country:pakistan

  • 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


  • China’s losing its taste for nuclear power. That’s bad news. - MIT Technology Review
    https://www.technologyreview.com/s/612564/chinas-losing-its-taste-for-nuclear-power-thats-bad-news

    Most beautiful wedding photos taken at a nuclear power plant” might just be the strangest competition ever. But by inviting couples to celebrate their nuptials at the Daya Bay plant in Shenzhen and post the pictures online, China General Nuclear Power (CGN), the country’s largest nuclear power operator, got lots of favorable publicity.
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    A year later, the honeymoon is over.

    For years, as other countries have shied away from nuclear power, China has been its strongest advocate. Of the four reactors that started up worldwide in 2017, three were in China and the fourth was built by Beijing-based China National Nuclear Corp. (CNNC) in Pakistan. China’s domestic nuclear generation capacity grew by 24% in the first 10 months of 2018.

    The country has the capacity to build 10 to 12 nuclear reactors a year. But though reactors begun several years ago are still coming online, the industry has not broken ground on a new plant in China since late 2016, according to a recent World Nuclear Industry Status Report.

    Officially China still sees nuclear power as a must-have. But unofficially, the technology is on a death watch. Experts, including some with links to the government, see China’s nuclear sector succumbing to the same problems affecting the West: the technology is too expensive, and the public doesn’t want it.

    #Nucléaire #Chine


  • Beheaded, shot and stoned to death: 368 trans people killed this year
    https://www.gaystarnews.com/article/beheaded-gunned-down-and-stoned-to-death-368-trans-people-killed-this-y

    The Trans Day of Remembrance update has seen an increase of 43 cases compared to last year’s update, and 73 cases compared to 2016.

    Brazil (167 murders) and Mexico (71), once again, lead the list of the most reported killings of trans women and men.

    The United States has seen 28 trans people killed, an increase from last year’s 25.

    Other killings have been reported in Pakistan, Colombia, France, the UK, and elsewhere around the world.

    Lien vers un site qui propose des données chiffrées sur la #transphobie, “Trans murder monitoring” et “Legal and social mapping”.

    https://transrespect.org/en
    https://transrespect.org/en/research/legal-social-mapping
    https://transrespect.org/en/research/trans-murder-monitoring


  • #Pakistan: Girls Deprived of Education. Barriers Include Underinvestment, Fees, Discrimination

    The Pakistan government is failing to educate a huge proportion of the country’s girls, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today.

    The 111-page report, “‘Shall I Feed My Daughter, or Educate Her?’: Barriers to Girls’ Education in Pakistan,” concludes that many girls simply have no access to education, including because of a shortage of government schools – especially for girls. Nearly 22.5 million of Pakistan’s children – in a country with a population of just over 200 million – are out of school, the majority of them girls. Thirty-two percent of primary school age girls are out of school in Pakistan, compared with 21 percent of boys. By ninth grade, only 13 percent of girls are still in school.

    https://www.hrw.org/news/2018/11/12/pakistan-girls-deprived-education
    #éducation #genre #filles #femmes #discriminations #inégalités #rapport #école


  • US Wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan Killed 500,000 People - News From Antiwar.com
    https://news.antiwar.com/2018/11/08/us-wars-in-iraq-afghanistan-and-pakistan-killed-500000-people

    Brown University has released a new study on the cost in lives of America’s Post-9/11 Wars, in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. The study estimates between 480,000 and 507,000 people were killed in the course of the three conflicts.

    This includes combatant deaths and civilian deaths in fighting and war violence. Civilians make up over half of the roughly 500,000 killed, with both opposition fighters and US-backed foreign military forces each sustaining in excess of 100,000 deaths as well.

    This is admittedly a dramatic under-report of people killed in the wars, as it only attempts to calculate those killed directly in war violence, and not the massive number of others civilians who died from infrastructure damage or other indirect results of the wars. The list also excludes the US war in Syria, which itself stakes claims to another 500,000 killed since 2011.

    #victimes_civiles #États-unis #agressions #impunité


  • WATCH | “There is a minefield sign and the migrants will go into this area because they know the police won’t be there”. Hans von der Brelie (@euronewsreport) is reporting from the Bosnia-Herzegovina border.

    https://twitter.com/euronews/status/1058409250043633671

    #Bonsie_Herzégovine #Bosnie #migrations #asile #réfugiés #mines_anti-personnel #frontières #Croatie

    Ici le reportage:
    On the ground at the Bosnian-Croatian border where migrant tensions are rising

    Tensions are rising on the Bosnian-Croatian border, where scores of migrants are demanding entry to the European Union, amid reports this week of fresh police clashes, plummeting temperatures and inadequate living conditions.

    Thousands of migrants and refugees fleeing wars and poverty in North Africa and Asia are sleeping rough near the border, which they hope to cross to gain access to the EU.

    Several people were injured on Wednesday in clashes with Croatian police, with migrants accusing officers of beating them and smashing their phones.

    Meanwhile, Doctors Without Borders warned that “as temperatures drop the situation becomes more difficult and tensions are rising.”

    Euronews correspondent Hans von der Brelie is at the scene. Take a look at his pictures and videos below to find out what is really happening on the ground:
    https://twitter.com/euronews/status/1058409250043633671
    Matiola and Nazir want to enter the European Union without visas. However, they can’t cross the well-protected Bosnian border with Croatia.

    They are stuck in the northwestern part of Bosnia and Herzegovina, in Bihac, sleeping rough — protected against rain by plastic sheets.

    Tensions are rising on the Bosnian-Croatian border, where scores of migrants are demanding entry to the European Union, amid reports this week of fresh police clashes, plummeting temperatures and inadequate living conditions.

    Thousands of migrants and refugees fleeing wars and poverty in North Africa and Asia are sleeping rough near the border, which they hope to cross to gain access to the EU.

    Several people were injured on Wednesday in clashes with Croatian police, with migrants accusing officers of beating them and smashing their phones.

    Meanwhile, Doctors Without Borders warned that “as temperatures drop the situation becomes more difficult and tensions are rising.”

    Euronews correspondent Hans von der Brelie is at the scene. Take a look at his pictures and videos below to find out what is really happening on the ground:

    Matiola and Nazir want to enter the European Union without visas. However, they can’t cross the well-protected Bosnian border with Croatia.

    They are stuck in the northwestern part of Bosnia and Herzegovina, in Bihac, sleeping rough — protected against rain by plastic sheets.

    A torn EU umbrella lays on top of destroyed tents and garbage in a public park of #Bihac.

    Hundreds of migrants had put their tents here, but they are no longer tolerated and the camp was dismantled.


    Migrants rebuild a shelter in Bihac park.

    These friends from the Kurdish part of Iraq have stayed together throughout the difficult journey. They dream of building a future in Germany or France.

    This is 24-year-old Muhamed Suliman. He worked as a taxi driver in Dubai before heading towards Europe. It was "too hot to stay there. Not enough pay. Too many fines,” he said.

    Suliman said his dream is to reach Italy, but there is no way to cross into Croatia.

    “I will try again. Again and again,” he said.

    Wearing plastic sandals, he said Croatian police took his shoes.


    The remains of a dismantled tent camp in Bihac park.

    Kurdish Iraqi migrants discuss their broken smartphone. “The Croatian police smashed it,” they said.

    Ageed, Muhemed, Jalal, Karwan, Lawin, Ahmad, Tahiro are from Iraq. They speak Kurdish.

    They have been staying for many weeks in the public park of Bihac, the starting point to cross illegally over the external EU border.

    They have tried several times to enter Croatia but were always caught by border guards.

    Muhamed claims he was surrounded by seven Croatian policemen and beaten up.

    This is a former students dormitory building in Bihac park, where almost 1,000 migrants and refugees sleep rough. They mainly come from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Northern Africa, Bangladesh, Iran and Iraq.

    People cook on an open fire in front of a former students’ dormitory in Bihac.

    The migrants from Pakistan are aiming to cross the nearby external EU border illegally into Croatia and travel further towards Italy, Germany, France and Spain.

    This official tries to detect migrants crossing into Croatia illegally every day and night.

    Ivana and Josip are two of 6,300 police officers controlling the Croatian border with Bosnia and Herzegovina.

    As it prepares to join the EU’s Schengen zone soon, Croatia has invested heavily in human resources.

    “We have really a lot of colleagues around here at the external border of the EU”, Ivana and Josip told Euronews.

    This is just one out of many watchtowers and observation posts on the Croatian side of the external EU border with Bosnia and Herzegovina.

    “No need to build a border fence here,” says Damir Butina, head of the border police unit in Cetingrad.

    This is the famous “#green_border” between Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. The tiny creek marks the exact borderline.

    The left side of the picture is Croatia, the right is Bosnia and Herzegovina.

    Dozens of migrants try to cross the border every day and every night. While there is no fence, there is hidden high tech surveillance all around. You move — and you will be detected.

    https://www.euronews.com/2018/11/02/on-the-ground-at-the-bosnian-croatian-border-where-migrant-tensions-are-ri
    #frontière_verte #militarisation_des_frontières


  • Most schools and businesses have remained shut for a third consecutive day across Pakistan, as demonstrations against the acquittal of Christian woman accused of blasphemy continue in major cities.

    https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/11/protests-continue-day-aasia-bibi-acquittal-181102120819785.html

    #Pakistan #blasphème

    Le copain qui m’envoie ça signale que Pakistanais-es chrétien-nes et musulman-es se retrouvent sur les routes pour éviter tout ça...


