young people on board, intending to reach Sardinia. On the 16th of November, the first body was found, the second a day later. Three survived and stated later that the 10 others had tried to swim to what they believed to be the shore when they saw a light in the distance.[10] In early December, a boat with 25 people on board left from Sabratha/Libya, and 15 of them did not survive. As a survivor reported, they had been at sea for 12 days without food and water.[11]

    Despite the overall decrease in crossings, what has been remarkable in this region is that the people escaping have more frequently informed the Alarm Phone directly than before. The case mentioned earlier, from the 20th of December, when people from a convoy of 3 boats carrying 313 people in total reached out to us, exemplifies this. Detected by the Colibri reconnaissance aircraft and rescued by Proactiva, this case demonstrates powerfully what international solidarity can achieve, despite all attempts by EU member states and institutions to create a zone of death in the Central Mediterranean Sea.
    Developments in the Western Mediterranean Sea

    Over the past six weeks covered by this report, the Alarm Phone witnessed several times what happens when Spanish and Moroccan authorities shift responsibilities and fail to respond quickly to boats in distress situations. Repeatedly we had to pressurise the Spanish authorities publicly before they launched a Search and Rescue (SAR) operation. And still, many lives were lost at sea. On Moroccan land, the repression campaign against Sub-Saharan travellers and residents continues. On the 30th of November, an Alarm Phone member was, yet again, arrested and deported towards the South of Morocco, to Tiznit, along with many other people. (h https://alarmphone.org/en/2018/12/04/alarm-phone-member-arrested-and-deported-in-morocco/?post_type_release_type=post). Other friends in Morocco have informed us about the deportation of large groups from Nador to Tiznit. Around the 16th of December, 400 people were forcibly removed, and on the 17th of December, another 300 people were deported to Morocco’s south. This repression against black residents and travellers in Morocco is one of the reasons for many to decide to leave via the sea. This has meant that also during the winter, cross-Mediterranean movements remain high. On just one weekend, the 8th-9th of December, 535 people reached Andalusia/Spain.[12]

    Whilst people are constantly resisting the border regime by acts of disobedience when they cross the borders clandestinely, acts of resistance take place also on the ground in Morocco, where associations and individuals are continuously struggling for the freedom of movement for all. In early December, an Alarm Phone delegation participated at an international conference in Rabat/Morocco, in order to discuss with members of other associations and collectives from Africa and Europe about the effects of the outsourcing and militarisation of European borders in the desire to further criminalise and prevent migration movements. We were among 400 people and were impressed by the many contributions from people who live and struggle in very precarious situations, by the uplifting atmosphere, and by the many accounts and expressions of solidarity. Days later, during the international meeting in Marrakesh on the ‘Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration’, the Alarm Phone was part of a counter-summit, protesting the international pact on migration which is not meant to reduce borders between states, but to curtail the freedom of movement of the many in the name of ‘legal’ and ‘regulated’ migration. The Alarm Phone delegation was composed of 20 activists from the cities of Tangier, Oujda, Berkane, Nador and Fes. One of our colleagues sums up the event: “We have expressed our ideas and commitments as Alarm Phone, solemnly and strongly in front of the other organisations represented. We have espoused the vision of freedom of movement, a vision without precedent. A vision which claims symbolically all human rights and which has the power to help migrants on all continents to feel protected.” In light of the Marrakesh pact, several African organisations joined together and published a statement rejecting “…the wish to confine Africans within their countries by strengthening border controls, in the deserts, at sea and in airports.”[13]

    Shortly after the international meeting in Marrakesh, the EU pledged €148 million to support Morocco’s policy of migrant containment, thus taking steps towards making it even more difficult, and therefore more dangerous for many people on the African continent to exercise their right to move freely, under the pretext of “combating smuggling”. Making the journeys across the Mediterranean more difficult does not have the desired effect of ending illegalised migration. As the routes to Spain from the north of Morocco have become more militarised following a summer of many successful crossings, more southern routes have come into use again. These routes, leading to the Spanish Canary Islands, force travellers to overcome much longer distances in the Atlantic Ocean, a space without phone coverage and with a heightened risk to lose one’s orientation. On the 18th of November, 22 people lost their lives at sea, on their way from Tiznit to the Canary Islands.[14] Following a Spanish-Frontex collaboration launched in 2006, this route to the Canary Islands has not been used very frequently, but numbers have increased this year, with Moroccan nationals being the largest group of arrivals.[15]
    Developments in the Aegean Sea

    Over the final weeks of 2018, between the 12th of November and the 23rd of December, 78 boats arrived on the Greek islands while 116 boats were stopped by the Turkish coastguards and returned to Turkey. This means that there were nearly 200 attempts to cross into Europe by boat over five weeks, and about 40 percent of them were successful.[16] Over the past six weeks, the Alarm Phone was involved in a total of 19 cases in this region. 6 of the boats arrived in Samos, 3 of them in Chios, and one each on Lesvos, Agathonisi, Farmkonisi, and Symi. 4 boats were returned to Turkey (3 of them rescued, 1 intercepted by the Turkish coastguards). In one distress situation, a man lost his life and another man had to be brought to the hospital due to hypothermia. Moreover, the Alarm Phone was alerted to 2 cases along the Turkish-Greek land border. While in one case their fate remains uncertain, the other group of people were forcibly pushed-back to Turkey.

    Thousands of people still suffering in inhuman conditions in hotspots: When we assist boats crossing the Aegean Sea, the people are usually relieved and happy when arriving on the islands, at least they have survived. However, this moment of happiness often turns into a state of shock when they enter the so-called ‘hotspots’. Over 12,500 people remain incarcerated there, often living in tents and containers unsuitable for winter in the five EU-sponsored camps on Lesvos, Samos, Chios, Kos, and Leros. In addition to serious overcrowding, asylum seekers continue to face unsanitary and unhygienic conditions and physical violence, including gender-based violence. Doctors without Borders has reported on a measles outbreak in Greek camps and conducted a vaccination campaign.[17] Amnesty International and 20 other organizations have published a collective call: “As winter approaches all asylum seekers on the Aegean islands must be transferred to suitable accommodation on the mainland or relocated to other EU countries. […] The EU-Turkey deal containment policy imposes unjustified and unnecessary suffering on asylum seekers, while unduly limiting their rights.”

    The ‘humanitarian’ crisis in the hotspots is the result of Greece’s EU-backed policy of containing asylum seekers on the Aegean islands until their asylum claims are adjudicated or until it is determined that they fall into one of the ‘vulnerable’ categories listed under Greek law. But as of late November, an estimated 2,200 people identified as eligible for transfer are still waiting as accommodation facilities on the mainland are also severely overcrowded. Those who are actually transferred from the hotspot on Lesvos to the Greek mainland are brought to far away camps or empty holiday resorts without infrastructure and without a sufficient number of aid workers.

    Criminalisation along Europe’s Eastern Sea Border: A lot has been written about the many attempts to criminalise NGOs and activists carrying out Search and Rescue operations in the Mediterranean. Much less publicly acknowledged are the many cases in which migrant travellers themselves become criminalised for their activist involvement, often for protesting against the inhuman living conditions and the long waiting times for the asylum-interviews. The case of the ‘Moria 35’ on Lesvos was a case in point, highlighting how a few individual protesters were randomly selected by authorities to scare others into silence and obedience. The Legal Centre Lesvos followed this case closely until the last person of the 35 was released and they shared their enquiries with “a 15-month timeline of injustice and impunity” on their website: “On Thursday 18th October, the last of the Moria 35 were released from detention. Their release comes one year and three months – to the day – after the 35 men were arbitrarily arrested and subject to brutal police violence in a raid of Moria camp following peaceful protests, on July 18th 2017.” While the Legal Centre Lesbos welcomes the fact that all 35 men were finally released, they should never have been imprisoned in the first place. They will not get back the 10 to 15 months they spent in prison. Moreover, even after release, most of the 35 men remain in a legally precarious situation. While 6 were granted asylum in Greece, the majority struggles against rejected asylum claims. Three were already deported. One individual was illegally deported without having exhausted his legal remedies in Greece while another individual, having spent 9 months in pre-trial detention, signed up for so-called ‘voluntary’ deportation.[18] In the meantime, others remain in prison to await their trials that will take place with hardly any attention of the media.

    Humanitarian activists involved in spotting and rescue released after 3 months: The four activists, Sarah Mardini, Nassos Karakitsos, Panos Moraitis and Sean Binder, were released on the 6th of December 2018 after having been imprisoned for three months. They had been held in prolonged pre-trial detention for their work with the non-profit organization Emergency Response Center International (ERCI), founded by Moraitis. The charges misrepresented the group as a smuggling crime ring, and its legitimate fundraising activities as money laundering. The arrests forced the group to cease its operations, including maritime search and rescue, the provision of medical care, and non-formal education to asylum seekers. They are free without geographical restrictions but the case is not yet over. Mardini and Binder still face criminal charges possibly leading to decades in prison.[19] Until 15 February the group ‘Solidarity now!’ is collecting as many signatures as possible to ensure that the Greek authorities drop the case.[20]

    Violent Pushbacks at the Land Border: During the last six weeks, the Alarm Phone was alerted to two groups at the land border separating Turkey and Greece. In both situations, the travellers had already reached Greek soil, but ended up on Turkish territory. Human Right Watch (HRW) published another report on the 18th of December about violent push-backs in the Evros region: “Greek law enforcement officers at the land border with Turkey in the northeastern Evros region routinely summarily return asylum seekers and migrants […]. The officers in some cases use violence and often confiscate and destroy the migrants’ belongings.”[21] Regularly, migrants were stripped off their phones, money and clothes. According to HRW, most of these incidents happened between April and November 2018.[22] The UNHCR and the Council of Europe’s Committee for Prevention of Torture have published similar reports about violent push backs along the Evros borders.[23]
    CASE REPORTS

    Over the past 6 weeks, the WatchTheMed Alarm Phone was engaged in 38 distress cases, of which 15 took place in the Western Mediterranean, 19 in the Aegean Sea, and 4 in the Central Mediterranean. You can find short summaries and links to the individual reports below.
    Western Mediterranean

    On Tuesday the 13th of November at 6.17pm, the Alarm Phone was alerted by a relative to a group of travellers who had left two days earlier from around Orán heading towards Murcia. They were around nine people, including women and children, and the relative had lost contact to the boat. We were also never able to reach the travellers. At 6.46pm we alerted the Spanish search and rescue organization Salvamento Maritimo (SM) to the distress of the travellers. For several days we tried to reach the travellers and were in contact with SM about the ongoing rescue operation. We were never able to reach the travellers or get any news from the relative. Thus, we are still unsure if the group managed to reach land somewhere on their own, or if they will add to the devastating number of people having lost their lives at sea (see: http://www.watchthemed.net/reports/view/1085).

    On Thursday the 22nd of November, at 5.58pm CET, the Alarm Phone received news about a boat of 11 people that had left Nador 8 hours prior. The shift team was unable to immediately enter into contact with the boat, but called Salvamento Maritimo to convey all available information. At 11.48am the following day, the shift team received word from a traveler on the boat that they were safe (see: http://www.watchthemed.net/reports/view/1088).

    At 7.25am CET on November 24, 2018, the Alarm Phone shift team was alerted to a boat of 70 people (including 8 women and 1 child) that had departed from Nador 3 days prior. The shift team was able to reach the boat at 7.50am and learned that their motor had stopped working. The shift team called Salvamento Maritimo, who had handed the case over to the Moroccan authorities. The shift team contacted the MRCC, who said they knew about the boat but could not find them, so the shift team mobilized their contacts to find the latest position and sent it to the coast guard at 8.55am. Rescue operations stalled for several hours. At around 2pm, the shift team received news that rescue operations were underway by the Marine Royale. The shift team remained in contact with several people and coast guards until the next day, when it was confirmed that the boat had finally been rescued and that there were at least 15 fatalities (see: http://www.watchthemed.net/reports/view/1087).

    On Friday the 7th of December 2018, we were alerted to two boats in distress in the Western Mediterranean Sea. One boat was brought to Algeria, the second boat rescued by Moroccan fishermen and returned to Morocco (see for full report: http://watchthemed.net/reports/view/1098).

    On Saturday, the 8th of December 2018, we were informed by a contact person at 3.25pm CET to a boat in distress that had left from Nador/Morocco during the night, at about 1am. There were 57 people on the boat, including 8 women and a child. We tried to establish contact to the boat but were unable to reach them. At 4.50pm, the Spanish search and rescue organisation Salvamento Maritimo (SM) informed us that they were already searching for this boat. At 8.34pm, SM stated that this boat had been rescued. Some time later, also our contact person confirmed that the boat had been found and rescued to Spain (see: http://watchthemed.net/reports/view/1099).

    On Monday the 10th of December, the Alarm Phone shift team was alerted to three boats in the Western Med. Two had left from around Nador, and one from Algeria. One boat was rescued by the Spanish search and rescue organisation Salvamento Maritimo, one group of travellers returned back to Nador on their own, and the boat from Algeria returned to Algeria (see: http://www.watchthemed.net/reports/view/1101).

    On Wednesday the 12th of December the Alarm Phone shift team was alerted two boats in the Western Med, one carrying seven people, the other carrying 12 people. The first boat was rescued by the Spanish search and rescue organization Salvamento Maritimo (SM), whilst the second boat was intercepted by the Moroccan Navy and brought back to Morocco, where we were informed that the travellers were held imprisoned (see: http://www.watchthemed.net/reports/view/1102).

    On December 21st, 2018, we were informed of two boats in distress in the Western Mediterranean Sea. The first had left from Algeria and was probably rescued to Spain. The other one had departed from Tangier and was rescued by the Marine Royale and brought back to Morocco (for full report, see: http://watchthemed.net/index.php/reports/view/1110).

    On the 22nd of December, at 5.58pm CET, the Alarm Phone shift team was alerted to a boat of 81 people (including 7 women) that had left the previous day from Nador. The motor was not working properly. They informed that they were in touch with Salvamiento Maritimo but as they were still in Moroccan waters, Salvamiento Maritimo said they were unable to perform rescue operations. The shift team had difficulty maintaining contact with the boat over the course of the next few hours. The shift team also contacted Salvamiento Maritimo who confirmed that they knew about the case. At 7.50pm, Salvamiento Maritimo informed the shift team that they would perform the rescue operations and confirmed the operation at 8.15pm. We later got the confirmation by a contact person that the people were rescued to Spain (see: http://watchthemed.net/index.php/reports/view/1111).

    On the 23rd of December 2018, at 1.14am CET, the Alarm Phone received an alert of a boat with 11 men and 1 woman who left from Cap Spartel at Saturday the 22nd of December. The Alarm Phone shift team was alerted to this rubber boat in the early hours of Sunday the 23rd of December. The shift team informed the Spanish Search and Rescue organisation Salvamento Maritimo (SM) at 4:50am CET about the situation and provided them with GPS coordinates of the boat. SM, however, rejected responsibility and shifted it to the Moroccan authorities but also the Moroccan Navy did not rescue the people. Several days later, the boat remains missing (see for full report: http://watchthemed.net/reports/view/1112).
    Aegean Sea

    On Saturday the 17th of November the Alarm Phone shift team was alerted to two boats in the Aegean Sea. The first boat returned back to Turkey, whilst the second boat reached Samos on their own (see: http://www.watchthemed.net/reports/view/1086).

    On the 19th of November at 8.40pm CET the shift team was alerted to a boat of 11 travelers in distress near the Turkish coast on its way to Kos. The shift team called the Turkish Coastguard to inform them of the situation. At 9.00pm, the Coastguard called back to confirm they found the boat and would rescue the people. The shift team lost contact with the travelers. At 9.35pm, the Turkish coast guard informed the shift team that the boat was sunk, one man died and one person had hypothermia and would be brought to the hospital. The other 9 people were safe and brought back to Turkey (see: http://www.watchthemed.net/index.php/reports/view/1090).

    On the 20th of November at 4.07am CET, the shift team was alerted to a boat with about 50 travelers heading to Samos. The shift team contacted the travelers but the contact was broken for both language and technological reasons. The Alarm Phone contacted the Greek Coastguard about rescue operations. At 7.02am, the shift team was told that a boat of 50 people had been rescued, and the news was confirmed later on, although the shift team could not obtain direct confirmation from the travelers themselves (see:http://www.watchthemed.net/reports/view/1089).

    On the 23rd of November at 7.45pm CET, the Alarm Phone was contacted regarding a group of 19 people, (including 2 women, 1 of whom was pregnant, and a child) who had crossed the river Evros/ Meric and the Turkish-Greek landborder 3 days prior. The shift team first contacted numerous rescue and protection agencies, including UNHCR and the Greek Police, noting that the people were already in Greece and wished to apply for asylum. Until today we remained unable to find out what happened to the people (see: http://www.watchthemed.net/reports/view/1091).

    On the 26th of November at 6:54am CET the Alarm Phone shift team was alerted to a group of 30 people (among them 7 children and a pregnant woman) who were stranded on the shore in southern Turkey, close to Kas. They wanted us to call the Turkish coastguard so at 7:35am we provided the coastguard with the information we had. At 8:41am we received a photograph from our contact person showing rescue by the Turkish coastguard (see: http://watchthemed.net/index.php/reports/view/1092).

    On the 29th of November at 4am CET the Alarm Phone shift team was alerted to a boat carrying 44 people (among them 19 children and some pregnant women) heading towards the Greek island of Samos. Shortly afterwards the travellers landed on Samos and because of their difficulties orienting themselves we alerted the local authorities. At 9:53am the port police told us that they had rescued 44 people. They were taken to the refugee camp (see: http://watchthemed.net/index.php/reports/view/1093).

    On Monday, the 3rd of December 2018, the Alarm Phone was alerted at 5.30am CET to a boat in distress south of Chios, with 43 people on board, among them 14 children. We were able to reach the boat at 5.35am. When we received their position, we informed the Greek coastguards at 7.30am and forwarded an updated GPS position to them ten minutes later. At 8.52am, the coastguards confirmed the rescue of the boat. The people were brought to Chios Island. On the next day, the people themselves confirmed that they had all safely reached Greece (see: http://watchthemed.net/reports/view/1095).

    On Tuesday the 4th of December 2018, at 6.20am CET, the Alarm Phone was alerted to a boat in distress near Agathonisi Island. There were about 40 people on board. We established contact to the boat at 6.38am. At 6.45am, we alerted the Greek coastguards. The situation was dangerous as the people on board reported of high waves. At 9.02am, the Greek coastguards confirmed that they had just rescued the boat. The people were brought to Agathonisi (see for full report: http://watchthemed.net/reports/view/1096).

    On Wednesday the 5th of December 2018, at 00:08am CET, the Alarm Phone was alerted by a contact person to a boat in distress near Chios Island, carrying about 50 people. We received their GPS position at 00.17am and informed the Greek coastguards to the case at 00.30am. At 00.46am, we learned from the contact person that a boat had just been rescued. The Greek authorities confirmed this when we called them at 00.49am. At around 1pm, the people from the boat confirmed that they had been rescued (see: http://watchthemed.net/reports/view/1097).

    On Friday the 7th of December 2018, the Alarm Phone was contacted at 5.53am CET by a contact person and informed about a group of 19 people who had crossed the Evros river to Greece and needed assistance. We assisted them for days, but at some point contact was lost. We know that they were returned to Turkey and thus suspect an illegal push-back operation (see for full report: http://watchthemed.net/index.php/reports/view/1109).

    On Thursday the 13th of December the Alarm Phone shift team was alerted to two boats in the Aegean sea. In both cases we were not able to reach the travellers, but we were in contact with both the Turkish and Greek coast guard and were in the end able to confirm that one boat had arrived to Lesvos on their own, whilst the others had been rescued by Turkish fishermen (see: http://www.watchthemed.net/reports/view/1100).

    On the 17th of December, 2018, at 6.39am, the Alarm Phone shift team was alerted to a boat of 60 travellers. Water was entering the boat, and so the travelers were in distress. Though the shift team had a difficult time remaining in contact with the boat, they contacted the Greek Coastguard to inform them of the situation and the position of the boat. Although the team was not able to remain in contact with the travelers, they received confirmation at 8.18am that the boat had been brought to Greece (see: http://watchthemed.net/reports/view/1103).

    On the 18th of December at 2.11am CET, the Alarm Phone was alerted to two boats. The first, of 29 travellers, had landed on the island of Symi and needed help to exit the place of landing. The second was a boat of 54 travellers (including 16 children, and 15 women) that was rescued by the Greek Coastguard later (see: http://watchthemed.net/reports/view/1104).

    On the 21st of December, our shift teams were alerted to 2 boats on the Aegean. The first boat was directed to Chios Island and was likely rescued by the Greek Coastguard. The second boat was in immediate distress and after the shift team contacted the Greek Coastguard they rescued the boat (see: http://watchthemed.net/reports/view/1105).

    On the 23rd of December 2018 at 6am CET, the Alarm Phone received information about a boat in distress heading to Samos with around 60 travellers (including 30 children and 8 women, 4 pregnant). The shift team made contact with the boat and was informed that one of the women was close to giving birth and so the situation was very urgent. The shift team then called the Greek Coast Guard. At 8.07am, the shift team received confirmation that the boat had been rescued (see: http://watchthemed.net/reports/view/1106).
    Central Mediterranean

    On Monday the 12th of November at 6.57pm, the Alarm Phone was called by a relative, asking for help to find out what had happened to his son, who had been on a boat from Algeria towards Sardinia, with around 11 travellers on the 8t of November. Following this, the Alarm Phone was contacted by several relatives informing us about missing people from this boat. Our shift teams tried to gain an understanding of the situation, and for days we stayed in contact with the relatives and tried to support them, but it was not possible to obtain information about what had happened to the travellers (see: http://www.watchthemed.net/index.php/reports/view/1094).

    On November 23rd at 1.24pm CET, the Alarm Phone shift team was called by a boat of 120 travelers that was in distress and had left the Libyan coast the night before. The shift team remained in touch with the boat for several hours, and helped recharge their phone credit when it expired. As the boat was in distress, and there were no available NGO operations near the boat, the shift team had no choice but to contact the Italian Coast Guard, but they refused to engage in Search and Rescue (SAR) activities, and instead told the Libyan Coastguard. The boat was intercepted and returned to Libya (see: http://watchthemed.net/reports/view/1107).

    On December 20th, 2018, the Alarm Phone shift team was alerted to two cases in the Central Mediterranean Sea. The first was a boat of 20 people that was intercepted and brought back to Libya. The second concerned 3 boats with 300 people in total, that were rescued by Open Arms and brought to Spain (for full report see: http://watchthemed.net/reports/view/1108).

    https://alarmphone.org/en/2018/12/27/and-yet-we-move-2018-a-contested-year/?post_type_release_type=post


  • Fires in the Void : The Need for Migrant Solidarity

    For most, Barcelona’s immigrant detention center is a difficult place to find. Tucked away in the Zona Franca logistics and industrial area, just beyond the Montjuïc Cemetery, it is shrouded in an alien stillness. It may be the quietest place in the city on a Saturday afternoon, but it is not a contemplative quiet. It is a no-one-can-hear-you-scream quiet.

    The area is often described as a perfect example of what anthropologist Marc Augé calls a non-place: neither relational nor historical, nor concerned with identity. Yet this opaque institution is situated in the economic motor of the city, next to the port, the airport, the public transportation company, the wholesale market that provides most of the city’s produce and the printing plant for Spain’s most widely read newspaper. The detention center is a void in the heart of a sovereign body.

    Alik Manukyan died in this void. On the morning of December 3, 2013, officers found the 32-year-old Armenian dead in his isolation cell, hanged using his own shoelaces. Police claimed that Manukyan was a “violent” and “conflictive” person who caused trouble with his cellmates. This account of his alleged suicide was contradicted, however, by three detainees. They claimed Alik had had a confrontation with some officers, who then entered the cell, assaulted him and forced him into isolation. They heard Alik scream and wail all through the night. Two of these witnesses were deported before the case made it to court. An “undetectable technical error” prevented the judge from viewing any surveillance footage.

    The void extends beyond the detention center. In 2013, nearly a decade after moving to Spain, a young Senegalese man named #Alpha_Pam died of tuberculosis. When he went to a hospital for treatment, Pam was denied medical attention because his papers were not in order. His case was a clear example of the apartheid logic underlying a 2012 decree by Mariano Rajoy’s right-wing government, which excluded undocumented people from Spain’s once-universal public health care system. As a result, the country’s hospitals went from being places of universal care to spaces of systematic neglect. The science of healing, warped by nationalist politics.

    Not that science had not played a role in perpetuating the void before. In 2007, during the Socialist government of José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, #Osamuyi_Aikpitanyi died during a deportation flight after being gagged and restrained by police escorts. The medical experts who investigated Aikpitanyi’s death concluded that the Nigerian man had died due to a series of factors they called “a vicious spiral”. There was an increase in catecholamine, a neurotransmitter related to stress, fear, panic and flight instincts. This was compounded by a lack of oxygen due to the flight altitude and, possibly, the gag. Ultimately, these experts could not determine what percentage of the death had been directly caused by the gag, and the police were fined 600 euros for the non-criminal offense of “light negligence”.

    The Romans had a term for lives like these, lives that vanish in the void. That term was #homo_sacer, the “sacred man”, who one could kill without being found guilty of murder. An obscure figure from archaic law revived by the philosopher #Giorgio_Agamben, it was used to incorporate human life, stripped of personhood, into the juridical order. Around this figure, a state of exception was produced, in which power could be exercised in its crudest form, opaque and unaccountable. For Agamben, this is the unspoken ground upon which modern sovereignty stands. Perhaps the best example of it is the mass grave that the Mediterranean has become.

    Organized Hypocrisy

    Its name suggests that the Mediterranean was once the world’s center. Today it is its deadliest divide. According to the International Organization for Migration, over 9,000 people died trying to cross the sea between January 1, 2014 and July 5, 2018. A conservative estimate, perhaps. The UN Refugee Agency estimates that the number of people found dead or missing during this period is closer to 17,000.

    Concern for the situation peaks when spectacular images make the horror unavoidable. A crisis mentality takes over, and politicians make sweeping gestures with a solemn sense of urgency. One such gesture was made after nearly 400 people died en route to Lampedusa in October 2013. The Italian government responded by launching Operation #Mare_Nostrum, a search-and-rescue program led by the country’s navy and coast guard. It cost €11 million per month, deploying 34 warships and about 900 sailors per working day. Over 150,000 people were rescued by the operation in one year.

    Despite its cost, Mare Nostrum was initially supported by much of the Italian public. It was less popular, however, with other European member states, who accused the mission of encouraging “illegal” migration by making it less deadly. Within a year, Europe’s refusal to share the responsibility had produced a substantial degree of discontent in Italy. In October 2014, Mare Nostrum was scrapped and replaced by #Triton, an operation led by the European border agency #Frontex.

    With a third of Mare Nostrum’s budget, Triton was oriented not towards protecting lives but towards surveillance and border control. As a result, the deadliest incidents in the region’s history occurred less than half a year into the operation. Between April 13 and April 19, 2015, over one thousand people drowned in the waters abandoned by European search and rescue efforts. Once again, the images produced a public outcry. Once again, European leaders shed crocodile tears for the dead.

    Instead of strengthening search and rescue efforts, the EU increased Frontex’s budget and complemented Triton with #Operation_Sophia, a military effort to disrupt the networks of so-called “smugglers”. #Eugenio_Cusumano, an assistant professor of international relations at the University of Leiden, has written extensively on the consequences of this approach, which he describes as “organized hypocrisy”. In an article for the Cambridge Review of International Affairs (https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/0010836718780175), Cusumano shows how the shortage of search and rescue assets caused by the termination of Mare Nostrum led non-governmental organizations to become the main source of these activities off the Libyan shore. Between 2014 and 2017, NGOs aided over 100,000 people.

    Their efforts have been admirable. Yet the precariousness of their resources and their dependence on private donors mean that NGOs have neither the power nor the capacity to provide aid on the scale required to prevent thousands of deaths at the border. To make matters worse, for the last several months governments have been targeting NGOs and individual activists as smugglers or human traffickers, criminalizing their solidarity. It is hardly surprising, then, that the border has become even deadlier in recent years. According to the UN Refugee Agency, although the number of attempted crossings has fallen over 80 percent from its peak in 2015, the percentage of people who have died or vanished has quadrupled.

    It is not my intention, with the litany of deaths described here, to simply name some of the people killed by Europe’s border regime. What I hope to have done instead is show the scale of the void at its heart and give a sense of its ruthlessness and verticality. There is a tendency to refer to this void as a gap, as a space beyond the reach of European institutions, the European gaze or European epistemologies. If this were true, the void could be filled by simply extending Europe’s reach, by producing new concepts, mapping new terrains, building new institutions.

    But, in fact, Europe has been treating the void as a site of production all along. As political theorist #Sandro_Mezzadra writes, the border is the method through which the sovereign machine of governmentality was built. Its construction must be sabotaged, subverted and disrupted at every level.

    A Crisis of Solidarity

    When the ultranationalist Italian interior minister Matteo Salvini refused to allow the MV #Aquarius to dock in June 2018, he was applauded by an alarmingly large number of Italians. Many blamed his racism and that of the Italians for putting over 600 lives at risk, including those of 123 unaccompanied minors, eleven young children and seven pregnant women.

    Certainly, the willingness to make a political point by sacrificing hundreds of migrant lives confirms that racism. But another part of what made Salvini’s gesture so horrifying was that, presumably, many of those who had once celebrated increasing search and rescue efforts now supported the opposite. Meanwhile, many of the same European politicians who had refused to share Italy’s responsibilities five years earlier were now expressing moral outrage over Salvini’s lack of solidarity.

    Once again, the crisis mode of European border politics was activated. Once again, European politicians and media talked about a “migrant crisis”, about “flows” of people causing unprecedented “pressure” on the southern border. But attempted crossings were at their lowest level in years, a fact that led many migration scholars to claim this was not a “migrant crisis”, but a crisis of solidarity. In this sense, Italy’s shift reflects the nature of the problem. By leaving it up to individual member states, the EU has made responding to the deaths at the border a matter of national conviction. When international solidarity is absent, national self-interest takes over.

    Fortunately, Spain’s freshly sworn-in Socialist Party government granted the Aquarius permission to dock in the Port of #Valencia. This happened only after Mayor Ada Colau of Barcelona, a self-declared “City of Refuge”, pressured Spanish President Pedro Sánchez by publicly offering to receive the ship at the Port of Barcelona. Party politics being as they are, Sánchez authorized a port where his party’s relationship with the governing left-wing platform was less conflictive than in Barcelona.

    The media celebrated Sánchez’s authorization as an example of moral virtue. Yet it would not have happened if solidarity with refugees had not been considered politically profitable by institutional actors. In Spain’s highly fractured political arena, younger left-wing parties and the Catalan independence movement are constantly pressuring a weakened Socialist Party to prove their progressive credentials. Meanwhile, tireless mobilization by social movements has made welcoming refugees a matter of common sense and basic human decency.

    The best known example of this mobilization was the massive protest that took place in February 2017, when 150,000 people took to the streets of Barcelona to demand that Mariano Rajoy’s government take in more refugees and migrants. It is likely because of actions like these that, according to the June 2018 Eurobarometer, over 80 percent of people in Spain believe the country should help those fleeing disaster.

    Yet even where the situation might be more favorable to bottom-up pressure, those in power will not only limit the degree to which demands are met, but actively distort those demands. The February 2017 protest is a good example. Though it also called for the abolition of detention centers, racial profiling and Spain’s racist immigration law, the march is best remembered for the single demand of welcoming refugees.

    The adoption of this demand by the Socialist Party was predictably cynical. After authorizing the Aquarius, President Sánchez used his momentarily boosted credibility to present, alongside Emmanuel Macron, a “progressive” European alternative to Salvini’s closed border. It involved creating detention centers all over the continent, with the excuse of determining people’s documentation status. Gears turn in the sovereign machine of governmentality. The void expands.

    Today the border is a sprawling, parasitic entity linking governments, private companies and supranational institutions. It is not enough for NGOs to rescue refugees, when their efforts can be turned into spot-mopping for the state. It is not enough for social movements to pressure national governments to change their policies, when individual demands can be distorted to mean anything. It is not enough for cities to declare themselves places of refuge, when they can be compelled to enforce racist laws. It is not enough for political parties to take power, when they can be conditioned by private interests, the media and public opinion polls.

    To overcome these limitations, we must understand borders as highly vertical transnational constructions. Dismantling those constructions will require organization, confrontation, direct action, sabotage and, above all, that borderless praxis of mutual aid and solidarity known as internationalism. If we truly hope to abolish the border, we must start fires in the void.

    https://roarmag.org/magazine/migrant-solidarity-fires-in-the-void
    #solidarité #frontières #migrations #réfugiés #asile #détention_administrative #rétention #Barcelone #non-lieu #Espagne #mourir_en_détention_administrative #mort #décès #mourir_en_rétention #Alik_Manukyan #renvois #expulsions #vie_nue #Méditerranée #hypocrisie #hypocrisie_organisée #ONG #sauvetage #sabotage #nationalisme #crise #villes-refuge #Valence #internationalisme #ouverture_des_frontières #action_directe

    signalé par @isskein


  • L’UE compte sur la Serbie pour bloquer les réfugiés

    Des agents de la Frontex devraient bientôt être déployés en Serbie. L’objectif : sécuriser les frontières extérieures de l’Union européenne contre de nouvelles arrivées de réfugiés. Mais Belgrade espère aussi marquer des points auprès de Bruxelles pour accélérer son intégration...

    En Serbie, on ne s’agite au sujet des migrations illégales qu’en cas d’incident, supposément provoqué par les réfugiés, ou à l’occasion d’un rapport sensationnaliste concernant leur « séjour prolongé » dans le pays. Mais l’annonce du déploiement prochain d’hommes de Frontex, l’Agence européenne de garde-frontières et de garde-côtes, à ses frontières a provoqué l’émoi de la population et des médias.

    Que signifierait donc un accord conclu entre Frontex et la Serbie ? Rien de spécial. La Serbie pourrait ainsi se rapprocher de l’Union européenne en termes de politiques de gestion des migrations. En pratique, cela signifierait seulement qu’aux passages frontaliers, les policiers serbes seraient épaulés par des membres des forces de l’ordre d’un État-membre de l’UE, missionnés par Frontex. Ces derniers seraient mobilisés aux frontières sud de la Serbie, mais aussi à celles de l’Albanie et de la Macédoine, pays des Balkans avec lesquels Frontex a signé un accord identique.

    « Protéger les frontières de l’UE »

    La réponse « rien de spécial » doit néanmoins être considérée moins d’un point de vue administratif que d’un point de vue colonial. Le développement de la coopération avec Frontex ne représente pas seulement la poursuite du dialogue avec l’UE, mais également une sorte de « délégation de sa souveraineté ». Cette délégation ne serait pas forcément inopportune dans une perspective d’intégration, mais le rapport de domination exercé par Bruxelles sur Belgrade laisse peu de marge de manœuvre à la Serbie.

