• L’île grecque de Kastellorizo, en première ligne face aux menaces de la Turquie

    Plutôt que la fuite des touristes grecs et européens à la suite du « bang » aérien de juillet, c’est plutôt l’absence des touristes turcs ou de pays lointains, due à l’épidémie de Covid-19, qui inquiète Megisti. D’une part, les frontières étant fermées avec la rive d’en face, les visiteurs turcs de Kas, qui avaient deux navettes quotidiennes avec l’île, sont absents depuis mars, et les îliens, qui ne produisent rien hors de la pêche, doivent aller très loin en ferry, jusqu’à Rhodes, pour acheter ce dont ils ont besoin. D’autre part, les « Kassies », comme s’est surnommée la diaspora kastellorizienne d’Australie, qui prennent traditionnellement leurs quartiers d’été à partir de juin dans le village de leurs ancêtres, sont cette année confinés dans le Pacifique. A Megisti, le chiffre d’affaires saisonnier est en baisse d’environ 70 %.


  • Covid-19 has exposed the reality of Britain: poverty, insecurity and inequality | Richard Horton | Opinion | The Guardian

    he writer Elif Shafak, in her recently published essay How to Stay Sane in an Age of Division, recalls seeing signs in public parks during the pandemic asking: “When all this is over, how do you want the world to be different?” She points out that we are suffering from a widespread disillusionment about our bewildering predicament, and describes how people are feeling anxious and angry. She argues that alienation and exclusion are breeding mistrust, that communication between people and politicians is broken, and that despite the crisis we face we are nowhere near being able to answer a question about how we want the world to be.
    How do we begin to answer that question? First, we must understand the true nature of the crisis that confronts us. Our nation suffers from a political disease of historic proportions. The bonds that once held communities together are fraying. The confidence we once felt that generations after our own would have greater opportunities has ebbed away. And the beliefs we once embraced about the inherent strength and resilience of our national institutions and welfare state have been exposed as mere illusions. The coronavirus pandemic has exposed the reality of contemporary Britain: the country is defined by poverty, insecurity and inequality.
    To solve this crisis, we must begin by hearing the stories and listening to the experiences of those who have borne the brunt of Covid-19, especially the families who have suffered grievous losses and those who fell ill on the frontlines of the response. Illness and death have been concentrated among the elderly, those living with chronic disease, people from black, Asian and minority ethnic communities, and those who have been working in frontline public services, from health and social care to transport, food production and distribution.
    The closure of schools has placed a particular burden on children and young people. And a shadow pandemic has harmed women and children, who have suffered rising levels of violence and domestic abuse at home. A more equal society is a safer, kinder and more prosperous society. Specific policies to meet the urgent needs of these groups can lay the foundations for economic recovery and build resilience to future crises. We must demand parental support to improve prospects for child development and policies to advance adolescent physical and mental health. We should have stronger assistance and legal protections for women and children at risk of domestic violence and abuse. And we need more interventionist disease prevention and health promotion campaigns across people’s lifetimes, prioritising cancer prevention, heart disease and severe lung disease – and recognising the role that poverty and insecurity play in determining ill health


  • Covid-19 death rate among African Americans and Latinos rising sharply | World news | The Guardian

    The death rate in the US from Covid-19 among African Americans and Latinos is rising sharply, exacerbating the already staggering racial divide in the impact of the pandemic which has particularly devastated communities of color.New figures compiled by the Color of Coronavirus project shared with the Guardian show that both total numbers of deaths and per capita death rates have increased dramatically in August for black and brown Americans. Though fatalities have also increased for white Americans, the impact on this group has been notably less severe.
    The latest figures record that in the two weeks from 4 to 18 August the death rate of African Americans shot up from 80 to 88 per 100,000 population – an increase of 8 per 100,000. By contrast the white population suffered half that increase, from 36 to 40 per 100,000, an increase of 4 per 100,000. For Latino Americans the increase was even more stark, rising from 46 to 54 per 100,000 – an increase of 9 per 100,000.The new batch of statistics is a cause for concern on a number of levels. The death rate for all racial and ethnic groups had been falling through the summer but after the virus began surging through the south and midwest in July it produced a time-lagged spike in deaths in August that has driven the human suffering back up to previous grim heights.
    “We are seeing more deaths among African Americans and Latinos than at any time this summer. So as we go into the fall, with schools and colleges reopening and other new avenues for exposure, it portends a very frightening future,” said Andi Egbert, senior researcher with APM Research Lab, the non-partisan research arm of American Public Media that compiles the data.On 18 August, the latest date on which the researchers have crunched the numbers, almost 36,000 African Americans had died from Covid-19. The new uptick means that 1 in 1,125 black Americans have died from the disease, compared with 1 in 2,450 white Americans – half the rate.
    That striking disparity underlines a major failing at the heart of the US response to Covid. It has been known now for several months that the virus is extracting an especially punishing toll among communities of color, yet federal and state governments have not taken steps effectively to ameliorate the disaster. “It’s not breaking news that black and Latino communities are suffering and dying from Covid-19 in much higher rates than white Americans. But as the months drag on we see the death rates continuing to be much higher and even accelerating for vulnerable groups,” Egbert said.


