• 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

  • 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

  • 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.”

  • What happens to migrants forcibly returned to Libya?

    ‘These are people going missing by the hundreds.’

    The killing last week of three young men after they were intercepted at sea by the EU-funded Libyan Coast Guard has thrown the spotlight on the fate of tens of thousands of migrants and asylum seekers returned to Libya to face detention, abuse and torture by traffickers, or worse.

    The three Sudanese nationals aged between 15 and 18 were shot dead on 28 July, reportedly by members of a militia linked to the Coast Guard as they tried to avoid being detained. They are among more than 6,200 men, women, and children intercepted on the central Mediterranean and returned to Libya this year. Since 2017, that figure is around 40,000.

    Over the last three months, The New Humanitarian has spoken to migrants and Libyan officials, as well as to UN agencies and other aid groups and actors involved, to piece together what is happening to the returnees after they are brought back to shore.

    It has long been difficult to track the whereabouts of migrants and asylum seekers after they are returned to Libya, and for years there have been reports of people going missing or disappearing into unofficial detention centres after disembarking.

    But the UN’s migration agency, IOM, told TNH there has been an uptick in people vanishing off its radar since around December, and it suspects that at least some returnees are being taken to so-called “data-collection and investigation facilities” under the direct control of the Ministry of Interior for the Government of National Accord.

    The GNA, the internationally recognised authority in Libya, is based in the capital, Tripoli, and has been fighting eastern forces commanded by general Khalifa Haftar for 16 months in a series of battles that has developed into a regional proxy war.

    Unlike official detention centres run by the GNA’s Directorate for Combating Illegal Migration (DCIM) – also under the Ministry of the Interior – and its affiliated militias, neither IOM nor the UN’s refugee agency, UNHCR, has access to these data-collection facilities, which are intended for the investigation of smugglers and not for detaining migrants.

    “We have been told that migrants are no longer in these [data-collection] facilities and we wonder if they have been transferred,” Safa Msehli, spokesperson for IOM in Libya, told TNH.

    “These are people going missing by the hundreds. We have also been told – and are hearing reports from community leaders – that people are going missing,” she said. “We feel the worst has happened, and that these locations [data-collection facilities] are being used to smuggle or traffic people.”

    According to IOM, more than half of the over 6,200 people returned to Libya this year – which includes at least 264 women and 202 children – remain unaccounted for after being loaded onto buses and driven away from the disembarkation points on the coast.

    Msehli said some people had been released after they are returned, but that their number was “200 maximum”, and that if others had simply escaped she would have expected them to show up at community centres run by IOM and its local partners – which most haven’t.

    Masoud Abdal Samad, a commander in the Libyan Coast Guard, denied all accusations of trafficking to TNH, even though the UN has sanctioned individuals in the Coast Guard for their involvement in people smuggling and trafficking. He also said he didn’t know where asylum seekers and migrants end up after they are returned to shore. “It’s not my responsibility. It’s DCIM that determines where the migrants go,” he said.

    Neither the head of the DCIM, Al Mabrouk Abdel-Hafez, nor the media officer for the interior ministry, Mohammad Abu Abdallah, responded to requests for comment from TNH. But the Libyan government recently told the Wall Street Journal that all asylum seekers and migrants returned by the Coast Guard are taken to official detention centres.
    ‘I can’t tell you where we take them’

    TNH spoke to four migrants – three of whom were returned by the Libyan Coast Guard and placed in detention, one of them twice. All described a system whereby returned migrants and asylum seekers are being routinely extorted and passed between different militias.

    Contacted via WhatsApp, Yasser, who only gave his first name for fear of retribution for exposing the abuse he suffered, recounted his ordeal in a series of conversations between May and June.

    The final stage of his journey to start a new life in Europe began on a warm September morning in 2019 when he squeezed onto a rubber dinghy along with 120 other people in al-Garabulli, a coastal town near Tripoli. The year before, the 33-year-old Sudanese asylum seeker had escaped from conflict in his village in the Nuba Mountains to search for safety and opportunity.

    By nightfall, those on board the small boat spotted a reconnaissance aircraft, likely dispatched as part of an EU or Italian aerial surveillance mission. It appears the aircraft alerted the Libyan Coast Guard, which soon arrived to drag them onto their boat and back to war-torn Libya.

    Later that day, as the boat approached the port, Yasser overheard a uniformed member of the Coast Guard speaking on the phone. The man said he had around 100 migrants and was willing to sell each one for 500 Libyan dinars ($83).

    “Militias buy and sell us to make a profit in this country,” Yasser told TNH months later, after he escaped. “In their eyes, refugees are just an investment.”

    When Yasser stepped off the Coast Guard boat in Tripoli’s port, he saw dozens of people he presumed were aid workers tending to the injured. He tried to tell them that he and the others were going to be sold to a militia, but the scene was frantic and he said they didn’t listen.

    “Militias buy and sell us to make a profit in this country. In their eyes, refugees are just an investment.”

    Yasser couldn’t recall which organisation the aid workers were from. Whoever was there, they watched Libyan authorities herd Yasser and the other migrants onto a handful of buses and drive them away.

    IOM, or UNHCR, or one of their local partners are usually present at disembarkation points when migrants are returned to shore. The two UN agencies, which receive significant EU funding for their operations in Libya and have been criticised for participating in the system of interception and detention, say they tend to the injured and register asylum seekers. They also said they count the number of people returned from sea and jot down their nationalities and gender.

    But both agencies told TNH they are unable to track where people go next because Libyan authorities do not keep an official database of asylum seekers and migrants intercepted at sea or held in detention centres.

    News footage – and testimonies from migrants and aid workers – shows white buses with DCIM logos frequently pick up those disembarking. TNH also identified a private bus company that DCIM contracts for transportation. The company, called Essahim, imported 130 vehicles from China before beginning operations in September 2019.

    On its Facebook page, Essahim only advertises its shuttle bus services to Misrata airport, in northwest Libya. But a high-level employee, who asked TNH not to disclose his name for fear of reprisal from Libyan authorities, confirmed that the company picks up asylum seekers and migrants from disembarkation points on the shore.

    He said all of Essahim’s buses are equipped with a GPS tracking system to ensure drivers don’t deviate from their route. He also emphasised that the company takes people to “legitimate centres”, but he refused to disclose the locations.

    “You have to ask the government,” he told TNH. “I can’t tell you where we take them. It’s one of the conditions in the contract.”

    Off the radar

    Since Libya’s 2011 revolution, state security forces – such as the Coast Guard and interior ministry units – have mostly consisted of a collection of militias vying for legitimacy and access to sources of revenue.

    Migrant detention centres have been particularly lucrative to control, and even the official ones can be run by whichever local militia or armed group holds sway at a particular time. Those detained are not granted rights or legal processes, and there have been numerous reports of horrific abuse, and deaths from treatable diseases like tuberculosis.

    Facts regarding the number of different detention centres and who controls them are sketchy, especially as they often close and re-open or come under new management, and as territory can change hands between the GNA and forces aligned with Haftar. Both sides have a variety of militias fighting alongside them, and there are splits within the alliances.

    But IOM’s Msehli told TNH that as of 1 August that there are 11 official detention centres run by DCIM, and that she was aware of returned migrants also being taken to what she believes are four different data-collection and investigation facilities – three in Tripoli and one in Zuwara, a coastal city about 100 kilometres west of the capital. The government has not disclosed how many data-collection centres there are or where they are located.

    Beyond the official facilities, there are also numerous makeshift compounds used by smugglers and militias – especially in the south and in the former Muammar Gaddafi stronghold of Bani Walid – for which there is no data, according to a report by the Global Initiative Against Transnational Organised Crime (GI).

    Yasser told TNH he had no idea if he was in an official DCIM-run detention centre or an unofficial site after he was pulled off the bus that took him to a makeshift prison from the port of Tripoli. Unless UN agencies show up, it is hard for detainees to tell the difference. Conditions are dismal and abuses occur in both locations: In unofficial facilities the extortion of detainees is systematic, while in official centres it tends to be carried out by individual staff members, according to the GI report.

    Between Yasser’s description and information from an aid group that gained access to the facility – but declined to be identified for fear of jeopardising its work – TNH believes Yasser was taken to an informal centre in Tripoli called Shaaria Zawiya, outside the reach of UN agencies. Msehli said IOM believes it is a data-collection and investigation facility.

    During the time Yasser was there, the facility was under the control of a militia commander with a brutal reputation, according to a high-level source from the aid group. The commander was eventually replaced in late 2019, but not before trying to extort hundreds of people, including Yasser.

    Several nights after he arrived at the centre, everyone being held there was ordered to pay a 3,000 Libyan dinar ransom – about $500 on the Libyan black market. The militia separated detainees by nationality and tossed each group a cell phone. They gave one to the Eritreans, one to the Somalis, and one to the Sudanese. The detainees were told to call their families and beg, Yasser recalled.

    Those who couldn’t pay languished in the centre until they were sold for a lower sum to another militia, which would try to extort them for a smaller ransom to earn a profit. This is a widely reported trend all across Libya: Militias sell migrants they can’t extort to make space for new hostages.

    Yasser’s friends and family were too poor to pay for his release, yet he clung to hope that he would somehow escape. He watched as the militia commander beat and intimidated other asylum seekers and migrants in the centre, but he was too scared to intervene. As the weeks passed, he started to believe nobody would find him.

    Then, one day, he saw a couple of aid workers. They came to document the situation and treat the wounded. “The migrants who spoke English whispered for help, but [the aid workers] just kept silent and nodded,” Yasser said.

    The aid workers were from the same NGO that identified the data-collection facility to TNH. The aid group said it suspects that Libyan authorities are taking migrants to two other locations in Tripoli after disembarkation: a data-collection and investigation facility in a neighbourhood called Hay al-Andulus, and an abandoned tobacco factory in another Tripoli suburb. “I know the factory exists, but I have no idea how many people are inside,” the source said, adding that the aid group had been unable to negotiate access to either location.

    “We were treated like animals.”

    Msehli confirmed that IOM believes migrants have been taken to both compounds, neither of which are under DCIM control. She added that more migrants are ending up in another unofficial location in Tripoli.

    After languishing for two months, until November, in Shaaria Zawiya, Yasser said he was sold to a militia manning what he thinks was an official detention centre. He assumed the location was official because uniformed UNHCR employees frequently showed up with aid. When UNHCR wasn’t there, the militia still demanded ransoms from the people inside.

    “We were treated like animals,” Yasser said. “But at least when UNHCR visited, the militia fed us more food than usual.”

    Tariq Argaz, the spokesperson for UNHCR in Libya, defended the agency’s aid provision to official facilities like this one, saying: “We are against the detention of refugees, but we have a humanitarian imperative to assist refugees wherever they are, even if it is a detention centre.”

    Growing pressure on EU to change tack

    The surge in disappearances raises further concerns about criminality and human rights abuses occurring within a system of interception and detention by Libyan authorities that the EU and EU member states have funded and supported since 2017.

    The aim of the support is to crack down on smuggling networks, reduce the number of asylum seekers and migrants arriving in Europe, and improve detention conditions in Libya, but critics say it has resulted in tens of thousands of people being returned to indefinite detention and abuse in Libya. There is even less oversight now that asylum seekers and migrants are ending up in data-collection and investigation facilities, beyond the reach of UN agencies.

    The escalating conflict in Libya and the coronavirus crisis have made the humanitarian situation for asylum seekers and migrants in the country “worse than ever”, according to IOM. At the same time, Italy and Malta have further turned their backs on rescuing people at sea. Italy has impounded NGO search and rescue ships, while both countries have repeatedly failed to respond, or responded slowly, to distress calls, and Malta even hired a private fishing vessel to return people rescued at sea to Libya.

    “We believe that people shouldn’t be returned to Libya,” Msehli told TNH. “This is due to the lack of any protection mechanism that the Libyan state takes or is able to take.”

    There are currently estimated to be at least 625,000 migrants in Libya and 47,859 registered asylum seekers and refugees. Of this number, around 1,760 migrants – including 760 registered asylum seekers and refugees – are in the DCIM-run detention centres, according to data from IOM and UNHCR, although IOM’s data only covers eight out of the 11 DCIM facilities.

    The number of detainees in unofficial centres and makeshift compounds is unknown but, based on those unaccounted for and the reported experiences of migrants, could be many times higher. A recent estimate from Liam Kelly, director of the Danish Refugee Council in Libya, suggests as many as 80,000 people have been in them at some point in recent years.

    There remains no clear explanation why some people intercepted attempting the sea journey appear to be being taken to data-collection and investigation facilities, while others end up in official centres. But researchers believe migrants are typically taken to facilities that have space to house new detainees, or other militias may strike a deal to purchase a new group to extort them.

    In a leaked report from last year, the EU acknowledged that the GNA “has not taken steps to improve the situation in the centres”, and that “the government’s reluctance to address the problems raises questions of its own involvement”.

    The UN, human rights groups, researchers, journalists and TNH have noted that there is little distinction between criminal groups, militias, and other entities involved in EU-supported migration control activities under the GNA.

    A report released last week by UNHCR and the Mixed Migration Centre (MMC) at the Danish Refugee Council said that migrants being smuggled and trafficked to the Mediterranean coast had identified the primary perpetrators of abuses as state officials and law enforcement.

    Pressure on the EU over its proximity to abuses resulting from the interception and detention of asylum seekers and migrants in Libya is mounting. International human rights lawyers have filed lawsuits to the International Criminal Court (ICC), the UN human rights committee, and the European Court of Human Rights to attempt to hold the EU accountable.

    Peter Stano, the EU Commission’s official spokesperson for External Affairs, told TNH that the EU doesn’t consider Libya a safe country, but that its priority has always been to stop irregular migration to keep migrants from risking their lives, while protecting the most vulnerable.

    “We have repeated again and again, together with our international partners in the UN and African Union, that arbitrary detention of migrants and refugees in Libya must end, including to Libyan authorities,” he said. “The situation in these centres is unacceptable, and arbitrary detention of migrants and refugees upon disembarkation must stop.”

    For Yasser, it took a war for him to have the opportunity to escape from detention. In January this year, the facility he was in came under heavy fire during a battle in the war for Tripoli. Dozens of migrants, including Yasser, made a run for it.

    He is now living in a crowded house with other Sudanese asylum seekers in the coastal town of Zawiya, and says that returning to the poverty and instability in Sudan is out of the question. With his sights set on Europe, he still intends to cross the Mediterranean, but he’s afraid of being intercepted by the Libyan Coast Guard, trafficked, and extorted all over again.

    “It’s a business,” said Yasser. “Militias pay for your head and then they force you to pay for your freedom.”

    https://www.thenewhumanitarian.org/news-feature/2020/08/05/missing-migrants-Libya-forced-returns-Mediterranean

    #chronologie #timeline #time-line #migrations #asile #réfugiés #chiffres #statistiques #pull-back #pull-backs #push-backs #refoulements #disparitions #torture #décès #morts #gardes-côtes_libyens #détention #centres_de_détention #milices

    ping @isskein

    • The legal battle to hold the EU to account for Libya migrant abuses

      ‘It’s a well known fact that we’re all struggling here, as human rights practitioners.’

      More than 6,500 asylum seekers and migrants have been intercepted at sea and returned to Libya by the Libyan Coast Guard so far this year. Since the EU and Italy began training, funding, equipping, and providing operational assistance to the Libyan Coast Guard in 2017, that number stands at around 40,000 people.

      Critics say European support for these interceptions and returns is one of the most glaring examples of the trade-off being made between upholding human rights – a fundamental EU value – and the EU’s determination to reduce migration to the continent.

      Those intercepted at sea and returned to Libya by the Libyan Coast Guard – predominantly asylum seekers and migrants from East and West Africa – face indefinite detention, extortion, torture, sexual exploitation, and forced labour.

      This year alone, thousands have disappeared beyond the reach of UN agencies after being disembarked. Migration detention in Libya functions as a business that generates revenue for armed groups, some of whom have also pressed asylum seekers and migrants into military activities – a practice that is likely a war crime, according to Human Rights Watch.

      All of this has been well documented and widely known for years, even as the EU and Italy have stepped up their support for the Libyan Coast Guard. Yet despite their key role in empowering the Coast Guard to return people to Libya, international human rights lawyers have struggled to hold the EU and Italy to account. Boxed in by the limitations of international law, lawyers have had to find increasingly innovative legal strategies to try to establish European complicity in the abuses taking place.

      As the EU looks to expand its cooperation with third countries, the outcome of these legal efforts could have broader implications on whether the EU and its member states can be held accountable for the human rights impacts of their external migration policies.

      “Under international law there are rules… prohibiting states to assist other states in the commission of human rights violations,” Matteo de Bellis, Amnesty International’s migration researcher, told The New Humanitarian. “However, those international rules do not have a specific court where you can litigate them, where individuals can have access to remedy.”

      In fact, human rights advocates and lawyers argue that EU and Italian support for the Libyan Coast Guard is designed specifically to avoid legal responsibility.

      “For a European court to have jurisdiction over a particular policy, a European actor must be in control... of a person directly,” said Itamar Mann, an international human rights lawyer. “When a non-European agent takes that control, it’s far from clear that [a] European court has jurisdiction. So there is a kind of accountability gap under international human rights law.”
      ‘The EU is not blameless’

      When Italy signed a Memorandum of Understanding in February 2017 with Libya’s internationally recognised Government of National Accord (GNA) “to ensure the reduction of illegal migratory flows”, the agreement carried echoes of an earlier era.

      In 2008, former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi signed a friendship treaty with Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi that, among other things, committed the two countries to working together to curb irregular migration.

      The following year, Italian patrol boats began intercepting asylum seekers and migrants at sea and returning them to Libya. In 2012, the European Court of Human Rights, an international court based in Strasbourg, France – which all EU member states are party to – ruled that the practice violated multiple articles of the European Convention on Human Rights.

      The decision, in what is known as the Hirsi case, was based on the idea that Italy had established “extraterritorial jurisdiction” over asylum seekers and migrants when it took them under their control at sea and had violated the principle of non-refoulement – a core element of international refugee law – by forcing them back to a country where they faced human rights abuses.

      Many states that have signed the 1951 refugee convention have integrated the principle of non-refoulement into their domestic law, binding them to protect asylum seekers once they enter a nation’s territory. But there are divergent interpretations of how it applies to state actors in international waters.

      By the time of the Hirsi decision, the practice had already ended and Gaddafi had been toppled from power. The chaos that followed the Libyan uprising in 2011 paved the way for a new era of irregular migration. The number of people crossing the central Meditteranean jumped from an average of tens of thousands per year throughout the late 1990s and 2000s to more than 150,000 per year in 2014, 2015, and 2016.

      Reducing these numbers became a main priority for Italy and the EU, and they kept the lessons of the Hirsi case in mind as they set about designing their policies, according to de Bellis.

      Instead of using European vessels, the EU and Italy focused on “enabling the Libyan authorities to do the dirty job of intercepting people at sea and returning them to Libya”, he said. “By doing so, they would argue that they have not breached international European law because they have never assumed control, and therefore exercised jurisdiction, over the people who have then been subjected to human rights violations [in Libya].”

      The number of people crossing the central Mediterranean has dropped precipitously in recent years as EU policies have hardened, and tens of thousands of people – including those returned by the Coast Guard – are estimated to have passed through formal and informal migration detention centres in Libya, some of them getting stuck for years and many falling victim to extortion and abuse.

      “There is always going to be a debate about, is the EU responsible… [because] it’s really Libya who has done the abuses,” said Carla Ferstman, a human rights law professor at the University of Essex in England. “[But] the EU is not blameless because it can’t pretend that it didn’t know the consequences of what it was going to do.”

      The challenge for human rights lawyers is how to legally establish that blame.
      The accountability gap

      Since 2017, the EU has given more than 91 million euros (about $107 million) to support border management projects in Libya. Much of that money has gone to Italy, which implements the projects and has provided its own funding and at least six patrol boats to the Libyan Coast Guard.

      One objective of the EU’s funding is to improve the human rights and humanitarian situation in official detention centres. But according to a leaked EU document from 2019, this is something the Libyan government had not been taking steps to do, “raising the question of its own involvement”, according to the document.

      The main goal of the funding is to strengthen the capacity of Libyan authorities to control the country’s borders and intercept asylum seekers and migrants at sea. This aspect of the policy has been effective, according to a September 2019 report by the UN secretary-general.

      “All our action is based on international and European law,” an EU spokesperson told the Guardian newspaper in June. “The European Union dialogue with Libyan authorities focuses on the respect for human rights of migrants and refugees.”

      The EU has legal obligations to ensure that its actions do not violate human rights in both its internal and external policy, according to Ferstman. But when it comes to actions taken outside of Europe, “routes for those affected to complain when their rights are being violated are very, very weak,” she said.

      The EU and its member states are also increasingly relying on informal agreements, such as the Memorandum of Understanding with Libya, in their external migration cooperation.

      “Once the EU makes formal agreements with third states… [it] is more tightly bound to a lot of human rights and refugee commitments,” Raphael Bossong, a researcher at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP) in Berlin, told TNH. “Hence, we see a shift toward less binding or purely informal arrangements.”

      Lawyers and researchers told TNH that the absence of formal agreements, and the combination of EU funding and member state implementation, undermines the standing of the EU Parliament and the Court of Justice, the bloc’s supreme court, to act as watchdogs.

      Efforts to challenge Italy’s role in cooperating with Libya in Italian courts have also so far been unsuccessful.

      “It’s a well known fact that we’re all struggling here, as human rights practitioners… to grapple with the very limited, minimalistic tools we have to address the problem at hand,” said Valentina Azarova, a lawyer and researcher affiliated with the Global Legal Action Network (GLAN), a nonprofit organisation that pursues international human rights litigation.

      Uncharted territory

      With no clear path forward, human rights lawyers have ventured into uncharted territory to try to subject EU and Italian cooperation with Libya to legal scrutiny.

      Lawyers called last year for the International Criminal Court to investigate the EU for its alleged complicity in thousands of deaths in the Mediterranean, and legal organisations have filed two separate complaints with the UN Human Rights Committee, which has a quasi-judicial function.

      In November last year, GLAN also submitted a case, called S.S. and others v. Italy, to the European Court of Human Rights that aims to build on the Hirsi decision. The case argues that – through its financial, material, and operational support – Italy assumes “contactless control” over people intercepted by Libyan Coast Guard and therefore establishes jurisdiction over them.

      “Jurisdiction is not only a matter of direct, effective control over bodies,” Mann, who is part of GLAN, said of the case’s argument. “It’s also a matter of substantive control that can be wielded in many different ways.”

      GLAN, along with two Italian legal organisations, also filed a complaint in April to the European Court of Auditors, which is tasked with checking to see if the EU’s budget is implemented correctly and that funds are spent legally.

      The GLAN complaint alleges that funding border management activities in Libya makes the EU and its member states complicit in the human rights abuses taking place there, and is also a misuse of money intended for development purposes – both of which fall afoul of EU budgetary guidelines.

      The complaint asks for the EU funding to be made conditional on the improvement of the situation for asylum seekers and migrants in the country, and for it to be suspended until certain criteria are met, including the release of all refugees and migrants from arbitrary detention, the creation of an asylum system that complies with international standards, and the establishment of an independent, transparent mechanism to monitor and hold state and non-state actors accountable for human rights violations against refugees and migrants.

      The Court of Auditors is not an actual courtroom or a traditional venue for addressing human rights abuses. It is composed of financial experts who conduct an annual audit of the EU budget. The complaint is meant to encourage them to take a specific look at EU funding to Libya, but they aren’t obligated to do so.

      “To use the EU Court of Auditors to get some kind of human rights accountability is an odd thing to do,” said Ferstman, who is not involved in the complaint. “It speaks to the [accountability] gap and the absence of clear approaches.”

      “[Still], it is the institution where this matter needs to be adjudicated, so to speak,” Azarova, who came up with the strategy, added. “They are the experts on questions of EU budget law.”

      Closing the gap?

      If successful, the Court of Auditors complaint could change how EU funding for Libya operates and set a precedent requiring a substantive accounting of how money is being spent and whether it ends up contributing to human rights violations in other EU third-country arrangements, according to Mann. “It will be a blow to the general externalisation pattern,” he said.

      Ferstman cautioned, however, that its impact – at least legally – might not be so concrete. “[The Court of Auditors] can recommend everything that GLAN has put forward, but it will be a recommendation,” she said. “It will not be an order.”

      Instead, the complaint’s more significant impact might be political. “It could put a lot of important arsenal in the hands of the MEPs [Members of the European Parliament] who want to push forward changes,” Ferstman said.

      A European Court of Human Rights decision in favour of the plaintiffs in S.S. and others v Italy could be more decisive. “It would go a long way towards addressing that [accountability] gap, because individuals will be able to challenge European states that encourage and assist other countries to commit human rights violations,” de Bellis said.

      If any or all of the various legal challenges that are currently underway are successful, Bossong, from SWP, doesn’t expect them to put an end to external migration cooperation entirely. “Many [external] cooperations would continue,” he said. “[But] policy-makers and administrators would have to think harder: Where is the line? Where do we cross the line?”

      The Court of Auditors will likely decide whether to review EU funding for border management activities in Libya next year, but the European Court of Human Rights moves slowly, with proceedings generally taking around five years, according to Mann.

      Human rights advocates and lawyers worry that by the time the current legal challenges are concluded, the situation in the Mediterranean will again have evolved. Already, since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, states such as Malta and Greece have shifted from empowering third countries to intercept people at sea to carrying out pushbacks directly.

      “What is happening now, particularly in the Aegean, is much more alarming than the facts that generated the Hirsi case in terms of the violence of the actual pushbacks,” Mann said.

      Human rights lawyers are already planning to begin issuing challenges to the new practices. As they do, they are acutely aware of the limitations of the tools available to them. Or, as Azarova put it: “We’re dealing with symptoms. We’re not addressing the pathology.”

      https://www.thenewhumanitarian.org/analysis/2020/08/10/Libya-migrant-abuses-EU-legal-battle

      #justice

  • Portland, ville symbole de la résistance à Trump
    https://www.courrierinternational.com/article/manifestations-portland-ville-symbole-de-la-resistance-trump

    Voilà plus de cinquante jours que les manifestations contre le racisme et les violences policières se succèdent à Portland, la plus grosse ville de l’Oregon. Le récent déploiement de forces spéciales du gouvernement fédéral n’a fait qu’envenimer les choses.