  • Imran Khan leaves for Saudi conference saying #Pakistan ’desperate’ for loans | Reuters
    https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-saudi-khashoggi-pakistan/imran-khan-leaves-for-saudi-conference-saying-pakistan-desperate-for-loa

    Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan left for Saudi Arabia to attend an investment conference boycotted by other leaders over the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

    • Despite PR duress, Saudi $6bn to Pakistan comes with strings | Asia Times
      http://www.atimes.com/article/despite-pr-duress-saudi-6bn-to-pakistan-comes-with-strings

      Fermer les yeux sur le financement saoudien de groupes armés du Balochistan pakistanais chargés de mener des opérations contre l’Iran en Iran, et amener le Pakistan à s’impliquer plus au Yémen.

      Balochistan is of strategic interest to both Iran and Saudi Arabia, bordering the Islamic Republic and located north of the Arabian Sea.

      Saudi Arabia has faced allegations of backing anti-Shiite jihadist groups in Balochistan, namely Jundullah and Jaish al-Adl, and a heightened influence could be dangerous for Pakistan’s security.

      “If you increase investment, it is not just money that pours in. With the money comes influence,” analyst Siddiqa said.

      “It’s hard to imagine a $6 billion gift with no strings attached,” said Michael Kugelman, a scholar on Southeast Asia at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington, D.C.

      “There’s a very good chance Saudi Arabia placed some type of conditions on this support. Riyadh may have made it quite clear that Pakistan will need to rein in its recent efforts to position itself as a neutral actor in the Saudi-Iranian regional rivalry,” Kugelman said.

      “Pakistan has an Iran problem and a Saudi problem. [The Pakistani military] is allowing the Saudis to build up their capacity in Balochistan, which is in effect a certain kind of encirclement around Iran,” said Siddiqa.

      Pakistan and Saudi Arabia have maintained a defense partnership since 1983, though it is very difficult to pinpoint the exact number of Pakistani personnel in the kingdom. According to Kamal Alam of the  London-based think tank RUSI, there are at least 1,200 Pakistani trainers in various Saudi security and military sectors.

      A source close to the Pakistani military said the number is far higher, however. Speaking on condition of anonymity, he told Asia Times there are upwards of 7,000 Pakistani military personnel in the kingdom.

      “One of the big questions coming out of this new deal is whether Riyadh has now asked Islamabad to operationalize that military presence and be willing to join Saudi military efforts in Yemen,” Kugelman said.

      “Islamabad has long resisted this ask from Saudi Arabia, but with this financial assistance Islamabad is now getting, Riyadh has more leverage,” he added.

      According to a political source briefed on the matter but who declined to be named due to the sensitivity of the subject, the Pakistani armed forces have been under mounting pressure from the Saudis to join the conflict in Yemen.


  • Quién es Edgar Peña, el venezolano que será el número 3 del Vaticano
    http://www.el-nacional.com/noticias/bbc-mundo/quien-edgar-pena-venezolano-que-sera-numero-del-vaticano_255759

    El tercer hombre más influyente de la Iglesia católica romana será a partir de este lunes 15 de octubre un religioso políglota, con 25 años de experiencia diplomática y nuncio en naciones de Asia y África.

    Y es venezolano.

    El papa Francisco nombró en agosto a monseñor Edgar Peña Parra como sustituto para asuntos generales de la Secretaría de Estado del Vaticano.

    Es el cargo más importante en el Vaticano luego del propio pontificado y la cancillería, liderada desde 2013 por el italiano Pietro Parolín, exnuncio en Venezuela durante el gobierno de Hugo Chávez.

    Peña tiene 58 años y reemplazará al italiano Angelo Becciu, nuevo cardenal.
    […]
    La curia describe a monseñor Peña Parra como un hombre inteligente, de trato amable y sensible a las causas de los pobres.

    La primera es su currículo: es licenciado en Filosofía y Teología, doctor en Derecho Canónico y especialista en Derecho Internacional de la Pontificia Universidad Gregoriana; habla español, inglés, francés, portugués, serbocroata, italiano, latín; y ha ejercido con éxito como nuncio apostólico en Pakistán y Mozambique.

    La segunda es simple: su gentilicio.


  • Afghan, Pakistani forces clash over border fence

    Afghan and Pakistani border forces engaged in an armed clash over building a fence along the #Durand_Line on Sunday, local officials in southern Kandahar province said.

    Kandahar police spokesman, Zia Durani, told Pajhwok Afghan News that Pakistani forces tried this afternoon to fence a part of the Durand Line in Shorabak district of Kandahar, but Afghan border forces prevented their move.

    He said Pakistani forces in response attacked the Afghan forces and the clash was still underway. No one has so far been hurt in the battle. However, Pakistan closed down the friendship gate in #Spin_Boldak.

    A day earlier, Kandahar police chief, Gen. Abdul Raziq, said they had stopped Pakistan from fencing the Durand Line.

    He said that Pakistan started fencing the Durand Line in the southern region of the country but they stopped them.

    “Two weeks back, Pakistani forces started installation of fence on the border between Spin Boldak and #Shorabak districts of #Kandahar but border forces removed the fence and prevented them from doing so,” Raziq added.

    A year back, Afghan and Pakistani forces engaged in heavy clashes over fence installation in #Luqman and #Jahangir areas of Spin Boldak district and both the sides suffered casualties.

    Luqman and Jahangir areas are located in the zero point area of the border and they belong to Spin Boldak district.

    Pakistan forces last year conducted a population registration process in the two areas and claimed the areas belonged to Pakistan, but Afghan forces prevented them.

    The Afghan forces’ interference last year led to a fierce clash that continued for several hours, with both sides sustaining heavy casualties.

    After the clash, Afghanistan port with Pakistan was closed for 23 days that caused millions of afghanis losses to traders.


    https://www.pajhwok.com/en/2018/10/14/afghan-pakistani-forces-clash-over-border-fence
    #Pakistan #Afghanistan #murs #barrières_frontalières #frontières #disputes_frontalières

    #Ligne_durand:


    https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ligne_Durand


  • C.I.A. Drone Mission, Curtailed by Obama, Is Expanded in Africa Under Trump

    The C.I.A. is poised to conduct secret drone strikes against Qaeda and Islamic State insurgents from a newly expanded air base deep in the Sahara, making aggressive use of powers that were scaled back during the Obama administration and restored by President Trump.

    Late in his presidency, Barack Obama sought to put the military in charge of drone attacks after a backlash arose over a series of highly visible strikes, some of which killed civilians. The move was intended, in part, to bring greater transparency to attacks that the United States often refused to acknowledge its role in.

    But now the C.I.A. is broadening its drone operations, moving aircraft to northeastern Niger to hunt Islamist militants in southern Libya. The expansion adds to the agency’s limited covert missions in eastern Afghanistan for strikes in Pakistan, and in southern Saudi Arabia for attacks in Yemen.

    Nigerien and American officials said the C.I.A. had been flying drones on surveillance missions for several months from a corner of a small commercial airport in Dirkou. Satellite imagery shows that the airport has grown significantly since February to include a new taxiway, walls and security posts.

    One American official said the drones had not yet been used in lethal missions, but would almost certainly be in the near future, given the growing threat in southern Libya. The official spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the secretive operations.

    A C.I.A. spokesman, Timothy Barrett, declined to comment. A Defense Department spokeswoman, Maj. Sheryll Klinkel, said the military had maintained a base at the Dirkou airfield for several months but did not fly drone missions from there.

    The drones take off from Dirkou at night — typically between 10 p.m. and 4 a.m. — buzzing in the clear, starlit desert sky. A New York Times reporter saw the gray aircraft — about the size of Predator drones, which are 27 feet long — flying at least three times over six days in early August. Unlike small passenger planes that land occasionally at the airport, the drones have no blinking lights signaling their presence.

    “All I know is they’re American,” Niger’s interior minister, Mohamed Bazoum, said in an interview. He offered few other details about the drones.

    Dirkou’s mayor, Boubakar Jerome, said the drones had helped improve the town’s security. “It’s always good. If people see things like that, they’ll be scared,” Mr. Jerome said.

    Mr. Obama had curtailed the C.I.A.’s lethal role by limiting its drone flights, notably in Yemen. Some strikes in Pakistan and elsewhere that accidentally killed civilians, stirring outrage among foreign diplomats and military officials, were shielded because of the C.I.A.’s secrecy.

    As part of the shift, the Pentagon was given the unambiguous lead for such operations. The move sought, in part, to end an often awkward charade in which the United States would not concede its responsibility for strikes that were abundantly covered by news organizations and tallied by watchdog groups. However, the C.I.A. program was not fully shut down worldwide, as the agency and its supporters in Congress balked.

    The drone policy was changed last year, after Mike Pompeo, the C.I.A. director at the time, made a forceful case to President Trump that the agency’s broader counterterrorism efforts were being needlessly constrained. The Dirkou base was already up and running by the time Mr. Pompeo stepped down as head of the C.I.A. in April to become Mr. Trump’s secretary of state.

    The Pentagon’s Africa Command has carried out five drone strikes against Qaeda and Islamic State militants in Libya this year, including one two weeks ago. The military launches its MQ-9 Reaper drones from bases in Sicily and in Niamey, Niger’s capital, 800 miles southwest of Dirkou.

    But the C.I.A. base is hundreds of miles closer to southwestern Libya, a notorious haven for Al Qaeda and other extremist groups that also operate in the Sahel region of Niger, Chad, Mali and Algeria. It is also closer to southern Libya than a new $110 million drone base in Agadez, Niger, 350 miles west of Dirkou, where the Pentagon plans to operate armed Reaper drone missions by early next year.