    Les médias serbes ont expliqué que les représentants de Frontex « protégeraient les frontières de l’UE ». Certes, certains secteurs au sein de l’UE sont considérés comme « poreux », mais la vague de réfugiés de 2015 a complètement bousculé la perspective. Les frontières avaient alors été « ouvertes » sur la route des Balkans et le corridor contrôlé, assurant le transit des candidats à l’exil jusqu’à leur destination finale dans l’ouest et le nord de l’UE. La signature de l’accord entre Bruxelles et Ankara en mars 2016 en a marqué la fermeture définitive. Tout le monde pensait alors que le problème des migrations illégales massives serait résolu, mais la contrebande n’a fait que croître tandis que la sécurité des réfugiés et des migrants était davantage mise en danger.

    De nouvelles « zones de sécurité »

    Il y a quelques mois, l’accueil en logements collectifs pour des personnes débutées de leurs demande d’asile dans l’UE a également été évoqué. Les rumeurs selon lesquelles ces centres d’accueil pour demandeurs d’asile seraient construits dans les pays des Balkans ont récemment été confirmées par les sommets des Etats autrichien et allemand. La mise en place de telles structures ne serait pas envisageable en Serbie, qui accueille déjà environ 4000 migrants qui souhaitent poursuivre leur route vers l’UE, soit les 2/3 de ses capacités totales d’accueil (6000 places). La tâche d’empêcher les migrants de pénétrer dans l’UE a été confiée à la Turquie où se trouvent actuellement plus de 3,5 millions de réfugiés syriens.

    Jusqu’à présent, la gestion des réfugiés en Serbie a été clairement définie par les politiques de l’UE relatives aux migrations illégales et en conformité avec l’agenda européen. Dans cette optique, le déploiement de la mission Frontex dans les pays non-européens serait de limiter le déplacement libre des migrants et des réfugiés, sous le prétexte de « lutter contre les migrations illégales ».

    Le temps dira si cet engagement s’inscrit dans la logique du renforcement des Balkans comme « zone de sécurité » entre l’UE et les pays tiers. Une situation similaire s’était produite en 2000. Les « politiques de développement » incitaient l’Albanie, la Macédoine, le Kosovo et la Serbie à « trier » les citoyens avant de les autoriser à voyager dans l’UE. En a résulté en l’adoption des accords de réadmission et de retour. L’action coordonnée entre ces États et l’UE a fait qu’aujourd’hui il n’y a de moins en moins de demandeurs d’asile en provenance de l’Europe du sud-est au sein de l’UE. Reste à savoir si les pays des Balkans sauront ainsi discipliner les personnes qui ne sont pas leurs citoyens, ou si Frontex s’en chargera.

    https://www.courrierdesbalkans.fr/serbie-ue-frontex-refugies

    #Frontex #asile #migrations #frontières #réfugiés #anti-chambre #fermeture_des_frontières #militarisation_des_frontières


  • Why Spain is a Window into the E.U. Migration Control Industry

    Spain’s migration control policies in North Africa dating back over a decade are now replicated across the E.U. Gonzalo Fanjul outlines PorCausa’s investigation into Spain’s migration control industry and its warning signs for the rest of Europe.

    There was a problem and we fixed it.” For laconic President José María Aznar, these words were quite the political statement. The then Spanish president was speaking in July 1996, after 103 Sub-Saharan migrants who had reached Melilla, a Spanish enclave in North Africa, were drugged, handcuffed and taken to four African countries by military aircraft.

    President Aznar lay the moral and political foundations of a system based on the securitization, externalization and, increasingly, the privatization of border management. This system was consolidated by subsequent Spanish governments and later extended to the rest of the European Union, setting the grounds for a thriving business: the industry of migration control.

    Between 2001 and 2010, long before Europe faced the so-called “refugee crisis,” Spain built two walls in its North African enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla, signed combined development and repatriation agreements with nine African countries, passed two major pieces of legislation on migration, and fostered inter-regional migration initiatives such as the Rabat Process. Spain also designed and established the Integral System of External Surveillance, to this day one of the most sophisticated border surveillance mechanisms in the world.

    The ultimate purpose of these efforts was clear: to deter irregular migration, humanely if possible, but at any cost if necessary.

    Spain was the first European country to utilize a full array of control and cooperation instruments in countries along the migration route to Europe. The system proved effective during the “cayuco crisis” in 2005 and 2006. Following a seven-fold increase in the number of arrivals from West Africa to the Canary Islands by boat, Spain made agreements with several West African countries to block the route, forcing migrants to take the even riskier Sahel passage.

    Although the E.U. questioned the humanitarian consequences of these deals at the time, less than a decade later officials across the continent have replicated large parts of the Spanish system, including the E.U. Emergency Trust Fund for Africa and agreements between the Italian and the Libyan governments.

    Today, 2005 seems like different world. That year, the E.U. adopted its Global Approach on Migration and Mobility, which balanced the “prevention of irregular migration and trafficking” with promising language on the “fostering of well-managed migration” and the “maximization” of its development impact.

    Since then, the combined effect of the Great Recession – an institutional crisis – and the increased arrival of refugees has diluted reformist efforts in Europe. Migration policies are being defined by ideological nationalism and economic protectionism. Many politicians in Europe are electorally profiting from these trends. The case of Spain also illustrates that the system is ripe for financial profit.

    For over a year, Spanish investigative journalism organization porCausa mapped the industry of migration control in Spain. We detailed the ecosystem of actors and interests facilitating the industry, whose operations rely almost exclusively on public funding. A myriad private contractors and civil society organizations operate in four sectors: border protection and surveillance; detention and expulsion of irregular migrants; reception and integration of migrants; and externalization of migration control through agreements with private organisations and public institutions in third countries.

    We began by focusing on securitization and border management. We found that between 2002 and 2017 Spain allocated at least 610 million euros ($720 million) of public funding through 943 contracts related to the deterrence, detention and expulsion of migrants. Our analysis reached two striking conclusions and one question for future research.

    Firstly, we discovered the major role that the E.U. plays in Spain’s migration control industry. Just over 70 percent of the 610 million euros came from different European funds, such as those related to External Borders, Return and Internal Security, as well as the E.U. border agency Frontex. Thus, Spanish public spending is determined by the policy priorities established by E.U. institutions and member states. Those E.U. institutions have since diligently replicated the Spanish approach. With the E.U. now driving these policies forward, the approach is likely to be replicated in other European countries.

    Secondly, our data highlights how resources are concentrated in the hands of a few businesses. Ten out of the 350 companies included in our database received over half of the 610 million euros. These companies have enjoyed a long-standing relationship with the Spanish government in other sectors such as defence, construction and communications, and are now gaining a privileged role in the highly sensitive areas of border surveillance and migration control.

    Our research also surfaced a troubling question that has shaped the second phase of our inquiry: to what extent are these companies influencing Spanish migration policy? The capture of rules and institutions by elites in an economic system has been documented in sectors such as defence, taxation or pharmaceuticals. That this could also be happening to borders and migration policy should alarm public opinion and regulators. For example, the key role played by private technology companies in the design and implementation of Spain’s Integral System of External Surveillance demonstrates the need for further investigation.

    Spain’s industry of migration control may be the prototype of a growing global phenomenon. Migration policies have been taken over by border deterrence goals and narratives. Meanwhile, border control is increasingly dependent on the technology and management of private companies. As E.U.-level priorities intersect with those of the highly-concentrated – and possibly politically influential – migration control industry, Europe risks being trapped in a political and budgetary vicious circle based on the premise of migration-as-a-problem, complicating any future reform efforts towards a more open migration system.

    https://www.newsdeeply.com/refugees/community/2018/05/21/why-spain-is-a-window-into-the-e-u-migration-control-industry
    #Afrique_du_Nord #externalisation #modèle_espagnol #migrations #contrôles_migratoires #asile #frontières #contrôles_frontaliers #asile #réfugiés #histoire


  • Map-archive of Europe’s migrant spaces

    The project of an interactive map-archive of ‘migrant spaces’ of transit, border enforcement and refuge across Europe stems from a workshop organised in London in November 2016 by researchers working on migration and based in different European countries.

    The goal of this collective project, is to bring to the fore the existence and the stories of ephemeral spaces of containment, transit, and struggle, that are the outcome of border enforcement politics and of their spatial effects, as well as of their impact on migrant lives.
    What we want to represent

    We do not represent on the map official detention centres or reception camps, but rather unofficial (but visible) spaces that have been produced as an effect of migration and border policies as well as of migrants’ practices of movement. Some well-known examples are the Jungle of Calais, or the Hellenic’s airport in Athens, which represent the output of the relation between the border enforcement policies with the autonomous movements of migrant subjects across Europe. Moreover, spaces of transit like the rail station of Milan will be represented, which have then become places of containment – such as Ventimiglia, Como, and the Brenner after the suspension of Schengen in such border areas. Several structures have been build in such transit knots, being characterized by their humanitarian element that intertwine the dimension of control with that of help and care. Finally, some of these places are zones inside European cities that have played the twofold role of spaces-refuge and area

    controlled by the police, and then have been evicted as dwelling places where migrants found a temporary place to stay – like Lycée Jean-Quarré in Paris, La Chapelle. Others are self-managed places, like Refugee City Plaza Hotel, or square and public spaces that had been sites of migrant struggles for some time – as Orianenplatz in Berlin.
    The three dimensions

    The complexity of the processes that get intertwined in these places can be represented through three dimensions that we aimed to represent, although they cannot be exhaustively of the complexity of this phenomenon.

    Border enforcement/ border control: by border control we understand all the operations, measures and actions put into place by the police for enhancing national borders and obstructing migrants’ movements and presence.

    Humanitarian enforcement: by humanitarian enforcement we understand all the operation/action and structures deployed by those humanitarian actors involved in managing migrants. Being ‘humanitarianism’ a blurry and contested category, we understand it as a continuum with the two endpoints of humanitarian control and humanitarian support. The first endpoint refers to all these actions, operations and structures that aim to control migrants and contain their mobilities. The second endpoint refers to all these actions, operation and structures that aim to support migrants and their movements avoiding deploying control measures.

    Migrant struggles: by ‘struggles’ we understand both self-organized struggles with a declared political claim, and everyday struggles such as the transits mobilities and the ‘everyday resistance’ (Scott, 1985) practices collectively enacted by migrants, that can be visible or remaining under the threshold of visibility.
    Temporality and spatiality

    A crucial feature of this map is the focus on temporality rather than spatiality. Indeed, this map cis an archive of those fleeting and ephemeral spaces that do no longer exist and that have changed their function over time, as frontiers or as spaces of refuge and struggle. The focus on temporality allows us to go beyond the mainstream representations of migrants routes offered by those official actors managing migration such as Fontex, European Union, IOM and the UNHCR.

    We do not want to represent those informal places that are still existing in order to avoid shedding more light on them that could bring some problem to the people dwelling and transiting through those places. The idea of archive is related to that ethical/political topic: we do not want to trace the still existing place where people are struggling, but rather we aim to keep a record and a memory of such ephemeral spaces that do not exist any-more but nevertheless have contributed to the production of a Europe not represented in the mainstream debate. Therefore, we represent only those places still existing where the border and humanitarian enforcement come to the fore, in order to keep an ongoing monitoring gaze.
    The aim

    The aims of this map-archive are: a) to keep memory of these spaces that have been visible and have been the effect of border enforcement policies but that then had been evicted, or ‘disappeared’ ; b) to produce a new map of Europe, that is a map formed by these spaces of transit, containment, and refuge, as result of politics of border enforcement and of migration movements; c) to shed light on the temporality of migration as a crucial dimension through which understand and interpret the complexity of social processes related to migration towards and within Europe and the consequent border enforcement.

    To be continued

    Since Europe externalizes its borders beyond its geopolitical frontiers, we would like to add also spaces of transit and containment that are located in the so called ‘third countries’ – for instance, in Tunisia, Turkey and Morocco – as the map wants also to represent a different image of the borders of Europe, looking also at sites that are the effects of EU borders externalisation politics.


    http://cherish-de.uk/migrant-digitalities/#/2011/intro
    #cartographie #cartographie_radicale #cartographie_critique #frontières #frontière_sud-alpine #visualisation #migrations #asile #réfugiés #conflits #contrôle_humanitaire #militarisation_des_frontières #Europe

    On peut faire un zoom sur la #frontière_sud-alpine :


    #Vintimille #Côme #Brenner #Briançon #Menton

    cc @reka

    • Migration: new map of Europe reveals real frontiers for refugees

      Since the EU declared a “refugee crisis” in 2015 that was followed by an unprecedented number of deaths in the Mediterranean, maps explaining the routes of migrants to and within Europe have been used widely in newspapers and social media.

      Some of these maps came out of refugee projects, while others are produced by global organisations, NGOs and agencies such as Frontex, the European Border and Coastguard Agency, and the International Organisation for Migration’s project, Missing Migrants. The Balkan route, for example, shows the trail along which hundred of thousands of Syrian refugees trekked after their towns and cities were reduced to rubble in the civil war.

      However, migration maps tend to produce an image of Europe being “invaded” and overwhelmed by desperate women, men and children in search of asylum. At the same time, migrants’ journeys are represented as fundamentally linear, going from a point A to a point B. But what about the places where migrants have remained stranded for a long time, due to the closure of national borders and the suspension of the Schengen Agreement, which establishes people’s free internal movement in Europe? What memories and impressions remain in the memory of the European citizens of migrants’ passage and presence in their cities? And how is this most recent history of migration in Europe being recorded?

      Time and memory

      Our collective project, a map archive of Europe’s migrant spaces, engages with with these questions by representing border zones in Europe – places that have functioned as frontiers for fleeing migrants. Some of these border zones, such as Calais, have a long history, while other places have become effective borders for migrants in transit more recently, such as Como in Italy and Menton in France. The result of a collaborative work by researchers in the UK, Greece, Germany, Italy and the US, the project records memories of places in Europe where migrants remained in limbo for a long time, were confronted with violence, or found humanitarian aid, as well as marking sites of organised migrant protest.

      All the cities and places represented in this map archive have over time become frontiers and hostile environments for migrants in transit. Take for instance the Italian city of Ventimiglia on the French-Italian border. This became a frontier for migrants heading to France in 2011, when the French government suspended Schengen to deter the passage of migrants who had landed in Lampedusa in Italy in the aftermath of the Tunisian revolution in 2011.

      Four years later in 2015, after border controls were loosened, Ventimiglia again became a difficult border to cross, when France suspended Schengen for the second time. But far from being just a place where migrants were stranded and forced to go back, our map archive shows that Ventimiglia also became an important place of collective migrant protest.

      Images of migrants on the cliffs holding banners saying “We are not going back” circulated widely in 2015 and became a powerful slogan for other migrant groups across Europe. The most innovative aspect of our map-archive consists in bringing the context of time, showing the transformations of spaces over time into a map about migration that explains the history of border zones over the last decade and how they proliferated across Europe. Every place represented – Paris, Calais, Rome, Lesbos, Kos, and Athens, for example – has been transformed over the years by migrants’ presence.
      Which Europe?

      This archive project visualises these European sites in a way that differs from the conventional geopolitical map: instead of highlighting national frontiers and cities, it foregrounds places that have been actual borders for migrants in transit and which became sites of protest and struggle. In this way the map archive produces another image of Europe, as a space that has been shaped by the presence migrants – the border violence, confinement and their struggle to advance.

      The geopolitical map of Europe is transformed into Europe’s migrant spaces – that is, Europe as it is experienced by migrants and shaped by their presence. So another picture of Europe emerges: a space where migrants’ struggle to stay has contributed to the political history of the continent. In this Europe migrants are subjected to legal restrictions and human rights violations, but at the same time they open up spaces for living, creating community and as a backdrop for their collective struggles.

      It is also where they find solidarity with European citizens who have sympathy with their plight. These border zones highlighted by our map have been characterised by alliances between citizens and migrants in transit, where voluntary groups have set up to provide food, shelter and services such as medical and legal support.

      So how does this map engage with debate on the “migrant crisis” and the “refugee crisis” in Europe? By imposing a time structure and retracing the history of these ephemeral border zone spaces of struggle, it upends the image of migrants’ presence as something exceptional, as a crisis. The map gives an account of how European cities and border zones have been transformed over time by migrants’ presence.

      By providing the history of border zones and recording memories of citizens’ solidarity with migrants in these places, this map dissipates the hardline view of migrants as invaders, intruders and parasites – in other words, as a threat. This way, migrants appear as part of Europe’s unfolding history. Their struggle to stay is now becoming part of Europe’s history.

      But the increasing criminalisation of migrant solidarity in Europe is telling of how such collaboration disturbs state policies on containing migrants. This map-archive helps to erode the image of migrants as faceless masses and unruly mobs, bringing to the fore the spaces they create to live and commune in, embraced by ordinary European citizens who defy the politics of control and the violent borders enacted by their states.


      https://theconversation.com/migration-new-map-of-europe-reveals-real-frontiers-for-refugees-103
      via @isskein


  • Tunisian fishermen await trial after ’saving hundreds of migrants’

    Friends and colleagues have rallied to the defence of six Tunisian men awaiting trial in Italy on people smuggling charges, saying they are fishermen who have saved hundreds of migrants and refugees over the years who risked drowning in the Mediterranean.

    The men were arrested at sea at the weekend after their trawler released a small vessel it had been towing with 14 migrants onboard, 24 miles from the coast of the Italian island of Lampedusa.

    Italian authorities said an aeroplane crew from the European border agency Frontex had first located the trawler almost 80 nautical miles from Lampedusa and decided to monitor the situation.They alerted the Italian police after the migrant vessel was released, who then arrested all crew members at sea.

    According to their lawyers, the Tunisians maintain that they saw a migrant vessel in distress and a common decision was made to tow it to safety in Italian waters. They claim they called the Italian coastguard so it could intervene and take them to shore.

    Prosecutors have accused the men of illegally escorting the boat into Italian waters and say they have no evidence of an SOS sent by either the migrant boat or by the fishermen’s vessel.

    Among those arrested were 45-year-old Chamseddine Ben Alì Bourassine, who is known in his native city, Zarzis, which lies close to the Libyan border, for saving migrants and bringing human remains caught in his nets back to shore to give the often anonymous dead a dignified burial.

    Immediately following the arrests, hundreds of Tunisians gathered in Zarzis to protest and the Tunisian Fishermen Association of Zarzis sent a letter to the Italian embassy in Tunis in support of the men.

    “Captain Bourassine and his crew are hardworking fishermen whose human values exceed the risks they face every day,” it said. “When we meet boats in distress at sea, we do not think about their colour or their religion.”

    According to his colleagues in Zarzis, Bourassine is an advocate for dissuading young Tunisians from illegal migration. In 2015 he participated in a sea rescue drill organised by Médecins Sans Frontières (Msf) in Zarzis.

    Giulia Bertoluzzi, an Italian filmmaker and journalist who directed the documentary Strange Fish, about Bourassine, said the men were well known in their home town.

    “In Zarzis, Bourassine and his crew are known as anonymous heroes”, Bertoluzzi told the Guardian. “Some time ago a petition was circulated to nominate him for the Nobel peace prize. He saved thousands of lives since.”

    The six Tunisians who are now being held in prison in the Sicilian town of Agrigento pending their trial. If convicted, they could face up to 15 years in prison.

    The Italian police said in a statement: “We acted according to our protocol. After the fishing boat released the vessel, it returned south of the Pelagie Islands where other fishing boats were active in an attempt to shield itself.”

    It is not the first time that Italian authorities have arrested fishermen and charged them with aiding illegal immigration. On 8 August 2007, police arrested two Tunisian fishermen for having guided into Italian waters 44 migrants. The trial lasted four years and both men were acquitted of all criminal charges.

    Leonardo Marino, a lawyer in Agrigento who had defended dozens of Tunisian fishermen accused of enabling smuggling, told the Guardian: “The truth is that migrants are perceived as enemies and instead of welcoming them we have decided to fight with repressive laws anyone who is trying to help them.”


    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/sep/05/tunisian-fishermen-await-trial-after-saving-hundreds-of-migrants?CMP=sh
    #Tunisie #pêcheurs #solidarité #mourir_en_mer #sauvetage #asile #migrations #réfugiés #Méditerranée #pêcheurs_tunisiens #délit_de_solidarité
    Accusation: #smuggling #passeurs

    cc @_kg_

    • Commentaires de Charles Heller sur FB :

      Last year these Tunisian fishermen prevented the identitarian C-Star - chartered to prevent solidarity at sea - from docking in Zarzis. Now they have been arrested for exercising that solidarity.

      Back to the bad old days of criminalising Tunisian fishermen who rescue migrants at sea. Lets make some noise and express our support and solidarity in all imaginable ways!

    • Des pêcheurs tunisiens poursuivis pour avoir tracté des migrants jusqu’en Italie

      Surpris en train de tirer une embarcation de migrants vers l’Italie, des pêcheurs tunisiens -dont un militant connu localement- ont été écroués en Sicile. Une manifestation de soutien a eu lieu en Tunisie et une ONG essaie actuellement de leur venir en aide.

      Des citoyens tunisiens sont descendus dans la rue lundi 3 septembre à Zarzis, dans le sud du pays, pour protester contre l’arrestation, par les autorités italiennes, de six pêcheurs locaux. Ces derniers sont soupçonnés d’être des passeurs car ils ont été "surpris en train de tirer une barque avec 14 migrants à bord en direction de [l’île italienne de] Lampedusa", indique la police financière et douanière italienne.

      La contestation s’empare également des réseaux sociaux, notamment avec des messages publiés demandant la libération des six membres d’équipage parmi lesquels figurent Chamseddine Bourassine, président de l’association des pêcheurs de Zarzis. “Toute ma solidarité avec un militant et ami, le doyen des pêcheurs Chamseddine Bourassine. Nous appelons les autorités tunisiennes à intervenir immédiatement avec les autorités italiennes afin de le relâcher ainsi que son équipage”, a écrit lundi le jeune militant originaire de Zarzis Anis Belhiba sur Facebook. Une publication reprise et partagée par Chamesddine Marzoug, un pêcheur retraité et autre militant connu en Tunisie pour enterrer lui-même les corps des migrants rejetés par la mer.

      Sans nouvelles depuis quatre jours

      Un appel similaire a été lancé par le Forum tunisien pour les droits économiques et sociaux, par la voix de Romdhane Ben Amor, chargé de communication de cette ONG basée à Tunis. Contacté par InfoMigrants, il affirme n’avoir reçu aucune nouvelle des pêcheurs depuis près de quatre jours. “On ne sait pas comment ils vont. Tout ce que l’on sait c’est qu’ils sont encore incarcérés à Agrigente en Sicile. On essaie d’activer tous nos réseaux et de communiquer avec nos partenaires italiens pour leur fournir une assistance juridique”, explique-t-il.

      Les six pêcheurs ont été arrêtés le 29 août car leur bateau de pêche, qui tractait une embarcation de fortune avec 14 migrants à son bord, a été repéré -vidéo à l’appui- par un avion de Frontex, l’Agence européenne de garde-côtes et garde-frontières.

      Selon une source policière italienne citée par l’AFP, les pêcheurs ont été arrêtés pour “aide à l’immigration clandestine” et écroués. Le bateau a été repéré en train de tirer des migrants, puis de larguer la barque près des eaux italiennes, à moins de 24 milles de Lampedusa, indique la même source.

      Mais pour Romdhane Ben Amor, “la vidéo de Frontex ne prouve rien”. Et de poursuivre : “#Chamseddine_Bourassine, on le connaît bien. Il participe aux opérations de sauvetage en Méditerranée depuis 2008, il a aussi coordonné l’action contre le C-Star [navire anti-migrants affrété par des militant d’un groupe d’extrême droite]”. Selon Romdhane Ben Amor, il est fort probable que le pêcheur ait reçu l’appel de détresse des migrants, qu’il ait ensuite tenté de les convaincre de faire demi-tour et de regagner la Tunisie. N’y parvenant pas, le pêcheur aurait alors remorqué l’embarcation vers l’Italie, la météo se faisant de plus en plus menaçante.

      La Tunisie, pays d’origine le plus représenté en Italie

      Un nombre croissant de Tunisiens en quête d’emploi et de perspectives d’avenir tentent de se rendre illégalement en Italie via la Méditerranée. D’ailleurs, avec 3 300 migrants arrivés entre janvier et juillet 2018, la Tunisie est le pays d’origine le plus représenté en Italie, selon un rapport du Haut commissariat de l’ONU aux réfugiés (HCR) publié lundi.

      La Méditerranée a été "plus mortelle que jamais" début 2018, indique également le HCR, estimant qu’une personne sur 18 tentant la traversée meurt ou disparaît en mer.


      http://www.infomigrants.net/fr/post/11752/des-pecheurs-tunisiens-poursuivis-pour-avoir-tracte-des-migrants-jusqu

    • Lampedusa, in cella ad Agrigento il pescatore tunisino che salva i migranti

      Insieme al suo equipaggio #Chameseddine_Bourassine è accusato di favoreggiamento dell’immigrazione illegale. La Tunisia chiede il rilascio dei sei arrestati. L’appello per la liberazione del figlio di uno dei pescatori e del fratello di Bourassine

      Per la Tunisia Chameseddine Bourassine è il pescatore che salva i migranti. Protagonista anche del film documentario «Strange Fish» di Giulia Bertoluzzi. Dal 29 agosto Chameseddine e il suo equipaggio sono nel carcere di Agrigento, perchè filmati mentre trainavano un barchino con 14 migranti fino a 24 miglia da Lampedusa. Il peschereccio è stato sequestrato e rischiano molti anni di carcere per favoreggiamento aggravato dell’immigrazione illegale. Da Palermo alcuni parenti giunti da Parigi lanciano un appello per la loro liberazione.

      Ramzi Lihiba, figlio di uno dei pescatori arrestati: «Mio padre è scioccato perchè è la prima volta che ha guai con la giustizia. Mi ha detto che hanno incontrato una barca in pericolo e hanno fatto solo il loro dovere. Non è la prima volta. Chameseddine ha fatto centinaia di salvataggi, portando la gente verso la costa più vicina. Prima ha chiamato la guardia costiera di Lampedusa e di Malta senza avere risposta».

      Mohamed Bourassine, fratello di Chameseddine: «Chameseddine l’ha detto anche alla guardia costiera italiana, se trovassi altre persone in pericolo in mare, lo rifarei».
      La Tunisia ha chiesto il rilascio dei sei pescatori di Zarzis. Sit in per loro davanti alle ambasciate italiane di Tunisi e Parigi. Da anni i pescatori delle due sponde soccorrono migranti con molti rischi. Ramzi Lihiba: «Anche io ho fatto la traversata nel 2008 e sono stato salvato dai pescatori italiani, altrimenti non sarei qui oggi».

      https://www.rainews.it/tgr/sicilia/video/2018/09/sic-lampedusa-carcere-pescatore-tunisino-salva-migranti-8f4b62a7-b103-48c0-8

    • Posté par Charles Heller sur FB :

      Yesterday, people demonstrated in the streets of Zarzis in solidarity with the Tunisian fishermen arrested by Italian authorities for exercising their solidarity with migrants crossing the sea. Tomorrow, they will be heard in front of a court in Sicily. While rescue NGOs have done an extraordinary job, its important to underline that European citizens do not have the monopoly over solidarity with migrants, and neither are they the only ones being criminalised. The Tunisian fishermen deserve our full support.


      https://www.facebook.com/charles.heller.507/posts/2207659576116549

    • I pescatori, eroi di Zarzis, in galera

      Il 29 agosto 2018 sei pescatori tunisini sono stati arrestati ad Agrigento, accusati di favoreggiamento dell’immigrazione clandestina, reato punibile fino a quindici anni di carcere. Il loro racconto e quello dei migranti soccorsi parla invece di una barca in panne che prendeva acqua, del tentativo di contattare la Guardia Costiera italiana e infine - dopo una lunga attesa – del trasporto del barchino verso Lampedusa, per aiutare le autorità nelle operazioni di soccorso. Mentre le indagini preliminari sono in corso, vi raccontiamo chi sono questi pescatori. Lo facciamo con Giulia Bertoluzzi, che ha girato il film “Strange Fish” – vincitore al premio BNP e menzione speciale della giuria al festival Visioni dal Mondo - di cui Bourassine è il protagonista, e Valentina Zagaria, che ha vissuto oltre due anni a Zarzis per un dottorato in antropologia.

      Capitano, presidente, eroe. Ecco tre appellativi che potrebbero stare a pennello a Chamseddine Bourassine, presidente della Rete Nazionale della Pesca Artigianale nonché dell’associazione di Zarzis “Le Pêcheur” pour le Développement et l’Environnement, nominata al Premio Nobel per la Pace 2018 per il continuo impegno nel salvare vite nel Mediterraneo. I pescatori di Zarzis infatti, lavorando nel mare aperto tra la Libia e la Sicilia, si trovano da più di quindici anni in prima linea nei soccorsi a causa della graduale chiusura ermetica delle vie legali per l’Europa, che ha avuto come conseguenza l’inizio di traversate con mezzi sempre più di fortuna.
      I frutti della rivoluzione

      Sebbene la legge del mare abbia sempre prevalso per Chamseddine e i pescatori di Zarzis, prima della rivoluzione tunisina del 2011 i pescatori venivano continuamente minacciati dalla polizia del regime di Ben Ali, stretto collaboratore sia dell’Italia che dell’Unione europea in materia di controlli alle frontiere. “Ci dicevano di lasciarli in mare e che ci avrebbero messo tutti in prigione”, spiegava Bourassine, “ma un uomo in mare è un uomo morto, e alla polizia abbiamo sempre risposto che piuttosto saremmo andati in prigione”. In prigione finivano anche i cittadini tunisini che tentavano la traversata e che venivano duramente puniti dal loro stesso governo.

      Tutto è cambiato con la rivoluzione. Oltre 25.000 tunisini si erano imbarcati verso l’Italia, di cui tanti proprio dalle coste di Zarzis. “Non c’erano più né stato né polizia, era il caos assoluto” ricorda Anis Souei, segretario generale dell’Associazione. Alcuni pescatori non lasciavano le barche nemmeno di notte perché avevano paura che venissero rubate, i più indebitati invece tentavano di venderle, mentre alcuni abitanti di Zarzis, approfittando del vuoto di potere, si improvvisavano ‘agenti di viaggi’, cercando di fare affari sulle spalle degli harraga – parola nel dialetto arabo nord africano per le persone che ‘bruciano’ passaporti e frontiera attraversando il Mediterraneo. Chamseddine Bourassine e i suoi colleghi, invece, hanno stretto un patto morale, stabilendo di non vendere le proprie barche per la harga. Si sono rimboccati le maniche e hanno fondato un’associazione per migliorare le condizioni di lavoro del settore, per sensibilizzare sulla preservazione dell’ambiente – condizione imprescindibile per la pesca – e dare una possibilità di futuro ai giovani.

      E proprio verso i più giovani, quelli che più continuano a soffrire dell’alto tasso di disoccupazione, l’associazione ha dedicato diverse campagne di sensibilizzazione. “Andiamo nelle scuole per raccontare quello che vediamo e mostriamo ai ragazzi le foto dei corpi che troviamo in mare, perché si rendano conto del reale pericolo della traversata”, racconta Anis. Inoltre hanno organizzato formazioni di meccanica, riparazione delle reti e pesca subacquea, collaborando anche con diversi progetti internazionali, come NEMO, organizzato dal CIHEAM-Bari e finanziato dalla Cooperazione Italiana. Proprio all’interno di questo progetto è nato il museo di Zarzis della pesca artigianale, dove tra nodi e anforette per la pesca del polipo, c’è una mostra fotografica dei salvataggi in mare intitolata “Gli eroi anonimi di Zarzis”.

      La guerra civile libica

      Con l’inasprirsi della guerra civile libica e l’inizio di veri e propri traffici di esseri umani, le frontiere marittime si sono trasformate in zone al di fuori della legge.
      “I pescatori tunisini vengono regolarmente rapiti dalle milizie o dalle autorità libiche” diceva Bourassine. Queste, una volta sequestrata la barca e rubato il materiale tecnico, chiedevano alle autorità tunisine un riscatto per il rilascio, cosa peraltro successa anche a pescatori siciliani. Sebbene le acque di fronte alla Libia siano le più ricche, soprattutto per il gambero rosso, e per anni siano state zone di pesca per siciliani, tunisini, libici e anche egiziani, ad oggi i pescatori di Zarzis si sono visti obbligati a lasciare l’eldorado dei tonni rossi e dei gamberi rossi, per andare più a ovest.

      “Io pesco nelle zone della rotta delle migrazioni, quindi è possibile che veda migranti ogni volta che esco” diceva Bourassine, indicando sul monitor della sala comandi del suo peschereccio l’est di Lampedusa, durante le riprese del film.

      Con scarso sostegno delle guardie costiere tunisine, a cui non era permesso operare oltre le proprie acque territoriali, i pescatori per anni si sono barcamenati tra il lavoro e la responsabilità di soccorrere le persone in difficoltà che, con l’avanzare del conflitto in Libia, partivano su imbarcazioni sempre più pericolose.

      “Ma quando in mare vedi 100 o 120 persone cosa fai?” si chiede Slaheddine Mcharek, anche lui membro dell’Associazione, “pensi solo a salvare loro la vita, ma non è facile”. Chi ha visto un’operazione di soccorso in mare infatti può immaginare i pericoli di organizzare un trasbordo su un piccolo peschereccio che non metta a repentaglio la stabilità della barca, soprattutto quando ci sono persone che non sanno nuotare. Allo stesso tempo non pescare significa non lavorare e perdere soldi sia per il capitano che per l’equipaggio.
      ONG e salvataggio

      Quando nell’estate del 2015 le navi di ricerca e soccorso delle ONG hanno cominciato ad operare nel Mediterraneo, Chamseddine e tutti i pescatori si sono sentiti sollevati, perché le loro barche non erano attrezzate per centinaia di persone e le autorità tunisine post-rivoluzionarie non avevano i mezzi per aiutarli. Quell’estate, l’allora direttore di Medici Senza Frontiere Foued Gammoudi organizzò una formazione di primo soccorso in mare per sostenere i pescatori. Dopo questa formazione MSF fornì all’associazione kit di pronto soccorso, giubbotti e zattere di salvataggio per poter assistere meglio i rifugiati in mare. L’ONG ha anche dato ai pescatori le traduzioni in italiano e inglese dei messaggi di soccorso e di tutti i numeri collegati al Centro di coordinamento per il soccorso marittimo (MRCC) a Roma, che coordina i salvataggi tra le imbarcazioni nei paraggi pronte ad intervenire, fossero mercantili, navi delle ONG, imbarcazioni militari o della guardia costiera, e quelle dei pescatori di entrambe le sponde del mare. Da quel momento i pescatori potevano coordinarsi a livello internazionale e aspettare che le navi più grandi arrivassero, per poi riprendere il loro lavoro. Solo una settimana dopo la formazione, Gammoudi andò a congratularsi con Chamseddine al porto di Zarzis per aver collaborato con la nave Bourbon-Argos di MSF nel salvataggio di 550 persone.