  • Coronavirus exposes hidden struggles of poor Indonesian-Chinese families | South China Morning Post

    As the coronavirus ravages Indonesia– which has recorded some 194,100 cases and Southeast Asia’s highest death toll of more than 8,000 – Lie’s monthly income has taken a hit, making it harder to reach the 4.5 million rupiah (US$300) needed to cover rent, food, necessities and school fees.
    The struggling family also often endured stares from people, Lie said, because of a perception in the country that ethnic Chinese tended to be wealthy. Lie, whose children are 10, six and a year old, said it felt as if her family’s circumstances were “embarrassing the Chinese” in Indonesia. Others have judged her as being “crazy” for travelling with her husband, children and goods all on one motorbike.“In my heart, I think: ‘God, I do not want to be like this either’,” Lie said.The street vendor is not alone in feeling pressure from the wider society in Indonesia, which links ethnic Chinese with the upper class, a bias the government has long endorsed, according to one analyst.Since the coronavirus hit, various associations have been reaching out to support some struggling families across the country, a move that has thrown light on the diversity of backgrounds within the ethnic Chinese community. Indonesian-Chinese are thought to make up less than 2 per cent of the 270-million population, but control many conglomerates and a large portion of wealth, leading to a widespread belief that they are rich, or middle class, and live mainly in the urban provinces


  • En Tunisie, l’étrange été de la diaspora

    A cause de l’épidémie mondiale de coronavirus, Ali, psychologue à Bourg-en-Bresse (Ain), a cru qu’il n’allait pas revoir de sitôt sa terre natale, ses parents et ses huit frères et sœurs. Finalement, le gouvernement tunisien a ouvert les frontières le 27 juin, après plus de deux mois de confinement. Quand Ali s’est envolé pour Chenini en juillet, la France était classée zone verte et aucune mesure sanitaire ne lui a été imposée à son arrivée sur le territoire tunisien. Ce qui était une aubaine s’est finalement révélé un problème. Pour la première fois de sa vie, lui, « l’immigré », a eu la sensation d’être perçu comme un « étranger » dans son pays d’origine.
    De Tunis à Djerba et sur les réseaux sociaux, des Tunisiens ont exprimé leur crainte de voir les touristes et la diaspora apporter avec eux « le corona » et contaminer une partie de la population qui, jusque-là, a plutôt été épargnée par le virus. Fin juin, ce pays de 12 millions d’habitants recensait officiellement 1 172 personnes contaminées et 50 décès. Des chiffres bien moins alarmants que ceux de la France (près de 30 000 décès à la même période) et qui ont alimenté l’idée que « l’immigré est porteur du virus », comme le souligne Ali Abed


  • Le Triangle et l’Hexagone - #Maboula_SOUMAHORO - Éditions La Découverte

    Le Triangle et l’Hexagone est un ouvrage hybride : le récit autobiographique d’une chercheuse. Au gré de multiples va-et-vient, l’autrice converse avec la grande et les petites histoires, mais également avec la tradition intellectuelle, artistique et politique de la #diaspora_noire/africaine. Quels sens et significations donner au corps, à l’histoire, aux arts, à la politique ?
    À travers une écriture lumineuse, Maboula Soumahoro pose son regard sur sa vie, ses pérégrinations transatlantiques entre la Côte d’Ivoire des origines, la France et les États-Unis, et ses expériences les plus révélatrices afin de réfléchir à son identité de femme noire en ce début de XXIe siècle. Ce parcours, quelque peu atypique, se déploie également dans la narration d’une transfuge de classe, le récit d’une ascension sociale juchée d’embûches et d’obstacles à surmonter au sein de l’université.

    Cette expérience individuelle fait écho à l’expérience collective, en mettant en lumière la banalité du racisme aujourd’hui en France, dans les domaines personnel, professionnel, intellectuel et médiatique. La violence surgit à chaque étape. Elle est parfois explicite. D’autres fois, elle se fait plus insidieuse. Alors, comment la dire ? Comment se dire ?

  • Madagascar : quand la diaspora fait les courses pour les familles fragilisées par le coronavirus

    Avec l’épidémie, les commandes de produits de première nécessité via Internet ont explosé sous l’influence des expatriés soucieux de venir en aide à leurs proches.


  • Senegal: Myth-busting Vital to Tackle Pandemic as Misinformation Grows | by IOM - UN Migration | Jul, 2020 | Medium

    Since the beginning of the pandemic, access to reliable information on COVID-19 has proven to be a challenge as harmful and unfounded rumors about the virus started to spread fast through social media. This global issue has precipitated a rise in xenophobic attacks and hate speech against certain groups of people, particularly migrants. In Senegal, returned migrants have taken it upon themselves to fight unproven remedies and harmful misinformation by taking photos of themselves communicating positive or preventative actions.This spontaneous campaign refutes unfounded rumors such as “heat will kill the virus”, “black people are immune to the virus” or “garlic can be a cure” which are spread mainly by word-of-mouth. These Volunteers also share necessary measures people can take like wearing masks to protect themselves and their communities.