    #paywall

    • Cinquante-deux jours consécutifs de #manifestations. Si la #mobilisation contre les #violences_policières à la suite de la mort de George Floyd a fléchi dans les rues des autres grandes villes et des petites villes américaines, à Portland, dans l’#Oregon, « la détermination des manifestants va croissant », rapporte le New York Times.

      Et pour cause, la ville est devenue un #symbole du #bras_de_fer engagé par Donald Trump pour mettre un terme aux troubles et aux manifestations en déployant des #forces_spéciales de #police_fédérale.

      « Flagrant #abus_de_pouvoir »

      Le locataire de la Maison-Blanche a encore dénoncé sur Twitter ce dimanche 19 juillet les « anarchistes et agitateurs » qu’il considère comme « une #menace_nationale » et qu’il désigne comme responsables du « #chaos et de l’#anarchie » qui règne dans cette ville de la côte Ouest. Or « davantage de manifestants sont sortis dans les rues de Portland pour protester contre la #militarisation du #maintien_de_l'ordre », rendue palpable par le déploiement de forces spéciales de police fédérale dans la ville depuis le début du mois de juillet, souligne le quotidien new-yorkais.

      Dans un second article, le New York Times décrit plus précisément ces forces spéciales de police fédérale : « Des #agents_fédéraux vêtus de tenues camouflage et d’équipements tactiques, usant de #gaz_lacrymogène et de #brutalité, et embarquant à l’occasion des manifestants dans des véhicules banalisés », ce que la gouverneure démocrate de l’Oregon, Kate Brown, a qualifié de « flagrant abus de pouvoir ».

      La procureure générale de l’État a également indiqué que ses services avaient ouvert une #enquête à la suite de #violences sur un manifestant et avaient enregistré une #plainte devant un tribunal local contre les méthodes répressives illégales des agents fédéraux.

      Les agents présents à Portland font partie des « équipes à déploiement rapide mises en place par le ministère de la Sécurité intérieure ». Il s’agit d’une demande expresse du président américain auprès de différentes agences fédérales d’envoyer des renforts pour « protéger les #statues, #monuments et bâtiments fédéraux pendant les manifestations ».

      Tout un symbole

      Ces équipes incluent environ « 2 ?000 hommes issus de la #police_des_frontières, mais aussi du ministère des Transports et des #gardes-côtes qui viennent prêter main-forte au #Federal_Protective_Service », une agence fédérale peu connue chargée de la #protection_des_propriétés du gouvernement fédéral sur tout le territoire américain.

      Ces renforts fédéraux « ont été déployés à #Seattle, à #Washington et à Portland », souligne le New York Times. Depuis, les images chocs, les vidéos amateurs et les témoignages se multiplient sur les réseaux sociaux et dans les médias américains pour dénoncer la violence de la #répression à Portland.

      Parmi les images les plus frappantes qui ont fait le tour de la Toile figure cette vidéo d’un groupe de mères casquées venues protester contre la présence des agents fédéraux aux cris de « Feds stay clear. Moms are here ?! » ("Allez-vous-en les fédéraux, les mères sont là !").

      Ou encore les photos et vidéos de cette manifestante nue exécutant un drôle de ballet devant les forces de l’ordre. Une manifestante anonyme qualifiée par le Los Angeles Times d’"Athéna", en référence à la déesse grecque de la guerre, émergeant « telle une apparition au milieu des nuages de gaz lacrymogène lancé par les agents fédéraux et ne portant rien d’autre qu’un masque et un bonnet noir face à une dizaine d’agents lourdement armés et vêtus de treillis militaire ».

      Le symbole même de la « vulnérabilité humaine » face à une répression disproportionnée.

      #résistance #Trump #USA #Etats-Unis #plainte #Naked_Athena #Athena

      ping @davduf

    • A Portland, la « milice personnelle de Trump » à l’œuvre

      Ils jaillissent de voitures banalisées, vêtus d’uniformes kaki tout neufs dignes de la guerre d’Irak, pour interpeller des manifestants, ou, trop souvent, de simples passants soupçonnés d’être de « dangereux anarchistes ». Une vidéo montre un de leurs commandos maîtriser à dix, avec l’aide d’un chien policier, un tagueur devant la cour de justice fédérale de Portland, Oregon.

      Ces forces de l’ordre inconnues, dénuées du moindre insigne déclinant leur identité ou leur administration d’origine, côtoient depuis près de deux semaines la police de Portland pour disperser les rassemblements de militants Black Lives Matter, toujours actifs depuis la mort de George Floyd. S’ils coordonnent parfois officieusement leurs actions avec les policiers locaux, connus pour leur brutalité, ils ne prennent leurs ordres que de Washington. Essentiellement du Department of Homeland Security, l’administration de la sécurité intérieure fondée après le 11 Septembre, aujourd’hui étroitement contrôlée par Donald Trump en personne – au grand désarroi des autorités locales, qui assurent n’avoir jamais demandé un tel renfort. « Ces dizaines, voire ces centaines d’officiers fédéraux qui débarquent dans notre ville ne font qu’envenimer la situation, a déploré Ted Wheeler, le maire démocrate de Portland. Leur présence ne fait qu’accroître les violences et le vandalisme. »

      Pour toute réponse, Donald Trump a annoncé qu’il entendait poursuivre ces déploiements dans d’autres villes, telles Chicago, Detroit, Philadelphie, Baltimore et Oakland (en Californie), ainsi que…New York, qui ne connaît plus de manifestations d’envergure, pour rétablir l’ordre dans des municipalités « mal dirigées par des Démocrates de gauche ».

      Aucune compétence sur la voie publique

      L’offensive de la Maison Blanche, décrite comme une manifestation d’autoritarisme et une crise constitutionnelle par l’Aclu, importante association de défense des droits civils, provoque un choc dans l’opinion. Révulsée, Nancy Pelosi, la présidente démocrate de la Chambre des représentants, demande le retrait des « troupes d’assaut de Donald Trump ». Tom Ridge, premier directeur du Homeland Security Department entre 2003 et 2005, a pour sa part rappelé que cette agence de l’Etat fédéral n’a pas été conçue « pour servir de milice personnelle à Donald Trump ».

      Le maintien de l’ordre est traditionnellement la responsabilité des autorités locales : des Etats mais plus couramment des maires des villes, des shérifs élus et des dirigeants de comtés. Les forces fédérales, tels le FBI, la Drug Enforcement Administration et les agences de lutte contre l’immigration clandestine, ne sont compétentes que pour les crimes et délits impliquant des mouvements entre plusieurs Etats ou dûment inscrits en raison de leur gravité dans une liste approuvée par le Congrès. Hormis pour la protection des bâtiments fédéraux, un prétexte largement utilisé à Portland, ils n’ont aucune compétence sur la voie publique, alors qu’ils quadrillent la ville impunément sans autorisation des autorités locales.

      Donald Trump, brutalisé par les sondages et en mal de démonstration d’autorité, a fait son miel du slogan de Black Lives Matter « defund the police », soit retirer ses financements à la police. Le mot d’ordre appelait à la fin de la militarisation du maintien de l’ordre local et au rééquilibrage des fonds publics vers les services sociaux ou de prévention de la criminalité. La Maison Blanche y voit l’occasion de se présenter comme la championne de la loi et de l’ordre face au prétendu laxisme des élus démocrates, quitte à attiser les conflits locaux avant les élections de novembre.

      Rempart contre le prétendu chaos

      Le Président n’a eu de cesse, depuis trois ans, de stigmatiser les « villes sanctuaires » qui limitent leur appui à ses campagnes d’arrestation d’immigrants clandestins. Il trouve maintenant une nouvelle occasion de monter sa base électorale, largement rurale, contre les zones urbaines, majoritairement démocrates, et de s’imposer comme un rempart contre le prétendu chaos. Donald Trump avait évoqué Chicago et son taux de criminalité terrible dès son discours inaugural apocalyptique de janvier 2017 pour promettre la fin de ce « massacre américain ». Mais on ignore l’impact qu’aura sa centaine d’enquêteurs fédéraux dans une ville qui a connu 62 attaques armées entre gangs le week-end dernier. Le maire de Detroit, comme celui de Philadelphie, demandent quant à eux poliment d’où le Président tire ses informations sur le désordre et la criminalité locale.

      Plus perfidement, Trump profite de la colère des polices locales, notamment à New York, ou le maire, Bill de Blasio, à réduit le budget du NYPD sous la pression de Black Lives Matter, pour tenter de déstabiliser les élus démocrates au moment où, certes, la criminalité augmente depuis le déconfinement sans pour autant renverser vingt ans de progrès spectaculaires dans la sécurité de la ville.

      Le Président a, de plus, accru son emprise sur les forces fédérales usant non du FBI, qu’il déteste en raison des enquêtes sur sa possible collusion avec Moscou, mais des agences qui lui sont dévouées, comme la police des frontières et l’Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), responsable des arrestations de clandestins. Ces officiers, dénués de toute expérience en matière de contrôle des désordres sur la voie publique, constituent la majorité des troupes en uniforme kaki qui traquent les tagueurs de Portland et pourraient bientôt imposer la marque Trump dans les ghettos du South Side, à Chicago.

      https://www.liberation.fr/planete/2020/07/22/a-portland-la-milice-personnelle-de-trump-a-l-oeuvre_1794940?xtor=rss-450

  • Budget européen pour la migration : plus de contrôles aux frontières, moins de respect pour les droits humains

    Le 17 juillet 2020, le Conseil européen examinera le #cadre_financier_pluriannuel (#CFP) pour la période #2021-2027. À cette occasion, les dirigeants de l’UE discuteront des aspects tant internes qu’externes du budget alloué aux migrations et à l’#asile.

    En l’état actuel, la #Commission_européenne propose une #enveloppe_budgétaire totale de 40,62 milliards d’euros pour les programmes portant sur la migration et l’asile, répartis comme suit : 31,12 milliards d’euros pour la dimension interne et environ 10 milliards d’euros pour la dimension externe. Il s’agit d’une augmentation de 441% en valeur monétaire par rapport à la proposition faite en 2014 pour le budget 2014-2020 et d’une augmentation de 78% par rapport à la révision budgétaire de 2015 pour ce même budget.

    Une réalité déguisée

    Est-ce une bonne nouvelle qui permettra d’assurer dignement le bien-être de milliers de migrant.e.s et de réfugié.e.s actuellement abandonné.e.s à la rue ou bloqué.e.s dans des centres d’accueil surpeuplés de certains pays européens ? En réalité, cette augmentation est principalement destinée à renforcer l’#approche_sécuritaire : dans la proposition actuelle, environ 75% du budget de l’UE consacré à la migration et à l’asile serait alloué aux #retours, à la #gestion_des_frontières et à l’#externalisation des contrôles. Ceci s’effectue au détriment des programmes d’asile et d’#intégration dans les États membres ; programmes qui se voient attribuer 25% du budget global.

    Le budget 2014 ne comprenait pas de dimension extérieure. Cette variable n’a été introduite qu’en 2015 avec la création du #Fonds_fiduciaire_de_l’UE_pour_l’Afrique (4,7 milliards d’euros) et une enveloppe financière destinée à soutenir la mise en œuvre de la #déclaration_UE-Turquie de mars 2016 (6 milliards d’euros), qui a été tant décriée. Ces deux lignes budgétaires s’inscrivent dans la dangereuse logique de #conditionnalité entre migration et #développement : l’#aide_au_développement est liée à l’acceptation, par les pays tiers concernés, de #contrôles_migratoires ou d’autres tâches liées aux migrations. En outre, au moins 10% du budget prévu pour l’Instrument de voisinage, de développement et de coopération internationale (#NDICI) est réservé pour des projets de gestion des migrations dans les pays d’origine et de transit. Ces projets ont rarement un rapport avec les activités de développement.

    Au-delà des chiffres, des violations des #droits_humains

    L’augmentation inquiétante de la dimension sécuritaire du budget de l’UE correspond, sur le terrain, à une hausse des violations des #droits_fondamentaux. Par exemple, plus les fonds alloués aux « #gardes-côtes_libyens » sont importants, plus on observe de #refoulements sur la route de la Méditerranée centrale. Depuis 2014, le nombre de refoulements vers la #Libye s’élève à 62 474 personnes, soit plus de 60 000 personnes qui ont tenté d’échapper à des violences bien documentées en Libye et qui ont mis leur vie en danger mais ont été ramenées dans des centres de détention indignes, indirectement financés par l’UE.

    En #Turquie, autre partenaire à long terme de l’UE en matière d’externalisation des contrôles, les autorités n’hésitent pas à jouer avec la vie des migrant.e.s et des réfugié.e.s, en ouvrant et en fermant les frontières, pour négocier le versement de fonds, comme en témoigne l’exemple récent à la frontière gréco-turque.

    Un budget opaque

    « EuroMed Droits s’inquiète de l’#opacité des allocations de fonds dans le budget courant et demande à l’Union européenne de garantir des mécanismes de responsabilité et de transparence sur l’utilisation des fonds, en particulier lorsqu’il s’agit de pays où la corruption est endémique et qui violent régulièrement les droits des personnes migrantes et réfugiées, mais aussi les droits de leurs propres citoyen.ne.s », a déclaré Wadih Al-Asmar, président d’EuroMed Droits.

    « Alors que les dirigeants européens se réunissent à Bruxelles pour discuter du prochain cadre financier pluriannuel, EuroMed Droits demande qu’une approche plus humaine et basée sur les droits soit adoptée envers les migrant.e.s et les réfugié.e.s, afin que les appels à l’empathie et à l’action résolue de la Présidente de la Commission européenne, Ursula von der Leyen ne restent pas lettre morte ».

    https://euromedrights.org/fr/publication/budget-europeen-pour-la-migration-plus-de-controles-aux-frontieres-mo


    https://twitter.com/EuroMedRights/status/1283759540740096001

    #budget #migrations #EU #UE #Union_européenne #frontières #Fonds_fiduciaire_pour_l’Afrique #Fonds_fiduciaire #sécurité #réfugiés #accord_UE-Turquie #chiffres #infographie #renvois #expulsions #Neighbourhood_Development_and_International_Cooperation_Instrument

    Ajouté à la métaliste sur la #conditionnalité_de_l'aide_au_développement :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/733358#message768701

    Et à la métaliste sur l’externalisation des contrôles frontaliers :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/731749#message765319

    ping @karine4 @rhoumour @reka @_kg_

  • EU pays for surveillance in Gulf of Tunis

    A new monitoring system for Tunisian coasts should counter irregular migration across the Mediterranean. The German Ministry of the Interior is also active in the country. A similar project in Libya has now been completed. Human rights organisations see it as an aid to „#pull_backs“ contrary to international law.

    In order to control and prevent migration, the European Union is supporting North African states in border surveillance. The central Mediterranean Sea off Malta and Italy, through which asylum seekers from Libya and Tunisia want to reach Europe, plays a special role. The EU conducts various operations in and off these countries, including the military mission „#Irini“ and the #Frontex mission „#Themis“. It is becoming increasingly rare for shipwrecked refugees to be rescued by EU Member States. Instead, they assist the coast guards in Libya and Tunisia to bring the people back. Human rights groups, rescue organisations and lawyers consider this assistance for „pull backs“ to be in violation of international law.

    With several measures, the EU and its member states want to improve the surveillance off North Africa. Together with Switzerland, the EU Commission has financed a two-part „#Integrated_Border_Management Project“ in Tunisia. It is part of the reform of the security sector which was begun a few years after the fall of former head of state Ben Ali in 2011. With one pillar of this this programme, the EU wants to „prevent criminal networks from operating“ and enable the authorities in the Gulf of Tunis to „save lives at sea“.

    System for military and border police

    The new installation is entitled „#Integrated_System_for_Maritime_Surveillance“ (#ISMariS) and, according to the Commission (https://www.europarl.europa.eu/doceo/document/E-9-2020-000891-ASW_EN.html), is intended to bring together as much information as possible from all authorities involved in maritime and coastal security tasks. These include the Ministry of Defence with the Navy, the Coast Guard under the Ministry of the Interior, the National Guard, and IT management and telecommunications authorities. The money comes from the #EU_Emergency_Trust_Fund_for_Africa, which was established at the Valletta Migration Summit in 2015. „ISMariS“ is implemented by the Italian Ministry of the Interior and follows on from an earlier Italian initiative. The EU is financing similar projects with „#EU4BorderSecurity“ not only in Tunisia but also for other Mediterranean countries.

    An institute based in Vienna is responsible for border control projects in Tunisia. Although this #International_Centre_for_Migration_Policy_Development (ICMPD) was founded in 1993 by Austria and Switzerland, it is not a governmental organisation. The German Foreign Office has also supported projects in Tunisia within the framework of the #ICMPD, including the establishment of border stations and the training of border guards. Last month German finally joined the Institute itself (https://www.andrej-hunko.de/start/download/dokumente/1493-deutscher-beitritt-zum-international-centre-for-migration-policy-development/file). For an annual contribution of 210,000 euro, the Ministry of the Interior not only obtains decision-making privileges for organizing ICMPD projects, but also gives German police authorities the right to evaluate any of the Institute’s analyses for their own purposes.

    It is possible that in the future bilateral German projects for monitoring Tunisian maritime borders will also be carried out via the ICMPD. Last year, the German government supplied the local coast guard with equipment for a boat workshop. In the fourth quarter of 2019 alone (http://dipbt.bundestag.de/doc/btd/19/194/1919467.pdf), the Federal Police carried out 14 trainings for the national guard, border police and coast guard, including instruction in operating „control boats“. Tunisia previously received patrol boats from Italy and the USA (https://migration-control.info/en/wiki/tunisia).

    Vessel tracking and coastal surveillance

    It is unclear which company produced and installed the „ISMariS“ surveillance system for Tunisia on behalf of the ICPMD. Similar facilities for tracking and displaying ship movements (#Vessel_Tracking_System) are marketed by all major European defence companies, including #Airbus, #Leonardo in Italy, #Thales in France and #Indra in Spain. However, Italian project management will probably prefer local companies such as Leonardo. The company and its spin-off #e-GEOS have a broad portfolio of maritime surveillance systems (https://www.leonardocompany.com/en/sea/maritime-domain-awareness/coastal-surveillance-systems).

    It is also possible to integrate satellite reconnaissance, but for this the governments must conclude further contracts with the companies. However, „ISMariS“ will not only be installed as a Vessel Tracking System, it should also enable monitoring of the entire coast. Manufacturers promote such #Coastal_Surveillance_Systems as a technology against irregular migration, piracy, terrorism and smuggling. The government in Tunisia has defined „priority coastal areas“ for this purpose, which will be integrated into the maritime surveillance framework.

    Maritime „#Big_Data

    „ISMariS“ is intended to be compatible with the components already in place at the Tunisian authorities, including coastguard command and control systems, #radar, position transponders and receivers, night vision equipment and thermal and optical sensors. Part of the project is a three-year maintenance contract with the company installing the „ISMariS“.

    Perhaps the most important component of „ISMariS“ for the EU is a communication system, which is also included. It is designed to improve „operational cooperation“ between the Tunisian Coast Guard and Navy with Italy and other EU Member States. The project description mentions Frontex and EUROSUR, the pan-European surveillance system of the EU Border Agency, as possible participants. Frontex already monitors the coastal regions off Libya and Tunisia (https://insitu.copernicus.eu/FactSheets/CSS_Border_Surveillance) using #satellites (https://www.europarl.europa.eu/doceo/document/E-8-2018-003212-ASW_EN.html) and an aerial service (https://digit.site36.net/2020/06/26/frontex-air-service-reconnaissance-for-the-so-called-libyan-coast-guar).

    #EUROSUR is now also being upgraded, Frontex is spending 2.6 million Euro (https://ted.europa.eu/udl?uri=TED:NOTICE:109760-2020:TEXT:EN:HTML) on a new application based on artificial intelligence. It is to process so-called „Big Data“, including not only ship movements but also data from ship and port registers, information on ship owners and shipping companies, a multi-year record of previous routes of large ships and other maritime information from public sources on the Internet. The contract is initially concluded for one year and can be extended up to three times.

    Cooperation with Libya

    To connect North African coastguards to EU systems, the EU Commission had started the „#Seahorse_Mediterranean“ project two years after the fall of North African despots. To combat irregular migration, from 2013 onwards Spain, Italy and Malta have trained a total of 141 members of the Libyan coast guard for sea rescue. In this way, „Seahorse Mediterranean“ has complemented similar training measures that Frontex is conducting for the Coastal Police within the framework of the EU mission #EUBAM_Libya and the military mission #EUNAVFOR_MED for the Coast Guard of the Tripolis government.

    The budget for „#Seahorse_Mediterranean“ is indicated by the Commission as 5.5 million Euro (https://www.europarl.europa.eu/doceo/document/E-9-2020-000892-ASW_EN.html), the project was completed in January 2019. According to the German Foreign Office (http://dipbt.bundestag.de/doc/btd/19/196/1919625.pdf), Libya has signed a partnership declaration for participation in a future common communication platform for surveillance of the Mediterranean. Tunisia, Algeria and Egypt are also to be persuaded to participate. So far, however, the governments have preferred unilateral EU support for equipping and training their coastguards and navies, without having to make commitments in projects like „Seahorse“, such as stopping migration and smuggling on the high seas.

    https://digit.site36.net/2020/06/28/eu-pays-for-surveillance-in-gulf-of-tunis

    #Golfe_de_Tunis #surveillance #Méditerranée #asile #migrations #réfugiés #militarisation_des_frontières #surveillance_des_frontières #Tunisie #externalisation #complexe_militaro-industriel #Algérie #Egypte #Suisse #EU #UE #Union_européenne #Trust_Fund #Emergency_Trust_Fund_for_Africa #Allemagne #Italie #gardes-côtes #gardes-côtes_tunisiens #intelligence_artificielle #IA #données #Espagne #Malte #business

    ping @reka @isskein @_kg_ @rhoumour @karine4

    –—

    Ajouté à cette métaliste sur l’externalisation des frontières :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/731749#message765330

    Et celle-ci sur le lien entre développement et contrôles frontaliers :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/733358#message768701

  • Petrolio e migranti. Il « patto libico »

    Decine di navi e depositi per il contrabbando attraverso Malta e i clan siciliani. Business da oltre un miliardo. Ispettori Onu e Ue: a comandare sono i boss del traffico di esseri umani.

    «Oil for food» la chiamavano in Iraq. Export di petrolio in cambio di cibo. Era l’unica eccezione all’embargo. Le milizie libiche hanno cambiato i fattori: «#Oil_for_migrants ». Dovendo rallentare la frequenza dei barconi, hanno ottenuto cospicui “risarcimenti” mentre imbastivano un colossale contrabbando di petrolio. « Oil for migrants ». A tutto il resto pensano i faccendieri maltesi e la mafia siciliana.

    Le ultime tracce della “Libia connection” sono del 20 gennaio. In Sicilia, per questioni di oro nero, sono finiti indagati in 23, tutti vicini ai clan di mafia catanesi. Il 5 dicembre 2019 la Procura di Bologna aveva messo i sigilli a 163mila litri di carburante. Solo due giorni prima i magistrati di Roma avevano arrestato 16 persone e bloccato 4 milioni di litri di gasolio. Abbastanza per fare il pieno a 80mila utilitarie. Secondo la procura di Trento, che aveva chiuso un’analoga inchiesta, nel nostro Paese l’evasione delle imposte negli idrocarburi può arrivare a 10 miliardi di euro. L’equivalente di una legge finanziaria.

    Per venirne a capo bisogna ficcare il naso a Malta, che «rappresenta anche uno snodo per svariati traffici illeciti, come quello dei prodotti petroliferi provenienti dai Paesi interessati da una forte instabilità politica», si legge nell’ultima relazione al parlamento della Direzione investigativa antimafia. L’episodio chiave è del 2017, quando la procura di Catania porta a termine l’operazione “Dirty Oil”, che ha permesso «di scoprire – ricorda sempre la Dia – un traffico di petrolio importato clandestinamente dalla Libia e che, grazie ad una compagnia di trasporto maltese, veniva introdotto sul mercato italiano sfruttando il circuito delle cosiddette pompe bianche». In mezzo, però, c’è l’omicidio di Daphne Caruana Galizia. La reporter maltese era stata eliminata con una bomba il 16 ottobre 2017, due giorni prima della retata che da Catania a Malta avrebbe confermato tutte le sue rivelazioni sui traffici illeciti tra la Libia e l’Europa via La Valletta. Messo alle strette, il governo dell’isola aveva chiesto sanzioni internazionali contro i boss del contrabbando di petrolio. Ma è a questo punto che accade un imprevisto. Uno di quegli inciampi che da solo permette di comprendere quale sia la misura e l’estensione della partita. Ad agosto 2019 il Cremlino, a sorpresa, annuncia di voler porre il veto al provvedimento con cui il Consiglio di Sicurezza Onu si apprestava a disporre il blocco, ovunque nel mondo, dei patrimoni della gang di maltesi, libici e siciliani. Un intrigo internazionale in piena regola. Un anno prima il Dipartimento del Tesoro Usa aveva disposto l’interdizione di tutti gli indagati da ogni attività negli Stati Uniti.

    Tra le persone che Malta, dopo l’uccisione di Caruana Galizia, avrebbe voluto vedere con i sigilli ai conti corrente ci sono l’ex calciatore Darren Debono e i suoi associati, tra i quali l’uomo d’affari Gordon Debono e il libico Fahmi Bin Khalifa. Nomi che tornano spesso. I tre, con il catanese Nicola Orazio Romeo, sono sotto processo perché ritenuti responsabili di un ingente traffico di gasolio sottratto ai giacimenti libici sotto il controllo della milizia Al-Nasr, quella del trafficante-guardacoste Bija e dei fratelli Kachlav. Dallo stabilimento di Zawiyah, il più grande della Libia, praticamente a ridosso del più affollato centro di detenzione ufficiale per migranti affidato dalle autorità ai torturatori che rispondono sempre a Bija, l’oro nero viene sottratto con la complicità della “ Petroleum facility guard”, un corpo di polizia privato incaricato dal governo di proteggere il petrolchimico. Ma a capo delle guardie c’è proprio uno dei fratelli Kachlav. Il porto di Zawyah è assegnato alla “Guardia costiera” che, neanche a dirlo, è comandata sempre da al Milad, nome de guerre “Bija”, nel 2017 arrivato con discrezione in Italia durante il lungo negoziato per fermare le partenze dei migranti.