    Another American official said the C.I.A. began setting up the base in January to improve surveillance of the region, partly in response to an ambush last fall in another part of Niger that killed four American troops. The Dirkou airfield was labeled a United States Air Force base as a cover, said the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss confidential operational matters.

    The C.I.A. operation in Dirkou is burdened by few, if any, of the political sensitivities that the United States military confronts at its locations, said one former American official involved with the project.

    Even so, security analysts said, it is not clear why the United States needs both military and C.I.A. drone operations in the same general vicinity to combat insurgents in Libya. France also flies Reaper drones from Niamey, but only on unarmed reconnaissance missions.

    “I would be surprised that the C.I.A. would open its own base,” said Bill Roggio, editor of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies’ Long War Journal, which tracks military strikes against militant groups.

    Despite American denials, a Nigerien security official said he had concluded that the C.I.A. launched an armed drone from the Dirkou base to strike a target in Ubari, in southern Libya, on July 25. The Nigerien security official spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the classified program.

    A spokesman for the Africa Command, Maj. Karl Wiest, said the military did not carry out the Ubari strike.

    #Ubari is in the same region where the American military in March launched its first-ever drone attack against Qaeda militants in southern Libya. It is at the intersection of the powerful criminal and jihadist currents that have washed across Libya in recent years. Roughly equidistant from Libya’s borders with Niger, Chad and Algeria, the area’s seminomadic residents are heavily involved in the smuggling of weapons, drugs and migrants through the lawless deserts of southern Libya.

    Some of the residents have allied with Islamist militias, including Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, which operates across Algeria, Mali, Niger and Libya.

    Dirkou, in northeast Niger, is an oasis town of a few thousand people in the open desert, bordered by a small mountain range. For centuries, it has been a key transit point for travelers crossing the Sahara. It helped facilitate the rise of Islam in West Africa in the 9th century, and welcomed salt caravans from the neighboring town of Bilma.

    The town has a handful of narrow, sandy roads. Small trees dot the horizon. Date and neem trees line the streets, providing shelter for people escaping the oppressive midday heat. There is a small market, where goods for sale include spaghetti imported from Libya. Gasoline is also imported from Libya and is cheaper than elsewhere in the country.

    The drones based in Dirkou are loud, and their humming and buzzing drowns out the bleats of goats and crows of roosters.

    “It stops me from sleeping,” said Ajimi Koddo, 45, a former migrant smuggler. “They need to go. They go in our village, and it annoys us too much.”

    Satellite imagery shows that construction started in February on a new compound at the Dirkou airstrip. Since then, the facility has been extended to include a larger paved taxiway and a clamshell tent connected to the airstrip — all features that are consistent with the deployment of small aircraft, possibly drones.

    Five defensive positions were set up around the airport, and there appear to be new security gates and checkpoints both to the compound and the broader airport.

    It’s not the first time that Washington has eyed with interest Dirkou’s tiny base. In the late 1980s, the United States spent $3.2 million renovating the airstrip in an effort to bolster Niger’s government against Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi, then the leader of Libya.

    Compared with other parts of Africa, the C.I.A.’s presence in the continent’s northwest is relatively light, according to a former State Department official who served in the region. In this part of Niger, the C.I.A. is also providing training and sharing intelligence, according to a Nigerien military intelligence document reviewed by The Times.

    The Nigerien security official said about a dozen American Green Berets were stationed earlier this year in #Dirkou — in a base separate from the C.I.A.’s — to train a special counterterrorism battalion of local forces. Those trainers left about three months ago, the official said.

    It is unlikely that they will return anytime soon. The Pentagon is considering withdrawing nearly all American commandos from Niger in the wake of the deadly October ambush that killed four United States soldiers.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/09/world/africa/cia-drones-africa-military.html
    #CIA #drones #Niger #Sahel #USA #Etats-Unis #EI #ISIS #Etat_islamique #sécurité #terrorisme #base_militaire

    • Le Sahel est-il une zone de #non-droit ?

      La CIA a posé ses valises dans la bande sahélo-saharienne. Le New-York Times l’a annoncé, le 9 septembre dernier. Le quotidien US, a révélé l’existence d’une #base_de_drones secrète non loin de la commune de Dirkou, dans le nord-est du Niger. Cette localité, enclavée, la première grande ville la plus proche est Agadez située à 570 km, est le terrain de tir parfait. Elle est éloignée de tous les regards, y compris des autres forces armées étrangères : France, Allemagne, Italie, présentes sur le sol nigérien. Selon un responsable américain anonyme interrogé par ce journal, les drones déployés à Dirkou n’avaient « pas encore été utilisés dans des missions meurtrières, mais qu’ils le seraient certainement dans un proche avenir, compte tenu de la menace croissante qui pèse sur le sud de la Libye. » Or, d’après les renseignements recueillis par l’IVERIS, ces assertions sont fausses, la CIA a déjà mené des opérations à partir de cette base. Ces informations apportent un nouvel éclairage et expliquent le refus catégorique et systématique de l’administration américaine de placer la force conjointe du G5 Sahel (Tchad, Mauritanie, Burkina-Faso, Niger, Mali) sous le chapitre VII de la charte des Nations Unies.
      L’installation d’une base de drones n’est pas une bonne nouvelle pour les peuples du Sahel, et plus largement de l’Afrique de l’Ouest, qui pourraient connaître les mêmes malheurs que les Afghans et les Pakistanais confrontés à la guerre des drones avec sa cohorte de victimes civiles, appelées pudiquement « dégâts collatéraux ».

      D’après le journaliste du NYT, qui s’est rendu sur place, les drones présents à Dirkou ressembleraient à des Predator, des aéronefs d’ancienne génération qui ont un rayon d’action de 1250 km. Il serait assez étonnant que l’agence de Langley soit équipée de vieux modèles alors que l’US Air Force dispose à Niamey et bientôt à Agadez des derniers modèles MQ-9 Reaper, qui, eux, volent sur une distance de 1850 km. A partir de cette base, la CIA dispose donc d’un terrain de tir étendu qui va de la Libye, au sud de l’Algérie, en passant par le Tchad, jusqu’au centre du Mali, au Nord du Burkina et du Nigéria…

      Selon deux sources militaires de pays d’Afrique de l’Ouest, ces drones ont déjà réalisé des frappes à partir de la base de Dirkou. Ces bombardements ont eu lieu en Libye. Il paraît important de préciser que le chaos existant dans ce pays depuis la guerre de 2011, ne rend pas ces frappes plus légales. Par ailleurs, ces mêmes sources suspectent la CIA d’utiliser Dirkou comme une prison secrète « si des drones peuvent se poser des avions aussi. Rien ne les empêche de transporter des terroristes de Libye exfiltrés. Dirkou un Guantanamo bis ? »

      En outre, il n’est pas impossible que ces drones tueurs aient été en action dans d’autres Etats limitrophes. Qui peut le savoir ? « Cette base est irrégulière, illégale, la CIA peut faire absolument tout ce qu’elle veut là-bas » rapporte un officier. De plus, comment faire la différence entre un MQ-9 Reaper de la CIA ou encore un de l’US Air Force, qui, elle, a obtenu l’autorisation d’armer ses drones (1). Encore que…

      En novembre 2017, le président Mahamadou Issoufou a autorisé les drones de l’US Air Force basés à Niamey, à frapper leurs cibles sur le territoire nigérien (2). Mais pour que cet agrément soit légal, il aurait fallu qu’il soit présenté devant le parlement, ce qui n’a pas été le cas. Même s’il l’avait été, d’une part, il le serait seulement pour l’armée US et pas pour la CIA, d’autre part, il ne serait valable que sur le sol nigérien et pas sur les territoires des pays voisins…

      Pour rappel, cette autorisation a été accordée à peine un mois après les événements de Tongo Tongo, où neuf militaires avaient été tués, cinq soldats nigériens et quatre américains. Cette autorisation est souvent présentée comme la conséquence de cette attaque. Or, les pourparlers ont eu lieu bien avant. En effet, l’AFRICOM a planifié la construction de la base de drone d’Agadez, la seconde la plus importante de l’US Air Force en Afrique après Djibouti, dès 2016, sous le mandat de Barack Obama. Une nouvelle preuve que la politique africaine du Pentagone n’a pas changée avec l’arrivée de Donald Trump (3-4-5).

      Les USA seuls maîtres à bord dans le Sahel

      Dès lors, le véto catégorique des Etats-Unis de placer la force G5 Sahel sous chapitre VII se comprend mieux. Il s’agit de mener une guerre non-officielle sans mandat international des Nations-Unies et sans se soucier du droit international. Ce n’était donc pas utile qu’Emmanuel Macron, fer de lance du G5, force qui aurait permis à l’opération Barkhane de sortir du bourbier dans lequel elle se trouve, plaide à de nombreuses reprises cette cause auprès de Donald Trump. Tous les présidents du G5 Sahel s’y sont essayés également, en vain. Ils ont fini par comprendre, quatre chefs d’Etats ont boudé la dernière Assemblée générale des Nations Unies. Seul, le Président malien, Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta, est monté à la tribune pour réitérer la demande de mise sous chapitre VII, unique solution pour que cette force obtienne un financement pérenne. Alors qu’en décembre 2017, Emmanuel Macron y croyait encore dur comme fer et exigeait des victoires au premier semestre 2018, faute de budget, le G5 Sahel n’est toujours pas opérationnel ! (6-7) Néanmoins, la Chine a promis de le soutenir financièrement. Magnanime, le secrétaire d’Etat à la défense, Jim Mattis a lui assuré à son homologue, Florence Parly, que les Etats-Unis apporteraient à la force conjointe une aide très significativement augmentée. Mais toujours pas de chapitre VII en vue... Ainsi, l’administration Trump joue coup double. Non seulement elle ne s’embarrasse pas avec le Conseil de Sécurité et le droit international mais sous couvert de lutte antiterroriste, elle incruste ses bottes dans ce qui est, (ce qui fut ?), la zone d’influence française.