  • « J’irai l’année prochaine » : les impossibles vacances « au pays » de la diaspora africaine de France

    ’Lactuelle crise sanitaire mondiale a obligé une partie de la diaspora africaine installée en France à renoncer, la mort dans l’âme, à passer ses habituelles vacances d’été « au pays ». Même si certains territoires tels que le Sénégal ou le Maroc commencent à ouvrir leurs frontières − généralement aux seuls ressortissants ou aux étrangers titulaires d’un titre de séjour −, cette diaspora raconte sa profonde « déchirure » de ne pas fouler à nouveau la terre natale tout en exprimant, également, quelques « peurs ». « Ce virus nous a empêchés de nous organiser pour cet été. Moi, je n’ai pas d’argent pour acheter un billet à 2 000 euros à la dernière minute. Je ne peux pas, lance-t-elle. Et, une fois là-bas, je ne suis pas sûre qu’on respecte les gestes barrières. » Le Cameroun a officiellement recensé plus de 16 500 personnes contaminées et plus de 380 décès. « J’irai l’année prochaine, s’il n’y a pas un autre malheur », promet-elle. C’est exactement ce que se dit Saïd qui ne reverra pas, cet été encore, les montagnes algériennes de Kabylie. (..) « Tout était prévu, mais c’est la pagaille en Algérie. A la place, on ira peut-être au Danemark en camping-car », confie-t-il « dégoûté ». En effet, les frontières terrestres, maritimes et aériennes de l’Algérie sont fermées et elles vont le rester jusqu’à la fin de la pandémie de Covid-19 ou plus précisément « jusqu’à ce que Dieu nous libère de ce fléau », a annoncé le chef de l’Etat algérien, Abdelmadjid Tebboune, le 28 juin. En France, ces annonces ont été très mal vécues par une partie de la diaspora algérienne, alors même que l’Union européenne (UE) a annoncé, le 30 juin, la réouverture de ses frontières aériennes avec le pays. Mais l’Algérie fait face depuis le début du mois de juillet à une flambée de contamination : le nombre officiel dépasse les 500 cas par jour, contre 250 fin juin. Un chiffre sous-estimé, selon les médecins, qui multiplient les appels de détresse sur les réseaux sociaux, s’alarmant d’une situation catastrophique dans plusieurs hôpitaux.


  • L’exception comorienne dans les transferts d’argent pendant la crise du coronavirus - Afrique économie

    La Fondation Air Darassa, qui aide les plus démunis tout au long de l’année grâce à des dons de la diaspora, a eu fort à faire durant cette crise de Covid-19. Et il a aussi fallu ruser pour accéder aux guichets, confirme Halilou Ben Ahmed, l’un de ses membres. « On reçoit tout par transferts. Mais là pendant ce coronavirus, il fallait y aller à 7h du matin pour espérer en sortir à 14h ou avoir un ami qui prenne un ticket pour toi. Nos transferts pendant le coronavirus ont augmenté. Au cœur de la crise, on a vraiment reçu de l’argent. On a pu aller dans les villes et villages aider les gens, surtout en priorité ceux qui n’arrivaient pas à se nourrir au quotidien. On leur a livré du riz ou donné de l’argent », soutient Halilou Ben Ahmed.


  • La diaspora du Maghreb envisage l’Aïd sans retrouvailles familiales

    « Aucun laboratoire n’accepte de me faire passer le test si je n’ai pas de fièvre ! », il faut « aller dans un labo privé mais aucun n’accepte de me livrer les résultats dans les 48 heures », peste sur Facebook une Marocaine résidant aux Etats-Unis. En Tunisie, la quarantaine obligatoire de 14 jours a été levée à la mi-juin, et les frontières ont rouvert le 27 juin. Les voyageurs venant de pays classés vert, comme la France et l’Italie, ne sont soumis à aucune restriction.Mais les dessertes maritimes ont été perturbées par des cas de Covid-19 parmi les équipages. Et la crainte d’être pris au piège d’une seconde vague, qui ferait fermer les frontières, dissuade certains.
    Sur les réseaux sociaux, les débats sont houleux : partir, au risque de contaminer des proches, ou pas


  • Eritrean refugees fight Afwerki’s regime

    Exiles from the northeast African country are using social media and TV satellites as weapons to resist the brutal government of Isaias Afwerki.

    “It doesn’t make sense for me to come to Malta and complain about Maltese society,” said Major Sium, a 35-year-old Eritrean asylum seeker. “I want to complain about my government. I want to talk about the regime that caused my displacement.”

