#fylakio

  • Αίτημα επιστροφής 1.500 προσφύγων στην Τουρκία κατέθεσε η Ελλάδα στην Ε.Ε.
    –-> La Grèce demande à l’UE le #retour de 1 500 réfugiés en Turquie.

    Αίτημα προς την Ευρωπαϊκή Επιτροπή και τη Frontex για την άμεση επιστροφή 1.450 προσώπων, των οποίων έχουν απορριφθεί τα αιτήματα παροχής ασύλου, κατέθεσε το υπουργείο Μετανάστευσης και Ασύλου, επικαλούμενο την Κοινή Δήλωση Ε.Ε.-Τουρκίας. Ωστόσο να σημειωθεί ότι πλέον η έκδοση των αποφάσεων παροχής ασύλου σε πρώτο βαθμό γίνονται με διαδικασίες εξπρές, μη εξασφαλίζοντας επαρκή νομική βοήθεια και κατά συνέπεια δίκαιη απόφαση.

    Στην ανακοίνωση του υπουργείου Μετανάστευσης αναφέρεται ότι η Ελλάδα ζητά να επιστρέψουν στην Τουρκία 955 αλλοδαποί που μπήκαν στη χώρα μας από την Τουρκία και βρίσκονται στη Λέσβο, 180 που βρίσκονται στη Χίο, 128 που βρίσκονται στη Σάμο και 187 στην Κω, επισημαίνοντας ότι τα αιτήματά τους για άσυλο έχουν απορριφθεί τελεσίδικα και ως εκ τούτου είναι επιστρεπτέοι, βάσει της Κοινής Δήλωσης ΕΕ- Τουρκίας.

    Το πρώτο δίμηνο του 2020 καταγράφηκαν συνολικά 139 επιστροφές προς την Τουρκία, με τη διαδικασία να έχει σταματήσει από τις 15 Μαρτίου 2020, καθώς η Τουρκία επικαλέστηκε τις δυσκολίες που επέφερε το ξέσπασμα της πανδημίας του κορονοϊού. Πλέον, το υπουργείο Μετανάστευσης ισχυρίζεται ότι « οι ταχείες διαδικασίες ελέγχων για κορονοϊό στην Ελλάδα και η σημαντική επιτάχυνση της διαδικασίας ασύλου, έχουν δημιουργήσει τις κατάλληλες συνθήκες για την επανέναρξη της διαδικασίας επιστροφών με ασφάλεια όσων αλλοδαπών δεν δικαιούνται διεθνούς προστασίας και εισήλθαν στην Ελλάδα από την Τουρκία ».

    Ο υπουργός Μετανάστευσης και Ασύλου, Νότης Μηταράκης, επισημαίνει στη δήλωσή του ότι η Ελλάδα αναμένει από την Τουρκία « να ενισχύσει τις προσπάθειες στα πλαίσια της Κοινής Δήλωσης : πρώτον, στην αποτροπή διέλευσης βαρκών που ξεκινούν από τα παράλιά της με προορισμό τη χώρα μας. Δεύτερον, στην αποδοχή επιστροφών στη βάση της Κοινής Δήλωσης Ε.Ε.-Τουρκίας, αλλά και των διμερών συμφωνιών επανεισδοχής ».

    Και αναφερόμενος στην ευρωπαϊκή πολιτική για το προσφυγικό/μεταναστευτικό, σημειώνει ότι « το ζητούμενο για την Ευρώπη είναι να κατοχυρώσει στο νέο Σύμφωνο Μετανάστευσης και Ασύλου έναν κοινό μηχανισμό, καθώς και το απαραίτητο νομικό οπλοστάσιο για επιστροφές. Και να οχυρώσει, με αυτόν τον τρόπο, τις χώρες πρώτης υποδοχής απέναντι σε ανεξέλεγκτες μεταναστευτικές ροές, αλλά και τη δράση κυκλωμάτων λαθροδιακινητών ».

    Την ίδια ώρα, με αφορμή το αίτημα του ελληνικού υπουργείου Μετανάστευσης και Ασύλου προς την Κομισιόν και τη Frontex, η οργάνωση-ομπρέλα για τα ανθρώπινα δικαιώματα HIAS Greece εξέδωσε ανακοίνωση στην οποία σημειώνει ότι η ταχεία διαδικασία που ακολουθείται για την εξέταση των αιτημάτων ασύλου δεν εξασφαλίζει σωστή και δίκαιη απόφαση.

    Επίσης οι αιτούντες άσυλο δεν έχουν επαρκή νομική βοήθεια και η διαδικασία της προσφυγής σε δεύτερο βαθμό είναι νομικά περίπλοκη, ουσιαστικά αποτρέποντας τους πρόσφυγες από να διεκδικήσουν την παραμονή τους στη χώρα.

    « Καθίσταται σαφές ότι χωρίς νομική συνδρομή είναι αδύνατον οι αιτούντες/ούσες άσυλο να παρουσιάσουν εγγράφως και μάλιστα στην ελληνική γλώσσα, τους νομικούς και πραγματικούς λόγους για τους οποίους προσφεύγουν κατά της απορριπτικής τους απόφασης », σημειώνει μεταξύ άλλων, τονίζοντας επίσης :

    « Η έλλειψη δωρεάν νομικής συνδρομής αποβαίνει εις βάρος του δίκαιου και αποτελεσματικού χαρακτήρα που θα έπρεπε να διακρίνει τη διαδικασία ασύλου στο σύνολό της, ιδίως αν ληφθούν υπόψη οι εξαιρετικά σύντομες προθεσμίες που προβλέπονται για διαδικασία των συνόρων και τα σημαντικά κενά στη πρόσβαση σε νομική συνδρομή ήδη από το πρώτο βαθμό της διαδικασίας ασύλου ».

    https://www.efsyn.gr/node/276785

    –—

    Traduction de Vicky Skoumbi via la mailing-list Migeurop :

    Le ministère de l’Immigration et de l’Asile a soumis une demande à la Commission européenne et à #Frontex pour le #retour_immédiat de 1 450 personnes dont la demande d’asile a été rejetée, citant la déclaration commune UE-Turquie. Cependant, il convient de noter que désormais, les décisions d’asile en première instance sont prises par des procédures expresses, sans que soit assuré une aide juridique suffisante au requérant, ce qui pourrait garantir une décision équitable.

    L’annonce du ministère de l’Immigration indique que la Grèce demande le retour en Turquie de 955 étrangers qui sont entrés dans notre pays depuis la Turquie et se trouvent à #Lesbos, 180 à #Chios, 128 à #Samos et 187 à #Kos, notant que leurs demandes d’asile ont été définitivement rejetés et qu’il est possible de les renvoyer, en vertu de la déclaration commune UE-Turquie. Au cours des deux premiers mois de 2020, un total de 139 #retours_forcés en Turquie ont été enregistrés, un processus qui est au point mort depuis le 15 mars 2020, date à laquelle la Turquie a évoqué les difficultés supplémentaires causées par l’apparition de la #pandémie de #coronavirus.

    Désormais, le ministère de l’Immigration affirme que "les procédures de #dépistage_rapide du coronavirus en Grèce et l’accélération significative du processus d’asile, ont créé les bonnes conditions pour la #reprise en toute sécurité du processus de retour des étrangers qui n’ont pas droit à une protection internationale et sont entrés en Grèce depuis la Turquie. ». Le ministre de l’Immigration et de l’Asile, #Notis_Mitarakis, souligne dans sa déclaration que la Grèce attend de la Turquie "un renforcement des efforts dans le cadre de la Déclaration commune : premièrement, pour empêcher le passage des bateaux partant de ses côtes vers notre pays". Deuxièmement, par l’acceptation des retours sur la base de la déclaration commune UE-Turquie, mais aussi des accords bilatéraux de #réadmission ". Faisant référence à la politique européenne des réfugiés / immigration, il a noté que « l’objectif de l’Europe est d’établir un mécanisme commun dans le nouveau pacte d’immigration et d’asile, ainsi que l’arsenal juridique nécessaire pour les retours. Et de fortifier, de cette manière, les premiers pays d’accueil contre les flux migratoires incontrôlés, mais aussi l’action des réseaux de passeurs ".

    Dans le même temps, à l’occasion de la demande du ministère grec de l’Immigration et de l’asile à la Commission et à Frontex, l’organisation de défense des droits de l’homme HIAS Greece a publié une déclaration dans laquelle elle note que la procédure rapide suivie pour l’examen des demandes d’asile ne garantit pas décision juste et équitable. De plus, les demandeurs d’asile ne bénéficient pas d’une aide juridique suffisante et la procédure de recours en deuxième instance est juridiquement compliquée, ce qui empêche les réfugiés de défendre leur droit de séjour dans le pays. « Il devient clair que sans assistance juridique, il est impossible pour les demandeurs d’asile de présenter par écrit et qui plus est en langue grecque, les raisons juridiques et réelles pour lesquelles ils font appel de la décision de rejet de leur demande », notent-t-ils, entre autres, en soulignant : « L’absence d’assistance juridique gratuite se fait au détriment du caractère équitable et efficace de la #procédure_d'asile dans son ensemble, en particulier compte tenu des délais extrêmement courts prévus de la #procédure_à_la_frontière (#Border_procedure) et des lacunes importantes déjà en matière d’accès à l’#aide_juridique, dès la première instance de la procédure d’asile ".

    #Grèce #Turquie #asile #migrations #renvois #expulsions #réfugiés #accord_UE-Turquie #déboutés

    ping @isskein @karine4

    • « Ναι » στις επιστροφές μεταναστών λέει η Τουρκία

      Πρόκειται για αίτημα που κατέθεσε την περασμένη εβδομάδα στην Ε.Ε. και στον Frontex ο υπουργός Μετανάστευσης και Ασύλου Νότης Μηταράκης.

      Θετική ανταπόκριση της Τουρκίας στο ελληνικό αίτημα για επιστροφή 1.450 αλλοδαπών των οποίων τα αιτήματα ασύλου έχουν απορριφθεί τελεσιδίκως προκύπτει από τη χθεσινή συνάντηση του αντιπροέδρου της Ευρωπαϊκής Επιτροπής Μαργαρίτη Σχοινά με τον Τούρκο υπουργό Εξωτερικών Μεβλούτ Τσαβούσογλου. Πρόκειται για αίτημα που κατέθεσε την περασμένη εβδομάδα στην Επιτροπή και στον Frontex ο υπουργός Μετανάστευσης και Ασύλου Νότης Μηταράκης. Ο κ. Τσαβούσογλου, σύμφωνα με πληροφορίες της εφημερίδας Καθημερινη , είπε ότι το ζήτημα θα επιλυθεί με ορίζοντα τον Μάρτιο.

      Σύμφωνα με τις ίδιες πληροφορίες, η συνάντηση με τον κ. Σχοινά –η πρώτη μεταξύ των δύο ανδρών– διήρκεσε μία ώρα και συζητήθηκαν όλα τα θέματα αρμοδιότητος του αντιπροέδρου : το μεταναστευτικό, η ασφάλεια, ο διαθρησκειακός διάλογος και οι επαφές μεταξύ των λαών. Κοινοτικές πηγές αναφέρουν ότι, ενόψει της Συνόδου Κορυφής του Μαρτίου και της έκθεσης Μπορέλ για τις ευρωτουρκικές σχέσεις, είναι επιτακτική ανάγκη η οικοδόμηση ενός πλαισίου θετικής συνεννόησης και η αποφυγή διχαστικών δηλώσεων που θα οξύνουν εκ νέου τις εντάσεις. Ο κ. Τσαβούσογλου κάλεσε τον κ. Σχοινά να συμμετάσχει ως κεντρικός ομιλητής στο Φόρουμ της Αττάλειας τον προσεχή Ιούνιο.

      Σε θετικό κλίμα εξελίχθηκε και η συνάντηση του Τούρκου υπουργού με την επίτροπο Εσωτερικών Υποθέσεων Ιλβα Γιόχανσον. Τα βασικά θέματα τα οποία συζήτησαν, σύμφωνα με πληροφορίες, ήταν οι δεσμεύσεις των δύο πλευρών όπως απορρέουν από την Κοινή Δήλωση Ε.Ε. – Τουρκίας για τη διαχείριση του μεταναστευτικού και τα προαπαιτούμενα με τα οποία πρέπει να συμμορφωθεί η Αγκυρα για να υπάρξει πρόοδος στο θέμα της απελευθέρωσης των θεωρήσεων. Ο κ. Τσαβούσογλου συναντήθηκε επίσης με τον Ζοζέπ Μπορέλ και τον επίτροπο Διεύρυνσης Ολιβερ Βαρχέλι, ενώ είχε και ένα σύντομο τετ α τετ με την Ούρσουλα φον ντερ Λάιεν. Σε δηλώσεις του πριν από τη δική του συνάντηση με τον κ. Τσαβούσογλου, ο ύπατος εκπρόσωπος της Ε.Ε. για την Εξωτερική Πολιτική χαρακτήρισε το 2020 « περίπλοκο έτος » για τις σχέσεις των δύο πλευρών. « Πρόσφατα όμως », πρόσθεσε ο κ. Μπορέλ, « έχουμε δει βελτίωση της ατμόσφαιρας » και « κάποια σημαντικά βήματα » στην αναζήτηση « κοινών στρατηγικών συμφερόντων ».

      « Ενα θετικό βήμα είναι η ανακοινωθείσα επανέναρξη των διερευνητικών συνομιλιών μεταξύ Ελλάδας και Τουρκίας », είπε ο κ. Μπορέλ, σημειώνοντας : « Πρέπει να υπάρξει επιμονή σε αυτές τις προσπάθειες. Προθέσεις και ανακοινώσεις πρέπει να μεταφραστούν σε πράξεις ». Επανέλαβε δε την « πλήρη δέσμευση » της Ε.Ε. να στηρίξει την « ταχεία επανέναρξη » των διαπραγματεύσεων για το Κυπριακό, υπό την αιγίδα του γ.γ. του ΟΗΕ. « Είναι ισχυρή μας επιθυμία να υπάρξει μια αποκλιμάκωση διαρκείας στην Ανατ. Μεσόγειο και στην ευρύτερη περιοχή και είμαι βέβαιος ότι μπορούμε να έχουμε ένα διάλογο ουσίας για να ενισχύσουμε τις πολιτικές διαδικασίες που συνδέονται με συγκρούσεις στην περιοχή, στη Λιβύη, στη Συρία ή στο Ναγκόρνο-Καραμπάχ », είπε.

      Επιπλέον, « με πλήρη αμοιβαίο σεβασμό, θα μιλήσουμε ειλικρινά και ανοιχτά για την πολιτική κατάσταση στην Τουρκία και τις προοπτικές ένταξης [της χώρας στην Ε.Ε.] », ανέφερε ο κ. Μπορέλ. Μιλώντας νωρίτερα στο Ευρωκοινοβούλιο, ο ύπατος εκπρόσωπος επανέλαβε τις ανησυχίες της Ε.Ε. για τα ανθρώπινα δικαιώματα στην Τουρκία. Εκανε αναφορά στις υποθέσεις Ντεμιρτάς και Καβαλά αλλά και στις « βαθιά ανησυχητικές » διώξεις δημάρχων της αντιπολίτευσης.

      ​​​​​​Από την πλευρά του, ο κ. Τσαβούσογλου χαρακτήρισε κι αυτός το περασμένο έτος « προβληματικό » για τις σχέσεις Ε.Ε. – Τουρκίας. Χαιρέτισε τις αμοιβαίες κινήσεις βελτίωσης της ατμόσφαιρας που έχουν γίνει έκτοτε και είπε ότι μαζί με τον κ. Μπορέλ θα « εργαστούν για να προετοιμάσουν » την επίσκεψη στην Αγκυρα της Ούρσουλα φον ντερ Λάιεν και του προέδρου του Ευρωπαϊκού Συμβουλίου Σαρλ Μισέλ. Υπενθυμίζεται, πάντως, ότι η επίσκεψη αυτή δεν έχει επιβεβαιωθεί ακόμα από ευρωπαϊκής πλευράς.

      https://www.stonisi.gr/post/14486/nai-stis-epistrofes-metanastwn-leei-h-toyrkia

    • Le Ministre grec de la politique migratoire demande la #révision de l’accord UE-Turquie, afin que les retours puissent être également effectués depuis la #frontière_terrestre

      Traduction du grec reçue via la mailing-list Migreup :

      "Il est clair qu’aucune nouvelle structure ne sera créée en #Thrace", a déclaré M. Mitarakis.

      La nécessité de réviser la déclaration commune UE-Turquie, de manière à inclure les frontières terrestres, mais si et seulement si elle est accompagnée par la levée de restriction géographique pour ceux qui arrivent aux îles, a été mise en avant lors d’une conférence de presse d’Alexandroupolis par le ministre de l’Immigration et de l’Asile Notis Mitarakis.

      Évoquant les points qui doivent être modifiés dans l’accord, M. Mitarakis a déclaré que << le premier est la question de la levée de la restriction géographique imposée par l’accord qui a créé une énorme pression sur les îles de la mer Égée, car elle associait a possibilité d’un renvoi à Turquie de ceux qui n’ont pas droit à une protection internationale à leur confinement géographique aux îles jusqu’à la fin de la procédure d’asile.

      Le ministre a souligné que si la clause de la restriction géographique est levée, nous devrions reconsidérer l’accord européen afin que les retours puissent être effectués depuis les frontières terrestres [et non pas uniquement par voie maritime], "à condition de ne pas rendre obligatoire le séjour des demandeurs d’asile qui arrivent par voie terrestre à la région Evros », dit-il.

      Après les réactions extrêmes de certains habitants d’Orestiada avant-hier, Notis Mitarakis a souligné que "la politique nationale pour Thrace et Evros ne change pas, il est clair qu’aucune nouvelle structure ne sera créée en Thrace, et qu’il n’y aura pas de séjour d’immigrants en Thrace. Le caractère du #hotspot #Fylakio ne change pas non plus, tous les demandeurs vont être transférés après les contrôles nécessaires vers les structures existantes de régions non-frontalières ».

      Enfin, le ministre a essentiellement annoncé la décision prise de déplacer le bureau régional d’asile d’#Alexandroupoli à #Kavala, arguant que la présence d’immigrants à Alexandroupoli pour traiter leurs dossiers est contraire à la politique qui stipule que les migrants ne doivent pas s’installer à la région frontalière d’#Evros.

      source en grec :
      https://www.efsyn.gr/ellada/koinonia/280765_mitarakis-epanexetasi-tis-symfonias-gia-na-mporoyn-na-ginontai-epistrof

      #transferts

  • During and After Crisis : Evros Border Monitoring Report

    #HumanRights360 documents the recent developments in the European land border of Evros as a result of the ongoing policy of externalization and militarization of border security of the EU member States. The report analyses the current state of play, in conjunction with the constant amendments of the Greek legislation amid the discussions pertaining to the reform of the Common European Asylum System (CEAS) and the Return Directive.

    https://www.humanrights360.org/during-and-after-crisis-evros-border-monitoring-report

    #rapport #Evros #migrations #réfugiés #Grèce #frontières #2019 #militarisation_des_frontières #loi_sur_l'asile #Kleidi #Serres #covid-19 #coronavirus #Turquie #push-backs #refoulements #refoulement #push-back #statistiques #passages #chiffres #frontière_terrestre #murs #barrières_frontalières #Kastanies #violence #Komotini #enfermement #détention #rétention_administrative #Thiva #Fylakio #transferts

    –------
    Pour télécharger le rapport


    https://www.humanrights360.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/During-After-Crisis-Evros.pdf

    ping @luciebacon

  • Ι. Γιόχανσον : Δεν είναι δυνατόν να ανασταλούν οι διαδικασίες ασύλου

    Την επανεκκίνηση των διαδικασιών ασύλου στην Ελλάδα ζήτησε η Επίτροπος Μετανάστευσης Ίλβα Γιόχανσον. Μιλώντας στο Euronews, η Επίτροπος επισήμανε ότι έθεσε το ζήτημα και στον Έλληνα πρωθυπουργό Κυριακο Μητσοτάκη.