      Far West

      Cerise sur le gâteau, en août dernier le patron de l’AFRICOM, le général Thomas D. Waldhauser, a annoncé une réduction drastique de ses troupes en Afrique (9). Les sociétés militaires privées, dont celle d’Erik Prince, anciennement Blackwater, ont bien compris le message et sont dans les starting-blocks prêtes à s’installer au Sahel (10).


      https://www.iveris.eu/list/notes_danalyse/371-le_sahel_estil_une_zone_de_nondroit__


  • UN Human Rights Council passes a resolution adopting the peasant rights declaration in Geneva - Via Campesina
    https://viacampesina.org/en/un-human-rights-council-passes-a-resolution-adopting-the-peasant-right

    Seventeen years of long and arduous negotiations later, peasants and other people working in rural areas are only a step away from having a UN Declaration that could defend and protect their rights to land, seeds, biodiversity, local markets and a lot more.

    On Friday, 28 September, in a commendable show of solidarity and political will, member nations of United Nations Human Rights Council passed a resolution concluding the UN Declaration for the Rights of Peasants and Other People Working in Rural Areas. The resolution was passed with 33 votes in favour, 11 abstentions and 3 against. [1]

    Contre : Australie, Hongrie et Royaume-Uni

    In favour: Afghanistan, Angola, Burundi, Chile, China, Cote d’Ivoire, Cuba, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ecuador, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iraq, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Mexico, Mongolia, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Panama, Peru, Philippines, Qatar, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, South Africa, Switzerland, Togo, Tunisia, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, Venezuela

    Abstention: Belgium, Brazil, Croatia, Georgia, Germany, Iceland, Japan, Republic of Korea, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain

    https://viacampesina.org/en/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2011/03/Declaration-of-rights-of-peasants-2009.pdf

    #droit_des_paysan·nes


  • As the World Abandons Refugees, UNHCR’s Constraints Are Exposed

    The U.N. refugee agency lacks the funding, political clout and independence to protect refugees in the way that it is supposed to, says former UNHCR official and refugee policy expert #Jeff_Crisp.

    Over the past three years, the world has been confronted with a number of major new refugee emergencies – in Myanmar, Nigeria, South Sudan, Yemen and Venezuela, as well as the Central American region. In addition, existing crises in Afghanistan, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Somalia and Syria have gone unresolved, making it impossible for large exiled populations to return to their own country. As a result, the global refugee population has soared to more than 25 million, the highest figure ever recorded.

    This means that the role of the United Nations refugee agency, UNHCR, which is supposed to protect and find solutions for this growing population, is more important than ever. But is it up to the task? The proliferating crises have stretched it to the limit. Funding, most of which comes from a dozen key donor states, has not kept up with the rising numbers the agency is expected to support. In April, UNHCR said it had received just $2.3 billion of the $8.2 billion it needed for its annual program.

    Things look unlikely to improve. UNHCR is losing the support of the United States, traditionally the organization’s most important government partner, whether under Republican or Democrat administrations. Since Donald Trump’s election, the country has slashed the number of refugees it admits through its resettlement program. In his final years in office, Barack Obama had raised the annual quota to 110,000 refugees. That is now down to 45,000 and may yet be reduced to 25,000.

    There is also the prospect that the Trump administration will demonstrate its disdain for the U.N. and limited interest in the refugee issue by reducing its funding to the agency, as it has already done with UNRWA, a separate agency that supports Palestinian refugees. Given that the U.S. currently contributes almost 40 percent of the UNHCR budget, even a modest reduction in its support will mean serious cuts in expenditure.

    The agency therefore has little choice but to look for alternative sources of funding and diplomatic support, especially from the European Union and its member states. But that may come at a price. One of the E.U.’s top priorities is to halt the arrival of refugees and asylum seekers who have transited through nearby countries such as Libya, Morocco and Turkey. Populist political parties throughout much of the E.U. are reaping the electoral benefits of taking a hard line on the issue of refugees and migration. Several European governments have shown little hesitation in violating the international refugee laws they have signed in their desperation to seal Europe’s borders.

    The E.U. thus looks to UNHCR for two things: first, the expertise and operational capacity of an organization that has years of experience in responding to mass movements of people; and second, the legitimacy that E.U. policies can acquire by means of close association with an agency deemed by its founding statute to be “entirely non-political and humanitarian.” In this context, it should come as no surprise that E.U. foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini has been at pains to point out that the E.U. and UNHCR “work together” and have a “close partnership” – and that the E.U. remains “the strongest supporter of UNHCR.”

    But this partnership (which involved $436 million in funding from Brussels alone in 2017) also involves an important element of compromise on the part of UNHCR. In the Mediterranean, for example, the E.U. is funding the Libyan coast guard to intercept and return any refugees who try to leave the country by boat. Those people are subsequently confined to detention centers where, according to Amnesty International, they are at risk of torture, forced labor, extortion and murder at the hand of smugglers, bandits or the Libyan authorities.

    The U.N. high commissioner for human rights has publicly chastised the E.U. for its failure to improve the situation of migrants in Libya. By contrast, UNHCR has kept very quiet about the E.U.’s role in the process of interception, return and detention, despite the fact that these actions violate a fundamental principle of refugee protection: that no one should be returned to a country where their life or freedom would be threatened.

    This reveals a fundamental tension in the organization’s character. Ostensibly, UNHCR enjoys a high degree of independence and moral authority. As part of the U.N. system, it is treated with more respect by states and other actors than NGOs doing similar work. It has regular access to heads of state, government leaders, regional organizations, the U.N. security council and the secretary-general himself (who was previously UNHCR chief).

    But in practice, the autonomy enjoyed by UNHCR is at best a relative one. Almost 90 percent of the agency’s funding is provided by states, much of it earmarked for specific programs, projects and countries. UNHCR’s governing board consists entirely of states.

    The organization can operate in a country only if it has the agreement of the government, which also has the ability to shape the scope of UNHCR’s operational activities, as well as the partners it works with. In countries such as Ethiopia, Pakistan, Sudan and Syria, for example, the organization is obliged to work with government departments whose priorities may well be different from those of UNHCR.

    Almost 90 percent of the agency’s funding is provided by states, much of it earmarked for specific programs, projects and countries. UNHCR’s governing board consists entirely of states.

    The tensions at the heart of UNHCR seem unlikely to diminish. Throughout the world, governments are closing their borders to refugees and depriving them of basic rights. Exiled populations are being induced to repatriate against their will and to countries that are not safe. As epitomized by the E.U.’s deal with Turkey, asylum seekers have become bargaining chips in interstate relations, used by political leaders to extract financial, political and even military concessions from each other.

    Given the constitutional constraints imposed on the organization, UNHCR’s options are now limited. It can try (as it has done for many years) to diversify its funding base. It could assume a more assertive stance with states that violate refugee protection principles – and in doing so risk the loss of its already diminished degree of diplomatic support. And it can hope that the recently completed Global Compact on Refugees, a nonbinding declaration of principles that most U.N. member states are expected to sign, will have some effect on the way that governments actually treat refugees.

    A final option available to UNHCR is to be more transparent about its limitations, to moderate the relentless self-promotion of its branding and marketing campaign and give greater recognition to the efforts that refugees are making to improve their own lives. In that respect, UNHCR’s favourite hashtag, “We Stand #WithRefugees,” could usefully be changed to “Refugees Are #StandingUpForThemselves.”

    #UN #ONU #HCR #UNHCR #crise #indépendance #fonds #financement #it_has_begun


  • How Jimmy Carter and I Started the Mujahideen » Counterpunch: Tells the Facts, Names the Names
    http://archive.is/VH3r#selection-801.1-919.214

    January 15, 1998

    by Alexander Cockburn And Jeffrey St. Clair

    Q: The former director of the CIA, Robert Gates, stated in his memoirs ["From the Shadows"], that American intelligence services began to aid the Mujahadeen in Afghanistan 6 months before the Soviet intervention. In this period you were the national security adviser to President Carter. You therefore played a role in this affair. Is that correct?

    Brzezinski: Yes. According to the official version of history, CIA aid to the Mujahadeen began during 1980, that is to say, after the Soviet army invaded Afghanistan, 24 Dec 1979. But the reality, secretly guarded until now, is completely otherwise: Indeed, it was July 3, 1979 that President Carter signed the first directive for secret aid to the opponents of the pro-Soviet regime in Kabul. And that very day, I wrote a note to the president in which I explained to him that in my opinion this aid was going to induce a Soviet military intervention.

    Q: Despite this risk, you were an advocate of this covert action. But perhaps you yourself desired this Soviet entry into war and looked to provoke it?

    Brzezinski: It isn’t quite that. We didn’t push the Russians to intervene, but we knowingly increased the probability that they would.

    Q: When the Soviets justified their intervention by asserting that they intended to fight against a secret involvement of the United States in Afghanistan, people didn’t believe them. However, there was a basis of truth. You don’t regret anything today?

    Brzezinski: Regret what? That secret operation was an excellent idea. It had the effect of drawing the Russians into the Afghan trap and you want me to regret it? The day that the Soviets officially crossed the border, I wrote to President Carter: We now have the opportunity of giving to the USSR its Vietnam war. Indeed, for almost 10 years, Moscow had to carry on a war unsupportable by the government, a conflict that brought about the demoralization and finally the breakup of the Soviet empire.