    Sium sat at a restaurant in the town of Msida in Malta along with two other Eritrean asylum seekers. They were here to speak about their experiences in the small island nation. But they quickly changed the topic, retracing a haunting picture of their lives back in Eritrea – often referred to as the “North Korea of Africa” – shaped by indefinite and compulsory national conscription and wide-scale human rights abuses.

    “We are here because of an unelected regime that is steering the whole nation into becoming refugees or submissive subjects,” Sium says. Several buzzing fans propped on the walls spew hot and humid air over the table.

    “This is a government that rules the nation by fear. It enslaves and arrests its citizens and doesn’t have any regard for the values of human rights. As long as these issues that forced us to flee continue, we can never think about going back to Eritrea.”

    But Sium is not sitting idle. He has decided to do something about it.

    Like thousands of other Eritreans in exile or from the diaspora, Sium has joined a growing social movement aimed at toppling President Isaias Afwerki’s regime in Eritrea through social media campaigns that highlight the brutal and oppressive practices of his government, while encouraging other Eritreans to speak out.

    “I don’t live there anymore so they can’t hurt me,” Sium said. “They will instead target my family and they will try and hurt them to punish me. Of course, I am scared. But how much longer can we possibly go on living in fear?”

    Oppressive regime

    After fleeing into neighbouring Sudan, it took Sium 11 days to travel from Khartoum to Tripoli in Libya, where he boarded a wooden fishing boat in July 2013, along with hundreds of other migrants from North Africa and the Middle East, and took the perilous journey across the Mediterranean, where thousands have lost their lives over the years attempting to reach Europe.

    “We were all terrified,” Sium said. “We were in the boat for three days. The boat was so overcrowded. There was no space to move. People were getting sick and shouting. All you could see was endless blue sea on all sides of you. It was horrible.”

    After two days, the engine permanently broke down and the boat stopped moving. “People started going crazy. They began jumping into the sea because the heat was too unbearable,” Sium recounted. “People were panicking and praying. Some of the passengers began confessing their sins. It felt like judgement day.”

    Someone had a mobile phone and called an Eritrean priest living in Italy, who then alerted authorities. It took about 14 hours before the Italian and Maltese coast guards arrived to rescue the refugees and migrants. Sium was taken to Malta, where he was given subsidiary protection status – a temporary status that does not provide a path to permanent residency or citizenship.

    Sium never aspired to travel to Europe. “The only thought in my mind was getting out of the country and finding a place where I could have safety and liberty,” he said. Sium was a teacher in Eritrea’s national service and had always dreamed of fleeing the country. But it wasn’t until he was imprisoned for a year – accused of assisting a fellow teacher to flee – that he realised he no longer had a choice.

    Since 2001, Eritreans have lived under what Laetitia Bader, a senior Africa researcher at Human Rights Watch (HRW), says is “probably the most oppressive regime in Sub-Saharan Africa”. Eritrea gained independence from Ethiopia in 1993. The countries fought a bloody war from 1998 until 2000. For the past two decades, tensions have continued between the countries.

    Hostilities with Ethiopia provided Afwerki an impetus to create a system of repression and authoritarianism that has continued today, in which independent media is banned, criticisms are prohibited and scores of political prisoners face appalling conditions and torture – oftentimes held incommunicado, according to rights groups.

    The core of this system of control is the country’s compulsory and indefinite national conscription, which allows the government to “hold a large proportion of the adult population hostage”, Bader said.

    In their final year of secondary school, both male and female students are sent for basic military training at the Sawa military academy, where rights groups have documented systematic abuse, torture, degrading punishments and harsh working conditions.

    Following the basic training, “they are sent either into the military for the rest of their working lives or into civilian service – and they have no control over or say in their deployment or assignments they get. They are often sent far away from home with little pay,” Bader said.

    Eritreans in national service need government permission to so much as visit the home of their families. This permission is rarely granted, according to Bader. If an Eritrean is lucky enough to obtain permission to travel to another area of the country, they are issued a permit that details their national service status and exactly where they’re allowed to go.

    Checkpoints set up in between towns and cities in Eritrea ensure that no one is moving without government permission. According to HRW, 15% of the population has fled the country in the past two decades – and hundreds continue to flee each month.

    Sium wanted nothing more than to forget about Eritrea. “I always thought politics were pointless,” he said. “In Eritrea no one is speaking out. The best thing you can do is save yourself by escaping and living the rest of your life as a refugee until you die.”

    “What’s the point of speaking about a story that I left behind? It would be better for me to focus on where I am now and what I want to do now,” he added.

    Sium, along with 30-year-old Mazelo Gebrezgabhier, another Eritrean asylum seeker, had high hopes of being resettled in the United States. But after US President Donald Trump took office and froze the country’s refugee resettlement programme, their dreams of obtaining a normal life were shattered.

    “I’ve just been living and waiting for my turn to be settled in another country. I was told I was going to be resettled in America,” Sium said. “But after Trump got elected, it all suddenly vanished.