    A sostenere la connessione tra smercio illegale di idrocarburi, traffico di armi ed esseri umani sono gli esperti delle Nazioni Unite inviati in Libia per investigare. Il gasolio «proviene dalla raffineria di Zawiyah lungo un percorso parallelo alla strada costiera», si legge nell’ultima relazione degli ispettori Onu visionata da Avvenire. Molte foto ritraggono proprio Bija alla guida di gruppi combattenti o impegnato su navi cisterna. Le conclusioni confermano inoltre che l’area di Zuara, dove spadroneggia il clan Dabbashi – a seconda dei casi alleato o in rotta di collisione con i boss di Zawyah – «è stata la principale piattaforma per le esportazioni illecite via mare di prodotti petroliferi raffinati». Nei dintorni ci sono almeno 40 depositi illegali di petrolio. Da questi impianti «il carburante – si legge ancora – viene trasferito in autocisterne più piccole fino al porto di Zuara, dove viene caricato in piccole navi cisterna o pescherecci con serbatoi modificati». A disposizione dei contrabbandieri c’è una flotta ragguardevole: «Circa 70 imbarcazioni, piccole petroliere o pescherecci da traino, sono dedicate esclusivamente a questa attività». Dalle stazioni di pompaggio i trafficanti utilizzano condutture che trasportano il carburante alle navi che sostano «tra 1 e 2 miglia nautiche al largo».

    I nomi dei vascelli sono noti e riportati in diversi documenti confidenziali. Impossibile che in Libia nessuno veda. In totale «esistono circa 20 reti di contrabbando attive, che danno lavoro a circa 500 persone», spiegano gli esperti Onu. Manodopera da aggiungere alle migliaia di libici arruolati dagli stessi gruppi per controllare il territorio, gestire il traffico di esseri umani, combattere per le varie fazioni.

    Le inchieste, però, non fermano il business. Il catanese Romeo, indagato nel 2017 per l’indagine etnea “ Dirty Oil”, in passato era stato ritenuto dagli investigatori in contatto con esponenti della famiglia mafiosa Santapaola–Ercolano. Ipotesi, in attesa di un pronunciamento dei tribunali, sempre respinta dall’interessato. A confermare l’interesse di Cosa nostra siciliana per le petroliere sono arrivati i 23 arresti di gennaio. Tra gli indagati vi sono ancora una volta esponenti dei clan catanesi, stavolta della famiglia Mazzei, tornata ad allearsi proprio con i Santapaola– Ercolano. «Abbiamo riscontrato alcuni collegamenti con personaggi coinvolti nell’indagine Dirty Oil, dove era emersa proprio l’origine libica del petrolio raffinato», ha commentato dopo gli arresti il procuratore aggiunto di Catania, Francesco Puleio. Alcuni degli indagati hanno anche «cercato nuovi canali di fornitura e sono entrati in contatto con l’uomo d’affari maltese Gordon Debono, coinvolto nell’indagine Dirty Oil».

    Il collegamento tra mafia libica e mafia siciliana per il tramite di mediatori della Valletta è confermato da un’altra rivelazione contenuta nel dossier consegnato al Palazzo di Vetro a fine 2019. A proposito della nave “Ruta”, con bandiera dell’Ucraina, sorpresa a svolgere attività di contrabbando petrolifero, gli investigatori Onu scrivono: «Secondo le indagini condotte dal Procuratore di Catania», il vascello è stato coinvolto in operazioni illegali, compreso il trasferimento di carburante ad altre navi, «in particolare la Stella Basbosa e il Sea Master X, entrambi collegati alla rete di contrabbando di “Fahmi Slim” e, secondo quanto riferito, ha scaricato combustibile di contrabbando nei porti italiani in 13 occasioni ». Quello di “Fahmi Slim” altro non è che il nome di battaglia di Fahmi Musa Bin Khalifa, il boss del petrolio di Zuara, in affari con Mohammed Kachlav, il capo in persona della milizia al Nasr di Zawyah.

    A ostacolare il patto tra mafie dovrebbe essere l’operazione navale europea Irini «che ha già dimostrato l’utilità in termini di informazioni raccolte, e per l’effetto deterrenza anche sul contrabbando di petrolio», ha detto nei giorni scorsi il commissario agli affari Esteri Josep Borrel. E chissà se l’aumento del 150% delle partenze sui barconi sia solo una coincidenza o non sia uno degli effetti di «Oil for migrants».

    https://www.avvenire.it/attualita/pagine/petrolio-e-migranti-il-patto-libico
    #pétrole #migrations #Libye #pacte #extractivisme #accord #Malte #Italie #contrebande #mafia #Libia_connection #Dirty_Oil #Daphne_Caruana_Galizia #Darren_Debono #Gordon_Debono #Fahmi_Bin_Khalifa #Nicola_Orazio_Romeo #Al-Nasr #Bija #Kachlav #Zawiyah #Petroleum_facility_guard #gardes-côtes #Dabbashi #Zuara #Zawyah #Romeo #Santapaola–Ercolano #Cosa_nostra #Mazzei #Ruta #Stella_Basbosa #Sea_Master_X #Fahmi_Slim #Fahmi_Musa_Bin_Khalifa #Mohammed_Kachlav #Irini

    –—

    voir aussi :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/849512

    ping @isskein @albertocampiphoto @wizo

  • Appel à l’annulation d’un contrat entre l’#UE et des entreprises israéliennes pour la surveillance des migrants par drones

    Les contrats de l’UE de 59 millions d’euros avec des entreprises militaires israélienne pour s’équiper en drones de guerre afin de surveiller les demandeurs d’asile en mer sont immoraux et d’une légalité douteuse.
    L’achat de #drones_israéliens par l’UE encourage les violations des droits de l’homme en Palestine occupée, tandis que l’utilisation abusive de tout drone pour intercepter les migrants et les demandeurs d’asile entraînerait de graves violations en Méditerranée, a déclaré aujourd’hui Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor dans un communiqué.
    L’UE devrait immédiatement résilier ces #contrats et s’abstenir d’utiliser des drones contre les demandeurs d’asile, en particulier la pratique consistant à renvoyer ces personnes en #Libye, entravant ainsi leur quête de sécurité.

    L’année dernière, l’Agence européenne des garde-frontières et des garde-côtes basée à Varsovie, #Frontex, et l’Agence européenne de sécurité maritime basée à Lisbonne, #EMSA, ont investi plus de 100 millions d’euros dans trois contrats pour des drones sans pilote. De plus, environ 59 millions d’euros des récents contrats de drones de l’UE auraient été accordés à deux sociétés militaires israéliennes : #Elbit_Systems et #Israel_Aerospace_Industries, #IAI.

    L’un des drones que Frontex a obtenu sous contrat est le #Hermes_900 d’Elbit, qui a été expérimenté sur la population mise en cage dans la #bande_de_Gaza assiégée lors de l’#opération_Bordure_protectrice de 2014. Cela montre l’#investissement de l’UE dans des équipements israéliens dont la valeur a été démontrée par son utilisation dans le cadre de l’oppression du peuple palestinien et de l’occupation de son territoire. Ces achats de drones seront perçus comme soutenant et encourageant une telle utilisation expérimentale de la #technologie_militaire par le régime répressif israélien.

    « Il est scandaleux pour l’UE d’acheter des drones à des fabricants de drones israéliens compte tenu des moyens répressifs et illégaux utilisés pour opprimer les Palestiniens vivant sous occupation depuis plus de cinquante ans », a déclaré le professeur Richard Falk, président du conseil d’administration d’Euromed-Monitor.

    Il est également inacceptable et inhumain pour l’UE d’utiliser des drones, quelle que soit la manière dont ils ont été obtenus pour violer les droits fondamentaux des migrants risquant leur vie en mer pour demander l’asile en Europe.

    Les contrats de drones de l’UE soulèvent une autre préoccupation sérieuse car l’opération Sophia ayant pris fin le 31 mars 2020, la prochaine #opération_Irini a l’intention d’utiliser ces drones militaires pour surveiller et fournir des renseignements sur les déplacements des demandeurs d’asile en #mer_Méditerranée, et cela sans fournir de protocoles de sauvetage aux personnes exposées à des dangers mortels en mer. Surtout si l’on considère qu’en 2019 le #taux_de_mortalité des demandeurs d’asile essayant de traverser la Méditerranée a augmenté de façon spectaculaire, passant de 2% en moyenne à 14%.

    L’opération Sophia utilise des navires pour patrouiller en Méditerranée, conformément au droit international, et pour aider les navires en détresse. Par exemple, la Convention des Nations Unies sur le droit de la mer (CNUDM) stipule que tous les navires sont tenus de signaler une rencontre avec un navire en détresse et, en outre, de proposer une assistance, y compris un sauvetage. Étant donné que les drones ne transportent pas d’équipement de sauvetage et ne sont pas régis par la CNUDM, il est nécessaire de s’appuyer sur les orientations du droit international des droits de l’homme et du droit international coutumier pour guider le comportement des gouvernements.

    Euro-Med Monitor craint que le passage imminent de l’UE à l’utilisation de drones plutôt que de navires en mer Méditerranée soit une tentative de contourner le #droit_international et de ne pas respecter les directives de l’UE visant à sauver la vie des personnes isolées en mer en situation critique. Le déploiement de drones, comme proposé, montre la détermination de l’UE à dissuader les demandeurs d’asile de chercher un abri sûr en Europe en facilitant leur capture en mer par les #gardes-côtes_libyens. Cette pratique reviendrait à aider et à encourager la persécution des demandeurs d’asile dans les fameux camps de détention libyens, où les pratiques de torture, d’esclavage et d’abus sexuels sont très répandues.

    En novembre 2019, l’#Italie a confirmé qu’un drone militaire appartenant à son armée s’était écrasé en Libye alors qu’il était en mission pour freiner les passages maritimes des migrants. Cela soulève de sérieuses questions quant à savoir si des opérations de drones similaires sont menées discrètement sous les auspices de l’UE.

    L’UE devrait décourager les violations des droits de l’homme contre les Palestiniens en s’abstenant d’acheter du matériel militaire israélien utilisé dans les territoires palestiniens occupés. Elle devrait plus généralement s’abstenir d’utiliser des drones militaires contre les demandeurs d’asile civils et, au lieu de cela, respecter ses obligations en vertu du droit international en offrant un refuge sûr aux réfugiés.

    Euro-Med Monitor souligne que même en cas d’utilisation de drones, les opérateurs de drones de l’UE sont tenus, en vertu du droit international, de respecter les #droits_fondamentaux à la vie, à la liberté et à la sécurité de tout bateau de migrants en danger qu’ils rencontrent. Les opérateurs sont tenus de signaler immédiatement tout incident aux autorités compétentes et de prendre toutes les mesures nécessaires pour garantir que les opérations de recherche et de sauvetage soient menées au profit des migrants en danger.

    L’UE devrait en outre imposer des mesures de #transparence et de #responsabilité plus strictes sur les pratiques de Frontex, notamment en créant un comité de contrôle indépendant pour enquêter sur toute violation commise et prévenir de futures transgressions. Enfin, l’UE devrait empêcher l’extradition ou l’expulsion des demandeurs d’asile vers la Libye – où leur vie serait gravement menacée – et mettre fin à la pratique des garde-côtes libyens qui consiste à arrêter et capturer des migrants en mer.

    http://www.france-palestine.org/Appel-a-l-annulation-d-un-contrat-entre-l-UE-et-des-entreprises-is
    #Europe #EU #drones #Israël #surveillance #drones #migrations #asile #réfugiés #Méditerranée #frontières #contrôles_frontaliers #militarisation_des_frontières #complexe_militaro-industriel #business #armée #droits_humains #sauvetage

    ping @etraces @reka @nepthys @isskein @karine4

  • Privatized Pushbacks: How Merchant Ships Guard Europe

    To hinder migrants crossing the Mediterranean, European navies stopped rescuing them. Now commercial ships are tasked with saving lives — and returning migrants to war-torn Libya.

    The #Panther, a German-owned merchant ship, is not in the business of sea rescues. But one day a few months ago the Libyan Coast Guard ordered it to divert course, rescue 68 migrants in distress in the Mediterranean and return them to Libya, which is embroiled in civil war.

    The request, which the Panther was required to honor, was at least the third time that day, Jan. 11, that the Libyans had called on a merchant ship to assist migrants.

    The Libyans could easily have alerted a nearby rescue ship run by a Spanish charity. The reason they did not goes to the core of how the European authorities have found a new way to thwart desperate African migrants trying to reach their shores from across the Mediterranean.

    And some maritime lawyers think the new tactic is unlawful.

    Commercial ships like the Panther must follow instructions from official forces, like the Libyan Coast Guard, which works in close cooperation with its Italian counterpart.

    Humanitarian rescue ships, on the other hand, take the migrants to Europe, citing international refugee law, which forbids returning refugees to danger.

    After the Panther arrived in Tripoli, Libyan soldiers boarded, forced the migrants ashore at gunpoint, and drove them to a detention camp in the besieged Libyan capital.

    “We call them privatized pushbacks,” said Charles Heller, the director of Forensic Oceanography, a research group that investigates migrant rights abuses in the Mediterranean. “They occur when merchant ships are used to rescue and bring back migrants to a country in which their lives are at risk — such as Libya.”

    The coronavirus crisis has made arguments about Mediterranean migration policy seem peripheral to the European moment, as governments focus on restricting not just external migration, but also the internal movement of their own citizens.

    But long before the pandemic hit, European leaders were mainly consumed by preventing Mediterranean migration, hoping to avoid a repeat of the 2015 migration crisis. And that approach remains topical, with hundreds of migrants crossing the Mediterranean already this week, either oblivious to or unconcerned by the coronavirus outbreak.

    Since the 2015 crisis, European governments have frequently stopped the nongovernmental rescue organizations that patrol the southern Mediterranean — like the Spanish ship, Open Arms — from taking rescued migrants to European ports.

    European navies and coast guards have also largely withdrawn from the area, placing the Libyan Coast Guard in charge of search-and-rescue.

    Now Europe has a new proxy: privately-owned commercial ships. And their deployment is contested by migrant rights watchdogs.

    Although a 1979 international convention on search and rescue requires merchant ships to obey orders from a country’s Coast Guard forces, the agreement also does not permit those forces to pick and choose who helps during emergencies, as Libya’s did.

    “That’s a blatantly illegal policy,” said Dr. Itamar Mann, an expert on maritime law at the University of Haifa in Israel.

    But commercial shipowners say that after saving migrants from drowning, their legal duty is to do as they are told by the Libyan Coast Guard, as decreed by a separate convention on search-and-rescue signed in 1979.

    “This is in accordance with international law,” said John Stawpert, a representative for the International Chamber of Shipping, a global shipowners’ association.

    Between 2011 and 2018, only one commercial ship returned migrants to Libya, according to research by Forensic Oceanography.

    Since 2018 there have been about 30 such returns, involving roughly 1,800 migrants, in which merchant ships have either returned migrants to Libyan ports or transferred them to Libyan Coast Guard vessels, according to data collated by The New York Times and Forensic Oceanography.

    The real number is likely to be higher.

    During the height of the crisis, ships like the Panther would have transferred rescued migrants to the Italian Coast Guard or humanitarian organizations.

    But in 2017, Italy gradually relinquished responsibility for search-and-rescue coordination in the southern Mediterranean to the Libyan Coast Guard, neatly absolving Italy of the legal obligation to rescue and admit every migrant entering international waters north of Libya.

    The next year, merchant ship crews began to return migrants to the Libyan authorities, which had been persuaded to take on the role by the promise of more equipment and international legitimacy.

    The Panther ordinarily supplies a cluster of oil rigs roughly 50 miles north of Libya. On Jan. 11, the Libyan Coast Guard engaged the Panther instead of the Open Arms because only the Panther’s owner had agreed to abide by a restrictive set of regulations drawn up by the Libyan Coast Guard.

    “All the ships who work in search-and-rescue have to follow this code of conduct,” Commodore Masoud Abdal Samad, the Libyan Coast Guard commander, said by telephone.

    Consequently, only the Panther was considered an “acceptable” rescue vessel on Jan. 11, he added.

    The pattern of using commercial ships has increased in recent months, said Anabel Montes Mier, the head of mission aboard the Open Arms that day.

    “These commercial ships follow the orders,” Ms. Montes Mier said. “We refuse to return people to places that are unsafe.”

    Rights groups fear Libya’s refusal to work with humanitarian rescuers has put more migrant lives in danger at sea.

    The number of people reaching Italy has dropped by more than 90 percent since 2017, while the death-toll in the southern Mediterranean has roughly halved in the same period.

    But the number of people drowning, as a proportion of those trying to cross, has sharply risen — from roughly 1 in 50 in 2017, to 1 in 20 in 2019, according to data compiled by the International Organization for Migration.

    The forcible return of the migrants, a practice known as refoulement, has also put many of them in lethal danger on land, because of Libya’s civil war.

    In February, an airstrike hit the dock used by the Panther to disembark migrants in Tripoli. Once ashore, migrants are imprisoned in detention camps run by an assortment of militias. Often, these lie in areas under attack. Last July, one camp was bombed, killing 53 prisoners.

    In a lawless land that provides few rights to foreign laborers, migrants are often tortured, raped, held for ransom, or treated as modern-day slaves.

    Steven, a 20-year-old from South Sudan, described being shot and beaten by Libyan officials after he was returned to Libya by a commercial ship in November 2018.

    “Why did they rescue us and take us back to Libya?” said Steven, who asked to be identified only by his first name for fear of legal repercussions. “It was better to die in the ship.”

    The question of culpability is complex.

    Since 1951, international refugee law has stipulated that migrants should not be returned without due process to the countries they fled. But in cases involving merchant ships, migrants are often rescued in international waters, before reaching Europe’s maritime borders.

    The authorities in Italy and European Union say they should therefore be returned to Libya, since Libya coordinates search-and-rescue operations in these international waters.

    Critics argue that Italy and its European allies still bear responsibility. In the view of humanitarian monitoring groups, the Europeans never relinquished their role in orchestrating search-and-rescue missions — undermining the rationale for surrendering control to Libya.

    During at least part of 2019, Italian navy officers aboard an Italian vessel docked in Tripoli’s harbor oversaw rescues on behalf of the Libyans, according to documents published during a court case in Sicily last March.

    “They coordinated the rescue activities,” Matteo Salvini, Italy’s interior minister at the time, said in an interview with the Times.

    In one instance in November 2018, logbooks show how Italian Coast Guard officers contacted a cargo ship, the Nivin, “on behalf of” their Libyan counterparts. But the logs also reveal that the Nivin’s captain could only reach the Libyan authorities by contacting the Italian Coast Guard.

    And though European navies have withdrawn from the area, their planes still direct the Libyan Coast Guard to migrant vessels, recordings published by The Guardian show.

    In March last year, one such military plane ordered a merchant vessel to return a boatload of rescued migrants to Tripoli, without any intervention from the Libyan Coast Guard, according to recordings reported in The Atavist, a digital magazine.

    In one of several recent phone interviews, Commodore Abdal Samad of the Libyan Coast Guard said an Italian ship docked in Tripoli, once used as a search-and-rescue control center, no longer directs Libyan Coast Guard activity.

    But Libyan Coast Guard crews still sometimes use the Italian ship’s equipment to communicate with merchant vessels, Commodore Abdal Samad conceded, particularly when their radios break down.

    One of the most recent instances, he said, was the weekend in January when the Panther rescued 68 migrants from the southern Mediterranean.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/20/world/europe/mediterranean-libya-migrants-europe.html

    #push-backs #refoulement #refoulements #bateaux_marchands #privatisation #externalisation #Méditerranée #Libye #Mer_Méditerranée #refoulements_privatisés #sauvetage #privatized_pushbacks #gardes-côtes_libyens

    ping @reka

  • Comment l’Europe contrôle ses frontières en #Tunisie ?

    Entre les multiples programmes de coopération, les accords bilatéraux, les #équipements fournis aux #gardes-côtes, les pays européens et l’Union européenne investissent des millions d’euros en Tunisie pour la migration. Sous couvert de coopération mutuelle et de “#promotion_de_la mobilité”, la priorité des programmes migratoires européens est avant tout l’externalisation des frontières. En clair.

    À la fois pays de transit et pays de départ, nœud dans la région méditerranéenne, la Tunisie est un partenaire privilégié de l’Europe dans le cadre de ses #politiques_migratoires. L’Union européenne ou les États qui la composent -Allemagne, France, Italie, Belgique, etc.- interviennent de multiples manières en Tunisie pour servir leurs intérêts de protéger leurs frontières et lutter contre l’immigration irrégulière.

    Depuis des années, de multiples accords pour réadmettre les Tunisien·nes expulsé·es d’Europe ou encore financer du matériel aux #gardes-côtes_tunisiens sont ainsi signés, notamment avec l’#Italie ou encore avec la #Belgique. En plus de ces #partenariats_bilatéraux, l’#Union_européenne utilise ses fonds dédiés à la migration pour financer de nombreux programmes en Tunisie dans le cadre du “#partenariat_pour_la_mobilité”. Dans les faits, ces programmes servent avant tout à empêcher les gens de partir et les pousser à rester chez eux.

    L’ensemble de ces programmes mis en place avec les États européens et l’UE sont nombreux et difficiles à retracer. Dans d’autres pays, notamment au Nigeria, des journalistes ont essayé de compiler l’ensemble de ces flux financiers européens pour la migration. Dans leur article, Ils et elle soulignent la difficulté, voire l’impossibilité de véritablement comprendre tous les fonds, programmes et acteurs de ces financements.

    “C’est profondément préoccupant”, écrivent Maite Vermeulen, Ajibola Amzat et Giacomo Zandonini. “Bien que l’Europe maintienne un semblant de transparence, il est pratiquement impossible dans les faits de tenir l’UE et ses États membres responsables de leurs dépenses pour la migration, et encore moins d’évaluer leur efficacité.”

    En Tunisie, où les investissements restent moins importants que dans d’autres pays de la région comme en Libye, il a été possible d’obtenir un résumé, fourni par la Délégation de l’Union européenne, des programmes financés par l’UE et liés à la migration. Depuis 2016, cela se traduit par l’investissement de près de 58 millions d’euros à travers trois différents fonds : le #FFU (#Fonds_Fiduciaire_d’Urgence) de la Valette, l’#AMIF (Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund) et l’Instrument européen de voisinage (enveloppe régionale).

    Mais il est à noter que ces informations ne prennent pas en compte les autres investissements d’#aide_au_développement ou de soutien à la #lutte_antiterroriste dont les programmes peuvent également concerner la migration. Depuis 2011, au niveau bilatéral, l’Union européenne a ainsi investi 2,5 billions d’euros en Tunisie, toutes thématiques confondues.

    L’écrasante majorité de ces financements de l’UE - 54 200 000 euros - proviennent du #Fond_fiduciaire_d'urgence_pour_l'Afrique. Lancé en 2015, lors du #sommet_de_la_Valette, ce FFU a été créé “en faveur de la stabilité et de la lutte contre les #causes_profondes de la migration irrégulière et du phénomène des personnes déplacées en Afrique” à hauteur de 2 milliards d’euros pour toute la région.

    Ce financement a été pointé du doigt par des associations de droits humains comme Oxfam qui souligne “qu’une partie considérable de ses fonds est investie dans des mesures de #sécurité et de #gestion_des_frontières.”

    “Ces résultats montrent que l’approche des bailleurs de fonds européens vis-à-vis de la gestion des migrations est bien plus axée sur des objectifs de #confinement et de #contrôle. Cette approche est loin de l’engagement qu’ils ont pris (...) de ‘promouvoir des canaux réguliers de migration et de mobilité au départ des pays d’Europe et d’Afrique et entre ceux-ci’ (...) ou de ‘Faciliter la migration et la mobilité de façon ordonnée, sans danger, régulière et responsable’”, détaille plus loin le rapport.

    Surveiller les frontières

    Parmi la vingtaine de projets financés par l’UE, la sécurité des frontières occupe une place prépondérante. Le “#Programme_de_gestion_des_frontières_au_Maghreb” (#BMP_Maghreb) est, de loin, le plus coûteux. Pour fournir de l’équipement et des formations aux gardes-côtes tunisiens, l’UE investit 20 millions d’euros, près d’un tiers du budget en question.

    Le projet BMP Maghreb a un objectif clairement défini : protéger, surveiller et contrôler les #frontières_maritimes dans le but de réduire l’immigration irrégulière. Par exemple, trois chambres d’opération ainsi qu’un système pilote de #surveillance_maritime (#ISmariS) ont été fournis à la garde nationale tunisienne. En collaboration avec le ministère de l’Intérieur et ses différents corps - garde nationale, douane, etc. -, ce programme est géré par l’#ICMPD (#Centre_international_pour_le_développement_des_politiques_migratoires).

    “Le BMP Maghreb est mis en place au #Maroc et en Tunisie. C’est essentiellement de l’acquisition de matériel : matériel informatique, de transmission demandé par l’Etat tunisien”, détaille Donya Smida de l’ICMPD. “On a fait d’abord une première analyse des besoins, qui est complétée ensuite par les autorités tunisiennes”.

    Cette fourniture de matériel s’ajoute à des #formations dispensées par des #experts_techniques, encore une fois coordonnées par l’ICMPD. Cette organisation internationale se présente comme spécialisée dans le “renforcement de capacités” dans le domaine de la politique migratoire, “loin des débat émotionnels et politisés”.

    "Cette posture est symptomatique d’un glissement sémantique plus général. Traiter la migration comme un sujet politique serait dangereux, alors on préfère la “gérer” comme un sujet purement technique. In fine, la ’gestionnaliser’ revient surtout à dépolitiser la question migratoire", commente #Camille_Cassarini, chercheur sur les migrations subsahariennes en Tunisie. “L’ICMPD, ce sont des ‘techniciens’ de la gestion des frontières. Ils dispensent des formations aux États grâce à un réseau d’experts avec un maître-mot : #neutralité politique et idéologique et #soutien_technique."

    En plus de ce programme, la Tunisie bénéficie d’autres fonds et reçoit aussi du matériel pour veiller à la sécurité des frontières. Certains s’inscrivent dans d’autres projets financés par l’UE, comme dans le cadre de la #lutte_antiterroriste.

