• Lanceurs d’alerte dans la police : « Je ne connais aucun agent qui est épanoui dans son travail »

    Pour la première fois, six fonctionnaires témoignent des dysfonctionnements de leur institution dans « Police, la loi de l’#omerta ». Les deux auteurs de cet ouvrage alarmant et salutaire, une capitaine et un ancien gardien de la paix, espèrent ainsi libérer la parole de leurs collègues et remédier aux maux qui les rongent.

    « #Violences_policières, #sexisme et #racisme ordinaires, #dissimulation_de_délits, abondance de #faux_en_écriture_publique, #corruption, #tyrannie_hiérarchique, #radicalisation médiatisée des syndicats ou encore politique du chiffre… » Voilà une liste (non exhaustive) des #maux_policiers que dénoncent #Agnès_Naudin et #Fabien_Bilheran dans le livre Police, la loi de l’omerta (éditions Le Cherche Midi), qui paraît ce jeudi. Elle est capitaine, passée par la police aux frontières et la brigade des mineurs, autrice de plusieurs livres et porte-parole de la FSU Intérieur. Avant de quitter « la boîte », lui était gardien de la paix, ayant officié jusqu’à la brigade des stups du 36, quai des Orfèvres, l’ancien siège de la prestigieuse police judiciaire parisienne.

    Dans cet ouvrage, leurs deux témoignages sont assortis de ceux de quatre autres policiers. Il y a #Serge_Supersac, #CRS en bagarre avec les syndicats et la compromission de collègues, qui vit mal les audits de l’Inspection générale de la police nationale sur son commandement, et se tourne vers la recherche autour du lien police-population. Il y a #Jean-Marc_Cantais, confronté au suicide d’un collègue, puis catapulté à la tête d’unités dont il dénonce les indigences et les violences, et qui se liguent contre lui jusque devant les tribunaux. Il y a #Stéphane_Lemercier, officier confronté, de la Somme à l’Hérault, à des hiérarchies erratiques et à l’inanité de la politique du chiffre, qui finit par se réfugier dans les études et l’écriture de livres sur la police. Ou encore #Christophe_Annunziata, lâché deux fois par son administration et les syndicats, d’abord quand il a souffert de #harcèlement_moral (après qu’un collègue a mimé sur lui deux égorgements), puis quand il a cherché à dénoncer un membre de sa brigade des mineurs, qu’il soupçonne… de corruption de mineurs (ce dernier est actuellement mis en examen).

    Ce livre dense ne résout pas les problèmes qu’il pose (ni, a fortiori, ceux qu’il élude). Mais ces six cas particuliers, mis bout à bout, montrent de l’intérieur une institution policière dysfonctionnelle, tiraillée entre un pouvoir politique passionné de chiffres, des syndicats omnipotents, une direction recroquevillée sur des principes éloignés de l’intérêt général, des individus aux comportements délétères qui ne sont pas sanctionnés et d’autres qui sont placardisés pour avoir alerté sur les dérives de leurs collègues. L’ouvrage résonne comme un coup de semonce. Assez pour ébranler la chappe de plomb recouvrant la police nationale ? Agnès Naudin, interviewée par Libé avec son coauteur Fabien Bilheran, ne se pose (presque) pas la question : « De toute façon, tant qu’on ne va pas dans les médias, on ne les fait pas chier. Et tant qu’on ne les fait pas chier, il n’y a rien qui change. »

    Quelle a été la genèse de ce livre ?

    Fabien Bilheran : A la fin de l’année 2021, alors que je demandais depuis un an la rupture conventionnelle [il l’a obtenue en juin 2022, ndlr], j’ai appris qu’Agnès s’intéressait au sujet, en tant que porte-parole de la Fédération syndicale unitaire [0,2 % des suffrages aux élections professionnelles du ministère de l’Intérieur en 2018]. On est entrés en contact, et après quelques heures de discussion on en est arrivés à parler de ce livre. Depuis mon engagement auprès des Policiers en colère en 2016, je gardais dans un coin de la tête la possibilité de porter ce genre de témoignages. Entre le réseau d’Agnès et le fait que je suis membre de l’association de prévention du suicide des policiers Peps-SOS, c’est presque les témoins qui venaient à nous. On a même dû faire un tri.

    Agnès Naudin : Ensuite, il a fallu franchir les barrières de la méfiance, répondre à la question que les témoins se posaient : « A quoi ça sert de parler publiquement, après tout ce que j’ai déjà fait pour dénoncer ce qui ne va pas ? » On s’est aussi interrogés sur la légalité, la loyauté, le devoir de réserve. On a fait un gros travail de collecte de preuves. On a écarté des témoignages qui risquaient d’être remis en question. Enfin, toutes les personnes qui parlent dans ce livre sont déléguées de la FSU. Ça faisait partie des conditions sine qua non, pour moi, dès le départ, afin qu’elles soient un minimum protégées de l’administration.

    Les élections professionnelles au ministère de l’Intérieur se tiennent du 1er au 8 décembre. Ce n’est pas un hasard de sortir le livre maintenant ?

    A.N. : Je botte en touche, et vous pouvez l’écrire.

    F.B. : Je n’ai pas d’engagements syndicaux, et je ne suis pas soumis à la réserve électorale. J’estime que les syndicats majoritaires font partie du problème. Ils exercent un électoralisme de court terme, car ils participent à l’obtention des grades et des mutations pour les agents. Quand on n’est pas dans un syndicat, il est beaucoup plus difficile d’obtenir son avancement, même si on le mérite ou qu’on a de l’ancienneté. Publier ce livre maintenant permet de faire réfléchir les policiers au syndicalisme dont ils ont envie. Est-ce qu’ils veulent un syndicalisme de clientèle, qui va juste surfer sur les faits divers ou la dernière polémique ? Ou, au contraire, est-ce qu’ils veulent un syndicalisme qui ait une vision à long terme, qui ait une vision du collectif, au-delà des intérêts particuliers ?
    Guerre des images
    Les syndicats, bras armé de la police pour la communication de crise
    Police / Justice
    26 sept. 2022abonnés

    Les syndicats ou les associations de policiers n’ont, selon vous, pas le pouvoir de faire bouger les lignes ?

    F.B. : J’ai été dans un syndicat, j’ai été dans les Policiers en colère. Si aujourd’hui j’ai quitté la police, c’est parce que j’ai fait tout ce qui était en mon pouvoir, mais que ça n’a pas suffi pour changer les choses, notamment sur la question du suicide, qui me tient particulièrement à cœur. C’est la plus grande cause de mortalité des gardiens de la paix. Contrairement aux discours politiques, et des syndicats majoritaires, qui s’offusquent des refus d’obtempérer toutes les je ne sais pas combien de secondes, le principal danger pour un policier, quand il entre en école de police, c’est le suicide. Quand le ministre en parle, c’est pour dire que le suicide est dû à des problèmes personnels. En réalité, quand on est policier, on est soumis à des interventions qui peuvent être traumatisantes, à des accidents de la route, à la mort, à la violence…

    A.N. : … et à l’ambiance dans les services.

    F.B. : Oui, voilà, aussi à l’ambiance dans les services, à la hiérarchie… On ne peut pas dire que le suicide n’est pas lié au travail. Le travail joue forcément un rôle dans le suicide, et rien n’est fait à ce sujet. C’est pour cela qu’on en arrive à cette extrémité : écrire un bouquin, avec des policiers à visage découvert, c’est parce qu’on est démunis. On a grand espoir, avec ce livre, de porter une autre parole que ce qu’on peut entendre médiatiquement. De faire réfléchir à ce qu’on peut faire de la police, pour qu’elle fonctionne mieux, pour accompagner les agents vers une sérénité au travail. Cette sérénité est la condition essentielle d’une bonne relation avec la population.

    A lire votre livre, on a l’impression que tous les policiers ont l’air de vouloir changer de service, ou de ne pas être heureux là où ils sont…

    A.N. : Je ne dirais pas ça. J’ai croisé plein de fonctionnaires dans les mêmes services depuis des années, qui n’en bougeront plus jusqu’à la retraite. C’est d’ailleurs parfois une difficulté pour la hiérarchie de gérer ces dynamiques-là. C’est surtout vrai ailleurs qu’à Paris, où au contraire on trouve des jeunes en début de carrière, sortis d’école, donc ça bouge vite…

    F.B. : Je suis un peu plus dur. Je ne connais aucun policier qui soit épanoui dans son travail. Quel que soit le lieu, l’endroit, le service, son prestige, qu’il y ait ou non des moyens… Il y a toujours un problème qui vient le contraindre ou qui rend son quotidien compliqué. Que ce soit de manière structurelle ou à cause de difficultés interpersonnelles.

    A.N. : Ce n’est pas que tous les policiers sont malheureux dans ce qu’ils font. Mais il est vrai que je ne connais pas de policier qui trouve du sens à ce qu’il fait. Parce que la sanction administrative n’a pas de sens, la politique pénale n’a pas de sens… Et puis il y a une instrumentalisation des statistiques policières à des fins politiques. Il y a un vrai décalage entre les chiffres affichés et le quotidien vécu des agents. Par exemple, si on veut voir plus de policiers qui s’occupent du stup, on va demander à tous les policiers de faire des infractions à la législation sur les stupéfiants. En conséquence, on va davantage détecter cette délinquance, et donc demander plus de moyens. C’est une boucle infinie.

    Si pas grand-chose ne fonctionne dans la police, qu’espérez-vous de votre livre ?

    A.N. : Soyons fous : qu’il permette de changer la police ! Il faudrait que chaque fonctionnaire qui, à un moment, a la capacité de faire le choix de couvrir un collègue ou pas, se souvienne de ces témoignages, qu’il se souvienne que chaque action a une répercussion. Et c’est à la portée de tout le monde. Je ne sais pas combien de policiers doivent se mobiliser pour que les choses changent, mais ce nombre existe. Pas besoin que les 150 000 agents fassent la révolution. Mais si 500 ou 600 lisent le bouquin, se disent « j’ai déjà été dans ces situations-là, je ne m’en suis pas rendu compte », qu’ils ouvrent les yeux sur leur propre situation… rien que ça, ce serait énorme. Quant à ceux qui s’y retrouveront à l’avenir, même s’ils ne sont pas victimes, mais plutôt comme des moutons à suivre le troupeau, il faut qu’ils disent « non, je suivrai pas ». Peut-être que, dans un groupe de dix, il suffit que deux moutons arrêtent de suivre le troupeau pour que les choses s’améliorent.

    F.B. : Le bouquin révèle une multitude de témoignages, l’idée est qu’il libère la parole. Et ensuite qu’on s’entraide et qu’on s’accompagne face aux représailles de l’administration que l’on peut subir quand on dénonce les dysfonctionnements. On envisage de constituer un collectif structuré pour soutenir les lanceurs d’alerte [de la police] dans leurs démarches. Plus largement, et c’est sûrement utopiste, il faut arriver à toucher un public large. La solution ne viendra pas uniquement de la police, mais aussi de la mobilisation de la société, qui va permettre l’émergence d’une meilleure police. On veut enclencher la dynamique. La réflexion est sociétale, et elle se pose ainsi : qu’est-ce qu’on fait de la police ?

    A.N. : Oui et, quelle police veut-on ? C’est une question qu’on pourrait poser aux citoyens.

    F.B. : Et ce n’est pas à un ministre de l’Intérieur de répondre à ces questions.

    https://www.liberation.fr/societe/police-justice/lanceurs-dalerte-dans-la-police-je-ne-connais-aucun-agent-qui-est-epanoui

    #police #témoignage

    –—

    ajouté à la #métaliste de #témoignages de #forces_de_l'ordre, #CRS, #gardes-frontière, qui témoignent de leur métier. Pour dénoncer ce qu’ils/elles font et leurs collègues font, ou pas :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/723573

  • Des appareils de #surveillance de #Frontex sont utilisés par les #gardes-côtes_libyens pour intercepter illégalement des migrants

    « Le Monde » a identifié l’origine de sept images aériennes publiées par les gardes-côtes libyens sur leurs pages Facebook. Elles ont été réalisées par des appareils de surveillance de Frontex, et démontrent comment les activités de l’agence européenne facilitent des #interceptions illicites par les Libyens en Méditerranée. Frontex a toujours soutenu ne pas collaborer avec les garde-côtes libyens.

    « Le patrouilleur #Fezzan a porté secours à un chalutier en feu et a sauvé son équipage de huit personnes. » Le 24 août 2021, la page Facebook « Gardes-côtes et sécurité portuaire » publie le bilan d’une opération de sauvetage menée au cours de la journée par les gardes-côtes libyens. Pour l’illustrer, la page publie une photo du chalutier en feu.


    La présence d’informations temporelles et de localisations sur l’image indique qu’il s’agit d’une prise de vue réalisée par un appareil de #surveillance_aérienne, et non par un simple appareil photo. Ce genre d’images, entre 2018 et 2022, les gardes-côtes libyens en ont publié une douzaine, sur différents comptes et réseaux. Sauf que la #Libye n’est pas dotée d’appareils capables de réaliser ces images. Qui en est à l’origine ?

    Pour identifier leur source, Le Monde a recoupé les informations qu’elles contiennent avec des données #ADS-B, un signal émis par les #avions en vol, ainsi qu’avec les journaux de bord de plusieurs ONG actives en Méditerranée, dans les airs ou en mer. Dans le cas du 24 août 2021, par exemple, les informations présentes sur l’image indiquent les coordonnées, l’altitude et l’heure précise à laquelle l’appareil se trouvait lorsqu’il a réalisé cette image. Elles donnent aussi la position approximative du chalutier observé par l’appareil.

    Nous avons reconstitué le trafic aérien au-dessus de la Méditerranée dans la matinée du 24 août 2021. En comparant les parcours des différents appareils avec les données disponibles sur l’image, nous avons ainsi pu identifier un appareil qui se trouvait précisément aux coordonnées et à l’altitude à laquelle la photo a été prise, lorsqu’elle a été réalisée : le #drone AS2132, opéré par Frontex.

    Pour d’autres images, nous avons eu accès aux observations d’ONG, comme SeaWatch ou SOS Méditerranée, consignées dans des journaux de bord. Ceux-ci sont librement accessibles ici. Au total, ce travail nous permet d’affirmer que sur cinq dates différentes les images publiées par les gardes-côtes libyens ont été réalisées par des appareils de Frontex. Au moins une autre l’a été par un appareil de l’#EunavforMed, la force navale européenne en Méditerranée, qui collabore avec Frontex.

    Des interceptions impossibles sans renseignements extérieurs

    Sollicitée, l’agence de garde-frontière l’assure : « il n’y a pas de collaboration entre Frontex et les gardes-côtes libyens », ce qu’affirmait déjà en mars 2021 son ex-directeur Fabrice Leggeri. L’agence précise, en revanche : « Chaque fois qu’un avion de Frontex découvre une embarcation en détresse, une alerte – et une image, le cas échéant – est immédiatement envoyée au centre de coordination des sauvetages régional. L’information envoyée inclut notamment la position, la navigabilité du navire et la probabilité qu’il n’atteigne pas sa destination finale. »

    De fait, dans les cinq cas identifiés par Le Monde, les images de Frontex ont pourtant bien fini entre les mains des gardes-côtes libyens. Et certaines ont vraisemblablement rendu possible l’interception d’embarcations, autrement impossibles à localiser pour les Libyens. Dans le cas du 8 mai 2019, par exemple, l’avion de Frontex découvre une embarcation en route pour l’Europe en Méditerranée centrale. Un contact est établi entre les autorités libyennes et l’agence, mais il n’émet pas de Mayday. Ce message d’urgence aurait pu être capté par tous les avions et navires à proximité à ce moment-là, dont le Mare Jonio, de l’ONG Mediterranea Saving Humans, spécialisé dans le sauvetage. Frontex dit n’envoyer des Maydays que « lorsqu’il existe un danger imminent pour la vie des occupants ».

    Les gardes-côtes libyens retrouvent finalement sans difficulté l’embarcation, pourtant située à plus d’une centaine de kilomètres de leurs côtes. A 17 heures, ils font monter les migrants à bord de leur patrouilleur avant de les rapatrier en Libye. Une interception que les informations de Frontex ont vraisemblablement facilitée, voire rendue possible. Pendant toute la durée de l’opération, l’avion de Frontex continue de survoler la zone, et de filmer la scène. Des images auxquelles les gardes-côtes ont aussi eu accès.

    Frontex souligne que, conformément au règlement européen relatif à la surveillance des #frontières_maritimes_extérieures, ses alertes ne sont pas adressées aux gardes-côtes libyens, mais au « #centre_régional_de_coordination_des_sauvetages (#RCC) [libyen] (…) internationalement reconnu ». Une fois l’alerte envoyée, « Frontex ne coordonne pas les opérations de recherche et de sauvetage (...), c’est la responsabilité des centres de secours régionaux« . Reste à savoir si ce RCC existe réellement. Frontex s’en tient à la position de l’#Organisation_maritime_internationale (#OMI), qui a reconnu officiellement l’existence d’un RCC en 2018.

    Plusieurs enquêtes ont pourtant mis en doute l’existence d’un tel RCC libyen. Derrière les adresses e-mail et les numéros de téléphone du RCC se trouvent en réalité les gardes-côtes, selon les différentes ONG impliquées dans des opérations de sauvetage en mer Méditerranée. Et le 8 novembre 2022, le vice-président de la commission européenne, Josep Borrell, lui-même affirmait : « Le centre de coordination des secours maritime n’est pas encore opérationnel. »

    Parmi les règles européennes, que Frontex dit respecter, figure le principe du non-refoulement : « Nul ne peut être (…) débarqué, forcé à entrer, conduit dans un pays ou autrement remis aux autorités d’un pays où il existe (…) un risque sérieux qu’il soit soumis à la peine de mort, à la torture, à la persécution ou à d’autres peines ou traitements inhumains ou dégradants. » Des situations courantes en Libye, de sorte qu’en 2020 la Commission européenne affirmait que le pays n’était pas un « lieu sûr » vers lequel il serait possible de renvoyer des migrants. Dans un rapport de 2018, l’ONU constatait que « les migrants subissent des horreurs inimaginables en Libye (…). Ils s’exposent à des meurtres extrajudiciaires, à la torture et à des mauvais traitements, à la détention arbitraire (…), au viol (…), à l’esclavage et au travail forcé, à l’extorsion et à l’exploitation ».

    https://www.lemonde.fr/international/article/2022/11/23/enquete-comment-des-appareils-de-surveillance-de-frontex-sont-utilises-par-l

    #garde-côtes_libyens #frontières #asile #migrations #Méditerranée #mer_Méditerranée

  • EU funds border control deal in Egypt with migration via Libya on rise

    The European Union signed an agreement with Egypt on Sunday (30 October) for the first phase of a €80 million border management programme, a statement from the EU delegation in Cairo said, at a time when Egyptian migration to Europe has been rising.

    The project aims to help Egypt’s coast and border guards reduce irregular migration and human trafficking along its border, and provides for the procurement of surveillance equipment such as search and rescue vessels, thermal cameras, and satellite positioning systems, according to an EU Commission document published this month.

    Since late 2016, irregular migration to Europe from the Egypt’s northern coast has slowed sharply. However, migration of Egyptians across Egypt’s long desert border with Libya and from Libya’s Mediterranean coast to Europe has been on the rise, diplomats say.

    From1 January to 28 October this year 16,413 migrants arriving by boat in Italy declared themselves to be Egyptian, making them the second largest group behind Tunisians, according to data published by Italy’s interior ministry.

    In 2021 more than 26,500 Egyptians were stopped at the Libyan border, according to the EU Commission document.

    Egypt is likely to experience “intensified flows” of migrants in the medium to long term due to regional instability, climate change, demographic shifts and lack of economic opportunities, the document says.

    The agreement for the first 23 million-euro phase of the project was signed during a visit to Cairo by the EU’s commissioner for neighbourhood and enlargement, Oliver Varhelyi.

    It will be implemented by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and CIVIPOL, a French interior ministry agency, and is expected to include the provision of four search and rescue vessels, Laurent de Boeck, head of IOM’s Egypt office, said.

    The EU Commission document says that to date, Egypt has addressed irregular migration “predominantly from a security perspective, sometimes at the expense of other dimensions of migration management, including the rights based protection migrants, refugees and asylum seekers”.

    The programme will seek to develop the capacity of the Egyptian ministry of defence and other government and civil society stakeholders to apply “rights-based, protection oriented and gender sensitive approaches” in their border management, it says.

    https://www.euractiv.com/section/global-europe/news/eu-funds-border-control-deal-in-egypt-with-migration-via-libya-on-rise

    #EU #UE #Union_européenne #migrations #asile #réfugiés #contrôles_frontaliers #frontières #externalisation #Egypte #accord #border_management #aide_financière #gardes-côtes #surveillance #complexe_militaro-industriel #réfugiés_égyptiens #CIVIPOL #IOM #OIM

    • EU funding for the Egyptian Coast Guard (Strengthening a Partnership That Violates Human Rights)

      The Refugees Platform in Egypt (RPE) issues a paper on the European Union’s decision, last June, to fund the Egyptian Coast Guard with 80 million euros, an amount that will be paid in two phases with the aim of “purchasing maritime border control equipment”, but there are no details about what the equipment is and how it is going to be used, and without setting clear indicators to ensure accountability for potential human rights violations and protect the rights of people on the move.

      The paper notes that the EU has previously provided funding to strengthen migration management in Egypt, but in fact, the funds and support of the EU have contributed to tightening restrictions on irregular migration in Egypt, by using law No. 82 of 2016, the law in which among several things, it criminalizes aiding irregular migrants and contradicts with other laws that expand the circle of human rights violations against people on the move. RPE paper also criticizes the EU’s demand to enhance cooperation between Egypt and Libya in the field of migration, especially since the two countries have a long record of violations of the rights of migrants and refugees.

      In the paper, incidents are tracked on the Egyptian side’s sea and land borders, and falsification of official figures related to the sinking of migrant boats, or the announcement of deaths of people who later turned out to be alive and being held in unknown places, and the violations that follow arbitrary arrest from medical negligence and forced deportation, and the paper also adds another monitoring of the refugee situation inside the country.

      Paper contents:

      – Ambiguous and worrying funds
      – EU cooperates with authoritarian regimes to suppress migration movements
      – Egypt’s successive failures in search and rescue operations and in providing the necessary protection to migrants and refugees, both at the borders and within the country
      – More funds without transparency, independent monitoring mechanisms, or prior assessments of their impact on migrants’ rights
      - Recommendations to (the EC, the EU and its Member States, and the Egyptian government)

      https://rpegy.org/en/editions/eu-funding-for-the-egyptian-coast-guard-strengthening-a-partnership-that-viol

  • La farsa del confine

    In Alta Val Susa, là dove molti percorrono le piste da sci di Claviere o d’estate passeggiano tra i boschi, altre persone aspettano il favore della notte per passare il confine che divide l’Italia dalla Francia. Qualcuno sfida la luce e si camuffa tra i turisti. Ma tutti rischiano la vita nel tentativo di scappare dagli occhi attenti della polizia francese. Per i pochi fortunati che riescono a passare, tanti altri, almeno una volta, vengono respinti indietro, verso l’Italia. Il limbo della frontiera è fatto di attesa e paura per chi vuole raggiungere parenti e amici in altri Paesi europei, oppure scappa ancora in cerca di diritti. È nel muro invisibile tra Italia e Francia che si ripete da anni la farsa del confine. “Limbo - Le vite sospese di chi si fa migrante” è un podcast scritto da Silvia Baldetti e Luca Rondi. È prodotto da Engim Internazionale in collaborazione con Altreconomia nell’ambito di SEMI - Storie, Educazione, Migrazioni e Impegno, finanziato dall’Unione Europea, attraverso la regione Piemonte nel contesto del progetto Mindchangers – Regions and Youth for Planet and People. I contenuti non riflettono necessariamente le posizioni dell’Unione Europea e di chi è intervenuto nel podcast come ospite. Hanno collaborato Francesca Prandi e Daniela Pizzuto. Il montaggio è a cura di Border Radio con la collaborazione di Silvia Baldetti. Mix, master e composizione colonna di Raja Scudella.La sigla è di Federico Sgarzi.

    https://open.spotify.com/episode/25UgHDMVRJU9EeUZyWKWDA?si=259a80a8603c42bf

    #Val_de_Suse #Italie #France #migrations #asile #réfugiés #frontière_sud-alpine #frontières #Claviere #Montgenèvre #Oulx #Diaconia_Valdese #rifugio_Massi #PAF #gardes-frontière #Briançon #Hautes-Alpes #refoulements #Fréjus #refus_d'entrée #push-backs
    #podcast #audio #militarisation_des_frontières #farce #risques #décès #mourir_aux_frontières #morts_aux_frontières #contrôles_systématiques_aux_frontières

    Min. 23’18 : on cite la base de données sur les mort·es aux frontières alpines que Sarah Bachellerie et moi-même avons compilé à l’occasion de la contre-enquête pour Blessing :
    https://www.borderforensics.org/fr/investigations/la-mort-de-blessing-matthew-une-contre-enquete-sur-la-violence-aux-

  • #Latvia: Refugees and migrants arbitrarily detained, tortured and forced to ‘voluntarily’ return to their countries

    Latvian authorities have violently pushed back refugees and migrants at the country’s borders with Belarus, subjecting many to grave human rights violations, including secret detention and even torture, according to new findings published in a report by Amnesty International.

    Latvia: Return home or never leave the woods reveals the brutal treatment of migrants and refugees – including children – who have been held arbitrarily in undisclosed sites in the Latvian forest, and unlawfully and violently returned to Belarus. Many faced beatings and electric shocks with tasers, including on their genitals. Some were unlawfully forced to return ‘voluntarily’ to their home countries.

    “Latvia has given refugees and migrants a cruel ultimatum: accept to return ‘voluntarily’ to their country, or remain stranded at the border facing detention, unlawful returns and torture. In some cases, their arbitrary detention at the border may amount to enforced disappearance,” said Eve Geddie, Director of Amnesty International’s European Institutions Office.

    “The Latvian authorities have left men, women and children to fend for themselves in freezing temperatures, often stranded in forests or held in tents. They have violently pushed them back to Belarus, where they have no chance of seeking protection. These actions have nothing to do with border protection and are brazen violations of international and EU law.”