    “So we decided we needed to do something to change the situation back in our country. No matter how far you flee, it’s never the end. We decided we should start organising the refugees here to start speaking out.”

    Various nonprofits, civil society organisations and groups have emerged in the diaspora over the years to raise awareness and speak out against Afwerki’s human rights abuses. Last year, all the various organisations, individuals and groups active in the movement united under one hashtag: #yiakl or “Enough!” in Tigrinya, a language widely spoken in Eritrea.

    “We decided to create an umbrella movement that unites everyone,” Semhar Ghebreslassie, a prominent activist in the movement, explained. “Regardless of your politics or your ideologies, as long as you oppose the regime and want changes in our country then you are part of the movement.”

    Social media campaigns have involved Eritreans posting videos on social media of themselves reading the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) in Tigrinya. In the #yiakl movement, Eritrean activists are identifying themselves, speaking out against the regime and then encouraging others to do the same.

    “I chose to use my real name because I want other people to come out from hiding and use their real names,” Sium said. “I want my people to know that we shouldn’t be scared to be doing what is right for our country.”

    “All of us, including me, have been really scared to use our real names when criticising the regime. But we need personal liberation. We have to stand up and think for ourselves. We need to stop thinking that the regime is following and watching us wherever we go.”

    He added: “The more we come together, the weaker the regime will be. This is how we are going to defeat it. We need to identify ourselves and be courageous if we want to change our country.”

    Sium and Gebrezgabhier are now organising the Eritrean asylum seeking community in Malta to also join the movement.

    “We realised that becoming refugees ourselves would not stop the problem of people becoming refugees,” Sium said. “The only reason that more than a million Eritreans have ended up as refugees in foreign lands is because of our silence.”

    In the blood

    Ghebreslassie fled Eritrea with just the clothes on her back. She embarked on the journey on 17 December 2014 – the day of her 28th birthday.

    Ghebreslassie, now 32, and a 17-year-old boy were led by a local smuggler across fields of maize and sorghum. They walked nonstop for two days and three nights, hiding behind bushes and mountains to avoid detection by armed Eritrean soldiers at the border, until they arrived in the first town in Sudan.

    “I’m not usually a girl who is scared of anything,” Ghebreslassie said. “There is a shoot-to-kill policy at the Eritrean border for those who flee. I kept thinking I was going to die on the same day that I was born. I was feeling amazed at the coincidence of that. You’re thinking of surviving and dying at the same time.”

    Her voice begins to crack as she fights back tears. “I kept thinking about my family. I was scared that if they caught me they would take my family to … prison.”

    Ghebreslassie stayed in Khartoum for about a year before a smuggler fixed her visa to France, allowing her to reunite with her siblings in Sweden, where she was eventually granted refugee status.

    Ghebreslassie was active against the regime even while she was in hiding for two and a half years in the Eritrean capital city of Asmara, after fleeing her teacher post in the national service. Eritrea is widely considered to be the least technologically connected and the most censored country on Earth.

    Only 1.3% of the population in Eritrea has access to the internet. In Asmara, there are only a few internet cafes, all of which are monitored by security agents. Eritreans are usually too fearful to read or open an opposition website because it could lead to interrogations or arrests.

    But Ghebreslassie was one of the few Eritreans willing to risk it.

    She got a job at an internet cafe in Asmara for a few months and stumbled upon the various groups abroad that were speaking out against Afwerki’s regime on social media. She became an informant for two opposition media outlets based in the United States and France and shared first-hand information on the happenings inside the country.

    But Eritrean soldiers often carry out “roundups”, where they search for national service deserters. “When you’re hiding, you can’t move from city to city because of the checkpoints. But even in the city, they sometimes come inside people’s homes, but mostly they stop people on the streets to check to see if they have a permit to travel,” Ghebreslassie explained.

    At times Ghebreslassie was not able to leave her home for days; other times she was forced to sleep at work in fear she would be caught in the roundups. Eventually, she decided to flee the country entirely.

    The farther she got from Eritrea, the louder Ghebreslassie’s voice became. In Khartoum, she regularly met with other Eritrean activists who had fled and when she arrived in Sweden, she quickly became an outspoken and prominent member of the movement on social media.

    “Once I left Eritrean soil, I couldn’t stop speaking out. It feels like it’s in my blood. The first time I was able to access wifi was in Sweden, and then I became very involved in politics.”

    Ghebreslassie has since helped organise scores of social media campaigns and protests against Afwerki’s regime, including the historic 2016 demonstration in Geneva in which thousands of Eritreans from the diaspora rallied in support of a UN commission report that accused the regime of committing “crimes against humanity” and “enslaving” up to 400 000 people.
    Afraid of their own shadows

    According to the Eritrean activists, the biggest obstacle for the movement is overcoming the fear that has followed them from Eritrea. “There is still a lot of mistrust among us,” Sium said. “There are still [pro-regime] informants among us. We are scared to speak out against Afwerki to anyone. This fear has followed us to Malta.”