      Oltre al primo soccorso, MSF ha offerto ai membri dell’associazione una formazione sulla gestione dei cadaveri, fornendo sacchi mortuari, disinfettanti e guanti. C’è stato un periodo durato vari mesi, prima dell’arrivo delle ONG, in cui i pescatori avevano quasi la certezza di vedere dei morti in mare. Nell’assenza di altre imbarcazioni in prossimità della Libia, pronte ad aiutare barche in difficoltà, i naufragi non facevano che aumentare. Proprio come sta succedendo in queste settimane, durante le quali il tasso di mortalità in proporzione agli arrivi in Italia è cresciuto del 5,6%. Dal 26 agosto, nessuna ONG ha operato in SAR libica, e questo a causa delle politiche anti-migranti di Salvini e dei suoi omologhi europei.

      Criminalizzazione della solidarietà

      La situazione però è peggiorata di nuovo nell’estate del 2017, quando l’allora ministro dell’Interno Marco Minniti stringeva accordi con le milizie e la guardia costiera libica per bloccare i rifugiati nei centri di detenzione in Libia, mentre approvava leggi che criminalizzano e limitano l’attività delle ONG in Italia.

      Le campagne di diffamazione contro atti di solidarietà e contro le ONG non hanno fatto altro che versare ancora più benzina sui sentimenti anti-immigrazione che infiammano l’Europa. Nel bel mezzo di questo clima, il 6 agosto 2017, i pescatori di Zarzis si erano trovati in un faccia a faccia con la nave noleggiata da Generazione Identitaria, la C-Star, che attraversava il Mediterraneo per ostacolare le operazioni di soccorso e riportare i migranti in Africa.

      Armati di pennarelli rossi, neri e blu, hanno appeso striscioni sulle barche in una mescolanza di arabo, italiano, francese e inglese: “No Racists!”, “Dégage!”, “C-Star: No gasolio? No acqua? No mangiaro?“.

      Chamseddine Bourassine, con pesanti occhiaie da cinque giorni di lavoro in mare, appena appresa la notizia ha organizzato un sit-in con tanto di media internazionali al porto di Zarzis. I loro sforzi erano stati incoraggiati dalle reti antirazziste in Sicilia, che a loro volta avevano impedito alla C-Star di attraccare nel porto di Catania solo un paio di giorni prima.
      La reazione tunisina dopo l’arresto di Bourassine

      Non c’è quindi da sorprendersi se dopo l’arresto di Chamseddine, Salem, Farhat, Lotfi, Ammar e Bachir l’associazione, le famiglie, gli amici e i colleghi hanno riempito tre pullman da Zarzis per protestare davanti all’ambasciata italiana di Tunisi. La Terre Pour Tous, associazione di famiglie di tunisini dispersi, e il Forum economico e sociale (FTDES) si sono uniti alla protesta per chiedere l’immediato rilascio dei pescatori. Una protesta gemella è stata organizzata anche dalla diaspora di Zarzis davanti all’ambasciata italiana a Parigi, mentre reti di pescatori provenienti dal Marocco e dalla Mauritania hanno rilasciato dichiarazioni di sostegno. Il Segretario di Stato tunisino per l’immigrazione, Adel Jarboui, ha esortato le autorità italiane a liberare i pescatori.

      Nel frattempo Bourassine racconta dalla prigione al fratello: “stavo solo aiutando delle persone in difficoltà in mare. Lo rifarei”.


      http://openmigration.org/analisi/i-pescatori-eroi-di-zarzis-in-galera

    • When rescue at sea becomes a crime: who the Tunisian fishermen arrested in Italy really are

      Fishermen networks from Morocco and Mauritania have released statements of support, and the Tunisian State Secretary for Immigration, Adel Jarboui, urged Italian authorities to release the fishermen, considered heroes in Tunisia.

      On the night of Wednesday, August 29, 2018, six Tunisian fishermen were arrested in Italy. Earlier that day, they had set off from their hometown of Zarzis, the last important Tunisian port before Libya, to cast their nets in the open sea between North Africa and Sicily. The fishermen then sighted a small vessel whose engine had broken, and that had started taking in water. After giving the fourteen passengers water, milk and bread – which the fishermen carry in abundance, knowing they might encounter refugee boats in distress – they tried making contact with the Italian coastguard.

      After hours of waiting for a response, though, the men decided to tow the smaller boat in the direction of Lampedusa – Italy’s southernmost island, to help Italian authorities in their rescue operations. At around 24 miles from Lampedusa, the Guardia di Finanza (customs police) took the fourteen people on board, and then proceeded to violently arrest the six fishermen. According to the precautionary custody order issued by the judge in Agrigento (Sicily), the men stand accused of smuggling, a crime that could get them up to fifteen years in jail if the case goes to trial. The fishermen have since been held in Agrigento prison, and their boat has been seized.

      This arrest comes after a summer of Italian politicians closing their ports to NGO rescue boats, and only a week after far-right Interior Minister Matteo Salvini[1] prevented for ten days the disembarkation of 177 Eritrean and Somali asylum seekers from the Italian coastguard ship Diciotti. It is yet another step towards dissuading anyone – be it Italian or Tunisian citizens, NGO or coastguard ships – from coming to the aid of refugee boats in danger at sea. Criminalising rescue, a process that has been pushed by different Italian governments since 2016, will continue to have tragic consequences for people on the move in the Mediterranean Sea.
      The fishermen of Zarzis

      Among those arrested is Chamseddine Bourassine, the president of the Association “Le Pêcheur” pour le Développement et l’Environnement, which was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize this year for the Zarzis fishermen’s continuous engagement in saving lives in the Mediterranean.

      Chamseddine, a fishing boat captain in his mid-40s, was one of the first people I met in Zarzis when, in the summer of 2015, I moved to this southern Tunisian town to start fieldwork for my PhD. On a sleepy late-August afternoon, my interview with Foued Gammoudi, the then Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) Head of Mission for Tunisia and Libya, was interrupted by an urgent phone call. “The fishermen have just returned, they saved 550 people, let’s go to the port to thank them.” Just a week earlier, Chamseddine Bourassine had been among the 116 fishermen from Zarzis to have received rescue at sea training with MSF. Gammoudi was proud that the fishermen had already started collaborating with the MSF Bourbon Argos ship to save hundreds of people. We hurried to the port to greet Chamseddine and his crew, as they returned from a three-day fishing expedition which involved, as it so often had done lately, a lives-saving operation.

      The fishermen of Zarzis have been on the frontline of rescue in the Central Mediterranean for over fifteen years. Their fishing grounds lying between Libya – the place from which most people making their way undocumented to Europe leave – and Sicily, they were often the first to come to the aid of refugee boats in distress. “The fishermen have never really had a choice: they work here, they encounter refugee boats regularly, so over the years they learnt to do rescue at sea”, explained Gammoudi. For years, fishermen from both sides of the Mediterranean were virtually alone in this endeavour.
      Rescue before and after the revolution

      Before the Tunisian revolution of 2011, Ben Ali threatened the fishermen with imprisonment for helping migrants in danger at sea – the regime having been a close collaborator of both Italy and the European Union in border control matters. During that time, Tunisian nationals attempting to do the harga – the North African Arabic dialect term for the crossing of the Sicilian Channel by boat – were also heavily sanctioned by their own government.

      Everything changed though with the revolution. “It was chaos here in 2011. You cannot imagine what the word chaos means if you didn’t live it”, recalled Anis Souei, the secretary general of the “Le Pêcheur” association. In the months following the revolution, hundreds of boats left from Zarzis taking Tunisians from all over the country to Lampedusa. Several members of the fishermen’s association remember having to sleep on their fishing boats at night to prevent them from being stolen for the harga. Other fishermen instead, especially those who were indebted, decided to sell their boats, while some inhabitants of Zarzis took advantage of the power vacuum left by the revolution and made considerable profit by organising harga crossings. “At that time there was no police, no state, and even more misery. If you wanted Lampedusa, you could have it”, rationalised another fisherman. But Chamseddine Bourassine and his colleagues saw no future in moving to Europe, and made a moral pact not to sell their boats for migration.

      They instead remained in Zarzis, and in 2013 founded their association to create a network of support to ameliorate the working conditions of small and artisanal fisheries. The priority when they started organising was to try and secure basic social security – something they are still struggling to sustain today. With time, though, the association also got involved in alerting the youth to the dangers of boat migration, as they regularly witnessed the risks involved and felt compelled to do something for younger generations hit hard by staggering unemployment rates. In this optic, they organised training for the local youth in boat mechanics, nets mending, and diving, and collaborated in different international projects, such as NEMO, organised by the CIHEAM-Bari and funded by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Directorate General for Cooperation Development. This project also helped the fishermen build a museum to explain traditional fishing methods, the first floor of which is dedicated to pictures and citations from the fishermen’s long-term voluntary involvement in coming to the rescue of refugees in danger at sea.

      This role was proving increasingly vital as the Libyan civil war dragged on, since refugees were being forced onto boats in Libya that were not fit for travel, making the journey even more hazardous. With little support from Tunisian coastguards, who were not allowed to operate beyond Tunisian waters, the fishermen juggled their responsibility to bring money home to their families and their commitment to rescuing people in distress at sea. Anis remembers that once in 2013, three fishermen boats were out and received an SOS from a vessel carrying roughly one hundred people. It was their first day out, and going back to Zarzis would have meant losing petrol money and precious days of work, which they simply couldn’t afford. After having ensured that nobody was ill, the three boats took twenty people on board each, and continued working for another two days, sharing food and water with their guests.

      Sometimes, though, the situation on board got tense with so many people, food wasn’t enough for everybody, and fights broke out. Some fishermen recall incidents during which they truly feared for their safety, when occasionally they came across boats with armed men from Libyan militias. It was hard for them to provide medical assistance as well. Once a woman gave birth on Chamseddine’s boat – that same boat that has now been seized in Italy – thankfully there had been no complications.
      NGO ships and the criminalisation of rescue

      During the summer of 2015, therefore, Chamseddine felt relieved that NGO search and rescue boats were starting to operate in the Mediterranean. The fishermen’s boats were not equipped to take hundreds of people on board, and the post-revolutionary Tunisian authorities didn’t have the means to support them. MSF had provided the association with first aid kits, life jackets, and rescue rafts to be able to better assist refugees at sea, and had given them a list of channels and numbers linked to the Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC) in Rome for when they encountered boats in distress.

      They also offered training in dead body management, and provided the association with body bags, disinfectant and gloves. “When we see people at sea we rescue them. It’s not only because we follow the laws of the sea or of religion: we do it because it’s human”, said Chamseddine. But sometimes rescue came too late, and bringing the dead back to shore was all the fishermen could do.[2] During 2015 the fishermen at least felt that with more ships in the Mediterranean doing rescue, the duty dear to all seafarers of helping people in need at sea didn’t only fall on their shoulders, and they could go back to their fishing.

      The situation deteriorated again though in the summer of 2017, as Italian Interior Minister Minniti struck deals with Libyan militias and coastguards to bring back and detain refugees in detention centres in Libya, while simultaneously passing laws criminalising and restricting the activity of NGO rescue boats in Italy.

      Media smear campaigns directed against acts of solidarity with migrants and refugees and against the work of rescue vessels in the Mediterranean poured even more fuel on already inflamed anti-immigration sentiments in Europe.

      In the midst of this, on 6 August 2017, the fishermen of Zarzis came face to face with a far-right vessel rented by Generazione Identitaria, the C-Star, cruising the Mediterranean allegedly on a “Defend Europe” mission to hamper rescue operations and bring migrants back to Africa. The C-Star was hovering in front of Zarzis port, and although it had not officially asked port authorities whether it could dock to refuel – which the port authorities assured locals it would refuse – the fishermen of Zarzis took the opportunity to let these alt-right groups know how they felt about their mission.

      Armed with red, black and blue felt tip pens, they wrote in a mixture of Arabic, Italian, French and English slogans such as “No Racists!”, “Dégage!” (Get our of here!), “C-Star: No gasoil? No acqua? No mangiato?” ?” (C-Star: No fuel? No water? Not eaten?), which they proceeded to hang on their boats, ready to take to sea were the C-Star to approach. Chamseddine Bourassine, who had returned just a couple of hours prior to the impending C-Star arrival from five days of work at sea, called other members of the fishermen association to come to the port and join in the peaceful protest.[3] He told the journalists present that the fishermen opposed wholeheartedly the racism propagated by the C-Star members, and that having seen the death of fellow Africans at sea, they couldn’t but condemn these politics. Their efforts were cheered on by anti-racist networks in Sicily, who had in turn prevented the C-Star from docking in Catania port just a couple of days earlier.

      It is members from these same networks in Sicily together with friends of the fishermen in Tunisia and internationally that are now engaged in finding lawyers for Chamseddine and his five colleagues.

      Their counterparts in Tunisia joined the fishermen’s families and friends on Thursday morning to protest in front of the Italian embassy in Tunis. Three busloads arrived from Zarzis after an 8-hour night-time journey for the occasion, and many others had come from other Tunisian towns to show their solidarity. Gathered there too were members of La Terre Pour Tous, an association of families of missing Tunisian migrants, who joined in to demand the immediate release of the fishermen. A sister protest was organised by the Zarzis diaspora in front of the Italian embassy in Paris on Saturday afternoon. Fishermen networks from Morocco and Mauritania also released statements of support, and the Tunisian State Secretary for Immigration Adel Jarboui urged Italian authorities to release the fishermen, who are considered heroes in Tunisia.

      The fishermen’s arrest is the latest in a chain of actions taken by the Italian Lega and Five Star government to further criminalise rescue in the Mediterranean Sea, and to dissuade people from all acts of solidarity and basic compliance with international norms. This has alarmingly resulted in the number of deaths in 2018 increasing exponentially despite a drop in arrivals to Italy’s southern shores. While Chamseddine’s lawyer hasn’t yet been able to visit him in prison, his brother and cousin managed to go see him on Saturday. As for telling them about what happened on August 29, Chamseddine simply says that he was assisting people in distress at sea: he’d do it again.

      https://www.opendemocracy.net/can-europe-make-it/valentina-zagaria/when-rescue-at-sea-becomes-crime-who-tunisian-fishermen-arrested-in-i

    • Les pêcheurs de Zarzis, ces héros que l’Italie préfère voir en prison

      Leurs noms ont été proposés pour le prix Nobel de la paix mais ils risquent jusqu’à quinze ans de prison : six pêcheurs tunisiens se retrouvent dans le collimateur des autorités italiennes pour avoir aidé des migrants en Méditerranée.

      https://www.middleeasteye.net/fr/reportages/les-p-cheurs-de-zarzis-ces-h-ros-que-l-italie-pr-f-re-voir-en-prison-

    • Les pêcheurs tunisiens incarcérés depuis fin août en Sicile sont libres

      Arrêtés après avoir tracté une embarcation de quatorze migrants jusqu’au large de Lampedusa, un capitaine tunisien et son équipage sont soupçonnés d’être des passeurs. Alors qu’en Tunisie, ils sont salués comme des sauveurs.

      Les six pêcheurs ont pu reprendre la mer afin de regagner Zarzis, dans le sud tunisien. Les familles n’ont pas caché leur soulagement. Un accueil triomphal, par des dizaines de bateaux au large du port, va être organisé, afin de saluer le courage de ces sauveteurs de migrants à la dérive.

      Et peu importe si l’acte est dénoncé par l’Italie. Leurs amis et collègues ne changeront pas leurs habitudes de secourir toute embarcation en danger.

      A l’image de Rya, la cinquantaine, marin pêcheur à Zarzis qui a déjà sauvé des migrants en perdition et ne s’arrêtera pas : « Il y a des immigrés, tous les jours il y en a. De Libye, de partout. Nous on est des pêcheurs, on essaie de sauver les gens. C’est tout, c’est très simple. Nous on ne va pas s’arrêter, on va sauver d’autres personnes. Ils vont nous mettre en prison, on est là, pas de problème. »

      Au-delà du soulagement de voir rentrer les marins au pays, des voix s’élèvent pour crier leur incompréhension. Pour Halima Aissa, présidente de l’Association de recherche des disparus tunisiens à l’étranger, l’action de ce capitaine de pêche ne souffre d’aucune légitimité : « C’est un pêcheur tunisien, mais en tant qu’humaniste, si on trouve des gens qui vont couler en mer, notre droit c’est de les sauver. C’est inhumain de voir des gens mourir et de ne pas les sauver, ça c’est criminel. »

      Ces arrestations, certes suivies de libérations, illustrent pourtant la politique du nouveau gouvernement italien, à en croire Romdhane Ben Amor, du Forum tunisien des droits économiques et sociaux qui s’inquiète de cette nouvelle orientation politique : « Ça a commencé par les ONG qui font des opérations de sauvetage dans la Méditerranée et maintenant ça va vers les pêcheurs. C’est un message pour tous ceux qui vont participer aux opérations de sauvetage. Donc on aura plus de danger dans la mer, plus de tragédie dans la mer. » Pendant ce temps, l’enquête devrait se poursuivre encore plusieurs semaines en Italie.

      ■ Dénoncés par Frontex

      Détenus dans une prison d’Agrigente depuis le 29 août, les six pêcheurs tunisiens qui étaient soupçonnés d’aide à l’immigration illégale ont retrouvé leur liberté grâce à la décision du tribunal de réexamen de Palerme. L’équivalent italien du juge des libertés dans le système français.

      Le commandant du bateau de pêche, Chamseddine Bourassine, président de l’association des pêcheurs de Zarzis, ville du sud de la Tunisie, avait été arrêté avec les 5 membres d’équipage pour avoir secouru au large de l’île de Lampedusa une embarcation transportant 14 migrants.

      C’est un #avion_de_reconnaissance, opérant pour l’agence européenne #Frontex, qui avait repéré leur bateau tractant une barque et averti les autorités italiennes, précise notre correspondante à Rome, Anne Le Nir.

      http://www.rfi.fr/afrique/20180923-pecheurs-tunisiens-incarceres-depuis-fin-aout-sicile-sont-libres

    • A Zarzis, les pêcheurs sauveurs de migrants menacés par l’Italie

      Après l’arrestation le 29 août de six pêcheurs tunisiens à Lampedusa, accusés d’être des passeurs alors qu’ils avaient secouru des migrants, les marins de la petite ville de Zarzis au sud de la Tunisie ont peur des conséquences du sauvetage en mer.

      https://www.mediapart.fr/journal/international/121118/zarzis-les-pecheurs-sauveurs-de-migrants-menaces-par-l-italie
      #pêcheurs_tunisiens

    • Migrants : quand les pêcheurs tunisiens deviennent sauveteurs

      En Méditerranée, le sauvetage des candidats à l’exil et les politiques européennes de protection des frontières ont un impact direct sur le village de pêcheurs de #Zarzis, dans le sud de la Tunisie. Dans le code de la mer, les pêcheurs tout comme les gardes nationaux ont l’obligation de sauver les personnes en détresse en mer. Aujourd’hui, ce devoir moral pousse les pêcheurs à prendre des risques, et à se confronter aux autorités européennes.

      Chemssedine Bourassine a été arrêté fin août 2018 avec son équipage par les autorités italiennes. Ce pêcheur était accusé d’avoir fait le passeur de migrants car il avait remorqué un canot de 14 personnes en détresse au large de Lampedusa. Lui arguait qu’il ne faisait que son devoir en les aidant, le canot étant à la dérive, en train de couler, lorsqu’il l’avait trouvé.

      Revenu à bon port après trois mois sans son navire, confisqué par les autorités italiennes, cet épisode pèse lourd sur lui et ses compères. Nos reporters Lilia Blaise et Hamdi Tlili sont allés à la rencontre de ces pêcheurs, pour qui la mer est devenue une source d’inquiétudes.

      https://www.france24.com/fr/20190306-focus-tunisie-migrants-mediterranee-mer-sauvetage-pecheurs

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


  • Autour des #gardes-côtes_libyens... et de #refoulements en #Libye...

    Je copie-colle ici des articles que j’avais mis en bas de cette compilation (qu’il faudrait un peu mettre en ordre, peut-être avec l’aide de @isskein ?) :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/705401

    Les articles ci-dessous traitent de :
    #asile #migrations #réfugiés #Méditerranée #push-back #refoulement #externalisation #frontières

    • Pour la première fois depuis 2009, un navire italien ramène des migrants en Libye

      Une embarcation de migrants secourue par un navire de ravitaillement italien a été renvoyée en Libye lundi 30 juillet. Le HCR a annoncé mardi l’ouverture d’une enquête et s’inquiète d’une violation du droit international.

      Lundi 30 juillet, un navire battant pavillon italien, l’Asso Ventotto, a ramené des migrants en Libye après les avoir secourus dans les eaux internationales – en 2012 déjà l’Italie a été condamnée par la Cour européenne des droits de l’Homme pour avoir reconduit en Libye des migrants secourus en pleine mer en 2009.

      L’information a été donnée lundi soir sur Twitter par Oscar Camps, le fondateur de l’ONG espagnole Proactiva Open Arms, avant d’être reprise par Nicola Fratoianni, un député de la gauche italienne qui est actuellement à bord du bateau humanitaire espagnol qui sillonne en ce moment les côtes libyennes.

      Selon le quotidien italien La Repubblica, 108 migrants à bord d’une embarcation de fortune ont été pris en charge en mer Méditerranée par l’Asso Ventotto lundi 30 juillet. L’équipage du navire de ravitaillement italien a alors contacté le MRCC à Rome - centre de coordination des secours maritimes – qui les a orienté vers le centre de commandement maritime libyen. La Libye leur a ensuite donné l’instruction de ramener les migrants au port de Tripoli.

      En effet depuis le 28 juin, sur décision européenne, la gestion des secours des migrants en mer Méditerranée dépend des autorités libyennes et non plus de l’Italie. Concrètement, cela signifie que les opérations de sauvetage menées dans la « SAR zone » - zone de recherche et de sauvetage au large de la Libye - sont désormais coordonnées par les Libyens, depuis Tripoli. Mais le porte-parole du Conseil de l’Europe a réaffirmé ces dernières semaines qu’"aucun navire européen ne peut ramener des migrants en Libye car cela serait contraire à nos principes".

      Violation du droit international

      La Libye ne peut être considérée comme un « port sûr » pour le débarquement des migrants. « C’est une violation du droit international qui stipule que les personnes sauvées en mer doivent être amenées dans un ‘port sûr’. Malgré ce que dit le gouvernement italien, les ports libyens ne peuvent être considérés comme tels », a déclaré sur Twitter le député Nicola Fratoianni. « Les migrants se sont vus refuser la possibilité de demander l’asile, ce qui constitue une violation des accords de Genève sur les sauvetages en mer », dit-il encore dans le quotidien italien La Stampa.

      Sur Facebook, le ministre italien de l’Intérieur, Matteo Salvini, nie toutes entraves au droit international. « La garde-côtière italienne n’a ni coordonné, ni participé à cette opération, comme l’a faussement déclarée une ONG et un député de gauche mal informé ».

      Le Haut-Commissariat des Nations unies pour les réfugiés (HCR) a de son côté annoncé mardi 31 juillet l’ouverture d’une enquête. « Nous recueillons toutes les informations nécessaires sur le cas du remorqueur italien Asso Ventotto qui aurait ramené en Libye 108 personnes sauvées en Méditerranée. La Libye n’est pas un ‘port sûr’ et cet acte pourrait constituer une violation du droit international », dit l’agence onusienne sur Twitter.

      http://www.infomigrants.net/fr/post/10995/pour-la-premiere-fois-depuis-2009-un-navire-italien-ramene-des-migrant

    • Nave italiana soccorre e riporta in Libia 108 migranti. Salvini: «Nostra Guardia costiera non coinvolta»

      L’atto in violazione della legislazione internazionale che garantisce il diritto d’asilo e che non riconosce la Libia come un porto sicuro. Il vicepremier: «Nostre navi non sono intervenute nelle operazioni». Fratoianni (LeU): «Ci sono le prove della violazione»

      http://www.repubblica.it/cronaca/2018/07/31/news/migranti_nave_italiana_libia-203026448/?ref=RHPPLF-BH-I0-C8-P1-S1.8-T1
      #vos_thalassa #asso_28

      Commentaire de Sara Prestianni, via la mailing-list de Migreurop:

      Le navire commerciale qui opere autour des plateformes de pétrole, battant pavillon italien - ASSO 28 - a ramené 108 migrants vers le port de Tripoli suite à une opération de sauvetage- Les premiers reconstructions faites par Open Arms et le parlementaire Fratoianni qui se trouve à bord de Open Arms parlent d’une interception en eaux internationales à la quelle a suivi le refoulement. Le journal La Repubblica dit que les Gardes Cotes Italiennes auraient invité Asso28 à se coordonner avec les Gardes Cotes Libyennes (comme font habituellement dans les derniers mois. Invitation déclinés justement par les ong qui opèrent en mer afin de éviter de proceder à un refoulement interdit par loi). Le Ministre de l’Interieur nie une implication des Gardes Cotes Italiens et cyniquement twitte “Le Garde cotes libyenne dans les derniers heures ont sauvé et ramené à terre 611 migrants. Les Ong protestent les passeurs font des affaires ? C’est bien. Nous continuons ainsi”

    • Départs de migrants depuis la Libye :

      Libya : outcomes of the sea journey

      Migrants intercepted /rescued by the Libyan coast guard

      Lieux de désembarquement :


      #Italie #Espagne #Malte

      –-> Graphiques de #Matteo_Villa, posté sur twitter :
      source : https://twitter.com/emmevilla/status/1036892919964286976

      #statistiques #chiffres #2016 #2017 #2018

      cc @simplicissimus

    • Libyan Coast Guard Takes 611 Migrants Back to Africa

      Between Monday and Tuesday, the Libyan Coast Guard reportedly rescued 611 migrants aboard several dinghies off the coast and took them back to the African mainland.

      Along with the Libyan search and rescue operation, an Italian vessel, following indications from the Libyan Coast Guard, rescued 108 migrants aboard a rubber dinghy and delivered them back to the port of Tripoli. The vessel, called La Asso 28, was a support boat for an oil platform.

      Italian mainstream media have echoed complaints of NGOs claiming that in taking migrants back to Libya the Italian vessel would have violated international law that guarantees the right to asylum and does not recognize Libya as a safe haven.

      In recent weeks, a spokesman for the Council of Europe had stated that “no European ship can bring migrants back to Libya because it is contrary to our principles.”

      Twenty days ago, another ship supporting an oil rig, the Vos Thalassa, after rescuing a group of migrants, was preparing to deliver them to a Libyan patrol boat when an attempt to revolt among the migrants convinced the commander to reverse the route and ask the help of the Italian Coast Guard. The migrants were loaded aboard the ship Diciotti and taken to Trapani, Sicily, after the intervention of the President of the Republic Sergio Mattarella.

      On the contrary, Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini has declared Tuesday’s operation to be a victory for efforts to curb illegal immigration. The decision to take migrants back to Africa rather than transporting them to Europe reflects an accord between Italy and Libya that has greatly reduced the numbers of African migrants reaching Italian shores.

      Commenting on the news, Mr. Salvini tweeted: “The Libyan Coast Guard has rescued and taken back to land 611 immigrants in recent hours. The NGOs protest and the traffickers lose their business? Great, this is how we make progress,” followed by hashtags announcing “closed ports” and “open hearts.”

      Parliamentarian Nicola Fratoianni of the left-wing Liberi and Uguali (Free and Equal) party and secretary of the Italian Left, presently aboard the Spanish NGO ship Open Arms, denounced the move.

      “We do not yet know whether this operation was carried out on the instructions of the Italian Coast Guard, but if so it would be a very serious precedent, a real collective rejection for which Italy and the ship’s captain will answer before a court,” he said.

      “International law requires that people rescued at sea must be taken to a safe haven and the Libyan ports, despite the mystification of reality by the Italian government, cannot be considered as such,” he added.

      The United Nations immigration office (UNHCR) has threatened Italy for the incident involving the 108 migrants taken to Tripoli, insisting that Libya is not a safe port and that the episode could represent a breach of international law.

      “We are collecting all the necessary information,” UNHCR tweeted.

      https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/santiago-anti-abortion-women-stabbed-chile-protest-a8469786.html
      #refoulements #push-back

    • Libya rescued 10,000 migrants this year, says Germany

      Libyan coast guards have saved some 10,000 migrants at sea since the start of this year, according to German authorities. The figure was provided by the foreign ministry during a debate in parliament over what the Left party said were “inhumane conditions” of returns of migrants to Libya. Libyan coast guards are trained by the EU to stop migrants crossing to Europe.

      https://euobserver.com/tickers/142821

    • UNHCR Flash Update Libya (9 - 15 November 2018) [EN/AR]

      As of 14 November, the Libyan Coast Guard (LCG) has rescued/intercepted 14,595 refugees and migrants (10,184 men, 2,147 women and 1,408 children) at sea. On 10 November, a commercial vessel reached the port of Misrata (187 km east of Tripoli) carrying 95 refugees and migrants who refused to disembark the boat. The individuals on board comprise of Ethiopian, Eritrean, South Sudanese, Pakistani, Bangladeshi and Somali nationals. UNHCR is closely following-up on the situation of the 14 individuals who have already disembarked and ensuring the necessary assistance is provided and screening is conducted for solutions. Since the onset, UNHCR has advocated for a peaceful resolution of the situation and provided food, water and core relief items (CRIs) to alleviate the suffering of individuals onboard the vessel.

      https://reliefweb.int/report/libya/unhcr-flash-update-libya-9-15-november-2018-enar
      #statistiques #2018 #chiffres

    • Rescued at sea, locked up, then sold to smugglers

      In Libya, refugees returned by EU-funded ships are thrust back into a world of exploitation.

      The Souq al Khamis detention centre in Khoms, Libya, is so close to the sea that migrants and refugees can hear waves crashing on the shore. Its detainees – hundreds of men, women and children – were among 15,000 people caught trying to cross the Mediterranean in flimsy boats in 2018, after attempting to reach Italy and the safety of Europe.

      They’re now locked in rooms covered in graffiti, including warnings that refugees may be sold to smugglers by the guards that watch them.


      This detention centre is run by the UN-backed Libyan government’s department for combatting illegal migration (DCIM). Events here over the last few weeks show how a hardening of European migration policy is leaving desperate refugees with little room to escape from networks ready to exploit them.

      Since 2014, the EU has allocated more than €300 million to Libya with the aim of stopping migration. Funnelled through the Trust Fund for Africa, this includes roughly €40 million for the Libyan coast guard, which intercepts boats in the Mediterranean. Ireland’s contribution to the trust fund will be €15 million between 2016 and 2020.

      Scabies

      One of the last 2018 sea interceptions happened on December 29th, when, the UN says, 286 people were returned to Khoms. According to two current detainees, who message using hidden phones, the returned migrants arrived at Souq al Khamis with scabies and other health problems, and were desperate for medical attention.


      On New Year’s Eve, a detainee messaged to say the guards in the centre had tried to force an Eritrean man to return to smugglers, but others managed to break down the door and save him.

      On Sunday, January 5th, detainees said, the Libyan guards were pressurising the still-unregistered arrivals to leave by beating them with guns. “The leaders are trying to push them [to] get out every day,” one said.

      https://www.irishtimes.com/news/world/europe/rescued-at-sea-locked-up-then-sold-to-smugglers-1.3759181

    • Migranti, 100 persone trasferite su cargo e riportate in Libia. Alarm Phone: “Sono sotto choc, credevano di andare in Italia”

      Dopo l’allarme delle scorse ore e la chiamata del premier Conte a Tripoli, le persone (tra cui venti donne e dodici bambini, uno dei quali potrebbe essere morto di stenti) sono state trasferite sull’imbarcazione che batte bandiera della Sierra Leone in direzione Misurata. Ma stando alle ultime informazioni, le tensioni a bordo rendono difficoltoso lo sbarco. Intanto l’ong Sea Watch ha salvato 47 persone e chiede un porto dove attraccare

      https://www.ilfattoquotidiano.it/2019/01/21/migranti-100-persone-trasferite-su-cargo-e-riportate-in-libia-alarm-phone-sono-sotto-choc-credevano-di-andare-in-italia/4911794

    • Migrants calling us in distress from the Mediterranean returned to Libya by deadly ‘refoulement’ industry

      When they called us from the sea, the 106 precarious travellers referred to their boat as a white balloon. This balloon, or rubber dinghy, was meant to carry them all the way to safety in Europe. The people on board – many men, about 20 women, and 12 children from central, west and north Africa – had left Khoms in Libya a day earlier, on the evening of January 19.

      Though they survived the night at sea, many of passengers on the boat were unwell, seasick and freezing. They decided to call for help and used their satellite phone at approximately 11am the next day. They reached out to the Alarm Phone, a hotline operated by international activists situated in Europe and Africa, that can be called by migrants in distress at sea. Alongside my work as a researcher on migration and borders, I am also a member of this activist network, and on that day I supported our shift team who received and documented the direct calls from the people on the boat in distress.

      The boat had been trying to get as far away as possible from the Libyan coast. Only then would the passengers stand a chance of escaping Libya’s coastguard. The European Union and Italy struck a deal in 2017 to train the Libyan coastguard in return for them stopping migrants reaching European shores. But a 2017 report by Amnesty International highlighted how the Libyan authorities operate in collusion with smuggling networks. Time and again, media reports suggest they have drastically violated the human rights of escaping migrants as well as the laws of the sea.

      The migrant travellers knew that if they were detected and caught, they would be abducted back to Libya, or illegally “refouled”. But Libya is a dangerous place for migrants in transit – as well as for Libyan nationals – given the ongoing civil conflict between several warring factions. In all likelihood, being sent back to Libya would mean being sent to detention centres described as “concentration-camp like” by German diplomats.

      The odds of reaching Europe were stacked against the people on the boat. Over the past year, the European-Libyan collaboration in containing migrants in North Africa, a research focus of mine, has resulted in a decrease of sea arrivals in Italy – from about 119,000 in 2017 to 23,000 in 2018. Precisely how many people were intercepted by the Libyan coastguards last year is unclear but the Libyan authorities have put the figure at around 15,000. The fact that this refoulement industry has led to a decrease in the number of migrant crossings in the central Mediterranean means that fewer people have been able to escape grave human rights violations and reach a place of safety.
      Shifting responsibility

      In repeated conversations, the 106 people on the boat made clear to the Alarm Phone activists that they would rather move on and endanger their lives by continuing to Europe than be returned by the Libyan coastguards. The activists stayed in touch with them, and for transparency reasons, the distress situation was made public via Twitter.

      Around noon, the situation on board deteriorated markedly and anxiety spread. With weather conditions worsening and after a boy had fallen unconscious, the people on the boat expressed for the first time their immediate fear of dying at sea and demanded Alarm Phone to alert all available authorities.

      The activists swiftly notified the Italian coastguards. But both the Italian Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre, and in turn the Maltese authorities, suggested it was the Libyan coastguard’s responsibility to handle the distress call. And yet, eight different phone numbers of the Libyan coastguards could not be reached by the activists.

      In the afternoon, the situation had come across the radar of the Italian media. When the Alarm Phone activists informed the people on board that the public had also been made aware of the situation by the media one person succinctly responded: “I don’t need to be on the news, I need to be rescued.”

      And yet media attention catapulted the story into the highest political spheres in Italy. According to a report in the Italian national newspaper Corriere della Sera, the prime minister, Giuseppe Conte, took charge of the situation, stating that the fate of the migrant boat could not be left to Alarm Phone activists. Conte instructed the Italian foreign intelligence service to launch rapid negotiations with the Libyan coastguards. It took some time to persuade them, but eventually, the Libyans were convinced to take action.