    On 10 August 2021, Latvia introduced a state of emergency following an increase in numbers of people encouraged to come to the border by Belarus. In contrast with EU and international law and the principle of non-refoulement, the emergency rules suspended the right to seek asylum in four border areas and allowed Latvian authorities to forcibly and summarily return people to Belarus.

    Latvian authorities have repeatedly extended the state of emergency, currently until November 2022, despite the decrease of movements over time, and their own admission that the number of attempted entries were the result of multiple crossings by the same people.

    Dozens of refugees and migrants have been arbitrarily held in tents at the border in unsanitary conditions, A small percentage of people were allowed into Latvia, the vast majority of whom were placed in detention centres and offered limited or no access to asylum processes, legal assistance or independent oversight.

    Amnesty’s report on Latvia follows and supplements similar reports focussing on abuses against refugees and migrants by Belarus, Poland and Lithuania.
    Violent pushbacks, arbitrary detention and possible enforced disappearances

    Under the state of emergency, Latvian border guards, in cooperation with unidentified “commandos”, the army and the police, repeatedly subjected people to summary, unlawful and violent forced returns. In response, Belarusian authorities would then systematically push people back to Latvia.

    Zaki, a man from Iraq who was stranded at the border for around three months, told Amnesty International that he had been pushed back more than 150 times, sometimes eight times in a single day.

    Hassan, another man from Iraq who spent five months at the border, said: “They forced us to be completely naked, sometimes they beat us when naked and then they forced us to cross back to Belarus, sometimes having to cross a river which was very cold. They said they would shoot us if we didn’t cross.”

    In between pushbacks, people were forced to spend prolonged periods stranded at the border or in tents set up by the authorities in isolated areas of the forest. Latvian authorities have so far denied using tents for anything other than providing “humanitarian assistance”, but Amnesty International’s findings show that tents were heavily guarded sites used to arbitrarily hold refugees and migrants and as outposts for illegal returns.

    Those not held in tents sometimes ended up stranded in the open at the border, as winter temperatures at times fell to -20C. Adil, a man from Iraq, who spent several months in the forest since August 2021, told Amnesty International: “We used to sleep in the forest on the snow. We used to light fire to get warm, there were wolves, bears.”

    At the border and in the tents, authorities confiscated people’s mobile phones to prevent any communication with the outside world. Some families searched for people who were last known to be in Latvia but could not be reached by phone. A Latvian NGO reported that between August and November 2021, they were contacted by the relatives of more than 30 refugees and migrants feared to have gone missing.

    Holding migrants and refugees in tents in undisclosed locations or leaving them stranded at the border without access to communication or safe alternatives to being continuously shuttled back and forth between Latvia and Belarus constitutes ‘secret detention’ and could amount to enforced disappearance.
    Forced returns, abuse and torture

    With no effective access to asylum under the state of emergency, Latvian officers coerced some people held at the border into agreeing to return ‘voluntarily’ to their countries of origin as the only way to be taken out of the forest.

    Others were coerced or misled into accepting voluntary returns in detention centres or police stations.

    Hassan, from Iraq, told Amnesty International that he tried to explain that his life would be in danger if he was returned: “The commando responded: ‘You can die here too’”.

    Another Iraqi, Omar, described how an officer hit him from behind and forced him to sign a return paper: “He held my hand and said you should do the signature, and then with force, he made me do the signature.”

    In some cases, the IOM representative for Latvia ignored evidence that people transferred as part of “voluntary” return procedures had not provided their genuine consent to returning.

    “Latvia, Lithuania and Poland, continue to commit grave abuses, under the pretext of being under a ‘hybrid attack’ from Belarus. As winter approaches and movements at the border have resumed, the state of emergency continues to allow Latvian authorities to unlawfully return people to Belarus. Many more could be exposed to violence, arbitrary detention and other abuses, with limited or no independent oversight,” said Eve Geddie.

    “Latvia’s shameful treatment of people arriving at its borders presents a vital test for European institutions, which must take urgent measures to ensure that Latvia ends the state of emergency and restores the right to asylum across the country for everyone seeking safety, irrespective of their origin or how they crossed the border.”
    Background

    As pushbacks at the Belarus border with Latvia, Lithuania and Poland re-intensify, the EU Council is prioritizing the adoption of a Regulation on the “instrumentalization” of migrants and asylum seekers. This would allow member states facing situations of “instrumentalization” – as experienced by Latvia – to derogate from their obligations under EU asylum and migration law. The proposal disproportionately impacts the rights of refugees and migrants and risks undermining the uniform application of EU asylum law.

    In June, the Court of Justice of the EU ruled that the Lithuanian law on asylum and migration, which limited people’s ability to make asylum applications under the state of emergency and provided for the automatic detention of asylum seekers, was incompatible with EU law.

    The Court’s analysis and conclusions should apply directly to the situation in Latvia, where, since August 2021, the state of emergency effectively prevents most people entering or attempting to enter “irregularly” from Belarus from accessing asylum.

    https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2022/10/latvia-refugees-and-migrants-arbitrarily-detained-tortured-and-forced-to-vo

    #Lettonie #réfugiés #asile #migrations #détention #détention_arbitraire #torture #retour_volontaire (sic) #renvois_forcés #pays_baltes #rapport #Amnesty #Amnesty_international #Biélorussie #forêt #push-backs #refoulements #état_d'urgence #police #gardes-frontière #armée #militarisation_des_frontières #violence #abandon #limbe #encampement #commando #milices

    ping @isskein @reka

  • EU to provide €80 million to Egyptian coast guard

    The European Commission has confirmed that €23 million will be allocated in 2022 and €57 million in 2023 to provide equipment and services to Egyptian authorities for “search and rescue and border surveillance at land and sea borders”.

    Following a Parliamentary question (https://www.europarl.europa.eu/doceo/document/E-9-2022-002428_EN.html) submitted by MEPs Erik Marquardt and Tineke Strike (of the Greens), the Commission stated that while it is “developing an action in support of border management… in close coordination with Egyptian authorities… no overview of equipment or services to be delivered to Egyptian authorities is available at this stage.” (https://www.europarl.europa.eu/doceo/document/E-9-2022-002428-ASW_EN.html)

    Responding to Marquardt and Strik’s concern over the “dire human rights situation in Egypt,” and the fact that this funding will go towards preventing Egyptians, 3,500 of whom have fled the country to Italy since January last year, from being able to exercise their right to leave their country, the Commission states that it:

    “...stands ready to support Egypt in maintaining its capacity to prevent irregular migration by sea, as well as to strengthen the control of its border with Libya and Sudan. This is of particular importance in light of the six-fold increase of irregular arrivals of Egyptian nationals to the EU in 2021 (9 219), of which over 90% to Italy, mostly via Libya.

    An ex ante risk assessment will be conducted and monitoring will take place throughout the action to ensure that it does not pose any threats to the respect of international human rights standards and the protection of refugees and migrants."

    The two paragraphs would appear to directly contradict one another. No answer was given as to what indicators the Commission will use to ensure compliance with Article 3(5) of the Treaty of the European Union on upholding and promoting human rights.

    Commenting on this response, Erik Marquardt states:

    "The commission wants ’to prevent irregular migration by sea’. Therefore, they are willing to work together with the Egyptian military-regime. The European Union should not cooperate with the Egyptian Coast Guard in order to prevent people from fleeing. We should use the tax payers money to prevent suffering and to support people in need of international protection - not to build a fortress europe

    “The Commission needs to tell us what exactly the €80 million are going to be spend on. We need to know if the funds will be used to buy weapons and see how exactly they plan to prevent people from fleeing. In Libya, we saw how funds were used to arm militias, we cannot let something similar happen again.”

    The €80 million allocation for border control makes up part of a €300 million total in short and long-term EU funding for Egypt.

    Après les #gardes-côtes_libyens... les #gardes-côtes_égyptiens

    #EU #UE #union_européenne #asile #migrations #réfugiés #frontières #contrôles_frontaliers #Méditerranée #mer_Méditerranée #externalisation #Egypte #financement

    ping @isskein @karine4 @_kg_

  • Plateforme « drift-backs » en mer Egée

    Une enquête de #Forensic_Architecture et Forensis menée avec une grande rigueur –recoupements de photos et de vidéos, géolocalisations, recoupements de témoignages- révèle que, entre mars 2020 et mars 2020, 1018 opérations de refoulement -la plupart par la méthode dite ‘#drift-back’- ont été menées en mer Egée, impliquant 27.464 réfugiés. Remarquez que ce chiffre concerne uniquement les refoulements en Mer Egée et non pas ceux effectués d’une façon également systématique à la frontière terrestre d’Evros.


    https://forensic-architecture.org/investigation/drift-backs-in-the-aegean-sea

    –—

    Présentation succincte des résultats de l’enquête parue au journal grec Efimérida tôn Syntaktôn (https://www.efsyn.gr/ellada/dikaiomata/352169_pano-apo-1000-epanaproothiseis).

    Plus de 1 000 opérations de refoulements en mer Egée répertoriés et documentés par Forensic Architecture 15.07.2022, 10:26

    Dimitris Angelidis

    L’enquête des groupes Forensic Architecture et Forensis est très révélatrice. ● De mars 2020 à mars 2022, 1 018 cas de refoulement d’un total de 27 464 réfugiés ont été enregistrés, dont 600 ont été recoupés et documentés de façon qui ne laisse aucune place au doute ● « Des preuves d’une pratique assassine qui s’avère non seulement systématique et généralisée, mais aussi bien planifiée émergent », rapportent les deux groupes.

    Plus de 1 000 opérations illégales de refoulement de réfugiés dans la mer Égée, de mars 2020 à mars 2022, ont été enregistrées et documentées par le célèbre groupe de recherche Forensic Architecture et l’organisation sœur Forensis (fondée à Berlin, 2021).

    Les résultats de leurs enquêtes depuis plus d’un an sont aujourd’hui publiés en ligne (https://aegean.forensic-architecture.org ), sur une plateforme électronique qui constitue l’enregistrement le plus complet et le plus valide des refoulements grecs en mer Égée, alors que sa mise à jour sera effectuée régulièrement.

    « Des preuves d’une pratique de meurtre systématique, étendue et bien planifiée émergent », rapportent les deux groupes, notant que le déni des refoulements par le gouvernement grec manque tout fondement.

    Les preuves qu’ils ont croisées et documentées avec des techniques de géolocalisation et d’analyse spatiale proviennent de réfugiés et d’organisations telles que Alarm Phone et l’organisation Agean Boat Report, la base de données Frontex, le site Web des garde-côtes turcs et des recherches open source.

    Il s’agit de 1 018 cas de refoulement d’un total de 27 464 réfugiés, dont 600 ont été recoupés et documentés d’une façon si complète que leur existence ne peut pas être mise en doute. Il y a aussi 11 morts et 4 disparus lors de refoulements, ainsi que 26 cas où les garde-côtes ont jeté des réfugiés directement à la mer, sans utiliser les radeaux de sauvetage (life-rafts) qu’ils utilisent habituellement pour les refoulements, depuis mars 2020. Deux des personnes jetées à l’eau mer ont été retrouvées menottées.

    Dans 16 cas, les opérations ont été menées loin de la frontière, dans les eaux grecques, soulignant « un degré élevé de coopération entre les différentes administrations et autorités du pays impliquées, ce qui indique un système soigneusement conçu pour empêcher l’accès aux côtes grecques », comme le note l’ enquête.

    Frontex est directement impliquée dans 122 refoulements, ayant été principalement chargée d’identifier les bateaux entrants et de notifier leurs présences aux autorités grecques. Frontex a également connaissance de 417 cas de refoulement, qu’elle a enregistrés dans sa base de données sous le terme trompeur « dissuasion d’entrée ».

    Lors de trois opérations le navire de guerre allemand de l’OTAN FGS Berlin a été présent sur les lieux.

    https://www.efsyn.gr/ellada/dikaiomata/352169_pano-apo-1000-epanaproothiseis

    voir aussi la vidéo introductive ici : https://vimeo.com/730006259

    #architecture_forensique #mer_Egée #asile #migrations #réfugiés #push-backs #chiffres #statistiques #Grèce #Turquie #refoulements #gardes-côtes #life_rafts #abandon #weaponization #géolocalisation #recoupement_de_l'information #contrôles_frontaliers #base_de_données #cartographie #carte_interactive #visualisation #plateforme

    –—

    pour voir la plateforme :
    https://aegean.forensic-architecture.org

  • La minute sécurité du jour : si vis pacem, ParaPactum ...

    Macron ciblé par un projectile : quel est le ParaPactum, ce parapluie à plus de 10 000€ qui protège les présidents ? - midilibre.fr
    https://www.midilibre.fr/2022/04/27/macron-cible-par-un-projectile-quel-est-le-parapactum-ce-parapluie-a-plus-

    Le président de la république a été la cible d’un jet de #tomate ce mercredi 27 avril à Cergy, dans le Val-d’Oise. Ses #gardes_du_corps ont aussitôt déployé un parapluie en Kevlar très haut de gamme pour le protéger.

  • Migrants : enquête sur le rôle de l’Europe dans le piège libyen

    Des données de vol obtenues par « Le Monde » révèlent comment l’agence européenne #Frontex encourage les #rapatriements de migrants vers la Libye, malgré les exactions qui y sont régulièrement dénoncées par l’ONU.

    300 kilomètres séparent la Libye de l’île de Lampedusa et de l’Europe. Une traversée de la #Méditerranée périlleuse, que des dizaines de milliers de migrants tentent chaque année. Depuis 2017, lorsqu’ils sont repérés en mer, une partie d’entre eux est rapatriée en Libye, où ils peuvent subir #tortures, #viols et #détentions_illégales. Des #exactions régulièrement dénoncées par les Nations unies.

    L’Union européenne a délégué à la Libye la responsabilité des #sauvetages_en_mer dans une large zone en Méditerranée, et apporte à Tripoli un #soutien_financier et opérationnel. Selon les images et documents collectés par Le Monde, cela n’empêche pas les garde-côtes libyens d’enfreindre régulièrement des règles élémentaires du #droit_international, voire de se rendre coupables de #violences graves.

    Surtout, l’enquête #vidéo du Monde révèle que, malgré son discours officiel, l’agence européenne de gardes-frontières Frontex semble encourager les #rapatriements de migrants en Libye, plutôt que sur les côtes européennes. Les données de vol du drone de Frontex montrent comment l’activité de l’agence européenne se concentre sur la zone où les migrants, une fois détectés, sont rapatriés en Libye. Entre le 1er juin et le 31 juillet 2021, le drone de Frontex a passé 86 % de son temps de vol opérationnel dans cette zone. Sur la même période, à peine plus de la moitié des situations de détresse localisées par l’ONG Alarm Phone y étaient enregistrées.

    https://www.lemonde.fr/international/video/2021/10/31/migrants-enquete-sur-le-role-de-l-europe-dans-le-piege-libyen_6100475_3210.h
    #responsabilité #Europe #UE #EU #Union_européenne #Libye #migrations #asile #réfugiés #pull-backs #pullbacks #push-backs #refoulements #frontières #gardes-côtes_libyens

    déjà signalé sur seenthis par @colporteur
    https://seenthis.net/messages/934958

  • Si formano a Gaeta le forze d’élite della famigerata Guardia Costiera libica

    Non bastava addestrare in Italia gli equipaggi delle motovedette libiche che sparano sui migranti nel Mediterraneo o li catturano in mare (oltre 15.000 nei primi sette mesi del 2021) per poi deportarli e torturarli nei famigerati centri di detenzione / lager in Libia. Dalla scorsa estate è nella #Scuola_Nautica della #Guardia_di_Finanza di #Gaeta che si “formano” pure le componenti subacquee di nuova costituzione della #Guardia_Costiera e della #General_Administration_for_Coastal_Security (#GACS).

    La presenza a Gaeta delle unità d’élite della #Libyan_Coast_Guard_and_Port_Security (#LCGPS) dipendente dal Ministero della Difesa e della GACS del Ministero dell’Interno è documentata dall’Ufficio Amministrazione - Sezione Acquisti della Guardia di Finanza. Il 18 giugno 2021 l’ente ha autorizzato la spesa per un servizio di interpretariato in lingua araba a favore dei sommozzatori libici “partecipanti al corso di addestramento che inizierà il 21 giugno 2021 presso la Scuola Nautica nell’ambito della Missione bilaterale della Guardia di Finanza in Libia”. Nell’atto amministrativo non vengono fornite informazioni né sul numero degli allievi-sub libici né la durata del corso, il primo di questa tipologia effettuato in Italia.

    Dal 29 agosto al 29 settembre del 2019 ne era stato promosso e finanziato uno simile a #Spalato, in Croazia da #EUNAVFOR_MED (la forza navale europea per le operazioni anti-migranti nel Mediterraneo, meglio nota come #Missione_Irini). Le attività vennero svolte in collaborazione con la Marina militare croate e riguardarono dodici sommozzatori della Guardia costiera e della Marina libica.

    A fine ottobre 2020 un’altra attività addestrativa del personale subacqueo venne condotta in Libia da personale della Marina militare della Turchia, provocando molte gelosie in Italia e finanche le ire dell’(ex) ammiraglio #Giuseppe_De_Giorgi, già comandante della Nato Response Force e Capo di Stato Maggiore della Marina Militare dal 2013 al 2016.

    “In un tweet, la Marina turca riferisce che le operazioni rientrano a pieno nel novero di attività di supporto, consultazione e addestramento militare e di sicurezza incluse nell’accordo raggiunto nel novembre del 2019 tra il GNA tripolino e Ankara: non può sfuggire come questo avvenimento sia un ulteriore affondo turco a nostre spese e l’ennesimo spregio all’Italia”, scrisse l’ammiraglio #De_Giorgi su Difesaonline. “Nelle foto allegate al tweet, infatti, sono presenti le navi che proprio l’Italia nel 2018 aveva donato alla Libia in seguito all’accordo siglato con il primo #Memorandum che avrebbe previsto da parte nostra la presa in carico della collaborazione con la Guardia Costiera libica, non solo per tenere a bada il fenomeno migratorio in generale, ma soprattutto per dare un freno al vergognoso traffico di esseri umani. In particolare, si può vedere la motovedetta #Ubari_660, gemella della #Fezzan_658, entrambe della classe #Corrubia”.

    “Oltre al danno, anche la beffa di veder usare le nostre navi per un addestramento che condurrà un altro Stato, la Turchia”, concluse l’ex Capo di Stato della Marina. “Mentre Erdogan riporta la Tripolitania nella sfera d’influenza ottomana si conferma l’assenteismo italiano conseguenza di una leadership spaesata, impotente, priva di autorevolezza, inadeguata”.

    Le durissime parole dell’ammiraglio De Giorgi hanno colpito in pieno il bersaglio; così dal cappello dell’esecutivo Draghi è uscito bello e pronto per i sommozzatori libici un corso d’addestramento estivo a Gaeta, viaggio, vitto e alloggio, tutto pagato.

    Il personale dell’ultrachiacchierata Guardia costiera della Libia ha iniziato ad addestrarsi presso la Scuola Nautica della Guardia di Finanza nella primavera del 2017. Trentanove militari e tre tutor giunsero in aereo nella base dell’aeronautica di Pratica di Mare (Roma) il 1° aprile e vennero poi addestrati a Gaeta per un mese. “A selezionarli sono stati i vertici della Marina libica tra i 93 militari che hanno superato il primo modulo formativo di 14 settimane, svolto nell’ambito della missione europea Eunavformed, a bordo della nave olandese Rotterdam e della nostra nave San Giorgio”, riportò la redazione di Latina del quotidiano Il Messaggero.

    Nella scuola laziale i libici furono formati prevalentemente alla conduzione delle quattro motovedette della classe “#Bigliani”, già di appartenenza della Guardia di Finanza, donate alla Libia tra il 2009 e il 2010 e successivamente riparate in Italia dopo i danneggiamenti ricevuti nel corso dei bombardamenti NATO del 2011. Le quattro unità, rinominate #Ras_al_Jadar, #Zuwarah, #Sabratha e #Zawia sono quelle poi impiegate per i pattugliamenti delle coste della #Tripolitania e la spietata caccia ai natanti dei migranti in fuga dai conflitti e dalle carestie di Africa e Medio Oriente.

    Per la cronaca, alla cerimonia di chiusura del primo corso di formazione degli equipaggi libici intervenne a Gaeta l’allora ministro dell’Interno #Marco_Minniti. Ai giornalisti, #Minniti annunciò che entro la fine del mese di giugno 2017 il governo italiano avrebbe consegnato alla Libia una decina di motovedette. “Quando il programma di fornitura delle imbarcazioni sarà terminato la Marina libica sarà tra le strutture più importanti dell’Africa settentrionale”, dichiarò con enfasi Marco Minniti. “Lì si dovranno incrementare le azioni congiunte e coordinate per il controllo contro il terrorismo e i trafficanti di esseri umani: missioni cruciali per tutta la comunità internazionale”.

    Un secondo corso di formazione per 19 ufficiali della Guardia costiera libica venne svolto nel giugno 2017 ancora un volta presso la Scuola Nautica della Guardia di Finanza di Gaeta. Nel corso del 2018, con fondi del Ministero dell’Interno vennero svolti invece due corsi della durata ognuno di tre settimane per 28 militari libici, costo giornaliero stimato 606 euro per allievo.

    Nell’ambito del #Sea_Horse_Mediterranean_Project, il progetto UE di “cooperazione e scambio di informazioni nell’area mediterranea tra gli Stati membri dell’Unione di Spagna, Italia, Francia, Malta, Grecia, Cipro e Portogallo e i paesi nordafricani nel quadro di #EUROSUR”, (valore complessivo di 7,1 milioni di euro), la Guardia di Finanza ha concluso uno specifico accordo con la Guardia Civil spagnola, capofila del programma, per erogare sempre nel 2018 un corso di conduzione di unità navali per 63 libici tra guardiacoste del Ministero della Difesa e personale degli Organi per la sicurezza del Ministero dell’Interno.

    Istituzionalmente la Scuola Nautica della Guardia di Finanza di Gaeta provvede alla formazione tecnico-operativa degli allievi finanzieri destinati al contingente mare, nonché all’aggiornamento ed alla specializzazione di ufficiali impiegati nel servizio navale. In passato ha svolto attività di formazione a favore del personale militare e della polizia della Repubblica d’Albania e della Guardia Civil spagnola.

    L’Istituto ha partecipato anche a due missioni internazionali: la prima sul fiume Danubio, nell’ambito dell’embargo introdotto nel maggio 1992 dal Consiglio di Sicurezza dell’ONU contro l’allora esistente Repubblica Federale di Jugoslavia; poi, a fine anni ’90, a Valona (Albania) per fornire assistenza e consulenza ai locali organi polizia nella “lotta ai traffici illeciti”.

    Adesso per la Scuola di Gaeta è scattata l’ora dell’addestramento dei reparti d’élite delle forze navali di Tripoli, sommozzatori in testa.

    http://antoniomazzeoblog.blogspot.com/2021/11/si-formano-gaeta-le-forze-delite-della.html

    –-> Articolo pubblicato in Africa ExPress il 30 novembre 2021, https://www.africa-express.info/2021/11/30/addestrata-in-italia-la-guardia-costiera-libica-accusata-di-crimini

    #Gaeta #formation #gardes-côtes_libyens #asile #migrations #réfugiés #Italie #Libye #frontières #Méditerranée #plongeurs

    –---

    Ajouté à la métaiste sur les formations des gardes-côtes lybiens sur le territoire européen :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/938454

    ping @isskein

  • Migration de transit : #Belgique et #France appellent #Frontex à l’aide

    L’agence aux frontières extérieures pourrait fournir une surveillance aérienne pour identifier les embarcations tentant de traverser la #Manche depuis les côtes françaises.

    Et pourquoi ne pas aider le nord ? Dans le cadre des « #consultations_de_Val_Duchesse » – rencontre entre gouvernements français et belge sur les thématiques sécuritaires –, Sammy Mahdi, le secrétaire d’Etat à l’Asile et la Migration, a appuyé la #demande française d’un #renfort de l’agence des frontières extérieures, Frontex, pour surveiller la #côte_d’Opale. En cause : le nombre grandissant de traversées de migrants tentant de rejoindre l’Angleterre par la mer. En à peine deux jours, ce week-end, près de 250 personnes ont ainsi été secourues par les autorités alors qu’elles étaient en difficulté en mer. « Depuis le Brexit, la lutte contre la transmigration n’est pas devenue plus facile », a souligné le secrétaire d’Etat dans un communiqué. « Frontex apporte son aide dans le sud et l’est de l’Europe, mais devrait également le faire dans le nord. »

    Phénomène longtemps marginal, les traversées irrégulières de la Manche par bateau ont commencé à augmenter à partir de fin 2019 et n’ont pas cessé depuis. Un transfert s’expliquant probablement par la sévérité des contrôles des camions, par l’imminence du Brexit – dont le bruit courait qu’il aurait un impact sur la possibilité de franchir la frontière avec des contrôles douaniers systématiques – et peut-être par l’effet dissuasif du drame de l’Essex, lorsque 39 personnes avaient été retrouvées mortes dans un camion frigorifique. Mais aussi… par son taux de réussite. Depuis le début de l’année, la préfecture maritime Manche-mer du Nord a enregistré 1.231 tentatives de traversées impliquant plus de 31.500 personnes (certaines personnes ayant pu être impliquées dans plusieurs traversées). Seules un quart ont été interceptées et ramenées vers les côtes françaises. Et comme le Royaume-Uni a refusé de négocier un volet « réadmission » dans le cadre de l’accord du Brexit (pour remplacer le règlement Dublin), il doit gérer les personnes migrantes une fois débarquées.

    Pour les autorités belges, mais surtout françaises, le défi tient à l’immensité de la zone à surveiller. Alors que les départs avaient jusqu’à récemment lieu depuis les alentours de Calais, le point le plus proche de l’Angleterre, ils se sont dispersés vers le sud à mesure de la hausse des contrôles, allant jusqu’au Touquet, à 70 km de là. Ils sont en revanche toujours rarissimes côté belge. Les petites embarcations restent la norme – Decathlon a annoncé il y a quelques jours suspendre la vente de ses kayaks dans les magasins de Calais et Grande-Synthe, constatant un « détournement de leur usage sportif » –, signe de traversées autonomes. « Mais depuis 2019, avec la montée en puissance de réseaux criminels, voire mafieux, nous voyons des embarcations de plus en plus grandes et de plus en plus chargées, engendrant un effet de saturation ponctuelle. Les embarcations plus robustes, type voiliers ou chalutiers, restent plus anecdotiques », indique la préfecture maritime. Comprendre : les moyens de traversée les plus sûrs sont les plus rares. Or, la Manche est réputée être une autoroute de cargos, très dangereuse pour de petites embarcations la traversant.