    Amnesty International released a report last year detailing the harassment by the Eritrean government and its supporters against Eritrean activists in the diaspora, which included activists being assaulted, harassed and threatened.

    Ghebreslassie herself has been barraged with death threats since becoming a visible and vocal member of the movement. “They tell me to stop or else they will find me and kill me,” she said.

    Bader concurred, saying that “the government definitely has a long arm and it has different ways of maintaining control and monitoring individuals outside the country”. There have also been concerns of Eritrean translators and interpreters in the European asylum systems being security agents and government collaborators.

    Activists also face serious risks of their family members being targeted back in Eritrea, Bader said. But, according to Ghebreslassie, the more activists come out from hiding, using their real names and identities, the more others are encouraged to do the same.

    “The fear is overwhelming,” Ghebreslassie said. “People are afraid of their own shadows. It’s very difficult for us to convince people to come out and speak out. But I tell people that if there are only a few people speaking out, then of course the regime will target our families. But if there are many of us, how will the regime hurt all of our families?”

    Gebrezgabhier said: “I am very worried about my family. But the fear doesn’t matter anymore. The regime is making all of us into refugees. We can’t tolerate living in fear anymore.”

    According to 23-year-old Vannessa Tsehaye, the founder of the rights organisation One Day Seyoum – named after her uncle who has been imprisoned in Eritrea since 2001 – a major turning point for the movement was the 2018 peace deal between Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and Afwerki. For 20 years, Eritreans were told that these restrictive measures on the population were necessary to ensure the country’s national security amid tensions with Ethiopia.

    But although telephone lines and flights between the two countries were restored and the border temporarily opened for a few months – before gradually being sealed again – nothing changed for the people of Eritrea. The number of Eritreans participating in the movement began to surge.

    According to activists, even dedicated regime supporters have begun changing teams, enraged by what they see as a two-decade-long lie by Afwerki to justify keeping hundreds of thousands of Eritreans in bondage.

    Ghebreslassie said that even a regime supporter who assaulted her in 2017 during a confrontation in Sweden has since apologised and joined the opposition movement following the peace deal.

    Last year, Ahmed received the Nobel Peace Prize for his role in the deal – to the disdain of Eritrean activists. Tsehaye, who spoke out against the Eritrean regime at the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) last year, said that awarding Ahmed the prize showed “huge disrespect to the people of Eritrea”.

    “All it has done is legitimise an extremely brutal regime on the international stage,” she said, pointing out that following the peace deal the UN lifted an arms embargo in place since 2009 on Eritrea and the UN General Assembly elected Eritrea to be one of the 47 member states of the HCR.


    Whispers of resistance

    If fear is a defining hurdle for the activists in the diaspora, it takes the form of a straitjacket for those still living inside the country.

    Bader said that there is “definitely no open criticism or public or civil organisations” inside Eritrea. Besides almost “unheard of” protests in 2017 when the Eritrean government attempted to nationalise the Islamic school system in Asmara, “you don’t have public protests”, Bader said, and public gatherings of more than three people are completely banned.

    Anyone who publicly criticises the government is arrested and held in indefinite incommunicado detention without charge or trial, according to rights groups. Therefore, the movement is not only aimed at encouraging those in exile to speak out, but also those back in the belly of the beast.

    “We want to break the fear of our people back in our country,” Ghebreslassie said. “There’s so much fear. If you speak up you either get imprisoned or killed. But this has been going on for too long. If we don’t sacrifice anything we won’t gain anything. So we’re trying to break through the fear across the nation.”

    However, the limited access to the internet in Eritrea, along with the government’s strict censorship, makes the use of social media less effective at galvanising those still inside the country.

    Consequently, Eritrean activists in exile, part of the #yiakl movement, did something extraordinary: they established ERISAT (“Justice”), an opposition station that broadcasts into homes in Eritrea. It’s the first opposition satellite that has made a breakthrough into Eritrean airspace. Assenna Satellite TV, another opposition satellite TV station, followed suit.

    According to Ghebreslassie, the TV programmes are meant to communicate the campaigns and activities of the Eritrean activists in the diaspora and bring those still in the country into the discussions and debates.

    “But it’s not just about broadcasting our activities,” Ghebreslassie explained. “We also send personalised messages to our people in our country, like the police and army forces, and try to convince them to stand by their people and against the regime.”

    Afwerki’s government, seemingly in panic, has attempted to jam the channels’ airwaves.

    According to Ghebreslassie, subtle whispers of resistance are starting to be heard from Eritrea. Small groups of university students have organised themselves and distributed pamphlets that echo the sentiments of the #yiakl movement. Graffiti has appeared on the streets of Asmara that calls for an end to national conscription.

    “It’s small groups doing small things,” Ghebreslassie said. “But it doesn’t even sound real to me. This is a huge step for Eritrea.” Ghebreslassie believes this is a direct result of the movement’s satellite TV channels.

    Analysts have also pointed out that Afwerki seems to be increasingly concerned about the possibility of protests. Last year, he shut down health centres run by the Catholic Church, reportedly owing to the bishops criticising him, and carried out waves of random arrests.