      In the meantime, the precarious passengers on the boat reported of water leaking into their boat, of the freezing cold, and their fear of drowning. The last time the Alarm Phone reached them, around 8pm, they could see a plane in the distance but were unable to forward their GPS coordinates to the Alarm Phone due to the failing battery of their satellite phone.
      Sent back to Libya

      About three hours later, the Italian coastguards issued a press release: the Libyans had assumed responsibility and co-ordinated the rescue of several boats. According to the press release, a merchant vessel had rescued the boat and the 106 people would be returned to Libya.

      According to the survivors and Médecins Sans Frontières who treated them on arrival, at least six people appeared to have drowned during the voyage – presumably after the Alarm Phone lost contact with them. Another boy died after disembarkation.

      A day later, on January 21, members of a second group of 144 people called the Alarm Phone from another merchant vessel. Just like the first group, they had been refouled to Libya, but they were still on board. Some still believed that they would be brought to Europe.

      Speaking on the phone with the activists, they could see land but it was not European but Libyan land. Recognising they’d been returned to their place of torment, they panicked, cried and threatened collective suicide. The women were separated from the men – Alarm Phone activists could hear them shout in the background. In the evening, contact with this second group of migrants was lost.

      During the evening of January 23, several of the women of the group reached out to the activists. They said that during the night, Libyan security forces boarded the merchant vessel and transported small groups into the harbour of Misrata, where they were taken to a detention centre. They said they’d been beaten when refusing to disembark. One of them, bleeding, feared that she had already lost her unborn child.

      On the next day, the situation worsened further. The women told the activists that Libyan forces entered their cell in the morning, pointing guns at them, after some of the imprisoned had tried to escape. Reportedly, every man was beaten. The pictures they sent to the Alarm Phone made it into Italian news, showing unhygienic conditions, overcrowded cells, and bodies with torture marks.

      Just like the 106 travellers on the “white balloon”, this second group of 144 people had risked their lives but were now back in their hell.
      Profiteering

      It’s more than likely that for some of these migrant travellers, this was not their first attempt to escape Libya. The tens of thousands captured at sea and returned over the past years have found themselves entangled in the European-Libyan refoulement “industry”. Due to European promises of financial support or border technologies, regimes with often questionable human rights records have wilfully taken on the role as Europe’s frontier guards. In the Mediterranean, the Libyan coastguards are left to do the dirty work while European agencies – such as Frontex, Eunavfor Med as well as the Italian and Maltese coastguards – have withdrawn from the most contentious and deadly areas of the sea.

      It’s sadly not surprising that flagrant human rights violations have become the norm rather than the exception. Quite cynically, several factions of the Libyan coastguards have profited not merely from Europe’s financial support but also from playing a “double game” in which they continue to be involved in human smuggling while, disguised as coastguards, clampdown on the trade of rival smuggling networks. This means that the Libyan coastguards profit often from both letting migrant boats leave and from subsequently recapturing them.

      The detention camps in Libya, where torture and rape are everyday phenomena, are not merely containment zones of captured migrants – they form crucial extortion zones in this refoulement industry. Migrants are turned into “cash cows” and are repeatedly subjected to violent forms of extortion, often forced to call relatives at home and beg for their ransom.

      Despite this systematic abuse, migrant voices cannot be completely drowned out. They continue to appear, rebelliously, from detention and even from the middle of the sea, reminding us all about Europe’s complicity in the production of their suffering.

      https://theconversation.com/migrants-calling-us-in-distress-from-the-mediterranean-returned-to-


  • https://www.courrierdesbalkans.fr/Une-ONG-accusee-d-aide-a-l-entree-irreguliere-de-migrants

    "L’ONG grecque Emergency response centre international (ERCY) était présente sur l’île de Lesbos depuis 2015 pour venir en aide aux réfugiés. Depuis mardi 28 août, ses 30 membres sont poursuivis pour avoir « facilité l’entrée illégale d’étrangers sur le territoire grec » en vue de gains financiers, selon le communiqué de la police grecque.

    L’enquête a commencé en février 2018, rapporte le site d’information protagon.gr, lorsqu’une Jeep portant une fausse plaque d’immatriculation de l’armée grecque a été découverte par la police sur une plage, attendant l’arrivée d’une barque pleine de réfugiés en provenance de Turquie. Les membres de l’ONG, six Grecs et 24 ressortissants étrangers, sont accusés d’avoir été informés à l’avance par des personnes présentes du côté turc des heures et des lieux d’arrivée des barques de migrants, d’avoir organisé l’accueil de ces réfugiés sans en informer les autorités locales et d’avoir surveillé illégalement les communications radio entre les autorités grecques et étrangères, dont Frontex, l’agence européenne des gardes-cotes et gardes-frontières. Les crimes pour lesquels ils sont inculpés – participation à une organisation criminelle, violation de secrets d’État et recel – sont passibles de la réclusion à perpétuité.

    Parmi les membres de l’ONG grecque arrêtés se trouve Yusra et Sarah Mardini, deux sœurs nageuses et réfugiées syrienne qui avaient sauvé 18 personnes de la noyade lors de leur traversée de la mer Égée en août 2015. Depuis Yusra a participé aux Jeux Olympiques de Rio, est devenue ambassadrice de l’ONU et a écrit un livre, Butterfly. Sarah avait quant à elle décidé d’aider à son tour les réfugiés qui traversaient dangereusement la mer Égée sur des bateaux de fortune et s’était engagée comme bénévole dans l’ONG ERCI durant l’été 2016.

    Sarah a été arrêtée le 21 août à l’aéroport de Lesbos alors qu’elle devait rejoindre Berlin où elle vit avec sa famille. Le 3 septembre, elle devait commencer son année universitaire au collège Bard en sciences sociales. La jeune Syrienne de 23 ans a été transférée à la prison de Korydallos, à Athènes, dans l’attente de son procès. Son avocat a demandé mercredi sa remise en liberté.

    Ce n’est pas la première fois que des ONG basées à Lesbos ont des soucis avec la justice grecque. Des membres de l’ONG espagnole Proem-Aid avaient aussi été accusés d’avoir participé à l’entrée illégale de réfugiés sur l’île. Ils ont été relaxés en mai dernier. D’après le ministère de la Marine, 114 ONG ont été enregistrées sur l’île, dont les activités souvent difficilement contrôlables inquiètent le gouvernement grec et ses partenaires européens."

    #grèce #migration #criminalisation #frontex #mobilisation #courrier-des-balkans


  • Vu sur Twitter :

    M.Potte-Bonneville @pottebonneville a retweeté Catherine Boitard

    Vous vous souvenez ? Elle avait sauvé ses compagnons en tirant l’embarcation à la nage pendant trois heures : Sarah Mardini, nageuse olympique et réfugiée syrienne, est arrêtée pour aide à l’immigration irrégulière.

    Les olympiades de la honte 2018 promettent de beaux records

    M.Potte-Bonneville @pottebonneville a retweeté Catherine Boitard @catboitard :

    Avec sa soeur Yusra, nageuse olympique et distinguée par l’ONU, elle avait sauvé 18 réfugiés de la noyade à leur arrivée en Grèce. La réfugiée syrienne Sarah Mardini, boursière à Berlin et volontaire de l’ONG ERCI, a été arrêtée à Lesbos pour aide à immigration irrégulière

    #migration #asile #syrie #grèce #solidarité #humanité

    • GRÈCE : LA POLICE ARRÊTE 30 MEMBRES D’UNE ONG D’AIDE AUX RÉFUGIÉS

      La police a arrêté, mardi 28 août, 30 membres de l’ONG grecque #ERCI, dont les soeurs syriennes Yusra et Sarah Mardini, qui avaient sauvé la vie à 18 personnes en 2015. Les militant.e.s sont accusés d’avoir aidé des migrants à entrer illégalement sur le territoire grec via l’île de Lesbos. Ils déclarent avoir agi dans le cadre de l’assistance à personnes en danger.

      Par Marina Rafenberg

      L’ONG grecque Emergency response centre international (ERCY) était présente sur l’île de Lesbos depuis 2015 pour venir en aide aux réfugiés. Depuis mardi 28 août, ses 30 membres sont poursuivis pour avoir « facilité l’entrée illégale d’étrangers sur le territoire grec » en vue de gains financiers, selon le communiqué de la police grecque.

      L’enquête a commencé en février 2018, rapporte le site d’information protagon.gr, lorsqu’une Jeep portant une fausse plaque d’immatriculation de l’armée grecque a été découverte par la police sur une plage, attendant l’arrivée d’une barque pleine de réfugiés en provenance de Turquie. Les membres de l’ONG, six Grecs et 24 ressortissants étrangers, sont accusés d’avoir été informés à l’avance par des personnes présentes du côté turc des heures et des lieux d’arrivée des barques de migrants, d’avoir organisé l’accueil de ces réfugiés sans en informer les autorités locales et d’avoir surveillé illégalement les communications radio entre les autorités grecques et étrangères, dont Frontex, l’agence européenne des gardes-cotes et gardes-frontières. Les crimes pour lesquels ils sont inculpés – participation à une organisation criminelle, violation de secrets d’État et recel – sont passibles de la réclusion à perpétuité.

      Parmi les membres de l’ONG grecque arrêtés se trouve Yusra et Sarah Mardini, deux sœurs nageuses et réfugiées syrienne qui avaient sauvé 18 personnes de la noyade lors de leur traversée de la mer Égée en août 2015. Depuis Yusra a participé aux Jeux Olympiques de Rio, est devenue ambassadrice de l’ONU et a écrit un livre, Butterfly. Sarah avait quant à elle décidé d’aider à son tour les réfugiés qui traversaient dangereusement la mer Égée sur des bateaux de fortune et s’était engagée comme bénévole dans l’ONG ERCI durant l’été 2016.

      Sarah a été arrêtée le 21 août à l’aéroport de Lesbos alors qu’elle devait rejoindre Berlin où elle vit avec sa famille. Le 3 septembre, elle devait commencer son année universitaire au collège Bard en sciences sociales. La jeune Syrienne de 23 ans a été transférée à la prison de Korydallos, à Athènes, dans l’attente de son procès. Son avocat a demandé mercredi sa remise en liberté.

      Ce n’est pas la première fois que des ONG basées à Lesbos ont des soucis avec la justice grecque. Des membres de l’ONG espagnole Proem-Aid avaient aussi été accusés d’avoir participé à l’entrée illégale de réfugiés sur l’île. Ils ont été relaxés en mai dernier. D’après le ministère de la Marine, 114 ONG ont été enregistrées sur l’île, dont les activités souvent difficilement contrôlables inquiètent le gouvernement grec et ses partenaires européens.

      https://www.courrierdesbalkans.fr/Une-ONG-accusee-d-aide-a-l-entree-irreguliere-de-migrants

      #grèce #asile #migrations #réfugiés #solidarité #délit_de_solidarité

    • Arrest of Syrian ’hero swimmer’ puts Lesbos refugees back in spotlight

      Sara Mardini’s case adds to fears that rescue work is being criminalised and raises questions about NGO.

      Greece’s high-security #Korydallos prison acknowledges that #Sara_Mardini is one of its rarer inmates. For a week, the Syrian refugee, a hero among human rights defenders, has been detained in its women’s wing on charges so serious they have elicited baffled dismay.

      The 23-year-old, who saved 18 refugees in 2015 by swimming their waterlogged dingy to the shores of Lesbos with her Olympian sister, is accused of people smuggling, espionage and membership of a criminal organisation – crimes allegedly committed since returning to work with an NGO on the island. Under Greek law, Mardini can be held in custody pending trial for up to 18 months.

      “She is in a state of disbelief,” said her lawyer, Haris Petsalnikos, who has petitioned for her release. “The accusations are more about criminalising humanitarian action. Sara wasn’t even here when these alleged crimes took place but as charges they are serious, perhaps the most serious any aid worker has ever faced.”

      Mardini’s arrival to Europe might have gone unnoticed had it not been for the extraordinary courage she and younger sister, Yusra, exhibited guiding their boat to safety after the engine failed during the treacherous crossing from Turkey. Both were elite swimmers, with Yusra going on to compete in the 2016 Rio Olympics.

      The sisters, whose story is the basis of a forthcoming film by the British director Stephen Daldry, were credited with saving the lives of their fellow passengers. In Germany, their adopted homeland, the pair has since been accorded star status.

      It was because of her inspiring story that Mardini was approached by Emergency Response Centre International, ERCI, on Lesbos. “After risking her own life to save 18 people … not only has she come back to ground zero, but she is here to ensure that no more lives get lost on this perilous journey,” it said after Mardini agreed to join its ranks in 2016.

      After her first stint with ERCI, she again returned to Lesbos last December to volunteer with the aid group. And until 21 August there was nothing to suggest her second spell had not gone well. But as Mardini waited at Mytilini airport to head back to Germany, and a scholarship at Bard College in Berlin, she was arrested. Soon after that, police also arrested ERCI’s field director, Nassos Karakitsos, a former Greek naval force officer, and Sean Binder, a German volunteer who lives in Ireland. All three have protested their innocence.

      The arrests come as signs of a global clampdown on solidarity networks mount. From Russia to Spain, European human rights workers have been targeted in what campaigners call an increasingly sinister attempt to silence civil society in the name of security.

      “There is the concern that this is another example of civil society being closed down by the state,” said Jonathan Cooper, an international human rights lawyer in London. “What we are really seeing is Greek authorities using Sara to send a very worrying message that if you volunteer for refugee work you do so at your peril.”

      But amid concerns about heavy-handed tactics humanitarians face, Greek police say there are others who see a murky side to the story, one ofpeople trafficking and young volunteers being duped into participating in a criminal network unwittingly. In that scenario,the Mardini sisters would make prime targets.

      Greek authorities spent six months investigating the affair. Agents were flown into Lesbos from Athens and Thessaloniki. In an unusually long and detailed statement, last week, Mytilini police said that while posing as a non-profit organisation, ERCI had acted with the sole purpose of profiteering by bringing people illegally into Greece via the north-eastern Aegean islands.

      Members had intercepted Greek and European coastguard radio transmissions to gain advance notification of the location of smugglers’ boats, police said, and that 30, mostly foreign nationals, were lined up to be questioned in connection with the alleged activities. Other “similar organisations” had also collaborated in what was described as “an informal plan to confront emergency situations”, they added.

      Suspicions were first raised, police said, when Mardini and Binder were stopped in February driving a former military 4X4 with false number plates. ERCI remained unnamed until the release of the charge sheets for the pair and that of Karakitsos.

      Lesbos has long been on the frontline of the refugee crisis, attracting idealists and charity workers. Until a dramatic decline in migration numbers via the eastern Mediterranean in March 2016, when a landmark deal was signed between the EU and Turkey, the island was the main entry point to Europe.

      An estimated 114 NGOs and 7,356 volunteers are based on Lesbos, according to Greek authorities. Local officials talk of “an industry”, and with more than 10,000 refugees there and the mood at boiling point, accusations of NGOs acting as a “pull factor” are rife.

      “Sara’s motive for going back this year was purely humanitarian,” said Oceanne Fry, a fellow student who in June worked alongside her at a day clinic in the refugee reception centre.

      “At no point was there any indication of illegal activity by the group … but I can attest to the fact that, other than our intake meeting, none of the volunteers ever met, or interacted, with its leadership.”

      The mayor of Lesbos, Spyros Galinos, said he has seen “good and bad” in the humanitarian movement since the start of the refugee crisis.

      “Everything is possible,. There is no doubt that some NGOs have exploited the situation. The police announcement was uncommonly harsh. For a long time I have been saying that we just don’t need all these NGOs. When the crisis erupted, yes, the state was woefully unprepared but now that isn’t the case.”

      Attempts to contact ERCI were unsuccessful. Neither a telephone number nor an office address – in a scruffy downtown building listed by the aid group on social media – appeared to have any relation to it.

      In a statement released more than a week after Mardini’s arrest, ERCI denied the allegations, saying it had fallen victim to “unfounded claims, accusations and charges”. But it failed to make any mention of Mardini.

      “It makes no sense at all,” said Amed Khan, a New York financier turned philanthropist who has donated boats for ERCI’s search and rescue operations. To accuse any of them of human trafficking is crazy.

      “In today’s fortress Europe you have to wonder whether Brussels isn’t behind it, whether this isn’t a concerted effort to put a chill on civil society volunteers who are just trying to help. After all, we’re talking about grassroots organisations with global values that stepped up into the space left by authorities failing to do their bit.”


      https://amp.theguardian.com/world/2018/sep/06/arrest-of-syrian-hero-swimmer-lesbos-refugees-sara-mardini?CMP=shar

      #Sarah_Mardini

    • The volunteers facing jail for rescuing migrants in the Mediterranean

      The risk of refugees and migrants drowning in the Mediterranean has increased dramatically over the past few years.

      As the European Union pursued a policy of externalisation, voluntary groups stepped in to save the thousands of people making the dangerous crossing. One by one, they are now criminalised.

      The arrest of Sarah Mardini, one of two Syrian sisters who saved a number of refugees in 2015 by pulling their sinking dinghy to Greece, has brought the issue to international attention.

      The Trial

      There aren’t chairs enough for the people gathered in Mytilíni Court. Salam Aldeen sits front row to the right. He has a nervous smile on his face, mouth half open, the tongue playing over his lips.

      Noise emanates from the queue forming in the hallway as spectators struggle for a peak through the door’s windows. The morning heat is already thick and moist – not helped by the two unplugged fans hovering motionless in dead air.

      Police officers with uneasy looks, 15 of them, lean up against the cooling walls of the court. From over the judge, a golden Jesus icon looks down on the assembly. For the sunny holiday town on Lesbos, Greece, this is not a normal court proceeding.

      Outside the court, international media has unpacked their cameras and unloaded their equipment. They’ve come from the New York Times, Deutsche Welle, Danish, Greek and Spanish media along with two separate documentary teams.

      There is no way of knowing when the trial will end. Maybe in a couple of days, some of the journalists say, others point to the unpredictability of the Greek judicial system. If the authorities decide to make a principle out of the case, this could take months.

      Salam Aldeen, in a dark blue jacket, white shirt and tie, knows this. He is charged with human smuggling and faces life in jail.

      More than 16,000 people have drowned in less than five years trying to cross the Mediterranean. That’s an average of ten people dying every day outside Europe’s southern border – more than the Russia-Ukraine conflict over the same period.

      In 2015, when more than one million refugees crossed the Mediterranean, the official death toll was around 3,700. A year later, the number of migrants dropped by two thirds – but the death toll increased to more than 5,000. With still fewer migrants crossing during 2017 and the first half of 2018, one would expect the rate of surviving to pick up.

      The numbers, however, tell a different story. For a refugee setting out to cross the Mediterranean today, the risk of drowning has significantly increased.

      The deaths of thousands of people don’t happen in a vacuum. And it would be impossible to explain the increased risks of crossing without considering recent changes in EU-policies towards migration in the Mediterranean.

      The criminalisation of a Danish NGO-worker on the tiny Greek island of Lesbos might help us understand the deeper layers of EU immigration policy.

      The deterrence effect

      On 27 March 2011, 72 migrants flee Tripoli and squeeze into a 12m long rubber dinghy with a max capacity of 25 people. They start the outboard engine and set out in the Mediterranean night, bound for the Italian island of Lampedusa. In the morning, they are registered by a French aircraft flying over. The migrants stay on course. But 18 hours into their voyage, they send out a distress-call from a satellite phone. The signal is picked up by the rescue centre in Rome who alerts other vessels in the area.

      Two hours later, a military helicopter flies over the boat. At this point, the migrants accidentally drop their satellite phone in the sea. In the hours to follow, the migrants encounter several fishing boats – but their call of distress is ignored. As day turns into night, a second helicopter appears and drops rations of water and biscuits before leaving.

      And then, the following morning on 28 March – the migrants run out of fuel. Left at the mercy of wind and oceanic currents, the migrants embark on a hopeless journey. They drift south; exactly where they came from.

      They don’t see any ships the following day. Nor the next; a whole week goes by without contact to the outside world. But then, somewhere between 3 and 5 April, a military vessel appears on the horizon. It moves in on the migrants and circle their boat.

      The migrants, exhausted and on the brink of despair, wave and signal distress. But as suddenly as it arrived, the military vessel turns around and disappears. And all hope with it.

      On April 10, almost a week later, the migrant vessel lands on a beach south of Tripoli. Of the 72 passengers who left 2 weeks ago, only 11 make it back alive. Two die shortly hereafter.

      Lorenzo Pezzani, lecturer at Forensic Architecture at Goldsmiths University of London, was stunned when he read about the case. In 2011, he was still a PhD student developing new spatial and aesthetic visual tools to document human rights violations. Concerned with the rising number of migrant deaths in the Mediterranean, Lorenzo Pezzani and his colleague Charles Heller founded Forensic Oceanography, an affiliated group to Forensic Architecture. Their first project was to uncover the events and policies leading to a vessel left adrift in full knowledge by international rescue operations.

      It was the public outrage fuelled by the 2013 Lampedusa shipwreck which eventually led to the deployment of Operation Mare Nostrum. At this point, the largest migration of people since the Second World War, the Syrian exodus, could no longer be contained within Syria’s neighbouring countries. At the same time, a relative stability in Libya after the fall of Gaddafi in 2011 descended into civil war; waves of migrants started to cross the Mediterranean.

      From October 2013, Mare Nostrum broke with the reigning EU-policy of non-interference and deployed Italian naval vessels, planes and helicopters at a monthly cost of €9.5 million. The scale was unprecedented; saving lives became the political priority over policing and border control. In terms of lives saved, the operation was an undisputed success. Its own life, however, would be short.

      A critical narrative formed on the political right and was amplified by sections of the media: Mare Nostrum was accused of emboldening Libyan smugglers who – knowing rescue ships were waiting – would send out more migrants. In this understanding, Mare Nostrum constituted a so-called “pull factor” on migrants from North African countries. A year after its inception, Mare Nostrum was terminated.

      In late 2014, Mare Nostrum was replaced by Operation Triton led by Frontex, the European Border and Coast Guard Agency, with an initial budget of €2.4 million per month. Triton refocused on border control instead of sea rescues in an area much closer to Italian shores. This was a return to the pre-Mare Nostrum policy of non-assistance to deter migrants from crossing. But not only did the change of policy fail to act as a deterrence against the thousands of migrants still crossing the Mediterranean, it also left a huge gap between the amount of boats in distress and operational rescue vessels. A gap increasingly filled by merchant vessels.

      Merchant vessels, however, do not have the equipment or training to handle rescues of this volume. On 31 March 2015, the shipping community made a call to EU-politicians warning of a “terrible risk of further catastrophic loss of life as ever-more desperate people attempt this deadly sea crossing”. Between 1 January and 20 May 2015, merchant ships rescued 12.000 people – 30 per cent of the total number rescued in the Mediterranean.

      As the shipping community had already foreseen, the new policy of non-assistance as deterrence led to several horrific incidents. These culminated in two catastrophic shipwrecks on 12 and 18 April 2015 and the death of 1,200 people. In both cases, merchant vessels were right next to the overcrowded migrant boats when chaotic rescue attempts caused the migrant boats to take in water and eventually sink. The crew of the merchant vessels could only watch as hundreds of people disappeared in the ocean.

      Back in 1990, the Dublin Convention declared that the first EU-country an asylum seeker enters is responsible for accepting or rejecting the claim. No one in 1990 had expected the Syrian exodus of 2015 – nor the gigantic pressure it would put on just a handful of member states. No other EU-member felt the ineptitudes and total unpreparedness of the immigration system than a country already knee-deep in a harrowing economic crisis. That country was Greece.

      In September 2015, when the world saw the picture of a three-year old Syrian boy, Alan Kurdi, washed up on a beach in Turkey, Europe was already months into what was readily called a “refugee crisis”. Greece was overwhelmed by the hundreds of thousands of people fleeing the Syrian war. During the following month alone, a staggering 200.000 migrants crossed the Aegean Sea from Turkey to reach Europe. With a minimum of institutional support, it was volunteers like Salam Aldeen who helped reduce the overall number of casualties.

      The peak of migrants entered Greece that autumn but huge numbers kept arriving throughout the winter – in worsening sea conditions. Salam Aldeen recalls one December morning on Lesbos.

      The EU-Turkey deal

      And then, from one day to the next, the EU-Turkey deal changed everything. There was a virtual stop of people crossing from Turkey to Greece. From a perspective of deterrence, the agreement was an instant success. In all its simplicity, Turkey had agreed to contain and prevent refugees from reaching the EU – by land or by sea. For this, Turkey would be given a monetary compensation.

      But opponents of the deal included major human rights organisations. Simply paying Turkey a formidable sum of money (€6 billion to this date) to prevent migrants from reaching EU-borders was feared to be a symptom of an ‘out of sight, out of mind’ attitude pervasive among EU decision makers. Moreover, just like Libya in 2015 threatened to flood Europe with migrants, the Turkish President Erdogan would suddenly have a powerful geopolitical card on his hands. A concern that would later be confirmed by EU’s vague response to Erdogan’s crackdown on Turkish opposition.

      As immigration dwindled in Greece, the flow of migrants and refugees continued and increased in the Central Mediterranean during the summer of 2016. At the same time, disorganised Libyan militias were now running the smuggling business and exploited people more ruthlessly than ever before. Migrant boats without satellite phones or enough provision or fuel became increasingly common. Due to safety concerns, merchant vessels were more reluctant to assist in rescue operations. The death toll increased.
      A Conspiracy?

      Frustrated with the perceived apathy of EU states, Non-governmental organisations (NGOs) responded to the situation. At its peak, 12 search and rescue NGO vessels were operating in the Mediterranean and while the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex) paused many of its operations during the fall and winter of 2016, the remaining NGO vessels did the bulk of the work. Under increasingly dangerous weather conditions, 47 per cent of all November rescues were carried out by NGOs.

      Around this time, the first accusations were launched against rescue NGOs from ‘alt-right’ groups. Accusations, it should be noted, conspicuously like the ones sounded against Mare Nostrum. Just like in 2014, Frontex and EU-politicians followed up and accused NGOs of posing a “pull factor”. The now Italian vice-prime minister, Luigi Di Maio, went even further and denounced NGOs as “taxis for migrants”. Just like in 2014, no consideration was given to the conditions in Libya.

      Moreover, NGOs were falsely accused of collusion with Libyan smugglers. Meanwhile Italian agents had infiltrated the crew of a Save the Children rescue vessel to uncover alleged secret evidence of collusion. The German Jugendrettet NGO-vessel, Iuventa, was impounded and – echoing Salam Aldeen’s case in Greece – the captain accused of collusion with smugglers by Italian authorities.

      The attacks to delegitimise NGOs’ rescue efforts have had a clear effect: many of the NGOs have now effectively stopped their operations in the Mediterranean. Lorenzo Pezzani and Charles Heller, in their report, Mare Clausum, argued that the wave of delegitimisation of humanitarian work was just one part of a two-legged strategy – designed by the EU – to regain control over the Mediterranean.
      Migrants’ rights aren’t human rights

      Libya long ago descended into a precarious state of lawlessness. In the maelstrom of poverty, war and despair, migrants and refugees have become an exploitable resource for rivalling militias in a country where two separate governments compete for power.

      In November 2017, a CNN investigation exposed an entire industry involving slave auctions, rape and people being worked to death.

      Chief spokesman of the UN Migration Agency, Leonard Doyle, describes Libya as a “torture archipelago” where migrants transiting have no idea that they are turned into commodities to be bought, sold and discarded when they have no more value.

      Migrants intercepted by the Libyan Coast Guard (LCG) are routinely brought back to the hellish detention centres for indefinite captivity. Despite EU-leaders’ moral outcry following the exposure of the conditions in Libya, the EU continues to be instrumental in the capacity building of the LCG.

      Libya hadn’t had a functioning coast guard since the fall of Gaddafi in 2011. But starting in late 2016, the LCG received increasing funding from Italy and the EU in the form of patrol boats, training and financial support.

      Seeing the effect of the EU-Turkey deal in deterring refugees crossing the Aegean Sea, Italy and the EU have done all in their power to create a similar approach in Libya.
      The EU Summit

      Forty-two thousand undocumented migrants have so far arrived at Europe’s shores this year. That’s a fraction of the more than one million who arrived in 2015. But when EU leaders met at an “emergency summit” in Brussels in late June, the issue of migration was described by Chancellor Merkel as a “make or break” for the Union. How does this align with the dwindling numbers of refugees and migrants?

      Data released in June 2018 showed that Europeans are more concerned about immigration than any other social challenge. More than half want a ban on migration from Muslim countries. Europe, it seems, lives in two different, incompatible realities as summit after summit tries to untie the Gordian knot of the migration issue.

      Inside the courthouse in Mytilini, Salam Aldeen is questioned by the district prosecutor. The tropical temperature induces an echoing silence from the crowded spectators. The district prosecutor looks at him, open mouth, chin resting on her fist.

      She seems impatient with the translator and the process of going from Greek to English and back. Her eyes search the room. She questions him in detail about the night of arrest. He answers patiently. She wants Salam Aldeen and the four crew members to be found guilty of human smuggling.

      Salam Aldeen’s lawyer, Mr Fragkiskos Ragkousis, an elderly white-haired man, rises before the court for his final statement. An ancient statuette with his glasses in one hand. Salam’s parents sit with scared faces, they haven’t slept for two days; the father’s comforting arm covers the mother’s shoulder. Then, like a once dormant volcano, the lawyer erupts in a torrent of pathos and logos.

      “Political interests changed the truth and created this wicked situation, playing with the defendant’s freedom and honour.”

      He talks to the judge as well as the public. A tragedy, a drama unfolds. The prosecutor looks remorseful, like a small child in her large chair, almost apologetic. Defeated. He’s singing now, Ragkousis. Index finger hits the air much like thunder breaks the night sounding the roar of something eternal. He then sits and the room quiets.

      It was “without a doubt” that the judge acquitted Salam Aldeen and his four colleagues on all charges. The prosecutor both had to determine the defendants’ intention to commit the crime – and that the criminal action had been initialised. She failed at both. The case, as the Italian case against the Iuventa, was baseless.

      But EU’s policy of externalisation continues. On 17 March 2018, the ProActiva rescue vessel, Open Arms, was seized by Italian authorities after it had brought back 217 people to safety.

      Then again in June, the decline by Malta and Italy’s new right-wing government to let the Aquarious rescue-vessel dock with 629 rescued people on board sparked a fierce debate in international media.

      In July, Sea Watch’s Moonbird, a small aircraft used to search for migrant boats, was prevented from flying any more operations by Maltese authorities; the vessel Sea Watch III was blocked from leaving harbour and the captain of a vessel from the NGO Mission Lifeline was taken to court over “registration irregularities“.

      Regardless of Europe’s future political currents, geopolitical developments are only likely to continue to produce refugees worldwide. Will the EU alter its course as the crisis mutates and persists? Or are the deaths of thousands the only possible outcome?

      https://theferret.scot/volunteers-facing-jail-rescuing-migrants-mediterranean


  • 08/07: 19 travellers at Turkish-Greek landborder, pushed-back to Turkey

    Watch The Med Alarm Phone Investigations – 8th of July 2018

    Case name: 2018_07_08-AEG406
    Situation: 19 travellers at Turkish-Greek landborder, pushed-back to Turkey
    Status of WTM Investigation: Concluded

    Place of Incident: Aegean Sea

    Summary of the Case:

    On Sunday, 8th of July, at 11:14pm CEST, we were alerted to a group of travellers stuck near #Tichero, Greece, close to the Turkish landborder. The group consisted of 19 people, among them a 1-year-old child, a pregnant lady and a man that had a broken leg. At 12:11pm we managed to establish contact to the travellers. They were afraid of being pushed-back to Turkey by the police and asked for medical aid and the possibility to seek asylum in Greece. We asked them for a list of their names and birth dates in order to alert UNHCR. At 1:02am we received the list. We couldn’t get back in contact until 1:47am. The group decided not to move further and to wait until the morning for the UNHCR office to open so they could call there.
    At 8:30am we called UNHCR and asked for assistance. At 8:45am we also called the local police station but the operator refused to speak to us in English. We told the group to call 112 themselves for assistance. Until 9:30am we couldn’t reach any local police station. At 9:50am we sent an email to the local authorities and UNHCR to inform them about the people. Afterwards we continuously tried again to get in touch with the authorities and the group, but couldn’t establish a connection any more. At 2pm we reached the police in Alexandropolis. They informed us that they were searching since one hour but hadn’t found the travellers. During the afternoon, we couldn’t get any news and didn’t reach the travellers anymore. At 6:53pm the police informed us that they had not found the group yet. The next day at 11:02am we were informed by a contact person that the group had been found and that they had been allegedly violently pushed-back to Turkey. At 12:45am we managed to reach the group itself. They told us that the police had found them at 5:00pm the day before and put them in „a prison“. At 10:00pm the police had told the group that they were being moved to a camp to apply for international protection. However, the police instead brought them back to the river and handed them to officers discribed as „military“, who forced them onto a boat and across Evros border river back to Turkey. The police officers before had confiscated personal belongings of the refugees, including mobile phones, money, passports and the food for the baby.

    http://watchthemed.net/reports/view/943

    #Evros #Grèce #frontières #Turquie #push-back #refoulement #asile #migrations #réfugiés

    • WSJ: Turks fleeing Erdogan fuel new influx of refugees to Greece

      Thousands of Turks flee Turkey due to a massive witch-hunt launched by the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) government against the Kurds and the Gülen Group in the wake of a failed coup attempt on July 15, 2016.
      Around 14,000 people crossed the Evros frontier from January through September of this year, more than double the number for the whole of last year, according to the Greek police. Around half of them were Turkish citizens, according to estimates from Frontex, the European Union’s border agency. Many are judges, military personnel, civil servants or business people who have fallen under Turkish authorities’ suspicion, had their passports canceled and chosen an illegal route out.
      Nearly 4,000 Turks have applied for asylum in Greece so far this year. But most Turkish arrivals don’t register their presence in Greece, planning instead to head deeper into Europe and further from Turkey.

      About 30 Turks have been arriving on a daily basis since the failed coup, according to Kathimerini, there were zero arrivals from Turkey in 2015. However, thousands of Turkish citizens have started claiming asylum in Greece since “Erdogan stepped up his crackdown against his opponents since the failed coup attempt.”

      The Wall Street Journal interviewed some of the purge-victim families in Greece:

      “In the dead of night, Yunuz Cagar and his wife Cansu gave their baby some herbal tea to help her sleep, donned backpacks and followed smugglers on a muddy path along the Evros river, evading fences and border guards until they reached Greece.

      Mr. Cagar, a 29-year-old court clerk, was living a quiet life with his family in a provincial town near Istanbul until Turkey’s crackdown after a failed military coup in 2016 turned their world upside down. Judges, colleagues and friends were arrested. He lost his job and had to move the family into his parents’ attic. Mr. Cagar was arrested and spent four months in prison. His crime, he says, was downloading a messaging app, an act he says the state treated as evidence of supporting terrorism.
      The flow of asylum seekers crossing the Greek-Turkish border along the Evros river is rising for the first time since the peak of Europe’s migration crisis in 2015. This time, though, the increase is mainly due to Turks fleeing President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his dragnet against real or imagined followers of the U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gulen. Turkey accuses Mr. Gulen, an ex-ally turned enemy of Mr. Erdogan, of orchestrating the coup attempt.