    La France a déjà considérablement renforcé les moyens de surveillance et le travail de coordination pour mieux contrôler la côte, soutenue par une enveloppe de 62 millions d’euros promise par le Royaume-Uni. Un cadre opérationnel doit encore être déterminé pour définir l’intervention de Frontex : combien de temps, quels moyens humains, matériels… L’agence indique que la demande concerne du « soutien de surveillance aérienne ».

    « Ce serait la première fois que Frontex s’emploie à stopper les flux sortants au lieu de protéger les frontières extérieures contre les menaces extérieures », souligne le cabinet du secrétaire d’Etat Sammy Mahdi. « Mais si vous regardez les chiffres des départs en 2021, c’est une façon valable de penser. Si ce modèle continue à porter ses fruits avec les arrivées au Royaume-Uni, la transmigration sera difficile à arrêter. »

    https://www.lesoir.be/407906/article/2021-11-22/migration-de-transit-belgique-et-france-appellent-frontex-laide
    #asile #migrations #réfugiés #frontières #aide

    • Frontex deploys Danish surveillance aircraft over northern France

      Frontex has deployed a plane to support French and Belgian authorities trying to spot illegal boat crossing activity, a week after 27 migrants drowned when their dinghy deflated in the Channel, the European Union’s joint frontier force said.

      In a statement, Frontex said the plane, provided by Denmark had landed in Lille, northern France, adding the aircraft was equipped with modern sensors and radar to support land and sea border control.

      The deployment was decided during a meeting on Sunday in Calais between French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin and some of his European counterparts, an event to which British Interior Minister Priti Patel had been disinvited following a letter from British Prime Minister Boris Johnson letter that angered Paris. (https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/france-says-it-will-not-be-held-hostage-by-british-politics-migration-2021-)

      France and Britain are at loggerheads over post-Brexit trading rules and fishing rights and last week relations soured further after 27 people died trying to cross the Channel.

      “The evolution of the situation in the Channel is a matter of concern. Upon the request from member States, Frontex deployed a plane in France to support them with aerial surveillance in just three days,” Frontex Director Fabrice Leggeri said.

      “We are starting with one plane, but we stand ready to reinforce our support if needed.”

      The aim of the operation on the coastline is to prevent the rising number of sea crossings.

      https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/frontex-deploys-danish-surveillance-aircraft-over-northern-france-2021-12-0

      #Danemark #militarisation_des_frontières

    • Le ministre de l’Intérieur @GDarmanin a annoncé la semaine dernière la mise en service d’un avion de l’agence #Frontex pour surveiller les traversées de migrants dans la Manche.

      Repéré par notre collègue @MickaelGoavec, l’appareil a commencé à survoler la zone aujourd’hui.

      Comment s’y prendre pour pister l’appareil ?
      La photo ci-dessus ne montre pas l’immatriculation.

      En cherchant sur Twitter on tombe sur un autre tweet du ministère @Interieur_Gouv et on devine les chiffres «  ??-080 ».

      En passant cette image dans Bing et en zoomant sur l’avion, on tombe sur plusieurs photos d’un appareil ressemblant fortement à celui évoqué par @GDarmanin.

      On peut alors récolter « l’empreinte » de l’avion :

      Immat. : C-080 de la Royal Danish Air Force
      Code ICAO/HEX : 45F422

      En poursuivant les recherches, on tombe sur cette note diffusée par le ministère des Affaires étrangères danois.

      Elle indique que l’avion a été envoyé par le #Danemark pour contribuer à l’opération Triton de lutte contre l’immigration illégale en Méditerranée en 2017.

      Comme beaucoup d’avions militaires et gouvernementaux, le parcours de vol est masqué sur la plupart des sites comme @flightradar24
      ou @flightaware
      .

      Le site @RadarBox24 montre un parcours partiel mais précise bien que les informations sont « bloquées ».

      Mais certains internautes l’ont déjà repéré avant qu’il n’atterrisse à Lille.

      Et d’autres sites, notamment @ADSBexchange, n’acceptent généralement pas les demandes des particuliers ou des organisations souhaitant masquer leurs avions des sites de tracking.

      On peut donc suivre le parcours de l’appareil de surveillance en direct sur ce site :
      https://globe.adsbexchange.com/?icao=45f422

      On remarque un « motif » de surveillance et une altitude basse, un peu moins de 400m.

      Il semble aussi s’attarder sur les dunes qui entourent les villes de #Dunkerque et #GrandeSynthe, où les migrants ont installé des campements.

      https://twitter.com/RevelateursFTV/status/1466745416045764614

    • Migrants dans la Manche : Frontex a la « possibilité de déployer des personnels au sol »

      Fabrice Leggeri, directeur exécutif de Frontex, a été auditionné ce mercredi 8 décembre devant la commission des affaires étrangères du Sénat. Il est revenu sur la « nouvelle opération » de #surveillance_aérienne dans la Manche, qui a commencé début décembre, ainsi que sur les différentes crises auxquelles fait face l’agence européenne. « On va vivre pour longtemps avec une pression migratoire forte », prévient-il.

      Entre la France et le Royaume-Uni, la tension reste forte sur la question de l’immigration depuis le naufrage, au large de Calais, d’une embarcation causant la mort de 27 personnes, le 24 novembre dernier. Hier, lors de son audition à la commission des Lois de l’Assemblée nationale, le ministre de l’Intérieur Gérald Darmanin a demandé, une fois de plus, au Royaume-Uni « d’ouvrir une voie légale d’immigration » pour réduire le nombre de traversées illégales entre les deux pays. Ce mercredi, Fabrice Leggeri, le directeur exécutif de Frontex, a détaillé devant les membres de la commission des affaires étrangères du Sénat la « #nouvelle_opération » de surveillance de l’agence européenne de #garde-côtes et #gardes-frontières dans la Manche. « L’#avion de Frontex est arrivé à Lille le 1er décembre et a commencé ses patrouilles [..]. Nous fournissons depuis quelques semaines des #images_satellitaires à la France - la Belgique est intéressée, les Pays Bas aussi - pour détecter quelques jours à l’avance des #préparatifs_de_départs, des activités de #passeurs ou de #trafiquants près de la #côte », indique-t-il.

      « Nous pouvons faire davantage » si des États le souhaitent

      Pour assurer la #surveillance des dizaines de kilomètres de côtes, en France, en Belgique ou même aux Pays-Bas, Fabrice Leggeri garantit que « nous pouvons faire davantage s’il y a un souhait [des pays] d’aller plus loin ». Outre « le #rapatriement et l’#éloignement des #étrangers_en_situation_irrégulière, nous avons la possibilité de déployer des personnels de gardes-frontières au #sol qui pourraient avoir des missions de surveillance en complément et sous la direction des autorités nationales ». Sans oublier le devoir d’information de l’agence si elle observe « des situations de détresse en mer ».

      Interrogé sur la tenue de discussions avec le Royaume-Uni pour pouvoir intervenir sur leur territoire, le directeur de Frontex pointe « un paradoxe. Nous sommes présents physiquement en Albanie, en Serbie, parce qu’il y a un accord entre l’Union Européenne et ces pays-là, mais il n’y en a pas le Royaume-Uni. Pas d’accord post-Brexit pour coopérer avec eux dans la Manche ». Et Fabrice Leggeri d’insister sur sa volonté de travailler « dans un cadre juridique. On ne peut pas faire du bricolage à la carte ».

      « Avoir un cadre juridique clair »

      Sur d’autres frontières, en Biélorussie, Pologne et Lituanie, le patron de Frontex – qui parle de « #menace_hybride, d’une instrumentalisation des migrants comme moyen de pression politique ou géopolitique - rapporte aussi « une incertitude juridique qui me préoccupe au moins autant que la force physique ». Il donne l’exemple d’une loi lituanienne, adoptée à l’été 2021 en réponse à l’afflux de migrants à sa frontière : « Certains disent que cette loi n’est pas conforme à l’ordre juridique de l’Union européenne. […] Il est important pour l’agence d’avoir un cadre juridique clair. Ce n’est pas le cas actuellement ».

      Au total, entre 2 000 et 2 200 personnels de Frontex sont déployés dans l’Union Européenne. Les plus grosses opérations ont, pour le moment, lieu en Grèce (400 personnels), Italie (200), Espagne (200) et en Lituanie (une centaine). L’objectif est d’atteindre les 10 000 agents en 2027. Qui seront les bienvenus, selon Fabrice Leggeri. Car en plus de la lutte contre la criminalité et la prévention des menaces terroristes, « on va vivre pour longtemps avec une #pression_migratoire forte. La démographie l’explique, les déséquilibres économiques aussi, accentués avec la #crise_sanitaire ».

      https://www.publicsenat.fr/article/parlementaire/migrants-dans-la-manche-frontex-a-la-possibilite-de-deployer-des-personn

    • Frontex en action dans la Manche : la Grande-Bretagne, une force d’attraction pour les réfugiés

      Le pilote danois #Michael_Munkner est de retour à la base après cinq heures et demie de vol au-dessus de la Manche.

      Il est commandant de l’avion « #Côte_d'Opale » dans le cadre de l’opération européenne Frontex. Depuis le naufrage d’un radeau qui a tué 27 demandeurs d’asile le mois dernier, il surveille la zone :

      « Je ne peux pas entrer dans le détail de ce que nous avons vu exactement, mais nous avons pris quelques photos que nous pouvons vous montrer des différents camps que nous surveillons en particulier à Calais et Dunkerque. Nous surveillons les camps pour voir, ce qu’ils font, s’ils se préparent à partir, et aussi bien sûr les plages pour voir s’il y a des départs. »

      L’agence Frontex a organisé des vols au-dessus de la zone à la demande de la France. La mission est censée durer jusqu’à la fin de l’année.

      Si les agents ont admis que des discussions sur le renouvellement de leur mandat étaient en cours, certains doutent de l’efficacité des mesures prises pour dissuader les personnes désespérées d’effectuer la traversée de la Manche.

      « Je pense que les gens tenteront la traversée. S’ils sont suffisamment désespérés, ils iront, quoi qu’il arrive. J’espère simplement que nous pourrons être là pour aider à éviter les pertes de vies humaines » explique Michael Munkner, le commandant du détachement Frontex pour la Manche.

      Elyaas Ehsas est un réfugié afghan. Il est d’accord pour dire que les exilés continueront de chercher à traverser par tous les moyens pour se rendre au Royaume-Uni, malgré les obstacles.

      « S’ils avaient une chance de rester dans leur pays d’origine, ils resteraient. Imaginez comme ça... quelqu’un dans votre pays vous prend tout, que feriez-vous ? »

      Elyaas a quitté l’Afghanistan il y a 6 ans. Après avoir vu sa demande d’asile rejetée par la Suède, il avait aussi pensé à faire la traversée de la Manche :

      « Une des raisons pour lesquelles les gens traversent et prennent beaucoup de risques, c’est à cause de l’accord de Dublin, ils se disent si je vais au Royaume-Uni, il n’y a pas de règlement de Dublin au Royaume-Uni à cause du Brexit. Le Royaume-Uni a quitté l’Union européenne, et donc il n’y a pas d’empreintes digitales. Au moins, ils peuvent rester là-bas pendant un certain temps et se reconstruire une nouvelle vie. »

      Le règlement de Dublin part du principe que les réfugiés bénéficient du même niveau de protection dans tous les États membres de l’UE, et qu’ils doivent demander l’asile dans le pays d’arrivée.

      Les 27 ont reconnu les limites du dispositif et promis de créer un nouveau système de gouvernance migratoire.

      Le mois dernier, Elyaas a pu faire une nouvelle demande d’asile, cette fois-ci en France. Mais son histoire n’est pas encore terminée. Il dit que si les autorités françaises rejettent sa demande, il poursuivra son voyage quelles qu’en soient les conséquences.

      https://fr.euronews.com/2021/12/17/frontex-en-action-dans-la-manche-la-grande-bretagne-une-force-d-attract

  • L’industrie de la #sécurité tire profit de la crise climatique

    Les pays riches, pires contributeurs au #changement_climatique, dépensent bien plus d’argent à renforcer leurs #frontières qu’à contribuer au #développement des pays pauvres : c’est ce qu’a étudié un rapport du Transnational Institute. Les habitants de ces pays sont pourtant les premières victimes de l’alliance occidentale entre business du #pétrole et de la sécurité.

    Le changement climatique est bon pour le #business. Du moins celui de la sécurité. C’est ce que démontre un #rapport publié ce lundi 25 octobre par l’organisation de recherche et de plaidoyer Transnational Institute. Intitulé « un mur contre le climat », il démontre que les pays les plus riches dépensent bien plus pour renforcer leurs frontières contre les migrants que pour aider les pays pauvres, d’où ils viennent, à affronter la crise climatique.

    Il décortique les #dépenses, dans ces deux domaines, des sept pays riches historiquement les plus émetteurs de gaz à effet de serre que sont les États-Unis, l’Allemagne, la France, le Japon, l’Australie, le Royaume-Uni et le Canada. Ils sont à eux sept responsables de 48 % des émissions de gaz à effet de serre dans le monde. Le Brésil, la Chine et la Russie, qui font partie des dix plus gros émetteurs aujourd’hui, ne sont pas inclus car, s’étant enrichis beaucoup plus récemment, ils ne sont pas considérés comme des responsables historiques.

    2,3 fois plus de dollars pour repousser les migrants que pour le climat

    Pour les États étudiés, les auteurs ont regardé leur contribution au « #financement_climatique » : prévu par les négociations internationales sur le climat, il s’agit de fonds que les pays riches s’engagent à verser aux pays dits en développement pour les aider à faire face à la crise climatique. Ils ont ensuite traqué les sommes allouées par chaque pays aux contrôles frontaliers et migratoires. Résultat : entre 2013 et 2018, ces sept pays ont en moyenne dépensé chaque année au moins 2,3 fois plus pour repousser les migrants (33,1 milliards de dollars) que pour contribuer au financement climatique (14,4 milliards de dollars). Et encore, les auteurs du rapport signalent que les pays riches ont tendance à surestimer les sommes allouées au financement climatique.

    Une disproportion encore plus criante quand on regarde en détail. Le Canada a dépensé 15 fois plus, l’Australie 13,5 fois plus, les États-Unis 10,9 fois plus. À noter que ces derniers sont en valeur absolue les plus dépensiers, ils ont à eux seuls mis 19,6 milliards dans la sécurité de leurs frontières sur la période, soit 59 % de la somme totale allouée par les sept pays réunis.

    Le cas des pays européens est moins explicite. La France pourrait avoir l’air de bon élève. A priori, elle dépense moins dans les contrôles aux frontières (1 milliard) que dans le financement climatique (1,6 milliard). Idem pour l’Allemagne (3,4 milliards dans la militarisation des frontières contre 4,4 milliards dans le financement climatique). Mais ce serait oublier qu’une grande partie des dépenses sécuritaires est déportée au niveau de l’Union européenne et de l’agence de contrôle des frontières Frontex. Celle-ci a vu son budget exploser, avec une augmentation de 2 763 % entre 2006 et 2021.

    Cet argent est très concrètement dépensé dans diverses #technologies#caméras, #drones, systèmes d’#identification_biométriques, et dans l’embauche de #gardes-frontières et de #gardes-côtes. « Il y a aussi une #externalisation, avec par exemple l’Union européenne qui conclue des accords avec les pays d’Afrique du Nord et des régimes totalitaires, pour qu’ils empêchent les migrants d’arriver jusqu’à leurs frontières », décrit Nick Buxton, un des auteurs du rapport interrogé par Reporterre. Ces partenariats contribuent à la multiplication des murs anti-migrants partout dans le monde. « La plupart des grands constructeurs de murs du monde ont reçu une aide des programmes d’externalisation de l’Union européenne ou des États-Unis (ou des deux, dans le cas de la Jordanie, du Maroc et de la Turquie) », pointe le rapport.

    L’édification de ces murs empêche-t-elle les pays riches de voir le drame qui se déroule derrière ? À travers divers exemples, les auteurs tentent de montrer l’injustice de la situation : en Somalie, à la suite d’une catastrophe climatique en 2020, un million de personnes ont dû se déplacer. Pourtant, le pays n’est responsable que « de 0,00027 % du total des émissions depuis 1850. » Au Guatemala, l’ouragan Eta ainsi que les inondations fin 2020 ont provoqué le déplacement de 339 000 personnes. Le pays « a été responsable de seulement 0,026 % des émissions de gaz à effet de serre ». Nombre de ces migrants Guatémaltèques tentent désormais d’atteindre les États-Unis, responsables à eux seuls de 30,1 % des émissions depuis 1850.

    Pourtant, parmi les pays riches, « les stratégies nationales de #sécurité_climatique, depuis le début des années 2000, ont massivement présenté les migrants comme des « menaces » et non comme les victimes d’une injustice », indique la synthèse du rapport. Le 11 septembre 2001, en particulier, a accéléré la tendance. Qui s’est maintenue : les budgets de militarisation des frontières ont augmenté de 29 % entre 2013 et 2018. Une orientation politique mais aussi financière, donc, saluée par l’industrie de la sécurité et des frontières.
    Taux de croissance annuel : 5,8 %

    « Des prévisions de 2019 de ResearchAndMarkets.com annonçaient que le marché de la sécurité intérieure des États allait passer de 431 milliards de dollars en 2018 à 606 milliards en 2024, avec un taux de croissance annuel de 5,8 % », indique le rapport. Une des raisons majeures invoquée étant « l’augmentation des catastrophes naturelles liées au changement climatique ». Il cite également la sixième entreprise mondiale en termes de vente de matériel militaire, Raytheon. Pour elle, l’augmentation de la demande pour ses « produits et services militaires […] est le résultat du changement climatique ».

    Transnational Institute, qui travaille sur cette industrie depuis un certain temps, a ainsi calculé qu’aux États-Unis, entre 2008 et 2020, les administrations de l’immigration et des frontières « ont passé plus de 105 000 contrats d’une valeur de 55 milliards de dollars avec des entreprises privées. » Si le mur de Trump a défrayé la chronique, « Biden n’est pas mieux », avertit Nick Buxton. « Pour financer sa campagne, il a reçu plus d’argent de l’industrie de la sécurité des frontières que Trump. »

    L’Union européenne aussi a droit à son lobbying. « Ces entreprises sont présentes dans des groupes de travail de haut niveau, avec des officiels de l’UE. Ils se rencontrent aussi dans les salons comme celui de Milipol », décrit Nick Buxton.

    #Pétrole et sécurité partagent « le même intérêt à ne pas lutter contre le changement climatique »

    Le rapport souligne également les liens de cette industrie de la sécurité avec celle du pétrole. En résumé, il décrit comment les majors du pétrole sécurisent leurs installations en faisant appel aux géants de la sécurité. Mais il souligne aussi que les conseils d’administration des entreprises des deux secteurs ont beaucoup de membres en commun. Des liens concrets qui illustrent, selon Nick Buxton, le fait que « ces deux secteurs ont le même intérêt à ne pas lutter contre le changement climatique. L’industrie pétrolière car cela va à l’encontre de son business model. L’industrie de la sécurité car l’instabilité provoquée par la crise climatique lui apporte des bénéfices. »

    Autant d’argent dépensé à protéger les énergies fossiles et à refouler les migrants, qui « ne fait que maintenir et générer d’immenses souffrances inutiles » dénonce le rapport. Les pays riches avaient promis d’atteindre 100 milliards de financements climatiques annuels pour les pays en développement d’ici 2020. En 2019, ils n’en étaient qu’à 79,6 milliards selon l’OCDE. Et encore, ce chiffre est très surévalué, estime l’ONG Oxfam, qui en déduisant les prêts et les surévaluations aboutit à environ trois fois moins. C’est cette estimation que les experts du Transnational Institute ont adoptée.

    « Il est évident que les pays les plus riches n’assument pas du tout leur responsabilité dans la crise climatique », conclut donc le rapport. Il prône des investissements dans la lutte contre le changement climatique, et des aides pour que les pays les plus pauvres puissent gérer dignement les populations contraintes de se déplacer. À l’inverse, le choix de la militarisation est « une stratégie vouée à l’échec, même du point de vue de l’intérêt personnel des pays les plus riches, car elle accélère les processus d’instabilité et de migration induite par le climat dont ils s’alarment. »

    https://reporterre.net/L-industrie-de-la-securite-tire-profit-de-la-crise-climatique

    #complexe_militaro-industriel #climat

    –-

    déjà signalé ici par @kassem
    https://seenthis.net/messages/934692

    • Global Climate Wall. How the world’s wealthiest nations prioritise borders over climate action

      This report finds that the world’s biggest emitters of green house gases are spending, on average, 2.3 times as much on arming their borders as they are on climate finance. This figure is as high as 15 times as much for the worst offenders. This “Global Climate Wall” aims to seal off powerful countries from migrants, rather than addressing the causes of displacement.

      Executive summary

      The world’s wealthiest countries have chosen how they approach global climate action – by militarising their borders. As this report clearly shows, these countries – which are historically the most responsible for the climate crisis – spend more on arming their borders to keep migrants out than on tackling the crisis that forces people from their homes in the first place.

      This is a global trend, but seven countries in particular – responsible for 48% of the world’s historic greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions – collectively spent at least twice as much on border and immigration enforcement (more than $33.1 billion) as on climate finance ($14.4 billion) between 2013 and 2018.

      These countries have built a ‘Climate Wall’ to keep out the consequences of climate change, in which the bricks come from two distinct but related dynamics: first, a failure to provide the promised climate finance that could help countries mitigate and adapt to climate change; and second, a militarised response to migration that expands border and surveillance infrastructure. This provides booming profits for a border security industry but untold suffering for refugees and migrants who make increasingly dangerous – and frequently deadly – journeys to seek safety in a climate-changed world.
      Key findings:

      Climate-induced migration is now a reality

      - Climate change is increasingly a factor behind displacement and migration. This may be because of a particular catastrophic event, such as a hurricane or a flash flood, but also when the cumulative impacts of drought or sea-level rise, for example, gradually make an area uninhabitable and force entire communities to relocate.
      – The majority of people who become displaced, whether climate-induced or not, remain in their own country, but a number will cross international borders and this is likely to increase as climate-change impacts on entire regions and ecosystems.
      – Climate-induced migration takes place disproportionately in low-income countries and intersects with and accelerates with many other causes for displacement. It is shaped by the systemic injustice that creates the situations of vulnerability, violence, precarity and weak social structures that force people to leave their homes.

      Rich countries spend more on militarising their borders than on providing climate finance to enable the poorest countries to help migrants

      – Seven of the biggest emitters of GHGs – the United States, Germany, Japan, the United Kingdom, Canada, France and Australia – collectively spent at least twice as much on border and immigration enforcement (more than $33.1 billion) as on climate finance ($14.4 billion) between 2013 and 2018.1
      - Canada spent 15 times more ($1.5 billion compared to around $100 million); Australia 13 times more ($2.7 billion compared to $200 million); the US almost 11 times more ($19.6 billion compared to $1.8 billion); and the UK nearly two times more ($2.7 billion compared to $1.4 billion).
      - Border spending by the seven biggest GHG emitters rose by 29% between 2013 and 2018. In the US, spending on border and immigration enforcement tripled between 2003 and 2021. In Europe, the budget for the European Union (EU) border agency, Frontex, has increased by a whopping 2763% since its founding in 2006 up to 2021.
      - This militarisation of borders is partly rooted in national climate security strategies that since the early 2000s have overwhelmingly painted migrants as ‘threats’ rather than victims of injustice. The border security industry has helped promote this process through well-oiled political lobbying, leading to ever more contracts for the border industry and increasingly hostile environments for refugees and migrants.
      - Climate finance could help mitigate the impacts of climate change and help countries adapt to this reality, including supporting people who need to relocate or to migrate abroad. Yet the richest countries have failed even to keep their pledges of meagre $100 billion a year in climate finance. The latest figures from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) reported $79.6 billion in total climate finance in 2019, but according to research published by Oxfam International, once over-reporting, and loans rather than grants are taken into account, the true volume of climate finance may be less than half of what is reported by developed countries.
      – Countries with the highest historic emissions are fortifying their borders, while those with lowest are the hardest hit by population displacement. Somalia, for example, is responsible for 0.00027% of total emissions since 1850 but had more than one million people (6% of the population) displaced by a climate-related disaster in 2020.

      The border security industry is profiteering from climate change

      - The border security industry is already profiting from the increased spending on border and immigration enforcement and expects even more profits from anticipated instability due to climate change. A 2019 forecast by ResearchAndMarkets.com predicted that the Global Homeland Security and Public Safety Market would grow from $431 billion in 2018 to $606 billion in 2024, and a 5.8% annual growth rate. According to the report, one factor driving this is ‘climate warming-related natural disasters growth’.
      – Top border contractors boast of the potential to increase their revenue from climate change. Raytheon says ‘demand for its military products and services as security concerns may arise as results of droughts, floods, and storm events occur as a result of climate change’. Cobham, a British company that markets surveillance systems and is one of the main contractors for Australia’s border security, says that ‘changes to countries [sic] resources and habitability could increase the need for border surveillance due to population migration’.
      – As TNI has detailed in many other reports in its Border Wars series,2 the border security industry lobbies and advocates for border militarisation and profits from its expansion.