    Q: And neither do you regret having supported the Islamic [integrisme], having given arms and advice to future terrorists?

    Brzezinski: What is most important to the history of the world? The Taliban or the collapse of the Soviet empire? Some stirred-up Moslems or the liberation of Central Europe and the end of the cold war?

    Q: Some stirred-up Moslems? But it has been said and repeated: Islamic fundamentalism represents a world menace today.

    Brzezinski: Nonsense! It is said that the West had a global policy in regard to Islam. That is stupid. There isn’t a global Islam. Look at Islam in a rational manner and without demagoguery or emotion. It is the leading religion of the world with 1.5 billion followers. But what is there in common among Saudi Arabian fundamentalism, moderate Morocco, Pakistan militarism, Egyptian pro-Western or Central Asian secularism? Nothing more than what unites the Christian countries.

    * There are at least two editions of this magazine; with the perhaps sole exception of the Library of Congress, the version sent to the United States is shorter than the French version, and the Brzezinski interview was not included in the shorter version.
    The above has been translated from the French by Bill Blum author of the indispensible, “Killing Hope: US Military and CIA Interventions Since World War II” and “Rogue State: A Guide to the World’s Only Superpower”

    #Afghanistan #USA #URSS #histoire


  • Pakistan PM to Offer Citizenship to Afghans Born in #Pakistan

    Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan, in an unprecedented announcement Sunday, pledged to offer Pakistani citizenship to hundreds of thousands of Afghans born to refugee families his country has been hosting for decades.

    The United Nations refugee agency and local officials say there are 2.7 million Afghans, including 1.5 million registered as refugees, in Pakistan. The displaced families have fled decades of conflict, ethnic and religious persecution, poverty and economic hardships in turmoil-hit Afghanistan.

    “Afghans whose children have been raised and born in Pakistan will be granted citizenship inshallah (God willing) because this is the established practice in countries around the world. You get an American passport if you are born in America,” said Khan, who took office last month.

    “Then why can’t we do it here. We continue to subject these people to unfair treatment,” the Pakistani prime minister said at a public event in the southern port city of Karachi Sunday night.

    U.N. surveys suggest that around 60 percent of Afghan refugees were either born in Pakistan or were minors when their parents migrated to Pakistan. War-shattered Afghanistan is therefore alien to most of these young people who are already part of the local economy in different ways.

    This group of refugees, officials say, are reluctant to go back to Afghanistan where security conditions have deteriorated in the wake of the stalemated war between U.S.-backed Afghan security forces and the Taliban insurgency.

    Khan noted in his nationally televised remarks that without Pakistani national identification cards and passports, the refugees have been unable to find decent legal jobs or get a quality education in local institutions.

    These people, the prime minister said, will eventually be forced to indulge in criminal activities, posing security issues for areas like Karachi, the country’s largest city and commercial hub. Afghans are a significant portion of the nearly 20 million residents in Karachi.

    “They are humans. How come we have deprived them and have not arranged for offering them national identification card and passport for 30 years, 40 years,” Khan lamented.

    The Pakistani leader explained that since he is also directly overseeing the federal Interior Ministry, which is responsible for granting passports and identification cards, he will instruct his staff to make efforts without further delay to offer Pakistani nationality to the people “who have come from Afghanistan and whose children are raised and born in here.”

    Khan spoke a day after his Foreign Minister, Shah Mehmood Qureshi, visited Afghanistan, where he discussed among other issues the fate of the registered Afghan refugees who have until December 31, 2018, to stay in Pakistan legally.

    An official statement issued after Qureshi’s daylong trip to Kabul said that in his meetings with Afghan leaders, the foreign minister “underlined the need for dignified, sustainable repatriation of Afghan refugees to their homeland through a gradual and time-bound plan.”

    Pakistani authorities have lately complained that Taliban insurgents waging attacks inside Afghanistan have been using the refugee communities as hiding places. Both countries accuse each other of supporting militant attacks against their respective soils. The allegations are at the center of bilateral political tensions.

    In a meeting last week with visiting U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, Khan assured him that his government will not force Afghan refugees to leave Pakistan.

    https://www.voanews.com/a/pakistan-pm-to-offer-citizenship-to-afghans-born-in-pakistan/4574015.html
    #citoyenneté #naturalisation #asile #migrations #réfugiés #réfugiés_afghans

    ping @isskein


  • Israel became hub in international organ trade over past decade - Israel News - Haaretz.com
    https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-israel-became-hub-in-international-organ-trade-over-past-decade-1.

    Israel has become increasingly involved in the world transplantation industry in the last decade. This comes a few years after India, which until the 1990s was the global center of the organ trade, enacted legislation prohibiting transplants using organs acquired from living people.

    According to a 2015 European Parliament report, Israeli physicians and patients played a major role in the international organ trade, initially reaching Eastern Europe and later to other locales. The report says Israel played a key role in the trade that developed in Azerbaijan, Cyprus, Kosovo, the United States, Costa Rica, Panama, Ecuador and Colombia.

    2008 was a turning point in which a Knesset law banned the purchase and sale of human organs. The illegal transplantation industry has continued to flourish globally in recent years, the European Parliament notes, but the place of Israel – along with the Philippines and Pakistan – as hubs of the organ trade has been taken by new countries, among them Costa Rica, Colombia, Vietnam, Lebanon and Egypt.

    A number of organ trade networks were uncovered in Israel, but until the 2008 legislation, the subject was addressed officially only in circulars issued by directors general of government ministries. In a 2003 trial of members of an Israeli network that engaged in illegal organ trade, the court expressed disapproval at the prosecution’s attempt to convict the dealers on a variety of charges ranging from forgery of documents to offenses against the Anatomy and Pathology Law.

    #israël #trafic_organes


  • Southeast Asia’s Vengeful Man-Eating Spirit Is a Feminist Icon - Broadly
    https://broadly.vice.com/en_us/article/kz5evx/pontianak-spirit-ghost-malay-man-eating-southeast-asia

    In Southeast Asia, legend has it that a man out alone at night must never look directly at a beautiful woman, because she might be a ghost that rips his guts out. For anyone who’s ever been harassed whilst walking late at night, that sounds like one refreshing rule.

    A favorite of horror film directors, the pontianak (or kuntilanak, as she’s called in Indonesia, or churel in Bangladesh, India, and Pakistan) is often portrayed as a social outcast who’s fallen in some way, often by failing in her duties as a mother. But the pontianak also embodies a subversive female energy that is increasingly being embraced by a new wave of writers and film-makers.

    “She can walk alone and not have to be accompanied by a man; she can be as beautiful and provocative as she wants; she can be extremely gentle or a massive flirt—but if you dare touch her without her consent, her claws will come out,” Kuala Lumpur-based filmmaker Amanda Nell Eu tells Broadly. (...)

    The pontianak’s fearsomeness is linked to her femininity—a concept that feminist theorist Barbara Creed calls the monstrous-feminine. The pontianak appears fragile, but is ferocious when provoked. “The pontianak mimics vulnerability and seeming gentility through her high-pitched baby cries and frangipani scent, but try and take advantage of her and she’ll suck your eyeballs out,” explains Singaporean author Sharlene Teo, whose debut novel Ponti was inspired by the myth.

    #horreur #Malaisie #Indonésie #Singapour #femmes #monstres #cinéma #mythes #Asie_du_Sud-Est #fantôme


  • Outsourcing Risk. Investigating the Ali Enterprises Factory Fire on 11 September 2012

    Forensic Architecture was asked by the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR) to carry out an architectural analysis of the fire that destroyed the Ali Enterprises textile factory on 11 September 2012 in Karachi, Pakistan. Inadequate fire safety measures at the company, a supplier for the German clothes retailer #KiK, led to the deaths of 260 factory workers. This investigation uncovers the many ways in which design and management decisions not only failed to prevent injury and casualties, but in fact augmented the death toll.

    Our findings have now been submitted to the Regional Court in Dortmund, Germany, where legal action against KiK is ongoing. Since March 2015, the Court has been examining a civil claim against KiK filed by four Pakistanis – one survivor and three relatives of workers killed in the fire – with support from the ECCHR and medico international.


    https://www.forensic-architecture.org/case/outsourcing-risk

    #risques #externalisation #Karachi #Pakistan #délocalisation #travail #industrie_textile #forensic_architecture #reconstruction_du_désastre

    cc @reka


  • World Nuclear Industry Status Report 2018 (HTML) - World Nuclear Industry Status Report

    https://www.worldnuclearreport.org/World-Nuclear-Industry-Status-Report-2018-HTML.html

    #nucléaire #nuclaire_civil et bravo @odilon !

    China Still Dominates Developments

    Nuclear power generation in the world increased by 1% due to an 18% increase in China.
    Global nuclear power generation excluding China declined for the third year in a row.
    Four reactors started up in 2017 of which three were in China and one in Pakistan (built by a Chinese company).
    Five units started up in the first half of 2018, of which three were in China—including the world’s first EPR and AP1000—and two in Russia.
    Five construction starts in the world in 2017, of which a demonstration fast reactor project in China.
    No start of construction of any commercial reactors in China since December 2016.
    The number of units under construction globally declined for the fifth year in a row, from 68 reactors at the end of 2013 to 50 by mid-2018, of which 16 are in China.
    China spent a record US$126 billion on renewables in 2017.