    « Δεν είναι δυνατόν να ανασταλούν οι διαδικασίες ασύλου. Όλοι οι μετανάστες που φθάνουν θα πρέπει να έχουν δικαίωμα ασύλου. Μπορώ να καταλάβω ότι εάν υπάρξει μια ιδιαίτερη ένταση, μπορεί να υπάρξουν κάποιες ημέρες ή εβδομάδες για να δεχθούν οι αρχές την αίτηση ασύλου. Ημουν στην Ελλάδα την περασμένη εβδομάδα και συναντήθηκα τόσο με τον πρωθυπουργό όσο και με τον αρμόδιο υπουργό και το κατέστησα σαφές : είναι ένα θεμελιώδες δικαίωμα να ζητήσει κανείς άσυλο και να αξιολογηθεί το αίτημά του », τόνισε η Επίτροπος Μετανάστευσης.

    Την ίδια στιγμή, προχωράει η πρωτοβουλία της Κομισιόν για μετεγκατάσταση ανηλίκων από την Ελλάδα στην υπόλοιπη Ευρώπη. Σύμφωνα με την Επίτροπο, η μετεγκατάσταση θα γίνει ακόμη και εν καιρώ κορονοϊού, αφού ληφθούν ωστόσο όλα τα απαραίτητα μέτρα.

    « Υπήρξε μια πολύ θετική απάντηση από πολλά κράτη-μέλη να προχωρήσουν στην μετεγκατάσταση ασυνόδευτων ανηλίκων από την Ελλάδα, ειδικά από τις υπερπλήρεις δομές στα νησιά. Εργαζόμαστε σκληρά με τα κράτη-μέλη, τις ελληνικές Αρχές και τις αρμόδιες υπηρεσίες και οργανώσεις της ΕΕ και προσπαθούμε να το κάνουμε αυτό, παρόλο που ενδέχεται να υπάρξουν πρόσθετα μέτρα που πρέπει να ληφθούν για την αντιμετώπιση του κορονοϊού, ώστε τα επιλεγμένα άτομα να μην είναι θετικά για να μην μεταδώσουν τον ιό. Αυτό που περιμένουμε τώρα είναι οι ελληνικές αρχές να κάνουν εκτίμηση της ηλικίας των επιλεγμένων, ώστε να είναι βέβαιο ότι είναι παιδιά που πρόκειται να μετεγκατασταθούν », τόνισε η Επίτροπος Ίλβα Γιόχανσον.

    Προς το παρόν, πάντως, το επείγον ζήτημα είναι να θωρακιστούν οι μετανάστες και οι πρόσφυγες αλλά και οι κάτοικοι των νησιών από τον κορονοϊό.
    Έκκληση από 21 ΜΚΟ να μετακινηθούν αιτούντες άσυλο από τα νησιά

    Έκκληση προς την κυβέρνηση να μετακινήσει τους αιτούντες άσυλο και τους μετανάστες άμεσα από τα Κέντρα Υποδοχής και Ταυτοποίησης στα νησιά σε ασφαλή τοποθεσία, ώστε να αποφευχθεί μία κρίση δημόσιας υγείας εν μέσω πανδημίας κορονοϊού, απευθύνουν σήμερα 21 ανθρωπιστικές οργανώσεις με κοινή τους ανακοίνωση.

    Όπως σημειώνουν, χιλιάδες άτομα, συμπεριλαμβανομένων ηλικιωμένων, πασχόντων από χρόνιες παθήσεις, παιδιών, εγκύων, νέων μητέρων και ατόμων με αναπηρία, « είναι παγιδευμένα υπό άθλιες συνθήκες επικίνδυνου συνωστισμού στα νησιά εν μέσω πανδημίας ».

    Την ίδια ώρα υπενθυμίζουν ότι οι διαμένοντες στις εγκαταστάσεις έρχονται αντιμέτωποι με « εξαιρετικά περιορισμένη πρόσβαση σε τρεχούμενο νερό, τουαλέτες και ντουζιέρες, καθώς και πολύωρη αναμονή σε ουρές για τη διανομή τροφίμων και ανεπάρκεια ιατρικού και νοσηλευτικού προσωπικού », συνθήκες που « καθιστούν αδύνατη τη συμμόρφωση με τις κατευθυντήριες οδηγίες για την προστασία από τον κορονοϊό, θέτοντας τους ανθρώπους σε σημαντικά αυξημένο κίνδυνο εν όψει της αυξανόμενης απειλής ευρείας μετάδοσης του COVID-19 ».

    Οι οργανώσεις ζητούν από την κυβέρνηση να υιοθετήσει μέτρα για να παρεμποδίσει την εξάπλωση και να ετοιμάσει ένα σχέδιο ανταπόκρισης προς άμεση εφαρμογή μόλις ανιχνευτεί το πρώτο κρούσμα σε κέντρο υποδοχής. Μεταξύ άλλων ζητούν να μετακινηθούν τα άτομα εκτός κέντρων υποδοχής σε κατάλληλα κέντρα μικρότερης κλίμακας στην ηπειρωτική χώρα, όπως ξενοδοχεία και διαμερίσματα, λαμβάνοντας όλες τις απαραίτητες προφυλάξεις για την ασφαλή μετακίνηση, με προτεραιότητα στους ηλικιωμένους, σε άτομα με χρόνιες ασθένειες και με σοβαρές υποκείμενες παθήσεις, άτομα με αναπηρία, εγκύους, νέες μητέρες και τα παιδιά τους και παιδιά, συμπεριλαμβανομένων των ασυνόδευτων.

    Επίσης, να υιοθετηθούν ειδικά μέτρα για την εγγύηση της καθολικής και δωρεάν απρόσκοπτης πρόσβασης στο δημόσιο σύστημα υγείας για αιτούντες άσυλο, πρόσφυγες και μετανάστες χωρίς διακρίσεις, συμπεριλαμβανομένων των ελέγχων και της θεραπείας για τον COVID-19, και να λάβουν οι αιτούντες άσυλο χωρίς καθυστέρηση τον Προσωρινό Αριθμό Ασφάλισης και Υγειονομικής Περίθαλψης Αλλοδαπού (ΠΑΑΥΠΑ), όπως ορίζεται από τη σχετική κοινή υπουργική απόφαση. Τέλος, να παρασχεθούν στα κέντρα υποδοχής επαρκή προϊόντα προσωπικής καθαριότητας και υγιεινής, να διασφαλιστεί το τρεχούμενο νερό προκειμένου οι διαμένοντες να είναι σε θέση να ακολουθούν τις κατευθυντήριες οδηγίες του ΕΟΔΥ και του Παγκόσμιου Οργανισμού Υγείας αναφορικά με την προστασία από τον ιό, και να διασφαλιστεί η τακτική απολύμανση στους κοινόχρηστους χώρους.

    Την ανακοίνωση συνυπογράφουν οι οργανώσεις : Action Aid Hellas, Διεθνής Αμνηστία, ΑΡΣΙΣ, Defence for Children International, ELIX, Ελληνικό Φόρουμ Προσφύγων, Help Refugees, HIAS Ελλάδος, HumanRights360, Human Rights Watch, International Rescue Committee, JRS Ελλάδας, Legal Centre Lesvos, Γιατροί του Κόσμου Ελλάδας, Δίκτυο για τα Δικαιώματα του Παιδιού, Praksis, Refugee Legal Support, Refugee Rights Europe, Refugee Support Aegean, Solidarity Now και Terre des hommes Hellas.

    https://gr.euronews.com/2020/03/24/ilva-johanson-den-einai-dynaton-na-anastaloun-oi-diadikasies-asyloy

    –-> commentaire de Vicky Skoumbi, reçu via la mailing-list Migreurop, le 25.03.2020 :

    Il n’est pas possible de suspendre les procédures d’asile, a déclaré sur Euronews Mme Ylva Johansson, Commissaire à l’Immigration. Elle a demandé au gouvernement grec la réouverture de procédures selon les règles internationales.

    La commissaire de l’Immigration a souligné que : « Il n’est possible de suspendre les procédures d’asile. Tous les migrants qui arrivent doivent avoir accès à la procédure. Je peux comprendre que dans une situation de tension particulière, il peut y avoir quelques jours ou quelques semaines de retard pour que les autorités enregistrent la demande d’asile. J’ai été en Grèce la semaine dernière et j’ai rencontré tant le PM que le Ministre compétent, et je leur ai dit clairement que c’est un droit fondamental de demander l’asile et d’avoir sa demande être examiné selon les règles »

    #suspension #procédure_d'asile #migrations #asile #réfugiés #Grèce #coronavirus #covid-19

    ping @thomas_lacroix

    • Grèce : recours en justice contre la suspension de la procédure d’octroi d’asile

      Le conseil grec des réfugiés (GCR), ONG grecque de défense du droit d’asile, a annoncé mardi avoir formulé un recours devant le Conseil d’Etat contre une ordonnance de l’exécutif qui en suspend temporairement la procédure.

      Le conseil grec des réfugiés (GCR), ONG grecque de défense du droit d’asile, a annoncé mardi avoir formulé un recours devant le Conseil d’Etat contre une ordonnance de l’exécutif qui en suspend temporairement la procédure.

      Adoptée le 1er mars, à effet immédiat et valable un mois, cette ordnnance, qui permet aussi le refoulement des demandeurs d’asile, a été la réponse d’Athènes à la décision d’Ankara d’ouvrir fin février les frontières aux migrants qui souhaitaient passer en Europe.

      De violents incidents avaient alors eu lieu à Kastanies, l’un des deux postes frontaliers grecs avec la Turquie, où des milliers de demandeurs d’asile avaient alors afflué à destination de l’Europe.

      Le recours du GCR a été déposé lundi pour le compte de demandeurs d’asile que cette ONG assiste dans leurs démarches.

      « Trois femmes qui accompagnent leurs enfants sont menacées d’expulsion immédiate vers Afghanistan ou la Turquie alors que leur vie, leur santé et leurs droits fondamentaux sont en danger », prévient dans u communiqué l’ONG, qui souligne que la suspension de l’octroi du droit d’asile « a été fortement critiquée par des organisations nationales et internationales, y compris la Commission nationale des droits de l’homme et l’Agence onusienne du Haut commissariat des réfugiés ».

      L’ONG rappelle que ce droit est prévu par « le droit international » et qu’« on ne peut pas le suspendre ».

      Elle exhorte la présidente de la République hellénique, Katerina Sakellaropoulou, à « annuler cet acte législatif illégal et le Parlement grec à ne pas le ratifier pour que la Grèce ne soit pas le premier pays après la Seconde guerre mondiale à violer le principe international du non refoulement ».

      De nombreux demandeurs d’asile entrés en Grèce après le 1er mars ont été arrêtés et transférés dans des camps fermés avant leur expulsion prévue en vertu de cette ordonnance malgré les critiques des ONG de défense des droits de l’homme, comme Amnesty International.

      https://www.mediapart.fr/journal/fil-dactualites/240320/grece-recours-en-justice-contre-la-suspension-de-la-procedure-d-octroi-d-a

    • Procédures pour le droit d’asile gelées

      « De quel crime se sont rendus coupables, ces gens pour être confinés dans cette situation inhumaine ? », s’est ému cette semaine le quotidien Efimerida Ton Syntakton (« Le journal des rédacteurs »), l’un des rares médias grecs à avoir dénoncé cet #enfermement qui ne respecte ni la convention de Genève, ni la Convention européenne des droits de l’homme. Qui s’en soucie ? Bruxelles se tait. Et le gouvernement grec du Premier ministre, Kyriákos Mitsotákis, a de toute façon gelé toutes les procédures de droit d’asile depuis le 1er mars, réagissant alors à la décision du président turc, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, d’ouvrir les frontières aux réfugiés et migrants qui se trouvaient en Turquie. La menace d’un afflux massif depuis la Turquie a permis à la Grèce de faire jouer une clause d’urgence, bloquant provisoirement le droit d’asile, tout en négligeant de consulter ses partenaires européens, comme le veut pourtant la règle.

      Et dans l’immédiat, la mise entre parenthèses du droit d’asile permet désormais de considérer de facto comme des migrants illégaux promis à la déportation, tous ceux qui ont accosté depuis mars sur les îles grecques. Avant même de quitter Lesbos, les 189 réfugiés transportés à Klidi avaient d’ailleurs été sommés de signer un document en grec. Sans savoir qu’ils acceptaient ainsi leur future déportation. Le coronavirus (et les mauvaises relations actuelles entre la Grèce et la Turquie) retarde dans l’immédiat ces rapatriements forcés. Mais le confinement dans un camp quasi militaire au nord de la Grèce risque de générer de nouvelles souffrances pour ces réfugiés jugés indésirables.

      https://seenthis.net/messages/825871#message834430

    • Europe must act to stop coronavirus outbreak in Lesbos, say MEPs

      NGOs have raised concerns over asylum procedures being frozen. According to the Commissioner for Home Affairs, processing applications must not be stopped.

      “People arriving at the borders still have the right to apply for asylum and cannot be sent away without their claim being assessed,” explains Professor Philippe De Bruycker, Institute for European Studies, Université Libre de Bruxelles. “This does not mean that nothing can be done regarding the protection of health: People requiring asylum maybe tested to see if they are sick or not, and if they are it can be applied measures such as quarantine, or even detention or restrictions of movement within the territory of the states.”

      Restrictions on travel and social distancing measures means delays in the asylum process are inevitable.

      “A lot of member states are making the decision that the interviews with asylum seekers should not take place right now because they would like to limit the social interaction,” says Commissioner Johansson. “So there will be delays in the processes of asylum, but I think that member states are taking measures to deal with the risk of the virus being spread.”

      MEPs have called for an “immediate European response” to avoid a humanitarian crisis spiralling into a public health crisis. NGOs warn there is little chance of not getting infected living in such conditions.

      https://www.euronews.com/2020/03/24/europe-must-act-to-stop-coronavirus-outbreak-in-lesbos-say-meps

    • Grèce : un nouveau projet de loi encore plus restrictif pour l’asile en cours d’élaboration

      Le quotidien grec Efimerida tôn syntaktôn (Journal des Rédacteurs) (https://www.efsyn.gr/ellada/dikaiomata/237741_etoimazoyn-nomoshedio-eytelismoy-tis-diadikasias-asyloy) révèle le nouveau projet du ministère de l’Immigration pour la procédure d’asile

      Un nouveau projet de loi est en cours d’élaboration avec des dispositions problématiques en termes de finalité, d’efficacité et de légalité.

      Ce projet de loi vient à peine cinq mois après la loi sur la protection internationale, dont les dispositions restrictives ont été dénoncées par plusieurs organisations.

      Le nouveau projet en élaboration comprend les dispositions suivantes, très problématiques du point de vue de leur opportunité, de leur applicabilité, mais surtout de leur conformité au droit européen, international et national :

      • la possibilité d’omettre l’entretien personnel, pierre angulaire de la procédure d’asile, s’il s’avère impossible de trouver un interprète dans la langue choisie par l’interviewé, dans le cas où celle-ci est différente de la langue officielle de son pays d’origine

      • L’aide juridique, lors de l’examen en deuxième instance de la demande d’asile sera fournie uniquement à la demande de l’intéressé dans les deux jours qui suivent la notification de la décision de première instance. La demande d’aide juridique ne sera pas satisfaite automatiquement, mais sera examinée par le président de la commission de recours et ne sera accordée que si celui-ci juge probable une issue favorable à l’intéressé de l’appel. L’absence d’assistance judiciaire ne constituera pas une raison valable pour un report du réexamen de la demande d’asile, à moins que la Commission de recours ne considère que cette absence puisse provoquer un préjudice irréparable au demandeur d’asile, et que l’appel ait de fortes chances d’aboutir à l’annulation de la décision en première instance.

      • si le demandeur d’asile a déjà séjourné dans un autre pays pendant plus que de deux mois, sans être menacé de poursuite individuelle pour des raisons de race, de religion, de nationalité, d’appartenance à un groupe social particulier ou de convictions politiques, alors ce pays est considéré comme offrant une protection adéquate et sa demande d’asile en Grèce est irrecevable

      • en cas de rejet en deuxième instance de la demande d’asile, le demandeur sera maintenu en centre de détention jusqu’à son expulsion ou jusqu’à ce que la procédure arrive à son terme, sans qu’il puisse être libéré, s’il dépose une demande d’annulation du rejet ou une demande de suspension de son expulsion.

      Ce nouveau projet réduit à moins que rien, voire annule des garanties de la procédure d’asile ; il est introduit quelques jours après l’expiration de la loi sans précédent qui suspendait le dépôt de nouvelles demandes d’asile pendant un mois et prévoyait l’expulsion immédiate vers les pays d’origine des nouveaux arrivants. Il s’agissait d’une suspension de la Convention de Genève, qui n’est pas prévue par celle-ci même en temps de guerre. Il faudrait ajouter que la fin de la période de suspension ne se traduit pas par une réouverture de la procédure car le service d’asile reste fermé jusqu’au 10 avril à cause de mesures de protection sanitaire. Et tout laisse croire que la fermeture du service, sera prolongée pour au moins un mois.

      Enfin, le projet de loi réduit de plus que de moitié le temps prévu pour l’examen et l’adoption d’une décision en appel, en introduisant de nouveaux délais impossible à tenir : un mois pour la décision en appel contre trois actuellement, vingt jours pour la procédure accélérée appliquée aux frontières contre 40 jours en vigueur aujourd’hui, dix jours pour l’audition de l’appel si l’intéressé est en détention.

      L’expulsion en application du décret de suspension de la procédure d’asile de deux femmes vulnérables d’origine afghane, a été stoppée par le Conseil d’État, qui a ordonné leur maintien dans le territoire. Le sort d’une troisième femme afghane sera décidée en séance plénière du Conseil d’Etat en septembre.

      Source (en grec)

      https://www.efsyn.gr/ellada/dikaiomata/237741_etoimazoyn-nomoshedio-eytelismoy-tis-diadikasias-asyloy

      https://www.efsyn.gr/ellada/dikaiosyni/237450_stamatiste-tis-ameses-apelaseis

      –-> reçu de Vicky Skoumbi, via la mailing-list Migreurop, le 04.04.2020

    • GCR’s comments on the draft law amending asylum legislation

      Athens, 27 April 2020—The Greek Council for Refugees (GCR) expresses its deep concern over the new draft law that inter alia amends asylum legislation[1], which was submitted for public consultation amidst a public health crisis, at a time when the main concern is the protection of asylum seekers and the entire population from the risks and effects of the pandemic, and while concerns for asylum seekers who remain in overcrowded sites and/or in administrative detention in the midst of the pandemic are increasing.

      The Ministry’s of Migration and Asylum new draft law comes within less than 4 months since the entry into force (January 1, 2020) of L. 4636/2019 "On International Protection”, i.e. the law that entailed extensive changes of the Greek asylum law, which in itself is not an example of good law-making, and which in practice invalidates the invoked purpose of systematizing and codifying the relevant legislation (see explanatory memorandum law 4636/2019).