      The border security industry also provides security to the oil industry that is one of main contributors to the climate crisis and even sit on each other’s executive boards

      - The world’s 10 largest fossil fuel firms also contract the services of the same firms that dominate border security contracts. Chevron (ranked the world’s number 2) contracts with Cobham, G4S, Indra, Leonardo, Thales; Exxon Mobil (ranking 4) with Airbus, Damen, General Dynamics, L3Harris, Leonardo, Lockheed Martin; BP (6) with Airbus, G4S, Indra, Lockheed Martin, Palantir, Thales; and Royal Dutch Shell (7) with Airbus, Boeing, Damen, Leonardo, Lockheed Martin, Thales, G4S.
      – Exxon Mobil, for example, contracted L3Harris (one of the top 14 US border contractors) to provide ‘maritime domain awareness’ of its drilling in the Niger delta in Nigeria, a region which has suffered tremendous population displacement due to environmental contamination. BP has contracted with Palantir, a company that controversially provides surveillance software to agencies like the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), to develop a ‘repository of all operated wells historical and real time drilling data’. Border contractor G4S has a relatively long history of protecting oil pipelines, including the Dakota Access pipeline in the US.
      - The synergy between fossil fuel companies and top border security contractors is also seen by the fact that executives from each sector sit on each other’s boards. At Chevron, for example, the former CEO and Chairman of Northrop Grumman, Ronald D. Sugar and Lockheed Martin’s former CEO Marilyn Hewson are on its board. The Italian oil and gas company ENI has Nathalie Tocci on its board, previously a Special Advisor to EU High Representative Mogherini from 2015 to 2019, who helped draft the EU Global Strategy that led to expanding the externalisation of EU borders to third countries.

      This nexus of power, wealth and collusion between fossil fuel firms and the border security industry shows how climate inaction and militarised responses to its consequences increasingly work hand in hand. Both industries profit as ever more resources are diverted towards dealing with the consequences of climate change rather than tackling its root causes. This comes at a terrible human cost. It can be seen in the rising death toll of refugees, deplorable conditions in many refugee camps and detention centres, violent pushbacks from European countries, particularly those bordering the Mediterranean, and from the US, in countless cases of unnecessary suffering and brutality. The International Organization for Migration (IOM) calculates that 41,000 migrants died between 2014 and 2020, although this is widely accepted to be a significant underestimate given that many lives are lost at sea and in remote deserts as migrants and refugees take increasingly dangerous routes to safety.

      The prioritisation of militarised borders over climate finance ultimately threatens to worsen the climate crisis for humanity. Without sufficient investment to help countries mitigate and adapt to climate change, the crisis will wreak even more human devastation and uproot more lives. But, as this report concludes, government spending is a political choice, meaning that different choices are possible. Investing in climate mitigation in the poorest and most vulnerable countries can support a transition to clean energy – and, alongside deep emission cuts by the biggest polluting nations – give the world a chance to keep temperatures below 1.5°C increase since 1850, or pre-industrial levels. Supporting people forced to leave their homes with the resources and infrastructure to rebuild their lives in new locations can help them adapt to climate change and to live in dignity. Migration, if adequately supported, can be an important means of climate adaptation.

      Treating migration positively requires a change of direction and greatly increased climate finance, good public policy and international cooperation, but most importantly it is the only morally just path to support those suffering a crisis they played no part in creating.

      https://www.tni.org/en/publication/global-climate-wall

  • Accordo Italia-Slovenia sui controlli al confine : “guai” a essere trasparenti

    Il ministero dell’Interno si rifiuta di fornire i dettagli della cooperazione tra le forze di polizia di Roma e Lubiana sui pattugliamenti lungo il confine ripresi a fine luglio. Il vero scopo dell’attività resta così poco chiaro. Intanto il governo sloveno acquista 55 droni per sorvegliare le frontiere

    Il “delicato momento nella gestione delle frontiere interne all’Unione europea” giustifica la mancanza di trasparenza. Resta così opaco il mandato dei pattugliamenti misti lungo il confine italo-sloveni, ripresi il 30 luglio 2021, rispetto a cui non è possibile conoscere né il #protocollo_di_intesa su cui si basano né le indicazioni operative date alle forze di polizia italiana. La Direzione centrale dell’immigrazione e della polizia delle frontiere, braccio operativo del ministero dell’Interno, non ha infatti dato seguito alla richiesta, avanzata tramite accesso civico, con cui Altreconomia aveva chiesto conto dello stato dell’arte della cooperazione tra le autorità di Roma e Lubjana. Un buio preoccupante soprattutto in vista delle ripercussioni sui diritti delle persone in transito sulla rotta balcanica che presumibilmente aumenteranno in relazione alla drammatica situazione afghana.

    La risposta della Direzione non aggiunge molto a quanto già annunciato. “Dopo un lungo periodo di sospensione dovuto alla pandemia da Covid-19 per la ripresa dei servizi misti è stato stipulato un apposito protocollo d’intesa che è stato sottoscritto dai direttori dei Servizi di Polizia di frontiera italiano e Sloveno” si legge. L’accordo, sottoscritto il 15 luglio a Roma e il 21 luglio a Lubjana, prevede pattuglie miste composte da “personale del Paese ospitante e personale della forza di Polizia dell’altro Paese” che coprono il territorio “lungo la comune fascia confinaria tra i due Paesi” con lo scopo di potenziare l’attività di vigilanza al fine “di contrastare in maniera più efficace la criminalità transfrontaliera, con particolare riferimento all’attività di favoreggiamento dell’immigrazione irregolare”. Come detto, la Direzione non ha fornito copia del protocollo di intesa sottolineando che non è possibile renderlo noto in quanto minerebbe la tutela della sicurezza, dell’ordine pubblico e alle relazioni internazionali che l’Italia intrattiene con i Paesi terzi. Aggiungendo poi che “l’attuale delicato momento nella gestione delle frontiere interne all’Unione europea non consente la divulgazione di accordi di cooperazione che disciplinano i controlli che vengono effettuati alle frontiere terrestri e i controlli di ‘#retrovalico’ concordati con i Paesi confinanti senza ledere la riservatezza che deve caratterizzare tutte le attività bilaterali internazionali dello Stato italiano nei settori amministrativi interessanti e soprattutto nel settore involgente attività di ‘ordine e sicurezza pubblica”.

    Viene sottolineato come il “contenuto dei documenti richiesti contiene informazioni che attengono ad interlocuzioni intercorsi tra l’autorità politica nazionale e l’omologo sloveno dettagliando informazioni concernenti l’organizzazione e il funzionamento dei servizi di polizia finalizzati al contrasto dell’immigrazione illegale nonché relative ai contingenti delle forze armate a disposizione delle autorità provinciali di pubblica sicurezza per i controlli nelle zone confinarie”. Merita attenzione la definizione di “contrasto dell’immigrazione illegale”. “Il pattugliamento congiunto ha una efficacia non solo minima ma persino risibile rispetto all’obiettivo annunciato di contrasto alle organizzazioni criminali –ha scritto a inizio agosto Gianfranco Schiavone, membro dell’Associazione per gli studi giuridici sull’immigrazione (asgi.it)-. Sui sassosi sentieri del Carso non si incontrano i vertici ma neppure i quadri intermedi e neppure quelli bassi e persino bassissimi di tali organizzazioni ma solo persone disperate con i piedi piagati in cammino da settimane nei boschi di Croazia e Slovenia, tuttalpiù accompagnate da alcuni passeur la cui posizione nelle rispettive organizzazioni criminali è così infima da essere assimilabile a carne da macello”.

    In altri termini, il vero mandato delle operazioni di polizia “rischia” di diventare il controllo capillare del territorio per impedire alle persone in transito, migranti e richiedenti asilo, di raggiungere il territorio.

    La Direzione centrale è stata di poche parole anche rispetto alla nostra richiesta relativa al numero di persone identificate e, tra queste, del numero di coloro che hanno manifestato volontà di richiedere asilo. Viene fornito invece un numero sui risultati di polizia dei pattugliamenti: “nel corso del 2021 sono state arrestate 58 persone di cui 31 per favoreggiamento dell’immigrazione irregolare.

    Il muro di silenzio si alza anche con riferimento ai mezzi utilizzati sul confine e al numero di forze di polizia utilizzati. Le poche informazioni che si conoscono provengono dalla nota stampa del ministero dell’Interno che annunciava con enfasi l’utilizzo di droni e visori notturni, ben visibili, con tanto di foto, anche nella nota stampa slovena. Il 15 luglio 2021 -giorno della firma a Roma dell’accordo (l’incontro preliminare tra i rispetti ministri e capi di polizia è datato 4 giugno)- sul sito del ministero dell’Interno sloveno veniva però aperta una gara pubblica “per l’acquisto di veicoli aerei senza pilota e accessori” per un valore totale che si aggira intorno ai 400mila euro. Il bando (https://www.enarocanje.si/Obrazci/?id_obrazec=407420), chiuso il 5 agosto, richiedeva ai partecipanti di garantire la fornitura di un totale di 55 droni. La maggior parte, 29, sono veicoli di piccole dimensioni con un’autonomia di volo minima di 25 minuti e una distanza di gestione di quattro chilometri. L’amministrazione slovena richiede, inoltre, una formazione specifica per il “volo di notte e in condizioni di volo fuori dalla visibilità”. Non viene indicato il luogo di utilizzo specifico dei droni, si sa però che il 75% del bando è finanziato attraverso i fondi europei di sicurezza dell’Unione europea, ovvero lo strumento di sostegno finanziario a beneficio degli Stati Ue proprio per la gestione delle frontiere.

    L’accordo tra Roma e Lubjana incide potenzialmente anche sul tema delle riammissioni di persone in transito e richiedenti asilo della polizia italiana verso la Slovenia. La trasparenza è così necessaria per poter monitorare ciò che avviene in questa tappa della rotta balcanica anche in vista di un possibile aumento dei flussi legati alla situazione afghana. Le premesse non sono positive. Il governo di Lubjana, di turno alla presidenza del Consiglio dell’Unione europea dal luglio al dicembre 2021, ha chiaro il modello da perseguire nella gestione del fenomeno migratorio.

    Durante la presentazione dell’agenda politica della presidenza slovena alla Commissione per le libertà civili, la giustizia e gli affari interni (Libe) del Parlamento europeo, il ministro dell’Interno Aleš Hojs ha sottolineato come da una riunione informale di fine luglio tra ministri degli interni dei Paesi membri sia emersa la volontà politica di compiere progressi graduali nella “definizione della politica migratoria comune dell’Unione europea”. “Stiamo seguendo la situazione in Afghanistan -ha aggiunto- come emerso dal comunicato congiunto dei ministri della sessione straordinaria di due giorni fa, risponderemo anche ai possibili effetti della situazione sull’Ue”. La politica migratoria da “sposare” per Hojs è quella contenuta in un documento, dai toni e contenuti molto duri in cui si legge che gli Stati membri, con il supporto di Frontex, restano determinati “nel proteggere efficacemente i confini esterni dell’Unione europea e prevenire gli ingressi illegali”.

    https://altreconomia.it/accordo-italia-slovenia-sui-controlli-al-confine-guai-a-essere-traspare

    #frontières #frontière_sud-alpine #Italie #Slovénie #asile #migrations #réfugiés #coopération_bilatérale #gardes-frontière #militarisation_des_frontières #patrouilles_mixtes #drones #business #complexe_militaro-industriel #réadmssions

    –-

    ajouté à le fil de discussion autour des patrouilles mixtes à la frontière italo-slovène :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/791706
    Et plus précisément ici :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/791706#message928650

    • Rotta balcanica: riprendono i pattugliamenti tra Italia e Slovenia. Un mandato “opaco”

      Il 30 luglio sono ripartiti i controlli congiunti italo-sloveni lungo il confine per contrastare i “flussi migratori irregolari”. L’Italia nuovamente alla prova del rispetto della legalità alla frontiera orientale dopo la sospensione delle riammissioni illegali. L’analisi di Gianfranco Schiavone

      Il 30 luglio 2021 sono ripartiti “nelle province di Trieste/Koper e Gorizia/Nova Gorica i pattugliamenti congiunti italo sloveni lungo la comune fascia confinaria al fine di rafforzare i rispettivi dispositivi di contrasto ai flussi migratori irregolari provenienti dalla rotta balcanica”. Così recita il comunicato stampa della questura di Trieste pubblicato il giorno stesso. I pattugliamenti, vi si legge, sono frutto di un accordo “sottoscritto nei giorni scorsi dalle competenti autorità di polizia di Roma e di Lubiana” (appare curioso che si ometta la data dell’accordo).

      La decisione politica di attivare i pattugliamenti congiunti con forze di polizia italiane e slovene era stato resa pubblica dal ministero dell’Interno con nota stampa del 14 giugno 2021 a seguito dell’incontro tra la ministra Luciana Lamorgese e il suo omologo sloveno Hojs avvenuto a Lubiana. Nella nota ministeriale si poteva leggere come fosse “previsto un piano comune di vigilanza per i valichi di frontiera anche con l’impiego di droni e visori notturni per contrastare efficacemente le organizzazioni criminali che sfruttano il traffico dei migranti”. Le finalità del pattugliamento vengono dunque descritte in modo alquanto ambiguo: nella nota della questura triestina si fa riferimento in maniera più esplicita al contrasto dei flussi migratori irregolari, ovvero l’obiettivo dichiarato appare quello di bloccare i migranti; nella nota stampa del ministero, che usa un linguaggio più ovattato, si dichiara che l’obiettivo che si intende perseguire è invece il contrasto alle organizzazioni criminali che organizzano il traffico. Si potrebbe ritenere in modo superficiale che in fondo si tratta di accenti diversi della medesima finalità, ma non è così.

      Se assumiamo infatti la lettura in base alla quale l’attività delle cosiddette pattuglie miste italo-slovene è finalizzata al contrasto delle organizzazioni criminali che organizzano il traffico degli esseri umani, è ben difficile non vedere come tale motivazione appare alquanto poco credibile in quanto il contrasto al traffico internazionale di esseri umani per essere efficace richiede un’attività di intelligence e semmai inchieste coordinate tra le diverse autorità giudiziarie, cioè un complesso di attività che veramente assai poco ha a che fare con un pattugliamento fisico dell’area di frontiera vicino al confine.

      Il pattugliamento congiunto della fascia di confine tra Italia e Slovenia attuato con uso di uomini, droni (e cani, come non annunciato nei comunicati per non ferire la sensibilità di chi legge ma ampiamente riferito dalle testimonianze raccolte su quanto accade in Slovenia) ha una efficacia non solo minima ma persino risibile rispetto all’obiettivo annunciato di contrasto alle organizzazioni criminali giacché sui sassosi sentieri del Carso non si incontrano i vertici ma neppure i quadri intermedi e neppure quelli bassi e persino bassissimi di tali organizzazioni ma solo persone disperate con i piedi piagati in cammino da settimane nei boschi di Croazia e Slovenia, tuttalpiù accompagnate da alcuni passeur la cui posizione nelle rispettive organizzazioni criminali è così infima da essere assimilabile a carne da macello.

      Non deve stupire che le stesse inchieste giudiziarie che si sono basate finora su questo tipo di attività di polizia non abbiano mai portato a pressoché nulla di rilevante. Le organizzazioni di trafficanti non modificheranno la loro strategia sul confine italo-sloveno a seguito dei pattugliamento bensì alzeranno il prezzo dei loro servigi in ragione del più difficoltoso tratto da percorrere aumentando così i loro guadagni e lasciando indietro solo coloro che non possono pagare. Ancora una volta, come già avviene in altri contesti, operazioni di polizia presentate come finalizzate a contrastare il traffico internazionale di esseri umani, non solo sono irrilevanti in relazione a tale obiettivo bensì divengono di fatto fattori che vanno a potenziare l’operato e il giro d’affari delle organizzazioni che si afferma di volere combattere.

      Appare dunque evidente come i pattugliamenti sembrano rispondere all’altra, malcelata finalità, ovvero quella di intercettare nelle immediate vicinanze della frontiera interna italo-slovena da parte slovena, un certo numero di rifugiati, probabilmente i più disgraziati tra loro, al fine di impedirne a forza l’ingresso in Italia. I pattugliamenti congiunti, da quanto è dato sapere si svolgeranno infatti in assoluta prevalenza nell’area a ridosso del confine dal lato della Slovenia. Quando invece le operazioni verranno attuate sul lato italiano esse potrebbero prestarsi a far riprendere in forme ancor più nascoste quelle riammissioni informali attuate nel corso del 2020 e la cui radicale illegittimità è stata più volte messa in luce fin dall’inizio (Altreconomia ne ha scritto a più riprese, ad esempio qui e qui).

      Se fosse, come appare, quella di ostacolare/respingere i migranti che cercano asilo la effettiva finalità dei pattugliamenti, ciò, oltre a sollevare non pochi interrogativi etici (è questa l’attività alla quale si deve dedicare la polizia in una società democratica?) fa comunque emergere in capo alle autorità italiane precise responsabilità giuridiche. È noto infatti che la situazione dell’effettivo rispetto del diritto di asilo in Slovenia è quanto mai critica e che le disfunzioni sulla procedura di asilo in quel Paese sono profonde come emerge in modo in equivoco in tutti i rapporti internazionali: tra tutti si veda l’autorevole rapporto AIDA 2020 Update: Slovenia, a cura dell’Ecre (European council on refugees and exiles). Soprattutto è ampiamente noto che la Slovenia attua da tempo riammissioni sistematiche verso la Croazia impedendo ai migranti, compresi quelli “riammessi” dall’Italia, di presentare la domanda di asilo e rinviandoli in Croazia, Paese che a sua volta, con un meccanismo a catena e con l’uso di inaudite violenze, li deporta in Bosnia ed Erzegovina dove vengono sottoposti a trattamenti inumani e degradanti. Si tratta di riammissioni, o più propriamente si dovrebbero chiamare respingimenti a catena, documentati da un enorme numero di autorevoli rapporti internazionali e la cui illegalità è stata già dichiarata anche dalla stessa giurisprudenza slovena (vedasi sentenza I U 1490/2019-92 del 16 luglio 2020 del Tribunale amministrativo della Slovenia) e recentemente anche dai tribunali austriaci.

      Le autorità italiane non possono fingere di ignorare il quadro fattuale sopra descritto pena il loro coinvolgimento in fatti che configurano gravi violazioni delle norme interne ed internazionali. Richiamo in particolare l’attenzione su quanto disposto dal Testo unico sull’immigrazione (art. 19 comma 1, novellato dalla legge 173/2020) che dispone che “Non sono ammessi il respingimento o l’espulsione o l’estradizione di una persona verso uno Stato qualora esistano fondati motivi di ritenere che essa rischi di essere sottoposta a tortura o a trattamenti inumani o degradanti. Nella valutazione di tali motivi si tiene conto anche dell’esistenza, in tale Stato, di violazioni sistematiche e gravi di diritti umani”. Il citato articolo, insieme ad altre disposizioni, attua nel nostro ordinamento, dandone un’applicazione estensiva, il fondamentale divieto di non refoulement tutelato in via indiretta dalla Convenzione europea dei diritti dell’uomo (Cedu), la quale prevede, all’art. 2 e art. 3, rispettivamente, il diritto alla vita ed il divieto di tortura e di trattamenti inumani o degradanti.

      Secondo la costante interpretazione della Corte europea dei diritti dell’uomo, il rispetto di tali obblighi comporta il tassativo divieto di respingere o estradare una persona verso luoghi ove i citati diritti correrebbero il rischio di essere violati. Appare persino superfluo approfondire in questa sede il complesso tema della applicabilità della Convenzione europea dei diritti dell’uomo ad atti riconducibili agli Stati firmatari che siano posti in essere o abbiano effetto nel territorio di uno Stato che non è parte del Consiglio d’Europa (sul tema evidenzio solo che la giurisprudenza della Corte EDU ha progressivamente ampliato le ipotesi di applicazione extraterritoriale della Cedu) dal momento che è pacifico che l’Italia è responsabile della violazione del divieto di non refoulement nel caso in cui sia pienamente a conoscenza di fatti e prassi illegittime e non provveda, per ciò che di sua competenza, ad impedirne la violazione da parte di un altro Stato dell’Unione europea, soggetto, come l’Italia, ai medesimi obblighi; una co-responsabilità nella violazione dell’art. 3 della Cedu che diventa addirittura eclatante nel caso di collaborazioni delle nostre forze di polizia nello Stato in cui le citate violazioni sono commesse. Questo è dunque il gravissimo scenario che sembra profilarsi nel mandato “opaco” che allo stato attuale delle conoscenze sembra assegnato alle pattuglie miste italo-slovene.

      È inderogabile ed urgente che siano subito resi noti i contenuti dell’accordo di polizia sottoscritto tra Roma e Lubiana (nonché le concrete indicazioni operative date alle forze di polizia italiane) senza che vengano posti artificiosi ostacoli alla sua piena conoscenza. Parimenti è necessario che senza indugio il Parlamento si avvalga dei poteri che l’ordinamento giuridico gli conferisce per monitorare una situazione che può configurarsi di eccezionale gravità per il possibile coinvolgimento di istituzioni della Repubblica in azioni contrarie a norme e a principi fondanti l’ordinamento costituzionale.

      https://altreconomia.it/rotta-balcanica-riprendono-i-pattugliamenti-tra-italia-e-slovenia-un-ma

    • The flow of arrivals from the Balkan Route into North East Italy has significantly increased during the month of August. Associations and groups of volunteers supporting people in Trieste said that they have provided direct help to 659 people during this month, including 103 minors. It is thought very likely that the actual number of arrivals and transits is much higher, with many people not stopping long in the immediate border area. During the last weeks, there have been several reports of smugglers being arrested while transporting people-on-the-move into Italian territory. At the same time, the intensity of control practices along the borders has also increased: in just one day 150 people were found and transferred to quarantine facilities in the Friuli-Venezia Giulia (FVG) region.

      This has once again pushed public and official discourse towards the need to reintroduce informal readmissions to Slovenia, touted to recommence in July of this year. Yet there remains no official confirmation about reintroduction of “informal readmissions” (pushbacks) by witnesses on the ground, though rumors have begun to circulate about groups rejected from the Italian territory. The Ministry of the Interior refused to provide details of the cooperation between the police forces of Rome and Ljubljana on border patrols. But in the absence of official statements, the installation of 55 #drones by Slovenian authorities sits in line with the growing surveillance of transit across this border.

      Volunteers in Piazza della Libertà in Trieste also witnessed a serious episode of institutional racism in August. An ambulance was called in order to provide medical assistance to an underage boy newly arrived via Slovenia. The health operators initially refused to assist the person, treating him aggressively and disrespectfully. The boy was only given medical assistance after several attempts to seek help and a strong insistence on the part of the volunteers present. Further barriers to health care are also having wider impacts for peoples mobility beyond Trieste, seen most overtly in the lack of access to vaccinations. Without the “green pass”, which marks proof of vaccination, people-on-themove in FVG are unable to access longdistance travel in order to continue their journey.

      Source : Border Violence Monitoring Network, August 2021, pp. 16-17
      https://www.borderviolence.eu/balkan-region-report-august-2021

    • Ripartono oggi le pattuglie miste al confine italo-sloveno nelle province di Trieste/#Koper e Gorizia/Nova Gorica

      Da oggi, 30 luglio, ripartono, nelle provincie di Trieste/Koper e Gorizia/Nova-Gorica, i pattugliamenti congiunti italo sloveni lungo la comune fascia confinaria, al fine di rafforzare i rispettivi dispositivi di contrasto ai flussi migratori irregolari provenienti dalla rotta balcanica.

      L’accordo per la ripresa delle pattuglie miste italo-slovene, intervenuto a più di un anno dalla sospensione dei servizi congiunti interrotti a causa della pandemia in corso, è stato sottoscritto nei giorni scorsi dalle competenti autorità di Polizia di Roma e di Lubiana.

      Le pattuglie miste, che opereranno lungo gli itinerari congiuntamente individuati attraverso una sinergica analisi del rischio dai competenti Uffici territoriali, potranno utilizzare anche strumenti tecnologici, quali i droni.

      Scopo principale dei servizi sarà il contrasto al favoreggiamento dell’immigrazione irregolare, ma da questi deriverà, più in generale, anche il potenziamento dell’attività di vigilanza lungo la comune fascia confinaria, in funzione di contrasto alla criminalità transfrontaliera.

      Detta iniziativa, che rafforza la collaborazione già esistente tra i due Paesi, segna la ripresa delle attività congiunte nell’ambito della cooperazione di Polizia, momentaneamente interrotte dalla pandemia.

      https://questure.poliziadistato.it/it/Trieste/articolo/131861024ad65e1a0407758053

  • macron oblige les Infirmier.e.s & Médecins à se faire certifier par leur ordre
    Reprise des choses en mains #EnMarche

    Ordonnance n° 2021-961 du 19 juillet 2021 relative à la certification périodique de certains professionnels de santé
    https://www.legifrance.gouv.fr/jorf/id/JORFTEXT000043814566?dateVersion=22%2F07%2F2021&nor=SSAH2117957R&pag

    Le conseil national de la certification périodique est chargé, auprès du ministre chargé de la santé, de définir la stratégie, le déploiement et la promotion de la certification périodique. A ce titre : 

    « 1° Il fixe les orientations scientifiques de la certification périodique et émet des avis qui sont rendus publics ; 

    « 2° Il veille à ce que les acteurs intervenant dans la procédure de certification périodique soient indépendants de tout lien d’intérêt ; 

    « 3° Il veille à ce que les actions prises en compte au titre de la certification répondent aux critères d’objectivité des connaissances professionnelles, scientifiques et universitaires et aux règles déontologiques des professions concernées.

    
« Art. L. 4022-6.-Le conseil mentionné à l’article L. 4022-5 est présidé par une personnalité qualifiée désignée par arrêté conjoint du ministre chargé de la santé et du ministre chargé de l’enseignement supérieur. 

    « La composition de ce conseil et ses modalités de fonctionnement sont fixées par décret.

    #santé reprendre le #contrôle #surveillance #médecine #Santé_publique #ordre_des_médecins #certification

  • Smoking guns. How European arms exports are forcing millions from their homes

    The #nexus between the arms trade and forced displacement is rarely explored and the role of European arms trade policies that facilitate gross human rights violations in third countries is often absent from displacement and migration studies. This report joins the dots between Europe’s arms trade and forced displacement and migration.

    Key findings

    - Arms and military equipment manufactured and licensed in Europe and sold to third countries provokes forced displacement and migration. This arms trade is motivated by how highly lucrative the industry is and current control and monitoring mechanisms facilitate rather than curtail problematic licensing and exportation.

    – The arms trade is political and is driven by profit but is under-regulated. Although other sectors, such as food and agriculture, do not undermine the fundamental right to life and other human rights in the same way that the arms trade does, they are far more stringently regulated.

    - It is possible to methodically trace arms, military equipment and technology, from the point of origin and export to where these were eventually used, and document their devastating impact on the local population. The report confirms beyond any reasonable doubt that European arms are directly used not to defend populations or to enhance local or regional security as is often claimed, but to destabilise entire countries and regions.