    Operational Status and Construction Delays

    The nuclear share of global electricity generation remained roughly stable over the past five years (-0.5 percentage points), with a long-term declining trend, from 17.5 percent in 1996 to 10.3 in 2017.
    Seven years after the Fukushima events, Japan had restarted five units by the end of 2017—generating still only 3.6% of the power in the country in 2017—and nine by mid-2018.
    As of mid-2018, 32 reactors—including 26 in Japan—are in Long-Term Outage (LTO).
    At least 33 of the 50 units under construction are behind schedule, mostly by several years. China is no exception, at least half of 16 units under construction are delayed.
    Of the 33 delayed construction projects, 15 have reported increased delays over the past year.
    Only a quarter of the 16 units scheduled for startup in 2017 were actually connected to the grid.
    New-build plans have been cancelled including in Jordan, Malaysia and the U.S. or postponed such as in Argentina, Indonesia, Kazakhstan.

    Decommissioning Status Report

    As of mid-2018, 115 units are undergoing decommissioning—70 percent of the 173 permanently shut-down reactors in the world.
    Only 19 units have been fully decommissioned: 13 in the U.S., five in Germany, and one in Japan. Of these, only 10 have been returned to greenfield sites.

    Interdependencies Between Civil and Military Infrastructures

    Nuclear weapon states remain the main proponents of nuclear power programs. A first look into the question whether military interests serve as one of the drivers for plant-life extension and new-build.

    Renewables Accelerate Take-Over

    Globally, wind power output grew by 17% in 2017, solar by 35%, nuclear by 1%. Non-hydro renewables generate over 3,000 TWh more power than a decade ago, while nuclear produces less.
    Auctions resulted in record low prices for onshore wind (<US$20/MWh) offshore wind (<US$45/MWh) and solar (<US$25/MWh). This compares with the “strike price” for the Hinkley Point C Project in the U.K. (US$120/MWh).
    Nine of the 31 nuclear countries—Brazil, China, Germany, India, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, Spain and United Kingdom (U.K.)—generated more electricity in 2017 from non-hydro renewables than from nuclear power.


  • Are Lynchings “Apolitical”?
    https://thepolisproject.com/are-lynchings-apolitical

    Lynchings destroy the notion of community. Each act of violence renders the subsequent act of violence inevitable and more heinous. We should be worried about these events, and not relegate them to ‘apolitical’ acts of disciplinary violence aimed at ‘alleged criminals’. Lynchings are predominantly discipline and punish projects, directed at policing ‘the other’.

    Introduction
    A lynching is a public, extrajudicial execution. Once we begin with this definition of lynching, the claim made in a recent Print.in article about a spate of WhatsApp rumor based lynchings that “There is, sadly, no political angle in these killings. There’s no Hindu-Muslim dispute, not even caste. There’s no India-Pakistan, no BJP-Congress, no jihad or Naxalism, no RSS or Kashmir, no statements and counter-statements by politicians”, stands in correction. Indian journalism and its reporting around lynchings have, oddly, focused on the medium as the messenger – WhatsApp – rather than the nature of violence, and its long history of targeting the ‘other’.

    Acts of collective public violence do not occur in isolation. These seemingly independent events are linked to broader social, economic, and political forces. Framing these acts as “disciplinary violence” against an “errant” individual out of “righteous anger” or “anxiety” does great harm and disservice to understanding and preventing what is now an everyday enactment of grotesque violence.

    For the past year, our team of researchers at The Polis Project’s Violence and Justice Lab has been building a data set on collective public violence and justice in India since 2000. Our dataset logs acts of mob-based violence – lynchings, massacres, riots, gang rapes, etc. involving two or more persons – and traces how these acts are processed through the justice system. We have found collective public violence to be steadily on the increase since 2000. This could be a function of better and faster reporting or a function of the availability of such information in non-traditional news spaces. However, what we are rapidly seeing through our data is that one cannot make either of the claims – that Indian society was ever tolerant, or, that violence has not been on the upswing.


  • Cultures that have ‘third genders’ don’t prove transgenderism is either ubiquitous or progressive
    https://www.feministcurrent.com/2018/08/25/cultures-third-genders-dont-prove-transgenderism-either-ubiquitous-

    Traditionally, the Navajo believed that the power of creation belonged to women. It is safe to say that they never believed that nadleeh — “feminine males” — were actually women, because they didn’t have the ability to bear children. They were regarded as feminine on the basis of social occupations but were not called women — azdaa — in the Navajo language. Society was organized on the principle of collective work divided by men and women on account of their physiological differences — women’s activities, for example, were based on their reproductive capacity and status as life-givers.

    In this case, the concept of nadleeh cannot be understood as “gender identity” or gender/sex dysphoria, as it was related to social occupations and behaviors connected to sex. While the Navajo are one of the most documented Indigenous cultures, many others are not so well-documented and it therefore seems inappropriate to impose modern notions of “gender diversity,” “gender identity,” or, generally, our own concepts of gender, as we understand it today, in Western cultures.

    It also is misguided to assume that non-Western, non-white “third genders” necessarily shatter the gender binary. The existence of other “gender” castes shouldn’t be assumed to challenge the “sex/gender binary” — they need to be examined within their own cultural and political contexts, from a feminist perspective.

    The fact that those placed in this “third” gender category are usually males raises another red flag. It suggests that, while men can be downgraded to the status of females, women cannot rise up to the status of men. Being associated with femininity is such a disgrace that men are socially emasculated and physically mutilated. This is pure misogyny. The media remain blind to the evidence, claiming to be puzzled that these supposedly “progressive” gender identity politics are being adopted by otherwise conservative societies that are hostile and violent to women and gay people.

    In The Guardian, Memphis Barker writes:

    “One reason for the growing acceptance of the trans community springs from an unlikely source — Pakistan’s mullahs. The Council of Islamic Ideology, a government body that has deemed nine-year-old girls old enough to marry and approves the right of men to ‘lightly’ beat their wives, has offered some support to trans rights.”

    Of course, in reality, this “support” is only for misogyny.

    So blinded by our own Western views on transgender politics — certain we are on “the right side of history” — we can’t see how these ideas could be harmful. Our critical minds have been paralyzed, and fear of backlash has caused us to avoid asking questions. Despite what so many would like to believe, transgender ideology, no matter how and where it is promoted, has put women and gay people in danger all around the world.

    • while men can be downgraded to the status of females, women cannot rise up to the status of men

      Il y a l’exemple des Albanaises qui vivent en homme. Ce qui est sûr, c’est que ces genres sont super codés socialement et n’obéissent pas à des perceptions auto-centrées de soi au plus profond de son être mais à des regards sociaux très rigides et pas complaisants. C’est pour ça que je trouve que ce sujet est une des expressions du libéralisme et de l’individualisme contemporains.

      “Native cultures” are glamourized as gender-fluid utopias that European, Christian, colonial conquest destroyed, imposing a rigid two-gender system instead. It is true that as part of the Christianization and colonization process, missionaries profoundly changed the social dynamics between men and women. Children were uprooted from their cultural and social spheres and sent to residential schools, where they were taught Victorian values and morality regarding men and women’s place in North American societies. Indigenous people were subjected to different social codes than those they’d grown up with. Their appearance, for instance, was refashioned: boys couldn’t have long hair because it was considered feminine — they had to wear suits, while girls needed to keep their hair tied at all times and wear dresses. But it would be false to presume that Indigenous societies — which are not at all homogenous — regarded gender (in its contemporary definition) as an instrument for self-expression. This assumes all of these cultures accepted the liberal notion of individual choice and freedom popularized in the aftermath of the American Revolution.


  • Des polices pour détecter la contrefaçon
    Jeanne Corriveau - 8 août 2018 - Le Devoir _
    https://www.ledevoir.com/societe/533921/des-polices-pour-detecter-la-contrefacon

    Les polices de caractères ont souvent une histoire étonnante, dans laquelle s’entremêlent enjeux graphiques, économiques et sociopolitiques. Cinquième texte d’une série estivale consacrée à ce sujet.

    Le commun des mortels ne prête pas toujours attention aux caractères typographiques avec lesquels les textes qu’il lit sont composés. Dans certains cas, toutefois, le choix d’une police de caractères peut avoir des conséquences politiques insoupçonnées. C’est ainsi qu’au cours des dernières années, les polices Calibri et Times New Roman se sont retrouvées au coeur de polémiques concernant la contrefaçon de documents.

    En 2016, embourbés dans une affaire de corruption à la suite de la publication des Panama Papers, Nawaz Sharif, alors premier ministre du Pakistan, et sa fille Maryam avaient remis à la justice des documents en preuve dans une tentative pour se disculper. Parmi ces documents figurait une déclaration faite par Maryam Sharif prétendument signée en février 2006.

    Or, ont découvert les enquêteurs, la déclaration était composée en Calibri, une police de caractères qui n’a été distribuée commercialement par #microsoft qu’en 2007, ce qui laisse croire que le document a été contrefait. Calibri allait-elle faire tomber le premier ministre ?

    En entrevue au journal pakistanais Dawn, le bureau du designer Lucas de Groot, qui a conçu la police Calibri pour Microsoft, a précisé qu’une version bêta de Calibri était disponible en 2006, mais que celle-ci était destinée aux programmeurs et aux « freaks » de technologie. Il paraissait donc « très peu probable » que quelqu’un ait pu utiliser cette police pour des documents officiels.

    Condamné à 10 ans de prison pour corruption, Nawaz Sharif a finalement pris le chemin du pénitencier au début du mois de juillet dernier. De son côté, sa fille a reçu une sentence de sept ans de prison.