      In addition, despite the fact that L. 4636/2019 has been consistently and substantively criticized by all national and international bodies and civil society organisations, due its numerous problematic regulations having led to deregulating the Greek asylum system, weakening the safeguards of refugee protection in Greece and “placing people in need of international protection in danger”,[2] the proposed amendments do not, in any part, restore the extremely problematic provisions of L. 4636/2019.

      On the contrary, the introduced amendments are once more and in many respects contrary to the EU acquis in the field of asylum, and in this sense constitute a direct violation of EU law and of the Asylum and Return Directives, weakening basic guarantees for persons in need of protection, introducing additional procedural obstacles and reflecting, at the legislative level, the repeatedly stated intention to generalize detention and to increase returns, by preventing actual access to international protection. Accordingly, the draft law’s title “Improving Legislation on Migration, etc.” can only be considered as a euphemism.

      Amongst a set of extremely problematic provisions, the following are indicatively highlighted:

      The possibility for a non-competent Service (Regional Reception and Identification Services), which unlike the Asylum Service does not have the status of an independent Agency, to register requests for international protection, without even ensuring that this procedure can be completed by properly trained staff or compliance with the necessary guarantees for properly completing the procedure (Article 5 of the draft law)

      The deviation from the obligation to provide interpretation in a language that the applicant understands and the limitation of the obligation to conduct a personal interview with the applicant prior to a decision on a request for international protection (articles 7 & 11 of the draft law), in direct violation of the Procedures’ Directive (Directive 2013/32/ EU).

      The proposed amendments derogate from the minimum guarantees provided by the Procedures’ Directive, allowing for a personal interview to be conducted in the official language of the applicant’s country of origin “if it proves impossible to provide interpretation in the language of his/her choice" and for a decision to be issued without having previously conducted a personal interview, “if the applicant does not wish to conduct the interview in the official language of his/her country of origin", irrespective of whether the applicant is in fact able to understand this language. It is recalled that the competent Commissioner of the European Commission recently reiterated that “as far as interpretation is concerned, the Asylum Procedure Directive provides that communication takes place in the language preferred by the applicant, unless there is another language which the applicant understands and in which he/she can communicate in a clear and concise manner”,[3] while the Directive does not, under any circumstances, infer that the language understood by the applicant is the official language of their country of origin. Syrian Kurds, who constitute the largest minority in Syria and who largely do not speak/understand the official language of their state (Arabic), but only the Kurdish dialect kurmanji, are a typical such case. It is further noted that the cases under which a first instance asylum decision can be issued without conducting a personal interview are restrictively regulated under Article 14 of Directive 2013/32/EU. The proposed omission of the personal interview, under Article 11 of the draft law, does not constitute one of the cases provided in the Directive, nor is it left at the Member States’ discretion to foresee additional exceptions to the obligation to conduct a personal interview. In any case, the possibility of issuing a decision without conducting a personal interview with the applicant places asylum seekers at increased risk of return, in violation of the principle of non-refoulement.

      The obstruction of the right to legal aid and the right to effective remedies (article 9 of the draft law). As has been repeatedly documented, to date, the Greek authorities have yet to ensure real access to free legal aid at second instance, as is enshrined in EU law. On the contrary, in 2019 only 33% of asylum seekers who appealed a negative decision were able to benefit from free legal aid at second instance, and only 21% in 2018. [4] A fact that demonstrates “an administrative practice that is incompatible with EU law, and which to an extent is of a permanent and genera nature”. [5]

      However and instead of taking all necessary measures to ensure the right to free legal aid, the proposed amendment introduces an additional restriction on this right, requiring for applicants to submit, within a very short and exclusive period of two days, after the notification of their negative decision, an application for legal aid, which is granted by the President of the Appeals Committee “only if it is considered probable for the appeal to succeed.” In this case, and in order to provide legal assistance to the applicant, the appointed lawyer has the opportunity to submit a memorandum, which can exclusively include “belated (οψιφανείς and και οψιγενείς)” claims.

      Specifically, it is noted that a) The amendment reverses the rule and standard of proof set out in Article 20 (3) of Directive 2013/32/EU, which states that “Member States may provide that free legal assistance and representation not be granted where the applicant’s appeal is considered by a court or tribunal or other competent authority to have no tangible prospect of success", instead providing that legal assistance is restricted not in case where the appeal “has no tangible prospects of success”, but in case it is merely “presumed that the appeal has no prospects of success”.

      b) The amendment of article 9 of the draft law introduces an additional procedural obstacle to accessing legal aid and the right to an effective remedy, in what concerns the applicants, as well as added workload in what concerns the Appeals Committees. Applicants are required to submit a request in Greek (and for that matter, within a deadline of only two days from the moment the decision has been notified), following which the existence of the substantial preconditions for the provision of free legal aid shall be examined. Without the assistance of a lawyer, without specialized legal knowledge and without knowledge of the language, it is obvious that this request, in the oumost favorable event, will necessarily be limited to a standardised form, essentially depriving the applicant of the opportunity to develop the reasons his/her meeting, in the specific case, the substantial reasons for being granted legal aid.

      (c) In the proposed amendment it is stated that the request for legal aid is “examined by the President of the Committee, before which the appeal is pending” and “is granted only if the appeal is presumed likely to be successful”, whereas if the request is granted, the lawyer that represents the applicant, in the context of legal aid, can only "submit a memorandum on the appeal, with which they can make “belated and posterior (οψιφανείς and και οψιγενείς) claims”. Based on this, it appears as if the provision indicates that the request for legal aid is submitted after the appeal has already been lodged (as, otherwise, neither a determination of the appeal can take place, nor can the probability of success of an appeal that has yet to be lodged be examined). However, it is recalled that in accordance with Article 93 (c) L. 4636/2019, the appeal must inter alia cite the “specific reasons on which the appeal is based”, which in itself requires the drafting of a legal document in Greek, [6] unless the appeal is to be rejected as inadmissible; i.e. rejected without previously having examined the substance of the appeal. Consequently, even in the event that the request for free legal aid is ultimately granted, the content of the legal aid ends up being devoid of meaning, in violation of Article 20 (1) of Directive 2013/32/ EU, which provides that free legal assistance “shall include, at least, the preparation of the required procedural documents […]“. By contrast, in accordance with the introduced amendment, the lack of “specific reasons” in the initial appeal cannot be remedied by the appointed lawyer, nor is a possibility to develop any potential claims in the memorandum even provided, as currently provided by article 99 L. 4636/2019; instead, the lawyer can only make “belated (οψιφανείς και οψιγενείς) claims” that is new or subsequent arguments, under an obvious and actual fear that, even after granting free legal aid, the appeal can be rejected as inadmissible; i.e. without examining the merits of the applicant’s claims at second instance, practically depriving the applicant of actual access to an effective remedy, in violation of Directive 2013/33/EU and article 47 of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights.

      The retroactive abolition of the possibility for the applicant to be referred for the issuance of a residence permit on humanitarian grounds, in case their application for international protection is rejected (Article 33). The possibility of referral for the issuance of a residence permit on humanitarian grounds is to this day an important safeguard and complements the Greek state’s obligations in view of its international commitments to protect individuals who, although not recognized as beneficiaries of international protection, fall under the non-refoulement principle (eg. unaccompanied minors, persons with special connection with the country - right to private or family life under Article 8 of the ECHR, serious health reasons) that prevent their removal. The abolition of the relevant provision contributes to creating a significant group of persons who cannot be removed from the country, yet whom being deprived fundamental rights, remain in a prolonged state of insecurity and peril.

      The generalization of the possibility to impose detention measures and the reduction of basic guarantees when imposing such a measure (articles 2, 21 and 52 of the draft law). The proposed amendments attempt a further strictening of legislation with respect to the imposition of detention measures, in violation of fundamental guarantees enshrined in EU law and international human rights law. Indicatively, article 2 proposes the abolition of the obligation to provide “full and thorough reasoning” when ordering the detention of asylum seekers. The provision of article 52 attempts to reverse the rule that administrative detention in view of return is applied, exclusively, as an exceptional measure, and only if the possibility of implementing alternatives to detention has been exhausted, while at the same time attempts to limit the control of legality. In view of CJEU case law, based on which the Return Directive foresees “a gradation of the measures to be taken in order to enforce the return decision, a gradation which goes from the measure which allows the person concerned the most liberty, namely granting a period for his voluntary departure, to measures which restrict that liberty the most, namely detention in a specialised facility",[7] the proposed provision is in check for compliance with the minimum standards of protection guaranteed by the EU.

      [1] “Improvements on the Legislation on Migration, amendments of provisions of laws 4636/2019 (A ’169), 4375/2016 (A’ 51), 4251/2014 (A ’80) and other provisions”.

      [2] See UNHCR, UNHCR urges Greece to strengthen safeguards in draft asylum law, 24 October 2019, available at: https://www.unhcr.org/gr/en/13170-unhcr-urges-greece-to-strengthen-safeguards-in-draft-asylum-law.html; GNCHR Observations [in Greek] on the Draft Law of the Ministry of Citizen Protection: “On International Protection: provisions on the recognition and status of third-country nationals or stateless persons as beneficiaries of international protection, on a single status for refugees or for persons entitled to subsidiary protection and on the content of the protection provided, unification of provisions on the reception of applicants for international protection, the procedure for granting and revoking the status of international protection, restructuring of judicial protection for asylum seekers and other provisions”, 24 October 2019, available at: http://www.nchr.gr/images/pdf/apofaseis/prosfuges_metanastes/Paratiriseis%20EEDA%20sto%20nomosxedio%20gia%20Asylo%2024.10.2019.pdf; GCR, GCR’s comments on the draft bill “On International Protection, 22 October 2019, available at: https://www.gcr.gr/media/k2/attachments/GCR_on_bill_about_International_Protection_en.pdf.

      [3] P-004017/2019, Commissioner Johansson’s reply on behalf of the European Commission, 5 February 2020, available at: https://www.europarl.europa.eu/doceo/document/P-9-2019-004017-ASW_EL.pdf

      [4] AIDA Report on Greece, Update 2019, forthcoming and AIDA Report on Greece, Update 2018, March 2019, available at: https://www.asylumineurope.org/reports/country/greece.

      [5] See case C‑525/14, Commission v Czech Republic, EU C 2016 714, recital 14.

      [6] Indicatively, see GCR, GCR’s comments on the draft bill “On International Protection”, op. cit.

      [7] CJEU, El Dridi, C-61/11, recital 41.

      https://www.gcr.gr/en/news/press-releases-announcements/item/1434-gcr-s-comments-on-the-draft-law-amending-asylum-legislation

    • Asylum-seekers in Evros center protest asylum procedures delays

      Young asylum-seekers rioted on Tuesday morning in the Reception and Identification Center of #Fylakio in northern Evros. They set mattresses in the ward for unaccompanied minors on fire and it needed the intervention of the fire service extinguish the blaze.

      The riots started short before 10 o’ clock. Police forces rushed to the center to restore the order..

      Nobody was injured, yet significant material damage was reportedly caused.

      According to state broadcaster ERT TV, the protest was staged against the delays in asylum procedures and the extension of the lockdown in refugees centers until May 21.

      Local media report adds also the living conditions as one of the reasons for the protest.


      https://www.keeptalkinggreece.com/2020/05/12/evros-asylum-seekers-riot
      #résistance #protestation #Evros

    • Grèce : prison ferme pour deux demandeurs d’asile accusés de violences dans un camp

      Deux demandeurs d’asile afghans ont été condamnés jeudi 14 mai par la justice grecque à six ans et huit mois de prison ferme pour des violences commises lors d’une manifestation dans le camp de Fylakio, au nord du pays.

      Ils réclamaient l’accélération du traitement de leur demande d’asile, ils ont obtenu de la prison ferme.

      Deux demandeurs d’asile originaires d’Afghanistan, âgés de 22 et 23 ans, ont écopé jeudi en Grèce de peines de six ans et huit mois de prison pour violences, trouble à l’ordre public, possession et utilisation illégale d’armes.

      Mardi 12 mai, des migrants avaient exprimé leur mécontentement en mettant le feu à des matelas et en agressant des policiers présents dans le camp de Fylakio (https://www.infomigrants.net/fr/post/24711/grece-des-demandeurs-d-asile-manifestent-contre-la-lenteur-du-traiteme), à la frontière gréco-turque. Selon les forces de l’ordre appelées à la barre lors de l’audience de jeudi, plusieurs personnes les ont attaquées avec des tournevis, des lames métalliques et des haches.

      Vingt-six autres demandeurs d’asile, qui avaient également été interpellés par la police grecque lors de cette manifestation, seront jugés ultérieurement.

      La centaine de migrants, dont des mineurs isolés, hébergés dans le centre de Fylakio y sont détenus le temps du traitement de leur dossier d’asile. Certains attendent depuis plus de six mois l’examen de leur demande.

      La pandémie de coronavirus a aggravé les retards déjà existants dans le traitement des dossiers, les services d’asile fonctionnant au ralenti ces dernières semaines.

      Athènes a été critiqué à plusieurs reprises par des ONG de défense des droits de migrants et réfugiés pour les défaillances chroniques de son système d’octroi d’asile et les conditions de vie épouvantables dans les camps de réfugiés surpeuplés.

      https://www.infomigrants.net/fr/post/24782/grece-prison-ferme-pour-deux-demandeurs-d-asile-accuses-de-violences-d

  • Hidden infrastructures of the European border regime : the #Poros detention facility in Evros, Greece

    This blog post and the research it draws on date before the onset of the current border spectacle in Evros of February/March 2020. Obviously, the situation in Evros region has changed dramatically. Our research however underlines that the Greek state has always resorted to extra-legal methods of border and migration control in the Evros region. Particularly the violent and illegal pushback practices which have persisted for decades in Evros region have now been elevated to official government policy.

    The region of Evros at the Greek-Turkish border was the scene of many changes in the European and Greek border regimes since 2010. The most well-known was the deployment of the Frontex RABIT force in October of that year; while it concluded in 2011, Frontex has had a permanent presence in Evros ever since. In 2011, the then government introduced the ‘Integrated Program for Border Management and Combating Illegal Immigration’ (European Migration Network, 2012), which reflected EU and domestic processes of the Europeanisation of border controls (European Migration Network, 2012; Ilias et al., 2019). The program stipulated a number of measures which impacted the border regime in Evros: the construction of a 12.5km fence along the section of the Greek Turkish border which did not coincide with the Evros river (after which the region takes its name); the expansion of border surveillance technologies and capacities in the area; and the establishment of reception centres where screening procedures would be undertaken (European Migration Network, 2012; Ilias et al., 2019). In this context, one of the measures taken was the establishment of a screening centre in South Evros, near the village of Poros, 46km away from the city of Alexandroupoli – the main urban centre in the area.

    The operation of the Centre for the First Management of Illegal Immigration is documented in Greek (Ministry for Public Order and Citizen Protection, 2013a) and EU official documents (European Parliament, 2012; European Migration Network, 2013), reports by the EU’s Fundamental Rights Agency (2011), NGOs (Pro Asyl, 2012) and activists (CloseTheCamps, 2012), media articles (To Vima, 2012) and research (Düvell, 2012; Schaub, 2013) between 2011 and 2015.

    Yet, during our fieldwork in the area in 2018, none of our respondents mentioned it. Nor could we find any recent research, reports or official documents after 2015 referring to it. It was only a tip from someone we collaborate with that reminded us of the existence of the Poros facility. We found its ‘disappearance’ from public view intriguing. Through fieldwork, document analysis and queries to the Greek authorities, we constructed a genealogy of the Poros centre, from its inception in 2011 to its ambivalent present. Our findings not only highlight the shifting nature of local assemblages of the European border regime, but also raise questions on such ‘hidden’ infrastructures, and the implications of their use for the rights of the people who cross the border.

    A genealogy of Poros

    The Poros centre was originally a military facility, used for border surveillance. In 2012, it was transferred to the Hellenic Police, the civilian authority responsible for migration control and border management, and was formally designated a Centre for the First Management of Illegal Immigration, similar to the more well-known First Reception Centre in Fylakio, in North Evros. The refurbishment and expansion of the old facilities and purchase of necessary equipment were financed through the External borders fund of the European Union (Alexandroupoli Police Directorate, 2011). Visits by the European Commissioner for Home Affairs, Cecilia Malmström (To Vima, 2012), the then executive director of Frontex, Ilkka Laitinen (Ministry for Public Order and Citizen Protection, 2013b), and a delegation of the LIBE committee of the European Parliament (2012) illustrated the embeddedness of the centre in the European border regime. The Commission’s report on the implementation of the Greek National Action Plan on Migration Management and Asylum Reform specifically refers the Poros centre as a facility that could be used for screening procedures and vulnerability assessments (European Commission, 2012).

    The Poros facility was indeed used as a screening and identification centre, activities that fell under both border management and the Greek framework for reception procedures introduced in 2011. While official documents of the Greek Government suggest that the centre started operating in 2012 (Council of Europe, 2012), a media article (Alexandroupoli Online, 2011) and a report by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (2011) provide evidence that it was already operational the year before, as an informal reception centre. When the centre became the main screening facility for South Evros in 2012 (European Parliament, 2012), screening, identification and debriefing procedures at the time were carried out both by Hellenic Police personnel and Frontex officers deployed in the area (Council of Europe, 2012).

    One of the very few research sources referring to Poros, a PhD thesis by Laurence Pillant (2017) provides a detailed description of the space and the activities carried out in the old wooden building and the white containers (image 3), visible in the stills from the video we took in December 2020 (image 4). A mission of Medecins sans frontiers, indicated in Pillant’s diagram, provided health screening in 2012 (European Migration Network, 2013).

    The organisation and function of the centre at the time is also documented in a number of mundane administrative acts which we located through diavgeia.gov.gr, a website storing Greek public administration decisions. Containers were bought to create space for the screening and identification procedures (Regional Police Directorate of Macedonia and Thrace, 2012). A local company was awarded contracts for the cleaning of the facilities (Regional Police Directorate of Macedonia and Thrace, 2013). The last administrative documents we were able to locate concerned the establishment of a committee of local police officers to procure services for emptying the cesspit of the centre (Regional Police Directorate of Macedonia and Thrace, 2015) – not all buildings in the area are linked to the local sewage system. This is the point when the administrative trail for Poros goes cold. No documents were found in diavgeia.gov.gr after January 2015.

    So what happened to the Poros Centre?

    After 2015, we found a mere five online references to the centre, despite extensive searches of sources such as official documents, research or reports by human rights bodies and NGOs. A 2016 newspaper article mentioned that arrested migrants were led there for screening (Ta Nea, 2016). A 2018 article in a local online news outlet mentioned a case of malaria in the village of Poros (Evros News, 2018a), while in another article (Evros News, 2018b), the president of the village council blamed a case of malaria in the village on the lack of health screening in the centre. An account of activities of the municipal council of Alexandroupoli referred to fixing an electrical fault in the centre in May 2019 (Municipality of Alexandroupoli, 2019). Τhe Global Detention Project (2019) also refers to Poros as a likely detention place.

    These sources suggested that the centre might be operational in some capacity, yet they raised more questions than they answered. If the centre has been in operation since 2015, why is there such an absence of official sources referring to it? Equally surprising was the absence of administrative acts related to the Poros centre in diavgeia.gov.gr, in contrast to all other facilities in the area where migrants are detained, such as the Fylakio Reception and Identification Centre and the pre-removal centres and police stations. It was conceivable, of course, that the centre fell into disuse. Since the deployment of Frontex and the border control measures taken under the Integrated Plan, entries through the Greek-Turkish land border decreased significantly – from 54,974 in 2011 to 3,784 in 2016 (Hellenic Police, 2020), and screening procedures were transferred to Fylakio, fully operational since 2013 (Reception and Identification Service, 2020).