    - The arms industry is involved in clear violations of non-transfer clauses and end user agreements (EUAs) despite a supposedly robust system of controls. The evidence shows that once arms are traded, and although they may be traced, it is virtually impossible to control how they may eventually be used. Furthermore, although importing countries were known to have breached EUAs, EU member states continued to sell them arms and military equipment.

    - Regardless of whether arms were exported to official state security forces or were eventually used by non-state armed actors, or whether EUAs and other control mechanisms were respected, the result was the same – European arms were used in military operations that led to destabilisation and resulting forced displacement and migration. The destabilisation, facilitated by arms supplied by Europe, then contributed to Europe hugely expanding its border security apparatus to respond to the apparent threat posed by refugees attempting to arrive and seek asylum.

    - European countries are among the top exporters of lethal arms equipment worldwide, comprising approximately 26% of global arms exports since 2015. The top five European arms exporters are France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK – together accounting for 22% of global arms exports in the 2016–2020 period.

    - Arms exports from Bulgaria, Croatia and Romania have soared in recent years, a large proportion of which is exported to West Asian countries. For example, before 2012, Croatia exported ammunition worth less than €1 million a year, but with the start of the Syrian war this surged every year to reach €82 million in 2016. The European Parliament called on Bulgaria and Romania to stop arms exports to Saudi Arabia and the US (if there was a risk that these arms may be diverted), so far to no avail.

    – In Syria an estimated 13 million people need humanitarian assistance and more than half of the population remains displaced from their homes – including 6.6 million refugees living in neighbouring countries, such as Jordan and Lebanon, who subsequently attempt to flee to Europe in a reverse movement to the arms that displaced them. Another 6.7 million are internally displaced persons (IDPs) inside Syria.

    –-

    Five case studies document that:

    Italian T-129 ATAK helicopter components were exported to Turkey and used in 2018 and 2019 in two attacks in the district of Afrin in Northern Syria as part of Operation Olive Branch and in Operation Peace Spring on the Turkish–Syrian border. According to UN figures, 98,000 people were displaced during the Afrin offensive between January and March 2018, while 180,000, of whom 80,000 were children, were displaced, in October 2019 as a result of Operation Peace Spring.

    Bulgaria exported missile tubes and rockets to Saudi Arabia and the US, which eventually ended up in the hands of IS fighters in Iraq. The equipment was diverted and used in Ramadi and the surrounding region, where the International Organisation for Migration reported that from April 2015, following the outbreak of the Ramadi crisis, over half a million people were displaced from Anbar province, of which Ramadi is the capital city, while 85,470 were displaced specifically from Ramadi City between November 2015 and February 2016. Around 80% of all housing in Ramadi was severely damaged after the offensive. In 2017 another missile tube originating in Bulgaria was found to have been used by IS forces in the town of Bartella, located to the east of Mosul. At least 200,000 people from minority groups were displaced from the greater Mosul area between 2014 and January 2017. By July 2019, over two years after military operations had ended in Mosul, there were still over 300,000 people displaced from the city.

    British, French, and German components and production capacity, including missiles, missile batteries, and a bomb rack, were exported to Turkey, where they were mounted on Turkish-made drones and exported to Azerbaijan. These same drones, loaded with European-manufactured arms components, were used in the 44-day conflict in Naghorno- Karabakh, which provoked the forced displacement of half of the region’s Armenian population – approximately 90,000 people.

    Between 2012 and 2015 Bulgaria exported assault rifles, large-calibre artillery systems, light machine guns, hand-held under-barrel and mounted grenade launchers to the Democratic Republic of Congo’s (DRC) national police and military. The conflict in DRC is one of the world’s longest, yet Europe continues to supply arms that are used to perpetrate gross human rights violations. In 2017, Serbia exported 920 assault rifles and 114 light machine guns that were originally manufactured in Bulgaria. That same year, 2,166,000 people were forcibly displaced, making it one of the worst since the conflict began. Specifically, Bulgarian weapons were in use in North Kivu in 2017 coinciding with the forced displacement of 523,000 people.

    At least four Italian Bigliani-class patrol boats were donated to Libya and used by its coastguard to forcibly pull back and detain migrants who were fleeing its shores. In 2019, the Libyan coastguard mounted a machine gun on at least one of these boats and used it in the internal conflict against the Libyan National Army. Many of those fleeing Libya had most likely already fled other conflicts in other African and West Asian countries that may have purchased or were in receipt of European arms, so that at each step along their journey from displacement to migration, the European arms trade is making massive profits by firstly displacing them, and then later deterring and pushing them back.

    The arms companies we identified in these case studies include: Airbus (Franco-German), ARSENAL (Bulgaria), BAE Systems (UK), Baykar Makina (Turkey), EDO MBM (UK), Intermarine (Italy), Kintex (Bulgaria), Leonardo (Italy), Roketsan (Turkey), SB Aerospatiale (France), TDW (Germany), Turkish Aerospace Industry (Turkey), and Vazovski Mashinostroitelni Zavodi ЕAD (Bulgaria).

    https://www.tni.org/en/publication/smoking-guns
    #rapport #tni
    #armes #commerce_d'armes #migrations #asile #réfugiés #Europe #armée #militaire #industrie_de_l'armement #droits_humains #droits_fondamentaux #France #Allemagne #Italie #UK #Angleterre #Espagne #Bulgarie #Croatie #Roumanie #Arabie_Saoudite #Syrie #T-129_ATAK #Turquie #Operation_Olive_Branch #Operation_Peace_Spring #Irak #Ramadi #Bartella #Azerbaïjan #arméniens #Congo #RDC #République_démocratique_du_Congo #Serbie #Kivu #Nord_Kivu #Bigliani #Libye #gardes-côtes_libyiens #complexe_militaro-industriel
    #Airbus #ARSENAL #BAE_Systems #Baykar_Makina #EDO_MBM #Intermarine #Kintex #Leonardo #Roketsan #SB_Aerospatiale #TDW #Turkish_Aerospace_Industry #Vazovski_Mashinostroitelni_Zavodi_ЕAD

  • La #Guardia_Civil de #Alicante ordena a sus agentes que no compartan información con #Frontex

    Un documento interno insta a no acceder “en ningún caso” a cualquier solicitud de la Agencia Europea de Fronteras

    La Guardia Civil de Alicante se niega a facilitar información de cualquier tipo al equipo que la Agencia Europea de Fronteras (Frontex) tiene desplegado en la provincia en el marco de sus operaciones conjuntas contra la inmigración irregular. Así lo ha hecho constar a todas las unidades de la comandancia de Alicante el teniente coronel #Francisco_Poyato_Sevillano en un oficio al que ha tenido acceso EL PAÍS. Fuentes del instituto armado confirman la veracidad de esta instrucción, pero la achacan a que unos agentes al servicio de la agencia intentaron recabar información directa sin pasar por los canales oficiales y eludiendo el procedimiento establecido de acceso a datos.

    En la circular, el alto mando de la comandancia alicantina se dirige a todas las compañías y unidades a su cargo. “Esta jefatura”, indica, “ha tenido conocimiento de que en la provincia de Alicante existe un equipo desplegado de Frontex compuesto por personal de Policía Nacional”. “Cabe la posibilidad”, continúa Poyato, “de que este equipo pueda dirigirse directamente a alguna de las unidades de esta comandancia solicitando algún tipo de información sobre inmigración irregular, o cualquier otro tipo”. Ante esa eventualidad, prosigue el teniente coronel, “no se accederá en ningún caso a dicha solicitud, debiendo contestarle que no se dispone de autorización para dar ninguna clase de información”. La instrucción señala que cada petición de información será comunicada a la jefatura, la unidad de Operaciones a cuyo frente está Poyato. La circular está firmada y validada el pasado 2 de julio.

    Los rifirrafes entre el personal que trabaja para Frontex y la Guardia Civil no son raros. Suceden a nivel operativo, como en este caso, pero también en los despachos. El pulso constante es un reflejo de las relaciones entre el instituto armado y la Policía Nacional, de donde salen los agentes españoles que sirven a la agencia. Pero es también una muestra de la desconfianza ante un organismo que tiene presupuestados 5.600 millones de euros para los próximos siete años y que busca cada vez más poder.

    Fuentes oficiales de la Guardia Civil aseguran que el “detonante” que motivó esta orden fue “una llamada” en la que agentes de la #Policía_Nacional al servicio de Frontex “pidieron datos que no se pueden facilitar por no estar autorizados”. El equipo de Frontex en Alicante, destino de la ruta migratoria desde #Argelia, es parte de la #Operación_Índalo, una de las tres operaciones de la agencia en España que controla la inmigración irregular a través del Estrecho y el mar Alborán. En esta misión, en teoría, la agencia trabaja conjuntamente con la Guardia Civil y la Policía Nacional. En el marco de esta operación, explican las mismas fuentes, “hay una base de datos en la que los integrantes de ambos cuerpos graban toda la información” recabada, y la llamada de los agentes policiales que trabajan para la agencia se saltó este procedimiento. Después, añaden, tuvo lugar una reunión “en la que se les explicó que el acceso a información se tiene que gestionar a través del centro de control” de Madrid.

    Para la Asociación Unificada de Guardias Civiles (AUGC), se trata de una muestra más del “recelo” y la “falta de colaboración y cooperación” entre las Fuerzas y Cuerpos de Seguridad del Estado. A juicio de AUGC, es “perentoria” la “necesidad de reformar el modelo policial” con el fin de “sincronizar y homogeneizar la cooperación”.

    A principios de este año, Frontex amagó con retirarse de España tras una tensa negociación sobre los términos en los que se renovarían las tres operaciones en las que trabajan cerca de 200 oficiales a sueldo de la agencia. Frontex reclamaba a España mayor control sobre la inteligencia, las investigaciones y el acceso a los datos de carácter personal en las fronteras españolas, algo que los negociadores españoles no ven con buenos ojos. Las fuerzas de seguridad españolas, especialmente la Guardia Civil, no quieren ceder espacios de su competencia y existen recelos acerca de la operatividad, la capacidad y eficiencia de los oficiales la agencia. La pugna se saldó con la aceptación por parte de España de la propuesta de Frontex, pero las tensiones se mantienen.

    La agencia, además, afronta la peor crisis reputacional desde que se creó en 2004. A las críticas que lleva años recibiendo por su opacidad, se ha sumado en los últimos meses las investigaciones por su supuesta colaboración en devoluciones ilegales de inmigrantes en el mar Egeo. También la amonestación del Tribunal de Cuentas de la UE y del Parlamento Europeo por su ineficacia, por las dudas que genera su función operativa y por la falta de transparencia que envuelve a sus cuentas.

    https://elpais.com/espana/2021-07-15/la-guardia-civil-de-alicante-ordena-a-sus-agentes-que-no-compartan-informaci
    #résistance #Espagne #asile #migrations #réfugiés #frontières #gardes-frontière #Méditerranée #Méditerranée_occidentale #données #échange_de_données

    –—

    #Operation_Minerva (#Indalo) :

    The area stretching between Spain and Morocco, known as the Western Mediterranean route, has long been used by migrants. For many years, it has also been the main route used by criminal networks to smuggle narcotics into the EU.

    Frontex supports the national authorities with border control and surveillance, identification and registration and its ships and airplanes contribute to search and rescue operations. The agency has been assisting the Spanish authorities not only at sea, but in various sea ports and at international airports.

    The Western Mediterranean region has also long been a major conduit for drug smugglers seeking to bring hashish, cannabis and cocaine by sea to the lucrative European markets. Frontex vessels and aircraft assist the Spanish authorities to disrupt the drug smuggling operations.

    Frontex currently deploys in Spain more than 180 officers from several European countries who assist with border checks, help register migrants and collect information on criminal smuggling networks, which is shared with national authorities and Europol in support of criminal investigations. They also provide support in identifying vulnerable migrants, such as victims of trafficking, including those in need of international protection. Finally, Frontex also helps Spanish authorities to seize drugs, weapons and cigarettes.

    Officers deployed by Frontex in Spain take part in various joint operations, including three focused on Spain’s sea borders: Hera, Indalo and Minerva.

    https://frontex.europa.eu/we-support/main-operations/operations-minerva-indalo-spain-

  • MIGRANTI : “AUMENTANO DI NUOVO I FONDI ITALIANI ALLA GUARDIA COSTIERA LIBICA”

    Crescono di mezzo milione di euro i finanziamenti destinati al blocco dei flussi migratori: passati da 10 milioni nel 2020 a 10,5 nel 2021. In totale 32,6 milioni destinati alla Guardia Costiera libica dal 2017.
    Impennata delle risorse destinate alle missioni navali che non prevedono il salvataggio dei migranti in mare. Dall’inizio dell’anno, oltre 720 vittime lungo la rotta del Mediterraneo centrale, almeno 7.135 dalla firma dell’accordo tra Italia e Libia. Oltre 13 mila i migranti riportati in Libia.

    Continuano ad aumentare gli stanziamenti italiani alla Guardia Costiera libica. Il Governo ha infatti deciso di destinare 500 mila euro in più nel 2021 per sostenerne le attività, per un totale di 32,6 milioni di euro spesi dal 2017, anno dell’accordo Italia-Libia. Sale anche a 960 milioni il costo sostenuto dai contribuenti italiani per le missioni navali nel Mediterraneo, (nessuna delle quali ha compiti di ricerca e soccorso in mare) e nel paese nord africano, con un aumento di 17 milioni rispetto al 2020 per la missione Mare Sicuro e 15 milioni per Irini.

    Tutto ciò, nonostante si continui a morire lungo la rotta del Mediterraneo centrale – con oltre 720 vittime dall’inizio dell’anno – e siano oramai ben note le modalità di intervento della cosiddetta Guardia Costiera libica, come testimoniato dal video diffuso in questi giorni da Sea-Watch.

    È l’allarme lanciato da Oxfam, alla vigilia del dibattito parlamentare sul rinnovo delle missioni militari italiane. In un anno che vede il record di persone intercettate e riportate in Libia: più di 13.000. Dato che non ha suggerito evidentemente al Governo, né una profonda riflessione sul destino dei migranti, tra cui donne e bambini, che una volta rientrati nel paese nord-africano sono destinati ad essere vittime di abusi e torture sistematiche dalle quali stavano scappando, finendo nei centri di detenzione ufficiali e in altri luoghi di prigionia clandestini. Né tantomeno si è attuata una revisione dello stesso accordo con le autorità libiche, nonostante numerose inchieste e testimonianze abbiano confermato il coinvolgimento della Guardia Costiera libica nel traffico di esseri umani.

    “Mentre lungo la rotta del Mediterraneo centrale si continua a morire, come dimostrano i continui naufragi di queste settimane, con l’ennesima tragedia avvenuta a Lampedusa pochi giorni fa, – sottolinea Paolo Pezzati, policy advisor per le emergenze umanitarie di Oxfam Italia – il Governo Draghi sta agendo in perfetta continuità con gli esecutivi precedenti sulle politiche migratorie, come dimostrano anche le recenti richieste al Consiglio europeo per un maggior coinvolgimento dell’Unione nel rafforzamento degli accordi con le autorità libiche. In sostanza si va avanti nella stessa direzione, in un paese dove “l’industria del contrabbando e tratta” è stata in parte convertita in “industria della detenzione” con abusi e violenze oramai note a tutti, anche grazie a questo considerevole flusso di denaro”.

    L’appello all’Italia

    “A pochi giorni dalla discussione parlamentare sul rinnovo delle missioni militari italiane all’estero, – conclude Pezzati – chiediamo perciò ai partiti di maggioranza di interrompere immediatamente gli stanziamenti per il 2021 diretti alla Guardia Costiera libica, che solo quest’anno ha intercettato e riportato in un paese non sicuro il triplo dei migranti, rispetto allo stesso periodo dello scorso anno. Assieme è necessaria una revisione delle missioni che contengono iniziative legate alla sua formazione e al suo supporto. Quello che serve è un cambio deciso di approccio, una gestione diretta dei flussi e non la mera chiusura delle frontiere delegata a paesi come la Libia o la Turchia”.

    https://www.oxfamitalia.org/aumentano-i-fondi-italiani-alla-guardia-costiera-libica

    #gardes-côtes_libyens #Libye #Italie #financement #complexe_militaro-industriel #business #externalisation #asile #migrations #réfugiés #frontières #budget #2021 #2020

  • A la frontière entre la #Lituanie et le #Bélarus, Loukachenko se fait maître passeur

    Pour se venger de Vilnius, qui accueille l’opposition en exil, l’autocrate semble avoir organisé une filière d’immigration clandestine, qui mène des candidats au départ de Bagdad à la frontière de l’Etat balte.

    Depuis la fin du mois de mai, les gardes-frontières bélarusses postés aux lisières de la Lituanie sont au repos. Ils ferment les yeux sur les silhouettes qui traversent les bois dans l’obscurité, sur les traces de pas laissées dans le sable du no man’s land qui sépare les deux pays. Dans leur dos, passent chaque jour plusieurs dizaines de personnes. Des migrants, Irakiens pour la plupart. Depuis le début de l’année, les #gardes-frontières lituaniens ont rattrapé 387 personnes qui venaient d’entrer dans leur pays – et au passage dans l’espace Schengen. Le rythme s’est largement accéléré en juin, avec plus de 200 entrées en quinze jours. Soit plus en deux semaines qu’au cours des deux années précédentes réunies : 81 migrants avaient été arrêtés en 2020 et 46 en 2019.

    « Tout cela découle de raisons géopolitiques. D’après ce que nous voyons, les officiers bélarusses coopèrent et sont potentiellement impliqués dans le transport illégal de migrants », a affirmé la ministre lituanienne de l’Intérieur, Agne Bilotaite. « Les gardes-frontières bélarusses ont stoppé toute coopération avec leurs homologues lituaniens », confirme le porte-parole du service lituanien de protection des frontières, Giedrius Misutis.

    #Chantage migratoire

    Le mois dernier, après l’atterrissage forcé à Minsk d’un vol Athènes-Vilnius, l’arrestation de l’opposant #Raman_Protassevitch et l’opprobre international qui avait suivi, Alexandre #Loukachenko avait prévenu : « Nous arrêtions les migrants et les drogues. Attrapez-les vous-même désormais. » La menace lancée par l’autocrate bélarusse à ses voisins paraissait alors assez creuse. Son pays est loin des principales voies d’entrée en Europe empruntées par les migrants ce qui ne lui permet pas d’avoir recours au type de #chantage_migratoire utilisé l’an dernier par la Turquie ou plus récemment par le Maroc pour solder leurs différends avec Bruxelles.

    Alors, pour augmenter sa capacité de nuisance, il semble que le régime bélarusse se soit lancé dans l’organisation de sa propre filière d’immigration illégale. Pour cela, il a trouvé un nouvel usage à #Tsentrkurort, l’agence de voyages d’Etat, qui travaille avec Bagdad depuis 2017. Entre le mois d’avril et la mi-juin, le nombre de liaisons aériennes opérées par #Iraqi_Airways entre Minsk et Bagdad est passé d’une à trois par semaine. Pendant la deuxième quinzaine de mai, les habituels Boeing 737 ont aussi été remplacés par des 777, à la capacité plus importante.

    « A l’aéroport de Minsk, personne ne vérifie les documents des Irakiens qui ont réservé avec Tsentrkurort. Ils obtiennent automatiquement des #visas », indique le rédacteur en chef de la chaîne Telegram Nexta, Tadeusz Giczan. La compagnie aérienne #Fly_Baghdad, qui dessert presque uniquement des villes du Moyen-Orient, a également ouvert en mai une liaison directe entre les capitales irakienne et bélarusse, qui effectue deux rotations par semaine.

    Agitation à la frontière

    Les autorités lituaniennes ont fait les mêmes constats. « Il y a des #vols Bagdad-Minsk et Istanbul-Minsk deux fois par semaine. En tout, quatre vols qui correspondent aux vagues de migrations [hebdomadaires] », a expliqué le président du comité parlementaire lituanien consacré à la sécurité nationale, Laurynas Kasciunas. La ministre de l’Intérieur estime, elle aussi, que les migrants arrivent par avion de Bagdad et d’Istanbul, avant d’être conduits à la frontière lituanienne, pour des tarifs allant de 1 500 euros par personne à 3 500 pour une famille.

    Ces flux migratoires soigneusement orchestrés semblent dirigés uniquement vers la Lituanie. Le pays est le plus fidèle allié de l’opposition bélarusse, dont la cheffe de file est exilée à Vilnius. C’est aussi un petit Etat, d’à peine 2,8 millions d’habitants, peu habitué à gérer une pression migratoire. Le centre d’accueil des étrangers installé à la frontière du Bélarus arrive déjà à saturation et des grandes tentes viennent d’être installées à sa lisière pour héberger 350 personnes supplémentaires. Lundi, la ministre de l’Intérieur a repoussé l’instauration de l’état d’urgence, estimant que « l’aide internationale prévue » suffirait pour tenir le choc.

    Jamais cette frontière de 500 kilomètres de long n’avait connu autant d’agitation. La nuit, les migrants récemment débarqués au Bélarus tentent le passage, suivis ou précédés par des opposants à Loukachenko qui prennent le chemin de l’exil dans la clandestinité. Le jour, ce sont les Bélarusses déjà réfugiés en Lituanie qui s’y rassemblent, avec drapeaux et pancartes. Ils réclament l’imposition de nouvelles sanctions contre le régime et l’ouverture des frontières pour leurs compatriotes. Car dans le Bélarus de Loukachenko, les migrants sont encouragés à franchir les frontières, mais les citoyens sont assignés à résidence, interdits de quitter le pays, sauf s’ils sont en possession d’un permis de résidence permanent à l’étranger.

    https://www.liberation.fr/international/europe/a-la-frontiere-entre-la-lituanie-et-le-belarus-loukachenko-se-fait-maitre

    #frontières #réfugiés #réfugiés_irakiens #migrations #asile #Protassevitch #compagnies_aériennes #Irak #Biélorussie

    ping @reka

  • Frontex instruye a Marruecos en el rescate de inmigrantes

    Tras un acercamiento de la agencia europea de fronteras, los marroquíes han participado, desde 2019, en varios cursos y misiones en alta mar.

    La agencia europea de fronteras (Frontex) lleva instruyendo a Marruecos en la interceptación y el rescate de inmigrantes en alta mar hace al menos dos años. Desde septiembre de 2019, los marroquíes han participado en cuatro cursos de formación y en misiones en alta mar en Grecia y Malta, según una respuesta de la propia agencia a la europarlamentaria alemana Özlem Demirel, representante del partido Die Linke en la Eurocámara.

    La participación en las misiones de búsqueda y rescate de los países ribereños de donde salen la mayoría de los inmigrantes es prioritaria para la UE. Lo es también para España, que trabaja bilateralmente en este ámbito con Argelia y Marruecos y financia la capacitación de los guardacostas de países como Senegal y Mauritania hace más de una década. La estrategia de los 27 y su agencia de control de fronteras, sin embargo, no consiste solo en rescatar embarcaciones y reducir la letalidad en estas rutas mortales, sino en reforzar a los países vecinos para que eviten que los migrantes lleguen a costas europeas.

    Frontex no detalla el contenido ni la duración de los cursos, pero sí da algunas pistas. La primera misión llevó a un representante marroquí y otro egipcio hasta la isla griega de Chíos, en septiembre de 2019. Allí participaron como observadores en un ejercicio de búsqueda y rescate. En enero de 2020 se repitió la experiencia en Malta, esta vez con teoría y ejercicios prácticos de abordaje de embarcaciones por parte de los guardacostas.

    Dos meses después, en marzo de 2020, representantes marroquíes y egipcios viajaron a Estonia donde se les presentaron las instalaciones, los recursos y las tecnologías de las autoridades locales. Ya en pandemia, en diciembre de 2020, representantes de la Gendarmería, la Marina Real y del Ministro del Interior marroquí participaron virtualmente de una reunión técnica con expertos de Frontex en la que “se presentaron unos a otros y presentaron las respectivas actividades” de sus guardacostas.

    Los marroquíes además viajaron a Varsovia en octubre de 2019, en “la primera reunión conjunta del comité Frontex-Marruecos” en la sede de la agencia. En ella participaron representantes de la Real Gendarmería y la Marina Real junto con una delegación más numerosa presidida por el Ministerio del Interior marroquí. En el mismo marco se realizó otra reunión virtual el pasado octubre.

    Acercamiento a Marruecos

    Los países africanos no suelen ser partidarios de negociar con Frontex. Prefieren las relaciones bilaterales con los países, porque de ellas suelen sacar cosas tangibles, como barcos y otros medios, mientras que con la agencia europea los acuerdos suelen implicar solamente formación.

    El director ejecutivo de Frontex, Fabrice Leggeri, sin embargo, ha procurado en los últimos tiempos un acercamiento para tratar directamente con Marruecos. En una visita a Rabat en junio 2019, el francés alabó los “esfuerzos considerables” de un “socio estratégico” de la UE y discutió con los responsables marroquíes en temas migratorios el modo de desarrollar una mayor cooperación, según recogió la Agencia Marroquí de Prensa. Esta visita marcó el punto de inflexión y la nueva estrategia: los cursos de formación a oficiales marroquíes entrarían dentro de este nuevo marco de relaciones entre la agencia europea y el país africano.

    “Frontex ha entrado en Marruecos como un elefante en una cacharrería”, critica un mando de las Fuerzas y Cuerpos de Seguridad del Estado español, con amplia experiencia en asuntos migratorios. Según esta fuente, el alcance de la formación que se le haya podido dar a unos pocos oficiales de Marruecos es escaso, y las contrapartidas para Frontex, de momento, también. Pero Rabat, dice, “se ha dejado querer”.

    Este mando censura el hecho de que que Frontex haya hecho un acercamiento unilateral al país africano, cuando la agencia debería pasar para su interlocución con Marruecos por España, tradicional socio del reino alauí en la lucha contra la migración irregular: “Frontex ha de coordinarse con el Estado miembro que tenga intereses allí, sucede lo mismo en Libia con los italianos”. En su opinión la relación entre Madrid y Rabat, con buenos canales de inteligencia, es hasta la fecha más fructífera que la que haya podido establecer Frontex “haciendo la guerra por su cuenta”.