      “We didn’t say goodbye to anyone before leaving,” said Mr. Cagar, who is now in Athens trying to find some way to get to Germany. His wife and child already made it there with the help of smugglers who have demanded a hefty price. “We began our journey with €13,000 ($14,700) and I have €1,500 left,” he said.

      Ahmed, a 30-year-old former F-16 pilot in the Turkish air force, spends his days talking to smugglers and trying to find a way out. “My dream is Canada, but the reality is Omonoia,” he said, referring to the gritty square in downtown Athens where migrants and smugglers mingle.

      A few months after the coup attempt, Ahmed said, he was dismissed, accused of Gulenist links, arrested and beaten, after another officer denounced him. He said he has no connections with Mr. Gulen’s network. He was released pending trial, but decided to flee when a prison term appeared unavoidable.

      Yilmaz Bilir, his wife Ozlem and their four children were on vacation when the coup attempt happened. Mr. Bilir, who worked at the information-technology department of Turkey’s foreign ministry, found out months later that he was suspected of Gulenist links, which he denies. The family went into hiding, staying with relatives and friends. Mr. Bilir was arrested when he briefly visited his own home and neighbors called the police. When he was released pending trial, the family decided to leave Turkey.

      Mr. Bilir made it to Germany using a forged passport and has applied for asylum there. His wife and children have applied to join him.

      Mrs. Bilir, stuck for now in Athens, remembers how happy the family was when they crossed the river Evros one summer night. “It was an endless walk, but we were happy, because we were away together,” she said. “I was so stressed in Turkey that I couldn’t sleep well for months, but that first night in detention in Greece, I finally slept.”

      After the coup, Meral Budak was suspended from her job as a teacher. Her husband was a journalist at Zaman, a major Turkish newspaper linked to Mr. Gulen’s movement. He had a valid U.S. visa and was able to travel to Canada, where he now works as an Uber driver. His 18-year-old son joined him a few months later.

      Mrs. Budak and the couple’s 15-year-old son Ali remained in Turkey and soon had their passports revoked. They went into hiding for a year. “The most traumatic memory was when I burned hundreds of books,” she said. “Even my children’s school books could be considered evidence, since the publishing companies were funded by Gulen.”
      On Jan. 1 of this year, Mrs. Budak and Ali undertook the long walk across the Evros and into Greece, where they now wait to join the rest of the family in Canada.

      “When I was walking through Greek villages, I realized my life was never going to be the same,” Mrs. Budak said. “I was walking into the unknown.”
      Read the full report on: https://www.wsj.com/articles/turks-fleeing-erdogan-fuel-new-influx-of-refugees-to-greece-1543672801

      https://turkeypurge.com/wsj-turks-fleeing-erdogan-fuel-new-influx-of-refugees-to-greece
      #réfugiés_turcs

    • Fourth migrant found dead near border, Greek ’pushback’ suspected

      Bodies of migrants keep piling up on Turkey’s border with Greece, while Greece denies it is involved in illegal “pushback” practices. Villagers in Adasarhanlı, where the body of another migrant was found earlier this week, alerted authorities after they discovered a body in a rice field, a short distance from the Turkish-Greek border, late Wednesday. The man is believed to be an illegal migrant forced to walk back to Turkey in freezing temperatures by Greek police as part of their controversial pushback practice.

      An initial investigation shows the man froze to death three days ago, and there were lesions on his body stemming from prolonged exposure to water.

      İbrahim Dalkıran, the leader of the village, said they have seen a large number of migrants recently in the area, and many took shelter, in wet clothes or half naked, in Adasarhanlı. “This is a humanitarian situation. Greece sends back migrants almost every three or four days. Some arrive injured, and we call a doctor. It is sad to see them in such a state,” Dalkıran told reporters.

      Olga Gerovasili, Greece’s minister for citizen protection whose ministry oversees border security, has denied previous allegations of pushback and told Anadolu Agency (AA) that Greece is not involved in such incidents. Yet, figures provided to AA by Turkish security sources show many illegal migrants were forced to go back to Turkey by Greek officials, with some 2,490 migrants being pushed back in November alone. The agency reports that some 300 of them were subjected to mistreatment by Greek security forces, ranging from beatings to being forced to go back half naked to the Turkish side of the border.

      Three bodies, believed to be Afghan or Pakistani migrants, were found in three villages in Edirne, the Turkish province that borders Greece. More than 70,000 illegal migrants were intercepted in Edirne between January and November, a high number compared to the 47,731 stopped last year as they tried to cross into Greece despite an increase in pushback reports.

      Under international laws and conventions, Greece is obliged to register any illegal migrants entering its territory; yet, this is not the case for some migrants. Security sources say that accounts of migrants interviewed by Turkish migration authority staff and social workers show that they are forced to return to Turkey, where they arrived from their homelands with the hope of reaching Europe.

      Pırıl Erçoban, a coordinator for the Association for Solidarity with Refugees (Mülteci-Der), says pushback constitutes a serious crime. She said it was “sad and unacceptable” that three migrants died, the number of deaths illustrates a serious problem. “It sheds light on the fact that pushback is being applied. It is still a crime to send those people back, even if they can make it back to Turkey alive,” Erçoban told AA. She says pushback was also taking place on migrant sea journeys, but has stopped, although the practice has continued on land. “Both Greece and Bulgaria are involved in this practice. Our figures show some 11,000 [illegal migrants] entered Turkey from Greece and Bulgaria, though not all of them were forced; we believe a substantial portion of returns are the result of pushback,” she said, adding returns were mostly via Greece. Erçoban said taking legal action to help migrants forced to return was difficult, as they could not reach the victims. “There should be administrative and criminal sanctions, and the culprits should be found. Turkey should take steps against pushback if [Greece] adopted it as a state policy. We hear that they are being beaten with iron bars and sent back without their clothes. This is a crime,” she added.

      Every year, hundreds of thousands of migrants flee civil conflict or economic hardship in their home countries in hope of reaching Europe. Edirne is a primary migration route. Turkish Directorate General of Migration Management data reveals that most of the migrants come from Pakistan, Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan. The numbers increase in late summer and autumn before dropping in the winter months.

      Temperatures hover near minus zero degrees Celsius in Edirne and other provinces at the border, which also saw heavy rainfall last week. Migrants usually take boats on the Meriç River, while some try to swim across to the other side. Early yesterday, police stopped 17 Pakistani migrants who were walking on train tracks near the border.

      https://www.dailysabah.com/investigations/2018/12/07/fourth-migrant-found-dead-near-border-greek-pushback-suspected/amp?__twitter_impression=true
      #mourir_aux_frontières #décès #morts

    • Greece accused of migrant ’pushbacks’ at Turkey border

      Hundreds of migrants including children and families have been illegally returned from Greece to Turkey despite Greek authorities being repeatedly warned about the practice, three non-governmental organizations said Wednesday.

      Migrants being forced back over the border, in violation of international law, has become the “new normality” at the border crossing with Turkey in Greece’s northeast Evros region, the three Greek organizations said.

      The testimonies of 39 people who attempted to cross the border to Europe, collected in detention centers near the border since the spring, were published in a report by the Greek Council for Refugees, ARSIS and HumanRights360.

      In their testimonies, the migrants describe being intercepted and detained by people wearing police or military uniforms, sometimes with a hood covering their face, who then forced them onto a boat to cross the Evros River back to Turkey.

      Some migrants described being physically abused or robbed by the individuals, who mostly spoke Greek.

      The report “constitutes evidence of the practice of pushbacks being used extensively and not decreasing, regardless of the silence and denial by the responsible public bodies and authorities,” the NGOs said.

      The “particularly wide-spread practice” leaves the “state exposed and posing a threat for the rule of law in the country,” they added.

      The Greek office of the U.N. refugee agency also said it had recorded a “significant number of testimonies on informal forced returns” through the Evros border.

      “On many occasions, we have addressed those concerns to the Greek authorities requesting the investigation of incidents,” the UNHCR office said.

      “The state’s response so far to these practices has not produced the results required for an effective access to asylum.”

      Greek authorities have denied involvement in the migrant returns and have announced investigations into potential militia action, without result so far.

      The flow of migrants across the Greek-Turkish land border has almost tripled this year, according to Greece’s migration ministry, with 14,000 people intercepted so far compared to 5,400 in 2017.


      http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Middle-East/2018/Dec-12/471620-greece-accused-of-migrant-pushbacks-at-turkey-border.ashx

    • Greece: Violent Pushbacks at Turkey Border

      Greek law enforcement officers at the land border with Turkey in the northeastern Evros region routinely summarily return asylum seekers and migrants, Human Rights Watch said today. The officers in some cases use violence and often confiscate and destroy the migrants’ belongings.

      “People who have not committed a crime are detained, beaten, and thrown out of Greece without any consideration for their rights or safety,” said Todor Gardos, Europe researcher at Human Rights Watch. “The Greek authorities should immediately investigate the repeated allegations of illegal pushbacks.”

      Human Rights Watch interviewed 26 asylum seekers and other migrants in Greece in May, and in October and November in Turkey. They are from Afghanistan, Iraq, Morocco, Pakistan, Syria, Tunisia, and Yemen, and include families traveling with children. They described 24 incidents of pushbacks across the Evros River from Greece to Turkey.

      Most incidents took place between April and November. All of those interviewed reported hostile or violent behavior by Greek police and unidentified forces wearing uniforms and masks without recognizable insignia. Twelve said police or these unidentified forces accompanying the police stripped them of their possessions, including their money and personal identification, which were often destroyed. Seven said police or unidentified forces took their clothes or shoes and forced them back to Turkey in their underwear, sometimes at night in freezing temperatures.

      Abuse included beatings with hands and batons, kicking, and, in one case, the use of what appeared to be a stun gun. In another case, a Moroccan man said a masked man dragged him by his hair, forced him to kneel on the ground, held a knife to his throat, and subjected him to a mock execution. Others pushed back include a pregnant 19-year-old woman from Afrin, Syria, and a woman from Afghanistan who said Greek authorities took away her two young children’s shoes.

      Increasing numbers of migrants, including asylum seekers, have attempted to cross the Evros River, which forms a natural border between Greece and Turkey, since April. By the end of September, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) had registered 13,784 arrivals by land, a nearly fourfold increase over the same period last year.

      In early June, Turkey unilaterally suspended all returns under a bilateral readmission agreement, stopping coordinated returns over the land border. In a July letter to Human Rights Watch, Hellenic Police Director Georgios Kossioris acknowledged an “acute problem” related to new arrivals and migrants arrested in the region, causing the overcrowding in some facilities, and inhumane conditions in police stations and registration and identification centers Human Rights Watch had documented.

      Accounts gathered by Human Rights Watch are consistent with the findings of other nongovernmental groups, intergovernmental agencies, and media reports. UNHCR, the United Nations Refugee Agency, has raised similar concerns. In a June report, the Council of Europe’s (CoE) Committee for the Prevention of Torture said it has received “several consistent and credible allegations of pushbacks by boat from Greece to Turkey at the Evros River border by masked Greek police and border guards or (para-)military commandos.” In November, the CoE human rights commissioner called on Greece to investigate allegations, in light of information pointing to “an established practice.”

      Human Rights Watch wrote to the head of border protection of the Hellenic Police on December 6, 2018, informing them of its findings. In his reply, Police Director Kossioris categorically denied that Hellenic Police carry out forced summary returns. He said all procedures for the detention and identification of migrants entering Greece were carried out in line with relevant legislation, and that they “thoroughly investigate” any incidents of misconduct or violation of migrants’ and asylum seekers’ rights. Greek authorities have consistently denied pushback practices, including a high-ranking Greek police official in a June meeting with Human Rights Watch. For a decade, Human Rights Watch has documented systematic pushbacks by Greek law enforcement officials at its land border with Turkey.

      Greek authorities should promptly investigate in a transparent, thorough, and impartial manner repeated allegations that Greek police and border guards are involved in collective and extrajudicial expulsions at the Evros region. Authorities should investigate allegations of violence and excessive use of force. Any officer engaged in such illegal acts, as well as their commanding officers, should be subject to disciplinary sanction and, as appropriate, criminal prosecution. Anyone seeking international protection should have the opportunity to apply for asylum, and returns should follow a procedure that provides access to effective remedies and safeguards against refoulement – return to a country where they are likely to face persecution, and ill-treatment.

      The European Commission, which provides financial support to the Greek government for migration control, including in the Evros region, should urge Greece to end all summary returns of asylum seekers to Turkey, press the authorities to investigate allegations of violence, and open legal proceedings against Greece for violating European Union laws.

      “Despite government denials, it appears that Greece is intentionally, and with complete impunity, closing the door on many people who seek to reach the European Union through the Evros border,” Gardos said. “Greece should cease forced summary returns immediately and treat everyone with dignity and respect for their basic rights.”

      For detailed accounts from asylum seekers and migrants, please see below. Please note that all names have been changed.

      Human Rights Watch interviewed 26 people from Afghanistan, Iraq, Morocco, Pakistan, Syria, Tunisia, and Yemen, including seven women, two of whom were pregnant at the time they were summarily returned to Turkey across the Evros River. In seven cases, families were pushed back, including children.

      In Greece, Human Rights Watch interviewed people who managed to re-enter Greek territory following a pushback, in the Fylakio pre-removal detention center and in the Fylakio reception and identification center, as well as in the Diavata camp for asylum seekers in Thessaloniki. In Turkey, those interviewed were in the Edirne removal center and in urban locations in Istanbul.

      All names of interviewees have been changed to protect their privacy and security. Interviews were carried out privately and confidentially, in the interviewees’ first language, or a language they spoke fluently, through interpreters. Interviewees shared their accounts voluntarily, and without remuneration, and have consented to Human Rights Watch collecting and publishing their accounts.

      Pushbacks in Evros

      The 24 incidents described demonstrate a pattern that points to an established and well-coordinated practice of pushbacks. Most of the incidents share three key features: initial capture by local police patrols, detention in police stations or informal locations close to the border with Turkey, and handover from identifiable law enforcement bodies to unidentifiable paramilitaries who would carry out the pushback to Turkey across the Evros River, at times violently. In nine cases, migrants said uniformed police physically mistreated them before or during the pushback.

      The accounts suggest close and consistent coordination between police with unidentified, often masked, men who may or may not be law enforcement officers. In a May interview with Human Rights Watch, Second Lieutenant Sofia Lazopoulou at the border police station of Neo Cheimonio said that police officers wearing dark blue uniforms were in charge of services at the police station and that those who wear military camouflage uniforms were patrolling officers, in charge of prevention and deterrence of irregular migrants crossing into Greece.

      Interviewees said that people who looked like police officers or soldiers, as well as some of the unidentified masked men, carried equipment such as handguns, handcuffs, radios, spray cans, and batons, while others carried tactical gear such as armored gloves, binoculars, and knives and military grade weapons, such as rifles.

      The repeated nature of the pushbacks and the fact that those officers who conduct them were clearly on official duty, indicates that commanding officers knew, or ought to have known, what was happening.

      Ferhat G., a Syrian Kurdish man in his forties, said two police officers detained him, his wife, and three children, ages 12, 15, and 19, at an abandoned train station on September 19. They were held in a large caged area in the backyard of a police station with dozens of other people for five hours. Ferhat could not say where the train station or police station were:

      We were all put in a van, 60 to 70 people. Commandos all in black, wearing face masks, drove us back to the river. We were very afraid… I saw other people there, mainly youths with just shorts, no other clothes. Our blood froze out of fear. When they opened the van, we started going out. “Stand in one line, one-by-one,” they said and hit someone. Ten by 10, they put us in a small boat, driven by a Greek soldier. I cried because of the humiliation.

      The modus operandi was largely replicated, with some variations, in the other cases Human Rights Watch documented.

      Capture

      Twenty-one of those interviewed said local police patrols detained them in towns and villages near the border or in open farmland. Two said that the police took them off a bus or a train shortly after its departure. Three said they could not identify the men who detained them and took them directly back to the border. People said they were then transported in police cars, pick-up trucks, white vans without windows or signs, or larger trucks painted in green or camouflage that appeared to be military trucks.

      Karim L., 25, from Morocco, said that police officers removed him from a train to Alexandropouli on November 8. Shortly after its scheduled departure from Orestiada, at 12:37 p.m., police officers began asking passengers who looked foreign to show their passports and took Karim and five or six others off the train. The police took him to a nearby police station and kept him there for two nights. Then four men wearing police uniforms and black masks took him to the border in a van. He said they subjected him to physical violence and a mock execution, then pushed him back to Turkey. He was not photographed, fingerprinted, or given any paper to read or sign, or otherwise informed of the reasons for his arrest. He said that other people, including families with children, were also detained in the station’s three cells.

      Mahsa N., an Afghan woman, said uniformed police officers removed her, her husband, their three children, ages 5, 9, and 11, and two unrelated Afghan men from a bus 15 minutes after it left Alexandropouli in mid-September, during their third attempt to enter Greece. They were pushed back to Turkey the same day, with the police who had detained them taking them all the way to the Evros River, where others were already being held so they could be returned on a boat.

      Dila E., a 25-year-old Syrian woman, described her experience shortly after crossing the Evros River in late April. She said she was with seven other people, including four children, when masked men she could not identify pushed them back to Turkey as they were walking in a small town near the border:

      They came with a car and took us. They put us in a white van. You couldn’t see anything from the inside. They took us directly to the river and made us cross the river with a rubber boat. They took everyone’s mobile phones, set of clothes, and even the money from some.

      Malik N., a 26-year-old Moroccan man, said uniformed police stopped him along with three other men on November 13 near a gas station in Didymoteicho, a town two kilometers from the border. He said that one of the policemen made a phone call, and a white van arrived 15 minutes later. Two men he could not identify took him and two of his group to a location that he described as barracks: “They put us in the car, which was very well made, dark inside, and without seats. There were no signs on it. … There was a terrible smell [in the barracks], and officials had their masks on… There were 30 people there.”

      Masked men took him to the border the next evening:

      After the masked people came, they started to shout at us, and hit us one by one with batons at the door. There were around eight people outside the barracks, each with a thick plastic baton. They would hit you as you walked to the car. They would shout “Fuck Islam.” They put 30 of us in the van. [There were] no chairs. I felt like I was suffocating, there was no air. When we arrived at the river, they ordered people to strip to shorts only. They took my phones, my money, €1,500, and my glasses, and broke them.

      Sardar T., 18, from Afghanistan, said that uniformed police caught him and the group of people he was traveling with at the Didymoteicho bus station on April 23. He said the police came with a white van but later brought a big car, similar to a military truck with green camouflage. Human Rights Watch researchers saw a vehicle matching Sardar’s description parked in the yard of the border police station of Neo Cheimonio, as well as numerous white vans, without police signs. Sardar said that the officers who pushed them back to Turkey were wearing police uniforms and that masks concealed their faces except for their eyes.

      Detention

      Thirteen of those interviewed reported that they were detained in formal and informal locations close to the border, for periods ranging from a few hours to five days. Five said they were taken to a police station, while eight described buildings on the outskirts of nearby villages and towns, or on farmland that they said were used as drop-off points for detained migrants. None of the interviewees, even those held at police stations, were duly identified and registered, and their detention appears to have been arbitrary and incommunicado.

      A few dozen to one hundred people were detained at a time, without food, water, and sanitation, and then taken to the Evros River and returned to Turkey. Interviewees described the rooms in the unidentified buildings as “prison-like” and “like a storage room,” with a few mattresses and a single, filthy toilet. They said women and families with children were either held together with unrelated men, or sometimes in adjacent rooms.

      Mahsa, the Afghan woman who was summarily returned to Turkey three times, said she and her family were kept for five days, along with unrelated men who were also detained, in a dark room with no beds or heat before the second pushback, in late August. They were not given any food. Their belongings, including winter coats for her young children, and a cherished backpack and doll, were never returned. Up to 10 guards, wearing belts with what appeared to be handguns, batons, and pepper spray, would check on people and lock the door but not provide any information. She saw guards beating men staying in the same room: “They had a blue uniform with writing on it in Greek on the back, with big letters. They called us dirt.”

      Azadeh B., a 22-year-old Afghan woman traveling with her husband and two children, ages 2 and 4, said they were pushed back twice from Greece – and had spent five days in detention before being returned the second time, in early October. She said they were taken to a room in a structure located in the middle of farmland:

      We could not see or hear anything. We were not asked to sign anything or told anything. The guards closed the door and locked it. When families asked for water, they filled dirty bottles and threw them inside the room through the door. They took everything from us, even the Quran. We asked them to give back our kids’ shoes, but they didn’t. They do this because they don’t want us to come back. If it’s something of value, they keep it, something they don’t like, they put it in the bin.

      She said only the children were given some biscuits while detained in a room that was about 40 square meters and shared by about 80 people whom she believed were also all migrants.

      Hassan I., a Tunisian man in his thirties, said that before being violently pushed back along with four friends in early August, they spent a day in detention. He said the location resembled a military base because they saw military vehicles, including trucks and tanks, parked near the room in which they were held. It was a 15-minute drive from the town of Orestiada, where they had been stopped and picked up in the morning by two police officers in blue uniforms in a civilian car.

      The policemen drove them to the location, where guards violently pushed them against a wall, searched them, and hit them. “First, they asked for phones, then for money,” Hassan said. They were shouting ‘malaka’ [a Greek insult meaning ‘asshole’]. I was shocked. I felt humiliated. When we tried to ask for anything, like our sim cards, memory cards, they hit us immediately.” Hassan and his friends were put in a room that looked like a storage room. In an adjacent room, they could hear the voices of families with children. Hassan estimated that by 9 p.m., when they were taken to the border in trucks, about 80 men were in his room of about 24 square meters, in which there were only a few chairs, a toilet, and a water tap.

      Zara Z., 19 and four-months pregnant, from Afrin, Syria, said that in mid-May, men wearing camouflage uniforms stopped her and her husband and detained them overnight in a room without bedding or furniture, together with other migrant families, and without any food or water. The next day they were transferred in a van to the Evros River, put on a boat, and pushed back to Turkey.

      Pushbacks across the Evros River

      All those interviewed said they were transported to the border with Turkey in groups of 60 to 80, in military trucks or unmarked vans. In all but three cases, the agents wore face masks, black pants, or camouflage, making it impossible to recognize or identify them. In the three other cases, interviewees said police in regular blue and camouflage uniforms transported them to the river. Ten out of 26 interviewees said they were physically abused or witnessed others being ill-treated during the pushback operation.

      Karim, a 25-year-old Moroccan man, said Greek police handed him over to masked men wearing police uniforms after they caught him in Greece on November 10 and that he was violently pushed back to Turkey. After ordering him to take off his clothes and shoes, two of the masked officers kicked him to the ground and hit him with a baton, then one of them subjected him to a mock execution. They dragged him by his hair and forced him to kneel on the ground, while the masked officer held a knife to his throat and said in broken English, “Whoever returns to Greece, they will die.” Karim said he could not sleep at night and was experiencing recurrent nightmares.

      Hassan, the Tunisian who was pushed back with his four friends on August 10 or 11, said that masked men wearing black clothes ill-treated them after taking them to the border in a truck. One of the men used a stun gun on Hassan’s lower back, causing burns that were still visible over two months later. He provided video footage of the group’s injuries, which he said was recorded the day after the incident and was first posted on social media on August 12, showing several bruises he said resulted from blows to their upper and lower backs and limbs. “Next time I will see you,” one of the masked men told him in English, “I will kill you.” At the time of the interview, Hassan had been sleeping in parks in Istanbul, after all his belongings were confiscated in Greece.

      Amir B., a Tunisian man in his twenties, was pushed back to Turkey at the end of September after entering Greece and hiding for six days. He said he was returned from near Alexandropouli to the border in one of two military trucks, which together took around 80 people to the border, including about 30 women and a few children. Amir said masked men pushed people around as they got off the trucks, and then pushed them toward the river, ordering them to remain silent. The agents then split the group into smaller groups of 10 and ordered them to take off their shoes. Women had to give up their coats, while some men had to strip to underwear. Amir’s jeans, where he also kept his money, were set on fire. When a black pick-up truck arrived with a small boat, the guards checked the other side of the river with binoculars, and then used the small boat to take the groups of 10 in turn across the water.

      https://www.hrw.org/news/2018/12/18/greece-violent-pushbacks-turkey-border

      #vidéo:
      Greek Authorities Beat, Push Back Migrants into Turkey
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X2olpuc_tqA

    • El oscuro secreto de la frontera oriental de Europa

      Grecia deporta ilegalmente a los refugiados que llegan a su territorio, en algunos casos incluso secuestrándolos lejos de la frontera, según denuncian ONG y Acnur.

      Firas debería estar en Grecia. Es más, oficialmente, según los registros del Gobierno heleno y del Alto Comisionado de Naciones Unidas para los Refugiados (ACNUR), reside en Grecia. Pero no. Este sirio, de 17 años, malvive amedrentado, sin dinero y sin papeles en un pequeño apartamento de Estambul que comparte con otros refugiados, después de haber sido deportado ilegalmente por la policía griega a Turquía en tres ocasiones. Una práctica prohibida por las leyes internacionales, pero que, según las organizaciones de derechos humanos, se está convirtiendo en “sistemática” a medida que la ruta migratoria de entrada a la Unión Europea se desvía hacia la frontera del río Evros. Acnur ha recabado unos 300 casos de devoluciones en caliente de personas que intentan llegar a la UE desde Turquía solo en 2018.

      “En los últimos años hemos recabado un número significante de casos de pushback [término en inglés para referirse a esta práctica ilegal]”, explica Margaritis Petritzikis, representante de Acnur en el campo de detención de Fylakio, en Grecia, junto al Evros. “Los testimonios describen a quienes practican las detenciones vistiendo uniformes de diferentes colores, muchas veces sin distintivos, y con la cara cubierta, por lo que no sabemos a qué cuerpo pertenecen. La jurisdicción del control fronterizo es de la policía griega, pero el área que rodea el río es zona militarizada”, añade Petritzikis.

      Los detenidos aseguran que, una vez detenidos y antes de ser devueltos en barcas al otro lado de la frontera, son llevados a almacenes, instalaciones militares o comisarías de policía, transportados con furgonetas sin identificar, supuestamente de las fuerzas de seguridad, según los testimonios recogidos en informes de diversas ONG, entre ellas Human Rights Watch y el Greek Council for Refugees (GCR).

      El Evros, también llamado Maritsa, hace de barrera natural a lo largo de 194 de los 206 kilómetros de frontera terrestre entre Turquía y Grecia; el resto lo cubre una valla levantada en 2012. Para aquellos migrantes y refugiados que, desde suelo turco, sueñan con alcanzar territorio europeo, son apenas 100 o 200 metros que cubrir en un bote hinchable, un trayecto mucho más corto que el que separa la costa turca de las islas griegas del mar Egeo. Además, aquí no está vigente el acuerdo firmado entre la UE y Turquía en 2016, que permite la devolución de aquellos migrantes llegados de manera irregular por vía marítima. En la zona del Evros regía otro acuerdo bilateral de devolución firmado entre Turquía y Grecia, aunque Ankara lo canceló el pasado año. Por ello, en los últimos años, se ha incrementado el número de llegadas a través de esta ruta (en 2018 fueron 18.014, un 35% del total de refugiados y migrantes que arribaron a Grecia, según los datos de Acnur). La mayor parte de los que llegan son sirios, afganos y turcos.

      Sus aguas aparentemente tranquilas son un espejismo engañoso. Es un río caudaloso, de habituales inundaciones y fuertes corrientes: durante el pasado año, medio centenar de personas murieron en esta ruta, la mayoría ahogadas o por hipotermia. “El río es pequeño, pero peligroso. Sobre todo porque los botes son para cinco personas y cruzamos 30 a la vez”, explica un joven bangladesí detenido en el campo de Fylakio.

      Un residente de Edirne, en la orilla turca del río, explica que las tarifas que exigen los traficantes por pasar al otro lado van de 1.000 a 5.000 euros. Aquellos que pagan más “reciben un servicio vip”, y en la orilla griega les esperan otros traficantes que los llevan en coche hasta Salónica o Atenas: “A estos no los suele detener nunca la policía”. A los que no disponen de ese dinero, después de superar el peligro de las aguas les aguarda una nueva barrera.
      Práctica ilegal

      Dos y media de la madrugada. Se escuchan pasos entre la maleza, en la zona boscosa que rodea el Evros. Hay cuchicheos. Los pasos se detienen al escuchar el vehículo en el que viaja este periodista. Poco después, se alejan.

      Anteriormente, en cuanto veían a cualquier persona en la orilla griega, los refugiados se identificaban como tales y pedían que se avisase a la policía. Sabían que habían llegado a territorio seguro. Ya no. Entre los refugiados es sabido que, si son apresados en esta zona, corren el riesgo de ser devueltos al otro lado. Las devoluciones en caliente están prohibidas por la ley: la normativa exige que sean primero identificados y, si es el caso, se les permita presentar una petición de asilo. Firas (que no es su nombre real) cuenta que pasó por ello dos veces durante el año pasado. En la primera ocasión, durante el verano, explica que fue detenido nada más cruzar el río, llevado a una comisaría y devuelto a Turquía al cabo de unas seis horas. “En la comisaría nos pegaron a todos los hombres, nos quitaron nuestras pertenencias y destrozaron los móviles”, asegura.

      La segunda fue aún peor: una vez capturados, Firas explica que los agentes de policía llamaron a otros agentes con uniforme militar y la cara cubierta y les propinaron una paliza. Esta vez les quitaron hasta la ropa y los devolvieron a Turquía en calzoncillos. Su historia es similar a las decenas de testimonios recabados por diferentes ONG, que consideran que puede haber un patrón de actuación de las fuerzas de seguridad helenas.

      En algunos casos no se trata ni siquiera de devoluciones «en caliente», es decir, al ser detenidos en el borde mismo de la frontera, sino desde bastante más adentro en el territorio griego y pasado bastante tiempo desde que los refugiados entraron al país. A. A., un sirio que residía en Alemania de manera legal, llegó en agosto de 2017 a la ciudad griega de Alejandrópolis para encontrarse con su mujer, que había cruzado recientemente la frontera. Pero, según manifestó al GCR, fue detenido por agentes de la policía que, haciendo caso omiso a sus documentos, lo encapucharon y lo enviaron a Turquía en un bote junto a otros refugiados.

      Similar es el caso de Firas. La tercera vez que intentó cruzar a Grecia, a mediados de noviembre, explica que lo logró. Y fue enviado al centro de detención de Fylakio. A inicios de enero, salió de él con los documentos que lo acreditaban como solicitante de asilo. Tomó un autobús hacia Salónica, pero cuenta que, cuando llevaba 15 minutos de viaje, la policía le ordenó bajar junto a otros cinco sirios. “Tenía los papeles de la policía griega y de Acnur, pero los destrozaron delante de mí”, relata. “Nos llevaron a un calabozo y agentes con pasamontañas nos desnudaron y nos pegaron. No nos dieron agua ni comida. El segundo día, vinieron otros agentes y nos pegaron con tubos de cañería. Luego nos llevaron al río junto a varias familias con niños y nos devolvieron a Turquía”.

      La respuesta del Gobierno griego es siempre la misma: “No existen estas prácticas”. Así lo han dicho públicamente los ministerios de Orden Público y Migraciones ante las quejas formales de ACNUR y el Consejo de Europa. La comandancia regional en Tracia de la policía griega, preguntada por la situación, redirigió a este periodista al comisario de Orestíada, Pascalis Siritudis, quien respondió al teléfono —un día después de haberse negado a recibirlo— con gran enfado: "La policía griega respeta siempre la ley y las normas internacionales. No olvide que esta es la frontera de la Unión Europea, no solo de Grecia”. Desde el Ministerio de Orden Público, la contestación fue similar: «La policía griega cumple con los derechos humanos».

      Hay varias investigaciones en marcha. Una, sobre la devolución de varios turcos en mayo de 2017, ha alcanzado el Tribunal Supremo de Grecia. También el Defensor del Pueblo y la Fiscalía de Orestíada han iniciado un proceso judicial tras la denuncia de un ciudadano sudanés deportado ilegalmente a Turquía. Pero, hasta ahora, nadie ha sido condenado. Dimitris Koros, abogado del GCR, admite que es difícil armar estos casos: “La mayoría de los refugiados devueltos no tienen tiempo ni medios para iniciar un proceso judicial y, además, es casi imposible identificar a quienes participan en las devoluciones ya que van con la cara cubierta y sin identificaciones, y se suelen producir de noche”.

      Entretanto Firas continúa en Estambul, temeroso de que un día lo detengan las autoridades turcas y lo deporten a la misma Siria de la que escapó huyendo de la guerra. Y se sigue preguntando por qué lo echaron de Grecia si tenía derecho a quedarse. “Me sorprendió mucho el nivel de brutalidad que emplearon conmigo. Siempre habíamos escuchado que la Unión Europea era un lugar donde no había violencia y se respetaban los derechos humanos”, se queja.

      https://elpais.com/internacional/2019/03/03/actualidad/1551607634_105978.html


  • Je viens de trouver cet article sur twitter qui parle d’un rapport-choc (que je n’ai pas lu) où il est question de « 13’000 migrants mineurs refoulés à la frontière » :
    13.000 migranti minorenni respinti alla frontiera italo-francese nel 2017 : il rapporto choc
    http://minoristranierinonaccompagnati.blogspot.com/2018/07/13000-migranti-minorenni-respinti-alla.html

    Or, sans vouloir nier la gravité de la situation à la frontière, je pense que ces chiffres sont gonflés… car il s’agit très probablement de « passages » et non pas de « personnes », une personne pouvant passer plusieurs fois (et donc être comptée plusieurs fois).