    Trying to find answers to our questions, we contacted the Hellenic Police. An email we sent in January 2020 was never answered. In early February, following a series of phone calls, we obtained some answers to our questions. The police officer who answered the phone call did not seem to have heard of the centre and wanted to ask other departments for more information, as well as the First Reception and Identification Service, now responsible for screening procedures. The next day, he said it is occasionally used as a detention facility, when there is a high number of apprehended people that cannot be detained in police cells. According to the police officer, they are detained there for one or two days, until they can be transferred to the Reception and Identification Centre of Fylakio for reception procedures, or detention in the pre-removal detention centre adjacent to it. At the same time, he stated that he was told that Poros has been closed for a long time.

    This contradictory information could be down to the distance between the central police directorate in Athens and the area of Evros – it is not unlikely that local arrangements are not known in the central offices. Yet, it was also at odds both with the description of the use of the centre that our informant himself gave us – using the present tense in Greek –, with what the local media articles suggest, and with what we saw on site. Stills from the video taken during fieldwork in December 2020 suggest that the Poros centre is not disused, although no activity could be observed on the day. The cars and vans parked outside did not seem abandoned or rusting. The main building and the containers appeared to be in a good condition. A bright red cloth, maybe a canvas bag, was hanging outside one of them. The rubbish bins were full, but the black bags and other objects in them did not seem as they have been left in the open for a long time (image 4).

    The police officer also asked, however, how we had heard of Poros – a question that alerted us to both the obscure nature of the facility and the sensitivity of our query.
    A hidden infrastructure of pushbacks?

    The Poros centre, at one level, illustrates how the function of such border facilities can change over time, as the local border regime adapts and responds to migratory movements. Fylakio has become the main reception and detention centre in Evros, and between 2015 and 2017, the Aegean islands became the main point of entry into Greece and the European Union. Yet, our findings raised a lot of significant questions regarding the new function of Poros, given the increase in migratory movements in the area since 2018.

    While we obtained official confirmation that the Poros centre is now used for temporary detention and not screening, it remains the case that there are no official documents – including any administrative acts on diavgeia.gov.gr – that confirm its use as a temporary closed detention centre. Equally, we did not manage to obtain any information about how the facility is funded from the Hellenic Police. Our respondent did not know, and another departments we called did not want to share any information about the centre. It also became evident in the course of our research that most of our contacts in Greece – NGOS and journalists – had never heard of the facility or had no recent information about it. We found no evidence to suggest that Greek and European human rights bodies or NGOs which monitor detention facilities have visited the Poros centre after 2015. A mission of the Council of Europe (2019), for example, visited several detention facilities in Evros in April 2018 but the Poros centre was not listed among them. Similarly, the Fundamental Rights Officer of Frontex, in a partly joined mission with the Fundamental Rights Agency, visited detention facilities in South Evros in 2019, the operational area where the Poros centre is located. However, the centre is not mentioned in the report on that visit (Frontex, 2019).

    The dearth of information and absence of monitoring of the facility means that it is unclear whether the facility provides adequate conditions for detention. While our Hellenic police informant stated that detention there lasts for one or two days, there is no outside gate at the Poros centre, just a rather flimsy looking wire fence. Does this mean that detainees are kept inside the main building or containers the whole time they are detained there? We also do not know if detainees have access to phones, legal assistance or healthcare, which the articles in the local press suggest that is absent from the Poros centre. Equally, in the absence of inspections by human rights bodies, we are unaware of the standards of hygiene inside the facilities, or if there is sufficient food available. Administrative acts archived in diavgeia.gov.gr normally offer some answers to such questions but, as we mentioned above, we could find none. In short, it appears that Poros is used as an informal detention centre, hidden from public view.

    The obscurity surrounding the facility, in the context of the local border regime, is extremely worrying. Many NGOs and journalists have documented widespread pushback practices (Arsis et al., 2018; Greek Council for Refugees, 2018; Koçulu, 2019), evidenced through migrant testimonies (Mobile Info Team 2019) and, more recently, videos (Forensic Architecture, 2019a; 2019b). Despite denials by the Hellenic Police and the Greek government, European and international international human rights bodies (Council of Europe, 2019; Committee Against torture 2019) have accepted these testimonies as credible. We have no firm evidence that the Poros facility may be one of the many ‘informal’ detention places migrant testimonies implicated in pushbacks. Yet, the centre is located no further than two kilometres from the Greek-Turkish border, and the layout of the area is similar to the location of a pushback captured on camera and analysed by Forensic Architecture (2019a): near a dirt road with direct access to the Evros River. Black cars and white vans (images 5 and 6), without police insignia and some without number plates, such as those in the Poros centre, have been mentioned in testimonies of pushbacks (Arsis et al., 2018). Objects looking like inflatable boats are visible in our video stills. While there might be other explanations for their presence (used for patrolling the river or confiscated from migrants crossing the river) they are also used during pushbacks operations, and their presence in a detention centre seems odd.

    These uncertainties, and the tendency of security bodies to avoid revealing information on spaces of detention, are not unusual. However, the obscurity surrounding the Poros centre, located in an area of the European border where detention have long attracted criticism and there is considerable evidence of illegal and violent border control practices, should be a concern for all.

    https://www.respondmigration.com/blog-1/border-regime-poros-detention-facility-evros-greece
    #Evros #détention #rétention #détention_administrative #Grèce #refoulement #push-back #push-backs #invisibilité #invisibilisation #Centre_for_the_First_Management_of_Illegal_Immigration #Fylakio #Frontex

    Ce centre, selon ce que le chercheur·es écrivent, est ouvert depuis 2012... or... pas entendu parler de lui avec @albertocampiphoto quand on a été sur place... alors qu’on a vraiment sillonnée la (relativement petite) région pendant 1 mois !

    Donc pas mention de ce centre dans la #carte qu’on a publiée notamment sur @visionscarto :


    https://visionscarto.net/evros-mur-inutile

    ping @reka @karine4

    • En fait, en regardant mieux « notre » carte je me rends compte que peut-être le centre que nous avons identifié comme « #Feres » est en réalité le centre que les auteur·es appellent Poros... les deux localités sont à moins de 5 km l’une de l’autre.
      J’ai écrit aux auteur·es...

      Réponse de Bernd Kasparek, 12.03.2020 :

      Since we have been in front of Poros detention centre, we are certain that it is a distinct entity from the Feres police station, which, as you rightly observe, is also often implicated in reports about push-backs.

      Réponse de Lena Karamanidou le 13.03.2020 :

      Feres is located here: https://goo.gl/maps/gQn15Hdfwo4f3cno6​ , and it’s a much more modern facility (see photo, complete with ubiquitous military van!). However, ​I’m not entirely certain when the new Feres station was built - I think there was an older police station, but then both police and border guard functions were transfered to the new building. Something for me to check in obscure news items and databases!

    • ‘We Are Like Animals’ : Inside Greece’s Secret Site for Migrants

      The extrajudicial center is one of several tactics Greece is using to prevent a repeat of the 2015 migration crisis.


      The Greek government is detaining migrants incommunicado at a secret extrajudicial location before expelling them to Turkey without due process, one of several hard-line measures taken to seal the borders to Europe that experts say violate international law.

      Several migrants said in interviews that they had been captured, stripped of their belongings, beaten and expelled from Greece without being given a chance to claim asylum or speak to a lawyer, in an illegal process known as refoulement. Meanwhile, Turkish officials said that at least three migrants had been shot and killed while trying to enter Greece in the past two weeks.

      The Greek approach is the starkest example of European efforts to prevent a reprise of the 2015 migration crisis in which more than 850,000 undocumented people passed relatively easily through Greece to other parts of Europe, roiling the Continent’s politics and fueling the rise of the far right.

      If thousands more refugees reach Greece, Greek officials fear being left to care for them for years, with little support from other members in the European Union, exacerbating social tensions and further fraying a strained economy. Tens of thousands of migrants already live in squalor on several Greek islands, and many Greeks feel they have been left to shoulder a burden created by wider European indifference.

      The Greek government has defended its actions as a legitimate response to recent provocations by the Turkish authorities, who have transported thousands of migrants to the Greek-Turkish border since late February and have encouraged some to charge and dismantle a border fence.

      The Greek authorities have denied reports of deaths along the border. A spokesman for the Greek government, Stelios Petsas, did not comment on the existence of the site, but said that Greece detained and expelled migrants in accordance with local law. An act passed March 3, by presidential decree, suspended asylum applications for a month and allowed immediate deportations.

      But through a combination of on-the-ground reporting and forensic analysis of satellite imagery, The Times has confirmed the existence of the secret center in northeastern Greece.

      Presented with diagrams of the site and a description of its operations, François Crépeau, a former U.N. Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants, said it was the equivalent of a domestic “black site,” since detainees are kept in secret and without access to legal recourse.

      Using footage supplied to several media outlets, The Times has also established that the Greek Coast Guard, nominally a lifesaving institution, fired shots in the direction of migrants onboard a dinghy that was trying to reach Greek shores early this month, beat them with sticks and sought to repel them by driving past them at high speed, risking tipping them into water.

      Forensic analysis of videos provided by witnesses also confirmed the death of at least one person — a Syrian factory worker — after he was shot on the Greek-Turkish border.
      A Secret Site

      When Turkish officials began to bus migrants to the Greek border on Feb. 28, a Syrian Kurd named Somar al-Hussein had a seat on one of the first coaches.

      Turkey already hosts more refugees than any other country — over four million, mostly Syrians — and fears that it may be forced to admit another million because of a recent surge in fighting in northern Syria. To alleviate this pressure, and to force Europe to do more to help, it has weaponized refugees like Mr. al-Hussein by shunting them toward the Continent.

      Mr. al-Hussein, a trainee software engineer, spent that night in the rain on the bank of the Evros River, which divides western Turkey from eastern Greece. Early the next morning, he reached the Greek side in a rubber dinghy packed with other migrants.

      But his journey ended an hour later, he said in a recent interview. Captured by Greek border guards, he said, he and his group were taken to a detention site. Following the group’s journey on his mobile phone, he determined that the site was a few hundred yards east of the border village of Poros.

      The site consisted principally of three red-roofed warehouses set back from a farm road and arranged in a U-shape. Hundreds of other captured migrants waited outside. Mr. al-Hussein was taken indoors and crammed into a room with dozens of others.

      His phone was confiscated to prevent him from making calls, he said, and his requests to claim asylum and contact United Nations officials were ignored.

      “To them, we are like animals,” Mr. al-Hussein said of the Greek guards.

      After a night without food or drink, on March 1 Mr. al-Hussein and dozens of others were driven back to the Evros River, where Greek police officers ferried them back to the Turkish side in a small speedboat.

      Mr. al-Hussein was one of several migrants to provide similar accounts of extrajudicial detentions and expulsions, but his testimony was the most detailed.

      By cross-referencing drawings, descriptions and satellite coordinates that he provided, The Times was able to locate the detention center — in farmland between Poros and the river.

      A former Greek official familiar with police operations confirmed the existence of the site, which is not classified as a detention facility but is used informally during times of high migration flows.

      On Friday, three Times journalists were stopped at a roadblock near the site by uniformed police officers and masked special forces officers.

      The site’s existence was also later confirmed by Respond, a Sweden-based research group.

      Mr. Crépeau, now a professor of international law at McGill University, said the center represented a violation of the right to seek asylum and “the prohibition of cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment, and of European Union law.”
      Violence at Sea

      Hundreds of miles to the south, in the straits of the Aegean Sea between the Turkish mainland and an archipelago of Greek islands, the Greek Coast Guard is also using force.

      On March 2, a Coast Guard ship violently repelled an inflatable dinghy packed with migrants, in an incident that Turkish officials captured on video, which they then distributed to the press.

      The footage shows the Coast Guard vessel and an unmarked speedboat circling the dinghy. A gunman on one boat shot at least twice into waters by the dinghy, with what appeared to be a rifle, before men from both vessels shoved and struck the dinghy with long black batons.

      It is not clear from the footage whether the man was firing live or non-lethal rounds.

      Mr. Petsas, the government spokesman, did not deny the incident, but said the Coast Guard did not fire live rounds.

      The larger Greek boat also sought to tip the migrants into the water by driving past them at high speed.
      Forensic analysis by The Times shows that the incident took place near the island of Kos after the migrants had clearly entered Greek waters.

      “The action of Greek Coast Guard ships trying to destabilize the refugees’ fragile dinghies, thus putting at risk the life and security of their passengers, is also a violation,” said Mr. Crépeau, the former United Nations official.
      A Killing on Land

      The most contested incident concerns the lethal shooting of Mohammed Yaarub, a 22-year-old Syrian from Aleppo who tried to cross Greece’s northern land border with Turkey last week.

      The Greek government has dismissed his death as “fake news” and denied that anyone has died at the border during the past week.

      An analysis of videos, coupled with interviews with witnesses, confirmed that Mr. Yaarub was killed on the morning of March 2 on the western bank of the Evros River.

      Mr. Yaarub had lived in Turkey for five years, working at a shoe factory, according to Ali Kamal, a friend who was traveling with him. The two friends crossed the Evros on the night of March 1 and camped with a large group of migrants on the western bank of the river.

      By a cartographical quirk, they were still in Turkey: Although the river mostly serves as the border between the two countries, this small patch of land is one of the few parts of the western bank that belongs to Turkey rather than Greece.

      Mr. Kamal last saw his friend alive around 7:30 a.m. the next morning, when the group began walking to the border. The two men were separated, and soon Greek security forces blocked them, according to another Syrian man who filmed the aftermath of the incident and was later interviewed by The Times. He asked to remain anonymous because he feared retribution.

      During the confrontation, Mr. Yaarub began speaking to the men who were blocking their path and held up a white shirt, saying that he came in peace, the Syrian man said.

      Shortly afterward, Mr. Yaarub was shot.

      There is no known video of the moment of impact, but several videos captured his motionless body being carried away from the Greek border and toward the river.

      Several migrants who were with Mr. Yaarub at the time of his death said a Greek security officer had shot him.

      Using video metadata and analyzing the position of the sun, The Times confirmed that he was shot around 8:30 a.m., matching a conclusion reached by Forensic Architecture, an investigative research group.

      Video shows that it took other migrants about five minutes to ferry Mr. Yaarub’s body back across the river and to a car. He was then taken to an ambulance and later a Turkish hospital.

      An analysis of other footage shot elsewhere on the border showed that Greek security forces used lethal and non-lethal ammunition in other incidents that day, likely fired from a mix of semiautomatic and assault rifles.
      E.U. Support for Greece

      Mr. Petsas, the government spokesman, defended Greece’s tough actions as a reasonable response to “an asymmetrical and hybrid attack coming from a foreign country.”

      Besides ferrying migrants to the border, the Turkish police also fired tear-gas canisters in the direction of Greek security forces and stood by as migrants dismantled part of a border fence, footage filmed by a Times journalist showed.

      Before this evidence of violence and secrecy had surfaced, Greece won praise from leaders of the European Union, who visited the border on March 3.

      “We want to express our support for all you did with your security services for the last days,” said Charles Michel, the president of the European Council, the bloc’s top decision-making body.

      The European Commission, the bloc’s administrative branch, said that it was “not in a position to confirm or deny” The Times’s findings, and called on the Greek justice system to investigate.

      https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/10/world/europe/greece-migrants-secret-site.html

      https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/10/world/europe/greece-migrants-secret-site.html

      #Mohammed_Yaarub #décès #mourir_aux_frontières

    • Grécia nega existência de centro de detenção “secreto” onde os migrantes são tratados “como animais”

      New York Times citou vários migrantes que dizem ter sido roubados e agredidos pelos guardas fronteiriços, antes de deportados para a Turquia. Erdogan compara gregos aos nazis.

      Primeiro recusou comentar, mas pouco mais de 24 horas depois o Governo da Grécia refutou totalmente a notícia do New York Times. Foi esta a sequência espaçada da reacção de Atenas ao artigo do jornal norte-americano, publicado na terça-feira, que deu conta da existência de um centro de detenção “secreto”, perto da localidade fronteiriça de Poros, onde muitos dos milhares de migrantes que vieram da Turquia, nos últimos dias, dizem ter sido roubados, despidos e agredidos, impedidos de requerer asilo ou de contactar um advogado, e deportados, logo de seguida, pelos guardas fronteiriços gregos.
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      Cores e mais cores: o Holi e “o triunfo do bem sobre o mal” na Índia

      “Para eles somos como animais”, acusou Somar al-Hussein, sírio, um dos migrantes entrevistados pelo diário nova-iorquino, que entrou na Grécia através do rio Evros e que diz ter sido alvo de tratamento abusivo no centro de detenção “secreto”.

      “Não há nenhum centro de detenção secreto na Grécia”, garantiu, no entanto, esta quarta-feira, Stelios Petsas, porta-voz do executivo grego. “Todas as questões relacionadas com a protecção e a segurança das fronteiras são transparentes. A Constituição está a ser aplicada e não há nada de secreto”, insistiu.

      Com jornalistas no terreno, impedidos de entrar no local por soldados gregos, o New York Times entrevistou diversos migrantes que dizem ter sido ali alvo de tratamento desumano, analisou imagens de satélite, informou-se junto de um centro de estudos sueco sobre migrações que opera na zona e falou com um antigo funcionário grego familiarizado com as operações policiais fronteiriças. Informação que diz ter-lhe permitido confirmar a existência do centro.

      https://www.publico.pt/2020/03/11/mundo/noticia/grecia-nega-existencia-centro-detencao-secreto-onde-migrantes-sao-tratados-a

      #paywall

    • Greece : Rights watchdogs report spike in violent push-backs on border with Turkey

      A Balkans-based network of human rights organizations says that the number of migrants pushed back from Greece into Turkey has spiked in recent weeks. The migrants allegedly reported beatings and violent collective expulsions from inland detention spaces to Turkey on boats across the Evros River.

      Greek officers “forcefully pushed [people] in the van while the policemen were kicking them with their legs and shouting at them.” Then, the migrants were detained, forced to sign untranslated documents and pushed back across the Evros River at night. Over the next few days, Turkish authorities returned them to Greece, but then they were pushed back again.

      This account from 50 Afghans, Pakistanis, Syrians and Algerians aged between 15 and 35 years near the town of Edirne at the Greek-Turkish border was one of at least seven accounts a network of Balkans-based human rights watchdogs says it received from refugees over the course of six weeks, between March and late April.

      The collection of reports (https://www.borderviolence.eu/press-release-documented-pushbacks-from-centres-on-the-greek-mainland), published last week by the Border Violence Monitoring Network (BVMN), with help from its members Mobile Info Team (MIT) and Wave Thessaloniki, consists of “first-hand testimonies and photographic evidence” which the network says shows “violent collective expulsions” of migrants and refugees. According to the network, the number of individuals who were pushed back in groups amount to 194 people.
      https://twitter.com/mobileinfoteam/status/1257632384348020737?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E12

      Without exception, according to the report, all accounts come from people staying in the refugee camp in Diavata and the Drama Paranesti pre-removal detention center. They included Afghans, Pakistanis, Algerians and Moroccans, as well as Bangladeshi, Tunisian and Syrian nationals.

      In the case of Diavata, according to the report, migrants said police took them away, telling them they would receive a document known as “Khartia” to regularize their stay temporarily. The Diavata camp is located near the northern Greek city of Thessaloniki.