    La colaboración de Marruecos en el auxilio de migrantes en el Estrecho y el Mar de Alborán, donde Frontex tiene desplegada la Operación Indalo, pasa por altos y bajos. En 2018, cuando llegaron a costas españolas más de 57.000 inmigrantes, un récord histórico, se puso de manifiesto que las dinámicas de los rescates con España no fluían. Las reclamaciones de las autoridades españolas ante la falta de respuesta o la lenta reacción de la Marina Real cuando se les comunicaba que había una patera en apuros eran recurrentes y un tercio de las operaciones de Salvamento Marítimo se realizaron en aguas de responsabilidad marroquí. La cooperación comenzó a mejorar a partir de febrero de 2019, coincidiendo con una visita del rey Felipe VI a Rabat y el empuje financiero y diplomático de la UE y de España en el país.

    “Frontex está cooperando con los guardacostas del norte de África en mayor medida de lo que ha dado a conocer hasta ahora”, afirma la europarlamentaria Özlem Demirel. La alemana ve en estas iniciativas “otra prueba de cómo la agencia se está volviendo cada vez más autónoma e incontrolable” y señala cómo esta cooperación es, en realidad, una forma de comprometer a los guardacostas africanos “en la vigilancia de la Europa Fortaleza”.

    Con este tipo de formación, según un portavoz de la agencia, se pretende compartir las “mejores prácticas” en áreas como la búsqueda y rescate de inmigrantes en el mar. La Oficina Europea de Lucha Contra el Fraude (OLAF) investiga a la agencia europea de fronteras Frontex por sospechas de acoso, mala conducta y también por supuestas devoluciones ilegales de migrantes en aguas griegas.

    https://elpais.com/espana/2021-05-05/frontex-instruye-a-marruecos-en-el-rescate-de-inmigrantes.html
    #Maroc #formation #Frontex #asile #migrations #réfugiés #gardes-frontière

  • How Frontex Helps Haul Migrants Back To Libyan Torture Camps

    Refugees are being detained, tortured and killed at camps in Libya. Investigative reporting by DER SPIEGEL and its partners has uncovered how close the European Union’s border agency Frontex works together with the Libyan coast guard.

    At sunrise, Alek Musa was still in good spirits. On the morning of June 25, 2020, he crowded onto an inflatable boat with 69 other people seeking asylum. Most of the refugees were Sudanese like him. They had left the Libyan coastal city of Garabulli the night before. Their destination: the island of Lampedusa in Italy. Musa wanted to escape the horrors of Libya, where migrants like him are captured, tortured and killed by militias.

    The route across the central Mediterranean is one of the world’s most dangerous for migrants. Just last week, another 100 people died as they tried to reach Europe from Libya. Musa was confident, nonetheless. The sea was calm and there was plenty of fuel in the boat’s tank.

    But then, between 9 a.m. and 10 a.m., Musa saw a small white plane in the sky. He shared his story by phone. There is much to suggest that the aircraft was a patrol of the European border protection agency Frontex. Flight data shows that a Frontex pilot had been circling in the immediate vicinity of the boat at the time.

    However, it appears that Frontex officials didn’t instruct any of the nearby cargo ships to help the refugees – and neither did the sea rescue coordination centers. Instead, hours later, Musa spotted the Ras Al Jadar on the horizon, a Libyan coast guard vessel.

    With none of them wanting to be hauled back to Libya, the migrants panicked. "We tried to leave as quickly as possible,” says Musa, who won’t give his real name out of fear of retaliation.

    Musa claims the Libyans rammed the dinghy with their ship. And that four men had gone overboard. Images from an aircraft belonging to the private rescue organization Sea-Watch show people fighting for their lives in the water. At least two refugees are believed to have died in the operation. All the others were taken back to Libya.
    Frontex Has Turned the Libyans into Europe’s Interceptors

    The June 25 incident is emblematic of the Europeans’ policy in the Mediterranean: The EU member states ceased sea rescue operations entirely in 2019. Instead, they are harnessing the Libyan coast guard to keep people seeking protection out of Europe.

    The European Court of Human Rights ruled back in 2012 that refugees may not be brought back to Libya because they are threatened with torture and death there. But that’s exactly what Libyan border guards are doing. With the help of the Europeans, they are intercepting refugees and hauling them back to Libya. According to an internal EU document, 11,891 were intercepted and taken back ashore last year.

    The EU provides financing for the Libyan coast guard and has trained its members. To this day, though, it claims not to control their operations. “Frontex has never directly cooperated with the Libyan coast guard,” Fabrice Leggeri, the head of the border agency, told the European Parliament in March. He claimed that the Libyans alone were responsible for the controversial interceptions. Is that really the truth, though?

    Together with the media organization “Lighthouse Reports”, German public broadcaster ARD’s investigative magazine “Monitor” and the French daily “Libération”, DER SPIEGEL has investigated incidents in the central Mediterranean Sea over a period of months. The reporters collected position data from Frontex aircraft and cross-checked it with ship data and information from migrants and civilian rescue organizations. They examined confidential documents and spoke to survivors as well as nearly a dozen Libyan officers and Frontex staff.

    This research has exposed for the first time the extent of the cooperation between Frontex and the Libyan coast guard. Europe’s border protection agency is playing an active role in the interceptions conducted by the Libyans. The reporting showed that Frontex flew over migrant boats on at least 20 occasions since January 2020 before the Libyan coast guard hauled them back. At times, the Libyans drove deep in the Maltese Search and Rescue Zone, an area over which the Europeans have jurisdiction.

    Some 91 refugees died in the interceptions or are considered missing – in part because the system the Europeans have established causes significant delays in the interceptions. In most cases, merchant ships or even those of aid organizations were in the vicinity. They would have reached the migrant boats more quickly, but they apparently weren’t alerted. Civilian sea rescue organizations have complained for years that they are hardly ever provided with alerts from Frontex.

    The revelations present a problem for Frontex head Leggeri. He is already having to answer for his agency’s involvement in the illegal repatriation of migrants in the Aegean Sea that are referred to as pushbacks. Now it appears that Frontex is also bending the law in operations in the central Mediterranean.

    An operation in March cast light on how the Libyans operate on the high seas. The captain of the Libyan vessel Fezzan, a coast guard officer, agreed to allow a reporter with DER SPIEGEL to conduct a ride-along on the ship. During the trip, he held a crumpled piece of paper with the coordinates of the boats he was to intercept. He didn’t have any internet access on the ship – indeed, the private sea rescuers are better equipped.

    The morning of the trip, the crew of the Fezzan had already pulled around 200 migrants from the water. The Libyans decided to leave an unpowered wooden boat with another 200 people at sea because the Fezzan was already too full. The rescued people huddled on deck, their clothes soaked and their eyes filled with fear. "Stay seated!” the Libyan officers yelled.

    Sheik Omar, a 16-year-old boy from Gambia squatted at the bow. He explained how, after the death of his father, he struggled as a worker in Libya. Then he just wanted to get away from there. He had already attempted to reach Europe five times. "I’m afraid,” he said. "I don’t know where they’re taking me. It probably won’t be a good place.”

    The conditions in the Libyan detention camps are catastrophic. Some are officially under the control of the authorities, but various militias are actually calling the shots. Migrants are a good business for the groups, and refugees from sub-Saharan countries, especially, are imprisoned and extorted by the thousands.

    Mohammad Salim was aware of what awaited him in jail. He’s originally from Somalia and didn’t want to give his real name. Last June, he and around 90 other migrants tried to flee Libya by boat, but a Frontex airplane did a flyover above them early in the morning. Several merchant ships that could have taken them to Europe passed by. But then the Libyan coast guard arrived several hours later.

    Once back on land, the Somali was sent to the Abu Issa detention center, which is controlled by a notorious militia. “There was hardly anything to eat,” Salim reported by phone. On good days, he ate 18 pieces of maccaroni pasta. On other days, he sucked on toothpaste. The women had been forced by the guards to strip naked. Salim was only able to buy his freedom a month later, when his family had paid $1,200.

    The EU is well aware of the conditions in the Libyan refugee prisons. German diplomats reported "concentration camp-like conditions” in 2017. A February report from the EU’s External Action described widespread "sexual violence, abduction for ransom, forced labor and unlawful killings.” The report states that the perpetrators include "government officials, members of armed groups, smugglers, traffickers and members of criminal gangs.”

    Supplies for the business are provided by the Libyan coast guard, which is itself partly made up of militiamen.

    In response to a request for comment from DER SPIEGEL, Frontex asserted that it is the agency’s duty to inform all internationally recognized sea rescue coordination centers in the region about refugee boats, including the Joint Rescue Coordination Center (JRCC). The sea rescue coordination center reports to the Libyan Defense Ministry and is financed by the EU.

    According to official documents, the JRCC is located at the Tripoli airport. But members of the Libyan coast guard claim that the control center is only a small room at the Abu Sitta military base in Tripoli, with just two computers. They claim that it is actually officers with the Libyan coast guard who are on duty there. That the men there have no ability to monitor their stretch of coastline, meaning they would virtually be flying blind without the EU’s aerial surveillance. In the event of a shipping accident, they almost only notify their own colleagues, even though they currently only have two ships at their disposal. Even when their ships are closer, there are no efforts to inform NGOs or private shipping companies. Massoud Abdalsamad, the head of the JRCC and the commander of the coast guard even admits that, "The JRCC and the coast guard are one and the same, there is no difference.”

    WhatsApp Messages to the Coast Guard

    As such, experts are convinced that even the mere transfer of coordinates by Frontex to the JRCC is in violation of European law. "Frontex officials know that the Libyan coast guard is hauling refugees back to Libya and that people there face torture and inhumane treatment,” says Nora Markard, professor for international public law and international human rights at the University of Münster.

    In fact, it appears that Frontex employees are going one step further and sending the coordinates of the refugee boats directly to Libyan officers via WhatsApp. That claim has been made independently by three different members of the Libyan coast guard. DER SPIEGEL is in possession of screenshots indicating that the coast guard is regularly informed – and directly. One captain was sent a photo of a refugee boat taken by a Frontex plane. “This form of direct contact is a clear violation of European law,” says legal expert Markard.

    When confronted, Frontex no longer explicitly denied direct contact with the Libyan coast guard. The agency says it contacts everyone involved in emergency operations in order to save lives. And that form of emergency communication cannot be considered formal contact, a spokesman said.

    But officials at Frontex in Warsaw are conscious of the fact that their main objective is to help keep refugees from reaching Europe’s shores. They often watch on their screens in the situation center how boats capsize in the Mediterranean. It has already proven to be too much for some – they suffer from sleep disorders and psychological problems.

    https://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/libya-how-frontex-helps-haul-migrants-back-to-libyan-torture-camps-a-d62c396

    #Libye #push-backs #refoulements #Frontex #complicité #milices #gardes-côtes_libyens #asile #migrations #réfugiés #externalisation #Ras_Al_Jadar #interception #Fezzan #Joint_Rescue_Coordination_Center (#JRCC) #WhatsApp #coordonnées_géographiques

    ping @isskein @karine4 @rhoumour @_kg_ @i_s_

    • Frontex : l’agence européenne de garde-frontières au centre d’une nouvelle polémique

      Un consortium de médias européens, dont le magazine Der Spiegel et le journal Libération, a livré une nouvelle enquête accablante sur l’agence européenne des gardes-frontières. Frontex est accusée de refouler des bateaux de migrants en mer Méditerranée.

      Frontex, c’est quoi ?

      L’agence européenne des gardes-frontières et gardes-côtes a été créée en 2004 pour répondre à la demande d’aides des pays membres pour protéger les frontières extérieures de l’espace Schengen. Frontex a trois objectifs : réduire la vulnérabilité des frontières extérieures, garantir le bon fonctionnement et la sécurité aux frontières et maintenir les capacités du corps européen, recrutant chaque année près de 700 gardes-frontières et garde-côtes. Depuis la crise migratoire de 2015, le budget de l’agence, subventionné par l’Union Européen a explosé passant 142 à 460 millions d’euros en 2020.

      Nouvelles accusations

      Frontex est de nouveau au centre d’une polémique au sein de l’UE. En novembre 2020, et en janvier 2021 déjà, Der Spiegel avait fait part de plusieurs refoulements en mer de bateaux de demandeurs d’asile naviguant entre la Turquie et la Grèce et en Hongrie. Dans cette enquête le magazine allemand avait averti que les responsables de Frontex étaient"conscients des pratiques illégales des gardes-frontières grecs et impliqués dans les refoulements eux-mêmes" (https://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/eu-border-agency-frontex-complicit-in-greek-refugee-pushback-campaign-a-4b6c).

      A la fin de ce mois d’avril, de nouveaux éléments incriminants Frontex révélés par un consortium de médias vont dans le même sens : des agents de Frontex auraient donné aux gardes-côtes libyens les coordonnées de bateaux de réfugiés naviguant en mer Méditerranée pour qu’ils soient interceptés avant leurs arrivées sur le sol européen. C’est ce que l’on appelle un « pushback » : refouler illégalement des migrants après les avoir interceptés, violant le droit international et humanitaire. L’enquête des médias européens cite un responsable d’Amnesty International, Mateo de Bellis qui précise que « sans les informations de Frontex, les gardes-côtes libyens ne pourraient jamais intercepter autant de migrants ».

      Cet arrangement entre les autorités européennes et libyennes « constitue une violation manifeste du droit européen », a déclaré Nora Markard, experte en droit international de l’université de Münster, citée par Der Spiegel.

      Une politique migratoire trop stricte de l’UE ?

      En toile de fond, les détracteurs de Frontex visent également la ligne politique de l’UE en matière d’immigration, jugée trop stricte. Est-ce cela qui aurait généré le refoulement de ces bateaux ? La Commissaire européenne aux affaires intérieures, Ylva Johansson, s’en défendait en janvier dernier, alors que Frontex était déjà accusé d’avoir violé le droit international et le droit humanitaire en refoulant six migrants en mer Egée. « Ce que nous protégeons, lorsque nous protégeons nos frontières, c’est l’Union européenne basée sur des valeurs et nous devons respecter nos engagements à ces valeurs tout en protégeant nos frontières (...) Et c’est une des raisons pour lesquelles nous avons besoin de Frontex », expliquait la Commissaire à euronews.

      Pour Martin Martiniello, spécialiste migration à l’université de Liège, « l’idée de départ de l’Agence Frontex était de contrôler les frontières européennes avec l’espoir que cela soit accompagné d’une politique plus positive, plus proactive de l’immigration. Cet aspect-là ne s’est pas développé au cours des dernières années, mais on a construit cette notion de crise migratoire. Et cela renvoie une image d’une Europe assiégée, qui doit se débarrasser des migrants non souhaités. Ce genre de politique ne permet pas de rencontrer les défis globaux des déplacements de population à long terme ».

      Seulement trois jours avant la parution de l’enquête des médias européens incriminant Frontex, L’Union européenne avait avancé sa volonté d’accroître et de mieux encadrer les retours volontaires des personnes migrantes, tout en reconnaissant que cet axe politique migratoire était, depuis 2019, un échec. L’institution avait alors proposé à Frontex un nouveau mandat pour prendre en charge ces retours. Selon Martin Martiniello, « des montants de plus en plus élevés ont été proposés, pour financer Frontex. Même si le Parlement européen a refusé de voter ce budget, celui-ci comporte de la militarisation encore plus importante de l’espace méditerranéen, avec des drones et tout ce qui s’en suit. Et cela fait partie d’une politique européenne ».

      Les accusations de novembre et janvier derniers ont généré l’ouverture d’une enquête interne chez Frontex, mais aussi à l’Office européen de lutte antifraude (OLAF). Pour Catherine Woolard, directrice du Conseil européen des Réfugiés et Exilés (ECRE), « On voit tout le problème des structures de gouvernance de Frontex : ce sont les États membres qui font partie du conseil d’administration et de gestion de Frontex, et ces États membres ont fait une enquête préliminaire. Mais cette enquête ne peut pas être profonde et transparente, puisque ces États membres sont parties prenantes dans ce cas de figure ».

      Pour la directrice de l’ECRE, une enquête indépendante serait une solution pour comprendre et réparer les torts causés, et suggère une réforme du conseil d’administration de Frontex. « La décision du Parlement concernant le budget est importante. En plus des enquêtes internes, le Parlement a créé un groupe de travail pour reformer le scrutin au sein du conseil administratif de l’agence, ce qui est essentiel. Nous attendons le rapport de ce groupe de travail, qui permettra de rendre compte de la situation chez Frontex ».

      Certains députés européens ont demandé la démission du directeur exécutif de Frontex. « C’est un sujet sensible » souligne Catherine Woolard. « Dans le contexte de l’augmentation des ressources de Frontex, le recrutement d’agents de droits fondamentaux, ainsi que les mesures et mécanismes mentionnés, sont essentiels. Le Parlement européen insiste sur la création de ces postes et n’a toujours pas eu de réponse de la part du directeur de Frontex. Entretemps, l’agence a toujours l’obligation de faire un rapport sur les incidents où il y a une suspicion de violation du droit international et humanitaire ».

      https://www.levif.be/actualite/europe/frontex-l-agence-europeenne-de-garde-frontieres-au-centre-d-une-nouvelle-polemique/article-normal-1422403.html?cookie_check=1620307471

  • Friends of the Traffickers Italy’s Anti-Mafia Directorate and the “Dirty Campaign” to Criminalize Migration

    Afana Dieudonne often says that he is not a superhero. That’s Dieudonne’s way of saying he’s done things he’s not proud of — just like anyone in his situation would, he says, in order to survive. From his home in Cameroon to Tunisia by air, then by car and foot into the desert, across the border into Libya, and onto a rubber boat in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, Dieudonne has done a lot of surviving.

    In Libya, Dieudonne remembers when the smugglers managing the safe house would ask him for favors. Dieudonne spoke a little English and didn’t want trouble. He said the smugglers were often high and always armed. Sometimes, when asked, Dieudonne would distribute food and water among the other migrants. Other times, he would inform on those who didn’t follow orders. He remembers the traffickers forcing him to inflict violence on his peers. It was either them or him, he reasoned.

    On September 30, 2014, the smugglers pushed Dieudonne and 91 others out to sea aboard a rubber boat. Buzzing through the pitch-black night, the group watched lights on the Libyan coast fade into darkness. After a day at sea, the overcrowded dinghy began taking on water. Its passengers were rescued by an NGO vessel and transferred to an Italian coast guard ship, where officers picked Dieudonne out of a crowd and led him into a room for questioning.

    At first, Dieudonne remembers the questioning to be quick, almost routine. His name, his age, his nationality. And then the questions turned: The officers said they wanted to know how the trafficking worked in Libya so they could arrest the people involved. They wanted to know who had driven the rubber boat and who had held the navigation compass.

    “So I explained everything to them, and I also showed who the ‘captain’ was — captain in quotes, because there is no captain,” said Dieudonne. The real traffickers stay in Libya, he added. “Even those who find themselves to be captains, they don’t do it by choice.”

    For the smugglers, Dieudonne explained, “we are the customers, and we are the goods.”

    For years, efforts by the Italian government and the European Union to address migration in the central Mediterranean have focused on the people in Libya — interchangeably called facilitators, smugglers, traffickers, or militia members, depending on which agency you’re speaking to — whose livelihoods come from helping others cross irregularly into Europe. People pay them a fare to organize a journey so dangerous it has taken tens of thousands of lives.

    The European effort to dismantle these smuggling networks has been driven by an unlikely actor: the Italian anti-mafia and anti-terrorism directorate, a niche police office in Rome that gained respect in the 1990s and early 2000s for dismantling large parts of the Mafia in Sicily and elsewhere in Italy. According to previously unpublished internal documents, the office — called the Direzione nazionale antimafia e antiterrorismo, or DNAA, in Italian — took a front-and-center role in the management of Europe’s southern sea borders, in direct coordination with the EU border agency Frontex and European military missions operating off the Libyan coast.

    In 2013, under the leadership of a longtime anti-mafia prosecutor named Franco Roberti, the directorate pioneered a strategy that was unique — or at least new for the border officers involved. They would start handling irregular migration to Europe like they had handled the mob. The approach would allow Italian and European police, coast guard agencies, and navies, obliged by international law to rescue stranded refugees at sea, to at least get some arrests and convictions along the way.

    The idea was to arrest low-level operators and use coercion and plea deals to get them to flip on their superiors. That way, the reasoning went, police investigators could work their way up the food chain and eventually dismantle the smuggling rings in Libya. With every boat that disembarked in Italy, police would make a handful of arrests. Anybody found to have played an active role during the crossing, from piloting to holding a compass to distributing water or bailing out a leak, could be arrested under a new legal directive written by Roberti’s anti-mafia directorate. Charges ranged from simple smuggling to transnational criminal conspiracy and — if people asphyxiated below deck or drowned when a boat capsized — even murder. Judicial sources estimate the number of people arrested since 2013 to be in the thousands.

    For the police, prosecutors, and politicians involved, the arrests were an important domestic political win. At the time, public opinion in Italy was turning against migration, and the mugshots of alleged smugglers regularly held space on front pages throughout the country.

    But according to the minutes of closed-door conversations among some of the very same actors directing these cases, which were obtained by The Intercept under Italy’s freedom of information law, most anti-mafia prosecutions only focused on low-level boat drivers, often migrants who had themselves paid for the trip across. Few, if any, smuggling bosses were ever convicted. Documents of over a dozen trials reviewed by The Intercept show prosecutions built on hasty investigations and coercive interrogations.

    In the years that followed, the anti-mafia directorate went to great lengths to keep the arrests coming. According to the internal documents, the office coordinated a series of criminal investigations into the civilian rescue NGOs working to save lives in the Mediterranean, accusing them of hampering police work. It also oversaw efforts to create and train a new coast guard in Libya, with full knowledge that some coast guard officers were colluding with the same smuggling networks that Italian and European leaders were supposed to be fighting.

    Since its inception, the anti-mafia directorate has wielded unparalleled investigative tools and served as a bridge between politicians and the courts. The documents reveal in meticulous detail how the agency, alongside Italian and European officials, capitalized on those powers to crack down on alleged smugglers, most of whom they knew to be desperate people fleeing poverty and violence with limited resources to defend themselves in court.

    Tragedy and Opportunity

    The anti-mafia directorate was born in the early 1990s after a decade of escalating Mafia violence. By then, hundreds of prosecutors, politicians, journalists, and police officers had been shot, blown up, or kidnapped, and many more extorted by organized crime families operating in Italy and beyond.

    In Palermo, the Sicilian capital, prosecutor Giovanni Falcone was a rising star in the Italian judiciary. Falcone had won unprecedented success with an approach to organized crime based on tracking financial flows, seizing assets, and centralizing evidence gathered by prosecutor’s offices across the island.

    But as the Mafia expanded its reach into the rest of Europe, Falcone’s work proved insufficient.

    In September 1990, a Mafia commando drove from Germany to Sicily to gun down a 37-year-old judge. Weeks later, at a police checkpoint in Naples, the Sicilian driver of a truck loaded with weapons, explosives, and drugs was found to be a resident of Germany. A month after the arrests, Falcone traveled to Germany to establish an information-sharing mechanism with authorities there. He brought along a younger colleague from Naples, Franco Roberti.

    “We faced a stone wall,” recalled Roberti, still bitter three decades later. He spoke to us outside a cafe in a plum neighborhood in Naples. Seventy-three years old and speaking with the rasp of a lifelong smoker, Roberti described Italy’s Mafia problem in blunt language. He bemoaned a lack of international cooperation that, he said, continues to this day. “They claimed that there was no need to investigate there,” Roberti said, “that it was up to us to investigate Italians in Germany who were occasional mafiosi.”

    As the prosecutors traveled back to Italy empty-handed, Roberti remembers Falcone telling him that they needed “a centralized national organ able to speak directly to foreign judicial authorities and coordinate investigations in Italy.”

    “That is how the idea of the anti-mafia directorate was born,” Roberti said. The two began building what would become Italy’s first national anti-mafia force.

    At the time, there was tough resistance to the project. Critics argued that Falcone and Roberti were creating “super-prosecutors” who would wield outsize powers over the courts, while also being subject to political pressures from the government in Rome. It was, they argued, a marriage of police and the judiciary, political interests and supposedly apolitical courts — convenient for getting Mafia convictions but dangerous for Italian democracy.

    Still, in January 1992, the project was approved in Parliament. But Falcone would never get to lead it: Months later, a bomb set by the Mafia killed him, his wife, and the three agents escorting them. The attack put to rest any remaining criticism of Falcone’s plan.

    The anti-mafia directorate went on to become one of Italy’s most important institutions, the national authority over all matters concerning organized crime and the agency responsible for partially freeing the country from its century-old crucible. In the decades after Falcone’s death, the directorate did what many in Italy thought impossible, dismantling large parts of the five main Italian crime families and almost halving the Mafia-related murder rate.

    And yet, by the time Roberti took control in 2013, it had been years since the last high-profile Mafia prosecution, and the organization’s influence was waning. At the same time, Italy was facing unprecedented numbers of migrants arriving by boat. Roberti had an idea: The anti-mafia directorate would start working on what he saw as a different kind of mafia. The organization set its sights on Libya.

    “We thought we had to do something more coordinated to combat this trafficking,” Roberti remembered, “so I put everyone around a table.”

    “The main objective was to save lives, seize ships, and capture smugglers,” Roberti said. “Which we did.”

    Our Sea

    Dieudonne made it to the Libyan port city of Zuwara in August 2014. One more step across the Mediterranean, and he’d be in Europe. The smugglers he paid to get him across the sea took all of his possessions and put him in an abandoned building that served as a safe house to wait for his turn.

    Dieudonne told his story from a small office in Bari, Italy, where he runs a cooperative that helps recent arrivals access local education. Dieudonne is fiery and charismatic. He is constantly moving: speaking, texting, calling, gesticulating. Every time he makes a point, he raps his knuckles on the table in a one-two pattern. Dieudonne insisted that we publish his real name. Others who made the journey more recently — still pending decisions on their residence permits or refugee status — were less willing to speak openly.

    Dieudonne remembers the safe house in Zuwara as a string of constant violence. The smugglers would come once a day to leave food. Every day, they would ask who hadn’t followed their orders. Those inside the abandoned building knew they were less likely to be discovered by police or rival smugglers, but at the same time, they were not free to leave.

    “They’ve put a guy in the refrigerator in front of all of us, to show how the next one who misbehaves will be treated,” Dieudonne remembered, indignant. He witnessed torture, shootings, rape. “The first time you see it, it hurts you. The second time it hurts you less. The third time,” he said with a shrug, “it becomes normal. Because that’s the only way to survive.”