    Il faut aussi ajouter à cela les équipements fournis individuellement par les pays européens dans le cadre de leurs #accords_bilatéraux. En ce qui concerne la protection des frontières, on peut citer l’exemple de l’Italie qui a fourni une douzaine de bateaux à la Tunisie en 2011. En 2017, l’Italie a également soutenu la Tunisie à travers un projet de modernisation de bateaux de patrouille fournis à la garde nationale tunisienne pour environ 12 millions d’euros.

    L’#Allemagne est aussi un investisseur de plus en plus important, surtout en ce qui concerne les frontières terrestres. Entre 2015 et 2016, elle a contribué à la création d’un centre régional pour la garde nationale et la police des frontières. A la frontière tuniso-libyenne, elle fournit aussi des outils de surveillance électronique tels que des caméras thermiques, des paires de jumelles nocturnes, etc…

    L’opacité des #accords_bilatéraux

    De nombreux pays européens - Allemagne, Italie, #France, Belgique, #Autriche, etc. - coopèrent ainsi avec la Tunisie en concluant de nombreux accords sur la migration. Une grande partie de cette coopération concerne la #réadmission des expulsé·es tunisien·nes. Avec l’Italie, quatre accords ont ainsi été signés en ce sens entre 1998 et 2011. D’après le FTDES* (Forum tunisien des droits économiques et sociaux), c’est dans le cadre de ce dernier accord que la Tunisie accueillerait deux avions par semaine à l’aéroport d’Enfidha de Tunisien·nes expulsé·es depuis Palerme.

    “Ces accords jouent beaucoup sur le caractère réciproque mais dans les faits, il y a un rapport inégal et asymétrique. En termes de réadmission, il est évident que la majorité des #expulsions concernent les Tunisiens en Europe”, commente Jean-Pierre Cassarino, chercheur et spécialiste des systèmes de réadmission.

    En pratique, la Tunisie ne montre pas toujours une volonté politique d’appliquer les accords en question. Plusieurs pays européens se plaignent de la lenteur des procédures de réadmissions de l’Etat tunisien avec qui “les intérêts ne sont pas vraiment convergents”.

    Malgré cela, du côté tunisien, signer ces accords est un moyen de consolider des #alliances. “C’est un moyen d’apparaître comme un partenaire fiable et stable notamment dans la lutte contre l’extrémisme religieux, l’immigration irrégulière ou encore la protection extérieure des frontières européennes, devenus des thèmes prioritaires depuis environ la moitié des années 2000”, explique Jean-Pierre Cassarino.

    Toujours selon les chercheurs, depuis les années 90, ces accords bilatéraux seraient devenus de plus en plus informels pour éviter de longues ratifications au niveau bilatéral les rendant par conséquent, plus opaques.

    Le #soft_power : nouvel outil d’externalisation

    Tous ces exemples montrent à quel point la question de la protection des frontières et de la #lutte_contre_l’immigration_irrégulière sont au cœur des politiques européennes. Une étude de la direction générale des politiques externes du Parlement européen élaborée en 2016 souligne comment l’UE “a tendance à appuyer ses propres intérêts dans les accords, comme c’est le cas pour les sujets liés à l’immigration.” en Tunisie.

    Le rapport pointe du doigt la contradiction entre le discours de l’UE qui, depuis 2011, insiste sur sa volonté de soutenir la Tunisie dans sa #transition_démocratique, notamment dans le domaine migratoire, tandis qu’en pratique, elle reste focalisée sur le volet sécuritaire.

    “La coopération en matière de sécurité demeure fortement centrée sur le contrôle des flux de migration et la lutte contre le terrorisme” alors même que “la rhétorique de l’UE en matière de questions de sécurité (...) a évolué en un discours plus large sur l’importance de la consolidation de l’État de droit et de la garantie de la protection des droits et des libertés acquis grâce à la révolution.”, détaille le rapport.

    Mais même si ces projets ont moins de poids en termes financiers, l’UE met en place de nombreux programmes visant à “développer des initiatives socio-économiques au niveau local”, “ mobiliser la diaspora” ou encore “sensibiliser sur les risques liés à la migration irrégulière”. La priorité est de dissuader en amont les potentiel·les candidat·es à l’immigration irrégulière, au travers de l’appui institutionnel, des #campagnes de #sensibilisation...

    L’#appui_institutionnel, présenté comme une priorité par l’UE, constitue ainsi le deuxième domaine d’investissement avec près de 15% des fonds.

    Houda Ben Jeddou, responsable de la coopération internationale en matière de migration à la DGCIM du ministère des Affaires sociales, explique que le projet #ProgreSMigration, créé en 2016 avec un financement à hauteur de 12,8 millions d’euros, permet de mettre en place “ des ateliers de formations”, “des dispositifs d’aides au retour” ou encore “des enquêtes statistiques sur la migration en Tunisie”.

    Ce projet est en partenariat avec des acteurs étatiques tunisiens comme le ministère des Affaires Sociales, l’observatoire national des migrations (ONM) ou encore l’Institut national de statistiques (INS). L’un des volets prioritaires est de “soutenir la #Stratégie_nationale_migratoire_tunisienne”. Pour autant, ce type de projet ne constitue pas une priorité pour les autorités tunisiennes et cette stratégie n’a toujours pas vu le jour.

    Houda Ben Jeddou explique avoir déposé un projet à la présidence en 2018, attendant qu’elle soit validée. "Il n’y a pas de volonté politique de mettre ce dossier en priorité”, reconnaît-elle.

    Pour Camille Cassarini, ce blocage est assez révélateur de l’absence d’une politique cohérente en Tunisie. “Cela en dit long sur les stratégies de contournement que met en place l’État tunisien en refusant de faire avancer le sujet d’un point de vue politique. Malgré les investissements européens pour pousser la Tunisie à avoir une politique migratoire correspondant à ses standards, on voit que les agendas ne sont pas les mêmes à ce niveau”.

    Changer la vision des migrations

    Pour mettre en place tous ces programmes, en plus des partenariats étatiques avec la Tunisie, l’Europe travaille en étroite collaboration avec les organisations internationales telles que l’#OIM (Organisation internationale pour les migrations), l’ICMPD et le #UNHCR (Haut Commissariat des Nations unies pour les réfugiés), les agences de développement européennes implantées sur le territoire - #GiZ, #Expertise_France, #AfD - ainsi que la société civile tunisienne.

    Dans ses travaux, Camille Cassarini montre que les acteurs sécuritaires sont progressivement assistés par des acteurs humanitaires qui s’occupent de mener une politique gestionnaire de la migration, cohérente avec les stratégies sécuritaires. “Le rôle de ces organisations internationales, type OIM, ICMPD, etc., c’est principalement d’effectuer un transfert de normes et pratiques qui correspondent à des dispositifs de #contrôle_migratoire que les Etats européens ne peuvent pas mettre directement en oeuvre”, explique-t-il.

    Contactée à plusieurs reprises par Inkyfada, la Délégation de l’Union européenne en Tunisie a répondu en fournissant le document détaillant leurs projets dans le cadre de leur partenariat de mobilité avec la Tunisie. Elle n’a pas souhaité donner suite aux demandes d’entretiens.

    En finançant ces organisations, les Etats européens ont d’autant plus de poids dans leur orientation politique, affirme encore le chercheur en donnant l’exemple de l’OIM, une des principales organisations actives en Tunisie dans ce domaine. “De par leurs réseaux, ces organisations sont devenues des acteurs incontournables. En Tunisie, elles occupent un espace organisationnel qui n’est pas occupé par l’Etat tunisien. Ça arrange plus ou moins tout le monde : les Etats européens ont des acteurs qui véhiculent leur vision des migrations et l’État tunisien a un acteur qui s’en occupe à sa place”.

    “Dans notre langage académique, on les appelle des #acteurs_épistémologiques”, ajoute Jean-Pierre Cassarino. A travers leur langage et l’étendue de leur réseau, ces organisations arrivent à imposer une certaine vision de la gestion des migrations en Tunisie. “Il n’y a qu’à voir le #lexique de la migration publié sur le site de l’Observatoire national [tunisien] des migrations : c’est une copie de celui de l’OIM”, continue-t-il.

    Contactée également par Inkyfada, l’OIM n’a pas donné suite à nos demandes d’entretien.

    Camille Cassarini donne aussi l’exemple des “#retours_volontaires”. L’OIM ou encore l’Office français de l’immigration (OFII) affirment que ces programmes permettent “la réinsertion sociale et économique des migrants de retour de façon à garantir la #dignité des personnes”. “Dans la réalité, la plupart des retours sont très mal ou pas suivis. On les renvoie au pays sans ressource et on renforce par là leur #précarité_économique et leur #vulnérabilité", affirme-t-il. “Et tous ces mots-clés euphémisent la réalité d’une coopération et de programmes avant tout basé sur le contrôle migratoire”.

    Bien que l’OIM existe depuis près de 20 ans en Tunisie, Camille Cassarini explique que ce système s’est surtout mis en place après la Révolution, notamment avec la société civile. “La singularité de la Tunisie, c’est sa transition démocratique : l’UE a dû adapter sa politique migratoire à ce changement politique et cela est passé notamment par la promotion de la société civile”.

    Dans leur ouvrage à paraître “Externaliser la gouvernance migratoire à travers la société tunisienne : le cas de la Tunisie” [Externalising Migration Governance through Civil Society : Tunisia as a Case Study], Sabine Didi et Caterina Giusa expliquent comment les programmes européens et les #organisations_internationales ont été implantées à travers la #société_civile.

    “Dans le cas des projets liés à la migration, le rôle déterminant de la société civile apparaît au niveau micro, en tant qu’intermédiaire entre les organisations chargées de la mise en œuvre et les différents publics catégorisés et identifiés comme des ‘#migrants_de_retour’, ‘membres de la diaspora’, ou ‘candidats potentiels à la migration irrégulière’", explique Caterina Giusa dans cet ouvrage, “L’intérêt d’inclure et et de travailler avec la société civile est de ‘faire avaler la pilule’ [aux populations locales]”.

    “Pour résumer, tous ces projets ont pour but de faire en sorte que les acteurs tunisiens aient une grille de lecture du phénomène migratoire qui correspondent aux intérêts de l’Union européenne. Et concrètement, ce qui se dessine derrière cette vision “gestionnaire”, c’est surtout une #injonction_à_l’immobilité”, termine Camille Cassarini.

    https://inkyfada.com/fr/2020/03/20/financements-ue-tunisie-migration
    #externalisation #asile #migrations #frontières #Tunisie #EU #UE #Europe #contrôles_frontaliers #politique_de_voisinage #dissuasion #IOM #HCR #immobilité

    Ajouté à la métaliste sur l’externalisation des frontières :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/731749#message765330

    Et celle sur la conditionnalité de l’aide au développement :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/733358#message768701

    ping @karine4 @isskein @_kg_

  • Migrants : des #enregistrements attestent de la #collaboration entre #UE et #gardes-côtes_libyens

    Pour la première fois, des conversations captées au-dessus de la Méditerranée illustrent la #coopération cynique entre les États européens et Tripoli, destinée à bloquer les traversées de migrants. Obtenues par The Guardian et le collectif The Migration Newsroom, dont Mediapart est partenaire, ces enregistrements de 2019 font entendre les conséquences, en pleine mer, d’une politique qui interroge jusqu’au patron de Frontex, d’après des courriers confidentiels.

    https://www.mediapart.fr/journal/international/120320/migrants-des-enregistrements-attestent-de-la-collaboration-entre-ue-et-gar
    #EU #Frontex #union_européenne #frontières #asile #migrations #réfugiés #Libye #externalisation

    Ajouté à cette métaliste sur l’externalisation, et plus précisément avec la Libye :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/731749#message765324

  • En #Libye, les oubliés

    #Michaël_Neuman a passé une dizaine de jours en Libye, auprès des équipes de Médecins Sans Frontières qui travaillent notamment dans des #centres_de_détention pour migrants. De son séjour, il ramène les impressions suivantes qui illustrent le caractère lugubre de la situation des personnes qui y sont retenues, pour des mois, des années, et celle plus difficile encore de toutes celles sujets aux #enlèvements et aux #tortures.

    La saison est aux départs. Les embarcations de fortune prennent la mer à un rythme soutenu transportant à leur bord hommes, femmes et enfants. Depuis le début de l’année, 2300 personnes sont parvenues en Europe, plus de 2000 ont été interceptées et ramenées en Libye, par les garde-côtes, formés et financés par les Européens. Les uns avaient dès leur départ le projet de rejoindre l’Europe, les autres ont fait ce choix après avoir échoué dans les réseaux de trafic d’êtres humains, soumis aux tortures et privations. Les trajectoires se mêlent, les raisons des départs des pays d’origine ne sont souvent pas univoques. En ce mois de février 2020, ils sont nombreux à tenter leur chance. Ils partent de Tripoli, de Khoms, de Sabrata… villes où se mêlent conflits, intérêts d’affaires, tribaux, semblants d’Etat faisant mine de fonctionner, corruption. Les Libyens ne sont pas épargnés par le désordre ou les épisodes de guerre. Pourtant, ce sont les apparences de vie normale qui frappent le visiteur. Les marchés de fruits et légumes, comme les bouchons qui encombrent les rues de Tripoli en témoignent  : la ville a gonflé au rythme des arrivées de déplacés originaires des quartiers touchés par la guerre d’attrition dont le pays est le théâtre entre le gouvernement intérimaire libyen qui règne encore sur Tripoli et une partie du littoral ouest et le LNA, du Maréchal Haftar, qui contrôle une grande partie du pays. Puissances internationales – Italie, France, Russie, Turquie, Emirats Arabes Unis – sont rentrées progressivement dans le jeu, transformant la Libye en poudrière dont chaque coup de semonce de l’un des belligérants semble annoncer une prochaine déflagration d’ampleur. Erdogan et Poutine se faisant face, le pouls du conflit se prend aujourd’hui autant à Idlib en Syrie qu’à Tripoli.

    C’est dans ce pays en guerre que l’Union européenne déploie sa politique de soutien aux interceptions et aux retours des ‘migrants’. Tout y passe  : financement et formation des gardes côtes-libyens, délégation du sauvetage aux navires commerciaux, intimidation des bateaux de sauvetage des ONG, suspension de l’Opération Sophia. Mais rien n’y fait  : ni les bombardements sur le port et l’aéroport de Tripoli, ni les tirs de roquettes sur des centres de détention situés à proximité d’installation militaire, pas davantage que les témoignages produits sur les exécrables conditions de vie qui prévalent dans les centres de détention, les détournements de financements internationaux, ou sur la précarité extrême des migrants résidant en ville n’ébranlent les certitudes européennes. L’hypocrisie règne  : l’Union européenne affirme être contre la détention tout en la nourrissant par l’entretien du dispositif libyen d’interception  ; le Haut-Commissariat des Nations unies pour les Réfugiés condamne les interceptions sans jamais évoquer la responsabilité des Européens.

    Onze centres de détention sont placés sous la responsabilité de la Direction chargée de l’immigration irrégulière libyenne (la DCIM). La liste évolue régulièrement sans que l’on sache toujours pourquoi, ni si la disparition d’un centre signifie véritablement qu’il a été vidé de ses détenus, ou qu’ils y résident encore sous un régime informel et sans doute plus violent encore. Une fois dans ces centres, les détenus ne savent jamais quand ils pourront en sortir  : certains s’en échappent, d’autres parviennent à acheter leur sortie, beaucoup y pourrissent des mois voire des années. L’attente y est physiquement et psychologiquement dévastatrice. C’est ainsi le lot des détenus de Dar El Jebel, près de Zintan, au cœur des montagnes Nafusa, loin et oubliés de tous : la plupart, des Erythréens, y sont depuis deux ans, parfois plus.

    La nourriture est insuffisante, les cellules, d’où les migrants ne sortent parfois que très peu, sont sombres et très froides ou très chaudes. Les journées sont parfois rythmées par les cliquetis des serrures et des barreaux. Dans la nuit du samedi 29 février au dimanche 1er mars 2020, une dizaine de jours après mon retour, un incendie sans doute accidentel à l’intérieur du centre de détention de Dar El Jebel a coûté la vie à un jeune homme érythréen.

    Nous pouvons certes témoigner que le travail entamé dans ces centres, l’attention portée à l’amélioration des conditions de vie, les consultations médicales, l’apport de compléments alimentaires, mais aussi et peut-être surtout la présence physique, visible, régulière ont contribué à les humaniser, voire à y limiter la violence qui s’y déploie. Pour autant, nous savons que tout gain est précaire, susceptible d’être mis à mal par un changement d’équilibre local, la rotation des gardes, la confiance qui se gagne et se perd, les services que nous rendons. Il n’est pas rare que les directeurs de centre expliquent que femmes et enfants n’ont rien à faire dans ces endroits, pas rare non plus qu’ils infligent des punitions sévères à ceux qui auraient tenté de s’échapper  ; certains affament leurs détenus, d’autres les libèrent lorsque la compagnie chargée de fournir les repas interrompt ses services faute de voir ses factures réglées. Il est probable que si les portes de certains centres de détention venaient à s’ouvrir, nombreux sont des détenus qui décideraient d’y rester, préférant à l’incertitude de l’extérieur leur précarité connue. Cela, beaucoup le disent à nos équipes. Dans ce pays fragmenté, les dynamiques et enjeux politiques locaux l’emportent. Ce qu’on apprend vite, en Libye, c’est l’impossibilité de généraliser les situations.

    Nous savons aussi que nous n’avons aucune vocation à devenir le service de santé d’un système de détention arbitraire  : il faut que ces gens sortent. Des hommes le plus souvent, mais aussi des femmes et des enfants, parfois tout petits, parfois nés en détention, parfois nés de viols. L’exposition à la violence, la perméabilité aux milices, aux trafiquants, la possibilité pour les détenus de travailler et de gagner un peu d’argent varient considérablement d’un centre à l’autre. Il en est aussi de leur accès pour les organisations humanitaires.

    Mais nous savons surtout que les centres de détention officiels n’abritent que 2000, 3000 des migrants en danger présents en Libye. Et les autres alors  ? Beaucoup travaillent, et assument une précarité qui est le lot, bien sûr à des degrés divers, de nombreux immigrés dans le monde, de Dubaï à Paris, de Khartoum à Bogota. Mais quelques dizaines de milliers d’autres, soit par malchance, soit parce qu’ils n’ont aucun projet de vie en Libye et recourent massivement aux services peu fiables de trafiquants risquent gros  : les enlèvements bien sûr, kidnappings contre rançons qui s’accompagnent de tortures et de sévices. Certains de ces «  migrants  », entre 45 000 et 50 000, sont reconnus «  réfugiés ou des demandeurs d’asiles  » par le Haut-Commissariat pour les réfugiés : ils sont Erythréens, Soudanais, Somaliens pour la plupart. De très nombreux autres, migrants économiques dit-on, sont Nigérians, Maliens, Marocains, Guinéens, Bangladeshis, etc. Ils sont plus seuls encore.

    Pour les premiers, un maigre espoir de relocalisation subsiste  : l’année dernière, le HCR fut en mesure d’organiser le départ de 2400 personnes vers le Niger et le Rwanda, où elles ont été placées encore quelques mois en situation d’attente avant qu’un pays, le plus souvent européen, les accepte. A ce rythme donc, il faudrait 20 ans pour les évacuer en totalité – et c’est sans compter les arrivées nouvelles. D’autant plus que le programme de ‘réinstallation’ cible en priorité les personnes identifiées comme vulnérables, à savoir femmes, enfants, malades. Les hommes adultes, seuls – la grande majorité des Erythréens par exemple – ont peu de chance de faire partie des rares personnes sélectionnées. Or très lourdement endettés et craignant légitimement pour leur sécurité dans leur pays d’origine, ils ne rentreront en aucun cas ; ayant perdu l’espoir que le Haut-Commissariat pour les réfugiés les fassent sortir de là, leur seule perspective réside dans une dangereuse et improbable traversée de la Méditerranée.

    Faute de lieux protégés, lorsqu’ils sont extraits des centres de détention par le HCR, ils sont envoyés en ville, à Tripoli surtout, devenant des ‘réfugiés urbains’ bénéficiant d’un paquet d’aide minimal, délivré en une fois et dont on peine à voir la protection qu’il garantit à qui que ce soit. Dans ces lieux, les migrants restent à la merci des trafiquants et des violences, comme ce fut le cas pour deux Erythréens en janvier dernier. Ceux-là avaient pourtant et pour un temps, été placés sous la protection du HCR au sein du Gathering and Departure Facility. Fin 2018, le HCR avait obtenu l’ouverture à Tripoli de ce centre cogéré avec les autorités libyennes et initialement destiné à faciliter l’évacuation des demandeurs d’asiles vers des pays tiers. Prévu à l’origine pour accueillir 1000 personnes, il n’aura pas résisté plus d’un an au conflit qui a embrasé la capitale en avril 2019 et à la proximité de milices combattantes.

    D’ailleurs, certains d’entre eux préfèrent la certitude de la précarité des centres de détention à l’incertitude plus inquiétante encore de la résidence en milieu ouvert  : c’est ainsi qu’à intervalles réguliers, nous sommes témoins de ces retours. En janvier, quatre femmes somalies, sommées de libérer le GDF en janvier, ont fait le choix de rejoindre en taxi leurs maris détenus à Dar El Jebel, dont elles avaient été séparées par le HCR qui ne reconnaissaient pas la légalité des couples. Les promesses d’évacuation étant virtuelles, elles sont en plus confrontées à une absurdité supplémentaire  : une personne enregistrée par le HCR ne pourra bénéficier du système de rapatriement volontaire de l’Organisation Internationale des Migrations quand bien même elle le souhaiterait.

    Pour les seconds, non protégés par le HCR, l’horizon n’est pas plus lumineux : d’accès à l’Europe, il ne peut en être question qu’au prix, là encore, d’une dangereuse traversée. L’alternative est le retour au pays, promue et organisée par l’Organisation internationale des Migrations et vécue comme une défaite souvent indépassable. De tels retours, l’OIM en a organisé plus de 40 000 depuis 2016. En 2020, ils seront probablement environ 10 000 à saisir l’occasion d’un «  départ volontaire  », dont on mesure à chaque instant l’absurdité de la qualification. Au moins, ceux-là auront-ils mis leur expérience libyenne derrière eux.

    La situation des migrants en Libye est à la fois banale et exceptionnelle. Exceptionnelle en raison de l’intense violence à laquelle ils sont souvent confrontés, du moins pour un grand nombre d’entre eux - la violence des trafiquants et des ravisseurs, la violence du risque de mourir en mer, la violence de la guerre. Mais elle est aussi banale, de manière terrifiante : la différence entre un Érythréen vivant parmi des rats sous le périphérique parisien ou dans un centre de détention à Khoms n’est pas si grande. Leur expérience de la migration est incroyablement violente, leur situation précaire et dangereuse. La situation du Darfouri à Agadez n’est pas bien meilleure, ni celle d’un Afghan de Samos, en Grèce. Il est difficile de ne pas voir cette population, incapable de bouger dans le monde de la mobilité, comme la plus indésirable parmi les indésirables. Ce sont les oubliés.

    https://www.msf-crash.org/index.php/fr/blog/camps-refugies-deplaces/en-libye-les-oublies
    #rapport_d'observation #torture #détention #gardes-côtes_libyens #hypocrisie #UE #EU #Union_européenne #responsabilité #Direction_chargée_de_l’immigration_irrégulière_libyenne (#DCIM) #Dar_El_Jebel #Zintan #montagne #Nafusa (#montagnes_Nafusa) #attente #violence #relocalisation #Niger #Rwanda #réinstallation #vulnérabilité #urban_refugees #Tripoli #réfugiés_urbains #HCR #GDF #OIM #IOM #rapatriement_volontaire #retour_au_pays #retour_volontaire

    ping @_kg_

  • Près de 600 migrants portés disparus en Libye, alerte l’OIM

    Les autorités libyennes disent avoir libéré 600 personnes, dont des femmes et des enfants, détenus dans un établissement sous le contrôle du ministère de l’Intérieur. L’Organisation internationale pour les migrations (OIM) s’inquiète du sort de ces migrants volatilisés.

    L’Organisation internationale pour les migrations (OIM) a indiqué avoir perdu la trace de 600 migrants en Libye. « Des femmes et des enfants de tous âges font partie des disparus, ce sont des personnes vulnérables », a alerté Safa Msehli, porte-parole de l’OIM, contactée par InfoMigrants jeudi 20 février.

    Ce groupe de migrants était enfermé dans un établissement sous le contrôle du ministère de l’Intérieur libyen à Tripoli depuis début janvier, après avoir été intercepté en mer Méditerranée et débarqué en Libye par les garde-côtes.

    L’OIM indique ne jamais avoir eu l’autorisation d’accéder à ce #centre. « Ce que nous savons c’est que le gouvernement libyen dit avoir libéré les 600 migrants, mais nous n’avons #aucun_signe_de vie d’eux. Nous sommes très inquiets. Nous avons demandé des éclaircissements aux autorités libyennes », a précisé Safa Msehli.


    https://twitter.com/ONUmigration/status/1230168903348891651?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E12

    Bombardements d’un port de débarquement des migrants

    Sur place, la situation humanitaire continue de se détériorer, 10 mois après le début de l’offensive du maréchal Khalifa Haftar sur Tripoli, a prévenu l’OIM.

    Dernier incident en date, quelques heures à peine avant un débarquement de migrants interceptés en Méditerranée mardi : le port maritime de Tripoli ainsi que celui d’al-Chaab, un port secondaire, ont été la cible de plus de 15 roquettes. C’est la première fois que ces ports sont ciblés par de si lourds bombardements.

    « La Libye ne peut pas attendre », a réagi Federico Soda, chef de la mission de l’OIM en Libye, dans un communiqué. Dans un appel à la communauté internationale émis après cet incident, l’organisation enjoint plus spécifiquement l’Union européenne à réagir au plus vite en prenant « des mesures concrètes pour s’assurer que les vies sauvées en mer soient acheminées vers des ports sûrs, et pour mettre fin au système de détention arbitraire ».

    L’OIM plaide pour « un mécanisme de débarquement rapide et prévisible, dans lequel les États méditerranéens prennent une responsabilité égale pour trouver un port sûr aux personnes secourues ». Il demande aussi la reconnaissance des « efforts de sauvetage des navires des ONG opérant en Méditerranée » et une levée « de toute restriction et tout retard dans le débarquement ».