      Instead, the migrants were “beaten, robbed and detained before being driven to the border area where military personnel used boats to return them to Turkey across the Evros River,” they said. Another large group reported that they were taken from detention in Drama Paranesti, also located in northern Greece, some 80 kilometers from the border with Turkey, and expelled in the same way.

      While such push-backs from Greece into Turkey are not new, the network of NGOs says the latest incidents are somewhat different: “Rarely have groups been removed from inner-city camps halfway across the territory or at such a scale from inland detention spaces,” Simon Campbell of the Border Violence Monitoring Network told InfoMigrants.

      “Within the existing closure of the Greek asylum office and restriction measures due to COVID-19, the repression of asylum seekers and wider transit community looks to have reached a zenith in these cases,” Campbell said.

      Although Greece last month lifted a controversial temporary ban on asylum applications imposed in response to an influx of refugees from Turkey, all administrative services to the public by the Greek Asylum Service were suspended on March 13.

      The suspension, which the Asylum Service said serves to “control the spread of COVID-19” pandemic, will continue at least through May 15.

      https://twitter.com/GreekAsylum/status/1248651007489433600?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E12

      Reports of violence and torture

      The accounts in the report by the network of NGOs describe a range of violent actions toward migrants, from electricity tasers and water immersion to beatings with batons.

      According to one account, some 50 people were taken from Diavata camp to a nearby police station, where they were ordered to lie on the ground and told to “sleep here, don’t move.” Then they were beaten with batons, while others were attacked with tasers.

      They were held overnight in a detention space near the border, and beaten further by Greek military officers. The next day, they were boated across the river to Turkey by authorities with ’military uniform, masks, guns, electric [taser].’"

      Another group reported that they were “unloaded in the dark” next to the Evros River and “ordered to strip to their underwear.” Greek authorities allegedly used batons and their fists to hit some members of the group.

      Alexandra Bogos, advocacy officer with the Mobile Info Team, told InfoMigrants they were concerned about the “leeway afforded for these push-backs from the inner mainland to take place.”

      Bogos said they reached out to police departments after they learned about the arrests, but police felt “unencumbered” and continued transporting the people to the Greek-Turkish border. “On one occasion, we reached out and asked specifically for information about one individual. The answer was: ’He does not appear in our system’,” Bogos said.

      https://twitter.com/juliahahntv/status/1246165904406261773?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E12

      An Amnesty report (https://www.amnesty.org/en/documents/eur01/2077/2020/en) from April about unlawful push-backs, beatings and arbitrary detention echoes the accusations in the report by the network of NGOs.

      History of forcible rejections

      Over the past three years, violent push-backs have been documented in several reports. Last November, German news magazine Spiegel reported that between 2017 and 2018 Greece illegally deported 60,000 migrants to Turkey. The process involved returning asylum seekers without assessing their status. Greece dismissed the accusations.

      In 2018, the Greek Refugee Council and other NGOs published a report containing testimonies from people who said they had been beaten, sometimes by masked men, and sent back to Turkey (https://www.gcr.gr/en/news/press-releases-announcements/item/1028-the-new-normality-continuous-push-backs-of-third-country-nationals-on-the-e).

      UN refugee agency UNHCR and the European Human Rights Commissioner called on Greece to investigate the claims. In late 2018, another report by Human Rights Watch (HRW), also based on testimonies of migrants, said that violent push-backs were continuing (https://www.hrw.org/news/2018/12/18/greece-violent-pushbacks-turkey-border).

      It is often unclear who is carrying out the push-backs because they often wear masks and cannot be easily identified. In the HRW report, they are described as paramilitaries. Eyewitnesses interviewed by HRW said the perpetrators “looked like police officers or soldiers, as well as some unidentified masked men.”

      Simon Campbell of the Border Violence Monitoring Network said the reports he receives also regularly describe “military uniforms,” which “suggests it is the Greek army carrying out the push-backs,” he told InfoMigrants.

      Last week, the Spiegel published an investigation into the killing of Pakistani Muhammad Gulzar (https://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/greek-turkish-border-the-killing-of-muhammad-gulzar-a-7652ff68-8959-4e0d-910), who was shot at the Greek-Turkish border on March 4. “Evidence overwhelmingly suggests that the bullet came from a Greek firearm,” the authors wrote.

      Violations of EU and international law

      Push-backs are prohibited by Greek and EU law as well as international treaties and agreements. They also violate the principle of non-refoulement, which means the forcible return of a person to a country where they are likely to be subject to persecution.

      In March, Jürgen Bast, professor for European law at the University of Gießen in Germany, called the action of Greek security forces an “open breach of the law” on German TV magazine Monitor.

      Greece is not the only country accused of violating EU laws at the bloc’s external border: On top of the 100 additional border guards the European border and coast guard agency Frontex deployed to the Greek border with Turkey in March, Germany sent 77 police officers to help with border security.
      Professor Bast called Berlin’s involvement a “complete political joint responsibility” of the German government. “All member states of the European Union...including the Commission...have decided to ignore the validity of European law,” he told Monitor.

      In response to a request for comment from InfoMigrants, a spokesperson for EU border and coast guard agency Frontex would confirm neither the reports by the three NGOs nor the existence of systematic push-backs from Greece to Turkey.

      “Frontex has not received any reports of such violations from the officers involved in its activities in Greece,” the spokesperson said, adding that its officers’ job is to “support member states and to ensure the rule of law.”

      Coronavirus used as a pretext?

      On the afternoon of May 5, as the network of NGOs published their report on push-backs, police reportedly rounded up 26-year-old Pakistani national Sheraz Khan outside the Diavata refugee camp. After sending the Mobile Info Team (MIT) a message telling them “Police caught us,” he tried calling the NGO twice, but the connection failed both times.

      MIT’s Alexandra Bogos told InfoMigrants that Khan has not been heard of since and he has not returned to the camp. “We have strong reasons to believe that he may have been pushed back to Turkey,” Bogos said.

      A day later, the police arrived in the morning and “started removing tents and structures set up in an overflow area” outside the Diavata camp.

      Simon Campbell of the Border Violence Monitoring Network said the restrictive measures taken as a response to the coronavirus pandemic have been used to remove those who have crossed the border.

      “COVID-19 has been giving the Greek authorities a blank cheque to act with more impunity,” Campbell told InfoMigrants. “When Covid-19 restrictions lift, will we have already seen this more expansive push-back practice entrenched, and will it persist beyond the lockdown?”

      https://www.infomigrants.net/en/post/24620/greece-rights-watchdogs-report-spike-in-violent-push-backs-on-border-w

  • Crossing a Red Line: How EU Countries Undermine the Right to Liberty by Expanding the Use of Detention of Asylum Seekers upon Entry

    This week the Hungarian Helsinki Committee, in conjunction with ECRE and a number of European project partners, launched their report “Crossing a Red Line: How EU Countries Undermine the Right to Liberty by Expanding the Use of Detention of Asylum Seekers upon Entry.” By examining four case studies; Bulgaria, Greece, Hungary and Italy, this research explores how asylum seekers’ rights to liberty are undermined upon entry, with a specific focus on de facto detention.

    “Crossing a Red Line” explains that while there has been a significant decrease in asylum applications in Bulgaria, Hungary and Italy, the use of detention upon entry has been increasing since 2015 and continues to do so. Practises of de facto detention- which indicates the deprivation of an individual’s liberty without the requirement of a detention order- are widespread and specific to country context. Hot spots, transit zones, pre- removal centres, border zones at which migrants have been ‘pushed- back’ and boats- including search and rescue vessels- have all become spaces in which people can be detained. In other cases “protective detention” results in unaccompanied children having their freedom of movement restricted.

    With no procedural guarantees and no opportunity to seek judicial review, the only possibility for release from de facto detention is to leave to another country.

    The Hungarian Helsinki Committee argue that the increasing trend of using of detention measures for asylum seekers upon entry “is motivated by a range of different practical, political, and legal considerations”. In some cases it has been advocated as a mechanism to deal with unprecedented pressure on processing systems, in others it has become an important means to gain political support for governments that frames migration as a security issue. In the case of Greece and Italy, the increased rate of detention of asylum seekers at the border has also been the product of EU- level policy, namely the need to meet the requirements of the EU-Turkey statement and Dublin system.

    The report further questions these motivations; “Why do Member States prefer to use de facto detention despite the existence of a dedicated legal framework? Is it for the purpose of administrative convenience? In order to avoid procedural safeguards? In order to satisfy public appeal and communication needs?

    The report states that there is no evidence that the use of detention reduces the rate of arrivals to the countries in question, rather it serves as a deterrent only so far as pressure is moved from one entry point to the next. In the example of Hungary, the traumatic experience of being detained in ‘transit zones’ contributes to the fact that beneficiaries of international protection frequently leave the country within a few days of their release, to apply for asylum again in another EU country. The use of de facto detention therefore contributes to secondary movements across Europe and is inevitably is counter- productive to refugee integration.

    As ECRE’s previous policy note, “Taking liberties: detention and asylum law reform” found; “The damage caused by detention adds to an already heavy process of adjustment and takes significant time and effort to remedy” (https://www.ecre.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/Policy-Note-14.pdf).

    Le rapport en pdf:
    https://www.helsinki.hu/wp-content/uploads/crossing_a_red_line.pdf

    #frontières_extérieures #UE #EU #asile #migrations #détention #rétention #camps #Bulgarie #Grèce #Italie #Hongrie #Fylakio #Evros #base_de_données #database #statistiques #chiffres

  • #Giles_Duley, survivre pour mieux photographier les victimes de la guerre

    Invité par le Centre international de déminage humanitaire à l’occasion d’une conférence sur les mines à l’ONU, à Genève, le photographe britannique, triple amputé, a survécu par miracle à un engin explosif improvisé en Afghanistan. Ce tragique épisode a décuplé son empathie pour les sujets qu’il photographie et renforcé une vocation

    « Tu es un dur, tu vas vivre, buddy. » Le 7 février 2011, au cœur de l’Afghanistan. Dans l’hélicoptère qui l’emmène d’urgence à l’Hôpital des Nations unies à Kandahar, des soldats américains s’évertuent à maintenir Giles Duley en vie. Incorporé dans la 101e Division aéroportée de l’armée américaine pour photographier l’impact humanitaire de la guerre sur les civils, il vient de sauter sur une mine improvisée. Deux jambes et un bras arrachés. Transféré à Birmingham en Angleterre, il passe 46 jours aux soins intensifs. Il survit. Un miracle. Il subit 37 opérations en un an avant de pouvoir quitter l’hôpital.
    Façonner ma vie future

    Invité par le Centre international de déminage humanitaire (GICHD) à Genève à l’occasion de la 22e Conférence internationale de Mine Action réunissant plus de 300 responsables nationaux et onusiens au Palais des Nations jusqu’à vendredi, ce Britannique de 47 ans n’est pas du genre à s’apitoyer sur son sort. A l’ONU, mardi matin, équipé de ses deux prothèses, il lâchera devant un parterre plutôt rangé : « Si je n’avais plus été capable de faire de la photo, j’aurais préféré mourir en Afghanistan. »

    « J’ai d’emblée perdu mes ressources financières, ma maison, ma fiancée, poursuit Giles Duley. J’ai vécu dans une petite chambre où même ma chaise roulante ne rentrait pas. Tout le monde voulait façonner ma vie future. A moi qui avais été un sportif (boxe et athlétisme), on m’avait dit, un an après l’Afghanistan, que j’allais pouvoir désormais m’intéresser aux Jeux paralympiques de Londres de 2012. » Une remarque offensante pour lui qui voit le handicap comme l’incapacité de faire ce que l’on veut faire.

    « Or aujourd’hui, je fais ce que j’aime. Je suis un meilleur photographe qu’avant. » Dans son appartement de Hastings faisant face à la mer, ce Londonien s’en fait un point d’honneur : son appartement n’est pas aménagé spécialement pour lui. Il rappelle qu’il y a quelque temps, il posait vêtu de noir, avec les amputations visibles, sur un tronc blanc pour un autoportrait, prouvant qu’il acceptait son nouveau physique. « Au British Museum, explique-t-il, il y a bien des statues en partie abîmées qu’on continue de trouver belles. »

    Pour la seule année 2018, Giles Duley, exemple de résilience, a voyagé dans 14 pays. Avec la photo comme raison d’être, de vivre. Pour documenter les horreurs réelles de la guerre : « Je ne suis pas un reporter de guerre. Je suis anti-guerre. Je ne photographie jamais des soldats au combat. » Son empathie pour les sujets qu’il photographie est décuplée. En 2015, le Haut-Commissariat de l’ONU pour les réfugiés (HCR) lui confie un mandat pour raconter la crise des migrants de Syrie en lui donnant pour seule directive : « Suis ton cœur. » Une manière de bien cerner le personnage.

    A Lesbos, l’arrivée de migrants épuisés le touche profondément. Il le confesse au Temps : « Je n’ai pas que des blessures. Mes souffrances physiques et émotionnelles sont quotidiennes. Mais c’est précisément cela qui me connecte aux gens. » Giles Duley n’a plus la même palette de possibilités qu’auparavant. Mais il s’en accommode : « Les limites que je peux éprouver me forcent à davantage de créativité. » D’ailleurs, ajoute-t-il, « les meilleures photos ne sont pas celles qu’on prend, mais celles qu’on nous donne ».
    Une vérité, pas la vérité

    Quand, en 2014, il rencontre Khouloud dans un camp de réfugiés dans la vallée de la Bekaa au Liban, il est touché par cette Syrienne, atteinte par un sniper à la colonne vertébrale et alitée dans une tente de fortune depuis plusieurs mois. Un cliché la montre en compagnie de son mari, « une scène d’amour » davantage qu’une scène dramatique dans un camp de réfugiés, relève-t-il. Deux ans après sa première rencontre, il constate que Khouloud est toujours dans la même tente. La situation l’insupporte. Il lance une campagne de financement participatif pour lui venir en aide. Un jour, il recevra de Khouloud, médicalement traitée aux Pays-Bas, un message disant « Vous m’avez redonné ma vie. »

    Giles Duley reste honnête. Ses photos ne représentent pas la réalité, mais une réalité qu’il a choisie. Préférant le noir et blanc, il aime utiliser un drap blanc comme seul arrière-fond pour effacer tout contexte : « Si je photographie une personne dans un camp de réfugiés, on va se limiter à la voir comme une réfugiée. Or elle est bien autre chose. Elle n’est pas née réfugiée. »
    La puissance de l’esprit

    Aujourd’hui directeur de sa fondation Legacy of War, Giles Duley estime être « l’homme le plus chanceux du monde » à voir les milliers de mutilés qui croupissent dans des conditions de vie inacceptables. Dans une interview avec Giles Duley, Melissa Fleming, directrice de la communication au HCR, le relève : « Au cours de toute ma vie, je n’ai jamais rencontré une personne aussi forte, ayant été si proche de la mort et capable de recourir à la puissance de son esprit et de sa volonté pour surmonter » l’adversité.

    La vocation de Giles n’était toutefois pas une évidence. Des cinq frère et sœurs, il est le plus « difficile ». Les études ne le branchent pas, au contraire du sport. Il décroche une bourse d’études aux Etats-Unis pour la boxe, mais un accident de voiture met fin à ses espoirs. Il se lance dans la photo de groupes de rock (Oasis, Marilyn Manson, Lenny Kravitz, etc.) et de mode. Mais un jour, face à une jeune actrice en pleurs dans un hôtel londonien, il réalise que la photo de mode ne le rend plus heureux. Il abandonne, travaille dans un bar, cédant brièvement à la dépression et à l’alcool.
    A 30 ans, une nouvelle vocation

    Mais comme une bouée de sauvetage, il se souvient d’un cadeau laissé par son parrain à peine décédé quand il avait 18 ans : un appareil photo Olympus et Unreasonable Behaviour, l’ouvrage autobiographique de la légende de la photo Don McCullin. Les images du Vietnam et du Biafra le bouleversent. A 30 ans, il identifie sa nouvelle vocation : raconter par l’image l’histoire personnelle des victimes oubliées du cynisme humain à travers la planète. Pour leur donner la chance d’une nouvelle vie. Malgré les douleurs qui ne le lâchent jamais. Ou peut-être à cause d’elles.

    https://www.letemps.ch/monde/giles-duley-survivre-mieux-photographier-victimes-guerre
    #photographie #victimes_de_guerre #handicap #autonomie
    ping @albertocampiphoto @philippe_de_jonckheere

  • On the edge of the EU, refugee flows flood the Evros River

    A clampdown on Europe’s eastern borders and the Aegean Sea has forced migrants to seek different — and more dangerous — routes to the continent. Hunters and fishermen find their bodies, reports Anthee Carassava.

    http://www.dw.com/en/on-the-edge-of-the-eu-refugee-flows-flood-the-evros-river/a-43068842?maca=en-Twitter-sharing
    #Evros #asile #migrations #réfugiés #Grèce #frontières #Pavlos_Pavlidis #mourir_aux_frontières #morts #décès

    • Si jamais, pour mémoire, j’avais écrit cet article en 2012, paru dans @lacite et repris par @visionscarto :
      Dans la région de l’Evros, un mur inutile sur la frontière greco-turque

      L’Europe se déchire sur la « crise des migrants », et la Hongrie vient d’annoncer la fermeture de la frontière et l’édification d’une clôture de barbelés de 4 mètres de haut sur les 175 kilomètres de tracé frontalier avec la Serbie. Mais que se passe-t-il vraiment le long des frontières européennes ? Voyage en plusieurs étapes avec Alberto Campi et Cristina Del Biaggio, qui arpentent ces marges depuis 2012.

      Aujourd’hui, le mur d’Evros, sur la frontière greco-turque. Considérée comme une passoire, les autorités grecques ont cherché à la « verrouiller » en construisant un « mur » sur un peu plus de 12 kilomètres, symbole du durcissement de la politique de surveillance et de restriction des flux migratoires vers l’Europe.


      https://visionscarto.net/evros-mur-inutile

    • Erdogan crackdown, Syria war seen fueling migrant flows to Greece

      Over the previous week, a record 1,500 migrants and asylum-seekers crossed the Evros River border, most of them Kurds from Syria and Iraq, as well as self-professed critics of the Erdogan regime. Most turn themselves into Greek authorities, waiting to be formally identified and transferred to reception centers.

      Greek officials are concerned that arrivals via Evros will rise as dry weather has resulted in lower water levels in the river.

      Another key factor, military and police sources have told Kathimerini, is that Turkish authorities appear less willing than before to stem inflows. They say that the ease with which traffickers and migrants are able to reach the Turkish side of the border – despite Erdogan’s decision to reinforce Turkey’s land border with thousands of pro-government military border guards – suggests that the authorities have either been ordered to turn a blind eye to widespread trespassing or are susceptible to bribes. Additionally, analysts say that the fact that the vast majority of migrants are Kurds from war-torn Afrin in Syria and from Iraq, whose presence in Turkey would be a headache for Erdogan, amplifies skepticism over the true motives of Turkish authorities.

      “The Turks are doing in Evros what we did in Idomeni in the beginning [of the crisis],” a source said in reference to the now-defunct border camp on Greece’s frontier with the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. “We simply facilitated the refugee flows so that they could move on to Europe through Skopje.”

      Meanwhile, sources say that the channels of communication between Greek and Turkish border guards, which in the past facilitated the arrest of migrants and smugglers before the attempted crossing, have been clogged amid deteriorating bilateral ties. The arrest of two Greek soldiers in early March after they accidentally crossed into Turkish territory has made Greek patrols more restrained in their operations.