    Le « Rathergate »
    La police Times New Roman a elle aussi été mêlée à une controverse politique. En 2004, le journaliste #Dan_Rather, de l’émission 60 minutes, diffusée sur #CBS, avait présenté en ondes des documents qui semblaient démontrer que le président américain George W. Bush avait pu bénéficier d’un traitement de faveur pour être affecté à la Garde nationale du Texas dans les années 1970 et, du même coup, échapper à la guerre du #Vietnam. Il s’agissait de rapports internes du colonel Jerry Killian, mort en 1984, qui dirigeait l’escadron de la Garde du Texas.

    La veuve du colonel Killian, de même que plusieurs blogueurs et médias ont mis en doute l’authenticité du document, relevant diverses incongruités, dont l’utilisation de fontes dites proportionnelles, par opposition à celles de taille fixe, ainsi que la présence des caractères « th » mis en exposant dans « 111 th » ou « 147 th ». Les machines à écrire des années 1970 étaient-elles en mesure de produire de telles fontes ? Selon divers experts, le document en question semblait plutôt avoir été réalisé par ordinateur avec la police Times New Roman, offerte avec le logiciel Word de Microsoft. L’affaire a embarrassé CBS.

    Dan Rather a par la suite présenté ses excuses et quitté ses fonctions.

    L’univers numérique
    Calibri et Times New Roman ont deux points en commun : non seulement se sont-elles retrouvées au centre de controverses, mais elles ont toutes deux été lancées dans l’univers numérique comme police par défaut dans le logiciel Word de Microsoft, la Calibri ayant délogé son aînée en 2007. Mais alors que la Calibri a à peine 10 ans d’âge, la création de la Times New Roman remonte à 1931.

    Cette police de caractères avait été commandée auprès du typographe Stanley Morison par le quotidien britannique Times. Stanley Morison fit appel à l’artiste Victor Lardent, qui dessina cette police de caractères. Inspirée des fontes Plantin et Perpetua, la police Times New Roman, dotée d’empattements, est étroite, ce qui permet de corder plus de mots dans une ligne. Un avantage pour les journaux. Elle est aussi vantée pour sa lisibilité.

    Conçue pour la presse écrite et largement utilisée dans l’édition, la police Times New Roman a connu une seconde vie dans l’espace numérique. Mais une telle gloire a ses revers. Surexposée et omniprésente, elle rappelle à certains leurs travaux scolaires. D’autres diront qu’elle est fade, sans émotion et qu’elle dénote la paresse de l’auteur qui ne se serait pas donné la peine de chercher une autre police plus originale et plus proche de sa personnalité.

    Jamais à la mode
    Le designer graphique Denis Dulude reconnaît que la police Times New Roman n’est guère prisée par les professionnels de la typographie et du graphisme. « Elle est un peu mal-aimée. À l’époque où elle est arrivée, elle venait dans la boîte. Beaucoup de gens l’avaient utilisée pour faire des lettres et des logos qui n’étaient pas nécessairement faits par des designers graphiques. Elle n’a jamais été à la mode. Pour cette raison, on a peut-être été un peu frileux avec cette police. »

    Denis Dulude a toutefois osé utiliser Times New Roman pour un projet de catalogue de photos. Or, il y a mis sa touche personnelle en retirant de tous les « S » majuscules l’empattement du bas. « Je me la suis appropriée en faisant ma propre version. J’ai aussi brisé un peu l’espacement entre les lettres pour qu’elle soit un peu plus maladroite et saccadée. C’est la seule façon que j’ai trouvée pour être à l’aise avec cette police », admet-il.

    #Panama_Papers #typographie #Calibri #Times_New_Roman #Pakistan #Imprimerie #Police de #Caractère #Histoire #médias #art #typographique #mise_en_page #Lay_out


  • Top 5 Tips to Consider Before Crafting an Engaging Ringless Voicemail Script
    https://hackernoon.com/top-5-tips-to-consider-before-crafting-an-engaging-ringless-voicemail-sc

    Ringless Voicemail is an instant delivery of voicemails to the voicemail box of the users without creating the distraction. This is usually considered as the cost-effective method to generate enough sales and leads. Most of the call centers in the US, UK, Canada, India, Pakistan, and the Philippines are utilizing the method and considering it as the best alternative to cold calling. As we are arguing about the effectiveness of Ringless Voicemail solutions, so I would also discuss the significance of Ringless voicemail script that plays the vital role in running the campaign successfully.So, here are some essential tips to consider before crafting an effective Ringless Voicemail script.Share your offering and explain what value it could bring:Beating around the bush could simply confuse (...)

    #ringless-voicemail #marketing #ringless-voicemail-script #business #voicemail-script


  • #Agromafie e #caporalato: 430 mila lavoratori a rischio sfruttamento

    L’Osservatorio Placido Rizzotto della Flai Cgil fotografa la situazione nel suo quarto rapporto «Agromafie e caporalato». Un fenomeno che si estende dal Sud al Nord Italia. Tra giornate lavorative di 12 ore e pagate una manciata di euro

    https://www.flai.it/osservatoriopr
    #mafia #agriculture #exploitation #travail #Italie #agromafia

    Pour télécharger le #rapport (c’est la troisième édition):


    https://www.flai.it/osservatoriopr/ilrapporto
    –-> La principale attività dell’Osservatorio è la redazione del rapporto Agromafie e Caporalato, un rapporto biennale sull’infiltrazione delle mafie nella filiera agroalimentare e sulle condizioni di lavoro nel settore. Dopo la prima (2012) e la seconda (2014) edizione, a Maggio del 2016 è stato presentato il terzo rapporto Agromafie e Caporalato, ormai un lavoro di inchiesta e ricerca diventati in pochi anni un riferimento per chiunque voglia approfondire il tema delle Agromafie e delle condizioni di lavoro in agricoltura.

    • ‘Agromafia’ Exploits Hundreds of Thousands of Agricultural Workers in Italy

      In Italy, over 400,000 agricultural labourers risk being illegally employed by mafia-like organisations, and more than 132,000 work in extremely vulnerable conditions, enduring high occupational suffering, warns the fourth report on Agromafie and Caporalato.

      The report, released this July by the Italian trade union for farmers, Flai Cgil, and the research institute Osservatorio Placido Rizzotto, sheds light on a bitter reality that is defined by the report itself as “modern day slavery”. The criminal industry is estimated to generate almost five billion euros.

      “The phenomenon of ‘Caporalato’ is a cancer for the entire community,” Roberto Iovino from Osservatorio Placido Rizzotto, told IPS. “Legal and illegal activities often intertwine in the agro-food sector and it ultimately becomes very difficult to know who is operating in the law and who is not.”

      The criminal structure is called Caporalato or Agromafia when it touches a number of aspects of the agri-food chain. It is administered by ‘Caporali’, who decide on working hours and salaries of workers. The phenomenon is widespread across Italy. From Sicilian tomatoes, to the green salads from the province of Brescia, to the grape harvest used for producing the ‘Franciacorta’ sparkling wine in Lombardia, to the strawberries harvested in the region of Basilicata—many of these crops would have been harvested by illegally-employed workers, according to the report.

      Miserable salaries and excessive working hours

      The average wages of the exploited, warns the report, range between 20 and 30 euros per day, at an hourly rate of between three to four euros. Many reportedly work between eight to 14 hours per day, seven days a week. The majority of the collected testimonies show that many workers are paid less than their actual time worked and their salaries are 50 percent lower than the one outlined by the national contract for farmers.

      In some areas like Puglia or Campania in southern Italy, most salaries are paid on a piecework basis or per task.

      Some workers reported to Flai-Cgil that they were paid only one euro per hour and that they had to pay 1.5 euros for a small bottle of water, five euros for the transportation to reach the field and three euros for a sandwich at lunchtime each day. Day labourers are also required to pay between 100 to 200 euros for rent, often in abandoned, crumbling facilities or in remote and less-frequented hotels.

      The money was paid to the ‘Caporale’ or supervisor.

      According to the report, a ‘Caporale’ earns between 10 to 15 euros a day per labourer under their management, with each managing between 3,000 to 4,000 agricultural workers. It is estimated that their average monthly profit fluctuates between tens to hundreds of thousands of euros per month, depending on their position in the pyramid structure of the illegal business. It is alleged in the report that no tax is paid on the profits and this costs the state in lost income and also impacts on companies operating within the law.

      “Those people [‘Caporali’] are not naive at all,” one of the workers told the trade union’s researchers. “They know the laws, they find ways of counterfeiting work contracts and mechanisms to [circumvent] the National Social Security Institute.” The institute is the largest social security and welfare institute in Italy.

      “They have a certain criminal profile,” the worker explained.

      Migrant victims

      The ‘Caporali’ are not just Italians but Romanians, Bulgarians, Moroccans and Pakistanis, who manage their own criminal and recruiting organisations. The report warns that recruitment not only takes place in Italy but also in the home countries of migrants like Morocco or Pakistan.

      In 2017, out of one million labourers, 286,940 were migrants. It is also estimated that there are an additional 220,000 foreigners who are not registered.

      African migrants also reportedly receive a lower remuneration than that paid to workers of other nationalities.

      These victims of Agromafia live in a continuous state of vulnerability, unable to claim their rights. The report points out that some workers have had their documents confiscated by ‘Caporali’ for the ultimate purpose of trapping the labourers. It also highlights the testimonies of abuse, ranging from physical violence, rape and intimidation. One Afghan migrant who asked to be paid after months without receiving any pay, said that he had been beaten up because of his protests.