    Au moins 1 700 migrants ont été interceptés et renvoyés en Libye par les garde-côtes libyens depuis le début de la nouvelle année, selon l’OIM.

    https://www.infomigrants.net/fr/post/22909/pres-de-600-migrants-portes-disparus-en-libye-alerte-l-oim
    #disparitions #IOM #OIM #Libye #asile #migrations #réfugiés #disparitions #gardes-côtes_libyens #sauvetage (?) #Méditerranée #push-back #refoulements #Mer_Méditerranée

    @sinehebdo... c’est aussi un nouveau mot ?
    #migrants_volatilisés

  • Privatised Push-Back of the #Nivin

    In November 2018, five months after Matteo Salvini was made Italy’s Interior Minister, and began to close the country’s ports to rescued migrants, a group of 93 migrants was forcefully returned to Libya after they were ‘rescued’ by the Nivin, a merchant ship flying the Panamanian flag, in violation of their rights, and in breach of international refugee law.

    The migrants’ boat was first sighted in the Libyan Search and Rescue (SAR) Zone by a Spanish surveillance aircraft, part of Operation EUNAVFOR MED – Sophia, the EU’s anti-smuggling mission. The EUNAVFOR MED – Sophia Command passed information to the Italian and Libyan Coast Guards to facilitate the interception and ‘pull-back’ of the vessel to Libya. However, as the Libyan Coast Guard (LYCG) patrol vessels were unable to perform this task, the Italian Coast Guard (ICG) directly contacted the nearby Nivin ‘on behalf of the Libyan Coast Guard’, and tasked it with rescue.

    LYCG later assumed coordination of the operation, communicating from an Italian Navy ship moored in Tripoli, and, after the Nivin performed the rescue, directed it towards Libya.

    While the passengers were initially told they would be brought to Italy, when they realised they were being returned to Libya, they locked themselves in the hold of the ship.

    A standoff ensured in the port of Misrata which lasted ten days, until the captured passengers were violently removed from the vessel by Libyan security forces, detained, and subjected to multiple forms of ill-treatment, including torture.

    This case exemplifies a recurrent practice that we refer to as ‘privatised push-back’. This new strategy has been implemented by Italy, in collaboration with the LYCG, since mid-2018, as a new modality of delegated rescue, intended to enforce border control and contain the movement of migrants from the Global South seeking to reach Europe.

    This report is an investigation into this case and new pattern of practice.

    Using georeferencing and AIS tracking data, Forensic Oceanography reconstructed the trajectories of the migrants’ vessel and the Nivin.

    Tracking data was cross-referenced with the testimonies of passengers, the reports by rescue NGO WatchTheMed‘s ‘Alarm Phone’, a civilian hotline for migrants in need of emergency rescue; a report by the owner of the Nivin, which he shared with a civilian rescue organisation, the testimonies of MSF-France staff in Libya, an interview with a high-ranking LYCG official, official responses, and leaked reports from EUNAVFOR MED.

    Together, these pieces of evidence corroborate one other, and together form and clarify an overall picture: a system of strategic delegation of rescue, operated by a complex of European actors for the purpose of border enforcement.

    When the first–and preferred–modality of this strategic delegation, which operates through LYCG interception and pull-back of the migrants, did not succeed, those actors, including the Maritime Rescue Co-ordination Centre in Rome, opted for a second modality: privatised push-back, implemented through the LYCG and the merchant ship.

    Despite the impression of coordination between European actors and the LYCG, control and coordination of such operations remains constantly within the firm hands of European—and, in particular, Italian—actors.

    In this case, as well as in others documented in this report, the outcome of the strategy was to deny migrants fleeing Libya the right to leave and request protection in Italy, returning them to a country in which they have faced grave violations. Through this action, Italy has breached its obligation of non-refoulement, one of the cornerstones of international refugee law.

    This report is the basis for a legal submission to the United Nations Human Rights Committee by Global Legal Action Network (GLAN) on behalf of an individual who was shot and forcefully removed from the Nivin.

    https://forensic-architecture.org/investigation/nivin
    #Méditerranée #rapport #Charles_Heller #asile #frontières #migrations #réfugiés #mer_Méditerranée #push-back #push-backs #refoulement #refoulements #privatisation #Italie #Libye #operation_sophia #EUNAVFOR_Med #gardes-côtes_libyens #sauvetage #Misrata #torture #privatised_push-back #push-back_privatisé #architecture_forensique #externalisation #navires_marchands #Salvini #Matteo_Salvini

    Pour télécharger le rapport :
    https://content.forensic-architecture.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/2019-12-18-FO-Nivin-Report.pdf

    –-----

    Sur le cas du Nivin, voir aussi, sur seenthis, ce fil de discussion :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/735627

    • Migrants refoulés en Libye : l’Italie accusée d’embrigader la marine marchande

      En marge du Forum mondial sur les réfugiés, plusieurs ONG ont annoncé mercredi saisir un comité de l’ONU dans l’espoir de faire cesser les refoulements de migrants vers la Libye .

      De son identité il n’a été révélé que ses initiales. SDG a fui la guerre au Soudan du Sud. En novembre 2018, avec une centaine d’autres migrants embarqués sur un canot pour traverser la Méditerranée, il est secouru par un cargo battant pavillon panaméen, le Nivin. Mais l’équipage, suivant ainsi les instructions des autorités italiennes, ramène les naufragés vers la Libye et le port de Misrata. Les migrants refusent de débarquer, affirmant qu’ils préfèrent mourir sur le navire plutôt que de retourner dans les centres de détention libyens.

      Il s’ensuit un bras de fer d’une dizaine de jours. Finalement, les Libyens donnent l’assaut et les migrants sont débarqués de force. SDG est blessé, puis emprisonné et maltraité. Il restera avec une balle en plastique dans la jambe pendant six mois. Le jeune homme est aujourd’hui à Malte, où il a pu déposer une demande d’asile. Il a finalement réussi la traversée, à sa huitième tentative.

      C’est en son nom que plusieurs ONG ont déposé une plainte contre l’Italie mercredi auprès du Comité des droits de l’homme de l’ONU. Cet organe, composé de 18 experts, n’émet que des avis consultatifs. « Cela ira plus vite que devant la Cour européenne des droits de l’homme (CEDH). Nous visons l’Italie, car le comité de l’ONU ne se prononce que sur les violations commises par des Etats, nous ne pourrions attaquer l’Union européenne », justifie Violeta Moreno-Lax, de l’ONG Global Legal Action. L’Italie, en première ligne face à l’arrivée de boat people, avait déjà été condamnée par la CEDH en 2012 pour le refoulement de migrants en Libye. « Depuis, Rome fait tout pour contourner cet arrêt », dénonce la juriste.

      « Le choix impossible des équipages »

      L’une des tactiques, ont exposé les ONG lors d’une conférence de presse, est d’embrigader la marine marchande pour qu’elle ramène les naufragés en Libye. « La décision de l’ancien ministre de l’Intérieur Matteo Salvini de fermer les ports italiens aux navires de sauvetage en juin 2018 a créé une onde de choc en Méditerranée, décrit le chercheur suisse Charles Heller, qui documente la disparition de migrants en mer. Les autres pays européens ont retiré leurs bateaux, parce qu’ils risquaient d’être bloqués faute de ports où débarquer les migrants. Ce sont donc les navires marchands qui sont appelés à remplir le vide. Ces équipages sont face à un choix impossible. Soit ils se conforment aux instructions des autorités maritimes italiennes et violent le droit de la mer, qui oblige les marins à débarquer les naufragés vers un port sûr. Soit ils résistent et s’exposent à des poursuites judiciaires. Dans les faits, beaucoup de navires évitent de porter secours aux embarcations en détresse. »

      Ces derniers mois, Charles Heller a recensé 13 navires marchands qui ont refoulé des migrants en Libye. Parmi ces cas, deux tentatives n’ont pas réussi, les naufragés se rebellant contre un retour en Libye. « Il faut comprendre qu’une fois débarqués en Libye, les migrants sont détenus de façon totalement arbitraire. Les centres sont inadaptés, la nourriture est insuffisante, les maladies comme la tuberculose y font des ravages et les disparitions ne sont pas rares, en particulier les femmes », détaille Julien Raickman, le chef de mission de Médecins sans frontières en Libye.


      https://www.letemps.ch/monde/migrants-refoules-libye-litalie-accusee-dembrigader-marine-marchande

    • Migranti, un report accusa l’Italia: «Respingimento illegale dei 93 salvati dal mercantile Nivin e riportati in Libia con la forza»

      Le prove in un documento della Forensic Oceanography presso la Goldsmith University of London. Nell’ultimo anno, chiamando navi commerciali a soccorrere barche in difficoltà, sarebbero stati 13 i casi analoghi.

      «Qui MRCC Roma. A nome della Guardia costiera libica per la salvezza delle vite in mare vi preghiamo di procedere alla massima velocità per dare assistenza ad una barca in difficoltà con circa 70 persone a bordo. Vi preghiamo di contattare urgentemente la Guardia costiera libica attraverso questo centro di ricerca e soccorso ai seguenti numeri di telefono». Ai quali rispondono sempre gli italiani.

      Un dispaccio del centro di ricerca e soccorso di Roma delle 19.39 del 7 novembre del 2018 dimostra che a coordinare l’operazione di salvataggio di un gruppo di migranti poi riportati in Libia dal mercantile Nivin battente bandiera panamense fu l’Italia. In 93, segnalati prima da un aereo di Eunavformed, poi dal centralino Alarmphone, furono presi a bordo dal Nivin e, con l’inganno, sbarcati con la forza a Misurata dall’esercito libico dopo essere rimasti per dieci giorni asserragliati sul ponte del mercantile. Picchiati, feriti, rinchiusi di nuovo nei centri di detenzione in un paese in guerra.

      Un respingimento di massa illegittimo, contrario al diritto internazionale, che sarebbe stato dunque coordinato dall’Italia secondo una strategia di salvataggio delegato ai privati per applicare il controllo delle frontiere. Un «modello di pratica» che - secondo un rapporto redatto da Charles Heller di Forensic Oceanography, ramo della Forensic Architecture Agency basata alla Goldsmiths University of London - l’Italia e l’Europa avrebbero applicato ben 13 volte nell’ultimo anno, in coincidenza con la politica italiana dei porti chiusi.

      Caso finora unico, alcune delle persone riportate in Libia sono state rintracciate nei centri di detenzione da Msf che ne ha raccolto le testimonianze che - incrociate con i documenti e le risposte alle richieste di informazione date da Eunavformed e dalla stessa Guardia costiera libica - hanno consentito di ricostruire quello che viene definito nello studio «una pratica ricorrente di respingimenti, una nuova modalità di soccorso delegato ai privati» che verrebbe attuato quando le motovedette della guardia costiera libica, come avvenne nel caso del 7 novembre 2018, sono impegnate in altri interventi. «Impegnandosi in questa pratica - è l’accusa del report - l’Italia usa violenza extraterritoriale per contenere i movimenti dei migranti e viola l’obbligo di non respingimento». Per questo il Glan, l’organizzazione di avvocati, accademici e giornalisti investigativi Global Legal Action Network ha presentato una denuncia contro l’Italia al Comitato per i diritti umani delle Nazioni Unite per conto di uno dei migranti riportati indietro. E’ la prima volta che accade.

      La partenza
      Nella notte tra il 6 e 7 novembre 2018 dalla costa di Zlitan parte un gommone con 93 persone a bordo di sette nazionalità diverse. C’è anche una donna con un bimbo di quattro mesi. Alle 15.25 del 7 novembre la barca viene avvistata in zona Sar libica da un aereo spagnolo dell’operazione Sophia che - secondo quanto riferito da Eunavformed - «dichiara che non c’erano assetti navali nelle vicinanze». Tramite il quartier generale della missione che, in quel momento, era sulla nave San Marco della marina italiana, l’informazione con le coordinate navali della posizione della barca viene passata al centro di ricerca e soccorso di Roma che le trasmette a quello libico. Il commodoro libico Masoud Abdalsamd riferisce che le motovedette libiche sono impegnate in altre attività e il gommone continua la sua navigazione.

      La richiesta di soccorso
      Due ore dopo, alle 17.18, dal gommone un primo contatto con il centralino Alarm Phone che comunica le coordinate al centro di soccorso di Roma e monitora la zona: non ci sono navi vicine e l’unica Ong presente, la Mare Jonio, è a Lampedusa. Roma ( che era già informata) chiama Tripoli, la guardia costiera libica identifica la Nivin, un mercantile già in rotta verso Misurata ma le manca l’attrezzatura per comunicare e dirigere la Nivin e chiede a Roma di farlo «a suo nome». Da quel momento è MRCC a prendere in mano il coordinamento, dà istruzioni al comandante della Nivin e dirige il soccorso.

      L’arrivo dei libici
      Alle 21.34, un dispaccio del centro di ricerca e soccorso dei libici annuncia la presa del coordinamento delloperazione ma la comunicazione parte dallo stesso numero nella disponibilità della Marina italiana sulla nave di stanza a Tripoli. Alle 3.30 la Nivin soccorre i migranti. Saliti a bordo i marinai li tranquillizzano dicendo loro che saranno portati in Italia. Ma quando vedono arrivare una motovedetta libica i migranti capiscono di essere stati ingannati, rifiutano il trasbordo e si barricano sulla tolda della nave. I libici dopo un poò rinunciano e la Nivin prosegue verso Misurata dicendo ai migranti di essere in rotta verso Malta. Un’altra bugia.

      Lo sbarco a Misurata
      I migranti rimangono asserragliati anche quando la nave entra nel porto libico. Ci resteranno dieci giorni chiedendo disperatamente aiuto ai media internazionali con i telefoni cellulari. Il 20 novembre l’intervento di forza dei militari libici armati pone fine alla loro odissea. Alcuni migranti vengono picchiati, feriti, ricondotti nei centri di detenzione dove alcuni di loro vengono intercettati dall’equipe di Medici senza frontiere che raccoglie le loro testimonianze che si incrociano perfettamente con i documenti recuperati.

      Il ruolo dell’Italia
      Ne viene fuori un quadro che combacia perfettamente con quanto già evidenziato da un’inchiesta in via di conclusione della Procura di Agrigento coordinata dal procuratore aggiunto Salvatore Vella. Un quadro in cui l’Italia, nonostante gli accordi con la Libia, prevedono un ruolo di semplice assistenza e supporto tecnico alla Guardia costiera libica, di fatto svolge - tramite la nave della Marina militare di stanza a Tripoli - svolge una funzione di centro di comunicazione e coordinamento «dando un contributo decisivo - si legge nel report - alla capacità di controllo e coordinamento che ha saldamente in mano».
      «Quando i libici non sono in grado di intervenire - è l’accusa di Forensic Oceanography - Roma opta per una seconda modalità, quella del respingimento privato attraverso le mavi mercantili che - secondo un recente report semestrale di Eunavformed - ha prodotto 13 casi nell’ultimo anno con un aumento del 15-20 per cento».

      https://www.repubblica.it/cronaca/2019/12/18/news/migranti_l_italia_dietro_il_respingimento_dei_93_salvati_dal_mercantile_n

  • Migranti, il governo libico emette decreto per neutralizzare le Ong
    Articolo (1)

    Definizioni:

    Nell’applicazione delle disposizioni si specifica sotto il significato dei Termini usati.

    Dispositivo: Dispositivo di guardia costiera e la sicurezza dei porti

    Autorità marittima Libica: Autorità portuali e trasporto marittimo

    Organizzazioni: Organizzazioni governativi e non governativi impegnati nel salvataggio degli immigrati clandestini nel mare

    Immigrati: Immigrati clandestini

    Area dichiarata: Area marittima di ricerca e salvataggio sotto controllo dello stato Libico come previsto dal coordinamento dell’organizzazione internazionale marittima (#IMO)

    Il centro (#LMRCC): Il centro di coordinamento delle ricerche e salvataggio marittimo Libico dipendente del consiglio di guardia costiera e la sicurezza dei porti.

    Autorità esecutiva: Autorità di competenza del dispositivo di guardia delle coste e sicurezza dei porti o qualsiasi altra entità autorizzata da parte del governo Libico.

    Unità Marittime: Navi e barche usati da parte delle organizzazioni governativi e non governativi impegnate nella ricerca e salvataggio marittimo.

    Articolo (2)

    Sono regolate a seconda delle disposizioni di questa tabella, le misure di cooperazione nella zona di ricerca e salvataggio marittimo sotto responsabilità dello stato Libico e secondo quanto dichiarato dall’organizzazione marittima internazionale (IMO) del 10 Giugno 2017

    Articolo (3)

    Si applicano le disposizioni del presente regolamento a tutte le organizzazioni governative e non governative impegnate nella ricerca e salvataggio marittimo.

    Articolo (4)

    Il Dispositivo della Guardia Costiera e Sicurezza dei porti si occupa di:

    Gestione dell’area di ricerca e salvataggio nelle acque Libiche
    Comando delle operazioni di ricerca e salvataggio nella Zona dichiarata.

    Il Centro di ricerca e salvataggio marittimo LMRCC coordina le operazioni di ricerca e salvataggio marittimo nella regione.

    Articolo (5)

    Le organizzazioni interessate a collaborare nella ricerca e salvataggio marittimo nell’area gestita dal Dispositivo, devono presentare una domanda di autorizzazione che alleghiamo al presente accordo, secondo il modello (T.T.A./019). Il Dispositivo si occupa della trasmissione della domanda alle autorità marittime Libiche per il rilascio dell’autorizzazione di collaborazione a seconda delle normative.

    Articolo (6)

    Le unità marittime affiliate all’organizzazione di ricerca e salvataggio in mare, durante il lavoro nell’area devono fornire periodicamente tutte le informazioni necessarie, anche tecniche – relative al loro intervento – al centro di coordinamento libico per il salvataggio in mare (LMRCC).

    Articolo (7)

    In caso d’ingresso, per i casi emergenziali e speciali, nelle acque territoriali libiche, si può ricevere assistenza immediata previo autorizzazione e supervisione del centro(LMRCC).

    Articolo (8)

    Le unità marittime affiliate all’ organizzazione s’impegnano a lavorare sotto il principio di collaborazione e supporto. A non bloccare le operazioni di ricerca e salvataggio marittimo esercitato dalle autorità autorizzate dentro l’area dichiarata e a lasciargli la precedenza d’intervento.

    Articolo (9)

    Le unità marittime delle organizzazioni s’impegnano e si limitano all’esecuzione delle istruzioni del centro (LMRCC) e (si impegnano) a informarlo preventivamente su qualsiasi iniziativa che intendano implementare autonomamente anche se è considerata necessaria e urgente nell’area.

    Articolo (10)

    I capitani delle navi affiliate alle organizzazioni che lavorano nell’area, devono notificare tutti gli interventi legati alla sicurezza marittima o altri atti sospetti.

    Articolo (11)

    Per quanto riguarda il diritto di visita, il personale del Dispositivo è autorizzato a salire a bordo delle unità marittime ad ogni richiesta e per tutto il tempo valutato necessario, per motivi legali e di sicurezza, senza compromettere l’attività umana e professionale di competenza del paese di cui la nave porta la bandiera.

    Articolo (12)

    I naufraghi salvati nell’area, da parte delle organizzazioni, non vengono rimandati allo Stato Libico tranne nei rari casi eccezionali e di emergenza.

    Articolo (13)

    Dopo il completamento delle operazioni di ricerca e salvataggio da parte delle organizzazioni, le barche e i motori usati nelle operazioni di contrabbando, saranno consegnati allo Stato libico e saranno sottoposti all’applicazione della legislazione in vigore.

    In tutte le circostanze va avvisato il Centro su tutti gli aspetti che riguardano la sicurezza di navigazione e il rischio d’inquinamento durante le attività di ricerca e salvataggio marittimo.

    Articolo (14)

    Salvo le comunicazioni necessarie nel contesto delle operazioni di salvataggio e, per salvaguardare la sicurezza delle vite in mare, le unità marittime affiliate alle organizzazioni s’impegnano a non mandare nessuna comunicazione o segnale di luce o altri effetti per facilitare l’arrivo d’imbarcazioni clandestine verso loro.

    Articolo (15)

    Secondo il capitolo V della convenzione internazionale per la sicurezza delle vite in mare(SOLVAS-74) e le sue Modifiche; non sospendere o ritardare i tempi regolari dei segnali d’identificazione sistematica (AIS) e i segnali d’identificazione e localizzazione a lungo raggio(LRIT) delle navi per garantire la sicurezza della navigazione e la sicurezza delle navi che non sono coinvolte nelle operazioni di ricerca e salvataggio.

    Articolo (16)

    In conformità alle sue competenze di controllo, il Dispositivo controlla tutte le navi e unità marittime affiliate alle organizzazioni che violano le disposizioni del presente regolamento e le conducono al porto marittimo libico più vicino.

    Articolo (17)

    L’autorità marittima, nell’area dichiarata, esegue la procedura d’infrazione con le navi e le unità sequestrate e sospettate in coordinamento con le altre autorità coinvolte. E ove applicabile saranno esposte davanti alla procura pubblica.

    Articolo (18)

    In caso di violazione del presente accordo sarà ritirata l’autorizzazione di cooperazione rilasciata all’organizzazione che opera nell’area, verrà cancellato il nome dell’organizzazione e non sarà concessa un’altra autorizzazione in caso di ripetizione delle violazioni degli obblighi contenuti nel presente accordo.

    Articolo (19)

    Il presente decreto entra in vigore dalla sua data di emissione, l’autorità vigilano alla sua esecuzione

    14/09/2019

    http://www.integrationarci.it/2019/10/29/migranti-il-governo-libico-emette-decreto-per-neutralizzare-le-ong
    #Libye #asile #migrations #réfugiés #sauvetage #ONG #décret #gardes-côtes

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

    Après avoir crée une zone SAR et un MRCC (grâce au soutien logistique italien et aux fonds européen) le Gouv Serraj produit un code de conduite pour les ong qui entreraient dans la zone SAR Libyenne - qui rassemble beaucoup au code de conduit proposé par Minniti en l’été 2017 - et qui de fait met sous coordination des libyens leurs actions.

    #code_de_conduite #SAR #Libye #SAR_libyenne #Minniti

    Sur le code de conduite de 2017:
    https://seenthis.net/messages/514535#message614460
    Et plus largement ici:
    https://seenthis.net/messages/514535

    • Migranti, il governo libico emette decreto per neutralizzare le Ong

      Ecco il testo: “Autorizzazione preventiva al soccorso, polizia a bordo e sequestro per chi non obbedisce, i naufraghi mai in Libia”

      Il decreto, emesso dal Consiglio presidenziale del governo di accordo nazionale libico, porta la data del 14 settembre e ha come oggetto “il trattamento speciale delle organizzazioni internazionali e non governative nella zona libica di ricerca e salvataggio marittimo”. E’ stato inviato anche in Italia ed è un grottesco quanto pericoloso tentativo di ostacolare ancor di più l’operato delle navi umanitarie ma soprattutto di aggredirle con operazioni di polizia con la minaccia di condurle e sequestrarle nei porti libici. Un decreto che, alla vigilia della scadenza del patto tra Italia e Libia, desta ulteriori preoccupazioni anche perché alle Ong, che continuano ad operare in zona Sar libica, non è mai stato sottoposto. Ma è già, almeno sulla carta operativo. E, per assurdo che sembri, prevede che i naufraghi salvati non possano essere portati in Libia.Il decreto, che Repubblica ha consultato tradotto dall’ufficio immigrazione Arci, consta di 19 articoli ed esordisce così: “Si applicano le disposizioni del presente regolamento a tutte le organizzazioni governative e non governative impegnate nella ricerca e salvataggio marittimo”.

      Alle Ong “interessate a collaborare nella ricerca e salvataggio marittimo” è imposto di presentare una preventiva domanda di autorizzazione alle autorità libiche a cui sono obbligate “ a fornire periodicamente tutte le informazioni necessarie, anche tecniche – relative al loro intervento.Ed ecco le condizioni che vengono imposte alle navi umanitarie: “lavorare sotto il principio di collaborazione e supporto, non bloccare le operazioni di ricerca e salvataggio marittimo esercitato dalle autorità autorizzate dentro l’area e lasciare la precedenza d’intervento”. “Le Ong si limitano all’esecuzione delle istruzioni del centro e si impegnano a informarlo preventivamente su qualsiasi iniziativa anche se è considerata necessaria e urgente”.E poi gli articoli che più preoccupano le Ong perché preludono ad un intervento di tipo poliziesco e autorizzano la Guardia costiera libica a salire a bordo delle navi. “Il personale del dispositivo è autorizzato a salire a bordo delle unità marittime ad ogni richiesta e per tutto il tempo valutato necessario, per motivi legali e di sicurezza, senza compromettere l’attività umana e professionale di competenza del paese di cui la nave porta la bandiera”.

      L’articolo 12 è il più contraddittorio perché a fronte di una rivendicazione di coordinamento assoluto degli interventi di soccorso nella sua zona Sar, prescrive che “i naufraghi salvati dalle organizzazioni non vengono rimandati nello stato libico tranne nei rari casi eccezionali e di emergenza”. La Libia invece vuole “le barche e i motori usati”.Alle Ong è richiesto di “non mandare alcuna comunicazione o segnale di luce per facilitare l’arrivo d’imbarcazioni clandestine verso di loro.Infine le sanzioni: “ tutte le navi che violano le disposizioni del presente regolamento verranno condotte al porto libico più vicino e sequestrate. E non verrà più concessa alcuna autorizzazione”.

      “Il «codice Minniti libico» per le Ong è, come quello dell’ex Ministro italiano, un atto che punta ad ostacolare e criminalizzare i salvataggi in mare - commenta Filippo Miraglia, responsabile immigrazione dell’Arci -Per di più è illegittimo, essendo stato emanato non da uno stato sovrano, ma da una delle parti in causa nella guerra civile in atto. Le ragioni che dovrebbero spingere verso la chiusura degli accordi con la Libia sono tali ed evidenti che chi si rifiuterà di farlo si renderà complice di questi criminali.Il «codice Minniti libico» conferma, se ancora ce ne fosse bisogno, le ragioni che ci spingono a chiedere la cancellazione degli accordi con la Libia e l’azzeramento del Memorandun. Per cambiare pagina si ponga fine a questa follia e si metta subito in campo un piano straordinario di evacuazione delle persone detenute.”

      https://www.repubblica.it/cronaca/2019/10/29/news/migranti_il_governo_libico_emette_decreto_per_neutralizzare_le_ong-239783
      #gardes-côtes_libyens

  • Malte permet à des garde-côtes libyens d’entrer dans sa zone de sauvetage pour intercepter des migrants

    Une embarcation de migrants a été interceptée vendredi dernier dans la zone de recherche et de sauvetage maltaise par une patrouille de garde-côtes libyens. Les 50 personnes qui se trouvaient à bord ont été ramenées en Libye. Pour la première fois, Alarm phone a pu documenter cette violation du #droit_maritime_international. Le HCR a ouvert une #enquête.