      Greece plans to reinforce its border force with an additional 150 guards as of May 1.

      http://www.ekathimerini.com/227933/article/ekathimerini/news/erdogan-crackdown-syria-war-seen-fueling-migrant-flows-to-greece

      Greece plans to reinforce its border force with an additional 150 guards as of May 1

      –-> #militarisation_des_frontières

    • Concern as rising numbers cross from Turkey to Greece via Evros

      Over a thousand people have crossed the Evros river, marking the land border between Turkey and Greece, since March this year. Last week over one hundred people arrived each day and 340 people arrived on Tuesday alone. This has led to concerns from authorities and NGOs that an emergency situation is unfolding.

      Many of the people crossing the border have ended up sleeping in the parks and squares of the city of Thessaloniki, waiting for a place in a camp. There are also reports of hundreds of people waiting outside police stations, to get arrested in order to gain temporary residence. The municipality has expressed concerns that the city may experience similar circumstance as the events of 2015, where thousands of people slept on the streets across Greece. Local and national migration authorities have scheduled a meeting for Saturday to discuss the situation. The Migration Policy Minister Dimitris Vitsas expressed his concerns about the increase of arrivals and announced his ministry has developed two plans to deal with the situation, which he will share privately with party leaders.

      Arrivals have also been increasing on the Aegean islands, with arrivals on Lesvos almost four times the amount of last year. Minister Vitsas said “I’m not scared about the islands because we know what we have to do. What is really worrisome is the huge increase through Evros.” A concern also raised by the Head of the International Federation of the Red Cross (IFRC) in Greece, Ruben Cano: “This is not the route most people take to reach Greece – it’s a worrying development. The summer will see river levels drop which could also lead to a further rise in people braving the journey.”

      The situation for refugees in Greece has been increasingly tense after incidents on Sunday, where a group of asylum seekers who had been occupying the central square in Mytillene, Lesvos to protest reception conditions and long asylum processing times, were attacked by over a hundred far right extremists. The attackers threw projectiles, including bricks and flares. The Mayor of Lesvos, Spyros Galinos, wrote to Minister Vitsas and the Citizen’s Protection Minister Nikos Toskas, saying, “Lack of action and poor management has resulted in nearly 10,000 asylum seekers being trapped in miserable conditions around a town of 27,000 residents and has created intense fear in the local community; a community that has lost its sense of security and after last night’s events its cohesion too.”

      The state of affairs in Turkey following the failed coup-attempt of 2016, the humanitarian impact of the war in Syria and deteriorating diplomatic ties between Greece and Turkey are cited as reasons for the increase of crossings of mainly people of Kurdish descent from Syria and Iraq and Turkish nationals.


      https://www.ecre.org/concern-as-rising-numbers-cross-from-turkey-to-greece-via-evros

    • Grèce : de plus en plus de réfugiés arrivent par voie terrestre

      La situation devient « intenable » dans la région de l’Evros, au nord-est de la Grèce. Selon le HCR, 2900 personnes ont pénétré dans le pays en avril par la frontière terrestre, 1650 en mars. Les autorités grecques s’inquiètent de cette hausse d’autant que de nombreux camps ont été fermés dans le nord du pays et que les capacités d’accueil y sont restreintes.


      https://www.courrierdesbalkans.fr/les-refugies-sont-de-plus-en-plus-nombreux-a-arriver-par-voie-ter

    • ’Grieken die migranten terugsturen is duistere, illegale praktijk’

      In de nacht, buiten het zicht, langs de afgelegen rivieroever van de Evros gebeurt het: migranten die voet op Griekse bodem hebben gezet, worden weer in een bootje geladen en teruggevaren naar Turkije. Pushbacks. De grensrivier tussen Turkije en Griekenland is het middelpunt van een goed georganiseerd, illegaal gesleep met migranten.

      https://nos.nl/artikel/2230095-grieken-die-migranten-terugsturen-is-duistere-illegale-praktijk.html
      #refoulement #push-back

    • Le HCR demande à la Grèce d’améliorer la situation à Evros

      Le HCR, l’Agence des Nations Unies pour les réfugiés, demande au gouvernement grec d’améliorer de toute urgence les conditions de vie et les capacités d’accueil des réfugiés dans la région d’Evros, à la suite d’une récente augmentation des arrivées via la frontière terrestre avec la Turquie. Des centaines de personnes sont actuellement maintenues dans des centres de détention de la police.

      Environ 2 900 personnes sont arrivées à Evros ce mois-ci, principalement des familles syriennes ou iraquiennes. Cela représente près de la moitié des arrivées enregistrées pour l’ensemble de l’année 2017. Selon les données recueillies par le HCR, les arrivées par voie terrestre ont dépassé le nombre d’arrivées par la mer au mois d’avril. Au moins huit personnes sont mortes depuis le début de l’année en tentant de traverser le fleuve Evros.

      Cette augmentation des nouvelles arrivées met à rude épreuve l’unique centre d’accueil et d’identification d’Evros, situé à Fylakio. Ce centre a dépassé sa capacité maximale d’accueil de 240 personnes, dont 120 enfants non accompagnés ou séparés de leur famille.

      Etant donné que le centre d’accueil et d’identification est submergé et qu’il peine à procéder à l’enregistrement et à l’identification des réfugiés, à fournir des services d’ordre médicaux, psychosociaux ou d’interprétation, les autorités ont placé des personnes, dont de nombreux enfants, dans des centres de détention de la police éparpillés dans la région et inadaptés à la situation, dans l’attente que des places se libèrent.

      Certaines personnes sont maintenues depuis plus de trois mois dans des centres de détention de la police. Les conditions de vie y sont désastreuses et les services y sont limités au strict minimum. Lors d’une visite sur place, les équipes du HCR ont découvert des familles qui dormaient à même le sol dans les couloirs à côté des cellules. Dans un autre établissement, on comptait à peine un médecin et quatre infirmières pour plus de 500 personnes. Parmi les centaines de personnes maintenues dans ces conditions, on dénombre des femmes enceintes, de très jeunes enfants et des personnes qui ont besoin de soins médicaux ou d’une aide psycho-sociale.

      Nous nous réjouissons de la décision qui a permis de libérer plus de 2 500 personnes détenues par les autorités mais nous sommes préoccupés par les conditions dans lesquelles ces libérations ont été réalisées, à savoir sans vérifier la vulnérabilité des personnes concernées et sans leur fournir suffisamment d’informations au sujet de l’asile ou de leurs autres options. Leur situation doit être examinée de toute urgence afin de leur permettre l’accès à des soins et aux procédures d’asile.

      Nous saluons les efforts menés par la police et par le centre d’accueil et d’identification de Fylakio en vue de relever les défis auxquels ils sont confrontés mais, face à des ressources de plus en plus limitées, la situation est devenue intenable.

      Le HCR suggère plusieurs mesures :

      Accroître d’urgence la capacité d’accueil du centre de réception et d’identification, en y augmentant le nombre de places disponibles et en y améliorant les conditions de vie et les services ;
      Identifier des lieux de transit ouverts, vers lesquels pourront être dirigées les personnes qui arrivent d’Evros et où l’enregistrement et l’identification pourront être réalisés ;
      Mettre en place des équipes mobiles d’enregistrement et d’identification ;
      Transférer immédiatement les familles en détention vers des abris sûrs et les guider vers les services dont elles ont besoin ;
      Améliorer les conditions de vie dans les centres de la police, y compris pour des périodes de courte durée, en y assurant l’accès à des espaces communs et à des services élémentaires, notamment et en priorité des soins de santé ;
      Augmenter les capacités d’enregistrement des autorités grecques compétentes afin de garantir l’accès aux procédures d’asile et l’enregistrement des demandes en temps opportun ;
      Transférer rapidement les enfants non accompagnés vers des lieux sûrs et procéder rapidement à une évaluation de leur situation et des liens familiaux.

      Le HCR continue de fournir son appui en matière de protection au centre d’accueil et d’identification de Fylakio, et reste en contact étroit et régulier avec le gouvernement grec afin de faire face à cette situation exceptionnelle. Le HCR continuera d’aider les autorités grecques en fournissant un soutien technique et matériel, notamment des couvertures, des vêtements, des articles d’hygiène, des lampes à énergie solaire et d’autres articles non alimentaires.


      http://www.unhcr.org/fr/news/briefing/2018/4/5ae734a4a/hcr-demande-grece-dameliorer-situation-evros.html

    • La rivière Evros, point de passage des clandestins entre la Turquie à la Grèce

      Les migrants multiplient les tentatives pour passer le fleuve qui marque la frontière, en dépit de la pression exercée par les polices turque et grecque.

      Rivière tumultueuse qui marque la frontière entre la Turquie et la Grèce, à 75 kilomètres de la ville d’Edirne, en Thrace orientale, l’Evros est l’une des portes d’entrée des migrants en Europe. Si les candidats au départ prennent moins souvent les bateaux pour rejoindre l’Union européenne via les îles grecques, ils optent toujours pour la traversée de la rivière Evros, réputée – à tort, car il existe des cas de noyades – moins dangereuse que celle de la mer Egée.

      Ces passages de migrants redoublent après la décrue printanière du fleuve, comme en témoignent les sacs plastique, les vêtements abandonnés et les canots pneumatiques dégonflés qui jonchent ses berges. Ces tout derniers mois, le rythme s’est encore accéléré. Les autorités grecques faisaient état d’une moyenne de 44 arrivées par jour dans la zone en 2017. Elles sont passées à 62 en janvier et février 2018, puis à 200 les mois suivants. « En avril, nous avons enregistré 2 700 arrivées pour la région d’Evros », a déploré Dimitris Vitsas, le ministre de la politique migratoire, lors d’un débat parlementaire sur les réfugiés, mardi 24 avril.

      « Chaque jour, je vois des réfugiés. Je les croise quotidiennement dans mes champs ou le long des sentiers qui mènent au village », confirme Erdogan Adali, le chef de l’administration du village d’#Akcadam, situé à 3 kilomètres du fleuve. « Ça me fend le cœur. Ils sont dans un état pitoyable, hagards, pieds nus, affamés. Je leur donnerais volontiers le gîte et le couvert, mais c’est un délit, je ne peux pas. Dès que je les vois, je suis obligé d’alerter les gendarmes qui viennent les chercher pour les ramener au centre de rétention d’Edirne », raconte l’agriculteur au visage buriné, dont les rizières et les champs de blé jouxtent le village.

      Le reste... #paywall
      https://www.lemonde.fr/europe/article/2018/06/05/la-riviere-evros-point-de-passage-des-clandestins-entre-la-turquie-a-la-grec

    • Greece: Asylum-Seeking Women Detained with Men. Urgently End Dangerous Detention Conditions

      Greek authorities are routinely confining asylum-seeking women with unrelated men in the northern Evros region, at the land-border with Turkey, putting them at grave risk of sexual violence and harassment. Authorities should immediately stop holding asylum-seeking women and girls in closed facilities with unrelated men.

      Human Rights Watch research in Northern Greece in late May 2018 found women and girls housed with unrelated men in sites for reception and/or detention of asylum seekers. Twelve women and two girls interviewed said they had been locked in cells or enclosures for weeks, and in one case for nearly five months, with men and boys they did not know. Four said they were the sole females confined with dozens of men, in some cases with at least one male partner or relative.

      “Women and girls should not be confined with men who are complete strangers, even for a day,” said Hillary Margolis, women’s rights researcher at Human Rights Watch. “These women and girls came to Greece seeking security and protection, and instead they are living in fear.”

      Five women said they had severe psychological distress as a result, including two who had suicidal thoughts. Other women and girls said they experienced sleeplessness, anxiety, and other emotional and psychological distress, in part due to fear of confinement with unrelated men.

      The Greek government has not provided authorities in northern Greece with sufficient resources to respond to a surge in arrivals over the land border with Turkey in April. Officials who met with Human Rights Watch acknowledged that the increase led to a slowdown in reception and identification procedures, including registration of asylum claims, as well as overcrowding of and lengthier stays in reception and immigration detention facilities.

      Pending completion of reception and identification procedures, newly-arrived irregular migrants and those seeking international protection are held in border police stations in the Evros region, in the Fylakio pre-removal detention center, run by the Hellenic Police, and/or in the Fylakio reception and identification center (RIC), run by the Ministry for Migration Policy. The Ministry and the Hellenic police granted Human Rights Watch access to these sites, and authorities at the pre-removal detention center and RIC helped identify female migrants in the facilities so that Human Rights Watch could approach them for interviews.

      Eight women and one of the girls said they had been held in cells with unrelated men in Fylakio pre-removal detention center, including six women who were held with unrelated men at the time of the interviews. Five women and the two girls were housed with unrelated men in pre-fabricated containers and locked, fenced-off “sections” in the Fylakio RIC at the time of the interviews. Some said they were held with unrelated men in multiple facilities.

      Two of the women said they had been at the pre-removal center in cells with their male partners and many unknown men for at least two weeks. “Maha,” a 38-year-old woman from Iraq, was visibly shaking as she described being the sole woman in a cell with about 60 men for over two weeks. Maha said she avoided drinking water due to fear of using the shared toilet inside the cell. She said that she was living almost exclusively inside an enclosure she and her partner created by hanging blankets around their bunkbed.

      “I haven’t moved my legs for 23 days,” she said in tears, demonstrating how she cowered with her knees hugged to her chest all day. “If I had a way to kill myself, I would have.”

      According to a police registry given to Human Rights Watch researchers, at the time of the interview she and her partner were held in a cell with 32 unrelated men. Maha was released days after her interview, but her partner remained in detention.

      Some women and girls said they were housed with unrelated men at the RIC for weeks or months. “Suraya,” a woman in her twenties (nationality withheld) in the RIC with her four-year-old nephew while awaiting confirmation of their family links, spent nearly five months in a section she said housed only men and unaccompanied boys. She said a fellow asylum seeker sexually assaulted her. “He started touching me while I was sleeping,” Suraya said, adding that he left when she screamed, and she reported it to authorities. “I have asked [them] to take me to a safer place here, or to another camp, but nothing has happened,” she said.

      Authorities at the pre-removal detention center said there is a separate designated cell for women traveling alone, but they also put families in that cell “if necessary,” such as during periods of overcrowding. The facility was under capacity when Human Rights Watch visited, but two single women said they were in a cell with unrelated families. Authorities in both the pre-removal detention center and the RIC acknowledged gaps in response at the facilities, which they attribute largely to a dearth of resources.

      National and European law as well as international standards require that men and women be held separately in detention, including reception and immigration detention facilities, unless they are members of the same family and consent to being held together. They also call for separating unaccompanied children from adults, and separate accommodation for families. A 2016 order issued by the Headquarters of the Hellenic Police instructs police to separate women and children from unrelated men in closed facilities.

      Greek authorities should ensure the safety and security of all asylum seekers, including by providing single women, single men, families, and unaccompanied children with separate accommodation, toilets and bathing facilities in all immigration detention sites and other closed facilities. Authorities should urgently fit all rooms, bathrooms, and containers in RICs with locking doors to facilitate security and privacy.

      When necessary, authorities should urgently transfer single women, unaccompanied and separated children, and families including couples in immigration detention to accommodation or facilities that meet these standards. Authorities should also ensure that asylum seekers have a safe and confidential means to report sexual harassment or assault, and that such reports are promptly investigated, those responsible are appropriately punished, and immediate measures are taken to ensure victims’ safety and well-being.

      “Women and girls in these sites are overcome by fear from being locked up with men who are complete strangers,” Margolis said. “Greek authorities need to put an urgent stop to this, and grant them the security, privacy and dignity they deserve.”

      Accounts from asylum seekers in Fylakio pre-removal detention center and the reception and identification center (RIC) in Fylakio, Greece:

      Fatima (all names have been changed), 24, from Algeria, who had been at the pre-removal center with her husband for 20 days: “For 20 days I have been the only woman [in our cell]. The others are all single men. I had difficulty at the beginning. I sleep at night covered in a blanket. One night a man [in the cell] came and lifted the blanket and was looking at me. When I go to take a bath, the men come and try to look over the wall…. I am very stressed…. I feel like I have reached the bottom. I feel like I am broken.”

      Suha, 20, from Morocco, who had been in the Fylakio pre-removal detention center with her husband for two weeks. At the time of the interview, they were in a cell alone, but they had previously been in the same center for two weeks in a cell with mostly men: “There were two other girls and 60 to 70 men [in the cell] … I was fighting for myself every day … The worst time was when I would go to the toilet. All of them would follow me with their eyes, say things. Some men, when they see a woman they act like animals. They would call out to me, ‘Stand up, stop here, let us look at you, you’re beautiful.’ The toilets are mixed [for men and women.] The bath is the same. There is no lock on the door. If you sit, they can’t see you [over the wall]. But if you stand they can see you from the chest up. Imagine being a woman in those conditions.”

      Samira, 18, from Syria, who had been in the RIC with her 15-year-old sister for three weeks: “Since I’ve been here I’m unable to eat. I’m very stressed. I can’t leave my sister, I have to take care of her…. I’m constantly afraid that someone will enter our container. I don’t sleep at night – I stay awake during the day and sleep in the morning… I only shower once every two weeks because I feel like people are watching me [in the bathroom] … I wake up every morning at 3 a.m. feeling scared and nervous.”

      Nada, 16, from Syria, who had been in the RIC with her older brother and sister for nearly two months: “We’re the only family in our section, it’s all single men. The only women are me and my sister. Everyone is afraid here. There are more than 20 men [or unaccompanied boys] living in our section…. At first, we were 20 people in the [same] container, but they have all left. It was mixed men and women. We didn’t feel safe and couldn’t sleep. We stayed up all night…. We shared the toilet with strangers. I used to take my sister with me and ask her to wait at the door.”

      Nadir, 21, from Syria, who had been in the RIC for 20 days with his 6-year-old niece, Abra, whose mother became separated from them during the crossing from Turkey to Greece: “We are in the same container with two families…. The doors don’t lock…. The families staying with us are Iraqi Kurds. We can’t communicate with them – how can we feel safe? It is not a question of nationality, it is just that they are strangers. I can’t leave [Abra] alone. If she wants to go outside, I go outside; if she wants to go to the toilet, I go with her. There are single men [or unaccompanied boys]. If you come at night around 10 p.m. you will hear the noises they make [yelling] and understand why we don’t feel safe.”

      Abbas, 35, from Iran, who had arrived at the Fylakio pre-removal detention center with his wife, 36 the previous day: “When we reached here, [the police] said, ‘You have to be separated [from your wife].’ I said, ‘No, we can’t be separated, we are a couple.’ Then the police said, ‘If you don’t separate, you’ll both have to go to the room with all the men.’ My wife was shocked and started crying. She was really scared. I said, ‘Okay, let’s separate.’ I kissed her, said goodbye, and they put her in another room and me in the room with all the men.” Eventually, he said, the police brought his wife to a cell opposite his and then put them together in that cell, along with unrelated families.

      Additional Information on Combined Detention of Women and Men

      In interviews with twelve women and two girls from May 19 to 24, eight women and one girl said they had been held in cells with unrelated men in Fylakio pre-removal detention center, including six women who were held with unrelated men at the time of the interviews.

      Women at the pre-removal center said that combined toilet and bathing stalls in cells they shared with men did not have floor-to-ceiling walls, and they were harassed by male cellmates while using them. One 24-year-old woman, in a cell with her husband and 20 single men, said men attempted to watch her over the wall while she used the toilet.