    He also blocked social media sites in the country and closed internet cafes following the revolution in neighbouring Sudan. Analysts believe Afwerki is fearful that the revolutionary ideologies of the Sudanese could spread to Eritrea.

    Despite the long road ahead, the Eritrean activists are not giving up.

    “I’m not doing this just for my people,” Ghebreslassie said. “I’m doing this for myself. I was not supposed to be living here in Sweden. This is not my home. I’m supposed to be living in my own country and doing the jobs that I choose and eating the foods that I like.

    “We were robbed of so many of our rights,” she continued. “I still feel it inside. I feel like half of my life was stolen by the regime. I’m fighting to reclaim my rights from the regime and for all of those who have died by its hands and who can never be brought back to life and for those who are rotting in prison.”

    Her voice cracks again. She takes a deep breath and tries to steady it.

    “I’m doing this for my country because I love my country so much. All of us do. We want to change our country so that we can finally go home and live normal lives.”

    #Erythrée #Afwerki #diaspora #résistance #réfugiés #réfugiés_érythréens #lutte

    ping @isskein @karine4

  • Coronavirus : les immigrés deux fois plus atteints que les personnes nées en France

    C’est la première fois que cette inégalité face au virus est mise en lumière en France alors que plusieurs pays ont révélé des situations similaires. Ainsi, en Suède, dès le mois d’avril, l’agence de santé publique du pays avait révélé que les résidents suédois nés en Somalie étaient surreprésentés parmi les personnes nécessitant des soins face au Covid-19 – suivis par ceux nés en Irak, en Syrie, en Finlande ou encore en Turquie.
    Des études similaires ont été publiées au Canada par la ville de Toronto, indiquant que les nouveaux immigrants étaient plus susceptibles d’être atteints par le virus et hospitalisés. De même, il est apparu qu’aux Etats-Unis, selon les données de plusieurs Etats, les Noirs sont trois à quatre fois plus touchés par le virus, et au Royaume-Uni, selon l’Institute of fiscal studies, le nombre de décès dans la population noire et issue de minorités est bien plus élevé que parmi les Blancs.
    En France, l’Insee révèle que « la hausse [de la mortalité] a été plus forte pour les personnes nées en Afrique ou en Asie » : elle a atteint 54 % pour les personnes nées au Maghreb, 91 % pour les personnes originaires d’Asie et 114 % pour les personnes nées en Afrique (hors Maghreb). A l’inverse, la hausse des décès des personnes nées en Europe a été « proche de celle observée pour les personnes nées en France », évoque l’Insee.


    • Une hausse des décès deux fois plus forte pour les personnes nées à l’étranger que pour celles nées en France en mars-avril 2020 - Insee Focus - 198

      Pendant la crise sanitaire liée à la Covid-19, le nombre de décès a fortement augmenté en France, avec des différences marquées selon le pays de naissance des personnes décédées. Toutes causes confondues, les décès en mars et avril 2020 de personnes nées à l’étranger ont augmenté de 48 % par rapport à la même période en 2019, contre + 22 % pour les décès de personnes nées en France. La hausse a été la plus forte pour les personnes nées en Afrique (+ 54 % pour les décès de personnes nées au Maghreb, + 114 % pour celles nées dans un autre pays d’Afrique) ou en Asie (+ 91 %).

      Le pic des décès a été atteint fin mars-début avril, au même moment quel que soit le pays d’origine des personnes décédées.

      Pour toutes les origines, la hausse des décès a été plus forte pour les personnes âgées. Mais les décès ont aussi nettement augmenté avant 65 ans pour les personnes nées à l’étranger. En Île-de-France et dans le Grand Est, régions particulièrement touchées, la hausse des décès a été très marquée, aussi bien pour les personnes nées en France que pour celles nées à l’étranger.

  • En France, la diaspora algérienne attend avec impatience la réouverture des frontières

    Mais il n’y a pas que les vacanciers qui attendent avec impatiente la réouverture des frontières. Pour les Algériens bloqués en France depuis la crise du coronavirus, la situation est parfois compliquée. Même si les autorités ont prolongé la validité des titres de séjour, certains se retrouvent en grande précarité, obligés de vivre dans des hôtels modestes ; les plus chanceux ont pu être hébergés par la famille. Le 22 juin, une centaine de personnes s’est même rassemblée devant l’ambassade d’Algérie à Paris, exigeant un « rapatriement ». « Désespoir, épuisement extrême, physique et psychologique, aggravés par une situation financière au plus bas, proche de la mendicité. Des personnes souffrant de maladies chroniques qui n’ont pas les moyens pour renouveler leurs médicaments, des mères qui n’arrivent plus à nourrir leurs enfants, etc. », a relaté le quotidien algérien El Watan.