    L’agence des Nations unies pour les réfugiés (HCR) a annoncé mardi 22 octobre l’ouverture d’une enquête après que les autorités maltaises ont laissé des garde-côtes libyens intercepter une embarcation de migrants en détresse qui se trouvait dans la zone de recherche et de sauvetage (SAR) maltaise.

    Alarm phone, une organisation qui permet aux bateaux de migrants en difficultés de demander de l’aide, a retracé mercredi 23 octobre, dans un communiqué, le déroulé des événements qui ont conduit à l’emprisonnement des 50 migrants dans le centre de #Tarik_al_Sika, à #Tripoli.

    Tout commence le vendredi 18 octobre, en début d’après-midi, quand Alarm phone reçoit un appel de détresse d’un bateau surchargé. Environ 50 personnes, dont des femmes et des enfants, se trouvent à bord de ce rafiot en bois. Les coordonnées GPS que les migrants envoient à Alarm Phone indiquent qu’ils se trouvent dans la SAR zone maltaise.

    La plateforme téléphonique transmet alors la position de l’embarcation aux centres de coordination des secours en mer de Malte (#RCC) et de Rome (#MRCC). Malte ne tarde pas à répondre : “Nous avons reçu votre email. Nous nous occupons de tout", indique un officier maltais.

    Enfermement à Tripoli

    Dans les heures qui suivent, Alarm phone tente de garder le contact avec le RCC de Malte et le MRCC de Rome mais ne reçoit plus de réponse. À bord, les migrants donnent de nouvelles coordonnées GPS à l’organisation : ils se trouvent toujours dans la SAR zone maltaise. Le dernier contact entre Alarm phone et l’embarcation a lieu à 17h40.

    Quelques heures plus tard, le #PB_Fezzan, un navire appartenant aux garde-côtes libyens, a intercepté l’embarcation de migrants dans la zone de recherche et sauvetage de Malte. Les équipes d’Alarm phone apprennent, par un officier du RCC de Malte, qu’un hélicoptère des Forces armées maltaises avait été impliqué dans l’opération, en "supervisant la situation depuis les airs".

    Le PB Fezzan est ensuite rentré à Tripoli avec les migrants à son bord. Tous ont été placés dans le centre de détention de Tarik al Sika.

    Violation des conventions internationales et du principe de non-refoulement

    En ne portant pas secours à cette embarcation, le RCC de Malte a violé à la fois le droit de la mer et le principe de non-refoulement établi dans la Convention européenne des droits de l’Homme et celle relative au statut international de réfugiés.

    Le HCR a ouvert une enquête afin de déterminer pour quelles raisons Malte n’a pas porté secours à l’embarcation, a indiqué mardi Vincent Cochetel, l’envoyé spécial du HCR pour la Méditerranée centrale, à l’agence Associated press (AP).

    Selon lui, "des preuves existent que Malte a demandé à des garde-côtes libyens d’intervenir" dans sa propre zone de recherche et sauvetage le 18 octobre. "Le problème est que les migrants ont été débarqués en Libye. Il ne fait aucun doute qu’il s’agit d’une violation des lois maritimes. Il est clair que la Libye n’est pas un port sûr", a-t-il ajouté.

    Vincent Cochetel a également affirmé qu’il ne s’agissait pas de la première fois que Malte se rendait coupable d’une telle non-assistance.

    "Malte est particulièrement peu coopérant"

    Contacté par InfoMigrants, Maurice Stierl, membre d’Alarm phone, rappelle qu’il n’est pas rare que les garde-côtes européens ne remplissent pas leurs obligations. "Ce cas est particulièrement dramatique mais ce n’est pas une surprise pour nous tant nous avons vu [des autorités européennes] se dérober à leurs responsabilités", assure-t-il.

    "Malte est particulièrement peu coopérant ces dernières semaines. Quand nous les appelons, soit ils sont injoignables, soit ils ne nous communiquent pas d’informations sur les modalités de la mission de sauvetage qu’ils vont lancer", s’agace l’activiste.

    Malte n’est pas le seul pays européen à rechigner à secourir des migrants en Méditerranée centrale, précise Maurice Stierl. "Nous avons aussi eu de mauvaises expériences avec d’autres États membres dont le MRCC de Rome […] C’est un problème européen."

    https://twitter.com/alarm_phone/status/1187265157937991680?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E11

    https://www.infomigrants.net/fr/post/20377/malte-permet-a-des-garde-cotes-libyens-d-entrer-dans-sa-zone-de-sauvet
    #migrations #réfugiés #zone_SAR #SAR #gardes-côtes_libyens #sauvetage #asile #migrations #réfugiés #frontières #Méditerranée #pull-back #Mer_Méditerranée

  • A #Split, l’Europe tente de former les #gardes-côtes_libyens

    La mission militaire européenne #Sophia a accepté, pour la première fois et dans des conditions strictes, d’ouvrir à un journaliste l’une des formations qu’elle dispense depuis 2016.

    « Vous ne pourrez pas rester au-delà d’une matinée » ; « Tout sujet politique doit être évité » ; « Vous ne pourrez pas interviewer les élèves »… Après plusieurs demandes, la mission militaire européenne Sophia a accepté, pour la première fois et dans des conditions strictes, d’ouvrir à un journaliste l’une des formations qu’elle dispense depuis 2016 à des gardes-côtes et d’autres membres de la #marine_libyenne.

    En ce mois de septembre, sur la base navale de Split (#Croatie), onze militaires libyens participent à un cours avancé de #plongée_sous-marine, dispensé par d’anciens membres des forces spéciales croates. Dans une salle de classe, on les retrouve en tenue, chemises bleues, pantalons marine, mocassins noirs et casquettes neuves sur lesquelles a été brodé au fil jaune, en anglais, « #Libyan_Navy ». Ils s’appellent Saïd, Aymen, Tabal… La plupart sont sous-officiers et ont entre 20 et 35 ans. Au tableau, un instructeur, traduit en arabe par un interprète, déroule le programme de la journée.

    Volet controversé de l’aide apportée par l’Union européenne (UE) à la Libye pour lutter contre l’immigration clandestine, le soutien aux gardes-côtes a accompagné le désengagement des secours venus des Etats membres en Méditerranée centrale et le transfert à la Libye de la coordination des sauvetages au large de ses côtes, autrefois assumée par l’Italie. L’opération Sophia avait été lancée en 2015 après une série de naufrages afin de « démanteler les modèles économiques des passeurs ». A la demande de Rome, elle a, par la suite, été privée de ses navires pour se concentrer sur la surveillance aérienne.


    https://www.lemonde.fr/international/article/2019/09/24/a-split-l-europe-tente-de-former-les-gardes-cotes-libyens_6012777_3210.html
    #formation #Frontex #asile #migrations #réfugiés #contrôles_frontaliers #opération_Sophia #operation_Sophia

    ping @karine4

  • Militarisation des frontières en #Mer_Egée

    En Mer Egée c’est exactement la même stratégie qui se met en place, et notamment à #Samos, où une #zeppelin (#zeppelin_de_surveillance) de #Frontex surveillera le détroit entre l’île et la côte turque, afin de signaler tout départ de bateaux. L’objectif est d’arrêter « à temps » les embarcations des réfugiés en les signalant aux garde-corps turques. Comme l’a dit le vice-ministre de l’immigration Koumoutsakos « on saura l’heure de départ de l’embarcation, on va en informer les turques, on s’approcher du bateau... »
    S’approcher pourquoi faire, sinon, pour le repousser vers la côte turque ?
    Le fonctionnement de la montgolfière sera confié aux garde-cotes et à la police grecque, l’opération restant sous le contrôle de Frontex.

    –-> reçu via la mailing-list de Migreurop, le 30.07.2017

    #militarisation_des_frontières #frontières #contrôles_frontaliers #Turquie #Grèce #migrations #réfugiés #asile #police #gardes-côtes #surveillance

    –-----------

    Commentaire de Martin Clavey sur twitter :

    Cynisme absolu : Frontex utilise des drones pour surveiller les migrants en méditerranée ce qui permet à l’Union européenne de ne pas utiliser de bateau de surveillance et donc ne pas être soumis au #droit_maritime et à avoir à les sauver

    https://twitter.com/mart1oeil/status/1158396604648493058

    • Σε δοκιμαστική λειτουργία το αερόσταστο της FRONTEX

      Σε δοκιμαστική λειτουργία τίθεται από σήμερα για 28 ημέρες το αερόστατο της FRONTEX στη Σάμο, μήκους 35 μέτρων, προσδεμένο στο έδαφος, εξοπλισμένο με ραντάρ, θερμική κάμερα και σύστημα αυτόματης αναγνώρισης, το οποίο θα επιτηρεί αδιάλειπτα και σε πραγματικό χρόνο το θαλάσσιο πεδίο.

      Σύμφωνα με ανακοίνωση του Λιμενικού, στόχος είναι η αστυνόμευση του θαλάσσιου πεδίου και η καταπολέμηση του διασυνοριακού εγκλήματος. Δημιουργείται ωστόσο το ερώτημα αν οι πληροφορίες που θα συλλέγει το αερόστατο θα χρησιμοποιούνται για την αναχαίτιση ή την αποτροπή των πλεούμενων των προσφύγων που ξεκινούν από τα τουρκικά παράλια για να ζητήσουν διεθνή προστασία στην Ευρώπη.

      « Πρώτα απ’ όλα ξέρεις τι ώρα φεύγει από τους διακινητές το σκάφος, ενημερώνεις την τουρκική πλευρά, πηγαίνεις εσύ κοντά, δηλαδή είναι ένα σύνολο ενεργειών » σημείωνε την περασμένη εβδομάδα σε συνέντευξή του στον ΑΝΤ1 ο αναπληρωτής υπουργός Μεταναστευτικής Πολιτικής Γιώργος Κουμουτσάκος, μιλώντας για τα αποτελέσματα που αναμένεται να έχει το αερόστατο στην ενίσχυση της επιτήρησης των συνόρων.

      Το Λιμενικό είναι η πρώτη ακτοφυλακή κράτους-μέλους της Ε.Ε. που χρησιμοποιεί αερόστατο για την επιτήρηση της θάλασσας, δέκα μήνες μετά την πρώτη παρόμοια πανευρωπαϊκή χρήση μη επανδρωμένου αεροσκάφους μεσαίου ύψους μακράς εμβέλειας.

      « Αυτό καταδεικνύει την ισχυρή και ξεκάθαρη βούληση του Λ.Σ.-ΕΛ.ΑΚΤ. να καταβάλει κάθε δυνατή προσπάθεια, χρησιμοποιώντας τη διαθέσιμη τεχνολογία αιχμής, για την αποτελεσματική φύλαξη των εξωτερικών θαλάσσιων συνόρων της Ευρωπαϊκής Ενωσης, την πάταξη κάθε μορφής εγκληματικότητας καθώς και την προστασία της ανθρώπινης ζωής στη θάλασσα », σημειώνει το Λιμενικό.

      Η λειτουργία του αερόστατου εντάσσεται στην επιχείρηση « Ποσειδών » που συντονίζουν το Λιμενικό και η ΕΛ.ΑΣ. υπό την επιτήρηση της FRONTEX.

      Παράλληλα, στο νησί θα τεθεί σε λειτουργία φορτηγό εξοπλισμένο με παρόμοια συστήματα, προκειμένου να μπορούν να συγκριθούν τα αποτελέσματα και η λειτουργία του επίγειου και του εναέριου συστήματος.

      https://www.efsyn.gr/ellada/koinonia/205553_se-dokimastiki-leitoyrgia-aerostasto-tis-frontex

    • Zeppelin over the island of Samos to monitor migrants trafficking

      Greek authorities and the Frontex will release a huge surveillance Zeppelin above the island of Samos to monitor migrants who illegally try to reach Greece and Europe. The installation of the ominous balloon will be certainly a grotesque attraction for the tourists who visit the island in the East Aegean Sea.

      Deputy Minister of Migration Policy Giorgos Koumoutsakos told private ANT1 TV that the Zeppelin will go in operation next week.

      “In Samos, at some point, I think it’s a matter of days or a week, a Zeppelin balloon will be installed in cooperation with FRONTEX, which will take a picture of a huge area. What does that mean? First of all, you know what time the ship moves away from the traffickers, inform the Turkish side, you go near, that is a set of actions,” Koumoutsakos said.

      The Zeppelin will be monitored by the GNR radar unit of the Frontext located at the port of Karlovasi, samiakienimerosi notes adding “It will give a picture of movements between the Turkish coast to Samos for the more effective guarding of our maritime borders.”

      The Deputy Minister did not elaborate on what exactly can the Greek Port Authority do when it comes “near” to the refugee and migrants boats.

      According to daily efimerida ton syntakton, the Norwegian NGO, Aegean Boat Report, revealed a video shot on July 17. The video shows how a Greek Coast Guard vessel approaches a boat with 34 people on board and leaves them at the open sea to be “collected” by Turkish authorities, while the passengers, among them 14 children, desperately are shouting “Not to Turkey!”

      It is not clear, whether the Greek Coast Guard vessel is in international waters as such vessels do not enter Turkish territorial waters. According to international law, the passengers ought to be rescued. The Greek Coast Guard has so far not taken position on the issue, saying it will need to evaluate the video first, efsyn notes.

      “There is no push backs. Everything will be done in accordance with the international law. Greece will do nothing beyond the international law,” Koumoutsakos stressed.

      PS I suppose, tourists will be cheered to have their vacation activities monitored by a plastic Big Brother. Not?

      https://www.keeptalkinggreece.com/2019/07/26/zeppelin-samos-migrants-refugees

    • Once migrants on Mediterranean were saved by naval patrols. Now they have to watch as #drones fly over
      https://i.guim.co.uk/img/media/8a92adecf247b04c801a67a612766ee753738437/0_109_4332_2599/master/4332.jpg?width=605&quality=85&auto=format&fit=max&s=c0051d5e4fff6aff063c70

      Amid the panicked shouting from the water and the smell of petrol from the sinking dinghy, the noise of an approaching engine briefly raises hope. Dozens of people fighting for their lives in the Mediterranean use their remaining energy to wave frantically for help. Nearly 2,000 miles away in the Polish capital, Warsaw, a drone operator watches their final moments via a live transmission. There is no ship to answer the SOS, just an unmanned aerial vehicle operated by the European border and coast guard agency, Frontex.

      This is not a scene from some nightmarish future on Europe’s maritime borders but a present-day probability. Frontex, which is based in Warsaw, is part of a £95m investment by the EU in unmanned aerial vehicles, the Observer has learned.

      This spending has come as the EU pulls back its naval missions in the Mediterranean and harasses almost all search-and-rescue charity boats out of the water. Frontex’s surveillance drones are flying over waters off Libya where not a single rescue has been carried out by the main EU naval mission since last August, in what is the deadliest stretch of water in the world.

      The replacement of naval vessels, which can conduct rescues, with drones, which cannot, is being condemned as a cynical abrogation of any European role in saving lives.

      “There is no obligation for drones to be equipped with life-saving appliances and to conduct rescue operations,” said a German Green party MEP, Erik Marquardt. “You need ships for that, and ships are exactly what there is a lack of at the moment.” This year the death rate for people attempting the Mediterranean crossing has risen from a historical average of 2% to as high as 14% last month. In total, 567 of the estimated 8,362 people who have attempted it so far this year have died.

      Gabriele Iacovino, director of one of Italy’s leading thinktanks, the Centre for International Studies, said the move into drones was “a way to spend money without having the responsibility to save lives”. Aerial surveillance without ships in the water amounted to a “naval mission without a naval force”, and was about avoiding embarrassing political rows in Europe over what to do with rescued migrants.

      Since March the EU’s main naval mission in the area, Operation Sophia, has withdrawn its ships from waters where the majority of migrant boats have sunk. While Sophia was not primarily a search-and-rescue mission, it was obliged under international and EU law to assist vessels in distress. The switch to drones is part of an apparent effort to monitor the Mediterranean without being pulled into rescue missions that deliver migrants to European shores.

      Marta Foresti, director of the Human Mobility Initiative at the Overseas Development Institute, an influential UK thinktank, said Europe had replaced migration policy with panic, with potentially lethal consequences. “We panicked in 2015 and that panic has turned into security budgets,” she said. “Frontex’s budget has doubled with very little oversight or design. It’s a knee-jerk reaction.”

      The strategy has seen Frontex, based in Warsaw, and its sister agency, the European Maritime Safety Agency, based in Lisbon, invest in pilotless aerial vehicles. The Observer has found three contracts – two under EMSA and one under Frontex – totalling £95m for drones that can supply intelligence to Frontex.

      The models include the Hermes, made by Elbit Systems, Israel’s biggest privately owned arms manufacturer, and the Heron, produced by Israel Aerospace Industries, a state-owned company. Both models were developed for use in combat missions in the occupied Palestinian territory of Gaza. Frontex said its drone suppliers met all “EU procurement rules and guidelines”.

      There is mounting concern both over how Frontex is spending EU taxpayers’ money and how it can be held accountable. The migration panic roiling Europe’s politics has been a boon for a once unfashionable EU outpost that coordinated national coastal and border guards. Ten years ago Frontex’s budget was £79m. In the latest budget cycle it has been awarded £10.4bn.

      Demand from member states for its services have largely been driven by its role in coordinating and carrying out deportations. The expansion of the deportation machine has caused concern among institutions tasked with monitoring the forced returns missions: a group of national ombudsmen, independent watchdogs appointed in all EU member states to safeguard human rights, has announced plans to begin its own independent monitoring group. The move follows frustration with the way their reports on past missions have been handled by Frontex.

      Andreas Pottakis, Greece’s ombudsman, is among those calling for an end to the agency policing itself: “Internal monitoring of Frontex by Frontex cannot substitute for the need for external monitoring by independent bodies. This is the only way the demand for transparency can be met and that the EU administration can effectively be held into account.”
      Acting to extradite helpless civilians to the hands of Libyan militias may amount to criminal liability

      The Frontex Consultative Forum, a body offering strategic advice to Frontex’s management board on how the agency can improve respect for fundamental rights, has also severely criticised it for a sloppy approach to accountability. An online archive of all Frontex operations, which was used by independent researchers, was recently removed.

      The switch to drones in the Mediterranean has also led to Frontex being accused of feeding intelligence on the position of migrant boats to Libya’s coast guards so they can intercept and return them to Libya. Although it receives EU funds, the Libyan coast guard remains a loosely defined outfit that often overlaps with smuggling gangs and detention centre owners.

      “The Libyan coast guard never patrols the sea,” said Tamino Böhm of the German rescue charity Sea-Watch. “They never leave port unless there is a boat to head to for a pullback. This means the information they have comes from the surveillance flights of Italy, Frontex and the EU.”

      A Frontex spokesperson said that incidents related to boats in distress were passed to the “responsible rescue coordination centre and to the neighbouring ones for situational awareness and potential coordination”. Thus the maritime rescue coordination centre in Rome has begun to share information with its Libyan counterpart in Tripoli, under the instructions of Italy’s far-right interior minister, Matteo Salvini.

      The EU is already accused of crimes against humanity in a submission before the International Criminal Court for “orchestrating a policy of forced transfer to concentration camp-like detention facilities [in Libya] where atrocious crimes are committed”.

      The case, brought by lawyers based in Paris, seeks to demonstrate that many of the people intercepted have faced human rights abuses ranging from slavery to torture and murder after being returned to Libya.

      Omer Shatz, an Israeli who teaches at Sciences Po university in Paris, and one of the two lawyers who brought the ICC case, said Frontex drone operators could be criminally liable for aiding pullbacks. “A drone operator that is aware of a migrant boat in distress is obliged to secure fundamental rights to life, body integrity, liberty and dignity. This means she has to take actions intended to search, rescue and disembark those rescued at safe port. Acting to extradite helpless vulnerable civilians to the hands of Libyan militias may amount to criminal liability.”

      Under international law, migrants rescued at sea by European vessels cannot be returned to Libya, where conflict and human rights abuses mean the UN has stated there is no safe port. Under the UN convention on the law of the sea (Unclos) all ships are obliged to report an encounter with a vessel in distress and offer assistance. This is partly why EU naval missions that were not mandated to conduct rescue missions found themselves pitched into them regardless.

      Drones, however, operate in a legal grey zone not covered by Unclos. The situation for private contractors to EU agencies, as in some of the current drone operations, is even less clear.

      Frontex told the Observer that all drone operators, staff or private contractors are subject to EU laws that mandate the protection of human life. The agency said it was unable to share a copy of the mission instructions given to drone operators that would tell them what to do in the event of encountering a boat in distress, asking the Observer to submit a freedom of information request. The agency said drones had encountered boats in distress on only four occasions – all in June this year – in the central Mediterranean, and that none had led to a “serious incident report” – Frontex jargon for a red flag. When EU naval vessels were deployed in similar areas in previous years, multiple serious incidents were reported every month, according to documents seen by the Observer.

      https://amp.theguardian.com/world/2019/aug/04/drones-replace-patrol-ships-mediterranean-fears-more-migrant-deaths

      #Méditerranée #mer_Méditerranée #Libye

    • L’uso dei droni per guardare i migranti che affogano mette a nudo tutta la disumanità delle pratiche di controllo sui confini

      In troppi crediamo al mito di una frontiera dal volto umano, solo perché ci spaventa guardare in faccia la realtà macchiata di sangue.

      “Se avessi ignorato quelle grida di aiuto, non avrei mai più trovato il coraggio di affrontare il mare”.

      Con queste parole il pescatore siciliano Carlo Giarratano ha commentato la sua decisione di sfidare il “decreto sicurezza” del Governo italiano, che prevede sanzioni o l’arresto nei confronti di chiunque trasporti in Italia migranti soccorsi in mare.

      La sua storia è un esempio della preoccupante tensione che si è creata ai confini della “Fortezza Europa” in materia di leggi e regolamenti. Secondo il diritto internazionale, il capitano di un’imbarcazione in mare è tenuto a fornire assistenza alle persone in difficoltà, “a prescindere dalla nazionalità o dalla cittadinanza delle persone stesse”. Al contempo, molti paesi europei, e la stessa UE, stanno cercando di limitare questo principio e queste attività, malgrado il tragico bilancio di morti nel Mediterraneo, in continua crescita.

      L’Agenzia di Confine e Guardia Costiera Europea, Frontex, sembra aver escogitato una soluzione ingegnosa: i droni. L’obbligo legale di aiutare un’imbarcazione in difficoltà non si applica a un veicolo aereo senza pilota (UAV, unmanned aerial vehicle). Si può aggirare la questione, politicamente calda, su chi sia responsabile di accogliere i migranti soccorsi, se questi semplicemente non vengono proprio soccorsi. Questo principio fa parte di una consolidata tendenza a mettere in atto politiche finalizzate a impedire che i migranti attraversino il Mediterraneo. Visto l’obbligo di soccorrere le persone che ci chiedono aiuto, la soluzione sembra essere questa: fare in modo di non sentire le loro richieste.

      Jean-Claude Juncker sostiene che le politiche europee di presidio ai confini sono concepite per “stroncare il business dei trafficanti”, perché nella moralità egocentrica che ispira la politica di frontiera europea, se non ci fossero trafficanti non ci sarebbero migranti.

      Ma non ci sono trafficanti che si fabbricano migranti in officina. Se le rotte ufficiali sono bloccate, le persone vanno a cercare quelle non ufficiali. Rendere la migrazione più difficile, ha fatto aumentare la richiesta di trafficanti e scafisti, certamente non l’ha fermata. Invece che stroncare il loro business, queste politiche lo hanno creato.

      Secondo la logica della foglia di fico, l’UE sostiene di non limitarsi a lasciare affogare i migranti, ma di fornire supporto alla guardia costiera libica perché intercetti le imbarcazioni che tentano la traversata e riporti le persone nei campi di detenzione in Libia.

      Ma il rapporto del Global Detention Project, a proposito delle condizioni in questi campi, riferisce: “I detenuti sono spesso sottoposti a gravi abusi e violenze, compresi stupri e torture, estorsioni, lavori forzati, schiavitù, condizioni di vita insopportabili, esecuzioni sommarie.” Human Rights Watch, in un rapporto intitolato Senza via di fuga dall’Inferno, descrive situazioni di sovraffollamento e malnutrizione e riporta testimonianze di bambini picchiati dalle guardie.

      L’Irish Times ha riportato accuse secondo cui le milizie associate con il GNA (Governo Libico di Alleanza Nazionale, riconosciuto dall’ONU), starebbero immagazzinando munizioni in questi campi e userebbero i rifugiati come “scudi umani”. Sembra quasi inevitabile, quindi, la notizia che il 3 luglio almeno 53 rifugiati sono stati uccisi durante un attacco dei ribelli appartenenti all’Esercito Nazionale Libico, nel campo di detenzione di Tajura, vicino a Tripoli.

      Secondo una testimonianza riportata dall’Associated Press, a Tajura i migranti erano costretti a pulire le armi delle milizie fedeli al GNA, armi che erano immagazzinate nel campo. Secondo i racconti di testimoni oculari dell’attacco, riportati dalle forze ONU, le guardie del campo avrebbero aperto il fuoco su chi tentava di scappare.

      Nel mondo occidentale, quando parliamo di immigrazione, tendiamo a focalizzarci sul cosiddetto “impatto sulle comunità” causato dai flussi di nuovi arrivati che si muovono da un posto all’altro.

      Nelle nostre discussioni, ci chiediamo se i migranti portino un guadagno per l’economia oppure intacchino risorse già scarse. Raramente ci fermiamo a guardare nella sua cruda e tecnica realtà la concreta applicazione del controllo alle frontiere, quando si traduce davvero in fucili e filo spinato.