      Six women and two girls told Human Rights Watch they were also housed with unrelated men at the RIC, sometimes for weeks or months, in pre-fabricated containers and “sections,” which are fenced-in, locked enclosures containing a courtyard and multiple containers housing migrants and asylum seekers. Five women and two girls were being held with unrelated men and/or boys at the time of their interviews at the Fylakio RIC.

      Assignment to sections is based primarily on nationality. Awaiting confirmation of age, placement in designated accommodation, or establishment of family links to other asylum seekers can result in lengthy stays for unaccompanied or separated children and their non-immediate family members.

      Two unrelated girls, ages 15 and 16, each said they had been in these sections in the RIC with unrelated adult men and/or boys for over three weeks; one said she and her 30-year-old sister had been the only females in a section with 20 men and/or boys for about 45 days. One 19-year-old pregnant woman who was there with her husband and in-laws said her container housed multiple unrelated families in one shared room.

      Some women and girls, as well as a man with his 6-year-old niece, said they and their family members live in rooms inside containers shared with unrelated families including men or boys. In all cases, they said they share toilets and bathing facilities with men and/or boys, and that no containers or bedrooms have locking doors.

      Detention of Migrants and Asylum Seekers in Greece

      Under Greek law, authorities may restrict the movement of new arrivals for up to 25 days at a reception and identification center (RIC) and up to a total of six months in immigration detention, including at pre-removal centers. Unaccompanied and separated children may be held longer pending resolution of their cases and reunification with family members, particularly when age or family links are in question, or pending available space in designated sites with protected areas or shelters.

      Upon arrival in the Evros region in northern Greece, where the land-border with Turkey is located, irregular migrants and those seeking international protection are held in border police stations, a pre-removal detention center, and/or a RIC, pending completion of reception and identification procedures. Following these procedures, new arrivals may be detained for processing or assessment of their asylum claim, or for deportation.

      While the increase in arrivals in April temporarily strained asylum identification, registration, and accommodation services in Northern Greece and the Evros region, authorities are responsible for ensuring the safety and security of asylum seekers throughout registration and identification processes. Increased arrivals do not justify the Greek government’s failure to protect women and girls, or to allow dangerous conditions to persist even after arrivals have decreased.

      During Human Rights Watch visits to sites in the Thessaloniki area and in Evros, authorities said that arrivals had returned to a normal range over the previous two weeks. On May 19, authorities at Fylakio pre-removal detention center said the site has a capacity of 374 and was housing only 172 people. On May 21, authorities at the RIC, which has a capacity of 240, said it was housing 196. Nevertheless, Human Rights Watch found women and girls being held with unrelated men and boys.

      On June 1, following an April ad hoc visit to Greece, the Council of Europe Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment reported the detention of men, women, and children together in a single cell at the Fylakio pre-removal center, consistent with the Human Rights Watch findings in May.

      Authorities said they give priority to members of “vulnerable” groups for registration, processing, and transfer to appropriate accommodation. Under Greek law this includes unaccompanied or separated children, people with disabilities, pregnant women and new mothers, single parents with minor children, and victims of sexual violence, torture or other severe psychological or physical trauma. The authorities acknowledged that unaccompanied or separated children – and sometimes their family members – may be accommodated for lengthy periods in the RIC due to limited spaces in designated “safe” facilities and lengthy processes for verifying family links.

      The Greek government’s failure to accommodate men, women, and children separately in immigration detention is a longstanding problem, including in Evros. The European Court of Human Rights and multiple other international human rights bodies have criticized inhumane and degrading conditions in Greek immigration detention facilities, including failure to separate women and children from unrelated men. Human Rights Watch has previously documented violence, insecurity, sexual harassment, and unhygienic and unsanitary conditions in facilities for registration, identification, and processing of asylum seekers on the Greek islands, or “hotspots.” Human Rights Watch has also found women traveling alone housed with unrelated men in island hotspots.


      https://www.hrw.org/news/2018/06/07/greece-asylum-seeking-women-detained-men

      #Fylakio #femmes #violences_sexuelles #harcèlement_sexuel

    • Greek Authorities’ Struggle to Identify Dead Evros Migrants

      The worsening humanitarian situation on Greece’s land border with Turkey, is drawing international media attention.

      As the local authorities also face the challenge of identifying the bodies they recover from the frontier river, the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) has already called on the Greek government to urgently improve conditions and expand reception capacity in the north east.

      This follows a recent rise in arrivals in the Evros area across the land border with Turkey.

      In one report, Britain’s BBC investigates how people fleeing from Iraq and Syria as well as other countries like Iran and Afghanistan, put themselves at risk while trying to cross the dangerous waters of the Evros.

      The BBC dispatch covers the work of local people like Professor Pavlos Pavlidis of the Alexandroupoli State Hospital. A forensic surgeon, he has built up a huge database of photos, personal items and DNA samples taken from unidentified people who have perished while crossing into Greece.

      Sometimes, his work allows for a victim to be identified: “It gives an answer, even if it is a sad answer,” he says.

      http://greece.greekreporter.com/2018/05/01/greek-authorities-struggle-to-identify-dead-evros-migrants
      #cadavres #morts #identification #corps #décès #mourir_aux_frontières

    • Unprepared and overwhelmed: Greece’s resurgent river border with Turkey. When an old migration route became new again, the Evros region was caught on the back foot.

      Locals in Evros are used to new faces. People have been quietly slipping across the river that forms a natural barrier for all but 12 kilometres of the tense, militarised border between Greece and Turkey since Greece joined the European Union in 1981.

      But everyone on the Evros River was puzzled when a crush of hundreds of migrants and asylum seekers began crossing their sleepy riverine border every day in March. Six months later, arrivals have slowed but worries persist that the region is still poorly prepared for any new influx.

      At the rush’s height in April, more than 3,600 crossed the river in one month, surpassing the total number of people arriving in Greece by sea for the first time since 2012. They came across the Evros on plastic dinghies, and once on Greek soil they were picked up by smugglers in cars or continued the journey by foot. The banks of the river were littered with discarded clothes, water bottles, food and medicine packages, and flotation devices, which remain there today.

      Despite its history of migration, Evros, one of Greece’s poorest regions, was caught off guard. Hundreds of new arrivals were crammed into police stations, waiting for months to lodge their asylum claims. There were no NGOs to help out. Conditions were dismal, and services limited.

      “We are all surprised with the rise in arrivals in Evros, and the lack of Greek preparation,” said Georgia Spyropoulou, an advocacy officer with the Hellenic League for Human Rights, from her office in Athens.

      Greek officials say they were caught unawares too, with a local police commissioner telling the UN’s refugee agency, UNHCR, in June that “it is necessary to be prepared in case there is an increase in arrivals again.” Still, local police insisted they were doing the best they could with the resources available to them.

      No one is quite sure what prompted the flood of people in the first place. And plenty of of people are still making their way to Evros – 9,480 by the end of July, taking a gamble on a border that looks safe but can be deadly – 29 people have died this year during the crossing or shortly after.
      Border police and barn doors

      Before 2012, and before millions of people began landing on Europe’s beaches and drowning in the Mediterranean, Evros (known as the Meriç River in Turkish) was the main crossing point for those hoping to make it into Europe through Greece.

      Amidst mounting pressure from other EU countries to further seal its borders (Austria’s interior minister famously said Greece was “open like a barn door”), Athens launched Operation Aspida (“Shield”) in 2012, deploying 1,800 more police officers and erecting a fence on the land portion of the border, adding to a 175-strong rapid border intervention team known as RABIT – set up in 2010 with the help of Frontex, the EU border agency.

      Those who made it alive to the Greek banks of the Evros this year found a system wholly unprepared for their arrival.

      The new measures worked, and by November 2012 migrant arrivals had dwindled to none – a remarkable decrease from 6,500 in August that year.

      Athens denies reports of pushbacks of asylum seekers, but human rights watchdogs have documented collective expulsions in which people are forced back into Turkey after already crossing the river, and the UN has also raised concerns.

      Despite the crackdown, the numbers began to creep up again slowly this March. And then the spring rush came.
      Understaffed and unprepared

      Those who made it alive to the Greek banks of the Evros this year found a system wholly unprepared for their arrival.

      The procedure is supposed to be simple: new arrivals are brought to “pre-removal detention centres” run by the Hellenic police, where they wait for no more than seven days to be fingerprinted and have their asylum claims registered at the region’s one official Reception and Identification Centre (RIC) in the small village of Fylakio.

      But it proved to be anything but.

      The RIC was understaffed and overwhelmed by the numbers, causing the sorts of major delays in processing that have plagued the reception system on the Greek islands.

      In a scathing review of Evros in the springtime, UNHCR criticised the detention of new arrivals in sub-standard police facilities. Human Rights Watch also found troubling conditions in May: women and girls were being held with unrelated men. One woman told the watchdog she was sexually assaulted by a fellow asylum seeker; her requests to be transferred to another location were ignored.

      After asylum seekers’ claims are processed, they are moved to the RIC itself, which has a 240-person capacity.

      Unlike on the Greek islands and its controversial policy of containment, people in Evros are allowed to move about the country. After applying for asylum, most head to other government- or UN-run camps elsewhere in the country. Still, even the RIC facility quickly became overrun as unaccompanied minors and those likely to have their asylum claims rejected had to stay on.
      Improvements

      When IRIN visited Fylakio in July, it found the RIC camp no longer overcrowded, and newly arrived asylum seekers expressed relief at being out of the pre-removal detention centre. “That was a very bad place,” one Turkish arrival said, declining to elaborate.

      IRIN was not granted access to the nearby pre-removal detention centre. But despite Greek police releasing many migrants from police detention, a HRW report from July said conditions in Fylakio remained “inhumane”, describing “dark, dank cells, with overpowering odours in the corridors”, a lack of toilets and locked doors, and insufficient healthcare.

      There have been some improvements for those out of their first detention, and NGOs have arrived to help: ARISIS, a Greek non-governmental organisation that provides social support for minors, had recently set up a makeshift office, and Médecins Sans Frontières has now established a permanent outpost in Fylakio.

      But one RIC employee said they remain understaffed. “We have the experience and motivation to manage the situation,” but not the manpower, the employee said, asking to remain anonymous because they were not authorised to speak to the media.

      Staff work in two shifts. When IRIN visited, the centre’s director was on sick leave, and there were still no doctors on staff, and only three nurses.

      In one crowded container at the RIC centre, an Iraqi family was living alongside the body of a dog that had died the previous week – its body still hadn’t been removed, and the stench lingered. The mother was concerned for the health of her infant, who was in hospital. Because members of the family, including the mother, are minors, they are currently stuck in limbo, waiting at the RIC.

      Communication remains a constant issue. There are no official, permanent translators and the overwhelming majority of the centre’s staff only speaks English or Greek.

      “There are asylum seekers who are interpreting for other asylum seekers… [which is] completely inappropriate,” Eva Cosse, Western Europe researcher for HRW, told IRIN.
      What’s next?

      Months after the springtime surge at Evros, there is still confusion about what caused it – and if there’s any way to predict if the same thing might happen again. Everyone, it seems, has a theory.

      “The waves of migration increase in populations when there are serious issues in the country of origin,” Nikolaos Menexidis, the barrel-chested police major general of Western Thrace, told IRIN from his headquarters in the town of Kommini. “When Turkey created the latest issues in Afrin, we saw a rise in numbers.”

      It’s true that following Turkey’s assault on the Syrian Kurdish enclave of Afrin – militias supported by Ankara took control in March – the majority of those recorded crossing in the spring were Syrian Kurds and Iraqis.

      But that doesn’t explain the drop in other nationalities who have long used the river crossing, like asylum seekers from Pakistan, countered Dimitros Koros, a lawyer with the Greek Council of Refugees.

      Some people may be driven by politics – Turks who had fled and made it to the RIC in Fylakio said they had been wrongly accused of terrorist activity at home or suspected of ties to the Gulen movement, which President Recep Tayyip Erdogan blames for the 2016 attempted coup in his country. Others may have just heard there was a chance to make it to Europe at the river.

      Whatever the reason for the surge, migrants and asylum seekers people will likely continue to take their chances on the way to Greece. And Koros, the lawyer with the Greek Council for Refugees, worries that new arrivals will continue to struggle, as they move away from the squalid conditions at the border itself and into a wider region unequipped to help.

      “Evros is not just the border,” he said. “Evros is here in Thessaloniki. They are here, homeless, without any provision of service.”

      http://www.irinnews.org/news-feature/2018/09/27/unprepared-and-overwhelmed-greece-s-resurgent-river-border-turkey

    • An open secret: Refugee pushbacks across the Turkey-Greece border

      On an eastern frontier of the European Union, people are whisked back to Turkey before they can claim asylum in Greece.

      Linda, a 19-year-old Syrian and registered refugee, had just crossed from Turkey into Greece at the Evros River when men carrying guns appeared, seemingly out of nowhere. She wasn’t sure if they were police officers or soldiers, but they emerged from behind trees and wore dark uniforms that helped them blend into the night.

      It was mid-May, and several hours earlier Linda had boarded a mini-bus in Istanbul with around 35 other people, including children and a pregnant woman, eager to enter European Union territory. The trip had been organised by smugglers, and the passengers ended up in a remote area close to the northwestern Turkish city of Edirne. At around three in the morning they boarded small boats that ferried them across the river.

      Linda’s plan was to get into Greece, then make her way to Denmark, where her fiancé lives. Her crossing was part of a sharp uptick in traffic into the EU via the Evros (known as the Meriç in Turkish) this spring; 3,600 people are known to have crossed in April alone, compared to just over 1,000 in all of 2013.

      But she didn’t make it more than a few steps into EU territory before she was stopped.

      The men demanded that everyone in the group hand over their mobile phones. “Then they beat the men who were with us, put us in a boat, and sent us back to the Turkish side of the border,” Linda recalled when she spoke to IRIN recently in Istanbul.

      Pushbacks like the one Linda experienced have been going on for years, documented by both human rights watchdogs and the UN’s refugee agency, UNHCR. They are also illegal under European and international law.

      “The right to claim and enjoy asylum is a fundamental human right," Leo Dobbs, a UNHCR spokesman in Greece, told IRIN. Pushbacks at the Evros border, he added, are a “serious issue.”

      According to a report released by the Greek Council for Refugees in February, before the spring rush, pushbacks have increased to the point of being “systematic” as the number of people crossing the Evros has grown slowly in the past two years.

      The Evros River border between Turkey and Greece is one of the easternmost frontiers of the European Union. Until a fence went up on all but 12 kilometres of the Evros in 2012, it was the easiest and safest path for asylum seekers from the Middle East and elsewhere to reach Europe, and nearly 55,000 people crossed the border irregularly in 2011.

      A controversial 2016 EU-Turkey deal that paved the way for asylum seekers to be returned from the Greek Islands to Turkey (which it deems safe under the terms of that agreement), does not apply to the Evros border. Instead, there is a separate, largely ineffective bilateral readmission agreement dating from 2002 that was suspended earlier this year.

      Even under the terms of that agreement, pushbacks like the one Linda experienced violate European and international laws on refugee protection, which require states to allow asylum seekers to file for protection and prohibit sending them back to countries where they may face danger. While countries are allowed to protect their borders, they cannot legally return people who have already crossed without first evaluating their claims.

      Pushbacks may be illegal, but they are an open secret. “It’s something that everybody knows,” said Dimitris Koros, a lawyer with the Greek Council for Refugees. Now, when an asylum seeker enters Greece from the land border, “the first thing you encounter is the possibility of being pushed back,” he added.

      The Greek Ministry for Migration Policy did not respond to IRIN’s requests for comment, but the Greek government has repeatedly denied it is engaged in systematic pushbacks.

      Human rights organisations say they have raised the issue of responsibility with the Greek government multiple times without receiving a response. “It’s a difficult thing… to say that the government instructs or gives orders to the policemen to do it,” Konstantinos Tsitselikis, a human rights law professor and former director of the Hellenic League for Human Rights said, “but they have the knowledge and they tolerate it at least.”

      It’s unclear just how many people have been pushed back or who is responsible, because the area around the border is a closed military zone and there aren’t many NGOs working in the region.

      Meanwhile on the Turkish side of the river, security forces regularly apprehend people attempting to cross and transfer them to government-run detention centres. But amidst a pervasive atmosphere of fear and silence, the treatment of asylum seekers and migrants after they are pushed back and detained largely remains a mystery.
      A longstanding practice

      According to Tsitselikis, pushbacks have been happening for decades.

      “I used to do my military service in 1996-97 in the Evros border area,” he told IRIN. “Even then the Greek authorities were doing pushbacks every day.”

      Although the border is technically a military zone, these days border police patrol the frontier as well as personnel from the EU border control agency, Frontex.

      People who have been pushed back, including Linda, describe being met by security forces wearing different types of uniforms, but it’s tough to assign responsibility.

      “Since it takes place outside of the public eye, we don’t really understand who is responsible,” Koros, from the Greek Council for Refugees, said.

      When asked about the practice by IRIN, Nikolaos Menexidis, police major general of Western Thrace, the Greek region that borders Turkey, said Hellenic police always follow the proper procedures when dealing with migrants.

      Menexidis said his forces have been working with Turkish police for the past six years on what he calls “technical issues.” They primarily exchange information on stopping smugglers on both sides of the border, he said.

      After pushback

      Linda’s ordeal did not end when she was pushed back into Turkey. The smugglers who brought her group to the border were gone and so was the bus. Without phones to call for help, the group was stuck. After waiting several hours, they tried to cross again.

      This time they made it further, walking for five or six hours in Greek territory before they were stopped, taken to a detention centre, and placed in a room with people from many different countries.

      After being held for several more hours, they were driven back to the border, the men were beaten again, and they were all forced back to the Turkish side of the river. By that point, the group was exhausted and thirsty. “For two days we didn’t drink water. When we saw the river we drank from it,” Linda said. “There were people who got sick because the water was dirty.”

      A group of Turkish soldiers found them in the woods and brought them food, water, and milk for the children and pointed them in the direction of Edirne, where they arranged for taxis to bring them back to Istanbul.

      In a way, Linda was lucky. Last December, the Greek Council for Refugees documented the case of a Pakistani man who died of hypothermia after being forcibly returned to Turkey. He had fallen into the cold water on the way back.

      While the Evros is no more than a few metres wide, its current is deceptively strong and, according to records in Greece, at least 29 people this year have died while trying to cross the water or shortly after.

      Some who are forced back to Turkey face serious punishment. Since a failed military coup in 2016, the Turkish government has jailed tens of thousands of opponents, leading to an increase in the number of Turks fleeing to Greece to seek asylum – nearly 2,000 in 2017 compared to just 180 the year before. The Hellenic League for Human Rights has documented two cases of Turks being pushed back from Greece at the Evros and later being imprisoned in Turkey, including journalist Murat Çapan, who is now serving a 22.5 year sentence for “participating in a terrorist organization and attempting to overthrow the constitution”.

      Despite documentation, human rights advocates say they have struggled to bring attention to the issue of pushbacks, as EU and international policymakers focus on stemming Mediterranean crossings. There is little appetite in Europe at the moment for monitoring or changing policies that are keeping asylum seekers and migrants from entering the EU.

      “Both the European Union and the Greek government... prefer not to open this discussion, especially in this political environment,” Tsitselikis said, referring to the rise of right-wing, anti-migration politics in Europe that is shaking the foundations of the EU.
      Fear and silence

      In early June, about a 10-minute drive from Edirne, hundreds of people in the parking lot of what the Turkish government calls a “migrant removal centre” huddled under tin pavilions that offered shade from the afternoon sun. This is where those caught on the Turkish side of the river are brought.

      IRIN visited three times over the course of a week to try to gain access, but never received a response to our requests.