    En #Suisse, c’était le cas :
    https://asile.ch/2016/08/12/parlant-de-personnes-lieu-de-cas-medias-surestiment-nombre-de-passages-a-front
    https://asile.ch/2016/09/16/decryptage-frontieres-migrants-refugies-usage-termes-chiffres

    Et pour les frontières d’ex-Yougoslavie aussi (même si le mécanisme était un peu différent) :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/418518
    #statistiques #frontières #frontière_sud-alpine #chiffres #refoulement #push-back #Italie #France #2017

    Lien vers le rapport :
    https://www.oxfamitalia.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Se-questa-%C3%A8-Europa_BP_15giugno2018.pdf
    https://seenthis.net/messages/687096

    cc @isskein


    • Migranti:da inizio anno sbarcati 16.566,-79% rispetto a 2017

      Dall’inizio dell’anno ad oggi sono sbarcati in Italia 16.566 migranti, il 79,07% in meno rispetto allo stesso periodo dell’anno scorso, quando ne arrivarono 79.154. Dai dati del Viminale, aggiornati al 28 giugno, emerge dunque che per il dodicesimo mese consecutivo gli sbarchi nel nostro paese sono in calo: l’ultimo picco fu registrato proprio a giugno dell’anno scorso, quando sbarcarono 23.526 migranti (nel 2016 ne arrivarono 22.339 mentre quest’anno il numero è fermo a 3.136). Dal mese di luglio 2017, che ha coinciso con gli accordi siglati con la Libia dall’ex ministro dell’Interno Marco Minniti, si è sempre registrata una diminuzione. Dei 16.566 arrivati nei primi sei mesi del 2018 (la quasi totalità, 15.741, nei porti siciliani), 11.401 sono partiti dalla Libia: un calo nelle partenze dell’84,94% rispetto al 2017 e dell’83,18% rispetto al 2016. Quanto alle nazionalità di quelli che sono arrivati, la prima è la Tunisia, con 3.002 migranti, seguita da Eritrea (2.555), Sudan (1.488) e Nigeria (1.229).

      http://www.ansa.it/sito/notizie/cronaca/2018/06/30/migrantida-inizio-anno-sbarcati-16.566-79-rispetto-a-2017-_30327137-364e-44bf-8

    • En Méditerranée, les flux de migrants s’estompent et s’orientent vers l’ouest

      Pour la première fois depuis le début de la crise migratoire en 2014, l’Espagne est, avant l’Italie et la Grèce, le pays européen qui enregistre le plus d’arrivées de migrants par la mer et le plus de naufrages meurtriers au large de ses côtes.

      https://www.mediapart.fr/journal/international/280618/en-mediterranee-les-flux-de-migrants-s-estompent-et-s-orientent-vers-l-oue
      #routes_migratoires

    • Migratory flows in April: Overall drop, but more detections in Greece and Spain

      Central Mediterranean
      The number of migrants arriving in Italy via the Central Mediterranean route in April fell to about 2 800, down 78% from April 2017. The total number of migrants detected on this route in the first four months of 2018 fell to roughly 9 400, down three-quarters from a year ago.
      So far this year, Tunisians and Eritreans were the two most represented nationalities on this route, together accounting for almost 40% of all the detected migrants.

      Eastern Mediterranean
      In April, the number of irregular migrants taking the Eastern Mediterranean route stood at some 6 700, two-thirds more than in the previous month. In the first four months of this year, more than 14 900 migrants entered the EU through the Eastern Mediterranean route, 92% more than in the same period of last year. The increase was mainly caused by the rise of irregular crossings on the land borders with Turkey. In April the number of migrants detected at the land borders on this route has exceeded the detections on the Greek islands in the Aegean Sea.
      The largest number of migrants on this route in the first four months of the year were nationals of Syria and Iraq.

      Western Mediterranean
      Last month, the number of irregular migrants reaching Spain stood at nearly 1100, a quarter more than in April 2017. In the first four months of 2018, there were some 4600 irregular border crossings on the Western Mediterranean route, 95 more than a year ago.
      Nationals of Morocco accounted for the highest number of arrivals in Spain this year, followed by those from Guinea and Mali.

      https://frontex.europa.eu/media-centre/news-release/migratory-flows-in-april-overall-drop-but-more-detections-in-greece-a
      #2018 #Espagne #Grèce

    • EU’s Frontex warns of new migrant route to Spain

      Frontex chief Fabrice Leggeri has warned that Spain could see a significant increase in migrant arrivals. The news comes ahead of the European Commission’s new proposal to strengthen EU external borders with more guards.

      Frontex chief Fabrice Leggeri said Friday that some 6,000 migrants had entered the European Union in June by crossing into Spain from Morocco, the so-called western Mediterranean route.

      https://m.dw.com/en/eus-frontex-warns-of-new-migrant-route-to-spain/a-44563058?xtref=http%253A%252F%252Fm.facebook.com

    • L’Espagne devient la principale voie d’accès des migrants à l’Europe

      La Commission a annoncé trois millions d’euros d’aide d’urgence pour les garde-frontières espagnols, confrontés à un triplement des arrivées de migrants, suite au verrouillage de la route italienne.

      –-> v. ici :
      https://seenthis.net/messages/683358

      L’aide supplémentaire que l’exécutif a décidé d’allouer à l’Espagne après l’augmentation des arrivées sur les côtes provient du Fonds pour la sécurité intérieure et a pour but de financer le déploiement de personnel supplémentaire le long des frontières méridionales espagnoles.

      Le mois dernier, la Commission a déjà attribué 24,8 millions d’euros au ministère de l’Emploi et de la Sécurité sociale et à la Croix-Rouge espagnole, afin de renforcer les capacités d’accueil, de prise en charge sanitaire, de nourriture et de logement des migrants arrivants par la route de l’ouest méditerranéen.

      Une enveloppe supplémentaire de 720 000 euros a été allouée à l’organisation des rapatriements et des transferts depuis l’enclave de Ceuta et Melilla.

      Cette aide financière s’ajoute aux 691,7 millions que reçoit Madrid dans le cadre du Fonds pour l’asile, l’immigration et l’intégration et du fonds pour la sécurité intérieure pour la période budgétaire 2014-2020.

      https://www.euractiv.fr/section/migrations/news/avramopoulos-in-spain-to-announce-further-eu-support-to-tackle-migration

    • En #Méditerranée, les flux de migrants s’orientent vers l’ouest

      Entre janvier et juillet, 62 177 migrants ont rejoint l’Europe par la Méditerranée, selon les données de l’Agence des Nations unies pour les réfugiés. Un chiffre en baisse par rapport à 2017 (172 301 sur l’ensemble des douze mois) et sans commune mesure avec le « pic » de 2015, où 1 015 078 arrivées avaient été enregistrées.

      Les flux déclinent et se déplacent géographiquement : entre 2014 et 2017, près de 98 % des migrants étaient entrés via la Grèce et l’Italie, empruntant les voies dites « orientales » et « centrales » de la Méditerranée ; en 2018, c’est pour l’instant l’Espagne qui enregistre le plus d’arrivées (23 785), devant l’Italie (18 348), la Grèce (16 142) et, de manière anecdotique, Chypre (73).


      https://www.mediapart.fr/journal/international/030818/en-mediterranee-les-flux-de-migrants-s-orientent-vers-l-ouest
      #statistiques #chiffres #Méditerranée_centrale #itinéraires_migratoires #parcours_migratoires #routes_migratoires #asile #migrations #réfugiés #2018 #Espagne #Italie #Grèce #2017 #2016 #2015 #2014 #arrivées

      Et des statistiques sur les #morts et #disparus :


      #mourir_en_mer #décès #naufrages

    • The most common Mediterranean migration paths into Europe have changed since 2009

      Until 2018, the Morocco-to-Spain route – also known as the western route – had been the least-traveled Mediterranean migration path, with a total of 89,000 migrants arriving along Spain’s coastline since 2009. But between January and August 2018, this route has seen over 28,000 arrivals, more than the central Africa-to-Italy central route (20,000 arrivals) and the Turkey-to-Greece eastern route (20,000 arrivals). One reason for this is that Spain recently allowed rescue ships carrying migrants to dock after other European Union countries had denied them entry.

      Toute la Méditerranée:

      #Méditerranée_occidentale:

      #Méditerranée_centrale:

      #Méditerranée_orientale:

      http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2018/09/18/the-most-common-mediterranean-migration-paths-into-europe-have-changed-

    • The “Shift” to the Western Mediterranean Migration Route: Myth or Reality?

      How Spain Became the Top Arrival Country of Irregular Migration to the EU

      This article looks at the increase in arrivals[1] of refugees and migrants in Spain, analysing the nationalities of those arriving to better understand whether there has been a shift from the Central Mediterranean migration route (Italy) towards the Western Mediterranean route (Spain). The article explores how the political dynamics between North African countries and the European Union (EU) have impacted the number of arrivals in Spain.

      The Western Mediterranean route has recently become the most active route of irregular migration to Europe. As of mid-August 2018, a total of 26,350 refugees and migrants arrived in Spain by sea, three times the number of arrivals in the first seven months of 2017. In July alone 8,800 refugees and migrants reached Spain, four times the number of arrivals in July of last year.

      But this migration trend did not begin this year. The number of refugees and migrants arriving by sea in Spain grew by 55 per cent between 2015 and 2016, and by 172 per cent between 2016 and 2017.

      At the same time, there has been a decrease in the number of refugees and migrants entering the EU via the Central Mediterranean route. Between January and July 2018, a total of 18,510 persons arrived in Italy by sea compared to 95,213 arrivals in the same period in 2017, an 81 per cent decrease.

      This decrease is a result of new measures to restrict irregular migration adopted by EU Member States, including increased cooperation with Libya, which has been the main embarkation country for the Central Mediterranean migration route. So far this year, the Libyan Coast Guards have intercepted 12,152 refugees and migrants who were on smuggling boats (more than double the total number of interceptions in 2017). In the last two weeks of July, 99.5 per cent of the refugees and migrants who departed on smuggling boats were caught and returned to Libya, according to a data analysis conducted at the Italian Institute for International Political Studies (ISPI). The number of people being detained by the Libyan Directorate for Combatting Illegal Migration (DCIM) has continued growing (from 5,000 to 9,300 between May and July 2018), with thousands more held in unofficial detention facilities.

      So, was there a shift from the Central to the Western Mediterranean Migration route? In other words, has the decline of arrivals in Italy led to the increase of arrivals in Spain?

      First of all, while this article only analyses the changes in the use of these two sea routes and among those trying to go to Europe, for most West Africans, the intended destination is actually North Africa, including Libya and Algeria, where they hope to find jobs. A minority intends to move onwards to Europe and this is confirmed by MMC’s 4Mi data referred to below.

      The answer to the question on whether or not there has been a shift between the two routes can be found in the analysis of the origin countries of the refugees and migrants that were most commonly using the Central Mediterranean route before it became increasingly difficult to reach Europe. Only if a decrease of the main nationalities using the Central Mediterranean Route corresponds to an increase of the same group along the Western Mediterranean route we can speak of “a shift”.

      The two nationalities who were – by far – the most common origin countries of refugees and migrants arriving in Italy in 2015 and in 2016 were Nigeria and Eritrea. The total number of Nigerians and Eritreans arriving in Italy in 2015 was 50,018 and slightly lower (47,096) in the following year. Then, between 2016 and last year, the total number of Nigerian and Eritrean arrivals in Italy decreased by 66 per cent. The decrease has been even more significant in 2018; in the first half of this year only 2,812 Nigerians and Eritreans arrived in Italy.

      However, there has not been an increase in Nigerians and Eritreans arriving in Spain. Looking at the data, it is clear that refugees and migrants originating in these two countries have not shifted from the Central Mediterranean route to the Western route.

      The same is true for refugees and migrants from Bangladesh, Sudan and Somalia – who were also on the list of most common countries of origin amongst arrivals in Italy during 2015 and 2016. While the numbers of Bangladeshis, Sudanese and Somalis arriving in Italy have been declining since 2017, there has not been an increase in arrivals of these nationals in Spain. Amongst refugees and migrants from these three countries, as with Nigerians and Eritreans, there has clearly not been a shift to the Western route. In fact, data shows that zero refugees and migrants from Eritrea, Bangladesh and Somalia arrived in Spain by sea since 2013.

      However, the data tells a different story when it comes to West African refugees and migrants. Between 2015 and 2017, the West African countries of Guinea, Mali, Cote d’Ivoire, Gambia and Senegal were also on the list of most common origin countries amongst arrivals in Italy. During those years, about 91 per cent of all arrivals in the EU from these five countries used the Central Mediterranean route to Italy, while 9 per cent used the Western Mediterranean route to Spain.

      But in 2018 the data flipped: only 23 per cent of EU arrivals from these five West African countries used the Central Mediterranean route, while 76 per cent entered used the Western route. It appears that as the Central Mediterranean route is being restricted, a growing number of refugees and migrants from these countries are trying to reach the EU on the Western Mediterranean route.

      These finding are reinforced by 3,224 interviews conducted in Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso between July 2017 and June 2018 by the Mixed Migration Monitoring Mechanism initiative (4Mi), which found a rise in the share of West African refugees and migrants stating their final destination is Spain and a fall in the share of West African refugees and migrants who say they are heading to Italy.[2]

      A second group who according to the data shifted from the Central Mediterranean route to the Western route are the Moroccans. Between 2015 and 2017, at least 4,000 Moroccans per year entered the EU on the Central Mediterranean route. Then, in the first half of this year, only 319 Moroccan refugees and migrants arrived by sea to Italy. Meanwhile, an opposite process has happened in Spain, where the number of Moroccans arriving by sea spiked, increasing by 346 per cent between 2016 and last year. This increase has continued in the first six months of this year, in which 2,600 Moroccans reached Spain through the Western Mediterranean route.

      On-going Political Bargaining

      The fact that so many Moroccans are amongst the arrivals in Spain could be an indication that Morocco, the embarkation country for the Western Mediterranean route, has perhaps been relaxing its control on migration outflows, as recently suggested by several media outlets. A Euronews article questioned whether the Moroccan government is allowing refugees and migrants to make the dangerous sea journey towards Spain as part of its negotiations with the EU on the size of the support it will receive. Der Spiegel reported that Morocco is “trying to extort concessions from the EU by placing Spain under pressure” of increased migration.

      The dynamic in which a neighbouring country uses the threat of increased migration as a political bargaining tool is one the EU is quite familiar with, following its 2016 deal with Turkey and 2017 deal with Libya. In both occasions, whilst on a different scale, the response of the EU has been fundamentally the same: to offer its southern neighbours support and financial incentives to control migration.

      The EU had a similar response this time. On August 3, the European Commission committed 55 million euro for Morocco and Tunisia to help them improve their border management. Ten days later, the Moroccan Association for Human Rights reported that Moroccan authorities started removing would-be migrants away from departure points to Europe.

      Aside from Morocco and Libya, there is another North African country whose policies may be contributing to the increase of arrivals in Spain. Algeria, which has been a destination country for many African migrants during the past decade (and still is according to 4Mi interviews), is in the midst of a nationwide campaign to detain and deport migrants, asylum seekers and refugees.

      The Associated Press reported “Algeria’s mass expulsions have picked up since October 2017, as the European Union renewed pressure on North African countries to discourage migrants going north to Europe…” More than 28,000 Africans have been expelled since the campaign started in August of last year, according to News Deeply. While Algeria prides itself on not taking EU money – “We are handling the situation with our own means,” an Algerian interior ministry official told Reuters – its current crackdown appears to be yet another element of the EU’s wider approach to migration in the region.
      Bargaining Games

      This article has demonstrated that – contrary to popular reporting – there is no blanket shift from the Central Mediterranean route to the Western Mediterranean route. A detailed analysis on the nationalities of arrivals in Italy and Spain and changes over time, shows that only for certain nationalities from West Africa a shift may be happening, while for other nationalities there is no correlation between the decrease of arrivals in Italy and the increase of arrivals in Spain. The article has also shown that the recent policies implemented by North African governments – from Libya to Morocco to Algeria – can only be understood in the context of these countries’ dialogue with the EU on irregular migration.

      So, while the idea of a shift from the Central Mediterranean route to the Western route up until now is more myth than reality, it is clear that the changes of activity levels on these migration routes are both rooted in the same source: the on-going political bargaining on migration between the EU and North African governments. And these bargaining games are likely to continue as the EU intensifies its efforts to prevent refugees and migrants from arriving at its shores.

      http://www.mixedmigration.org/articles/shift-to-the-western-mediterranean-migration-route
      #Méditerranée_centrale #Méditerranée_occidentale

    • IOM, the UN Migration Agency, reports that 80,602 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea in 2018 through 23 September, with 35,653 to Spain, the leading destination this year. In fact, with this week’s arrivals Spain in 2018 has now received via the Mediterranean more irregular migrants than it did throughout all the years 2015, 2016 and 2017 combined.

      The region’s total arrivals through the recent weekend compare with 133,465 arrivals across the region through the same period last year, and 302,175 at this point in 2016.

      Spain, with 44 per cent of all arrivals through the year, continues to receive seaborne migrants in September at a volume nearly twice that of Greece and more than six times that of Italy. Italy’s arrivals through late September are the lowest recorded at this point – the end of a normally busy summer sailing season – in almost five years. IOM Rome’s Flavio Di Giacomo on Monday reported that Italy’s 21,024 arrivals of irregular migrants by sea this year represent a decline of nearly 80 per cent from last year’s totals at this time. (see chart below).

      IOM’s Missing Migrants Project has documented the deaths of 1,730 people on the Mediterranean in 2018. Most recently, a woman drowned off the coast of Bodrum, Turkey on Sunday while attempting to reach Kos, Greece via the Eastern Mediterranean route. The Turkish Coast Guard reports that 16 migrants were rescued from this incident. On Saturday, a 5-year-old Syrian boy drowned off the coast of Lebanon’s Akkar province after a boat carrying 39 migrants to attempt to reach Cyprus capsized.

      IOM Spain’s Ana Dodevska reported Monday that total arrivals at sea in 2018 have reached 35,594 men, women and children who have been rescued in Western Mediterranean waters through 23 September (see chart below).

      IOM notes that over this year’s first five months, a total of 8,150 men, women and children were rescued in Spanish waters after leaving Africa – an average of 54 per day. In the 115 days since May 31, a total of 27,444 have arrived – or just under 240 migrants per day. The months of May-September this year have seen a total of 30,967 irregular migrants arriving by sea, the busiest four-month period for Spain since IOM began tallying arrival statistics, with just over one week left in September.

      With this week’s arrivals Spain in 2018 has now received via the Mediterranean more irregular migrants than it did throughout all the years 2015, 2016 and 2017 combined (see charts below).

      On Monday, IOM Athens’ Christine Nikolaidou reported that over four days (20-23 September) this week the Hellenic Coast Guard (HCG) units managed at least nine incidents requiring search and rescue operations off the islands of Lesvos, Chios, Samos and Farmakonisi.

      The HCG rescued a total 312 migrants and transferred them to the respective islands. Additional arrivals of some 248 individuals to Kos and some of the aforementioned islands over these past four days brings to 22,821 the total number of arrivals by sea to Greece through 23 September (see chart below).

      Sea arrivals to Greece this year by irregular migrants appeared to have peaked in daily volume in April, when they averaged at around 100 per day. That volume dipped through the following three months then picked up again in August and again in September, already this year’s busiest month – 3,536 through 23 days, over 150 per day – with about a quarter of the month remaining. Land border crossing also surged in April (to nearly 4,000 arrivals) but have since fallen back, with fewer than 2,000 crossings in each of the past four months (see charts below).

      IOM’s Missing Migrants Project has recorded 2,735 deaths and disappearances during migration so far in 2018 (see chart below).

      In the Americas, several migrant deaths were recorded since last week’s update. In Mexico, a 30-year-old Salvadoran man was killed in a hit-and-run on a highway in Tapachula, Mexico on Friday. Another death on Mexico’s freight rail network (nicknamed “La Bestia”) was added after reports of an unidentified man found dead on tracks near San Francisco Ixhuatan on 15 September.

      In the United States, on 16 September, an unidentified person drowned in the All-American Canal east of Calexico, California – the 55th drowning recorded on the US-Mexico border this year. A few days later a car crash south of Florence, Arizona resulted in the deaths of eight people, including four Guatemalan migrants, on Wednesday. Two others killed included one of the vehicles’ driver and his partner, who authorities say had been involved with migrant smuggling in the past.

      https://reliefweb.int/report/spain/mediterranean-migrant-arrivals-reach-80602-2018-deaths-reach-1730

    • Analyse de Matteo Villa sur twitter :

      Irregular sea arrivals to Italy have not been this low since 2012. But how do the two “deterrence policies” (#Minniti's and #Salvini's) compare over time?


      Why start from July 15th each year? That’s when the drop in sea arrivals in 2017 kicked in, and this allows us to do away with the need to control for seasonality. Findings do not change much if we started on July 1st this year.
      Zooming in, in relative terms the drop in sea arrivals during Salvini’s term is almost as stark as last year’s drop.

      In the period 15 July - 8 October:

      Drop during #Salvini: -73%.
      Drop during #Minniti: -79%.

      But looking at actual numbers, the difference is clear. In less than 3 months’ time, the drop in #migrants and #refugees disembarking in #Italy under #Minniti had already reached 51,000. Under #Salvini in 2018, the further drop is less than 10,000.


      To put it another way: deterrence policies under #Salvini can at best aim for a drop of about 42,000 irregular arrivals in 12 months. Most likely, the drop will amount to about 30.000. Under #Minniti, sea arrivals the drop amounted to 150.000. Five times larger.

      BOTTOM LINE: the opportunity-cost of deterrence policies is shrinking fast. Meanwhile, the number of dead and missing along the Central Mediterranean route has not declined in tandem (in fact, in June-September it shot up). Is more deterrence worth it?

      https://twitter.com/emmevilla/status/1049978070734659584

      Le papier qui explique tout cela :
      Sea Arrivals to Italy : The Cost of Deterrence Policies


      https://www.ispionline.it/en/publication/sea-arrivals-italy-cost-deterrence-policies-21367

    • Méditerranée : forte baisse des traversées en 2018 et l’#Espagne en tête des arrivées (HCR)

      Pas moins de 113.482 personnes ont traversé la #Méditerranée en 2018 pour rejoindre l’Europe, une baisse par rapport aux 172.301 qui sont arrivés en 2017, selon les derniers chiffres publiés par le Haut-Commissariat de l’ONU pour les réfugiés (HCR).
      L’Agence des Nations Unies pour les réfugiés rappelle d’ailleurs que le niveau des arrivées a également chuté par rapport au pic de 1,015 million enregistré en 2015 et à un moindre degré des 362.753 arrivées répertoriées en 2016.

      Toutefois pour l’année 2018, si l’on ajoute près de 7.000 migrants enregistrés dans les enclaves espagnoles de #Ceuta et #Melilla (arrivées par voie terrestre), on obtient un total de 120.205 arrivées en Europe.

      L’an dernier l’Espagne est redevenue la première porte d’entrée en Europe, avec 62.479 arrivées (dont 55.756 par la mer soit deux fois plus qu’en 2017, avec 22.103 arrivées).

      La péninsule ibérique est suivie par la #Grèce (32.497), l’Italie (23.371), #Malte (1.182) et #Chypre (676).

      https://news.un.org/fr/story/2019/01/1032962


  • L’obscénité des frontières.
    http://www.migreurop.org/article2887.html?lang=fr
    Rapport d’activités 2017

    Alors qu’elle ne prendra la présidence de l’UE que le 1er juillet prochain, l’Autriche, par la voix de son Premier ministre, a déjà annoncé qu’elle souhaitait « insister sur les frontières ». Rien de très étonnant de la part du leader d’un parti d’extrême droite mais cette lubie est partagée par de nombreux chefs de gouvernement européens et semble même être le plus petit dénominateur commun des États membres. « La protection de notre territoire, la protection de nos frontières extérieures ainsi que la lutte contre la migration illégale » seraient d’ailleurs les seuls sujets à faire consensus ainsi que le notait le Président du Conseil européen en janvier dernier. « L’obsession des frontières » n’est certes pas nouvelle et a été diagnostiquée depuis une dizaine d’années par de nombreux analystes mettant en exergue comment la mondialisation s’accompagnait de la délimitation et du renforcement de milliers de kilomètres de frontières. L’année 2017 a cependant marqué une nouvelle étape dans la « frontiérisation » comme masque de l’absence de projet européen.

    Pour qui veut ouvrir les yeux, il est ainsi nettement apparu que cette obsession ancienne était devenue purement obscène. Les propos du directeur de l’agence Frontex vantant le renforcement des frontières comme une politique de protection des droits fondamentaux incarnent cette négation de l’humanité de celles et de ceux qui cherchent à les franchir en dépit de leur statut de parias, autrement dit de l’impossibilité qui leur est faite de faire valoir leurs droits. Quand Fabrice Leggeri clame que l’amélioration des « techniques de surveillance, assure la protection de ceux qui sont persécutés ou menacés », il occulte l’existence même d’un des plus grands crimes de ces dernières décennies.


  • De #Frontex à Frontex. À propos de la “continuité” entre l’#université logistique et les processus de #militarisation

    S’est tenu à l’Université de Grenoble, les jeudi 22 et vendredi 23 mars 2018, un colloque organisé par deux laboratoires de recherche en droit [1], intitulé « De Frontex à Frontex [2] ». Étaient invité.e.s à participer des universitaires, essentiellement travaillant depuis le champ des sciences juridiques, une représentante associative (la CIMADE), mais aussi des membres de l’agence Frontex, du projet Euromed Police IV et de diverses institutions européennes, dont Hervé-Yves Caniard, chef des affaires juridiques de l’agence Frontex et Michel Quillé, chef du projet Euromed Police IV.

    Quelques temps avant la tenue du colloque, des collectifs et associations [3], travaillant notamment à une transformation des conditions politiques contemporaines de l’exil, avaient publié un tract qui portait sur les actions de Frontex aux frontières de l’Europe et qui mettait en cause le mode d’organisation du colloque (notamment l’absence de personnes exilées ou de collectifs directement concernés par les actions de Frontex, les conditions d’invitation de membres de Frontex et Euromed Police ou encore les modes de financement de l’université). Le tract appelait également à un rassemblement devant le bâtiment du colloque [4].

    Le rassemblement s’est donc tenu le 22 mars 2018 à 15h, comme annoncé dans le tract. Puis, vers 16h, des manifestant.e.s se sont introduit.e.s dans la salle du colloque au moment de la pause, ont tagué « Frontex tue » sur un mur, clamé des slogans anti-Frontex. Après quelques minutes passées au fond de la salle, les manifestant.e.s ont été sévèrement et sans sommation frappé.e.s par les forces de l’ordre. Quatre personnes ont dû être transportées à l’hôpital [5]. Le colloque a repris son cours quelques temps après, « comme si de rien n’était » selon plusieurs témoins, et s’est poursuivi le lendemain, sans autres interventions de contestations.

    Au choc des violences policières, se sont ajoutées des questions : comment la situation d’un colloque universitaire a-t-elle pu donner lieu à l’usage de la force ? Plus simplement encore, comment en est-on arrivé là ?

    Pour tenter de répondre, nous proposons de déplier quelques-unes des nombreuses logiques à l’œuvre à l’occasion de ce colloque. Travailler à élaborer une pensée s’entend ici en tant que modalité d’action : il en va de notre responsabilité universitaire et politique d’essayer de comprendre comment une telle situation a pu avoir lieu et ce qu’elle dit des modes de subjectivation à l’œuvre dans l’université contemporaine. Nous proposons de montrer que ces logiques sont essentiellement logistiques, qu’elles sont associées à des processus inhérents de sécurisation et de militarisation, et qu’elles relient, d’un point de vue pratique et théorique, l’institution universitaire à l’institution de surveillance des frontières qu’est Frontex.


    Une démarche logistique silencieuse

    Chercheur.e.s travaillant depuis la géographie sociale et les area studies [6], nous sommes particulièrement attentifs au rôle que joue l’espace dans la formation des subjectivités et des identités sociales. L’espace n’est jamais un simple décor, il ne disparaît pas non plus complètement sous les effets de sa réduction temporelle par la logistique. L’espace n’est pas un donné, il s’élabore depuis des relations qui contribuent à lui donner du sens. Ainsi, nous avons été particulièrement attentifs au choix du lieu où fut organisé le colloque « De Frontex à Frontex ». Nous aurions pu nous attendre à ce que la faculté de droit de l’Université de Grenoble, organisatrice, l’accueille. Mais il en fut autrement : le colloque fut organisé dans le bâtiment très récent appelé « IMAG » (Institut de Mathématiques Appliquées de Grenoble) sur le campus grenoblois. Nouveau centre de recherche inauguré en 2016, il abrite six laboratoires de recherche, spécialisés dans les « logiciels et systèmes intelligents ».

    L’IMAG est un exemple de « zone de transfert de connaissances laboratoires-industries [7] », dont le modèle a été expérimenté dans les universités états-uniennes à partir des années 1980 et qui, depuis, s’est largement mondialisé. Ces « zones » se caractérisent par deux fonctions majeures : 1) faciliter et accélérer les transferts de technologies des laboratoires de recherche vers les industries ; 2) monétiser la recherche. Ces deux caractéristiques relèvent d’une même logique implicite de gouvernementalité logistique.

    Par « gouvernementalité logistique », nous entendons un mode de rationalisation qui vise à gérer toute différence spatiale et temporelle de la manière la plus ’efficace’ possible. L’efficacité, dans ce contexte, se réduit à la seule valeur produite dans les circuits d’extraction, de transfert et d’accumulation des capitaux. En tant que mode de gestion des chaînes d’approvisionnement, la logistique comprend une série de technologies, en particulier des réseaux d’infrastructures techniques et des technologies informatiques. Ces réseaux servent à gérer des flux de biens, d’informations, de populations. La logistique peut, plus largement, être comprise comme un « dispositif », c’est-à-dire un ensemble de relations entre des éléments hétérogènes, comportant des réseaux techniques, comme nous l’avons vu, mais aussi des discours, des institutions...qui les produisent et les utilisent pour légitimer des choix politiques. Dans le contexte logistique, les choix dotés d’un fort caractère politique sont présentés comme des « nécessités » techniques indiscutables, destinées à maximiser des formes d’organisations toujours plus « efficaces » et « rationnelles ».

    La gouvernementalité logistique a opéré à de nombreux niveaux de l’organisation du colloque grenoblois. (a) D’abord le colloque s’est tenu au cœur d’une zone logistique de transfert hyper-sécurisé de connaissances, où celles-ci circulent entre des laboratoires scientifiques et des industries, dont certaines sont des industries militaires d’armement [8]. (b) Le choix de réunir le colloque dans ce bâtiment n’a fait l’objet d’aucun commentaire explicite, tandis que les co-organisateurs du colloque dépolitisaient le colloque, en se défendant de « parler de la politique de l’Union Européenne [9] », tout en présentant l’Agence comme un « nouvel acteur dans la lutte contre l’immigration illégale [10] », reprenant les termes politiques d’une langue médiatique et spectacularisée. Cette dépolitisation relève d’un autre plan de la gouvernementalité logistique, où les choix politiques sont dissimulés sous l’impératif d’une nécessité, qui prend très souvent les atours de compétences techniques ou technologiques. (c) Enfin, Frontex peut être décrite comme un outil de gouvernementalité logistique : outil de surveillance militaire, l’agence est spécialisée dans la gestion de « flux » transfrontaliers. L’agence vise à produire un maximum de choix dits « nécessaires » : la « nécessité » par exemple de « sécuriser » les frontières face à une dite « crise migratoire », présentée comme inéluctable et pour laquelle Frontex ne prend aucune responsabilité politique.

    Ainsi, ce colloque mettait en abyme plusieurs niveaux de gouvernementalité logistique, en invitant les représentants d’une institution logistique militarisée, au cœur d’une zone universitaire logistique de transfert de connaissances, tout en passant sous silence les dimensions politiques et sociales de Frontex et de ce choix d’organisation.

    A partir de ces premières analyses, nous allons tenter de montrer au fil du texte :

    (1)-comment la gouvernementalité logistique s’articule de manière inhérente à des logiques de sécurisation et de militarisation (des relations sociales, des modes de production des connaissances, des modes de gestion des populations) ;

    (2)-comment la notion de « continuité », produite par la rationalité logistique, sert à comprendre le fonctionnement de l’agence Frontex, entendue à la fois comme outil pratique de gestion des populations et comme cadre conceptuel théorique ;

    (3)-comment les choix politiques, opérés au nom de la logistique, sont toujours présentés comme des choix « nécessaires », ce qui limite très fortement les possibilités d’en débattre. Autrement dit, comment la rationalité logistique neutralise les dissentiments politiques.
    Rationalité logistique, sécurisation et militarisation

    —Sécurisation, militarisation des relations sociales et des modes de production des connaissances au sein de l’université logistique

    La gouvernementalité ou rationalité logistique a des conséquences majeures sur les modes de production des relations sociales, mais aussi sur les modes de production des connaissances. Les conséquences sociales de la rationalité logistique devraient être la priorité des analyses des chercheur.e.s en sciences sociales, tant elles sont préoccupantes, avant même l’étude des conséquences sur les modes de production du savoir, bien que tous ces éléments soient liés. C’est ce que Brian Holmes expliquait en 2007 dans une analyse particulièrement convaincante des processus de corporatisation, militarisation et précarisation de la force de travail dans le Triangle de la Recherche en Caroline du Nord aux Etats-Unis [11]. L’auteur montrait combien les activités de transfert et de monétisation des connaissances, caractéristiques des « zones de transfert de connaissances laboratoires-industries », avaient contribué à créer des identités sociales inédites. En plus du « professeur qui se transforme en petit entrepreneur et l’université en grosse entreprise », comme le notait Brian Holmes, s’ajoute désormais un tout nouveau type de relation sociale, dont la nature est très fondamentalement logistique. Dans son ouvrage The Deadly Life of Logistics paru en 2014 [12], Deborah Cowen précisait la nature de ces nouvelles relations logistiques : dans le contexte de la rationalité logistique, les relations entre acteurs sociaux dépendent de plus en plus de logiques inhérentes de sécurisation. Autrement dit, les relations sociales, quand elles sont corsetées par le paradigme logistique, sont aussi nécessairement prises dans l’impératif de « sécurité ». Les travailleurs, les manageurs, les autorités régulatrices étatiques conçoivent leurs relations et situations de travail à partir de la figure centrale de la « chaîne d’approvisionnement ». Ils évaluent leurs activités à l’aune des notions de « risques » -et d’« avantages »-, selon le modèle du transfert de biens, de populations, d’informations (risques de perte ou de gain de valeur dans le transfert, en fonction notamment de la rapidité, de la fluidité, de la surveillance en temps réel de ce transfert). Ainsi, il n’est pas surprenant que des experts universitaires, dont la fonction principale est devenue de faciliter les transferts et la monétisation des connaissances, développent des pratiques qui relèvent implicitement de logiques de sécurisation. Sécuriser, dans le contexte de l’université logistique, veut dire principalement renforcer les droits de propriété intellectuelle, réguler de manière stricte l’accès aux connaissances et les conditions des débats scientifiques (« fluidifier » les échanges, éviter tout « conflit »), autant de pratiques nécessaires pour acquérir une certaine reconnaissance institutionnelle.

    L’IMAG est un exemple particulièrement intéressant de cette nouvelle « entreprise logistique de la connaissance », décrite par Brian Holmes, et qui se substitue progressivement à l’ancien modèle national de l’université. Quelles sont les logiques à l’œuvre dans l’élaboration de cette entreprise logistique de la connaissance ? (1) En premier lieu, et en ordre d’importance, la logistique s’accompagne d’une sécurisation et d’une militarisation de la connaissance. Le processus de militarisation est très clair dans le cas de l’IMAG qui entretient des partenariats avec l’industrie de l’armement, mais il peut être aussi plus indirect. Des recherches portant sur les systèmes embarqués et leurs usages civils, menées par certains laboratoires de l’IMAG et financées par des fonds étatiques, ont en fait également des applications militaires. (2) La seconde logique à l’œuvre est celle d’une disqualification de l’approche politique des objectifs et des conflits sociaux, au profit d’une approche fondée sur les notions de surveillance et de sécurité. A la pointe de la technologie, le bâtiment de l’IMAG est un smart building dont la conception architecturale et le design relèvent de logiques de surveillance. En choisissant de se réunir à l’IMAG, les organisateurs du colloque ont implicitement fait le choix d’un espace qui détermine les relations sociales par la sécurité et la logistique. Ce choix n’a jamais été rendu explicite, au profit de ce qui est réellement mis en valeur : le fait de pouvoir transférer les connaissances vers les industries et de les monétiser, peu importe les moyens utilisés pour les financer et les mettre en circulation.