      Ci ripetiamo che i costi vanno tutti in un’unica direzione: secondo la nostra narrazione preferita, i controlli di confine sono tutti gratis, è lasciare entrare i migranti la cosa che costa. Ma i costi da pagare ci sono sempre: non solo il tributo di morti che continua a crescere o i budget multimilionari e sempre in aumento delle nostre agenzie di frontiera, ma anche i costi morali e sociali che finiamo con l’estorcere a noi stessi.

      L’ossessione per la sicurezza dei confini deve fare i conti con alcune delle più antiche e radicate convinzioni etiche proprie delle società occidentali. Prendersi cura del più debole, fare agli altri quello che vogliamo sia fatto a noi, aiutare chi possiamo. Molti uomini e donne che lavorano in mare, quando soccorrono dei naufraghi non sono spinti solo da una legge che li obbliga a prestare aiuto, ma anche da un imperativo morale più essenziale. “Lo facciamo perché siamo gente di mare”, ha detto Giarratano al Guardian, “in mare, se ci sono persone in pericolo, le salviamo”.

      Ma i nostri governi hanno deciso che questo non vale per gli europei. Come se fosse una perversa sfida lanciata a istinti morali vecchi di migliaia di anni, nell’Europa moderna un marinaio che salva un migrante mentre sta per affogare, deve essere punito.

      Infrangere queste reti di reciproche responsabilità fra gli esseri umani, ha dei costi: divisioni e tensioni sociali. Ed è un amaro paradosso, perché proprio argomenti di questo genere sono in testa alle nostre preoccupazioni percepite quando si parla di migrazioni. E mentre l’UE fa di tutto per respingere un fronte del confine verso i deserti del Nord Africa, cercando di tenere i corpi dei rifugiati abbastanza lontani da non farceli vedere da vicino, intanto l’altro fronte continua a spingere verso di noi. L’Europa diventa un “ambiente ostile” e quindi noi diventiamo un popolo ostile.

      Ci auto-ingaggiamo come guardie di confine al nostro interno. Padroni di casa, infermiere, insegnanti, manager – ogni relazione sociale deve essere controllata. Il nostro regime di “frontiera quotidiana” crea “comunità sospette” all’interno della nostra società: sono persone sospette per il solo fatto di esistere e, nei loro confronti, si possono chiamare le forze dell’ordine in ogni momento, “giusto per dare un’occhiata”.

      Il confine non è solo un sistema per tenere gli estranei fuori dalla nostra società, ma per marchiare per sempre le persone come estranee, anche all’interno e per legittimare ufficialmente il pregiudizio, per garantire che “l’integrazione” – il Sacro Graal della narrazione progressista sull’immigrazione – resti illusoria e irrealizzabile, uno scherzo crudele giocato sulla pelle di persone destinate a rimanere etichettate come straniere e sospette. La nostra società nel suo insieme si mette al servizio di questo insaziabile confine, fino a definire la sua vera e propria identità nella capacità di respingere le persone.

      Malgrado arrivino continuamente immagini e notizie di tragedie e di morti, i media evitano di collegarle con le campagne di opinione che amplificano le cosiddette “legittime preoccupazioni” della gente e le trasformano in un inattaccabile “comune buon senso”.

      I compromessi che reggono le politiche di controllo dei confini non vengono messi in luce. Questo ci permette di guardare da un’altra parte, non perché siamo crudeli ma perché non possiamo sopportare di vedere quello che stiamo facendo. Ci sono persone e gruppi che, come denuncia Adam Serwer in un articolo su The Atlantic, sono proprio “Focalizzati sulla Crudeltà”. E anche se noi non siamo così, viviamo comunque nel loro stesso mondo, un mondo in cui degli esseri umani annegano e noi li guardiamo dall’alto dei nostri droni senza pilota, mentre lo stato punisce chi cerca di salvarli.

      In troppi crediamo nel mito di una frontiera dal volto umano, solo perché ci spaventa guardare in faccia la tragica e insanguinata realtà del concreto controllo quotidiano sui confini. E comunque, se fosse possibile, non avremmo ormai risolto questa contraddizione? Il fatto che non lo abbiamo fatto dovrebbe portarci a pensare che non ne siamo capaci e che ci si prospetta una cruda e desolante scelta morale per il futuro.

      D’ora in poi, il numero dei migranti non può che aumentare. I cambiamenti climatici saranno determinanti. La scelta di non respingerli non sarà certamente gratis: non c’è modo di condividere le nostre risorse con altri senza sostenere dei costi. Ma se non lo facciamo, scegliamo consapevolmente i naufragi, gli annegamenti, i campi di detenzione, scegliamo di destinare queste persone ad una vita da schiavi in zone di guerra. Scegliamo l’ambiente ostile. Scegliamo di “difendere il nostro stile di vita” semplicemente accettando di vivere a fianco di una popolazione sempre in aumento fatta di rifugiati senza patria, ammassati in baracche di lamiera e depositi soffocanti, sfiniti fino alla disperazione.

      Ma c’è un costo che, alla fine, giudicheremo troppo alto da pagare? Per il momento, sembra di no: ma, … cosa siamo diventati?

      https://dossierlibia.lasciatecientrare.it/luso-dei-droni-per-guardare-i-migranti-che-affogano-m

    • Et aussi... l’utilisation de moins en moins de #bateaux et de plus en plus de #avions a le même effet...

      Sophia : The EU naval mission without any ships

      Launched in 2015 to combat human smuggling in the Mediterranean, the operation has been all but dismantled, symbolizing European division on immigration policy.


      The Italian air base of Sigonella extends its wire fencing across the green and yellow fields of Sicily, 25 kilometers inland from the island’s coastline. Only the enormous cone of Mount Etna, visible in the distance, stands out over this flat land. Posters depicting a sniper taking aim indicate that this is a restricted-access military zone with armed surveillance.

      Inside, there is an enormous city with deserted avenues, runways and hangars. This is the departure point for aircraft patrolling the Central Mediterranean as part of EU Naval Force Mediterranean Operation Sophia, Europe’s military response to the human smuggling rings, launched in 2015. But since March of this year, the planes have been a reflection of a mutilated mission: Sophia is now a naval operation without any ships.

      The Spanish detachment in #Sigonella has just rotated some of its personnel. A group of newly arrived soldiers are being trained in a small room inside one of the makeshift containers where the group of 39 military members work. The aircraft that they use is standing just a few meters away, on a sun-drenched esplanade that smells of fuel. The plane has been designed for round-the-clock maritime surveillance, and it has a spherical infrared camera fitted on its nose that allows it to locate and identify seagoing vessels, as well as to detect illegal trafficking of people, arms and oil.

      If the EU had systematically shown more solidarity with Italy [...] Italian voters would not have made a dramatic swing to the far right

      Juan Fernando López Aguilar, EU Civil Liberties Committee

      This aircraft was also made to assist in sea rescues. But this activity is no longer taking place, now that there are no ships in the mission. Six aircraft are all that remain of Operation Sophia, which has been all but dismantled. Nobody would venture to say whether its mandate will be extended beyond the current deadline of September 30.

      The planes at Sigonella continue to patrol the Central Mediterranean and collect information to meet the ambitious if vague goal that triggered the mission back at the height of the refugee crisis: “To disrupt the business of human and weapons smuggling.” The operation’s most controversial task is still being carried out as well: training Libya’s Coast Guard so they will do the job of intercepting vessels filled with people fleeing Libyan war and chaos, and return them to the point of departure. Even official sources of Europe’s diplomatic service admitted, in a written reply, that the temporary suspension of naval assets “is not optimal,” and that the mission’s ability to fulfill its mandate “is more limited.”

      In these four years, the mission has had some tangible achievements: the arrest of 151 individuals suspected of human trafficking and smuggling, and the destruction of 551 boats used by criminal networks. Operation Sophia has also inspected three ships and seized banned goods; it has made radio contact with 2,462 vessels to check their identity, and made 161 friendly approaches. For European diplomats, the mission has been mainly useful in “significantly reducing smugglers’ ability to operate in high seas” and has generally contributed to “improving maritime safety and stability in the Central Mediterranean.”

      Sophia’s main mission was never to rescue people at sea, yet in these last years it has saved 45,000 lives, following the maritime obligation to aid people in distress. The reason why it has been stripped of its ships – a move that has been strongly criticized by non-profit groups – can be found 800 kilometers north of Sicily, in Rome, and also in the offices of European politicians. Last summer, Italy’s far-right Interior Minister Matteo Salvini began to apply a closed-port policy for ships carrying rescued migrants unless a previous relocation agreement existed with other countries. Salvini first targeted the non-profit groups performing sea rescues, and then he warned his European colleagues that Italy, which is leading the EU mission, would refuse to take in all the rescued migrants without first seeing a change in EU policy. A year later, no European deal has emerged, and every time a rescue is made, the issue of who takes in the migrants is negotiated on an ad hoc basis.

      Operation Sophia has saved 45,000 lives

      Although arrivals through this route have plummeted, Salvini insists that “Italy is not willing to accept all the migrants who arrive in Europe.” Political division among member states has had an effect on the European military mission. “Sophia has not been conducting rescues since August 2018,” says Matteo Villa, a migration expert at Italy’s Institute for International Policy Studies (ISPI). “Nobody in the EU wanted to see a mission ship with migrants on board being refused port entry, so the ‘solution’ was to suspend Sophia’s naval tasks.”

      The decision to maintain the operation without any ships was made at the last minute in March, in a move that prevented the dismantling of the mission just ahead of the European elections. “Operation Sophia has helped save lives, although that was not its main objective. It was a mistake for [the EU] to leave it with nothing but airplanes, without the ships that were able to save lives,” says Matteo de Bellis, a migration and refugee expert at Amnesty International. “What they are doing now, training the Libyans, only serves to empower the forces that intercept refugees and migrants and return them to Libya, where they face arbitrary detention in centers where there is torture, exploitation and rape.”

      Ever since the great maritime rescue operation developed by Italy in 2013, the Mare Nostrum, which saved 150,000 people, its European successors have been less ambitious in scope and their goals more focused on security and border patrolling. This is the case with Sophia, which by training the Libyan Coast Guard is contributing to the increasingly clear strategy of outsourcing EU migratory control, even to a country mired in chaos and war. “If Europe reduces search-and-rescue operations and encourages Libya to conduct them in its place, then it is being an accomplice to the violations taking place in Libya,” says Catherine Wollard, secretary general of the non-profit network integrated in the European Council of Refugees and Exiles (ECRE).

      Training the Libyans only serves to empower the forces that intercept refugees and migrants and return them to Libya, where they face torture, exploitation and rape

      Matteo de Bellis, Amnesty International

      The vision offered by official European sources regarding the training of the Libyan Coast Guard, and about Operation Sophia in general, is very different when it comes to reducing mortality on the Mediterranean’s most deadly migration route. “Operation Sophia was launched to fight criminal human smuggling networks that put lives at risk in the Central Mediterranean,” they say in a written response. European officials are aware of what is going on in Libya, but their response to the accusations of abuse perpetrated by the Libyan Coast Guard and the situation of migrants confined in detention centers in terrible conditions, is the following: “Everything that happens in Libyan territorial waters is Libya’s responsibility, not Europe’s, yet we are not looking the other way. […] Through Operation Sophia we have saved lives, fought traffickers and trained the Libyan Coast Guard […]. We are performing this last task because substantial loss of life at sea is taking place within Libyan territorial waters. That is why it is very important for Libya’s Coast Guard and Navy to know how to assist distressed migrants in line with international law and humanitarian standards. Also, because the contribution of Libya’s Coast Guard in the fight against traffickers operating in their waters is indispensable.”

      Criticism of Operation Sophia is also coming from the European Parliament, which funded the trip that made this feature story possible. Juan Fernando López Aguilar, president of the parliament’s Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs, attacks the decision to strip Sophia of its naval resources. The Socialist Party (PSOE) politician says that this decision was made “in the absolute absence of a global approach to the migration phenomenon that would include cooperative coordination of all the resources at member states’ disposal, such as development aid in Africa, cooperation with origin and transit countries, hirings in countries of origin and the creation of legal ways to access the EU. Now that would dismantle [the mafias’] business model,” he says.

      López Aguilar says that the EU is aware of Italy’s weariness of the situation, considering that “for years it dealt with a migratory pressure that exceeded its response capacity.” Between 2014 and 2017, around 624,000 people landed on Italy’s coasts. “If they EU had systematically shown more solidarity with Italy, if relocation programs for people in hotspots had been observed, very likely Italian voters would not have made a dramatic swing giving victory to the far right, nor would we have reached a point where a xenophobic closed-port narrative is claimed to represent the salvation of Italian interests.”

      Miguel Urbán, a European Member of Parliament for the Spanish leftist party Unidas Podemos, is highly critical of the way the EU has been managing immigration. He talks about a “militarization of the Mediterranean” and describes European policy as bowing to “the far right’s strategy.” He blames Italy’s attitude for turning Sophia into “an operation in the Mediterranean without a naval fleet. What the Italian government gets out of this is to rid itself of its humanitarian responsibility to disembark migrants on its coasts.”

      For now, no progress has been made on the underlying political problem of disembarkation and, by extension, on the long-delayed reform of the Dublin Regulation to balance out frontline states’ responsibility in taking in refugees with solidarity from other countries. Sophia will continue to hobble along until September after being all but given up for dead in March. After that, everything is still up in the air.

      https://elpais.com/elpais/2019/08/29/inenglish/1567088519_215547.html
      #Sophie #Opération_Sophia #Sicile

    • L’uso dei droni per guardare i migranti che affogano mette a nudo tutta la disumanità delle pratiche di controllo sui confini

      In troppi crediamo al mito di una frontiera dal volto umano, solo perché ci spaventa guardare in faccia la realtà macchiata di sangue.

      “Se avessi ignorato quelle grida di aiuto, non avrei mai più trovato il coraggio di affrontare il mare”.

      Con queste parole il pescatore siciliano Carlo Giarratano ha commentato la sua decisione di sfidare il “decreto sicurezza” del Governo italiano, che prevede sanzioni o l’arresto nei confronti di chiunque trasporti in Italia migranti soccorsi in mare.

      La sua storia è un esempio della preoccupante tensione che si è creata ai confini della “Fortezza Europa” in materia di leggi e regolamenti. Secondo il diritto internazionale, il capitano di un’imbarcazione in mare è tenuto a fornire assistenza alle persone in difficoltà, “a prescindere dalla nazionalità o dalla cittadinanza delle persone stesse”. Al contempo, molti paesi europei, e la stessa UE, stanno cercando di limitare questo principio e queste attività, malgrado il tragico bilancio di morti nel Mediterraneo, in continua crescita.

      L’Agenzia di Confine e Guardia Costiera Europea, Frontex, sembra aver escogitato una soluzione ingegnosa: i droni. L’obbligo legale di aiutare un’imbarcazione in difficoltà non si applica a un veicolo aereo senza pilota (UAV, unmanned aerial vehicle). Si può aggirare la questione, politicamente calda, su chi sia responsabile di accogliere i migranti soccorsi, se questi semplicemente non vengono proprio soccorsi. Questo principio fa parte di una consolidata tendenza a mettere in atto politiche finalizzate a impedire che i migranti attraversino il Mediterraneo. Visto l’obbligo di soccorrere le persone che ci chiedono aiuto, la soluzione sembra essere questa: fare in modo di non sentire le loro richieste.

      Jean-Claude Juncker sostiene che le politiche europee di presidio ai confini sono concepite per “stroncare il business dei trafficanti”, perché nella moralità egocentrica che ispira la politica di frontiera europea, se non ci fossero trafficanti non ci sarebbero migranti.

      Ma non ci sono trafficanti che si fabbricano migranti in officina. Se le rotte ufficiali sono bloccate, le persone vanno a cercare quelle non ufficiali. Rendere la migrazione più difficile, ha fatto aumentare la richiesta di trafficanti e scafisti, certamente non l’ha fermata. Invece che stroncare il loro business, queste politiche lo hanno creato.

      Secondo la logica della foglia di fico, l’UE sostiene di non limitarsi a lasciare affogare i migranti, ma di fornire supporto alla guardia costiera libica perché intercetti le imbarcazioni che tentano la traversata e riporti le persone nei campi di detenzione in Libia.

      Ma il rapporto del Global Detention Project, a proposito delle condizioni in questi campi, riferisce: “I detenuti sono spesso sottoposti a gravi abusi e violenze, compresi stupri e torture, estorsioni, lavori forzati, schiavitù, condizioni di vita insopportabili, esecuzioni sommarie.” Human Rights Watch, in un rapporto intitolato Senza via di fuga dall’Inferno, descrive situazioni di sovraffollamento e malnutrizione e riporta testimonianze di bambini picchiati dalle guardie.

      L’Irish Times ha riportato accuse secondo cui le milizie associate con il GNA (Governo Libico di Alleanza Nazionale, riconosciuto dall’ONU), starebbero immagazzinando munizioni in questi campi e userebbero i rifugiati come “scudi umani”. Sembra quasi inevitabile, quindi, la notizia che il 3 luglio almeno 53 rifugiati sono stati uccisi durante un attacco dei ribelli appartenenti all’Esercito Nazionale Libico, nel campo di detenzione di Tajura, vicino a Tripoli.

      Secondo una testimonianza riportata dall’Associated Press, a Tajura i migranti erano costretti a pulire le armi delle milizie fedeli al GNA, armi che erano immagazzinate nel campo. Secondo i racconti di testimoni oculari dell’attacco, riportati dalle forze ONU, le guardie del campo avrebbero aperto il fuoco su chi tentava di scappare.

      Nel mondo occidentale, quando parliamo di immigrazione, tendiamo a focalizzarci sul cosiddetto “impatto sulle comunità” causato dai flussi di nuovi arrivati che si muovono da un posto all’altro.

      Nelle nostre discussioni, ci chiediamo se i migranti portino un guadagno per l’economia oppure intacchino risorse già scarse. Raramente ci fermiamo a guardare nella sua cruda e tecnica realtà la concreta applicazione del controllo alle frontiere, quando si traduce davvero in fucili e filo spinato.

      Ci ripetiamo che i costi vanno tutti in un’unica direzione: secondo la nostra narrazione preferita, i controlli di confine sono tutti gratis, è lasciare entrare i migranti la cosa che costa. Ma i costi da pagare ci sono sempre: non solo il tributo di morti che continua a crescere o i budget multimilionari e sempre in aumento delle nostre agenzie di frontiera, ma anche i costi morali e sociali che finiamo con l’estorcere a noi stessi.

      L’ossessione per la sicurezza dei confini deve fare i conti con alcune delle più antiche e radicate convinzioni etiche proprie delle società occidentali. Prendersi cura del più debole, fare agli altri quello che vogliamo sia fatto a noi, aiutare chi possiamo. Molti uomini e donne che lavorano in mare, quando soccorrono dei naufraghi non sono spinti solo da una legge che li obbliga a prestare aiuto, ma anche da un imperativo morale più essenziale. “Lo facciamo perché siamo gente di mare”, ha detto Giarratano al Guardian, “in mare, se ci sono persone in pericolo, le salviamo”.

      Ma i nostri governi hanno deciso che questo non vale per gli europei. Come se fosse una perversa sfida lanciata a istinti morali vecchi di migliaia di anni, nell’Europa moderna un marinaio che salva un migrante mentre sta per affogare, deve essere punito.

      Infrangere queste reti di reciproche responsabilità fra gli esseri umani, ha dei costi: divisioni e tensioni sociali. Ed è un amaro paradosso, perché proprio argomenti di questo genere sono in testa alle nostre preoccupazioni percepite quando si parla di migrazioni. E mentre l’UE fa di tutto per respingere un fronte del confine verso i deserti del Nord Africa, cercando di tenere i corpi dei rifugiati abbastanza lontani da non farceli vedere da vicino, intanto l’altro fronte continua a spingere verso di noi. L’Europa diventa un “ambiente ostile” e quindi noi diventiamo un popolo ostile.

      Ci auto-ingaggiamo come guardie di confine al nostro interno. Padroni di casa, infermiere, insegnanti, manager – ogni relazione sociale deve essere controllata. Il nostro regime di “frontiera quotidiana” crea “comunità sospette” all’interno della nostra società: sono persone sospette per il solo fatto di esistere e, nei loro confronti, si possono chiamare le forze dell’ordine in ogni momento, “giusto per dare un’occhiata”.

      Il confine non è solo un sistema per tenere gli estranei fuori dalla nostra società, ma per marchiare per sempre le persone come estranee, anche all’interno e per legittimare ufficialmente il pregiudizio, per garantire che “l’integrazione” – il Sacro Graal della narrazione progressista sull’immigrazione – resti illusoria e irrealizzabile, uno scherzo crudele giocato sulla pelle di persone destinate a rimanere etichettate come straniere e sospette. La nostra società nel suo insieme si mette al servizio di questo insaziabile confine, fino a definire la sua vera e propria identità nella capacità di respingere le persone.

      Malgrado arrivino continuamente immagini e notizie di tragedie e di morti, i media evitano di collegarle con le campagne di opinione che amplificano le cosiddette “legittime preoccupazioni” della gente e le trasformano in un inattaccabile “comune buon senso”.

      I compromessi che reggono le politiche di controllo dei confini non vengono messi in luce. Questo ci permette di guardare da un’altra parte, non perché siamo crudeli ma perché non possiamo sopportare di vedere quello che stiamo facendo. Ci sono persone e gruppi che, come denuncia Adam Serwer in un articolo su The Atlantic, sono proprio “Focalizzati sulla Crudeltà”. E anche se noi non siamo così, viviamo comunque nel loro stesso mondo, un mondo in cui degli esseri umani annegano e noi li guardiamo dall’alto dei nostri droni senza pilota, mentre lo stato punisce chi cerca di salvarli.

      In troppi crediamo nel mito di una frontiera dal volto umano, solo perché ci spaventa guardare in faccia la tragica e insanguinata realtà del concreto controllo quotidiano sui confini. E comunque, se fosse possibile, non avremmo ormai risolto questa contraddizione? Il fatto che non lo abbiamo fatto dovrebbe portarci a pensare che non ne siamo capaci e che ci si prospetta una cruda e desolante scelta morale per il futuro.

      D’ora in poi, il numero dei migranti non può che aumentare. I cambiamenti climatici saranno determinanti. La scelta di non respingerli non sarà certamente gratis: non c’è modo di condividere le nostre risorse con altri senza sostenere dei costi. Ma se non lo facciamo, scegliamo consapevolmente i naufragi, gli annegamenti, i campi di detenzione, scegliamo di destinare queste persone ad una vita da schiavi in zone di guerra. Scegliamo l’ambiente ostile. Scegliamo di “difendere il nostro stile di vita” semplicemente accettando di vivere a fianco di una popolazione sempre in aumento fatta di rifugiati senza patria, ammassati in baracche di lamiera e depositi soffocanti, sfiniti fino alla disperazione.

      Ma c’è un costo che, alla fine, giudicheremo troppo alto da pagare? Per il momento, sembra di no: ma, … cosa siamo diventati?

      https://dossierlibia.lasciatecientrare.it/luso-dei-droni-per-guardare-i-migranti-che-affogano-m

    • Grèce : le gouvernement durcit nettement sa position et implique l’armée à la gestion de flux migratoire en Mer Egée

      Après deux conférences intergouvernementales ce we., le gouvernement Mitsotakis a décidé la participation active de l’Armée et des Forces Navales dans des opérations de dissuasion en Mer Egée. En même temps il a décidé de poursuivre les opérations de ’désengorgement’ des îlses, de renfoncer les forces de garde-côte en effectifs et en navires, et de pousser plus loin la coopération avec Frontex et les forces de l’Otan qui opèrent déjà dans la région.

      Le durcissement net de la politique gouvernementale se traduit aussi par le retour en force d’un discours ouvertement xénophobe. Le vice-président du gouvernement grec, Adonis Géorgiadis, connu pour ses positions à l’’extrême-droite de l’échiquier politique, a déclaré que parmi les nouveaux arrivants, il y aurait très peu de réfugiés, la plupart seraient des ‘clandestins’ et il n’a pas manqué de qualifier les flux d’ ‘invasion’.

      source – en grec - Efimerida tôn Syntaktôn : https://www.efsyn.gr/politiki/kybernisi/211786_kybernisi-sklirainei-ti-stasi-tis-sto-prosfygiko

      Il va de soi que cette militarisation de la gestion migratoire laisse craindre le pire dans la mesure où le but évident de l’implication de l’armée ne saurait être que la systématisation des opérations de push-back en pleine mer, ce qui est non seulement illégal mais ouvertement criminel.

      Reçu de Vicky Skoumbi via la mailing-list Migreurop, 23.09.2019

  • La ribellione silenziosa e composta della Guardia Costiera italiana contro Salvini

    Dio strabenedica la “#Gregoretti”. Dio strabenedica l’ammiraglio #Pettorino. Dio strabenedica i suoi alti ufficiali, in divisa bianca. E i suoi uomini, servitori dello Stato, che si fanno soldati della Costituzione e della legge del mare salvando 141 vite e finendo “sequestrati” solo per questo gesto.

    C’è qualcosa di scandaloso, nell’atto persecutorio che per la terza volta colpisce la #Guardia_Costiera, e c’è qualcosa di eroico nella fermezza silenziosa e composta con cui gli uomini di Pettorino reagiscono: senza fare polemica, ma senza deflettere di un millimetro dalla loro missione.

    I fatti sono noti: il Viminale nega lo sbarco a Lampedusa alla “Gregoretti” (questa onomastica sarebbe piaciuta all’omonimo Ugo), lo nega anche alla nave della Guardia costiera italiana che ha accolto a bordo i migranti soccorsi giovedì 25 luglio dal peschereccio «#Accursio_Giarratano» a cinquanta miglia da Malta.

    E ovviamente il capitano (di latta) Matteo Salvini ha parlato: «Ho dato disposizione – dice il ministro dell’Interno aprendo così un nuovo caso Diciotti – che non le venga assegnato nessun porto prima che ci sia sulla carta una redistribuzione in tutta Europa dei migranti a bordo».

    Quindi gli uomini della Guardia Costiera sono di nuovo sotto ricatto, di nuovo bloccati e inibiti a sbarcare. Solo che questa volta non ci sono alibi, veri o fittizi: non si tratta dei “pirati ai caraibi”, o delle fantomatiche “Ong criminali”, dei mostruosi “taxi del mare”, ma di un corpo dello Stato, una nave della Marina che batte bandiera italiana e risponde agli ordini di un ministro del governo. Salvini – quindi – il nuovo “caso Diciotti” non lo sta evitando, lo sta creando.