      The centre is surrounded by a low wall topped with a chain-link fence and spools of razor wire. Each time IRIN visited, there were hundreds of people – mostly men, but also women and small children – in the parking lot and white vans passed in and out of the metal gate depositing more people. Two large charter buses idled in the parking lot with their doors open, seemingly waiting for people to board.

      In close to a week spent at the border, there was no concrete evidence of what was happening inside the centre. There were hints and rumours, but no one wanted to speak on record – including Turkish organisations that work with asylum seekers – because of the sensitivity of the issue.

      It is simply not clear how long people are kept in the centre, or what happens to them when they are removed. The Turkish Directorate General of Migration Management responded to IRIN’s requests for comment with links to online statistics and Turkish law on removals.

      Several Syrian and Afghan asylum seekers that IRIN spoke to shared stories of being held in such centres for a period of time before being released inside Turkey and permitted to stay. Most of the people IRIN spoke to reported good treatment while inside.

      But in 2015 and 2016, Amnesty International documented cases of Syrians detained while trying to migrate to Europe and being deported to Syria, according to Anna Shea, an Amnesty researcher working on refugee and migrant rights.

      Amnesty has also recently documented a case of a Syrian asylum seeker stopped in Edirne being deported to Idlib, the rebel-held province in northwestern Syria where a ceasefire is so far holding off a government offensive but humanitarians warn conditions are still dire. It is unclear if the case is part of a larger trend.

      In recent months, Turkey has deported large numbers of Afghans and Syrians, stopped after crossing Turkey’s southern and eastern borders, back to their respective countries.

      But it is difficult to know if this practice has been extended to people who have tried to travel to Greece, given that the organisations working on migrant and refugee rights were unwilling to speak on the record, and the government declined to comment on the issue or allow access to detained migrants.

      “The total stonewalling and lack of information and complete lack of transparency is cause for concern in and of itself,” said Shea, the Amnesty researcher. “I mean, what do they have to hide?”

      Hidden practice

      At a small village outside of Edirne, a man herding goats pointed to places where people crossed the nearby river, but there was no sign of anyone during the day. Crossings happened only at night, he said. And the Turkish army prohibited people from approaching the river after 7 pm.

      The road leading from the village followed the winding course of the Evros, which was often blocked from view by thick stands of trees. The surrounding area was full of corn fields, rice paddies, and thick vegetation. Small dirt roads that shot off in the direction of the river were marked with red signs carrying a stencilled soldier – a warning that entry beyond that point was prohibited.

      Not far away, in the city centre, everyone seemed shocked to learn that so many people had crossed the border this year. It was a problem that most locals assumed was already in the past, given that most of the frontier had been lined with barbed wire and cameras for the past six years.

      But those who have tried and failed to cross the Evros know that the rural quiet harbours dangers the eye can’t see.

      Linda has given up on seeing her fiancé anytime soon – a visa is likely to take years – and she isn’t planning on trying to cross the border again. “I started being afraid because of the things I saw,” she said.


      https://www.irinnews.org/special-report/2018/10/08/refugee-pushbacks-across-turkey-greece-border-Evros
      #push-back #refoulement

    • Grèce : le mystère des trois migrantes retrouvées égorgées

      Les corps des trois femmes avaient été découverts le 10 octobre par un agriculteur dans un champ près du fleuve Evros.

      Trois migrantes retrouvées mortes début octobre près du fleuve Evros à la frontière gréco-turque au nord de la Grèce ont été identifiées. Selon la police, il s’agit d’une mère et ses deux filles. Elles ont été égorgées après avoir été entravées.

      Le mode d’exécution pose questions aux enquêteurs, qui privilégient la piste criminelle depuis la découverte des corps en octobre dernier. « Des femmes contraintes à s’agenouiller avant d’être égorgées, pourrait évoquer une action de type djihadiste, mais dans l’immédiat, la police n’exclut ni ne privilégie aucune piste », explique une source policière.

      L’hypothèse d’une « punition » infligée par un réseau de passeurs a aussi été avancée par les médias grecs. L’affaire « est sans précédent dans les annales du pays, c’est un mystère », a relevé la même source policière.


      http://www.leparisien.fr/faits-divers/grece-le-mystere-des-trois-migrantes-retrouvees-egorgees-26-10-2018-79291

    • Le fleuve Évros, cimetière des migrants anonymes

      Ce fleuve boueux, aux courants dangereux et à la profondeur traîtresse, tue et recrache régulièrement des corps quasi impossibles à identifier.

      Bloqué en Turquie, Mustafa a d’abord tenté d’atteindre la Bulgarie par la voie terrestre avec un groupe de migrants afghans. Mais une fois la frontière passée, la police bulgare les a interceptés avant de les renvoyer en Turquie, où ils ont été emprisonnés dans le centre de détention d’Edirne pendant trois mois. Quelques semaines après sa libération, au milieu de l’été 2014, Mustafa a demandé à sa famille restée en Afghanistan, d’envoyer de l’argent à un passeur qui avait promis de l’emmener en Bulgarie – mais cette fois-ci en passant par la Grèce.

      Les cinq jeunes hommes de son nouveau groupe ont alors dû se cotiser pour financer le bateau gonflable qui leur servirait à franchir à deux reprises l’Évros, un fleuve de 480 kilomètres de long qui marque la frontière greco-turque, mais aussi une partie de la frontière entre la Grèce et la Bulgarie.

      La route migratoire qui consiste à traverser l’Évros, fréquemment empruntée depuis les années 1990, est redevenue populaire après l’accord UE-Turquie signé en 2016 visant à limiter les arrivées de migrants dans les îles Grecques via la mer Méditerranée. Cette route a longtemps semblé préférable à emprunter la Méditerranée pour atteindre la Grèce. Mais ce fleuve boueux, aux courants dangereux et à la profondeur traîtresse, car variable, tue et recrache régulièrement des corps quasi impossibles à identifier.

      C’est dans la région grecque de l’Évros que l’on trouve le plus grand nombre de corps de migrants non identifiés en Grèce. À cela s’ajoutent les corps retrouvés du côté turc de l’Évros, et aussi en Bulgarie. À Évros, les employés de la morgue de l’hôpital d’Alexandroúpoli, aidés par le Comité International de la Croix Rouge, tentent d’identifier les corps pour aider les familles qui recherchent un proche disparu.

      Mais tout ça, Mustafa ne le sait pas. Le passeur a acheté un bateau « pour les petits bébés » et « à peine plus grand qu’un lit », se rappelle aujourd’hui Mustafa. En pleine nuit, le groupe trouve un coin où la végétation est assez dense pour les dissimuler. Puis, le passeur et les six Afghans gonflent et s’entassent sur la petite embarcation.

      « Les courants étaient trop rapides pour nager, » explique Mustafa à VICE News. « On a eu peur de mourir [...], que le bateau coule et que des poissons, comme des piranhas, nous mangent. » Le groupe traverse finalement la frontière entre la Turquie et la Grèce, en 20 minutes. « On a ensuite récupéré le bateau, car le passeur a dit qu’on en aurait encore besoin, » raconte Mustafa, sa voix douce, mais anxieuse en harmonie avec son visage triste et enfantin.

      En effet, après avoir marché environ deux jours, Mustafa se retrouve face à la même rivière, qu’il doit traverser pour atteindre la Bulgarie. Il fait noir et les branches sous l’eau percent l’embarcation de fortune. Rapidement, Mustafa se débarrasse de son sac à dos pour pouvoir nager. Il s’accroche à des branches, parvient à sortir de l’eau et retrouve le passeur et trois autres camarades. Mais deux des migrants, des jeunes qui n’avaient pas plus de 20 ans, ne sont pas là.

      Objets retrouvés avec les corps de migrants et réfugiés à Évros. Morgue de l’hôpital général de l’université d’Alexandroúpolis, Grèce. Juillet 2017. (Photo de Stylianos Papardelas)

      « Le bateau a coulé, on n’a pas vu ce qu’il s’est passé, mais ensuite, ils avaient disparu, » raconte doucement Mustafa. « On ne les a pas retrouvés. » Après trois jours de marche et une semaine passée au camp de Hamanli, Mustafa est emprisonné dans le centre de détention de Busmantsi près de Sofia. Puis, après encore des semaines de voyage, il atteindra Paris, où il n’a toujours pas réussi à obtenir l’asile et espère faire venir sa femme et ses trois enfants.

      Les deux camarades de voyage de Mustafa ont sans doute rejoint les centaines de victimes de l’Évros, dont les corps, retenus au fond du fleuve par la boue et les branches, sont souvent retrouvés des mois, voire des années, après leur disparition.

      Poppi Lazaridou, assistante à la morgue de l’hôpital général de l’université d’Alexandroúpolis, raconte l’histoire tragique d’une famille afghane. Grèce. Juillet 2017. (Vidéo produite par Christopher Nicholas/Fragkiska Megaloudi/CICR)

      Selon les données communiquées par le CICR, 352 corps ont été découverts entre 2000 et 2017 dans la région de l’Évros, qui borde le fleuve du côté grec. Seuls 105 ont été identifiés. Entre janvier et mai 2017, 841 personnes ont été arrêtées à Évros en essayant de traverser la frontière (contre 1 638 pour la même période en 2016).

      « Mais peut-être qu’il y a plus de corps que nous n’avons pas encore trouvés, » dit le docteur Pavlos Pavlidis, médecin légiste à l’hôpital général de l’université d’Alexandroúpoli (Grèce). De plus, ces chiffres n’incluent pas les corps retrouvés en Turquie et en Bulgarie. « Je pense que les chiffres [pour la Turquie] sont à peu près les mêmes que du côté grec, » ajoute-t-il, lors d’une interview réalisée par le CICR.

      D’après Pavlidis, la première cause de décès des migrants dans la région, ce sont les noyades. Jusqu’en 2008, la deuxième cause de décès, c’était les mines, disséminées le long de la frontière et retirées cette année-là. Après les opérations de déminage, l’hypothermie a pris la seconde place sur la liste.

      « Quand tu sors de la rivière et que tu es mouillé, tu t’assois dans tes habits trempés, et tu commences à te sentir endormi, et tu meurs d’hypothermie, » explique Pavlidis. « Ils sombrent en fait dans un sommeil profond, ils ne souffrent pas... Ils ne se réveillent jamais. »

      Les passeurs ne laissent pas les migrants emporter leurs sacs sur les embarcations. Ils portent donc beaucoup de couches de vêtements sur eux, explique Pavlidis. Quand le bateau chavire, le poids attire les personnes vers le fond. « Il est impossible de survivre, mais en plus les corps restent sous l’eau et on ne peut pas les récupérer, » dit-il. « Nous avions un cas où la personne a été retrouvée portant quatre pantalons et sept chemises. »

      Il y a quelques années, la plupart des victimes étaient principalement des hommes seuls fuyant l’Afghanistan, le Pakistan ou le Bangladesh, d’après les observations de Pavlidis. Mais depuis la guerre en Syrie, les familles syriennes ont rejoint le groupe. « Maintenant, on va avoir des enfants, des femmes, des grands-pères. » (Selon le CICR, le nombre de familles a récemment recommencé à diminuer.)

      Les corps sont retrouvés par Frontex, la police, l’armée ou par des chasseurs et des pêcheurs, explique Pavlidis. Ils sont souvent dans un état de décomposition avancée, ou mangés par les poissons. Lorsqu’on lui ramène un corps, le médecin enregistre les habits et effets personnels. Ces objets, qu’il collecte depuis environ 15 ans, sont essentiels à la reconnaissance des corps.

      Le docteur Pavlos Pavlidis, médecin légiste et pathologiste, montre et parle des objets retrouvés avec les corps de migrants et réfugiés, à la morgue de l’hôpital général de l’université d’Alexandroúpolis, Grèce. Juillet 2017. (Vidéo produite par Christopher Nicholas/Fragkiska Megaloudi/CICR)

      Puis son équipe procède à une autopsie. Ils prélèvent ensuite un échantillon ADN et l’envoient au laboratoire de la police à Athènes. Si l’échantillon correspond à un profil existant, ils collaborent avec la Croix Rouge Internationale. Et, si quelqu’un recherche un proche qui a traversé l’Évros à cette période, ils poursuivent le processus d’identification.

      Si aucune recherche n’est entamée, les corps quittent la morgue après trois à quatre mois, et sont enterrés dans l’un des trois cimetières musulmans des alentours. La position et le numéro de leur tombe sont archivés afin qu’ils puissent être retrouvés par des proches dans le futur.

      « Nous avons plusieurs recherches fructueuses, mais pas tant que ça, car c’est un procédé très complexe et long, » explique Jan Bikker à VICE News. En tant que médecin légiste du CICR à Athènes, son travail consiste en partie à tenter de retrouver les familles des défunts si le gouvernement grec n’a pas réussi à le faire.

      « Ce n’est pas toujours aussi simple que ça en a l’air : on retrouve des papiers d’identité, mais nous ne sommes jamais sûrs que ce soit la bonne personne, » dit-il. « En effet, les papiers peuvent être faux ou une personne peut être enregistrée sous différents noms, ou porter les papiers de quelqu’un d’autre.

      L’équipe de Bikker aide aussi les familles ayant contacté le CICR à retrouver le corps de leurs proches et à produire un échantillon d’ADN pour procéder à l’identification. Cet échantillon est nécessaire à identifier un corps en trop mauvais état.

      Ce travail est difficile pour plusieurs raisons : les familles peuvent vivre dans des zones de conflits ; être des personnes déplacées ; résider illégalement dans un pays ; ou risquer l’emprisonnement si leur gouvernent apprend que leur proche a quitté le pays.

      « Normalement, nous collectons les informations descriptives qui pourraient nous donner une première piste. Une fois que nous avons une idée et une correspondance possible avec un corps, nous tentons de travailler avec [les proches des disparus] et les autorités pour obtenir l’ADN. »

      Une fois le corps identifié, les familles décident, en fonction de leurs moyens, si elles souhaitent rapatrier le corps dans leur pays d’origine.

      « Nous espérons qu’un cadre légal sera mis en place en Grèce [...] pour la centralisation des informations descriptives dans une base de données centrale avec toutes les informations sur les personnes disparues et les corps non identifiés, » explique Bikker.

      Comme l’explique Fragkiska Megaloudi, chargée de communication au CICR à Athènes, l’identification des morts est de la responsabilité de l’État grec. Le CICR est la seule association aidant l’État grec pour le médico-légal et prend le relais pour les identifications difficiles.

      L’association se charge aussi d’instruire les gardes côtiers grecs sur la manière de gérer dignement les corps, fournit du matériel à l’équipe du docteur Pavlidis, et améliore les cimetières accueillant les migrants et réfugiés.

      « Nous aidons à améliorer et à marquer les tombes, comme ça, si nous trouvons la famille, ils peuvent revenir et trouver la tombe de la personne. Sinon ils ne peuvent pas tourner la page, » dit-elle.

      « Nous reconstruisons de petites histoires autour de ces personnes, mais nous ne savons jamais qui elles étaient, leurs noms, ce qu’elles pensaient, leurs espoirs, leurs rêves... Et elles sont juste mortes ici » dit Megaloudi, émue. « C’est le côté le plus tragique de la crise migratoire. »

      Des agriculteurs d’Évros racontent leurs rencontres avec des migrants et réfugiés de passage à Évros. Grèce. Juillet 2017.

      https://www.vice.com/fr/article/d3qxbw/le-fleuve-vros-cimetire-des-migrants-anonymes-grece-turquie

  • L’odyssée grecque des migrants

    Des familles, des hommes seuls, majoritairement des personnes jeunes aptes à faire le long voyage ... Ils sont plus de 48 000 migrants à être arrivés illégalement en Grèce depuis le début de l’année 2015. 60% de ces naufragés sont arrivés de Syrie, ayant fui un conflit qui a déjà fait plus de 230 000 morts, selon l’OSDH (organisation syrienne des droits de l’homme). Les autres, des Afghans, des Irakiens, des Somaliens, des Erythréens... veulent eux-aussi échapper aux violences qui gangrènent leurs pays. Ces exilés racontent souvent avoir pris de gros risques pour quitter leurs pays. Ils rejoignent ensuite la Turquie puis la Grèce. Leur objectif : mettre un pied dans l’Union européenne. La république hellénique est l’une des principales « portes d’entrée ».

    http://labogrec.blog.lemonde.fr/2015/06/10/sur-les-iles-grecques-lodyssee-tragique-des-migrants
    #Grèce #migration #asile #photographie #réfugiés #Lesbos #Lesvos #Leros #Fylakio #Evros
    cc @albertocampiphoto

  • What’s in a name? The reality of First “Reception” at Evros

    spite its potential, the Greek system of referral of third country nationals to the appropriate procedures (known as ‘first reception’), coupled with a dramatic lack of reception places, results in practice in asylum seekers and migrants, including children, being held in detention, often for prolonged periods. This is the conclusion of a report published this week following an ECRE delegation visit to the Fylakio First ‘Reception’ Centre and the adjacent Fylakio Detention Centre in the Evros region.

    Migrants arriving irregularly in the Evros region may be detained for up to seven days in a police station, or in the Fylakio Detention Centre, before they are transferred to the First Reception Centre in Fylakio. Although the facility is called a ‘reception centre’ and the conditions are better than in the Fylakio Detention Centre, it is ECRE’s view that the situation is also one of detention as they are deprived of their liberty; people are not allowed to leave without permission and the centre is secured with barbed wire and permanently guarded by the Hellenic Police. From the ‘First Reception Centre’, many people are referred back to the #Fylakio #Detention_Centre, or another detention centre, either for their removal, for the completion of their asylum application or because there is no appropriate open accommodation available....

    http://www.ecre.org/component/content/article/70-weekly-bulletin-articles/1003
    REPORT LINK HERE---> http://www.ecre.org/component/downloads/downloads/992.html
    #evros #grece #ECRE #refugie @cdb_77

  • ECRE’s visit to Fylakio’s First Reception Centre shows #asylumseekers stuck in ‘detention carrousel’

    Despite its potential, the Greek system of referral of third country nationals to the appropriate procedures (known as ‘first reception’), coupled with a dramatic lack of reception places, results in practice in asylum seekers and migrants, including children, being held in detention, often for prolonged periods. This is the conclusion of a report published this week following an ECRE delegation visit to the Fylakio First ‘Reception’ Centre and the adjacent Fylakio Detention Centre in the Evros region.

    http://www.ecre.org/component/content/article/70-weekly-bulletin-articles/1003
    #Fylakio #Grèce #détention_administrative #rétention #asile #réfugiés #migration

  • Ségrégation en Grèce, mode d’emploi | La Cité
    http://www.lacite.info/segregation-en-grece-mode-demploi

    Ségrégation en Grèce, mode d’emploi

    Liaison Orestiada-Alexandropouli : une femme afghane résidant à Damas fuit les combats qui font rage en Syrie, juillet 2012.
    Dans les trains qui, depuis la frontière terrestre avec la Turquie, conduisent les migrants vers Athènes, la séparation avec les habitants est devenue une pratique courante. Reportage sur la ligne qui relie Orestiada à la capitale grecque.

    Texte Cristina del Biaggio Photos Alberto Campi

    Orestiada est la première ville grecque que les migrants croisent après avoir traversé la frontière terrestre entre la Grèce et la Turquie. Sur le quai de la gare, les contrôleurs de train se démènent pour que les migrants prennent place dans le wagon arrière, plongé dans le noir, alors que les habitants, des Grecs pour la plupart, s’assoient librement dans le wagon devant, éclairé à souhait.