    “That’s why arresting the person who pilots a boat and treating them like a trafficker makes me laugh,” Dieudonne said. Others who have made the journey to Italy report having been forced to drive at gunpoint. “You only do it to be sure you don’t die there,” he said.

    Two years after the fall of Muammar Gaddafi’s government, much of Libya’s northwest coast had become a staging ground for smugglers who organized sea crossings to Europe in large wooden fishing boats. When those ships — overcrowded, underpowered, and piloted by amateurs — inevitably capsized, the deaths were counted by the hundreds.

    In October 2013, two shipwrecks off the coast of the Italian island of Lampedusa took over 400 lives, sparking public outcry across Europe. In response, the Italian state mobilized two plans, one public and the other private.

    “There was a big shock when the Lampedusa tragedy happened,” remembered Italian Sen. Emma Bonino, then the country’s foreign minister. The prime minister “called an emergency meeting, and we decided to immediately launch this rescue program,” Bonino said. “Someone wanted to call the program ‘safe seas.’ I said no, not safe, because it’s sure we’ll have other tragedies. So let’s call it Mare Nostrum.”

    Mare Nostrum — “our sea” in Latin — was a rescue mission in international waters off the coast of Libya that ran for one year and rescued more than 150,000 people. The operation also brought Italian ships, airplanes, and submarines closer than ever to Libyan shores. Roberti, just two months into his job as head of the anti-mafia directorate, saw an opportunity to extend the country’s judicial reach and inflict a lethal blow to smuggling rings in Libya.

    Five days after the start of Mare Nostrum, Roberti launched the private plan: a series of coordination meetings among the highest echelons of the Italian police, navy, coast guard, and judiciary. Under Roberti, these meetings would run for four years and eventually involve representatives from Frontex, Europol, an EU military operation, and even Libya.

    The minutes of five of these meetings, which were presented by Roberti in a committee of the Italian Parliament and obtained by The Intercept, give an unprecedented behind-the-scenes look at the events on Europe’s southern borders since the Lampedusa shipwrecks.

    In the first meeting, held in October 2013, Roberti told participants that the anti-mafia offices in the Sicilian city of Catania had developed an innovative way to deal with migrant smuggling. By treating Libyan smugglers like they had treated the Italian Mafia, prosecutors could claim jurisdiction over international waters far beyond Italy’s borders. That, Roberti said, meant they could lawfully board and seize vessels on the high seas, conduct investigations there, and use the evidence in court.

    The Italian authorities have long recognized that, per international maritime law, they are obligated to rescue people fleeing Libya on overcrowded boats and transport them to a place of safety. As the number of people attempting the crossing increased, many Italian prosecutors and coast guard officials came to believe that smugglers were relying on these rescues to make their business model work; therefore, the anti-mafia reasoning went, anyone who acted as crew or made a distress call on a boat carrying migrants could be considered complicit in Libyan trafficking and subject to Italian jurisdiction. This new approach drew heavily from legal doctrines developed in the United States during the 1980s aimed at stopping drug smuggling.

    European leaders were scrambling to find a solution to what they saw as a looming migration crisis. Italian officials thought they had the answer and publicly justified their decisions as a way to prevent future drownings.

    But according to the minutes of the 2013 anti-mafia meeting, the new strategy predated the Lampedusa shipwrecks by at least a week. Sicilian prosecutors had already written the plan to crack down on migration across the Mediterranean but lacked both the tools and public will to put it into action. Following the Lampedusa tragedy and the creation of Mare Nostrum, they suddenly had both.

    State of Necessity

    In the international waters off the coast of Libya, Dieudonne and 91 others were rescued by a European NGO called Migrant Offshore Aid Station. They spent two days aboard MOAS’s ship before being transferred to an Italian coast guard ship, Nave Dattilo, to be taken to Europe.

    Aboard the Dattilo, coast guard officers asked Dieudonne why he had left his home in Cameroon. He remembers them showing him a photograph of the rubber boat taken from the air. “They asked me who was driving, the roles and everything,” he remembered. “Then they asked me if I could tell him how the trafficking in Libya works, and then, they said, they would give me residence documents.”

    Dieudonne said that he was reluctant to cooperate at first. He didn’t want to accuse any of his peers, but he was also concerned that he could become a suspect. After all, he had helped the driver at points throughout the voyage.

    “I thought that if I didn’t cooperate, they might hurt me,” Dieudonne said. “Not physically hurt, but they could consider me dishonest, like someone who was part of the trafficking.”

    To this day, Dieudonne says he can’t understand why Italy would punish people for fleeing poverty and political violence in West Africa. He rattled off a list of events from the last year alone: draught, famine, corruption, armed gunmen, attacks on schools. “And you try to convict someone for managing to escape that situation?”

    The coast guard ship disembarked in Vibo Valentia, a city in the Italian region of Calabria. During disembarkation, a local police officer explained to a journalist that they had arrested five people. The journalist asked how the police had identified the accused.

    “A lot has been done by the coast guard, who picked [the migrants] up two days ago and managed to spot [the alleged smugglers],” the officer explained. “Then we have witness statements and videos.”

    Cases like these, where arrests are made on the basis of photo or video evidence and statements by witnesses like Dieudonne, are common, said Gigi Modica, a judge in Sicily who has heard many immigration and asylum cases. “It’s usually the same story. They take three or four people, no more. They ask them two questions: who was driving the boat, and who was holding the compass,” Modica explained. “That’s it — they get the names and don’t care about the rest.”

    Modica was one of the first judges in Italy to acquit people charged for driving rubber boats — known as “scafisti,” or boat drivers, in Italian — on the grounds that they had been forced to do so. These “state of necessity” rulings have since become increasingly common. Modica rattled off a list of irregularities he’s seen in such cases: systemic racism, witness statements that migrants later say they didn’t make, interrogations with no translator or lawyer, and in some cases, people who report being encouraged by police to sign documents renouncing their right to apply for asylum.

    “So often these alleged smugglers — scafisti — are normal people who were compelled to pilot a boat by smugglers in Libya,” Modica said.

    Documents of over a dozen trials reviewed by The Intercept show prosecutions largely built on testimony from migrants who are promised a residence permit in exchange for their collaboration. At sea, witnesses are interviewed by the police hours after their rescue, often still in a state of shock after surviving a shipwreck.

    In many cases, identical statements, typos included, are attributed to several witnesses and copied and pasted across different police reports. Sometimes, these reports have been enough to secure decadeslong sentences. Other times, under cross-examination in court, witnesses have contradicted the statements recorded by police or denied giving any testimony at all.

    As early as 2015, attendees of the anti-mafia meetings were discussing problems with these prosecutions. In a meeting that February, Giovanni Salvi, then the prosecutor of Catania, acknowledged that smugglers often abandoned migrant boats in international waters. Still, Italian police were steaming ahead with the prosecutions of those left on board.

    These prosecutions were so important that in some cases, the Italian coast guard decided to delay rescue when boats were in distress in order to “allow for the arrival of institutional ships that can conduct arrests,” a coast guard commander explained at the meeting.

    When asked about the commander’s comments, the Italian coast guard said that “on no occasion” has the agency ever delayed a rescue operation. Delaying rescue for any reason goes against international and Italian law, and according to various human rights lawyers in Europe, could give rise to criminal liability.

    NGOs in the Crosshairs

    Italy canceled Mare Nostrum after one year, citing budget constraints and a lack of European collaboration. In its wake, the EU set up two new operations, one via Frontex and the other a military effort called Operation Sophia. These operations focused not on humanitarian rescue but on border security and people smuggling from Libya. Beginning in 2015, representatives from Frontex and Operation Sophia were included in the anti-mafia directorate meetings, where Italian prosecutors ensured that both abided by the new investigative strategy.

    Key to these investigations were photos from the rescues, like the aerial image that Dieudonne remembers the Italian coast guard showing him, which gave police another way to identify who piloted the boats and helped navigate.

    In the absence of government rescue ships, a fleet of civilian NGO vessels began taking on a large number of rescues in the international waters off the coast of Libya. These ships, while coordinated by the Italian coast guard rescue center in Rome, made evidence-gathering difficult for prosecutors and judicial police. According to the anti-mafia meeting minutes, some NGOs, including MOAS, routinely gave photos to Italian police and Frontex. Others refused, arguing that providing evidence for investigations into the people they saved would undermine their efficacy and neutrality.

    In the years following Mare Nostrum, the NGO fleet would come to account for more than one-third of all rescues in the central Mediterranean, according to estimates by Operation Sophia. A leaked status report from the operation noted that because NGOs did not collect information from rescued migrants for police, “information essential to enhance the understanding of the smuggling business model is not acquired.”

    In a subsequent anti-mafia meeting, six prosecutors echoed this concern. NGO rescues meant that police couldn’t interview migrants at sea, they said, and cases were getting thrown out for lack of evidence. A coast guard admiral explained the importance of conducting interviews just after a rescue, when “a moment of empathy has been established.”

    “It is not possible to carry out this task if the rescue intervention is carried out by ships of the NGOs,” the admiral told the group.

    The NGOs were causing problems for the DNAA strategy. At the meetings, Italian prosecutors and representatives from the coast guard, navy, and Interior Ministry discussed what they could do to rein in the humanitarian organizations. At the same time, various prosecutors were separately fixing their investigative sights on the NGOs themselves.

    In late 2016, an internal report from Frontex — later published in full by The Intercept — accused an NGO vessel of directly receiving migrants from Libyan smugglers, attributing the information to “Italian authorities.” The claim was contradicted by video evidence and the ship’s crew.

    Months later, Carmelo Zuccaro, the prosecutor of Catania, made public that he was investigating rescue NGOs. “Together with Frontex and the navy, we are trying to monitor all these NGOs that have shown that they have great financial resources,” Zuccaro told an Italian newspaper. The claim went viral in Italian and European media. “Friends of the traffickers” and “migrant taxi service” became common slurs used toward humanitarian NGOs by anti-immigration politicians and the Italian far right.

    Zuccaro would eventually walk back his claims, telling a parliamentary committee that he was working off a hypothesis at the time and had no evidence to back it up.

    In an interview with a German newspaper in February 2017, the director of Frontex, Fabrice Leggeri, refrained from explicitly criticizing the work of rescue NGOs but did say they were hampering police investigations in the Mediterranean. As aid organizations assumed a larger percentage of rescues, Leggeri said, “it is becoming more difficult for the European security authorities to find out more about the smuggling networks through interviews with migrants.”

    “That smear campaign was very, very deep,” remembered Bonino, the former foreign minister. Referring to Marco Minniti, Italy’s interior minister at the time, she added, “I was trying to push Minniti not to be so obsessed with people coming, but to make a policy of integration in Italy. But he only focused on Libya and smuggling and criminalizing NGOs with the help of prosecutors.”

    Bonino explained that the action against NGOs was part of a larger plan to change European policy in the central Mediterranean. The first step was the shift away from humanitarian rescue and toward border security and smuggling. The second step “was blaming the NGOs or arresting them, a sort of dirty campaign against them,” she said. “The results of which after so many years have been no convictions, no penalties, no trials.”

    Finally, the third step was to build a new coast guard in Libya to do what the Europeans couldn’t, per international law: intercept people at sea and bring them back to Libya, the country from which they had just fled.

    At first, leaders at Frontex were cautious. “From Frontex’s point of view, we look at Libya with concern; there is no stable state there,” Leggeri said in the 2017 interview. “We are now helping to train 60 officers for a possible future Libyan coast guard. But this is at best a beginning.”

    Bonino saw this effort differently. “They started providing support for their so-called coast guard,” she said, “which were the same traffickers changing coats.”
    Rescued migrants disembarking from a Libyan coast guard ship in the town of Khoms, a town 120 kilometres (75 miles) east of the capital on October 1, 2019.

    Same Uniforms, Same Ships

    Safe on land in Italy, Dieudonne was never called to testify in court. He hopes that none of his peers ended up in prison but said he would gladly testify against the traffickers if called. Aboard the coast guard ship, he remembers, “I gave the police contact information for the traffickers, I gave them names.”

    The smuggling operations in Libya happened out in the open, but Italian police could only go as far as international waters. Leaked documents from Operation Sophia describe years of efforts by European officials to get Libyan police to arrest smugglers. Behind closed doors, top Italian and EU officials admitted that these same smugglers were intertwined with the new Libyan coast guard that Europe was creating and that working with them would likely go against international law.

    As early as 2015, multiple officials at the anti-mafia meetings noted that some smugglers were uncomfortably close to members of the Libyan government. “Militias use the same uniforms and the same ships as the Libyan coast guard that the Italian navy itself is training,” Rear Adm. Enrico Credendino, then in charge of Operation Sophia, said in 2017. The head of the Libyan coast guard and the Libyan minister of defense, both allies of the Italian government, Credendino added, “have close relationships with some militia bosses.”

    One of the Libyan coast guard officers playing both sides was Abd al-Rahman Milad, also known as Bija. In 2019, the Italian newspaper Avvenire revealed that Bija participated in a May 2017 meeting in Sicily, alongside Italian border police and intelligence officials, that was aimed at stemming migration from Libya. A month later, he was condemned by the U.N. Security Council for his role as a top member of a powerful trafficking militia in the coastal town of Zawiya, and for, as the U.N. put it, “sinking migrant boats using firearms.”

    According to leaked documents from Operation Sophia, coast guard officers under Bija’s command were trained by the EU between 2016 and 2018.

    While the Italian government was prosecuting supposed smugglers in Italy, they were also working with people they knew to be smugglers in Libya. Minniti, Italy’s then-interior minister, justified the deals his government was making in Libya by saying that the prospect of mass migration from Africa made him “fear for the well-being of Italian democracy.”

    In one of the 2017 anti-mafia meetings, a representative of the Interior Ministry, Vittorio Pisani, outlined in clear terms a plan that provided for the direct coordination of the new Libyan coast guard. They would create “an operation room in Libya for the exchange of information with the Interior Ministry,” Pisani explained, “mainly on the position of NGO ships and their rescue operations, in order to employ the Libyan coast guard in its national waters.”

    And with that, the third step of the plan was set in motion. At the end of the meeting, Roberti suggested that the group invite representatives from the Libyan police to their next meeting. In an interview with The Intercept, Roberti confirmed that Libyan representatives attended at least two anti-mafia meetings and that he himself met Bija at a meeting in Libya, one month after the U.N. Security Council report was published. The following year, the Security Council committee on Libya sanctioned Bija, freezing his assets and banning him from international travel.

    “We needed to have the participation of Libyan institutions. But they did nothing, because they were taking money from the traffickers,” Roberti told us from the cafe in Naples. “They themselves were the traffickers.”
    A Place of Safety

    Roberti retired from the anti-mafia directorate in 2017. He said that under his leadership, the organization was able to create a basis for handling migration throughout Europe. Still, Roberti admits that his expansion of the DNAA into migration issues has had mixed results. Like his trip to Germany in the ’90s with Giovanni Falcone, Roberti said the anti-mafia strategy faltered because of a lack of collaboration: with the NGOs, with other European governments, and with Libya.

    “On a European level, the cooperation does not work,” Roberti said. Regarding Libya, he added, “We tried — I believe it was right, the agreements [the government] made. But it turned out to be a failure in the end.”

    The DNAA has since expanded its operations. Between 2017 and 2019, the Italian government passed two bills that put the anti-mafia directorate in charge of virtually all illegal immigration matters. Since 2017, five Sicilian prosecutors, all of whom attended at least one anti-mafia coordination meeting, have initiated 15 separate legal proceedings against humanitarian NGO workers. So far there have been no convictions: Three cases have been thrown out in court, and the rest are ongoing.

    Earlier this month, news broke that Sicilian prosecutors had wiretapped journalists and human rights lawyers as part of one of these investigations, listening in on legally protected conversations with sources and clients. The Italian justice ministry has opened an investigation into the incident, which could amount to criminal behavior, according to Italian legal experts. The prosecutor who approved the wiretaps attended at least one DNAA coordination meeting, where investigations against NGOs were discussed at length.

    As the DNAA has extended its reach, key actors from the anti-mafia coordination meetings have risen through the ranks of Italian and European institutions. One prosecutor, Federico Cafiero de Raho, now runs the anti-mafia directorate. Salvi, the former prosecutor of Catania, is the equivalent of Italy’s attorney general. Pisani, the former Interior Ministry representative, is deputy head of the Italian intelligence services. And Roberti is a member of the European Parliament.

    Cafiero de Raho stands by the investigations and arrests that the anti-mafia directorate has made over the years. He said the coordination meetings were an essential tool for prosecutors and police during difficult times.

    When asked about his specific comments during the meetings — particularly statements that humanitarian NGOs needed to be regulated and multiple admissions that members of the new Libyan coast guard were involved in smuggling activities — Cafiero de Raho said that his remarks should be placed in context, a time when Italy and the EU were working to build a coast guard in a part of Libya that was largely ruled by local militias. He said his ultimate goal was what, in the DNAA coordination meetings, he called the “extrajudicial solution”: attempts to prove the existence of crimes against humanity in Libya so that “the United Nation sends troops to Libya to dismantle migrants camps set up by traffickers … and retake control of that territory.”

    A spokesperson for the EU’s foreign policy arm, which ran Operation Sophia, refused to directly address evidence that leaders of the European military operation knew that parts of the new Libyan coast guard were also involved in smuggling activities, only noting that Bija himself wasn’t trained by the EU. A Frontex spokesperson stated that the agency “was not involved in the selection of officers to be trained.”

    In 2019, the European migration strategy changed again. Now, the vast majority of departures are intercepted by the Libyan coast guard and brought back to Libya. In March of that year, Operation Sophia removed all of its ships from the rescue area and has since focused on using aerial patrols to direct and coordinate the Libyan coast guard. Human rights lawyers in Europe have filed six legal actions against Italy and the EU as a result, calling the practice refoulement by proxy: facilitating the return of migrants to dangerous circumstances in violation of international law.

    Indeed, throughout four years of coordination meetings, Italy and the EU were admitting privately that returning people to Libya would be illegal. “Fundamental human rights violations in Libya make it impossible to push migrants back to the Libyan coast,” Pisani explained in 2015. Two years later, he outlined the beginnings of a plan that would do exactly that.

    The Result of Mere Chance

    Dieudonne knows he was lucky. The line that separates suspect and victim can be entirely up to police officers’ first impressions in the minutes or hours following a rescue. According to police reports used in prosecutions, physical attributes like having “a clearer skin tone” or behavior aboard the ship, including scrutinizing police movements “with strange interest,” were enough to rouse suspicion.

    In a 2019 ruling that acquitted seven alleged smugglers after three years of pretrial detention, judges wrote that “the selection of the suspects on one side, and the witnesses on the other, with the only exception of the driver, has almost been the result of mere chance.”

    Carrying out work for their Libyan captors has cost other migrants in Italy lengthy prison sentences. In September 2019, a 22-year-old Guinean nicknamed Suarez was arrested upon his arrival to Italy. Four witnesses told police he had collaborated with prison guards in Zawiya, at the immigrant detention center managed by the infamous Bija.

    “Suarez was also a prisoner, who then took on a job,” one of the witnesses told the court. Handing out meals or taking care of security is what those who can’t afford to pay their ransom often do in order to get out, explained another. “Unfortunately, you would have to be there to understand the situation,” the first witness said. Suarez was sentenced to 20 years in prison, recently reduced to 12 years on appeal.

    Dieudonne remembered his journey at sea vividly, but with surprising cool. When the boat began taking on water, he tried to help. “One must give help where it is needed.” At his office in Bari, Dieudonne bent over and moved his arms in a low scooping motion, like he was bailing water out of a boat.

    “Should they condemn me too?” he asked. He finds it ironic that it was the Libyans who eventually arrested Bija on human trafficking charges this past October. The Italians and Europeans, he said with a laugh, were too busy working with the corrupt coast guard commander. (In April, Bija was released from prison after a Libyan court absolved him of all charges. He was promoted within the coast guard and put back on the job.)

    Dieudonne thinks often about the people he identified aboard the coast guard ship in the middle of the sea. “I told the police the truth. But if that collaboration ends with the conviction of an innocent person, it’s not good,” he said. “Because I know that person did nothing. On the contrary, he saved our lives by driving that raft.”

    https://theintercept.com/2021/04/30/italy-anti-mafia-migrant-rescue-smuggling

    #Méditerranée #Italie #Libye #ONG #criminalisation_de_la_solidarité #solidarité #secours #mer_Méditerranée #asile #migrations #réfugiés #violence #passeurs #Méditerranée_centrale #anti-mafia #anti-terrorisme #Direzione_nazionale_antimafia_e_antiterrorismo #DNAA #Frontex #Franco_Roberti #justice #politique #Zuwara #torture #viol #Mare_Nostrum #Europol #eaux_internationales #droit_de_la_mer #droit_maritime #juridiction_italienne #arrestations #Gigi_Modica #scafista #scafisti #état_de_nécessité #Giovanni_Salvi #NGO #Operation_Sophia #MOAS #DNA #Carmelo_Zuccaro #Zuccaro #Fabrice_Leggeri #Leggeri #Marco_Minniti #Minniti #campagne #gardes-côtes_libyens #milices #Enrico_Credendino #Abd_al-Rahman_Milad #Bija ##Abdurhaman_al-Milad #Al_Bija #Zawiya #Vittorio_Pisani #Federico_Cafiero_de_Raho #solution_extrajudiciaire #pull-back #refoulement_by_proxy #refoulement #push-back #Suarez

    ping @karine4 @isskein @rhoumour

  • #Frontex guards in Greece could be armed by summer

    The EU’s border agency Frontex is pressing to have its guards armed by the summer.

    The weapon-carrying border guards would be among the first deployment of armed EU officials to other member states.

    The Warsaw-based agency, which also bills itself as a law-enforcement force, has been at pains of getting the legal basis sorted for its new recruits to carry guns.

    It managed to reach an agreement with Poland to carry weapons on site - but has been at loggerheads to do the same elsewhere.

    But Frontex executive director Fabrice Leggeri on Tuesday (16 March) told MEPs that it had since reached a “bridging agreement” with Athens so that its guards can also carry guns on missions in Greece.

    “We are a fully-fledged EU agency, no doubt about that, but we are also more a fully-fledged European law enforcement force,” he added.

    Leggeri said background checks for criminal records of the future armed guards are currently being carried out.

    The recruits belong to a so-called ’category one’ staffing of EU officials, which are part of a future 10,000 standing corps under Frontex control.

    “We are in the process of vetting the category one staff so that we can deploy them with use of force,” he said.

    Leggeri said the plan is to get similar “bridging agreements” by the summer in place with other member states which currently host its missions.

    Aside from Greece, Frontex has operations in the Canary Islands, Cyprus, Italy and Spain. They also operate on the land border in Bulgaria, as well as in Albania and Montenegro.

    Frontex currently has some 500 mostly-trained category one staff. Others are currently in training in Italy and Spain.

    The agency is seeking to have at least 700 category one staff by the end of the year. Some 200 will be picked this month from a reserve list created at the end of 2019.

    Its biggest operation remains in Greece, where up to 800 Frontex officers are deployed at any one time.

    The move comes amid border tensions between Greece and Turkey.

    Earlier this month, reports emerged of Turkish soldiers firing shots into the air at the Greek land border at the Evros river.

    Ana Cristina Jorge, who heads Frontex’s operational response division, said one of its patrols had witnessed the shootings.

    “When it comes to the aggression of Frontex by Turkey, we have had them for a long time,” she said earlier this week.

    The issue of weapons was also the source of another spat between the European Commission and the agency. The two sides are indirectly blaming one another for the delays on clarifying the legal basis of arming the guards.

    Meanwhile, the agency remains under scrutiny from MEPs looking into its alleged role of violating the fundamental rights of would-be asylum seekers.

    Frontex was supposed to have hired some 40 fundamental right monitors four months ago. Currently it has none. But Leggeri said at least 15 should be hired by the end of the month or at the start of April.

    The commission has faulted Leggeri for the delays, also noting that the agency still needs to hire three deputy executive directors and a permanent fundamental rights officer.

    “It would have been better if all senior management staff that should have been in place would have been in place,” said EU home affairs commissioner, Ylva Johansson.

    https://euobserver.com/migration/151253
    #asile #migrations #réfugiés #frontières #militarisation_des_frontières #Grèce #gardes-frontière #armes #Pologne

    ping @karine4 @isskein

  • Immigration Enforcement and the Afterlife of the Slave Ship

    Coast Guard techniques for blocking Haitian asylum seekers have their roots in the slave trade. Understanding these connections can help us disentangle immigration policy from white nationalism.

    Around midnight in May 2004, somewhere in the Windward Passage, one of the Haitian asylum seekers trapped on the flight deck of the U.S. Coast Guard’s USCGC Gallatin had had enough.

    He arose and pointed to the moon, whispering in hushed tones. The rest of the Haitians, asleep or pretending to be asleep, initially took little notice. That changed when he began to scream. The cadence of his words became erratic, furious—insurgent. After ripping his shirt into tatters, he gestured wildly at the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) watchstanders on duty.

    I was one of them.

    His eyes fixed upon mine. And he slowly advanced toward my position.

    I stood fast, enraptured by his lone defiance, his desperate rage. Who could blame him? Confinement on this sunbaked, congested, malodorous flight deck would drive anyone crazy—there were nearly 300 people packed together in a living space approximately 65 feet long and 35 feet wide. We had snatched him and his compatriots from their overloaded sailing vessel back in April. They had endured week after week without news about the status of their asylum claims, about what lay in store for them.

    Then I got scared. I considered the distinct possibility that, to this guy, I was no longer me, but a nameless uniform, an avatar of U.S. sovereignty: a body to annihilate, a barrier to freedom. I had rehearsed in my mind how such a contingency might play out. We were armed only with nonlethal weapons—batons and pepper spray. The Haitians outnumbered us 40 to 1. Was I ready? I had never been in a real fight before. Now a few of the Haitian men were standing alert. Were they simply curious? Was this their plan all along? What if the women and children joined them?

    Lucky for me, one of the meanest devils on the watch intervened on my behalf. He charged toward us, stepping upon any Haitians who failed to clear a path. After a brief hand-to-hand struggle, he subdued the would-be rebel, hauled him down to the fantail, and slammed his head against the deck. Blood ran from his face. Some of the Haitians congregated on the edge of the flight deck to spectate. We fastened the guy’s wrists with zip ties and ordered the witnesses to disperse. The tension in his body gradually dissipated.