    Adesso – dunque – la contesa sul diritto al salvataggio in mare e sull’individuazione dell’approdo nel porto più sicuro coinvolge anche le imbarcazioni della nostra Guardia costiera, in questo caso la «Gregoretti», bloccata al largo coi migranti salvati a bordo.

    Il comandante del peschereccio di Sciacca, in provincia di Agrigento, ci ha raccontato una storia semplice e terribile: lui che raccoglie i naufraghi, Malta che non risponde all’sos (vergogna). E lui, per salvare quelle vite, chiede il soccorso del suo paese, come era ovvio e inevitabile. Una nave italiana, secondo la legge, è già Italia.

    Sulla strada del ritorno verso Lampedusa, dopo il diktat di Salvini, lo scenario diventa surreale: da una parte il Viminale, dall’altra i nostri militari.

    Fonti del Ministero dicono che della vicenda è stata investita la Commissione europea, con l’obiettivo di allargare e condividere il ricollocamento (cosa giusta) ma questo non può essere un alibi. Una nave di un corpo dello Stato non può essere sequestrata da un altro corpo dello Stato. Gli uomini dell’Ammiraglio Pettorino non sono lì per divertirsi, o anche per una lodevole missione umanitaria. Sono lì perché eseguono ordini: pensare di poterli mettere in quarantena è una vergogna.

    Dice ancora Salvini: «Nessuno sbarcherà finché non ci sarà nome, cognome e indirizzo dei Paesi che ospiteranno i migranti: fidarsi è bene, ma io faccio come San Tommaso».

    Solo che adesso una voce deve levarsi. La vicenda riguarda anche il ministro dei Trasporti M5S #Danilo_Toninelli, che formalmente guida ed è responsabile della Guardia Costiera. È lui che deve tutelare gli uomini di chi ha la responsabilità. Il M5s non può pensare di recuperare un voto finché alcuni dei suoi ministri, che occupano posti di responsabilità cruciale, latitano o tacciono quando vengono chiamato in causa. Toninelli deve capire che se non vuole sembrare un ministro “commissariato” deve far sentire la sua voce. Oppure certificare con questo silenzio sulla Gregoretti la sua non responsabilità. E quindi dimettersi.

    https://www.tpi.it/2019/07/27/migranti-guardia-costiera-salvini-gregoretti
    #gardes-côtes #Italie #résistance #Salvini #décret_Salvini #Decreto_Salvini #sauvetage #Méditerranée #asile #migrations #réfugiés

    Ajouté à cette métaliste:
    https://seenthis.net/messages/739545#message766817

    • Italy’s Salvini faces new trial risk for holding migrants on ship

      A special tribunal has recommended that former Italian interior minister and far-right League party leader Matteo Salvini face trial for holding scores of migrants on board a coastguard ship docked in a port in Sicily in July.

      In a court document seen by Reuters, Sicilian magistrates ask parliament for authorisation to continue their investigation into Salvini for alleged kidnapping, saying he abused his powers and “deprived 131 migrants of personal liberty”.

      In July Salvini, then interior minister, ordered the migrants, including children, remain on board the Italian coastguard ship Gregoretti until other European countries agreed to take most of them in.

      “Investigated because I defended the security, the borders and the dignity of my country, unbelievable,” the anti-migrant leader said in a statement. He called the investigation “shameful”.

      During his 14 months at the interior ministry, Salvini staked his credibility on a pledge to halt migrant flows, blocking Italian ports to rescue ships and threatening the charities operating them with fines.

      The investigation echoes another case earlier this year.

      In February, when the League was in government with the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement, parliament rejected a magistrates’ request to pursue a kidnapping probe into Salvini for refusing permission to disembark for some 150 migrants on a coastguard ship stranded off Sicily.

      On that occasion the 5-Star, which had always criticized the practice of halting judicial proceedings against lawmakers, rescued Salvini and blocked the investigation after weeks of tension within the government.

      But things have now changed. The League walked out of government in August and 5-Star have formed a new coalition with the centre-left Democratic Party (PD), which strongly opposes Salvini’s hard line against migrants.

      The PD and other minor government parties are expected to vote to grant the authorisation, and on Wednesday 5-Star leader Luigi Di Maio appeared to suggest his party will do the same.

      He told state television network RAI that in the case of the Gregoretti ship Salvini had acted on his own initiative, rather than on behalf of the whole government, and said: “I hope Salvini can prove his innocence.”

      The case will be examined by a 23-member upper house Senate committee. The timetable for its hearings has not yet been set.

      https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-italy-salvini-migrants-court/italys-salvini-faces-new-trial-risk-for-holding-migrants-on-ship-idUKKBN

    • Le Sénat italien autorise le renvoi de Matteo Salvini devant la justice pour « séquestration » de migrants

      Un #tribunal de Catane accuse l’ex-ministre de l’intérieur d’« #abus_de_pouvoir » et de « #séquestration_de_personnes » pour avoir bloqué des migrants, l’été dernier, à bord d’un navire des gardes-côtes.

      Le Sénat italien a tranché, mercredi 12 février. L’actuel chef de l’extrême droite italienne, Matteo Salvini, devrait être renvoyé en justice pour avoir bloqué un bateau de migrants quand il était ministre de l’intérieur.

      Le résultat officiel du vote sera communiqué à 19 heures (heure de Paris), mais le tableau électronique des votes vu par plusieurs journalistes de l’Agence France-Presse (AFP) indiquant pendant quelques secondes le résultat du scrutin a permis d’établir clairement son #renvoi_en_justice, confirmé par tous les médias italiens.

      La Constitution italienne permet en effet au Parlement de bloquer des #poursuites contre un ministre si les élus considèrent qu’il a agi dans le cadre de ses fonctions et dans l’#intérêt_supérieur_de_l’Etat. Ce feu vert du Sénat ouvre la voie à un #procès. L’ancien ministre encourt quinze ans de réclusion.

      Décision collective contre décision personnelle

      Devant les sénateurs mercredi, le leadeur du parti populiste de la Ligue a revendiqué sa décision. « Je n’irai pas dans cette salle de tribunal pour me défendre, j’irai pour revendiquer avec orgueil ce que j’ai fait », a-t-il lancé aux sénateurs, réitérant que c’était son « devoir » de défendre les frontières du pays quand il était ministre de l’intérieur.

      Concrètement, il est accusé par un tribunal de Catane, en Sicile, « d’abus de pouvoir et de séquestration de personnes » pour avoir bloqué l’été dernier, durant plusieurs jours, 116 migrants à bord d’un navire des gardes-côtes italiens, le #Gregoretti. Quelques dizaines de migrants avaient pu être évacués pour raisons médicales, mais les autres étaient restés sur le navire près d’une semaine, faute d’autorisation de débarquer. M. Salvini était alors ministre de l’intérieur d’un gouvernement formé par la Ligue (son parti) et les anti-establishment du Mouvement 5 étoiles (M5S).

      A ce stade, la stratégie de M. Salvini est de tenter d’impliquer le premier ministre d’alors, Giuseppe Conte, en affirmant que le blocage du navire en juillet 2019 était une décision collective du gouvernement. M. Conte, reconduit en septembre à la tête d’un exécutif formé cette fois du M5S et du Parti démocrate, principal parti de gauche, conteste cette version des faits. Selon le chef du gouvernement, Salvini a, avant l’épisode Gregoretti, « fait approuver un nouveau décret-loi qui renforçait ses compétences, il a revendiqué le choix de faire ou non débarquer les personnes à bord du Gregoretti, et aussi sur le moment de le faire ». En juin 2019, M. Salvini a effectivement fait adopter une loi renforçant ses pouvoirs et prévoyant que « le ministre de l’intérieur peut limiter et interdire l’entrée, le transit ou l’arrêt des navires dans les eaux territoriales pour des motifs d’ordre et de sécurité publics ».

      Pour sa défense, M. Salvini invoque un cas similaire au Gregoretti, remontant à août 2018, lorsque 177 migrants se trouvant à bord du navire des gardes-côtes italiens Diciotti avaient été empêchés de débarquer pendant plusieurs jours. A l’époque, le gouvernement avait défendu l’idée d’une décision collégiale, et le Sénat avait bloqué une demande de renvoi en justice contre M. Salvini.

      Blocage de l’Open Arms

      Les soucis de Salvini ne s’arrêtent pas à l’affaire du Gregoretti. Une commission du Sénat devra statuer, le 27 février, sur une autre demande de renvoi en justice concernant, cette fois, le navire humanitaire Open Arms, bloqué mi-août 2019 pendant plusieurs jours devant l’île de Lampedusa, sur ordre de M. Salvini.

      Même après son probable renvoi devant le tribunal des ministres, une juridiction spéciale composée de trois magistrats expérimentés de Catane, M. Salvini devra probablement attendre des années pour être fixé sur son sort, compte tenu de la lenteur de la justice italienne et des possibilités de recours. En cas de condamnation définitive, c’est-à-dire en dernière instance par la Cour de cassation, le patron de la Ligue encourt aussi une peine d’inéligibilité de six à huit ans.

      https://www.lemonde.fr/international/article/2020/02/12/matteo-salvini-renvoye-en-justice-par-le-senat-pour-sequestration-de-migrant
      #justice

  • Aerei da pattugliamento e #radar. Ecco il piano segreto anti-sbarchi

    Si delinea la strategia del governo per dare supporto alle Guardie costiere di Libia e Tunisia.
    La Marina militare da sola non riesce a tenere sotto controllo il Mediterraneo e perciò si ricorrerà anche all’Aeronautica. Oltre le navi che già presidiano il mare a sud della Sicilia, saranno schierati aerei-radar, droni e aerei da pattugliamento. L’obiettivo sono i soliti barconi e barchini che partono da Libia e Tunisia. Questo il piano segreto di Matteo Salvini, condiviso dall’intero governo, per frenare le partenze dei clandestini e aiutare in maniera sostanziale le due Guardie costiere, quella libica e quella tunisina, le sole che possono operare nelle rispettive acque territoriali, ma non hanno una tecnologia all’altezza, occorre un salto di qualità. E a questo ci penseranno gli italiani con una rete di osservazione dal mare e dal cielo.

    https://www.lastampa.it/topnews/primo-piano/2019/07/09/news/aerei-da-pattugliamento-e-radar-nbsp-ecco-il-piano-segreto-anti-sbarchi-1.3
    #externalisation #asile #migrations #frontières #réfugiés #avions #miltiarisation_des_frontières #Méditerranée #Italie #Libye #gardes-côtes_libyens #gardes-côtes_tunisiens #Tunisie

    –----

    Ajouté à ces métalistes :
    1. Externalisation des contrôles frontaliers en #Libye :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/765324
    2. L’externalisation en #Tunisie (accords avec l’Italie notamment) :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/731749#message765330

    • Commentaire de Sara Prestianni, reçu par email via la mailing-list Migreurop :

      A completer la proposition des 10 motovedette à offrir à la Libye, circulent aujourd’hui autre propositions qui ont été présenté par la presse comme “le secret contre les débarquements” : remplir le ciel de la Méditerranée avec des avion-radar, drones et avions de patrouilles pour aider les Gardes Cotes Libyens Tunisiens pour que ils puissent rejoindre les migrants en mer avant des ong afin que les migrants soient ramenés en Tunisie et Libye et pas en Italie. L’objectif déclaré est que tout bateau soit bloqué avant que il ne rentre en eaux internationales et encore moins nationales italiens.

      Puisque la Marine ne suffirait pas à “garder sous contrôle la mer Méditerranée” le Gouvernement fait appelle donc appelle aussi à l’aéronautique militaire. Seront mis à disposition les avions Atr42 pour le patrouilles maritimes, les drones Predator, les avions radar G550 CAEW. L’ensemble des moyens aériens devront communiquer aux MRCC de compétence (qui dans la tete du Gouvernement sont celui libyen et tunisien”) pour que ils puissent intervenir.
      Selon le Ministre de l’Interieur Italien, Tunisie et Libye ne sont pas suffisamment équipées, elles n’ont pas de technologie à l’hauteur. Technologie qui sera donc fourni par l’Italie.

      Cela explique la grande satisfaction exprimée par Salvini à l’annonce de l’opération de interception mené par les Gardes Cotes Tunisiennes au large de Kerkennah. Mais dans son discours ne manque pas de les accuser “En Tunisie il y a des institutions libres, je ne comprends pas pourquoi ils ne contrôlent par leur frontières” déclare Salvini, ou encore “Puisque en Tunisie il y a un parlement et un Gouvernement qui reçoivent des milliers de euro par l’Europe, il faut que chacun faisse sa part”

      La Ministre de la Defense, Trenta, a donné son feu vert à ce qui a été définis “augmentation de la capacité de surveillance, repérage et intelligence”

      https://www.lastampa.it/topnews/primo-piano/2019/07/09/news/aerei-da-pattugliamento-e-radar-nbsp-ecco-il-piano-segreto-anti-sbarchi-1.3

      Face à un nombre très faible de arrivé (3000 en 6 mois), le constat du contexte libyen qui ne peut être considéré un port sure, la Tunisie non plus, la seule préoccupation du Gouvernement italien semble être celle de “sécher dans le temps” les ong, qui respectent le droit maritime ramèneraient les migrants dans un port sure (donc européen).

      Semblent bien loin le temps que l’Italie utilisait des forces militaires pour une mission de sauvetage, comme a été le cas pour Mare Nostrum en 2014 ….

    • Libia, festa della Marina: l’Italia consegna dieci nuove #motovedette

      Sabato scorso a Tripoli, nella base di #Sitta. Promesse dall’ex ministro Salvini a luglio scorso, i libici ne prendono possesso proprio nel giorno della scadenza del Memorandum

      La Marina libica ha festeggiato il 57esimo anniversario della sua fondazione prendendo possesso delle dieci nuove piccole motovedette fornite dall’Italia. La cerimonia e’ avvenuta nella base di Abu Sitta a Tripoli sabato scorso, il 2 novembre, proprio il giorno in cui scadeva il contestato Memorandum Italia-Libia che il governo italiano ha scelto di rinnovare per j prossimi tre anni chiedendo delle modifiche a garanzia del rispetto dei diritti umani delle migliaia di migranti intercettati dalla guardia costiera libica e riportati nei centri di detenzione in cui vengono tenuti in condizioni disumane e sottoposti ad ogni tipo di violenze.

      La consegna delle motovedette che va cosi’ ad arricchire la flotta della Guardia costiera fornita e addestrata dall’Italia era stata promessa e annunciata per la fine dell’estate dall’ex ministro dell’Interno Matteo Salvini in uno degli ultimi comitati nazionale ordine e sicurezza da lui presieduto. Negli ultimi due anni sono stati quasi 40.000 i migranti intercettati e riportati indietro dai libici con interventi nella zona Sar sotto il controllo di Tripoli ma che, dalle indagini dei pm di Agrigento, risulta di fatto gestita dalla Marina italiana. Le foto delle dieci nuove motovedette consegnate durante la cerimonia sono state diffuse dalla Lybian navy e rilanciate dal sito di osservazione Migrant Rescue watch

      Ieri il ministro degli Esteri libico Mohamed Taher Siala ha ricevuto l’ambasciatore italiano Giuseppe Buccino Grimaldi, latore della nota verbale con cui l’Italia ha chiesto l’insediamento del Comitato italo-libico presieduto dai ministri di Interno ed Esteri di entrambi i Paesi, e ha confermato che la Libia esaminera’ gli emendamenti proposti dall’Italia e «decidera’ se approvarli o meno in linea con gli interessi supremi del governo e del popolo libico». Sulle modifiche al Memorandum il ministro dell’Interno Luciana Lamorgese riferira’ alla Camera mercoledi pomeriggio.

      https://www.repubblica.it/cronaca/2019/11/04/news/libia_festa_della_marina_l_italia_consegna_dieci_nuove_motovedette-240197

  • Tripoli interrompe i soccorsi in mare e usa le navi italiane per la guerra

    Tripoli e Roma minimizzano ma c’è chi ammette: le navi sono impegnate nella guerra libica. E ora l’Italia rischia un richiamo dell’Onu per non avere rispettato l’embargo sulla fornitura di armi.

    Aveva ragione l’Organizzazione marittima internazionale (Imo) a esprimere «preoccupazione per la situazione in Libia». Seppure da Tripoli si rifiutano di ufficializzarlo, l’area di ricerca e soccorso libica da giorni non è più interamente operativa. Non bastasse, si paventa il rischio di una violazione dell’embargo Onu sulle armi da guerra a causa delle motovedette fornite dall’Italia e «modificate» dai militari della Tripolitania.

    Da ieri vengono fatte circolare immagini di mitragliatori pesanti, fissati sulle torrette delle navi. Prima della consegna, però, i cantieri navali della Penisola a cui era stato affidato il rinnovamento, avevano completamente eliminato ogni arma dagli scafi, conformemente all’embargo stabilito dall’Onu e prorogato nel luglio 2018 per altri dodici mesi. Gli scatti vengono fatti circolare da quanti, proprio a Tripoli, vogliono smentire che la Guardia costiera non sia operativa. Un boomerang, perché secondo gli accordi le navi di fabbricazione italiana avrebbero dovuto essere usate solo per il pattugliamento marittimo e non per operazioni militari.

    Una conferma indiretta arriva da Roma. «La prosecuzione del conflitto potrebbe distogliere la Guardia costiera libica – spiega un portavoce del ministero delle Infrastrutture – dalle attività di pattugliamento e intervento nella loro area Sar, per orientarsi su un altro genere di operazioni». A cosa si riferiscano lo spiegano proprio i post pubblicati in rete attraverso profili vicini all’esercito del presidente Serraj: militari in tenuta da combattimento sul ponte delle navi che mostrano mitragliatori fissati sulle torrette. In passato i guardacoste libici avevano usato sistemi analoghi, il 26 maggio 2017 addirittura sparando «per errore» contro una motovedetta italiana. Subito dopo i cannoncini furono rimossi e mai più visti a bordo, dove di tanto in tanto apparivano militari con mitragliatori a spalla.

    «Non abbiamo notizie ufficiali circa una riduzione delle capacità Sar della Guardia costiera libica», spiegano dal ministero guidato da Danilo Toninelli dopo avere approfondito la questione anche con il Coordinamento delle operazioni di ricerca e soccorso (Mrcc) di Roma. La Libia, dunque, non ha ufficializzato all’Italia alcun abbandono della propria Sar.

    Farlo, del resto, avrebbe comportato l’immediata cancellazione della registrazione della competenza libica, costringendo l’Italia e l’Europa a decidere se tornare a coprire, come avveniva in passato, quel tratto di Mediterraneo. Oppure abbandonare nel nulla i migranti che continuano a partire. Le autorità italiane, però, sembrano non fidarsi affatto dei colleghi tripolini, la cui operatività «è quella che sappiamo tutti», aggiungono dalle Infrastrutture. Perciò «la nostra attenzione sulla Sar libica è alta». Nel corso di alcune interviste era stato anche il ministro dell’Interno libico a confermare che «la Guardia costiera è focalizzata sulla protezione della popolazione e della Tripolitania e ha dovuto interrompere le operazioni di intercettazione degli immigrati».

    Ci sono però anche difficoltà tecniche. «Negli ultimi giorni – spiega un operatore umanitario di un’agenzia internazionale – scarseggia il carburante e le navi della Guardia costiera sono a secco». Testimonianza confermata anche da alcuni addetti alla sicurezza di aziende italiane presenti nel porto di Tripoli.

    https://www.avvenire.it/attualita/pagine/libia-nessuno-pattuglia-mare-sar

    #gardes-côtes_libyens #asile #migrations #réfugiés #Méditerranée #sauvetages #Libye #externalisation #Italie

    Ajouté ici:
    https://seenthis.net/messages/731749#message765324

    • Guardia Costiera Libica ostaggio dei gruppi armati di Serraj

      “Aspettiamo di poter tornare a lavoro. Non possiamo fare nulla in quanto i nostri mezzi, comprese le motovedette che hanno ricevuto manutenzione e che ci sono state fornite dall’Italia, servono ai gruppi armati di Misurata e alla brigata al-Nawasi per monitorare le coste e nella guerra contro gli uomini del Maresciallo Khalifa Haftar”. A dichiararlo ai nostri microfoni è un ufficiale dei guardacoste, che ci ha chiesto di rimanere anonimo in quanto teme per le sorti della propria famiglia. “In questo momento di guerra, gli ufficiali di Misurata, non lasciano molto spazio alla scelta: o sei con noi, o contro di noi”. Ha affermato la nostra fonte, confermando le denunce del quotidiano Avvenire, da sempre attento a ciò che accade in Libia e lungo la rotta del Mediterraneo centrale, che aveva avvertito nei giorni scorsi del “rischio di una violazione dell’embargo Onu sulle armi da guerra a causa delle motovedette fornite dall’Italia e modificate dai militari della Tripolitania”. Le dichiarazioni shock del guardacoste confermano che la Guardia Costiera libica al momento non è in grado di garantire il pattugliamento delle acque di sua competenza, ne tantomeno di poter soccorrere eventuali imbarcazioni in difficoltà. Vincent Cochetel, rappresentante speciale di UNHCR per la situazione nel Mediterraneo centrale, ha affermato tramite il suo account Twitter: “E’ importante notare che nonostante la guerra a Tripoli, le barche con migranti e rifugiati non partono. Le milizie note per il loro coinvolgimento nella tratta di esseri umani sono troppo impegnate a combattere per la loro sopravvivenza. Chi li ha lasciati operare prima in totale impunità?”.

      https://specialelibia.it/2019/04/26/guardia-costiera-libica-ostaggio-dei-gruppi-armati-di-serraj

  • #Minniti: ‘Affidare il salvataggio dei naufraghi ai libici è stato un drammatico errore’

    Marco Minniti (PD): ‘Il problema è chi risponde al telefono. Prima rispondeva la guardia costiera italiana, ma ora nel Mediterraneo centrale non operiamo più… e la guardia costiera libica non è in grado di salvare i naufraghi’

    http://www.la7.it/piazzapulita/video/giannini-%E2%80%98l%E2%80%99italia-in-libia-ha-scommesso-sul-cavallo-sbagliato%E
    #ONG #sauvetage #asile #migrations #Méditerranée #réfugiés #erreur #erreur_dramatique #gardes-côtes_libyens #Libye
    via @isskein

    J’ai ajouté à cette métaliste:
    https://seenthis.net/messages/731749#message765324

    • «La guardiacostiera libica non è preparata a svolgere attività di coordinamento e salvataggio in mare. È stato un tragico errore». L’ex ministro Minniti dice la verità. Finalmente. Dopo centinaia di morti.

      https://twitter.com/openarms_it/status/1116448798472134656

      Traduction de @isskein :

      « Les garde-côtes libyens ne sont pas prêts à mener des activités de coordination et de sauvetage en mer. C’était une erreur tragique » L’ancien ministre Minniti (qui a lancé es négociations avec les Libyens) dit la vérité. Enfin. Après des centaines de morts.

      https://twitter.com/isskein/status/1116452323050565641?s=12

    • Warning of ’Libyan death zone’ as Tripoli stops migrant rescues

      The Libyan Coast Guard has not been operating in its maritime rescue zone for three weeks. A German search and rescue NGO, Sea-Eye, has called for Malta to take over and has warned of a ’Libyan death zone.’

      Sea-Eye says the United Nations refugee agency, the UNHCR, has confirmed that there has been no search and rescue activity by the Libyan Coast Guard in the maritime rescue zone since April 10. The claim is supported by a UN official in Tripoli with access to “official information,” according to the Italian newspaper Avvenire.

      Avvenire alleges that Libyan patrol boats normally used for search and rescue, which include some supplied by Italy and France, are being deployed for combat.operations in the civil war. Since the beginning of April, hundreds of people have been killed in fighting between the Haftar Libyan National Army and the internationally-recognized Government of National Accord. “Obviously, the government of Tripoli has its own problems instead of dealing with EU border protection,” says Gorden Isler, a spokesperson for Sea-Eye.

      Blackout

      The Sea-Eye search and rescue vessel, the Alan Kurdi, will spend the next month in a Spanish shipyard for routine maintenance, leaving one other NGO ship, the Mare Jonio, in action in the Central Mediterranean.

      With very few NGOs active in the area and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) unable to work in Tripoli, Isler says there is no information about emergencies or drownings at sea. Sea-Eye has not heard of any rescues since April 10.

      However, this tweet from Alarm Phone, the hotline for people in distress at sea, says a group of 23 people was picked up by a fishing boat and returned to Libya yesterday.

      Leaving rescue to Libyans ’irresponsible’

      With Libya “paralyzed” by civil war, Europe must step in now and take over rescue work in the Mediterranean, says Isler. Sea-Eye wants immediate action from the International Maritime Organization to remove responsibility for the sea area from Libya, or “Libya’s so-called search and rescue zone will become a Libyan death zone.”

      Sea-Eye says Libya had conducted few missions in its search and rescue zone before the escalation of civil conflict, with only 12 operations this year. During the period in which the Sea-Eye’s vessel was in the area, between March 25 and April 3, the Libyan Coast Guard (LCG) failed to engage in three separate emergencies, according to Isler. “Rubber boats with people disappear without any LCG activities. It is irresponsible to leave this search and rescue area to the Libyans.”

      Malta urged to take over

      Italy handed over responsibility for rescuing migrants in the search and rescue zone to Libya last June. In February, the German left-wing party, Die Linke, called for administration of the zone to be given back to the Maritime Rescue Coordination Center in Rome. But the prospect of Italy agreeing to take back responsibility, Isler says, is “probably an illusion”.

      The best option now, according to Sea-Eye, is Malta, a small archipelago with a population of about half a million. The NGO argues that the country is capable of taking responsibility for the search and rescue zone “in principle”.

      But Malta has so far given no public sign that it would be willing to take over from Libya. Earlier this month, the Maltese government forced the Alan Kurdi, with 62 rescued migrants on board, to remain at sea for days while European countries argued over who would take them in. “Once again, the European Union’s smallest state has been put under pointless pressure in being tasked with resolving an issue which was not its responsibility,” the government complained.

      Sea-Eye says a resolution involving Malta must include support from other EU member states, particularly Germany. “We hope that our own government will lead by example and play an important role in supporting Malta,” Isler says.

      https://www.infomigrants.net/en/post/16615/warning-of-libyan-death-zone-as-tripoli-stops-migrant-rescues