    Le colloque « De Frontex à Frontex », organisé à l’Université de Grenoble, était ainsi -implicitement- du côté d’un renforcement des synergies entre la corporatisation et la militarisation de la recherche. On pourrait également avancer que la neutralisation de toute dimension politique au sein du colloque (réduite à des enjeux essentiellement juridiques dans les discours des organisateurs [13]) relève d’une même gouvernementalité logistique : il s’agit de supprimer tout « obstacle » potentiel, tout ralentissement « inutile » à la fluidité des transferts de connaissances et aux échanges d’« experts ». Dépolitiser les problèmes posés revient à limiter les risques de conflits et à « fluidifier » encore d’avantage les échanges. On commence ici à comprendre pourquoi le conflit qui s’est invité dans la salle du colloque à Grenoble fut si sévèrement réprimé.

    Les organisateurs expliquèrent eux-mêmes le jour du colloque à un journaliste du Dauphiné Libéré, qu’il n’était pas question de « parler de la politique migratoire de l’Union Européenne ». On pourrait arguer que le terme de « politique » figurait pourtant dans le texte de présentation du colloque. Ainsi, dans ce texte les co-organisateurs proposaient « de réfléchir sur la réalité de l’articulation entre le développement des moyens opérationnels de l’Union et la définition des objectifs de sa politique migratoire [14] ». Mais s’il s’agissait de s’interroger sur la cohérence entre les prérogatives de Frontex et la politique migratoire Union Européenne, les fondements normatifs, ainsi que les conséquences pratiques de cette politique, n’ont pas été appelés à être discutés. La seule mention qui amenait à s’interroger sur ces questions fut la suivante : « Enfin, dans un troisième temps, il faudra s’efforcer d’apprécier certains enjeux de l’émergence de ce service européen des garde-côtes et garde-frontières, notamment ceux concernant la notion de frontière ainsi que le respect des valeurs fondant l’Union, au premier rang desquelles la garantie effective des droits fondamentaux [15] ». Si la garantie effective des droits fondamentaux était bel et bien mentionnée, le texte n’abordait à aucun moment les milliers de morts aux frontières de l’Union Européenne. Débattre de politique, risquer le conflit, comme autant de freins au bon déroulement de transferts de connaissances, est rendu impossible (censuré, neutralisé ou réprimé) dans le contexte de la gouvernementalité logistique. Pendant le colloque, les représentants de l’agence Frontex et d’Euromed Police ont très peu parlé explicitement de politique, mais ont, par contre, souvent déploré, le manque de moyens de leurs institutions, en raison notamment de l’austérité, manière de faire appel implicitement à de nouveaux transferts de fonds, de connaissances, de biens ou encore de flux financiers. C’est oublier -ou ne pas dire- combien l’austérité, appliquée aux politiques sociales, épargne les secteurs de la militarisation et de la sécurisation, en particulier dans le domaine du gouvernement des populations et des frontières.

    Sécurisation et militarisation du gouvernement des populations

    Ainsi, les discussions pendant le colloque n’ont pas porté sur le contexte politique et social plus général de l’Union Européenne et de la France, pour se concentrer sur un défaut de moyens de l’agence Frontex. Rappelons que le colloque a eu lieu alors que le gouvernement d’Emmanuel Macron poursuivait la « refonte » du système des retraites, des services publics, du travail, des aides sociales. Le premier jour du colloque, soit le jeudi 22 mars 2018, avait été déposé un appel à la grève nationale par les syndicats de tous les secteurs du service public. Si l’essentiel des services publics sont soumis à la loi d’airain de l’austérité, d’autres secteurs voient au contraire leurs moyens considérablement augmenter, comme en témoignent les hausses très significatives des budgets annuels de la défense prévus jusqu’en 2025 en France [16]. La loi de programmation militaire 2019-2025, dont le projet a été présenté le 8 février 2018 par le gouvernement Macron, marque une remontée de la puissance financière de l’armée, inédite depuis la fin de la Guerre froide. « Jusqu’en 2022, le budget augmentera de 1,7 milliard d’euros par an, puis de 3 milliards d’euros en 2023, portant le budget des Armées à 39,6 milliards d’euros par an en moyenne, hors pensions, entre 2019 et 2023. Au total, les ressources des armées augmentent de près d’un quart (+23 %) entre 2019 et 2025 [17] ». La réforme de Frontex en 2016 s’inscrit dans la continuité de ces hausses budgétaires.

    Agence européenne pour la gestion de la coopération opérationnelle aux frontières extérieures créée en 2004, et devenue Agence de garde-frontières et de garde-côtes en 2016, Frontex déploie des « équipements techniques […] (tels que des avions et des bateaux) et de personnel spécialement formé [18] » pour contrôler, surveiller, repousser les mouvements des personnes en exil. « Frontex coordonne des opérations maritimes (par exemple, en Grèce, en Italie et en Espagne), mais aussi des opérations aux frontières extérieures terrestres, notamment en Bulgarie, en Roumanie, en Pologne et en Slovaquie. Elle est également présente dans de nombreux aéroports internationaux dans toute l’Europe [19] ». Le colloque devait interroger la réforme très récente de l’Agence en 2016 [20], qui en plus d’une augmentation de ses moyens financiers et matériels, entérinait des pouvoirs étendus, en particulier le pouvoir d’intervenir aux frontières des Etats membres de l’Union Européenne sans la nécessité de leur accord, organiser elle-même des expulsions de personnes, collecter des données personnelles auprès des personnes inquiétées et les transmettre à Europol.

    Cette réforme de l’agence Frontex montre combien l’intégration européenne se fait désormais en priorité depuis les secteurs de la finance et de la sécurité militaire. La création d’une armée européenne répondant à une doctrine militaire commune, la création de mécanismes fiscaux communs, ou encore le renforcement et l’élargissement des prérogatives de Frontex, sont tous des choix institutionnels qui ont des implications politiques majeures. Dans ce contexte, débattre de la réforme juridique de Frontex, en excluant l’analyse des choix politiques qui préside à cette forme, peut être considéré comme une forme grave d’atteinte au processus démocratique.

    Après avoir vu combien la gouvernementalité logistique produit des logiques de sécurisation et de militarisation, circulant depuis l’université logistique jusqu’à Frontex, nous pouvons désormais tenter de comprendre comment la gouvernementalité logistique produit un type spécifique de cadre théorique, résumé dans la notion de « continuité ». Cette notion est centrale pour comprendre les modes de fonctionnement et les implications politiques de Frontex.
    La « continuité » : Frontex comme cartographie politique et concept théorique

    Deux occurrences de la notion de « continuité » apparaissent dans la Revue Stratégique de Défense et de Sécurité Nationale de la France, parue en 2017 :

    [Les attentats] du 13 novembre [2015], exécutés par des commandos équipés et entraînés, marquent une rupture dans la nature même de [la] menace [terroriste] et justifient la continuité entre les notions de sécurité et de défense.
    [...]
    La continuité entre sécurité intérieure et défense contre les menaces extérieures accroît leur complémentarité. Les liens sont ainsi devenus plus étroits entre l’intervention, la protection et la prévention, à l’extérieur et à l’intérieur du territoire national, tandis que la complémentarité entre la dissuasion et l’ensemble des autres fonctions s’est renforcée.

    La réforme de l’agence Frontex correspond pleinement à l’esprit des orientations définies par la Revue Stratégique de Défense et de Sécurité Nationale. Il s’agit de créer une agence dont les missions sont légitimées par l’impératif de « continuité entre sécurité intérieure et défense contre les menaces extérieures ». Les périmètres et les modalités d’intervention de Frontex sont ainsi tout autant « intérieurs » (au sein des Etats membres de l’Union Européenne), qu’extérieurs (aux frontières et au sein des Etats non-membres), tandis que la « lutte contre l’immigration illégale » (intérieure et extérieure) est présentée comme un des moyens de lutte contre le « terrorisme » et la « criminalité organisée ».

    Des frontières « intérieures » et « extérieures » en « continuité »

    Ainsi, la « continuité » désigne un rapport linéaire et intrinsèque entre la sécurité nationale intérieure et la défense extérieure. Ce lien transforme les fonctions frontalières, qui ne servent plus à séparer un intérieur d’un extérieur, désormais en « continuité ». Les frontières dites « extérieures » sont désormais également « intérieures », à la manière d’un ruban de Moebius. A été largement montré combien les frontières deviennent « épaisses [21] », « zonales [22] », « mobiles [23] », « externalisées [24] », bien plus que linéaires et statiques. L’externalisation des frontières, c’est-à-dire l’extension de leurs fonctions de surveillance au-delà des limites des territoires nationaux classiques, s’ajoute à une indistinction plus radicale encore, qui rend indistincts « intérieur » et un « extérieur ». Selon les analyses de Matthew Longo, il s’agit d’un « système-frontière total » caractérisé par « la continuité entre des lignes [devenues des plus en plus épaisses] et des zones frontalières [qui ressemblent de plus en plus aux périphéries impériales] [25] » (souligné par les auteurs).

    La notion de « continuité » répond au problème politique posé par la mondialisation logistique contemporaine. La création de chaînes globales d’approvisionnement et de nouvelles formes de régulations au service de la souveraineté des entreprises, ont radicalement transformé les fonctions classiques des frontières nationales et la conception politique du territoire national. Pris dans la logistique mondialisée, celui-ci n’est plus imaginé comme un contenant fixe et protecteur, dont il est nécessaire de protéger les bords contre des ennemis extérieurs et au sein duquel des ennemis intérieurs [26] sont à combattre. Le territoire national est pensé en tant que forme « continue », une forme « intérieur-extérieur ». Du point de vue de la logistique, ni la disparition des frontières, ni leur renforcement en tant qu’éléments statiques, n’est souhaitable. C’est en devenant tout à la fois intérieures et extérieures, en créant notamment les possibilités d’une expansion du marché de la surveillance, qu’elles permettent d’optimiser l’efficacité de la chaîne logistique et maximiser les bénéfices qui en découlent.

    Une des conséquences les plus importantes et les plus médiatisées de la transformation contemporaine des frontières est celle des migrations : 65,6 millions de personnes étaient en exil (demandeur.se.s d’asile, réfugié.e.s, déplacé.e.s internes, apatrides) dans le monde en 2016 selon le HCR [27], contre 40 millions à la fin de la Seconde Guerre mondiale. Cette augmentation montre combien les frontières n’empêchent pas les mouvements. Au contraire, elles contribuent à les produire, pour notamment les intégrer à une économie très lucrative de la surveillance [28]. La dite « crise migratoire », largement produite par le régime frontalier contemporain, est un effet, parmi d’autres également très graves, de cette transformation des frontières. Évasion fiscale, produits financiers transnationaux, délocalisation industrielle, flux de déchets électroniques et toxiques, prolifération des armes, guerres transfrontalières (cyber-guerre, guerre financière, guerre de drones, frappes aériennes), etc., relèvent tous d’une multiplication accélérée des pratiques produites par la mondialisation contemporaine. Grâce au fonctionnement de l’économie de l’attention, qui caractérise le capitalisme de plateforme, tous ces processus, sont réduits dans le discours médiatisé, comme par magie, au « problème des migrants ». Tout fonctionne comme si les autres effets de cette transformation des frontières, par ailleurs pour certains facteurs de déplacements migratoires, n’existaient pas. S’il y avait une crise, elle serait celle du contrôle de l’attention par les technologies informatiques. Ainsi, la dite « crise migratoire » est plutôt le symptôme de la mise sous silence, de l’exclusion complète de la sphère publique de toutes les autres conséquences des transformations frontalières produites par le capitalisme logistique et militarisé contemporain.

    La réforme de l’agence Frontex en 2016 se situe clairement dans le contexte de cette politique de transformation des frontières et de mise en exergue d’une « crise migratoire », au service du marché de la surveillance, tandis que sont passés sous silence bien d’autres processus globaux à l’œuvre. Frontex, en favorisant des « coopérations internationales » militaires avec des Etats non-membres de l’Union Européenne, travaille à la création de frontières « en continu ». Ainsi les frontières de l’Union Européenne sont non seulement maritimes et terrestres aux « bords » des territoires, mais elles sont aussi rejouées dans le Sahara, au large des côtes atlantiques de l’Afrique de l’Ouest, jusqu’au Soudan [29] ou encore à l’intérieur des territoires européens (multiplication des centres de rétention pour étrangers notamment [30]). Le « projet Euromed Police IV », débuté en 2016 pour une période de quatre ans, financé par l’Union Européenne, dont le chef, Michel Quillé, était invité au colloque grenoblois, s’inscrit également dans le cadre de ces partenariats sécuritaires et logistiques internationaux : « le projet [...] a pour objectif général d’accroître la sécurité des citoyens dans l’aire euro-méditerranéenne en renforçant la coopération sur les questions de sécurité entre les pays partenaires du Sud de la Méditerranée [31] mais aussi entre ces pays et les pays membres de l’Union Européenne [32] ». La rhétorique de la « coopération internationale » cache une réalité toute différente, qui vise à redessiner les pratiques frontalières actuelles, dans le sens de la « continuité » intérieur-extérieur et de l’expansion d’une chaîne logistique sécuritaire.

    « Continuité » et « sécurité », des notions ambivalentes

    En tant qu’appareillage conceptuel, la notion de « continuité » entre espace domestique et espace extérieur, est particulièrement ambivalente. La « continuité » pourrait signifier la nécessité de créer de nouvelles formes de participation transnationale, de partage des ressources ou de solutions collectives. Autrement dit, la « continuité » pourrait être pensée du côté de l’émancipation et d’une critique en actes du capitalisme sécuritaire et militarisé. Mais la « continuité », dans le contexte politique contemporain, signifie bien plutôt coopérer d’un point de vue militaire, se construire à partir de la figure d’ennemis communs, définis comme à fois « chez nous » et « ailleurs ». Frontex, comme mode transnational de mise en relation, relève du choix politique d’une « continuité » militaire. Cette notion est tout à la fois descriptive et prescriptive. Elle désigne la transformation objective des frontières (désormais « épaisses », « zonales », « mobiles »), mais aussi toute une série de pratiques, d’institutions (comme Frontex), de discours, qui matérialisent cette condition métastable. Depuis un registre idéologique, la « continuité » suture le subjectif et l’objectif, la contingence et la nécessité, le politique et la logistique.

    La campagne publicitaire de recrutement pour l’armée de terre française, diffusée en 2016 et créée par l’agence de publicité parisienne Insign, illustre parfaitement la manière dont la notion de « continuité » opère, en particulier le slogan : « je veux repousser mes limites au-delà des frontières ». Le double-sens du terme « repousser », qui signifie autant faire reculer une attaque militaire, que dépasser une limite, est emblématique de toute l’ambivalence de l’idéologie de la « continuité ». Slogan phare de la campagne de recrutement de l’armée de terre, ’je veux repousser mes limites au-delà des frontières’ relève d’une conception néolibérale du sujet, fondée sur les présuppositions d’un individualisme extrême. Là où la militarisation des frontières et la généralisation d’un état de guerre coloniale engage tout un pays (sans pour autant que la distinction entre ennemi et ami soit claire), l’idée de frontière subit une transformation métonymique. Elle devient la priorité absolue de l’individu (selon l’individualisme comme principe sacré du néolibéralisme). La guerre n’est finalement qu’un moyen pour l’individu de se réaliser (tout obstacle relevant du côté de l’ » ennemi »). À la transgression des frontières par le triangle capital-militaire-sécuritaire, se substitue l’image fictive de limites individualisées.

    L’agence Frontex, en plus d’être un dispositif pratique, est aussi prise dans l’idéologie de la « continuité ». L’agence vise principalement à produire des sujets dont les pulsions individuelles se lient, de manière « continue », avec une chaîne logistico-militaire qui vise à « repousser » toute relation sociale et politique vers un espace de « sécurité » silencieux, neutralisé, voire mort. Objectif central des missions de Frontex, la « sécurité » est, tout comme la « continuité », loin d’être un concept clair et transparent. La sécurité dont il est question dans les opérations de Frontex est une modalité de gestion des populations, qui sert à légitimer des états d’exception. La sécurité dans ce cas est faussement celle des personnes. Il s’agit d’une toute autre sécurité, détachée de la question des personnes, qui concerne avant tout les flux de populations et de marchandises, destinée principalement à en garantir la monétisation. La sécurité n’est ainsi pas une fin en soi, en lien avec la liberté ou l’émancipation, mais une opération permettant la capitalisation des populations et des biens. Cette notion fonctionne car précisément elle sème le trouble entre « sécurité des personnes » et « sécurité des flux ». Le type de « sécurité » qui organise les missions de l’agence Frontex est logistique. Son but est de neutraliser les rapports sociaux, en rompant toutes possibilités de dialogues, pour gérer de manière asymétrique et fragmentaire, des flux, considérés à sens unique.

    Concept polyvalent et ambivalent, la « sécurité » devrait être redéfinie depuis un horizon social et servir avant tout les possibilités de créer des liens sociaux de solidarité et de mutualisation d’alternatives. Les partis traditionnels de gauche en Europe ont essayé pendant des décennies de re-socialiser la sécurité, défendant une « Europe sociale ». On peut retrouver dans les causes de l’échec des partis de Gauche en Europe les ferments du couple logistique-sécurité, toujours à l’œuvre aujourd’hui.

    Une des causes les plus signifiantes de cet échec, et ayant des répercussions majeures sur ce que nous décrivons au sujet de Frontex, tient dans l’imaginaire cartographique et historique de l’Europe sociale des partis traditionnels de Gauche. Au début des années 1990, des débats importants eurent lieu entre la Gauche et la Droite chrétienne au sujet de ce que devait être l’Union Européenne. Il en ressortit un certain nombre d’accords et de désaccords. La notion coloniale de « différence civilisationnelle » fit consensus, c’est-à-dire la définition de l’Europe en tant qu’aire civilisationnelle spécifique et différenciée. A partir de ce consensus commun, la Gauche s’écarta de la Droite, en essayant d’associer la notion de « différence civilisationnelle » à un ensemble de valeurs héritées des Lumières, notamment l’égalité et la liberté -sans, par ailleurs, faire trop d’effort pour critiquer l’esclavage ou encore les prédations territoriales, caractéristiques du siècle des Lumières. La transformation de l’universalisme des Lumières en trait de civilisation -autrement dit, concevoir que la philosophie politique universaliste est d’abord « européenne »- s’inscrit dans le registre de la différence coloniale, caractéristique du projet moderne. Le fait de répéter à l’envie que la Démocratie aurait une origine géographique et que ce serait Athènes s’inscrit dans ce projet moderne civilisateur colonial. L’égalité, la liberté, la démocratie s’élaborent depuis des mouvements sociaux, toujours renouvelés et qui visent à se déplacer vers l’autre, vers ce qui paraît étranger. Sans ce mouvement fondamental de déplacement, jamais achevé, qui découvre toujours de nouveaux points d’origine, aucune politique démocratique n’est possible. C’est précisément ce que les partis de Gauche et du Centre en Europe ont progressivement nié. La conception de l’égalité et de la liberté, comme attributs culturels ou civilisationnels, a rendu la Gauche aveugle. En considérant l’Europe, comme un territoire fixe, lieu d’un héritage culturel spécifique, la Gauche n’a pas su analyser les processus de mondialisation logistique et les transformations associées des frontières. Là où le territoire moderne trouvait sa légitimité dans la fixité de ses frontières, la logistique mondialisée a introduit des territorialités mobiles, caractérisées par une disparition progressive entre « intérieur » et « extérieur », au service de l’expansion des chaînes d’approvisionnement et des marchés. Frontex est une des institutions qui contribue au floutage des distinctions entre territoire intérieur et extérieur. Incapables de décoloniser leurs analyses de la frontière, tant d’un point de vue épistémologique, social qu’institutionnel, les partis de Gauche n’ont pas su réagir à l’émergence du cadre conceptuel de la « continuité » entre sécurité intérieure et guerre extérieure. Tant que la Gauche considérera que la frontière est/doit être l’enveloppe d’un territoire fixe, lieu d’une spécificité culturelle ou civilisationnelle, elle ne pourra pas interpréter et transformer l’idéologie de la « continuité », aujourd’hui dominée par la militarisation et la monétisation, vers une continuité sociale, au service des personnes et des relations sociales.

    Sans discours, ni débat public structuré sur ces transformations politiques, les explications se cantonnent à l’argument d’une nécessité logistique, ce qui renforce encore l’idéologie de la « continuité », au service de la surveillance et du capitalisme.

    C’est dans ce contexte que les « entreprises de la connaissance » remplacent désormais l’ancien modèle des universités nationales. Aucun discours public n’est parvenu à contrer la monétisation et la militarisation des connaissances. La continuité à l’œuvre ici est celle de la recherche universitaire et des applications sécuritaires et militaires, qui seraient les conditions de son financement. Le fait que l’université soit gouvernée à la manière d’une chaîne logistique, qu’elle serve des logiques et des intérêts de sécurisation et de militarisation, sont présentées dans les discours dominants comme des nécessités. Ce qui est valorisé, c’est la monétisation de la recherche et sa capacité à circuler, à la manière d’une marchandise capitalisée. La nécessité logistique remplace toute discussion sur les causes politiques de telles transformations. Aucun parti politique, a fortiori de Gauche, n’est capable d’ouvrir le débat sur les causes et les conséquences de la gouvernementalité logistique, qui s’est imposée comme le nouveau mode dominant d’une gouvernementalité militarisée, à la faveur du capitalisme mondialisé. Ces processus circulent entre des mondes a priori fragmentés et rarement mis en lien : l’université, Frontex, l’industrie de l’armement, la sécurité intérieure, la défense extérieure. L’absence de débat sur la légitimité politique de telles décisions est une énième caractéristique de la gouvernementalité logistique.
    Mise sous silence du politique par la rationalité logistique, neutralisation du dissentiment

    Les discours sécuritaires de l’agence Frontex et d’Euromed Police s’accompagnent d’une dissimulation de leurs positionnements politiques. Tout fonctionne depuis des « constats », des « diagnostics ». Ces constats « consensuels » ont été repris par les chercheur.e.s, organisateurs et soutiens du colloque sur Frontex. Les scientifiques, travaillant au sein de l’université logistique et se réunissant pour le colloque à l’IMAG, viennent renforcer les justifications logistiques des actions de Frontex et Euromed Police, en disqualifiant tout débat politique qui permettrait de les interroger.

    Le « constat » d’une « crise migratoire » vécue par l’Union Européenne, qui l’aurait « amené à renforcer les pouvoirs de son agence Frontex », est la première phrase du texte de cadrage du colloque :

    La crise migratoire que vit aujourd’hui l’Union européenne (UE) l’a amenée à renforcer les pouvoirs de son agence Frontex. La réforme adoptée en septembre 2016 ne se limite pas à la reconnaissance de nouvelles prérogatives au profit de Frontex mais consiste également à prévoir les modalités d’intervention d’un nouvel acteur dans la lutte contre l’immigration illégale au sein de l’UE : le corps européen des gardes-frontières et garde-côtes. Cette nouvelle instance a pour objet de permettre l’action en commun de Frontex et des autorités nationales en charge du contrôle des frontières de l’UE, ces deux acteurs ayant la responsabilité partagée de la gestion des frontières extérieures[6].

    Nous souhaitons ici citer, en contre-point, le premier paragraphe d’une lettre écrite quelques jours après les violences policières, par une personne ayant assisté au colloque. Dans ce paragraphe, l’auteur remet directement en cause la dissimulation d’un positionnement politique au nom d’un « constat réaliste et objectif » des « problèmes » auxquels Frontex devraient « s’attaquer » :

    Vous avez décidé d’organiser un colloque sur Frontex, à l’IMAG (Université de Grenoble Alpes), les 22 et 23 mars 2018. Revendiquant une approche juridique, vous affirmez que votre but n’était pas de débattre des politiques migratoires (article du Dauphiné Libéré, 23 mars 2018). C’est un choix. Il est contestable. Il est en effet tout à fait possible de traiter de questions juridiques sans évacuer l’analyse politique, en assumant un point de vue critique. Vous vous retranchez derrière l’argument qu’il n’était pas question de discuter des politiques migratoires. Or, vous présentez les choses avec les mots qu’utilise le pouvoir pour imposer sa vision et justifier ces politiques. Vous parlez de « crise migratoire », de « lutte contre l’immigration illégale », etc. C’est un choix. Il est contestable. Les mots ont un sens, ils véhiculent une façon de voir la réalité. Plutôt que de parler de « crise de l’accueil » et de « criminalisation des exilé.e.s » par le « bras armé de l’UE », vous préférez écrire que « la crise migratoire » a « amené » l’UE à « renforcer les pouvoirs de son agence, Frontex ». Et hop, le tour de magie est joué. Si Frontex doit se renforcer c’est à cause des migrant.e.s. S’il y a des enjeux migratoires, la seule réponse légitime, c’est la répression. Ce raisonnement implicite n’a rien à voir avec des questions juridiques. Il s’agit bien d’une vision politique. C’est la vôtre. Mais permettez-nous de la contester [33].

    « Diagnostiquer » une « crise migratoire » à laquelle il faut répondre, est présenté comme un « choix nécessaire », qui s’inscrit dans un discours sécuritaire mobilisé à deux échelles différentes : (1) « défendre » la « sécurité » des frontières européennes, contre une crise migratoire où les « migrants » sont les ennemis, à la fois extérieurs et intérieurs, et (2) défendre la sécurité de la salle de conférence et de l’université, contre les manifestant.e.s militant.e.s, qui seraient les ennemis du débat « scientifique » (et où le scientifique est pensé comme antonyme du « manifestant.e » et/ou « militant.e »). L’université logistique est ici complice de la disqualification du politique, pour légitimer la nécessité des actions de Frontex.

    Le texte de présentation du colloque invitait ainsi bien plus à partager la construction d’un consensus illusoire autour de concepts fondamentalement ambivalents (crise migratoire, protection, sécurité) qu’à débattre à partir des situations réelles, vécues par des milliers de personnes, souvent au prix de leur vie. Ce consensus est celui de l’existence d’un ’problème objectif de l’immigration » contre lequel l’agence Frontex a été « amené » à « lutter », selon la logique d’une « adhésion aveugle à l’ « objectivité » de la « nécessité historique [34] » et logistique. Or, il est utile de rappeler, avec Jacques Rancière, qu’« il n’y a pas en politique de nécessité objective ni de problèmes objectifs. On a les problèmes politiques qu’on choisit d’avoir, généralement parce qu’on a déjà les réponses. [35] ». Les gouvernements, mais on pourrait dire aussi les chercheur.e.s organisateurs ou soutiens de ce colloque, « ont pris pour politique de renoncer à toute politique autre que de gestion logistique des « conséquences ».

    Les violences policières pendant le colloque « De Frontex à Frontex », sont venues sévèrement réprimer le resurgissement du politique. La répression violente a pour pendant, dans certains cas, la censure. Ainsi, un colloque portant sur l’islamophobie à l’université de Lyon 2 avait été annulé par les autorités de l’université en novembre 2017. Sous la pression orchestrée par une concertation entre associations et presses de droite, les instances universitaires avaient alors justifié cette annulation au motif que « les conditions n’étaient pas réunies pour garantir la sérénité des échanges », autrement dit en raison d’un défaut de « sécurité [36] ». Encore une fois, la situation est surdéterminée par la logistique sécuritaire, qui disqualifie le politique et vise à « fluidifier », « pacifier », autrement dit « neutraliser » les échanges de connaissances, de biens, pour permettre notamment leur monétisation.

    On pourrait arguer que la manifestation ayant eu lieu à Grenoble, réprimée par des violences policières, puisse justifier la nécessité d’annuler des colloques, sur le motif de l’absence de sérénité des échanges. On pourrait également arguer que les manifestant.e.s grenoblois.e.s, se mobilisant contre le colloque sur Frontex, ont joué le rôle de censeurs (faire taire le colloque), censure par ailleurs attaquée dans la situation du colloque sur l’islamophobie.

    Or, renvoyer ces parties dos à dos est irrecevable :

    – d’abord parce que les positions politiques en jeu, entre les opposant.e.s au colloque portant sur l’islamophobie et les manifestant.e.s critiquant Frontex et les conditions du colloque grenoblois, sont profondément antagonistes, les uns nourrissant le racisme et la xénophobie, les autres travaillant à remettre en cause les principes racistes et xénophobes des politiques nationalistes à l’œuvre dans l’Union Européenne. Nous récusons l’idée qu’il y aurait une symétrie entre ces positionnements.

    – Ensuite, parce que les revendications des manifestant.e.s, parues dans un tract publié quelques jours avant le colloque, ne visait ni à son annulation pure et simple, ni à interdire un débat sur Frontex. Le tract, composé de quatre pages, titrait en couverture : « contre la présence à un colloque d’acteurs de la militarisation des frontières », et montrait aussi et surtout combien les conditions du débat étaient neutralisées, par la disqualification du politique.

    Les violences policières réprimant la contestation à Grenoble et l’annulation du colloque sur l’islamophobie, dans des contextes par ailleurs différents, nous semblent constituer les deux faces d’une même médaille : il s’est agi de neutraliser, réprimer ou d’empêcher tout dissentiment, par ailleurs condition nécessaire de l’expression démocratique. La liberté universitaire, invoquée par les organisateurs du colloque et certains intervenants, ne peut consister ni à réprimer par la violence la mésentente, ni à la censurer, mais à élaborer les conditions de possibilité de son expression, pour « supporter les divisions de la société. […] C’est […] le dissentiment qui rend une société vivable. Et la politique, si on ne la réduit pas à la gestion et à la police d’Etat, est précisément l’organisation de ce dissentiment » (Rancière).

    De quelle politique font preuve les universités qui autorisent la répression ou la mise sous silence de mésententes politiques ? Quelles conditions de débat permettent de « supporter les divisions de la société », plutôt que les réprimer ou les censurer ?

    La « liberté universitaire » au service de la mise sous silence du dissentiment

    Les organisateurs du colloque et leurs soutiens ont dénoncé l’appel à manifester, puis l’intrusion dans la salle du colloque, au nom de la liberté universitaire : « cet appel à manifester contre la tenue d’une manifestation scientifique ouverte et publique constitue en soi une atteinte intolérable aux libertés universitaires [37] ». Il est nécessaire de rappeler que le tract n’appelait pas à ce que le colloque n’ait pas lieu, mais plutôt à ce que les représentants de Frontex et d’Euromed Police ne soient pas invités à l’université, en particulier dans le cadre de ce colloque, élaboré depuis un argumentaire où la parole politique était neutralisée. En invitant ces représentants, en tant qu’experts, et en refusant des positionnements politiques clairs et explicites (quels qu’ils soient), quel type de débat pouvait avoir lieu ?

    Plus précisément, est reproché aux manifestant.e.s le fait de n’être pas resté.e.s dans le cadre de l’affrontement légitime, c’est-à-dire l’affrontement verbal, sur une scène autorisée et partagée, celle du colloque. La liberté universitaire est brandie comme un absolu, sans que ne soit prises en compte ses conditions de possibilité. L’inclusion/exclusion de personnes concernées par les problèmes analysés par les chercheur.e.s, ainsi que la définition de ce que signifie « expertise », sont des conditions auxquelles il semble important de porter attention. La notion d’expertise, par exemple, connaît de profonds et récents changements : alors qu’elle a longtemps servi à distinguer les chercheur.e.s, seul.e.s « expert.e.s », des « professionnel.le.s », les « professionnel.le.s » sont désormais de plus en plus reconnu.e.s comme « expert.e.s », y compris en pouvant prétendre à des reconnaissances universitaires institutionnelles telle la VAE (Validation des Acquis de l’Expérience [38]), allant jusqu’à l’équivalent d’un diplôme de doctorat. Là encore il s’agit d’une panoplie de nouvelles identités créées par la transition vers l’université logistique, et une équivalence de plus en plus institutionalisée entre l’ » expertise » et des formes de rémunération qui passent par les mécanismes d’un marché réglementé. Si des « professionnel.le.s » (non-chercheur.e.s) sont de plus en plus reconnu.e.s comme « expert.e.s » dans le champ académique, l’exclusion des personnes dotées d’autres formes de compétences (par exemple, celles qui travaillent de manière intensive à des questions sociales) est un geste porteur de conséquences extrêmement lourdes et pour la constitution des savoirs et pour la démarche démocratique.

    Pour comprendre comment la « liberté universitaire » opère, il est important de se demander quelles personnes sont qualifiées d’ « expertes », autrement dit quelles personnes sont considérées comme légitimes pour revendiquer l’exercice de la liberté universitaire ou, au contraire, l’opposer à des personnes et des fonctionnements jugés illégitimes. C’est précisément là où l’université logistique devient une machine de normalisation puissante qui exerce un pouvoir considérable sur la formation et la reconnaissance des identités sociales. A notre sens, la liberté universitaire ne peut être conçue comme une liberté à la négative, c’est-à-dire un principe servant à rester sourd à la participation des acteurs issu.e.s de la société civile non-universitaire (parmi les manifestant.e.s, on comptait par ailleurs de nombreux étudiant.e.s), des « expert.e.s » issu.e.s de domaines où elles ne sont pas reconnue.s comme tel.le.s.

    « Scientifique » vs. « militant ». Processus de disqualification du politique.

    Ainsi, dans le cas du colloque « De Frontex à Frontex », la scène légitime du débat ne garantissait pas le principe d’égalité entre celles et ceux qui auraient pu -et auraient dû- y prendre part. Les scientifiques ont été présentés à égalité avec les intervenants membres de Frontex et d’Euromed Police IV, invités en tant que « professionnels [39] », « praticiens [40] » ou encore « garants d’une expertise [41] ». Les experts « scientifiques » et les « professionnels » ont été définis en opposition à la figure de « militant.e.s » (dont certain.e.s étaient par ailleurs étudiant.e.s), puis aux manifestant.e.s, assimilé.e.s, après l’intrusion dans la salle du colloque, à des délinquant.e.s, dans une figure dépolitisée du « délinquant ». Si les co-organisateurs ont déploré, après le colloque, que des « contacts noués à l’initiative des organisateurs et de certains intervenants [42] » avec des organisations contestataires soient restés « sans succès », il est important de rappeler que ces contacts ont visé à opposer « colloque scientifique » et « colloque militant », c’est-à-dire un cadre antagoniste rendant le dialogue impossible. Là où le colloque censuré sur l’islamophobie entendait promouvoir l’« articulation entre le militantisme pour les droits humains et la réflexion universitaire [pour] montrer que les phénomènes qui préoccupent la société font écho à l’intérêt porté par l’université aux problématiques sociales, [ainsi que pour montrer qu’] il n’existe pas de cloisonnement hermétique entre ces deux mondes qui au contraire se complètent pour la construction d’une collectivité responsable et citoyenne [43] », les organisateurs du colloque grenoblois ont défendu la conception d’un colloque « scientifique », où le scientifique s’oppose à l’affirmation et la discussion de positions politiques - et ceci dans un contexte hautement politisé.