    After fifteen minutes, the devil leaned down to him. “Are you done? Done making trouble?” His silence signified compliance.

    Soon after, the Haitians were transferred to the custody of the Haitian Coast Guard. When we arrived in the harbor of Port-au-Prince, thick plumes of black smoke rose from the landscape. We were witnessing the aftermath of the CIA-orchestrated February coup against President Jean-Bertrand Aristide and the subsequent invasion of the country by U.S. Marines under the auspices of international “peacekeeping.” Haiti was at war.

    None of that mattered. Every request for asylum lodged from our boat had been rejected. Every person returned to Haiti. No exceptions.

    The Gallatin left the harbor. I said goodbye to Port-au-Prince. My first patrol was over.

    Out at sea, I smoked for hours on the fantail, lingering upon my memories of the past months. I tried to imagine how the Haitians would remember their doomed voyage, their detention aboard the Gallatin, their encounters with us—with me. A disquieting intuition repeated in my head: the USCG cutter, the Haitians’ sailing vessel, and European slave ships represented a triad of homologous instances in which people of African descent have suffered involuntary concentration in small spaces upon the Atlantic. I dreaded that I was in closer proximity to the enslavers of the past, and to the cops and jailors of the present, than I ever would be to those Haitians.

    So, that night, with the butt of my last cigarette, I committed to cast my memories of the Haitians overboard. In the depths of some unmarked swath of the Windward Passage, I prayed, no one, including me, would ever find them again.

    In basic training, every recruit is disciplined to imagine how the USCG is like every other branch of the military, save one principle: we exist to save lives, and it is harder to save lives than to take them. I was never a very good sailor, but I took this principle seriously. At least in the USCG, I thought, I could evade the worst cruelties of the new War on Terror.

    Perhaps I should have done more research on the USCG’s undeclared long war against Haitian asylum seekers, in order to appreciate precisely what the oath to “defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic” would demand of me. This war had long preceded my term of enlistment. It arguably began in 1804, when the United States refused to acknowledge the newly liberated Haiti as a sovereign nation and did everything it could to insulate its slaving society from the shock waves of Haiti’s radical interpretation of universal freedom. But in our present day, it began in earnest with President Ronald Reagan’s Executive Order 12324 of 1981, also called the Haitian Migrant Interdiction Operation (HMIO), which exclusively tasked the USCG to “interdict” Haitian asylum seekers attempting to enter the United States by sea routes on unauthorized sailing vessels. Such people were already beginning to be derogatorily referred to as “boat people,” a term then borrowed (less derogatorily) into Haitian Kreyòl as botpippel.

    The enforcement of the HMIO and its subsequent incarnations lies almost entirely within the jurisdiction of federal police power acting under the authority of the executive branch’s immigration and border enforcement powers. It does not take place between nations at enmity with one another, but between vastly unequal yet allied powers. Its strategic end is to create a kind of naval blockade, a fluid maritime border around Haiti, which remains under ever-present threat of invasion by a coalition of U.S. and foreign military forces.

    Adding to its asymmetry, the “enemies” to be vanquished on the battlefield are also unconventional: they are not agents of a state, but rather noncombatant individuals who are, in one sense or another, simply acting to save their own lives. During their incarceration aboard USCG cutters, they automatically bear the legal status of “economic migrant,” a person whom authorities deem to be fleeing poverty alone and therefore by definition ineligible for asylum. The meaning of this category is defined solely by reference to its dialectical negation, the “political refugee,” a person whom authorities may (or may not) deem to have a legible asylum claim because they are fleeing state persecution on the basis of race, creed, political affiliation, or sexual orientation. These abstractions are historical artifacts of a half-baked, all-encompassing theory of preemptive deterrence: unless USCG patrols are used to place Haiti under a naval blockade, and unless botpippel are invariably denied asylum, the United States will become flooded with criminals and people who have no means of supporting themselves. By 2003 John Ashcroft and the Bush administration upped the ante, decrying botpippel to be vectors of terrorism. On January 11, 2018, President Donald Trump, during efforts to justify ending nearly all immigration and asylum, described Haiti (which he grouped with African nations) as a “shithole country” where, as he asserted several months prior, “all have AIDS.”

    Haiti is now facing another such crisis. Its president, Jovenel Moïse, having already suspended nearly all elected government save himself, refused to step down at the end of his term on February 7, 2021, despite widespread protests that have shuttered the country. Moïse’s administration is currently being propped up by criminal syndicates, but they are slipping his grasp, and kidnapping for money is now so prevalent that people are terrified to leave their homes. So far, the Biden administration’s response has not been encouraging: though it has instructed ICE to temporarily halt deportations to Haiti, naval blockades remain in force, and the U.S. State Department has expressed the opinion that Moïse should remain in office for at least another year, enforcing the sense that Haiti is once again a U.S. client state.

    With regard to the Coast Guard’s longstanding orders to block Haitians seeking asylum, the modality of killing is not straightforward, but it is intentional. It consists of snatching the Haitian enemy from their vessel, forcing them to subsist in a state of bare life, and finally abandoning them in their home country at gunpoint. Of course, many may survive the ordeal and may even attempt another journey. But especially during acute phases of armed conflict and catastrophe, it is just as likely that—whether at the behest of starvation, disease, or violence—a return to Haiti is a death sentence.

    This banal form of murder is analogous to what Ruth Wilson Gilmore offers as her definition of racism in Golden Gulag (2007): “the state sanctioned or extralegal production and exploitation of group-differentiated vulnerability to premature death.” Based on the extant documentary record, I estimate that the USCG has interdicted at least 120,000 botpippel since the HMIO of 1981 took effect. Those who fell prey to an untimely demise following deportation died because the United States, though repeatedly responsible for undermining Haitian democracy and economic stability, nonetheless refuses to acknowledge that these actions have made Haiti, for many, mortally unsafe. The true death toll will never be known. Countless botpippel have simply disappeared at sea, plunged into a gigantic watery necropolis.

    Since 2004 U.S. officials have brought their forms of border policing strategies and tactics against Haitians to bear on land-based immigration and refugee policies against non-white asylum seekers. One of the most significant technical innovations of enforcement against Haitians was the realization that by detaining them exclusively within a maritime environment, the United States could summarily classify all of them as economic migrants—whose claims for asylum de facto have no standing—and prevent them from lodging claims as political refugees, which are the only claims with any hope of success. They were thus proactively disabled from advancing a request for asylum in a U.S. federal court, with all claims instead evaluated by an INS-designated official aboard the USCG vessel. The New York Times recently reported that, since late 2009, similar techniques have been adopted by Customs and Border Control agents patrolling sea routes along the California coast, which has resulted in a notable escalation of CBP naval patrols and aerial surveillance of the region. And in fact, the USCG has cooperatively supported these efforts by sharing its infrastructure—ports, cutters, and aircraft—and its personnel with CBP. All of this has been with the aim of making sure that asylum seekers never make it to the United States, whether by land or by sea.

    The Trump administration made the most significant use of this set of innovations to date, insisting that asylum claims must be made from camps on the Mexican side of the U.S. border—and therefore automatically invalid by virtue of being limited to the status of economic migrant. Thus, hundreds of thousands of non-white asylum seekers fleeing material precariousness, yes, but also the threat of violence in the Global South are, and will continue to be, caught in carceral webs composed of ICE/CBP goon squads, ruthless INS officials, and perilous tent cities, not to mention the prison guards employed at one of the numerous semi-secret migrant detention centers operating upon U.S. soil for those few who make it across.

    From the perspective of Haitian immigrants and botpippel, this is nothing new. Thousands of their compatriots have already served time at infamous extrajudicial sites such as the Krome detention center in Miami (1980–present), Guantanamo Bay (1991–93), and, most often, the flight decks of USCG cutters. They know that the USCG has long scoured the Windward Passage for Haitians in particular, just as ICE/CBP goon squads now patrol U.S. deserts, highways, and city streets for the undocumented. And they know that Trump’s fantasy of building a “Great Wall” on the U.S.–Mexico border is not so farfetched, because the USCG continues to enforce a maritime one around Haiti.

    The Biden administration has inherited this war and its prisoners, with thousands remaining stuck in legal limbo while hoping—in most cases, without hope—that their asylum claims will advance. Opening alternative paths to citizenship and declaring an indefinite moratorium on deportations would serve as foundations for more sweeping reforms in the future. But the core challenge in this political moment is to envision nothing less than the total decriminalization and demilitarization of immigration law enforcement.

    Botpippel are not the first undocumented people of African descent to have been policed by U.S. naval forces. The legal architecture through which the USCG legitimates the indefinite detention and expulsion of Haitian asylum seekers reaches back to U.S. efforts to suppress the African slave trade, outlawed by Congress in 1807, though domestic slaveholding would continue, and indeed its trade would be not only safeguarded but bolstered by this act.

    This marked a decisive turning point in the history of maritime policing vis-à-vis immigration. Per the Slave Trade Acts of 1794 and 1800, the United States already claimed jurisdiction over U.S. citizens and U.S. vessels engaged in the slave trade within U.S. territorial borders (contemporaneously understood as extending three nautical miles into the ocean). By 1808, however, the United States sought to extend its jurisdiction over the sea itself. Slaver vessels operating around “any river, port, bay, or harbor . . . within the jurisdictional limits of the United States” as well as “on the high seas” were deemed illegal and subject to seizure without compensation. The actual physical distance from U.S. soil that these terms referred to was left purposefully vague. To board a given vessel, a Revenue Cutter captain only had to suspect, rather than conclusively determine, that that vessel eventually intended to offload “international” (i.e., non-native) enslaved people into the United States. The 1819 iteration of the law further stipulated that U.S. jurisdiction included “Africa, or elsewhere.” Hence, in theory, after 1819, the scope of U.S. maritime police operations was simply every maritime space on the globe.

    Revenue Cutter Service captains turned the lack of any description in the 1808 law or its successive iterations about what should be done with temporarily masterless slaves into an advantage. They did what they would have done to any fugitive Black person at the time: indefinitely detain them until higher authorities determined their status, and thereby foreclose the possibility of local Black people conspiring to shuttle them to freedom. During confinement, captured Africans were compelled to perform labor as if they were slaves. For instance, those captured from the Spanish-flagged Antelope (1820) spent seven years toiling at a military fort in Savannah, Georgia, as well as on the local U.S. marshal’s plantation. As wards of the state, they were human only insofar as U.S. officials had a duty to force them to remain alive. Of those “rescued” from the Antelope, 120 ultimately died in captivity and 2 went missing. Following litigation, 39 survivors were sold to U.S. slaveowners to compensate Spanish and Portuguese claimants who had stakes in the Antelope and her enslaved cargo. Per the designs of the American Colonization Society, the remaining 120 Africans were freed upon condition that they be immediately deported to New Georgia, Liberia.

    This anti-Black martial abolitionism was therefore a project framed around the unification of two countervailing tendencies. While white planters consistently pushed to extend racial slavery into the southern and western frontiers, white northern financiers and abolitionists were in favor of creating the most propitious conditions for the expansion of free white settlements throughout America’s urban and rural milieus. Black people were deemed unfit for freedom not only because of their supposed inborn asocial traits, but because their presence imperiled the possibility for white freedom. To actualize Thomas Jefferson’s “Empire of Liberty,” the United States required immigration policies that foreshortened Black peoples’ capacities for social reproduction and thereby re-whitened America.

    This political aim was later extended in legislation passed on February 19, 1862, which authorized President Abraham Lincoln—who intended to solve the contradictions that led to the Civil War by sending every Black person in America back to Africa—to use U.S. naval forces to capture, detain, and deport undocumented people of East Asian/Chinese descent (“coolies”) while at sea. Henceforth, “the free and voluntary emigration of any Chinese subject” to the U.S. was proscribed unless a ship captain possessed documents certified by a consular agent residing at the foreign port of departure. At the time, the principal means for Chinese emigrants to obtain authorization would have been at behest of some corporation seeking expendable, non-white laborers contractually bound to work to death in mines and on railroads on the western frontiers—Native American lands stolen through imperialist warfare. White settlers presupposed that these Asians’ residency was provisional and temporary—and then Congress codified that principle into law in 1870, decreeing that every person of East Asian/Chinese descent, anywhere in the world, was ineligible for U.S. citizenship.

    Twelve years later, An Act to Regulate Immigration (1882) played upon the notion that non-white immigration caused public disorder. Through the use of color-blind legal language, Section 2 of this law specified that the United States must only accept immigrants who were conclusively not “convict[s], lunatic[s], idiot[s], or any person unable to take care of himself or herself without becoming a public charge.” The burden of proof lay on non-white immigrants to prove how their racial backgrounds were not already prima facie evidence for these conditions. Section 4 also stipulated that “all foreign convicts except those convicted of political offenses, upon arrival, shall be sent back to the nations to which they belong and from whence they came.” By which means a non-white person could demonstrate the “political” character of a given conviction were cleverly left undefined.

    It was not a giant leap of imagination for the United States to apply these precedents to the maritime policing of Haitian asylum seekers in the 1980s. Nor should we be surprised that the logic of anti-Black martial abolitionism shapes present-day U.S. immigration policy.

    Political philosopher Peter Hallward estimates that paramilitary death squads executed at least a thousand supporters of Lavalas, President Aristide’s party, in the weeks following Aristide’s exile from Haiti on February 29, 2004. The first kanntè (Haitian sailing vessel) the Gallatin sighted one morning in early April had likely departed shortly thereafter.

    The first people from our ship that the Haitians met were members of the boarding team, armed with pistols, M-16s, shotguns, and zip ties. Their goal was to compel the hundred or so aboard the kanntè to surrender their vessel and allow us to deposit them on the flight deck of our ship. Negotiations can take hours. It is not uncommon for some to jump overboard, rather than allow boarding to occur uninhibited. If immediate acquiescence is not obtained, we will maneuver ourselves such that any further movement would cause the small boat to “ram” the Gallatin—an attack on a U.S. military vessel.

    On the Gallatin, we waited for uptake, outfitted with facemasks and rubber gloves. One at a time, we aided the Haitian adults to make the final step from the small boat to the deck of the cutter. We frisked them for weapons and then marched them to the fantail to undergo initial processing. Most of them appeared exhausted and confused—but compliant. Some may have already been in fear for their lives. One night aboard the USCGC Dallas, which hovered in Port-au-Prince Bay as a deportation coordination outpost and as a temporary detention site for Haitians awaiting immediate transfer to Haitian Coast Guard authorities, my friend and his shipmates asked their Kreyòl interpreter how he managed to obtain compliance from the botpippel. “I tell them you will hurt or kill them if they do not obey,” he joked, “so, of course, they listen.”

    Boarding all the Haitians took from midday until midnight. One of the last ones I helped aboard, a man dressed in a suit two sizes too large, looked into my eyes and smiled. He gently wept, clasped my hand tightly, and embraced me. I quickly pushed him off and pointed to the processing station at the fantail, leading him by the wrist to join the others. He stopped crying.

    Three things happened at the processing station. First, Haitians deposited the last of their belongings with the interpreter, ostensibly for safekeeping. Who knows if anyone got their things back. Second, a Kreyòl translator and one of the officers gave them a cursory interview about their asylum claims, all the while surrounded by armed sentries, as well as other Haitians who might pass that intelligence onto narcotics smugglers, paramilitary gangs, or state officials back in Haiti. Lastly, they received a rapid, half-assed medical examination—conducted in English. So long as they nodded, or remained silent, they passed each test and were shuffled up to the flight deck.

    We retired for the night after the boarding team set fire to the kanntè as a hazard to navigation. The Haitians probably didn’t know that this was the reason we unceremoniously torched their last hope for escape before their very eyes.

    About a week later, we found another kanntè packed with around seventy Haitians and repeated the process. Another USCG cutter transferred a hundred more over to the Gallatin. Our flight deck was reaching full capacity.

    We arrived at one kanntè too late. It had capsized. Pieces of the shattered mast and little bits of clothing and rubbish were floating around the hull. No survivors. How long had it been? Sharks were spotted circling at a short depth below the vessel.

    The Gallatin’s commanders emphasized that our mission was, at its core, humanitarian in nature. We were duty-bound to provide freshwater, food, and critical medical care. During their time aboard, Haitians would be treated as detainees and were not to be treated, or referred to, as prisoners. The use of force was circumscribed within clear rules of engagement. The Haitians were not in any way to be harmed or killed unless they directly threatened the ship or its sailors. Unnecessary violence against them could precipitate an internal review, solicit undue international criticism, and imperil the deportationist efficiency of INS officials. We were told that our batons and pepper spray were precautionary, primarily symbolic.

    It sounded like all I had to do was stand there and not screw anything up.

    Over the course of several watches, I concluded that, in fact, our job was also to relocate several crucial features of the abysmal living conditions that obtained on the kanntè onto the Gallatin’s flight deck. Though the flight deck was 80 feet by 43 feet, we blocked the edges to facilitate the crew’s movement and to create a buffer between us and the Haitians. Taking this into account, their living space was closer to 65 feet by 35 feet. For a prison population of 300 Haitians, each individual would have had only 7 feet 7 inches square to lie down and stand up. On the diagram of the eighteenth-century British slaver Brooks, the enslaved were each allocated approximately 6 feet 10 inches square, scarcely less than on the Gallatin. (Historian Marcus Rediker thinks that the Brooks diagram probably overstates the amount of space the enslaved were given.)

    Although some cutters will drape tarps over the flight deck to shield the Haitians from the unmediated effects of the sun, the Gallatin provided no such shelter. We permitted them to shower, once, in saltwater, without soap. The stench on the flight deck took on a sweet, fetid tinge.

    The only place they could go to achieve a modicum of solitude and to escape the stench was the makeshift metal toilet on the fantail. (On slave ships, solitude was found by secreting away to a hidden compartment or small boat to die alone; the “necessary tubs” that held human excrement were contained in the slave holds below deck.) They were permitted to use the toilet one at a time in the case of adults, and two at a time in the case of children and the elderly. For what was supposed to be no longer than five minutes, they had an opportunity to stretch, relax, and breathe fresh sea air. Nevertheless, these moments of respite took place under observation by the watchstander stationed at the toilet, not to mention the numerous Haitian onlookers at the rear of the flight deck.

    Despite our commanders’ reticence on the matter, the ever-present fear of revolt hovered underneath the surface of our standing orders. We were to ensure order and discipline through counterinsurgency protocols and techniques of incarceration that one might find in any U.S. prison. The military imperative aboard the Gallatin was to produce a sense of radical uncertainty and temporal disorientation in the Haitians, such that they maintain hope for an asylum claim that had already been rejected.

    In this context, there were four overlapping components to the security watch.

    The first component of the ship’s securitization was constant surveillance. We were not supposed to take our eyes off the Haitians for one moment. During the watch, we would regularly survey the flight deck for any signs of general unrest, conspiracy, or organized protest. Any minor infraction could later contribute to the eruption of a larger riot, and thus needed to be quickly identified and neutralized. We also had to observe their behavior for indications that one of them intended to jump overboard or harm another Haitian. All that said, we found a used condom one day. Surveillance is never total.

    The second was the limitation we placed on communication. We shrouded all USCG practices in a fog of secrecy. Conversing with the Haitians through anything other than hand signals and basic verbal commands was forbidden; physical contact was kept at bare minimum. Nonofficial speech among the watch was proscribed. Watchstanders were stripped of their identity, save their uniform, from which our nametags were removed. It was critical that botpippel forever be unable to identify us.

    Secrecy preemptively disabled the Haitians from collectively piecing together fragments of information about where our vessel had been, where it was now, and where it was going. Officially, the concern was that they might exploit the situation to gather intelligence about our patrol routes and pass this information to human or narcotics smugglers. We militated against their mapping out how the ship operated, its layout and complement, where living spaces and the armory were located, and so on. These were standard tactics aboard slaver vessels. As freed slave and abolitionist Olaudah Equiano observed, “When the ship we were in had got in all her cargo . . . we were all put under deck, so that we could not see how they managed the vessel.”

    On the Gallatin, the command also strove to maintain strict control over the narrative. They blocked sailors’ access to the open Internet and censored letters from home that contained news of global or domestic politics (and even just bad personal news). Knowledge of whether a particular asylum claim had failed or succeeded was hidden from all. A watchstander harboring political solidarity with—as opposed to mere empathy and pity for—the Haitians might compromise operational capacities, good judgment, and core loyalty to the USCG.

    Our third securitization strategy was to produce false knowledge of the future. The Haitians were led to believe that they were merely waiting aboard the ship because their asylum claims were still being vigorously debated by diplomatic entities in Washington. Their continued compliance was predicated on this differential of knowledge. They could not realize that they were moving in circles, being returned slowly to Haiti. If they lost all hope, we presumed they would eventually resist their intolerable conditions through violent means.

    Hence, our fourth securitization measure: USCG personnel were permitted to inflict several limited forms of physical and symbolic violence against the Haitians, not only in response to perceived noncompliance, but also as a means of averting the need to inflict even greater violence in the future.

    If it were not classified as a matter of national security, we might have a better grasp of how many times such instances occur aboard USCG vessels. I open this essay with a story of how we subdued and punished one person for resisting the rules. But it is known that punishment is sometimes inflicted on entire groups. A telling example took place on January 30, 1989, when the USCG captured the Dieu Devant with 147 Haitians aboard. One of them, Fitzroy Joseph, later reported in congressional hearings that, after they expressed a fear of being killed if returned to Haiti, USCG personnel “began wrestling with the Haitians and hitting their hands with their flashlights.” This was followed by threats to release pepper spray. Marie Julie Pierre, Joseph’s wife, corroborated his testimony, adding:

    [We were] asked at once if we feared returning to Haiti and everyone said yes we did. We said ‘down with Avril, up with Bush.’ We were threatened with tear gas but they didn’t use it. Many people were crying because they were so afraid. [Ti Jak] was hit by the officers because he didn’t want to go back. They handcuffed him. The Coast Guard grabbed others by the neck and forced them to go to the biggest boat. My older brother was also hit and treated like a chicken as they pulled him by the neck.

    Counterintuitively, our nonlethal weapons functioned as more efficient instruments of counterinsurgency than lethal weapons. Brandishing firearms might exacerbate an already tense situation in which the Haitians outnumbered the entire ship’s complement. It could also provide an opportunity for the Haitians to seize and turn our own guns against us (or one another). In contrast, losing a baton and a can of pepper spray represented a relatively minor threat to the ship’s overall security. In the event of an actual riot, the command could always mobilize armed reinforcements. From the perspective of the command, then, the first responders on watch were, to some extent, expendable. Nevertheless, sentries bearing firearms were on deck when we approached Haiti and prepared for final deportation. That is, the precise moment the Haitians realized their fate.

    Like the enslaved Africans captured by the Revenue Cutter Service, botpippel were human to us only insofar as we had to compel them, through the threat or actuality of violence, to remain alive. The Haitians ate our tasteless food and drank our freshwater—otherwise they would starve, or we might beat them for going on a hunger strike. They tended to remain silent and immobile day and night—otherwise they would invite acts of exemplary punishment upon themselves. The practices of confinement on the Gallatin represent a variant of what historian Stephanie Smallwood describes as a kind of “scientific empiricism” that developed aboard slave ships, which “prob[ed] the limits to which it is possible to discipline the body without extinguishing the life within.” Just as contemporary slavers used force to conserve human commodities for sale, so does the USCG use force to produce nominally healthy economic migrants to exchange with Haitian authorities.

    The rational utilization of limited forms of exemplary violence was an integral aspect of this carceral science. Rediker shows how slaver captains understood violence along a continuum that ranged from acceptably severe to unacceptably cruel. Whereas severity was the grounds of proper discipline as such, an act was cruel only if it led “to catastrophic results [and] sparked reactions such as mutiny by sailors or insurrection by slaves.” In turn, minor acts of kindness, such as dispensing better food or allowing slightly more free time to move above deck, were conditioned by these security imperatives. Furthermore, they exerted no appreciable change to the eventuality that the person would be sold to a slaveowner, for kindness was a self-aggrandizing ritual performance of authority that intended to lay bare the crucial imbalance of power relations at hand. This was, Rediker maintains, “as close as the owners ever came to admitting that terror was essential to running a slave ship.”

    The USCG’s undeclared long war against Haitian asylum seekers is but one front of a much longer war against people of African descent in the Americas. The entangled histories of the African slave trade and anti-Black martial abolitionism reveal how this war intimately shaped the foundations and racist intentions that underlay modern U.S. immigration and refugee policy writ large. And the Gallatin, her sailors, and the Haitians who were trapped on the flight deck, are, in some small way, now a part of this history, too.

    The Biden administration has the power to decisively end this war—indeed, every war against non-white asylum seekers. Until then, botpippel will continue to suffer the slave ships that survive into the present.

    https://bostonreview.net/race/ryan-fontanilla-immigration-enforcement-and-afterlife-slave-ship

    #esclavage #héritage #migrations #contrôles_migratoires #Haïti #gardes-côtes #nationalisme_blanc #USA #Etats-Unis #migrations #frontières #asile #réfugiés #USCG #Haitian_Migrant_Interdiction_Operation (#HMIO) #botpippel #boat_people

    #modèle_australien #pacific_solution

    ping @karine4 @isskein @reka

    • Ce décret de #Reagan mentionné dans l’article rappelle farouchement la loi d’#excision_territoriale australienne :

      But in our present day, it began in earnest with President Ronald Reagan’s Executive Order 12324 of 1981, also called the Haitian Migrant Interdiction Operation (HMIO), which exclusively tasked the USCG to “interdict” Haitian asylum seekers attempting to enter the United States by sea routes on unauthorized sailing vessels. Such people were already beginning to be derogatorily referred to as “boat people,” a term then borrowed (less derogatorily) into Haitian Kreyòl as botpippel.

      Excision territoriale australienne :


      https://seenthis.net/messages/416996

      –—

      Citation tirée du livre de McAdam et Chong : « Refugees : why seeking asylum is legal and Australia’s policies are not » (p.3)

      “Successive governments (aided by much of the media) have exploited public anxieties about border security to create a rhetorical - and, ultimately, legislative - divide between the rights of so-called ’genuine’ refugees, resettled in Australia from camps and settlements abroad, and those arriving spontaneously in Australia by boat.”