      The report also estimates that 5,000 Romanian women live in segregation in the Sicilian countryside, often with only their children. Because of their isolation many suffer sexual violence from farmers.

      Luana told Flai-Cgil of her abuse. “He offered to accompany my children to school, which was very far to reach on foot,” she said. “If I did not consent to this requests, he threatened not to accompany them any more and even to deny us drinking water.”

      “We have to put humanity first, and then profit”

      Many of the victims hesitate to report their exploiters because they are fearful of losing their jobs. A Ghanaian boy working in Tuscany told Flai-Cgil that Italians have explained to him how to lay a complaint, but he holds back because he still has to send money to his family.

      During the report release Susanna Camusso, secretary general of the country’s largest trade union, CGIL, said: “We must rebuild the culture of respect for people, including migrants. These are people who bend their backs to collect the food we eat and who move our economy.

      “We must help these people to overcome fear, explaining to them that there is not only the monetary aspect to work. A person could be exploited even if he holds a decent salary. We have to put humanity first, and then profit .”

      http://www.ipsnews.net/2018/07/agromafia-exploits-hundreds-thousands-agricultural-workers-italy

    • Is Italian Agriculture a “Pull Factor” for Irregular Migration—and, If So, Why?

      In discussions on irregular migration in Europe, undeclared work is generally viewed as a “pull factor”—positive aspects of a destination-country that attract an individual or group to leave their home—for both employers as well as prospective migrants, and especially in sectors such as agriculture. A closer examination of the agricultural model, however, reveals that structural forces are driving demand for work and incentivizing exploitation. This is particularly evident in Southern Italy, a region famous for its produce, where both civil society organizations and the media have documented exploitation of migrant workers. A closer examination of EU and member states efforts to avoid exploitation is needed.

      In Is Italian Agriculture a ‘Pull Factor’ for Irregular Migration—and, If So, Why?, a new study, authors from the Open Society Foundations’ European Policy Institute and the European University Institute look at how Europe’s Common Agricultural Policy, the practices of supermarket chains, organized crime, and gang-master recruitment practices contribute to migrant exploitation. The study further recommends a closer examination of EU member state efforts to counter exploitation and offers an overview of private sector practice’s intended to combat exploitation—such as the provision of information on workers’ rights, adequate housing and transport, and EU-wide labeling schemes, among others.

      https://www.opensocietyfoundations.org/reports/italian-agriculture-pull-factor-irregular-migration-and-if-s
      #rapport #pull-factor #facteur_pull


    • C’est fou, cette manie de vouloir envoyer des gens, un ou deux siècles après, dans un des pays les plus densément peuplés et pauvres de la planète. Ce que la colonisation a peut-être apporté de pire, c’est cette idée qu’il y a des gens avec leur terre et d’autres qui n’ont qu’à aller voir ailleurs.

      J’imagine si en France on avait l’idée de renvoyer en Espagne tou·tes les Lopez et au Portugal tou·tes les Pereira. Ces cinquante ans d’histoire commune font sombrer l’idée dans le ridicule, alors une administration commune à l’époque (l’Empire britannique des Indes qui comprenait également ce qui allait devenir la Birmanie) et cent cinquante ans pour se mélanger...

      #Rohingya #frontières

    • Is India Creating Its Own Rohingya ?

      Echoes of the majoritarian rhetoric preceding the ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya can be heard in India as four million, mostly Bengali-origin Muslims, have been effectively turned stateless.

      On July 30, four million residents of the Indian state of Assam were effectively stripped of their nationality after their names were excluded from the recently formed National Register of Citizens.

      Indian authorities claim to have initiated and executed the process to identify illegal immigrants from Bangladesh, which shares several hundred miles of its border with Assam, but it has exacerbated fears of a witch hunt against the Bengali-origin Muslim minority in the state.

      Assam is the most populous of India’s northeastern states. As part of a labyrinthine bureaucratic exercise, 32.9 million people and 65 million documents were screened over five years at a cost of $178 million to ascertain which residents of Assam are citizens. The bureaucrats running the National Register of Citizens accepted 28.9 million claims to Indian citizenship and rejected four million.

      The idea of such screening to determine citizenship goes back to the aftermath of the 1947 Partition of British India into India and Pakistan. A register of citizens set up in Assam in 1951 was never effectively implemented. Twenty-four years after the Partition, the mostly Bengali Eastern Pakistan seceded from Western Pakistan with Indian military help, and Bangladesh was formed on March 24, 1971. The brutal war that accompanied the formation of Bangladesh had sent millions of refugees into the Indian states of Assam and West Bengal.

      Politics over illegal migration from Bangladesh into Assam has been a potent force in the politics of the state for decades. In 2008, an Assam-based NGO approached the Supreme Court of India claiming that 4.1 million illegal immigrants had been registered as voters in the state. In 2014, the Supreme Court ordered the federal government to update the National Register of Citizens.

      The updated list defines as Indian citizens the residents of Assam who were present in the state before March 25, 1971, and their direct descendants. In keeping with this criterion, the N.R.C. asked for certain legal documents to be submitted as proof of citizenship — including the voter lists for all Indian elections up to 1971.

      People born after 1971 could submit documents that link them to parents or grandparents who possessed the primary documents. So each person going through the process had to show a link to a name on the 1951 register and the only two voter lists — those of 1965-66 and 1970-71 — that were ever made public.

      Such criteria, applied across India, left a good percentage of its citizens stateless. Front pages of Indian newspapers have been carrying accounts detailing the absurdities in the list — a 6-year-old who has been left out even though his twin is on the list, a 72-year-old woman who is the only one in her family to be left off, a 13-year-old boy whose parents and sisters are on the list but he is not.

      The Supreme Court, which had ordered the process underlying the National Register of Citizens, has now directed that no action should be initiated against those left out and that a procedure should be set up for dealing with claims and objections. A final list is expected at the end of an appeal process. And it is not clear what transpires at the end of that process, which is expected to be long and harrowing. So far six overcrowded jails doubling as detention centers in Assam house 1,000 “foreigners,” and the Indian government has approved building of a new detention center that can house 3,000 more.

      The N.R.C. may well have set in motion a process that has uncanny parallels with what took place in Myanmar, which also shares a border with Bangladesh. In 1982, a Burmese citizenship law stripped a million Rohingya of the rights they had had since the country’s independence in 1948.

      The Rohingya, like a huge number of those affected by the N.R.C. in Assam, are Muslims of Bengali ethnicity. The denial of citizenship, loss of rights and continued hostility against the Rohingya in Myanmar eventually led to the brutal violence and ethnic cleansing of the past few years. The excuses that majoritarian nationalists made in the context of the Rohingya in Myanmar — that outsiders don’t understand the complexity of the problem and don’t appreciate the anxieties and fears of the ethnic majority — are being repeated in Assam.

      Throughout the 20th century, the fear of being reduced to a minority has repeatedly been invoked to consolidate an ethnic Assamese identity. If at one time it focuses on the number of Bengalis in the state, at another time it focuses on the number of Muslims in the state, ignoring the fact that the majority of the Muslims are Assamese rather than Bengali.

      Ethnic hostilities were most exaggerated when they provided a path to power. Between 1979 and 1985, Assamese ethnonationalist student politicians led a fierce campaign to remove “foreigners” from the state and have their names deleted from voter lists. They contested elections in 1985 and formed the state government in Assam. In the 1980s, the targets were Bengali-origin Muslims and Hindus.

      This began to change with the rise of the Hindu nationalists in India, who worked to frame the Bengali-origin immigrants as two distinct categories: the Bengali-origin Hindus, whom they described as seeking refuge in India from Muslim-majority Bangladesh, and the Bengali-origin Muslims, whom they see as dangerous foreigners who have illegally infiltrated Indian Territory.

      The N.R.C. embodies both the ethnic prejudices of the Assamese majority against those of Bengali origin and the widespread hostility toward Muslims in India. India’s governing Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party has been quick to seize on the political opportunity provided by the release of the list. The B.J.P. sees India as the natural home of the Hindus.

      Prime Minister Narendra Modi has a long history of using rhetoric about Pakistan and Bangladesh to allude to Muslims as a threat. In keeping with the same rhetoric, Mr. Modi’s confidante and the president of the B.J.P., Amit Shah, has insisted that his party is committed to implementing the N.R.C. because it is about the “national security, the security of borders and the citizens of this country.”

      India has nowhere to keep the four million people declared stateless if it does not let them continue living their lives. The Indian government has already assured Bangladesh, which is already struggling with the influx of 750,000 Rohingya from Myanmar, that there will be no deportations as a result of the N.R.C. process.

      Most of people declared stateless are likely to be barred from voting as well. While the Indian election commission has declared that their removal from the voter’s list will not be automatic, in effect once their citizenship comes into question, they lose their right to vote.

      Apart from removing a huge number of voters who were likely to vote against the B.J.P., the party has already shown that as Mr. Modi struggles on the economic front, the N.R.C. will be a handy tool to consolidate Hindu voters in Assam — the majority of the people rendered stateless are Muslims — and the rest of the country going into the general elections in the summer of 2019.


      https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/10/opinion/india-citizenship-assam-modi-rohingyas.html?action=click&pgtype=Homepage&cl
      #islam #musulmans #génocide #nettoyage_ethnique

    • s’en remettre à des avantages obtenus par la démographie confessionelle ne représente pas un suplément éthique , c’est peu dire en restant correct . dans le cas Ismael faruqui verdict la remise en question de la cour suprème en est la caricature pesante . C’est totalement inique de dénier aux protestataires montrés sur la photo du nyt le droit de contester ce qu’ils contestent , c’est terriblement biasé !