    Par ailleurs, la liberté universitaire ne peut pas servir de légitimation à l’usage de la force, pour réprimer des manifestant.e.s dont la parole a été disqualifiée et neutralisée avant même le colloque et par les cadres du colloque (dépolitisation, sécurisation). Le passage à l’acte de l’intrusion, pendant une des pauses de l’événement, a servi de moyen pour rappeler aux organisateurs et participant.e.s du colloque, les conditions de possibilité très problématiques à partir desquelles celui-ci avait été organisé, et notamment le processus préalable de neutralisation de la parole des acteurs fortement impliqués mais, de fait, exclus du champ concerné.

    Il ne suffit pas ainsi que des universitaires critiques des actions de Frontex aient été –effectivement- invité.e.s au colloque, en parallèle de « praticiens » de Frontex et Euromed Police, présentés comme des experts-gestionnaires, pour qu’un débat émerge. Encore aurait-il fallu que les termes du débat soient exposés, hors du « réalisme consensuel [44] » entre identités hautement normalisées et logistique qui caractérise le texte d’invitation. Débattre de Frontex, c’est d’abord lutter contre les « illusions du réalisme gestionnaire [45] » et logistique, mais aussi des illusions d’une analyse qui parviendrait à rester uniquement disciplinaire (ici la discipline juridique), pour affirmer que ses actions relèvent de choix politiques (et non seulement de nécessités logistiques et sécuritaires).

    Il est urgent que la liberté universitaire puisse servir des débats où les positionnements politiques soient explicitement exposés, ce qui permettrait l’expression précisément du dissentiment politique. Le dissentiment, plutôt qu’il soit neutralisé, censuré, réprimé, pourrait être entendu et valorisé (le dissentiment indique une orientation pour débattre précisément). La liberté universitaire serait celle aussi où les débats, partant d’un principe d’ » égalité des intelligences [46] », puissent s’ouvrir aux étudiant.e.s, à la société civile non-universitaire (société qui ne saurait pas s’identifier de manière directe et exhaustive avec le marché du travail réglementé), et aux personnes directement concernées par les problèmes étudiés. À la veille des changements historiques dans le marché de travail dûs aux technologies nouvelles, organiser le dissentiment revient ainsi à lutter contre le détournement de l’« expertise » à des fins autoritaires et contre la dépolitisation de l’espace universitaire au nom de la logistique sécuritaire. Il s’agit de rendre possible la confrontation de positions différentes au sein de bouleversements inédits sans perdre ni la démarche démocratique ni la constitution de nouveaux savoirs au service de la société toute entière.

    Pour ce faire, il est nécessaire de rompre avec l’idée de l’existence a priori d’une langue commune. La langue présupposée commune dans le cadre du colloque Frontex a été complètement naturalisée, comme nous l’avons montré notamment dans l’emploi consensuel de l’expression « crise migratoire ». Rendre possible le dissensus revient à dénaturaliser « la langue ». Dans le contexte de la « continuité » intérieur-extérieur et de la transformation des fonctions frontalières, il est important de rappeler que le processus démocratique et les pratiques du dissentiment ne peuvent plus s’appuyer sur l’existence d’une langue nationale standardisée, naturalisée, comme condition préalable. De nouvelles modalités d’adresse doivent être inventées. Il nous faudrait, donc, une politique de la différence linguistique qui prendrait son point de départ dans la traduction, comme opération linguistique première. Ainsi, il s’agit de renoncer à une langue unique et de renoncer à l’image de deux espaces opposés -un intérieur, un extérieur- à relier (de la même manière que la traduction n’est pas un pont qui relie deux bords opposés). Il est nécessaire de réoccuper la relation d’indistinction entre intérieur et extérieur, actuellement surdéterminé par le sécuritaire et le militaire, pour créer des liens de coopération, de partages de ressources, de mutualisation. Parler, c’est traduire, et traduire, ce n’est pas en premier lieu un transfert, mais la création de subjectivités. Le dissentiment n’est pas pré-déterminé, ni par une langue commune, ni par des sujets cohérents qui lui pré-existeraient (et qui tiendraient des positions déjà définies prêtes à s’affronter). Il est indéterminé. Il se négocie, se traduit, s’élabore dans des relations, à partir desquelles se créent des subjectivités. Le dissentiment s’élabore aussi avec soi-même. Ne pas (se) comprendre devient ce qui lie, ce qui crée la valeur de la relation, ce qui ouvre des potentialités.

    Le colloque « De Frontex à Frontex » a constitué un site privilégié à partir duquel observer les manières dont la gouvernementalité logistique opère, animée par des experts qui tentent de neutraliser et militariser les conflits sociaux, et qui exercent un strict contrôle sur les conditions d’accès à la parole publique. Nous avons tenté de montrer des effets de « continuité » entre gouvernementalité logistique et coloniale, en lien avec des logiques de sécurisation et de militarisation, tant dans le domaine de la production des connaissances à l’université que dans celui du gouvernement des populations. Tous ces éléments sont intrinsèquement liés. Il n’y a donc pas de frontière, mais bien une continuité, entre l’université logistique, la sécurité intérieure, l’agence Frontex et les guerres dites de défense extérieure. Les frontières étatiques elles-mêmes, ne séparent plus, mais créent les conditions d’une surveillance continue (presqu’en temps réel, à la manière des suivis de marchandises), au-delà de la distinction entre intérieur et extérieur.

    Les violences policières ayant eu lieu dans la salle du colloque « De Frontex à Frontex » nous amènent à penser que requalifier le dissentiment politique dans le contexte de la rationalité logistique est aujourd’hui dangereux ; faire entendre le dissentiment, le rendre possible, c’est s’exposer potentiellement ou réellement à la répression. Mais plutôt que d’avoir peur, nous choisissons de persister. Penser les conditions d’énonciation du dissentiment et continuer à tenter de l’organiser est une nécessité majeure.

    Jon Solomon, professeur, Université Jean Moulin Lyon 3, Sarah Mekdjian, maîtresse de conférences, Université Grenoble Alpes

    [1] Le CESICE : Centre d’Etudes sur la Sécurité Internationale et les Coopérations Européennes et le CRJ : Centre de Recherches Juridiques de Grenoble.

    [2] voir l’argumentaire du colloque ici : https://cesice.univ-grenoble-alpes.fr/actualites/2018-01-19/frontex-frontex-vers-l-emergence-d-service-europeen-garde

    [3] RUSF, Union départementale CNT 38, CLAGI, CISEM, CIIP, Collectif Hébergement Logement

    [4] Voir le tract ici : https://cric-grenoble.info/infos-locales/article/brisons-les-frontieres-a-bas-frontex-405

    [5] http://www.liberation.fr/france/2018/04/05/grenoble-un-batiment-de-la-fac-bloque_1641355

    [6] Les area studies, qui correspondent plus ou moins en français aux « études régionales », reposent sur la notion d’ « aire », telle que l’on trouve ce terme dans l’expression « aire de civilisation ». Comme le montre Jon Solomon, les « aires », constructions héritées de la modernité coloniale et impériale, se fondent sur la notion de « différence anthropologique », pour classer, hiérarchiser le savoir et la société. La géographie a participé et participe encore à la construction de cette taxinomie héritée de la modernité impériale et coloniale, en territorialisant ces « aires” dites « culturelles » ou de « civilisation ».

    [7] Voir la description de l’IMAG sur son site internet : « Le bâtiment IMAG a pour stratégie de concentrer les moyens et les compétences pour créer une masse critique (800 enseignants-chercheurs, chercheurs et doctorants), augmenter les synergies et garantir à Grenoble une visibilité à l’échelle mondiale. L’activité recherche au sein de ce bâtiment permettra également d’amplifier fortement les coopérations entre les acteurs locaux qui prennent déjà place dans l’Institut Carnot grenoblois ’logiciels et systèmes intelligents’ et dans le pôle de compétitivité Minalogic pour atteindre le stade de la recherche intégrative. [...] Nous voulons construire un accélérateur d’innovations capable de faciliter le transfert des recherches en laboratoire vers l’industrie”, https://batiment.imag.fr

    [8] Le laboratoire Verimag indique ainsi sur son site internet travailler, par exemple, en partenariat avec l’entreprise MBDA, le leader mondial des missiles. Voir : http://www-verimag.imag.fr/MBDA.html?lang=en

    [9] « Quelques minutes avant l’incident, Romain Tinière, professeur de droit à l’Université et membre de l’organisation du colloque, faisait le point : « L’objet du colloque n’est pas sur la politique migratoire de l’Union européenne. On aborde Frontex sous la forme du droit. On parle de l’aspect juridique avec les personnes qui le connaissent, notamment avec Frontexit. Pour lui, le rassemblement extérieur portait atteinte à « la liberté d’expression » », Dauphiné Libéré du 23 mars 2018.

    [10] Texte de présentation du colloque, https://cesice.univ-grenoble-alpes.fr/actualites/2018-01-19/frontex-frontex-vers-l-emergence-d-service-europeen-garde

    [11] https://brianholmes.wordpress.com/2007/02/26/disconnecting-the-dots-of-the-research-triangle

    [12] Cowen Deborah, The Deadly Life of Logistics-Mapping Violence in Global Trade, Minneapolis, London, University of Minnesota Press, 2014.

    [13] « En tant que juristes, nous avons logiquement choisi une approche juridique et réunis les spécialistes qui nous paraissaient en mesure d’apporter des regards intéressants et différents sur les raisons de la réforme de cette agence, son fonctionnement et les conséquences de son action, incluant certains des collègues parmi les plus critiques en France sur l’action de Frontex » (lettre de « mise au point des organisateurs » du colloque, 27 mars 2018), disponible ici : https://lunti.am/Lettre-ouverte-aux-organisateurs-du-colloque-de-Frontex-a-Frontex.

    [14] Voir le texte de présentation du colloque, https://cesice.univ-grenoble-alpes.fr/actualites/2018-01-19/frontex-frontex-vers-l-emergence-d-service-europeen-garde

    [15] Ibid.

    [16] Lors de son discours aux armées le 13 juillet 2017, à l’Hôtel de Brienne, le président Emmanuel Macron a annoncé que le budget des Armées serait augmenté dès 2018 afin d’engager une évolution permettant d’atteindre l’objectif d’un effort de défense s’élevant à 2 % du PIB en 2025. « Dès 2018 nous entamerons (une hausse) » du budget des Armées de « 34,2 milliards d’euros », expliquait ainsi Emmanuel Macron.

    [17] https://www.defense.gouv.fr/content/download/523152/8769295/file/LPM%202019-2025%20-%20Synth%C3%A8se.pdf

    [18] Voir le texte de présentation de Frontex sur le site de l’agence : https://frontex.europa.eu/about-frontex/mission-tasks

    [19] Ibid.

    [20] « Le règlement adopté le 14 septembre 2016 « transforme celle qui [était] chargée de la « gestion intégrée des frontières extérieures de l’Union » en « Agence européenne de garde-côtes et de garde-frontières’. Cette mutation faite de continuités met en lumière la prédominance de la logique de surveillance sur la vocation opérationnelle de Frontex. [...]’. La réforme de Frontex a aussi consisté en de nouvelles dotations financières et matérielles pour la création d’un corps de gardes-frontières dédié : le budget de Frontex, de 238,69 millions d’euros pour 2016, est prévu pour atteindre 322,23 millions d’euros à l’horizon 2020. ’Cette montée en puissance est assortie d’un cofinancement par les États membres de l’espace Schengen établi à 77,4 millions d’euros sur la période 2017-2020’, auxquels il faut ajouter 87 millions d’euros pour la période 2017-2020 ajoutés par l’Union Européenne, répartis comme suit : - 67 millions d’euros pour financer la prestation de services d’aéronefs télépilotés (RPAS ou drones) aux fins de surveillance aérienne des frontières maritimes extérieures de l’Union ; - 14 millions d’euros dédiés à l’achat de données AIS par satellite. Ces données permettent notamment de suivre les navires. Elles pourront être transmises aux autorités nationales.

    [21] Longo Matthew, The Politics of Borders Sovereignty, Security, and the Citizen after 9/11”, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2017

    [22] Ibid.

    [23] Amilhat Szary, Giraut dir., Borderities and the Politics of Contemporary Mobile Borders, Palgrave McMillan, 2015

    [24] Voir : http://www.migreurop.org/article974.html

    [25] Longo Matthew, The Politics of Borders Sovereignty, Security, and the Citizen after 9/11”, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2017, p. 3

    [26] Voir sur la notion d’ennemi intérieur, l’ouvrage de Mathieu Rigouste, L’ennemi intérieur. La généalogie coloniale et militaire de l’ordre sécuritaire dans la France contemporaine, Paris, La Découverte, 2009.

    [27] Voir le rapport global 2016 du HCR –Haut Commissariat aux Réfugiés- : http://www.unhcr.org/the-global-report.html

    [28] Voir à ce sujet l’ouvrage de Claire Rodier, Xénophobie business, Paris, La Découverte, 2012.

    [29] Voir notamment : https://www.lacimade.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/Externalisation-UE-Soudan.pdf

    [30] Voir notamment http://closethecamps.org ou encore http://www.migreurop.org/article2746.html

    [31] « Les pays partenaires du projet sont la République Algérienne Démocratique et Populaire, la République Arabe d’Egypte, Israël, le Royaume de Jordanie, le Liban, la Lybie, la République Arabe Syrienne, le Royaume du Maroc, l’Autorité Palestinienne et la République de Tunisie », https://www.euromed-police.eu/fr/presentation

    [32] https://www.euromed-police.eu/fr/presentation

    [33] Extrait de la « lettre ouverte aux organisateurs du colloque ‘De Frontex à Frontex’ » disponible ici : https://lundi.am/Lettre-ouverte-aux-organisateurs-du-colloque-de-Frontex-a-Frontex

    [34] Rancière Jacques, Moments politiques, Interventions 1977-2009, Paris, La Fabrique éditions.

    [35] Ibid.

    [36] Voir : https://www.mediapart.fr/journal/france/051017/un-colloque-universitaire-sur-l-islamophobie-annule-sous-la-pression?ongle

    https://www.mediapart.fr/journal/fr...

    [37] Voir la lettre de « mise au point des organisateurs » du colloque, diffusée le 27 mars 2018, et disponible ici : https://lundi.am/Lettre-ouverte-aux-organisateurs-du-colloque-de-Frontex-a-Frontex

    [38] Voir par exemple pour l’Université Grenoble Alpes : https://www.univ-grenoble-alpes.fr/fr/grandes-missions/formation/formation-continue-et-alternance/formations-diplomantes/validation-des-acquis-de-l-experience-vae--34003.kjsp

    [39] « Le colloque a été organisé « en mêlant des intervenants venant à la fois du milieu académique et du milieu professionnel pour essayer de croiser les analyses et avoir une vision la plus complète possible des enjeux de cette réforme sur l’Union » (texte de présentation du colloque).

    [40] « En tant que juristes, nous avons logiquement choisi une approche juridique et réunis les spécialistes qui nous paraissaient en mesure d’apporter des regards intéressants et différents sur les raisons de la réforme de cette agence, son fonctionnement et les conséquences de son action, incluant certains des collègues parmi les plus critiques en France sur l’action de Frontex. Pour ce faire, il nous a paru essentiel de ne pas nous cantonner à l’approche universitaire mais d’inclure également le regard de praticiens » (lettre de « mise au point des organisateurs » du colloque, 27 mars 2018, disponible ici : https://lundi.am/Lettre-ouverte-aux-organisateurs-du-colloque-de-Frontex-a-Frontex).

    [41] « Certaines personnes [ont été] invitées à apporter leur expertise sur le thème du colloque » (lettre de « mise au point des organisateurs » du colloque, 27 mars 2018, disponible ici https://lundi.am/Lettre-ouverte-aux-organisateurs-du-colloque-de-Frontex-a-Frontex).

    [42] Voir la lettre de « mise au point des organisateurs » du colloque, 27 mars 2018, disponible ici : https://lundi.am/Lettre-ouverte-aux-organisateurs-du-colloque-de-Frontex-a-Frontex

    [43] Voir : https://www.mediapart.fr/journal/france/051017/un-colloque-universitaire-sur-l-islamophobie-annule-sous-la-pression?ongle

    https://www.mediapart.fr/journal/fr...

    [44] Rancière Jacques, Moments politiques, Interventions 1977-2009, Paris, La Fabrique éditions.

    [45] Ibid.

    [46] Ibid.

    https://lundi.am/De-Frontex-a-Frontex-a-propos-de-la-continuite-entre-l-universite-logistique-e

    –-> Article co-écrit par ma collègue et amie #Sarah_Mekdjian

    #colloque #UGA #Université_Grenoble_Alpes #violences_policières #sécurisation #militarisation #complexe_militaro-industriel #surveillance_des_frontières #frontières #IMAG #Institut_de_Mathématiques_Appliquées_de_Grenoble #transferts_de_connaissance #transferts_technologiques #gouvernementalité_logistique #efficacité #logistique #industrie_de_l'armement #dépolitisation


  • L’Espagne appelle l’UE à récompenser les efforts du Maroc

    Le gouvernement espagnol a appelé la Commission européenne à mieux soutenir les pays comme le Maroc qui supportent une grande pression migratoire et participent à la gestion de ces flux.

    Le gouvernement espagnol n’est guère satisfait de la gestion, par l’Europe, de l’épineux dossier de l’immigration et du contrôle des frontières. Selon la presse espagnole, Madrid a tapé du poing sur la table, lundi dernier à Bruxelles. Le gouvernement Rajoy souhaite que la question des frontières soit la chasse gardée de Madrid et Rabat. À cet égard, l’Exécutif espagnol a catégoriquement rejeté une proposition formulée par la Commission européenne (CE) au sujet de la gestion du dossier migratoire. De fait, la CE veut poster « une importante armée », pour paraphraser l’Exécutif ibérique, de gardes-frontières aux portes de l’Europe. Concrètement, Bruxelles a proposé le renforcement des effectifs du Frontex, l’agence européenne de garde-frontières et de garde-côtes, en portant leur nombre de 1.500 actuellement à 10.000 à partir de 2021. La position espagnole a été transmise par le secrétaire d’État espagnol aux Affaires européennes, Jorge Toledo. Durant une rencontre des membres du Club des vingt-huit, organisée lundi dernier pour débattre du cadre financier pluriannuel 2020-2027 (plan des dépenses européennes pour les années à venir), l’Espagne s’est fermement opposée à un déploiement quasi-militaire aux frontières. « Nous croyons que la politique de protection des frontières revêt une dimension particulière. Coopérer avec les pays qui constituent la première frontière, même en dehors de l’UE, est fondamental (…) Il faut renforcer le dialogue, la coopération et le financement au profit de ces pays », a-t-il plaidé.

    Selon les prévisions de ce budget, la contrepartie financière réservée à la surveillance des frontières, l’asile et la migration, passera de 13 à 33 millions d’euros. Madrid a estimé que les éléments du Frontex pèchent par leur inexpérience en matière de gestion des flux migratoires. De ce fait, le gouvernement de Rajoy croit savoir que la solution proposée par la CE est plus coûteuse, avec des résultats peu probants. « En Espagne, et dans les pays ayant des frontières hors Europe , nous disposons de l’expérience pour le faire », a martelé le secrétaire d’État espagnol. Comme alternative, Madrid estime qu’il serait plus judicieux d’apporter une aide financière directe aux pays comme l’Espagne et le Maroc, qui maîtrisent parfaitement le sujet. À cet effet, l’équipe gouvernementale de Mariano Rajoy suggère le renforcement de la coopération avec le Maroc, en plus d’aides financières européennes.

    En outre, selon le pure-player www.elespañol.com, très proche du gouvernement, Madrid ne souhaite pas que la CE se mêle de la gestion de ses frontières avec le royaume. Une position qui va à l’encontre de la démarche des précédents gouvernements espagnols, lesquels étaient en faveur du renforcement du rôle de l’agence Frontex, relève le média. À travers cette sortie, le gouvernement Rajoy envoie un message clair de soutien et d’entente à son homologue marocain. À souligner que ce n’est pas la première fois que l’Espagne appelle à un renforcement de la coopération avec le Maroc et à consacrer des fonds au royaume pour ses efforts dans la gestion des flux migratoires.

    http://www.leseco.ma/maroc/66433-l-espagne-appelle-l-ue-a-recompenser-les-efforts-du-maroc.html
    #Espagne #externalisation #asile #migrations #réfugiés #externalisation_des_contrôles_frontaliers #frontières #Maroc

    Commentaire de Elisa Tyszler, via la mailing-list de Migreurop :

    Madrid se dit contre le renforcement de Frontex (pour ses résultats peu probants en matière de gestion des flux migratoires) proposé par la Commission européenne et pour "apporter une #aide_financière directe aux pays comme l’Espagne et le Maroc, qui maîtrisent parfaitement le sujet. À cet effet, l’équipe gouvernementale de Mariano Rajoy suggère le renforcement de la coopération avec le Maroc, en plus d’aides financières européennes. « Nous croyons que la politique de protection des frontières revêt une dimension particulière. Coopérer avec les pays qui constituent la première frontière, même en dehors de l’UE, est fondamental (…) Il faut renforcer le dialogue, la coopération et le financement au profit de ces pays », a plaidé le représentant de l’État espagnol. Une belle ode à l’externalisation !

    • L’UE déboursera 140 millions d’euros pour aider le Maroc à gérer l’immigration clandestine

      L’UE semble avoir entendu les appels du pied répétés de l’Espagne et du Maroc.

      La Commission européenne prévoit un financement de 140 millions d’euros, dont 70 millions directement accordés au gouvernement marocain, pour aider le Maroc à lutter contre l’immigration clandestine, selon El País.

      Cette aide, dont les premières tranches devraient être livrées avant 2019, sera principalement utilisée pour l’achat d’équipements pour contrôler les frontières, précise le quotidien espagnol, soulignant que cette aide reste “modeste” par rapport à celle destinée aux autres pays d’où partent des flux migratoires vers les côtes méditerranéennes de l’Europe.

      Ce financement intervient suite aux appels du pied répétés de l’Espagne et du Maroc pour que l’UE accorde des aides financières supplémentaires à ce dernier, par où passent la majorité des migrants clandestins souhaitant rejoindre l’Europe. “L’objectif est de faire face à l’afflux croissant de migrants vers l’Espagne, pays qui compte le plus grand nombre d’entrées irrégulières en Europe par la mer Méditerranée”, note El País.

      Les 70 millions d’euros directement injectés dans le budget marocain proviendront du fonds fiduciaire que l’UE alloue pour contenir les flux migratoires et qui a été reversé, en trois ans d’existence, en grande partie à la Libye - 237 millions d’euros contre 17 millions destinés au Maroc.

      Le reste de l’enveloppe financière sera géré par deux entités : 40 millions par la Fondation internationale et ibéro-américaine pour l’administration et les politiques publiques, et 30 millions par le Centre international pour le développement des politiques en matière de migration (ICMPD), détaille le journal ibérique.

      “Contrairement aux 70 millions que le gouvernement marocain recevra directement, sans programmes ni conditions, ces deux sommes pourraient prendre plus de temps à être mises en place car il ne s’agira pas de transfert direct mais elles seront liées à des projets spécifiques”, souligne la même source.

      Toujours selon El País, Bruxelles aurait élaboré un plan d’accompagnement prévoyant un soutien financier à long terme. “Des sources européennes estiment que ces décaissements pourraient s’élever à environ 50 millions d’euros annuellement. Cela dépendra, en définitive, de l’évolution du phénomène migratoire”, souligne le quotidien.

      L’accord, qui aurait été finalisé jeudi dernier à Rabat lors du passage d’une délégation de l’UE dans la capitale, n’a pas encore fait l’objet d’une annonce officielle ou d’une réaction du côté marocain.

      https://www.huffpostmaghreb.com/entry/lue-deboursera-140-millions-deuros-pour-aider-le-maroc-a-gerer-limm


  • Je vais mettre ici quelques informations et documents que j’ai trouvé concernant la question de la prise d’ #empreintes_digitales de demandeurs d’asile, notamment de la part de l’#Italie et de la #Grèce, en vue de leur #enregistrement et #identification dans la base de données #Eurodac.
    C’est pour la préparation d’un chapitre de livre que je suis en train d’écrire, mais je me dis qu’il s’agit d’informations qu’il est bien garder quelque part, sachant que pas tout va in fine rentrer dans le chapitre...

    NB : Il y a déjà des informations sur ce sujet sur seenthis :
    https://seenthis.net/recherche?recherche=%23r%C3%A9fugi%C3%A9s+%23empreintes_digitales

    Les informations compilées ici n’ont pas un vrai ordre chronologique ou logique. L’ordre est dicté par l’avancée de mes recherches... chaotiques...

    cc @isskein

    • Hotspots and Relocation Schemes: the right therapy for the Common European Asylum System?

      The arrivals observed throughout 2015 have been concentrated in both Greece – accounting for more than 800,000 in 2015 alone – and Italy. These two “frontline” states, have been faced with the formidable logistical challenge of organising the first reception and identification of migrants. A full implementation of Dublin and EURODAC would have made the challenges even more difficult. Frontline states would have been responsible for fingerprinting all arriving persons, receiving their claims, and in most cases – given that Dublin assigns responsibility primarily to the state of first entry – processing them as well as organizing long-term reception or return.

      Many of these responsibilities have remained virtual. A large number of those who arrived on Greek shores in particular have moved on to other Member States via the “Balkan route” without filing a claim or even being identified there. Failed identification in the first state of entry raised security concerns and rendered the Dublin system practically inapplicable vis-à-vis the frontline states – nothing new in respect of Greece, already “excised” from the Dublin system by the European Court of Human Rights in 2011. Destination and transit states reacted with a flurry of unilateral responses ranging from the temporary reintroduction of checks at internal borders, to the erection of barbed wire fences, to the announcement of national ‘caps’ on the number of persons who would be admitted to claim asylum.

      http://eumigrationlawblog.eu/hotspots-and-relocation-schemes-the-right-therapy-for-the-common-
      #hotspots #relocalisation

    • The Reform of Dublin III regulation

      Another salient criterion is irregular entry (Art . 13 DRIII). Its effective operation would shift responsibility to States located at the Southern and Eastern borders of the Union – to an unmanageable extent in Greece in 2015 . This has not happened owing to the extreme i nefficiency of the Dublin system ( see below). Also, as acknowledged by the Commission , the fear of incurring overwhelming responsibilit ies has motivated border States not to register arriving persons – before, and more visibly during the “crisis” of 2015 – undermining the effective operation of the criterion.

      A ce paragraphe est ajoutée une note :

      See in particular April 2016 Communication (footnote 2 ), p. 4. See also European Commission (2007). Dublin II Evaluation (footnote 11 ), p. 9. The Commission has launched infringement proceedings against i.a. Italy and Greece for their alleged failure to systematically fingerprint irregular arrivals: see European Commission (2015). Managing the refugee crisis: State of play of the im plementation of the priority actions under the European Agenda on Migration, COM (2015) 510, 14 October 2015, p. 11 and Annex 6. Available from: http://www.refworld.org/docid/563201fc4.html .

      http://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/etudes/STUD/2016/571360/IPOL_STU(2016)571360_EN.pdf

    • Managing the Refugee Crisis: State of Play of the Implementation of the Priority Actions under the European Agenda on Migration (14.10.2015)

      Effectively managing the pressure of migratory flows on some parts of the shared external Schengen border accompanied by steps to prevent secondary movements and the immediate return to the country of relocation of relocated persons found in another Member State. The other essential component is action to secure swift return, voluntary or forced, of people not in need of international protection and who do not therefore qualify for relocation. The p riority actions set out by the Commission focused heavily on the operational working of the se measures .requires both responsibility and solidarity on the part of all Member States. The rapid roll - out of the ’hotspot’ approach is providing support to the most affected Member States to ensure the proper reception, identification and processing of arrivals. In parallel, the measures proposed by the Commission and adopted by the Council to relocate 160,000 people in clear need of international protection . This will allow for a significant, if partial, reduction of the pressure on the most affected Member States. It is of crucial importance that the se parallel measures will now be fully implemented, with the fingerprinting of all migrants, the prompt selection and relocation of asylum applicants and adequate reception capacities,

      http://www.refworld.org/docid/563201fc4.html

    • Et voilà le résultat avec la mise sur pied des hotspots :

      COMMUNICATION FROM THE COMMISSION TO THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND THE COUNCIL on the State of Play of Implementation of the Priority Actions under the European Agenda on Migration (10.02.1016)

      With strong, dedicated EU support, Greece and Italy started to set up – and in some cases completed – hotspots 3 to ensure screening, identifi cation and fingerprinting of third country nationals arriving irregularly at the external EU border. Registration is a crucial first step in the control and management of the flows. The hotspots are designed to ensure integrated teams of border agents operate in dedicated facilities, 24 hours a day and seven days a week. Everyone arriving in the external borders should be registered, fingerprinted and have their documents checked against national and international security databases. Third country nationa ls arriving irregularly should then be channelled into one of three processes: the national asylum syst em, the European relocation system or the return system. The proportion of migrants whose fingerpri nts are included in th e Eurodac database has risen in Greece from 8% in September 2015 to 78 % in January 2016, and in Italy from 36% to 87% over the same period 4 . These figures are expected to improve further as the hotspots become more fully operational.

      The rules on registration, identification, fi ngerprinting and security screening of arrivals need to be applied effectively and systematically.

      Par rapport à la Grèce :

      Reception capacities should be increased, supporting both humanita rian needs and better management of inflows – with EU funding already in place to help to achie ve swiftly the 50,000 target agreed at the Western Balkans Leaders’ Meeting. Standardised procedures for all stages of the process should be applied and full deployment of Eurodac fingerprinting machines completed. There must also be no gaps in EU support: the agencies should be present on all islands.

      Et par rapport à l’Italie :

      The Commission is ready to organise an innovative mobile hotspot team (with agents from Frontex and EASO) in Eastern Sicily to support the identification, fingerprinting and provision of information to migrants who cannot be disembarked in the designated hotspot ports, to help plug gaps in the fingerprinting and registration of migrants beyond the hotspots.

      Both Greece and Italy have faced the problem of a refusal by migrants to be fingerprinted. National legislation will have to be amended as a matter of priority an d all operational steps taken to ensure that all migrants are finge rprinted – including as a last resort through a proportionate use of coercion – and all secondary movements of unidentif ied and unregistered migrants are avoided. Progress has been made, but this should be accelerated to ensure full 100% coverage of identification and registration of all entries by the March Eur opean Council.

      To help manage the refugee crisis effectively, leaders at the February European Council should commit to: • The urgent completion of the set-up of hotspots in Greece and Italy to ensure the registration of and support to migrants and refugees in line with the principle that no one should arrive in the EU without having been properly registered and fingerprinted, with dedicated EU support to secure increased reception capacity and fully functioning asylum and return procedures;

      https://ec.europa.eu/transparency/regdoc/rep/1/2016/EN/1-2016-85-EN-F1-1.PDF

    • Connais-tu les travaux du projet de recherche « Processing Citizenship », et notamment les contributions de Annalisa Pelliza ?

      https://processingcitizenship.eu/team/annalisa-pelizza

      https://easst.net/article/processing-citizenship-digital-registration-of-migrants-as-co-production-of-i

      In this first stage of investigation, we are also interested in the chain of artefacts deployed at Hotspots that translate previous identities into new European-readable ones. This line of investigation is key in light of recent developments in the European migration landscape. The goal of the so called “Hotspot approach”, introduced in 2015, is to operationally support frontline Member States (i.e., Greece and Italy) in “swiftly identify[ing], register[ing] and fingerprint[ing] incoming migrants” (Commission, 2015a: 1). Hotspots are thus the first step in the procedure of sorting migrants into three alternative paths: “relocation” or “resettlement” to another Member State (for those identified as in clear need of international protection), or “return” to the country of legal residence (for those who are not deemed in need of protection). They can be conceived as “routers” that create “early entrenchments” (Star and Lampland, 2009) in sorting individuals, liminal situations in which past identities are assessed and translated into proto-decisions.

      http://www.4sonline.org/blog/post/how_government_databases_create_european_readable_identities_for_migrants

      On July 20 2015 – one month before the growing number of migrants crossing the Balkans pushed some countries to declare a state of emergency – the European database containing fingerprints of asylum seekers, called Eurodac, was rendered interoperable with national police authorities’ databases Europe-wide. From that moment, Member States’ police forces could query European data sources not only to grant citizenship rights, but also to preserve order in their national territory. An almost unnoticed technical switch in the Eurodac system marked a major shift in personal data exchange policy Europe-wide.

    • Question posée le 9 avril 2018 via la mailing-list Migreurop :

      Dans le cadre de nos séances d’informations juridique pour les migrants en transit au hub Humanitaire de Bruxelles, nous entendons régulièrement que l’Italie ne mettrais pas systématiquement les empreintes prises dans le système commun mais nous ne trouvons rien de fiable sur ce sujet. Quelqu’un du réseau peut nous éclaircir sur cette pratique, svp ?

      Voici la réponse reçue via la même mailing-list (auteure de la réponse "Tata) :

      Il n’existe pas de réponse claire à cette question cruciale. Mais j’ai quelques éléments d’infos qui peuvent un peu éclairer. En l’espace de 6 mois, entre avant et après la mise en place des hotspots, le taux officiel d’identification est passé de 8 à 100%. Donc officiellement la réponse est non. Cette rumeur est donc devenue beaucoup moins vraie après la mise en place des hotspots.

      Ceci dit :

      – il y a des gens qui arrivent en petit bateau, ailleurs, ne se font pas intercepter et ne donnent pas leurs empreintes
      – il y a des gens qui réussissent d’une maniere ou d’une autre à ne pas les donner, ou elles ne sont pas lisibles
      – il y a des erreurs de la part de la police et des empreintes pas très nettes
      – Les personnes sont enregistrées en cat. 2 et s’ils acceptent de rester en italie, une deuxieme fois en cat. 1. S’ils ne sont qu’en catégorie 2 (une seule prise d’empreintes), alors il arrive que les prefectures du moins en france n’en tiennent pas compte. Il arrive aussi qu’il y ait eu un laps de temps de plus d’un an entre ce pré-enregistrement et la demande d’asile dans un autre pays. Dans ce cas là, un article du reg dublin dit que si preuve de présence de 5 mois, alors plus de procédure dublin. Mais il n’est pas très clair s’il arrive que les personnes passent en cat normale de demandeur d’asile grâce à ça. Bcp d’amis dont c’est le cas se sont retrouvés sans soucis en ce qui concerne dublin.

      Conclusion (toujours la même) : c’est une question de chance ! (mais celle-ci s’est drastiquement réduite avec les hotspots).

    • Implementing the Common European Asylum System: Commission escalates 8 infringement proceedings

      The Commission is today urging Greece, Croatia and Italy to correctly implement the Eurodac Regulation (Regulation (EU) No 603/2013), which provides for effective fingerprinting of asylum seekers and transmission of data to the Eurodac central system within 72 hours. Effective implementation of the Eurodac Regulation is essential for the functioning of the Dublin system and EU relocation schemes. The European Commission sent administrative letters to Greece, Croatia and Italy in October. Two months later, concerns have not been effectively addressed. The European Commission has therefore decided today to send Letters of Formal Notice to Greece, Croatia and Italy (the first step of an infringement procedure).

      http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-15-6276_EN.htm