  • La diaspora tchétchène au miroir de Dijon

    Mi-juin 2020, 150 personnes d’origine tchétchène ont afflué à Dijon en provenance de plusieurs villes de France – et même, semble-t-il, de Belgique et d’Allemagne – dans le but affiché de venger l’agression d’un Tchétchène de 19 ans par des dealers. Cette expédition punitive, précédée d’incidents de même nature à Nice, a provoqué une certaine sidération et rappelé la réalité de la présence de nombreux Tchétchènes dans plusieurs pays de l’Union européenne, dont la France.

    Force est de constater que c’est au rythme d’événements souvent violents surgissant dans l’actualité que les Tchétchènes réapparaissent dans l’espace public en Europe. On se souvient, notamment, d’une attaque au couteau commise le 12 mai 2018 à Paris par un Français d’origine tchétchène affilié à Daech, Khamzat Azimov : un passant a été tué et l’agresseur a été abattu par les forces de l’ordre. Des trajectoires de « radicalisation » islamiste, voire des départs en Syrie ont été évoqués pour certains ; aujourd’hui, c’est au tour de la « mafia tchétchène » d’être mise en avant par des hommes politiques, des médias et les services de renseignement.

    Au-delà des projecteurs braqués sur les agissements d’une centaine de personnes, que sait-on des Tchétchènes installés en Europe et des raisons de leur migration ?

    #Tchétchénie #diaspora #guerre (crimes de) #répression #assassinats_politiques #Ramzan_Kadyrov #dictature

  • Réouverture de l’espace Schengen : IRÈNE EN CLASSE EXPLICATIONS – « Techniquement, le Sénégal n’est pas concerné pour le moment » | Lequotidien Journal d’informations Générales

    Il faut travailler à ce que le Sénégal se trouve rapidement sur cette liste. C’est dans l’intérêt de tout le monde. Un retour aux échanges normaux, à la mobilité normale, à la réouverture de l’espace. Mais c’est dans notre intérêt à tous, de tenir en compte les problèmes de la situation sanitaire globale. On a tous intérêt à éviter une reprise de la pandémie. C’est strictement dans cette perspective qu’il faut voir les choses. Et c’est une perspective qui est partagée par les autorités du Sénégal qui sont très soucieuses d’éviter le risque sanitaire.


  • How one neighbourhood in London lost 36 residents to Covid-19 – podcast | World news | The Guardian

    How one small London neighbourhood lost 36 residents to Covid-19
    Guardian reporter Aamna Modhin meets residents from Church End, a small, deprived neighbourhood in Brent, north London. She examines how housing pressures, in-work poverty and racial inequalities contributed to the deaths of 36 residents from Covid-19


  • Pendant le coronavirus, les conducteurs de bus londoniens ont travaillé la peur au ventre

    Obligés d’aller travailler quand une large majorité des Britanniques restaient en confinement (à partir du 23 mars), les chauffeurs ont pris leur bus la trouille au ventre. « J’avais peur, j’ai condamné moi-même ma porte de devant, sans attendre », témoigne Theresa Emerson, représentante du syndicat RMT Union. Une conductrice, Lorraine, a fini par enregistrer une courte vidéo, le 12 avril, devenue virale. « Je fais cette vidéo pour mon fils, ma fille, mes trois petits-enfants, mon père et ma mère à la Jamaïque. Si je suis malade et plongée dans le coma, je ne pourrai pas leur dire au revoir. Je suis fière de mon travail, mais j’ai peur de mourir, parce que TfL et le gouvernement ne nous protègent pas assez. »


  • House to look into government’s migration policy response » Manila Bulletin News


    The House Committee on Public Accounts is set to look into the government’s migration policy response to the COVID-19 pandemic which led to the repatriation of over 51,000 Overseas Filipinos (OFs) and come up with a “comprehensive and wholistic approach” in addressing the plight of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs).

  • L’OIM s’engage avec la diaspora mauritanienne pour répondre aux défis sanitaires de la COVID-19

    La faible capacité du système sanitaire est l’un des principaux obstacles à une réponse efficace à la COVID-19 en Mauritanie. Afin de soutenir les structures de santé du pays, l’Organisation internationale pour les migrations (OIM), en collaboration avec l’Organisation Mondiale de la Santé (OMS), ont lancé le 19 mars dernier l’initiative « Appui à la migration circulaire et temporaire de la diaspora mauritanienne » financée par l’Union européenne (UE). A travers cette initiative, l’OIM et l’OMS, identifieront les médecins et le personnel de santé mauritaniens membres de la diaspora qui résident dans les pays de l’Union européenne pour les intégrer à la réponse COVID-19. En coordination avec le Ministère de la santé et l’OMS, les membres de la diaspora travailleront au sein des structures de santé du pays afin de combler le déficit en personnels de santé testés positifs à la COVID-19. Deux médecins, un pneumologue et un spécialiste en hépato-gastroentérologie, en provenance de la France, ont déjà rejoint (17/06) Nouakchott grâce à cette initiative afin d’apporter leur expertise aux médecins et infirmiers locaux.